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See Dredd. See Dredd Fail at the Box Office. — By Jack

See this.

I’ll tell you about the car crash later. While you’re waiting you need to go see the new Dredd movie. It’s freaking fantastic. A text book example of how to do an action movie. It’s clever. Intense. Stylized. Gruesome. The stakes never cease to escalate. And every action sequence is completely different from the one that preceded it. But despite these accomplishments the movie debuted at 6th place for its opening weekend. With a paltry 6.3 million dollar take, this movie will be seen as a failure. After a summer of endless disappointments (Spider-Man, Prometheus, Total Recall, MIB3, Bourne Legacy, Dark Knight Rises) it would be a tragedy to see this film fail.

Just wipe this piece of crap from your mind and give the reboot a chance.

Here’s the setup. Fucked up future. Overpopulated. Law is up held by Judges, agents that act as on the spot judge, jury, enforcer, and executioner. Baddest of the bad, Judge Dredd (Karl Urban) has a new partner, Anderson (Olivia Thirlby.) Dredd and rookie wind up investigating a murder in a mega apartment complex. Investigation turns to drug bust as it turns out this mega complex (known as Peach Tree) is dominated by a drug cartel. Ruthless cartel leader Ma-Ma locks the building down, so Dredd and Anderson have to fight their way up 200 stories to get to her. Sounds like a tiresome Die-Hard right? WRONG.

Okay, at its heart it is Die-Hard. But that’s not a bad thing. The movie runs in directions that will blow your mind. First of all there is the style. Take 300 ‘s slow motion fight scenes, (with story driven causality for the slow motion) add beautiful colorization, and gut wrenching choreography, and you end up with sequences that amaze but never feels like spectacle. I was blown away and I saw it in 2D. But just when you’re thinking, “that was cool, but I don’t really wanna sit through anymore slow motion,” the film jettisons the conceit and does something completely different.

So you’re good on action. What about plot? Well the plot is solid but it’s no Nolan film. But what it does nail is setting, theme, and mood. Director Pete Travis has created a realistic albeit depressing world of the future. Violence in this city is rampant and you feel that in every facet of the movie. A lot of people knocked The Dark Knight Rises for not presenting the Gothamite’s perspective unlike the previous two films. That’s not the case here. Early in the film, victims of a crime gone wrong lie in a bloody mess. While the clean up crew mops up, an announcer informs the public “the food court will reopen in 30 minutes.” As Dredd and Anderson make their way up, you feel the terror as the residents are torn between following the law or facing the consequences of the oppressive gang. There are some really chilling moments here. And ultimately why the movie succeeds thematically is that it problematizes the notion of an absolute law that doesn’t have to answer to a further authority. But it does so with subtle nods and tension rather than having the hero make some big realization “this is wrong!”

Lena Headey as Ma-Ma

Wood Harris

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The performances are a real joy. No villains are over the top. Lena Headey’s Ma-Ma is a smart, scary, and a lethal foil. Fans of HBO’s The Wire will recognize Wood Harris as Kay, Ma-Ma’s henchman who gets arrested and dragged along for the ride with the Judges. There’s a scene between him and Anderson that I won’t ruin here. Let’s just say it’s a scene that I didn’t expect to see in this film (in fact it was an idea I was planning on writing myself some day) and Harris and Thirlby nailed it.

Dredd and Anderson

As for Urban and Thirlby themselves? Karl Urban (Star Trek, Two Towers, Priest) completely disappears into the role of Dredd. At times his lines are laughable in their Clint Eastwood like depiction, but inexplicably it fits. Judge Dredd isn’t a character, he’s an icon, and that’s why we love him. Olivia Thirlby is charming, beautiful, sympathetic but at the same time challenged, smart, and goes some places that make us not like her. She’s human.

The movie isn’t a masterpiece but it does what it does very well.  It’s up there with The Crow and Terminator 2 in the realm of action films. And if you know me, you’d know that’s saying a lot.

So I am asking you. Yes YOU, the reader! Go out and see it. If you don’t like it, spam me with hate mail. But give it a shot. Now watch the trailer.

 

Rating?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

—Jack Out

 
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Posted by on September 23, 2012 in By Jack, Reviews, entertainment, etc...

 

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Jill’s Got Nothin’ on Me — By Mack

We all have heard about Jill’s amazing but suspiciously lezzy luck on her flight to Seattle. But I’m here to tell you, next to me, she’s…I don’t know, something that’s not that lucky. So I’m on this plane to visit my brother. He just had his first kid. I know I’m an uncle now. Uncle Mack, I like the sound of that.

I’m thumbing through the American Way when I notice this girl in the row ahead of me checking me out between the seats every so often. From what I can tell she’s got an immature fire to her. The type of recklessness that would piss someone off just to do it.

“I like your ring.” I didn’t. It looked like something you’d get from a Cracker Jack’s box. But I needed to open the conversation. “Thanks. I like your necklace.” She responded with a smile. Side note. I’m very proud of my necklace. It has two pendants.  One a cross. The other a crescent moon.  People always take a second glance thinking it’s a Muslim symbol. Upon further inspection observers notice the facial feathers that make it resembles something out of a “Hey diddle diddle,” picture book. But it never fails to start conversation.

I let her continue to crane her neck back and talk to me between her seats. The barrier creates safety, but the fact that she’s inconveniencing herself to talk to me is proof she into me, or at least I’m most interesting thing in her immediate proximity.  Strangely enough for a “very full flight,” she is seated next to the lone unoccupied seat on the plane. After the drink cart passes, I depart my seat and go to sit next to her.

