John Wick

2014 action movie

Rating: 11/20

Plot: A retired assassin mourns the loss of his dog.

He had that dog for about 4 minutes of movie time. I think it's interesting that the plot is really driven by the loss of a dog, and at first, I thought that was just the way I was reading things. But late in the movie, Wick whines, "You shouldn't have killed my dog," or something, and I realized that I was really supposed to think that the killing of a dog a guy's had for a day or two has led to the slaughter of about 200 people.

Here's a question: How are they going to make a sequel to this since Keanu Reeves killed everybody in the world except himself in this first movie? Is the sequel going to be a remake of A Boy and His Dog?

The dog thing is ludicrous, but I guess that fits with the entire movie. This movie's plot is thin. Here, we'll use a little object lesson to give you an idea of what the plot is like. Get a sheet of paper. That represents the plot of this movie, your typical revenge-type stuff. Have somebody hold it by the top and bottom while you drop a bunch of guns and a car chase on top of it. Then, cut yourself open and bleed all over it. That paper's going to fall apart. And that's what's going on with this movie. It's just enough of a plot for the piles and piles of action sequences and blood to make sense. The action scenes are well enough done, but they start to feel redundant pretty quickly. There's one point in the movie where a character is playing a first-person-shooter video game, and it's kind of hard to tell when the action switches between the video game and the movie. It's really the same thing over and over again in murkily-lit settings. Reeves might be getting to an age where he's too old for this kind of thing. He's never not convincing as a stone-cold killing machine in this, but it has more to do with camera angles and editing than anything he's physically doing. And there seems to be something goofy with the way the guy holds a gun. I wouldn't know because I don't have experience with firing guns, but it just looked off.

Keanu Reeves has never really been able to act very well. Here, he shows off a stunning range--from subdued to really subdued. He must have watched himself on film early in his career and hard himself say a line in a nonchalant, monotone manner and think, "Man, that sounded really cool. I'm going to say all of my lines like that!" It makes the character a little boring. You're kind of happy when he's not talking and just running around killing guys even when that has gotten really boring. I started thinking, "Well, this looks like the same action scene that I just saw five minutes ago, but at least I don't have to watch Keanu Reeves try to act."

It all builds to a climactic fight scene between him and an old man. Like, the rest of the movie, that's murkily lit, but it's also got added rain. It seemed anticlimactic to me, but I wouldn't know because I also don't have experience fighting old men. By that point in the movie, it was just another fight scene. You knew it was coming, which is why I don't really consider this a spoiler, and then it happens in ways that feel as cliched as the rest of the movie. Michael Nyqvist plays the old guy, Viggo, and there are a few moments with some dark humor that made him the most interesting character in this movie with not much going on. But his dialogue's really nothing new either. He's familiar, like a bad guy who wandered in from another movie. At one point, he says, "He wasn't the boogeyman. He was the one you sent when you wanted to kill the fucking boogeyman," which I would almost bet has been in another movie. Willem Dafoe is also in there, but it seems like he's just picking up a paycheck. Or maybe he just wanted to hold a gun. I don't know because I don't have experience being Willem Dafoe.

I think what bugged me most about this movie is its tone. It's all cliches and darkness, the color palette almost entirely grays and blacks until a scene that takes place in a club. Then, the action's washed in this weird lighting. Then, it's back to the blacks and grays. Combine the visual cloudiness with the kind of menacing ambient techno music you're so used to hearing in action movies from the past decade and a half and some heavier stuff once the action picks up, and you've got something that looks and sounds like way too many current movies. So I was really bored.

There's also a Marilyn Manson song, or at least one sung by him. Check out these dumbass lyrics:

"This world doesn't need no opera.
We're here for the operation.
We don't need a bigger knife
Cause we got guns, we got guns, we got guns, we got guns, we got guns.
You better run, you better run, you better run, you better run.
We're killing strangers, we're killing strangers, we're killing strangers
So we don't kill the ones we love."

Seriously, am I old or are those some really stupid lyrics?

Somebody told me this movie was good, and I shouldn't have believed him. It was something I had to watch in two installments because I fell asleep the first time. I really could have watched the thing in my sleep though. It's not the kind of movie you need to be awake for.


2014 bear movie

Rating: 15/20 (Jen: 13/20; Dylan: 20/20 [only halfway paying attention and gave it a 20 because of one line that he liked]; Buster: no rating)

Plot: A young bear from Darkest Peru takes his uncle's hat and heads to London in search of an explorer who once befriended his family.

I was curious to know what else the director of this had done. Paul King's only made one other movie--Bunny and the Bull, one that I really liked. He also directed 20 episodes of the entertaining and wacky television show The Mighty Boosh. Paddington is quite a bit different from those. It's still really English, and there's still some quirky humor, but this one's safe enough for children.

Still, I was worried about watching it because I couldn't make it through the televised trailers without laughing uncontrollably. Part of me wanted to see this on the big screen, but I wasn't sure I was mature enough. Not that I would have committed some sort of Pee Wee Herman atrocities or anything, but I might have. That would have been bad for my career. "Indianapolis teacher arrested after masturbating during CGI bear movie."

The movie wasn't quite the orgasmic experience that I expected, but there were moments when both Buster and I laughed at the same time, a beautiful thing. Paddington's a stranger in a strange land which creates some of the humor, and some of the dialogue, especially when the family first encounters the poor fellow at the train station, is pretty funny. There's some subtlety to the visual gags that I liked.

I wish the story was a little better and a little less predictable. The merging of a pair of stories feels familiar, and even the two types of stories that are being merged seems like something I've seen before. You've got a story about a talking bear, one that nobody seems to think is as strange as it really should be, trying to find a new home, finding the exact family you know he'll probably end up with, and then meeting resistance from one of the family members. And you've got Nicole Kidman's character--saucy villain--who comes along and is up to no good. It's nice seeing her having a little fun, and I'm kind of surprised at how natural she plays the villain. And man, she's still so statuesque and stunning. It was nice to see the new Doctor Who, Peter Capaldi, playing a sort of bumbling neighbor who gets caught in the middle of things, too. The story here doesn't go anywhere you don't think it will. It's safe and comfortable.

But in a way, I'm glad they kept things safe and comfortable. I'm not all that familiar with Paddington children's books, but I remember them being very simple. When Jen saw previews of this, she shrieked, "What did they do to Paddington?" Surprisingly, a modern studio didn't really do anything to him. He's still the mild-mannered and slightly naive bear I remember from the books. There's not a fart joke in sight. In fact, if the bear wasn't so cute, I'm not sure this would really attract the attention of 21st Century children. And I think that makes me like the movie better. Sure, there are some slapsticky moments where Paddington's flooding a bathroom or accidentally stopping a pickpocket, but it doesn't clash with the quieter moments in the story. Of course, there are a few moments when more modern songs are used ("I Feel Good" and the much-overused "Born to Be Wild" and Mission: Impossible theme song) which I hate because it does clash with the nostalgic, more fairy-tale tone of this little adventure, one that feels like it takes place in a more timeless, fictionalized London. But I guess that's a minor quibble.

