Posts Tagged ‘tommy lee jones’

Mr. Samuel L. Jackson doesn't much appreciate the Oscars

Mr. Samuel L. Jackson doesn’t much appreciate the Oscars

Well, the time has come. It seems as though life has caught up to me and is holding me at gunpoint in an old dam water run-off pipe. I keep yelling at it, “I need more time” and it responds in a Tommy Lee Jones Gravel Growl (TM), “I don’t care”. The only way to go is down, over the edge of the water fall and plunge deep into the reservoir below so that I can find out who killed my wife and framed me. Well, this man, Alex Huntsberger, is my waterfall to escape from the TLJ of my stupid life. You know ‘Life’, that old crotchety bastard, cobbled together from pieces of ‘career’ and ‘a girlfriend’ and ‘obligations’ and ‘eating not-trash’, prepared to stop me from doing exactly what I want and when I want. That asshole.

So, in an effort to expand the scope of this little blog, I have invited friends in to add tidbits of delight in all the areas far from my grasp. You might remember Mr. Huntsy as the man who touched his nipples while singing ‘Money, Money’ during our Abduction Whine and Cheese. Or perhaps as the fellow who defended Ryan Murphy’s insane attempt at creating something not-terrible by way of Dylan McDermott’s deflating career (American Horror Story). From now on, among other things, he will be this site’s major Oscars contributor by way of our nubile addition to this online literary repertoire. So, while the year winds to a close and all the studios start pumping out their attempts at statuette glory, Mr. Alex will scour, scrub and desalinate these puppies, stewing them down to their Oscar glory-essence. Five actresses enter the Huntsy-Dome; one best actress leaves. For she is the best. She has brutalized Meryl Streep; broken Kate Winslet and her boobs; and devoured the final sliver of Julia Robert’s non-cyborg components. So, remember, when you watch that self-aggrandizing fellatious shit storm of an awards show and you see Cate Blanchett drenched in the life blood of Sandra Bullock and Judi Dench, sporting a cold hearted grimace robbed of its final ounce of humanity, you’ll know why.

So, without further ado, let’s get on to the Huntsy-Dome…


Small Soldiers (1998) – Joe Dante (Dir.), Gregory Smith, Kirsten Dunst, Denis Leary, David Cross, Jay Mohr, Phil Hartman (*le sigh*)

‘Big Movie’ might be a sliiiight exaggeration. I don’t think ‘Decidedly Medium, Completely Forgettable Movie’ had quite the same ring to it.

I’m not sure if you’re aware, but there was this period of time called the ’90s’. Specifically, the late 90s. It’s a time, after the cocaine riddled nightmare/dreamscape of the 80s and darkest of human days that was the early 90s, from which came all the kids that told the Generation Xers to shut up because, sweet Jesus, we get it already, you grew up in the eighties. Here’s a fucking medal now get back to running our economy into the ground. Well, I grew up in the late nineties and I’m gonna tell you all about it and yes, I want a fucking medal, because I’m one of those assholes, Rugrats or not, who is stuck in this economic quagmire because you cokeheads.

Ah the late 90s. A simpler time. A time with a Federal surplus. A time when children went to school asking teachers what a ‘blowjob’ is and ‘who the fuck would touch Monica Lewinsky with a ten foot pole? Oh right, Bill ‘Corndog, well any kind of dog’ Clinton.’ A time of the great Hollywood Blockbusters such as Independence Day, Stargate, The Rock, Wild, Wild West, The Mask of Zorro, The Matrix, Con Air andwell, the list goes on. And on. And on and on and on. It was a time unfettered with the need to be bashful for our misunderstanding of Middle Eastern people, where villains were flagrantly British, no matter what their country of origin. It was a time of Sabrina the Teenage Witch, Hey Arnold, Doug (without those brand-ass-spankingly terrible sleeves) and the rest of Nickelodeon’s good shows were forced on a Bataan Death March to the cemetery of childhoods-past by a fucking talking sponge. Basically, what I’m saying, is that I was a child in the late 90s. And it was amazing. I was also a fucking idiot, as I have previously expressed.

Elijah Wood called, he wants his everything back. Also, he’s suing you for sucking and not being in Lord of the Rings.

