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09 April 2007 @ 08:29 am
It's the Film of the Day.

Mmm, that sounds good, I'll have that.

Many reels of tape and digitated pixels have crossed mine eyes this weekend. Let's shut 'em down in order.

TMNT

Let me tell you why this movie sucks balls compared to the original movie: No Shredder. Period.

Look, when you're talking Turtles, you're not talking about a filmmaking achievement on par with The Godfather or Bloodsport. You're not even talking about Bloodsport II - The Next Kumite. You've got to understand, this is a PG movie made for kids and huge greasy-faced nerds who live for comic books. That being said, if this is how crappy the comics were written, then I'm fucking glad I never got into those things.

Me, I've always been a Ninja Turtles cartoon fan, as in the TV Series, as in Bebop and Rocksteady and Krang and the Technodrome and the cheesy fucking theme music. Those are the Turtles I knew and loved; those are the action figures I collected by the bucket-full; those are the collectable trading cards I saved in plastic sleeves; those are the bed sheets I wish to this day I still had under those pajama bottoms; those are the ...

OK, so I was a consumer whore back in the day.

But, we can't compare it to the genius of the cartoon (did you know that Uncle Phil from the Fresh Prince of Bel Air was the voice of Shredder?); the only logical step is to compare it to the first original movie.

Cartoons vs. People In Giant Mutant Turtle Suits. Tough call. However, imagining all the manhours those guys inside the suits had to endure, not to mention the fact that the range-of-motion had to be slim-to-none and yet, there they are, kicking ninja ass left and right, I think gives the edge to the Suits. There's only one cartoon form of the Ninja Turtles I care to see, and if it's not the campy television version, then I don't want it.

Fugly Curly-haired April O'Neil vs. Superfuckinghot Sarah Michelle Gellar-voiced April O'Neil. No contest, I ain't above giving the ol' sexy-eye to a cartoon character. Plus, in the new movie, April actually fights along with the turtles in a yellow spandex suit. I'm telling you, if there wasn't little kid around, I might've done something I wouldn't be proud of later.

Pointless demon fucking monster things vs. Shredder and the Foot Clan. While the story was all right, I guess, I just can't get behind a re-adaptation of a film series that doesn't start out with its main villain as the initial obstacle. It would be like if the new Batman movie started out with Jungleface Jones instead of The Joker; it's like the Mariners starting Jeff Weaver opening day instead of Felix; why not come out of the gate with your A Game?

Overall, coming at this from an understanding angle, I'll give this movie a solid B minus. If I was 9 years old, I probably really would've dug it. On the plus side, from the end of the movie, they give off the impression that Shredder's coming back for Part II, so be excited for that.

Tenacious D in The Pick of Destiny

First of all, let me say that I enjoy anything Meatloaf does, period. Except for his albums. However, by no means do I think he's a bad singer; in fact, I think he brings the house down better than anyone in this movie, and he's in it for about two minutes tops. Dio kicked ass. Tim Robbins was fucking amazing. Ben Stiller was Ben Stiller; crown his ass.

I'm a big Tenacious D geek. I used to own the DVD special they released featuring all of their HBO specials and an entire concert; it has since been misplaced (not lost, just misplaced). I think I would've enjoyed this movie ten-times more than I did if I'd been watching it alone instead of with Liz. Not saying I was bothered by her presence in the least; just saying that I might've felt comfortable laughing at some of the more inappropriate humor had I been by myself.

I listened to the soundtrack/album before I saw the movie, which was probably a mistake. The album does NOT stand on its own. I think now, if I went back and gave it a second listen, I'd enjoy the music more, because I'd know what the songs were referencing. That being said, the songs are worse than those on the first album. But, for a musical-like movie, they rock much sock. Plus, Tenacious D will always take more chances than your average comedians, and that's always appreciated.

I'm giving this movie a B plus contingent on my watching it again in another month or so. That grade could change according to how I take to repeated viewings.

