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Due to the changing nature of the Top 250 list and the fact I will be watching more shows on it in the future, this list will be updated every few months.
Army of the Dead (2021)
Suicide Squad Meets Zombie Apocalypse: Somehow Boring
It would have been so easy for Army of the Dead to be a fun movie: the premise of a colorful band of mercenaries going into a zombie-ridden Las Vegas to steal millions of dollars from a vault on the behest of billionaire Bly Tanaka before a nuke takes out the entire city has so much potential going for it. And somehow, it manages not to hit any meaningful marks.
The team of mercenaries going in almost feels like DC's Suicide Squad: fun characters on a special assignment. Among the mercenaries are a trio who fought in the initial outbreak to rescue civilians from Las Vegas (Dave Bautista, Ana de la Reguera, and Omari Hardwick), Bautista's daughter (Ella Purnell) who enters with the group to find a missing person, an awkward and out-of-place locksmith (Matthias Schweighöfer), and their guide inside Las Vegas known as The Coyote (Nora Arnezeder), among others. These characters, however, do fall into the same problem that Suicide Squad faced where there are so many in the group that they all end up underdeveloped and uninteresting. The only two that manage to be fun are the locksmith (who ends up being more grating that amusing) and the quipster helicopter pilot (Tig Notaro), who is perfectly casted. (Why anyone would originally want Chris D'Elia in the role is beyond me). The most development any of the characters get is with Bautista and his daughter, who have a strained relationship. Them rekindling their relationship works as an emotional core to the film, but it leaves the daughter just with the group and doing nothing for a lot of the movie until she goes searching for the missing person or she engages in some meaningful dialogue with Bautista. There's even a character who works for Tanaka (Garret Dillahunt) whose addition to the team feels like it's literally taken from the Suicide Squad movie. (This is Katana, she has my back).
The first forty-five minutes of this two and a half hour film are dedicated to this team being put together, which drags on until they finally enter Las Vegas. Once inside, the audience is treated to some interesting zombie ideas, fun gore, and good action scenes, but it is difficult to be fully invested with how little you care about the characters, and the runtime continues its slow momentum.
Even setting aside the boring nature of the movie, what's ultimately Army of the Dead's downfall is how pointless everything ends up being. It turns out the character who works for Tanaka was sent in with a different mission and that the heist was just a distraction. The problem? He could have easily accomplished his goals without the fake heist, so why even bother with that? On top of that, when everyone but Bautista's daughter ends up dead (including the missing person whom her entry into Las Vegas was solely based on), she's left with a little bit of the money that Bautista salvaged, but nothing else. Their rekindled relationship is ultimately meaningless now, and her reasoning for entry in the first place to rescue a missing woman who had children is also technically a failure. It's just a bad note to end the movie on.
Army of the Dead is riddled with fun ideas that could have made for an entertaining and fresh zombie film had those elements just gotten more focus time. If the characters were all built up better and maybe a few were removed, it probably could have done that. There's nothing more disappointing than a film with such a great premise failing in such an avoidable way.
Trump Card (2020)
Best comedy of the year; worst documentary ever
If Dinesh D'Souza hadn't solidified his place in cinematic history--cinematic doing a lot of leg work here--as the worst documentary filmmaker of all time, this surely pushed his whatever remaining distance he needed to claim that title.
I have forced myself to watch three other of D'Souza's films: "Hillary's America," "2016: Obama's America," and "Death of a Nation." These films relate to "Trump Card" by their propaganda like quality and immense failure from a filmmaking perspective, but this sets it apart by just how embarrassing it is.
The film opens up with Dinesh D'Souza walking around America with the red flag of communism poorly photoshopped everywhere. Here, D'Souza makes the pitch of his film: that Trump needs to win reelection, otherwise socialism will take over America. What does D'Souza think democratic socialism is? Well, he thinks it's what democratic socialist George Orwell was warning people about when he wrote "1984."
After that, we get what can only be described as fan-cam footage of Trump and then a reenactment of Trump calling D'Souza to offer him a pardon. For some reason, the voice actor for Trump sounds like a Trump impersonation from someone trying to mock him would sound like.
When it finally delves into the documentary aspects of the film, just how lacking in credibility D'Souza is becomes incredibly apparent. He can't find a singular expert on anything; just a couple prominent conservative figures, some Twitter-famous conservative, his daughter, and a woman who claimed her organization True the Vote was investigated and harassed by the Obama Administration for being right-leaning (in truth, it was investigated for alleged voter suppression and fraud). The most bizarre interviewee being someone who claims to have information regarding Minnesota Congresswoman Ilhan Omar being connected to terrorists, yet instead of turning this information over to authorities he's elected to just tell Dinesh D'Souza about it.
With no understanding of what he's talking about and relying on conservatives who are clearly unlearned in what they're talking about or just lying, Dinesh D'Souza has made his worst documentary to date. Possibly even the worst documentary ever made. I mean, in "Death of a Nation," D'Souza at least got an actual historian to interview: D'Souza allegedly edited the clips to make the historian sound like he agreed with him, but at least it was an actual expert.
The Bling Ring (2013)
More Boredom than Bling
"The Bling Ring" is a true crime story about a string of robberies committed by a group of teenagers that targeted the homes of Hollywood celebrities.
The easiest criticism to level at this movie is that the premise just isn't that interesting. A bunch of teenagers robbing the homes of celebrities. Okay, whatever. Is there anything more to it? There's a mild amount of focus placed on two members of the Bling Ring and their friendship, but considering the lack of development that relationship gets and how every aspect of it is explained instead of shown, that's not an interesting hook to the story, either.
Now that the premise has been stripped of anything worthwhile, let's take a look at the technical aspects of the film, which are also atrocious.
All of the actors play their characters as stereotypically as possible, and do so in such an unbelievable manner that their performances are a chore to sit through. Emma Watson is especially bad in this.
The camera angles give off a try-hard feel of attempting to make the cinematography stand out, but it just looks bad and stands out as opposed to weaving its way into the film.
The audio-work is also terrible. The worst possible music choices that are just blaring and obnoxious are chosen (then again, it's music that these teenagers would listen to, so not surprising). While these bad songs are blasted at a regular volume, all of the audio is poorly recorded, so some scenes are too quiet or the dialogue starts to get drowned out by other sounds.
Then there's the script, which could easily be a contender for the laziest script ever written. It's easily lazier than one of those awful spoof movie scripts, because at least those need to think of the most blatant jokes that could be made about any given thing. "The Bling Ring" is mostly cliche and stereotypical teenager dialogue inter-spliced with scenes of them marveling at the possessions of the celebrities they're robbing while the same lines are repeated over and over again by the same characters.
Ironic that one of the worst films ever made carries the word 'bling' in its title.
Toy Story 4 (2019)
Toy Story 4 offers nothing new and in a poor way
The quality of PIXAR productions has been down ever since "Wall-E" and the "Toy Story" franchise is already limited in what it can do, so, in hindsight, this movie's lackluster existence shouldn't be unexpected.
