The World’s End (2013)


That’s Why I Drink Using a Crazy Straw.  Not So Crazy Now!

The World's End (2013)When this movie was out in theaters, I was very excited to see it.  It was the third outing for a director I love, two writers I love, and two actors I love.  I even saw this movie while it was still in theaters.  And then I forgot to review it.  My notes must’ve gotten covered up on my desk and I eventually just forgot that I hadn’t done it yet.  I’ve even reviewed the other two movies in the trilogy in preparation for this review!  Then, when this movie came out on DVD on Tuesday, I went to repost my review to let people know if they should buy it, only to find that I had failed you all.  Well no more!  Today, I bring you my late review of The World’s End, written by Edgar Wright and Simon Pegg, directed by Edgar Wright, and starring Simon Pegg, Nick Frost, Rosamund Pike, Paddy Considine, Martin Freeman, Eddie Marsan, David Bradley, Michael Smiley, Pierce Brosnan, and Bill Nighy.

Gary King (Simon Pegg) sets his sights on getting the band back together, recruiting his old high school friends – Andy Knightley (Nick Frost), Steven Prince (Paddy Considine), Oliver “O-Man” Chamberlain (Martin Freeman), and Peter Page (Eddie Marsan) – to finish the 12 bar pub crawl that they attempted and failed 20 years earlier.  The other friends have all grown up and none are interested in making the attempt, but Gary manages to persuade all of them anyway.  But when the group arrives in Newton Haven, they find that things have changed.  Is it because they’ve all grown older, or is it because the town has been taken over by alien robots?  Who can say, really?

The problem I had with this movie is that it was part of the Cornetto trilogy.  On its own, I imagine I would’ve thought it was fantastic.  I guess I still did, but the problem is that Shaun of the Dead and Hot Fuzz were superior.  So it’s the worst of the Cornetto trilogy, but still one of the best comedies of this year.  It’s a lot of the writing that makes these movies so enjoyable.  They’re chock full of fantastic wordplay and the stories are so well thought out that they you have to really pay attention to the little things to see all of the hidden jokes.  But I greatly appreciate some good wordplay.  Their Peter/Paul run was good, Dr. Ink was great once I figured it out, the white lie of his mother’s death line was hilarious, and many of the selective memory jokes were all the reasons that these movies stand apart so well.  I also appreciated all the ways Gary misunderstood what people were saying to him, like when he said, “What the fuck does WTF mean?”  But I think the thing I always appreciated most about these Cornetto movies is how they foreshadow everything that’s going to happen in various different ways; be they from off-handed remarks people make to the names of the bars and the order they’re in.  They’ve always been expertly hidden in their movies.  I know that I had to watch Shaun of the Dead a second time before I truly saw the brilliance of the movie.  This movie does the same thing, but part of the problem is that I expected the foreshadowing because of their other two movies, and it can kind of spoil the outcome.  Though the outcome isn’t the biggest twist in the world, so it isn’t that big of a loss.

Another thing that sets the Cornetto movies apart from most comedies is that they are legitimately good examples of the movie types they’re parodying.  Shaun of the Dead is one of my favorite zombie movies.  Hot Fuzz is one of my favorite action movies.  And now The World’s End would definitely fit towards the top of my science fiction movies.  They have some great special effects and some fantastic action as well.  Where else might you see Simon Pegg Rock Bottom someone and Nick Frost deliver a People’s Elbow?  Then there’s a big fight where Nick Frost lays a beating down on a room full of robots and Simon Pegg fights like Jackie Chan in the Legend of Drunken Master.  I’m 100% behind all of this!

No surprises here, but I still love all the people I loved before I even started watching this movie.  And I started loving those I was indifferent to.  Simon Pegg is still fantastic.  He did a great job of being funny and always appearing jovial while still seeming like there was some depression hiding just beneath the surface.  Nick Frost was losing me towards the beginning of the movie when he was straight-laced and generally being a dick to Simon, but once he starts slamming down the shots he got back to the Nick Frost I love.  Also, this movie has the second James Bond in one of the Cornetto trilogy (Pierce Brosnan.  Hot Fuzz had Timothy Dalton) and the first one to have a Bond girl (Rosamund Pike).  Interesting fact, but not interesting enough to give me something else to say about it.

I would say that The World’s End is the weakest of the three movies in the Cornetto Trilogy, but with the level of competition offered by the other two that’s not saying much.  The World’s End is a great movie on its own, but it can be somewhat hindered by the comparison.  The story is good though it gets a little heavy handed at the end, but how well it’s planned out and how well the jokes are written can easily overcome that minor problem.  It’s also got some really good action scenes and a phenomenal cast.  This is still definitely a movie that’s worth seeing.  In fact, it’s good enough to just go out and buy.  The World’s End gets “I still think nothing that has been suggested in the last 10 minutes beats ‘smashy smashy egg men’” out of “There’s only one Gary King!”

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Snow White and the Huntsman (2012)


Don’t Flatter Yourself.

