Posts Tagged ‘guy pearce’

Iron Man 3 (2013) – Shane Black (Dir.), Robert Downey Jr., Gwyneth Paltrow, Don Cheadle, Ben Kingsley, Rebecca Hall, Guy Pearce

In Marvel-land, RDJ holds the orgasms for the ladies.

In Marvel-land, RDJ holds the orgasms for the ladies.

Yes! The summer begins! And I’m still wearing a scarf outside! Go home, Chicago, you are drunk. As per usual, Marvel rolls out its initial super-tank of a mutherfucker before any of the other paltry ‘real’ studios have a chance to even start advertising. With The Avengers snagging the “Wait, I thought summer started after Memorial Day” slot, they, as always, set the box office ticker high for their competition and then laugh through the rest of the summer season at their piddling contenders like some kind of bejeweled warlord in a gladiatorial ring of cinematic crappery. This year, they have bequeathed us yet another entry into the Downey Jr. Motor-Mouth Olympics. Yes, the most loquacious of lotharios is back in the titular dress of ferric properties ready to do battle with an awkwardly porn star/Bin Laden-esque and awfully accented super villain, The Mandarin. So, after the mind-blowing brilliance of The Avengers, anything following in its wake is going to look as explosive as a ladybug’s fart. Does Iron Man 3 live up to the hype? Is it a worthy addition to the money-sucking juggernaut that is Marvel Studios? Does it stay true to the comic instead of pissing in the face of every comic fan ever to greasily thumb through an edition of Iron Man?

Nope.

Okay, let’s get this straight. I thoroughly enjoyed this film. Mr. Black, our hidden hand taking over from Happy Hogan, Jon “Candy-Ass” Favreau, and inserting his own unironically termed pitch-black-humor, does a decent job of keeping the action moving and the audience guessing. Haunted by the events of The Avengers, our dickish hero, Tony “Winter Isn’t Coming” Stark suffers panic attacks and spends his nights tinkering in his infinitely-resourced basement lab. What haunting events, you might ask? No idea. The guy seemed stoked about schwarma. Anyhoo, a new threat has appeared in the form of Osama Bin Laden if he was a film student at NYUs special education department. He teaches ham-fisted lessons about fortune cookies while sending exploding veterans into heavily populated areas. All the while, a slicked and uncomfortably tan Guy Pearce is putting the moves on Pepper Potts and also…spitting fire? What the fuck?

"I think about it every night and day, spread my wings and fly away!" ~ Ben Kingsley, not so secret R. Kelly fan.

“I think about it every night and day, spread my wings and fly away!” ~ Ben Kingsley, not so secret R. Kelly fan.

There are some things that Black gets extremely right. In the past (*cough* Iron Man 2 *cough*) the tension drains from the films the second Downey Jr. slips into his metal badassness-enhancer. Instantly, we know that the guy is safe from harm and can dispatch between 20 and six thousand bad guys without breaking a sweat. This is why the second half of the second movie becomes as exciting as watching your younger brother suck at Halo. I mean…things explode and the graphics are nice, but are we supposed to care? Here, with the addition of the piecemeal Mark 42 (where they milk the silly Xbox Kinect-esque gesture commands joke for all it’s fucking worth), we find our hero seriously under-tooled and outgunned for a majority of the movie. Especially with our enemies’ supposed invulnerability and the ability to force a superheated fist through his thorax, suddenly the fight sequences take on a more intelligent edge. Probably the most pulse-pounding section involved a microwave, a gallon of gasoline, a tank of propane and the world’s most unattractive hottest woman. Black has been writing action movies for long enough (he wrote the unintentionally prescient Mel Gibson biography Lethal Weapon and Long Kiss Goodnight) that he knows how to take a worn-out formula and shove a thousand volts up its ass. What apparently eludes him, however, is even the most basic sense of thematic through-line.