"Toy Story" is limited in what it can do, because what all really can toys do other than get lost and try to get back to their owner? Throw on the usual themes of children growing up and things changing and voila, you have a "Toy Story" movie. These ideas are all fine, but this is the fourth film in the series and thus the fourth time they've done this. It's all recycled material which results in the film feeling tedious.
What is different this time is the movie's focus on Woody and Bo Peep's relationship. Every other original and fan-favorite character is tossed to the side to follow a story involving one of the least interesting aspects of the "Toy Story" series. A new group of characters takes their place as the side characters, and they either don't stand out are really annoying.
Now that the formulaic themes and story is in place and the annoying characters are all set to go, "Toy Story 4" just heaps them all together in a forced and poorly written plot.
"Toy Story" handles the theme of replacement better than "Toy Story 4" does. "Toy Story 2" handles the theme of change better than "Toy Story 4" does. "Toy Story 3" is a better and more satisfying climax to the series than "Toy Story 4" is. Just remember those films and you've essentially seen all "Toy Story 4" has to offer, but much better
Eight Legged Freaks (2002)
Fails to meet even the lowest of expectations
It's not like I was expecting anything more than some superficial entertainment from a movie entitled "Eight Legged Freaks;" I thought it would be dumb but fun action flick that was self-aware of what it was and wanted to be. Instead, "Eight Legged Freaks" not only doesn't reach that low bar, but it also has almost zero successes in it.
"Eight Legged Freaks" feels in a way like it wants to be Joe Dante's 1984 classic "Gremlins." It is a dark comedy with hints of horror to it set in a small town with a colorful cast of characters that gets attacked by monsters. It's a fairly straight forward premise, but "Eight Legged Freaks" manages to fail with every single one of these details.
Dark comedy with hints of horror: That should have been the tone that this movie goes for ("Arachnophobia" with Jeff Daniels did that right), but it instead goes for a comedic tone that one of those "Scary Movie" spoof films would have. This dissolves the tension and the creepiness in every scene the spiders are in.
Colorful cast of characters: There is definitely a variety of characters in the movie, but none that we really get to know. There are a couple of background townsfolk who are a bit prominent, but they have no quirks or traits to make the audience care about them. The secondary characters are annoying and unlikable, so who cares what happens to them? The leads played by David Arquette and Kari Wuhrer are dull, boring, and have no chemistry together. Arquette is pretty good at hamming up his scenes, but that is the most likability that is displayed by a singular character. Then there are a lot of characters who just feel like they've had chunks of their stories and arcs removed, creating characters that behave strangely and make choices that are illogical to what has been established. For example, when everyone is trapped in a mall, the mayor (Leon Rippy) decides to use a hidden exit to escape without telling anyone else, and subsequently locks that exit so no one can follow. While the mayor has been established as a bit selfish, trapping people to die is a bit far and out of character.
With these two major components to what the movie is trying to be utterly failing, "Eight Legged Freaks" is already in poor standing, which is made worse by the insufferable script.
The movie at least knows to provide set-up and payoff for the things that happen, so it could at least pass a screenwriting 101 class, but the payoffs are so dumb that it just becomes aggravating. Take for example a motorcycle that one character uses to escape the arachnids. The character takes the bike with him everywhere he goes, despite how illogical it is, so it can be used in the final action piece of the movie.
"Eight Legged Freaks" is a dumb but not fun action flick that has zero self-awareness and has no idea what it is doing or what it wants to be.
Death of a Nation (2018)
I honestly can't tell if Dinesh D'Souza is an intelligent conman who is profiting off of the gullible, or if he is genuinely a moron and his "documentaries" give insight into his warped thought-process. Considering how he contradicts himself almost immediately on multiple occasions throughout "Death of a Nation," I'm going to say he's genuinely a moron.
This "documentary" is filled with the same basic drivel that propaganda-spewing right-wingers have been preaching for years, done so in the most contradictory and uninteresting of ways.
D'Souza claims that the left tried to impeach Trump; cue clip of Senator Kamala Harris answering a question from a reporter about impeachment but not actually advocating for it. D'Souza claims liberals are too politically correct; cue the controversial Kathy Griffin photo. D'Souza claims that Trump's victory made people unhinged and freak out for no reason; cue clips of reactions from anti-Trump people whose fears and criticisms have been proven right every day since the election. Those are just a few of the obvious examples of how much D'Souza contradicts himself immediately, but then there are arguments that just don't make sense.
D'Souza claims that white supremacist Richard Spencer is actually a liberal because he and Trump have different opinions on immigration, yet Spencer also has a different opinion on immigration than liberals do. So how can Spencer not be a Trump supporter because of a difference in opinions, yet he is secretly a liberal despite a difference in opinions?
Not only that, but historians have also come out and negated all of the points that D'Souza made in "Death of a Nation" (along with all of his other works). In fact, one historian in this documentary, Robert Paxton, even alleges that D'Souza misled him as to what the documentary was actually about. If D'Souza's points are so articulate and factual, why do people with no agenda other than to study history call him out for being inaccurate, and why did he have to trick an expert into being in his film?
The filmmaking is on the same par as the information--worthless and terrible. The sets that are used during historical reenactments are atrocious, D'Souza has no charisma and is just a bore to listen to, and there's nothing creative about any element of his work.
The Meg (2018)
"The Meg" is mega sloppy
You'd think a movie about a giant shark swimming around and eating people would be pretty straight forward, but "The Meg" manages to miscalculate almost everything.
Certain scenes and character moments feel like they are in the wrong places, there is almost zero understanding of the characters, and the screenplay is so lousy that the entire first scene of the movie is rendered completely illogical by the end of the first act.
There are too many examples of moments feeling like they are in the wrong place, so here's just one. A character that had problems with Jason Statham earlier in the movie sacrifices himself to save a crew member. This death feels like it is this character's redemption for what he did to Statham, but this character already got his redemption when Statham forgave him at the beginning of the second act.
The biggest offender of the zero understanding of the characters comes from Rainn Wilson's character. It seems at times like he is supposed to be a secondary human villain, like the mayor from "Jaws," yet while his worst behavior is indeed reckless and stupid, it never falls to any level of badness.
The best example of how monumental the problems with the film's writing is, however, how the first act contradicts the first scene. In the first scene, Statham rescues a bunch of Navy officers from a downed submarine that was attacked by a megalodon. The first act of the movie, however, establishes that the shark lives at the lowest point of the ocean and is kept there by a freezing cold underwater current, yet this shark somehow managed to be where this sub was to attack it and then not be seen by anyone for five years? Bad writing.
Ant-Man and the Wasp (2018)
Ant-Man gets a fresh and fun redo
Like a lot of sequels, "Ant-Man and the Wasp" feels like a repeat of the original story as opposed to a continuation of it. What makes "Ant-Man and the Wasp" work while doing this, however, is that the movie feels like it realized the issues of the first movie and are in a way redoing it in a better manner.
