Uncategorized

Battleship: I thought games were fun? Not


image

Battleship

I have two questions for Universal Pictures. One, how did you get Peter Berg to do this? Two, why take on a board game?

Both questions were left unanswered after watching the loud, mind numbing and incompetently written Battleship. Now I understand, that is based on a board game and the writing won’t be the strongest. However, you have to give us characters that I can care about. Let alone, the acting be at least tolerable.

Friday Night Lights’ alum Taylor Kitsch plays Alex Hopper, a bad boy who knows he’s a bad boy. Why? He breaks into a gas station at 2am for a chicken burrito for Samantha Shane, a strong willed woman he met in the bar. Hang on to your seats, we’re only 5 min in and it was the beginning of every action movie cliche ever made. He’s arrested but at the same time Samantha is flattered. She’s played by Brooklyn Decker, whose range goes as far as an facial tick. His brother, Stone (played briefly by Alexander Skarsgaard) is fed up and forces Riggins, oops I meant Hopper into the United States Navy. Fast forward to graduation and Samantha is Hopper’s fiance and he just made lieutenent. Ugh, talk about thin characters. I know it feels like dissection. At least if you’re going to make them thin, then at least make them likable. Strike one. The Navy is right now in the midst of the Naval Games. But! Who cares about plot? Suddenly! Without explanation, alien battleships burst out of the water and it’s time to play Battleship, the alien edition. By the time, that happens I just didn’t care anymore.

Instead of trying to find out reason why. The Navy attacks them with everything they got and that pisses off the aliens who blast away with steal balls of destruction blowing up many of the ships. I was waiting for someone to say, ” Sir, they sunk our battleship.” Then return it with ” You SUNK my battleship!” Sadly, I didn’t hear it. With a main character killed off (bye, Stone), Hopper is now in charge of the ship and I didn’t buy his sudden leadership for one second. Kitsch looks like he’s playing Tim Riggins still from SNL. Brooding, staring lifelessly in the camera. I know he has presence but come on! We also get pop/R&B singer Rihanna as Petty Officer Cole. For an actor, she’s one hell of a singer. In paycheck mode, Liam Neeson briefly appears as Admiral Shane. Wait. Samantha’s last name is Shane. I’m shocked.

With CGI-laced action sequences that are at times exciting, at times cartoonish, unlikable and bland characters, glacier pacing and an ending that would make audiences shake their head in disbelief. Sorry, that is not how I want to see the Greatest Generation go out. That’s all I’m going to say.

Watching this cartoon makes me shudder for Candy Land: the movie.

Battleship gets a D+ and it’s one of the worst films of 2012.

I’m Jake Turner, reminding you to spend your money wisely as you head to the theaters.

JT’s Dollar DVD’s


image image image

Man on a Ledge, This Means War, and Safe House

Sometimes moviegoers don’t have time to head to the theater but that’s what makes the Redbox so convenient.

Head to the Redbox with me for JT’s Dollar DVD’s
It feels like picking random numbers in a hat. Let’s see what we got.

Let’s start off with one of the best films of 2012 so far.
Denzel Washington has been one of the most bankable stars in the last 15 years and his winning streak continues with the action thriller Safe House. Washington plays Tobin Frost, a CIA renegade that is arrested in South Africa after a black market deal goes awry and taken to the nearest safe house where rookie operative Matt Weston is the “Landlord” where special forces operations can happen such as an intense interrogation scene that have you gripping your scene. Mercenaries attack the safe house and Weston and Frost is on the run from ruthless mercenaries. However, Frost is one complex character as you never know what this guy will do to escape out of Weston’s custody. Reynolds and Washington play off each other with skill. We also get some good performances out of Brendan Gleeson, as Weston’s mentor and Vera Farmiga bringing in depth intensity to her potentially one note character. The action sequences are Bourne-esque and will leave you breathless. Director Daniel Espinosa keeps moving at a fast moving clip and his cinematography would make Tony Scott blush. Creating a good balance of gritty action and thought provoking dialogue. Safe House is a safe bet and it’s one of the best of the year.

