Monday, January 31, 2011
Ok, now we can continue.
So, I know nothing of the Charles Bronson movie this is based on (though because it's Charles Bronson, I'm sure it was deeply manly and such). When I saw the trailer I thought it looked like a big, dumb, fun action movie typical of Jason "Ab-tastic" Statham. And if there is one thing I enjoy, it's listening to British accents spout one-liners while things blow up (which would go a long way in explaining my love for the James Bond series). Anyway, that's what I thought I was in for.
No such luck.
The Mechanic tells the broody story of Arthur Bishop, a dude who is very good at killing people. He lives alone out on some island in New Orleans. Here is what we know about Arthur:
1. He is a hitman
2. He has very little in the way of emotion
3. He likes to overpay hookers
4. He also enjoys classical music
5. ...Did I already use hitman?
We know virtually nothing about Bishop, which makes it kind of difficult to care what he does. We do learn that he is rather fond of his wheelchair-bound murder-mentor Harry, played by Donald Sutherland, who makes the most of the few scenes he is in. But really, even that doesn't mean much, because when the boss tells him Harry needs to die, the man hardly bats eyelid.
Boss: "Hey so, I need you to kill your friend/confidante/father figure/only guy we see you ever interacting positively with who is not a hooker"
Boss: "I know this is difficult for you to-wait, did you just say 'kay'?"
Boss: "But Harry is the only human influence in your life except for Drunk Dock Dude You Occasionally Chat With. This is a decision that will haunt you the rest of your life!"
Bishop: "Yeah, I'm good with it"
And that's the end of Harry. Except we learn he left some baggage behind in the form of Steven, his volatile son played by Ben Foster, continuing his "really intense guys who are more than a little crazy" trend. Steven is a violent screw-up who Bishop, apparently feeling remorse because it is convenient to the plot, takes Steven under his wing, making the wise decision to teach the budding little sociopath how to channel his grief into cold-blooded murder.
If you're wondering whether or not Steven figures out that Bishop killed his dad, or if there was something fishy about why Harry needed murdering and if Bishop ever figures this out and comes out for REVENGE, well duh. It's still your standard action movie, except instead of being light and ridiculous it's heavy and slow and kind of a bummer. It's sort of feels like it's trying to be the other killer character study that came out recently: The American. Except it can't commit to not blowing things up and being formulaic and also it's hard to do a character study when you barely have characters to work with. So yeah.
I mean, it's not a bad movie. Ben Foster does an admirable job trying to flesh out his little thug of a character and Jason Statham does lots fighting and rolling and shooting, occasionally throwing in a facial tic or two.
The music also, is good, very evocative of New Orleans and fitting with the mood of the movie. There's a scene with some pretty cool shots of a New Orleans cemetery (the ones that look all cool and mausoleum-y), and the action's all right. There's a pretty crazy scene with a garbage disposal but my big gripe is with the ending. It makes or breaks the movie and in this case it breaks it. Without spoiling anything, if this movie had ended about five minutes earlier than it actually did, it would have been so much better. Still a bummer, but way better. Instead, it is cliche and stupid and Jason Statham. In the end, The Mechanic is neither a brainless popcorn movie like I was hoping for, nor an intensely dark character study, which would have pleasantly surprised me. It meanders somewhere in between and for that indecision, racks up two catapults out of five (had they fixed the ending, they might've managed to swing a two and a half or even three). So there.
This is Sugary Cynic saying "If I wanted a good quirky movie about mentor-assassins, I should've just watched In Bruges again" 'Night!
Ryan: "So, how do you get the job of hitman boss? How did he end up in that position of power? How does his job work? So that guy's dead now, ok, what's he getting out of it? Where's his revenue coming from?"
Me: "You are putting way too much thought into this"
Saturday, January 29, 2011
There really isn't anything for me to talk about. Me and my brother came home for an early celebration of his b-day with my parents (He is turning 18, making me feel positively ancient). There are rumors floating around that Robin Williams might be tapped to play villain Hugo Strange in The Dark Knight Rises, but that sounds a bit unlikely.
