Monday, September 13, 2010

A Salted Pilgrim?

Much play catch-up with my movie reviews. This double bill should bring them almost up to date now...


Every so often a spy thriller will come along that will expand the boundaries of storytelling and present a tale with such twists and turns that you are completely swept along not knowing what to expect. Sadly, Salt is not one of those movies, it’s nonsensical rubbish. It’s almost impossible to describe just how seriously stupid and insane the plot is and unlike basic action movies, a thriller must have a plot. There are elements so insane here, you’re more likely to believe the plot of Eagle Eye, hardly the pinnacle of creative writing. Those of you who have seen it may not be surprised that Salt was penned by Kurt Wimmer, known for directing two under-rated but enjoyably silly sci-fi action movies Ultraviolet and Equilibrium. I enjoyed Wimmer's last foray into the whole CIA spy genre with The Recruit, but it appears he lost his spy-mojo along the way and there's no evidence of the carefully paced plot he wrote for Law Abiding Citizen last year.

I’m giving this move a rating based on some interesting stunts, the scene where Salt [Angelina Jolie] gets medieval on the Russkies and the fact it has Angelina Jolie, whom I believe was a far greater choice than Tom Cruise. I honestly don’t know, what moron was pushing Tom Cruise for this, but I’m certainly glad whomever decided against him had the idea of Jolie. Don’t get me wrong, Cruise is good in Minority Report, The Last Samurai and the Mission: Impossible franchise but Salt was such a turd he’d not have “distracted” me from the stench whereas Jolie is perfectly “equipped” to provide that distraction. Alas, unlike her previous nonsense that I love Wanted, the Tomb Raiders and Mr. & Mrs. Smith, she was enough to drag this movie from ‘shit’ to ‘meh’ but not enough to ‘good’. Director Phillip Noyce, responsible for two gems in my DVD collection Patriot Games and Clear and Present Danger adapted from Tom Clancy's Jack Ryan franchise has clearly lost touch with "excitment" and should stick to "Oscar chasing" movies like The Quiet American in his later years.

One final word to the criminally underrated Liev Schreiber “FIRE YOUR FUCKING AGENT MAN!”, that is all.

Colonel Creedon Rating: **1/2

Scott Pilgrim vs The World

Scott Pilgrim vs The World was for the most part, a heap of grossly misjudged trash. It’s target audience was clearly a demographic far younger than myself or perhaps even more immature. It seemed to be created by a twenty-something whose only film experience was making the latest CGI neon-flashy MTV video by day and played far too many stupid Beat ‘Em Up videogames on his XPlayBoxWiiStation thingy at night – but it wasn’t - this was Edgar Wright’s baby, yes the man who brought you Shaun of the Dead and Hot Fuzz - the man is my age. If anything this is an essay on how important Simon Pegg is to Wright’s success – integral!

The majority of the characters in this movie were reprehensible, selfish and/or just plain dumb. Even worse than your typical modern-day apathetic Emo teen mopers. There was so very much not to like about them so it was difficult to empathise with their serious self created “issues” and baggage they all insisted they carried. The protagonist, Scott Pilgrim was portrayed by Michael Superbad Cera who has quite literally played that same type of character in everything else he’s been in. If he keeps accepting roles that lock him into this personality he’ll be Hollywood’s sad 40-year-old Emo tween moping nerd before too long. Scott’s object or desire, Ramona [Mary Elizabeth Die Hard 4.0 Winstead] was given such an awful look that she came across as a reformed drug-abuser and failed Goth rolled into one. The fact that Scott chose her with her ultimately annoying hair and mind-changing fickle attitude when he previously rejected Kim, the far cuter freckled redheaded drummer only goes to prove what a loser this guy was.

It wasn’t all bad to be fair. Chris The Losers Evans was brilliant on screen playing an egotistical, self absorbed action-movie star. His performance was flawless and brought a much needed break from the “depressing humour” of the rest of the movie. In top form too was Brandon Superman Returns/Chuck Routh portraying a rock drummer, convinced he was superior to all due to his ultimate commitment to veganism. But out of all the cameos and personalities on display it was has-been Macaulay Culkin’s far more talented younger brother Kieran who easily stole the show as Scott’s homosexual room-mate Wallace who seemed to be the only character who wanted to change or improve his pathetic life and therefore the only one deserving of any respect. Lucas! How bad is a movie where I think the gay comedy relief is the best thing!!!

Edgar Wright, this isn't your bag, it's Kevin Smith's. Kudos for tyring something without Pegg, in a universe that you had no hand in creating but this is Epic Fail dude. But not to worry, the source material is only 6 years old and not too many people give a shit about something that new. Heh, it's not as if you're adapting a 50 year-old character created by legendary comic book creators - - Eh? what's that? Something coming in over the Internet - Edgar Wright to adapt Jack Kirby and Stan Lee's Ant Man, one of Marvel Comics' Avengers, for a movie to be released on the 50th anniversary of the character? - Aw shiiiiiiiiiit!!!!!

Final Verdict: Some very flashy special effects prevented me from falling asleep and it has it moments, some of them were genuinely funny, but not enough of them to be too impressed. More often then not I felt exactly like doing what Kim the drummer did on several occasions - put a gun to my temple and blow my head off.

Colonel Creedon Verdict: *1/2


Civilian Overseer said...

O Colonel, my Colonel, when did you become such a fuddy duddy?, I thought that this was the best movie I had seen in a long time, fresh, funny, highly entertaining and above all else, original, a welcome respite from all the dreadful remakes and crass Hollywood assaults on the memories of my youth.

I read a review that said anyone under the age of twentyfive would not like or get this film.

The question that people over the age of twentyfive should themselves before seeing this movie or any other of its genre is, am I too old for this?, I enjoyed it immensely.

Constance said...

Dude! I laughed my ass off AND I saw it with a 25 year old. I assume you speak of Scott?

Civilian Overseer said...

Connie, Glad you agree, always knew that you where young at heart. I suspect the Colonel may be trying to be controversial or he could be just old.

Scott Who?

Lieutenant General Creedon said...

A wise woman told me recently, "just because someone is old, doesn’t mean they feel old" and so the converse must also be true in that you may not be old, but feel old. As I'm certain I'm chronologically younger than both of you, I must therefore simply feel old. That's my problem but not mine alone judging by many reviews I’ve read from peers; but if you had to lock yourself in this bunker to command and administrate a force that keeps this planet free of alien oppression then by Lucas, you'd feel old too before long.

Knowing that I make this world safe so you can enjoy this puerile nonsense in ignorance of the threat that looms overhead in the depths of space is the very reason I do what I do. But grant me the opinion to judge this (apparently) faithful adaptation of a Canadian comic book with a boring script, disjointed plots, shallow characters with only a few scenes of note throughout it's running time.

From all accounts. This is a movie either loved or hated. I'm prepared to say, I really didn't like it, but hate it is too much. Culkin, Rough and Evans are too good.

My final judgement is sound, and it stands.

@ Civvy: Constance was assuming you were talking about Scott Pilgrim in your original response as opposed to Salt as this was a double-review post..

Civilian Overseer said...

Colonel, congratulations on your new posting to the department of the bleeding' obvious. I was laying a trap for the fair Connie, that you in your proven senelity blundered into.

Lieutenant General Creedon said...

Believe me, I've lured "the fair Connie" into far more devious traps than your pitiful attempt and she's deftly avoided them all.

No, your feeble excuse here is an utterly futile attempt to cover up your own incredible [and I will admit uncharacteristic] loss of mental functionality.

By not doing your best, you disappoint everyone...

Civilian Overseer said...

So you're saying that Connie was a ginger too far? ;) and the trap springs shut!.

Constance said...

Boys. Boys, boys, boys. Deviousness? Traps? I am so innocent I've no idea what you are talking about.