Welcome to Adventures in Poor Taste’s weekly movie review roundup. I’ll be posting a slathering of movie reviews each week to give folks a healthy helping of what’s good and not so good. New and old, the reviews cover anything from the pleasantly innocent Winnie The Pooh to disturbingly twisted Salo or the 120 Days of Sodom.
In Theaters Now
The Descendants, (December 2011)
Here we see the elusive Wild Clooney lurking from the bushes before mauling its unsuspecting prey to death.
This film deals with a lot more pain than the director’s previous work in Sideways, so don’t expect it to rival that chuckle hut. It still contains humorous moments, and Clooney is good with an even stronger cast to support him. It’s a tough topic boiled down into a digestible film worth viewing. Best film? Not even nominated any other year.
Recently Released on Disc
Drive, (September 2011)
Fan art slash eighties-gasm
Just hitting DVD this week, this film mixes a tender peacefulness with extremely disturbing but short acts of violence. Reminiscent of Lynch’s Wild at Heart but still pulpy enough, and low budget enough, with decent homages to call it a modern Film Noir. Look for one scene that culls up Kiss Me Deadly for instance. The characterization though, is a bit frustrating, which is the entire point. Ironically, don’t expect too many car chase scenes, it ain’t about that.
Friends with Benefits, (July 2011)
Someone saved the guys whose job it is to crudely Photoshop Mila Kunis’ head onto a porn star’s body on all those fake nude sites about 12 hours of work this week.
You will dislike these characters. Nothing is balanced. The acting, directing, and script just whirl and whirl slowly lulling you into boredom. Woody Harrelson makes you smile, but hell, he’s always awesome. The script has moments though, which makes this turd slightly polished.
Real Steel, (October 2011)
J-Wow impersonator or villain in Real Steel? You decide.
A very tight script with an exceptional soundtrack, and attention to all things real make this movie stand out. Panning shots of barley, and perfect uses of silence increase the believability. I wouldn’t say the characters are likable or all that interesting, but the director knew to focus attention on little details with aid from good acting. It could have easily been a CGI-diarrhea-explosion.
Drive Angry, (February 2011)
If you stare directly at “Full Nick Cage” your cerebellum melts. It’s also a great way to heat a camper.
This movie is super close to being awesome all around with a strong female sidekick, some badassery and a Nick Cage that is just nutty enough to be fun. Sadly the film gets muddled in its plot and thinks it’s Shakespeare when it’s really grindhouse. It gets boring for long stretches and most of the gore isn’t practical which equals digital insults to my eyes.
Redline, (January, 2012)
This song exemplifies the entire Redline experience.
High energy, aggressive anime that assaults the viewer with flowing action and ludicrous ideas. Humans/aliens race cars where anything goes and its done well enough to keep any viewer interested. It has plenty of style and a lot of substance, but about an hour into the film the insanity wears thin and it all just seems like noise. Anime enthusiasts should love this.
Oldy But Goody
Young Poisoner’s Handbook, (February 1996)
The acting is stellar and the story is a fascinating and surprisingly accurate take on a young psychopath. Having read a few books on psychopaths last year this movie was ahead of the curve. Unfortunately, the film doesn’t do anything to help us understand him and the humor is few and far between, but it’s an interesting movie.
Apt Pupil, (October 1998)
Much like Hitler, Ian McKellen was a Nazi before he was Gandalf.
Twisted, sometimes sadistic and character motives dangle leading the viewer to be confused. The non horror ending (original short story by Stephen King would have killed it!) dulls the edge but it’s still a knife in the water. It could have been better as most of it feels like a missed opportunity.
Street Smart, (March 1987)
It’s too bad 80’s crime flicks are so hell bent on the facts of the story and less interested in cinematography and introspection. Morgan Freeman was nominated for his role here as a ruthless pimp. He does an okay job, mostly because he ended up doing far better work in the future and this pails in comparison. Christopher Reeve is pretty good too. The ending is a little unbalanced as far as the characters moral code.