Mini-reviews of Movies I watched in 2018 – Part 5

The year is coming to a close and I actually planned on part 4 to be the final part given I had half-filled it by early November – but then I kept watching more stuff, so it got a little too long. This will obviously be it for the year, I hope these were at least kind of fun to read, I liked watching more films and writing some about them.

If this looks fucked and weird blame WordPress, they made their editor absolutely impossible to understand or use – seriously, I for once have absolutely no clue what the fuck I’m doing with a website, let alone something SO SIMPLE IT’S JUST A FUCKING BLOG HOW CAN THEY MAKE IT SO FUCKED GODDAMN

Joe (2013)

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“I went through a windshield at 4 in the morning and I don’t give a fuck.” – Line spoken 2 times in the same scene by an unnamed irrelevant non-character after he shoots Cage (which is an irrelevant thing and Cage just ignores the fact he got shot anyway).

This movie is terrible in absolutely every possible way – the entire runtime is nothing but stereotypical country folks unintelligibly yelling at each other, evil alcoholic dad-man who murders some random guy for liquor at one point in a 15 minute long scene with almost nothing happening, and a typical west-made complete misunderstanding of what coming-of-age means as it features an overly mature boy who…”comes of age” thanks to Cage even though he’s already acting older, more responsible, and more mature than he is.

This is extremely pretentious shit where nothing happens on purpose to seem intelligent and meaningful, every scene goes on 12 minutes longer than it should, half the time nobody speaks, and things that make no sense and are just stupid and forced to show how dark and gloomy and dreadful life is are constantly going on. If you even want to remotely try it, watch the first like 1 minute of it – it sets the entire mood. Nothing happens and this character speaks a few lines really slowly and stupidly and it takes ages for it to feel like just that minute is over. This is a pile of shit and maybe actually the worst Cage movie of all time. There is nothing about this worth any praise in any way at all, it is just one of those COMPLETELY FUCKING VAPID movies where it thinks being plodding, boring, and full of forced and very long pointless scenes makes it intelligent. And, hey, it worked – look at the scores, pretentious fuckwad “film buff” types all loved it. This is for the “There Will Be Blood” crowd, or as I call them, “fucking retards”.

Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call New Orleans (2009)

Honestly don’t have much to say about this, I watched it with Film & 40s commentary but it wasn’t even necessary at all. This is Cage being the reason I love Cage in the type of movie where Cage can be Cage. I would not nearly go as far as some people who claim this is his best, honestly I wouldn’t even say it’s up there in terms of “best Nic Cage roles” – but as an actual film it might be one of the better overall ones he’s been in? The directing is as fucking weird as he is, which makes for some amazing moments, and he finally has the support of good actors like Val Kilmer instead of an assortment of fuckos who can barely read a script.

This is a very strange movie and features some just incredible short parts where the director took a shitty handheld camera and just did what the fuck ever he felt like doing because nobody could stop him – and then made them central and long-lasting parts of the film. It’s great.

Moon (2009)

I’m not really sure what genre this movie would be – but I will say if you like visual novels you will probably really enjoy this. The best description I have of the overall feeling of this thing from start to finish was “this feels like the Ever17 writing staff made a movie”, and luckily that kept up throughout creating a really memorable, mysterious, and atmospheric movie with a lot of fantastic directing choices. Something as simple as never showing a single other human being ever aside the lead actor outside of a few bits on a screen is even used to maximum potential, and the story quickly draws you in even with the big turning point being revealed very early and not even being hidden that well once it kicks off. Rather than being about that its about this character – and with that big reveal it takes some really unique turns that only work due to that reveal that are handled in really fun, interesting, unusual, and sometimes touching ways.

Reign of Fire (2002)

“Only one thing worse than dragons…Americans.”

This movie is something you can’t help but be amazed exists. It sounds like completely retarded bullshit made by some college kids as a joke but then you realize it’s got a bunch of real actors, including some top-tier AAA types like Matthew McConaughey and Christian Bale along with other known actors like Gerard Butler and “that guy who played Dr. Bashir on DS9” and you get very confused.

