The pReview Re-viewing
Friday Breakdown for
September 14, 2012!
(warning: I almost made a President Evil: Constitution joke.. Aww, dammit.. I just did.)
Click the movie posters to open their Official Websites in a separate window.
by Jeff Finck
My God.. Your choices for movies this week are downright butt cleansing. Resident Evil: Retribution continues mutating this series like a virus, causing anyone, that at some point had any respect for the video game series, to want to recklessly jab rusty bed springs into their anus. But hey! They brought back Michelle Rodriguez, so.. You know.. That's something! If you ever wondered how L. Ron Hubbard started Scientology and what that would look like if it starred everyone's favorite character actor (Philip Seymour Hoffman) and the subject of everyone's favorite career implosion of 2008/2009 (Joaquin Phoenix), check out The Master. Gone in 60 Seconds gets a much anticipated spin-off.. Did I say much anticipated? I meant unexpected and unnecessary spin-off in Stolen. Okay, it's not really a spin-off, but dammit if it's not pretty much the same movie. Anyone else notice Nic Cage is slowly remaking all of his movies? In Arbitrage, Richard Gere runs around like a duck with its chode skinned off as he tries to balance money, infidelity, and being sickeningly good looking for a 63 year old.. So, basically just what Richard Gere does in most movies? And finally, in Liberal Arts, Josh Radnor proves that if you have a Liberal Arts degree, you can probably sleep with the youngest Olsen sibling.. In a way less creepy way than that sounded.
Resident Evil: Retribution
A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away.. Someone made a fantastic Resident Evil movie that had very little to do with the fantastic game franchise it was based on. A short time after that, everything fell apart and they turned the Umbrella Corporation into a shit golem stomping all over video game fans' fragile little hearts. Now, I should preface all of this by saying that I actually enjoyed the first three Resident Evil movies.. Well.. Two of them anyway.. The first two. But Paul W.S. Anderson kind of completely lost me with the jigsaw puzzle that was the fourth installment, Afterlife. Afterlife was kind of just a series of scenes slapped together with some 3D thrown all over it to distract people from asking key questions like, "Why?" "What in the fuck?" and "Why?!" once again. Retribution follows Alice (Milla Jovovich), once again, in her pursuit of.. I guess, at this point, killing even more zombies. This time, she's joined by everyone! Even dead people! (like Rain, who was shot directly in the face by Alice!) ..Everyone's favorite video game characters! (like Wesker and his Agent Smith-meets-Fake ass British-Madonna accent!) ..As well as a bunch of new characters created entirely out of thin air on magical whims! (like Luther, the former basketball player turned action hero! Remember him!?)
The Master follows Philip Seymour Hoffman, as Lancaster "the Master" Dodd "the God", on his journey to become king of all names rhyming with massively authoritative figureheads. (There's an 87% chance that the character’s name is actually only Lancaster Dodd.. But for the purposes of this joke, shut up.) He is a charismatic young gentleman who catches the attention of a walking indoctrination-sponge/drifter by the name of "Mad as Mule Balls" Freddie Quell (Joaquin Phoenix). (Again, there is a large possibility that I gave him that nickname.) The two begin a master/slave bond of faith and religion in the 1950s where Freddie must decide if Dodd is a poser, or the Real McCoy.. With less 90s pop music.. Because this is the 50s. Say.. Wasn't that about the time that Kool-Aid was getting wildly popular?
Okay, I need to start this off by saying how awesome that I think Nicolas Cage is. Seriously. I actually agree with Roger Ebert (Whaaa?): Nicolas Cage is "daring and fearless in his choice of roles, and unafraid to crawl out on a limb, saw it off and remain suspended in air...However improbable his character, he never winks at the audience. He is committed to the character with every atom and plays him as if he were him." Committed.. Yes.. Exactly how I would describe Nicolas Cage! In Stolen, Nicolas Cage plays Will. Will stole 10 million dollars a bunch of years ago and got caught and sent to prison. After he gets out, Will's former partner, Vincent (Josh Lucas), kidnaps his daughter and demands the missing 10 million dollars.. That doesn't exist anymore. As the old familiar detective (Danny Huston) that put him away is hot on his tail, Will rounds up the old crew consisting of a hot blonde (Malin Akerman) to pull off a new heist in order to replace the monetary fruits of his earlier labor.. What the hell? This IS Gone in 60 Seconds! It should be noted, though, that Vincent, in the last eight years, for some reason, has decided that he needs to look like Riff Raff from The Rocky Horror Picture Show.
Arbitrage can be defined as: The practice of taking advantage of a price difference between two or more markets; Striking a combination of matching deals that capitalize upon the imbalance, the profit being the difference between the market prices. So.. Richard Gere plays Robert Miller, a man trying to take advantage of the cost of his two relationships: One with his wife, Ellen (Susan Sarandon), and the other with a French art-dealer, Julie (Laetitia Costa).. aka the "two or more markets"; He must then strike a matching deal with his former partner in crime, Jimmy (Nate Parker) as they find a way to capitalize on the death of Robert's mistress (The French hottie who goes explodey in a car accident) before the market crashes.. aka the police detective (Tim Roth) investigating Robert for the death of Julie. I get it now!
Josh Radnor plays Jesse Fisher, a college admissions worker who is in a rut. When he gets a call from his favorite professor (Richard Jenkins) at his old Alma-Mater in Ohio, he does everything to get out of his current life except Harry Potter-Apparate through the damn telephone. When he visits his old school, he meets Zibby (Probably not her real name.. All these damn kids have nicknames nowadays.. Like Betsy, and Cammy, and Large Marge..) Zibby is played by Elizabeth Olsen. She's having a hell of a last couple of years.. This is her 5th role since jumping out of her sisters' very thin shadows in 2011! In any case, Jesse begins wrestling with the fact that he's well into his 30s and falling for the college Sophomore Liberal Arts major who seems to be everything he wants: Someone that will be just as lost as him in 2 years, apparently.
Should you see these movies in the theater?
Resident Evil: Retribution: No. Unless you want to drag your friend who hates the movies along and force him to watch!
The Master: No.
Liberal Arts: No.
Should you wait for these movies on home video?
Resident Evil: Retribution: Yes.
The Master: Yes.
Liberal Arts: Yes.