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Zuo tou (2006)
My excuse for watching this is my girlfriend made me watch it
I gave this movie a '1' because the system wouldn't let me select a '0'. In this case though, negative numbers may have been necessary. Apart from bland acting, this movie is trite and ridiculous. The lead character, Aini, is really a selfish witch. She marries someone she doesn't love, tortures this poor guy by being a living bitch for ten years even though he loves her beyond all measure and knocks himself out to please her everyday. So, of course, she flirts with her hairstylist and when she's sure that she wants to run away with him, she dumps her husband and her daughter. She selfishly married her husband and subsequently selfishly divorces him (at least she is consistent). So the hairstylist dumps her and what happens next? Well, somehow, magically I assume, a woman with no money and no experience who hasn't worked a day in ten years opens a hugely successful hair salon. Man, I gotta move to Shanghai. Really, you can feel no sympathy for the lead character. She is cruel and morally reprehensible. And just when you think there is a moral to the story, she lives happily ever after. Actually, I guess the moral of this movie is: Be a selfish bitch your whole life and eventually you'll get what you want. Or maybe the moral is cautionary: Stay away from shanghai girls. Thankfully, my girlfriend is from Chongqing. She thought it was a stupid movie too.
Tripping the Rift (2004)
Duckman in outer space?
Not too bad altogether. The cgi is good. Middle of the road edginess. The Choode character is basically Duckman with a bit more of a spine. Even the voice sounds the same. They have just started showing the first season here in Canada and they've already trotted out the dark clowns in just about every episode. Gershon's voice over is improving as time goes by. I hate Stuttering John and if the ship undergoes a voice modulation, that would be fine with me.
There's a decided lack of imagination being exhibited here but it doesn't stop it from being entertaining in a sophomoric way. Doesn't move very far outside its orbit on any occasion. They could really do something with this if they stepped outside the box a little, but it stands on its own for entertainment value as it is.
Just how stupid does this movie have to be for people to get the point?
Let me start by saying that if you're expecting subtle humour, you're in the wrong theatre. It's low-brow and heavy-hitting. But he's not out to tickle your funny bone. He's got the sledgehammer out and he's drawn a bead on the side of your head. But fear not. As movies go, this is a fairly gentle education. Oh, also, heavy on the swearing, but once again, Mike Judge, not Fred Rogers.
Was this movie called 'intelliocracy'? F*** no. The gem, the essence that is Mike Judge is that he has the ability to make people laugh at themselves. Beavis and Butthead was most popular with teen-aged boys, the very people at which it incessantly poked fun.
With that in mind, I don't think the humour in this movie is aimed at the super intelligent. Maybe you are all too smart to get it. But he's not aiming at you. He's aiming at your average Joe. And he's got a message: get your act together and for god's sake, study botany! It is a little disjointed and the narrator gets to be a little irritating after a while, but once again, this movie is meant for people who need a lot of narration ;-) It's funny. It has a message that it wants to make sure that we all understand.
I question the casting of Luke Wilson in the role of a man with a 100 IQ. Sometimes, he's not able to play down (what's he got, like, a 104?) to the level of his character. Slightly forced at times.
Kudos on Dax Shepard in this one. I remember seeing him in Zathura and thinking, "This guys looks like an idiot." In this movie, he makes a great idiot. Maybe I'm psychic.
It took a while to warm up to Maya Rudolph, but I gave her a little leeway. After all, she did have to play straight man to an entire planet. But once she got a little screen time, she made a solid contribution.
Terry Crews played the same psychotic, aggressive character he's played many times before, but he makes a first-rate president none the less.
Another bonus is that the place was practically empty. Counting my girlfriend and I, there were literally six people in the theatre. We could've had a barbecue pit and a mariachi band. So, no annoying people talking, as appears to be the norm in the 'talking-to-the-tv' age.
All in all, a good premise and a competent delivery, given the intended goal. Lots of laughs sprinkled throughout.
What made this movie scary was the fact that when we walked out of the theatre, it was sort of like the movie was still playing. We saw a lot of idiocy in the people immediately around us, maybe made more apparent by the dose we got in the theatre....
They're all pods, all of them!
The Devil's Rejects (2005)
Not as bad as House of 1000 Corpses...
I am a huge White Zombie fan and I respect Rob's solo work. I really wanted to like these films. Perhaps I expected too much.
Sid Haig (any relation to Alexander Haig?) was good once again, but maybe it's because all the other performances were so bad. This movie was a lot less campy than the first one, but apparently no one told the actors. Surprising gem was Priscilla Barnes. This was a gutsy performance on her part. Sheri Moon shouldn't even be allowed to watch movies, let alone act in them. Three of her four movies (all her starring roles) have been projects of her husband (Rob Zombie) and I'm quite sure if I tried hard enough, I could find a tie in for the odd one out. Bill Mosley's character was a flat and boring homicidal maniac. Really. Or, once again, maybe it just seemed that way because everyone else was so over the top.