The Amazing Spider-Man 2

2014 super spider sequel

Rating: 10/20 (Emma: 25/20)

Plot: Spider-Man tries to save New York from Blue Electricity Man.

I liked this about as much as I thought I would. What I'm surprised about is how much I didn't like Andrew Garfield, the reason my daughter gave this a 25/20. I reread my notes for the first of these movies where Spider-Man is amazing, and I apparently liked him in that one. Here, he just didn't work for me at all. One problem I've always had with Spider-Man, even though he was probably my second favorite superhero when I was a little fellow, is his penchant for witticisms. I just think it makes the superhero seem less likable as he's whizzing through the air delivering bad puns while people's lives are in danger and property's being damaged. And as he's whizzing through action sequences in what isn't exactly a quiet city anyway, I'm not sure we should be able to hear him anyway. Maybe that's my problem with all this.

Or maybe it's the lack of Firestar. Where's my Firestar movie?

Maybe the next reboot--the reboot of the reboot--should be Spider-Man and His Amazing Friends.

The story here isn't very good, and the villain isn't all that interesting. There's a corporation run by Peter's friend Harry Osborn after the death of Harry's father, and they're up to no good. It doesn't matter what they're up to exactly because none of it can be as heinous as the acting of Dane DeHaan who plays Harry. He was good in Kill Your Darlings, but I'm not sure what he thinks he's doing here. Of course, even people like me who don't know anything about comic books know that Harry's going to end up becoming all Green Gobliny. When he does, it's a little anticlimactic and feels tacked on. His appearance leads to a character's pointless death and not much else. The main baddie is Electro played by Jamie Foxx who probably has better things to do. Electro's big and mean and powerful and all, but after the initial scene where we get to see him do some stuff, it just seems like all the character's potential has been realized.

Spider-Man really has some of the lamest bad guys. I can really only think of one that I'd like to see in a movie, and he was already in the second movie of the last trilogy. At the end of this one, a robotic rhinoceros comes along to wreak havoc, and I was pretty sure I'd heard of a legitimate Spider-Man villain called The Rhino. Turns out, I'm right.

That's how he looks in the comic apparently, a hulking thing with muscles that don't really exist. I've seen rhinoceroses before, but I've never seen one with those kinds of muscles. And here's how he looks in this movie:

Come on! That's not ridiculous? Rhindiculous!

The special effects are sleak enough although the action sequences are a little jumpy and boring. It's the human drama that isn't really effective at all. It's all just sort of a cartoonish waste of time.

It was nice to spend some time with Emma though even though she asked if there was "something wrong with [my] brain" after I told her I didn't like this much.

Time Travel Movie Fest: Pleasantville

1998 comedic drama

Rating: 15/20

Plot: Spiderman and that whore from Wild are sucked into their television like in Stay Tuned and find themselves in a quaint sitcom called Pleasantville which takes place in a quaint little town called Pleasantville. Their modern ways begin to corrupt the Pleasantvillians and their black and white world which, thanks to them, begins to take on a little color.

I wonder why Gary Ross hasn't directed more movies. It's hard to believe that a project as ambitious as this--with its cute little color/B&W hook--is the guy's first film. Five years later, he did Seabiscuit, also featuring Tobey Maguire. That's another movie I really liked, at least a lot more than I thought I would. And then he's the guy who helms the first Hunger Games movie, a movie that a lot of people seemed to like. It just seems odd that he hasn't done more. Is there something I don't know about the guy?

We could debate whether or not this is a time travel movie or not, but I don't really want to and would rather you not bring it up. One has to assume that the world of Pleasantville is in the past. Tobey and Reese aren't transported just to another place, right? Pleasantville seems fueled by nostalgia, the good ol' days that old farts always talk about built in its bricks. It also feels like this calm before the storm. You don't see them, but you almost feel clouds looming, mostly because we live in Tobey and Reese's present and know all about what happened in the 60's with its free thinkers and conflicts and hippie music and drugs and counterculture heroes. Early, we're slammed with the times-they-have-a-changed lessons ("Ok, who can tell us what a famine is?") and a scene that bounces between Maguire, with that longing smile and nostalgia for things he never even personally experienced, watching the television show with its idealistic family values and his single mom's argument with his dad about visitation seems to be making a point about how we've lost a little something as a society. Or maybe we've lost a bunch of little somethings.

The messages are a little all over the place in this. There's almost too much going on thematically, so much that it's really hard to pin down exactly what this is trying to say. There's all kinds of stuff about family values. There's conformity, stifled free thought and creativity, and the importance and magic of art. They toy with the traditional roles of men and women. There are conspicuous allusions to racial segregation ("No coloreds" signs? Come on.) and Civil Rights although there doesn't appear to be a single black person in Pleasantville. Censorship is thrown into the mix. There's lots of sex. There are hints of a Utopian society, the idea that when things appear perfect, folks' complacency can often be damning. There are probably things that I'm forgetting about or didn't even catch. It's a lot to take in, and it kind of makes the movie feel bloated. I guess it all can be boiled down to the idea that blind conformity and the automatic acceptance of roles thrown upon us can be dangerous. Or can they? It's not like any of the Pleasantville characters would have even known they were unhappy without Reese Witherspoon popping in to say "cool" and give Paul Walker an erection. Be-bop-a-lula!

So here's a question: Which is more dangerous--premarital sex or books and art?

This is an entertaining movie even if it's kind of a mess. The color/B&W thing is the kind of experiment that's been played around with before but never to this extent. It just works, and it creates some beautiful and poignant imagery. It's a gimmick, but it never gets in the way of the storytelling and, more often than not, at least forces your eyes to scan each inch of the screen to watch for changes. Randy Newman, with an unmistakably Randy Newmanish score, provides music that perfectly compliments the visuals. Sure it's Esquivel--a personal favorite--who gets us started in the opening scene, but it's Newman whose music drives this thing. One point when the score is perfect is during a courtroom scene, a jazzy interlude between when Tobey's asked "What's beyond Pleasantville?" and provides an answer.

And then there's Don freakin' Knotts, vintage as the TV repairman. It's really not until Knotts makes his first appearance that this turns into something special. He's just so good, and hearing his say "umph" is almost magical. And there's something about hearing Don Knotts cursing that can just put hair on your balls. Jeff Daniels' character ("There are no cheeseburgers.") is a lot of fun, it's cool seeing Paul Walker in a role like this, and William H. Macy and Joan Allen play the Cleaver-esque parents so well, but it's Don Knotts who steals the show.

