Too many to count!

Winning is for losers


I am a loser, which sucks. I am also a loser, which is amazing, but for the purposes of what I am about to say, I am a loser, which sucks.
-spacer-
Reported on 6th of February, 2017

Editor’s note: Some of you have been asking for me to make smaller posts more frequently. So here is an enormous one with all the films mushed together! Don’t worry, I have an excuse.

Since there are many you don’t care, you may skip ahead by clicking the title you most want me to vilify/love: Great Wall – Fleur de TonnerreLa Fille de BrestThe Last FaceLa La LandOuija: Origin of EvilxXx: Reactivated.

I really do see everything.

Wondering where I was this last month? Of course not; you’re not even reading this! I was, if you must know, re-writing a script. It’s been nine years since I started doing this bee-log, and I’m taking all the things I’ve learned watching movies and forgetting how to apply them to writing them. Imagine. Selling a screenplay. I could make as money as I do writing this!

An explosion of films!


re: Too many to count!
menu

Nevertheless, having finished the rough draft, which was actually pretty fun to write, I’m taking two days off, during which I will fill you in on what to see and what not to, and how to avoid doing either by just reading this. That’s correct. I’m helping you to do nothing.

As such, and true to the original intent of this damned thing, I’m giving myself a 20-minute egg-timer for each film. Minus the hour of scanning, the hour of looking up the honorific abbreviation for ‘miss’ in Chinese, the hour of learning there is an honorific, but there’s no abbreviation, at least in Pinyin, unless it’s internet Pinyan, and then miss can mean whore, and then deciding to just use ‘miss’, except I never found a place for Ms. Tian Jing’s name anyway.

Great Wall

11 January 2017 @ The Gaumont Rennes


$10.00 or, if one must be jejune, and one must... 
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆

menu

This is the first film of the year, weirdly released in France before the US. I saw it because as a Save Me Whitey, Save Me movie made by an Chinese production company, there was no way I wouldn’t. Also, as the first film of the year, if it was good, so would the rest of the year.

The feeling I had watching it was one of confusion. I kinda liked it. It’s a straight up old-fashioned genre film, with story, characters, and occasionally funny dialog. When Mr. Damon is asked why it’s bad luck to leave a man behind, ‘It was bad luck for the men who left me behind’ is in the primer of tough guy lines.

First time I ever brought jerky into the cinema. Wish I had thought of that way earlier.

First time I ever brought jerky into the cinema. Wish I had thought of that way earlier.

The story is rogues looking for gunpowder, and the very basic conflict is honor versus money. There’s an interesting moment where Mr. Damon’s partner (after Mr. Damon’s inevitable conversion to good guy) actually goes through the heist of the gunpowder, leading, confusingly I suppose for audiences raised on Twilight, to consequences. Character want things, and then, they do things to get them.

Weird.

Here’s a B-story that took about one minute of screen-time: The Kid is a coward, Mr. Damon saves him anyway, The Kid is grateful, and in the end, he sacrifices himself to save them. I cried. Something this straightforward couldn’t even survive most genre rewrites.

Much of the criticism of the film is focused on the director who made some movies that are like super important or something, but not knowing who it was, or caring if I did know, helps. It’s a movie. Try watching it next time.

Great Wall: The Take

menu
This film breaks down very easily.
Loss
The CG is straight up lousy
$2.00
Profit
which is a shame, because the creature design, eyes on the side of the mouth, pretty cool.
$2.50
Loss
The anachronism of having a female general in 14C China
$2.00
Profit
The genuinely moving way in which her dying superior confers honor upon her without ever mentioning the anachronism.
$3.00
Loss
With that many retro-engineered steam-punk weapons, holding them back seems stupid…
$1.00
Profit(s)
…until you realize how many weapons they thought of
$3.00
Cool shit:
The stack of bloody rings indicating the number of soldiers who died.
$1.00
The bullfighting monster scene in the fog.
$1.50
Finally, and this is about me, seeing the credits. I liked Rogue One, which had a similar feeling: diverting genre. Hard to make and underrated, making it, in turn, hard to get made. The end credits come up with the similarity I had sensed, the screenwriter: Mr. Tony Gilroy, of Michael Clayton fame. It is the inverse of what happens at the end of a JJ Abrams joint, with exactly the same exultation: ‘I knew it!’
$4.00

