BBB Toni Erdmann, John Wick Chapter 2, Fifty Shades Darker MOVIE REVIEWS

In this episode of Beers, Beats & Bailey, Ricardo and I discuss the critically-acclaimed nominee for Best Foreign Language Film “Toni Erdmann”, the sequel to the sleeper hit that ushered the return of Keanu Reeves into the action genre “John Wick: Chapter 2” and the ‘much-needed’ sequel to one of the worst films of this decade “Fifty Shades Darker”

 

– Matthew

BBB Best of 2016

Finally, we’ve made it! Ricardo Medina, special guest Michael Richards (C.E.O. of Phastraq VFX) and yours truly count down our lists of Best Hip Hop Instrumental Albums, Hip Hop EPs, Hip Hop Albums, Live-Action Movies (VFX), Animated Movies, and the Best and Worst Movies of 2016!

PART 1:

 

PART 2 –

 

PART 3 –

 

– Matthew

BBB Westworld, Insecure, Don’t Think Twice, The Darkness, The Handmaiden, Train To Busan

In today’s episode, Ricardo and I talk about a few December 2016 trailers, along with the HBO TV series “Westworld” and “Insecure”, the comedy-drama “Don’t Think Twice”, the ‘supernatural horror movie’ “The Darkness”, the South Korean romantic thriller “The Handmaiden”, and the South Korean zombie horror flick “Train to Busan”.

 

– Matthew

BBB LIGHTS OUT, JASON BOURNE, SHARKNADO THE 4th AWAKENS REVIEW

In today’s episode of Beers, Beats & Bailey, we talk about Season 1 of HBO’s gripping series “The Night Of” so far, and the short film-turned-feature horror flick “Lights Out”, as well as review (with some spoilers) the newest chapter in the Bourne series “Jason Bourne” and the SyFy Channel’s fourth entry in their amazingly popular “Sharknado” movie series: “The 4th Awakens”.

 

–   Matthew

BBB – Some BS Movies, The Angry Birds Movie, TMNT: Out of the Shadows, Warcraft REVIEWS

Along with a few crappy comedies, “The Angry Birds Movie”, “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows” and “Warcraft” managed to pique our interest. We share our thoughts on these movies in this episode of Beers, Beats and Bailey.

 

– Matthew

 

BBB EPISODE 4 – Dragonball Z: Resurrection ‘F’ / Attack on Titan (Movie) / Best Video-Game Movies

Recorded on location at the recent GamesCon 2015 event held at the University of the West Indies (St. Augustine Campus) and hosted by E-Sports Caribbean League, I, along with Ricardo Medina, talk about the newest feature film from the ridiculously popular “Dragonball Z” franchise – “Dragonball Z: Resurrection ‘F'”, and the live-action film adaptation of the understandably popular anime/manga series “Attack on Titan”, as well as share our thoughts on what were the “best” (and I use this term loosely) video game-to-movie adaptations over the past 20 years.

 

 

–  Matthew

My thoughts on “The Other Woman” (2014)

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In preparation for “The Other Woman”, I looked at an older film starring Cameron Diaz.  That film was Peter and Bobby Farrelly’s “There’s Something About Mary” (1998), a highly-entertaining, surprisingly successful combination of  both the romantic and gross-out comedy sub-genres, and one of the best comedies of the 1990s. Cameron played Mary Jensen, the pretty love interest of the likeable loser Ted Stroehmann (Ben Stiller) and the disreputable private detective Pat Healy (Matt Dillon, in a stand-out performance).  The running joke in “There’s Something About Mary” was the battle between the main male characters for Mary’s heart. However, at its core, the film had a simple, heartwarming message about being able to love someone for who they are, despite their inner flaws and outward appearance.   The message of “The Other Woman”, I assume, is that you can be the biggest BFF with the person who cheated with your significant other – provided that the person was UNAWARE that your significant other was married/in a relationship/sleeping with you to begin with. And the running joke? Fuck should I know. What I gathered from the trailers to this film, more particularly the one that I intentionally put up in my 10 most anticipated films of 2014 post in January, was that three women (Cameron Diaz, Leslie Mann, Kate Upton) found out they were all being cheated on by the same man (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, or as he’s known in the world of “Game of Thrones” – Jamie “why are you looking at your sister like that, Kingslayer?” Lannister) and they team up to get revenge. Cliched premise, yes. One’s that been done before, yes, and in a not-so-memorable-manner, yes (*COUGH*”John Tucker must Die”*COUGH*REMEMBER THAT SHIT?!!!*COUGH). But at least it would’ve made for a pretty good, if not great, comedy.