What makes Black’s writing so enjoyable is also its greatest weakness. His dark-as-a-Sith-Lord-with-a-case-of-the-Mondays humor keeps his characters spewing witticisms left and right, whilst simultaneously turning every single person on screen into an incorrigible asshat. Stark, while an untouchable yet lovable douche in the previous movies, takes some dives into the awful-person end of the pool. I’m not sure if Shane Black has children, but if his writing is any indication, they are some of the most patriarchally-ridiculed kids on the playground. Thanksgiving dinners must be a no man’s land of emotional land-mines and bladed conversation. I imagine that his children, when they first rode a bike five minutes without falling over and splitting the skin on their knees for the thirtieth time, looked to their father searching for some kind of pride or approval only to receive a, “good job, you little turd”. The same could be said for the action. While varied, explosive and pretty across the board, there is little place for emotional movement. I mean, the final battle takes place in a shipyard solely due to the fact that Shane Black’s obsession with bland backdrops from the 90s. Much like the mid-movie bone-crunching foray in The Dark Knight Rises, we could have seen Stark as totally vulnerable without his tools. We could have seen a man coming to terms with his morality. Instead, the guy is just as nimble and tree-frog like in his aerial skills as he is with the weaponry, bullshit panic-attack side plot aside. The whole thing reeks of hollowness.

I got that bitch a plaid suit. Bitches love plaid suits.

I got that bitch a plaid suit. Bitches love plaid suits.

Now, there are some twists that, honestly, really got me. So, unless you have seen or have no desire at all to see this movie, please skip ahead. It will seriously hamper your enjoyment.

***SPOILERS***

Alright, are the laggards gone? Delightful. So, to those of you who don’t give a fuck, the Mandarin doesn’t exist. Perhaps the most hilarious turn in the history of silly British accents has Ben Kingsley drunkenly stumble from a bathroom warning his two prostitutes not to go in due to the major shit he just took. It is probably the biggest choice Black makes with this film/this entire franchise, which is both appreciated and despised. It turns out that Pearce, that orange mutherfucker, has created the Mandarin to explain his experiments accidentally, you know, vaporizing innocent bystanders. Kingsley, perhaps type-cast, is simply a druggie actor kept hidden from the public eye in a place where you’d probably find most of the worlds greatest blemishes on the permanent record: Miami. Such a massive shift in plot and expectation causes feedback, some good, some bad. The good: suddenly the film has something flirting with a ‘message’, you know, that pesky thing that is really why art exists in the first place. America creates its own demons…literally. What is a better cover-up for a national fuck up than an international threat? This ties nicely into the fact that Stark blames himself for Pearce’s turbo-dick genesis. It also solves the insanely racist ‘Mandarin’ problem that went the way of the fucking bigoted dodo back in the mid-70s. Having a Fu Manchu-esque sorcerer attacking America with a mystical dragon isn’t going to win us any points on the UN security council.

However, like the second name in the Clint Eastwood murder-everyone classic, we have ‘the bad’: by eradicating The Mandarin from the Marvel universe, Black has made a choice that, instead of spawning more choices, has torn off that plot limb from the Avengers’ massive creative trunk. Not only that, but he has just urinated in the faces of pretty much every comic book fan to have ever dreamed of donning the suit. There is no way a sequel could expand from this world and no way to head further down the imaginative rabbit hole Mr. Joss “King of the World and Not in a Dumb Titanic Way” Whedon opened last summer. It cut this baby into a one-off nugget of purest unimportance. Funny it may be.