Grindhouse

Aside from Snakes on a Plane, you're not really gonna see an intentionally B-movie marketed this hard and making this much money. In the case of Grindhouse, you're dealing with two movies (both around 90 minutes in length) smashed together with some fake movie previews, missing film footage, and of an overall poor editorial quality - all by design from the films' makers, Robert Rodriguez and Quentin Tarantino.

"Planet Terror" is the Robert Rodriguez offering; it's a generic-style Zombie movie starring Rose McGowen, that Latino guy from Six Feet Under, that white guy from the first Terminator movie who goes back in time, Bruce Willis, and Quentin himself. When comparing Rodriguez to Tarantino, the public perception is that Tarantino is the bloodier, gorier of the two directors. SO not the case here. Jesus Christ, some of the shit going on here's about enough to make me want to puke my guts out. Like most zombie movies, though, it was slow. There was a huge lull in the middle that can't quite be made up for with all the ass-kicking going on. It was intentionally cheesy as well, what with the hackey dialogue and all that, but I dunno. Seems like a stretch for this movie to be 90 minutes.

Speaking of stretches, that brings us to "Death Proof". The other half. The Tarantino half. I'm calling bullshit on this one, because I know what Quentin was doing. He had this idea for a Grindhouse type of double-feature, he had to come up with his half of the movie, so he pounded out a script in a couple days (it seems like anyway), and he relies far too heavily on his knack for dialogue and film pacing over actual story. Which, fine, there is intentionally no story to speak of, but still. He half-assed this thing and I should know, I half ass a lot of my shit in the same way. I rely on my knack for certain literary devices to get me through a written piece I don't care too much about. So, you know the dialogue was great, it was chock full of sexy women, it had Rosario Dawson, my celebrity crush, and it had Kurt Russell, my celebrity mancrush. How could things go wrong? Well, the first half of the movie is pointless except to set up the fact that Kurt Russell's character is a maniac. Other than that, it has no bearing on the second half of the movie, which is essentially one long car chase sequence. I'm not even fucking kidding you. There's a scene in a car, a scene in a diner, a scene on a farm, and then like 30 minutes of car chasing. If Rosario Dawson wasn't in the last half of the movie, I'd be a lot more pissed off than I am.

That being said, I get what they were trying to do, and I don't think many do it better than Rodriguez and Tarantino, but I'm giving this movie a B solely for the fact that I think both films would've been better served to be an hour each as opposed to the 90 minutes allotted them. And I think that the trailer for the fake movie Machete looks better than both of these flicks combined and I wish THAT movie had been made instead. Machete fucking rocks BALLS.

Sherrybaby

Maggie Gyllenhaal - my other bigtime celebrity crush - goes topless in this movie, but there really isn't much sexy about this movie. In fact, be prepared for 2 and a half solid braless hours from Gyllenhaal, who's fast becoming my favorite actress in overall talent, not just strikingly good looks.

This is a real movie I saw here. It's about this woman who's just out of prison who's trying to get her life together. She's a heroin addict, she has a 4 year old daughter who's being taken care of by her brother and sister-in-law, she's suffered a lifetime of sexual abuse from her father, she's impatient to a fault, resulting in her not only not getting her way, but falling flat on her face time and time again. She wants to regain a relationship with her daughter, but her sister-in-law is more of a mother than she is. She wants to get a job working with children, but the job placement guy's a creep. She wants to retain her freedom, but her parole officer is a ball-buster.

Sherry, the main character, doesn't become too sympathetic until we realize her dad has been sexually assaulting her most likely all her life. She's unstable, she's unable to do the work required of her to succeed outside of prison, she needs to be the main focus of attention at all times, she's unappreciative of the job her brother and sister-in-law did for raising her daughter, and even though she says she wants to become a better person to get her daughter back, she doesn't exhibit very good judgment and quickly seems to forget her daughter even exists. In fact, it seems she only wants her daughter back because she wants to take her away from her brother and his wife. In the end, though, she seems to cool the fuck out and seeks out the help of others. Because, that's really been her problem all along: this need to do everything on her own.

This movie gets an A minus only because Maggie Gyllenhaal is in it. Anyone else takes this movie down into the B range.