The pReview Re-viewing
Monthly Breakdown for
(warning: You have been warned.)
by Jeff Finck
Let's just get this out of the way: Happy New Year! Plus.. fourteen.. days. Okay, now that the formalities are out of the way.. Did you ever notice that when you see an incredibly shitty movie or hear a particularly godawful song, that someone you know will claim that thing is their favorite? Or how some people claim that winter is their favorite season, even though it is clearly inferior to fall. It's hard to take someone seriously if their favorite thing is your least favorite thing. Like, if anyone says their favorite comedy is Date Movie, I will never trust another thing out of that filthy liar's mouth ever again.
Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones
On January 3rd, Paranormal Activity hit us again with a fifth (FIFF!) installment called Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones. It follows a young gentleman around as he deals with paranormal shit and coping with the fact that he is now the chosen one. Unlike Neo and Jesus before him, though, he has to deal with it all in the seedier parts of Oxnard.. For.. Reasons. Don't they know that bad things happen to notorious characters when they break genre and head to the wrong side of the tracks?! Remember when Jason tried to take Manhattan? Remember when Leprachaun tried his hand at the hood? Or Scrooge?! Or maybe they're just running out of ideas..
The Legend of Hercules
Everyone should brace the edges of all of your seats because Renny Harlin is about to borrow THE fuck out of them! And speaking of borrowing things, The Legend of Hercules is an origins story that looks like it has all the drama of Spartacus: Blood on the Sand.. All of the slow motion battles of 300.. All the rising fame of Gladiator.. All the beards from Hercules: The Legendary Journeys! And if you love 3D movies with slow-motion rain, plug that urethra because you are going to piss yourself blind! And if you don't know who Renny Harlin is, go back and re-familiarize yourself with his classics: A Nightmare on Elm Street 4: The Dream Master, nobody's favorite Die Hard: Die Hard 2, everyone's secret favorite Stallone movie: Cliffhanger, the attempted murder of Geena Davis and Matthew Modine's career: Cutthroat Island, that time Geena Davis was hot: The Long Kiss Goodnight, Rocky in Racecars aka Driven, and do not miss 12 Rounds where John Cena plays a pro-wrestler stuck in a cat-and-mouse game with a guy obsessed with.. I don't know.. Golf, or something.. Check out the full Re-viewing by guest blogger TV's Chris Blackchris HERE!
Also on January 10th, Lone Survivor (starring Mark Wahlberg, Ben Foster, Taylor Kitsch, and Emile Hirsch) came out. This is based on a mouthful of a book called Lone Survivor: The Eyewitness Account of Operation Redwing and the Lost Heroes of SEAL Team 10 by a US Navy SEAL called Marcus Luttrell, who was the lone survivor of a botched mission (oddly enough, actually called Operation Red Wings) to recon and surveil some a-hole named Ahmad Shah. The whole story has had its details run through the ringer due to allegations of possible elaborations and embellishments in order to make it sound like a much more heavily actioned story.. I assume this Peter Berg-directed action movie will definitely clear all that up.
August: Osage County
The last movie that came out on the 10th was called August: Osage County. Now, you may be wondering why this movie sounds like it has the kind of name that assholes give plays to make them sound more high-brow.. Well, guess what? It is the name of a play. It was written by Tracy Letts (Bug, Killer Joe), which means it might be high-brow.. But it will definitely be extremely weird, dark, and probably completely fucked up. (Seriously, go watch the movie Killer Joe and I'm fairly certain that you'll come back with a five word review that consists of the words "fucked", "completely", "that", "up", and "was".. Possibly in that order.) So, the story focuses on a dysfunctional family forced to reunite over the missing patriarch (Sam Shepard) of the Weston family. There's going to be so much acting in this thing that it will break down the walls of time and space and infiltrate other movies..
Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit
I bet everyone is curious what old Jack Ryan has been up to. I mean, now that he's well into his 60s, lived a rough and tumble life, and stopped the world from all-out war on more occasions than John McClane has had good movies.. There can't be much else to do with him except watch him get old and tell his grandchildren how he prevented World War III on repeat. Oh wait.. Never mind.. He's found a fucking time machine and regenerated for a fourth time in his third set of story-lines and is being played by Chris Pine. Damn. It. How hard is it to keep book continuity in movies?! I mean there's almost no story-writing involved! IT WAS ALREADY WRITTEN, YOU BASTARDS.. Sorry. Lost my head there. Well, in this second reboot of the franchise-- Because you just know that they have to make it topical and updated.. The Cold War is so thirty years ago-- Jack Ryan, a CIA analyst discovers some old bullshit and a whole bunch of double-crosses and, possibly even, triple-crosses lead him on his path to the pages of history.. Again.
