January 5, 2014 by briantshock
It’s nearly time to head back to work as my 16-day weekend is winding down to a close. Overall I’ve accomplished very little, but I did get a lot of holidays done in there so I guess there’s that. I’ve also seen a lot of movies lately, so I’ll give a quick review of each one.
Starring BRUCE WAYNE/BATMAN, CHICK WHO LOOKS LIKE PAM FROM “THE OFFICE”, THE JACKASS FROM HANGOVER/WEDDING CRASHERS, THE GUY THAT WAS HAWKEYE, AND KATNISS EVERDEEN
This movie stars a lot of people you probably liked in other movies. Set in the 1970’s, everybody’s out hustling and cheating on their marriages, as everybody was wont to do at the time, apparently. Chief hustler in question is Christian Bale, who has a terrible combover in this. He’s swindling many desperate people with Amy Adams, who is faking a terrible English accent as part of her hustling persona, until they catch the attention of Bradley Cooper, who is an FBI agent and can put these chumps away for a long time, if they do not take his deal.
Coop offers to keep them out of jail if they can provide him with four additional arrests, an idea that is quickly abandoned for greener hustles when they get involved with Jeremy Renner, a well-liked mayor who has noble intentions, but commits many shady dealings outside of the law to do so. This hustle eventually snowballs into one big mess involving the mafia, where Robert DeNiro makes an appearance as a mob boss, because it’s Hollywood so if you have the mafia you have to include DeNiro somehow. But hey, if you got him willing to be in your movie, you’d be dumb to say no because it’s going to be good, right?
“American Hustle” is already getting the award hype, not that I usually pay attention to that, but I could believe it in this case. It’s very well made, with each of the main characters taking turns on narrator duty to set up the scenes and move along the plot. It seemed a little slow in the middle to me, but that is a minor quibble for an otherwise great movie. You also get to see Louis C.K. get mocked quite often so there is also that. This may be about swindling and hustling, but you won’t feel cheated seeing this one!
I apologize for that joke.
FINAL RATING: 4.5 out of 5 BAD HAIRCUTS
THE HOBBIT 2 – THE DESOLATION OF SMAAAOOGG
Starring GANDALF, DR. WATSON FROM SHERLOCK, SOME SEXY ELVES, AND A BUNCH OF DWARVES I’VE NEVER HEARD OF
A lot of people were mad about this one, since the writers took plenty of creative liberties with the story to pad this one out so they could squeeze three movies out of a relatively short book. I don’t remember many of the details from the story; after all I haven’t read the book since I was in fifth grade, which was also shortly after I saw the cartoon version, which is pretty much the de facto version I think of whenever anybody mentions anything Tolkien-related, which in turn makes me think of this song.
This movie continues Bilbo and the Company’s trip to the Lonely Mountain so Bilbo can steal some loot back from Smaaooaoog the Red Dragon who spends all day sleeping in the money like Scrooge McDuck. Early on, the gang runs into some guy who can turn into a bear, which was kind of dumb but also awesome. Then they decide they have to go through the Mirkwood Forest, which is obviously a bad idea because it’s looking pretty cursed and scary. Gandalf sees this and is like “screw this” and leaves to go do wizard things, which is mostly just shining lights in people’s faces.
The remaining height-challenged members of this expedition head through the forest, where they get waylaid by giant spiders, before the elves show up and do all the cool things before taking everybody captive, because elves and dwarves don’t get along. Among the elves is Legolas, who obviously was brought in just for the movie because they needed cool elf stuff to happen. There also is Tauriel, some elf chick who was invented for the movie and to provide a completely unnecessary love story by falling in love with one of the dwarf captives after talking to him for five minutes.
Bilbo sneaks in and frees everyone and they all leave in barrels, and meet Bard the
Bowman Ballistaman, who smuggle them into the city before they all promise the greedy mayor they will give him some fat stacks when they topple Smaoaoaooag, so they all get to go, and some hijinks ensue in the Lonely Mountain.
Even though the details of the original story are pretty hazy, it’s pretty obvious there was a lot of stuff added to this version. I don’t think it was too bad; though I’m not usually one to complain if a movie strays from the source material that drastically, unless it’s just awful. I still think this story probably could have been two movies at the most, but all in all this was still a pretty entertaining movie.
FINAL RATING: 3 out of 5 DAGRONS
TORRENTIAL DOWNPOUR ISLAND
Starring DREAMY LEO DICAPRIO, THE INCREDIBLE HULK, JENN FROM DAWSON’S CREEK, AND GHANDI
Okay, so this one isn’t really new at all, but I finally got around to watching it. Boy am I glad I did. One of my favorite movies is “The Departed”, and Scorsese and Leo are back at it again for “Shutter Island”.
Set in 1954, U.S. Marshall Leo teams up with Mark Ruffalo to check out an island for the criminally insane, where a patient has gone missing. There is a huge hurricane hitting this island constantly for the first half of the movie or so, so not much is done in their investigation, but it’s obvious that not all is what it seems. A mysterious note asks the question “Who is 67?” implying that there may be an extra prisoner among the 66 accounted for. Leo and Mark set out to unravel these mysteries, striking several matches and getting caught in plenty of rain along the way.
I can’t really say too much more about this, since I don’t want to give anything anyway. This movie came out the same year as “Inception”, so I guess Leo just wanted to leave the audience confused in 2010. Everything does get wrapped up, so you won’t need to take to the internet to start arguing your theories with people, but it’s still got some pretty nice shockers and developments.
FINAL RATING: 5 out of 5 SQUINTED EYES AND CONFUSED LOOKS