Jeremy’s One Paragraph Movie Review: Oblivion (2013)

WEK_Oblivion_0419Normally these reviews avoid spoilers but in talking about everything wrong with “Oblivion” it is near impossible. What an absolute let down.  The movie trailer was pretty much perfect. It didn’t give much away. It featured a lot of Tom Cruise and had plenty of mystery. Then you watching this garbage movie and realize the trailer was just as disjointed and confusing as this movie.  So aliens come to Earth and battle people and start mining the planet for power or something. It is incredibly obvious from the first scene that the humans did not win the war and the aliens are manipulating Tom Cruise and his companion. The timeline does not lend itself to the technological advances and as soon as you see the computer commander, you realize she is the bad guy.  But that isn’t enough. Tom Cruise has dreams of a different life even though his memories had been erased. They are of a strange woman and he proposes to her in a romantic fashion. So you get this added relationship and romantic entanglements that are totally unnecessary. Why are his memories erased? Who knows? As it turns out Tommy is actually a clone and everything he knows is not as he was told or something.  Wait, yes I did say he was a clone. Why? Your guess is as good as mine. The movie makes no sense and has zero drama. Morgan Freeman is there because he is Morgan Freeman and apparently Ernie Hudson’s voice wasn’t smooth enough.  What an absolute waste of two hours.  -Jeremy

Jeremy’s One Paragraph Movie Review: Olympus Has Fallen (2013)

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All right now be honest; when you saw the title of this post you immediately thought or said “ yuck.” This is totally acceptable as every trailer for this movie made it look incredibly stupid. I will gladly agree with that sentiment but this movie was fun. Yes the plot is straight up Die Hard in the White House but after that it is a solid action flick. Gerard Butler is best in action movies and he is at his best here. He plays his role with totally sincerity. The movie is totally devoid of any wink or nod to how redundant his situation is. There are no convoluted plot twists. The bad guys are evil and the good guys are good. The movie breaks no new ground but it rolls by at a brisk pace. It was also full of bloody violence that is missing from action movies now. While violence isn’t a prerequisite in film snow it should be in action movies. Bloodless violence is nauseating and “Olympus Has Fallen” makes sure you see the consequences of bullets to the chest, head and legs. Overall, it is just a fun movie to watch.  -Jeremy

Stunt Granny Movie Reviews: The Purge and Now You See Me

yeah there are two movies but one has Isla Fisher on the poster. No debate.

Yeah there are two movies but one has Isla Fisher on the poster. No debate.

Story, Setting & Stars – the 3S theory I use to determine if I can enjoy a movie.  If you can get me with at least of one of those factors, then I’m down.  This weekend, 2 disparate movies – “The Purge” & “Now You See Me” – passed the test, in wildly different ways.

Imagine the United States with no crime and a 1% unemployment rate.  Apparently, our “new founding fathers” devised a solution to curb our barbaric and self-destructive tendencies – one night a year, all crime is legal.  Any individual can play grand theft auto on their fellow man for 12 hours with no repercussions (as long as they aren’t Class 10 individuals – there are always advantages for being deemed important, even in the future).  The theory is that this barbaric, cathartic release allows us to remain in a calm nirvana the rest of the year.   Detractors deride the purge as a tool to cleanse society of the poor, uneducated, unwashed undesirable wastrels from society.  Others accept & even embrace the event as a necessary evil to allow the United States to become a utopia.  Ethan Hawke decides to become rich by selling home security systems to protect his wife (Lena Headey) and two children (names unimportant).  Of course something happens to test the family, and mayhem ensues.

Full disclaimer – as a typical suspense/horror movie, “The Purge” is mediocre at best. Besides Ethan Hawke & Lena Headey, nearly every other character serves as a stereotype, place holder or plot device.  One of the main villains (Rhys Wakefield – the blonde, possibly inbred, definitely insufferable jackass in the trailers) is named “Polite Stranger” in the end credits. Do seemingly smart individuals act stupidly in the worst possible moments?  Yep.  Are there eye-rolling twists that suspend disbelief? Yep.  Are there events portrayed in the movie that make no sense?  Of course there is. Did I hear fellow movie goers literally curse due to the hare-brained activity of the majority of the cast? Damn right. Was the movie enjoyable? Surprisingly yes – strictly because of the setting and story.