 

 

Instead, what I got was a complete failure of a comedy. Sure, I snickered when I saw Nikolaj making out with Cameron in the opening of the film (in a “Hey, it’s the Kingslayer making out with ANOTHER blonde” kind of way) and sure I snickered when I saw rapper/singer Nicki Minaj’s name in the opening credits (for the simple reason that SHE’S in this movie), but apart from a few more snickers, I got absolutely no laughs from this film. Fortunately, it’s not the actors’ fault. Performance-wise, the cast – yes, even Nicki Minaj- did their best with the dialogue and characterization that they’re given.  Unfortunately, their many efforts at humour fall flat thanks to the script, which is so poorly-written and so mish-mashed with generic scenarios lifted from other rom-coms and chick flicks (like the  let’s-get-drunk-and-talk-about-the-things-we-hate-about-men scene in the first act) that at moments, you can literally see what will happen a half hour away.

 

 

 

The pacing in this film is painfully off-putting. After Carly Whitten (Diaz) realizes that her boyfriend Mark King (Kingslayer) is MARRIED to Kate (Mann), the rest of the movie’s first half is spent on the psychologically unlikely friendship between the two women.I say psychologically unlikely because spending one hour with Kate, one of the most cartoonishly ANNOYING characters you’ll ever see in a movie this year, is enough to drive anyone to suicide. Literally the human equivalent of Charlie Brown’s Halloween bag of rocks (Charlie’s “I got a rock” line is immensely funnier than this movie, by the way), and the adult equivalent of a 6-year-old on a sugar rush,  Kate talks a mile a minute on the most random, unintelligent, unnecessary shit that comes to her head. In an early scene, she spends a minute verbally pondering the possibility of going to “brain camp”. See what I mean? Dumber than a bag of rocks!

 

 

Had I not seen the trailer or the poster to this film, I would’ve easily assumed that this film was about all about Carly and Kate getting back at Mark. But wait! The title of the movie is “The Other Woman”. Could it mean…..there’s ANOTHER woman? Why yes, there is. About 55 minutes into the film, we finally see Mark’s newest mistress: a ridiculously hot 21-year old named Amber (played by Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Edition model Kate Upton). As a reminder by director Nick Cassavetes (director of “The Notebook” – a movie that, according to the rules of male singledom, I MUST NOT WATCH) to the audience that she is indeed a swimsuit model, Kate is shown in slow-motion running on the beach in a white swimsuit, with the camera lingering lustily on her breasts and buttocks. Modern-day female empowerment or a boner alert to the guy who, 55 minutes ago, stared aimlessly at the screenwondering why his girlfriend made him watch this movie instead of Season 4 of “Game of Thrones”? You decide.

 

 

Of course, the cougar-aged Carly and Kate are jealous at Amber’s ridiculous hotness. And who can blame them? But what happens after all three women find out they were being cheated on by Mark? They become BFFs! WTF?!!! The film spent its first half showing how Carly and Kate were affected by Mark’s betrayal, how jealous they were of each other for winning Mark’s affections, and how they were able to become friends (still psychologically unlikely) despite it all. But all of a sudden, they meet Amber and they’re best friends! Save for a shot of Amber and Mark, backs towards the camera, sitting on respective lounge chairs before the slow-motion running scene, we DON’T see the two being intimate. We don’t see them having dinner. We don’t even see or hear them talking to one another. We see these things with Carly and Kate respectively, but why not with Amber? But no, we’re forced to assume that Amber and Mark were in a relationship, because Amber said so. And why isn’t Amber the least bit resentful at Carly and Kate? Doesn’t matter though, cause once Carly hatches a plan to get back at Mark, the trio become BEST FRIENDS FOREVER!! Bag of rocks, anyone?

 

 

Weirdly enough, in the film’s third act, there’s less emphasis on the childish comeuppance by our heroines at Mark and more on moments of heart and emotion (like the let’s-sit-on-the-beach-and-stare-at-the-sunrise-for-no-reason-other-than-we-feel-empowered-because-the-song-playing-in-the-soundtrack-is-telling-the-audience-that-we-are-feeling-empowered-in-this-scene scene, for example) since this is (supposed to be) a female empowerment movie. But after seeing a farting Kingslayer run to the bathroom to take a shit after one of our heroines puts laxative in his drink  (’cause ladies, THAT’s how you get back at your cheating-ass man!), you will stop giving a shit.