***SPOILERS OVER***

Alright. To sum up, on the one hand you have lovers of film apathetic to the details of a goofy comic rag; and, on the other, you have a fanbase so die hard they would save an entire Nakatomi Plaza from terrorists in response to even the slightest of minute factual snubs. The movie, on the whole, let’s itself down. When you have Chase from 24 (remember season 3? Kim’s boyfriend? Anyone? Anyone?) douchily chewing gum while slicing a fucking Iron Man suit in half with a super-heated karate chop, that’s some fucking imagery to work with. However, Mr. Black seems to simply see the world as it is and makes no attempt at allowing ‘art’ to get in the way of his ‘awesome’. And that’s fine. It’s just not good. Yes, you could choose the pasta dish with a fine mix of herbs, tossed with fresh tomatoes and mozzarella, topped with a meat so tender you’d think Barry White had serenaded it for an evening before placing it in the pan; or you could choose the mac and cheese dusted with parmesan and bacon bits. Both tasty. But one nourishes, while the other becomes an inevitable and slushy date with the porcelain goddess at number 2 poop lane. With something so imagistically fertile as evil fire-douches and as politically potent as Osama Bin Laden/PTSD/veteran post war anti-patriotism, you’d think Black could have crafted something as least menially thought-provoking. But this thing is about a thought-provoking as Keyboard Cat. You watch him, you laugh, you question humanity and it’s purpose for existence seeing as you are laughing at a fucking cat playing a fucking keyboard.

Look at that adorable little shit. Giggle, you fools, GIGGLE!

…But then you click on the next Buzzfeed article because, fuck it, it’s Friday. Ain’t no work getting done today.

Summer Movie Preview 2013

Part One – Movies I Want to See

Every summer movie season has about as many ups and downs as the “Bi-Polar Coaster” at Six Flags. We’ve got our A game, our Dark Knights, our Jurassic Parks, you know, shit that makes audiences spontaneously spew fan-boy goo from every orifice. Then there’s the mid-shelf stuff. At first you’re like, “Nah-uh, they did NOT just greenlight a sequel to the prequel of the sequel to X-Men”. But then, like that old bottle of milk, you can’t find anything else to drink. You sniff. You shrug. You sip. It ain’t that bad but it’s not exactly a game changer. After that, you’ve got your indies, your cults and your duds. You know the duds. The ones the studio just NEEDS to recoup some of their investment. Why not shove every b-list slab of talent you’ve got on endless retainer up its ass and hope their recent guest spot on SNL was painless enough to jolt you from your couch, through the searing heat of the sun and into the air conditioned movie theater? You know, the one-night-stands of movies.

Well, fear not, today is dedicated to those glimmers of chromatic brilliance lost in an otherwise black and blue palette of blandness that this year has to offer. Now, last year had the likes of The Dark Knight Rises, the allure of Prometheus, the anticipation of The Avengers and the assumption that Joss Whedon was going to get sucked into the Marvel jet engine like some wayfaring bird caught in airspace over O’Hare. This year…not so much. We have a few palatable offerings but nothing that going to make me squee like I did during the opening moments of Les Miserables um…during the…(research and insert up-to-date sports reference). And much like my girlfriend on “Andrew’s Extended Striptease Night”, you are all probably saying “Get the fuck on with it!” And my response to her is the same to you: “Don’t rush genius, baby.”

Iron Man 3

RDJ, the Man so fine even G-Palt is copping a feel.

RDJ, the Man so fine even G-Palt is copping a feel.

Ah yes, once again Marvel must tighten the chains and drag out our good ole pal Robert Downey Jr. for yet another foray into the suit of iron. If Disney has given us any indication of their artistic farming practices in the past 60 years, they are going to milk that mutherfucker dry until his udders are pouring nothing but limp-lipped catchphrases and phoned-in numbness. Following is the list of stuff that RDJ has appeared in for Disney over the past few years: Iron Man, Iron Man (The Video Game), The Incredible Hulk, Iron Man 2, The Avengers, Iron Man 3, The Avengers 2 – Electric Boogaloo and the Avengers’ rarely seen sex-tape Thor’s Hammer and Some Man Iron. Dude is like 60 and a recovering heroin addict. Either he is immortal or he is working on borrowed time, people.

Back to the movie. While The Avengers (or as it was turdishly known as in the UK Avengers Assemble because British people can’t discern the difference between a major blockbuster with a hundred famous people based on the massively successful comic book series, and a movie adaptation of a 60s TV show no one gives a shit about where Sean Connery goes for the Oscar for Best Supporting Comatose Actor) was brain-bustingly amazing, the lead up was a parade of uneven snore-fests. Thor? If you’re not into Hemsworth-abs, it ain’t workin’, darlin’. Captain America? It was totes dece until that montage that made up the ENTIRE SECOND HALF OF THE MOVIE. Even Iron Man 2 was an exercise in tepid blandness. How the fuck can you make Mickey Rourke, you know, that guy with a face that looks like he tried to make his nose look like a vagina, with a Russian accent, a pet bird and ELECTRIC WHIPS ATTACHED TO HIS SPINE boring? Well, Mr. Favreau did it. And then he was fired. Thank the lord.

This time we have the little-known Shane West, responsible for the gut-spewingly funny Kiss, Kiss, Bang, Bang, as well as the addition of Guy “If Vanilla Were to Take Human Form” Pearce as boring bad guy number 1 and the ubiquitous Ben “I Have a Lot of Ex-Wives” Kingsley as the dangerously-close-to-racism-if-they-aren’t-incredibly-careful Mandarin. And, from the trailers, it looks pretty cool. Now, I won’t O over the keyboard for yet another RDJ speed-speak competition. There will be funny lines, over the top action and, most importantly, Ben Kingsley wearing Ray Bans and speaking with an accent that rivals Bane for what-the-fuckery. I am always in favor of that.

This is the End

And the award for sweatiest pile of humans goes to...

And the award for sweatiest pile of humans goes to…

So, there are these guys in Hollywood. We all know them. They’re a little boy’s club that has grown from humble beginnings to taking over the ENTIRETY of mainstream comedy. No, I’m not talking about Rob Schneider, Adam Sandler and the rest of the SNL circa 1995 gang. And no, I’m not talking about Will Ferrell, John C. Reilly and the other duds from SNL circa the 2000s. And, jesus, NO, I’m not talking about Dan Aykroyd, Bill Murray and John Belushi. God, guys, not cool. Belushi is dead. Go think about what you’ve done.

I am, of course, talking about the entire cast of Freaks and Greeks along with all the other kinda-indie funny guys they have sucked into their charging snowball of increasing revenues. These guys show up like the Magnificent Seven every fucking year with yet another film that you hope isn’t just a dumb stoner comedy and yet, it almost always is. We have Seth “The Writer” Rogan, James “He Says He’s a Writer But I’m Pretty Sure He Has No Idea Where He is Half the Time” Franco, Jonah “The Younger, Fatter Seth Rogan” Hill, Paul “Dreamsicle” Rudd, Jason “Actually Does Other Things, Like the Muppets, Seriously” Segel, Craig “The Black Guy” Robinson, Jay “What Happened to His Face? Like, Has it Always Been Like That? Does He Constantly Have Something Stuck in His Eye?” Baruchel, Danny “If a Mullet Were a Human Being” McBride and Michael “Please, For the Love of God, Stop” Cera. Well, their years of circling around the inevitable have finally come to an end. Yes, we all believed that they would eventually suck themselves into their own anuses but, while many assumed it had occurred on the set of Your Highness, they deliver this little puppy into theaters.

Holy. Fucking. Shit.

You know what isn’t funny? Watching a bunch of smug comedian friends sit around being assholes to each other and the rest of humanity. You know what is? Watching that same load of smug assholes get VICIOUSLY MURDERED ONE BY ONE. The concept is, for all intents and purposes, balls-out brilliant. I’m talking, swinging-testicles-free-from-pants-and-flying-in-the-wind genius. What’s the problem with apocalypse movies? That pesky thing known as ‘characterization’. It’s a scourge on all Emmerich-esque screenwriters. Unfortunately, for an audience to care about whether or not you drop a fucking skyscraper on a character’s head you have to get them to actually care about them. You don’t get points for making them a) black, b) a child, c) a black child, d) gay or e) a black, gay child. Until they do something worthy of our interest, they are simply slabs of meat readied for the oncoming abattoir of choice. Here, however, they already have characters…themselves. Suddenly, the jokes that all those Disaster Movie and Scary Movie Vs have been attempting for years suddenly become hilarious. Love them for their banter or fucking hate them for it, you are guaranteed that every one of the ‘Geek Squad’ is getting mutilated somehow. Yes, I know the third act will be a horrid unfunny mess. Yes, it will totally overstay its welcome. But, I mean…come on…Michael Cera gets impaled in the trailer. Oscar for Best Screenplay written all over it.

Elysium

Elysium, the touching story of a man overcoming scoliosis and terrible back-tattoos

Elysium, the touching story of a man overcoming scoliosis and terrible back-tattoos

A few years ago, the geniuses in Hollywood greenlit a movie adaptation of Halo. I know what you’re going to say, but wait, it gets better. They then hired Alex Garland, the brains behind Danny Boyle classics The Beach and 28 Days Later to write a screenplay for $1 million. They then threw it out. The Halo debacle cost someone or other millions upon millions of dollars, Peter Jackson a major headache and almost killed the career of up-and-coming filmmaker and Bond-villainly-eponymous Neill Blomkamp. Luckily, from the mountain of artistic manure grew a single delicate flower. District 9 hit theaters with a shoe-string budget, a no-name cast and a whole lot of limb-dismemberment. It was a brutal and half-clever/half-video-game-fanboy-snuff-film that explored the politics behind South African apartheid and fear of otherness. The movie was so damn good that even my mother, you know, the matriarch of “Game of Thrones looks disgusting”, fucking adored it. No joke, I bought it for her on Blu-Ray for a birthday and she couldn’t have been happier.

Now, years later, Blomkamp is back with Mr. Matt “Please Don’t Ask Me To Do Another Bourne Movie” Damon in the lead. What’s it about? Fuck knows. Earth sucks. Elysium is great. Also, they use a bone saw to attach a metal skeleton to Matt Damon’s spine. TICKET PLEASE! You had me at ‘bone saw to attach a metal skeleton to Matt Damon’s spine’. District 9 was one of the first of many sic-fi movies forcing the winds of change to sweep through the desolate soulless plains of Hollywood Summer-dom. Intelligence and humanity is finally finding its way into this horde of messes hotter than an Lindsay Lohan between rehab visits. Sci-fi is now skirting the realms of Philip K. Dick, Arthur C. Clark and more writers with middle initials. From Inception to Looper to the recent stylings of Oblivion, science fiction is desperately trying to discover this concept called ‘intelligence’. Now, yes, it’s hard because most of the writers are insufferable morons, but the thought does count. Who knows? Maybe Elysium will be more the bang-bang-lightning-gun-head-a-sploding second half of District 9 and less the ponderous and discussion-provoking first. I’m willing to give hope a chance. Unless hope fucks it up then I’m going to hunt hope down like the dog it is and burn it in public effigy. You hear that, Blomkamp? If your movie sucks, I will make sure that this world becomes a hopeless hellscape!

Kick Ass 2

Um...Kick Ass 2, I think your catch phrase is broken.

Um…Kick Ass 2, I think your catch phrase is broken.

Alright, I’m not really sure how this bad boy made the list…but I guess that’s what happens when I gotta scrape the bottom of the barrel. Sometimes you don’t get the good stuff, just the black and moldy leftovers that people forgot to wash out months ago. Oh well, I’m talking about it now. To those of you who didn’t see it (and judging by box office receipts I’m pretty sure that includes everybody in the world) Kick Ass gracefully slid into theaters, cutting under the sensors with it’s cunt-and-knife-weilding 12-year-old Chloe Moretz Grace and Nicholas Cage giving his best performance in a trillion years. And, so graceful it was, Kick-Ass slid right across the stage and into the orchestra pit. Nobody noticed. I had a multitude of reasons to see the first Kick Ass. First of all, it’s called Kick Ass. Second, it’s from the disturbingly dark mind of Mark Millar, the man responsible for Timur Bek-Oh-God-Please-Don’t-Make-Me-Say-His-Name-betov’s literal blood-and-shit-show Wanted. Third, it was written and directed by Mr. Claudia Schiffer and the talented half of the Snatch production crew, Matthew Vaughn.