There are a lot of similar story points between the first "Ant-Man" and this one. Scott Lang (Paul Rudd) is almost out of trouble with the law and he gets roped into helping the Pyms. The overarching theme of the movie deals with the relationships between parents and their children. Scott almost sacrifices himself by going to a size that is dangerous for him to be at. Luis (Michael Pena) gets to do another one of his long, comical stories. They redo the relationship between Scott and Hope (Evangeline Lilly). As stated above though, this all works because, with the exception of the Scott and Hope relationship, it feels in a way like a redo as opposed to a repeat.
The Scott story line works better in this movie because he both has things to gain and lose by offering his help to Pyms. The theme of parents and their children also works better because there are more personal scenes dedicated to each character about this specific topic, and it actually shows the dire lengths of the characters' actions because of it. Scott almost sacrificing himself by going to a dangerous size works because, one, it's Ant-Man, what else can he really do, and two, because this sacrifice is not the climax of the movie like it was last time, so it's different enough. The Luis story in this one was just used as a comedy bit instead of a way for their to be an information dump to explain everything to Scott and thus the audience.
That isn't to say there aren't original ideas for the movie. The villains this time around are not an all mighty, all powerful super villain; they are a group of black market dealers. The other villains of the movie are also more sympathetic anti-heroes than villains. This gives the movie a refreshing feel for a super hero flick and seems appropriately quaint for an "Ant-Man" movie. The mission in the movie also isn't some big, elaborate mission like the heist in the first movie: it's the characters simply going around trying to complete a science experiment to rescue Hope's mother from the quantum realm.
The two things that really elevate the movie, though, are the writing and the fun the movie has with the ability for things to change sizes. The comedy is funny in this movie, which it isn't in a lot of Marvel films, and it never feels like it's derailing the emotional undertone of the whole story, nor does it ever undermine an emotional scene by ending with a bad joke. Everything that is set up has a pay off to it, which is probably why the movie is funnier than other one: because some of the jokes get setups and payoffs instead of them all just being the characters saying whacky things.
The movie also has more fun with the resizing abilities of the characters than the first movie did. In the first movie, the creativity of what could happen didn't really seem to happen until the last scene of the movie, but in this one the characters utilize the ability to change the size of numerous objects to assist them in their fights. The Pyms also have an assortment of shrinkable objects to help them, including a shrinking building that acts as a suitcase and a Hot Wheels container filled with cars that can be resized for usage.
"Ant-Man and the Wasp" is plagued by some unoriginality, but more than makes up for it due to its self-awareness of the previous movie and how to make this new one work.
Avengers: Infinity War (2018)
"Avengers: Infinity War" is dishonest, idiotic, and simply awful in almost every aspect of its handling.
While all of the heroes from across the Marvel cinematic universe united in a joint effort to stop Thanos, so too did all of the problems you can think of unite in a joint effort to bring down "Infinity War."
It should be noted that I am not the biggest fan of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. For the most part, I find the movies to be passable while there are a few I have really liked, such as "Black Panther" and "Captain America: The Winter Soldier," and some I have despised, such as "Iron Man 2" and "The Avengers." "Infinity War" could have fallen anywhere on the spectrum for me, and unfortunately, it fell at the way-down low side as the second worst movie in the entire franchise.
The opening scene of the movie is the perfect setup for what is wrong with "Avengers: Infinity War." Thanos (Josh Brolin) is attacking an Asgardian ship with all of the main characters from "Thor: Ragnarok" on it. Thanos has killed everyone aboard, except for the few characters necessary to help keep the plot moving. Heimdall (Idris Elba) is left wounded so that he can be killed off by Thanos on screen after using his powers to send Hulk (Bruce Banner) to Earth in an effort to warn the Avengers. It is supposed to be an emotional death scene, but the laziness of the writing and the showcasing of character stupidity for the purpose of plot progression is all too evident. Why didn't Thanos just kill Heimdall during the attack on the ship like he did with everyone else on board? It's simple: the plot would not be able to continue if he had done that.
Character stupidity is at an all time high in "Avengers: Infinity War," and it is not just restricted to Thanos. There is a lack of communication between characters for no reason other than for the movie to happen, and Star Lord (Chris Pratt) goes so far as to screw everything up in what is easily the worst written scene in the entire movie.
The stupidity of the characters can all be attributed to an awfully written script. So much of the dialogue in the movie is the Marvel quips, but a lot of it comes in the form of characters throwing personal jabs at one another to the point of wondering why these heroes can't set aside their differences and not be annoying for even five minutes in order to stop a villain who wants to wipe out half of the universe's population.
Yep, that's right. Thanos' goal is to wipe out half of the population of the entire universe. One complaint that people have had with Marvel is how safe their characters all feel. So, Thanos killing off half the population would seem like it was putting their characters in danger, right? Wrong. All of the characters who are killed by Thanos are the characters who had already overstayed their welcome in the franchise or do not feel permanent because, let's be honest, they are needed for future installments to the Marvel universe. It is ironic that the movie that seemingly takes the most risks is the movie that played things the safest.
Even if these deaths did feel like a risk, it would not really matter. With so many characters to focus on, the movie has almost no time for character arcs (which is fine) and instead must show its characters through their speech and actions. However, so many of these characters act so annoying or stupid that you are just wishing for them to be killed off, and then the characters who are killed at the end by Thanos destroying half the population lacks any emotional weight because after nearly three hours of unbearable characters and dialogue, it is just a relief that the movie is almost over.
The two things that "Infinity War" did well was not making the story feel jumbled and clustered with all of the characters, and they did do a good job with the characters of Scarlet Witch (Elizabeth Olson) and Vision (Paul Bettany), but that is it. When it comes to everything else, the movie falls prey to a term film critic Roger Ebert used, which is 'idiot plot.'
Idiot plot means that the only way for the plot to happen is for the characters to act like idiots, which I already went into a little bit to explain how even the smartest of characters have to act like morons in this movie for the plot to progress, but the entire plot of the movie is an idiot plot as well. Thanos' plan to wipe out half of the population only makes sense to the point of his backstory. In execution, it is a plan that falls apart and becomes dumber the more you think about it. This might be, though, because the movie tries to paint Thanos and his plan off as having depth to it, but this sort of plan would only make sense and work for a generic super hero villain who just wants to destroy the world because he is evil. So, with a villain with faux-depth and an evil plan that would only work for a generic super villain character, the overall plot of the movie is a dumb villain scheme that has awful juxtaposition to it.
"Infinity War," to put it simply, is just awful. Nothing more, nothing less. And for a movie this big that had a decade of hype and buildup and planning, that is just sad.