 

 

After watching “The Other Woman”, I made the unfortunate decision to sit through “Walk of Shame”. Now I know what you’re thinking: The fuck is “Walk of Shame”? Not to be confused with the Pink song of the same name, “Walk of Shame” starred the beautiful, talented Elizabeth Banks as a journalist trying to make it to a job interview, after a drunken one night stand with James Marsden (of all people) left her stranded in downtown Los Angeles. Wearing a bright yellow dress from the night before, she’s mistaken by the police and drug dealers as a prostitute, labelled as a “ho”, “trick”, bitch” and”bitch from the news” among other terms, and in one scene, tries to sell a $10 vial of crack (which was given to her by a crackhead who calls her “bitch from the news”, by the way) to a neighbourhood drug dealer.  While “Walk of Shame” embraced its blatant misogyny and exposed it in all its unfunny glory, “The Other Woman” tried to be a genuine female empowerment comedy, but failed in being a female empowerment movie, a comedy and genuine!

 

 

That being said, “The Other Woman” is one of the worst comedies – hell, one of the worst movies – of 2014.  If all goes well, it’s guaranteed to share its spot on my Top 10 Worst Films of 2014 list with “Walk of Shame”, since both of those movies are witless attempts at entertainment. Ladies, if you’re looking for a rom-com to watch with your friends, you may get some bit of enjoyment from it, but honestly, there’s better out there (*COUGH*”There’s Something About Mary” *COUGH). Guys looking for a hilarious rom- com that they can unashamedly watch for two hours will find themselves bored or annoyed as fuck, even though Kate Upton’s in it. And yes, Kate Upton is literal eye candy – but ask yourself, do you really want to sit through 55 minutes of comedic tedium to see her in a swimsuit? Stick to Google, homie!

 

 

MY RATING: 1 out of 5 stars (“Of course it sucked”)

 

– Matthew

 

Top 10 Worst Movies of 2013 EP: “Battle of the Year”, “Movie 43” and “InAPPropriate Comedy”

Missed me? Of course you did.

 

I had to cut my self-imposed, pre-Christmas hiatus (in which, as I mentioned in my last ‘Special Announcement’, I caught up on certain movies that I missed out this year) short as (a) I personally felt the need to post something new to my blog; (b) free time is getting shorter and shorter as Christmas draws near;  and (c) blogging deadlines are an absolute bitch during Christmastime!

 

While preparing my Top 10 Worst Movies of 2013 list, I found myself writing a lenghty rant of each of the three films that will appear in today’s write-up. Looking at the actual length of those reviews in relation to the single-paragraph reviews I wrote for the others, I figured that shifting the longer ones into a separate write-up will work better than stuffing all my thoughts and notes into one post. Think of it like putting all your Christmas gifts into one package. Yeah, it’s in one package, but it’ll be tough to manage – let alone move. 

 

I came up with the title “Top 10 Worst Movies of 2013 EP” because like an EP (or Extended Play) to an upcoming hip hop album release, for example, this write-up is merely a sample of what to expect in my end-of-the-year list. The following three films are pure examples of the cinematic horseshit Hollywood dished out to the world in 2013. They represent precious hours, minutes and seconds that I could have been spent catching up on the latest mid-season of AMC’s “The Walking Dead”. Or playing “Candy Crush Saga”. Well, maybe not that, but you get the idea. So get a tall glass of water and a bottle of Aleve, ’cause this shit might give you a headache. You’ve been warned.

 

Anyhoo, without further ado, here are THREE of the Top 10 Worst Movies of 2013 (COMING SOON TO THIS SCREEN).

 

 

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BATTLE OF THE YEAR – “Battle of the Year” attempts to do three things: (1) make a modern-day fiction film based on the hip-hop originated, and 1980s-oriented, dance style of breakdancing or B-boying ; (2) use that film as a marketing tool to promote the director’s (Benson Lee) 2008 documentary “Planet B-Boy” – which, according to Rotten Tomatoes, dealt with the global resurgence of breakdancing – to a new generation who can easily download the movie via torrent or watch it for free on YouTube (Yep, it’s there, all right); and (3) remind the world that R&B artiste/rapper Chris Brown is still a bankable actor despite the turmoil of his life outside of the limelight, like his seemingly-never-ending community service, his altercation with Grammy-winning R&B crooner Frank Ocean over a parking space, and his off-again relationship with R&B/pop goddess Rihanna. This fucking movie FAILS on all three things, and more!

 

The plot:  Hip-hop magazine owner Dante Graham (Laz Alonso) teams up with ex-basketball coach Jason Blake (played by a scruffy-looking Josh Holloway) to form a b-boy dance team (which includes Chris Brown. But you already knew that) to represent the United States in a global b-boy tournament (held in France) called….you guessed it….. BATTLE OF THE YEAR. This movie rips nearly every sports film and dance film cliche known to man! From the coach hiding his alcohol problem from his team and childish scuffles between team members over a girl, to the uniting of the team just in the nick of time for the final competition, and of course, the team’s slow-motion, motivational background score-supported walk to their destiny (which actually originated  from the FANTASTIC 1983 astronaut drama “The Right Stuff” – which isn’t even a sports or dance film to begin with!). Ahh yes, there are cliches galore in this movie! At least the “Step Up” movies, cheesy as they are, add some creativity and originality to their narratives. “Battle of the Year” isn’t the least bit original! It’s so unoriginal that the name of the American b-boy group is the DREAM TEAM! Of all the names in the world, they just had to pick the one chosen by the U.S. Men’s basketball team in the 1992 Olympics*FACEPALM!*