Favorite scene: Following the irony of a kid having the sex talk with her parent, we get a sequence juxtaposing a persnickety Macy in bed with shots of Mrs. Cleaver masturbating in the tub and suddenly seeing color and fake birds and exploding trees. It's a great scene, and the Newman music is perfect again there. Be-bop-a-lula!

Time Travel Movie Fest: Timestalkers

1987 TV movie

Rating: 13/20

Plot: A widower finds an anachronism and finds himself mixed up with some time travelers.

I wonder how many of these time travel movies will show a clock within the first few seconds like this one did. I think I'm going to keep a tally.

This suffers a bit from a low budget. The special effects are goofy, even for 1987, with throbbing blueish lights used for the scenes where the characters use their paperweight to time travel. Oh, and this utilizes sparklers ingeniously. It reminds me of the time I incorporated sparklers into my Star Wars action figure play and, after disappointed in the lack of damage a sparkler could do to Obi Wan Kenobi's head, repeatedly scraped his noggin on the concrete until his hair was gone. I'm not sure what I had against Obi Wan Kenobi's head back then. I was a really stupid kid. But I digress. This movie's future world looks cheap, and the Wild West looks like a set that dozens of other TV movies were filmed on. At least the horses are real.

The story is almost interesting although it's really just a retelling of Terminator without a muscular robot who can barely speak English. This has an evil flesh 'n' blood human who can barely speak English instead. The mash-up of science fiction and Western genres is interesting, predating Back to the Future III. The main character ends up as this unbelievable history brainiac which seems a little artificial. Of course, if I can buy people time traveling with the help of that paperweight, I guess I can buy the idea that Scott can be that damn smart. He is, after all, a history professor. The biggest problem with the story is the resolution, the exact sort of ending that most intelligent viewers won't want to see at all. And don't get me started on the plot holes created by these time travel shenanigans. Clearly, writers Brian Clemens and Ray Brown didn't really care about that sort of thing. The story ends up being really simple yet not tight at all.

The thing that keeps it afloat is an interesting cast. I always enjoy seeing William Devane, and he's got that type of voice that can trick you into thinking he really is a history buff and Wild West aficionado. He's also got the drawing skills to make any inevitable shoot-outs in this plausible. Although there is a moment in this where he takes off an ascot--I think it was an ascot--and ties it around his head like a bandanna, a sad attempt to transform himself into a bitchin' action hero. You just know it was probably his idea, too. "Hey, how about I tie this around my head like Rambo?" And no director can say no to William Devane because he's the type of guy whose feelings you just don't want to hurt. Shane-movies favorite John Ratzenberger is also in this, filming this right in the middle of his Cheers stint. And then there's Klaus Kinski, of course playing a badass. His accent makes a lot of his lines unintelligible, even to the subtitle typist. But when he gets really mad in this movie, probably because of the ridiculous outfit he had to wear in the future, his performance turns into something that's just a little too good for a project like this. Of course, Kinski's at his best when he gets to play a crazy person, probably because the guy was legitimately crazy. His Dr. Joseph Cole in this is a fun enough villain although the dopiness of the story doesn't do him any favors. He needed more lines like "Thanks for the lift, mister."

All in all, this ain't a bad little TV movie.

Tiny Furniture

2010 comedy drama

Rating: 11/20 (Jen: 11/20)

Plot: A college graduate with eyes on being a Youtube sensation returns home where she tries to figure out something to do.

This is a tiny review.

Edit (5/29/15): I've decided to go into more detail about this movie, Tiny Furniture. These characters seem like they might inhabit the same neighborhoods as some of Wes Anderson's characters. The biggest difference is that none of them are likable. Writer/director/star Lena Dunham is mopey, and I'm not really sure if she just isn't as clever or as funny as she thinks she is or if she was playing a character who wasn't as clever or as funny as she thought she was. Either way, I didn't connect with the character at all. Her mother and younger sister aren't likable, and neither are the love interests. Alex Karpovsky plays a character who doesn't seem to matter at all, and he reminds me of David Schwimmer, only more pretentious and less likable. The funniest bits were provided by Dunham's quirky friend played by Jemima Kirke. I liked her character somewhat, and I like that name. Jemima. There aren't enough Jemimas out there.

This is firmly in that style of independent comedy where nothing really happens. It's kind of a coming-of-age movie, yet the character is too old for that kind of nonsense. She returns home from college, flounders, seems really pathetic, and has sex with a guy, pathetically. I might have been bothered about nothing happening with this character, but I never really cared what happened to her. She never gave me a reason to.

It's possible that I would have gotten more out of this if I could have connected with the protagonist's experiences more or if I were a woman. Watching this with almost no expectations, I thought there was potential with Dunham. I don't know anything about the TV series Girls. Part of me, however, just kind of feels old and out of touch when I think about this movie. These characters Dunham is creating are of a different generation than me, and I like that generation even less than I like my own or the one that came before mine. Maybe that's why I didn't care for this at all.

Bad Movie Club: The Beach Girls and the Monster

1965 beach/horror hybrid

Bad Movie Rating: 4/5 (Kristen: 4/5; Fred: 3/5; Libby: 2/5; Amy: 2/5)

Rating: 5/20

Plot: A guy in a monster costume is killing beach girls.

There are probably spoilers throughout this write-up, but I doubt it matters. You probably won't watch this anyway. And why would I care about spoiling the movie when they couldn't even finish coloring their poster up there?

Jon Hall, who also played that guy in the monster suit (c'mon, you would have totally had it figured out within the first fifteen minutes of this movie anyway, at least if you've seen even one episode of Scooby Doo), only directed this and something called The Navy vs. the Night Monsters which I've also heard is pretty terrible. He's uncredited with that one though. So either somebody saw this and said, "We don't want that Jon Hall guy's name on our film," or he was so embarrassed by The Navy vs. the Night Monsters that he didn't want his name associated with it. I'm dying to know what the "Night Monsters" look like because the monster in this movie looked like this:

Of course, it is actually supposed to be a guy in a suit, so I guess I have to give them credit for creating a monster suit that actually looks like a monster suit. It does make you wonder if they filmed part of this as a straight monster story, decided that the monster wasn't convincing enough, and then scrapped the original story for a more confusing one. Because seriously, there's not even really any reason for the character to dress up as a monster in this. He kills surreptitiously anyway. There aren't really witnesses. He also doesn't really have a motive although he does call the beach girls tramps or something a few times. I guess he wants to rid his beaches of tramps, the exact obvious of what most warmblooded American men want.