$10.00


The Last Face

16 January 2017 @ Les 2 Alizes


$5.00 or, if one must be prosaic, and one must... 
★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆

menu


Transitioning nicely, we have a Save Me Whitey, Save Me movie, made by Whitey, that is literally about Saving Them Whitey, Saving Them. Why on earth would I see The Last Face, aside from the comically terrible title, which attracts me like a shiny coin in the street?

What? It could be chocolate.

I, like you until now, had never heard of The Last Face. Then it showed up as an English language option at the local theater, and I checked out the various tomato splats online. It was so vilified, there was no way I wasn’t going to go.

Just as I entered, I realized I had forgotten my notebook. Now, I really did not want to see a movie like this without writing shit down to keep me from leaving a movie that I wouldn’t have seen in the first place. As opposed to not seeing it at all, of course. The Last Face, became instead an historic first. I brought in the purple painted MacBook, turned off the screen, and just typed.

This is a superior way of taking notes: you get to watch the screen, and my notes are so long, they’re practically unusable. And thank God for you I did. You always go in wondering if a film going off the rails like this is going to be fun. This did not take me long to realize, as I typed the following:

‘It’s terrible!

Clock ticking.

Single tear.

It’s awesome!’

The Last Face is the closest to an Uwe Boll film I’ve seen in a long time, with gems such as ‘Until the weather itself became invisible’, ‘sometimes a face is an illusion.’, ‘Bronte once wrote…’, and indelibly, I think children spell love ‘T-I-M-E.’

I love my local theater, but eighteen minutes of ads, even if they are ridiculous local ads with Adobe After Effects moving stills, is getting extremely UK.

I love my local theater, but eighteen minutes of ads, even if they are ridiculous local ads with Adobe After Effects moving stills, is getting extremely UK.

One of the reviews that made me want to see the film was heard to write: ‘Terrence Mallick has a lot to answer for’, but this is in no way true. It’s a shit-ton of ugly ill-composed shots, that mistakes second tier ITV tilt-shift focus for art. The cinematography would be noticeably terrible to anyone but the person who made it: one who’s never seen a film.

But the kicker for me is how hardcore, hardcore racist it is. Of course there are no black characters (unless they’re singing world music on the plantation. At the airport. At the airport), and the non-existent ones are comic-book evil. Speaking of dialog, after they deliver a baby in the jungle…

Black Character with Rich internal history that spends all his time talking about how great it is when white people help him
Another one of Dr. Leon’s babies.
Generously, because as a woman she doesn’t exist (sorry, that’s actually one of the lines that Ms. Theron says herself, that she didn’t exist before meeting Sr. Bardem. I’d give you the exact wording, but in the dark, it turned ‘metaman’. No idea. In any case),
Sr. Bardem
This one of both of ours.

Not the black girl. It’s not her baby. She’s black I’m afraid.

The Take: The Last Face.

menu
Profits!
It is, given Mr. Penn’s aid background, not unlike The Man That Nobody Knew, a subconscious manifestation of an aid worker’s unmasked contempt for the people he is charged to help. I would see the movie about the making of this movie. And I did.
$5.00
It is hard camp, entering the mind of someone who lacks the most basic film grammar. You’re never going to forget the real problem with millions dying: ‘War attacks dreams.’
$5.00
Total Profits
$10.00
Losses!
When we got to ‘Can you please try not to wrestle your father’s ghost today’, it was wearing on me.
$5.00
Total Losses
$5.00

$5.00

La Fille de Brest

29 November 2016 @ The Gaumont Rennes


-$4.00 or, if one must be jejune, and one must... 
☆ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆

menu

Yes, I see French movies now, and yes, they’re all terrible. La Fille de Brest and the equally unfortunate Fleur de Tonnere.