 

When it’s isn’t bad acting shown on-screen, it’s good actors given bad dialogue to speak on-screen. Consider the following line, from a later scene where Laz Alonzo argues with Josh Holloway: “You’re a mess, you smell like you’re sweating gin, and is that….vomit on your shoes?!”. And it gets worse when the (scoffs) “Dream Team” arrive at Battle of the Year. Ex-106& Park host-turned-E! newscaster Terrence J and veteran MTV reporter/radio host Sway Calloway deliver some of the film’s most (unintentionally) hilarious dialogue as the American reporters of the competition. This dialogue literally sounds like it’s being thought on the spot. Here’s an example: the Dream Team, during the last section of their dance set, put on blindfolds and dance to rapper Common’s hip-house b-boy homage “Universal Mind Control” (at least I give the movie credit for adding this song to its soundtrack. I REALLY liked that song when it came out in 2008, although the album of the same name was admittedly weak). What’s the response by Terrence J. and Sway? “They can’t see….and they’re dancing in UNISON!”. But thanks to the quick editing of that sequence, the viewer is unable to fully appreciate the “unison” in the team’s choreography – if it existed at all. And here’s another example: the Dream Team square off against the Seoul Assassins (Get it? Soul Assassins? Seoul Assassins? Seoul…..South Korea. Jeez! Google Map that shit, why don’t you?!) in the final round of the competition. Terrence J. says: “This is a battle for world supremacy”. Ummm…..last time I checked, South Korea and the United States are close friends and allies, and have been this way since 1950. So where exactly does “world supremacy” come into play with this b-boy dance-off? I have no fucking clue – and apparently, neither does Terrence J.

 

The three saving graces in “Battle of the Year” are the music, the dancing and an EXCELLENT end-credit sequence where b-boy teams from all over the world show off their talents on the Battle of the Year stage. But apart from that sequence (which is worth skipping the rest of the movie to see), music and dancing are the two key elements one can expect in any and every dance film. So why can’t we, at least, get a great story, relatable characters and passable, if not great, acting to go along with it, instead of a predictable plot, terrible acting, and characters that you DO NOT give a shit about? I have no fucking clue – and apparently, neither does this movie.

 

“BATTLE OF THE YEAR” – 1 out of 5 stars (“Of course it sucked”)

 

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MOVIE 43 / INAPPROPRIATE COMEDY – Ladies and gents, I present to you two of the worst sketch comedy films ever conceived. Now you’re probably wondering: “Why am I writing on these two movies at once, instead of one after the other?” Simply put, they’re one and the same.

 

Now I will admit – “Movie 43” is the better (and I use this term VERY loosely) of the two. It has a bigger budget, a large cast of A-list actors (most of whom are listed on that unappealing and unimaginative poster on the top left), production duties by Charles Wessler and Peter Farrelly (both of whom collaborated on gross-out comedy classics like “Dumb and Dumber” and“There’s Something About Mary”), and directorial duties handled by names like Steve Carr (“Next Friday”, “Daddy Day Care”), Griffin Dunne (star of the cult classics – strongly recommended by yours truly – “An American Werewolf in London” and “After Hours”), Brett Ratner (The “Rush Hour” trilogy) and even the remarkably attractive Elizabeth Banks who stars in one of the sketches (not hers, fortunately). “Inappropriate Comedy”  however, only has two A-list performers: Adrien Brody (who you may remember winning a Best Actor Academy Award for his role in Roman Polanski’s powerful WWII drama “The Pianist”) and Michelle Rodriguez (star of “The Fast and the Furious”“Fast & Furious” and the recent  “Fast and Furious 6”). The rest of the cast consists of Z-list actors like Rob Schneider (who, throughout the years, has become a literal poster boy for bad movies) and Lindsay Lohan (whose shitty Lifetime biopic “Liz & Dick”, based on the stormy relationship between Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton, rightfully earned a spot on my Worst Movies of 2012 list).