Maybe it’s because I was blessed to live in DC for nearly 8 years, but this movie reminded me of a funhouse mirror version of Georgetown.  In the movie’s universe, it made sense for the Ethan Hawke to get rich off of the fears of his neighbors by just selling “foolproof” home defense systems.  Of course Lena Headey would have to deal with passive-aggressive jealousy and hatred from her Stepford neighbors who feel exploited by basically funding their lifestyle.  And of course in a society like this, they’d have precocious annoying snot-nosed kids that would eventually place them in harm’s way due to their tolerance and love of their fellow man.  I won’t delve too much into the antagonists of the movies, to avoid spoilers – I will say that they represented the most diabolical, vile individuals known to man….hipsters.  Douchebag Abercrombie & Fitch types with half-assed nihilistic tendencies and quarter-assed Heath Ledger impersonations, they served their two-dimensional role perfectly.  And by role, I mean portraying targets for Ethan Hawke to go Training Day mode on them.   So if you embrace the conceit of the movie, and look through the eyes of the characters, then you will find enjoyment in the Purge.  Just don’t go in expecting a masterpiece in suspense filmmaking, and you’ll be ok.

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Jeremy’s Monthly Movies for April 2013

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Have you ever wanted some expert guidance on just what you should spend your hard earned cash on at the movies? Do you have no trust for legitimate print or internet critics? Well then why not take the word of some schlep that has seen too many movies in his brief life? With so many movies released each week it can become rather daunting to keep track of them all. So, in the interest of simplifying your life I am here to help you decide what you should see at the movies with a quick week by week pick em. We are starting with March even though there are only a few weeks left. The idea may not be up to date but the opinions will be. So get to watching and reading. You have any qualms or suggestions for movies I missed then by all means let me know. Leave a comment or hit me up @grannymaes on Twitter.

Evil Dead – April 5, 2013

Look if you haven’t seen the first red band trailer for the new “Evil Dead” you need to watch it right now. Yes it is near blasphemy to remake “Evil Dead” but this looks to be an entirely new spin on it. Gone are the quirks and cuteness of the original. In its place is nonstop gore and suspense. This looks like a very uncomfortable movie to watch and not for the gore aspect. Sure it is unsettling but after a while you eventually find yourself unfazed. What this looks to rely on is actual suspense. We all know the story so there shouldn’t be too many surprises outside of Ash not being the lead. Yeah calm down it is perfectly ok since no one could ever replace Bruce Campbell. As a rule I never attend horror movies in a theatre. One reason is that I am a giant pussy and want to cover my eyes in the privacy of my own home. The other reason is that most horror movies are garbage and not with the inflated price to actually go to the theatre. This one may be wearing me down though but I will still be a giant pussy watching.
It’s a Disaster- April 12, 2013

David Cross and Julia Styles? Um, yes please. Now there is no chance I will see this around here since Greenville is the culture black hole of the south. So, look out for one of my One Paragraph movie Reviews later this year. Anyway I really like the premise. Instead of everyone freaking out they calmly drink themselves silly and party. Well, until it all falls apart inevitably and they ruin it with morality or something stupid to give us a lesson. Was that Ugly Betty banging on a pot and drink straight from a liquor bottle? Damn.
Oblivion- April 19, 2013

Look, Tom Crusie is an absolute animal. The guy is in his fifties and he makes action movies look like a piece of pie. Regardless of his personal life the man just knows what it takes to make a good movie. Sure he has some clunkers along the way but then what successful actor doesn’t? “Oblivion” reminds me of a cross of “Planet of The Apes” and “Wall-E”. Monuments are destroyed and the world is in tatters so all the humans up and left. Cruise is left behind to tend the planet and fix drones for some reason. Yeah, the premise seems a tad shoddy and if you haven’t yet it may be better served to stay away from the later trailers as, par the course now, it gives away too much. Out of all of the flicks releasing in April this one stands on top. Tom Cruise, Morgan Freeman and a load of sci-fi visuals? Yup, sign me up.

