Monday, August 25, 2014

Wknd Box Office: If I Stay, Sin City: A Dame to Kill For, When the Game Stands Tall, Code Black, Life After Beth, Are You Here

Here is an interesting article from reviewing some of the movies that came out over the past weekend. This follows this post about some of the movies from last week and THIS POST about some movies that have been released over the past few years that you might have missed! This all follows this post about guidelines to choosing good movies to watch yourself!

Wknd Box Office: If I Stay, Sin City: A Dame to Kill For, When the Game Stands Tall, Code Black, Life After Beth, Are You Here

by Debbie Schlussel
Sorry that I’m so late in putting up this week’s movie reviews, but there were six of them, none of them I liked much, and I couldn’t get ‘em up in time before the Jewish Sabbath. In any event, this has to be the crappiest weekend for movies in the crappiest summer for movies that I can remember. So here they are:



* “If I Stay“: More like, Stay Away! Yet another cloying, manipulative, overwrought, melodrama-filled movie based on a Young Adult novel. Long, boring, and annoying. I couldn’t wait for this to end, and each time you thought (and hoped like hell) it would, it trudged onward.
The story: a couple of pretentious hipsters in America’s Northwest (Seattle, Portland, or some other such overgrown hipster colony–I forgot which one and just don’t care) have a good girl daughter (Chloe Grace Moretz) who likes to play the cello and is quite good at it. She has a chance to go to Juilliard. But she also has a hipster-style boyfriend who is in a band, and he wants to stay in the Northwest. By the way, her parents were in a rock band–well, her father was, and her mother was a groupie. And they don’t seem to like that their daughter is a good girl. They encourage her to stay out all night with the boyfriend, when she comes home early, and other such annoying absentee/immature/friend-as-parent, hipsteresque behavior. GUH-REAAAT parenting.
One day, the whole family is on the road in the same car, when snow is falling, and they get into a car accident. Everyone is rushed to the hospital. The parents are dead, and the son and good girl daughter are in a coma, struggling to survive. The girl’s ghost is outside of her body, watching her grandparents, parents’ friends, and her own friends, all visiting her and urging her to wake up. Stitched in are memories of her life with the parents and boyfriend.
Don’t waste your time on this dull, maudlin snoozer.
Watch the trailer . . .
* “Sin City: A Dame to Kill For“: I never saw the first “Sin City” movie, so apparently you can see this without that one and basically know everything that’s going on. The problem is there is no point in seeing this horribly violent movie. Gratuitous violence, torture, and blood dominate this movie, which is too bad, because it is shot in a very cool, sharp, black and white, with strategic pops of bright color (I saw it in 3D, but you’re fine without that).
The stories are tragic and bleak, and I’m not sure what the point is, other than to get you to voluntarily transfer your money to Hollywood stars and filmmakers who want to also rob you of your time in the process. The stories, which intertwine are about various crooks and desperados: a stripper (Jessica Alba) whose love was murdered and she wants revenge; a gambler (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) who has a lot of luck and is the illegitimate son of an evil U.S. Senator who is a thug and wants him dead; a woman (Eva Green) who wants her rich husband murdered so she can collect the money, and so she sets up a lover (Josh Brolin) to kill him; and then there is Mickey Rourke, who is from the dark, welfare-ridden ghetto that is Sin City.
Cool cinematography of gratuitously violent, pointless garbage. Don’t waste your time.
By the way, I don’t need to see this because, hey, I live in Detroit (or close enough).
Watch the trailer . . .

* “When the Game Stands Tall“: While this is generally another predictable, cliche-filled high school football movie, it did have a religious Christian element, which was positively portrayed, so that gains points with me. I also liked a scene in which the high school football team goes to the hospital to help amputee military veterans with their rehab.
Still, I wasn’t sure what the point of this movie was. The story–about a real life coach at a Catholic high school in California–is filled with inconsistencies and multiple directions. The coach’s wife and son are upset with him because he spends all of his time on the football team and not family. And, yet, his wife urges him to take a college coaching job–at Stanford, no less–where he would have even less time for them. The coach has a medical problem, like a heart attack (though they never say what it is), as he is under pressure to continue his team’s non-stop winning streak. But, then, at the end, his star player refuses to break the state’s touchdown record and takes a knee repeatedly to “honor the coach.” Ridiculous. Yup, the movie honors communism, not individual recognition. Yuck.
And, mostly, I found this movie to be a bore. Among high school football movies, this was not one of the best ones and it was somewhat disjointed. Because of the favorable Christian stuff (rare for Hollywood), I am being very generous when I give this . . .
Watch the trailer . . .
* “Code Black“: I’m not sure what the point of this boring, repetitive documentary was, other than to tell me that I need ObamaCare so that illegal aliens and all real Americans can have crappy emergency room care like the people who go to Los Angeles County Hospital and can wait up to 24 hours to be seen by a doctor. Yeah, that’s the ticket.
Also, maybe the point was for me to hear a young Asian doctor swearing, telling of his life of living Asian stereotypes, and talking about how he “d*cked around” (yeah, just the guy I’d want treating me!). Or maybe the point was for me to hear from a preppy-looking doc about how his illegal alien . . . er, “undocumented immigrant,” friend didn’t have access to medical care (when it appears the alien actually had better health care than the rest of us).
This movie was only 1.5 hours but seemed like it went on forever. It wasn’t well done or edited, and didn’t have a tight and interesting narrative (as is the case with decent documentaries). I wouldn’t pay ten bucks to see this. In fact, the only way I’d go see this–if I didn’t have to review it–was if you paid me. And you’d have to pay me well to sit through this.
Watch the trailer . . .
* “Life After Beth“: This “comedy” isn’t funny, but it’s supposed to be some kind of parody of zombie movies or something. The makers of this should have left that to the professionals at “The Walking Dead.” This was boring and pointless, and I felt like a time bandit just robbed me of almost two hours of my life.
The story: A guy’s girlfriend comes back to life after she died of a snake bite. But she soon becomes a zombie. And suddenly many others are coming back to life, but they are dangerous and kill and eat people (the movie, thankfully, doesn’t really show much of this), so people fight back, and then, suddenly, it’s all over. The end.
A total waste of time and money.
Watch the trailer . . .
* “Are You Here“: Another absolutely awful, entirely unfunny “comedy.” Matthew Weiner, the creator, writer, director, and producer of “Mad Men” is trying to show those who ask that he’s more than a one-trick pony, as he wrote and directed this absolutely malodorous dung heap. The answer is a resounding “NO.” This was just plain terrible.
Owen Wilson plays a sleazy, lascivious weatherman who is irresponsible, says gross things on the air, and does a lot of drugs. His crazy friend, Zach Galifianakis, plays the same role he plays in every movie, especially “The Hangover” movies. The only difference is that he is an animal rights nut in this movie. Galifianakis’ father dies and leaves everything to him. Wilson is trying to get in on the money, too, as he’s also trying to get in bed with the father’s young, hippie chick widow. Amish people are thrown into this horrible story, as they, too, apparently must be abused by Matthew Weiner’s lack of talent blatantly on display in this trash. I’m not sure why the Amish are in this, but as with everything else in this movie, Weiner just threw stuff in, tossed it around, and said, hey, it’s a movie–go see it!
Um, no it isn’t, and you shouldn’t. Another time and money bandit you should avoid as if it were AIDS.

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