In other news, Jay-Z and Will Smith are planning a remake of the little orphan Annie movie starring Will Smith's hair-whipping munchkin, Willow, because he won't be satisfied until every classic film is remade in his children's image.
Probably going to see the Mechanic tomorrow, so I'll have a review of that most likely. I need my fix of Jason Statham stoically beating people up. Also I decided I had no choice but to watch this movie when I saw the poster, a large gun made up of many smaller guns.
Finally, new banner quote. Hopefully something you guys can actually get this time :p
This is Sugary Cynic, and when the movie of my life is made, I demand to be played by Jaden Smith. 'Night!
(During the most pedophilia-tastic scene of Labyrinth were David Bowie creeps on Li'l Jennifer Connolly)
Me: "And now it's time to play: How Old Was Jennifer Connolly When This Was Shot?"
Me: "...Yeah, exactly, actually"
Zeke: "Way to be able to spot fifteen year-olds"
Thursday, January 27, 2011
*Snork* False alarm! Also, heaven may have a jacuzzi. Or was that the dream? Either way, the Hulk was in it so I'm a bit worried...(goes back and reads that sentence) Whoo boy, ok, before I spout anymore verbal nonsense, I'll get to the point. AOL did this thing were they had toddlers re-enact five of the movies nominated for Best Picture, some of them were just stupid, like the Black Swan one. And some of them are adorable, like the one for The King's Speech. But the best one was easily The Social Network:
If an adorable little kid says it's the smartest movie ever, then I guess it must be so.
This is Sugary Cynic saying WHARGLEBLARGLE. 'Night!
Me: "You know why I love my professor?"
Me: "I go to his office to talk about my paper topic. Five minutes talking about the paper topic, almost an hour spent talking about Batman movies, Watchmen and Community"
Wednesday, January 26, 2011
So, I tend to try to not get too personal on here,
What about the time you told the story about bumping into your philosophy professor while buying lady products (in illustrated form, no less)?
Um, well yeah that-
Or all the times you've professed your desire to see Iron Man and Batman do sexy things to each other?
Ok so maybe-
Or what about when you made that post about how you loved everyone when you were dru-
Aaaand that's enough of that. Ok, maybe I am full of crap. Either way, I am now going to share something personal that is NOT an embarrassing story or depraved fanfiction-in-the-making: My boydude is an awesome boydude. And not for any typical reason either. No! Weird geek couples demand weird geek symbols of endearment. So, you know the shirt I was always draw Li'l Cynic in every picture ever? The one I'm wearing in the banner for crying out loud?
True, it's not gray or black but that is HARDLY THE POINT. Besides, he could only get it in blue or yellow (and blue is better) if he wanted to put stuff on the back. Go on, ask me what's on the back. You know you want to.
*Sigh* What's on the back, you psychotic diva?
I am a little excited over this gift, if you couldn't tell.
So yeah, I show my appreciation by spaz-vomiting joy all over this post. But I'm almost done so just hang in there.
Thanks, babe :)
Ok, I'm done now.
Oh, you want more things? How about I'm a mass of soreness and also sadness because my brother has forced me to return to my most hated place ever that is not the dentist: The Gym.
Exactly like that.
But I am squishy and such, so to the gym to torture myself I go. Don't worry, I promise I'm not one of those skinny girls who continually sobs "Ohmigod I'm so fat and sad and also fat and can no longer fit into this tube top that is the size of a gum wrapper when not on my body!" Right now, I have the endurance of an 80 year old smoker. I need to fix this. What if me and my friends get chased by a machete-wielding serial killer? I need to be faster than them (them being my friends) if I am going to have any chance at survival.
Finally, what the hell is a gizzard?
I ask because we were discussing food taboos in my anthropology class, and afterwards, when we were all walking out and chatting, Kevin mentioned that his dad used to eat chicken gizzards and this conversation followed:
Kevin: "I'm honestly not even sure what or where a gizzard is"
Me: "I feel like it's something in the neck area?"
Christina: "Yeah, dunno why but I do too"
Kevin: "I thought it was maybe like, a stomach thing? Where are the pre-med's when you need them? Who took anatomy?"
(As we walked into the dining hall)
Kevin: "HEY VASTILLE! Where's a gizzard?"
Vastille: (taken aback) "The...stomach area?"
Kevin: "Hmmm...hey, Nick (who is an English major) where's the gizzard?"
Kevin: "Well now everything is just conflicting"
And according to Legends of The Fluffy Owl Movie, your gizzard is like, your ET heartlight or something. It's magical. Well, as Wikipedia is the final source for such questions, they say: "This specialized stomach constructed of thick, muscular walls is used for grinding up food"
So it's not in the "neck-area"...in case you ever wondered.
On that note, I'mma go. This is Sugary Cynic, spreading the word with t-shirt magic. 'Night!
(As Ashley laughs after I make a particularly tasteless joke)
Ashley: "You are such an asshole!"
Me: "Yeah, but you're laughing at it, that validates it"
Ashley: "Yeah but I have inappropriate emotional responses to things!"
Me: "Dead puppies! Genocide!"
Ashley: (while cracking up) "NOOO!! WHY AM I BAD PERSON?!"
Monday, January 24, 2011
Please take a moment to appreciate that sentence. I know I have.
Ok, so the thesis is written by a derby girl I go to school with who is writing on whether or not roller derby derails or enforces hetero-normative stereotypes but THAT IS NOT THE POINT. I am a quoted source, because of awesome things. And since you can't quote something like Wikipedia in an undergrad thesis, I am officially a more legitimate source than them.
Sugary Cynicism: An Official Quoted Source (Better Than Wikipedia) Since 2011
Ok, I'm done with that for now (but will totally bring it up as many times as possible in the near future because what fun is life if I can't be an egomaniacal ass-hat on the internet? The answer is NONE AT ALL). What was I talking about? James Bond. Yes, I was totally talking about James Bond, you just didn't notice because you were so in awe of my new-found officiality. But let's focus on the matter at hand, shall we?
There's rumblings of the next James Bond flick afoot, and even though they were finally gonna can that craggy blonde creature known as Daniel Craig, he's staying on for at least one more film. You know, so we can have a holy trinity of suck. Say what you will, Casino Royale wasn't wholly terrible, but the highlight/climax of the movie was a CARD GAME. The movie starts out with this bitchingly awesome parkour chase:
And what glorious wonders are to follow? How about World Series Poker? And a prissy little bad guy who cries blood tears when he bluffs at cards? Sounds like fun? No? Don't worry Bond gets stripped naked and has his nutsack whipped later. I Am Not Kidding.
And don't even get me started on Quantum of Suck. Ever since they decided to make the Bond series the Bourne series, it has been such crap. And wasn't Jason Bourne created as a sort-of American James Bond-type guy? So are we imitating the imitation of the original which we are and oh no I've gone cross-eyed.
My Point: The Bond series is kind of lame right now, part of what would help is if we ditched Daniel "My Face Looks Like A Cliffside Only With Less Acting Ability" Craig. Am I being too harsh? Let's read what we've got so far on the newest Bond film. Firstly, the current working title is apparently "James Bond: Red Sky At Night" which is only slightly less stupid a title than say, "James Bond: A Stitch In Time Saves Nine" or perhaps "James Bond: Turn Off The Dark"
So, what's "Red Sky At Night, Super Spy's Delight" about? Well, we don't know yet, but sources claim that a chunk of filming will be done in Ontario, Canada and will feature "large stunt involving the Ontario Tower as well as a huge hockey game and skiing/winter sports sequences" and "a death-defying winter sports chase"
HOT DAMN, I'VE GOT THE VAPORS THAT IS SO EXCITING.