I came into this to laugh at it, but it actually turned out to be pretty good. It’s tense, the action scenes are thought out and, surprisingly, there are like only 3, and thanks especially to McConaughey-hey-hey and Bale the acting is actually good. I’ve always loved the idea of modern weaponry vs fantasy beasts like dragons and the few times it’s been done it turns into fucking garbage like GATE or is trying to be funny, but this movie does pretty good with it. Sadly, the tank never uses its main cannon which would have made it pure kino, and so it rests at ‘pretty good’.

I think what really stands out in this is that this is a movie that takes itself seriously while being about modern-times being destroyed by dragons…and it actually manages to pull it off and get the viewer to do it too – you come in expecting to laugh at it and then it ends up this really tense thing you get into and you really don’t find any humor in it at all once things get going. It also does a REALLY good job of setting up what a genuine threat the dragons are, from start to finish they never let up on just how overpowered and destructive these things are while also NOT making it into an action movie (which would make it far less easy to take seriously) but more about how these two main characters face life in this post-apocalyptic situation and the impact they have on one another.

It felt like an anime both in concept and the ability to take such a silly sounding concept and play it completely straight and do it well enough that the audience ends up doing the same. I feel like this is a movie people never heard of or purposefully ignore because “it’s probably shit” but it is surprisingly actually good so check it out.

Resident Evil: Apocalypse (2004)

This is the second of the live action RE movies – I saw the first when it was kind of new but never the rest even though I enjoyed the first. This one, from what I remember of the first, is a lot more fun. The first RE movie is still stupid-fun but it definitely was trying for a more serious suspenseful action horror thing – this is just straight up retarded but absolutely in the purposeful way which makes for a very fun time.

This time around its revealed that not only does Umbrella run every single thing in the city including its government somehow (I don’t mean “in the shadows”, I mean directly and openly everything, even City Hall, has Umbrella logos all over it) and the city itself is surrounded by a massive wall (also with Umbrella logos) and only one entrance which has a huge gate with machine guns mounted on it. The infection somehow (on purpose, of course) spreads to the whole city totally not on purpose (on purpose) to test out the abilities of both Alice and the newest project, Nemesis. In this, unlike the game, Nemesis is a good boy though. He doesn’t hurt civilians or other non-targets even if they are armed, he’ll take you on in a fair hand-to-hand match if his master tells him to for whatever reason, and by the end he betrays Umbrella because he remembers who he was before the mutation and FUCKS SHIT UP.

This is a very stupid but extremely fun movie, and from what I know this series just gets more and more dumb as it goes. I’m excited to see more.

Get Shorty (1995)

This is a really fun and comedic mobster movie, which just happens to be one of my favorite genres, so I really ended up loving it. It’s kind of a pain in the ass to summarize at all or explain, so I’ll just leave this as short as Devito. Speaking of which, the only negative I really had about this movie is that he’s just one of those fake-out publicity things, he’s in the movie but only for like 12 minutes total spread out through a few scenes, so don’t expect a lot of him even though he’s a central part of the story (and the reason for the title!). While I can’t say much about it, I definitely recommend it, it was super fun.

3:10 to Yuma (2007)

This is a western featuring two leads that are absolutely completely American, Christian Bale and Russel Crowe. Crowe is a hardcore rustler, murderer, thief, and overall bad dude and leader of a posse of serious criminals and murderers, Bale is a civil war vet who runs a shitty ranch that is dying off because the people who own land around him stopped the water to force him out so they could get his land. You’d think that would be the point of the story but its really only there as his motivation to get involved in Crowe’s side of things when he (Crowe) gets caught by the train company and its hired bounty hunters but they need some more guns – so Bale is willing to work for them for some money because of the poor state of his ranch and family for some cash.

