The Emoji Movie 😞

The Emoji Movie film poster.jpg

I am not going to say I was at a loss for words when watching The Emoji Movie because I don’t want to resort to emojis to express how I feel. Surprising, I wasn’t angry or annoyed when watching the Emoji movie but that was because I had quickly adopted two techniques towards watching The Emoji Movie to becoming bearable.

These two techniques are sleeping in small intervals (10 minutes awake and 10 minutes asleep) and treating The Emoji Movie as a bizarre avant-garde children’s comedy. The rest of the review will show you why.

The Emoji movie is about the personified meh emoji called Gene (T.J. Miller) who lives in a society with other emojis. This society lives in a place called Textopolis (I am not making that word up) which is an app on a smartphone owned by a kid called Alex. Gene is considered a malfunction because he cannot sustain an expressionless “meh” face and wants to travel to the cloud to reprogram himself to have a perpetual meh face so he can do his job.

The reason Gene is important is that Alex is crushing hard on a girl and a Meh face emoji is the most critical emoji to send to her so she falls in love with him. The movie even says that words take too long to truly express how someone feels.

Because the premise is shallow and not movie length worthy, the movie takes its characters to various apps that have nothing to do with plot and story progression. It’s more of an exhibit than a movie. They play games like Candy Crush and Just Dance, interact with a firewall, go to Youtube and Facebook, and ride the Twitter logo to their destinations.

Because The Emjoi Movie did this over and over again I decided to sleep, feeling that when I wake up I would not have missed anything. I was right, and I repeated this process until the climax when I realized I could leave in ten minutes if I stayed up.

The other bizarre thing about The Emoji Movie which occurs frequently is when all these emojis are put into situations where their emotions don’t match the tone or the situation.
Gene’s meh parents at one point argue and fight at each other about finding their son but entirely through expressionless faces and voices. You’d think they would express sadness and frustration instead on nonchalance, but it’s not played for laughs.

Similarly, when Smily (A smiley faced emoji) is constantly angry, it is weird seeing her smiling throughout the movie. It was such a poor directorial choice to do this I pretended to think it was an experimental avart grade kids movie just to get my head over the stunning ineptitude. Not that it was funny, but I was tying to find my own justifications to continue watching.

I could go on with other things like
1.how the entire movie is just a blatant ad to kids to consume more technology or;
2. How there are numerous dance-offs just to fill time and;
3. The fact that all the jokes are always the first bad pun you think of when encountering an emoji
But I was not offended by the movie because it was such void that it sucked any energy that would require anger.

By the end, my face was like a zombie. I was both stunned at how inept The Emoji Movie was while being so sleepy tired because nothing happened that was remotely interesting. I would just watch Inside Out a thousand times instead    ➖ 

Advertisements

Fifty Shades Darker: I Prefer it Lighter

Image result for fifty shades darker poster

Written (unfortunatly) by Nelson Cumming

I avoided the Fifty Shades series because people have said the books were a joke and the movie was a joke. The only reason I have started now is because I write regularly as a hobby. This is a movie I regret seeing and I urge people to avoid it.

Fifty Shades Darker is not bad, it’s evil.

What makes a Good Movie from a Bad Movie

Before you call me a man who cannot take romantic movies I think you need to see my reviews of The Lobster, Moonlight and La La Land. I would also recommend seeing Southside With You even though I didn’t write a review on it. These movies have three dimensional characters and took risks in their work. I left those movies in awe on how much a I cared for the people and how those movies were pushing the art of cinema to a different level.

Some of the worst movies ever made pile on a movement that exploits the worst of humanity. Dirty Grandpa was overly hedonistic, London Has Fallen is exploited dumb, senseless revenge and Mothers Day was sugery vanity in disguise of meaningful family moments.

Fifty Shades Darker is a movie which aims to manipulate the audience into believing emotionally abusive relationships and love are the same thing. That is a conept that I don’t want to see exacerbated into the world we live in.

The sadism (or stupidity) of Fifty Shades

Christian Grey (Jamie Dornan) is psychotic and there is no way you can argue that. Early on, When Grey approaches Anastasia’s boss and introduces himself as “THE boyfriend” I knew he had an inferiority complex. What surprised me was how much that manifested into a deeply disturbing level.

