WAR – Review

Jackie Chan once asked, “War, huh, what is it good for?” Years later, his cousin, Jet Li answered, “War gets me in a movie with Jason Statham!”

When I saw the poster for WAR (whenever that was) I remember thinking, “Hey, those are two action stars I like in the same movie.” Then, after I saw the trailer I remember thinking, “Holy crap that’s gonna suck. Maybe I’ll rent it.”

So obviously I had low, low expectations for this one.

First the good. It’s not crap.

Now the bad.

  1. Jet Li. I always thought I liked Jet Li. But as I thought about it, his American movies are horrible. Want proof? Romeo Must Die. End of discussion. And I think his English is getting worse with every movie. I’d suggest he do more American movies to help that, but then I thank him for his reluctance.
  2. Devon Aoki. She’s that girl from DOA. Never heard of it? Scroll down. In DOA, she played “Asian girl who can’t act.” She reprises that role here.
  3. I know more about Ms. Aoki’s filmography than I ever wanted. That sucks.
  4. Stupid twists. The first few twists the movie throws at you are kinda good. But by the end, they are laughably bad.
Let’s not drag this out. While it’s not completely horrible, WAR is just a drinking game based on body count.

Grade: C-

Confessions of a Superhero – Review

I love Character Studies – the kind of movies that dive deep into the twisted psyche of the protagonist and find flaws and traits that hit all too close to home. I always feel like I’ve grown or learned a bit about myself after watching one.

Confessions of a Superhero, while a documentary, is such a film. It follows four “superheroes” who make a living working for tips outside of Mann’s Chinese Theater: Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, and the Hulk.

Superman comes across as the oddest of them all. Obsessive would be a good word. But he looks like Christopher Reeve and carries a strong moral code with him. He’s portrayed as the “superhero cop,” training newbies and keeping the rest of the characters within the bounds of the law.

I’m not sure what to think about Batman. He’s the only guy in the world to think it’s a curse to look like George Clooney. But I’m fairly certain that the life of Batman is more factual than the stories this guy told. You’ll see what I mean.

Wonder Woman comes across as a sweet, innocent girl from Tennessee. She’s cute and seems grounded, but I came away fearing she’ll end up in the dark side of the porn industry. She’s just got one of those stories.

Finally, the Hulk. He’s got the worst costume, but his life is so tough that you can’t help but pull for the guy.

I’m not sure how many years the cameras followed these folks, but it seemed like quite a few. So much so that I honestly feel like I know them. If I ever went to Hollywood, I’d almost be tempted to take ’em all out for a beer. Even through their quirks and oddities, or maybe because of them, these people are stripped to their simple humanity. There’s a raw honesty present – even from Batman. I think that speaks to how great the director portrayed these people. Not as freaks, beggars, or losers, but as flawed humans we can all relate to.

If I had one complaint, it’s that I got so engaged in the stories that I wanted a satisfying ending. Or at least, know the ending. But it’s good that these stories are still being told, as are ours. I just wish mine turns out as interesting.

Grade: A-

Bullitt – Review

Time for a confession. The only Steve McQueen movie I’ve seen is The Great Escape. But, I’ve seen that movie like ten times, so that offsets a little of my masculine inadequacy. Right?

Regardless of what you think of my manhood, Bullitt allowed me another notch in my McQueen Belt. Notice the name is spelled odd? You see, McQueen plays a detective named Bullitt, that sounds like “bullet,” that detectives use a lot. Get it?

If you know anything about this movie, it’s the car chase – probably the most famous car chase in movie history. In fact, all the car chases in today’s movies are influenced by this one. Well, that might not be a fact, but everyone you tell that to will believe you.

Anyway, the famous chase takes place through the streets of San Fran. McQueen’s driving a Highland Green 1968 Ford Mustang GT 390 Fastback, and the bad guys are in a Tuxedo Black 1968 Dodge Charger R/T 440 Magnum. Arrh Arrh Arrh!! (/Tim Allen)

Like you, I’ve seen a bazillion car chases. But here, there were so many “Dammmmn!!” moments, I lost count. And by the end, I think I audibly told the TV, “That was freakin awesome!” My TV then responded, “F’n A, man. F’n A.”

So how’s the rest of the movie? Well, it’s a 1960s detective drama. It’s slower, more deliberate than today’s flicks, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing. Just don’t go in expecting a Bourne movie.

But when you boil it all down, you have to see this just for the car chase. Skip to that scene if you have to, but put this one on your list of movies to see before you die.

Grade: B

Battle of Crap: Superbad vs. Balls of Fury

VS.

Man, it’s been a rough week. In the span of only four days, I’ve seen the two worst movies ever created. Seriously. It feels like I’ve just been waterboarded…in crap.

Where to begin… Might as well start with Balls of Fury since I saw it first.

When I saw the posters and the trailers, I was kind of excited about it. I mean, it looked like a cross between Dodgeball and Mortal Kombat. Dodgeball is one of my all-time favorite comedies and Mortal Kombat holds a special place in my heart – right next to Krull. I wasn’t expecting greatness, but I at least figured I’d laugh once.

Wrong.

Let me explain. I like to laugh. People tell me I have a contagious laugh. I haven’t figured out if that’s a compliment, yet, but regardless, I can find most anything funny. Except this movie. Here’s a 90 minute “comedy” and I never laughed. Not even a chuckle. Well, Christopher Walken made me chuckle, but only once. Would it have killed ’em to toss in a cowbell?

Next is Superbad, which is rated R for “crude sexual humor.” OK, I’ve been to High School, joined a fraternity, and seen Knocked Up. I think I have a pretty good idea of what “crude sexual humor” means.

Nope. Not a clue. Not only are there two hours of crude jokes, it’s like every joke tries to be more crude than the one before it, and all crude jokes in the history of crudeness. Things got so bad, that by the end, I seriously wondered if what I was watching was legal. It’s that bad. One might say, super-bad. (That’s me sharing a bit of my grief with you).

Enough time blabbering about these crapfests. Avoid them both. Trust me. If your friend rents them and says, “Hey. Wanna see Superbad or Balls of Fury?” Punch him. And get new friends. If he adds, “I got beer.” Knock him out. Take his beer. And get new friends.

Grades: F-