 

“Movie 43” has something that resembles a narrative. The sketches (16 in all) are tied together to a story about a man (played by Dennis Quaid) pitching movie ideas to a Hollywood producer (Greg Kinnear). However, when I saw the film for myself, I was presented with a completely different story. In this “alternate version”, a teenage loser named Calvin gets his “Jackass-esque stunts at home” YouTube page hacked by his younger brother (whose name escapes me). Calvin, with the assistance of his loser friend (whose name also escapes me), seek revenge. They make up a lie about an illegal, infamous video called ‘Movie 43’ – “the most dangerous movie in the world” according to “Whatshisface”- that must be discovered. Calvin’s brother is intrigued, and he uses his older brother’s laptop to scour the Internet for “Movie 43”. Meanwhile, Calvin takes his brother’s laptop, locks himself in the bathroom, and scours the Internet for porn, with the hopes of downloading enough viruses to crash the laptop. Now that’s what you call a fool-proof PROOF plan! While Calvin and “Whatshisface” search for the movie, they stumble on a number of videos (you guessed it….the 16 sketches), each stunningly awful than the next.

 

“Inappropriate Comedy” (or “InAPPropriate Comedy” as it’s rightfully marketed as), however, has no narrative. It’s as if the director of this movie – which just so happens to be Vince Offer (Who?!) a.k.a. the guy from the ShamWow! TV commercials (Oh, that motherfucker!) – took out a dictionary, looked for the word “narrative”, laughed to himself at the meaning, ripped the dictionary page out and wiped his ass with it! What’s left of that page is “Inappropriate Comedy”. My apologies for that analogy first and foremost, but seriously – there is absolutely no plot in this movie! NONE! “Inappropriate Comedy” starts off with a blink-and-you-miss-it spoof of the FANTASTIC Danny Boyle survival drama “127 Hours” where Vince Offer (in a totally unnecessary cameo) has his leg stuck underneath a boulder in a cave. Another guy walks past by him and finds himself looking up a air vent (on the roof of the cave, mind you) and enjoying the upskirt view of a Marilyn Monroe-impersonating (for no clear reason whatsoever) Lindsay Lohan. After an opening title sequence that begins with a baffling fade-to-white transition through the panties of Ms. Lohan (Even I couldn’t make that shit up), the upskirt lover finds an iPod that contains unheard off apps (hence the “app” in InAPPropriate Comedy”. Get it?) with names like “Blackass”, “Flirty Harry”, “The Amazing Racist” and “The Porno Review”. At this point, my dictionary page analogy should make more sense to you.

 

Both of these films are mental exercises in bad taste, bad storytelling and bad filmmaking. They’re as crass, tasteless and vulgar as one would expect from two “outrageous” (as they were advertised to be) R-rated comedies, but also brainless, tedious, dull and unfunny. All the sketches in both of these films SUCK ASS! Not one of these sketches had a smidget of genuine humour and intelligence. Comparing “Movie 43” with “Inappropriate Comedy” is like comparing “Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen” with “Transformers: Dark of the Moon”. One may be slightly better than the other, but the fact still remains that they’re both unremarkable.

 

The sketches in “Movie 43” are painful to watch, as actor after A-list actor humiliate themselves on-screen in career-derailing performances.  Examples include: a blind date between Kate Winslet and Hugh Jackman which goes awry after Hugh reveals that instead of an Adam’s Apple, he has a giant scrotum hanging down his neck; a marriage proposal by Chris Pratt (from “Parks and Recreation”) to Anna Faris (his real-life wife, by the way) that’s completely reversed into a request by Anna for Chris to defecate on her; Richard Gere endorsing an MP3 player designed as a life-sized replica of a nude woman; Johnny Knoxville and Seann William Scott torturing a leprechaun (played by Gerard Butler —what….the….fuck?!!!) for gold coins; and Chloe Grace Moretz (from “Kick-Ass”, “Kick-Ass 2” and the recent “Carrie” remake) embarrassed by the reaction of  her crazily over-reacting friend (after sharing her first kiss with him, mind you), his brother (played by “Kick-Ass”/ “Kick-Ass 2” co-star Christopher Mintz-Plasse) and father after having her first period. Laughing yet? Neither am I. But my least favourite (not like I had a favourite one, anyway) was a mockumentary-like sketch where real-life couple Naomi Watts and Liev Schreiber play the parents of a teenager named Kevin (Jeremy Allen White) whom they have home-schooled. They needlessly and cruelly humiliate Kevin throughout this segment, by teasing him, bullying him, hazing him (in a high-school-like environment), and in an extremely uncomfortable scene, teaching him how to ‘french kiss’ (both parents do this, by the way). As if seeing Hugh Jackman with a nutsack on his neck wasn’t bad enough, this home-school skit took me completely out of the movie. What were these filmmakers thinking with that sketch? Did they think that audiences would like it? Did they find humour in something that distasteful? If one of the filmmakers’ two intentions of that skit was to offend the audience, then they surely succeeded. But if the other intention is to make the audience laugh, then I’m guessing that they’ll be rewarded with dead silence.

