Thursday, April 29, 2010

Vintage Troublemaker: Summer Movies 2009

I meant to post this on Monday, but it didn't happen. So I was going to post it Tuesday. Clearly, that didn't work out, either. 

The whole point of this post is to take a look at my stupid opinions of last year's Big Summer Movies to see if you should really give a shit about what I think of this year's. See what you think... NEXT!

Summer Movie Buzz!

By Phantom Troublemaker

I am absolutely desperate for something to make the time go by today, so I am going to write about summer movie releases and what I think of them. I am curious to see how many of these I can form any kind of interesting opinion about and I hope you are, too. If not, you should probably stop reading right about now.

I used Entertainment Weekly as my guide as far as what is coming out. Everything else is from my own head.

Also, I feel like I use an awful lot of commas. What do you think? Yes. Yes I do.


-X-Men Origins: Wolverine – Saw it. Turd. I am still excited about the sequels, though. If they get different writers and directors for Deadpool and Wolverine 2 things could be okay. I still like Jackman as Wolvie, even if he was all emo in this one. Man, those claws must be really handy when he wants to cut himself… Toys – Pretty nice looking toys. I’m curious to see the adamantium injection playset they’re putting out. The special-ops Logan (From the comics, not the movie since we barely even saw any of that in the movie and he didn’t wear any kind of gear anyway because the movie was stupid.) looks really good with my GI Joes. Verdict - AVOID We all know I was right about this one.

-Star Trek – Saw it. In-fucking-credible. I wish this hadn’t come out at the beginning of the summer because now everything else is going to seem less satisfying. Toys – The 3 ¾” figures look better than I thought they would, but I’m not buying all of those figures just to complete a bridge. The 6” ones look really nice, but I’m just not into spending ten bucks a pop for them. Same with the 1/6th scale – I don’t want to spend thirty bucks apiece, which is weird given that I could buy two or more with what I spend on a single Sideshow figure. I probably will buy the 12-inch Spock to get Leonard Nimoy to sign at Dragon*Con. I still can’t believe he’s going to be there. Verdict – SEE IT NOW! Ditto here.

-Terminator: Salvation – I am a lot more excited for this now than I used to be. Now that I have seen more of the plot revealed, I think there is a good chance we’re going to get a much more cerebral sci-fi flick than I first suspected. I also don’t give a shit about the whole Christian Bale blow-up. That guy shouldn’t have been wandering around during that scene. Toys – Look kind of crappy except for the robots. I need to get one of those Hunter-Killers. I think maybe they didn’t get the rights to Mr. Bale’s likeness, because all of the John Conner figures have some kind of face covering. I don’t understand why they did 10” figures though. What are those supposed to go with? The old insta-clearance Marvel figures Toy Biz did for KayBee? Weird scale… Verdict - THEATER You know, I still haven't even seen this.

-Drag Me to Hell – Oh, boy. Mr. Raimi returns to the genre that brought him to the big time after a sixteen year hiatus. The internet trailer for this thing will make you poop your pants. I will be in the theater ASAP for this one. Verdict - THEATER This was fantastic. And I did see it in the theater. Sort of.

-UP – It’s Pixar and I really don’t know what the story is, but that doesn’t matter. It will be awesome. I’m thinking that dog is going to be the show-stealer. Verdict – BLU-RAY (So I can watch it with the family.) I was right - UP ruled and we watched it on Blu.

-Angels & Demons – I tried reading this and The Da Vinci Code and just couldn’t get into Dan Brown’s writing style. As a result, I haven’t even tried watching the movie adaptation of The Da Vinci Code; so I really have no intention of seeing this, either. The story sounds very interesting and I like Tom Hanks well enough but I just can’t work up any enthusiasm for the adventures of Robert Langdon. Verdict - PASS Passed.

-Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian – I think they should have just called this Night at the Smithsonian, but whatever. Mrs. Troublemaker and I ended up really liking the first one and this one looks like more of the same. I have no problem with “more of the same”. Critics often use that term disparagingly, but all too often when things change they lose all that was good about them. For example, AC/DC has been awesome for many decades now without changing one little bit; while Metallica spent many unpleasant years sucking while they were trying to be a Southern rock band or something. I think more often than not “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” is a good rule to live by. Also, Hank Azaria totally rules. Verdict - RENT We haven't watched this either. I still want to see it.