The characters in this are interesting. Or they're not interesting at all. I can't really tell and don't profess to be an expert on this sort of thing anyway. Hell, I just learned how to use paragraphs, so what do you expect from me. There are a bunch of teenagers played by people who are too old to play teenagers, and, during one scene at least, they seem like they're in a completely different movie. They're doing what teenagers in the 1960's probably did on the beach--dance, wear glasses with springy eyeballs, play with a puppet that looks like a discarded prop from a Showbiz Pizza, play the bongos. The monster eventually comes [sorry--another spoiler], but it's not until you've forgotten what movie you're even watching.

The best character is a guy with a limp who sort of creeps around, walks around seemingly for a couple days and nights, sculpts poorly and creepily, and then eventually becomes the guy accused of these heinous crimes. It's obvious that he's not involved, especially since we see him see and actually brawl with the monster, but it almost feels like the audience is supposed to thing he's involved in all this anyway. It's very confusing. There's also a whorish step-mother played by Sue Casey who in one scene is supposed to be drunk. The camera seems obsessed with her legs in that extended scene that did not, for any reason, need to be extended. Sue Casey, by the way, played Sale House Woman #2 in American Beauty, so she has that going for her. Jon Hall isn't a bad actor, but he's playing a fish expert who seems to think fish have both claws and lungs. He's a better actor than he is a writer or a student of science, I guess.

My favorite thing about this movie, as well as the thing that bumps it up a point to put it in above-average good-bad movie territory, is the fake driving sequences. There's a lot of normal, everyday driving and one long chase sequence at the end, and the shots outside the car are dizzying and don't make sense at all. At times, it seems like the cars are speeding in these dangerous circles, and at other times, it seems like they're simultaneously approaching and moving away from the same fence. It's like Jon Hall said, "I know we could just keep this simple, but I want to give the audience vertigo with this chase scene! I want them to feel like they're in the car!" It's really pretty funny.

Oh, and Frank Sinatra is credited for the music in this. He co-wrote one song used in this thing but does not actually perform the song. I guess that's close enough.

What do you think of these paragraphs? Be honest.

The Wizard of Speed and Time

1988 movie

Rating: 15/20

Plot: A guy tries to make a movie, but people who make movies get in his way.

Tagline: "This is the kind of movie you would make if you had nothing better to do."

God bless, Mike Jittlov. It's hard to believe that this movie with the odd B-movie title is pretty much it for a guy with this much talent. And the talent's evident despite this movie's flaws. You almost want to forgive its flaws though because this feels like such a labor of love, has a refreshing unpredictability, and has an enthusiasm behind it that is just infectious.

In a way, it reminds me of a one-man band. Take one musician and strap a tuba to him, throw a guitar in his hands, put a bass drum next to his foot, give him one of those harmonica holder deals like Donovan or Dylan used, arm him with an accordion, duct-tape a tambourine to the foot he's not playing the bass drum with, stuff a nose flute up his nostril, place a piano next to him, and design some sort of experimental electronic instrument that he can play with blinking. If the guy's talented enough, he'll be able to play something that sounds like a song, and any crowd watching the whole thing will be amazed. Jittlov's a one-man band here. He wrote this story, he planned all the gags, he directs, he did the special effects, he produced the picture, and somehow had enough energy left over to bounce around as the movie's star. And there are some people who try to pull this kind of thing off and make a predictable mess out of things, but Jittlov gets by on his creativity and that aforementioned enthusiasm alone. Are parts of this a little messy? Oh, absolutely. The pacing's a little off, the plot sometimes gets lost in all the weirdness, and it's often a little too silly. However, it's never boring, and you just sort of fall in love with it after a while. It's nuts, unapologetically nuts, but there's a vibrancy that reminds you of the wackiness of Pee Wee, a love for his own animated creations that remind you of Harryhausen, and this buoyancy that reminds you of Disney at its most magical.

Rooting for Jittlov's character in this is rooting for the creative DIY spirit of independent filmmaking. There are all kinds of jabs taken at Hollywood with its red tape and big budget productions and greedy, soulless big wigs. Inspired by Jittlov's own experiences, the character and his misadventures in filmmaking make you feel good in the context of this story and a little bummed out when you realize that Jittlov ended up doing nothing else after this.

And he totally should have done more than this. The highlights are the stop-animated scenes which are innovative and just plain fun. Jittlov's wizard character sprints through the streets, defies gravity with wall runs, and manipulates hundreds of film canisters. Jittlov's the kind of guy who's going to throw in a special effect or two when there's really no reason for them at all. His room--in a house he shares with Mom--is the kind of setting where you feel like you have to freeze the frame to catch all the details in it. Characters are Benny-Hill-ized, apparently just because it makes Jittlov giggle and he thinks it might make us giggle, too. Special effects sequences that could been handled much, much easier in the mid-80s are created with this kind of wide-eyed naive love of the old school. And it succeeds in making the whole thing lovable.

I really liked the music accompanying all this wackiness. Parts sound quaintly electronic, like Perrey and Kingsley. There are also some songs with wizard-heavy lyrics that are cute, sounding like something that would have come from a 1970's children's show. I'm not sure if John Massari, the composer credited for the score, is the guy who did those songs, but I liked them. There was also a musical motif that ran through this that sounded like the beginning of that "April Showers" song from Bambi.

Really enjoyed seeing two faces in this movie. One was Woody Allen with a brief cameo. I thought it was probably just somebody who looked like Woody Allen, but I checked and it was apparently Woody himself. The second is Stephen Stucker, that annoying dude from Airplane. He plays a piano player and dance choreographer in this, his last role.

I guess I just like how personal this movie feels and what it says about the difficulties in making it in Hollywood. I can identify because I've never made it in Hollywood either. It's not easy to find, but I think it's worth it for people who dig stop-motion or just creative, different movies in general.

Two more notes:

This movie took five years to make. Told ya--labor of love.

And this movie also apparently has 1,000 subliminal messages. I didn't notice them, probably because they're subliminal.

Movies A-Go-Go: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles

2014 action movie

Rating: 7/20

Plot: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles try to stop William Fichtner and a metallic samurai guy from poisoning New York. Megan Fox helps out.

Before we get to my stream-of-conscious typed thoughts for this movie, I feel the need to explain why I watched it in the first place. I know nothing of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle lore because I was a little too old when they came out and have never been a comic book guy. I've also never seen any other movie with this quartet of reptilian karate-choppin' prepubescents. That was probably their name in an earlier draft. The Prepubescent Reptilian Karate-Choppin' Deviants. I started thinking about them and thought, "This is actually a little too weird for me not to like, isn't it?" I mean, they're overgrown turtles that fight crime. I figured I would be confused throughout this movie, but at least with this story, things were really dumbed down. A small child could have understood this, and I should know because I'm not as smart as most small children.

Anyway, I was disappointed in this movie, and I actually hate myself for even spending this much time with it. So, I'll just copy/paste my thoughts now.

Movies A-Go-Go! 

Nickelodeon Movies--that's ominous.