Fleur de Tonnerre

21 January 2017 @ The Gaumont Rennes


-$2.50 or, if one must be jejune, and one must... 
☆ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆

menu

I’m doing film discussion within a film discussion within an article! If I put in a parenthetical, you’ll die. Fleur de Tonnerre, like La Fille de Brest

…should I go back? Nah. I’ll spare you…

I forgot - they also started at the end, and then flashbacked ('flashbook'? 'flashbeckoned'?). You're lucky you live in America. Aside from the obvious.

I forgot – they also started at the end, and then flashbacked (‘flashbook’? ‘flashbeckoned’?). You’re lucky you live in America. Aside from minor problems I keep hearing about.

…was seen largely because it takes place in Brittany. I am under the belief now that I am completely Breton. The saying goes, ‘Maloin first, Breton second and French last’, meaning France don’t count for shit, because they’re pirates. I’m serious. This was the land of the corsairs, and there are at least two houses near me that fly the skull and crossbones year round. This spirit translates, very practically for me since I have to drive 50 miles to see a movie, into the only part of France without toll roads. I’m taking a road without paying to see stupid movies. Ahhrrr?

Which leads us back: La Fleur de Tonnere was a true story about a female serial killer in Napoleonic Brittany. How could it go wrong, the film seemed to take perverse delight in answering? How can you ruin a movie with a little girl making sacrifices to skeleton for a pagan god?

HOW??????

Here’s one way – a female character who’s a cipher. I mean, who’s complex and mysterious. The chances and intrigue of was tantamount to a French colony within France are out the window. Fine. But our erstwhile Mlle. Stéphanie Pillonca never found a central motive for the character, and without a motive, guess what? You guessed it, is another female character without agency.

Heaped upon this is the voice that tells her to kill, unless it doesn’t, of course. So even the male voice controlling the female character is a cipher. The film is best summed up by itself, ‘Je suis méchante ça pas ma faute.’ I’m the villain, it’s not my fault.’

Who said the villain was the most interesting character?

The Take: La Fleur de Tonnerre.

menu

Profits!
There’s one compelling scene in the film, again utterly connected to the rest, or itself, as are all the scenes. Therein, M. Jean-Claude Drouot draws out via dialog Mlle. Déborah François’ poisonous intent. He wants to die for some reason. Or maybe he doesn’t. Nevertheless, his charm sells the moment to such a degree that you buy it, and you realize how actors can make people like terrible movies.
$2.50
Total Profits
$2.50
Losses!
No. They can’t. I won’t let them.
$5.00
Total Losses
$5.00

$-2.50



La Fille de Brest

29 November 2016 @ The Gaumont Rennes


-$4.00 or, if one must be jejune, and one must... 
☆ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆

menu

Out of our sub-parenthetical, we’re back to another aimless film about Brittany that should have been good. Again, it wasn’t just my love of Breton that made me see the film; the story of an underdog Doctor fighting the French establishment to prove a long-established drug was dangerous is classic movie fodder. Actual stories almost never fit a neat structure like this, and in this case, the perverse delight taking place was in removing any story out of what is pure story.

I knew I was in trouble from the first minutes, which show our heroine swimming in the Atlantic off the beautiful and you really need to come here right away Breton coast. The waves come in, and…nothing happens. We learn later that she was in the water because…well no reason. So, no motive, no threat. It’s like Mlle. Emmanuelle Bercot took the danger out of a total lack of danger. Lack of danger as a phrase technically contains the word danger.

From there, she witnesses an autopsy, which, being an experienced surgeon, makes her ill. But, the movie seems to say…music! From there, she learns of a deadly medication. She tries to tell them it’s deadly and they don’t believe her. Then they do. You can see why the two hour running time.

I was sad that I didn't have snacks for the second film, but happy that it was my first sneak in a long, long time. Of course, I used my Gaumont Pass, which keeps the spirit of sneaking - seeing movies and not paying.

