Review: Nocturnal Animals (2016)

“Do you ever feel like your life has turned into something you never intended?”
– Susan Morrow

SYNOPSIS: A wealthy art gallery owner is haunted by her ex-husband’s novel, a violent thriller she interprets as a symbolic revenge tale. – via IMDB

Ah, Nocturnal Animals. Where do I even begin? I had forgotten about this completely, except Natasha wanted to check it out, and so we did. Goddammit, so we did. Two hours folks. Two. Nocturnal Animals is a pretentious pile of garbage that actually has some semblance of potential which is unceremoniously pissed away. The opening alone was just grotesque and came across as pretentious, right out of the gate. To shock, to inspire, to make you think that the movie has more depth than what appears on the surface? Screw that. It did not. Revenge tale, and that is that. Not even a good one, while we are at it, despite what it would have you think.

This also seemed like something I would like – dark and a thriller, plus Gyllenhaal? Ticked all the boxes. In fact, I liked the cast for the most part. The film is divided into three segments: the past, the present, the story in a novel. Three. Of these three, the novel coming to life is a fantastic revenge tale, a mysterious story that gets you worried and draws you in, and you feel for the main character of it, and are intrigued by his plight and the relationship he forms with the detective investigating the crime which the main character is a victim of. Awesome. But then there are the other two parts of the movie – the past and the present, and they are both boring and bland and just annoyed me.

My reception of the movie was not helped along by Amy Adams, whom I cannot stand. Her character was such a waste of space. Armie Hammer, too, felt like he was useless here – the script was so skinny. He was pretty much there for some aloof eye candy, and that is that. Gyllenhaal and Shannon are the stars of this, without a doubt. Aaron Taylor-Johnson, too, shone here. Every moment they were on screen, you were engaged. They were so good. A whole movie just about them and their segment would have been fantastic. Instead I had to sit through all that drivel and possibly one of the worst endings I have seen in my life.

I see this movie being lauded as dark, thought-provoking, deep. Pretentious, I will say it again. The movie is not as deep as it wishes to be, and because of that comes across as desperate. While we are at it, it is generic and brings nothing new to the table. I cannot in good conscience recommend this to anyone, though I am aware my opinion is in the minority.

Rapid Review: Kick-Ass 2 (2013)

kick ass 2 poster

“You don’t have to be a bad-ass to be a superhero, Dave. You just have to be brave.”
– Mindy Macready

SYNOPSIS: The costumed high-school hero Kick-Ass joins with a group of normal citizens who have been inspired to fight crime in costume. Meanwhile, the Red Mist plots an act of revenge that will affect everyone Kick-Ass knows. – via IMDB

kickass chin upskickass and hitgirl

GRADE 7After loving Kick-Ass so much, I was wondering if this was going to reek of sequelitis (thanks Tom). I was surprised. It was by no means as good as the first one for me (though my other half preferred the oodles more action in this one), it was not a flop, either. I had a good time with it. There were plenty laughs, but I found this one to be so much less awkward and embarrassing than the first (something I thought was excellent for it), but more forced at other times. Big Daddy may be gone, but it seems that Colonel Stars and Stripes was there to take up the mantle of father figure. He was by no means as organised or as odd as Big Daddy, but it works on some level. I didn’t like the fact that Evan Peters didn’t come back to play Todd (but I can deal, American Horror Story was way more important), and I found Augustus Prew (his replacement) to be really bland. What I did like, and it had me in stitches for hours after, was McLovin Christopher Mintz-Plasse putting all that bondage gear on, and not having the boobs to fill out the rack space (bwahahahaha, it looked hilarious). I was really glad that this one scene that could have potentially ended in rape didn’t go there. It would not have gelled with the movie, and would definitely have left a sour taste in my mouth. There was definitely far more action in this one, definitely some more cheese. I had a good time watching John Leguizamo here, he had his head more together than most, though he humoured Chris way too much. The inclusion of so many superheroes didn’t really work all too well, but they had their moments, and the plot was a little all over the show at times. I think I am being significantly less harsh on this than most people (I don’t get the really bad rap this film has), but maybe because I saw these movies directly after one another over two nights, I didn’t have time to forge expectations, and I knew that no matter what, it was going to be lame, silly, over the top and not as good as the first. Maybe that’s why I still had fun.

Rapid Review: Kick-Ass (2010)

kick ass poster

“In the world I lived in, heroes only existed in comic books. And I guess that’d be okay, if bad guys were make-believe too, but they’re not.”
– Dave Lizewski

SYNOPSIS: Dave Lizewski is an unnoticed high school student and comic book fan with a few friends and who lives alone with his father. His life is not very difficult and his personal trials not that overwhelming. However, one day he makes the simple decision to become a super-hero even though he has no powers or training. – via IDMB

kickass fuck you mr bitey

So I had never seen this, and I know that a lot of people are quite fond of it. Looking for a bit of a lame laugh the other night, I popped this one in and let me tell you, I got my money’s worth! I was astounded that the chipper lead for this film was none other than Godzilla’s wet rag, Aaron Taylor-Johnson. Who knew the dude had some spark in him? I might have to reassess my opinion with some more of his work. We will see.

I loved Kick-Ass. A lot. I didn’t actually have faith that I would, but I did. I can see there are going to be a lot of haters out there, but different strokes and all. Kick-Ass was cringe-worthy more often than not and dead embarrassing at the best of times and had some real lame moments laced through it all, but most importantly, it was fun. I had a few giggles at Nic Cage, who was absolutely ridiculous in this and he knew it. I was beyond thrilled to see McLovin Christopher Mintz-Plasse as Chris D’Amico. I think he rocks, he’s too damn sweet, and what a twit. This movie? No exception. I loved it when he was Red Mist and had that ludicrous wig on. I was wondering if he actually had a stylist that teased the hell out of his hair like that and streaked it for his nights on the town. And his Mist Mobile? Hahahaha!

kick ass and red mist being idiots

Anyway, this movie didn’t have any right to work, and I was thinking it was something like a spoof, but considering how much love it gets I thought it might not be conventional. Well, it definitely wasn’t! Dave is such an awkward dude, and I was happy to see Evan Peters (you all know I adore the guy) and Clark Duke (who is quite entertaining at times) alongside him. Chloë Grace Moretz worked very well in her role, too, and I think she was super badass. I liked that she wasn’t a sissy and stood her ground and didn’t take nonsense. Upon further reading I saw that a lot of people had issues with her character before the film because she was too young, etc. Thank goodness she was not changed! I know she cussed and killed people and was not conventionally normal, but it worked for her. Mark Strong is still such a great villain, and I enjoyed the dash of cheese that was laced through his character. I actually think the whole cast was right, they all brought something to the screen with them.

This was hilarious at the best of times, and I can see that I am going to go back and watch this a few times. There are no epic back stories and intense losses or anything like that, just a kid who decided he was going to be a superhero because he could. But seriously, dude, that outfit?! What were you thinking?! I can’t explain why this silly movie worked so well for me, but I loved it. It was a breath of fresh air!