So, when my friends and I decided to surf the Flix of Net for some lighter fare, when we discovered this little gem, this artifact of Joe Dante’s post-Gremlins career, just resting there, waiting to be oggled by our ravenously bored eyes, a cheer echoed through our house. A cheer fueled by the agonizingly annoying nostalgia we so hate from our Generation X companions. A cheer fueled with a need for David Cross to be back in our lives, even if he isn’t covered in blue paint and wearing denim cut-offs. A cheer fueled with the desire to witness the late and divinely great Phil Hartman mildly phoning it in. And so…we watched.

To those of you not in the know, Small Soldiers was Joe Dante’s belated follow-up to the manically brilliant and positively insane Gremlins 2: The New Batch. If you have not seen the entirety of the Gremlins franchise, I demand you flagellate yourself for such insolence and then buy both movies immediately. They are genius. Also…Pat Morita. ‘Nuff said. This movie is about a defense company, run by the beautifully non-acting Denis Leary, purchasing a toy developer and accidentally designing a line of action figures that gain sentience and try murdering each other and any other human that gets in the way. Home run, right? Well it certainly fucking was when I was ten. Now it’s a little, how should I put it lightly? Um…dated? Trite? Paralytically stupid? Please, don’t mistake me, this movie is neither good nor bad. It transcends such meager definitions, floating above us in the heaven of pure batshittery, resting next to works of genius such as From Dusk ‘Til Dawn, The Mummy, The Mummy Returns and anything else made by Stephen Sommers. One cannot denounce this film for its basic laps in human logic (Why are toys dangerous? You can just kick them. Also, how can you turns Barbies into self-aware killing machines  using a fucking static ball and a cupcake tray?) you simply must sit back and all its glory to wash over you.

Even with the curses of its bland lead actor (Gregory Smith? Ever heard of him? Unless you have a rather traveled heroin addiction, probably not), its use of a decidedly not-legal Kirsten Dunst and Frank Langella cursing his agent with every line-reading, this movie shines with its supporting cast. If one were to do a cross-section of the late-nineties comedy circuit, Dante basically employed EVERYONE. We have Denis Leary being, well, Denis Leary. He’s a penis and he’s hilarious. Next, David Cross during his fascinating “being in things” period of his career. There’s Cheri Oteri, that terrifying, tiny lady who was in sketches with Will Ferrell back in the day. Kevin Dunn, the man who has apparently made a career of playing incompetent fathers. Voices from Christopher Guest, Michael McKean and Harry Shearer (that’s right ALL of Spinal Tap, bitches). And finally, last and least, Jay Mohr that guy from SNL and other things no one gives a shit about and acts as a litmus test for all movie watching. All one must do is ask “Is Jay Mohr in it?” If the answer is ‘yes’, the movie must be from any time between 1995-2000. Dude hasn’t been in shit since. What is a hilarious choice on Dante’s part is that every single executive/official is played by a bumbling stand-up comedian, thereby suggesting that our entire Military Industrial Complex (that’s right, I took notes in history class) is a complete joke. See what I did there? I went to college!

“Kill all of them except for the big one. I really like him on the Simpsons.”

May I take a moment here to remove my hat, hold it over my heart and remember the greatness that was Phil Hartman. He will forever be one of my favorite comedic actors of all time before he was gunned down by his wife in a fit of rage. The man was brilliant. Troy McClure, Lionel Hutz, News Radio, SNL, and all the rest. He will be missed. Let’s take a moment to remember.

That was a good moment. You can’t tell I took one, because I’m writing. But I did. So shut up.

Back on track, this movie’s biggest issue, fourteen years down the line…wait…14 years? It’s been FOURTEEN YEARS? What the fuck am I doing with my life? How…? When…?

Sorry about that. I’ll weep in a corner later. Anyway, it’s biggest issue is that Dante is clearly attempting to make a point of how technology is infiltrating every aspect of our lives. In almost every frame there is a piece of media technology, from TVs, to walkmen, to…wait did I just say ‘Walkmen’? Oh god I remember those. At one point the kid makes reference to ENCARTA 95. Do you know what that is? No, you don’t. It’s wikipedia on a CD. Do you know how useful it is? That’s right, about as useful as a thumb up the ass. Uncomfortable and ending without the desired result. Of course, he makes his point, one that is intelligently prescient and salient, but with the side effect of causing everyone in the room to laugh at how hysterically terrible living in the 90s actually was. Dial-up internet? No text messaging? Cassette tapes? Jay Mohr? The whole prospect of those dark days is enough to give you nightmares. Jay Mohr nightmares (I’m trying to say that he is fucking terrible. Get it? Yes? Good. Moving on.)