After brief animation, this is like watching somebody play that Fruit Ninja game on a smart phones. And that would not make a good movie.

A shot of New York City, and I think the point is that the Twin Towers would probably still be there if the Ninja Turtles were around.

Will Arnett? What the hell are you doing in this movie? Can I blame this for that fourth season of Arrested Development not having all the actors together during filming?

Megan-Fox-on-a-trampoline bonus points. I'm glad she gets to play a strong female character in this.

While this movie is busy with something resembling exposition, I should say that I don’t know anything about the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles’ story except for their names and that their Mr. Miyagi is a rat. And I think the bad guy's name is Shredder? All my knowledge of Power Rangers and these guys comes from working at Toys "R" Us for a few months.

Whoopi? I wonder if she's a big fan of the Turtles or if she's just doing this for the paycheck.

Fichtner? This guy makes poor life choices. He must be a family friend of the Bays or something. Maybe he is a Bay? Fichtner surely isn't a real name because that combination of c's, h's, t's, and n's shouldn't exist. It's one of those names like McConaughey that I have to look up every time.

This constantly blaring score, the rapidfire editing. I'm actually wishing I was watching a movie inspired by Fruit Ninja.

“She’s so hot I can feel my shell tightening." Really? First, I thought this was a children's movie. Also, my knowledge of turtle anatomy isn't extensive, but I doubt their genitals are on their backs.

(No, I remember seeing turtles "doing it" at the zoo once. Turtle cocks are clearly where you'd expect them to be. And now that I think about it, why would a turtle be attracted to Megan Fox anyway?) 

"They’re ninjas. They’re mutants. They’re turtles. They’re teenagers." Yeah, that covers it. Thanks for catching me up, movie.

Wait, one of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles is Hispanic?

Yes! A fart joke! It's about time!

“They don’t look like turtles because they ARE turtles.” Obviously, this was written by a complete moron.

Ok, I just looked it up because nothing going on with Whoopi and Megan Fox is worth paying attention to. Five morons actually this.

“They’re ninjas.”
“I’m sorry. What?”
“And they do karate.”

See? Morons.

Oh, Michael Bay didn’t direct this? I thought it lacked explosions. Plus, it just makes a little too much sense scientifically.

Has product placement ever been this blatant? This scene where the slimy rat is forcing them to balance on things, play ping pong, and balance eggs on chopsticks feels like a commercial.

How many times has Fichtner’s character told people this story while pointing at a tapestry? Dude's obviously shady.

Orange Crush--the preferred beverage of Ninja Turtles.

What? Sacks is a bad guy? No way I could have guessed that one! This twist is sponsored by Skittles.

This bad guy can’t decide what language he speaks. And I’ve never understood what’s going on when two characters are having a conversation in different languages. How’s that work? I doubt that's ever happened in real life.

April’s dad turned to arson to stop Sacks? That was really his only option? That seems unlikely.

Ahhh, look at the cute little Infant Mutant Ninja Turtles!

“Hollaback Girl”--there goes the Megan-Fox-on-a-Trampoline bonus point.

Honest question: Where do they get money for pizza? Am I supposed to ask questions like that during a movie this dumb?

“What did you just call me? A hogosha?”

I want to see a hogosha and horny turtle sex scene. I can’t be the only one. Is there erotic Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle fanfiction out there?

This Shredder appearance is brought to you by Country Crock.

I’m having having trouble figuring out why this isn’t just a cartoon. It looks like a cartoon most of the time anyway, so why couldn’t they have just gone full cartoon?

“You stupid little girl!” Seriously--morons. Morons wrote this.

Their shells don’t do them a lot of good if they can’t even protect them from a tazing.

Well, at least this is going to force Megan Fox’s character to be a strong female character. Right?

The bad guys leave without making sure that the rat and the fourth turtle were dead. I don’t understand how bad guys can be this poorly written.

I’m glad Fichtner changed into black clothes. It cements the bad guyness. This is not a good performance by him at all.

This bad guy plan is silly and cliched. But it’s going to make Fichtner rich--like, "stupid rich," he says. Like Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle script rich.

Bullets don’t harm them? They can be tazed, but they don't have to worry about bullets.

“Time to take a bite out of the big apple.” Good one, bad guy! How embarrassed do you think New York is about this? That one-liner has been brought to you by Zubaz.

By the time this red turtle finds his way in there, most of their blood is going to be drained.

“It’s working,” says Will Arnett. But whatever it is that's working shouldn't be working. And that’s totally what is wrong with this movie. This is as realistic as 80's wrestling when a near-dead Hulk Hogan would start having a seizure and clinch his fists before making a big comeback.

Backseat Driving Talking Turtles--that should be the title of the sequel.

One of the turtles is Teen Wolfing on the truck! These waves are his!

Better Movie

Truck rumbling down the mountain after that ubiquitous red tailed hawk screech--the movie found a way to get even dumber. And now, of course, Megan Fox’s ass has gotten in the way.

What are they on? Mt. Everest? Is there a mountain that size within close proximity to New York City? I don’t remember seeing one.

This elevator hip hop scene has been brought to you by Snapple. What the hell is this?

Why’s the bad guy need to be wearing Chrome samurai gear? It doesn’t seem like that would be very comfortable. I guess he had to keep it on because he knew that he left the turtles alive at the bad guy lair?

Wait, the plan isn’t going to work now, is it? There’s no antidote. Now they’re just killing everybody to kill everybody?

You know what really makes these action scenes good? Slow motion.

They’re going to play Buck Buck.

Slow-mo Buck Buck.

Cowabunga! Did people cheer in the theaters when Strawberry Crush Turtle said that? I'd forgotten that I knew they said that until I just heard it. Now my shell's getting tight!

I thought they only had 50 seconds or something. I think all the slow motion action sequences have confused the morons.

This last-second deactivation is brought to you by the Swiffer Wet Jet.

Ok, so turtles fall faster than people. Good to know, I guess.

I think I faintly heard people cheering when Shredder fell to the ground. But how the hell would they know he’s the bad guy? This movie doesn’t make any sense.

Pop Tarts! Yes! A product placement trifecta!

I really hate these turtles.

They blew up his car! Because that’s not predictable at all!

I’m having trouble thinking of a single positive thing about the experience of watching this movie.

Oh, “Happy Together” is by the Turtles. I get it. That’s very clever, but I don’t think the guys in that group were ninjas.

Not Ninjas


2013 animated adventure movie

Rating: 11/20 (Abbey: 16/20; Buster: 20/20)

Plot: A bunch of little people are fighting in the woods, and the daughter of a guy who has been hunting for the little people is shrunk to their size and joins the fight. It's epic!

Buster called this "the best movie ever," but I disagree.

