Archive for December 1, 2009

I never wanted to update twice in one day, but I don’t want to have to reshuffle all the scheduled posts just to attempt to keep current. Screw it, this one’s for free. It’s more than worth it. You’re welcome.

New Moon Review

This is probably going to be the toughest review any critic has had to write, ever. On the one hand, New Moon is an abomination against God and no words will do it justice. On the other hand, New Moon is absolutely hilarious and no words will do it justice.

Love is blossoming for the world’s least charismatic couple, Bella (Kristen Stewart) and vampire Edward (Robert Pattinson). Unfortunately, they’ve forgotten that he is a bloodsucking demon and that she is a happy meal on legs, only pastier, skinnier and moody as hell. After nearly getting torn a new blowhole by Harpo Marx, Bella is somehow surprised when Edward dumps her whining arse and leaves town with his family, you know, for her protection. This leaves Bella in a catatonic state where the only way she can be happy is to put herself in extreme jeopardy in order to see visions of Edward. Over the course of doing this, she becomes closer to Jacob (Taylor Lautner) who turns out to be a werewolf, the sworn enemies of vampires. Will she mend her broken heart with renewed friendship or will she instead spend a year leading Jacob on relentlessly before breaking his heart and running off to Edward again like a hateful attention whore? Too obvious?

First off, absolutely nothing happens in this film. There is no conflict, no resolution, the start and the end are exactly the same and nobody changes at all in this film. Author Stephanie Meyer throws her utterly hateful Mary Sue character into so many laughable situations that the only people who could possibly believe this travesty is remotely realistic are the tween fanbase who have no knowledge of life. If Bella is an acceptable and accurate representation of young women today, then taking a shit on a dying relative is an acceptable and accurate way of bidding them farewell. For a supposedly strong female lead, she is nothing – nothing! – without her man, going into a catatonic state for three months, not eating, sending emails to an address that doesn’t exist, ignoring her friends and spending all night screaming in such agony that her poor father sleeps downstairs to avoid putting a tire iron through her dense skull. To be fair, after three minutes of that soulless harpy trying to guilt trip everyone into caring about her pathetic problems, you’ll be reaching for the blunt object yourself.

This is a film that puts forward the ideas that domestic violence is an acceptable thing to happen to women; that women need men to survive; that high school crushes will last forever; that gay people should be shunned from society and that suicide is the only answer to being dumped by your first fleeting taste of love. It’s a film as dangerous as nuclear warfare – there really are kids out there now genuinely believing this horseshit and wanting to go through the experience.

As if to prove that Stephanie Meyer doesn’t have a single original bone in her worthless body, the entire story is a copy-paste job of Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet, although anyone having the balls to actually think the two stories as comparable should be dangled from a tree by a hate mob and have their insides torn out by hungry weasels. From the opening shot of Bella sleeping next o a copy of Shakespeare’s tragic masterpiece to the ending, where a hysterically ill-thought-out series of events leads to Edward believing Bella is dead and attempting to commit suicide, everything in this is a straight rip-off without any of the good stuff brought forward.

There could be dozens of jokes littered throughout this about how gay the vampires are, or how gay the half-naked werewolf boys are, but, honestly, it’s just not worth it. It’s too easy a target. So let’s take the high road instead and mention that the vampire council, the Volturi, are the most inept, useless and camp collection of queers ever to skip merrily down the Hershey highway. Michael Sheen is a fantastic actor, but here he is literally doing his best to try and out-gay everyone on screen by coming off as the worst giggling, prancing, preening queen ever to fail a Bond villain audition. Even the idea of the council is retarded – there’s one rule: never reveal yourself to a human. So what do they do when they discover that the Cullen clan have a human in their midst, in love with one of their brood? Absolutely sod all! They just stare at the wall, look at bit bored and go back to seeing how much forearm they can fit up each other.

