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Movie Reviews – Early Summer 2012
-By Caleb Jones
The Avengers - Awesome. I don't have a single complaint. Marvel Comics made the very smart (and very risky) move of setting up their own movie studio several years back so they could make movies with 100% control over their own intellectual property. With the Hulk, Iron Man, Captain America, and Thor movies, they've been leading up to The Avengers for several years now. People don't realize how stupid and disastrous this movie could have been. Instead, it was fantastic. Action, special effects, plot, characters, acting, script, all well done. By the way, Scarlett Johansson is still really hot. I was distracted from the movie whenever her black leather ass was in the camera frame.
Battleship - Wow, did this movie suck ass. Hey, my fault. I should have known. Movies are now blatantly ripping off the Transformers movies (which have made billions of dollars), and this one clones it down to the music, comedy, and stupid Michael Bayish slow-mo shots. Even my man-crush Liam Neeson couldn't help this pile of shit. Man this movie sucked. Not to mention the fact that any alien invasion movie is going to be stupid, because if that shit happened in real life, there would be no "fight". The aliens would arrive, we would all lose, the end. In this movie they actually defeat the alien ultra-technology with an old battleship from the 1940's. Yeah. (By the way, if you want to see a somewhat "realistic" alien invasion movie, go watch Skyline. It still sucks, but at least it's realistic. The aliens arrive, and win. That's cool.) One good thing I'll say about this movie...there's a iron-clad law in Hollywood that female leads must have small boobs...maybe low-average sized boobs if they really, really push it. Only women in bit parts are allowed to have big boobs. Battleship, amazingly, bucked this system. The female lead in this movie (Brooklyn Decker) is not only hot, but actually had big boobs. I couldn't believe it. A nice change. (Though I would not expect this to change Hollywood's pattern.)
Men In Black 3 - Men In Black is a great example of a concept that works really well once. The very first Men In Black movie was very creative and very fun. The second movie sucked. This third movie sucked. Will Smith, Josh Brolin, and Tommy Lee Jones are all great actors and fun to watch, and they'll make you laugh. But that's about it. The rest of the movie was lame and forgettable. It's also interesting how Hollywood doesn't even try to make time travel stories make sense any more. Dumb.
Dark Shadows - I skipped it. Just looked too emo for me. Maybe I'll catch it when it comes out on Netflix. Though I doubt it.
Snow White and the Huntsman - I reluctantly took my daughter to see this because she has a crush on Chris Hemsworth, expecting to be very pissed off. Last year I talked about that other Snow White movie, the anti-man version. Thankfully, surprisingly, this movie didn't pull any of the typical politically-correct, post-feminist stuff. In this movie, Snow White doesn't rescue men in distress or flip a sword around like Conan and beat the crap out of men double her size. Amazingly, the dwarfs are all white, British actors, which is what the dwarfs are supposed to be; the movie doesn't go out of it's way to cast black and Asian and Mexican dwarfs like that other one. True, at the very end there is a little bit where Snow White is wearing plate mail which is stupid, but that's the worst it gets. I actually liked the first third of this movie, mostly because Charlize Theron makes a very cool evil queen (I'd love to watch a movie just about that character...but that would require more creativity than Hollywood is allowed). After about the first 30 minutes, the movie bogs down and is somewhat boring. One interesting note...they were able to pull in some very good CGI-shrunk actors for the roles of the dwarfs; guys like Ian McShane, Bob Hoskins, and Ray Winstone. I was surprised.
Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter - Did you know that Abraham Lincoln was actually an axe-wieldlng karate expert with superhuman strength? And that armies of vampires fought on the side of the South during the Civil War? Yeah. That happened. Oh, and Abraham Lincoln's best friend was black. Hollywood had to shoehorn that one in too. If it sounds ridiculous, it's because it is. The movie starts out pretty good, but the further it goes in the more stupid and ridiculous it gets. Halfway in I was laughing. There's a fight scene where Lincoln is fighting a vampire in the middle of a stampede of horses, and the guys are walking on galloping horses' heads, throwing horses at each other, etc. I'm not kidding. As usual with anything about Lincoln, it follows the standard historical fairy tale embraced by modern media that Lincoln was a black-loving, freedom-loving, peace-loving, anti-slavery activist. Um, no. In actual fact Lincoln was a tyrant and an avowed racist who waited two full years into the Civil War to do anything about slavery, and even then he only freed the slaves to keep Europe from supporting the Confederacy, which they were about to do. The Civil War was not about slavery...if it was, why was slavery still legal in the North after the civil war was over? But as usual, milquetoast modern-day people don't want to hear any of that, so Hollywood feeds us more historical fantasy a la Titanic. (I would LOVE to see how politically correct pop culture portrays Bill Clinton 150 years from now!) Only see this movie if you want to laugh your ass off for all the wrong reasons.
The Amazing Spider-Man - This movie was pretty good...when I saw it back in 2002. This was the same exact damn movie, right down to the villain hearing voices in his head. The problem was this movie lacked the best part of the 2002 version: Willem Dafoe. This movie also shared one of the biggest stupid things about all Spider-Man movies: All the superheroes are constantly taking their masks off. The movie version of Spider-Man only has his mask on for about three minutes at a time until the director figures out a way to take it off. When you're a geek purist at heart like me, it's fuckin' annoying.
Prometheus - Avengers lived up to its hype. Prometheus did not. It was a good movie, but not great. I was expecting to see something great, and instead saw a decent, well-acted film with some very nice cinematography, but one that was largely predictable with a plot that took a little too long to get to the point. Add to that a few scenes were suspension of belief was required (there's a particular scene where someone has a serious surgical procedure done and is then immediately running around performing action scenes...and you have those movie spacesuits that are always conveniently running out of air or have plenty of air based on what the plot demands) and it all adds up to a movie that didn't do much for me. You know what? Fuck Alien. It had a good run but I think it's been played out. Bring on the next Predator movie!
Ted - It's Family Guy, only in a movie theater. Family Guy can be funny, don't get me wrong. Ted was funny at some parts, but it's essentially Family Guy. Same writers, same director, same actors, same humor, same 80's nostalgia (there are tons of hidden Easter-egg jokes in this movie that only people who grew up in the 80's will understand), even the god damn music is the same as Family Guy. Go see it, but don't expect anything new.
Next, the really badass action movies are coming out, like Dark Knight Rises, Total Recall, Bourne Legacy, and it finally all culminates with the ultimate Alpha male event of the year.... EXPENDABLES 2. I'll be throwing a party for that one. Hell, Taken 2 is shortly after that. So much awesomeness. Can't wait.
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