I'll start with the positives. The animation is beautiful. I liked what these Blue Sky people have done with settings in the past. Ice Age had its simple but effective backgrounds and made glaciers seem interesting. This has lush backdrops and all kinds of terrific movement. There's color and creativity.

Now, the bad. It's really boring, and even though I watched it about 8 days ago, I really can't remember a thing about it. The characters were flat. There wasn't enough going on with any of the good guys to make me really care about them, and the bad guys weren't all that interesting either. None of the humor worked, and two slug characters thrown in this for comic relief were almost as irritating as Jar Jar or that snowman from Frozen.

This is way duller than a movie called Epic should be allowed to be. This is the exact type of movie that I'll see a reference to in a few years and wonder if I've ever seen it. Of course, that might have more to do with my brain than anything else.

Bad Movie Club: Robot Ninja

1989 melancholy action movie

Bad Movie Rating: 4/5 (Fred: 1/5; Josh: 4/5; Johnny: 1/5; Jeremy: did not finish)

Rating: 3/20

Plot: A comic book artist decides to actually become the hero he draws adventures for, a hero who is neither a robot or a ninja. He meets his match once he encounters an overweight woman with a bandanna though.

"I am the robot ninja, and I kick ass."

You might think that poster up there looks pretty bad, but the movie actually might be worse. You ever watch an action movie and think it has comic relief but then realize that you're unsure whether or not it's actually supposed to be comic relief? That's what happened to me here. I mean, "Good night, Goodknight." Maybe that's supposed to be funny, but I really couldn't be sure and I couldn't get to sleep afterward as I tried to figure it all out. And you keep thinking that this movie can't be as bad as it seems to be since Burt Ward wouldn't be associated with anything bad. Or David Decoteau who produced this and apparently had himself a cameo. My favorite thing about the entire movie is the song, a slab of 80's electro-inspired funk that details the entire plot of the movie. It plays over the credits just in case anybody who watched this was confused by the complex plot about a guy dressing up as a robot ninja and getting beaten up by rapists. This movie was obnoxiously gruesome, especially one scene where the main character--following a rough battle with the main villain. She's played by Maria Markovic, a woman of indeterminate sexuality who loves her puns as much as she loves raping and her bandanna. It's not a good performance, and if you made a list of every single comic book villain ever, she'd likely wind up at the bottom of the list. Strangely, this movie kind of anticipates Kick Ass, but you have to squint pretty hard and tilt your head to one side to see the similarities. Back to that ultraviolence--this not only hurls all this ridiculously cheap and gross imagery at you, but it adds more squelching sounds than you're likely to hear in a movie. This movie might be--pound for pound--more squelchy than any movie ever, and that includes pornography. Violence is rarely as funny as it is here. Gun barrels pierce clayish heads, hands are lopped off, a woman who is shot in the back several times swan-dives herself forward in a ridiculous death scene, and a dude is stabbed several times, shot a few times, and then finally kicked to death. Along with the violence, the writer of this--J.R. Bookwalter--went out of his way to insert a lot of curse words to ensure that this would receive an R-rating. He didn't need to because the sight of Maria Markovic was probably enough.

Scott Spiegel, a "Fake Shemp" in Evil Dead II, plays a character named Marty Coleslaw. Marty Coleslaw--let that sink in for a minute.

Original BMC Jockass Fred says this is the second worst movie we've seen together behind the painful Curse of Bigfoot. I think, based on his rating, that he didn't mean this as a positive thing.

Blue Ruin

2013 revenge movie

Rating: 15/20

Plot: When the convicted murderer of his parents is released from prison, Dwight decides to go after him.

Imagine your typical revenge flick. Now imagine it with a lead who has no idea what he's doing. And imagine it written and directed by somebody who is a little sleepy. You've probably just imagined Blue Ruin. I don't know if Jeremy Saulnier is sleepy or not. And I don't know if he's trying to make movies that will feel like lackadaisical Coen Brother flicks or not either. If this reads like a write-up for a movie I didn't like at all, I apologize because I really did enjoy this one. My favorite thing about it is that it's sneakily funny. Sure, it's mostly quiet, mysterious, and airy, but I think there's a subdued comedy at play here, too. The vagabond-turned-man-of-vengeance played by some guy named Macon Blair is so inept that you almost have to chuckle at his exploits. This approaches revenge flick cliches a few times but then swerves in another direction. Think about what would usually happen after that trip to the drugstore in a movie like this, and you'll see what I mean. This has some shocking bits of violence that are often difficult to watch. It's a movie that feels twisty until you really think about it, and then it just kind of seems like everything happened the way it should have happened. Well, except for an appearance by Eve Plumb. Yeah, that Eve Plumb. What other Eve Plumb did you think I meant? Nice little sleeper here.

Bad Movie Club: Left Behind

2014 religious reboot

Bad Movie Rating: 4/5 (Ratboy: 3/5; Alicia: 3/5; Josh: 5/5; Eric: no rating; Amy: 1/5; Fred: 2/5; Johnny: 5/5; Libby: 1 [middle finger]/5; Mark: didn't finish)

Rating: 4/20

Plot: God decides he wants to whisk the righteous away from earth but, for some reason, leave their clothing behind. Which settles it for me--heaven is going to be a lot like that party in Eyes Wide Shut. The unrighteous? Well, they're left behind. That group includes a philandering airline pilot, his daughter, an investigative journalist, an angry little person, an old lady, a Muslim (duh!), and a businessman. And some other people. None of them matter much because they're not all played by Nicolas Freakin' Cage!

Here's why this movie isn't going to save any souls. Well, my friend Rubber Duck probably explained it best in two words: Bad theology. But the real reason is that the people who end up being yanked nakedly to heaven are lame compared to the characters who are left behind. Nicolas Cage is one of America's most beloved actors. His daughter's cute, and although I don't know who she is, I assume she's been on some Disney show for teenyboppers or something. And she utters the only curse word in this movie which makes a lot of sense since I'm sure people left behind will be on their best behavior and refrain from cursing. Also, you have to be impressed with her character in this because I'm sure she runs at least 50 miles during this movie's story. The investigative reporter is a hunky guy named Buck Williams, a guy's guy who would likely make many women say, "If guys like that aren't getting into heaven, you can count me out." And the flight attendant whom Nic Cage is attempting to woo with promises of U2 concerts? The amount of impure thoughts men who watch this movie are going to have trying to imagine how they even squeezed her into that little stewardess outfit will ensure that at least a lot of boners are left behind. And the little person, played by Martin Klebba (a recurring character on Scrubs, those Pirate movies, a Munchkin), is possibly the coolest human being of all time, at least if you go pound-for-pound. The folks who are taken by God? Well, a woman at the airport and Marty McFly's mom both seem psychotic, and Nicolas Cage's son seems like he might be mentally challenged. The others? We don't find out much at all about them. Which means that the all the cool characters are the ones left behind. What kind of advertisement is that? It's like a commercial that shows a bunch of doofuses walking around in the sneakers you're trying to sell. Nobody wants to wear shoes that a doofus would wear, right?