No, there is no rape nor domestic violence but Fifty Shades Darker was not far off. There was so much verbal and emotional manipulation from Christian Grey to Anastasia (Dakota Johnson) and he is so controlling, possessive, demeaning and insulting that it was disturbing when Anastasia opens her arms (and legs) to him. I think the movie was called Fifty Shades Darker because it brought gender equality back fifty years.

There is no proper setup to even give a reason why any scene have any sense. Nor did the movie explore why Anasthetia would take a man like Christan Grey back. Therefore a lot of these scenes feel like they were done for no reason which makes Dakota Johnson’s character look like an easy manipulative target. She felt like a deer in the headlights that didn’t even know it. Near the end, the explaniation as to why Grey is such a dick (and a 2-inch one at that) is so terrible that I hated the movie even more.

The Worst Four Scenes in Fifty Shades Darker

I am going to spoil the movie here because this movie is so terrible that I recommend you don’t see it.

Number 4: The Repression Revealed

I know there will be women who will defend the Christian Grey character is emotionally complex. The height of his complexity is that he is compelled to do high levels of domination because his mother died from a drug overdose when he was a kid and had the sexual desire of dominating women that look like his mother for all his life as a form of vengeance. Anastasia love him even more now for being so open and honest!

Number 3: The Damaged Dominatrix

There is also a subplot where a girl called Lelia (One of Christian Grey’s former submissives) is obsessed with Grey despite the fact Grey helped make her an emotional wreck. She carries and gun and points it to Anastasia and all Grey does is say “Lelia!” and points at her. Seeminglingly, in a trance, Lelia points the gun to Christian, hand the gun to him and kneels in front of his feet in complete submission to this Almighty Christian Grey. I smacked my palm upon my hand very loudly. The person next to me looked at me as if I was weird.

Number 2: The Sadistic Sociopath

Lelia was unstable but Grey clearly exacerbated the problem, broke her mentally and dumped her (After the gun scene he said he “put her to a psyche ward where she belongs” the most ironic line ever) He is so sadistic that he admits he is a sadist and says he will stop being an asshole but the movie shows no change in him. He starts and finishes as a one-dimensional asshole.

Number 1: The Petrifying Proposal

Christian proposes to Anasthesia saying “I want to be with you every day, every minute and every second of my life…” I blurted out “Literally” and a couple of people laughed. I just couldn’t help myself at that point. She says yes to the proposal and everyone is happy. End of movie.

The Light at the End of the Tunnel

I felt so unclean watching this. If you want to look at the movie as laughably bad, it was. But it was so morally repugnant that I never enjoyed it as an artistically inept film that I thought it was going to be. This movie reminded me of the domestic violence between Rihanna and Chris Brown. That is a bad sign.

This is the first time in a long time where I felt completely screwed over. At the end, I saw this girl who looked like the dumbest bogan ever and she applauded like a walrus and looked at the people behind her. They did not respond. At that point, I learned more than ever that there are fucked up people in this world and I am glad I am not one of them -**

Monster Trucks:As Insightful as the Title

Written by Nelson Cumming

It’s January and there is a film called Monster Trucks What more do you need to know? My expectations were low and they were met. I predicted how bad it was by giving Monster Trucks a star rating in my head before watching it and that star rating stayed after watching it.

I will provide a plot summary despite the fact no one cares. After an oil drilling problem due to a new species, the entire rig gets destroyed. That is because the new animals love oil. Meanwhile, a teenager called Trig (Lucas Tiller) builds a truck and finds the motor he needs in the animal called Creech. That is because Creech loves to be in fast trucks.

Monster Trucks 3.PNG
Where is the Team America: World Police soundtrack when you need it?

To the soccer mom who will defend this by saying “It’s a kids film!” Yeah, it is. Monster Trucks is for dumb kids (I think). Have a guess who came up with the story. It was a four-year-old kid. The former president of Paramount and his son developed the concept of this film.

A 115 million dollar money pit

If a film that is released in January or February has a nine-figure budget ($100 million of more) it is just not going to financially succeed. What I want to know is where the money went.

The release of this film is purely for Paramount to lamely did themselves out of this money pit. However, they are trapped deeper than the miners at Beaconsfield.

