Movie Reviews: Movies from Early 2012

2012 is the year of the movie.  I’m seeing at least one movie a week this year. Here we go:

Red Tails – Oh, the acting.  Oh, the script.  Oh god it was bad.  Great special effects but who cares when the rest of the move is sooooooo fucking bad?  A real shame, since I was really looking forward to this one.  Dammit…this could have been amazing.

Underworld Awakening – Underworld Evolution was one of my favorite movies.  So this movie had a high bar to cover, and it missed.  Not once was I involved in the story or the outcome or the action. Well, hell.  It’s the fourth movie in the series so what do you expect?   Kate Beckinsale is still hot as ever even though she’s almost 40.  You just can’t take your eyes off her.  She’s the only reason to watch this movie.

Chronicle – Very good, very well done, I was engrossed the entire time. I like creative ideas.  I felt sorry for that kid who kept getting beat up by bullies and his dad.  I also like it when good guys become bad guys.  Not a perfect movie but very cool.

Safe House – Boring, shaky-cam, by-the-numbers action/thriller.  Boring and predictable.  You can clearly see Denzel Washington and Ryan Reynolds just phoning in their work so they can cash their checks.  Ruben Blades and Robert Patrick are both very cool guys, and they each had brief cameos. Anyway, I should have known better.  You’ll completely forget about it one hour after you watch it.

Ghost Rider 2 – Way too over-the-top.  Nicolas Cage is too crazy, and that shit’s getting old.  The action scenes were very fun and Ghost Rider looked amazing, but other than that, the movie sucked.  This is one of those movies where you wish you could just spend ten minutes to watch all the action scenes, one after the next, and never even see the rest of the movie.

Act of Valor – Pure testosterone, 80’s-like villains, pounding action, bad acting from the heroes who were real-life Navy SEALs instead of actors, and I loved every minute of it.  When I was 18 I was about five minutes away from enlisting in the ROTC.  I didn’t of course, and I’m glad I didn’t (I would have been shipped out to Operation Desert Shield if I had…I had one high school buddy who didn’t come back from that), but movies like this give me a slight twinge of regret. My unwillingness to get monogamous would have made military life  much easier  for me than a lot of guys.  Perhaps in the next life.  One more thing…although I disagree with modern-day conservatives on just about every political issue, movies like this made from a conservative point of view are a very welcome breath of fresh air when about 95% of movies cranked out by Hollywood lean left, and often to repetitive and eye-rolling extremes.

This Means War – One of the stupidest movies you’ll ever see, and I mean that, but you might be able to enjoy it a little if you’re able to turn off your brain while watching it.  I am able to do this because I set low standards for most movies, but a lot of people can’t.  One thing to observe: notice how Chelsea Handler looks 10-15 years older than Reese Witherspoon even though they’re only a year apart in real life.  Drugs and booze will do that.

John Carter – Very, very good movie for what it is (a big budget blockbuster).  Some of the acting was a little weak and the sheer number of names and events in the story line will confuse you, but I liked it.  I’m also a sucker for movies set in the mid-late 1800’s (I think that would have been a very exciting era to live in).  As usual, it suffers from the same politically correct, “women can beat up / sword-fight men double their size and don’t need saving” Hollywood bullshit.  If you can immerse yourself in the setting, it’s very cool.  Apparently Disney expected Avatar-like numbers from this movie and it didn’t get it…I’m not surprised.  The source material is just a little too unusual, complicated, and dated for this to appeal to a mass market.  Too bad.

Hunger Games – Lord of the Flies meets 1984, written from a female perspective and sensitivity, and oh boy, does it show.  Took my 13 year-old daughter to this one, and of course she thought it was the Best Movie She’s Ever Seen™.  She saw it two more times with other people.  Of course she liked it, she’s in the exact target demographic for this movie (and book): tween girls.  To me, it was a slightly less painful version of Twilight.  (Yes, I have a daughter, so I sat through the second Twilight movie a few years back and still have heart palpitations from that experience.)  Like John Carter, the setting of the movie is interesting and engrossing.  Unlike John Carter, there’s long boring stretches of emotional dialog and lots of sappy romantic shit where it doesn’t belong.  There’s a little action, but just a little, and it’s shaky-camed to hell so you can’t see what’s going on.  It’s also rife with ridiculous plot holes that make no sense.  If you’re a woman or a pre-teen, you’ll love this movie.  If you’re a masculine manly man, stay home and watch Predator instead.

That’s it for now.  In the next few weeks ‘ll be seeing 21 Jump Street, Wrath of the Titans, American Reunion, The Hunter, Lockout, and Safe.  Looking forward to The Hunter and Lockout the most, Safe looks awesome, and American Reunion will probably be funny but will also likely be a beta male-fest which is sure to piss me off.  As always, we’ll see.

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