-Ghosts of Girlfriends Past – Matthew McConaughey and Jennifer Garner look absolutely delightful in this sassy rom-com… Are you fucking kidding me? I don’t give a shit. Verdict - PASS Passed.

-The Limits of Control – I really like Jim Jarmusch. I doubt I’ll see this in the theater, but I’ll probably buy it when it hits Blu-Ray. The man has earned that kind of respect from me. Then again, I still regret not seeing Ghost Dog on the big screen, so maybe I should get out for this one. Verdict – BLU-RAY with a chance of THEATER I completely forgot about this one. I just added it to my queue.

-Dance Flick – I absolutely loathe Scary Movie and all of its descendants. From Scary Movie 2 to Meet the Spartans - whether they are from the same “creative” team or not - they are all excrement. You would have to pay me to endure this garbage. Verdict – FUCK NO Clearly, I was right.

-Management – I haven’t seen a trailer yet, but I am interested in this one. I’ve always liked Steve Zahn, and who doesn’t like Jennifer Aniston? Verdict - RENT Did this even come out?
-Easy Virtue – The only thing I know about this is that Jessica Biel is hot. She has topped my “Hot Chicks That Aren’t My Wife” list for something like five years now. Having said that, I doubt I’ll see this movie. Verdict - PASS Passed.

-Next Day Air – AKA – Friday Before Next But After Last So I Guess It’s This Friday – Okay, maybe that isn’t fair. This actually looks pretty good, but it definitely has a “If You Liked Friday, You’ll Love ____________” vibe. I’m curious to see if Donald Faison can hang with Mike Epps and Mos Def, both of whom have already proven their big-screen mettle. Verdict - RENT I'll watch it if I see it on cable.

-Battle for Terra – This looks like some kind of left-wing, hippie, indoctrinate-their-young bullshit that I will have no part of whatsoever. The story seems to be all about how bad and selfish humans are. I might be wrong but I doubt it. They should just go ahead and adapt The Rainbow Fish, already. I’m sure you could get Sean Penn for the voice-over. Verdict - PASS NO!

-Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen – I can’t really explain it, but Shia LaBeouf and Megan Fox seem a lot less shiny than they did when the last movie came out. Nothing specific has happened to change my opinion of either of them. LaBeouf was one of the few good things about the flaming chunk of shit that was the last Indiana Jones movie. We’ve all seen the pictures of Ms. Fox’s boobies from the Diablo Cody movie, but they weren’t demeaning or trashy or anything (The pictures, not the boobies. Although now that I think about it, yeah; the boobies, too.) I guess it’s just that neither of them is as fresh and new now, and that fresh newness was one of the most exciting things about the first Transformers movie. Not only did we get awesome giant robots, but we got solid performances by two young new faces. It was a nice surprise. Regardless of all that, though, I’m still super-stoked about this movie. I’ll be there opening day. I get the biggest nerd chills when Prime utters that line about destiny in the trailer. Verdict - THEATER Aside from the Ghettobots, this turned out pretty great. Because of those Urban-oriented characters I have yet to watch it again, though. And Megan Fox wouldn't even make my Top Ten list now.

-Land of the Lost – I think I first heard about this around three years ago and I have been excited about it ever since. Everything I’ve seen indicates that the creators have nailed the tone; from the Sleestaks to the slightly goofy looking Tyrannosaurus Rex (I will always hate Jurassic Park for introducing the abbreviation “T-Rex” into the lexicon. I don’t know why that term bothers me so much, but it does.) to the missing link guy whose name I can’t remember; it all looks just right. Wil Ferrell is enough reason to see just about anything and I was pleasantly surprised to see the chick from Pushing Daisies is in it. The only problem is Danny McBride. I think the guy is pretty hilarious, but Mrs. Troublemaker can’t stand him so she won’t go see it. Verdict – THEATER without Mrs. Troublemaker This movie was such fucking shit that I didn't even bother to write a review about it and that has never happened before.

-The Taking of Pelham 123 – I haven’t seen the original, but the cast is strong. Travolta, Denzel and Gandolfini should make for a pretty entertaining flick. Let’s just hope Xenu doesn’t get his claws into those last two. Verdict - CABLE I guess I lied because this is on cable now and I still haven't watched it.

-My Sister’s Keeper – No. Verdict - PASS I don't even remember what this was.

