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The November Man (2014)
I don't know what happened in this movie
Of all of the overly confusing movies I have seen in my life, this one is the most unique out of all of them. All of the other films I have seen were confusing because too much was forced into it and or the story was made overly complex. This film, on the other hand, is confusing because of how little anything is explained or makes sense.
Starting off with a past mission, Agents Devereaux (Pierce Brosnan) and Mason (Luke Bracey) are assigned to stop the assassination of an ambassador. Devereaux orders Mason not to do anything do to the assassin's position, but Mason kills the assassin, resulting in a civilian also being killed. This opening served no purpose as we barely learn anything about the characters and it doesn't serve any purpose to later events in the film.
Cut to several years later, Devereaux is asked by his friend Hanley (Bill Smitrovich) to go on a mission to extract an agent who has information on a Russian politician (Lazar Ristovski) who is running for president. The agent, Natalia (Mediha Musliovic), happens to be the mother of Devereaux's daughter. Devereaux attempts to extract her, but she is shot and killed by Mason under orders from Perry Weinstein (Bill Patton). Natalia manages to give Devereaux her phone with pictures that would incriminate the politician. Instead of turning the pictures over to the C.I.A, whom Mason is an agent for, Devereaux goes not only after Mason because he wants to kill him, but a woman named Alice (Olga Kurylenko) as well because she might know where a person is who knows inside information regarding the politician. Joining in on the hunt for Alice is Weinstein's C.I.A group, including Mason, and a hired assassin (Amila Terzimehic).
Starting right here is when the movie starts to become complete confusion. Devereaux wants to protect Alice to keep everyone from reaching the girl, Mira, who would know about the politician. However, he doesn't give the incriminating pictures to anyone or post them online to show what the politician did.
At the same time, Devereaux wants to kill Mason, for some reason. He acts as if it is because he views Mason as a murderer, but if that were the real case Devereaux would have killed Mason right after Mason killed Natalia when he had the chance to. Plus, he was following orders to kill Natalia, but Devereaux is blaming him for the killing and then nearly kills Mason's sudden girlfriend Sarah (Eliza Taylor) to teach him a lesson. Devereaux's motivations throughout the entire movie make no sense, and we are supposed to understand and sympathize with him.
It is revealed that Hanley was working with the politician the whole time. The reveal that Hanley and the politician are working together also leads to the reveal that Hanley has been controlling the politician the whole time and is planning on using him when he's president. However, their plan or even their actions in the present are not what makes them the villains of the movie. They are the villains because they did some bad things over a decade ago, so there is no real urgency to any of it. Their present plans are not evil, so there is no real rush to stop them.
Remember how I said barely anything was revealed in the opening of the movie, well, here's what was revealed. Other than the fact that Devereaux says Mason can't follow orders, we learn that Mason is looking for a partner to have in his life. What does that lead to? A pointless subplot involving Mason and his neighbor Sarah. They introduce themselves to one another, they go out on a date, Devereaux injures her as revenge, and she goes to the hospital. And that's the last we see of her. She doesn't show up at the end with Mason somewhere. She just disappears from the story.
Another character who just disappears from the story is Edgar Simpson (Patrick Kennedy), a reporter for the New York Times who is doing a report on the Russian politician. He shows up to ask Alice some questions about what she knows about the politician and where he can find Mira. Alice goes to his house later on and he is killed. What was the point of his character? Nothing. He was just thrown in and made the whole story more confusing.
How is it as an action spy thriller? Terrible. Are there some decent fights and action sequences in it. Sure, but those few moments are ruined by the fact that you have no idea what is going on in the plot, so you have no idea what the point of the action scene is.
"The November Man" might be the most confusing movie I have ever seen in my life. The majority of the character's motivations make little sense, the villain's plan isn't even villainous or hold much weight to the final effect of the film, the characters are underdeveloped, and the entire thing is just convoluted. I remember when I saw "Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit" that I said the evil plan was convoluted. Well, compared to this movie that plan is pretty straight forward, and at least that plan held weight to it. Like I said, there were a few decent action sequences in there, but they aren't worth sitting through the whole movie to see.