Can we please make Clive Owen Bond now like we were going to before Craig showed up? And make it violent and awesome? And make the plot about an evil half-robot scientist that is trying to create a break in the space-time continuum to make himself Lord of the Universe but because he fractures space-time he accidentally brings Sean Connery Bond and Roger Moore Bond and maybe possibly Timothy Dalton Bond and Pierce Brosnan Bond but definitely not George Lazenby Bond into the same universe and they team up with Clive Owen Bond and fight off genetically engineered zombies, pausing only to sip martinis, have sex with various women and spout one-liners like, (Sean Connery Bond pulls off a zombie arm and proffers it to Owen Bond) "Need a hand?"
Hey, it's better than "huge hockey games"
This is Sugary Cynic, off to option some film rights. 'Night!
Jared: "I want to see Javi dressed up in variou silly costumes all the time. I don't know why"
Me: "You should tell him this"
Jared: "Another day"
It's a cute little holiday movie from the likes of Danny Boyle and centers on a quirky little kid named Damian who hangs out with dead saints and accidentally finds money stolen off a train, and thusly tries to do good things with it with hilarious and adorable results:
I promise you it is much less sappy than the trailer makes it out to be.
And since no one guessed the quote, and this is the first time that's ever happened, I get to pick a picture for myself. Cuz it's my blog, suckas.
And I pick....
Not really anything going on, got readings and stuff that I'm not doing because I'm doing this.
And while we're talking about Wolverine (we were), here's a picture of Spock punching him in the face:
Also I played the videogame Little Big Planet 2 for the first time and you play these levels with these little avatars called sackboys that you can customize insanely. Mine was from Tron!
And um, that's kind of it.
(They can't all be winners. Or about David Bowie's package)
Me: "I think we're a bad influence on each other"
Javi: "You mean an AWESOME influence!"
Me: "Well when you put it like that...Yes"
Sunday, January 23, 2011
I know I generally make up silly things like "I was helping Sean Connery unclog his sink and it turned out to be filled with hidden gnome treasure" but I'm serious this time, that was how I spent my night. And yes, you are jealous.
(Of course, the second part of the night entailed me hurling in the sink and re-thinking my life choices after trying to take this nasty cough medicine because I'm still sick but you don't need to know that part...wait. Dammit)
So...wanna hear about The Saint?
Man, remember when Val was a hottie? I may have been an infant/fetus when he was, but still! Remember?
Nowadays though, it's more like:
But through the magic of film we can travel back to the magical year of 1997 and *shazaam* Val Kilmer is sexy once more! It's in a pretty terrible movie sure, but sexy!
The Saint is a film adaptation of a goofy 60's TV series of the same name that starred future Bond Roger Moore as a sly, occasionally wacky thief who stole from baddies. The show, which I've seen a few episodes of, was your typical 60's camp sort of thing. And Roger Moore is a witty, charming bastard so it works out. In making the film, the writers decided to hell with that crap and instead decided to make a deeply serious thriller.
About cold fusion.
With a scientist who looked like this:
That and sport some pretty wicked beards
Who keeps three post-it notes that apparently have the entire formula necessary for creating cold fusion in...her bra!
Way to go.
Ok, I'll try again. The Saint tells the story of our much less happy-go-lucky, far more broody Saint, named Simon. Simon is a thief for hire and is hired to steal some micro-chip thingy from Ivan Trediak, a crooked Russian politician played by Rade Serbedzja aka Every Russian Bad Guy In A Movie Ever. Anyway, that's not important. What is important is that Trediak and his coke-snorting son decide to hire Simon to steal the cold fusion formula from spazzy hot nerd Emma Russell (Elisabeth Shue) and then kill his ass. Because that is what Russians do best.
What follows is Val Kilmer playing sexy dress-up as he runs through various disguises and accents and woos ladies. He succesfully steals the formula from Emma by pretending to be artsy and soulful and spouting some of the absolute worst dialogue EVER. For one thing, it's in a lispy, pseudo-European accent, and he says things like that he's going to take her to Africa so she can experience to energy of life. I am not kidding. But since it's a movie and she's a lonely nerd she eats it up and (of course) they fall in love. But trouble is afoot!
