Posts tagged Movie Review
Posts tagged Movie Review
Seriously. Do not. Under any circumstances. At all. Read what follows if you haven’t fucking seen Into Darkness yet. Don’t do it to yourself. Go enjoy the film. You fucking idiot. Additionally, if you are avoiding spoilers or interested in attempting to avoid spoilers regarding the original Star Trek movies, or that shitty Adam Sandler remake of The Longest Yard, go read some shitty five-mile-high, useless review instead.
That being said, if you are someone who saw Into Darkness but did not see any of the original Star Trek movies, please contact me somehow, before reading this (assuming you are not avoiding spoilers) and before seeing any of the original Star Trek movies tell me about your experience of Into Darkness. Feel free to contact me also if you saw both and either shared or had insight into my massive, aneurysm-inducing confusion.
Also, titles are going to go from italics to quotes. Fucking deal with it.
THIS IS GOING TO BE FULL OF SPOILERS. IF YOU ARE ONE OF THE MANY PEOPLE WHINING LIKE A LITTLE BITCH ABOUT NOT SEEING SPOILERS, DON’T FUCKING READ THE REST OF THIS. I’M SUPER SERIOUS YOU GUYS.
Family Guy is notorious for it at this point: plug and play comedy. The plot of any given episode is essentially just a substratum upon which various jokes are pinned via transparent setup dialogue. It’s not really a problem, necessarily, but just a trait of the show that some creative comedians might see as “9-5” comedy writing. It’s easy. It’s lazy. That doesn’t make it less funny in some instances, and it doesn’t make it bad; but that doesn’t keep it from being lazy. It’s important to note also that this plug and play comedy relies on almost entirely referential and psuedo-satirical humor that essentially owes its relevance (in spite of its lack thereof) to another cultural entity.
Enter Ted, Seth MacFarlane’s first major motion picture outing. Off the bat, I’ll state that it wasn’t a bad movie. It was just lazy.
Plug and play comedy? You got it, bitch. It can’t rely as much on cutaway humor that’s completely irrelevant to the plot, but Ted still tries its hardest to make the irrelevant relevant while it struggles to carry out a cookie-cutter romantic comedy formula.
So there are two problems here. First, it’s a fucking romantic comedy. To be honest, the romantic comedy is one of my favorite formats of film, because if it’s executed properly, you actually experience some range of emotion, even when you know what’s coming. Yes, even when you know that the budding relationship is going to experience a major pitfall, probably at least seeming to lead one of the lovers into someone else’s arms (or to the peace corps or some shit) even though they’re not actually interested and then they realize what they were missing and the main protagonist undergoes some serious catharsis and overcomes some character defect that’s been built up for the whole movie just in time to climax. Heh. Orgasm.
The only problem I have with romantic comedies, except when they obviously suck, is when they’re too god damn formulaic. When they piss in your face and say “hey, know what I’ve been drinking all day? Cliche bitch! Now it’s been filtered out of my body by my kidneys and into my bladder and out my urethra onto your stupid sucker bitch face! Hope you didn’t pay to see this in 3D asshole!”
It didn’t used to make me upset. But when the movie makes no effort to even pretend that it’s trying to have a plot that exists on its own and wasn’t just a paint-by-numbers page out of the rom-com book… it’s insulting.
Wait, what am I saying? This is a movie about a bunch of bostonians who live in fucking boston just so their accent can be exploited about twice in the entire movie. Oh, and a talking teddy bear. And Mila Kunis. Sweet, sweet Mila Kunis. Seriously though, I’m not supposed to take this movie seriously. But it tries. Oh, does it try. In all of the ways a romantic comedy is supposed to. And by being so absurd, but sticking to a completely grounded, determined formula, the movie suffers.
The real problem with Ted though is— you guessed it— Seth MacFarlane! About a quarter of the movie is dedicated to Flash Gordon references. How many people in my generation know beyond a very surface level what the fuck Flash Gordon is even about? I didn’t before I went in the movie. But, just like Family Guy, the entire theater is yucking it up at these Flash Gordon references. Granted, the theater was packed with old people, but it was also full of kids. Laughing. At the Flash Gordon references. Just like when people laugh at references in Family Guy episodes.
“Blah blah blah,” *Cutaway!* *Captain and Tennille reference!*
A room full of kids my age laughs. Do they have any clue what Captain and Tennille is? Of course they fucking don’t. Maybe one of them knows what it is. Maybe one more actually gets the joke. Did you really just laugh because of how you were presented with a pointless cutaway even though you have no concept of the content contained therein? You are a moron.
But it goes beyond that. Cheap sex jokes, cheap fart jokes. These things aren’t universally bad, and sometimes they’re actually funny. But for a staggeringly large amount of the times you could execute cheap sex jokes, cheap fart jokes, jokes about beating up jewish kids, jokes about 9/11 and people from the eastern hempisphere, and jokes about other pop culture entities that you just crammed into the movie to make up for your lack of plot other than the obligatory key points of a rom-com formula,THESE THINGS ARE LAZY.
It wasn’t without laughs. And most people in the theater ate that shit up. But even though it was a feature film with some really great comedic actors (“The Other Guys” alone made me a believer in Mark Wahlberg as a comedic actor), and a writer who clearly has a giant brain because of the scope of the pop culture crap he is able to keep in his head, it was just a lazy effort. Yes, I know rom-coms can only go so far (Adam Sandler actually managed to push this envelope once upon a time: Happy Gilmore comes to mind). Yes, I know a talking bear is absurd. But when something like absurdity— a comedic gold mine— is thrown away for cumshot jokes and racially charged Flash Gordon references, there is no vindicating a comedian’s talent. MacFarlane is a genius at plugging other people’s art into something for a cheap laugh. He’s easily the best there’s ever been at it. But that’s it.
And I’m not sure that’s much of an achievement. Even if a lot of people enjoy it. Eventually, it will get old. *Insert joke here about some movie that sucked that came out a few years ago because this actually happens at the narration wrap-up of Ted, because apparently it needed to be rubbed in my face one more time that he cared more about getting the jokes in than making them work in the context of a world full of characters that I felt I was a part of*
So yeah, I rate this film one thumb down and the other thumb up my asshole, because assholes are hilarious.
Two major, overarching reasons why you should save your money and your emotional stability and forgo seeing “Chronicle”.
Reason 1: It’s lazy Sci-Fi.
This is not my biggest quarrel with the movie, but it does become an issue. You can probably tell from the style of the trailers that they don’t explain much of the acquisition of the powers. I’m fine with that, it fits the format of the movie.
But there are too many moments where a particular ability is introduced and it never comes up in the movie again, not even at very particular, very specific major points where the using such an ability would alter the course of the fucking movie. Also, once in awhile, the characters completely forgo using telekinesis in situations where it would benefit them to do so. It’s annoying.
Reason 2: The character development is not believable.
The development of the movie’s main character is the crux of the entire film and they don’t execute it at all. As you can tell from the trailers, Andrew eventually goes out of control. This transition is hard to watch, and hardly believable. Once he’s finally out of control, it’s hard to even root for him as an out-of-control bad-ass. He just sucks. And it’s not even viable for his character to have gotten that way based on what we saw.
All-in-all, it was a great idea, executed well for about… 1/3 of the movie, I would say. But the discontinuity of some of the sci-fi elements begins to wear on you by the film’s final act, and the final act itself is completely impossible to watch or appreciate if you were paying attention for most of the movie.
2 out of 5 stars only because it was a great idea. The “Carrie” meets young Anakin Skywalker thing didn’t fly for me though.