Aliens vs. Predator: Requiem (2007)

I Thought I Told You Not to Crash.

The end of my last review left itself wide open for a sequel, but the quality of the movie never really suggested to me that it would be a movie people would demand a sequel to.  But that didn’t stop them from making one and, since I was already reviewing all of the movies in the Alien and Predator series’, it was necessary to review it.  At least it’s the last one I’ll need to do.  And I already owned it on DVD, so there’s really no logical reason I would’ve purchased a movie that was terrible, right?  …Unless I purchased it for 3 dollars from Blockbuster.  But the chances of that are pretty remote, while also being exactly what happened.  But let’s check it out in my review of Aliens vs. Predator: Requiem, written by Shane Salerno, directed by the Strause Brothers (Colin and Greg), and starring Tom Woodruff Jr., Ian Whyte, Steven Pasquale, Johnny Lewis, Reiko Aylesworth, John Ortiz, Kristen Hager, Ariel Gade, Sam Trammell, Gina Holden, Chelah Horsdal, David Paetkau, and Robert Joy.

At the very end of Alien vs. Predator, we found out that the scene where the Predator seemed to be pretty obviously infected by the Xenomorphs, even though they tried to act like maybe it didn’t, totally actually did happen.  The Predator gives chest-birth to a hybrid Predator and Xenomorph that we’ll just call the Alienator (Tom Woodruff Jr.).  The Alienator matures on the Predator spacecraft and wreaks havoc to the Predators, causing the ship to crash in Colorado.  The facehuggers aboard the ship escape and infect a hunter and his son, getting the Xenomorph infestation started in town.  The Predator ship also starts broadcasting a distress signal that brings a Predator (Ian Whyte) to Earth to clean up the mess and the evidence.  In town, an ex-convict named Dallas Howard (Steven Pasquale), who is also not Ron Howard’s daughter, returns to town.  His brother Ricky (Johnny Lewis) delivers pizzas to a classmate he fancies named Jesse (Kristen Hager) and simultaneously gets bulled by her boyfriend Dale (David Paetkau), and Kelly O’Brien (Reiko Aylesworth) returns home from the military to her husband Tim (Sam Trammell) and daughter Molly (Ariel Gade).  These people and more get to deal with their new combination of problems.

I never would have thought it was possible to make a more disappointing movie out of two awesome franchises than the first one, but they pulled it off.  It’s just a dark, boring, poorly-written movie that completely loses focus of why people would watch this movie.  Does the audience for an Alien vs. Predator movie care what happens to the people in it?  No!  We want to see Aliens fight Predators.  Humans should really only be in the movie as things for the Xenomorphs to burst out of.  I don’t go to an Alien vs. Predator movie to see some kids fighting in a pool.  When the Predator was fighting the Xenomorphs, it was usually pretty satisfying, though it was also occasionally so dark that you had to kind of squint and turn your head to see what was happening.  Is that a good thing for your movie to be difficult to watch?  Probably not.  But the Predator is pretty badass when they let you see what he was doing.  I found myself always rooting for the Predators in this particular series, which I’ve also found odd because I would say that I like the Alien movies better altogether, but they’re also just a lot cooler as creatures.  Back to the story of the movie, it was not good.  If they made the movie strictly out of the Alien and Predator stuff, I might actually recommend this movie for a watch.  But they waste a lot of time with human characters that I never give a shit about.  Just when you start giving a shit about a few of them, they kill them.  That was another big problem I had: they killed a bunch of people that you just shouldn’t kill.  You COULD applaud them for being untraditional, but I think it’s just a bummer.  They kill a little kid in the early stages, which is always a bit of a bummer, and later in the movie they kill a character that was just developing a relationship with another character, in a way you would normally expect them to live happily ever after through, but then the character gets killed, seemingly just on a lark because they hadn’t killed anyone in a few seconds.  And if that doesn’t sell it, how about when a whole maternity ward gets infected with Xenomorphs and they rip out through the stomachs that the babies were once in?  Hell, I could’ve done without almost all scenes involving people.  I could’ve done without the Alienator as well, but just because it didn’t look that interesting.  It wasn’t a very imaginative design, at least from what I could tell, as almost every scene it was in was too dark to make out any features on it.  Also, the ending of this movie is complete ass.  Not really the actual part where they should’ve ended the movie, with the few survivors of the movie, but the part right after that.  I won’t even throw up spoilers because it wasn’t a scene that had any point to it.  They take the Predator’s gun to a lady that turns out to be Miss Yutani.  They also have this big pause after they say her name like I didn’t know who it was when I saw her.  The guy from the first one was Weyland, the company from Alien was called Weyland-Yutani, this lady’s Asian, she’s probably Yutani.  Duh!