The Little Mermaid (1989)
The first half is good, the second half is great
"The Little Mermaid" is said to have kicked off a period for Disney known as the Disney Renaissance period, starting with this movie and ending with "Tarzan" a decade later. It is also said to be the first movie of the Disney Renaissance that started the incline of good movies before dropping with the release of "Pocahontas". I agree with the point that there was a decade long span of a Disney Renaissance period, but I have a little bit of a different view on this movie being one of the greats. While the last half of the movie is definitely deserving of that level of praise, the first half, while good, is not as well done, in my opinion.
After missing her father's celebration because she was searching a sunken human ship looking for artifacts, Ariel (Jodi Benson) is warned by her father King Triton (Kenneth Mars) end her interest with the human world. Ariel does not listen and ends up saving a human, Prince Eric (Christopher Daniel Barnes) from drowning after his ship catches fire and sinks. Triton forbids Ariel from going to the surface again, resulting in her making a deal with the sea witch Ursula (Pat Carroll) to become human for three days and to have a kiss of true love in exchange for Ariel's voice. If Ariel fails, Ursula will claim her.
While the first half of the film with Ariel's life underwater is good, it is not very original. Ariel wants to do something but everyone else tells her it's a bad idea. The only refreshing thing done with this is that Ariel comes off less as a cliché breaking traditions kind of character and instead like a teenage girl who just isn't listening to her father all the time. The part where Ariel and Eric first meet and fall in love is the most rushed romance of any Disney film. He just hears her voice and sees her and he's in love. She just sees him and she's in love. I know it's Disney, but even by their standards it is rushed and unbelievable.
The second half of the film is handled much better. When Ariel is unable to speak, a lot has to be conveyed in her facial expression and actions, which is always nice to see. The fish-out-of-water element (no pun intended) also really works here because it is not just that she has come from a different world, but that she has been given the wrong information on certain things in the human world, like forks and pipes, which allows for some good comedy.
The thing that really makes the movie shine, in my opinion, are the side characters, who are for the most part very memorable. King Triton comes off like a father who is worried about his daughter's well-being. Sebastian (Samuel E. Wright) is the first Disney character, I think, to actually have some sort of background with music that he uses at different points in the movie. Flounder (Jason Marin) serves as the timid, but still helpful friend to Ariel, and Scuttle (Buddy Hackett) works as the comic relief who thinks he understands things better than he really does. Ursula is a villain who, while what she's doing is evil, actually has some right to do certain things because of Ariel's contract, so she is not just evil. The same, however, can not be said about Prince Eric, who is pretty forgettable.
The animation of the film is spectacular, though the animation sometimes does not meet up with the voice work. The musical numbers aren't very memorable, with the exception of Sebastian's 'Under the Sea' and 'Kiss the Girl'. While tiny, something that bothered me is that while all of the sea creatures talked, Eric's dog Max didn't.
As I said, the first half of the film is good, but I don't view it as great, though the second half is. I can see why it is said that this film started the Disney Renaissance period, but I don't think that "The Little Mermaid" is as good and deserves to be mentioned with the movies people label as the greats, namely "Beauty and the Beast", "Aladdin", and "The Lion King".
Mulan II (2004)
It's not the worst Disney sequel, but it's still terrible
"Mulan 2" marks the fourth Disney sequel to an animated movie I have seen, the other three being "The Lion King 2: Simba's Pride", "Tarzan & Jane", and "Kronk's New Groove". While "Mulan 2" is easily better than both "Kronk's New Groove" and Tarzan & Jane", it is still a terrible movie that can't even rise to the ranks of the mediocre "Simba's Pride". "Mulan 2" is a sequel where they had no idea what to do, so they packed in so much that the movie overflows with too many characters, multiple subplots that aren't very interesting, and bad songs.
One month after the events of "Mulan", Shang (BD Wong) proposes to Mulan (Ming-Na Wen). As their proposal in announced, both Shang and Mulan are summoned by the Emperor (Pat Morita) for an important mission: escort his daughters (Lucy Liu, Sandra Oh, Lauren Tom) to arranged marriages in a neighboring kingdom to gain an alliance with them. Along for the mission is Mushu (Mark Moseley), Cricket, and the three soldiers from the first movie (Harvey Fierstein, Gedde Waranabe, Jerry Tondo).