Simon may have found a new lease on life through naive Emma but Trediak wants him dead and it will take several explosions, a few more costume changes and some pseudo-science that would make my chem-major friends cry out in agony before Simon can win back the day and cram as many references to the TV series as possible in the last ten minutes. Seriously, it's like they forgot it existed and were like, "crap! We should make several knowing winks to the TV series!! But the movie's nearly done shooting! Quick, wink knowingly, everyone!! Where the hell is Roger Moore?! Get me Roger Moore!!"
Just like that. So, The Saint is one of my guilty pleasure movies. It's dated as hell and even though it's trying so hard to be serious it's practically straining a muscle, it is as silly a 90's movie as there ever was. But it's entertaining, especially all the disguises and whatnot and man, Val Kilmer sure is nice to look at. Elisabeth Shue too, if that's your thing. The Saint is fun if you take your brain out back and tie to a post first. Two and a half cold fusion catapults out of five.
This is Sugary Cynic, in mourning for Val Kilmer's abs. 'Night!
(Simon is disguised as Trediak)
Simon: "You know what the hardest part about being you is? Pretending to be so bad in bed"
Trediak: "You son of the bitch!"
Friday, January 21, 2011
Watched it with the same gang from Jurassic Park, only this time it was Jasmine who had missed on the cultural touchstone that is
Anyway, much delightful what-the-fuck was had, as Bowie leered glam-fully at teenage Jennifer Connolly and various muppets out-acted teenage Jennifer Connolly and we were all unable to tear our eyes away from you-know-what.
And because I am tired, sick as hell and (most importantly) there is absolutely no way to follow Bowie's package, I must bid you good night. This is Sugary Cynic saying, "You remind me of the babe" 'Night!
You could make a fantastic drinking game based on that camel-toe alone.
(At a pizza place in Del Ray)
Adam: "Well, this conversation got pretty anti-Michael Bay"
Ryan: "Very anti-Bay"
Me: "You could say we were Bay-bashing"
Adam: "If you put 'Bay-bashing' on your blog I promise I will read it. And I will tell everyone I know to read it too"
Wednesday, January 19, 2011
Ok, that was maybe a little mean. I'm a bit grouchy because trying to shake a cold before a date = Le Suck.
So this is going to be a short because I am in need of bed.
IN WHICH SUGARY CYNIC DOES SOME NEWS CUZ SHE BE ILL AND STUFF
Firstly, everyone is flipping their collective shits about Anne Hathaway being cast as Selina Kyle aka Catwoman in The Dark Knight Rises (crazy people are quick to point out that she has only been cast as Selina and not Catwoman, but seeing as they are the same person, I invite said crazy people to suck it up.) Ok, so maybe this:
isn't the first thing that comes to mind when I mention this:
but I still think people are being unfair. Hathaway is a talented actress and I like her anyway, and I'm curious to see what she does with the role. Now, to do a complete judgemental 180 and say: Why the flipping hell is this:
Don't get me wrong, I adore Tom Hardy, but this makes no sense to me. Apart from the fact that he will need to bulk the hell up, there is the fact that Bane is a meatheaded dipstick and now I don't get to see Hardy being roguishly charming in a Nolan movie anymore :(
Next! The first pictures for the X-men prequel NOT about Wolverine came out recently:
And moving right along, the first footage for Sherlock Holmes 2: Holmes Harder has been released and despite the Egregiously Peppy correspondent dude, this has me excited because they are finally putting Sherlock Holmes where he belongs...in drag.
It's canon, read the books.
And finally, on a topic not the least bit related to movies. Look at this French child and tell me this is not the cutest thing you have ever seen in your life:
I will file this under "things that made learning French kind of worthwhile" and then I will find her and ask her to live in my dorm so that whenever I have a crappy day, she can tell me a French story.
That sounded much less creepy in my head.
This is Sugary Cynic, sniffling the night away. 'Night!
PS: No knows the banner quote, I win forever! Mwahahahaha!!!
Ok, basking over. So, the Golden Globes happened, the Oscars aren't far behind and there's a whole new year of films on the way. Eh, screw being topical, let's talk about Rosencrantz and Guildernstern Are Dead!