It’s a fun piece of nonsensical fluff, wrapped in a surprisingly hilarious score (Spice Girls, anyone? I believe they were all recently bitten by zombies raised from the dead and forced to sing like dancing abominable monkeys at the Olympics). Never once do the toys ever seem like they might do any damage because, honestly, they’re fucking toys. Also, Joe Dante hates the military. That much is clear. But, beyond the flagrant misunderstanding of the capabilities of hardware vs. software (artificial intelligence is software, David Cross, not hardware,you bald-headed sexually inanimate boob. I still love you, though) it’s a little too silly to take seriously. While it attempts to satirize and attack America’s obsession with the intersection of violence and entertainment, it succumbs to its own demons, reducing the affair to a game of ‘Hold the Fort’. Even the tritely named Gorgonites have to let go of their pacifistic ideals to kick some ass.

Brick Bazooka took the advice to “Break a Leg” a little too literally. He also decided to detach his pelvis. Because he’s a fucking MAN. Well…toy.

Perhaps the best dig in the entire film at this prevailing violence-fixation epidemic is a one-off line from Mr. “Angels Sing When I Think of You” Hartman. While watching his massively high-def television, he declares “I think World War II is my favorite war.” Think about that for a second. If we take Sherman’s quote, “War is Hell” for granted…how in God’s name can we have a ‘favorite’ war? It’s such a side-line joke and yet it encapsulates Dante’s Thesis (the less exciting sequel to Inferno though the Thesis Defense was as horrifying as the lowest ring of hell, trust me) far more wittily and succinctly than a bunch of facially deformed super-toys blurting tired puns and building Might Morphin’ Shitter Ranger Mobiles to kill pacifists.

That is the power of Hartman. Long live the Hartman.

Men in Black III (2012) – Barry Sonnenfeld (Dir.), Will Smith, Tommy Lee Jones, Josh Brolin, Jemaine Clement, Michael Stuhlbarg

Hey, remember when Will Smith used to sing the theme songs to every movie he was in? Nor do I. Let us agree to never remember.

Who the fuck is Barry Sonnenfeld? And who the fuck does he think he is? Who the hell has the audacity, nay, the wrecking-ball sized testicles, goolies of gold, the brass balls to create both Men in Black and Big Trouble, quite possibly two of the most underrated weird-ass comedies of the late nineties/early naughties, as well as Wild Wild West, RV and Men in Black II, a trio of such repugnancy that even the suggestion of a giant metal spider in my presence brings about blinding rages. But seriously, who is this guy? Who gets some of the best acting talent alive in America today, you know Oscar-nominated Will ‘He Was a Rapper Once?” Smith, Oscar-winner and professional modern-day cowboy Tommy Lee Jones, as well as Josh “The Iron Chin” Brolin and Oscar-winner Emma Fucking Thompson (That actually is her middle name. Google it) and has them running around blowing up aliens, squawking like freaks, jumping off of buildings, leaping onto space shuttles and chasing Jemaine Clement through 1969 Queens on that really homosexual device called ‘It’ Mr. Garrison develops in South Park. Who is this guy? God? A professional Hollywood blackmailer who has them all by the ovaries? A demon of such deviousness that early in their careers he offered each of the aforementioned infinite talent and success in exchange for one day having goop spat up on them by CGI Chinese space fish? It’s a conundrum.