The most surprising thing is there are no supporting characters in this movie. There are side characters, such as the Emperor, but all of the characters we are focused on have their own subplots that occur throughout the movie which we focus on. Mulan and Shang's relationship, the soldiers and the princesses falling in love with each other, and Mushu attempting to break up Mulan and Shang so he doesn't lose his job as Mulan's guardian because when she marries Shang, his guardian becomes hers as well. All of these subplots are given a lot of focus throughout the movie, making each of the nine characters stand out as main characters with no supporting case. I guess, technically, Cricket could be considered a side character, but he isn't utilized much other than occasionally trying to stop Mushu from breaking up Shang and Mulan.
The majority of the characters in this movie only take part in the plot because they need to. Based on the plot, the Emperor, princesses, and several soldiers were needed to make the story work. Shang was okay in the story because as the Emperor's general, he is one of the few who would be trusted to look after the Emperor's daughters. The three soldiers from the first movie did not have to be there. They could have had new characters take their place, but they were reused because people recognized them. Strangely, the most forced in character to the entire movie was Mulan. She was not a soldier, yet she was still selected to go on the mission, for some reason. With Mulan being forced in, Mushu and Cricket were forced in.
This movie turned Mushu into one of the worst Disney characters ever. I doubt I'll be able to enjoy his shenanigans in the first film as much now because of how he was portrayed in this movie. In the first film, Mushu was selfish, using Mulan risking her life as a means to try and get back his old job as family guardian. By the end of the movie, he had moved past that and had formed an actual relationship with her and stopped using her. In this movie, he tries to break Mulan and Shang apart to keep his job. That is something he would have done in the first movie before his character change, that is not something he would have done now.
The musical numbers in this film are atrocious. Some parts of the songs do not rhyme, like with the song "I Want to be Like Other Girls", other songs are completely pointless and not good at all like "Lesson Number One", and they reuse "A Girl Worth Fighting For", only changing the lyrics in between, "A Girl worth fighting for," which usually don't rhyme anyway.
There is no investment in any of the subplots throughout the entire movie. Mushu is so terrible and diabolical in this movie that you want him to lose his post and do not sympathize with him at all when he feels bad about breaking Mulan and Shang up. The daughters fall in love with the soldiers and vice verse almost immediately, with the exception of Ting Ting (Lucy Liu) who holds off on her feeling because of her duty to marry the prince in another kingdom. All of the characters falling in love happens spontaneously that it does not feel real, even by Disney standards, and it happens with characters that should be supporting characters so they don't really have much existing personality. The Mulan and Shang subplot, you know they'll end up back together so why do you care? It's one of those things they do in sequels where they break up a likable pair just so they can get back together again.
Like "Tarzan & Jane" and "Kronk's New Groove", "Mulan 2" is a terrible movie, one of the worst I've ever seen. But unlike them, there was at least a consistent story and a side character was not given their own movie. It is still a terrible movie with too many main characters, bad songs, and nothing to be invested in, but it is not the worst Disney sequel ever made.
Guardians of the Galaxy (2014)
A surprisingly good movie
Like the 2012 film "The Avengers", "Guardians of the Galaxy" is a movie that had a lot riding against it and in the hands of a lesser filmmaker, would have failed. "Guardians of the Galaxy" knows how ridiculous it is and plays with that aspect to make the film work. While primarily a comedy film, the movie still manages to have some serious and sentimental moments in it that do not feel out of place, my guess being that that is attributed to James Gunn's (Super, Slither) directing and writing skills.
Peter Quill (Chris Pratt), who was abducted from earth as a young boy, has now become a criminal who calls himself Starlord. On a planet, Quill steals the an orb, which serves as the movie's MacGuffin, and escapes from a group of people trying to stop him. Quill refuses to return to his colleague Yondu (Michael Rooker) so they can make money off the orb together, who subsequently places a bounty on Quill's head. When Quill tries to sell the orb, he is met by the resistance of three others, Rocket (Bradley Cooper) and Groot (Vin Diesel) who want to capture Quill for the bounty on his head, and Gamora (Zoe Saldana) who wants to take the orb and give it to her buyer. All four are captured and sent to a prison where they encounter Drax the Destroyer (Dave Bautista). The group learns from Gamora, a former minion of Ronan (Lee Pacer) that Ronan wants the orb to destroy the galaxy, the five criminals band together to escape the prison and get the orb to Gamora's buyer, with Drax wanting to use his freedom as an opportunity to kill Ronan.