I decided to take a vacation for my birthday.  The first part of the vacation was occupied with the contest that just finished, but I decided that it was also a good time to head to the theater and see some of the movies that were there.  I set the vote out to Facebook to see what people wanted to me to do with my free time and the result was almost unanimous.  My friends cried in unison, “Make fun of Kristen Stewart some more!”  The movie that was voted on the most was Snow White and the Huntsman.  This is a movie I had the vaguest of interest in seeing, but most of that was taken away by the involvement of Kristen Stewart.  Let’s see how it went in my review of Snow White and the Huntsman, written by Evan Daugherty, directed by Rupert Sanders, and starring Kristen Stewart, Charlize Theron, Chris Hemsworth, Sam Claflin, Sam Spruell, Ian McShane, Bob Hoskins, Nick Frost, Johnny Harris, Toby Jones, Eddie Marsan, Ray Winstone, Brian Gleeson, Vincent Regan, Noah Huntley, Liberty Ross, Lily Cole, and Christopher Obi Ogugua.

A Queen (Liberty Ross) wishes she could have a hot daughter.  She forgets to wish that the daughter could act.  Later, the Queen gives birth to a daughter she names Snow White and, later still, dies.  Her husband, King Magnus (Noah Huntley), is inconsolable, and a mysterious army decides to attack while he’s weak.  The King’s army defeats the phantom army of glass soldiers and finds a beautiful woman named Ravenna (Charlize Theron) locked up as their prisoner.  He falls in love with her and marries her the next day, but Ravenna – a powerful and evil sorceress – kills him to take his kingdom, having Snow White imprisoned.  The kingdom turns dark, corrupted by the evil queen as Ravenna drains beautiful women from the village of their youth and beauty to keep herself young and bangin’.  When Snow White comes of age (now Kristen Stewart), Ravenna’s mirror (Christopher Obi Ogugua) tells her that Snow White is the fairest of them and her mere existence is draining her of her powers, but she can become immortal and not have to steal hotness from others if she kills Snow White.  When Ravenna sends her brother, Finn (Sam Spruell), to retrieve Snow White, she manages to escape into the Dark Forest.  With the promise of bringing his dead wife back from the dead, Ravenna convinces Eric the Huntsman (Chris Hemsworth) to venture into the forest to bring her back.

This movie surprised me.  It definitely has a few things going for it, but it also has things holding it back.  Starting off with the story: it’s actually pretty solid.  It’s a cool, slightly darker take on the old story we’re all familiar with, and it works pretty well.  Sure, it’s kind of a sign that Hollywood is running out of ideas, but I don’t mind it.  In fact, if they intend to turn all old Disney movies into dark, epic, action movies, I’m casting my vote for Sleeping Beauty to be next.  I want to see a live-action version of Maleficent, damnit!  On the other hand, you really can’t give the story that much credit since it’s based largely on the old story of Snow White.  The stuff they added was pretty cool.  I liked the idea of the group of people that would intentionally scar their faces so that the Queen wouldn’t have any interest in them.  Of course, I didn’t appreciate them acting like Snow White hadn’t made her sacrifice yet.  Yeah, she didn’t put a scar on her face, but she did spend 15 years in a dungeon shortly after losing both of her parents to the Queen.  So fuck your scarred face right off, how about that?  I also didn’t understand when Ravenna got pissed at her brother for Snow White escaping.  I say blame the goddamned mirror!  You had her locked up for 15 years and he didn’t say shit.  He could’ve mentioned that she was the solution to all of Ravenna’s problems a long time ago.  Also, the first encounter with the scar-faced people goes to show you that if you’re surrounded by people with bows and arrows, saying, “We mean you no harm,” will get you out of it.  Either that or just say, “I don’t want to harm you all.”  I can’t blame this movie for it as it was part of the original story, but it still strikes me as weird that either necrophilia or date rape saves the day when you make out with an unconscious girl that just bit a roofied apple.  So the story was fine, but I will say that the ending of the movie was pretty disappointing.  First, you know exactly what’s going to happen to the Queen and how.  I won’t spoil it or anything, but I think you can guess when the Huntsman shows Snow White how to use a dagger, and I shouldn’t be able to predict what’s going to happen in your movie in the first 20 minutes of it.  After that, the ending was kind of lackluster and the romantic angle was never finished.  They left it like there would be a sequel, but I have no idea how that would work out.

The look was probably my favorite part of the movie.  All of the sets and scenery and CG looked really good and stylized and artistically satisfying.  All the visual aspects of the movie worked really well for me.  I really liked the little acid trip that Snow White goes on when she gets into the Dark Forest.  It reminded me of the scenes in Batman Begins when the Scarecrow drug gets used on people.  The Magic Mirror was also a cool effect, having it drain out of the mirror and turn into a gilded Ring Wraith from Lord of the Rings.  Speaking of which, the part where they were crossing the mountain seemed like it really wanted to be Lord of the Rings.  All of the Queen’s magic looked really cool and stylish, though some of them served no real purpose.  The Queen bathing in milk served no purpose but to almost show us Charlize naked, and the part with her eating the hearts out of birds was pointless and just for gross value.  The fights had their moments.  Most of them were hand to hand combat that was fairly well realized, but I found myself more interested in the close-range bow and arrow fighting stuff.  That was pretty cool.