Men in Black III is the entirely unnecessary, bizarro, timey-wimey third and final (? Yeah, let’s be real. There’ll be another) installment of the only still living remnants of Will Smith’s 90’s movie career. As he has delved into the pretentious depths of Oscar-bating bullshit like Seven Pounds and the poorly advised remake of I Am Legend,  Mr. Smith has all but evaporated from the Hollywood scene. Well, now he’s back in the suit, back in the smile and filling little chilluns hearts with joy, employing that special blend of street-wise smarts and non-threatening blackness that Chris Tucker never seemed to manage. It’s charming as fuck, just like that Roguish Han-Solo smile Mr. Smith so effortlessly busts out every thirty seconds. It’s goofy. It doesn’t make a lick of sense. It’s the perfect piece of summer fluff, a puff of cotton candy that lasts in the mind as long as that saccharine pink sweetness lasts on the tongue before dissolving into a fleeting memory of childishness.

Jemaine…I think you have some H.P. Lovecraft on your face…

It has a plot, in theory. Apparently, back in 1969 Agent K, the chisel-faced (in that his face looks both like a chisel and the craggy piece of rock out of which someone attempted to carve him) put away Boris the Animal (a superbly miscast and utterly mind-blogglingly odd Jemaine Clement of Flight of the Conchords fame. All joking aside, watch that show. Jerks) Well, using a cake and a pair of boobs attached to a woman, Boris escapes from a maximum security moon-prison to exact his revenge on Mr. Jones. How does he do it? By going back in time and killing K in the past. Sure. Why not? In the process, his hetero-life mate and proof that he isn’t racist, Agent J (William Huntington Smith III) suddenly gets chocolate-milk craving headaches and is the only person in the world who remembers his time-erased pal. How? Who knows. True love. Maybe. They certainly hint at it. It’s like a new-age sci-fi Driving Miss Daisy. So…J literally jumps back in time, running into young Agent K (Mr. Josh Brolin, of course), Andy Warhol and a whole lot of racism. That was amusing. Especially when he gets pulled over for being a black man in a suit. Comedic genius.

There is so much oddity packed into this thing, it’s like a furry sex party (google it). You almost need a safe word. In between Chinese slug-aliens with a dozen arms and a dude that looks like if a Vietnam vet. raped Cthulhu, you really will spend a good deal of the film going ‘Huh?’ And this not new for the series. In fact, remember back to the first one. For a summer blockbuster, it had giant space cockroaches regurgitating Tommy Lee Jones and the living Picasso that is Vincent D’Onofrio’s face. Both of which are primally horrifying. Perhaps in the vein of The Fifth Element there’s a certain degree of bat-shit that works its way into the time-tested formula of money-making turdery. Sonnenfeld, I suppose, attempted this again in my white-whale-of-my-film-criticism-career Wild Wild West. In place of a giant cockroach wearing man-skin, we have a double amputee Shakespearean actor using a giant spider to take over America in the 1800s. Fuck that movie.

One Eyed Willy will rue the day the Goonies came to steal his treasure. Tommy Lee Jones will murder you all.

Perhaps the true codification of this peculiarity is Mr. Stuhlbarg as Griffin, a fifth dimensional being capable of seeing every single possible outcome of the universe as well as the pathways of causality leading us to each one. It’s frighteningly genius. That character in this film is like unearthing a Rembrandt in a 2nd grade art class. You see it and you must burn the place down because such beauty and intelligence could have only ended up in this montage of adolescent uselessness by way of nefarious means. Not only that, but Stuhlbarg performs the awkward, nebbish being to such perfection you just want to hug him and take him to meet your mother. He’s just so damn cute.

I saw Stuhlbarg as Hamlet onstage once. Not much to that story. I just did. After the show, I saw Philip Seymour Hoffman congratulate him while looking like a fucking hobo. That guy is a badass. A hobo, Oscar-winning badass.

Even with the inspired and completely unintentional exploration of the nature of causality (Etan Cohen, the writer, is an alumnus of Beevis and Butthead. Yeah, that’s fucking pedigree), there are notable glaring issues. Mr. Brolin, who plays an eerily perfect Lee Jones, plays a 29 year old. In real life, he is 44 fucking years old. Not sure if my math is correct, but those are not the same thing. At all. However, the impersonation is spot-on, leading me to believe that there is a market for retro-fitting Jones’ classics with Brolin. Also, vice versa. Who wouldn’t wish to see Josh Brolin tell Harrison Ford he doesn’t care if he killed his wife. Conversely, I think Mr. Jones would bring a level of gritty gravitas sorely lacking from The Goonies. Get on it, someone. The other big problem: the time travel is bullshit. Like…a herd of steers with IBS after raiding a chili cook-off levels of bullshit. There’s a part (spoilers) where Will Smith gets shot like four times and then turns time back to before he gets hit and is totally fine. Wait…so, by that logic, when he goes back in time to 1969 initially (in exactly the same fashion) he should regress to a fucking nine year old. I call shenanigans. SHENANIGANS! Nobody gets time travel right.