I was sad that I didn’t have snacks for the second film, but happy that it was my first sneak in a long, long time. Of course, I used my Gaumont Pass, which keeps the spirit of sneaking – seeing movies and not paying.

There is an increasing quality in modern film, especially art house and French, that I do not accept: that filmmakers now have the freedom not to tell stories. If these were experimental films, which I love and in fact have made, that would be fine. Instead there’s the tendency in narrative films to rely on ‘real’ moments. This is less a question of skill (as it might be with someone like the irksome but irksomely talented Mr. Mike Leigh) as it is a crutch to do the hard work of character, choice, consequence and logic.

To give an example, there is a classic Grisham moment, where The Insider (though it’s naturally never explained who he is, what he does, or what he’s risking by doing it) calculates the number of deaths by the medication. He shows to the Obstructionist Bureaucrat, who, when he sees it, collapses dramatically to a chair (see Grisham moment, above).

Now it would be too much to ask these days to have anything happen because of this scene, or even to see the characters again. I didn’t ask for it, and I didn’t get it. But as the audience, we ourselves never find out the number either.

For a true story, it’s straight up weird.

Briefly, and on female directors, it sucks that these two terrible, terrible films were made by women (which wouldn’t matter, but they were involved in writing as well) . This is because of bicycles. If you’re a bicyclist and you do something wrong, like exist, you are a representative of all bicyclists. If you are a female director, and you make a terrible film, somehow that means that all female directors suck, just like it’s totally cool to run me over.

That’s true for other reasons.

There is obvious statistical bullshit behind this, since I can think of three solid female directors (Mlle. Claire Denis, Ms. Kathryn Bigelow and Ms. Lynne Ramsey) working today, and I’d be hard pressed to think of the equivalent twenty-seven males required to make up the percentage. But for me, it was just reality. After this film, I went to see the equally unfortunate Allied which merely proves we’re sandwiched between old directors who’ve forgotten about characters and conflict, and new ones who never knew about them.

Instead, I implore you: embrace your terrible, terrible female directors. The fact that they are making shitty films like their male counterparts is an arrival of sorts. Not the movie Arrival, which acts an example. We just think of M. Denis Villeneuve as a director. And that’s not fair. We need to stop him making films.

The Take: La Fille de Brest

menu
Profits!
There’s actually a nice scene where Frk. Sidse Babett Knudsen finds out that she’s been successful on the radio as she drives down the road. When she pulls over and cries, I bought that moment.
$2.00
Total Profits
$2.00
Losses!
It’s the difference between being true and real. The true is poetic, the real is, for example:
she has a family!
$2.00
She swims!
$2.00
She eats food!
$2.00
She’s just like us! Otherwise, I’d have no reason watch her in a movie!
Total Losses
$6.00

-$4.00

Fortunately for my imposed twenty minute for each film rule, I had a minor diatribe prepared for La La Land. It’s a bit personal, and a lot embarrassing. Unfortunately, I don’t have an editor.

La La Land

25 January 2017 @ Les 2 Alizes


-$5.88 or, if one must be jejune, and one must... 
☆ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆

menu

I am a loser, which sucks. I am also a loser, which is amazing, but for the purposes of what I am about to say, I am a loser, which sucks.

I made a good and more to the point a singular film, which was generally hated. I have written many screenplays, one of which sold, three of which are actually great, three are good, and the rest, they’re fine I guess. I wrote a doctorate which I see now as events unfold in what to me is overseas, actually was revolutionary, and thus deserved to fail, which it did. I write this, which continues to make me laugh and remains, as you see, unread.

It is heartbreaking to do all these things.

I have friends that have had extraordinary almost cosmic success, friends that have had decent success, friends, like me, that have had a little, and friends that have had none. There is a temptation, which is not a strong enough word, to make a correlation between talent and success. There is no correlation between talent and success, largely because there’s no such thing as talent. Only taste. Which I alone possess.

La La Land like nearly all films about art, is about winning. I am a loser, and I naturally resent this, but before we address my problems, let me just say, La La Land just isn’t very good.

The music is neo-jazz plinky-ness (a side note, there is a movie to be made about the way in which our puritan culture makes art, like jazz in this instance, non-pleasurable but good, and non-art – like pop-music – pleasurable and bad. Also, I like and listen to jazz. It’s pleasurable).

The real advantage of seeing films in Dinard is the sneak potential of bring macarons, which are here so delicate, they can only make it a city block before disintegrating. I am very grateful to rose for helping me survive minute 12.

The real advantage of seeing films in Dinard is the sneak potential of bring macarons, which are here so delicate, they can only make it a city block before disintegrating. I am very grateful to rose for helping me survive minute 12.

The film further, and this would seem to matter, has zero understanding of the musical genre to which it claims to subscribe. Spectacle to show that you’re in 2016 and look at you, you’re making one doesn’t count. You need to understand where the numbers go, what they are for, what they’re supposed to say about the characters and so on.

This sense of having not actually seen the films to which one refers continues in the fact that this is a film that is seemingly unaware that Crazy Ex-Girlfriend exists. Crazy Ex-Girlfriend is a show with funnier jokes, more complete stories, and better staged musical numbers, thirteen times a year, at one quarter the running time. It is vastly superior, and honestly, it’s not that great.

As demonstration, we have the extremely unfortunate opening number, which contains characters that we will never see again, showing us that this is a musical because characters are singing. This scene has the further unfortunate quality of being shot in a single take, as is the fashion of our time. Single shots and musicals rarely mix, and they really don’t match here, as the choreography disappears into trick transitions and CGI matching background.

Yes, La La Land sucks, but what matters is that it is a winner, as we have seen. And what makes me depressed, as I woke up in the middle of the night to realize (don’t take that as a complement LLL, I also wake up in the night to realize that vacuums should be balanced on flexible pica stone scaffolds) was the way in which it exploits losing to win.

There is a moment wherein Ms. Emma Stone sings a tribute to her aunt the loser. But it is this song that that allows her to succeed, which she must. Because nothing is beautiful that is also not famous.

History is written by the winners, but it’s always the history of winning. The story they write is boring as paint, because it’s always the same.

Oh, and one more thing. This film don’t know shit about jazz. ‘My Funny Valentine’ and ‘Someday My Prince Will Come’ and yes, even ‘So what’ are standards because they have complex melodies and interesting changes. A good pianist can take the melody, interweave it, play it straight, improv on it, then go back. What they wouldn’t do, as Mr. Gosling gets fired for doing, is play the melody, and then do entirely his own thing, which we know must be good because Ms. Stone is reacting to it and telling us it is. It isn’t. It’s a fucking drum solo, and the reason people hate jazz now.

The Take: La La Land.

menu

Profits!
Honestly, this is some of Mr. Gosling’s best work, let along that the guy can seemingly play the piano pretty well. ‘There’s a nice way to say that, Karen.’ would have been a throwaway for almost anyone else.
$2.00
There’s one – one – nice number in the actual musical tradition, where they talk about how much they don’t match up….
$2.00
Total Profits
$4.00
Losses!
…which was an opportunity, if someone was paying attention, to have their choreography put deliberately out-of-sync. You would have actually had to have seen a musical to know this.
$2.00
There’s a surprising lack of aptitude in the story telling, where they can go out except that she has a boyfriend, but she’s also getting setup with a creepy screenwriter (hey! That’s me!) at the party. Once, resolved, they can, uh, go out. Conflict resolved!
$1.00
Oh, yes. The alternate reality ending. Thanks for making me watch this film twice. I mean, how clever.
$2.00
Though nowhere near as terrible as Arrival, the praiseworthiness/praise ratio is off the charts.
$2.88
The extremely wanky technicolor slugs at the beginning. Calling such strong attention to how clever they thought we should think they thought they were caused me to…
$3.00
Total Losses
$9.88

$-5.88

…do a quick google search of films that had already used vintage techniques is a less pretentious and showy way than La La Land, but it’s so common I didn’t have to. It was right there in my iTunes rental list.

Ouija: Origin of Evil

25 January 2017 @ On My Fat Ass


$9.00 or, if one must be jejune, and one must... 
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆

menu

It’s a pretty good, though not great, horror film by the man who gave us the pretty good, though not that good Oculus. Without any fanfare, Mr. Mike Flanagan throws on the 1960s Universal logo, and simply starts the film. Having seen LLL the same day, the comparisons were inevitable. Here was a film that had more tension, character and interest in the first five minutes than our inevitable award winner could muster in an agonizing two hours.

Furthermore, you’re watching it and then you say to yourself: ‘was that a cigarette burn?’ Then, 240 frames later, yep, that was a cigarette burn, followed by, ‘was that a frame jump after the cigarette burn?’ Then, one reel later, yep, that was a frame jump. Does Mr. Flanagan then shove this in our face like our irksome Mr. Damien Chazelle? No, he just does because it’s awesome.

To be fair, Ouija: Origin of Evil, though better than the first, is no Aliens, but it is an Empire Strikes Back (Come on. You’re old now. The Star Wars films weren’t that great). For PG-13, there are some good scares, and, weird for a horror film, rules.

Don’t play in a graveyard, don’t play alone, and always say goodbye. These rules are broken in a way that is utterly plausible, when the mom, with no belief in the supernatural, plays with the board to test it for the act. The normal twist would be to have the board do something creepy. Instead, the little girl, in the room upstairs, answers the question that mom asked the ghosts.

I was already scared.

Besides story, there are characters, weirdly: a mom (Ms. Elizabeth Reaser) who is scamming people with her fake psychic routine, and using her kids to do it. Using her kids makes you, as it should, like her. The fact that the older daughter is the rationalist character is both useful for the story and congruent to the situation. Everything fits in place.

And scary possessed little girl. It’s hard to find bad scary possessed little girl films.

As with seemingly all of Mr. Flanagan’s films, there are consistency problems, as with the de rigueur asylum there’s still a ghost and she’s running toward you ending. The film was headed for a happy end, weird as that sounds, and they should have been smart enough to know that.

Nevertheless, straight up filmmaking, which in the face of LLL makes one ruminate: if you make good films, no one is going to care or notice (see success, above). Make a funny film, it’ll seem effortless; make a pretentious one, and it’s the forced effort they’ll praise you for. So let’s drink a quick toast to the Mr. Flanagan’s of the world, doing it with no hope of fetes and the same amount of money if he makes a lousy one. Just like a phony cigarette burn on a digital frame: because it’s cool.

The Take: Ouija: Origin of Evil

menu
Profits!
There is a very simple shot in this film, wherein the little girl looks through the glass of the Ouija plank into the darkness and says ‘Who are you?’ The film knows to cut there.
$2.00
Great credit sequence
$2.00
There are a surprising number of events and trajectories, that pretty much every ten minutes a new and congruent idea is added to the mix. The ouija board moving on its own doesn’t happen until half way through, and it’s just one of the many gags. I won’t give anything away and you’ll never see it. @$1.00 per gag
$9.00
Having a little girl describe – in gruesome detail – what happens during strangulation to the older girl’s boyfriend is fantastic…
$2.00
Total Profits
$15.00
Losses!
…undercut by this, or something else even worse, not happening. A set-up with no pay-out
$2.00
Having just seen a lousy overpraised film may have made me like it more, so I’m discounting
$4.00
Total Losses
$6.00

$9.00



xXx: Reactivated

31 January 2017 @ Cinéma Le Celtic


$6.00 or, if one must be prosaic, and one must... 
★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆

menu

The taste of La La Land not fully out of mouth, I drove the 120 miles to Brest to see a Vin Diesel movie, leading the use of the words ‘taste’ and ‘mouth’ to have certain connotations of which I have no knowledge or awareness.

xXx: Reactivated, not very good, and infinitely better than La La Land, shares this lack of knowledge or awareness with pre-pubescent glee, as Mr. Vin Diesel, early on in the film, must have sex with a bunch of women to get some kind of hacking device. This is by request of another woman, who, like all hackers, is 21, wearing a bikini, and looks like an attractive version of a super model. We know of her qualities because the camera, not content to linger on her breasts as she exits the infinity pool that looks over London which hackers are known to frequent, instead moves right to her bikini area and simply stays. We know this because when the film gets to its finish (and you thought ‘taste in my month’ was as bad as it was going to get), the characters are each given a few quick shots to remind us of how much we’ve already forgotten about them. It’s a pretty bad idea, but how we remember hacker girl is made clear by repeating this shot frame for frame: we remember her vagina.

What am I, crazy ? xXx: Reactivated is the greatest film ever made.

Brest, as per the film, is generally looked down on in France. I love it, and would go more often if it wasn't so far. Bombed flat during WWII, everything is organized around the sea. It has amazing chocolate, preternaturally attractive woman, and a café for writing scripts that everyone is going to buy. The cafe? It takes doggies.

Brest, as per the film, is generally looked down on in France. I love it, and would go more often if it wasn’t so far. Bombed flat during WWII, everything is organized around the sea. It has amazing chocolate, preternaturally attractive woman, and a café for writing scripts that everyone is going to buy. The cafe? It takes doggies.

There is scarcely a scene without braless women dancing around: in line at the DMV, at the pharmacy, at the bra shop. It’s as adolescent as Passengers, only with only 1/6th the rapey-ness! It’s hard to be offended when it wears its zits so proudly on its face. With the various skateboarding onto waterskis made of missiles falling from the sky, it’s the kind of film that would actually include a scene of someone jumping a shark without any idea of the implications.

Speaking of which, as a filmgoer, you may be used to shots of trains entering tunnels just as a character is about to consummate the act of love…

…eww…

…the film tops the usual by cutting away, and I’m still confused by this, to a factory pouring salt, followed by an old dude pushing a mine cart down a dock.

Freud scratched his head.

Everyone runs around nonsensically, and there’s some shooting, but one scene was indelible. Among the ‘someones who can move like them, fight like them’, Mr. Diesel thought it appropriate to include…a DJ. And that’s pretty great on its own. But then, when our erstwhile DJ stops a fight, possibly riding a shark, I can’t be sure, when he stops a fight by getting up on stage and, I really want you to understand that I’m not making this up, by getting up on stage and dropping some dope beats, it was all worth it.

The Take: xXx: Reactivated

menu
Profits!
It’s time to be incredibly serious. We are introduced to one of my favorite characters, the tattooed neon-hair sniper girl while she is in Africa…hunting poachers. Now, it’s PG-13 (again, what the hell?), so she doesn’t kill them. She wounds them. So that the lions eat them. It is impossible to hate, or even feel indifferent, about a movie that does that.
$7.00
Another hot nerd girl included introduces herself to Mr. Diesel by giving him her safe word. Again, hate is not an option.
$3.00
They didn’t jump a shark, but they did take amphibious motorcycles (?) through the tube of a wave.
$2.00
Total Profits
$12.00
Losses!
You do have to watch it. It would be easy to say that it’s as stupid and unrealistic as a videogame, but I play videogames. It is, instead, as stupid and unrealistic as the videogame in the head of a 1993 senate subcommittee that’s never played a videogame in their lives. This may be a plus. I’m not sure.
$2.00
As per my note ‘The fight scenes are pretty boring, but at least I don’t know what’s going on.’
$2.00
Total Losses
$4.00

$8.00

 

Editor’s end-note: Well, it’s back to losing for a bit, or at least setting myself up to lose. The amazing part, by the way, isn’t that I to read back what I’ve written, but that I, after having no choice whatsoever, actually like to. And after a few weeks of anticipation (this is on your part)…Jackie, the film that dares to show a woman planning a parade changing her mind, then changing it back again!

Hey, that’s another one I don’t have to write.

 

The Lonely Comments Section

menu

Annoyed? Prove it!

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *