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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Star Trek Into Darkness (2013)


Enjoy These Final Moments of Peace.

Star Trek Into Darkness (2013)Tuesday again.  Time again for a double feature at my local theater.  It’s problematic for a film critic to hate crowds so much that he doesn’t like to go see new movies until the theaters have slowed down, but that’s the kind of critic you idolize.  Me.  This would normally be too soon for me to want to go see a movie of this magnitude, but there weren’t a lot of options in theaters right now, and my desire to see this movie was pretty strong.  I was never a fan of the TV series this movie comes from, and I didn’t see the greater majority of the movies that helped make the series so popular.  But I did see the movie right before this one and it made me a fan.  I absolutely loved it.  So when they put out a new one, it made me very excited.  Did it live up to those expectations?  Find out as I review Star Trek Into Darkness, based on characters created by Gene Roddenberry, written by Roberto Orci, Alex Kurtzman, and Damon Lindelof, directed by J. J. Abrams, and starring Chris Pine, Zachary Quinto, Benedict Cumberbatch, Peter Weller, Bruce Greenwood, Zoe Saldana, Simon Pegg, Anton Yelchin, John Cho, Karl Urban, Alice Eve, Noel Clarke, Nazneen Contractor, and Leonard Nimoy.

On a mission to the planet Nibiru, Captain James T. Kirk (Chris Pine) violates the Prime Directive in order to rescue First Officer Spock (Zachary Quinto) from danger.  This causes Admiral Christopher Pike (Bruce Greenwood) to be forced to relieve Kirk of his command of the USS Enterprise.  Elsewhere, a man named John Harrison (Benedict Cumberbatch) offers Starfleet Officer Thomas Harewood (Noel Clarke) a way to save his dying child in exchange for blowing up a Starfleet archive.  Admiral Alexander Marcus (Peter Weller) calls together the captains of Starfleet to figure out their next move, falling directly into Harrison’s plan.  Harrison attacks the meeting, killing many of the Starfleet commanders.  In retaliation, Kirk is sent out with 72 prototype Photon Torpedoes with the order to destroy Harrison, while trying not to bring on a full scale war with the Klingons.  But all is not as it appears…

For the first half of this movie, I admit that I was feeling a little underwhelmed by it.  It was good, but it was not living up to my expectations for it.  Then shit started to get real.  Some might be embarrassed to say that they started to tear up near the end, mostly on moments between Spock and Kirk, but I’m not your usual man.  I’m barely a man at all!  What I am is a nerd, so it’s completely appropriate.  The story is also heavy with references to the past of Star Trek, which I’m sure I missed a bunch of because of my relative inexperience with the franchise, but I still got most of them.  I know Khan, for instance.  I know Tribbles.  I also know what happens to Spock at some point in a radioactive room.  But I like that these movies are taking place in an altered timeline so thing happen close to what happened in the past, but occasionally roles are reversed to be able to still catch the audience off guard.  But I was beginning to get trepidations in the beginning because a few things made me think they’d be treading the same ground as the previous movie, like when they took away Kirk’s ship and wanted to put him back in the academy, but they didn’t waste that much time in that.  Then Kirk would start getting at odds with the crew again, although he had a good reason.  I got most worried about how I’d feel about this movie when Kirk and Scotty parted ways.  BRING PEGG BACK!!  But then they did, and I could calm down.  But the end of the movie was filled with some great action and great emotional moments, and I’ve always said that ending strong is more important than opening strong.  I won’t spoil what was happening, but when Uhura told Spock to, “Go get him,” I got some wood, and surprisingly more because of the awesomeness than Zoe Saldana’s hotness.  I would have to admit that I saw the ending coming, making it not that much of a surprise when we find out Kirk’s fate.  I even wrote it in my notes just after I first saw the Tribble.  That being said, I didn’t feel like it was any less effective just because I knew how it would turn out.

There’s really no point even talking about the look of the movie, is there?  You saw the commercials and how awesome and epic they make the movie look, right?  Yeah, that’s what it looks like.  They were not lying to you.