Apocalypse Now (1979)
Apocalypse Please End Now
It might just be because I watched the Redux version, and from what Ive read the some of the stuff that I found to be the most detrimental were some of the parts added, so my opinion could be different based on seeing the original release, but I doubt that.
The issue is that there is a lack of anything to look to over the course of the film. The actual plot line is minimal and the movie just feels like a set of scenes that occur between the first act and the third act when the actual plot takes place. The main character, played by Martin Sheen, isn't very interesting, nor is Marlon Brando's antagonist. There are a number of themes portrayed in the movie, such as the madness of war, but that through line is weak and not enough to carry the second act of the movie on. Instead, it leads to a couple of good scenes here and there, such as the USO Show, but it ultimately doesn't elevate the film's quality.
Other than some colorful side characters like the four members of the boat crew (Laurence Fishburne, Sam Bottoms, Fredric Forrest, and Albert Hall) and Colonel Kilgore (Robert Duvall), the movie is dull and vacant.
Tropic Thunder (2008)
Good Idea Done Badly
There are definitely better movies out there that I hate more than "Tropic Thunder," and using the word hate is definitely too strong a word to describe my feelings, but I have to say it failed for me in almost every way.
I loved the idea behind the movie: a bunch of actors accidentally end up in a situation that mirrors their Vietnam War drama, but while the plot is funny the execution of it isn't. The story gets propelled forward by a number of coincidences that aren't comedic in any way, and would alert any of the main characters that something strange was going on. The only character who realizes there's something wrong is Kirk Lazarus (Robert Downey Jr.), but he still ventures out into the jungle with the rest of the cast. There's also not enough humor fired at the parallels between the movie the actors are making and the movie the audience is watching.
There are some funny things in the movie, however. Robert Downey Jr. is terrific in his role and has some good back and forth with Brandon T. Jackson, and there's some genuinely funny stuff from every member of the cast, but most of the jokes were misses for me. There are a number of references to other Vietnam War films like Oliver Stone's "Platoon," or the usage of the same songs all of these Vietnam War films have like "For What It's Worth" by Buffalo Springfield, but they're just references without anything comedic behind it. It's literally just the movie saying, "Hey audience, do you recognize this?"
In short, "Tropic Thunder" is a lot of good ideas poorly executed. The cast is all funny at points, and Jack Black is the only one who is annoying, and the characters are all different, but the humor is not very funny and the poor story line shines above everything else.
The Secret Life of Pets (2016)
More Trash from Illumination Entertainment
"The Secret Life of Pets" is a movie from the film studio Illumination Entertainment, whose biggest claim to fame has been the creations of the abominable minions from "Despicable Me." When little yellow creatures that speak gibberish are your studio's biggest highlight, it's no wonder their film turned out like this.
"The Secret Life of Pets" is essentially all three "Toy Story" movies rolled into one movie with three separate plot lines. The first movie about two rival toys who earn to respect and work with each other is given to the main characters of Max (Louis C.K.) and Duke (Eric Stonestreet). The second movie, where it focuses on all of the secondary characters from the first movie on a mission to save Woody, is showcased with the character Gidget (Jenny Slate) rounding up pets to look for Max and Duke. The antagonist of the movie, a white bunny named Snowball (Kevin Hart) has the same character and motivation as Lots-o-Huggin bear from "Toy Story 3."
With no original story elements, you'd think there would be an attempt to make the characters likable and engaging to watch, but no. Max and Duke start out as unlikable, and only become likable when they inexplicably begin working together. It makes sense that in one scene they would set aside their differences, but after that there is no reason for them to be working together. Then, they suddenly like each other without any reason to. Gidget is no better, as she dumbly trusts a hawk (Albert Brooks) who was clearly making threats to eat her, but the story must go on. Snowball sums up these idiotic and lazy character moments in one scene where, after trying to kill Max, says, "We need to work together now," and then everything is suddenly put behind them.
Character stupidity is a big propeller of the plot, but pure coincidence is too. Almost no story elements feel like they organically happened, and instead feel contrived or tossed in to make the screenwriter's job easier. Take this for example, New York City is a big place (especially for animals who mostly don't know the city except for what's right outside of their apartments), yet everyone makes their way onto one of New York's bridges for the climax of the movie without having any reason to know that Max and Snowball are there, and thus giving them reason to be there.
To put it in simple terms, this movie is lazy with its characters, uninspired with its story, and unfunny with its comedy. The only thing I can really say in its defense is that the story could at least be followed.
"Jackie" is one of, if not the most scatterbrained movie I have ever watched in my life. It is so incoherently put together and flawed in almost every department of its making that I'm convinced the person who made this might not have even a rudimentary understanding of filmmaking.
The movie focuses on Jackie Kennedy (Natalie Portman) mere days after her husband's assassination as she explains what happened over the following days to a reporter (Billy Crudup).
Almost everything about this movie is off and fundamentally flawed. The cinematography is obviously trying to be stylistic, but it does not fit and makes some scenes look downright atrocious. The editing in this movie is awful. The sound editing does not blend well with the movie, and a number of scenes are edited to have jump cuts that negatively affect the scene. Natalie Portman's acting is better than it has been in other roles, but she is still not believable, and she can't pull off Jackie Kennedy's accent. The story is about an interesting and iconic individual, and is based completely around her planning her husband's funeral. The movie is told non chronologically, but the order of the scenes and how flashbacks are set up really don't have much correlation with one another and were just arbitrarily placed throughout the movie's story line.
The only good things I can really say about the movie is that the writing was decent, it included a few interesting details about Jackie Kennedy and the events following JFK's assassination, and there was great attention to the film's aesthetics.
Well Shot and Acted, Everything Else is Eh
Steven Spielberg has made a lot of good historical dramas in his career. "Bridge of Spies" and "Saving Private Ryan" were both excellent, and "Schindler's List" is the best movie I've ever seen. I was looking forward to watching this movie, but unfortunately I was let down.
"Munich" follows a group of Israelis who are tasked with hunting down and killing the terrorists of Black September who were responsible for the Munich Massacre at the 1972 Olympic Games.
To make a historical drama good, you need one of two things. You either need an interesting historical figure to base the movie around, or you need an interesting historical event that's on-screen progression will enthrall people. "Bridge of Spies" and "Schindler's List" had both of these elements. "Munich" has neither.
The characters in the movie are all interchangeable with one another and have no real personality. The five members of Eric Bana's team are all the same person, except they each have a different skill.
The historical story chosen doesn't have anything of interest happening in it either. It is just a typical revenge story. Even more detrimental, it does not feel like there is a satisfactory conclusion to the story. It just isn't a very interesting piece of history to make into a three hour long movie. A better piece of history to focus on would have been the actual Munich massacre instead of the aftermath.
While this is a bad historical drama, I can not say in good conscious that is a bad movie. The movie is well written, well shot, well acted, and well directed for the most part. There is one scene where the way it was put together was confusing. The only technical aspect that was bad was the lighting, as every scene was saturated with light and looked ugly.