A lot of the money was probably spent on the CGI to generate the monsters. But Monster Trucks breaks the cardinal rule. The made the monsters ugly when they should have been cute. Kids immediately associate cute animals as good guys and the ugly creatures as bad guys. I don’t know what were the filmmakers thinking?

The first time I saw the monster up close is when Trig, believing the monster is a bad guy, baits the monster by placing oil rigs on a car crusher. The monster lies on the crusher drinking the oil make stupid high-pitched grunting noises. it looked like Jabba the Hut doing the chair pose in Flashdance.

Monster Trucks 4.PNG
You know the song: “First when there’s nothing but a slow glowing dream in a world made of steel what a feeling”

I prayed for the monster to be crushed. Trig thought it that piece of slime was cute. It brought a new meaning to “beauty is in the eye of the beholder”

A Broken Vanity Project of Dialogue

Here is how bad Monster Trucks was, the quips in the movie are nearly as bad as London has Fallen. They were so unfunny and sudden that there was an awkward silence that lingered on for one painful second. It was begging for the “buh-dum-tiss” drum soundtrack to fill the one second of silence.

Monster Truck 4.PNG
The face of profound confusion. For a split second I thought I was looking in a mirror.

I also heard from a review that Monster Trucks will teach the kids about the natural environment. Monster Trucks used multisyllabic words like “Biodiversity” “Ecosystem” and “Molepole” to describe the natural environment. How is a five-year-old supposed to understand that? The dialogue just boggled my mind.

It was transparently clear watching it that no one gave a crap filming this picture except for the overblown string musical arrangement that was forced in. Without a doubt in my mind, Monster Trucks is an absolute DUD.

Norm of the North: As Bad As It Looks

Image result for norm of the north

Written by Nelson Cumming

Norm of the North is that movie you find at a Go-Lo or The Reject Shop that only the most desperate parent will buy just to distract the kids for two hours. It will actually sedate them. I honestly believe a nine-year-old will be able to tell the movie is terrible. It is so ineptly made and struggles to tell a single joke properly.

The Pitch

Could you possibly imagine any enthusiasm from a board meeting when the ideas man suggested this:

“We are going to have Rob Schneider play Norm: A twerking polar bear”

That idea was worth 18 million dollars.

NOTN Pitch.PNG
How the hell did Norm of the North bypass the Gruen Transfer?

I may even consider Norm of the North some twisted form of ironic meta humor. The reason being that I am currently studying for a marketing degree and this movie dabbles on about marketing jargon. The movie talks about approval ratings, statistics, re-postings, legalities and investors. Didn’t everyone involved in this realize this is a kids film?

If you account for the marketing budget (which is normally about the same as the production budget), It’s possible that the film didn’t break even. Part of the marketing campaign was advertising a trailer on Youtube. The trailer has a worse likes percentage than Ghostbusters.

NOTN Reaction.PNG
Left: Chris Stuckmann’s reaction to Norm of the North. Right: My reaction to watching Norm of the North

Why is this received so negatively you may ask, well a lot what is wrong with Norm of the North is slapped onto the animation. It is lazily done. The character movements are not naturally smooth and the textures are very basic without much detail to them. It’s like watching a kids TV computer animation. It’s very cheap B-grade looking.

There is also an over reliance of showing popular music and animals and people dancing to it. It served as pure filler that didn’t add anything to the story. It was like the movie was saying “Hey kiddies we know the business-speak can be terribly boring so we are going to entertain you now with more nothing!”

Perhaps another problem is the gags. The gags don’t have much humour in them at all. It goes down to pee and fart jokes that weren’t funny. The filmmakers obviously didn’t think so as they repeated the same unfunny jokes over and over again.

The one and only positive thing about Norm of the North is that it’s material is inherently harmless. Kids won’t be scarred for life and soccer moms won’t complain to classifications board about the movies PG rating. But a lot of adults will see just how aimless the execution is.

At one point, Norm of the North makes a dated Titanic reference and I wrote in my notes “A Titanic reference? That’s because Norm of the North is a sinking ship”. I have not seen a film where the animation was so poor and ineptly made. Watch the trailer and tell me if you have ever seen animation so poorly done on a feature length film that was releases in theaters. I really want to know.  -**

Fifty Shades of Black: Fewer Laughs Than The Original.