While other Marvel movies seemed to have a lot of comedy that felt out of place at time or got annoying, "Guardians of the Galaxy" is able to make the comedy work with it. With the ridiculousness of the movie, "Guardians of the Galaxy" would probably of only worked as a comedy. In the hands of a lesser writer and possibly director, the movie would try to work by pointing out how ridiculous everything in it really is, but instead they made it an actual comedy. Even though it was a comedy, it still managed to have some serious and sentimental moments with investment in the characters. Comedy-wise, this is probably one of the best ways I've seen it used because it is not needlessly funny and it knows just how much to give out.
All of the actors in this movie are very good and have good chemistry with one another, even though half of them are computer generated. I usually do not bring up acting unless I am really surprised by it or am just flabbergasted at how bad it is, but I really felt the need to comment with this one. While none of the performances are Academy Award worthy, with a film like this there was a chance that some of the actors would just do as bad a job as possible to see if they could get away with it. All of the actors give as good a performance as they can. Surprisingly, Dave Bautista, the voice of Drax, is very good in the movie because usually having a wrestler acting in a movie hurts it, but Bautista does a very good job.
I'd say the one area of the film that lacked was with the villain of Ronan. Other than the fact that he is one of the most powerful beings in the galaxy, there really isn't much to his character and he is kind of a bore. Compared to other Marvel villains like Loki (Tom Hiddleston), Magneto (Ian McKellen/Michael Fassbender), and the Mandarin (Ben Kingsley), there isn't anything that really sets him apart as a character. While he is not as badly written as the villains in "The Amazing Spider-Man 2", they at least had aspects that set them apart.
Complete with good characters, a good story, and a mixture of funny and serious moments that don't feel like they contradict each other, "Guardians of the Galaxy" is a surprisingly good movie. In fact, this movie was fun, unlike a lot of comic book movies have recently been.
Don Jon (2013)
Levitt is a good director and actor, but not a good writer
"Don Jon" is the writing and directorial debut of actor Joseph Gordon- Levitt. While Levitt has shown in the past that he is a talented actor, and "Don Jon" shows that he can be a good director, the film also shows that Levitt is not a very good writer. "Don Jon" attempts to make a realistic portrayal of modern relationships with a message to it, but everything is done so simplistically that it comes across as realistic as the relationships in "That '70s Show".
Jon (Levitt), or Don Jon, nicknamed by his friends, is addicted to porn because he finds it more engaging than actual sex. At a club, he tries to hook up with a woman he sees (Scarlett Johansson), but ultimately fails. Jon, thinking that a long-term relationship might be the key to good sex, asks around about the woman, Barbara Sugarman, before finding her on Facebook and asking her out on a date. As their relationship progresses, Barbara asks Jon to expand his future by attending a college course and forbids him from watching porn. At the college course, he meets a woman named Esther (Julianna Moore).
The relationship between Jon and Barbara is supposed to be a representation of a modern day relationship, but it takes more of a comedic standpoint on modern relationships than a realistic one, which would be fine if the movie was supposed to be a satire, but it wasn't. The aspect of Barbara not allowing Jon to watch porn and getting him to take a college course is something you can see happen in relationships, but then there's a part to show how poorly compatible they are that she forbids Jon from buying cleaning supplies for his apartment.
The relationship between Jon and Esther is also predictable once she starts bonding with Jon. You can see that Jon and Barbara are not working out and that Esther is more understanding that Barbara. All the movie leads up to is that even though Esther is older than Jon, they were more compatible because they understood each other better, which you can figure out well before the movie is over.
Jon is depicted as being a hardcore religious guy who goes to church and confession every week. After Barbara forbids him from watching porn, he lies to the priest (Paul Ben-Victor) in confession that he stopped watching porn. It is never given any explanation for why he did that. It's not as if the priest can tell Barbara that he is lying to her and wouldn't Jon consider lying in confession something he should never do?