How's the message of the movie work though? Well, not well. I am not an atheist although this is the type of movie that could almost turn me into one. However, when I look logically at the arguments made at the beginning of the movie by both sides, it seems like the more convincing arguments are made by the nonbelievers. The believers, as I said, kind of sound like lunatics. There's really no point in the movie where it even seems like an effort was made to make their arguments seem all that logical. So the only message Left Behind's got left is a giant tacky scare tactic. And that's just weak.

So this movie has a message that I can't see actually working. Does it work as a movie? Well, no. Unless you're looking for a comedy. Cage gives a semi-Cagey performance. He's at his most subdued here though. You don't get wacky Cage except for a great moment when he tells a plane filled with sinners to sit. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .down. The worst performance is by Major Dodson, the kid who played Cage's mentally-challenged son. "Wow! The brand new baseball glove I've been asking for!" No, he's not helped by the writing or the direction because no child actor's going to look good saying this crap or lurking behind a corner creepily when his mom and sister are arguing. But his running? If I were a director and I knew that my child actor was going to have to run in a movie, I'd make sure I see him run when he's trying out for the part. The saddest character is a confused old woman on the plane, but I can't even find who plays her. Actually, scouring the cast for this is interesting. I can't recall seeing this many uncredited performances in a movie. There are 27 actors and actresses who weren't embarrassed enough to have their names associated with this while a total of 57 other people are not credited. I guess they were left behind.

Before you ask, I should tell you that I haven't seen the Kirk Cameron movie versions of this book series and therefore can't compare them.

Left Behind has that made-by-a-church-with-a-few-thousand-bucks-they-can't-figure-out-what-to-do with vibe. It's professional enough, but it wasn't written by anybody who has much experience with actual human beings or anybody who understands subtlety. It's weirdly off, this artificial look at the apocalypse. Add the exact type of music you'd probably expect this to have, including a killer song that plays over the closing credits, and some really spotty CGI, and you've got something that is embarrassing enough. But you know what's more embarrassing? They're probably going to make another and another and then another. That somehow makes it far more embarrassing. Maybe the most embarrassing thing of all is that I would gladly watch a sequel to this. What's wrong with me?

Mad Max: Fury Road

2015 action sequel

Rating: 16/20 (Other Person in Theater: no rating)

Plot: Max, following prolonged exposure to mercury while making felt hats, sulks around a desert wasteland until a bunch of pasty guys employ him as a blood bag. Sean Penn's future wife runs off with the king's five wives, and a chase ensues.

That's right--I made a very rare trip to the theater to see this thing. This also marks a first for me as I saw this in 3D accidentally. I don't think Mad Max: Fury Road is a movie that best shows off 3D's capabilities or anything, but I was really unimpressed and can't see myself wanting to do that again. This is also the first movie I can remember watching in a theater by myself since the second Kill Bill movie. There was one other person in the theater with me. We both waited around until the credits were over, and on my way out, she said, "That was so good! I'm going to see that one again." I don't like talking to people and said something like, "Yeah, it was crazy." I forgot to ask her what her rating was but wouldn't have liked explaining my rating system anyway.

The movie really is completely crazy. It's almost like somebody said, "Hey, I wonder if anybody would watch a post-apocalyptic chase sequence for two hours," and then decided to just go ahead and make one and find out. I'm most impressed that this doesn't feel like a reboot at all. It should. It's got a brand new person playing Max; it takes advantage of modern technologies they didn't have when making the original trilogy, giving this a flashier and glossier look; and the score is throbbingly contemporary. This surprised me with how well it feels like just another chapter in Max's troubled existence though. Tom Hardy, the kind of actor who doesn't really need a lot of dialogue anyway, resembles Mel Gibson enough to make that transition seamless. He also grunts a lot. The shinier, more computer-generated version of this post-apocalyptic world that was so frequently duplicated but never quite matched in the 80's looks terrific--mostly miles and miles and miles of lonely sand. There's also an ingenious stone "castle," the only other set you get other than the aforementioned miles and miles and miles of desert. Because seriously--this movie really is just one gigantic car chase through a desert wasteland. I am not exaggerating about that. That score I mentioned, composed by something called Junkie XL, didn't really hurt this film's ability to blend with the original 80 movies as Beyond Thunderdome has a score that sounds contemporary anyway. Mostly, it's all about the vehicles and the stunt work. The vehicular monstrosities that grace the screen in this are actual working Frankensteinian beasts that catch fire, flip around, speed through desert sands, run over people, fly through the air, have people dangling from them, blow up, ram into each other, careen down cliff sides, and then start all over and do it all over again. I don't know how some of these machines even move with seemingly seven other vehicle pieces glued onto them. I do know that I wouldn't want to be poised on top of any of them which is precisely what the stunt men and stunt women do for the majority of this movie. This stuff looks dangerous, but it kept my eyes glued to the screen for the duration, real Spectacle that earns that capital S. Big dumb action movies aren't necessarily my thing, but when it's done this well, this old-school, and this beautifully, it becomes less big dumb action movie and more like something close to a work of art. This is artistic machismo movie making, and I felt my balls grow as the movie went on.

It's hard not to fall in love with this kind of creativity. The vehicle design is one thing--I especially dug the spiky vehicles that reminded me of The Cars That Ate Paris--but dig these characters. The main bad guy sounds all growly with this skull-ish gas mask thing, the half-alive soldiers are crazy enough to almost root for, and all these auxiliary characters somehow manage to simultaneously blend in with everything in this perfectly-created world while popping out of the screen and standing out. I want action figures of all of them, and I don't even collect action figures. And don't even get me started on flamethrower guitar guy. Does this movie need a flamethrower guitar guy? No. I mean, does any movie need one? But this movie fucking has one, and that's part of what makes it something that I want to watch again and again. Oh, and this is the second Mad Max movie in a row with a little fellow, some guy named Quentin Kenihan who is really cool. Cherize Theron's one-armed character is really good and just might be the main character in Mad Max's movie. Hardy's a more-than-admirable Mel Gibson. And there's a guy named Rictus Erectus. And old people. And a flamethrower guitar player! Oh, I already mentioned him.

One thing though: That "what a lovely day" catchphrase at the top of the poster was preceded by a "What a day" which was an obvious attempt to capitalize on the success of Tommy Wiseau's The Neighbors.

No No: A Dockumentary

2014 dockumentary

Rating: 15/20

Plot: Chronicles the life and career of Dock Ellis, a pitcher most notable for throwing a no-hitter while under the influence of LSD.

"If Dock's pitching, you know he's high. How high is he?"