When reaching the performance part of my review, many of you would think that I’d have more than a few jokes prepared for Kristen Stewart.  Yup!  She’s still awful.  But, I would say this is possibly the least awful she’s been.  I only counted 2 of her random Bella-style sighs in this movie, which has to be a record for her.  I had heard someone make this joke before watching the movie and I shared it with my friend Greg and it was all he could think about during the movie, but Kristen Stewart will not close her mouth.  Once you start paying attention to it, it becomes more and more ridiculous how true it is.  One of my biggest issues with this movie ruined the entire concept: what definition of the word “fairer” gives Kristen Stewart the Edge over Charlize Theron?  I was literally tracking the time in the movie where I would consider Stewart to be fairer and, even with all the aging makeup and prosthesis that they used on Theron, Stewart maybe won the contest for about 5 minutes in this movie.  And I was still thinking about it.  When the dwarves were talking about how their ailments went away when Snow White was around, I got confused because every time Kristen Stewart comes around I get a headache and diarrhea.  I don’t know if it’s more to blame on Stewart or the writers, but her big, inspirational speech was a failure as far as I was concerned.  Also, “You can’t have my heart,” is your big closing line?  That’s the worst “I just killed you and here’s my zinger” line I’ve ever heard.  Charlize Theron is gorgeous and I would like to have her babies.  That being said, she kind of overacted in parts of this movie.  I’m sorry baby, but you did.  Can we just get over this and get back to the loving?  Well, if I can’t have her, maybe I can have Chris Hemsworth.  I don’t wanna sound queer or nothin’, but I’d really like to have sex with him.  Beyond the physical, he’s really good at the fighting, and actually pulled off his emotional scenes very well.  The dwarves of the movie didn’t do a whole lot to impress, but I was impressed by who they got to play them.  People like Ian McShane, Bob Hoskins, and Nick Frost were dwarves.  I thought that much was awesome and they all did a fine enough job, but I feel like real midgets were probably pissed.  You could’ve at least got some Dinklage in there for some midge-cred.

Altogether, Snow White and the Huntsman wasn’t a bad movie, but it wasn’t ground breaking either.  The look and artistic style of the movie is the best part.  After that, the story is just trying to make a dark version of an old story, and some decent action to go along with it.  Kristen Stewart’s in it, so you shouldn’t expect much by way of performances, and you’d be right.  Especially when you can’t get past the fact that everyone in this movie is so crazy that any one of them would say that Kristen Stewart is fairer than Charlize Theron.  No way, man.  I don’t recommend you pay good money to see this in theaters; it’s not really worth that much.  But seeing it in RedBox wouldn’t be that bad.  Snow White and the Huntsman gets “Beauty is my power” out of “You have eyes huntsman, but you cannot see!”

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.

Spaced (1999)


The Fuck-est Up-est

I purchased today’s review on DVD based entirely on the people involved with it, even though I knew very little about it beyond that.  I don’t have much experience with British television shows.  I don’t have a problem with them, I just haven’t seen very many of them.  But I decided to purchase the entire series (2 seasons, as we call it over in America) on DVD because I had heard it was enjoyable, and was the genesis of a couple of movies that I loved.  When I got the DVD’s, it took me quite some time to get around to watching them.  But when I saw they were on Netflix streaming, that sealed the deal.  So let’s hear my verdict on the TV show Spaced, created and written by Simon Pegg and Jessica Hynes (nee Stevenson), directed by Edgar Wright, and starring Simon Pegg, Jessica Stevenson, Julia Deakin, Mark Heap, Nick Frost, Katy Carmichael, Ada the Dog, Anna Wilson-Jones, James Lance, Peter Serafinowicz, Michael Smiley, Bill Bailey, Clive Russell, Lucy Akhurst, Reece Shearsmith, with notable cameos by Olivia Williams and Ricky Gervais.

SERIES 1

The basic premise of the show is that two people, aspiring writer Daisy Steiner (Jessica Stevenson) and aspiring comic book artist Tim Bisley (Simon Pegg), have recently become homeless.  They become friends looking through the newspaper for somewhere to live until they eventually find a house that seems perfect, but is only accepting couples.  They develop a plan to pose as a couple in order to get the flat.  They meet with the landlady, Marsha Klein (Julia Deakin), and move in soon after.  They also meet the person living below them, brooding artist Brian Topp (Mark Heap).  When they finally get unpacked, Daisy decides to throw a party, but few people come.  Just Marsha, Brian, Daisy’s friend and fashionista Twist Morgan (Katy Carmichael), and Tim’s friend with aspirations of being in the Territorial Army Mike Watt (Nick Frost).  Also the paperboy.  Later, Daisy fails an interview with a women’s magazine by saying “Girl Power” and Brian gets nervous about going to to meet his former partner Vulva (David Williams).  Vulva acts like a dick to Brain, but Tim gets crazed on a combination of Resident Evil 2, Twiglets, and free boose, punches Vulva, and “rescues” everyone.  Daisy gets dumped by her boyfriend and cheers herself up by getting a dog named Colin (Ada the Dog), but Tim is horribly afraid of dogs.  Tim and Mike go paintballing, only to run into Duane Benzie (Peter Serafinowicz), the man that stole Tim’s girlfriend.  He gets his revenge by shooting Duane in the balls.  Later, Tim is forced to walk Colin and he’s abducted.  Daisy believes he did it on purpose, but he redeems himself by getting the group together for a rescue.  In later episodes, the group goes clubbing with Tim’s friend Tyres (Michael Smiley), then some trouble is stirred up when Tim’s ex wants him back, Daisy fears for him, Brian asks Twist out, Mike rejoins the Territorial Army, and Daisy finally starts writing again.