Throughout the movie, Jon goes to visit his family and has dinner with them. His sister (Brie Larson) is constantly on her phone whenever she is seen, until the end when she explains why Jon and Barbara broke up. She was a completely pointless character who existed just to explain something to another character.
As I said before, Joseph Gordon-Levitt is a good actor and "Don Jon" does show that he has the skills to be a good director. However, the movie also shows that Levitt's writing, not only of the story but also dialogue, is not good. There is supposed to be a realistic depiction of modern relationships, but the relationship is portrayed as something right out of a comedy, which I said would work if this were satire, but it isn't.
Sex Tape (2014)
This is a nothing movie
"In my experience, the shorter the joke, the more effective. Ten seconds is hilarious, four minutes is embarrassing,"-Hope Chapman. This quote is perfect for describing "Sex Tape" starring Cameron Diaz (Annie) and Jason Segel (Jay). Even if every attempted joke didn't go on for five minutes, they were not funny to begin with and there are so many problems, big and small, that this movie has that it is almost impossible to see anything positive that came from this abomination that has been passed off as a movie.
Being married for several years and now with two kids (Sebastian Hedges Thomas and Giselle Eisenberg), Annie and Jay decide to make a sex tape in an attempt to rekindle how their relationship was early on when they first met. Jay does not release the tape afterwards and accidentally sends it out to everyone he's ever bought an iPad for, including their friends Robby (Rob Corddry) and his wife Tess (Ellie Kemper), Annie's possible new boss Hank (Rob Lowe), and even their mailman (Dave Allen). With the help of Robby and Tess, Annie and Jay set out to recover all of the iPads in order to keep their sex tape a secret.
What is just incredible to me is that this film lacks any pacing. Not only does this movie already have the premise of a thirty minute sitcom episode that is now being lengthened to film length, but so little actually happens in the movie. By the premise, you'd think that Annie and Jay would spend most of the movie going to their friends houses and trying to get their iPads without revealing why they need them back. However, a good chunk of the movie is spent at Hank's house. For thirty minutes we see paintings of Hank put into Disney movies, Annie doing cocaine to distract Hank, and Jay being chased around by Hank's dog. None of it is funny and it is the same three jokes going on for thirty minutes.
A twist (I guess that's what you'd call it) is revealed that Robby and Tess' son Howard (Harrison Holzer) got the tape, made a copy of it, and put it online and will only take it off if Annie and Jay give him $25,000. Howard's motivations are not established ahead of time so when it is revealed he put the video online, his entire motivation is established right then and there, two-thirds of the way through the movie.
This movie actually has a worse humor style than the potty humor of an Adam Sandler film or a Michael Bay film because, even though those films are not funny, there is at least the start of some sort of joke in it all. In "Sex Tape" the majority of the humor is just having the characters run around shouting out swears. There is no joke to any of it, it's just people cursing. It might be funny if the cursing was part of some sort of punchline, but it isn't. It is just swearing for the sake of swearing. Now, I have no problem with swearing in movies, but I do have a problem with it when it is used as the main source of humor in a film and it isn't funny. Then, when the movie isn't just using characters swearing, it uses pop cultural references and the jokes that the opening quote described. The pop cultural references aren't even spoofing things from culture, it is just the characters making reference to them, such as "Lincoln" or "Breaking Bad".
"Sex Tape" is just pathetic. There is not a single redeemable quality that you can take from this movie. Sure, I like Ellie Kemper and Rob Lowe in other stuff, but they weren't given anything funny to work with in this so they are wasted. I guess if I could pull one good thing from the movie, it would be that it is not the worst movie I've ever seen.
A nightmare that I want to never watch again
At a mere seventy-six minutes it feels like two hours. "The Nightmare Before Christmas" is a stop-motion animated film that has some beautifully flawless animation, creative designs for creatures and locations, and an interesting premise to it, but barely anything happens within the entire running time. The film is filled with uninteresting characters that are more action than motivation, songs that do not convey much, and some parts that are never explained.