Image result for fifty shades of black poster

Written by Nelson Cumming

This movie is Wayan’s World. If only it was as funny as Wayne’s World. That joke I just made up was funner than any gag in in Fifty Shades of Black.

It started off with jokes on chlamydia and ended with Marlon Waynes getting a giant dildo up his asshole. Like the fate of Marlon Wayne’s character Christian Black, I found watching it was painful and hurt insides felt like white hot lead.

Fifty Shades of Black is a “spoof” of Fifty Shades of Grey. The only difference is the woman is called Hannah (Kali Hawk) and the man Christian Black (Marlon Waynes) and the majority of the cast is black. Fifty Shades of Black follows nearly shot-for-shot the movie they are trying to poke fun of. The end result for me was myself poking fun at it.

Painfully Unfunny Characters Abound

Image result for kateesha 50 shades of black
Jenny Zigrino (Kateesha) playing a sassy black girl despite the fact that she is white. It is as bad as that sounds.

There are so many characters that are so annoying and unbelievable even for a spoof movie. Jenny Zigrino plays Kateesha who is a white woman being the most stereotypical black woman imaginable and it’s hard to hear what she is saying with the loud sass in her voice. It got so bad I hated her every time I saw her.

Do you want another bad character? How about a character called Jessie played by an actor called King Back (I am not making this up) He plays a black photographer who unflatteringly tries to hook up with Hanna only to do the “you misheard me” routine to cover himself when Hannah is repulsed. Oh and you realize he knows karate when he’s threatened. He sounds like Chris Tucker on cocaine.

Broke-ass Poor Dialogue.

What could possibly be worse than the actors you say? How about the dialogue. It is as painful as waiting in line for a prostate exam. Five minutes of the dialogue felt like an eternity. The dialogue in Fifty Shades of Black is worse than London has Fallen and that is saying something.

Such lines like “You look like a thumb that was yanked out of an asshole” were one of the better ones; In reference to a woman’s breath: “That’s the smell of (Christian Black’s) balls after two hours of racketball” was another. The worst line also had blatant product placement “A Mac? I licked seven guy’s assholes and only got a Dell!”

Image result for bad dialogue

There were two more lines that were hilariously ironic. When Black recites the Fifty Shades of Grey novel he says “This is fifty shades of fucking terrible, Who wrote this a third grader?” The other one had to do with Black not knowing Osama Bin Laden was dead for five years. He says “I don’t keep up with current events” when the movie continuously lampoons on recent movies, product placement and contemporary culture.

The Set Design. A Minor Breath of Relief

Despite the poor acting and the horrible, laughable dialogue, there are two redeeming things about the movie. The first one is the set designers as I could tell they meticulously got all the equipment and locations to near-perfect detail. I saw effort in there that I needed to acknowledge.

FSOB Set Design.PNG
You can tell the set designers actually watched Fifty Shades of Grey and made it look authentic. If I took out all the characters, you wouldn’t be able to tell which is which.

The second moment was when Black is told to give Hannah the worst in the form of domination. The camera pans across the whips with labels like “Glory” “12 Years a Slave” “Django Unchained” before finally going to the “Joseph Jackson” belt. That was the only time I smiled, laughing with the movie and not at it.

Those two things obviously could not redeem the movie. I could not believe I wasted money on it. This is another film to Marlon Waynes inglorious canon of films such as “A Haunted House” and “White Chicks” I’d rather watch Fifty Shades of Grey. I’d rather watch almost anything again. DUD

Amateur Night: No. Just No.

“Based on a true story… mostly” is the subtext of the Amateur Night title card. Once I saw that I knew they were going to use creative license so much that it’s not even funny. I later found out that the story is directed by the people who have involved in the true story themselves.

The key question I asked myself about Amateur Night wasn’t “Is most of this story really based off a true story?” it was “Why did this story need to be told?” because, to tell you the truth, I wish I hadn’t seen it.

So anyway the story is Guy (played by Jason Biggs whose career is in freefall) is an architect who is struggling to find a job and with a baby on the way. He gets a job on Craigslist to drive prostitutes to bachelor parties and acting like a pimp in his pink salmon shirt.

In come the sight gags.

