KSWI Presents: Remebering The First Half of 2012’s Movies

July 10, 2012

Guten tag, verführerinnen!

It’s July, if you did not already know – you meth addicts -, and per usual I have spent a lot of money on movies and watching them and watching them in a theater of the arts or spending no money at all and illegally downloading them or ripping them out of old ladies’ hands outside of video rental store. The game is the game, bitches. I have talked about most of these movies either before seeing them or after seeing them and I know you take some diligent notes on all of this, but let me give you a little refresher of the 20+ movies I’ve seen this year and that may given you an idea of what you should rent on those nights alone after you’ve finished rubbing your genitals raw on all the corners of your countertops and tables. Sound fun?

I usually do a breakdown of the movies coming out each month, but for July – there isn’t too too much to talk about. Yesterday, I think I gave you nearly ONE MILLION reasons to not see “The Amazing Spider-Man”. This weekend doesn’t have much coming out. If you’re not seeing Spidey mope around and cry (please don’t), the only thing too new is Katy Perry’s movie, which I don’t think anyone is seeing at all. The rest of July is marked by one movie…

THE DARK KNIGHT RISES!

And I’m currently listening to the soundtrack of the movie, which was officially leaked to Empire, but Comingsoon set-it-up nicely on their page – http://www.comingsoon.net/news/movienews.php?id=92374 . Needless to say, I think everyone knows that “The Dark Knight Rises” is coming out July 20th and everyone on Earth should go see it. I’ve written about it a bunch and will end up writing something about again and again, so there’s that.

After that, “The Watch” is coming out and so is “Step Up Revolution”. The one is an alien action comedy featuring Vince Vaughn, Ben Stiller, Jonah Hill, and Richard Ayoade. The other will be the greatest visual feast of all time and will feature a most ludicrous story that always involves dancing to earn money to keep some place from shutting down. If any of these dancing people had jobs with regular income, maybe they wouldn’t have to have these life or death dance battles. But it keeps things interesting, I suppose.

So, that’s July and now let’s look back at the movies I have seen that were new to 2012:

Haywire I liked this movie. I would have liked it a lot more if the entire movie wasn’t shown in the trailers and if Steven Soderbergh could edit a movie together, so it’s not mind numbingly slow at points. For the most part like all action movies, the movie hinged on whether or not you enjoyed seeing the main character beating the shit out of a whole bunch of people in different settings – for this movie I THOROUGHLY ENJOYED THAT. The main characteress is Gina Carano – former Muay Thai kickboxer, former MMA fighter, former American Gladiator, full-time dream girl – who beats the piss out of a litany of famous actors like Channing Tatum, Ewan McGregor, and, of course the best action scene in the movie, Michael Fassbender. It was a movie I was very interested in because I am a big fan of Ms. Carano, but it does have some good action and it does have some stereotypically slow Soderbergh exposition scenes. The movie could’ve been better, but overall I enjoyed it and thought it was a great start to Carano’s career as an action movie star.

There was a time back in the 80’s and into the 90’s where we seemed to care that our action stars had competition experience as martial artists. Most of the actors that were famous back then have pretty dubious or slightly dubious martial arts careers, but Carano’s is 100% legitimate and was very successful during it. So, in the world of credible action stars – Carano is at the top of the class. I really think the movie industry should continue this or bring back that idea of actual martial artists doing martial arts in movies. Maybe that’s just me. I like actors doing it too, but there’s an air of reality that this person can really kick a person and hurt them as opposed to they’re a classically trained actor pretending they are a badass when they’re really just 2 years removed from “Shakespeare in the Park”.

Chronicle – I liked this movie a lot. It’s a lean and mean 80+ minutes that does a great job creating a world with super powers and them being used for good and evil and it’s done better than most big budget movies. I’m really looking forward to see what the director of this moves on to do. He’s been thrown a lot of projects and I’m thoroughly curious to see what he can do with more money. It’s a solid flick with decent acting and more than anything it has a sense of what it wants to be and how it wants to do it, which is something I cannot say about most movies that are made. It’s got purpose and it’s enjoyable. Super powers, flying, lifting things up with your mind. Good movie.

