Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Magic, Snow and Ted

I know he's not the star but I don't care

Snow White and the Huntsman

So, the Twilight girl and Thor team up with a bunch of regular sized British actors whose heads have been digitally pasted onto little people's bodies in an effort to thwart Aeon Flux's reign of terror. And it's actually pretty decent.

It's got good battle sequences, has a great look, Hemsworth is fast becoming my favorite new action star and he continues that trend here, and not once did I roll my eyes and think to myself that the movie was stupid. I thoroughly enjoyed and recommend the flick.

(It should be noted, one more item that lead to my enjoyment was that I was watching it in a bamboo rocking chair, in a tiny island theater on Kauai, with one of the most attentive audiences I've ever encountered.)

Yes, I brought my teddy bear to watch the film alongside me, too.


This movie is far funnier than it has any right to be. As someone who gave up on Family Guy long ago, I was pleasantly surprised by this effort from Seth Macfarlane. The jokes are fast and for the most part hilarious (the coked up restaurant sequence is making me laugh right now just remembering it) the special FX are really good, but it would not hold together if it wasn't for Wahlberg. Dude sells the hell out of this flick, and his sincerity and belief in Ted as his best friend is what makes the movie really special and a notch above your typical Family Guy episode.

Not pictured: Me, to the right of Tatum.

Magic Mike

Alright, alright, alright... This is the greatest All About Eve clone about Florida male strippers starring Channing Tatum and Matthew McConaughey you'll ever see. It's actually quite good, to boot, which helps. I mentioned before that Hemsworth is my favorite new action star, but Tatum is fast becoming my favorite New Hollywood star.

But this movie is something else. It's kind of remarkable that it's such a huge hit, as the story has been done countless times before (well, variations of it). The dancing is good, but only if you're willing to feel inadequate about your own body. (Like I do when I see 300). I guess it can all be boiled down to the image of McConaughey dressed as Uncle Sam stripping.

Pure genius.

(Also, there's a scene in his home, where he has both a velvet painting AND a marble bust of himself. It's pretty terrific.

WHOA! 80s like!

Beyond The Black Rainbow

Man, I wanted this movie to be something awesome. It seemed to have a lot going for it: It was directed by Panos Cosmatos, the son of the director of Cobra, Leviathan, and Tombstone! The director describes the flick as having been inspired by VHS boxes of movies he wasn't allowed to watch, so he constructed plotlines based on the covers. It has an ultra synth-y score that sounds like Tangerine Dream and John Carpenter had a baby. It has neon colors and long takes and a weird retro 70s sci-fi aesthetic to it! Plus, there's a weird scene where it seems like Daft Punk comes to kill a woman!

But man, is the movie slow as shit! And it doesn't make any sense! And spoiler alert, you wait 113 minutes for the bad guy to trip and kill himself by falling on a rock. Seriously. This happens. All the long takes and homages in the world can't compensate for the fact that this is not a very good movie. I imagine that introducing drugs into the viewing experience would make the film seem interminably long. So much potential, so much disappointment. Shoulda taken some advice and watched Cobra to see how a real flick is made.

There's no way this poster can explain a fraction of the amazingness of the flick.


The polar opposite of Beyond The Black Rainbow is Detention, a flick that crams so much into it's 80 minute run time that you can pick up your brain at the back of the room when it's done, as it will be blown out the back of your head by it's sheer WTF-ness. From the director of Torque(!) comes this bizarre pastiche of horror, sci-fi time travel flicks, and teen comedies that seems like it shouldn't work at all, yet somehow does despite itself. The constant 90's references (and general self-referential tone) seem like it would become ingratiating and horrible, but they actually payoff in this utterly unclassifiable film that you really should check out to believe. A helluva lot of fun, and probably the greatest thing to have Dane Cook's name associated with it.

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