Image result for amateur night
One of the cleaner scenes of the Biggs cleaning dildos. I decided for the view not to show the zip-lock bag all the dildos came in

So Guy does these things for the prostitutes that only a desperate man would do. He cleans all their dildos and there are a lot; he gets squirted in the face (You can imagine the source of the squirting) and collects all the money and the panties from the floor during the bachelor party.

This is one-half the problem with Amateur Night. They just settle for gross. When an R-rated sex comedy decides to go for the easy laughs it is just so tasteless. A note to filmmakers: the more tasteless you are, the smarter you have to be. When you are tasteless and stupid, your movie becomes horrible and it turns into a pissing contest to see how horrible you can be.

When a sex comedy decides to dabble in bodily fluids just for shock value you get no winners but the most morbid of people. There are piss, vaginal fluid, and lube gags in this movie. None of it comes off as funny. Some scenes like when Guy is cleaning all the dildos are elongated, cringeworthy and painful to watch.

Despite all the unfunny and lazy sight gags, it wasn’t the worst part of the movie.

Yes, you heard me.

The most hateful performance of the year: Janet Montgomery.

Montgomery is just lucky this movie is so small and so forgettable that it won’t damage her career irreparably.

Nikki (Janet Montgomery) is the lead prostitute and I absolutely hated her. From the time she is introduced to the very end, I hated her. I hated her so much. There is a scene in which she blackmails Guy into continuing being the host of the bachelor party. From that moment on I had a seething hate to the point of no return. At the end, the film embodies the “hooker with a heart of gold” cliche in a sad and pathetic attempt to care for her. She was completely mean-spirited with no leanings that she was anything but.

It wasn’t that Montgomery was a bad actress but just her character embodied vile manipulation to the point where I not only detested her but the whole movie. She crossed the line from dumb raunchy comedy to dumb and hateful raunchy comedy. With the combination of dumb sex jokes, bodily fluids, and Montgomery’s performance, Amateur night reminded me of Dirty Grandpa and that’s really saying something.

In my eyes, Amateur Night was merely a vanity project created by a couple to tell their own story and the actors are there so desperate for a paycheck. Biggs hasn’t made a movie in four years and the directors Lisa Addario and Joe Syracuse are a real life couple retelling their own experiences living in Hollywood in this hot mess.

At the end of Amateur Night, I thought of a song called “Lost in Hollywood” where the main line was “All you maggots smoking fags on Hollywood Boulevard” because sometimes I wonder how some movies in Hollywood get made. This was just the epitome or a bad sex comedy turned horrible -*1/2

Cabin Fever (2016) Review

Cabin Fever 2016 poster.jpg

Cabin Fever is one of the laziest movies I have ever seen. It feels as cheap as the movie poster that it’s advertised upon. I wrote in my review of Oujia that it was a pleasantly surprising like a four-year-old who colours in a picture inside the lines with shading. Cabin Fever is like a kid who couldn’t be bothered to colour the picture in their colouring in a book so the mother photocopied the image and claimed it was their child’s work.

Yes, that paragraph is more allegorical as it seems. You see Cabin Fever is a remake of Eli Roth’s own movie shot-for-shot from a director called Travis Z. That should ring alarm bells. It’s even worse considering Roth’s original was a terrible movie in the first place.

Because of that, I don’t mind spoiling the whole movie for you. This movie is about a group of teenagers that rent out a cabin by a lake. Throughout the film there a people bleeding all over the place, which is the fever hinted at in the title (the blood looked like paint). Slowly, the teenagers get infected and most of them die until the main protagonist realizes the disease exists solely in the water.

Warning: Basic Film-making Errors Abound

Now aside from the blatant ripoff of Eil Roth ripping off his own movie, you also have to see the DVD menu of this movie (Yes I rented. I do things old school) On the DVD menu it has the same picture of the woman weeping bleed but with the cottage and the colours are washed out (not to build the suspense. It just looks bland). The only option I could select is “Play Feature”. That’s right. No “Set Up” no “Special Features” and not even “Scene Selection”. Just “Play Feature”. If “Play Feature” the only option it begs the question “Why is there a title card in the first place”

Cabin Feaver Screenshot.PNG
I am not kidding. This is a screenshot of the title card. I have never seen a title card so cheap-looking and tacky.