 

The skits are “Inappropriate Comedy” are much worse, and much more offensive than “Movie 43”. When it comes to shamelessly poking fun at Jews, African-Americans, homosexuals, Asians and even Caucasians, “Inappropriate Comedy” pulls no punches, and punches the viewer in the head repeatedly to remind you that it pulls no punches! “Flirty Harry”, for example, has Adrien Brody, the Best Actor Academy Award winner, playing a gay version of the iconic Clint Eastwood cop character “Dirty” Harry Callahan. While imitating Clint’s gruff, gravel voice and dispensing justice in an unintelligent, stereotypical gay manner, Adrien spits out a slew of double entendres like: “Go ahead! Make me gay!”“Suck it up” and “So I went in….balls to the wall” . “Blackass” has a small group of African Americans doing “Jackass”-like stunts, but with an unfunny ebonic twist. The worst of these stunts involve a mouse, a mouse trap, an erect penis bulging out the owner’s drawers, and cream cheese on its tip. I’ll leave it up to you to figure out the outcome. “The Porno Review” (a spoof of the “At the Movies” TV show which starred the late, great film critic Roger Ebert. Imagine his response to this movie if he got the chance to see it) saw Rob Schneider and Michelle Rodriguez reviewing porno flicks, with a rating system based on the ejaculation level of a guy named Bob (Jonathan Spencer) who sits behind them, masturbating at the imagery on-screen (What…….the …….fuck?!!!!). But the worse thing, by far, in this film was “The Amazing Racist”. Some asshole named Ari Shaffer racially offends African-Americans, Asians and Jews (which he is) in a number of mind-numbingly unfunny segments throughout the film. In one segment, Ari plays a driving instructor who constantly insults a young Asian-American man and woman (in separate incidents) with stereotypical comments. Another segment, where Ari and his assistant are at a beach, shows African-American passerbys being encouraged to board a medium-sized boat to “go back to Africa”. Not only are these segments offensive, but they’re long, boring, bereft of humour and annoying as fuck! While suffering through these segments in particular, I observed a few instances where individuals responded to Ari’s dumb comments and questions by asking him “Are you serious?” . Along with other questions like “Who is this film made for?”, “Why was this film made?” and “WHAT…. THE….. FUCK?!!”, “Are you serious?” is just as pertinent a question to ask oneself while sitting through this film.

 

“Movie 43” and “Inappropriate Comedy” aren’t just two of the worst movies of 2013. They’re two of the worst movies in existence! These films don’t deserve a one-star rating or a half-star rating (“Burn this movie…..LITERALLY) from me. But fortunately for them, they’ll be the first to be given a brand-new rating: one that I never considered adding to this blog until now. Drumroll please…..

 

“MOVIE 43” & “INAPPROPRIATE COMEDY” – 0 out of 5 stars (“YOU ON REL SHIT!!”)

– Matthew

Main Event Reviews: “Pacific Rim” (2013) vs. “Atlantic Rim” (2013)

In 2007, American screenwriter Travis Beacham was walking on the beach near Santa Monica Pier and imagined a giant monster and giant robot fighting each other to the death. He later conceived the idea of two pilots controlling this giant robot, and asked himself “What would happen if one of these people dies?”. Intrigued by the idea, he wrote a 25-page treatment. One year later, Legendary Pictures bought this treatment, then titled “Pacific Rim”. Director Guillermo Del Toro (the man behind the badass “Blade II”, the fantastic “Hellboy” and “Hellboy II: The Golden Army” and his Spanish-language masterpiece “Pan’s Labyrinth”), intrigued by Beachman’s treatment, made a deal with Legendary Pictures to co-produce and co-write the film. Five years later, “Pacific Rim”, which started as a simple idea during a walk on the beach, is now a summer blockbuster. Ah, the power of imagination. And film production companies.  And money.

 

On December 14th 2012, the first official trailer for “Pacific Rim” went viral on YouTube, and viewers worldwide went APESHIT! Amazed by the state-of-the-art special effects, they blogged, tweeted and non-virtually asked themselves questions like “How did they do that?”. One man, however, asked himself “How can WE do that?”. I’m not sure who this man is, and honestly, it doesn’t matter. What does matter is that on June 24th 2013, approximately two and a half weeks before “Pacific Rim” opened in American theaters, “Atlantic Rim”….. I shit you not…… ATLANTIC MUH-FUCKIN’ RIM …. came out on direct-to-DVD. This mockbuster (i.e. low-budget rip-off of a popular, big-budget film) – or as I call it – Z-Make –  is the latest film from visual effects company The Asylum, responsible for such classics as 2006’s “Transmorphers” (I can imagine the gut-busting laughter during the marketing pitch for that movie),  2010’s “Titanic II” (which is NOT a sequel to James Cameron’s 1997 magnum opus “Titanic” , in case you were wondering), “Abraham Lincoln vs. Zombies” (not to be confused, of course, with “Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter”) and the SyFy Channel’s original movie “Sharknado”  (which I WILL be reviewing very soon. Scout’s honour).