My main problem with the 1000 Corpses was that it was campy and in large stretches, fairly inane. Maybe it was a parody and I didn't get it. Well, the campiness was greatly reduced in Rejects (once again horribly over-acted by most of the players) but the stupidity still runs rampant. I'm not going to even attempt to weed out the plot holes in this thing. Suffice it to say that it now seems to fall somewhere between parody and homage. I'm not sure he was trying to do either. There's really nothing new here as all the plot devices have been used countless times before. This is a horror movie created by someone who's watched a lot of horror movies and said "wow, cool, I'll put THAT in MY movie someday". The ending was obviously fleshed out by playing a game of Pin the Tail on the Donkey, or more precisely, Tack the Ending on the Movie.
I know there are lots of Rob Zombie fans out there who would applaud and scream 'masterpiece!' even if this was a 20 minute video of Zombie taking a crap, but if you took away the Zombie name, you'd have a lackluster B-movie destined for celluloid oblivion. I'd suggest going back to music, but I've just heard the first three tracks from the new album and they weren't too impressive either (the title track is particularly heinous). There's no album art anymore. Cartoons, perhaps?
It's actually very funny
There's nothing earth-shatteringly deep about this clip. It's just a bunch of people in a room watch a guy with a mask on have sex with a woman. However, the masked man is priceless. He's led into the room and with all the gusto of a professional wrestler, rants and raves all over the place. He has to be restrained by two men! He's an animal! Then they hand him a condom and he very calmly puts it on. Then he goes crazy again! He has to be restrained! He's an animal! Then he calm puts on the lubricant. Then he goes crazy again! Very Jerry Springer-esquire. Funny, funny stuff. Then a blinding collage of jump cuts (I understand it's one of his trademarks but it still serves no purpose here), beastie completes the nasty, the end. This would've made a funny music video. Maybe he should've had a chat with Marilyn Manson first.
If you've ever seen someone having sex or, in fact, had sex yourself, there's nothing here that will impress anything upon your psyche. Watch without fear of permanent scarring. There's nothing here that hints at the 'genius' to come. A rather campy, rather sophomoric effort.
But it is pretty funny.
Diary of a Mad Black Woman (2005)
This was a comedy?
Where to begin? The acting was stiff. Elise, Harris and Moore were just terrible. At one point, I had to check on IMDb to see if all these people weren't soap stars or something. To their credit, they didn't have a heck of a lot to work with. The writing was trite and frankly, quite flat. I felt like I was watching a harlequin romance brought to life. The only thing that stopped me from giving this a one was the brief interjections of Tyler Perry. But small flashes of humor do not a movie make. Actually, the credits were pretty good. Or maybe I was just relieved to see them. On a positive note, I didn't waste any money on this but unfortunately, I did waste time.
Bromwell High (2005)
Foul-mouthed, sarcastic and acerbic ... I love it!
Goddam this is funny. Basically, following the travails of three British secondary schoolers and an assortment of demented teachers and students. Keisha is the black girl, who is ultra stupid and ultra violent. Natella is the ultra smart, ultra neurotic Indian girl. Latrina is the white trash slut. What more do you need? Try an money-grubbing and ruthless Afghani head master who has a penchant for telling long, winding and politically incorrect stories to his students.
This cartoon makes fun of all aspects of British life. Very sharp tongued and sharp witted. It's even funnier if you're an anglophile, but most of the humour hits you right in the chops regardless.
Goddam this is funny.
Rolie Polie Olie (1998)
Cute and oddly addictive
Okay, so I'm on vacation and flipping through the channels and I see this simple little CGI-rendered cartoon. I'll automatically give a second look to anything that's CGI. It's sappy and the CGI, as well as the storyline, are very simplistic. But there's actually something very subtle and appealing about Rolie Polie Olie. They whole idea is that it's SUPPOSED to be simplistic. From the storylines to the basic shapes used to render the characters, it gives you a look at a nice little care-free world. There's a real 1940's feel, from the retro design of the furniture and backgrounds to the "Our Gang" music soundtrack. It harkens back to the good old days (or our perception of them anyways) when people were just a little bit nicer and everything always worked out in the end. The kids are good little kids. The adults are good little adults. They even have their own Elvis. The whole thing is just so, well, CUTE! The plots are saccharine and entirely unrealistic. There are no drug dealers or mass murderers in Polieland. If I wanted reality, I'd watch the news. But they also deliver a gentle basic morality lesson. I guess a spoonful of sugar really does help the medicine go down. To sum this all up, I guess I really like Rolie Polie Olie, although as I type this my cynical side is attempting to beat me to death with my keyboard. Let your kids watch it. Let YOURSELF watch it. Personally, I'd like to spend the rest of my vacation in Polieland. There, you can talk to the TV and no one will think you're nuts. Because the TV talks back.