Safe House – This movie would probably be unwatchable if Denzel Washington wasn’t in it. The action and the movie itself are decent and completely predictable, but Denzel makes it seem worthwhile. I’ve definitely seen worse and this year. Ryan Reynolds is fine. It’s about the same performance he gave in “Smokin’ Aces”, which is an OK movie. If you’re going to see the movie, definitely get prepared for so-so and you might enjoy yourself.

This Means War – Well, it could have been good. It wasn’t unwatchable, but I wouldn’t suggest it. I really liked the idea of the movie and I even liked the casting, but the actual movie itself isn’t worthwhile. The characters are idiots and most of the scenes are laughable for the wrong reasons. What’s there to really expect from the brilliant mind that brought you “Charlie’s Angels: Full Throttle”? Don’t see it unless you are ABSOLUTELY DYING to see a trite rom-com with man candy in it. And with that, I want to slit my throat.

Wanderlust – A lot funnier than the trailers lead you to believe. Not a great comedy by any stretch of the imagination, but definitely has funny scenes and doesn’t drag too much. If you’re looking for a newer Paul Rudd comedy then I would watch “Our Idiot Brother” from last year because that movie is vastly underrated, but if you’ve seen it then “Wanderlust” is a good second option.

John Carter – Uhhhhh… the movie is for kids first and foremost. I bet if you had your kid watch it then they’ll be decently entertained. It’s pretty nothing for adults. The story is bare bones – blue is good, red is bad, green in the middle, grey is undecided – and they screw you on the climax that you’re waiting for. If you’re kid likes talking monsters and pretty much just zones out and wants to see visual effects then it’s a decent rental. But it’s not a good movie at all.

21 Jump Street – Funny. It was an easily digestible comedy with a good amount of laughs. I’ll never go out of my way to rewatch this, but it was pretty good. It had its faults and missed opportunities, but it would be a completely serviceable rental for just about anyone.

Casa de mi Padre – A completely ridiculous movie that I think was completely underseen. If you like Will Ferrell then see this movie! I don’t know why that is a question or wasn’t done by people who do like Will, but it’s funny. It is one of the funnier concepts for a movie and it delivers. It’s also a better done spoof on “grindhouse” or really just poorly produced foreign films than anything Robert Rodriguez has done. It’s part Spanish soap opera and part “Talladega Nights”. It’s a funny movie.

The Hunger Games – I was surprised how much I liked this movie, but I wouldn’t give it anything more than a B-. It was good, but it had tons of faults, which manly had to do with the director. I think Gary Ross made the movie believable and gave a tone of seriousness that it needed, but he also made some scenes completely unwatchable with his shaky camera and nearly up their nostrils close-ups. Jennifer Lawrence was great and really is the majority of the movie, so with that – it’s a solid movie. I didn’t read the books and not everything makes sense, but it’s no where near the level of complete confusion of watching “Harry Potter” movies. I’m really excited for the sequel because I like Francis Lawrence as a director and they just hired Phillip Seymour Hoffman to play someone. I think it has a real potential to be a lot better than the original.

The Raid: Redemption – Easily one of the best action movies I’ve seen in awhile, if not ever. An Indonesian tale of Silat martial arts insanity. From 10 minutes into the movie, it’s pretty much non-stop action for the next hour plus. At the half way point, the characters abandon guns and stick to knife fighting and hand-to-hand combat and that’s where the movie truly shines. There are some crazy fun and brutal choreographed scenes that will be fun to watch over and over again. If you like action – nothing better than this movie.

Goon – Good movie. I really enjoyed this effort from Seann William Scott and Jay Baruchel. It’s about hockey and it’s about that one guy on the hockey team who is there solely to fight. It’s a more adult version of “The Waterboy” or a solid sequel to “Slap Shot” in that sense. It’s a funny, it’s got some decent action, and really it’s a worthwhile flick if you like comedies, action comedies, sports comedies. Good movie. Seann William Scott can be great in comedies, but he’s a lot of times stuck in the wrong movie. Baruchel is very funny as an overly aggressive cursing best friend.