 

And now for the MAIN EVENT!

 

 

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First, from Warner Bros. and Legendary Pictures, with an estimated budget of $190 million, directed by Guillermo Del Toro, and starring Charlie Hunnam, Idris Elba, Rinko Kikuchi, Charlie Day, Burn Gorman and Hellboy himself, Ron Perlman, it’s the giant robot vs. giant monster smackdown “PACIFIC RIM”!!

 

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And its opponent, from The Asylum, with an estimated budget of $500,000.00, directed by Jared Cohn and starring Graham Greene, William Shannon Williams (real name), David Chokachi, Jackie Moore and Treach from the legendary rap group Naughty by Nature, it’s the wannabe giant robot vs. giant monster smackdown “ATLANTIC RIM”!!

 

 

“PACIFIC RIM” – The true original out of the two competitors kicks off tonight’s main event.  Set in the 2020s, “Pacific Rim” begins with an inter-dimensional portal opening at the floor of the Pacific Ocean. This portal unleashes gigantic creatures called Kaiju (Japanese for “monster”), that wreak havoc and destruction in different parts of the world. The leaders of the world put their petty (I guess) rivalries aside, unite and create the Jaegars (German for “hunters”), gigantic humanoid mecha controlled by two pilots. These pilots are mentally linked by a neutral bridge, which allows them to share each other’s memories and past experiences, thus making them more efficient in navigating the Jaegar.  The Jaegar project is a success, as Kaiju after Kaiju get their asses whooped – so to speak. However, due to budgeting issues, the Jaegar project is discontinued and humans have resorted to building massive walls to protect themselves from possible Kaiju attacks. Four Jaegars are deployed to Hong Kong where the construction of a coastal wall is nearly complete. Stacker Pentecost (AWESOME NAME!!) (Idris Elba), commander of the Jaegar forces, is determined to end the war, which he plans to accomplish by destroying the portal. But to do that, he needs the best Jaegar pilots at his side. He persuades retired ex-Jaegar pilot Raleigh Becket (Charlie Hunnam) to pilot the Gipsy Danger, the Jaegar he piloted years ago. Together with Mako Mori (played by the very pretty Rinko Kikuchi), Raleigh returns to the field….or sea or whatever….to wage war on the terrifying creatures which threaten humanity’s future.

 

Like the Guillermo Del Toro films that I mentioned above, “Pacific Rim” is a visually stunning movie to look at.  Del Toro loves creating strange and unique worlds, from the amazing Troll Market in “Hellboy II: The Golden Army” where creatures of all shapes and sizes populated the screen, to the dark, nightmarish Labyrinth of the Faun in “Pan’s Labyrinth”. The post-apocalyptic world of “Pacific Rim” is just as unique, with its neon-lit cityscapes, bleak exteriors and brightly-lit interiors. Primarily, the film is a homage to the Japanese-originated genres of kaiju (which started with the post-Hiroshima cultural icon Godzilla or Gojira) and mecha (an immensely popular genre involving robots). Del Toro has the utmost respect and admiration for these genres, and it shows in the film’s grandiose approach to its subject matter. Jaegars face off against Kaiju in SPECTACULARLY BAD-ASS fight sequences, the likes of which can be imagined in a manga/anime….or Saturday morning cartoon for that matter. Comparisons of these sequences can be made to adrenaline addict Michael Bay’s “Transformers” trilogy, but the differences between those films (with the exception of the first one) and “Pacific Rim” are that, simply put, the fights in “Pacific Rim” are better edited, better choreographed, easier to comprehend and far from sloppy. Also, the film skillfully uses size and scale to its advantage, making the viewer feel physically small in relation to the gigantic creatures and robots shown on-screen. The acting is exceptional, though there’s no standout performance or scene-stealer. The true scene-stealers are the Jaegars and Kaiju, and when they appear on-screen, they OWN the fucking movie! My gripes with this movie are few. Nearly all of these fights take place at night (and mind you, they look INCREDIBLE) but I would have loved to see a few more fights in the daytime to add some variety to the film. Also, the story, while well-written by Travis Beacham and Guillermo Del Toro, slows down in the first hour thanks to a section of expository dialogue and character development that I personally felt ran a bit too long. Finally, there were a few moments where the film took itself too seriously despite its anime/manga/Saturday morning cartoon premise, but then again, it’s an American summer blockbuster. If we don’t take gigantic robots kicking monster ass seriously, who will?  In the end, “Pacific Rim” is exactly what it sets out to be, and exactly what you want it to be. It’s a live-action cartoon with human characters, gargantuan monsters and equally-gargantuan robots to annihilate them in epic fashion!  And it’s also a triumph in visual storytelling and special effects that will have fanboys and fangirls all over the world worshiping Guillermo Del Toro (not like he’ll be comfortable with that though….since he’s Catholic and all).  Hideo Kojima of “Metal Gear Solid”  fame loved it, Kanye West called it one of the greatest movies ever made, and I call it a solid summer film that deserves to be experienced on the big screen….in 3D…..and in IMAX if you can cough up the extra money!

