Finally Catching Up: San Andreas; Slow West; Spy; Insidious 3; Kung Fury; and Mad Max (again)
I've been so busy and working overtime (work out! dwelledeedeedoodooo bwaaabwaa bwuuum bwaaa bwwaa [little B.T.O. humor for you there]) that I haven't been able to write any reviews for the several things I've seen in the last couple of weeks. Well, I finally found some free time, so I thought I'd just clump them all into one stupid turd of a compilation post. As you can tell by the fact I typed out that B.T.O guitar riff joke, looked at it, and then still didn't delete it; this already isn't going very well.
And now that Tim informed me that I can put GIFs in these reviews, I'm gonna go ahead and abuse that privilege...
Dwayne Johnson plays a rescue worker with a helicopter during the complete destruction of California from a "swarm event" of earthquakes. Or, as I described it to my fiance to get her to come with me: "The Rock fights an earthquake". Maybe that didn't actually happen, but he does crash a helicopter into the ground, so that's kind of like attacking the earthquake, right?
This doesn't really advance the natural disaster genre too much, but mainly just prevents it from going stale. In a pleasant twist, this movie isn't about trying to stop the earthquakes, as they are coming regardless; but it's just dumb, fun rescue scenes with a former pro wrestler driving speedboats and airplanes while CGI buildings fall down, and none of the women wear bras while they run away from the oncoming computer graphics. Whoa, hey, before you criticize the movie for doing that, I'm pretty sure The Rock may have the biggest chest of anyone in the movie.
San Andreas' biggest downside is the over-explanation of EVERYTHING while it's happening (even if it's fun, frantic yelling out of Paul Giamatti's character). People will do things like they'll be running out of a sinking building, while yelling "The earthquake is causing the building to sink!". Yeah we know, we're not blind. Or another character will ask Alexandra Daddario's character "I noticed you had two of the same necklace? What's that about?" In the middle of the destruction. First of all, what a pointless question. And second of all, it was just used as a stupid way to explain her backstory that we didn't need. ...Actually, now that I think of it, he was probably just staring at her boobs and got caught and came up with a quick reply.
Whatever, it's definitely watchable summer entertainment for sure.
7 out of 10
Sharing a common theme with San Andreas as being about getting rescued by abnormally handsome gentlemen, Slow West follows a dopey Scottish teenager (Kodi Smit-McPhee) wandering the American frontier in search of his girlfriend, and randomly falls under the protection of handsome bounty hunter Michael Fassbender. I'd say why, but that would ruin the movie.
It does have a moderately slow pace, but you can't really criticize the movie for that. I mean, it's right there in the title. It definitely helps that it's only 90 minutes long. But it's pretty good, especially if you're a fan of westerns.
Maybe something negative I could say about it is that it seems more like a collection of things the director wishes he could have seen in a western, as opposed to a fluid storyline, but it does produce plenty of good moments in the process. And the last 15 minutes are awesome.
8.5 out of 10
This had sort of a rare phenomenon occur, where all of the constant trailers and commercials were actually ruining the worst jokes in the movie. That's a cool thing to happen because it brought my expectations down super low, and made the movie seem way better than it deserved. I mean, I wasn't just consistently chuckling throughout it, I was full-out laughing.
It definitely helped that this was a more focused screenplay that anything Melissa McCarthy has taken part in since her rise to fame. The problems with The Heat, Tammy, and Identity Thief were mostly in part to just putting McCarthy in a situation and trying to let her crass improv and Paul Blart quality falling down dictate the scenes. Spy is more like a movie that had a screenplay that could have worked without McCarthy, but by inserting her in it, rather than solely building around her, it made her schtick all of a sudden totally work.
Also, Jason Statham is as hilarious in this as he is serious in Furious 7. It's just a funny movie, in general.
8 out of 10
Insidious: Chapter 3
I didn't even bother trying to remember what either of the first two Insidious movies were about. I don't even think I knew what they were about right after I saw them. But I watched the first two in theaters, didn't hate them, and had $10 credit on my AMC Stubs card, so I figured it wasn't that big of a life investment to see this one, too.
Chapter 3 doesn't involve the same family anymore (so, a lack of Patrick Wilson being awesome; a huge downside), instead it's about a cool, hip 17-year-old girl who wears Pixies shirts and reads A Clockwork Orange, when she's not writing her vegetarian food blog; because she's a character written by a 38-year-old man. Her mom died of cancer, and she's stuck living with her struggling father Dermot Mulroney (or is it Dylan McDermott?). She tries to contact her dead mother but instead ends up getting haunted by an unexplained demon in a hospital gown that never really ever gets explained (WHATEVER). And the side characters from the other movies are in it as well. Also, it's a prequel, if you care, despite being Chapter 3.
I kind of go into this franchise not expecting much other than several really good set pieces, maybe some great cinematography, and a few subtle psychological scares. That's what the other two had. But something seemed off throughout this whole thing... It was just, sort of, crappier and more generic. Then it all got explained once the credits rolled and I realized it wasn't directed by James Wan. I didn't know that, I just assumed it was. Probably wouldn't have went had I bothered to look that up. Oh well. It still had enough redeeming moments to not qualify it as a failure to me.
6 out of 10
This has been making its rounds for the last several weeks, and I finally got around to watching it. It's pretty good. Admittedly, I was a little, uh, tipsy, when I watched it, so that may have increased the hilarity, but I definitely enjoyed it. It's only 30 minutes long, and it's free on YouTube. Give it a watch when you have the time. MY NAME ITHHH COLBRAHHHH. I AM YOULR THPIRIT ANIMAHHLL. (I drunkenly said that a lot the night I watched it)
9 out of 10
Mad Max: Fury Road (for the third time)
I've now seen Fury Road three times, including twice with my lady, I've purchased the soundtrack to listen in my car, and I've given it countless praise on the internet and in person with everyone who asks me what good movies are out. At this point, Warner Bros should probably send me a free Blu-ray or something.
Anyway, I've enjoyed this movie on the third go around just as much as the first. And now I'm incorporating quotes from the movie into my everyday life. "Bring me a cold soda, and I myself shall carry you to the gates of Valhalla!" Seriously, like 40% of my conversations are now Fury Road references. I'm pretty annoying.
I chickened out and gave it a 9.5 out of 10 the first time I watched it, but I think it's safe to just go ahead and give it that 10 out of 10 by now.
Well, that's everything for now. Hopefully I can produce a real Jurassic World review quicker than two weeks after it's released!