Wrath of the Titans – Garbage. If you watch this, you hate yourself. I did, so there’s that.

The Cabin in the Woods – I really was expecting to not like this movie. I had heard all this hype about Joss Whedon this and Joss Whedon that plus I don’t like horror movies. But, in the end, I thoroughly enjoyed this movie. It is one of the best spoofs I have ever seen and it simply nails it. It’s creative, fun, and actually a smart spoof movie. I’m surprised this movie wasn’t a bigger hit than it was. But people are idiots, so what should I expect. Great fun, go see it.

Fightville – It’s good, but it could have been better. The documentary should’ve just focused on Tim Credeur and Dustin Poirier, but whatever. It’s about as good of a documentary as I’m going to get about MMA from someone who doesn’t know anything about MMA. It’s pretty clear that the documentary makers are just that – they’re not MMA fans, they’re filmmakers. They came up with this story because they wanted to tell a story about blue collar people literally fighting to make a living. It’s not a documentary about the journey of being a local fighter to the big show or a documentary of the life of a person wanting to be a professional fighter. It’s more about the hardworking people of Louisiana and small town American life. It’s good, but it could’ve been better. If you’re a cursory fan or you’re curious about watching something of this nature then it’s definitely a good movie. If you’re a diehard fan and looking for a documentary about Dustin “The Diamond” Poirier then this is the best you’re going to get, but it’s not exactly what you’re looking for. Worth a watch though.

The Five-Year Engagement – I liked it. With all the head over heels love for Jason Segel out there in the world of the interwebs, this movie should have been a smash success, but again people don’t see what’s good for them. The movie is funny and does have an interesting storyline about relationships. It’s like a B version of “Knocked Up” or B+ “Forgetting Sarah Marshall”. Emily Blunt is good in it too. I don’t know why people didn’t see it and I didn’t read the best reviews for it either, but it’s a good movie and people should see it and like it and they’re being dopes if they don’t.

Marvel’s The Avengers – How does one review cotton candy? Do I just say cotton candy is sweet? Do I just say that it’s basically sugar in a pillow stuff consistency? Do I just say that it’s blue or pink or whatever? Well, this movie is cotton candy. There’s about one worthwhile moment in the movie that lasts 15 seconds and the rest is kind of mindless drivel that people are eating up for no apparent reason. The movie washed over me like an ordinary breeze, went in an out of my ears and out of my brain forever. To say that is was stupid is just redundant. To say that cotton candy is unhealthy for you is almost like slapping your listener in the face because obviously. The fact that this entire movie is leading up to and it’s best part can be completely ruined by a gif of the Hulk smashing Loki into the ground like a cartoon rag doll and then looking at his bent up body and tossing him away – well… what’s there to say about a movie like that. It made a billion trillion gazillion dollars, but so has McDonalds and it’s not like that’s something to really dissect.

The Dictator – Not bad. Most people didn’t see it in the theaters and they made the right choice on that. It’s definitely a rental and not a bad one at that. It’s certainly not for everyone, but it’s funny and is watchable. This is certainly Sacha Baron Cohen’s least inspiring effort and would’ve been better as a reoccurring character in a sketch comedy show than a movie, but it’s fine.

Moonrise Kingdom – Excellent. Do you like Wes Anderson? See it. Do you not like Wes Anderson? See a neurologist because something is wrong with your brain. I love Wes Anderson more than most of my family members and this movie continues that great tradition of quirk mixed with substance mixed with inventive storytelling mixed with an eclectic soundtrack and all around a fun enjoyable movie. Excellent.

Snow White and the Huntsman – Not bad. The first hour or so is actually pretty entertaining and good, but pretty much once Snow White and her Huntsman leave the forbidden forest or whatever the movie takes a decided shitty turn the lasts until the final action sequence. I’m not sure what happened in the process of their filmmaking, but the movie just falls flat for an entire hour and all the scenes with the dwarves are utterly idiotic. The movie is 55/45 good/bad, so it ends up with a positive in my book, but really it’s just awful and pointless storytelling for a good hour of the movie. I’d say once they leave the forest, fast forward the movie until you see the crew in the snow covered mountains, and then fast forward until the Huntsman kisses Snow White and you’ll have make a 2+ hour movie an 80 minute movie and a much more enjoyable one.