Winding our clocks back to the glorious year of 1990, when I was but a wee baby and Tom Stoppard's Tony award-winning play got turned into a movie starring Tim Roth and Gary Oldman as Rosencrantz and Guildenstern...or possibly Guildenstern and Rosencrantz. It gets confusing.
Ok, let me back up before diving into this one. When boydude visited he made me watch The Social Network (ok, not like, made, like with Clockwork Orange-y devices on my eyelids but you get the idea). So after that, I discovered he, calling himself a self-respecting film nerd, had never seen Rosencrantz and Guildernstern Are Dead, an egregious mistake I soon corrected. But before we get going, there's two things I need to make clear:
1. I am sooo biased towards this movie. I love it ridiculously much. We're talking near The Rock level biased.
2. This movie is not for everyone. And I don't mean that in a snooty elitist way, I mean it in a way "it's just Shakespeare, talking, philosophy and puns for two hours" way.
So basically, Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead shows the events of the Shakespeare play Hamlet from the point of view of two minor characters: Hamlet's well-meaning but not terribly bright school buddies, Rosencrantz and Guildenstern. They bumble around castle Denmark, occasionally engaging with the other characters, and tackling deep questions like, "what the heck is bugging Hamlet?" "Why does this coin keep landing on heads?" and "Which one of us is Rosencrantz?"
Joining them on their rambles is the lead player of the group of actors that Hamlet hires to do the play within a play that's supposed to get Claudius to confess to his father's murder (It should be obvious by now that this movie is much less fun if you're unfamiliar with Hamlet). The Lead Player is a sneaky, at times omniscient-seeming bastard who toys with R and G and the nature of their existence. He was SUPPOSED to be played by Sean Connery, which would have achieved a perfect actor trifecta, but he ditched it for Hunt For Red October and we got Richard Dreyfuss instead. I mean, don't get me wrong, he does a fine job...
And really that's it. R and G wandering around, trying to figure out the meaning of life. Well, Tim Roth is at any rate. Gary Oldman's character seems much less concerned and his quirkyness helps balance out Roth's brooding. How R and G bounce off each other is a key part of the film, one that could either make or break it. Luckily, Roth and Oldman have great chemistry and are a blast to watch. Really, this movie is all about dialogue and since I could never pick just one line for the end, here's a bunch of my favorites to try and win you over:
The Player: "We're actors! We're the opposite of people!"
(After waking up and finding themselves on a boat)
Rosencrantz: "Do you think Death could possibly be a boat?"
Guildenstern: "No, no, no... Death is not. Death isn't. Take my meaning? Death is the ultimate negative. Not-being. You can't not be on a boat"
Rosencrantz: "I've frequently not been on boats"
Guildenstern: "No, no... What you've been is not on boats"
(Guildenstern tries to figure out their names by seeing which one Rosencrantz responds to)
Guildenstern: "Don't you discriminate at ALL?"
(After putting on a play that is basically Hamlet)
The Player: "Are you familiar with this play?"
The Player: "A slaughterhouse, eight corpses all told"
Guildenstern: (counts) "Six"
The Player: "Eight"
(Two actors who look like R and G pretend to hang themselves)
Guildenstern: "Who are they?"
The Player: "They're dead"
Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Goddamn It This Title Is So Long is a metaphysical comedy that might actually be a play itself, where not much happens but lots of people die, verbal tennis is invented, life and death are ruminated on and puns abound. It's a movie that moves very slowly yet is still hard to follow. It requires a lot of patience on behalf of the viewer but the rewards are worth it in the end and our two heroes are just so damn cute and likable you can't help but become invested in their story. So if you're a Literature nerd (or not) and you have some free time on your hands, I highly recommend Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Oh For Christ's Sake I Give Up. It Shakespeare's its way to four and three-quarter catapults out of five. Because I can.
This is Sugary Cynic, still basking in banner quote glory. Neener neener. 'Night!