 

 

“ATLANTIC RIM” –  You know those rappers who try to rap in a sing-song manner like Drake or use Auto-Tune to sing bullshitty choruses, just because they’re popular trends in rap music? And then they tweak these trends (usually by fucking them up entirely) just to appear “different”? Well, that’s what “Atlantic Rim” is: it blatantly copies the premise of “Pacific Rim” while trying desperately to be different. Creatures rise out of the Atlantic Ocean – their origins never explained – and the military hires these three self-righteous caricatures to kick their asses. They’re so full of themselves that they walk majestically cliched slow motion towards an Army jeep, just to get a free ride to the military base. It takes about half a minute, in case you were wondering.

 

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With their gigantic robots (nicknamed…I think… Red Bot, Blue Bot and Green Bot by their users – which is funny since Treach from Naughty by Nature gets the Green Bot – ’cause he be smoking weed in his spare time and shit – apparently), the trio fights gigantic creature after ugly, unimaginative gigantic creature. It’s the equivalent of watching an episode of “Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers” (which, as you should know, is inspired heavily by the kaiju genre). Even the robots themselves look like something out of the Power Rangers TV series.

 

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The Asylum could’ve made a toy line based off this movie. If only they had the money. Ah well.

 

The story is dull and uninteresting for its 81-minute running time. An oil rig is sunk thanks to some creature whose origin is left unexplained, and our three Zords…oops, I mean, heroes….are sent to investigate.  Afterwards, more creatures attack and our heroes are forced to step back into their robots (which run out of fuel quickly, leaving them incapacitated and immovable, by the way) shout orders at each other and save the day. “Atlantic Rim” is really fucking lame, but the cheesiness and corniness of the film itself makes it watchable.  Feel the joy as ‘Red’ (played to a douchebag-level extent by David Chokachi’) dances with his potential love interest Tracy (Jackie Moore) at a party, while footage of death and destruction inter-cuts their scene together.  Smell the tension as Jim (of ALL the names in the world, you’re going to call Treach’s character JIM?! Really?!!) saves a girl from a building engulfed in After Effects-rendered flames, and tells her that his superhero name is Superfly, because he’s “gonna fly her out” to safety in his Green Bot. HUH?!!! Gaze in amazement as the trio, powered by metallic headbands connecting themselves to their machines (*COUGH*rip-off of neutral bridge in “Pacific Rim”*COUGH), swing their arms wildly in order to get their robots to move their arms to fight the creatures. And connect emotionally with ‘Red’ who, after being placed in solitary confinement for insubordination (this montage runs for about a minute, but I assume he stayed in there for no less than 5 minutes before his superior enters the room), keeps his spirit and determination up by pacing up and down the room, doing push-ups, writing something on a piece of paper at a table, shadowboxing and screaming at the guard outside. It is the FUNNIEST scene in the entire movie! I replayed this scene about FIVE TIMES, and laughed my ass off every time! Yes, I said ‘replayed’. This movie is available for download on the torrent site of your choice, so hopefully, you won’t see the need to buy it from the bootleg DVD distributor of your choice for $10.

 

If you enjoy watching bad movies, especially with friends, you’ll find lots to laugh at in “Atlantic Rim”. The special effects are crappy, the story is poorly-written, the characters are one-dimensional and the dialogue is nonsensical. Examples include: “Jesus  H. Christ! I’d love to be watching the news tonight”, “Tell him it’s too late! It hatched!”, “We jammed that sucker! We JAMMED it!” , “What is this on my sonar? It looks like a mermaid” and my favourite line “WHOA! I GOT A WARHAMMER!!”  But thanks to its over-seriousness and lack of tongue-in-cheek humour (which most SyFy Original Movies contain. by the way), “Atlantic Rim” is a movie that you won’t be watching again….or at all.

 

Oh, and by the way, Mr. William Shannon Williams, Samuel L. Jackson just called. He wants his eye patch back!

 

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“PACIFIC RIM” – 4 out of 5 stars (“See this movie”)

“ATLANTIC RIM” –  1 out of 5 stars (“Of course it sucked!”)

– Matthew