-The Proposal – Ryan Reynolds is in this, so I don’t want to just discount it as another awful Sandra Bullock movie. I’m sure as Hell not going to see it in the theater, but we might give it a rent when it comes out on DVD. Verdict – CABLE with a possible RENT I did, indeed, watch this on cable recently. The only nice thing I can say is that Sandra Bullock has a lovely body.

-The Hangover – Zach Galifianakis in a major role makes this a must-see. It doesn’t hurt that Ed Helms is also in it and Todd Phillips – Old School – directed. It’s entirely possible that the Green Lantern is in it as well. I hope it is more than the Very Bad Things knock-off it appears to be. Verdict - RENT I did buy this on Blu when it came out and I'm not sorry I did. I think it's fairly overrated, but it is a really good comedy.

-Away We Go – No. Verdict - PASS Huh? What is this?

-Whatever Works – The new Woody Allen movie. Normally that would make it an instant “no”, but this one stars Larry David, one of my personal heroes. Verdict - RENT It's on cable and I keep meaning to watch it, but end up just putting in a Curb Your Enthusiasm DVD.

-Year One – I can’t explain my total lack of excitement about this movie. There is nothing about it that isn’t right up my alley, but for some reason I’m just not that worked up about it. I think maybe the trailer comes off as a little uninspired, probably due to idiot Hollywood producers. Verdict - RENT I couldn't even make it through twenty minutes of this one.

-The Hurt Locker – This is some war movie starring people I have never heard of and directed by the person who directed Point Break. I have no opinion on this. Verdict - PASS Still haven't seen it.

-Imagine That – Eddie Murphy’s latest attempt at comedy. Verdict - PASS And... Passed.

-Food, Inc. – Another dietary documentary that will probably put you off your lunch for a week or so, just like Super Size Me. I’m not going to do this to myself this time. Verdict - PASS Passed.

-Cheri – No. Verdict - PASS I don't know what this is.

-Moon – I really want to see a trailer for this sci-fichological (I just made that up!) movie starring Sam Rockwell and Kevin Spacey. With those two in it I don’t see how it could be bad. Verdict - RENT It's in our queue, but Mrs. Troublemaker just noticed it's OnDemand now. We really need to watch it.

-Dead Snow – Nazi zombie horror comedy. How could you say no? Verdict - RENT It was awesome.


-Public Enemies – John Dillinger. Johnny Depp. Christian Bale. Billy Crudup fully clothed. All of these things together would be very exciting but for one thing: Michael Mann. I know this goes against conventional wisdom, but I am not a fan. From what I’ve seen, Mann is very good at taking exciting ideas and turning them into dull movies. I’ll probably still watch this at some point, though. Verdict - CABLE I still want to watch it, but not enough that I could tell you if it's on cable yet.

-Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince – I finally read all the books in between Halloween and Thanksgiving last year. I still can’t believe how good they are, particularly the first one. I even read Beedle the Bard. I have not seen the movies yet. The problem is that I want to watch them in hi-definition, but nobody rents them and I don’t want to buy them because I assume there will be some kind of massive, special edition box set of all eight movies once they are all released. I should probably just go ahead and buy them so I can get caught up before this one comes out. Verdict - THEATER I got caught up on all the movies - in Hi-Def, no less - thanks to an amazing Amazon sale. I bought this soon after and thought it was pretty great. Prisoner of Azkaban is still the best, though.

- (500) Days of Summer – Why does every romantic comedy Hollywood puts out these days claim to be re-inventing the romantic comedy? If it’s such a shitty genre, stop making the movies. Side note - This stars Cobra Commander. Verdict - PASS Okay, I kind of want to see this someday.

-Bruno – This is a must-see. It looks even better than Borat, and that just seems inconceivable. Verdict - RENT I firmly believe this was the best comedy that came out last year.

-The Ugly Truth - Why does every romantic comedy Hollywood puts out these days claim to be re-inventing the romantic comedy? If it’s such a shitty genre, stop making the movies. Side note - This stars Leonidas. Verdict - PASS Whatever.

.-G-Force – “So this fucking idiot on MySpace said he was more excited about that stupid guinea pig movie than he was about Public Enemies?” Yes, he did. Verdict - RENT No, we haven't seen it yet; but I'm still more excited about this one than Public Enemies.

-Funny People – There is just no way this isn’t going to be great. I will watch anything by Judd Apatow. Verdict - RENT Still haven't seen it. We just aren't often in the mood for dramadies.

-I Love You, Beth Cooper – Teen comedy. I dunno. Verdict - CABLE Passed.

-They Came From Upstairs – Kid-oriented alien invasion. Andy Richter is in it, so it can’t be all bad. Verdict - CABLE Passed.

-Humpday – This title actually is referring to what you think it is. But with dudes. The funny thing is, I can’t tell from the description if it is a comedy or not. If it is, it’s going to be hilarious. If it isn’t, it’s going to be icky. Verdict - PASS Passed.

-Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs – Lil’ Troublemaker isn’t quite old enough to want to see garbage like this. Mercifully, we probably have about two more years of avoiding this kind of crap. Verdict - PASS Passed.

-Orphan – Another Omen rip-off? Really? Verdict - PASS I kind of want to see this now. I heard it is actually pretty fucked up and kind of good.

-Soul Power – This sounds fucking awesome. It’s a concert film of the Zaire-hosted event that happened before the Rumble in the Jungle. James Brown, BB King and Bill Withers are among the artists that played with a bunch of Southern African musicians for this three day concert. Verdict – DVD I bought it but haven't watched it yet. I am so white.


-Julie & Julia – What? No. Verdict - PASS Passed.

-Taking Woodstock – Demetri Martin is very funny, but hippies suck. No. Verdict - PASS Passed, and hippies still suck.

-The Time Traveler’s Wife – Gus Van Sant dropped out when he found out it wasn’t about two dudes. That has no bearing on my complete lack of interest in this movie. Plus, I made it up. I think. Verdict - PASS Passed.

-District 9 – This looks fucking awesome. Kind of an update on Alien Nation. I just hope it doesn’t get to preachy. You need to go and check out the website immediately. Verdict - THEATER I was obviously right. Fucking awesome. Complete owner.

-Paper Heart – This will probably be a cute, clever little movie; but I’ll never know. Verdict - PASS Passed. Who isn't all Cera'd out at this point? I'm not watching anything else with him in it until Scott Pilgrim because I really want to love that movie, if only for the band name "Sex Bob-omb".

-The Boat That Rocked – The name is stupid, but this movie about British pirate radio might be pretty cool. The cast looks impressive, anyway. Shouldn’t this be a Cameron Crowe movie? Verdict - RENT Passed.

-GI Joe: The Rise of Cobra – I believe I am more excited about this than I have ever been about a movie. That is not a good thing. I am almost ensuring disappointment, though I do have a tremendous amount of faith in Stephen Sommers. Christopher Eccleston is freakin’ Destro! Verdict - THEATER I loved almost every minute of this. If you didn't, you don't understand GI Joe. No, shut up; don't bother arguing. You are wrong.

-Bandslam – I don’t know what this is. And I’m pretty sure I don’t care. Verdict - PASS Still don't know. Still don't care.

-Spread – Ashton Koosher = NO. Verdict - PASS I don't recall this, either; but it's Kutcher so it doesn't matter.

-Inglorious Basterds – Oh, Hell 100% Nazi-scalping motherfucking YES! Give that man his scalps! Verdict - THEATER 5 out of 5. Fucking excellent. I had to watch it twice the first night I saw it I loved it so much.

-The Goods: Live Hard, Sell Hard – Dave Chapelle’s writing partner Neal Brennan is directing Jeremy Piven in this one. I’m in. Verdict - RENT Apparently I lied. I am still not in. Maybe cable.

-Post Grad - Why does every romantic comedy Hollywood puts out these days claim to be re-inventing the romantic comedy? If it’s such a shitty genre, stop making the movies. Side note - This stars Batman. Verdict - PASS Ha ha. Whatever.

-World’s Greatest Dad – Robin Williams in a dark comedy directed by Bobcat Goldthwait. Interesting. Verdict - RENT Did this come out or did it turn into that shitty movie with Seth Green singing in the ad?

-Ponyo – The newest Miyazaki film. I really don’t like anime, but I saw Spirited Away and it was pretty good. I probably won’t ever see this. I think it’s about a fish with Matt Damon’s voice. Verdict - CABLE Huh. I don't know why I thought I gave a shit about this fish.

-Shorts – Robert Rodriguez directs another movie written by his kids. I’d much rather see Barbarella or Red Sonja. Or Planet Terror 2. Or Machete. Verdict - RENT Passed.

That’s about as much useless information as I can produce today. I hope you got something out of it.

Well, it looks like I was mostly right. I guess I know what I like.

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