Movie Review: "Divergent" C March 24, 2014
Like most movies, "Divergent" is based on a young-adult novel about a teenage girl living in a post-apocalyptic wasteland. In this case, the girl's name is Beatrice (Shailene Woodley), and her society is one in which everyone is divided into five groups matching their personality (basically: smart, brave, honest, selfless, or kind). There's a test you take when you're, I don't know, 17 or 18 that tells you which one you're best suited for, and it's usually whatever your parents were, but you're allowed to actually choose whichever one you want. The test is just, like, a suggestion. And then once you've chosen, you go live with that group -- the groups are segregated for some reason -- and choose an occupation from among the careers assigned to that group. (People in the Candor tribe can be lawyers and judges; the Erudite group are the teachers and scientists; etc.) Once you choose a group, you can never go back and live in a different one, for reasons that -- you will sense a recurring theme here -- the movie does not share with us.
Movie Review: "Cheap Thrills" B+ March 21, 2014
You could read "Cheap Thrills" as a commentary on the current American socio-economic condition, with the working poor increasingly willing to humiliate themselves in exchange for whatever breadcrumbs are tossed to them by the plutocrats who control everything. That reading isn't much fun, though, and if there's one thing "Cheap Thrills" stands for, it's fun -- sick, demented fun, the kind that hurts the next day.
Eric's Blog March 16, 2014
[Note to Movie B.S. subscribers: you might need to resubscribe through iTunes or whatever you use. There was a glitch in the matrix.]
Movie Review: "Journey to the West: Conquering the Demons (Chinese)" B- March 14, 2014
In 2005, the highest-grossing foreign film in the U.S. was Stephen Chow's "Kung Fu Hustle," a martial arts action comedy that remains, to this day, one of the looniest and most inventive live-action treats I've seen. It was popular enough to inspire Miramax to re-release Chow's previous film, "Shaolin Soccer," which the distributor had dumped earlier, and which had a similar cartoonish sensibility.
Movie Review: "Bad Words" C March 14, 2014
"I'm not that good at a lot of stuff, especially thinking things through," says Guy Trilby at the beginning of "Bad Words." "That's why my plan was so s****y." He's right about that, and the same may apply to Jason Bateman, who plays the character and chose this film for his directorial debut.
Movie Review: "Veronica Mars" B- March 14, 2014
Attending your 10-year high school reunion is rarely a good idea, and neither is reuniting the cast of a defunct TV series. But the "Veronica Mars" movie makes the best of both situations, giving fans of the show what they crave while being accessible for newcomers who want a glossy, mid-grade whodunit with a sense of humor.
Eric's Blog March 7, 2014
[Movie B.S. is now being hosted by GeekNation! There were some bumps in the iTunes transition, but it should be sorted out now.]
Movie Review: "Grand Piano" B March 7, 2014
Make no mistake, the premise of "Grand Piano" is 100 percent ridiculous. Do you remember "Phone Booth," where Colin Farrell couldn't hang up or he'd be killed by a sniper? It's like that, only it's concert pianist Elijah Wood who has to keep playing or risk being shot. "Now you know the true meaning of stage fright!" is something that the villain really says to him. There's also an element of the plot that's not entirely dissimilar to the Bugs Bunny gag where Yosemite Sam has rigged a certain key on the piano to explode when Bugs plays it.
Movie Review: "Ernest & Celestine (French)" A- February 28, 2014
"Ernest & Celestine" is one of those effortlessly charming cartoons where everything is basically very simple -- it's a story about animals that are supposed to be enemies being friends -- yet filled with whimsical details that make it unique. For example, in this world, the mouse population uses discarded bears' teeth as replacements for their own worn-out incisors, and dentistry is mouse society's most noble profession. If you asked me to make up a connection between mice and bears for a children's story, I wouldn't have come up with that in a hundred years.
Eric's Blog February 21, 2014
[Only one review on Movie B.S. this week, plus plenty of other mischief.]
The last 60 days:
- Bad Words C
- Captain America: The Winter Soldier B
- Cheap Thrills B+
- Divergent C
- Draft Day C+
- Ernest & Celestine (French) A-
- The Grand Budapest Hotel B+
- Grand Piano B
- Hide Your Smiling Faces B+
- Joe B
- Journey to the West: Conquering the Demons (Chinese) B-
- Oculus B
- Pompeii D+
- The Raid 2 (Indonesian) B-
- Sabotage D+
- Veronica Mars B-