I almost refused to watch this because of that silly title. And I think I might have--subconsciously, at least--docked this a point because of that title. But one of my favorite things about baseball (other than the fact that it's just the most perfectly-created sport ever invented) is the collection of characters throughout its history, and this Pirate was one of the most interesting. This starts, probably wisely, by briefly giving a glimpse of that (in)famous no hitter. It's a trippy opener, all kinds of sound and vision fuckery. It's cool and surprisingly doesn't clash with the rest of the documentary at all. The style is lively enough, and it moves with a pace that's a little quicker than baseball himself. The music was put together by Beastie Boy Ad-Rock and matches the time period and mood of the documentary perfectly, and the interviews from Ellis's family members, teammates, friends, ex-wives, and Dock himself feel like these fun little storytelling sessions. This covers his career shenanigans, including an extensive look at that no-hitter and the days when he wore hair curlers when pitching because it aided his spitball, the kind of idea it seems that the New England Patriots and Tom Brady would be interested in. This also covers some of the political activism of the times and Ellis's role in all of that as well as his post-baseball career where he became an anti-drug ambassador. Sadly, he died before the completion of the documentary, but at least he didn't have to see what a horrible title they gave to the movie. He's a fascinating dude, the kind who just adds that little extra color to the game, and this movie would probably interest any baseball fan or people who just like interesting human beings.

Movies A-Go-Go: Thor: The Dark World

2013 sequel

Rating: 9/20 (Dylan: 2/20)

Plot: Dark Elves attempt to collect Natalie Portman's menstrual fluid after Thor drags her to Ass Guard. Thor has to stop them before they blow everything up!

I watched this because of that Planet of the Apes sequel. Pleasantly surprised by that sequel to a movie that I really didn't like, I thought maybe this could be a similar situation. It's not. Here were my thoughts while I watched Thor: The Dark World with Dylan:

Boy, it didn’t take me very long at all to hate this. Fake people with fake ears in a fake world with fake fire and fake smoke. And I have no idea what the hell they’re talking about.

Oh, shit! They just unleashed aether! I think that’s bad at least. It's hard to tell because I have no idea what's going on.

Dark elves? This is about as gross as a Hobbit movie.

How to get rid of aether--bury it deep where nobody will find it. That was my plan the first time I masturbated into a sock, and it didn’t work because a dog found it.

Thor’s dad has one nice throne. No wonder Loki wants it. You feel he’s overcompensating for something with that monstrosity though.

Oh, good. More fighting. It's about time. It's been about 2 minutes since the last fighting!

Thor jumps, smacks his hammer into the ground, and knocks down everybody around him except for the people on his side. How’s that work?

Man, this is some serious LARPing here.

Rock man looked ridiculous and just wasted everybody’s time. Was there a Rock Man action figure who broke apart when you hit him with a hammer?

Dylan: “This seems like a bad 80’s fantasy movie.”

Thank God! A shirtless scene. It’s the only logical follow-up to busting up a Rock Man.

You can tell these actors and actresses are true professionals because they don’t giggle every time they say Ass Guard.

Natalie Portman’s new boyfriend is getting all Hugh Grant-y. And he doesn’t even have a hammer.

“I’m going to stay here and say ‘sea bass’ alone” is my new favorite masturbation euphemism.

Honestly, you’re not experiencing Stonehenge the right way unless you are naked and assaulting people with scientific equipment.

Me: “What are they looking for?”
Dylan: “Something science-y, I suppose.”
(Bus starts spinning around in the air.)
Me: “That’s not science-y.”

Dylan: “Every time they show the screen of that little thing [that Natalie Portman’s getting “readings” on], I have no idea what’s going on.”

Good job hiding the aether, morons.

Are these pointy-headed dudes talking in Jabba the Hutt’s language?

Now Natalie Portman’s in the aether? Wait a second--is this like that masturbation scene in Black Swan? I've having a similar reaction.

Sounds like Thor has a cold through most of this. And the pillagers were pillaging, Thor? What else would they be doing?

I don’t have a clue what is going on, but I think Thor just became a Tardis.

Dylan: “Oh good, there’s a black dark elf.”

“She will not survive the surge of energy within her,” says random Ass Guard woman. And then I swear she looked at Thor’s crotch.

Loki and Mom in the dungeon...ends with what has to be the worst high five in cinematic history.

Scene where Thor explains the “conversion” and then kisses Portman is the most awkward romantic moment for Portman since her time being compared to sand on Naboo.

Man, that guy in the dungeon has some terrible gas. This is the most nonsensical prison escape scene I’ve ever seen.

Thor just jumped off a balcony and caught his hammer and flew away and the special effects were embarrassing.

Great one-liner in the prison fight scene. I guess we needed it because we hadn't covered all the blockbuster movie cliches yet.

Man, the black guy just took down a spaceship with knives! Dylan: “That’s impressive.”

Isn’t that the Rainbow Road track from Mario Kart?

These Dark Elves certainly have better weapons than Odin’s people. That’s almost embarrassing.

Shot of Odin’s wife feet rising from the ground as the bad guy’s got her by the throat--this movie’s either showing us cliches or something completely stupid. There’s no middle ground here.

I want to be set on fire and sent down a waterfall in a cloud of glitter when I die, too. But I’m going to need a different score because this one is making me sick to my stomach.

Poor Loki--his last memory of his mother involves a failed attempt at a high five.

I can’t take Skarsgard seriously anymore after Nymphomaniac.

There’s no way Anthony Hopkins didn’t feel completely stupid when he was doing this role.

Whoa! Loki’s looking a little like Tommy Wiseau there. I wonder how many belts he’s wearing.

"Oh hai, Thor."

These sound effects are oppressive. Swung axes and swords don’t sound like that.

Thor just lost a hand? What’s he think this is--a Star Wars movie?

“See you in hell, Monster.” Did I hear that right? And I need Cliff’s Notes to explain the last 20 minutes of this movie.

Cue: anguished scream.

Cell phone. Really? She’s not getting any reception in that cave on Death Planet. There’s no way.

For a moment, imagine Liam Neeson and Stellan Skarsgard having a conversation.

Oh, a Marvel superhero movie is ending with a big fight scene? Huge surprise. The difference is that this one doesn’t make any sense at all.

These Dark Elf henchmen really do look like rejects from a Dr. Who episode.

Seriously, look at these fuckers. 

I don’t think I’ve ever been this confused with a superhero movie. I don’t know what the bad guy is trying to do exactly. I don’t know what the good guys are trying to do to stop him.

Oh, shit. There’s going to be another one of these movies. I think I’m going to have to be out. I can't do another Thor movie.

How did Stan Lee play himself in this? Wasn’t he a crazy old guy?

I like Chris Hemsworth as Thor, but the dry screenplay doesn't do him any favors.