Um…does anyone else feel uncomfortable about this?

Don’t get me wrong. I really enjoyed this movie, perhaps way than I had any right to. It was a blast. However, back to intelligence and whatnot, if there is one, the final thought would be this: there is no thought. None. Yes, they attempt to inject this bizarro-fest with some human emotion near the end and they fail miserably. It just doesn’t make sense. Like a dog walking on its back legs, it’s cute…but attempting to be something its not. Eventually it will have to fall on all fours and start licking its balls again. This movie famously began shooting without a script. What the hell were they doing? Just filming Mr. Smith wandering around NYC cracking wise while Tommy Lee imitated a gravel garden? How can you expect to find a deeper layer of the human condition if you’re going to leap to the sex without beginning with a kiss? Come now. But it is fun. It’s candy. Pure, uncut Costa Rican white gold. Glucose of such divine emptiness that it’s sweet on the lips and you never need to worry about it ever again. It’s a perfectly enjoyable blockbuster. A relic of the summer that won’t make it into anyone’s scrapbooks. No one will look back on 2012 and think “holy shit! That was the time I saw MIB III! Good times.” They’ll just remember having fun, a couple of laughs and enjoying themselves.

And that’s the point right? I hope so. Otherwise we’re all wasting our fucking time.

by Andrew Mooney

Well, we have the movies I’m actively excited about. This list, well, this list is not that. This is the stuff in the middle. The pudgy flab, that isn’t quite ab, isn’t quite a gut. It’s just there. Neither negative nor positive. The purgatory of summer film, if you will. These are the movies that, when you witness the trailer, everything about the flashing lights and moving shapes pummels your body with messages of “YOU WILL BE ENTERTAINED” and yet, you come away with a resounding ‘Meh’. And that ‘meh’ has power. It can come from a place of frustration, the collective sigh of a civilization yearning for more and yet settling for less. These are those movies that, yes, they’re not perfect but they have their pros and their cons. Yes, we can wait until the perfect film will come along and fulfill all of our desperate needs, or we can find Mr. Right Now: The Movie. We can settle for a fling. It doesn’t bring any closure. It doesn’t even bring decent climax. It just passes the time.

For this section, I have rated each film on the internationally standardized ‘Meh’ scale. It ranges from ‘Meh’: nothing too offensive, finely constructed, yet it didn’t build any expectation that it would be anything other than what it would be, to ‘MEEEEEEEEEH, ugh, Meh!’: You know the people here are talented, they have ideas (or had) and yet this thing is a bunch of forgettable by-the-numbers crap. Don’t you remember when you were hot? Young? Ready to take on the world. Now you’re just a haggard mess of an artist, scraping what’s left at the bottom of the molded barrel, searching for that lost youth. And yet, every year it slips ever-more steadily from your grasp until you are nothing more than a husk. Taking up space. Useless. Wasted.

So, here they are:


Men in Black 3

Oh Will…you fill me with such…respect. Guys, I said respect. That’s what I meant. No, I’m not blushing!

Alright, let’s get real for a second. I enjoy Men in Black. Let’s get even realer. I even, wait for it, didn’t mind Men in Black 2. There is something so effortless about Will Smith. About his finely trimmed mustache. About his smile that’s just the right amount of trickster, mixed with the perfect dash Han-Soloian sexiness, sprinkled with just the right of ‘black-person-white-people-aren’t-afraid-of’. I will watch him in pretty much anything. Even Wild Wild West. That’s like a Vegan saying that there’s a sauce so good, they’d eat horse-penis with it. This movie has a few things going for it: Will Smith, Tommy Lee Jones, Josh Brolin as a freakishly accurate Tommy Lee Jones and…well, that’s about it. What’s against it? They started shooting without a script. That’s beginning to cook without a recipe…or ingredients…or pots and pans. You’re just some jackass switching a stove on and off.

I’ll see it. I’ll shrug. I’ll say ‘Meh’. Maybe I’ll laugh…I probably won’t cry. It will be effortlessly forgettable…as effortless as Will’s roguish charm. Okay…this is weird. Now I’m blushing. Moving on…

The Dictator

I imagine Baron Cohen has one of these above his bed where he sleeps with Isla Fisher every night. Bastard.

So. Sacha Baron Cohen made a movie. It was called Da Ali G Movie. It was a movie. About Ali G. It had characters. A plot. It had actors in it, many of them good. My 13-year-old self loved it. It loved the gay jokes. It loved the boob jokes. It loved the hilarious misunderstanding of youth/rap culture relegated to London suburbs. As I have previously discussed, my thirteen-year-old self was an ironically sexually frustrated/fucking idiot. That movie is nine levels of awful, each level being a hell of Danterian horror, wrought with the souls of those too far-gone to salvage. We had Albus Dumbledore as the Prime Minister, toiling in a mess of gay/black jokes, stumbling around after drinking marijuana-laced-tea. We had Shakespearean thespian Charles Dance dressed in drag and tied up with leather straps. We had Rhona Mitra…well, we had Rhona Mitra’s breasts. She might have been present, though my thirteen-year-old memory is clouded with a mammary-clogged haze. It was bad.

And then Borat arrived in theaters. Now an immigrant myself, I appreciated the crass dissection of American xenophobia and bigotry. It’s characters were one-dimensional, its humor, like an Israeli brothel, specifically semitic/genital-based. What helped it surpass its basal subject was its use of actual Americans spouting some of the most hateful things I’d ever heard…until the next presidential election. Somehow, Cohen’s schtick managed to unearth the harsh underbelly of American racism, especially at a time where fears of middle eastern terrorists were at a peak. And it had a naked jew-fight in the middle of a conservative convention. I laughed. I cried. I tried to wash the sight of hairy taint from my mind by inserting bleach into my ear. I needed surgery. But it was worth it.

This has parodies of terrible people, Kim Jong Il, Gaddafi, Hussein…you know, dead guys. It’ll explore the hilarious excesses of people drowning in the belief that their very testicles are the second and third coming of Christ. Or whoever. Someone apocalyptic. It also makes light of the US murdering foreign enemies with precision robot strikes (yeah, I didn’t think I’d ever be able to unironically write that sentence during my lifetime…Sky Net is coming). And that’s fine. But it has a plot. And characters. This doesn’t seem to be Baron’s forte. Like a dog with a bone, Cohen plays with his narrative structure, knowing that he needs it, and it’s important, so much so that he has to keep it safe. But fuck if he knows what to do with it. This gets a “meeh”. A light shake of the head and face produced usually by the presence of passed gas.

Snow White and the Huntsman

“Yes, I have special powers. I bite my lip. And I pout. Well, it worked on the American public, so go to hell.”

A few summers before this, while I was still burgeoning with optimism for my life once released from the shackles of my undergraduate degree, I stepped into a movie theater and witnessed a little movie named Star Trek. I’m sure you’ll hear me rant about that film another time. The point is this: the opening to that film is one of the most unfairly affecting pieces of short sci-fi you’ll see gracing the multiplexes any time soon. Captain Kirk’s father, Cameron (this isn’t true, but how hilarious would it be to see Kirk Cameron yell about Jesus in space? Copyright, bitches), sacrifices himself to save his wife and son then becomes the aptly named ‘Captain’. I wasn’t really paying attention to the details because, seriously, this is Star Trek. Give me Han Solo and humanity’s inexplicable ability to understand every language over Spock any day. Anyhoo, sidetracked. The guy playing the Kirk’s dad was a pretty lad named Chris Hemsworth. He was also in Cabin in the Woods  and he was fucking great.

He was also in Thor, where that fascinating nuance of a beef-head with actual emotions was sorta, well, ignored. In between his hammer hitting’ stuff, and kissin’ all up in Nat-Port’s facial region, he was about as complex as George Lucas’ artistic intentions. So, let’s move onto the film at hand. Hemsworth is back: good. He plays a beef-cake: bad. Already in the trailer we had more shots of him swinging his penis axe and flicking his totally-super-manly locks of gold this way and that. We also have K-Stew who has made an entire career out of lip-biting and acting like a sack of lady-meat.