SAFE HOUSE: GRADE A-

Chris Pine, Tom Hardy, Reese Witherspoon, and McG. Wait, McG? How did this man get this solid cast to sign for such a watchable disaster such as This Means War. Watching this made me think of films like Tango and Cash, 3000 Miles to Graceland. Where the cast and crew know that this is potentially bad material so the only way to make it watchable is to go with the flow. In only a parallel world would you see Witherspoon single and having issues trying to land a guy. She plays Lauren, a top ranked marketer that is put on a dating site by her obnoxious sister played by Chelsea Handler. Make this quick. She’s funny but her acting was lost in translation. On the other side, Chris Pine and Tom Hardy are introduced to us as the two BEST agents in the CIA. Where have we heard this before? In every cliche action film of the last five years. Hardy plays Tuck, the suave but kind hearted agent while Pine stays in his comfort zone as the suave but cocky FDR. Lauren and Tuck meet up on a blind date and hit it off by going out on a Cirque de soleil date. Yeah, that’s realistic. Sat in the theater trying to hold back my laughter over this nonsense. Not only that, FDR and Lauren start dating after he doesn’t take no for an answer. Guess what? They are dating the same woman. (Gasps) Good lord, it’s like they took every spy thriller and romantic comedy , threw it in a blender and hit frapee. It doesn’t work especially the sparse action sequences that were without a pulse. Hey, McG! It’s called excitement, learn the word. With a lame script, flatlined action sequences and a ending that had me bursting out with laughter. This Means War is one of the worst movies of the year but it’s also the best worst movie I’ve seen.

THIS MEANS WAR: Grade C-

I wish it got better than This Means War. Unfortunately, I had the “pleasure” of sitting through the comedy of the year. Man on a Ledge. Funny thing is that it was actually a super serious thriller starring Sam Worthington. Worthington channeling Keanu Reeves plays Nick, an ex-cop that is on a ledge contemplating ending his life by standing out on a ledge. However, there is more than meets the eye or should I say ear. Just witness the idiocy of these characters. How does a movie this laughingly bad get Elizabeth Banks, Ed Harris and Jamie Bell to sign on? Banks plays the good hearted cop that believes she can talk Nick down. At the same time this media-induced fiasco is happening. Nick is talking to his brother during a heist. That’s right, a heist! It turns out his brother (played by Bell) is a crackerjack at breaking into safes. Who would have thought it? We also get a beautiful woman who turns out to be his brother’s girlfriend who can get into super skimpy suits and break in. She’s played by Genesis Rodriguez, must have graduated from the Megan Fox School of Acting. All looks, no range. Harris is wasted as a slimy businessman that has no idea that he’s being robbed. Don’t you have cameras to th safe? When the twists and turns come into play. You can’t help but laughing your ass off at the lunacy put on screen. Did you know Nick could jump to other ledges and climb walls like Spider-Man? Yeah, me neither. Worthington gives a razzie performance, the cast looks confused and once again, I get another ending that made me laugh myself to tears. This had the suspense of an episode of Diagnosis Murder. What a terrible film.

MAN ON A LEDGE: Grade D-

That’s My Boy! Are you sure it’s not a mistake?



How low can Adam Sandler go?! Well, if your idea of comedy is teacher-student molestation, obesity, and even folks…incest. Then this movie is for you. For everyone else that has morals, you’re smart to ignore this Sandler vehicle.

Adam Sandler plays Donny Berger, a 40-ish loser that was famous for having sex with his teacher when he was 13 years old. She gets 30 yrs in jail and he gets fame. Yeah, that’s fair. Donny has to come up with $43,000 or he’s going to jail. In order to get this money, he agrees to getting the jailed mother, him and his son…Han Solo together for a Phil Donahue-style talk show. Hilarious.

His son now named Todd Peterson played by Andy Samberg is getting married to Jamie, a high maintenance woman who obviously loves to scream her lines played by Leighton Meester. Donny tricks them into letting him stay for the wedding and pretends to be his best friend. How stupid are these characters to not realize he’s his loser dad? Simplistic enough, I think. Let’s get to Samberg. He’s a funny performer, I know just see his work with the Lonely Island and SNL but in this he looks like he’s doing everything possible to get a laugh out of the audience. He succeeds for the most part and a few good one liners. Also get some memorable cameos from Jets head coach Rex Ryan, sports personality Dan Patrick, James Caan, Susan Sarandon, Tony Orlando, Todd Bridges and even…Vanilla Ice that admittedly got a few laughs.

HOWEVER! I keep forgetting that Sandler has lost his Midas touch. He infuses some laughs, then some disgusting humor that had no comic timing, then punch us in the face with so-called heart then it gets disgusting again, sweet and then it goes over the top with its disgust with a visual joke about incest. The laughs stopped and I sat looking at the screen wondering how someone could come up with something so mean-spirited and disturbing and pass it off as comedy. My mouth dropped when I found out that it was Sean Anders in the director’s chair. He did one of my favorite comedies, Hot Tub Time Machine.

While That’s My Boy has its laughs, its mean spirited screenplay, bloated running time of two hours, disgusting humor, and underusing its supporting characters keeps it as another Sandler misfire and yes, you saw it coming. It’s one of the worst movies of 2012.

That’s My Boy gets a D+ and a star and a half rating

I’m Jake Turner, reminding you to spend your money wisely

Rock of Ages: Long Live Rock and Roll!



Ah, the smell of a grungy, dirty, hole in the wall bar. Inside there are the finest ladies rock and roll has to offer to the rock gods! Cheap drinks a-plenty and Def Leppard rocking the stages. Now, rock fans! Here’s your chance to relive it with ROCK OF AGES! Based off the Broadway hit, Director Adam Shankman makes this one of the most entertaining films of 2012. Maybe one of the best of the year. That’s right, I said it!

All right, we open with an kick ass rendition of Guns N Roses rendition of Paradise City which is perfect to get the audience prepped and be ready for a rocking good two hours of nostalgic rock rebellion. Julianne Hough plays Sherrie, an Oklahoma girl who has dreams of Hollywood that she hops a bus to make herself known. When she arrives, she persuades a job out of Dennis, the owner of the Bourbon Room. Remember the smell, rock fans and that’s the Bourbon Room. Dennis is played with zesty enjoyment by Alec Baldwin. Now in a musical like this, you must have a cliche romantic storyline that will put a smile on your face. Enter the man of her dreams that ironically wants the same thing. Drew, played by Diego Bonata. He can sing, dance and he wants to be a rock star. It suckered me, not gonna lie.

Meanwhile, not everyone embraces it. The new mayor of Los Angeles, Mike Whitmore (played with slimy enjoyment by Bryan Cranston) has a plan to shut down The Bourbon Room and clean up the streets of the city. Although it’s really his wife, Patricia that wants to end this filth. Played by a passionate Catherine Zeta Jones bringing a little Hilary Clinton in the character. She lights up the screen with her rendition of Pat Benatar’s Hit Me with Your Best Shot that would have every male on America wanting her. Trust me, the sex appeal is there.

Now, let’s get to the scene stealer. Ladies and gentleman, Tom Cruise once chews up the scenery and sets the screen on fire with Stacee Jaxx. Decked out in tattoos across a muscular body, greasy long hair and a narcissistic personality, he could be Axl Rose if he wanted. Did you know he could sing? Me neither. His renditions of Paradise City and Bon Jovi’s Wanted Dead or Alive will have you searching for your lighters to put up to the sky. Cruise brings dynamic flair to the film.

We also get Paul Giamatti as Jaxx’s agent, Paul Gill just relishing in his slick, sneaky character that tries to find the next Stacee Jaxx but without Jaxx finding out. Mary J. Bilge as a strip club owner with a heart of gold, Malin Akerman as a Rolling Stone reporter who has a fling with Cruise’s Jaxx and Russell Brand’s Lonnie that was gifted with the many of the film’s one liners and his passion for Rock and Roll is something to cherish.

I’m glad that they didn’t Glee-ify some of the greatest hits but kept the hard rock soul deep inside especially with music by Def Leppard, Night Ranger, Bon Jovi, Journey, Foreigner, and Twisted Sister. Infused with brisk pacing, a winning cast that looks like they are having a great time making this, and true rock and roll infused within. Rock of Ages is a nostalgic love letter to Rock and Roll that will make you dust off the leather jacket and Def Leppard T-shirt.

Rock of Ages gets an A and a four star rating.

I’m Jake Turner, reminding you to spend your money wisely
.

Transformers: Origin of a Billion Dollar Franchise