SERIES 2

Daisy uses the money she made from selling a couple of articles to go on a trip through Asia.  When she returns, Tim is still struggling to get over the pain caused by the release of The Phantom Menace.  Mike has been staying in Daisy’s room in her absence.  Later, Tim is fired from his job at the comics store for yelling at a kid that wants to buy Jar Jar merchandise.  He joins Daisy at the unemployment office to get some money.  Brian finds out that his relationship with Twist has made him happy and, thus, unable to paint.  Marsha’s daughter, Amber, runs away from home, and Mike fills her empty room.  Later, Tim and Mike have their chances of winning Robot Wars damaged by saboteurs, but they’re able to get their robot back on it’s wheels.  Tim is called by Damien Knox of Darkstar Comics, wanting to see his portfolio, but Daisy mistakenly puts a picture Tim drew of Knox saying that he’s “a massive wanker” in the portfolio.  With the help of Tyres, Mike and Tim break into Knox’s office, but the picture was already removed by his secretary, Sophie (Lucy Akhurst), who asks Tim on a date.  Later, Tim and Daisy have a night on the town, but run afoul of a group of ruffians, defeating them with a slow motion shootout with imaginary guns.  When Daisy’s birthday arrives, Sophie is unwittingly driving wedges into the group’s relationships.  Mike is jealous of how much time Tim is spending with someone else, Daisy is a little jealous of Sophie, Marsha thinks Tim is cheating on Daisy because he sees Tim and Sophie together, Brian and Twist break up, and even Colin is upset that Daisy is ignoring him so he goes to spend time with the old lady next door.  Over dinner, the truth comes out that Daisy and Tim were lying all along, and Marsha leaves feeling betrayed.  To tie it all up, Tim and Daisy must find Marsha and try to convince her to come back before she sells the house and leaves them all homeless.

What a surprise, Simon Pegg and Edgar Wright did something that I thought was awesome.  Not to leave Jessica Hynes out of it, but this was my introduction to her.  I already had love for Simon, Edgar, and Nick Frost.  Now I guess I have to like all of the rest of these people as well.  This show is really the kind of show for me.  It’s funny, charming, and filled to the brim with references to things I love, from movies to video games and all other things popular culture, if you know to look for them.  The show isn’t what I would call uproariously funny.  It’s just not the type of comedy they were going for.  But it was charming all the way through, and certainly had it’s share of good laughs.  I was thinking about the idea they put out in the show that men can walk up to each other and start a slow motion shootout, and any man would start to play along.  I thought that was ridiculous for a second, but then I realized I would totally play along if it happened to me.  If there’s something negative I could say about the show, it would be that I may have missed some things because I’m not British, and that’s just downright racist of them.  I thought it was interesting that they had a lot of things they could get away with on English television that we definitely couldn’t over here.  They say “fuck” and “asshole” a couple of times, as well “cunt” and “twat”.  Hell, at one point Daisy is trying to get inspiration from magazines and one of them is one called “Huge Fat Cocks”.  They don’t let us get away with stuff like that in this fuckin’ twat of a cuntry.  There’s also a good amount of drug use in the show that wouldn’t fly over here, even though they never really made a big deal out of it on the show.  They smoked weed every now and then, and had an entire episode that was basically devoted to clubbing and ecstasy.  I feel like some of the jokes in that may have gone over my head since I know next to nothing of clubbing or drugs, but I feel I got the spirit of it.  Most of my enjoyment came from recognizing the nerdy things they referenced in the show.  They reference all sorts of things, like The Shining, Scooby Doo, Resident Evil, Star Wars, Robocop, the Matrix, and Star Trek.  They made a joke about Star Trek in the show that was made much funnier after the fact when Simon Pegg said that “Every odd numbered Star Trek film is shit”, not yet knowing that he would be in Star Trek number 11.  I also really liked their Fight Club joke when they were in the Robot Club, ’cause the first rule of Robot Club is you don’t talk about Robot Club.  The second rule of Robot Club is you don’t talk about … wait, I’ve got that wrong.  The second rule is “No Smoking”.

Edgar Wright also filmed the show in the cinematic style that he would later come to perfect, with fast cuts and interesting wipes from scene to scene.  The show’s zombie episode shows signs of Shaun of the Dead being in their minds, and they also use the joke between Pegg and Frost that was used in Shaun, the one where someone says that Frost is on the phone by saying “Your boyfriend’s on the phone” and he responds with “He’s not my boyfriend”, then picks up the phone and says “Hey babe.”