I loved all the performances in this movie as well.  Chris Pine is great as Kirk.  He does the funny parts as well as he does the emotional parts.  He also plays a dick very well, easily making me silently curse him in the theater for making Simon Pegg leave.  I find it hard to talk about Zachary Quinto’s performance as Spock.  Through most of the movie, he’s acting really robotic.  On the other hand, that’s exactly what he’s supposed to be doing.  And he’s able to convey quite a bit of emotion through his performance while still being such a Vulcan, and he kind of breaks down at the end of the movie in an awesome way.  Zoe Saldana is hot.  Simon Pegg is awesome.  Peter Weller was Robocop.  I was unfamiliar with this Benedict Cumberbatch before I went into this movie.  I had heard him talked about a lot in nerdier crowds, so I knew he must have some nerd cred of some sort.  I think it’s because he’s in that Sherlock show, but I’ve never seen it.  And you never see him in The Hobbit because he only lends his voice to it.  That being said, I still thought he was pretty awesome in the movie.  Maybe not quite a Ricardo Montalbán, but pretty damned solid.  Even with the emo hair that occasionally happened in the middle of a fight, he maintained a certain level of quiet badassdom.  And the starring role in this movie for me is the white-haired chick on the command deck of the Enterprise.  I don’t know who she is, but I want to be in her.

Star Trek Into Darkness is another addition to the series that wins in my book.  The movie starts off a little slow for my taste, but ends strongly with a great deal of awesome action and emotion that actually made me tear up.  It looks great and all the performances were also top notch.  I’ve never considered myself a Star Trek fan, but if Abrams keeps this up, I might actually start watching the stuff that inspired the guy to make these awesome movies.  In the meantime, I recommend getting yourself to the theaters to check this one out as soon as you can.  Star Trek Into Darkness gets “If you test me, you will fail” out of “Because I am better.”

WATCH REVIEWS HERE!  YouTube  OTHER JOKES HERE!  Twitter  BE A FAN HERE!  Facebook  If you like these reviews so much, spread the word.  Keep me motivated!  Also, if you like them so much, why don’t you marry them?!

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.”

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Mission: Impossible Ghost Protocol (2011)


Next Time, I Get to Seduce the Rich Guy

Got back into the theaters today for another big movie I’ve been looking to see. It probably spoils it a bit early, but this is the 4th part in a series that I’ve liked all the way through. Most people hated on the third one, but I still found it enjoyable. These movies are typically a step above a big, dumb action movie. They’ve got the big and the action, but they’re usually a little bit smarter than your typical dumb action movie. But, as is the case with most sequels, I tend to go into them with a great deal of trepidation. Sequels always have the danger of being too much of the same thing. Is this one? Let’s find out in my review of Mission: Impossible Ghost Protocol, written by Josh Applebaum and Andre Nemec, directed by Brad Bird, and starring Tom Cruise, Michael Nyqvist, Jeremy Renner, Simon Pegg, Paula Patton, Vladimir Mashkov, Lea Seydoux, Josh Holloway, Tom Wilkinson, Anil Kapoor, and Ving Rhames.

During a pick up in Budapest, IMF agent Trevor Hanaway (Josh Holloway) is killed in action by assassin Sabine Moreau (Lea Seydoux). In reaction, Hanaway’s team of Jane Carter (Paula Patton) and Benji Dunn (Simon Pegg) bust IMF agent Ethan Hunt (Tom Cruise) out of a Moscow prison. Soon after, they find out that their mission – if they choose to accept it – is to break into the Kremlin to get information on someone with the codename “Cobalt”. Cobalt (Michael Nyqvist) beats them to the punch, stealing nuclear launch codes and blowing up the Kremlin, getting it blamed on Ethan Hunt and IMF. Ethan gets picked up by the IMF Secretary (Tom Wilkinson), who informs Ethan that the President has enacted “Ghost Protocol”, disavowing the entire IMF. Hunt and his team are going to take credit for it unless they get out there and fix this before they get captured. Russian security forces attack their car and kill the secretary, but Ethan escapes with the secretary’s chief analyst, William Brandt (Jeremy Renner). With Brandt on their team, Ethan, Benji, and Jane go to stop Cobalt from starting a nuclear war.

