2012: Doomsday

 Posted by at 8:47 pm  9 Responses »
May 062010
 

Words cannot accurately describe the way I feel after watching “2012: Doomsday” but it’s something along the lines of lividity and total bafflement. This is Evangelical Christian propaganda, plain and simple. The movies tagline reads, “An ancient prophecy foretold. A scientific discovery revealed” but, in my opinion, should instead read, “In the face of insurmountable scientific evidence, we have co-opted the Mayan calender to legitimize our crackpot religious theories.” There are no scientific discoveries in this movie. In fact, “2012: Doomsday” kicks science square in the baby maker and laughs, as poor science is left to cry for its dignity.

This is an actually scene which takes place within the first ten minutes of the movie. It perfectly sums up the movie, and the entire 2012 argument:

    Science Guy A: “We believe the earths rotation is slowing, due to the solar systems alignment with the black hole at the center of the galaxy.”

    Science Guy B: “That’s impossible. NASA has known about these alignments for decades. We’ve run the calculations and there’s no way the gravitational force can significantly impact this planet.”

    Science Guy A: “(scratches head) I don’t know what’s causing it, of all our calculations, this is the only one that makes sense.”

In other words, it doesn’t matter what those hoity-toity snobs at NASA think, the only thing that could possibly explain an end of the world catastrophe is this insane cosmic alignment theory. Science be damned. As it turns out, Neil deGrasse Tyson says that on December 21, 2012 the center of the galaxy, the Sun and the Earth will align. Maybe there is some truth to this whole 2012 business… or maybe not. Tyson also explains that the center of the galaxy, the Sun and the Earth perfectly align every year on December 21. As for the science involved with the Earth slowing to a stop within the span of 48 hours, if the Earth slowed to a stop, we wouldn’t need to worry about earthquakes and tidal waves killing us all, because we would all be CATAPULTED INTO SPACE!

All of the scientific fallacies aside, the movie also rewrites history by audaciously claiming the ancient Mayans were actually practicing Christians. This is revealed when some archeologist discovers a crucifix within a Mayan ruin that dates back to 200 A.D. I think this is supposed to comfort Evangelicals who were a bit hesitant about buying into the theories of a heathen culture.

It might seem as though I am unfairly putting “2012: Doomsday” under the microscope. Sure, movies don’t always need to make sense. Sometimes you just have to ignore the inane and try to pull as much enjoyment from a shitty movie as possible, but “2012: Doomsday” isn’t simply a mindless action flick. Faith Films (the company that produced this movie) clearly states, “Faith Films is a new production and distribution company dedicated to creating exciting films that HONESTLY portray subjects, themes, and people of faith.” There is nothing honest about this movie. And I doubt any of their other films, such as “Apocalypse,” “Countdown: Jerusalem” and the upcoming “Meteor Apocalypse” (sequel to “Apocalypse?”) contain much honesty either. This is propaganda, and terrible propaganda to boot.

If you want to watch a mindless action movie about the end of the world in 2012, just watch the movie “2012.” Sure, it’s just as bad, but at least it will spare you all of the religious sentiment, plus you finally get to see Danny Glover as the President of the United States (the role he was born to play).

I give 2012: Doomsday: Time out with the dunce cap (Remember the dunce cap? The pointy hat that teachers used to make stupid kids wear. Those were mean times).

(P.S. I do not want to give the impression that I consider all Christians to be dunces, only the insane ones which pray for the end of the world.)

Good Time Max

 Posted by at 3:52 pm  Comments Off on Good Time Max
Apr 102010
 

James Franco, I want to like you, I don’t know why, but I do. You were alright as Daniel Desario on “Freaks and Geeks.” You were no Bill Haverchuck, but you held your own. I couldn’t of cared less for your role in “Spiderman,” but you really pulled your shit together and knocked one out of the park as the lovably dopey stoner, Saul Silver, in “Pineapple Express.” Even though you haven’t dazzled me, for some reason I’ve been keeping my fingers crossed. But after watching “Good Time Max,” the movie that you co-wrote and directed, I’m throwing in the towel.

“Good Time Max” is a movie about two brothers. Older brother Adam works really hard in school and gets good grades, while younger brother Max prefers to smoke cigarettes and dance on rooftops… and still gets good grades. Alright, skip ahead about 20 years. Max is hard at work dealing drugs until he pisses of the wrong huge black dude by selling him a bogus kilo of cocaine (and also sleeping with his girlfriend). After Max becomes an accessory to murder, he hightails it to California, hitching a ride with his brother Adam who is bound for med school. It doesn’t take a genius to see where this movie’s going. There’s a lot of built up resentment on the part of Adam, because all of his life he’s had to bail out his dickhead brother, and there’s just as much resentment on the part of Max, who just wants to be loved. The two fight inner demons, fight with each other, and eventually learn a thing or two about life and the importance of brotherhood.

If i didn’t know any better, I would have assumed the part of Max was written by a nine-year old. Max is handsome, liked by everybody, and is always the life of the party, but to top it all off he’s also a certified genius. Franco really drives this point home too as he solves moderately difficult math equations (like 36 times 24), lands himself a cushy job writing computer code, and constantly states, “I am a genius.” This would all be fine if it ever went anywhere, but it doesn’t. The genius aspect is completely irrelevant, and though we’re all supposed to connect or relate with Max, I couldn’t feel anything but contempt and annoyance with him, from beginning to end. I think James Franco tried his best, but like swimming against a rip tide, the harder he tried, the worse the situation got.

The cover of “Good Time Max” shows that it was an official selection at the Tribeca, Hollywood, Vancouver, and Austin film festivals, as if having those emblems on the cover will convince you that it is worth watching. I honestly feel that James Franco made this movie in an attempt to grasp hold of some lost indie credit that he never had in the first place. It’s like he pulled a indie movie all-nighter and woke up the next morning thinking to himself, “I could do that.” But he wasn’t going to undertake this challenge alone, so he called up indie darling Merriwether Williams (of Nickelodeon’s Spongebob Squarepants and Camp Lazlo fame) to crank out an indie film to end all indie films. It’s not surprising that Merriwether’s only writing experience has been in cartoons, because “Good Time Max” ends up feeling like one big, long, boring live action cartoon.

Don’t waste your time with “Good Time Max.”

I give Good Time Max: an F+ (way to go, genius)

Transmorphers

 Posted by at 7:15 pm  Comments Off on Transmorphers
Apr 012010
 

At what point does a movie transform (or rather “transmorph”) from your run-of-the-mill awful movie to a absurdly surreal accidental masterpiece? I have no idea, but Transmorphers rocketed past that point and became one of my new favorite movies.

Don’t get confused. Transmorphers is not a parody film. In fact, it seems to have absolutely no sense of humor about itself whatsoever. It’s as if writer/director Leigh Scott woke up one day, sat down in front of his computer, opened his cracked copy of Final Draft Pro, took a swig of Jim Beam, popped his knuckles, and said “This is going to be awesome“. The resulting script is so bad – I mean…just unbelievably intensely bad – that it becomes art. Like when a mentally retarded inner-city youth makes a finger-painting of JFK on some old driftwood and it sells at auction for $40K. And why are art collectors willing to pay that? Because they’re a bunch of fucking jagoffs that deserve to have their eyes raped out by a scabby drifter’s mangy dog cuz they obviously don’t know how to use those eyes correctly anyway, but I digress. What I meant to say is, how does something like this script just blow past “bad” and end up being kind of amazing?

Because it’s completely earnest. There’s no indication that this was some throwaway script quickly turned into a movie to capitalize off the release of Transformers. It was Mr. Scott’s vision brought to life. He honestly put countless hours into writing and rewriting…building intricate back-stories for every character…establishing a timeline of future events…it was the very best he could do and it is absolutely horrible. At some point someone must have said to him, “Jeez, Leigh…you know, this script really isn’t very good” to which he responded “FUCK YOU, JERK”. Then, with the cocksure resolve of a conductor piloting a train down the track the wrong way – truly believing in his heart of hearts that the oncoming train will swerve – Leigh Scott somehow got $250,000 and made his movie.

Let’s see if I can possibly reduce the plot of this tour de force to one short paragraph. Wish me luck.

In 2014 a bunch of robot aliens landed on Earth, killed 90% of humanity, and did something to block out the sun. Some people moved underground and started a military that doesn’t do anything. 300 years later, someone gets a wild hair up their ass to fight the robot aliens. Everyone talks about it for a really long time and a bunch of lesbians fight and say hurtful things to each other. Eventually they send an android that didn’t know he was an android (but kind of always knew he was an android) to some tower that I guess also is a robot alien (in tower form). The android guy does something in the tower that makes all the robot aliens die or go away. Then all the clouds that the robot aliens put in the sky disappear and everyone is happy.

For 85 jaw-dropping minutes, this story plays out like a Cinemax late-night softcore porno with all the “sex” scenes cut out. The already cringe-inducing melodramatically written dialogue spills out of the actors’ mouths with such bizarre inflection yet absolute certainty that it feels less like a movie and more like a kindergarten class staging a performance of Terminator: Salvation – everyone knows what they’re supposed to say and do but none of them have any idea what it means. Because of this, the film becomes strangely endearing. You end up being proud of the actors when they get through a line correctly without looking at the camera or respond to another character with somewhat appropriate tonality.

Have you ever seen a three-legged dog try to hump something? At first, it’s hilarious. Then, as he struggles to keep his balance but keeps on falling, it gets kind of sad. But when he just won’t give up no matter how many times he falls on his face, it comes back around to being hilarious again. Transmorphers is that three-legged dog and you absolutely need to watch it. Have some buddies over, get some pizza and beer or whatever, and get ready for a pièce de résistance of mind-blowing failure that will change your life…or at the very least change your night.

I give Transmorphers 10 out of 10 unnecessary lesbian fistfights.

The Cell 2

 Posted by at 4:19 am  Comments Off on The Cell 2
Feb 182010
 

Jesus Christ, The Cell 2 is a bad movie. And I don’t mean “bad” like “John Waters bad”, or bad like “Tommy Wiseau’s The Room bad”, I mean good ol’ fashion BAD. The kind of bad that makes me want to break in to fits about once a minute because I know that somebody got paid for this piece of shit. It’s bad enough that movies like this are a common occurrence, but the fact that it is actually called “The Cell 2” chaps my fucking hide. Really? As in the sequel to that one movie with Jennifer Lopez that was surprisingly awesome? Don’t be fooled, friends. This movie has NOTHING to do with the original.

At the beginning of this colossal flop, they use an arbitrary clip from the original movie. This is the only thing the two movies have in common. Everything that follows is just a manic flurry of bad acting and terrible special effects. Here’s how it all plays out. Maya is a psychic detective, hot on the trail of a serial killer. Once upon a time she was kidnapped by this serial killer, but unfortunately she escaped. Ever since then she’s had an unexplainable psychic connection to this dude. I say unexplainable because they never fucking explain this phenomenon. Hey, remember how in the original movie Jennifer Lopez infiltrates the subconscious of Vincent D’Onofrio, and you get to see all kinds of cool shit? Like a horse being cleanly sliced into several segments, awesome costumes and lots of brilliant colors? In this movie Maya just gets to see what the killer sees. There are no chopped up animals. No super cool costume designs. Just some dude strapping girls to chairs over and over again. At one point early on there are boobs, but then there are no more boobs for the remainder of the movie. There’s a twist at the end (the killer was the deputy all along!) and Maya ends up killing the bad guy. Huzzah!

Incredibly, this movie was directed by Tim Iacofano, who has been nominated for not one, but two Emmys. What!?! During the hour and a half I sat through The Cell 2, I could have sworn that each and every actor was being directed NOT to act. There’s a scene in which a dude performs CPR on a women’s stomach. ON HER STOMACH. During another scene Maya and her meathead partner lay low in an apartment:
Maya: “What is this place?”
Meathead: “We call it a safehouse.”
Fuck yea! Give Tim Iacofano the fucking Emmy already!

If you’ve got the friends and the time, I guess you could watch The Cell 2. Don’t worry about being stumped for jokes, though. This movie provides them in spades.

I give The Cell 2: Two Emmy nominations.

I Got Rik’s Back!
Dude, it’s like they made “Ghost Dad” but called it “Ghostbusters III”.

-Trent