Posts Tagged ‘Rainn Wilson’

Super – They Don’t Make Role Models Like They Used To

Posted 23 Jul 2013 — by Ezra Stead
Category Film Reviews, Movies I Didn't Get

Super is a frustratingly unfunny comedy from a great writer. By Ezra Stead

Super, USA, 2010

Written and Directed by James Gunn

I don’t want to sound like anybody’s grandma here, but I long ago abandoned the conversational defense that movies and other popular media have no part in encouraging real-life violence. Some movies definitely glorify violence to the point of actively promoting it as a righteous lifestyle choice, and James Gunn’s pseudo-realistic costumed avenger film Super is decidedly one of these. There are many other prime examples of this phenomenon – Troy Duffy’s The Boondock Saints (1999), Timur Bekmambetov’s Wanted (2008), Bobcat Goldthwait’s God Bless America (2011) – and while I find all of these films plenty entertaining, my level of comfort about enjoying them seems to be directly proportional to how well I can relate to the worldview of the avenging angel protagonists. In other words, I feel a lot less guilty enjoying God Bless America than The Boondock Saints, despite the fact that the latter is no more mean-spirited or simplistic than the former. Super exists somewhere between these two, a surprisingly conservative and reactionary film made by a well-known counterculture auteur.  Read More

Transformers – Michael Bay And The Cinema Of Subtlety

Posted 29 Apr 2012 — by Ezra Stead
Category Film Reviews, Movies I Didn't Get

By Ezra Stead

Transformers, USA, 2007

Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen, USA, 2009

Directed by Michael Bay

Transformers is a pretty bad movie, but its first sequel is unbelievably awful. With the latest Michael Bay monstrosity, Transformers: Dark of the Moon, taking more than a billion dollars at the box office and potentially remaining the top-grossing movie of this year (please, please, prove me wrong, awards season), now would be a good time to revisit the first two, which might help explain why I have sworn off the third one, or any future editions. I hope no one thinks I’m a snob just for occasionally displaying some standard of good taste. Remember, I love The Toxic Avenger (1984) and The Lost Boys (1987), not to mention much lower quality films like The Room (2003) and Birdemic: Shock and Terror, so I’m not always too pretentious for a good time with a bad movie.  Read More

Juno – Worst Hipster Movie Ever (So Far)

Posted 08 Jun 2011 — by Ezra Stead
Category Film Reviews, Movies I Didn't Get

By Ezra Stead

Juno, USA, 2007

Directed by Jason Reitman

Juno is an insufferable and overrated quirk-fest.

Juno is, in my decidedly non-humble and belligerent opinion, not only the most overrated film of the last decade, but also one of the worst. Before we go any further, let me assuage any accusations you might be formulating that I’m just trying to espouse an unpopular opinion for the sake of doing so, or that I didn’t want to like the movie: the second part is true. But I also went into Little Miss Sunshine (2006) expecting and wanting to hate it, and it won me over. I didn’t think it deserved to be regarded as one of the best films of that year, but I thoroughly enjoyed it. Let it also be known that I like all of Wes Anderson’s films (to varying degrees), The Squid and the Whale (2005) and Napoleon Dynamite (2004), so please don’t think I just hate quirky indie movies. That said, let me expound upon why this is the most insufferably cutesy and irritating film I’ve seen since Zach Braff’s Garden State in 2004 (and I think this one just might be worse).

The first thirty minutes or so of Juno are almost unbearable, as Ellen Page (an excellent actress who, like the rest of the cast, is completely wasted on this tripe) struggles to bring life to a character whose every line sounds like it was written by an angry, dumb teenager who thinks the audience callbacks at The Rocky Horror Picture Show (1975) are the height of wit. Worse than that, some of those lines are uttered into a hamburger phone that the character admits is awkward to use, but it’s all part of the ironic facade she uses to mask her true vulnerable, compassionate humanity. Sarcasm doesn’t translate well in writing, so I should probably point out here that the film spends another hour unmasking this facet of the character, all the while indulging in the kind of dialogue that would get you a “D” at best in any self-respecting screenwriting program. Read More

Super

Posted 15 May 2011 — by Nicole P
Category Film Reviews, Movies I Didn't Get

By Scott Martin Super movie by James Gunn

Super, USA, 2010

Written and Directed by James Gunn

Super is twisted. Some films can pull that off in a positive way. Recall a film from 1998 called Happiness, directed by the superbly screwed-up Todd Solondz. That’s a film that somehow manages to find the dark humor in the sexually disturbed characters it portrays. Of course this isn’t a Todd Solondz film; it wouldn’t be as ugly if it were. No doubt, Super is very funny, in parts. Director James Gunn, whose last film was the deliriously strange Slither (2006), gives us a portrait of a mentally unhinged man who accepts a calling from God to be a superhero. He sees visions of demons and rights small wrongs before stumbling into a big crime. He wields a pipe wrench and cracks skulls for a living. The line between fantasy superhero and regular hyper-violence is blurred, not just in his mind, but in the film’s as well. We aren’t ever really shown a man we can get behind, even if it’s just to sympathize. Read More