The way I have described the setup for this movie sounds attractive for the people who are into campy “so-bad-it’s-good” movies. If only it were that interesting. That’s because Cabin Fever is made just competently enough that there are no intentional laughs in its cinematic ineptitude. The acting is atrocious, yet it is so bland that I couldn’t laugh at it, The “scares” in the movie are not scary at all, and the music is always amplified when a “scary scene” comes up. The only reason I could identify there was a scary scene was because of the music.

Oh and speaking of music, Cabin Fever puts loud distorted music with no build up. Sometimes it was during scenes where the sketchy characters were exchanging dialogue. The music was muffling out the sounds and the words the characters were making. I went for the subtitles, but wouldn’t you know there are no subtitles available.

The Causalities

Cabin Fever is the laziest movie of the year. No question. It’s even lazier than comedies where the actors improvise. It’s even lazier than Norm of the North. This movie is not scary, nor entertaining, nor is it written well. It even goes so far to somehow mess up the sound and it’s too lazy to even have “Scene Selection” on its title menu. It is such a terrible cash grab from Eli Roth and he even failed at that. This movie only grossed approximately $40,000. It has a 0% rating on Rotten Tomatoes.

Cabin Fever is one of the rare films where absolutely no one wins and everyone loses. It is a void-like abyss. There is nothing on the screen to like and it’s not even because it was too gory (The gory scenes looked so fake that I didn’t care). Cabin Fever has gone beyond the realms of terrible and has made itself irredeemable in the lazy film making atrocity that was passed off as a theatrical release -***

Mothers Day Review

Genre: Romantic Comedy
Year: 2016
Rating: PG
Length: 118 Minutes
Main Cast: Jennifer Aniston
Kate Hudson
Julia Roberts
Jason Sudeikis
Main Production Company: Capacity Pictures
Directed By: Garry Marshall

rs_634x1024-160307112611-634-mothers-day-cm-3716
Written By Nelson Cumming
“Mothers Day” is one of the rare movies where just describing what I had seen is enough to make you cringe. Not a single thing was funny. Not only that but there was some racism in it which was made worse by the stupid stereotypes that were portrayed that try to justify the racism. “Mothers Day” also tries to force you to gain sympathy through overdone sad generic character stories about abandonment issues and the grieving process of a mother’s death. None of this heavy themes work because they are so forced and flippant about it that I rolled my eyes whenever those stories were mentioned. Coupled with ridiculous levels of product placement, cheesy predictable “coming together” moments and jokes that are so dumb and unfunny is what makes “Mothers Day” so terrible to watch.

The “story” like other movies with large casts involves separate little stories that overarch into one main story. It is basically about how people are sad about upcoming mothers day for various reasons and how they solve all their problems by finally meeting in a hospital. Yes, a hospital, perfect for “Mothers Day”. I could go into the specific stories but I am not going to bother because it will take too long and the filmmakers did not care about what they made. If the movie does not care about its audience why should I?

One of the problems with lots of stories is the movie feels fragmented all the time. Director Gary Marshall is not Paul Thomas Anderson. Anderson got 6 or 7 seven little stories and interweaved them seamlessly in a very powerful 180-minute drama called “Magnolia” that dealt not only with the consequences of immoral actions but how those that were hurt took their final moral justice. Marshall made a two-hour romantic comedy and trivialized the subject matter of motherhood in a story so fragmented you’d forget what some of the stories are if you were not reminded of them. Yet there are some stories in “Mother’s Day” that you’d remember for all the wrong reasons.

“Mothers Day” has the annoying tendency to try and attain audience sympathy through cheap cliche tactics that soap operas like to use. An example includes how one of the families can’t get through the grieving process of their mother who died in a war which is conveyed by little girls crying on the mother’s tombstone and the husband lying on the couch nostalgically looking at a pre-recoded tape of his wife on the TV screen. It does not work because she is never really seen in the whole movie. If I can’t see or know the mother, how can I be attached to the mother in any way and how her loss hurts the family? I wrote in my notes “They really shove this mothers day theme down our throats with vapid bullshit sentimentality” That is a perfect summation of the movie.

If you are Indian I will guarantee you will be offended by this movie. There are racist remarks said by redneck racists and homophobes and you see and Indian drinking alcohol while showing the brand of alcohol in a terrible use of product placement. None of this was funny. As I mentioned before, you have to be smarter and smarter to be more and more tasteless. It can be done with great results, however, the worse the subject matter the harder they fall if not executed to comedic effect.