The performances in this show are easily the best part.  Everybody in the cast – both main and supporting – were enjoyable and funny.  Simon Pegg and Jessica Hynes were not only the main characters, but the writers of the show, so their the ones that get the most credit for the show’s clever dialogue.  Nick Frost, not surprisingly, was the character I enjoyed the most.  He was all crazy gun nut all the time, especially when he was dual-wielding in the paintball match.  I tended to think Mark Heap’s character was pretty funny too, usually seemingly like he was barely restraining some form of psychosis.  He also introduced the show to Vulva, which lead to a lot of things I though were funny as they kind of lampooned the artsy fartsy stuff I hate by showing the crazy interpretive art of a man dressed like a woman yelling random things on a stage as a guy with a vacuum attached to him jumped around on stage.  That’s basically how I view all of that kind of art.  Julia Deakin made me laugh too.  The big joke about her was that she would drink and smoke semi-constantly, but they got a lot of mileage out of it.  Katy Carmichael’s character Twist was mainly a little stupid and a little bitchy, but she was funny when she was around.  She also had a moment I found really cute when she was trying to talk Tim into letting her take her makeup bag with them on their covert mission to rescue Colin.  My favorite character that wasn’t in the main cast was Michael Smiley as Tyres.  He had a super short attention span as a result of his overuse of ecstasy, and he would talk really fast and start raving whenever things around him made noise to a beat.  One of the things I found funniest in the series was over the credits where it showed him dancing in front of a crosswalk light that was beeping.  I was amused to see Peter Serafinowicz in the show, having already known him from Shaun of the Dead.  That guy’s pretty good at playing a douche nozzle.  I liked a couple of their cameos as well, mostly Olivia Williams playing the part of a cyclist Tim and Mike had hit with their car, an obvious reference to the Sixth Sense that Olivia Williams was actually in.  Ricky Gervais had a small bit part, but it was cool to see him too.

The DVD of the show was an excellent purchase, as I found out after I had fallen in love with the show and started checking out the extras.  There’s a lot of good stuff on these DVD’s.  Unfortunately for me, my disc two DVD would not work, but each disk had some good outtakes, and I love watching them.  If you’re a fan of commentaries (like I am) you can enjoy not only the original commentary track, but ones with other fans of the show like Kevin Smith, Diablo Cody, Matt Stone, Patton Oswalt, Bill Hader, and Quentin Tarantino.  On top of that, there’s a Q&A with the cast, and a feature-length documentary about Spaced that ties up a couple of loose ends left by the show not having a third series.

I seem to have gotten a little long-winded about the show, but I couldn’t help it.  This was a pretty great show.  It’s just the type of show for a nerdy guy like me.  Very funny, very charming, and with tons of references to other nerdy things I love.  Top that off with some great directing and fantastic performances, and this is a show I can fully recommend.  If you’d like to try it out, it’s available on Netflix streaming at the moment.  If you like it, buy it.  The only thing I regretted about my purchase is that my second disc isn’t functioning.  Either way, Spaced gets “It’s a subtle blend of lateral thinking and extreme violence” out of “You’re the best auntie I’ve ever had.”

Hey, peeps. Why not rate and comment on this as a favor to good ole Robert, eh? And tell your friends! Let’s make me famous!

Attack the Block (2011)


Allow It

Alright, now I’ll give you my first post-Horror-thon review of a good movie. This is a movie I had first heard about from Simon Pegg talking about it on Doug Benson’s podcast, even though neither of them were in the movie. It was because Nick Frost, the other part of the duo from Hot Fuzz and Shaun of the Dead, was in this movie. But it’s also a pretty damn good movie. So let’s get into this, shall we? Attack the Block was written and directed by Joe Cornish, and it stars John Boyega, Jodie Whittaker, Alex Esmail, Franz Drameh, Leeon Jones, Howard Simon, Luke Treadaway, Jurmayn Hunter, and Nick Frost.

Sam (Jodie Whittaker) is a nurse returning home one day when she is robbed by a gang of hooligans, comprised of the leader Moses (John Boyega), Pest (Alex Esmail), Dennis (Franz Drameh), Jerome (Leeon Jones), and Biggz (Simon Howard). Shortly afterwards something falls from the sky and smashes into a car. The hooligans go to investigate and find out that the object was a small creature that proceeds to slash Moses in the face as he tries to steal the stereo and then runs off. Moses is unhappy about his new, awesome scars (though I would thank the creature for making me a badass) so the gang hunt the creature down and beat it to death. They take the creature to drug dealer, Ron (Nick Frost), who introduces them to his boss, Hi-Hatz (Jumayn Hunter). Moses asks to keep the creature in Ron’s fortified weed room until they can find a way to sell it. Turns out this little creature was the female that is now releasing a pheromone that will attract the males of her species. The males are much larger and look like big gorillas covered in pitch black hair that is pierced only by their glowing blue fangs. These creatures are not friendly. And, to make matters worse, seem to be infatuated with the gang of hoodlums. The gang must try to overcome this new threat that is attacking their block.

