Movies Transformers Rips Off:

Terminator 2: the car chase scene
Short Circuit: freedom being the right of all sentient beings
Videodrome: O. Prime asking Shia to push the energy cube into his chest
Terminator 2: one is sent to protect him
Pearl Harbor: directly reused some shots, I’ve heard
The Rock: stand on a building with a flare to signal the jets!
Armageddon: lame joke
Terminator 2: the other is here… to destroy him
Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome: two robots enter… one robot leaves.
Alien vs. Predator: our world, their war
probably Black Hawk Down but I haven’t seen it

There’s a real problem with violating the laws of physics, but that’s just a clean transfer from the bizarre original show.

Marquee on a street theater is showing Paramount studio classics Rose Tattoo and A Place In The Sun for whatever damn reason.

The Transformers learned their chase technique from Jason Vorhees (or Leslie Vernon), because they are giant machines but can’t catch a teenage boy in a foot race. They’re not even as sophisticated as the balls in Phantasm 2.

Too much “comedy”, not enough GIANT ROBOTS FIGHTING.

Movie 2 of the Key Sunday Cinema Club. Hated it, skipped the post-movie discussion to sneak into the oscar shorts. Thanks anyway, Katy! Not your fault.

Opens right up with a big damned heavyhanded metaphor, where our boy Wilberforce (his real name, haha, and played by Mr. Fantastic!) stops some white brutes from kicking their black horse out in the rain. Some poignant shit right there. Then a whole movie about racism with only one black person in it follows.

The one black person is Youssou N’Dour in his English feature film debut. We’ve discussed Wilberforce (heh) being Mr. Fantastic (double-heh) and let’s see what else is going on. The young Prime Minister is played by Benedict Cumberbatch (pffffhahaha) who once played Stephen Hawking in a TV movie. Wilberforce eventually marries young Romola Garai (from Vanity Fair and Scoop). In the parliament we’ve got Michael Gambon as a good guy and a very familiar looking Ciaran Hinds and the dude from Infamous as bad guys, and off on his own is Wilberforce’s mentor, a cataract-ridden saintly monkly fella who used to own a slave ship, played by our Albert Finney. Oh wait, and Rufus Sewell plays a leftist with scarecrow-hair who pals around with N’Dour and tries to get Wilderforce to go abolish slavery, which he eventually does, the end.

A very bad script where everyone speaks only in cliches, from the writer of Dirty Pretty Things, which I’ll have to not see. I didn’t know much about Michael Apted before, and I’ll have to not find out more. I’d been trying to forget this, but Terrence Malick produced. There were seven producers, so it’s not a major blow.

Good performances and costume details ignored the silliness of the whole thing. It’s not the absence of black people that bugs me much, since after all, it’s a historical drama that takes place in british parliament. It’s just the extreme fakiness of it all, wilbur making himself physically sick and turning to god and admiring spiderwebs, the way-easy love affair, the bagpipe coda… but I mostly can’t get past the cornbread dialogue. It’s impossible to overstate this: every line is a cliche. IMDB shows that church groups have been getting prerelease screenings, and from the comments, they seem to be eating it up.

Young parent Kate Winslet meets and has sex with young parent Patrick Wilson, even though Patrick is married to Jennifer Connelly and Kate is… well, married. Meanwhile Ronald, a convicted child molester (the motorcycle kid from the original Bad News Bears) is on the loose.

Ronald has a domineering mother, Kate feels disconnected from everything, Patrick spaces out watching skateboard kids, and Jennifer is pretty but doesn’t have much to do.

Katy didn’t like it!

Pretty awful Masters of Horror episode, continuing Tobe’s long streak of pretty awful movies.

A perfectly good backstory about the deadly acid rainstorm that turned most of the world into zombies is wasted on a crappy movie about Jessica Lowndes meeting Jonathan Tucker from the Pulse and Texas Chainsaw remakes, and daring to venture away from her protective mother to attend a club run by Tobe’s old bud Robert Englund. This has got to be the most boring “extreme” nightclub in any horror movie.

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It’s all downhill from there, as Englund drinks the blood of the elderly to stay alive, and the entertainment of the club turns out to be watching zombies “dance” (the, um, dance of the dead) by shocking ’em with cattle prods. Jessica finds out one of the dancers is her druggie sister, who was sold to Englund by their mom… gets revenge by killing/selling the mom. Whatever.

The movie was bad enough before the SHOCK EDITING, which is unrelenting. Besides the usual quick-cut-crap, they keep blurring and sliding the picture with staticky sound effects to add “energy” to the movie. Ugh.

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Loud music by Billy Corgan, I might add. Credited cinematographer and editor have both done other (decent) MoH episodes, so I have to blame the flash editing entirely on you, Tobe.

MOH trademarks: just the naked women.

Katy didn’t watch this one. Katy wouldn’t have liked it. I wouldn’t have blamed her.

The first film I see in theater in over a month is “Snakes on a Plane”. Sure it wasn’t good, but it also wasn’t bad enough or campy enough or aware enough to justify the hype. Not that I didn’t have a good time.

Things not to forget:
– the surfing scenes at the intro and outro
– the inflatable raft keeping the snakes in the main cabin
– snake expert vs. snake dealer showdown on the ground
– Sam Jackson shooting the witness in the chest at the end
– snakes are on the plane because the baddie had “exhausted every other option”
– movie would’ve been better without the witness

Written by a woman named Coleman, who unsurprisingly wrote Full Frontal.

Martha and Kyle work at the doll factory. Big order comes in, Rose is hired. Rose has a baby, an angry ex, a tendency to steal, and a thing for Kyle. They go on a date, Martha watches the kid, then kills Rose when she gets home. Martha is easily caught, Kyle’s mom joins the doll factory part time, life goes on.

Shot on HD: big deal. Released on video same time as theaters: big deal. Non-professional actors: sort of a big deal, cuz it’s a small quiet enough story that some bigtime actor might’ve wrecked it with a “performance”.

But that’s also the problem. Not much performance, except by Martha who’s quite good. Nothing to perform to. Short, nothing of a movie. What’s up, Steven? Why was this story begging to be told? It’s not even his usual style-over-substance since there’s little style. And the Bob Pollard acoustic instrumentals are crappy and out of place (as if Steven wanted us to think he hired only non-professional musicians). Why make this? Why call it Bubble? Bring back The Limey, Kafka and Solaris!

I don’t get how talented filmmakers, having a high level of access to a couple very interesting subjects, can make a boring movie. They managed though, for the most part. Gets better towards the end, as the Yes Men schemes actually get less well-planned and more last-minute.

The guys run a website similar in look and address to the WTO site, so get called to speak at conferences. First time they devise gold jumpsuit with inflatable penis TV to monitor third-world employees while on the go. Then in conjunction with McDonalds they announce new recycled-food burger program at a classroom. Finally they disband the WTO completely, saying it’s completely failed to meet its stated objectives. Subversion is fun and they’ve got some particularly hilarious ideas, so movie was worth watching even if I complained about the editing all the time.

Should this really be compared to Ghost World, which was a whole different kind of movie? Sure, why not. Both try to mix humor with failure and both have Steve Buscemi in ’em.

Art Con is disillusioned with the art-school crowd and has nothing nice to say about the students, their teachers, rich successful artists, or lonely bitter failures. Pretty harsh outlook (but of course). A few interesting bits – our kid being more accepted as a famous serial killer (not “innocent” since he did burn down an apartment building, killing many) than he ever would’ve been as an artist, and the “outsider artist” cop being celebrated for making daringly crappy paintings. Kind of an easy-target comedy, like Best In Show, but meaner. Angelica Huston didn’t have much to do. Katy didn’t seem too enthused.