YAY! Mission: Impossible didn’t let me down! It’s every bit the big, action movie of moderate intelligence that the previous films were, but that’s okay. It’s what I expected, what I wanted, and what I got. The story is solid, the action is pretty spectacular, and it was great fun. It’s worth mentioning that it’s the same basic principle that the other movies use. Something happens and Ethan Hunt must break with protocol to fix it. He does, and then he’s back with the IMF at the end. Same principle, but it’s different enough that it hasn’t gotten stale yet. The way it started was a little confusing to me. Now, I know the typical MI opening credit sequence is the lighting of a fuse that then travels along through the credits until it explodes to end them. There were two things that bothered me about these though. The first was that it seemed to show the whole movie in the background as the fuse traveled through the biggest scenes. I just thought it was odd and vaguely spoiler-y, but by the end I didn’t really think so because a brief shot from a huge action scene doesn’t really spoil it. The other thing that bothered me about it was that these people had super advanced equipment like a blue light that would cut a hole through 5-foot thick concrete, but they were still using explosives with a fuze you had to light with a match? Speaking of the technology: I know that Brad Bird came from Pixar, who is owned by Apple, but does that mean that 50% of the technology they use in the movie needs to be Apple products? Almost everyone in the movie used an iPhone, and they also used an iPad to peak around corners and to operate a machine that projected the image of the wall behind a giant screen so they could push the screen down a hall without knowing. Next time I talk to someone about the iPad, I’ll need to remember to tell them that it’s not just for media viewing, it’s also great for espionage! I just got really sick of seeing all the product placement in the movie and it bummed me out a little. And they missed the opportunity for a great joke at the end! When Ethan puts three iPhones on a table to give Pegg, Patton, and Renner their missions, Renner doesn’t take his. He says “I’m not going to take that phone …” and goes on to say something vaguely emotional. I was praying for it, but it didn’t happen. I desperately wanted him to say “I’m not going to take that phone … because I’m an Android man.” The action is over the top spectacular in this movie. I really don’t know how they’ll top it for the next movie. One such action scene is from the trailers and involves Hunt climbing the world’s tallest building in Dubai. There’s also infiltrations with cool technology, chases – both in cars and on foot (because Tom Cruise loves to run in movies), and big time shootouts and fist fights. One of the chases happens in a sandstorm that is so intelligent that it knows to arrive when it’s needed to amp up the action, but leaves right when the movie was finished with it. Very polite. If I was going to point out a negative side of the movie, it was definitely the ending. The movie is interesting and fun all the way through, but the ending seemed tacked on and out of place, as if they realized there was one more plot point to tie up (and a couple more cameos to throw in) and decided to throw it in so people wouldn’t complain. But I’m doing it anyway. It just seemed to stop the movie too abruptly and it could’ve been so much better.

The performances in this movie are much better than a movie of this type requires. They’re not super fantastic, impressive, or range-y performances, but they’re better than most of the performances that you would typically see in an action movie. Tom Cruise is as good as he was in all the other MI movies. He’s very serious and is running 90% of the time, but also stretches out his acting chops a couple of times. Simon Pegg is awesome. He’s back in this movie as the comic relief computer guy (as he well should be, being so nerdy and hilarious), but he also gets to play the badass a few times in this movie. He’s awesome in everything. Jeremy Renner is also very awesome. He didn’t have quite the emotional range to this character as he showed in Hurt Locker, but that’s not what the role called for. He kicked some ass, dropped some great lines, and just did one or two emotional parts. Paula Patton was very hot. She was also very good, but her hotness overrides her performances. WITH HOTNESS! Michael Nyqvist was pretty creepy as the bad guy, but I never really felt like his motivation was clear. I still have little to no idea why he wanted a nuclear war. But I think he was supposed to be pretty crazy, so he may not have had more reason than that.

Mission: Impossible Ghost Protocol keeps a great series moving forward with it’s solid story, fantastic action, and appropriately great performances. It doesn’t break any molds for story, but the action is amped up so high that I’m not sure how they’ll top it for another sequel, which I feel pretty confident will come eventually. I’m still on board to check it out. Shitty ending, be damned! I paid to see this in theaters, and I can’t see most of you being disappointed in this movie, especially if you walk out before the ending. I give Mission: Impossible Ghost Protocol “Mission: Accomplished” out of “Ha, it’s funny ‘cuz you said anus.” This review was sponsored by Apple.

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Star Trek (2009)


I Like This Ship!  Y’know, It’s Exciting!

No one requested this movie and I think most people already know how I feel about it.  I watched this for me.  I bought it on BluRay, special edition style for the win!  I’ve watched it numerous times since purchasing it and I likes it just as much every time.  Let’s get right into it, shall we?  This movie is Star Trek, the revamped movie series written by Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci, directed by J.J. Abrams, and starring Chris Pine, Zachary Quinto, Leonard Nimoy, Eric Bana, Bruce Greenwood, Zoe Saldana, Karl Urban, Simon Pegg, John Cho, Anton Yelchin, Winona Ryder, Chris Hemsworth, Clifton Collins Jr., and, unfortunately, Tyler Perry.