I found this movie to be a very enjoyable experience. I wouldn’t say it’s up to the quality of Shaun of the Dead by a long shot, so it’s unfortunate that they put that on the poster, but it’s still really good and definitely worth watching. The basic premise is certainly nothing new: the story of aliens coming to Earth and making us fight them off. Even the story of the under-equipped or kids from the wrong side of the track fighting off a threat is not entirely new, but that doesn’t mean it can’t be good. I liked the story, I liked the dialogue, I liked the message, and I especially liked the British slang. British is an adorable accent to listen to, and their slang – though sometimes hard to interpret – is fun. They had a lot of nerd jokes in the movie, which I loved, of course. They mentioned Naruto, Ghostbusters, and Pokemon at different parts in the movie, so that works for me. You do gotta catch ’em all. I did wonder about the intelligence of them hoodlums though. They seemed very surprised when they met up with the lady they robbed later in the movie and she said she was going to move. Why would a single woman living alone decide to move after being robbed by a pack of thugs that live in her building? The message of the movie is pretty good. Though they go the scientific way to it, it’s basically about Karma. The giant monkey creatures were after the thugs because Moses was covered in the pheromone from the female. But this also meant that their random acts of violence was what caused the aliens to hunt them down. Not only was this a good message, it wasn’t like it was just fate that was doing it, there was also a logical reason for it to be happening. It also had a message of potential redemption as Moses was prepared to sacrifice himself to save Sam and his remaining friends to pay for the choices he made. When arrested for it at the end, the crowd’s chanting gets him released.

The look of this movie was very good. The thing I noticed the most and liked the best was the aliens. I believe this movie had a fairly small budget, but their aliens were very convincing, very alien, and very well done. It seemed like most of them were a guy in a suit, and like I said it greatly resembled a gorilla, but it was very creepy that it had no eyes and most of the time all you could see was the glowing fangs. They tended to move like gorillas, walking with most of their weight on their front hands, but also exuded power and viciousness that made it easy to understand why these hoodlums were running away from them. The rest of the movie looked fine as well, though it was mainly just whatever area of England they were running around in. The whole movie seemed to happen in one night so it was always dark and lit by street lights so there wasn’t much beauty to behold in the area, but the movie was still filmed well. All of the explosions and violence were also very well executed.

I hate to keep repeating myself, but I have no real complaints about the performances either. I liked pretty much everybody. I went in to the movie thinking it was a Nick Frost joint, but he actually had a fairly small part in this movie. That would be the closest thing to a complaint I had beyond the slang being a little difficult to interpret, but nowhere near as bad as A Clockwork Orange. I did find their incredulity a little annoying. I don’t know what’s up with these kinds of movies, but no one ever believes what people are telling them. I feel like I’m closer to gullible, so if someone would tell me about ghosts and aliens, I’d be skeptical but totally ready to get on board. And the girl even briefly saw the creatures but kept calling them dogs until she got a good look at them. How many dogs do you know that are as big as a gorilla with shiny blue teeth and perfectly jet black hair? I know a dog that’s black, and I’ve tried feeding my dog everything but she’s never gotten glowing teeth from it.

This movie is definitely worth checking out. I picked it up from RedBox, personally, so you can definitely go at it that way and get to watch it on the cheap. But if I see the movie on BluRay when I’ve had a little more distance from the movie, I’d definitely pick it up for my collection. I probably wouldn’t get it right now because I just watched it, but I’m sure I’ll like to see it again in the future and take a look at the behind the scenes stuff as well. I’ll give this movie “Hurry up guys, we gotta catch ’em all” out of “Calm down Biggz, this ain’t Pokemon!”

Hey, peeps. Why not rate and comment on this as a favor to good ole Robert, eh? And tell your friends! Let’s make me famous!

Hot Fuzz (2007)


I regret having to push back this movie review request for as long as I did but I wanted to try to go in order that I received the requests. Today’s movie came as a request by my friend Chris, inspired by my earlier review of Shaun of the Dead. This movie is Hot Fuzz. Another Edgar Wright instant classic, Hot Fuzz stars Shaun of the Dead’s Simon Pegg and Nick Frost, Harry Potter’s Jim Broadbent, one of many James Bond’s Timothy Dalton, with brief appearances by chin-tacles himself Bill Nighy and Tropic Thunder’s Steve Coogan.