The Player: "We're more of the love, blood, and rhetoric school. Well, we can do you blood and love without the rhetoric, and we can do you blood and rhetoric without the love, and we can do you all three concurrent or consecutive. But we can't give you love and rhetoric without the blood. Blood is compulsory. They're all blood, you see"
Monday, January 17, 2011
I won this spectacular pirate ship necklace on The Morose Bee's blog, in a contest she does called Movie Monday, where she gives you clues to a movie in the form of Etsy products. After seeing a sketch of blonde Bruce Willis and an orange wig, I was all like "5TH ELEMENT, MOFO!" the prize for winning is the pick of whatever you want from her Etsy shop. Or you could go the easier route and just buy something, it's all pretty awesome. I was worried the necklace would be heavy because it's big and ceramic but it's actually pretty light and cute as hell. I love the crap out of it :D
I have a new blog thingy, guys! I have realized that you people come here for movie reviews and silly tales of the horrifying series of embarrassments that is my life. Not gloomy srs-bizness writings. So when I started working on an new story idea I decided to set up a new blog and create an online serial novel to be updated as I write it. So, if you're of the mind to read something spookyish and mysterious and (hopefully) awesome, feel free to check out They Say Their Ghosts Still Walk. All that's up now is the opener and the prologue but there'll be more soon.
New banner quote :D
Ok, now we can talk about The Green Hornet.
Ok, let's get one thing straight here from the get-go. This is not The King's Speech, or even Inception. This is "Seth Rogen plays a superhero" you're not going in with the same expectations. Or at least you really shouldn't be. This is not going to be deep or thought-provoking or dramatic or emotional. It should be silly, funny and with buttloads of highly improbable action scenes. And actually, it is. So there.
So the story follows Seth Rogen's character Britt Reid, who as a boy is chewed out by his father, Tom Wilkinson, for getting in a fight trying to protect a girl from some bullies. Daddy Reid basically belittles the poor kid and pops the head off his superhero toy, tossing it in the trash. And then this dick is somehow shocked when his son grows up to be the hard-partying, irresponsible Seth Rogen.
But then Daddy Reid croaks and suddenly Britt is in charge of his dad's newspaper empire (which admittedly doesn't mean much these days but don't tell the movie that), and has to deal with Edward James Olmos, the paper's grouchy senior editor, the douchey DA who is campaigning for mayor, and also all the people telling him how awesome his dickhole of a dad was. Thankfully, Britt meets Kato, played by Jay Chou. Kato was his dad's personal mechanic and coffeemaker (just go with it). Kato also thinks Daddy Reid was a tool, oh and he can also build death machine cars, bulletproof glass, flat-proof tires, gas-guns, kick your ass and also make a cappuccino with the swirly leaf design. Kato ROCKS.
So Kato and Britt bond, get drunk and solder off the head of Daddy Reid's statue. During this escapade they rescue a couple from getting mugged, realize it's a hell of a rush and decide to be superheroes. Because why not. I actually do like this bit, because in nearly all superhero movies (except maybe Kick-Ass) the hero is always tortured and brooding and becomes a superhero out of some warped sense of atonement. Britt and Kato just think it'll be awesome. So, disguising themselves as villains, they take on LA's criminal element under the guise of the Green Hornet and his as-of-yet-nameless-partner. Their arch-nemesis? Chudnofsky, an unbelievably insecure crime kingpin played by the unbearably cute Christoph Waltz. Seriously, guys, it's not even fair. He made me LIKE a Nazi in Inglorious Basterds, and here I can't even take him seriously as a credible threat. It doesn't matter how many dudes he shoots in the face, as he ponders becoming a super-villain named "Bloodnofsky" I just want to pat him on the head.
So there's also Cameron Diaz as a secretary turned journalist turned last-minute love interest, but she honestly doesn't do much but look pretty and give Kato and Brit a serious case of bros before hos. Yo. But anyway, there are car chases and explosions and ass-kicking and it's pretty rad. Britt's kind of a douche but it's Seth Rogen, so you expect it. Also, it's definitely weird thinking that Michel "Eternal Sunshine for the Spotless Science of Be Kind Rewind" Gondry directed it. There are a couple scenes that feel like they have his trademark visual absurdity and the scene where Kato and Britt sing "Gangster's Paradise" is pretty Gondry but otherwise, if I didn't know, I wouldn't think it was him. Which is kind of a bummer.