Starting out in Halloween Town, the festivities of another Halloween end, but for the Pumpkin King Jack Skellington (Chris Sarandon) has grown to be tired of Halloween, and goes walking through the forest. In the forest, he comes across a group of trees with doors designed in the shape of holiday objects on them. Jack goes through the Christmas tree shaped door and ends up in Christmas Town. Jack returns to Halloween Town with his knowledge of Christmas, wanting to make everyone else in town understand it.
From this point on, the plot gets too complicated to properly explain because Jack's plans on what to do with his new knowledge of Christmas changes every ten minutes. First, he wants to inform the town about it at a town meeting. Then, he wants to make Christmas happen by kidnapping Santa (Edward Ivory) to keep him out of the way. There is no motivation to back up why Jack is doing any of this, yet he still does it, making him more action than motive. When he brings Christmas to the human world, he brings Halloween instead with terrifying presents, but there is no reason why he should have done this.
The musical numbers in this film are some of the most useless parts of the movie, which makes its very short run-time feel long. There are several musical numbers throughout the film, many of them several minutes long, and they barley convey anything. In Jack's song at the beginning of the movie, all we learn is that he is tired of Halloween, but that song runs for at least three minutes. Other songs gives out no information about the characters or is working towards a plot point, it is basically just a pointless musical number that are redundant. The opening song is all of the monsters singing about what they are and how it's Halloween. I'm confused. What are all of these creatures? Just have them each tell me what they are in a few stanzas of a song and then we'll put it all together to make a four minute song. That'll get it across to the audience.
How the worlds operate is never explained, nor does it make any sense. It is never stated specifically how the worlds are connected or if the other worlds are even aware of the other worlds existences. Jack apparently has no idea about the other holiday worlds, but the Christmas world knew of the human world. Then, all of the worlds are shown to be connected through some doorways in trees, yet Jack gets from the human world to Halloweentown via an entrance in a graveyard later on. Jack also flew into the sky while in Halloweentown in a sled pulled by skeleton reindeer, which would not fit through any of the doors or into the graveyard entrance, so how did he get to the human world?
Even with all of these other problems, the most surprising of them all is how pointless several of the characters are. Sally, as I mentioned above, is supposedly the second most important character in the whole movie after Jack, but she is pointless. All she does is run away from her creator, the Evil Scientist (William Hickey) and have a premonition involving Jack's Christmas. She also has a pointless romance with Jack that literally comes out of nowhere at the end and is pointless to the characters and the story. With Sally being pointless to the story, it also makes the Evil Scientist who made her pointless to have in the film.
"The Nightmare Before Christmas" is a movie that I'm barely sure of what happened in it. So few things of importance actually happens in the movie, and when they do, there is almost no motivation behind it. Bad musical numbers, pointless characters, action over motive, and set in a world that makes no sense of how it operates, this film is a nightmare that I want to never watch again.
This series should be brought to extinction
Arguably the worst movie in the Michael Bay "Transformers" franchise (though I'm leaning towards "Revenge of the Fallen" being the worst), "Transformers: Age of Extinction" seems to be the "Transformers" movie that is trying to take a darker turn with the material of giant robots fighting each other. The autobots are being hunted down one by one by a government team that has affiliated itself with businessman Joshua Joyce (Stanley Tucci) and a Transformer mercenary named Lockdown (Mark Ryan). While it does make attempts at having a darker story, interesting and complex characters, and thrilling action, the movie ultimately succumbs to the same stupidity and problems Michael Bay movies usually fall to.
Starting off five years after the Battle of Chicago shown in "Transformers: Dark of the Moon", autobots are now viewed as a menace towards the human race and are being hunted down. With the deaths of autobots Ratchet (Robert Foxworth) and Leadfoot (John DiMaggio), the number of remaining autobots has dwindled down to five, including Optimus Prime (Peter Cullen) and Bumblebee. Lockdown is helping the humans hunt down the autobots so that he can capture Optimus Prime and bring him to the creators.