Prometheus – There are plot holes you say? Yeah? There were plot holes in “Alien” as well, but you don’t see people crying about that. All in all, this movie was thoroughly enjoyable. I really liked the basic concept and the action sequences were well done and visceral. It reminded me a ton of “Alien” because it is incredibly similar to “Alien” more so than a prequel to it. It’s pretty much a different version of “Alien”, but instead of strict sci-fi horror it’s also Summer blockbuster action. Good performances from the cast, the movie looked great, the tone of the movie was great, and I wasn’t bored for a second. I wanted to be entertained and Ridley Scott did just that.

Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter – It sounds ridiculous that this movie “could’ve been better” when most people think this movie couldn’t have been good no matter what, but I stand by my statement. It didn’t appear that the movie had a strong grasp on what it wanted to be, but all-in-all it was pretty entertaining. Not greatly so, but it had some fun moments. I wouldn’t say it was a good movie and I wouldn’t say it was a fair movie. I would say it was a bad movie without a doubt, but I found some parts of it entertaining. More than anything, the movie is closer to the “it’s so bad, it’s good” line of movie making, but I’m not sure how intentional that was. Nevertheless, I laughed a lot because it is ludicrous and not for the reasons you would think.

Brave – I liked it. Not the movie I was expecting. I literally had no idea that this movie was almost entirely about bears, but whatever. I still liked it. It’s a nice change of pace for Pixar by jumping into the racket of something you would expect from Disney. If you see the other Pixar movies then see it. If you like movies like “Aladdin” or “Mulan” or “The Little Mermaid” then it has a lot of similar filmmaking in that except less singing. There is a song in the movie, but really only that one. It was good and it makes me hope that Pixar does a remake of “The Sword in the Stone” or something of the like at some point.

The Amazing Spider-Man – Shit. 2+ hours of shit.

I think that’s 23 movies. More good than bad, which is surprising.

I did try to watch “Lockout”, but couldn’t. I think I met my quota of movies that I know are going to be fucking awful when I sat through “Wrath of the Titans”. I just couldn’t sit through “Lockout” and I fast forwarded to some of the action scenes and nothing looked interesting in the least.

I got through the first half hour of “Friends with Kids” and stopped to never go back to it. It’s not the movie they tried to sell you in the commercials and I just didn’t care too much about the movie that it actually was. I’m sure it’s ok, but I don’t care enough to watch it. I saw Jennifer’s first movie, actually a couple times, but I won’t lie and say it was for any other reason than to watch her make out with chicks throughout the movie. I doubt she kisses any chicks in this movie, so it was skippable to me.

I’m in the middle of watching “Indie Game: The Movie”, which is a documentary about indie videogame makers and focuses on three of those games and their makers. It’s been incredibly interesting thus far and I’ve really enjoyed it. I still have to watch the second half of the movie and I’m sure it will be great. Of course, if you like video games this is a must watch. If you don’t like video games, it’s a thoroughly interesting piece about modern artists and their medium happens to be videogames.

I did look back to see what movies I have missed this year that I will try to see at some point…

“Safety Not Guaranteed”, “Seeking a Friend for the End of the World”, “Take This Waltz”, “Mansome”, “Marley”, “Sound of My Voice”, “Tim & Eric’s Billion Dollar Movie”, “Jeff, Who Lives at Home”, “Bullhead”, and “Miss Bala”.

That’s what I got.

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4 Responses to “KSWI Presents: Remebering The First Half of 2012’s Movies”

  1. PWG said

    My lengthy comment got cut off and it died. I am too disheartened to type it over again, so here’s my capture of most of it. I prefaced it with an apology for watching so much crap this year.

  2. So you saw SWatH and I didn’t? Damn I am really slacking…

    Definitely make time to see “Jeff, Who Lives at Home” (but don’t call me out on it if you think it sucks – you already know I have awful taste in movies).

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