Event Horizon - 1/5 stars
The writer pitched this movie as The Shining: In Space. The director seemed to put his own twist on it and added Hellraiser: In Space. The final product kind of blended both of those concepts together into what I would call Pile Of Shit: In Space.
Fido - 4/5 stars Fido is a ZomCom (Zombie comedy) that satirizes 1950′s family values: Shaun of the Dead meets Lassie. You will root for and like the zombie character, even though he doesn’t have a single line of dialogue. It’s not really a horror movie, so it’s the perfect zombie movie to watch if your girlfriend is kind of a wuss and hates scary stuff.
In End of Watch, Brian Taylor (Jake Gyllenhaal) and Mike Zavala (Michael Peña) are LAPD officers that think they’re cock of the walk, bad ass, crime fighting, protectors of The Law. I hope that works out well for them.
Officer Taylor walks around with a little camera clipped to his uniform, making End of Watch a kinda sorta documentary or “found footage” style movie. There was some half-assed explanation for the candid camera nonsense that I don’t even remember, which matches the half-assed utilization of the style itself.
I tend to like documentary style movies, because the style can enhance the suspense and give an added sense of reality. However, in End of Watch, I think the documentary style is a detriment. It was unnecessary and sloppy. A few “found footage” scenes took me right out of the movie, because I had to stop and ask, “Okay, this footage came from where?” File that under exactly how NOT to do documentary style. And this was all the more irritating because the scenes could easily have been cut. Or perhaps an even better idea: ditch the documentary idea completely.
End of Watch wants to be a movie like The Departed or Drive, but it falls so short in almost every aspect. There are really only two characters. The rest- the boss, the annoying coworker, the lesbian coworker, the wife, the girlfriend, and The Bad Guys- serve as mere background noise and plot devices and topics for the two main characters to talk about as they meander around Los Angeles and periodically do heroic shit.
The plot is such a straight line that I predicted the ending about 2 minutes into the movie. That isn’t always a bad thing. Sometimes a movie’s ending is predictable because it’s the most satisfying ending to the story. But sometime a movie has been done so many times, what you’re seeing isn’t anything new. End of Watch is the latter.
If you want a gritty cop drama set in Los Angeles, try the first season of Southland instead.
Without further ado, a continuation of our grading of the cast of Game of Thrones.
Peter Dinklage as Tyrion Lannister Grade: A+
Comments: We’ve been fans of Peter Dinklage since The Station Agent, so we figured he’d be awesome as Tyrion. And he is.
Charles Dance as Tywin Lannister Grade: A-
Comments: Dance’s portrayal of Tywin Lannister left me ice cold. Which is good because he’s a frigid old bastard.
Nikolai Coster-Waldau as Jaime Lannister Grade: A+
Comments: We were worried that no one would be able to do Jaime Lannister, one of the most complex characters in the series, justice. Coster-Waldau melds Tywin’s coldness and Tyrions charming wit perfectly.
Lena Headey as Queen Cersei Lannister Grade: C
Comments: Cersei Lannister is the role we’re most disappointed with after season 1. More than anyone else, Headey seems to be leaning towards the Lord of the Rings stoicism that takes all the dirty crazy fun out of George R. R. Martin’s series. Still, Headey will have a chance to redeem herself in future seasons, we think.
Jack Gleeson as Prince Joffrey Baratheon Grade: A-
Comments: Gleeson gets a minus because he’s another one that’s so hate-able, he’s hard to like.
With the first season of Game of Thrones over and another two weeks before the fifth book, A Dance with Dragons, comes out we’re not quite sure what the hell to do with ourselves.
In an attempt to stave off withdrawal, we decided to grade the cast of Game of Thrones. As a whole, the cast gets an A, but it wouldn’t be much of an article if we gave every actor an A. Any criticism below is sheer nitpickery.
Sean Bean as Lord Eddard Stark Grade: B+
Comments: Ned is such an understated character that it was hard for Bean to really blow us away, which some of the other cast members did.
Michelle Fairley as Catelyn Stark Grade: C
Comments: Much criticized on the ‘net for looking older than superfans preferred, our gripe is less about age and more that Fairley’s performance was a little on the melodramatic side. She plays every scene like it’s Life. Or. Death., which means the real life or death scenes just kinda blend in with the rest.
Richard Madden as Robb Stark Grade: B
Comments: Madden did a solid job handling Robb Stark’s transition from carefree kid to head of the Stark clan.
Sophie Turner as Sansa Stark Grade: A-
Comments: Turner was one we weren’t quite sure about at the start of the season, but she’d won us over by the time Joffrey forced her to look at Ned’s head on a stick.
Maisie Williams as Arya Stark Grade: A+
Comments: Williams had big shoes to fill, playing one of our favorite characters from the books. She didn’t disappoint.
I bet you’ve been looking for a punk rock version of the new Britney Spears single, right? How about one with a video that features a unicorn farting a rainbow? Yep. We’re all looking for it. But who has time to dig through all of the not funny youtube videos for a nugget of solid gold like that? You’ve got kids to feed, or possibly animals to feed, or at the very least yourself to feed… unless you’re anorexic, in which case you honestly have no excuse. In any case, relax. Allow me do the heavy lifting, dude. (You’re getting a free ride, anorexics!) Look no further:
I was about to start this review with the complaint that Jackass 3D relied a little too much on the poo, vomit, and scrotum gags. And then I realized how dumb that would sound. After all, isn’t that what Jackass is all about?