There are a lot of good historical dramas out there, and a lot of good ones made by Steven Spielberg. This is not one of them.
Dumb and or Pretentious
"Rubber" is a movie that celebrates its own genius and wit while, in reality, being the moronic ramblings from a screenwriter who thinks he's smarter than he really is.
In the first couple of minutes, a car runs over a row of chairs that are randomly set up in the middle of the desert and a sheriff (Stephen Spinella) gets out of the trunk. He goes on to talk about how in movies and real life, there is no reason, while listing off aspects of famous movies that did have reason to them. People argue that the things the sheriff listed were supposed to have reason to them, but that begs the question if the movie is supposed to be a celebration of no reason, why list things that have reason to them?
Then, there is a random group of people in the middle of the desert watching the events of the movie unfold as if they were in a movie theater watching the event in the laziest and most blatant form of self-awareness I've seen since watching "21 Jump Street."
Even if the movie lacked its moronic "depth," it would still be a dull and stupid movie. It's over an hour of a tire rolling around and exploding things. Nothing more. At best, it would just be repetitive.
This movie is not smart. It is a pretentious movie with little thought designed to inflate writer and director Quentin Dupieux's own ego and make him feel smart when in reality, he clearly had no clue what was going on or what he was doing.
The Revenant (2015)
Defeated by ambivalence
"The Revenant" is a movie that did so much correctly. Thanks to the superb work of director Alejandro Inarritu and the cast and crew, the movie is full of flawless cinematography, sound editing, acting, directing, and visuals. The characters are not interchangeable and all of their motivations make sense. By all accounts, this should be a great movie. There is, however, something weighing it down.
After being mauled by a bear, frontier man Hugh Glass (Leonardo DiCaprio) is left under the care of three others while the rest of his team makes it back to their fort. One member of the team, Fitzgerald (Tom Hardy) kills Glass' son, Hawk (Forrest Goodluck), and leaves Glass for dead, fleeing back to the fort. Hellbent on revenge, Glass travels across the dangerous wilderness back towards the fort to find Fitzgerald.
Glass' motivation for wanting revenge makes sense: Fitzgerald killed his son and left him for dead, though Glass seems to not care as much about the being left for dead part. The problem is that the entire situation just makes you ambivalent to Glass' struggle. Fitzgerald only killed Hawk after he was making noise and Fitzgerald couldn't get him to quiet down. He was also in the middle of dangerous territory and bringing the wounded Glass along was most likely suicide. He is clearly a bad person, but based on the circumstances, his clear life picture, and the time period that the movie takes place in, it can be viewed as less evil and more of survival instinct.
As you can make these defenses to Fitzgerald, when Glass goes after him, your only reason to actually care is because Glass is the protagonist. I personally found myself not caring if Glass got his revenge or not. Since the lust for revenge is what pilots the movie, it ends up feeling long and boring because you can't connect with any of the characters.
"The Revenant" has a lot of flawless qualities to it. Getting you to care about the story is not one of them.
God's Not Dead (2014)
Propaganda and bad drama makes this movie trash
Based on the description of the movie given by IMDb and Netflix, you'd think this movie would be about a Christian student, Josh (Shane Harper), and his atheist philosophy professor, Dr. Radisson (Kevin Sorbo) debating the existence of God and raise points for both sides in order for the audience to make up their own minds about the debate. What the description leaves out is that the movie is pretty much a one-sided argument that reaches levels of hypocrisy and propaganda that I didn't see coming.
Josh, a devout Christian who is just beginning his first semester at college, is put into Professor Radisson's philosophy class. Within the first five minutes of the class, Radisson asks all of his students to a sign a piece of paper declaring that God is dead in order to more easily get a passing grade. Everyone does so except for Josh, whom Radisson says must defend his stance in front of the class. Within this first scene with Josh and Radisson, we see the propaganda of the movie. Radisson, an atheist, is a snobby, know-it- all who won't respect anyone else's opinion on the subject while Josh is just passionately defending what he believes in.
This is the same with all of the characters. Any character who is Christian is portrayed as a good human being while any atheist is portrayed poorly. There are two siblings, Mina (Cory Oliver) and Mark (Dean Cain) and they have an ailing mother (Lenore Banks). Mina, a Christian, goes to visit her often while Mark, an atheist, rarely visits her and even breaks up with his girlfriend (Trisha LaFache) for having cancer. It doesn't end there either. Josh's girlfriend (Cassidy Gifford) breaks up with Josh because he's defending his beliefs because it will affect his grade and as a result affect her future that she wanted to spend with him.
If that wasn't bad enough, that leads to a level of hypocrisy that comes into play the last third of the movie. The ending of Josh's defense is that we are supposed to make up out own mind about whether or not God exists, after having it hammered into our heads with propaganda that anyone who doesn't believe in God is a mean- spirited, awful person.
Even if you managed to ignore those aspects of the film, it still fails based on its other film elements. The characters are already very black and white in terms of whether they are good or bad and why they are (atheist or Christian), but it goes beyond that. As a drama, none of the characters are complex. They are just stereotypes. Josh is the Christian fighting for his beliefs to be heard. Radisson is the close-minded atheist. Mark is a selfish businessman. Reverend Jude (Benjamin A. Onyango) is the reverend who does nothing but talks about faith. In a movie like "Jurassic World", I can forgive the stereotyped characters because it's not supposed to be deep, but for a drama like this that's supposedly trying to raise some sort of point, it's not okay.
At the end of the movie, Radisson is hit and fatally wounded by a car and is comforted as he dies by Reverends Dave (David A.R. White) and Jude who turn him to God in his final moments. While that's happening, a Christian rock concert is happening in town and everyone in the audience is asked to text out "God's Not Dead" to everyone in their contacts. Radisson gets a text from someone at the concert saying that and the reverends read it, with Jude proclaiming, "What happened here tonight is a cause for celebration." Didn't a guy just get hit by a car and die? That is just one example of the awful writing this movie contains.
While the movie does contain some unintentionally hilarious moments to it, it isn't funny enough of the time to save it as a so bad it's good movie. Had the movie not been so one-sided and hypocritical, the character and writing flaws would be almost forgivable in the grand scheme of things, but it doesn't do that. Instead, this movie takes the easy route to make its point by forcing propaganda down our throats.
Inside Out (2015)
After seeing the trailer for "Inside Out", I was pretty keen to see it. The movie looked like it had a lot of good ideas and all of the people working on the project who I knew about I like. This should have been a great movie experience for me, but instead, it was a disappointment.
After moving from Minnesota to San Francisco, eleven-year-old Riley (Kaitlyn Dias) has to adjust to a new life with the help of her emotions, Joy (Amy Poehler), Sadness (Phyllis Smith), Fear (Bill Hader), Anger (Lewis Black), and Disgust (Mindy Kaling). When Joy and Sadness are accidentally purged from the control tower along with Riley's core memories, which make Riley Riley, the two have to find their way back. As Joy and Sadness try to do that, Fear, Anger, and Disgust are the only emotions Riley has left to control her.
In their journeys through Riley's brain back to headquarters, Joy and Sadness come across Riley's imaginary friend Bing Bong (Richard Kind), who helps them find their way through Riley's brain. Bing Bong was not introduced at any point before his reveal, so he just shows up out of nowhere without any buildup or previous mention. Then, he becomes one of the most important characters of the whole movie.
When it comes to the characters, most of them are understandably defined to one personality trait (happy, sad, scared, angry, etc.), but even the characters that aren't emotions don't have much personality to them. Riley has (as stated by the movie) five things that make her who she is, and the only one that really adds any personality is goof ball. Her parents (Diane Lane and Kyle MacLachlan) are blank slates, their emotions are blank slates who somehow don't even show their one emotion, and even Bing Bong lacks any real personality.
Along with that, Joy's character arc makes little sense. She learns of Sadness's importance to Riley, but for all we know, Sadness has only done one thing right that helped Riley while Joy and the other three emotions controlling her seemed to be working for the most part. There was no lesson that really needed to be learned from the get-go of the story, because Sadness was only needed to solve the problem that she started in the first place.
The story elements are a lot of the same things over and over again. Joy, Sadness, and Bing Bong try to get to the control center, but each time, their method of getting their is destroyed by the accidentally and unknowingly by an emotion or an exterior event, like Riley sleeping or the brain workers outside of abstract thought. Then, they have to try and find a way to start everything up again or find a new way to Riley's brain. It just goes on like that for an hour and thirty minutes.
Granted, there were some creative elements to the movie and some genuinely funny and emotional moments, but they were overshadowed by the larger problems the movie had. I'd say this is the worst Pixar movie I have seen, even worse than "Cars", and a great disappointment.
I thought it was going to be bad. It was much worse.
I had no intention of watching "Unfriended" when I first saw the trailer for it maybe a month before its release. It looked like your run of the mill horror movie that was just going to be infested with jump scares. When I checked Rotten Tomatoes the day before its release and saw it had an 85% approval rating (that has since dropped for good reason), I decided to watch it to see if I had gotten the wrong impression from the trailer. As it turns out, I did get the wrong impression. It was much worse than I thought it was going to be.
On the one year anniversary--I know, they actually did that--of the suicide of their classmate Laura Barns (Heather Sossaman), six friends find their web chat haunted by Laura's spirit, trying to find out who posted an embarrassing video of her that resulted in her killing herself. As the night progresses, she begins to expose the friends' secrets and kills them off in an attempt to get the person who posted the video to confess.
Laura's ghost's plan makes no sense whatsoever. So, she wants to figure out who posted the video of her, but at the end of the movie she knew who did it the whole time. So, the ghost knew who was responsible, so it decided to punish all of that person's friends. All the ghost needed to do was post the video that revealed Blair (Shelley Henig) as the one who posted the video at the beginning of the movie, but if the ghost was actually smart then there wouldn't be a movie.
The actions of Blair's "character" make no sense, either. She was apparently friends with Laura and for no reason I can think of, decided to post the video of her online. Then, when Laura begins haunting them, she begins to freak out and confesses that she and her friends sent some mean comments to Laura along with other people at their school (whom Laura decided didn't deserve to die for some reason even though she killed five people who only sent messages and didn't post the video, which a lot of other people did), but won't confess to posting the video even though she believes confessing to the ghost will stop it from killing them. Instead, she sells out her boyfriend Mitch (Moses Jacob Storm) and lies, saying he posted the video. So, now she is willing to sell out her friends to survive when that wasn't part of her character earlier.
The characters are all blank slates. They have no characteristic that sets them apart, nor do they even have the cliché title that horror movies use for characters like the jock or the pothead. None of them have anything to separate themselves from each other, and yet we're supposed to not want them to die. The only character they give something to is Ken (Jacob Wysocki), who is supposed to be a technical guy, but other than send all of his friends a software in an attempt to get rid of Laura's chat account from their computers, everything else technical he does is nothing that would set him apart as the technical guy in his friend group.
This is the first movie I've ever seen where you can actually see the movie moving slowly and being boring. As there is a clock at the top of the computer screen, you can use that to see how much time has passed. I looked at it time and time again while watching this, and five actual minutes felt like twenty.
This movie had no idea what it was doing. It threw in six blank, uninteresting characters into a boring setting with boring dialogue. So much of the movie was just boring. The characters made no sense, the plot made no sense; it was all just a mess.
Gone Girl (2014)
Quite possibly Fincher's best
"Gone Girl" is director David Fincher's tenth movie and his fifth that I've seen and dare I say it might be Fincher's best film. The movie is not just an intricate mystery thriller film, but it has interesting, realistic characters, a well thought-out story, and a well done undertone theme about public perception.
The best part of the film are the characters of Nick (Ben Affleck) and Amy (Rosamund Pike) Dunne. Amy has faked her death and left an awful story behind that paints Nick as a villain. What did Nick do? In most films, Nick would have been an innocent guy who was just with a crazy girl, but not this movie. While a lot of the stuff Amy said about Nick was a lie, he was cheating on her, which set off her intricate revenge plot. The movie is not asking you to like or even sympathize with one or the other. It's just asking you to understand them. Nick started to have an affair after he felt like he and Amy weren't working out, which led Amy to her revenge scheme.
The movie's thematic undertone dealing with public perception had two different levels to it, one level being in terms of the movie and the other being in terms of the cast. The movie is about the disappearance of Amy Dunne and the investigation that ensues. During this time, Amy, who's undeniably in the wrong, is painted off as America's sweetheart while her husband Nick, who did do something wrong but doesn't deserve what's happening to him, is turned into the most hated man in the country. But wait, it goes farther than that. At one point, a journalist asks Nick to smile for a picture, which he does so and immediately earns backlash for it. Then, when the girl (Emily Ratajkowski) he's cheating on Amy with comes forward, she dresses, as Amy puts it, like a babysitter, to look as innocent as possible.
The idea of public perception and not knowing the full truth is done so even with the cast. Neil Patrick Harris and Tyler Perry, who both do great jobs in the movie, are more well known for comedic work and, this being a serious drama, you'd think they wouldn't be cut out for it. Then, we have Rosamund Pike, who gives the best performance in the whole movie, who is a fairly unknown actress so we don't know what to expect from her. Then, there's Ben Affleck, who is an actor that for reasons I don't understand, people hate. So, there's an actor people seem to really hate being a victim, an actress we know nothing about that the audience figures out what to think about her as the movie progresses, and then there'r Harris and Perry, who are comedians in a drama. All of these people have public perceptions of them that are challenged by this movie.