The rest of the movie is pretty much just this adventure through Arizona to make it to the 3:10 train going to Yuma prison about a week’s horse ride away all while keeping an eye on Crowe (who plays a cool part in being an antagonist but one who is almost always just there with the protagonist as a prisoner), fighting off his posse (including the main actual antagonist), fighting off indians, and losing allies along the way.

One of my favorite things about this movie is that Crowe is absolutely an evil man, but he is both of those things – evil AND a man. This never pretends he’s redeemable, but it does form this sort of antagonistic bond between him and Bale’s character through their travels (as Crowe continuously kills off his guards from time to time and keeps escaping) and every now and then will do something shitty but not as shitty as he COULD have been, and instead of making him “now he’s good” or the lefty-loved “HE’S EVIL SO HE’S EVIL EVIL EVIL”, he is a bad person but still a person. The very end portion is just Bale and Crowe fighting and evading a whole town of people trying to get Crowe back and that bond between them finally paying off in a believable and earned way, but without being a happy and redeeming thing either. I liked it.

Surviving Christmas (2004)

Ben Affleck plays what may as well be Ben Affleck in a generic run-of-the-mill Christmas movie but with the twist that they forgot the entire last half of those types of stories and shoved one in last second. I watched this for James Gandolfini who is best known as the lead man of The Sopranos – he was a fantastic actor and I always liked him so it was worth watching to enjoy some of this sadly dead-before-his-time actor some more.

As for the movie, eh, there are plenty of much better or just more enjoyable even if similar quality xmas movies out there. This was fine, about some maybe literally retarded mega-rich guy who is lonely on Christmas so hires this random family to act like they’re his and they go along with it because he’s giving them a quarter of a million dollars for it and continually threatens to sue them if they don’t comply because he’s a piece of shit. Blah blah we learn about love and family and what Christmas really is about and he ends up with the daughter somehow, again, it’s the same as ever only now you have Ben Affleck being really awkward.

Eraser (1996)

I liked this one a lot, it’s got everything you expect from a movie featuring Schwarzenegger and then goes even further with him dual wielding railguns by the end, teaming up with the mob, and at one point not only fighting with a really bad CG alligator but giving it a fucking one-liner after killing it. The movie also ends on a one-liner because of course it does.

This doesn’t need much explaining beyond that – it’s an action movie with Arnie and so it has great action, over the top badass bullshit, and of course plenty of 90s action movie humor through one-liners and stupid situations.

—————

And that’s it for what I watched this year. I had fun watching more movies and writing little stuff about them so I might keep this up if I feel like it. I’m not going to do some movie of the year post because I watched like 4 things that came out this year and two were anime anyway, it’d also be pretty tough because I watched such a weird mix of stuff this year. Unironically though, just to mention it again because I have an excuse to, yes, Mushy Apples would genuinely be in the top 3 films I watched this year. I absolutely fucking loved it and it was such a truly fucking fun and hilarious unique mess of a thing that I can say with absolute certainty I will never forget it and will find myself going back to regularly. Beyond being hilarious and actually somehow pretty engrossing, it’s also just got a really special feeling to it, maybe from being a rare true-“indie” film where it was just a bunch of friends trying to do a fun thing.

Don’t worry, I’ll be writing a LOT MORE ABOUT ANIME again soon-ish I’m just dealing with a lot of awful shit in my life and have been this whole year. Watching stupid movies is a lot easier than watching and reviewing anime, games also tend to just be easier to get real deep into and still be able to write about. Anime’s a little tougher, sorry for the lacking posts in that respect; though it’s worth saying I’ve been doing the usual of watching about 18-20 shows per season so I in no way have slowed down in terms of viewing it or my love of it – well the last few weeks I have slowed down because I’m basically having to sell my own home to get away from the blac- sorry, the diverse culture that moved in above me and fits exactly 100% of every stereotype to their type of people possible even the more niche lesser known ones including completely destroying anything near them and making it uninhabitable even worse than the ones I knew in Los Angeles.

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