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Cookie's Corner (Year 8) - WINTER

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    I missed the deadline in posting films for this quarter, but that doesn't mean I can't at least review others'.

     

    Anyway, I'll be following the calendar when it comes to reviews, but if there's a film you want me to review ahead of time feel free to request it. One request per poster for each season though.

     

    Let's get it started, shall we?

     

    January Part 1

     

    Blood Brothers

    A not so jolly time

     

    Based on the musical of the same name by Willy Russell (which I haven't seen so I can't make any comparisons) this adaptation tells the story of two twin brothers separated at birth, and them meeting up again throughout various points of their childhood/teenhood. One was raised by a wealthy step- family that could give him everything he wishes for in life, the other got stuck in the lower-class realm of 1960s England with the boys' real mother. There's potential here for a good character drama, if there were more development between our leads and the story didn't proceed in a by-the-numbers yet somewhat messy fashion. Also, Louis Leterrier as the choice of director is dubious at best. He's a frenchie with precedence in action movies and advertising, not character-based musical dramas set in jolly old England. The result is a style choice that really doesn't fit the film's narrative. It's not a terrible film to be frank since some of the actors are decent in it, but it could've used a much different approach from what we got.

     

    Note: I assume Leterrier is the director Films was going for, since I couldn't find any filmmaker named Louis Lettiner and came to the conclusion that Films must have misspelled his name. Please correct me if I'm wrong.

     

     

     

    The Good, The Bad, and The Dead

    Cowboys & Zombies

     

    The film bills itself as Evil Dead meets The Quick and The Dead, both Sam Raimi efforts, which should point to a fun time, right? I mean with Raimi, Bruce Campbell and a notable supporting cast you have the right recipe for an over-the-top joyride that'd surely be critic-proof. Strangely, most of the film is played straight instead, which is disappointing. There is a moment late in the film that evokes the kind of goofy fun the film set out to achieve (a mexican stand-off is interrupted by a bathroom gag) but for the most part it comes across as a serious tale and thus the occasional gags only end up feeling out of place. It's production values are high (as you'd expect from the director) and the actors do a fine job but the end product oddly lacks the Raimi touch, as if it was made by a ghost director and all Raimi did was plastering his name on the product. It's not bad per se, but the experience watching it is more perplexing than entertaining.

     

    Note: Rukaio, I'm aware you mentioned in Number's thread that the film is supposed to have a comedic edge, but it could have been made more clear in the writing.

    Edited by Half-baked C00k13
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    January Part 2

     

    Hard To Find

    I bet Lego regrets the making of this commercial

     

    Aside from the film being a feature-length advertisement for Lego (plus oddly enough Microsoft and Halo) there's this bizarre love story that begins with a kidnapping (the main character snags a Lego girl off the street against her will) then the main character gets sucked into a Lego world where he finds his lost father with little to no effort. Then the main character and the Lego girl instantly decide to get married, because kidnapping is the gateway to romance I suppose. Then the main character gets angry texts from his relatives for missing a Christmas party and that somehow causes him to break up with his girlfriend. THEN when he's off to throw away a Lego set his girlfriend appears and they get back together in two seconds flat, all while the precious Lego set is spared. The end result is a strange yet uninvolving train-wreck that borders on being unsettling, and the product placements are just too blatant to ignore here.

     

     

     

    Unbalanced V

    Are you scared yet?

     

    Supposedly the final installment of a long running horror series, this film ditches the anthology format and is just one story being told all the way through, which in general is a good thing. The tale this time is a story known as The Russian Sleep Experiment, and the main problem that the whole series suffers from quickly becomes evident. Most of these stories, or "creepypastas" as the internet calls them, are straight tales meant to scare the reader and do little else. So taking one of them and expanding it into a feature-length film without taking the time to make sure there's actually a reason for us to care, only leaves a technically impressive and sometimes unsettling but mostly empty experience. You save both time and money by looking up the original story on the internet instead of wasting them with this clunker.

     

     

     

    Bloodbath Unite

    ...

     

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vhe3vSe-mmw

     

    A sure candidate for worst movie of the year if there ever was one. Micheal Fassbender should be ashamed for taking part in this.

    Edited by Half-baked C00k13
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    January Part 3

     

    1944 Part I: Resistance

    Mon dieu

     

    First of all, why is this three hours long? There's barely enough material to sustain two hours, and that's if you're stretching it. Thus we get one horribly paced scene after another in this first half (I think) of a tale about french wives in Wold War II that decide to join the resistance. The potential for a fantastic movie is there, but given how thinly written the plot and characters are, the overbearing length makes it a chore to sit through. Most of the french actors are good and the film looks great, but Josh Hutcherson is seriously miscast and the sudden twist at the end doesn't seem to have much purpose. The film could have benefited greatly if it was trimmed down enormously, or if the story was kept as one film because I'm sure the whole thing can be told with that running time. As it is, it's a bloated mess with very little substance.

     

     

     

    Army of Two: The Devil's Cartel

    No Mexicans were harmed in the making of this film

     

    If you go see this movie expecting anything else than bang-bang-kaboom action, you won't get it. Army of Two as a video game series has never been heavy on narrative, and the movies reflect that. It's a dumb action film with one-liners, shoot-em ups, explosions and plot holes everywhere. As it is, it's not half bad. The constant barrage of action is more than enough to keep you entertained at least. Granted, I do wish that more was been done to give the characters their own identities, because outside of the two leads you'll forget who they even were the moment you leave the theater. This film is not an ideal choice if you're looking for quality cinema, but if you just want to be entertained for two mindless hours then this one's for you.

    Edited by Half-baked C00k13
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    January Part 4

     

    Chessmen

    Hourglass Pictures says "checkmate"

     

    In what's sure to become a cult classic down the line, Chessmen takes a creative spin on the "inanimate objects coming to life" genre that Toy Story popularized. Instead of the been there, done that story about objects coming to life and exploring our world, this film takes us inside their world, i.e the checkerboard and the dramatic battles that unfold during each game of chess. Percy the pawn, the main character of the story, is cute and likable enough for us to root for him as he aspires to be the very best (like no one ever was). The other characters are probably not as fleshed out as they should but they serve their purpose. I guess if you upped the stakes a bit then it would've been even better, but Chessmen is still by far the strongest January film, even if it's chances of landing high at the "best of the year" ranks are slim. Just like it's main character though, it's determined and upbeat enough for a good family outing.

     

     

     

    Ice Station 2: Area 7

    Brain freeze

     

    So let me get this straight; there's a plot hatched by racists to kill the president, because if he dies there's a transmitter planted in his body for no reason at all that will stop sending signals to nuclear warheads planted in all 'pro-black' states for no reason at all and when that happens the warheads will explode and make way for a new Confederate america. They trap him in an air base in the middle of nowhere when they could have just tried to assassinate him pretty much anywhere else and they hack the nuclear football so that the president has to touch it every 90 minutes or else the nuclear warheads will detonate, which begs the question why they couldn't have just hacked the nuclear football to detonate the nukes anyway but these are some very stupid villains. But then it turns out that the bad guys are after a boy stuck in the base that carries the antidote to a disease that only targets people of specific skin color because the Chinese are going to pay them. Since the virus doesn't affect Asians for some reason I guess the Chinese wants every non-Asian person to die from the disease because racism which also begs the question why the bad guys even bothered with the whole president thing and didn't just break into the base and grab the kid to begin with. Our heroes try to save the day however they can, but what they can't save is this film from being anything but cinematic lobotomy.

     

    Avoid at all costs.

     

     

     

    Slenderman: The Beginning

    Zalgo, he comes- oh wait, wrong meme

     

    It's Marble Hornets in movie form. Intriguing at times, but not really scary overall. Can't be bothered to say anything else.

    Edited by Half-baked C00k13
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    February

     

    Curling Men

    Having a laugh with possibly the lamest Olympic sport ever

     

    Look: Curling is boring. Really boring. I mean sure my country has won several Olympic medals in that sport which is nice, but actually watching curling is as unexciting as it can get. So how can you make a comedy out of that? Well the laughs aren't many, but it ain't terrible. The talent behind it helps elevate the material a bit.

     

     

     

    Silent Invasion 3: The Attack

    The silent part is coming from the audience

     

    The tagline for this film claims that the "truth" will be revealed. I had the displeasure to sit through this found footage snore fest and the only "truth" that was revealed is that the monsters are coming through some portal. Who are they? Where are they coming from? What is their mission? Getting answers to those questions were just as likely as any of the characters developing any sort of identity. This is a problem that plagues most found footage films (there are exceptions of course), in that once once you look past the "scares" there's nothing else to them. It's a genre that has run it's course long ago, so this is just another cheap product to throw in the ever growing trash heap.

     

     

     

    We Are The Champions 2: Rise of the Crusaders

    No time for losers

     

    It's a football movie. Heavy on the montages, light on the characters. If you like football, this is for you. As for everyone else, there are other options more worth your time.

    Edited by Half-baked C00k13
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