Instead, what I’ll say is this: the latest installment of the tv/movie franchise feels a little like a restaurant franchise. No one goes to Applebee’s because the food is great. They go because, though the food is mediocre at best, it’s always the same. When you order that tray of Baby Back Ribs, you know exactly what you’re getting. And when you watch a Jackass movie, you know you’re in for a lot of farting, shitting, pissing, punching, and laughing.
To be honest, I didn’t expect either of the first two Jackass movies to be good. I was pleasantly surprised. More than that, I laughed my ass off. But the creativity abundant in the first two movies is lacking in the third. The ratio of silly and funny to gross and painful is off this time around. I know this is patently unAmerican of me to say, but sometimes enough is enough when it comes to people taking hits to the nards.
Maybe what’s really missing from Jackass 3D is enthusiasm. I can’t say I blame them. I don’t think I could be too enthusiastic about taking a T-ball to the family jewels, and I don’t even have family jewels. Then again, the silly skits like Party Boy and Werewolves in London require no organ damage and, in my opinion, were funnier anyway.
The fifth installment of Showtime’s serial killer saga, “Dexter”, delivered the highest ratings yet, and the show was already the most watched in network history, so we can probably assume the series will go as long as star Michael C. Hall remains interested. (Fun fact: Hall’s marriage to co-star Jennifer Carpenter [AKA Dexter's sister Deb] is apparently headed for divorce, which could add some extra tension to the set as both will be back next year.) But, ratings aside, how did this season stack up to the rest on a scale of 1 to awesome? Let’s rank them shits.
1. Season One Primary Season Long Arc: The Ice Truck Killer Dexter’s Love Interest: Rita Deb’s Love Interest: Rudy The Gist: “Tonight’s the night.” The bright colors of Miami juxtapose with the detached, sardonic voice over – the Dexter deadpan. Enter Dexter Morgan – blood spatter forensics expert by day, blood spattering serial killer by night. He’s cleaning up the streets of Florida the old fashioned way – by dumping garbage bags full of the mutilated bodies of criminals into the Atlantic. The clash of styles between the emotionless Dexter and the flair of Miami’s culture – from loud music to loud shirts – were still new and exciting in the first season. These style elements eventually became routine, but what really cements the debut season as a clear number 1 was a plot that was mysterious not only on the surface level of the twists and turns of the Ice Truck Killer case, but in terms of digging into Dexter’s past and uncovering something that fundamentally changes his interpretation of his own identity. It was almost an origin story that pieced itself together in flashbacks over the course of the season. The writers would try to repeat this in future seasons but would ultimately fail to satisfy.
2. Season Four Primary Season Long Arc: The Trinity Killer Dexter’s Love Interest: Rita (married) Deb’s Love Interest: Anton and Lundy The Gist: Dexter’s 4th installment is best known for the shock of the season’s cliffhanger ending – Dexter returning home to find his wife, Rita, murdered in the bathtub. The season also had another shocking death earlier in the year as Agent Lundy is shot and killed in the middle of a conversation with Deb. It’s probably those dramatic exits of 2 longtime characters that push this season just above the rest of the pack, but John Lithgow made a decent serial killer in his guest stint as well.
3. Season Three Primary Season Long Arc: DA Miguel Prado gets hands on with some perps Dexter’s Love Interest: Rita (engaged) Deb’s Love Interest: Anton The Gist: The 3rd season is nuts. Somehow Dexter becomes a serial killing mentor to district attorney Miguel Prado, played by Jimmy Smits. Despite the goofiness of the DA/serial killer tandem-ing, I actually liked Smits. Eventually, though, the conflict that arises between him and Dexter gets a little melodramatic and seems to drag on for too long before it finally resolves itself in a completely predictable fashion. A lot of the side stories really started to get annoying this year, too – like Deb banging the partially skinned club musician, Anton (David Ramsey). During those scenes I was hoping Miguel and Dexter would burst into my actual house and put me out of my misery.
4. Season Five Primary Season Long Arc: Jordan Chase and friends Dexter’s Love Interest: Lumen Deb’s Love Interest: Quinn The Gist: When I first heardthat Julia Stiles was going to guest star on Dexter’s 5th season, I said: “The bad news is that Julia Stiles is guest starring on Dexter next season. The good news is that Dexter will murder her. “More bad news: He didn’t! Instead he had sexual relations with her several times and helped her overcome a lot of her PTSD issues through the healing power of stab-murdering a bunch of bad guys. At this point some of the show’s staple elements are really starting to fall flat. Dexter’s conversations with imaginary (and/or ghost) Harry have progressed from interesting in season 1 to not so interesting in season 3 and 4 to actually pretty annoying in season 5, for one example.
5. Season Two Primary Season Long Arc: The Bay Harbor Butcher Dexter’s Love Interest: Rita and Lila Deb’s Love Interest: Agent Lundy The Gist: Dexter’s bags of bodies are discovered and the heat is on.Everyone is looking for the Bay Harbor Butcher, including the FBI.Dexter also starts going to alocholics anonymous type meetings where he explores the idea of his “dark passenger” and befriends a crazy person with a ridiculous East End accent named Lila. Dexter wastes little time as he and Lila really hit it off, by which I mean Lila takes her clothes off and Dexter hits it. Later he kills her. Also, she was super annoying, and that’s the sole reason this season ranks last.