There’s nothing in the film commendable, save maybe for Billy Burke’s long-suffering Charlie Swan, the only remotely likable character in this travesty. Seriously, after you see the endless stream of effluence he has to put up with from his vile daughter, you’ll cheer when he tries to get her to move out. You’ll want to buy him a beer when Bella’s horrific meddling in police business leads to his one and only friend getting killed. This man does not deserve that daughter. Honestly, dude, nobody would ever miss that shit-filled, troll-like, attention-seeking, cock-teasing, boy-chasing, thrill-seeking, demon, whore, slut. Just do the job and leave her in a shallow ditch in those woods. Please.

The actors can’t be bothered. The director doesn’t give two shits about anything on screen. The writer isn’t being paid enough to make Stephanie Meyer’s eye-searingly bad source material work on screen. The special effects team knocked off early for lunch. And you know what? The morons who actually think this is good are going to love it. It’s porn for prepubescent girls too afraid to go online and look at penises. And it’s the funniest film you’ll ever see… until the devil finishes work on the next film. Watch it with like-minded people and get some beers in. Move over, Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen, New Moon is the best worst film ever made.

1 star (5 stars)


The Hurt Locker Review

‘War is a drug’, proclaims the opening text to Kathryn Bigelow’s tribute to the bomb disposing squads roaming Baghdad. That’s the theme behind this utterly astonishing salute to the men and women risking their lives for reasons even they don’t rightly know. Make no mistake, this film is not jaw-dropping – The Hurt Locker rips your mouth off its hinge and goes bungee jumping with it.

When their previous team leader is killed by a roadside bomb, Sergeant Sanborn (Anthony Mackie) and Specialist Eldridge (Brian Geraghty) are assigned a new bomb disposal tech, Staff Sergeant James (Jeremy Renner). However, when he turns out to be an arrogant, hot-headed thrill-seeker, they begin to worry if they will live the remaining thirty nine days they have until they can go back home.

It’s a staggering view of a world a million miles away from anything the audience could ever understand, of a war so far removed from what text books or personal stories from battles gone by could ever hope to convey that it is at first disorienting and almost jarring. After all, this is a war movie where the war is secondary to the characters, a war movie which dares not to make any impositions on the viewers’ own beliefs on whether or not the war is even right. When the dust settles, this is a story of three humans trapped in a hellish scenario even they don’t quite understand.

It’s a tale of a war where the colonels don’t know what truly happens on the battlefield, where a split decision to kill or not can alter the course of one man’s life, where a group of civilians will happily shake your hand while laying a bomb beside you. It’s a story that dares to get inside the heads of the soldiers out there right now and try to find out why they are where they are.

General sweeping praise aside, each of the three protagonists is masterfully written and beautifully acted, a portrayal of somewhat civilized men so surrounded by chaos that the only real way to let off steam is to get drunk and punch each other. Scriptwriter Mark Boal, who stuck with a real disposal squad on the front lines, has done an absolutely tremendous job in reliving that particular hell, while director Kathryn Bigelow has produced visuals and nerve-shredding tension nothing short of mind-blowing. When you don’t know if a man is waving at you or relaying a signal to someone behind you, you know you’re in a different kind of hell.

The pulse-pounding sequences come on thick and fast, as relentlessly as the realities are bombarding troops right now. Each mission is different to the one before, each bomb somehow worse and more horrific than the previous, each set-piece as unnerving as actually being shot at. Whether it’s watching a man pull up multitudes of improvised explosives at his own feet, hearing the cries of a man forced into an explosive vest or an absolutely superb sniper battle across a desert wasteland, this is one film that will stay with you long after the credits roll.

No matter what your opinion is of the war or where you stand on the people fighting it, you have to – no, you need to – see this film. It won’t change your mind, but it will rock your world and open your eyes. This is not a war you can study; this is war as a spectator sport, a battle for ratings in a world that doesn’t want the grizzly details. Harrowing, startling, eye-opening, terrifying, intense, tear-jerking, jaw-dropping and utterly unforgettable.

5 stars