Jul 31, 2016

WIWTW #57

Yesterday was Arnold Schwarzenegger's 69th birthday, so I suppose I'd like to just express how much I appreciate what the Austrian Oak's done for the movie industry as a whole.

Sure it might seem silly to heap praise upon an action movie hero like Arnold, but I can think of few actors who have brought as much entertainment as he has in his career. I've seen 36 of his movies at this point and so many of those are among the most rewatchable movies ever made. Even his bad movies are entertaining.

To this day, it still amazes me that Arnold Schwarzenegger came from nothing. He could barely speak English when he arrived in the US, but that didn't stop him. Nothing has stopped Arnold from becoming the motivational tool on two feet that he is today. He inspired me to get fit and be healthy. He's inspired me to live life how I want and I hope he has many more movies up his sleeve because his presence in anything is always worthwhile.

Some Arnold wisdom: "I know that if you leave dishes in the sink, they get sticky and hard to wash the next day."

Too true.

Now on to this week's WIWTW.

But first...
 

Some News (That I Actually Care About)

  • Sony being sued for not having any measures in place to prevent the piracy of To Write Love On Her Arms that was leaked following the 2014 hack. Surprised this didn't happen sooner really. @Engadget
  • Box office report: People still love Bourne if the opening weekend of Jason Bourne is any indication. $60 million is a pretty good opening and it's nice to finally see a bit of competition for Disney outside of animation. The $120 million budget isn't too high, but judging from all the posters I've seen everywhere the marketing budget was pretty expensive for Jason Bourne so it's definitely not over yet. Second place went to holdover Star Trek Beyond which managed $24 million, making that a 60% drop from last weekend. STB now stands at around $105 million which isn't that encouraging given the $185 million budget. Definitely needs that international money bad. Bad Moms actually did very well for itself though with $23.4 million on a budget of $20 million. 
  • This article gives a good idea of the nightmare it is to be the director of the first in a major film franchise and why oftentimes they leave after only one film. @EW
  • In the end, French director/producer Luc Besson has been found guilty of plagiarizing John Carpenter's Escape from New York with his 2012 action/sci-fi flick Lockout. @Yahoo!
  • Where are the truly evil movie villains these days? @The Guardian
Video of the week: James Bond has a pretty colourful past when it comes to being sexist and at times even plain creepy.


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Number of movies watched: 7

Average rating: 4.71
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July 24th

 

My Life in Ruins (2009)

Rating: 3.5/10

What is it: A romantic comedy with Nia Vardalos on location in Greece

I watched A Greek Tragedy on this day exactly one week earlier which is funny because you could call My Life in Ruins a Greek tragedy as well. Besides being unfunny every step of the way, this is a romantic comedy that finds itself drowning in generalizations and convention. I mean how many times are we going to have to see the stressed out female character taught how to relax by the cool male romantic interest? While I remember liking Nia Vardalos in My Big Fat Greek Wedding from 7 years earlier, she doesn't have that pleasant awkwardness here. Pretty much every other character is a caricature and I still don't know who could've thought that Rita Wilson and Richard Dreyfuss were believable as a couple.

July 25th

 

VeggieTales: Princess and the Popstar (2011)

Rating: 3.5/10

What is it: A VeggieTales spin on The Prince and the Pauper

At this point, I'm numb to the pain that watching VeggieTales would give me. Definitely got to give Big Idea credit for managing to turn VT into the franchise it became, but I don't need to say that I'm looking forward to wrapping up this series forever. Anyhow, Princess and the Popstar is one of the better VeggieTales videos out there due to the fact that it's more on the dull side of horrible as opposed to being plain horrible. Big Idea seems to have skimped for the animation here and the songs are brainlessly empty, but at least there's a respite from the usual endless amount of lame religious dad jokes. There have been way worse Silly Song segments as well I suppose.

July 26th

 

Saving Silverman (2001)

Rating: 3.5/10

What is it: A comedy directed by the guy mostly known for Adam Sandler movies

I knew I shouldn't have high hopes for Saving Silverman, but I consider myself a Jack Black fan and was hoping for the best. Obviously things didn't quite work out. To put it simply, SS is aggressively in your face and features an incredible amount of unlikable characters. Everybody is mean, selfish and plain dumb. The only real nice person besides one of the love interests is Darren (Jason Biggs), but he's such a putz that it's impossible to care for him. I'd estimate that Saving Silverman is worth about two laughs. That's it. The inclusion of Neil Diamond is also pretty unfortunate as far as celeb cameos go. 

July 27th

 

Behind Enemy Lines II: Axis of Evil (2006): Worst Movie of the Week Award

Rating: 2/10

What is it: A sequel to the Owen Wilson war vehicle Behind Enemy Lines

I was disappointed with Behind Enemy Lines after sort of liking it the first time I saw it. Never saw the sequels though which I knew would be awful. Never would I have believed that the elegantly titled Behind Enemy Lines II would be as bad as this however. Besides the fact that it features some of the dumbest soldiers I have ever seen on screen, James Dodson turns this film into one of the ugliest and most colourblind movies I've ever seen. He jumps between filters like there's no tomorrow and edits his action scenes like a machine gun on a mechanical bull. This is not just a bargain bin movie you'd find at Walmart. It's a gas station gimmie promotion if you buy a case of 24. 

July 28th

 

Balance (1989): Best Movie of the Week Award

Rating: 8/10

What is it: A German award-winning animated short

Balance is the dialogue-less kind of animated short that is designed to make you think. Without being too obvious or too vague that is. While it has a sort of surreal humour side to it, Balance is definitely dealing with some pretty serious themes. I'd interpret it as being about human selfishness and what it can do. It's about a group of funny looking men on a precarious platform that have to work together to accomplish their goal. With superb sound design and unique animation style, Balance is a classic and easily an animated short I'd recommend to anyone. Directed by the Lauenstein brothers, they deserved their Academy Award.

July 29th

 

Tremors (1990)

Rating: 6.5/10

What is it: A charming 90's B-movie featuring giant underground killer worms

You usually have two types of B-movies; the satirical, tongue-in-cheek ones or the serious ones. Tremors finds itself somewhere in the middle. Impressively, it's smart enough to not have to rely on satire, but at the same time is able to poke fun when necessary. The two redneck characters played by Kevin Bacon and Fred Ward are likeable as is pretty much anyone else in this sci-fi horror/comedy. Nobody really does anything outlandishly stupid and the special effects are surprisingly good. Best of all, the female love interest isn't just damsel in distress material. If you're looking for a monster flick, Tremors is VERY easy to recommend. 

July 30th

 

Superman and the Mole-Men (1951)

Rating: 6/10

What is it: The very first feature length live-action Superman movie

George Reeves stars as Superman and he does a pretty good job I'd say. He plays Superman as some kind of caped boyscout which seems a bit outdated, but that can be forgiven since we're talking '51. Reeves has a good imposing physique by 50's standards too. Phyllis Coates as Lois Lane is superb though and is surprisingly independent and outspoken. Sure, the Mole-Men are pretty silly, but I like the implications of the story which touch upon racism and the Red Scare. It can actually be compared to The Day the Earth Stood Still which was released the same year. While Superman and the Mole-Men feels every bit as old as it is, it still has something to say even today.