On January 17th, suck another buried found footage horror movie down your sore throat for Devil's Due. It's about a nice young couple who decide to get married, have a baby, and inadvertently bring the anti-Christ into the world. I think we're all familiar with this nutshell. Don't judge too quickly, though-- This does come with the Eli Roth seal of approval. But I'm not entirely sure what that means.. I mean, the Eli Roth Seal of Approval could be anywhere between a slick horror film or completely bat-fuck sick..
There really isn't a whole lot to say about this one. Kevin Hart plays a security guard who is trying to marry Ice Cube's (an actual cop) sister. But Ice Cube makes him put up with a whole bunch of shenanigans before he accepts him into the family. I know this sounds like it's been done, but I assume this is taking a page out of Paranormal Activity's book with a fun spin-off of Meet the Parents:
The Nut Job
First of all, this is a children's movie called The Nut Job. Okay, now that we're past that, let's focus on how this movie is totally not A Bug's Life, Over the Hedge, The Ant and the Grasshopper, Ice Age, or Ocean's Eleven. This is ALL of those movies! Surly the Squirrel (Will Arnett) gets himself kicked out of the local park right before the coming winter by Liam Neeson the Raccoon, and is forced to survive in the big city.. Ohh.. Waitaminnut.. I may be wrong about it being all of those movies. Now that I think about it, this is probably a multilayered commentary on the rising tide of homelessness.
Not going to go too in-depth with this one considering I'm planning a full trailer Re-viewing later this week, but basically this is a live action What if? of Harvey Dent fighting demons with Gargoyles.
I assume that Vanessa Hudgens and Rosario Dawson spent several hours in make-up every day out of the kindness of their own hearts in order to bring to life a single telling of an amalgamation of stories taken from actual single mothers in need of shelter by Kathy DiFiore, founder of Several Sources Shelters. V-Hudge plays Apple, a 16 year old girl who runs away from her abusive, drug-addled mother (Rosario Dawson), only to end up on the streets. She tracks down her affluent father (Brendan Fraser), only to get kicked out of there and end back up on the streets. Then James Earl Jones comes in and saves the day. I assume. Because that's what James Earl Jones does.
That Awkward Moment
When Mikey (Michael B. Jordan) becomes painfully single, his two best friends, Jason (Zac Efron) and Daniel (Miles Teller), decide to remain single, too. This is the story of three friends, struggling to stay women-free out of unity. This movie highlights the powerful bond that forms when three adult men make a promise to one another and how that solidarity strengthens as time grows. Yeah, I'm fucking with you. Mikey's two douche-bag friends immediately start relationships to comical, and possibly graphically sexual ends. It's kind of like a chick flick in reverse.
When Kevin Costner escapes from prison and seeks shelter in a single mother's house, he begins to develop a fatherly affection for the young boy living there without a dad. I mean.. Wait.. That was the beginning to Clint Eastwood's movie A Perfect World. What I meant was, Jean-Claude Van Damme escapes from prison and seeks shelter at a single mother's farm, where he begins to develop a fatherly affection for the young boy living there without a dad. Wait.. Nope.. That's the action movie Nowhere to Run. Okay, I think I got it now: Josh Brolin escapes from prison to seek shelter in a single mother's (Kate Winslet) house where he begins to develop a fatherly affection for the young boy living there without a dad. Nailed it. The difference being that, in A Perfect World (the movie, not the idyllic hypothetical place), Kevin Costner kidnaps the boy and stuff happens.. And in Nowhere to Run, Jean-Claude Van Damme helps the mother fight off land-snatchers and stuff happens. In Labor Day, Josh Brolin stays put and it all turns into a Nicholas Sparks novel.
Final Breakdown: This month's Final Breakdown brought to you by one single backhanded complimentary sentence!
Shitty titles, throw-away kids movies, and two buried horror flicks aside.. This month, I honestly think that most of these might actually be watchable!
- Mortal Kombat (2011) screenshot courtesy of Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment
- Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones (2014) poster, Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit (2014) and Labor Day poster courtesy of Paramount Pictures
- The Legend of Hercules (2014) poster courtesy of Summit Entertainment
- Lone Survivor (2014) poster and screenshot, and Ride Along poster courtesy of Universal Pictures
- August: Osage County (2014) poster courtesy of The Weinstein Company
- 12 Angry Men (1957) screenshot courtesy of United Artists
- The Nut Job (2014) courtesy of Open Road Films
- Homeless squirrel found on FunnyJunk.com credited to ZachFizzle (2009)
- I, Frankenstein (2014) poster courtesy of Lionsgate
- Gargoyles (1994) screenshot courtesy of Disney-ABC Domestic Television
- Harvey Dent from The Dark Knight (2008) courtesy of Warner Bros. Pictures
- Gimme Shelter (2013) poster and screenshot courtesy of Roadside Attractions
- That Awkward Moment (2014) poster courtesy of Focus Features
- Dear John (2010) poster courtesy of Screen Gems
All credited images found via Google Image searches