If you read only one blog full of ranting and raving about sports (local and otherwise), movies, TV shows, miscellaneous pop culture, life and other assorted flotsam and jetsam, make it this one!

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Quick Reviews: Four Most Recent

Yeah, I keep procrastinating instead of writing about a movie right after I've seen it. It's a good thing I don't get paid for this. Of course, if someone would like to pay me, I'd be sure to stick to deadline. Anyway, I'll be pretty brief with these. Mostly not bad, but not really worth a ton of analysis.

The real selling point of 2 Guns is the Denzel Washington-Mark Wahlberg pairing, as law enforcement officials (undercover, but each thinks the other is an actual criminal) trying to bring down a drug lord. It gets much more complicated, with double-crosses galore. I just let go of trying to keep up and rode the wave of the two stars' having fun. My grade: B.

Speaking of drug lords, there's one in We're the Millers, and he forces a low-level drug dealer (Jason Sudeikis) to make a pickup of pot in Mexico. To do this successfully, he decides to take family with him in order to avoid suspicion at the border. As he has no family, he recruits a stripper (Jennifer Aniston) and a couple of teenagers, one a latchkey kid and one a runaway, to act as his family. At times raunchy but generally pretty funny. I can't entirely buy Aniston as a stripper, though. She's just too...nice. My grade: B-plus.

Elysium is a sci-fi film and a lesson. In 2154 the world is a real mess, and the wealthiest people have gone to Elysium, a space station/satellite/mini-world where life is perfect and disease is cured instantly with a short lie-down in a machine that looks like a tanning booth. Elysium is visible in the Earth's sky, like the moon, taunting those left behind with no hope of getting up there. So this is all a commentary on current events and the need for universal health care. Poisoned by an industrial accident and with five days to live, Max (Matt Damon) hooks up with a group who smuggles people onto Elysium to get their own diseases cured. Damon's fine, but Jodie Foster as a government official defending Elysium from the illegal immigrants is kind of a misfire. Still, it's watchable and food for thought, although the Tea Party nutjobs might disagree. My grade: B-plus.

And then there's Paranoia, which is pretty much a mess. It's about a guy (Liam Hemsworth, pretty but vapid; I think he has a total of one facial expression) who gets himself entangled in corporate espionage between two tech companies, run by a pair of former friends (Harrison Ford, with head shaved(!) and Gary Oldman). Ridiculous script and plot, and not particularly well-acted. What really got me was how some of it was filmed in Philadelphia but it's set in New York. But there are times when it's so obvious it's Philadelphia. Street signs, local establishments, the concourse under Broad Street that obviously isn't a New York City subway concourse -- and not only did they film inside the Comcast Center, but at one point you actually see the building's name. Really sloppy work. Fortunately, not many people will see it. When I saw it on Friday, it's first day of release, only one other person was in the theater with me. My grade: D-plus.

No comments: