Superman/Batman: Public Enemies is a fun animated movie that will entertain children and adults alike. In this film adaptation of the comic of the same name written by Jeph Loeb, we have an economic downturn, we have a modern, ever humble yet clever and quipping Superman, we have a huge meteor made of kryptonite speeding towards earth, and we have Lex Luthor being elected President of the United States. This sets up a Watchmen-style world where superheroes are working for the American Government, “So they don’t work against me,” confides Luthor. When Superman refuses to work for his long time enemy he and Batman, who shows up randomly, become wanted criminals. From this device we see all sorts of modern political commentary emerge on the nature of the power of authority, the use of manipulation and fear in the media, and the difference between what is “right” and what is the law, although, these issues are secondary to the action and plot, but what do you expect?
Before I get into the actual review, I want to make my position very clear: I LOVED the 1999 cult hit Boondock Saints. I saw it on a recommendation and fell in love. The action sequences were wildly fresh. The story was engaging and original. The acting was great, save a forgivable few mediocre performances. The characters and dialogue were colorful, witty, and light. The movie was so f---ing fun!
The Boondock Saints 2: All Saints Day is not fun. This movie is about the return of the McManus brothers (Sean Patrick Flanery and Norman Reedus) from a self-imposed exile in Ireland to once again roam the streets of Boston enforcing their own brand of justice. The filmmakers tried to recreate the quick pace and slick style of Boondock the first but could manage only to get it up to the level of a shitty knockoff. The action sequences are laughably repetitive and several are blatant rehashes of scenes from the first movie, with only minor differences.
The script is ridden with transparent exposition, unreasonable plot advances, pointless callbacks to the first film, and masturbatory self-awareness gags as if to say, “We have legions of fans that care about a f---ing good story.” This sequel is schizophrenic and celebratory, a stark contrast to the first film.
There was a time when the rumor of a Boondock Saints sequel was something that seemed both impossible and f---ing amazing. It was very similar to the feeling that the Star Wars prequels had before they came into existence. Geeks would spend hours imagining possible story lines and assuring each other how “bad-ass” these films would be. Much like Phantom Menace, The Boondock Saints II: All Saints Day is heartbreaking in its failure.
Actually, Menace might be better. At least it gave us Darth Maul and that bad-ass lightsaber battle. Something, even if it was miniscule, improved in Menace, whereas BS II failed to improve on anything from the first film. Balls!
At this point, I’m going to let you know that MAJOR SPOILERS are contained below. In all honesty, I loved The Boondock Saints. I have a tradition of watching it every St. Patrick’s Day while pounding the black stuff, and it always amazes me how brilliant and artistic the film is in every single f---ing scene! The sequel has nearly none of this, and, therefore, I really don’t feel there is anything that I can ruin for you. You’ve been warned.
Dear Troy Duffy:
Congratulations to you on the epic failure that was The Boondock Saints II: All Saints Day!
Despite your success in the making of the original Saints film, I must say that I am not, in the least, surprised by the horrible piece of s**t that was the sequel. After viewing the eye-opening documentary Overnight which detailed your rise and dismal fall from the Hollywood spotlight, I was amazed that anyone would give you the time of day, let alone provide you with the capital and means to create a sequel. Although I enjoyed the first Saints, even I was not looking forward to the second film.
I think that the title of the sequel alone speaks volumes as to the quality of the film. Much like Michael Bay with Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen, you must have felt that we required a colon-laden title with further explanation as to what we might expect in the film. Well, sir, much like Michael Bay, you made it quite clear that by adding more money to the film, we could expect more s**t and less plot. Thank you for clearing that up; I would have been quite confused if you had simply left the title as The Boondock Saints II.
I really love Alien 3.
To many, it is bizarre that I would so cherish what is, in their minds, a cinematic disaster. Others can see enough of my point of view to admit there was, at the very least, potential for a great film. A select few understand exactly why I love this film and love it themselves.
Where others see bad acting, I see unique and interesting choices by the actors. Where others see a retread, I see a return to roots of the original film. Where others mourn the death of Ripley, not to mention Hicks and Newt, I see sobering, painful, and fitting endings to beloved characters. Maybe it’s a matter of opinion. Maybe it’s unresolved expectations on the fan base’s part. I’m not arrogant enough to state that I am unequivocally right, but, like most people, I do trust my instincts.
Now, there’s been a lot of negative buzz about The Wolfman out there for some time. Not unlike Alien 3, it has been plagued with bad luck, messy studio/director disagreements, and angry departures, not to mention the death rattle of any film: massive reshoots. Also, not unlike Alien 3, I have found myself very impressed with The Wolfman and on the opposite side of a slew of bad reviews.
Everyday life in the ‘burbs comes with its fair share of mundane problems. Just don’t sweat the small stuff, right? Unfortunately for the characters in The Details, they fail to let go of the small stuff and, before they know it, their suburban life is on the edge of complete disaster. Jacob Aaron Estes, director and writer of The Details, reminds us just how absurd these suburban issues can be with an exceptional cast and a darkly comedic plot that entertains but doesn’t really bother to go past the superficial.
Tobey Maguire (Spiderman, Pleasantville) and Elizabeth Banks (Wet Hot American Summer, The 40 Year Old Virgin) star as unhappily married couple Dr. Jeff and Nealy Lang. They decide it’s time to expand their family and have another child. Jeff takes this opportunity to focus on landscaping his backyard in a mission to create the perfect backyard lawn. He puts down new sod one day, and, the next, he wakes up to a catastrophe: raccoons have torn up the grass. Thus, this wildly absurdist film begins, and the actions Jeff takes to rid himself of the raccoons simultaneously mirror and enhance his problems.
So, last night was the big night. As I stated in my last post, there are very few things in this world that I love more than Star Wars. When my uncle called a month ago and asked if I wanted to see Star Wars in Concert, I didn't even give him a chance to finish his sentence. I didn't even know what the hell it was! I hear Star Wars and I'm there. So, it was me, my uncle, and my two younger cousins. The older of the two is obsessed with Star Wars, so we have a lot in common. While I do have a great deal of knowledge of the prequels, I haven't seen them nearly as many times as he has. And, although I feel like less of a man when someone younger than me knows more about Star Wars than I do, I just have to remind myself that he was raised on the prequels.
The car ride there was pretty funny, because my uncle and I kept singing Bill Murray's lounge singer version of Star Wars from Saturday Night Live. My cousins were not as amused. For those unfamiliar, here's the video.
Well, I just got finished watching Disney Pixar's Up. First and foremost, I would like to say, John Lasseter and crew, you sneaky sons-a-bitches, you did it again. As the menu screen slowly burns into my TV, I sit here wiping my eyes (equally from tears of laughter and from other squishy emotions) and pondering what makes a Pixar film so great. I don't want to say that their works are formulaic, but they do have a rhythm and rhyme that is distinctly Pixar.
Most are aware that there is no great story without great conflict. Hamlet, The Divine Comedy, Porky's Two: The Next Day; they all shared this ethos. Pixar has taken spinning tragedy into a wonderful plot to an art form, though. Let's run down a quick list. Toy Story 1 and 2 (soon to be 3) all dealt with loss of some kind. With Monster's Inc., it was a loss of home for poor Boo. A Bug's Life, well, you have me there; maybe going through changes, metamorphosis, and what not. I don't really remember that one well. Touching, but not to say so tragic that one feels the immediacy of the loss. Childhood playthings, the home and friends you grew up with: these are the things that we look back on with nostalgia and ennui. Moving on.
Ahhh, where do I begin? I should start by saying that I was in no way all that excited to see this movie. My first beef was that Cameron had a bit of a dispute over changing the name of his movie, so that it wouldn't be confused with the live action Avatar: The Last Airbender movie. Cameron, of course, got his way; his name stuck, and theirs needed to change. So, already this dude is rubbing me the wrong way. Not only that, but when I was in elementary school, I was obsessed with the Titanic. I had read so many books on the subject, it could make your head spin. But, did I see the movie? Nope. Looked lame to me. I did catch parts of it on TBS sometime this past year or so and wasn't impressed. Terminator 2 was the last flick of his that I enjoyed.
When my Twitter was blowing up about James Cameron's motion picture epic Avatar, I just kind of rolled my eyes and said, "Whatever." I can't be fooled by super amazing CGI. I need story! Why is it that we can't have a visually-brilliant movie with story to back it up? Because the general public doesn't care about story anymore. This is really sad. I get grief for liking the Star Wars prequels sometimes. Fine! I will be a Star Wars geek until the day I die. I hope my friends fulfill my dying wish to be cremated and my ashes scattered across the Tunisia Desert.
Sorry for the slight ruse, Rocky Horror Fans (of which I am one), but this post will not be about a young Susan Sarandon getting it six ways from Sunday by everyone except the dude in the wheel chair. That post may be coming soon though.
No, this post is about that great American institution known far and wide as the Drive-In. These bastions of celluloid hearken back to days-gone-by, when teens would pile into a car, have an orgy during a B-rated horror film, and then go to a malt shoppe - all for under a nickel! Drive-Ins took a big hit in the '80s and '90s with the advent of VCRs and DVD players, but they are making a come back; partly because of the kitsch factor and cheap prices and partly because if you wanna see someone going at it, by themselves or with a partner live, chat roulette is a pale comparison to the Americana that is the drive-in theater.