The performances from the movie didn’t impress, but there’s also a chance that I just wasn’t paying attention because I didn’t give a shit about any of the characters.  I barely paid attention to Steven Pasquale or Jonny Lewis at all, and they were two of the main characters.  Reiko Aylesworth was another one of them, and the only thing that made me pay attention to her was the fact that she was a wussy.  I don’t know how this lady never whipped out her Army balls on people in this movie.  When they were in the camping supplies store, she let the ex-convict carry around the gun even though she was the one with training on how to use one.  And later, when she was arguing with the Sheriff of Podunk, Colorado (or where the fuck it was) about Army policies when it comes to quarantine, why did she not drop her Army nuts right on his forehead and tell him to shut the fuck up?

Aliens vs. Predator: Requiem probably didn’t surprise anyone by not being that good.  The story was boring, mainly because it forgot that the reason people would go to this movie was to see Aliens fight Predators and decided to try to make us care about characters that weren’t that interesting that they would also kill at random.  When the Predator did fight the aliens, it was usually pretty satisfying, but only when it wasn’t so darkly filmed that you could actually tell what was going on.  In the end, there’s just not very much reason to see this movie.  If you want to see Aliens, watch Aliens.  If you want to see Predators, watch Predator.  If you want to see them fight … well … I guess you should watch Alien vs. Predator.  It’s better than this, at least.  Aliens vs. Predator: Requiem gets “This plan is stupid.  Let’s just leave town now” out of “Wait a second, we’re gonna be covered in shit?”

Let’s get these reviews more attention, people.  Post reviews on your webpages, tell your friends, do some of them crazy Pinterest nonsense.  Whatever you can do to help my reviews get more attention would be greatly appreciated.  You can also add me on FaceBook (Robert T. Bicket) and Twitter (iSizzle).  Don’t forget to leave me some comments.  Your opinions and constructive criticisms are always appreciated.

Goon (2012)

Two Rules, Man: Stay Away From My Percocets, and Do You Have Any Percocets?

I haven’t seen that much of my friend Jordan over the course of the last year, but the two times that we did get together he used the time to beat me over the head and penis with his affection for today’s movie.  He may not have officially requested that I review the movie, but that kind of ringing endorsement makes me feel that it’s a necessity.  I still wasn’t willing to go out of my way to find the movie though.  When I walked into a Wal-Mart today and saw the movie on the main page of a RedBox, it seemed like God was speaking to me and saying, “It is time.”  And I’m not one to argue with God.  That could end badly for me.  And so, with God’s blessings, I bring you my review of Goon, written by Evan Goldberg and Jay Baruchel, directed by Michael Dowse, and starring Seann William Scott, Marc-Andre Grondin, Liev Schreiber, Kim Coates, Alison Pill, Jay Baruchel, Ricky Mabe, Eugene Levy, and David Paetkau.

Doug Glatt (Seann William Scott) is a bouncer with no real direction in his life and, because of this, he’s somewhat of a disappointment to his father (Eugene Levy), though possibly not more of a disappointment to his father than his gay brother Ira (David Paetkau).  Doug attends a hockey game with his friend Pat (Jay Baruchel), who angers one of the visiting players enough to make him call Pat a “faggot” and attempt to attack him.  To defend his friend and his brother’s honor, Doug beats the player senseless to try to get him to take back the f-word he used.  This impresses the home team’s captain and he invites Doug to join the team, ignoring the fact that he can’t skate and has virtually no hockey skills.  Eventually, his fighting skill gives his coach an idea.  In the slightly more major leagues, a veteran enforcer named Ross “The Boss” Rhea (Liev Schreiber) gave a major concussion to a highly skilled prospect named Xavier Laflamme (Marc-Andre Grondin), leading to him being too afraid to play at his full skill level and also leading him into drugs and other such unsavory behaviors.  Doug is taken to the Halifax Highlanders to protect Laflamme and help him get his confidence back.