So I believe that “Mother’s Day” was a cynical attempt to appeal only to the lowest common denominator of middle-aged mothers that like sitting through unfunny sequences, racial stereotyping and dramatic soap-opera in one scattershot mess. I was the only man that was sane enough to leave the cinemas as the outtakes were going on before the lights went up. I just couldn’t stay through that. It is up to you whether or not you thought I was the only smart one or the only dumb one. -*

Gods of Egypt Movie Review

Year: 2016

Rating: M

Length: 127 minutes

Main Cast: Nikolaj Coster-Waldau

Brenton Thwaites

Chadwick Boseman

Elodie Yung

Gerard Butler

Geoffrey Rush

Distributed by: Summit Entertainment

Lionsgate

Directed by: Alex Proyas

gods-of-egypt-fiery-poster

Written by Nelson Cumming

This was not a good day at the movies. Needless to say, God’s of Egypt will hopefully be forgettable at best. The only reason it will not be forgettable will be because it was bad enough that it seared into my memory bank. Most of the material goes into the former but some belonged to the latter. Gods of Egypt is full of cinematic errors, boring characters, a poorly recycled plot and odd sequences. There were only one or two scenes moments where my disbelief was suspended and I was into this film (That is a good thing). Not surprisingly both of them involved the great Geoffrey Rush and even then he did some stupid stuff too! With a cast that involved Gerard Butler, Brenton Thwaites, and Nikolaj Costar-Waldau, Gods of Egypt tried to create a story that was inundated with action sequences that fell flat. Unfortunately, what little “story” they had fell flat too.

Horus (Nikolaj Costar-Waldau) the good grandson of Ra is the antihero of the film when the antagonist Set (Gerard Butler) defeats him in a fight and ruled Egypt with an iron fist and intolerable cruelty. The fight leaves Horus blind by Saul gouging his eyes out and thus robbing him out of all his powers. Because of this, Horus lives in exile. A young man called Bek (Brenton Thwaites) discovers where Horus’ eyes are stored and works with Horus to retrieve his eyes (sounds really stupid doesn’t it), defeat Set and restore peace in Egypt.

There were several little things that were wrong with this film and it was not because Caucasian actors did play most of the ancient Egyptians. That is just the tip of the iceberg. There were many issues that were worse that included the following:

  1. Choppy editing
  2. Poor scriptwriting with even poorer delivery from the actors
  3. Bad moments of cinematography and lighting (oh my God)
  4. Morals of the story that are pontificated throughout because this filmmaking craft of portraying these morals was either inept or bad enough that I didn’t care.

Those were some (not all) of the bad elements in this film that caught my attention. There were edits in this film where a character would be holding something and then they cut to a different angle of the same character (note they did not cut away) where the thing they were holding vanished out of thin air. Another example of the editing debacle occurs when Horus has his blindfold covering his eye sockets and when he collects one of his eyes the camera cuts to a different angle where Horus’ blindfold is up so we see him beginning to put his eye back into his socket. I did not see the part where Horus actually had to lift his blindfold to put his eye back in. It was the same choppy editing seen on any YouTube blog. That is the best way I can explain it.

All the lines spoken from this film had no variety and rarely had a hint of emotion. When Bek says, “The only man that can save us is Horus” he says it as flatly as if he was saying the weather forecast. The actual script was the boring same old thing that is typically heard in most films in the ancient Egyptians with lines along the lines of “If you betray me, you die” and “Only the strongest man can be king of Egypt!”

There was one scene in the film at the beginning that involved warriors reflecting Horus’ light beams with their shields. The only problem with that is those light beams reflected straight into the camera and directly into my eyes causing me squint and nearly look away. It was like if someone reflected light from their phone or watch into your eyes at high school except the beams were five times brighter and they did it ten times per second. I thought it was just my eyes because they are mildly light sensitive. However I heard critics had the same problem and it is much worse if you are watching it 3-D. I was spared because I watched it in 2-D.

