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“Jonah Hex”

a review by Darby O’Gill

Well, the race for this year’s Death Coach Award might just be over, because Jonah Hex is one horrible movie. Okay, I’m getting a little ahead of myself, but it needed to be said. It’s no secret that I’m a huge DC Comics fan, and I’m always looking forward to anything related to the DC Universe. So, when I heard Jonah Hex was making his way to the big screen, I was extremely excited! Add to that, the announcement that Josh Brolin would be playing Hex, and there was no way this movie could fail. Boy was I wrong! This thing is so bad; I’m really hoping I’m going to be able to put it in words.


For those of you who’ve never heard of Jonah Hex, and I’m sure that’s most of you, he’s not really a superhero, but more like a legend of the old west. The comics are very much a spaghetti-western, in which Hex is neither good nor bad, but just a bounty hunter that can buy you a drink one moment, than shoot you the next. I guess it all depends on his mood that day. He doesn’t have any superpowers, just a scarred face, and bad attitude. Simple… right? You would think. I guess DC Comics just found their Punisher. Don’t worry, I’ll de-nerd that statement for you. For years, Marvel Comics has been trying to get their character The Punisher to work on the big screen, which shouldn’t be too hard because it’s just a guy in a t-shirt with a bunch of guns. Never the less, three failed movies later, The Punisher still has yet to be properly portrayed in a movie. It’s a guy with guns, and a shirt with a big white skull on it. How hard can it be to make that movie right? Apparently, very. You would think the same of Jonah Hex. It’s a western. What could be so hard about making that work? The only thing that could be tricky is Hex’s disfigured face, which they amazingly got right; so I’m really at a lost here. What is it you ask that doesn’t work? How about a horse equipped with duel gatling guns? Dynamite stick firing crossbows? Having supernatural powers to talk to the dead? A glowing orb of… I don’t know, some kind of gas that doesn’t even exist, and can somehow level a city? Or maybe it’s a weapon that comes with a handy outline of the White House on the aiming scope? Good thing that’s what their aiming at. Megan Fox? Actually, she’s not as big of a problem as you might think. She’s not good, but she’s also nowhere near the biggest problem with this movie. No, the biggest problem here is… well the whole damn thing. You have to realize you’ve got a bad movie on your hands, when Wild Wild West looks like it could be an Oscar contender. Oh man, I haven’t even talked about John Malkovich’s phoned-in performance. And, why is Will Arnett in this movie? I can’t. I’m sorry, but I can’t talk about this movie anymore. Okay, the bottom-line here, is that this is the worst movie of the year. Wow, I could have just said that from the beginning. Oh, wait… I did. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to read a few hundred issues of Jonah Hex, and hope that I can someday repress these horrible images from my head.

Rating:


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“Extract”
a review by Darby O’Gill

The king of blue collar movies is back, and this time Mike Judge brings us the tale of Joel, played by Jason Bateman, whose life just seems to be going nowhere fast. Joel’s small extract company is doing very well, but his employees never quite seem to be satisfied. Their hours are too long, their pay is never enough, and when rumors of Joel selling the company hit the floor, what little moral they had left goes right out the window. As if that wasn’t enough trouble for poor Joel, his marriage and sex life seem to be nonexistent, and when there’s an accident on the factory floor that causes one of the workers to loose a testical, things go from bad to worse. The incident not only threatens the buyout, but also catches the eye of a local grifter, played by Mila Kunis. Add to all this, a pain in the ass neighbor, brilliantly played by David Koechner, and a best friend bartender, played by Ben Affleck, who gives a surprisingly funny performance. This only seems to add to Joel’s troubles, when he suggests that Joel hirer a ringer to test his wife’s fidelity, so he himself might feel better about his thoughts of having an affair. Take all that and mix in Mike Judge’s unmistakable brand of comedy, and you have a bonafide hit.

Nobody can play an everyman quite like Jason Bateman. His timing is always just dead on. I could watch him all day, and I think I have on a few Arrested Development marathons. The entire cast does a phenomenal job, and Mike Judge’s writing/directing takes an average story and makes it something extraordinary. Just like Office Space, you’ll be quoting this movie in no time. Just ask ingus or dingus.