But there’s also Charlize Theron eating people’s hearts. And that creepy-Matrix-mirror thing. Remind me of my Grimm’s, but I’m pretty sure cave trolls, harpies and The Prodigy’s terrible come-back album weren’t a part of the original text. We all know Bella Snow White isn’t going to die, but what a sweet way to end the saga of Twilight if Charlize Theron ate her fucking heart. I would pay to watch that. Alas, I shall be frustrated, as I am with each film in the glitter-sporting-not-sunlight-fearing whimpy vampire pout-fest when, just before the credits roll, I pray for Wesley Snipes to show up in his Ray Bans and fuck some Cullen shit up. And yet, he doesn’t.

It’ll be pretty (hopefully). It won’t contain Julia Roberts desperately trying to murder her own career with each blinding second of Tarsem Singh’s visual insanity. I’ll watch it. I might heave up a little popcorn. I won’t see K-Stew get viciously disemboweled. Maybe another year when she delves into that inevitable crevasse of her career where she’ll play a murdered stripper trying to figured out who’s semen that was. I might see that.

The Bourne Legacy and The Amazing Spiderman

Dude, Jeremy, I think you need some new blinds. You fucked these ones up.

Alright, alright, neither of these movies look bad, per se. No, both offered the world trailers that actually seemed mildly palatable. Spiderman is taking the darker edge with the tale of Peter Parker’s forays with a radioactive spider (in real life: dead of cancer in months). We get a little of his parent’s history. It’s got Emma Stone (always good even if the film is created in total ignorance of the entire Civil Rights Movement). It’s got Andrew “That’s Right, I ACTUALLY Founded Facebook” Garfield. Also good. It’s even got the wonderfully bizarre, Notting-Hill-dwelling, tight-whitey sporting Rhys Ifans as the lizard. Sure. All of that seems fine. Even The Bourne Legacy has Jeremy “Fuck you, I was in the Hurt Locker” Renner, Joan “Not Rivers” Allen, Rachel “Most Beautiful Woman on the Planet and Sleeping with James Bond, That’s Right” Weisz and Edward “Eh” Norton. It’s even written and directed by Tony Gilroy, the crafter of that George-Clooney-Being-George-Clooney-Being-Someone-Else lawyer-fest Michael Clayton. The pedigree is all there. So, what’s my problem?

Do you remember when original movies used to arrive in theaters? Do you remember the times that the numeral ‘4’ after a title usually meant it was in the malaise-period of the Nightmare on Elm Street series? Do you remember The Fifth Element? That movie was fucking crazy and original. In fact, out of the seventeen movies this year that I’m mentioning, only six are original IPs. What happened? Did Hollywood suddenly go self-human-centipede and begin guzzling its own refuse? We have movies coming out this year based on Battleship. Read that sentence again. And again. Read it until your eyes bleed. One more time.

What makes the abdomen part of the shadow? Garfield is hung like a horse. That’s what.

I have picked these two films to berate, not because they are the worst of the bunch (just wait for Dark Shadows) nor are they particularly egregious. They are boring wastes of time. Spiderman: we already had an entire series of those fucking things about four years ago culminating with the campy-ass-lobotomy-I-will-never-get-back-my-childhood-watching-the-old-cartoon-orgy that was Spiderman 3. And now they’re rebooting it? For what greater purpose? Of course, more money. Of course. But it’s boring. It’s so, so, so boring. Piranha 3DD may be a pile of elephant anus, the likes of which the world has never seen…but it certainly won’t be boring, ladies and gents. Of that, I am sure. Marvel, do something new and good. You’ve done the Avengers. Figure it out.

But you, Mr. Gilroy, you disappoint me. You can write real movies. We’ve seen it. Why settle for a forth-quel? Are you looking to place your work on the same mantle as Star Wars: Episode I: The Phantom Menace: How Many Colons Does Lucas Need? What about Saw 4? Or Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides? Or Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Meyers, the movie that killed professional granddad of the year Donald Pleasance? Give us something new, you talented bastard. Give us some meat. We’re hungry and we don’t go for fecal matter like the bottom-feeders running some of these studios.

