Archive for August, 2008

Tom Cruise Made Me Laugh… on Purpose!

August 30, 2008


Got the chance to see “Tropic Thunder” this weekend with some friends, and I must say I was pleasantly surprised.  I did have a fear that the few scenes from all the trailers would be the only funny ones in the movie, but that was far from the case.

To be honest, I haven’t been impressed with Ben Stiller lately.  He’s been very mediocre in his movies (mainly because they just aren’t the best scripts).  But he most definitely delivers here.  Maybe Robert Downey, Jr. helped him out…

And speaking of Downey, HOLY CRAP!  He was friggin’ brilliant here!  Of course, he’s great in everything, but lately he’s just been hitting them out of the park right and left.  And, as he himself says, he’s “the dude playin’ a dude disguised as another dude.”  Hilarious!

The whole dig on the Hollywood system is wonderful (and sadly true in a lot of ways).  It really makes this seemingly ridiculous premise work.  From the moment you see the fake trailers created to introduce you to the actors within the movie, along with Alpa Chino’s (Oh God… that doesn’t stop being funny) “Booty Sweat” energy drink ad; all the way to the end credits, this movie is just hilarious.

However, the primary stars of this movie are almost overshadowed by a brilliant cameo from… of all people… TOM CRUISE?

Yes.  That’s right.  He is pure hilarity as the stereotypical angry producer taken to probably less of an extreme than you think (a little Harvey Weinstein in there I think).  Think Jeremy Pivens in “Entourage” with absolute power over a production.

Frightening yes, but absolute comedy gold.

And his dance during the credits!  That’s absolute genius.

I can honestly say that this movie made me laugh out loud more than most comedies I’ve been to in the last few years.  The characters were all extremely entertaining with all their unfortunate quirks.

Oh, and Steve Coogan is amazing as the “first-time director” who gets bullied by the cast until Nick Nolte as the vet (and writer of the book the war movie is based on) convinces him to take them “into the shit”.

Whoever thought to add the homages to other great war movies like “Apocalypse Now” and “Platoon”, good call.  They were just perfect.

And, I know there has been some protest about Ben Stiller’s portrayal of a mentally handicapped man (one of the movies within the movie called “Simple Jack”) and the use of the word “retard” throughout the movie.  The thing is, it’s used to parody the way Hollywood looks at the mentally handicapped in the movies it makes.  It is not meant as an insult, and should not be taken as any kind of slight against people with any mental disability.

I’m trying to write this without many spoilers, because I think everyone should go see this movie for themselves.  It’s that good.

So, do yourself a favor and check out “Tropic Thunder” when you have a chance.  I think you’ll be glad you did.

EDIT on 09/01/08:

Just got back from seeing “Tropic Thunder” for the second time, and it is just as awesome.

A few things I didn’t mention above, but I wasn’t going to rewrite the first review, so here’s a postscript.

First, this is not just a straight up comedy. This is one of the best ACTION-comedies that has been put together in a long time. The absolute absurdity of this movie is what makes it so good. I’m going to be quoting it for a while to come, that’s for sure.

I’m going to stop now, because there is too much to talk about in this movie. The review will never be enough to explain all the awesome it contains.

 

William, the Movie Nerdfighter

who laughed out loud more than he has in a long time

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Godzilla ’98, What Went Wrong?

August 26, 2008


To kick things off, here is the first movie review I posted to the Media Blitzkrieg website back on April 7th, 2001:

“I’m sure by now that most of you out there have seen the American attempt at Godzilla, Godzilla ’98 (as I call it, to keep it from being confused with the true Godzilla movies).

I have only one question: What the fuck went wrong?

I mean really, what was that incredible piece of shit that I wasted my 5 bucks on (that’s close to what tickets cost back home when it came out)?

The script (the one we didn’t see on the screen) was written by Ted Elliott & Terry Rossio. I’ve just finished reading the final draft of this script and IT ROCKS. Honestly, see for yourself (if you can still find the script online).

I think I know what went wrong between the script stage and the screen, I’ll try and break it down for you.

First and foremost, there were problems finding a director. From what I’ve heard, Jan Du Bont was originally going to do it with Bill Paxton and Helen Hunt. He decided not to and took his talent to another big budget, special effects, man versus big fucking unstoppable natural force movie Twister (a movie which I think was fairly decent).

Many other directors were considered until Roland Emmerich came upon the film (y’know, the Independence Day schmuck). He said yeah and that’s when the film went to shit.