Lords of Salem- April 19, 2013

I have loved the look of every Rob Zombie movie he has directed/produced. He has a good eye for keeping even inaction interesting which is not easy to accomplish. The problem with all Rob Zombie movies is that he sacrifices story, character and pacing for gore and shock.  He hasn’t found the right mixture of both to make a solid film. Generally his movies turn in to non-stop swearing and blood when there is no reason for it. This being said, I am not sure what to make of “Lords of Salem.” It has the same visual flair of his previous movies and he has teamed with some successful producers so anticipation is a tad high that he finally found his balance. As the trailer goes on though there are definitely places where you can see that the wheels may fall off in “Insidious” fashion.  So consider this guarded excitement for this flick. The fact it comes out after “Evil Dead” may hurt its business but then a movie making money and being crap is kind of what happens in the States anyway.
Pain & Gain- April 26, 2013

Speakign of crap that still makes money it is time for another Michael bay fiesta. Look we all know Michael Bay movies are style over substance and “Pain and Gain” looks to be no different.  The only reason this gets a mention is in keeping with the theme of new Dwayne  The Rock” Johnson movies that are releasing this year. So you could say I am anticipating this film but it would be for all the wrong reasons. Judging by the trailer, and really if you haven’t figured it out by now this is what all of these are based off of, we are going to be force fed more unnecessary slow motion shots and sprawling crane shots for no reason. If this movie doesn’t include at least one guy jumping off of a roof top in to a pool or a truck then it is an abject failure. On a positive note everyone looks to be in very good shape.

Stunt Granny Monthly Movie Guide for March 2013

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Welcome Stunt Granny readers to the first installment of the Stunt Granny Monthly Movie Guide. Each month I will be bringing you a few select trailers for the month’s big releases. Yeah the preview will be full of opinion but then why else are you even bothering reading this site?  Of course in typical Stunt Granny fashion I got a late start so we are only going over the final two weeks of March. Check back around the beginning of each month for more trailers and exposition. Well, if you are interested in that kind of thing. -Jeremy

Olympus Has Fallen – March 22, 2013

Good lord another Gerard Butler action flick. This guy hasn’t made a good movie since, um, 300? Machine Gun Preacher was just meh but not terrible. It is good to see him out of his awful romantic comedies though.  This flick is directed by Antoine Fuqua who has to be one of the most confounding directors in the last twenty years. He has a clear visual style but he allows his movies to plod along. There is just something about all of his films that is never quite right. Something has held him back for years from making a truly great movie. This movie looks to be another in that line of near misses. The plot is typical Hollywood big budget disaster flick mixed with a Die Hard scenario. Ugh, nothing original and judging from the previews nothing we haven’t seen before. Totally skipping this one.

Spring Breakers – March 22, 2013

On the surface this looks like a movie made just to exploit its young stars. You may be correct in this assumption but then you look at who directed this and you have the possibility for one psychotic romp. Yes, Selena Gomez and Vanessa Hudgens have found themselves the star of a Harmony Korine film. Yes the same guy that wrote Kids. Yes the same guy that directed Gummo, Julien Donkey-Boy and Trash Humpers. The trailer looks like a total disaster but if anyone can tighten up a disaster it is Korine.  It has the potential to be another Hangover like success but the previews that have made it on television make it look more akin to “Project X” and “21 & Over” and that is not a compliment. There is sure to be a healthy dose of satire mixed in with breasts and a whole lot of swearing. Count me in.

G.I. Joe: Retaliation –  March 28, 2013

G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra was pure garbage. Outside of the costume worn by Ray Park as Snake-Eyes there wasn’t one good thing about the movie.  As an avid G.I. Joe comics, animated series and movies  and action figures it was an insult. The fact a sequel was being made was a shock as it didn’t do strong box office. On top of that the prospect of bringing back in the same people again was plain infuriating. Well, all my fears were settled as they dumped all but a few people from the original and brought in a new producers and director. Gone is the International format for the Joes as they have been replaced with all fan favorites. The results of all this change has given us a movie that looks and feels just like a G.I. Joe comic.  Every preview that has been released has been better than the last and it has successfully built up a solid buzz. Out of all of the movies being released this year this is in my top ten. It looks to be a solid action flick that will appeal to both diehard fans as well as the general movie going public.

The Host – March 28, 2013

So I finally saw this trailer before “Dead Man Down” last night and boy does this look like a snoozer. It has nothing to do with the fact this is written by the broad who wrote the Twilight novels. Hell, the novels may be good. I have no clue but what I do know is the Twilight movies were unwatchable garbage.  Sorry, this isn’t about Twilight. So, from what I gather the world is taken over by beautiful people who like shiny objects. They apparently nest in humans who essentially become hosts. It is an end of all humanity scenario and all we should care about is the true love between two high glossed teenagers? Really? Oh and if this is the future why the hell are they driving cars and not jet cars or for that matter just friggin teleporting? You want to waste your money go ahead. If you are trying to get laid then by all means go see this sure fire crapfest.

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