It’s not a bad way to start the fall movie season. After this past summer, we desperately need some good solid movies in the fall, and not just Oscar good movies either. No, we need fun, entertaining, and most of all funny movies. You know like… Extract. I can’t think of a better way to spend your Labor Day, than watching a bunch of people hate their jobs. It might even be safe to say that, Extract is so funny, you’ll bust a nut.” Too corny? Just go see it.

Rating:

4.5 Little People



“Transformers” (2007)
a review by Darby O’Gill

Okay, this is the “Holy Grail” of my childhood. I’ve been looking forward to a live action movie of “Transformers” since 1984. So the first time I heard they were making a live action movie, and that Michael Bay was directing, to say I got worried would be something of an understatement. The more I heard about the project, the more I feared its release. Not to say I wasn’t going to see it; I just couldn’t see how Michael Bay and Hollywood were going to do any justice to my childhood dreams. Fast forward to July 4th 2007, and see just how surprised I was. And believe it or not, I liked it.

The movie does a great job of bringing “Transformers” to the masses, and making it a big summer blockbuster movie. I still don’t think this is the movie I dreamed of when I was a kid, but it’ll do. Shia LaBeouf is a big help. That kid is amazing! He really knows how to make you believe in the character he plays in every movie.

I think the one thing that scared me the most about a live action “Transformers” movie was that Hollywood would just simply over do it. There would be just too many robots and big in your face action scenes. This, amazingly, is not the case. The decision to have only a handful of Autobots and Deceptions was a smart move.  Less is more in a Michael Bay film… I KNOW!!! I’m not sure who was pulling the reins on the project (Steven Spielberg maybe?), but thank God they did. If I wanted to nit pick the movie, I could, but I would rather just enjoy it for what it is. The special effects are great, but the sound mixing is amazing! Sound mixer, Kevin O’Connell, or as he’s better known, the man without an Oscar, is the record holder for the most sound mixing nominations and no wins. Twenty in all, with zero wins, which is a crime, because his work on “Transformers” was by far the best of 2007. The use of the original sound effects of the transformation makes a world of difference. The other thing that helps make the world of “Transformers” come to life is the voice talent of Peter Cullen reprising his original role as Optimus Prime. It just would never be the same without that voice. The Mom and Dad’s back and forth is your stereo typical comic relief, but the family’s chemistry works so well. It just works. Look, the movie overall is entertaining. If you are a fan of the old cartoon, just let that love go for two hours, and watch something you never thought you’d be able to see on the big screen.

Rating:

4 Little People

DVD Two-Disc Special Edition Features:

Disc 1:

I think Michael Bay is a truly talented director. His sense of timing, movement, and action cuts makes him an editor’s director. With all that being said, I would never want to spend ten minutes in a room with him. The only person that would enjoy listening to this commentary is Michael Bay. He just tells you these stories about how great he is. “I was the first person to ever do this.” “’Die Hard’ couldn’t do that.” “I’ve got a direct line to the Pentagon.” “My penis is this big. Beat that!” For two hours! If anything I proved my commitment to this blog by sitting through the whole thing, so you won’t ever have to. You’re welcome. I’m not joking, or as Michael Bay would say, “Teasing.” Let me tell you, there are two types of people in this world, those who say, “I’m just kidding/joking” and those who are douche bags and think saying, “I’m just teasing,” will make up for all the asshole things they do to people. I would never tease you. For the love of God, don’t listen to this commentary!

Disc 2:

  • Our World:
    • Explore the world of “Transformers” through interviews with the cast and crew, stunt training footage, and exclusive access to the on-set locations.
  • Their War:
    • Learn more about the Atuobots and Decepticons with exclusive access to production design, military advisors, and digital special effects.
  • More Than Meets The Eye:
    • An in-depth featurette on the making of the Skorponok Desert Attack scene and concept boards.

There is truly hours of behind the scenes and making of footage here. If you enjoyed the movie the special features will be well worth your time… and money.

DVD Special Feature Rating:

5 Little People