Let’s get this straight. Kick Ass wasn’t good. It was awesome. Foul-mouthed, invincible ninja 12-year-old girl? Check. Mark Strong being an asshole? Check. And…well, really it only needed that first one and I’d be cool with it. So, years later, after Ms. Moretz Grace has been tapped to remake every movie ever (Let Me In, Carrie etc.) and the titular Aaron Johnson was in that one movie where Salma Hayek had bangs, the crew is back. But Chloe isn’t 12 anymore. And Nic Cage isn’t in it. And the allure of Moretz Grace who, since the first movie, has now eaten people, ripped people’s heads off, murdered an entire auditorium of high schoolers and almost killed herself because of her period, has worn off. Yes, she murders people. YAWN. Gimme something else. Well, there is Jim Carrey. Who doesn’t love Jim Carrey? Oh, right, me. Um…who cares. It’s going to be violent, dumb, and Hit Girl is delightful. NEXT!

Star Trek to the Ground into Darkness

Star Trek's shocking twist: Cumberbatch is really the Kool Aid guy

Star Trek’s shocking twist: Cumberbatch is really the Kool Aid guy

Ah yes…the coup de grace. Through all of this seasonal mediocrity finally a morsel worth supping upon. Alright nerds, hide your boners. Let us sit upon the ground and talk of kings. And by ‘kings’ I mean the jerkoff who made me both love and despise LOST. Mr. JJ Abrams (because he’s just too good for first names, JEFF) is a man who has both plagued and saved Hollywood over the last few years. From his breakout dud Mission: Impossible III to the confusingly mislead Super 8, his career is filled with more misfires than a blind man’s firing squad. His movies are never bad per se…they’re just not exactly, well, good. That was until Star Trek. We all groaned when we saw the Enterprise under construction in Iowa back in 2008. I think the Nerd Discussion Boards crashed faster than Evil Kineval on a bad day, loaded with death threats and rages of the pimpled variety.

And then the movie arrived in theaters.

To say that we all let out a sigh of relief would be like saying people were ‘slightly excited’ about the return of the McRib. If it weren’t a horrific Obam-ian sci-fi faux pas, I’d say that there had been a disturbance in the Force. But I ain’t no nerd baiting moron. I mean, all I would have to do is point out that Spock intends to cut open the heads of the Enterprise’s crew to steal their powers, Chekhov will have to go back in time to impregnate Sarah Conner, Sulu is going to get lost on his way to White Castle, Bones is going to save Helm’s Deep from the forces of Saruman, Uhura is going to turn blue and hiss at things, and Scottie is going to defend a pub against zombies. Oh yes, that’s all while the director opens a Jedi Academy.

So…many…crossovers…brain…melting

So, what’s the plot of this movie? Well, it seems the crew, hot off the victory over Eric Bana playing, I guess, a crazy Roman emperor with some serious skin and rage issues, are taking it easy. And then things blow up. Maybe. Who knows? All I care about is the fact that the enemy is Bendy-Dick Mutherfucking Cabbage-Patch-Kids. That’s right, the Federation is fucked because, for some reason, they pissed off Sherlock “Gun to My Head? Sure” Holmes. That’s right, JJ Abrams, the man tasked with rebooting the two greatest science fiction series of all time, has decided to insert so many juggernauts of nerd-joy into this thing that he seemingly intends to force a critical mass of squee, a chain reaction of dork-bliss, a nuclear blast of fan-person-doo-doo-batter and unravel the fabric of the universe. All we need now is for the Star Wars reboot to include David Tenant, Nathan Fillion, Sir Ian McKellan, Matt Smith, Patrick Stewart and, let’s say, Daryl from The Walking Dead and I think he will have his Nerd-pocalypse in the bag.