Finally, there were morals in the story that had to be pontificated (meaning the characters had to say the morals of the story, instead of presenting these ideas in a way the audience can relate to). Morals pontificated included: humans need to have free will so they can make good and bad decisions, which is why evil cannot be eradicated; Rewards in life and the afterlife should not be determined lots of material possessions. Instead fate should be determined by the deeds that people make and finally true love conquers lust and greed.

So on this day, I shall say that this is one of those late summer blockbusters that did not get really good at all. I was surprised Geoffrey Rush accepted this role because he is just so much better than what was on offer. He tries so hard to be good and convincing but the script just did not let him work his magic. He stole the show to be honest. Even though Rush only got about 10-15 minutes of screentime in this 127-minute debacle. So I had to watch 115 minutes of this film Geoffrey Rush free. Unlucky me. DUD.

Dirty Grandpa Movie Review

Year of release: 2016

Genre: Comedy

Length: 102 minutes

Main Cast: Zac Efron

Robert De Nero

Directed by: Dan Mazer

Distributed by: Lionsgate

Dirty_Grandpa_teaser_poster

There is a popular metaphor that when someone gives all their effort into something and massively succeeds they are said to be “swinging for the fences”. If this movie was swinging for the fences they were not hitting it out of the park, they were conceding foul balls and strikes. If I were to describe Dirty Grandpa it would be a mix between the films Bad Neighbors and Bad Santa but with a lack of comedy. Robert De Nero and Zac Efron play Dick and Jason Kelly in a film that had a predictable plot, a premise that is used as an excuse for the “comedy”, awful dialogue and very few laughs. This is a low for director Dan Mazer because given his past films; he can certainly direct better films than this. This film is pure cinematic torture.

The premise is Dick’s wife has died and she wanted him to move on with his life a find another significant other. Jason is the grandson of Dick (Efron) who is working in law and planning to get married to a control freak of a wife. Jason takes his grandpa to Florida at his grandfather’s request. Dick is intending to kill two birds with one stone on the road trip by bonding with the grandson he neglected for years and getting laid by a college girl, both through partying and getting wasted.

It is very clear from the outset this film is meant to deliver belly laughs instead of the little giggles and subtle laughs. The opening scene attests to that fact because the gags are outrageously over-the-top and bad. The opening scene is funeral for Jack’s Grandmother. These are some of the gags from scene one:

  1. Jack’s cousin Nick describes his job as a dog breeder to guests and describes the sexual action from his dogs with attention to detail to any of the guests.
  2. Nick smokes a joint and blows smoke directly at a photo-frame of Jack’s grandmother
  3. Jack’s wife is on her smartphone and asks Jack what colour tie he wants for the wedding (orange or salmon) during the eulogy of his grandmother’s funeral.

When I saw this movie there was half a laugh coming from a different person per gag. That is about how good it got in terms of audience reaction. No laughs coming from most or even half of the audience, no belly laughs or anything like that and I don’t blame the audience for that at all. It’s the lack of decent humor in the film.

Another major problem was the scriptwriting and its excessive use of the word fuck. They used it needlessly and so much with absolutely no comic effect whatsoever. This film uses it 162 times according to Wikipedia and it did not really make a bad joke funny, as a matter of fact, I was so desensitized by it halfway through I started getting tired and board when any of the characters ranted (particularly De Nero’s). The more and more this film goes on it gets worse and worse. There are characters in this film that are so immoral or unbelievable that I could really get into the mood watching it.

There is also backstory about why Dick neglected his children and grandchildren but with the majority of the film he is so vulgar about nearly everything no one should really care. There are also a couple of cliché story conventions that made the film so predictable that anyone could see what was coming a mile away. The film then plods along with unfunny gag after unfunny gag until the conclusion. At 102 minutes in length, any comedy would run into overstaying their welcome but for Dirty Grandpa, it overstayed it’s welcome after 20 minutes.

Dirty Grandpa offers so much given the history of director Dan Mazer and Actors Robert DeNero and Zac Efron yet they deliver less than nothing. In this context nothing means a lack of humour and less then nothing means feeling gross, annoyed and offended by how this abomination of a film was executed. I was going to give it a DUD initially but as I was writing this review the more I thinking about it and it was worse than I initially thought. It is not so bad as to be considered for being one of the worst films of all time, but will undoubtedly be a candidate for many movie-goers as one of the worst films of 2016             -**1/2