Still, it's great fun and it had me smiling for most of it. Jay Chou really makes the movie and after Korean Pop Sensation Rain and Dong-gun Jang screwed up their American movies, it's nice to see an Asian singer that can, you know, act. I hope he's in more things. So yeah, don't expect too much and you'll be pleasantly surprised. The Green Hornet earns three and a half bros out of five.
This is Sugary Cynic, and I'm ready to fight crime! All I need is a Kato to make all the cool stuff...and beat up all the bad guys. That too. 'Night!
Britt: (As they drive through South Central, he sees a pair of sneakers hanging over a telephone wire) "Woah...Kato, I think we're in the hood"
So, the Facebook movie. Are you happy, world? The greatest movie ever in the history of ever composed of people talking and typing and not doing much else has been seen by me. Finally. And by seen I mean kind of sort of forced to watch because boydude kept trying to convince me that it was good. And it was.
So yeah, The Social Network. As roomie Ashley put it "this movie taught me that Facebook was founded by assholes" and that's a pretty apt synopsis. We enter the movie mid-conversation between Eisenberg's character, Mark Zuckerberg, in a douchetastic conversation with his soon-to-be-ex girlfriend. Right away the movie demonstrates Mark's total lack of social skills, knowledge of social cues and generally inherent assholery. After the girl dumps him, he does what any enraged geek guy at Harvard would do: gets drunk, blogs about it, and hacks all of Harvard's sites to create a site called "FaceSmash" comparing Harvard girls that crashes the school's networks.
After that, Mark is approached by two buff blonde Harvard rowing-crew twins named Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss, both played by Armie Hammer (yeah, I dunno), who want Mark to help them write code for a site called Harvard Connection that would be like a dating site but exclusively for Harvard students. Mark decides that's stupid and goes off to make Facebook instead.
And so is the tall tale of Facebook told in flashback during two depositions involving Zuckerberg. One where the Winklevii are suing for stealing their idea and the other where he is being sued by his former best friend Eduardo for being cut out of Facebook's profits despite being it's co-founder. Eduardo is played by Andrew Garfield, who looks like a puppy dog. A really good looking one. Eduardo is both the money and the voice of reason behind Mark's mad plan to win at the internet. He's also pretty much the only one willing to put up with Mark's bullshit and be his friend. He genuinely cares about this little douche-bucket, which makes Mark so blatantly screwing him over that much more painful to watch.
So Facebook explodes out onto the internet, attracting mildly insane groupies like Brenda Song's pyromaniac character who burns a present from Eduardo on his bed, and also leeches, like Shawn Parker, inventor of Napster. Justin Timberlake plays Parker and does a surprisingly good job of it. It's weird to see him playing a paranoid, coked out Parker and remember that he was the guy who sang "Bye Bye Bye"
Shawn Parker ends up being the catalyst that sets Eduardo and Mark against each other, and as Facebook grows more and more popular, they become increasingly alienated from each other until Mark has lost his only real, non-internet friend. And is being sued. Twice.
The rundown: Everyone turns in strong performances (I actually feel much better about the Spiderman reboot after seeing Garfield in this), Aaron Sorkin's script that everyone wants to make sweet, sloppy love to is quite witty, and Trent Reznor's score is atmospheric and excellent. It's a good movie but sometimes, watching it, I just didn't care. It's all nerds! Doing nerdy things! Still, I can't in good conscience give it anything lower than a four and a quarter catapults out of five. Because it was good. Just annoyingly so.
And that's all for tonight. Suck it up, you can handle it. After all, I'll be seeing you tomorrow with a review of the bro-tastic Green Hornet. This is Sugary Cynic, saying "I'm Facebook famous" 'Night!
Mark's (Ex)Girlfriend: "You are probably going to be a very successful computer person. But you're going to go through life thinking that girls don't like you because you're a nerd. And I want you to know, from the bottom of my heart, that that won't be true. It'll be because you're an asshole"