"Gone Girl" is just another movie that proves David Fincher is a fantastic and talented filmmaker. The movie does not become a jumbled mess even with all of the twists and turns in the script, the acting is all really good, the characters are interesting, and the public perception angle is handled superbly. If you haven't seen it, I would strongly advise you to check out "Gone Girl" immediately.
The best TV show I've ever watched
It's a comedy show that takes place in a hospital. You'd think a show like that would never work, but "Scrubs" pulls it off.
The first eight seasons of "Scrubs" follows John 'J.D' Dorian (Zach Braff) in his experiences of working at a hospital, starting out as an intern and working his way up to a residency. Along with J.D is his best friend Dr. Christopher Turk (Donald Faison), his friend/on again off again and later wife Dr. Elliot Reid (Sarah Chalke), Turk's wife Nurse Carla Espinosa (Judy Reyes), J.D's mentor Dr. Perry Cox (John C. McGinley), Chief of Medicine Dr. Bob Kelso (Ken Jenkins), and J.D's tormentor the Janitor (Neil Flynn).
The most surprising thing about this show is how seamlessly it transfers from comedy to drama without it seeming forced. A great episode, "My Lunch", features a comical subplot involving one of the surgeons, The Todd (Robert Maschio), which concludes on punchline and then dives right into the dramatic and somber finale without coming across as awkward. I think it manages to do this because as a comedy set in a hospital, the audience is aware that there will be times when the show will have to have its somber endings.
While it taking place in a hospital is definitely a reason that the comedy to drama aspect works so much, saying that's the whole reason would undermine all of the great writers that have worked on the show. The writing staff was not only good at comedic writing, but they were also good at dramatic writing. When it comes to comedy shows trying to dramatic, you usually feel like that show's writers are only prepared for comedy and don't know how to do drama, but the writers on "Scrubs" do.
Thanks to the writing and the great work of the cast, "Scrubs" ends up having some very memorable characters. The two best characters, in my opinion, are Dr. Cox, the confident, somewhat egotistical mentor of J.D who is not only versed with loads of medical knowledge to help the doctors who look up to him, but is always quick on his feet with a rant that is hilarious to us and mean-spirited to J.D and his friends who he claims annoy him on a daily basis, and the Janitor, an eccentric trickster who is always looking for new ways to mess with J.D and any of the other characters from time to time.
Even Season 9, which pushes the original cast aside in favor of new ones was good. While the characters were not as great as they were before, especially lacking in terms of a protagonist Lucy Bennett (Kerry Bishe), it still had some good episodes and some great moments just like the older episodes did.
While the quality of the show did begin to decline with the start of Season 9, there was never a time during "Scrubs" where it was just a series of bad episodes one after the other. Granted, there were a few mediocre and bad episodes, all shows have that, but considering the ratio of bad episodes to great and outstanding episodes, you can easily overlook those lacking episodes.
I'd like to end my review with the recommendation that if you haven't watched "Scrubs", do it. Immediately.
Has so little to it
I've wanted to write a review of this movie for a while, but since the movie had so little to offer, I didn't really know how I could write one. Now, I've come to realize that if this movie barely had anything, than that's what my review could be: a short review of what was wrong with this movie.
Right off the bat, the screen is filled with extremely ugly visual effects, which is one of only two things the movie offers. The movie tries so hard to make these visuals look abstract or artistic, but they come off looking ridiculous and stupid. The only other thing the movie has to offer are artistic action sequences, which, while entertaining the first time you see them, get boring by the end. So, the two things the movie has going for it are artistic visuals and battle sequences, which are both shown within the first half of the movie so the second half is completely boring because you've seen everything the movie has to offer.
Now, a lot of movies show the majority of what they have to offer in the first half of the movie, but those movies still have an engaging story and characters to be invested in throughout the film. The only character you'll remember by the end of this movie is King Leonidas (Gerard Butler), which is only because of his famous line, "This is Sparta!" before kicking an enemy messenger into a pit.
What about the story? Three hundred Spartan warriors led by Leonidas go off to fight an invading Persian army. The entire movie is just them getting ready to fight and fighting. That's all there is to the story, which isn't interesting, which is mixed with uninteresting characters, so what's there to like about this movie?
There is almost nothing to this movie. It's a bunch of special effects and artistic action sequences thrown onto a screen for two hours with nothing to engage you.
The Descent (2005)
I really wanted to like this one
"The Descent" is a horror movie I really wanted to like. I heard all of this great stuff about it, including many people, average Joes and critics alike calling it one of the best horror movies of the 21st Century. After watching it, I have to ask myself if I missed something or if everyone else was looking at things that weren't there.
Even though this film is getting such a low grade from me, I'm not angry that I spent time watching a movie I ended up disliking. All of the lead actresses were good and I can't fault director and writer Neil Marshall that much, either. While I think the movie had some pretty big story and character flaws, I get the feeling that Marshall had great pride in what he was doing and a great idea and just miscalculated because, as far as I can tell, his directing and writing isn't bad.
You also can't fault the cinematography or the set design for this movie. Before entering the cave, the audience is treated to some wide shots of the forest and open areas. When the six girls enter the cavern, the camera is pressed up close to their face, giving off a sense of claustrophobia, especially when compared to the wide open shots we'd seen earlier. The sets are also believable as a real cavern while the darkness helps play to the horror element by allowing the only light to come from the girls' headlamps, glow sticks, flares, etc.
While I did have some positive things to say about the movie, I feel that they are somewhat superficial when compared to the problems I found with the movie. Let's start at the way beginning with the death of Sarah's (Shauna Macdonald) husband (Oliver Milburn) and daughter (Molly Kayll). From that opening, you'd think it'd have some effect on the story or characters. Not really. Sarah sees glimpses of her daughter in the cave and hears her laughter at one point, but that's not even three minutes worth of footage. Allof that could have been cut out, take out the opening with the car crash, and you'd still have the same movie. The only thing you'd have to change is a few lines of dialogue and take out a few scenes. For what is one of the most important scenes in the movie, it really doesn't do much in the grand scheme of things.
Next off, these characters are interchangeable. Granted, Juno (Natalie Mendoza) has some amount of character, but the others are flat and lack personality. Considering the story revolves around these six characters trying to escape from an undiscovered cavern while there's no help on its way, you'd think there should be something to make you care about the characters. Granted, there's about a five minute scene introducing (if that's what you'd call it) the six girls who will be on the spelunking trip, but not much is established during that part. Once they enter the cave, it's six boring characters with no personality trying to escape. I understand we're supposed to want them to escape because they're the characters we're following, but it's very hard to care about their outcome when they don't have anything that sets them apart or makes them interesting.