Alright, this little ship comes up on this black hole and this huge ass ship comes out and is like “WHAT?!” and then starts going “Pachew, pachew pachew”.  The USS Kelvin is no match for the Romulan ship, the Narada, so the captain of the Kelvin goes over to discuss a cease fire.  The captain of the Narada, Nero (Eric Bana), asks him a few questions about a person he’s never heard of, then kills him.  George Kirk (Chris Hemsworth) takes over as captain and orders an evacuation of everyone on board including his really, really preggers wife.  Kirk must stay aboard the ship and his wife leaves, giving birth to their son, James Tiberius Kirk.  Also, on Vulcan, baby Spock gets picked on for having a human mom.  Now grown up, James Kirk (Chris Pine) drunkenly hits on Uhura (Zoe Saldana) at a bar and gets beat up by her Starfleet buddies.  One of the shots to the noggin and a pep talk from Captain Christopher Pike (Bruce Greenwood) and he enlists in Starfleet.  On the way there, he meets and befriends Leonard “Bones” McCoy (Karl Urban).  Years later, Kirk and Spock (Zachary Quinto) get on each others bad side when Kirk cheats on Spock’s test and Spock gets Kirk suspended for it, which keeps Kirk grounded when the Starfleet leaves to check on a distress call from Vulcan.  McCoy gets Kirk on board the USS Enterprise where Kirk is able to stop the ship from warping into a trap from the Narada.  Some people are saved, but most of Vulcan is lost, and Captain Pike is captured by Nero.  Can Spock and Kirk settle their differences and take out this new threat?  No, Spock jettisons Kirk to a frozen planet instead.  But at least he gets to meet old Spock (Leonard Nimoy) and Montgomery “Scotty” Scott (Simon Pegg)!

Some may assume that my nerdiness would inherently make me a Star Trek fan, but this is not the case.  I’ve seen this movie, but I’ve never seen an episode of the TV show and I’ve only ever seen parts of the original movies.  As any self respecting nerd, I picked a side in the Star Wars/Star Trek war and irrationally disregarded the other half.  I’m a Star Wars man.  But something inspired me to watch this movie and I’m very glad that I did.  It rules.  Does it rule as much as Star Wars?  I’ve conferred with my nerdiness and determined that I cannot confirm nor deny that.  But this movie is very good.  The story took a dangerous concept and pulled it off.  Not only is it dangerous to remake such a beloved series, but time travel can be a dangerous, easy story device used by bad writers, but both are pulled off well.  I don’t think I heard too many Trekkies getting their panties in a knot about this movie after it came out, though most had preemptively tied up their panties.  But the story they delivered was well thought out, action-packed, emotional in parts, and charming throughout.  It also looked better than I assume every other incarnation of Star Trek, so it’s got that goin for it too.  The Narada looked awesome, but it was a little problematic for me.  It was apparently originally a mining vessel, but was also more menacing than any mining vessel ever was or should be, and apparently loaded with the most advanced weaponry of it’s time.  Seems a bit overkill for a mining vessel.  But it is comforting to know that we’ll still be able to listen to the Beastie Boys in the year 2245.  Also, why come they have all this advanced technology but they forgot that some technology can automatically time stamp things, taking away your need to start everything with the stardate?

The casting is the best part of this movie.  Every single person in this movie fits their characters and performs them excellently.  Chris Pine was a cocky douche, was funny most of the time, and pulled off the emotional scenes very well.  Zachary Quinto made a fantastic Spock.  When he turns down the Vulcan council early in the movie, I loved the way he practically spat “Live long and prosper” at them.  But for the rest of the movie I felt he was a little dry and unemotional.  Just kidding.  He’s a Vulcan.  He actually came close to emoting too much for a Vulcan.  I didn’t like the choice for his mom though.  Winona Ryder is too hot to pull off being Zachary Quinto’s mom.  Zoe Saldana was fantastic as well, and super hot as always.  She also managed to Navi-whip Spock.  Navi-whipped, p-whipped…get it?  No?  It sounded better in my head.  I got in a argument with myself over whether I liked Simon Pegg or Karl Urban better in this movie, but I wasn’t able to decide.  They’re my favorite characters in this.  Simon Pegg easily gets the win over Karl Urban in total career, but in this movie I give them equal.  Both were funny whenever they were on and both captured their characters.  I felt like Eric Bana may have hammed it up a bit, but not too bad.  Tyler Perry was my only problem with the casting.  Not because he didn’t do his small part well, but because his movies are awful.  I don’t want to go through every name in the movie, but every other name was great.

So, yeah.  This movie rules.  You should watch and own it.  And this is coming from a verified non-Trekkie, so this comes with no bias whatsoever.  I dig the look and the story of this movie a lot, but it wouldn’t be anything without the fantastic cast.  GO WATCH NOW!  Star Trek gets “I’ve never beamed three people from two targets onto one pad before!  I thought that was pretty good!” out of “I am grateful for this.”

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.