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Battle Los Angeles (2011)
Battle L.A. or: How we learned to stop caring and make it as dumb as possible
Let me start by saying I have seen a number of action movies and this movie is on the bottom of my list of that genre. The movie is entirely chaotic, senseless, and above all care-free. Not much effort was put in it's just shooting and explosions and carnage and pandemonium without the slightest idea of what's going on. In good action films, during a fight scene we know who is fighting who and why they're fighting. Here there's no story making it like Cloverfield but at the same time it tries to give us a story like Independence day but fails.
At the beginning, we are introduced to all of the "important" characters fighting the aliens even accompanied with text at the bottom. They have no personalities except those war soldier clichés and have nothing interesting to say. Five to ten minutes it's like BOOM I forgot who the characters are already. Then meteors are falling in major cities each having aliens attacking us. The anchors think it's for our water but that's about it. The main role is played by Aaron Eckart and even he is not interesting. It's sad when the viewer does not care about ANYTHING in the film: the story, the characters, not even the action.
About the action scenes: they are atrocious. They thought it would be a good idea to make them look as chaotic as possible as if we were in their shoes. This means very jittery cinematography, grimy filters, and poorly spliced together shots thus making us confused. The jittery camera was acceptable in Cloverfield because that film looked and felt realistic. Here, there's a set plot line to follow involving aliens coming and attacking and the soldiers attacking them back. All of the action here not only makes us confused and not care, but it can make some of us very sick as in motion sickness.
There's also a couple points that make you go what the f###?! They capture an alien to find its weak point which happens to be a heart inside its chest. They pretty much figured out the only way to kill the aliens is by...just shooting them in the chest. There was also a ship which rose from the ground in a street. How did it burrow itself without disturbing anything else. But you know what, we should care, there's barely any plot and like I said, nothing to care about in this poor excuse for a science fiction film.
I hope this film gets nominated for worst picture in next year's Golden Raspberry awards if not win it. This is by far the worst film of 2011 so far. There was no point in making except to make money and amuse the dumb citizens of America who only care about senseless action.
The Cleveland Show (2009)
Seth is a Fox hog
I too gave this spin-off a chance and at first, I thought the pilot was OK, but after seeing a few more episodes, I realized how truly awful this show is.
First: It's the same exact thing as Family Guy only it has more racist jokes and not one joke funny. The humor in general is laugh-free with not one joke or cutaway gag funny.
Second: The characters are awful and boring. We have a black copy of the Griffin family, some more stereotypes to hang with Cleveland, and another anthromorph or talking animal. Not one character is interesting to look at and listen too, not even Cleveland.
Third: The episodes are boring and pretty poorly written. In the first one, Cleveland and his son move to Virginia and he tries to win the heart of his high-school sweetheart. In the second, he accidentally runs over their dog and gets a new one. In *yawn* another, Cleveland and his friends try to patent a new invention of theirs. As you can tell, I really don't feel like talking about more episodes.
All Seth is doing is taking advantage of Fox by canceling King of the Hill and putting even more money in his pocket. I don't necessarily hate Seth, I just think he's being a douche.
In conclusion, The Cleveland Show is utter garbage. Watch Family Guy or American Dad instead of this s***.
Couples Retreat (2009)
Couples will get bored of this turkey
Here we have a film where couples' marriages might be in jeopardy so this could be a good comedy for them. It is not. The humor is dry in a bad way, there's not much plot, and the characters are very empty. I suppose they were bored with this too.
Here we have a couple who is going to a Couples' Retreat island in the Caribbean. Three others join including one husband played by Vince Vaughn. They all hope to participate in the fun activities along with the marriage therapy yet there's a catch: the three other couples must participate in the therapy and yoga sessions.
This is where the "fun" comes in. There's an activity involving looking at their partner's body, feeding the fish in the water, and some therapy sessions. It's perfectly fine to fast-forward these since the dialog is SO BORING. Nothing is added to the story, none of the characters improve but who knows.
Then there's possibly the only funny part in the movie: the masculine yoga instructor. I grinned once or twice as he gives instructions in the most perverted positions possible. Still I felt like leaving the room many times because of the awfully boring jokes, dialog, and characters.
For couples in their thirties or forties browsing Blockbuster or Movie Gallery, SKIP IT. You'll be better off watching Love Happens upside-down than watching Couples' Retreat while sitting on the TV.
Disaster Movie (2008)
Literally Painful to Watch
Jason Friedberg and Aaron Seltzer: two directors who purposefully make god-awful movies using David Zucker's Airplane! and Naked Gun formula. First they gave us Date Movie, just so-so with some laughs. Then again I was an immature 13 year old. Next the worse Epic Movie, eh. Then Meet the Spartans was when it got really bad. Nothing but gross gross outs and unnecessary parody after parody. Then came along Disaster Movie and...and...OH GOD!!! The only good thing about this movie is the title. It's very ironically written considering this is indeed a disaster. It's mortifying from beginning to end and I'm actually shuddering as I am writing this review. No joke.
