“You obviously missed the point entirely.” is what I'll say. “It was supposed to be ridiculous. It was a live action cartoon.” is another defence I'll most likely have to use against the argument that "G.I. Joe" isn't good. I've already come to terms with the fact that I'm going to have to defend my decision to give the film a recommendation (a solid recommendation, nonetheless), against its many, many detractors. What we have to understand, though, is that 'good' is a relative term – when compared alongside Oscar-worthy material such as "The Hurt Locker" and "Up", in terms of emotional resonance, "G.I. Joe" obviously doesn't stack up. However, when comparisons are drawn to the other high-profile action films from the summer of 2009 ("Wolverine", "Terminator Salvation", and "Transformers 2"), I'm sorry, but in my eyes, "G.I. Joe" stands head and shoulders above its competition.
As zombies get set to usurp the vampire as Hollywood's monster of choice, it is inevitable that we will see more attempts at zombie-themed horror comedy. While the idea of using zombies in a comedically-toned horror film dates back to the mid-eighties and Dan O'Bannon's Return of the Living Dead , the modern resurgence is obviously a result of the success of Edgar Wright's Shaun of the Dead . Shaun of the Dead was brilliant in the sense that it was a completely unique work that never hid it's influences from the audience. Despite the obvious inspiration of the works of George Romero, Wright managed to successfully balance the line between originality and homage, creating not only one of the most entertaining zombie films ever created, but, quite simply, one of the best.
I saw "The Goonies" in its entirety, for the first time, last night. That's right, until last night, this 24-year old film critic had never seen "The Goonies" the whole way through. I'd seen parts when the film played on TV, but had never seen the whole film, despite my affection for what I had seen. I was missing out, and for those of you who've yet to see this classic of 80's family film-making, you are too.
First and foremost, I had no desire to see "Grandma's Boy". The trailers were promoting a film which was apparently based around toilet humour, with the idea being, “Get high, and see what kind of strange scenarios we can create.” It's a formula that's completely stale, yet has never really provided much of a foundation upon which to build laughs. (The notable exception being last year's "Harold and Kumar"). After watching the movie, I've realized that it's not just built on stoner humour, it's nearly the entire body of the film. It's completely devoid of any kind of plot. The film runs on cruise control from one sequence to the next, non-stop, delivering gag after gag. That being said, I will admit that I enjoyed it much more than I should have.
I'm certain many people walking into a showing of "Grindhouse" are doing so, because Quentin Tarantino's name is attached. I would venture to say that many of these people could probably care less about Robert Rodriguez's story, and may not even know who he is. Probably not many, but his name is certainly not as recognized or respected as Tarantino's. The problem is that people don't realize or understand the concept of "Grindhouse". They're not familiar with the films from which it draws its inspiration, nor are they familiar with the type of theatre from which the film draws its structure and title. This is too bad, as the film draws much of its charm from this principle.
"Saturday Night Fever" holds a special place in cinematic history not because it is a great film, or even a good film, but because it was a defining culture piece. It represented a snapshot of a type of counter-culture that was beyond popular for its era, and no other film managed to be nearly as significant an influence during that time. "Groove" is a snapshot of a different kind of counter-culture. 'Rave,' while nowhere near as popular as disco, is still just as important (if not drastically more so) to the people who belong to its group. What “SNF” is to disco, I have to believe "Groove" is to rave.
Before I begin my review of the American remake of Takashi Shimizu's "Ju-On", I'd like to explain the history of the series for those who are unaware of the sheer number of films in the series. The series originated with an incredibly effective made-for-TV film in 2000, and was followed by a sequel of sorts, released the same year. (The sequel, appropriately titled, "Ju-On 2", was a less than stellar construction, consisting of half an hour of recycled material from the first film, and roughly 45 minutes of new footage.) At the promise of a higher budget and perhaps an increased level of publicity, a theatrical feature was released, titled "Ju-On: The Grudge", which kept the basic plot in tact, and was remarkably similar to the original TV films. The theatrical release is one of the most frightening features ever made, and displays how strong a grasp Asian horror directors have on creating suspense and terror. This was followed by yet another sequel, bringing the series total to four.
"Gutterballs" is very complex in its base simplicity - nice little contradiction there. It's part 80's gore fest mixed with 70's rape exploitation films (let's NOT argue that "I Spit on Your Grave" is a feminist statement and let's see it for what it really is) and part over the top confused gore fest. All that being said this film has a very endearing charm that makes me love it and hate it all at the same time.
While I won't compare “The Green Lantern” to any of the recent comic book adaptations that have impressed me beyond measure (“Spider-Man 2”, “The Dark Knight” and “Iron Man”), “The Green Lantern” certainly entertained me more than I expected it to, especially within the realm of DC Comics adaptations. I liked it more than just a little bit, and I expect some negative feedback on this review, based on the general consensus that the film is what many would consider 'a dog'.