Both movies will be fine. They might be enjoyable. But they are both a waste of time and energy. So, Meh, with a tongue stuck out, at both of you.

Dark Shadows and Savages

Miss Hayek, blunt bangs are not your friend. Please deal with them immediately.

Hey guys! Yeah, you guys! You directors. Right, the ones with oscars sitting at home and cult classics on the shelf that will be enjoyed for decades after this. Hey, you remember when you were good? And then do you remember when your careers became less good you went one of two paths, down the route of absolute bat-shit-insanity and the route of by-the-numbers uninspired garbage? And then do you remember waking up in the morning realizing that every one of your good years is gone and you only pump these things out year after year because, honestly, its better than staying home and masturbating? Well I do.

Let’s start with you, Mr. Stone. Congratulations, this is a new movie. Not-congratulations on casting Blake Lively. She’s pretty yes, but about as compelling as See Spot Run once you know the ending (Spoiler: he runs). It’s got Salma Hayek (one of my deepest loves) forced out of her natural comedic brilliance and employed to spice up a role that, if it were cast with the dude it was written for, would be completely unforgettable. It’s got John Travolta. I don’t even need to ridicule that one. It ridicules itself. Oliver…you made Platoon, arguably the best way to witness Willem Dafoe die like Jesus (and that includes The Last Temptation of Christ). You made a movie where Charlie Sheen isn’t terrible. You have bent the rules of the universe and created work that isn’t just good, it’s fucking brilliant. What do we have now? W? Wall Street 2? Oliver, I understand that your ‘schtick’ is being an unrestrained maniac…so do something maniacal again. Yes, Natural Born Killers was, to be kind, a hot mess that could eclipse Lindsay Lohan after a long weekend in Vegas. But at least it was ridiculous. Maybe this will be that and the trailers are just terrible. Maybe. I’m hoping, not just for your sake, but for Juliet Lewis’ career. She needs the help, man. Look at her…she’s a scientologist.

Tim Burton: “I want the Addams Family, but less dynamic and more 70s”. Art Director: “So…more color?” Nailed it.

Now onto you, Mr. Burton. Once you were great. You created Edward Scissorhands, the most inspiring biopic of a bondage/hair artist the world has ever seen. You made Beetlejuice, thereby making all children terrified for modern art for the rest of their lives (and bringing the world Winona Ryder, Saks Fifth Ave. aside). When I hopefully have kids, I will force them to watch Nightmare Before Christmas so many goddamn times they’ll be afraid of even asking for Christmas presents, including the pony that, I’m sorry, we just don’t have the space or the income for a stable, I don’t care how much you plea and hug my leg and cry or tell me how you’ll do all the work or that I’m the best dad in the world… Well, alright. But don’t tell your mother. Our secret. Our secret pony.

Sorry. Distracted again. What now, Mr. Burton? Michael Jackson Charlie and the Chocolate Factory? Alice in Lord of the Rings Wonderland? Planet of the Apes starring Mark Wahlberg? Okay, seriously, who thought that was a good idea? I want to know. I’m not leaving until I find out. Because I want to slap some sense back into their stupid…

Anyhoo… Now we are reduced to seeing that golden god of a man, Johnny Depp, follow you once more into the heart of darkness. This isn’t just a remake. Or just a remake of a TV show. It’s a remake of a soap opera. Sure, I could see that maybe working out…if you didn’t rely on base, poorly-timed slap-stick. It won’t be bad. It will be totally useless. It won’t piss anyone off. Nor will anyone remember it. It will be blip in the universe, two hours of completely pointless time, spent switching off one’s brain and allowing the world to trickle by. Hundreds of people worked on this thing, artists, people with ambition. And what is the result? Nothingness. Pure nothingness.

When you look back in time, inevitably forgetting each of these films, you think on the days you were young, the days you were in the best of health, the days you could get into raucous hijinks with college friends… And you’ll think…with all those gifts the world gave me, what did I do?

And you won’t be able to remember. You turn back to your kids/grandkids and you simply answer, “I don’t know. Can’t have been that important.”