My last major gripe is with how the horror element works in this movie. I already said above that the close camera shots on the characters while they're in the cave gives off a sense of claustrophobia which can make us feel uncomfortable, that's about it. The movie starts off by suggesting some sort of psychological horror story due to the death of Sarah's family. Then, when the characters get stuck in the cave in, it becomes a survival movie with the characters in a claustrophobic environment. Then, it becomes a creature feature complete with characters running around the caverns and fighting small Gollum from "The Lord of the Rings"- esque creatures with their climbing equipment. The movie feels like it doesn't know what kind of horror movie it wants to be. Granted, it could be all three if it pulled it off, but it doesn't. The psychological family angle is only present for about five minutes of screen time, and the second we're introduced to the creatures, the cavern opens up to be large enough for out heroes to dash around and fight monsters, getting rid of the sense of claustrophobia.
I can see why this movie got the level of appraise that it did and I do think there were some good ideas and talented people attached to it, but I think it was lacking in a lot of places. I will end this by saying while I didn't like "The Descent", it's movie I wish I had liked and I might revisit someday to see if my view on it has changed.
Scream 2 (1997)
Better than the original
I know my statement that "Scream 2" is better than the first "Scream" isn't a new one, but I have to jump on the bandwagon here because that is indeed the case. "Scream 2" is not only better than the original, it's one of the best horror sequels I've seen and the best self- aware movie I've ever watched. While the later films in the "Scream" franchise and the abominable "22 Jump Street" fail at the sequel self-awareness, "Scream 2" succeeds creating an enjoying, scary, and entertaining second installment to a franchise.
Opening up in a movie theater at the premiere of the film Stab, a movie based on the events of the first film, two college students (Jada Pinkett Smith and Omar Epps) are brutally killed by someone dressed in the same costume as the original killer. The two college students just so happen to attend the same college as Sidney Prescott (Neve Campbell), the main character of the first film. Along with Sidney are several characters returning from the previous film including her friend Randy (Jamie Kennedy), police deputy Dewey (David Arquette), and ruthless news reporter Gale Weathers (Courtney Cox). Also appearing as either victims or suspects are Sidney's new boyfriend Derek (Jerry O'Connell), her friends Hallie (Elise Neal) and Mickey (Timothy Olyphant), and the man that Sidney wrongly convicted of murdering her mother, Cotton Weary (Liev Schreiber).
While self-awareness is something I usually hate in movies because I think it makes them hypocritical, "Scream 2" does it right. For one thing the movie doesn't use self-awareness to cover for itself because it's a sequel. Along with that, though, the movie has a few clever inclusions to it to make it look like a typical sequel. A lot of the time, sequels are just the original redone in a different way. With the inclusion of people watching scenes from Stab, the audience is literally re-watching the same movie as the first one. Another example is Gale's cameraman Joel (Duane Martin) knows that to survive he has to get away before anything happens. He leaves the film half-way through, only to return at the end, unharmed and thus surviving the movie. The only time the self-awareness comes off as hypocritical is when a sorority girl named Cici (Sarah Michelle Gellar) hears a noise and starts searching the house after she already had the bright idea to leave it.
One thing the movie did was develop the characters more. In the first movie, Gale and Dewey are hinted at having some sort of interest in each other, but it's not anything important. In the second film, they expand on that idea to give them a deeper connection. The movie also displays the effects of the first film weighing heavily on Sidney, with minor things like slight differences in her characters actions and way of thinking to more extreme things with her not fully trusting Derek because of her boyfriend from the first movie's inclusion in the murder spree.
This movie had a lot of scary and suspenseful moments, the best being when Sidney is rehearsing the play she's in and with all of the effects and extras dancing around on stage with fake weapons and creepy masks, she either sees or imagines the killer running around on stage trying to get her. This movie also carries on the use of elaborate red herrings that the first movie used, making you think it could be anyone. And while this movie does do that, the knowledge that this movie is a sequel makes you wonder whether or not they're going the same route or not.
"Scream 2" is a well thought out self-aware horror film with a lot of attention placed into the atmosphere of the movie. The movie is aware that it's a sequel and that sequels are usually inferior to the original, but the people behind the movie worked to make it better. They did more with the characters, they didn't hit rewind with the story, they let the events from the first film actually effect the story, and made a suspenseful, scary movie all at the same time.
The Pink Panther 2 (2009)
This movie doesn't deserve a review
This movie was terrible. There. That's it. There really isn't anything else that deserves to be said about this movie. Heck, it doesn't even deserve a review. However, after suffering through this stupid, horrible, abomination of what I guess can be passed off as a movie nowadays, I decided I may as well throw in my two cents about the movie in hopes that someone who is thinking about watching it will read my review and decide to not touch the "movie" with a ten- foot pole.
Once again, the Pink Panther diamond goes missing--this time along with other priceless objects from around the globe--and an international task force comprising of representatives from Italy (Andy Garcia), England (Alfred Molina), Japan (Yuki Matsuzaki), India (Aishwarya Rai Bachchan), and of course Jacques Clouseau (Steve Martin) from France. The task force travels between France and Italy, investigating the disappearances of the priceless objects and Clouseau making a mockery of them the whole time, yet still being left on the case and never sharing the information he has gathered with anyone else until the end of the movie.
From this movie, I am convinced that Martin' Clouseau is the worst main character of any film ever made. Not only is he a bumbling idiot who solves his cases based on luck alone, in this movie he's a racist, sexist, bigoted, arson who holds two young boys out over a balcony of his second-floor apartment. That's our hero everybody. Now, the movie is not promoting these things, but it is still trying to pass of Clouseau as this great guy despite his inappropriate actions, which are so inappropriate he is constantly being brought to the office of Yvette Berenger (Lily Tomlin), a manners teacher who keeps trying to teach Clouseau political correctness. Then at the end she throws out all of her merits and in a way mimics Clouseau. What?
There are a number of pointless subplots and scenes throughout the movie that serve no purpose to it. The entire inclusion of Berenger and Clouseau's lack of understanding how inappropriate he is has no effect on the story or the main character. Clouseau's partner Ponton (Jean Reno) has a fight with his wife, gets kicked out of his house along with his two kids (Armel Bellec and I think Jack Metzger) and stays with Clouseau. The kids are kung-fu experts and have a play fight with them that results in Clouseau holding them over a balcony. Because of the kids, we do learn that Clouseau has a replica of the Pink Panther, but that information could have been given to the audience in another way. The resolution to Ponton's problem is him and Clouseau singing about shampoo and then saying he's going to make amends with his wife.
The movie attempts to have drama in the story from there being a boring love triangle between Clouseau, the Italian representative, and Clouseau's girlfriend Nicole (Emily Mortimer) that we care nothing about because we don't like the characters, to Ponton's marital issues that have no real outcome or presence in the story. Not only does the movie think it's funny, but it thinks it's good at having drama in it as well. Let me let you in on a little secret: it isn't good at it.
This movie is good at nothing. There is not a single joke that is funny nor is there a single likable character in the bunch or plot line to be invested in. This movie offers nothing and gives even less upon viewing it. This movie should be hailed as one of the worst movies ever made alongside Ed Wood's "Plan Nine from Outer Space" or any number of the latest Adam Sandler comedies.