The movie begins with a parody of 10,000 b.c. and the caveman comes across Amy Winehouse. Then she has I think a four minute long burping scene which is supposed to make fun of her drugs and alcoholism. We then learn it's just a dream. Then the protagonist played by Matt Lanter is throwing a sweet sixteen at the age of 25 and they learn after wards the world will end on August 29, 2008 (the movie's release haha). During the party we see parodies of No Country, Superbad, Dr. Phil, High School Musical and list goes on and on.
Outside meteors are coming down, everyone's running for their life, the two protagonists are who we follow, they come across a Juno and Enchanted parody, they try to seek shelter where they meet the Sex and the City girls, *inhales* and here's the plot. They learn they have to return the skull from Indiana Jones and the Crystal Skull and the disaster will stop.
As one can tell, these constant parodies are a dead horse of a concept being beaten over and over and over again.
The humor is absolutely abysmal. Constant jokes are put in to try and gross us out with laughter but in the end, they want to make us hurl. This is where my summary comes in. I got a major headache and urge to purge in my empty drink. These jokes are pretty much as revolting as Freddy got Fingered such as the scene when Juno's water breaks and on the two men with her, a thick white fluid explodes on their faces.
Then we come across guess what, even more parodies. Iron Man, Hulk, Batman, Alvin and the Chipmunks, Night at the Museum, an awful Kung Fu Panda suit, and Beowulf in the nude with nothing but gay jokes about him. Eventually they return the skull with an Indiana Jones parody played by Tony Cox and all hell is restrained.
Then just like Meet the Spartans, we get a terrible "musical" ending with all the cast singing a terrible song I don't remember.
This story-less, headache inducing excuse for entertainment made me want to leave the theater and I wish I had. Never in my life have I seen a movie so tasteless and talentless that I wanted to go on a tantrum after realizing I lost ninety minutes of my life. ZERO STARS out of ten. Too bad IMDb can only go as low as one.
The Princess and the Frog (2009)
Disney is back!
The new 2d animated film by Disney is fantastic! Going back to the old fashioned way of animation with characters, music and a story was the way to go. Being filled with all these CG films was a little uncomfortable but Pixar and Dreamworks are the superior ones. What we have here is a wonderful old fashioned Disney film which will entertain the kids and the adults with its superb story, plot, and characters instead of unnecessary pop culture references and off topic topics.
The film tells the classic fairy tale in a whole new version set in 1920's New Orleans. A young African-American woman named Tiana dreams of opening her own restaurant because of her delicious family recipes most notably the gumbo. She has therefore working very hard day and night to save the money necessary to buy an estate. Meanwhile her hyperactive white friend Charlotte is throwing a big party where she will ask Prince Naveen her hand in marriage. Prince Naveen is an attractive musician from overseas looking forward to the marriage.
Mean while the villain of the film Dr. Facillier promises him major wealth along with the marriage by giving him "greens". This eventually ends up Facillier using black magic turning Naveen into a frog while his slave driven assistant is transformed into Naveen for a better life.
Tiana comes across the talking frog and very reluctantly kisses him only ending up turning her into a frog. They must then find a way to turn back.
What's really enjoyable are the times the two frogs come across characters involving a trumpet-playing alligator, a hillbilly firefly, and a blind voodoo woman. They are all very well developed and acted giving us bold feelings for them. Even the assistant with muttonchops is a key character who wishes to destroy Naveen and have himself become Naveen for that better life (sort of life identity theft). At other times the two frogs are getting to know each other very well while coming across conflicts involving shadow monsters from the villain and hillbillies hunting frogs for their legs.
The musical numbers were very fun to listen to thanks to Randy Newman. There's a number about what the alligator and the two frogs want to do when they turn back ("When we're human"), numbers explaining the characters and overall they are fun and memorable.
The plot that plays out is engaging to make the audience hope they turn back into humans. Conflict settles when the villain tells Tiana he can turn her back into human giving her that restaurant she wanted but feels sorry for Naveen who is still that frog. Eventually she's happy being that frog and destroys Dr. Facillier. Naveen also accepts being a frog after failing to kiss Charlotte (princess of the king of a big company by the way) before midnight. They marry, they kiss, and they turn back into humans since Tiana became a princess and Prince Naveen was technically a prince.
It's what everyone expects, good guys win, bad guys lose but the plot that plays out makes the audience hope for the best while conflict settles.
This film was the phoenix rising from the ashes of my childhood, appreciating everything Disney had to offer with their traditional animation and storytelling. The characters were superb, the music was wonderful, and the altered story of the classic fairy tale was well told. This film is a definite see for parents with children and even adults without children; they'll enjoy it too.