Inventor and single dad Cade Yeager (Mark Wahlberg) discovers Prime with his obnoxious, "comic-relief" delivering friend Lucas (T.J. Miller). Upon the discovery of Prime, the government agency comes to the farm to collect Prime, but Prime, Cade, Cade's daughter Tessa (Nicola Peltz), and Lucas manage to escape with the help of Tessa's boyfriend Shane (Jack Reynor). Prime brings them to where the remaining autobots, which consists of Bumblebee, Drift (Ken Watanabe), Crosshairs (John DiMaggio), and Hound (John Goodman). They form a plan together to figure out who is behind the ordered extinction of the autobots and how deep the plot goes.
While all of the the other "Transformers" movies had plots with complex elements to it, "Age of Extinction" has the most complex and hard to follow plot of them all. Joyce's company melts down the autobot bodies for their metal so he can create similar robots that his company can control and sell to people. Then, Lockdown wants Prime to bring back to the creators and will give the humans a device called the Seed in exchange for Prime. The Seed can turn organic matter into the same metal that the autobots are made from so that Joyce can continue to make his products. However, one of Joyce's robots named Galvatron (Frank Welker), who is Megatron in a different body, wanted the Seed to be brought to earth so that he could use it to create a new army of deceopticons. If you're annoyed by how needlessly complex this movie's plot is then that makes two of us.
There is strangely a large amount of unnecessary characters in this movie. Surprisingly, Galvatron, who is the main antagonist of the third act of the movie, is a completely pointless character while Lockdown should have been the main antagonist of the last third of the movie. Joyce has an assistant (Bingbing Li) and an archaeologist (Sophia Myles) who serve no purpose in the movie. Luckily, to the movie's credit, Lucas, the obnoxious comic-relief who is usually shoe-horned into movies like this, is killed off when what his character could do is through. Joyce is the only character in the whole film to be complex, and because of that you do like his character, but coming towards the end of the movie, he becomes the comic relief that just whines and needs constant help.
The addition of the new autobots doesn't make sense when you think about it either. All of the main autobots, with the exception of Prime and Bumblebee, are new to the franchise. So, that would mean they were on earth for a while and never decided to help the autobots, or they arrived after the Battle of Chicago when the autobots were being hunted down. While I do like two of the new autobots, their addition makes little sense to the logical side of the story.
The effects in this movie, while not terrible, are a clear step down from the other "Transformers" movies. The autobots, especially Optimus, look completely fake, and when Galvatron and the other decepticons created by Joyce's company transform, it looks terrible.
The action sequences are varying and do look impressive, but after a while you just become numb to it. There is a firefight that takes place in Chicago and it feels like it's going to be the end of the movie, but it's only the end of the second act.
With a few redeemable qualities, but stuffed with either pointless or boring characters, an overly complicated plot, and annoying comic relief, "Transformers: Age of Extinction" is arguably the worst of the franchise. I have a legitimate question that I want to ask: Why can't we just have a "Transformers" movie where the decepticons want to do something bad and the autobots and humans have to stop them? Why can't it just be that simple? With now four movies to show the quality of the "Transformers" movies, I think it's obvious that the series should just stop.
22 Jump Street (2014)
Better than the first though that isn't saying much
I swear, sometimes I'm too optimistic. Even though "21 Jump Street" is one of my least favorite movies and one of the worst movies I've ever seen, I felt obligated to see "22 Jump Street" and went through with it because I thought this time around they may of had something. While "22 Jump Street" is better than "21 Jump Street", though that isn't hard for any movie to do, it still suffers from the same problems as the first and has some elements to it that even surpasses "21 Jump Street" in awfulness.
Starting off with Schmidt (Jonah Hill) and Jenko (Channing Tatum) once again screwing up a police mission, they somehow get to keep their jobs and are just put back onto Jump Street, now moved across the street in a different abandoned church. Schmidt and Jenko are given the relatively same assignment as they had in the last film except this time they're going to college because they look too old for high school, which raises the question why they're working for a police group that goes undercover as students when everyone can see that they aren't students.
"22 Jump Street" does a lot of the same stuff that its predecessor did, especially the use of self-awareness as a mode of self-preservation. Just because a movie is unneeded and pointless but is aware of it does not make it any less unneeded and pointless. A movie like "Scream" is self-aware, but it uses that self-awareness to try and make it stand out while "22 Jump Street" makes light of the fact that they're doing the whole thing over again without adding anything new to it. It's fine if a movie is self-aware, but "22 Jump Street" does not use it to its full advantage and just uses it as a tool so people can't criticize the movie because it's self-aware.