As with most movies, this movie was nowhere near as funny as I was told it was.  That may not sound like a ringing endorsement, but it is the truth.  Though I didn’t find the movie laugh out loud funny, I must admit that I left the movie being fairly charmed by it.  Early on in the movie, I did find myself a little resentful of the movie because I have heard Kevin Smith talking about his next movie that he’s making and it sounds an awful lot like this movie.  And Seann William Scott and Ricky Mabe have both worked with Smith before.  Not saying they copied the idea; saying they stole the idea!  Okay, that’s not true.  Though it sounds so much like Hit Somebody, I haven’t seen that movie yet.  This movie is a pretty good sports movie, but not that many of the jokes really won with me.  The only one that I remember Jordan spoiling for me was the part where the two Russian guys are making fun of their teammate’s mother, saying that her pussy is so tight that there’s no way she gave birth to a baby and ending it with, “You’re adopted.”  This part was pretty funny, even though Jordan ruined it by doing a pretty solid impression of it.  But that was the only part of the movie I found funny.  The rest of the movie was amusing, but not much more than that.  In fact, around the middle of the movie it seems to forget that it’s supposed to be a comedy, instead getting a little mopey and focusing on the relationship with Eva that I never really cared about.  But, this is also a sports movie, and it definitely succeeds on that.  You root for Doug from the word go, and are pretty happy to see things work out for him.  When he gets injured around the end of the movie and the team finally comes together to throw down with the opposing team, it was entirely awesome.  And when the inevitable showdown between Rhea and Doug happens, it’s built up to very well and was very satisfying.

Another thing that helped the movie was how well it was filmed.  The violence felt real, the music always helped, and the director used lots of interesting camera techniques.  The blood spurts in this movie are frequent and the wounds look real and not over the top.  You even see a few lost teeth.  The greater majority of the music did an excellent job of getting me amped up.  I don’t think I’ve ever seen a montage with Rush’s “Working Man” playing under it, and that’s a problem.  It was excellent.  I was not a fan of whatever rap song the movie ended with, but that was after the movie was done anyway.  And I really appreciated the innovative camera techniques they used in the movie.  I’ve probably seen a camera looking like it was strapped to a person’s fist while punching another guy, but I don’t think I’ve ever seen a hockey game from the perspective of the puck before.

I wasn’t all about the performances of this movie, but I wasn’t disappointed by them either.  I appreciated that Seann William Scott seems like he put on a shit ton of weight and muscle for the role.  He was friggin’ yoked.  His performance didn’t really work for me though.  I understand the reasoning behind playing the role super stupid, but it also meant that he wouldn’t be saying anything particularly funny or witty and all of his comedy would need to come simply from his stupidity.  So that never worked.  Alison Pill also didn’t do anything for me in the movie.  She never did anything funny and, I can only assume, attempted to get comedy from saying things that are uncommon for women to say, like saying she likes to fuck a lot of guys.  And, though she is cute, I never really believed somebody falling in love with her at first sight.  Liev Schreiber worked for me though.  He was definitely a badass, but made the cool choice to not play his character like a one dimensional bad guy character.  He was a major antagonist in the movie, but he was also a really likeable guy and showed a great deal of respect for the main character.  Jay Baruchel had some moments of funniness, but more often seemed like he was just trying too hard.

Though Goon didn’t work for me as a comedy, it did work for me as a movie in total.  It was a good sports story with a lot of cool violence and interesting camera techniques, but the bulk of the movie was only somewhat amusing with few solid laughs.  Some of the performances didn’t do a lot for me as well.  But, by the end of the movie, I did find that it had charmed me and that I enjoyed the experience.  If you go in with low comedic expectations, you’ll probably find it funny enough and I think that you’ll find it an enjoyable watch.  I recommend this movie.  And, since you can find it on a RedBox near you, there’s no reason you shouldn’t give it a shot.  Goon gets “That’s the first win in a month!” out of “Greek fuckin’ underground gay porn hard!”

Let’s get these reviews more attention, people.  Post reviews on your webpages, tell your friends, do some of them crazy Pinterest nonsense.  Whatever you can do to help my reviews get more attention would be greatly appreciated.  You can also add me on FaceBook (Robert T. Bicket) and Twitter (iSizzle).  Don’t forget to leave me some comments.  Your opinions and constructive criticisms are always appreciated.