And why is that you ask? Hmm, it might have something to do with a guy named Matthew Broderick (Bueller, Bueller, Bueller). Now I have nothing against Broderick (hell, I even liked Inspector Gadget), but what the fuck was he doing in a Godzilla movie? He belongs in comedies and family oriented movies, not big budget action/adventure films (he ain’t no Ahnold ya know).

The rest of the cast was kinda weak too. There were two bright points in the cast; Hank Azaria (Mystery Men,Mad About You, every other voice in The Simpsons), and Jean Reno (Mission Impossible,Leon: The Professional, and most recently Just Visiting). Hank Azaria is great for comic relief. He’s hilarious and is a great voice guy (it’s hard to know what he really sounds like). And Jean Reno is just fucking awesome! He’s a great actor, and he stole every scene from Broderick (“I’m in insurance,” sure ya are).

Whoever reworked the story for Godzilla ’98 should be taken out into the streets of Japan and stomped by the REAL Godzilla.

What the fuck was all that scientific explanation? We don’t need it you fuckin’ dumbass! It’s a Godzilla movie for chrissakes (science is just a formality in Godzilla, everybody knows that)! AND SINCE WHEN DOES GODZILLA LAY FUCKING EGGS!!!

I can almost imagine the studio when they read that (sniff, sniff, I smell sequel *NOT*).

The original script had so much REAL Godzilla happenings that I’m surprised Toho themselves didn’t grab it up. You definitely need to read this script (script no longer available). It seriously kicks so much ass. There was actually a typical Godzilla story! Imagine that!

The script even had an impressive nod to the original Godzilla (badly dubbed into English by people who have no clue what they’re doing). There is a moment when a man is reporting to his superiors and the audio kicks out, the radio man tries to fix it and creates a delay that makes it look like a badly dubbed tape. Brilliant!

Godzilla ’98 just goes to prove my long standing point that Hollywood ruins movies! Look at our past history folks, for every good movie out of Hollywood’s doors there are 50 or more true pieces of dog shit.

I nearly lost my lunch in Godzilla ’98 (that’s how bad it sucked), but when I read the script I was ecstatic! I love the script. It rocks. And I’m going to tell Terry Rossio that.

Mr. Rossio, on behalf of the American movie going public I’d like to apologize for the brutal butchering of your beautiful script. It was wrong and should have never happened. I hope you can forgive us and take this essay as a small comfort that not all of us are brain dead morons who allow events like this to pass unaffected.”

The postscript for this diatribe was this:

Join the Anti-bad movie movement!

Under my name, I added this:

(movie goer and public defender of decency)

 

See the original review here.

That should give you an idea of the negative reviews I am capable of.  I’ll have a positive one for tomorrow.

 

 

William, the Movie Nerdfighter

movie goer and public defender of decency

Introductions

August 25, 2008

Hello all!

This is my first post, so I thought I’d introduce myself.  My name is William and I like movies.

I’ve been a fan of the movies since I was very young.  The first movie I saw in the theaters was “Return of the Jedi” when I was only 3 years old.  That started my fascination with the Star Wars franchise and the magic of the motion picture.

Since then, I have been a regular movie-goer for the great, the near great, the not-so great, and the absolute crap.  I’m quite voracious in my viewing and will watch just about anything at least once (a great exception comes from the run of horrible parody movies that have been coming out in the wake of the “Scary Movie” franchise.  I think the final nail in that coffin will be when they come out with one actually called “Parody Movie”.  It’ll be shit, and we can all move on).

The purpose of this blog will be for me, as a movie-goer and hardcore cinephile, to give (hopefully) honest critiques of movies.  I will review every movie I see without abject malice (if there is malice, it will have a purpose).  Not only will you find reviews of the newest theater releases, you will also find the smaller titles, the classics, the cult classics, and the independent stuff you’ve never heard of before.

Now, I feel the name deserves a brief explanation.  For those who don’t know what a Nerdfighter is, here is the simplest “official” definition:

    People who instead of being made up of cells and organs and stuff are actually made out of awesome.

The term was coined by brothers Hank and John Green during their year-long vlog project Brotherhood 2.0.  The viewers of this project make up the Nerdfighter populace.  I consider myself one of their number and am fascinated with movies, thus movie nerdfighter.

So, now you know a little about why I am doing this.  Also, you may like to know that I am a writer and filmmaker living in Wilmington, North Carolina.

That’s it for the introduction.  Reviews to follow quite soon.

 

William, the Movie Nerdfighter