Once again, Schmidt and Jenko share zero chemistry together, despite the fact they helped each other through the police academy, went through the high school mission together and supposedly came out stronger, and now have been partners for a while. Not only do these two not show any chemistry, their relationship is easily showed up by Jenko's friendship with Zook (Wyatt Russell). I do not remember a single memorable moment between Schmidt and Jenko alone.
This time around, Jenko is the one having fun and getting caught up in the whole school experience while Schmidt is the outcast who we're supposed to feel sorry for. Unfortunately, this backfires as Jenko makes attempts to keep their duo together and Schmidt just can't keep up while at the same time Jenko is trying to move on and Schmidt is holding him back. Why am I supposed to want these two to be partners when it's so evident one is holding the other back and they share zero chemistry?
To the movie's credit, there were three mildly amusing parts to it. One of which involves Captain Dickson (Ice Cube) finding out that Schmidt and his daughter (Amber Stevens) hooked up, Jenko finding out and then running around telling everyone at Jump Street what happened, and the first part of the ending credits with Schmidt and Jenko in med school. Aside from those three parts, the movie is made up of the same desperate attempts at comedy that the first film had.
With the same problems as the first film but with three mildly amusing comedy scenes, "22 Jump Street" is better than "21 Jump Street" in the most superficial terms, but better nonetheless. Though, when you're a sequel to "21 Jump Street", expectations are on the ground so there is no way to go but up.
Horrid Henry: The Movie (2011)
In one word this movie is: Terrible. (I'm not using a horrid pun)
There are three kinds of movies that I really can't stand. One is a movie that is style over substance with no attempt made at adding substance, two is a movie that is completely pretentious, and three are children's movies that think children are completely stupid so they don't try. In case you haven't guessed, "Horrid Henry: The Movie" fits in with the third category. "Horrid Henry" is a move that does not know what it's about and relies on all sorts of things to keep the audience's attention.
The annoying thing about "Horrid Henry" is that the movie has a million different things going on in it, and still almost nothing happens within the whole movie. the principal of a private school (Richard E. Grant) bribes two school inspectors (Metin and Timur Ahmet) to purposely fail a public school in order to get the student's parents to have to pay to send their kids to the private school. This has happened to several schools already and now the school that Henry goes to is the next domino to fall. Henry and a group of other students, including his arch nemesis Moody Margret (Scarlett Stitt) and his brother Perfect Peter (Ross Marron) join forces to save the school.
The movie loses focus on what it is trying to do about halfway through the movie when Henry is sent to a girl's school by his rich aunt (Helen Lederer) because she thinks he's a girl. There, he runs into Moody Margaret, and this part is supposed to be used to show they hate the girls school and decide to join forces together to save their school so they don't have to go to the girl's school. This part of the movie goes on for at least fifteen minutes, serves very little purpose to the movie other than to add some terrible attempts at comedy and lengthen the movie with something that could be done in five minutes.
The character of Henry (Theo Stevenson) is given two side-stories that tie into the movie, yet don't lead anywhere. Henry says he wants to be a musical sensation, but halfway through the movie that is dropped. Then, he has an arc where he learned how to spell 'homework' and it looks like he's taking school seriously now, but then it turns out he isn't. While he and his team do manage to save the school from closing, everything is back to the way it was at the beginning of the film other than the principal of the other school and the inspectors are arrested. No characters change and there is no lingering effects from the event.
The film throws so many visuals at you that it becomes headache-inducing and even starts to make the movie slip towards that style over substance junk that I hate so much. There are a number of graphics and visual effects in the movie that make no sense and add nothing to the plot, like when Margaret throws a water balloon at Henry, there is a random sequence of him dodging the balloon using random graphics, but it adds nothing to the story.
With a story that goes every which way without any real reason for it, dumb graphic effects, an unlikable protagonist, and a mess of a script, "Horrid Henry" The Movie" is not only a terrible movie, it is intelligence insulting and just leaves you feeling tired and depressed after watching it. With so little a plot to follow and zero pacing to the story, this 93 minute piece of garbage feels like it's two and a half hours long.