In Hot Fuzz, Nicholas Angel (Simon Pegg) is the best police officer in London. His superiors, played by Steve Coogan and Bill Nighy, decide that he’s making the rest of the London Police Force look bad with his superiority and ship him off to the small, quiet town of Sandford. Bringing only his Japanese peace lily with him, he arrives in Sandford and shortly arrests an entire bar full of children for underage drinking as well as another drunken man for attempting to drive drunk. The next morning it turns out that drunk driver was not only a police officer, but is Danny Butterman (Nick Frost), son of the police chief Frank Butterman (Jim Broadbent). Angel is instantly thrown off by the way police work is handled in the small town, finding that problems in the police station are handled by that person having to buy cake and ice cream for the station, as well as having a swear jar. Soon, a series of gruesome accidents start happening around the town and Angel, being unable to shut off his high-functioning police brain, believes they are linked to a conspiracy. Everyone else swears they are simple accidents, as a murder hasn’t been recorded in Sandford for years. Pegg and Frost are teamed up and almost instantly start to influence each other, Frost trying to become a better policeman officer like Pegg, and Pegg trying to go to bars and watch action movies to shut off his brain like Frost. Pegg finally loses his cool when the super-suspicious owner of the local supermarket, Simon Skinner (Timothy Dalton), becomes too obvious of a suspect in these “accidents”, and Angel finally confronts him with the evidence he’s collected, only to be trumped and embarrassed by the surveillance videos of Skinner in the store at the time. After an attempt on his life, Angel finds that he is both right and wrong. The accidents were not accidents, but the scheme is far stranger than he imagined.

There is a chance that I went too deep into the spoilers with that description, but it’s such a good movie I couldn’t stop myself. Also, the enjoyment is not in the dumbed down story, but in watching it. When trying to think if I like this movie more or less than Shaun of the Dead, I think I give the edge to Shaun only because I prefer zombie lore to action movies. But there are many similarities beyond the two stars and director. Wright’s use of quick, action film-inspired cuts in the editing process work equally as well in this movie as in Shaun. This editing method even makes the oft times ignored part of police work, the paperwork, seem interesting and action-packed. And the Pegg/Wright combination brings back another part of Shaun that I loved: the fences! No wait … I mean the callbacks. In both Shaun and Hot Fuzz, the end of the movie pays off with a lot of callbacks to minor, possibly ignored things from earlier. For someone with a horrible memory such as mine, that just means that the second time it’s viewed will be much more enjoyable than the first, and the first does not go wanting.

This movie wins in both the action and comedy sections that it can be placed in. Over the top situations and improbable fight scenes are abound in this movie. And no one could shake a stick at the comedy dialogue. The “God rest ‘im” speech alone – once you know what I mean – is worth watching the movie for alone. All of the writing is great here. Most action movies suffer from predictability, and for a while, it seems that this one will as well, with Timothy Dalton being so over the top and obvious in his portrayal of the evil antagonist that, by the time Angel is laying out his evidence, it’s a foregone conclusion. When it turns out it’s not him, it’s surprising. When it turns out it is him again, but nowhere near for the reason you thought, your mind is blown.

I have no complaints for this movie.

So, this movie is great. You should have both this and Shaun in your collection, or at least in your heart, or I will never like you that much. How can you not like a movie where your protagonist drop kicks a little old lady right in the face?! EXACTLY! Don’t watch this movie, go own it. I’m serious. I know who you are. I give this movie a “Great big bushy beard!” out of “Old lady’s broken nose”.

And, as always, please rate, comment, and/or like this post and others. It may help me get better.

Shaun of the Dead (2004)


Okay, this will more than likely be a really short review as I have not much to say about this movie beyond “It’s fucking awesome”. Shaun of the Dead, starring Simon Pegg and Nick Frost, is arguably my favorite zombie movie of all time, tied at the top with the remake of Dawn of the Dead. That being said, let’s get into this very short review.

Shaun of the Dead is the story of Shaun (Pegg) an employee at some appliance store in England who lives in an apartment with his best friend Ed (Frost) and another guy. Shaun is a spacey-type who seems to be in a slump and forgetful of the things he promises his girlfriend and mother. Well, his girlfriend gets sick of him and dumps him and he goes to a pub with Ed to drown his sorrows. Leaving the pub, they see zombies but they’re too drunk to put it together. The next day it comes to a head as they get attacked by zombies in their apartment. Shaun then conceives a plan to go pick up his mom, then his girlfriend, and take them to the pub where they’ll be safe. They do so, also picking up his father-in-law (Bill Nighy sans chin-tacles) who soon turns zombified. They also must take his girlfriend, Liz’s, friends, a somewhat stupid girl and her complete twat of a boyfriend. The rest of the story is them trying to survive.

Shaun of the Dead is not only commendable because it’s hilarious, but because of all the hidden callbacks in the movie. I loved the movie the first time I saw it, but I loved it so much more the second time because all of the things they were doing earlier in the movie were referenced later in the movie, and not until viewing 2 was I able to put it together. The humor is not to be dismissed, however, as it’s one of the funniest movies I can think of. I have seen this movie a great many times and I still laughed out loud while watching it. Pegg and Frost work great together, as I will touch on yet again when I watch Hot Fuzz and review it. And the humor isn’t always broad, obvious humor as is typical in most American comedies. In fact, one of my favorite parts is when the dumb girl is teaching them all how to act like zombies so they can make it through a horde. Shaun and Ed start arguing because Ed’s performance is underwhelming, Ed says “You do it then”, Shaun does a great zombie impression, Ed admits that it was good, and then Shaun smiles with a super smug, self satisfied grin. That part busted me up.

The movie is also SUPER gory, which is awesome when contrasted to the humor. I may be spoiling here (but trust me, you’ll be praying for it to happen by the time it does) but when the twat boyfriend David finally gets killed, they tear his guts out of his stomach and feast on them. TAKE THAT, YOU LIMEY FUCK! Sorry to the rest of the cast for that. But, on top of the gore and the humor, there are parts that are really emotional and made me tear up a bit. I won’t spoil that for you though, you’ll have to watch it and see.

So, this wasn’t as short as I thought. Suffice to say this movie rules and you need to watch it. My review? Don’t just watch it, watch it twice. Then buy 2 of them and frame one. And touch yourself inappropriately with it. …Out of several million.

Paul (2011)


It should come as no surprise to the people that know me that I listen to a lot of podcasts. Two of said podcasts I regularly listen to lead me to the movie I’m about to review. Those podcasts are Doug Benson’s ‘Doug Loves Movies’ and Chris Hardwick’s ‘The Nerdist’. In both of these podcasts, they had on one of my favorite comedic actors to discuss this movie. That actor? Simon Pegg. That movie? Paul, starring Simon Pegg and Nick Frost (You SHOULD know them from Shaun of the Dead and Hot Fuzz), with the voice of Seth Rogen (How could you NOT know him) as the voice of Paul.

This movie follows Simon Pegg and Nick Frost as two nerds and aspiring writers who go to ComicCon and then go on a road trip through the most popular alien sighting locations of America. After leaving ComicCon (which you should know happens most famously in San Diego), their next stop is perhaps the largest alien hot spot, Area 51. Shortly after leaving the Black Mailbox (look it up), they are followed by a black car that then spins out of control and crashes. They go to investigate to find that the driver of the car was a small alien who introduces himself as Paul. Shortly after, they stop at a RV park for the night and end up kidnapping super-religious Kristen Wiig. They fix her of her uber-religiousness and she becomes hilarious. They are also chased by 3 law enforcement types (or as they would best be described, Men in Black) played by Jason Bateman, Bill Hader, and Joe Lo Truglio.

The plot of the movie, I’ll say it, is a little haphazard. I didn’t even really know that they were driving Paul to be picked up by his people until like 3 quarters in to the movie. The positive thing I could say about that is I didn’t give a shit. There were many laugh out loud parts to this movie (and, as I’ve said, I don’t laugh out loud to many movies), most of which belonged to Kristen Wiig. Can I tangent here for a bit? I fucking love Kristen Wiig. I would make such a baby for her right now, whether she wanted me to or not. Probably good that I don’t come in proximity to her, I suppose. I would hate to have to get all rapey. Anyway, Kristen Wiig is by far the funniest part of any movie she’s in, the only exception in this case is that everyone else holds their own to a good degree. And there are SO many hilarious people in this movie. I’ve already mentioned Pegg, Frost, Rogen, Bateman, Hader, and Lo Truglio, but there are also small bit parts where Bobby Lee, Jeffrey Tambor, Jane Lynch, and David Koechner did some good. The only problem I found with the casting is that Bateman, as Agent Zoil, was not only a straight man (that he’s usually so good at), but a badass, which I didn’t know he could do. The problem with that is that I felt his comedic talents were kind of wasted. I guess he could kind of take it easy with the rest of the cast being what they were. It’s not like he was playing opposite Jennifer Aniston and a cup of semen.

Another lovely part of this movie is all the nerd service they did, especially the ones that were so sneaky. And for any non-nerds that are watching this movie, here they are for you to look out for and not have to miss out on because you were too busy dating people to know. 1) When Pegg, Frost and Wiig enter a bar, the band is playing a rendition of the famous music from the bar in Star Wars: A New Hope. 2) At the very end, when some old lady knocks out Sigorney Weaver (Oh yeah, she’s here too. And not to go off topic too much, but regardless of age, I’d give it to Sigorney Weaver and/or Carrie Fischer if given the chance). But when the old woman knocks out Sigorney Weavery, she says “Get away from her, you bitch!” which is a line from the movie where Sigorney got to be a badass, Aliens. I think it was Aliens, not Alien. …ummmmmm…. yeah, it sounds right. 3) A smaller one, but the name of the firework they signal Paul’s people with is the 5 tones, and they play the famous 5 tones, made famous by Close Encounters of the Third Kind. I’m only vaguely positive that’s the movie it’s from, but if I’m wrong, I’m sorry I haven’t seen it. And if I’m right, my nerdiness runs so deep, I know a lot about movies I haven’t even seen!

I only bought this movie on a whim, having not seen it in theaters, because if I bought the Big Lebowski on Blu-Ray with either Paul or Your Highness, I got a t-shirt. And I don’t trust Your Highness enough to buy it on a whim. I’ll totally watch it, but I don’t expect much. I didn’t expect that much out of Paul, but Pegg and Frost didn’t let me down. This is by far the worst of the 3 films I know they’ve worked on, but when you’re the worst amongst Shaun of the Dead (arguably my favorite zombie movie ever) and Hot Fuzz (almost INarguably my favorite cop action movie), you shouldn’t feel too bad about being behind a bit.

I won’t promise you’ll all like it, but if you tell me you don’t laugh, I’ll think there’s something wrong with your brain. …out of 5…