In addition to tattoos on her forearms and one behind her ear, she’s also drawn all over wrist in black marker. She’s dressed in tight black jeans, a red tank top, and her hair has a crimson highlight steak in the front. This girl’s got a short attention span. If I don’t keep it interesting, she’ll be done with me in a matter of seconds.

We talked family, jobs, the usual, and I could tell I was losing her. That’s when I noticed her accent was inconsistent. I never really bought her faux british tone. But now she was just going in and out of it. But I didn’t point it out. Then she declared she had 12 bothers and sisters. She rattled off names I suspect she pulled out of thin air. Then I said, “I didn’t quite catch that. Could you name them again.”  To which she refused.

Don’t get me wrong, I generally don’t lie to women, I really don’t. I don’t even embellish. But now it was clear I was dealing with a bullshitter in a bullshitty situation and as Tyler Duden put it, she was “single serving friend.” And, “If you wake up at a different time, in a different place, could you wake up as a different person?” So why not? With my hand on her thigh told her I was an accomplished artist and that I’d love to draw her. It was cheezy as all hell but she smiled and said, “Well that’s a good thing cause I’m a model.” I almost laughed my ass off but then we hit a patch of turbulence.

She immediately went into my arms pressing her eyes shut. It was the first truthful moment I had with her.
“I hate flying,” she confessed in an American accent.  After the plane righted itself out she look up at me, vulnerable for a moment, and I went into kiss her. When we pulled away, she was back into full facade, British accent and all and protested, “I never do things like that.” To which I replied, “Neither do I.”

It gets better….to be continued.

—Big Mack Attack

 
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Posted by on September 18, 2012 in By Mack, Dating

 

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After the First Week…– By Jack

Okay. I’ve been in LA a week now, and in that week I’ve worked one day on a TV show, got into a car accident, almost gotten into a fight at the DMV, and seen the actor Garret Dillahunt twice at the gym.

Early last week, I had sat down to look for a job when I got a call from the line producer to B&^#$@!5 (I’m not naming the show because they may still contact me for a job and my resume has this blog on it.) The line producer said that the writer’s PA job I applied for was interviewing tomorrow but had filled all the interview spots. But I could come in to work as her assistant and maybe the creator/showrunner might consider me. I told her absolutely and she told me to do my research. I power watched half the first season of B&^#$@!5 and was pleasantly surprised. Who thought a show about 3@77$* would be so interesting? The quirky funny dialogue really took me by surprise.

The next day I brewed coffee, refilled refrigerators, picked up lunch, set up the line producer’s WiFi and printer, and ushered people into meetings. What was mostly happening was that the showrunner was staffing various production jobs so she was conducting interviews. I was to make sure people waiting for their interview were taken care of. I ended up having conversations with practically everyone. Learned some good stuff. Even made a friend. One of the people interviewing for that writer’s PA job and I really got along. We had lunch yesterday. Though I didn’t get the job, they said the production office would soon be staffed and I might be considered for that.

One last note. The show directly one floor below B&^#$@!5 was none other than Aaron Sorkin’s The Newsroom! Alas, Sorkin wasn’t there. Dexter is also done at this studio. But I don’t know if they film there or just produce it.
Come back tomorrow (or the next day) for the Accident.

-Jack Out

 
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Posted by on September 14, 2012 in By Jack, Writing

 

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Separate Ways and New Beginnings — By Mack, Jack, and Jill

Well Jack and Jill moved out. Jack went off to LA and Jill went back to Seattle. Finding new roommates is gonna blow.

TV writing just isn’t happening in New York

New York was just too much for me. I just got sick of it all.  

Take this one guy. He asks me what times of the day am I going to be present? Present? What the hell does that mean?

I ended up finding a nice place in Burbank. For about $100 bucks more than what I was paying in New York, I get a one bedroom with dishwasher, air conditioning, parking space, closet space up the ying yang, and a garbage disposal.

I’ll be living with my parents for a while. That is going to suuuuuck.  My mom will not stop offering advice. “Maybe you and your sister should team up. You like to draw and she likes to do that web stuff. Maybe you could make the next Facebook?” 

Honestly I wish I could swing the bill for the entire place and live alone. Half the time I figure, “why live in Manhattan? It’s cheaper in Brooklyn.” Then the L train goes down for the weekend and I remember why. 

I’ll miss walking everywhere and reading. My Kindle + the subway = heaven. Audio books in traffic just doesn’t cut it.

It’ll be good to see my friends again. Candice and Sherine still work at the Starbucks. And Martin is getting married soon. New York sucked for friendships. Everyone was always so super busy. 

Nothing beats living next to Central Park. Maybe I’ll get a dog. Jack was allergic. A Welsh Corgi? Maybe a Shiba Inu? Great way to start conversations with the ladies. 😉 

Now that I’m here, it’s time to get serious. I gotta break into this this industry or die trying. I just have no idea how I’m going to do it.

Leaving New York…I feel well…defeated. Like, I couldn’t make it against the big and the bad. 

I knew Jill wasn’t going to make it. She’s such a complainer. Doesn’t know how to enjoy life and let the stupid shit go. 

New city, new car, new diet, new outlook. I think I’m going to be okay. Once I find a job, I’ll be great. Hell, I’ve already lost 10 pounds. Maybe there’s something to this Saturn Return.

I’m so depressed.

Who needs them?

I feel like I can take on the world!

 

– Big Mack Attack

– Jack Out

-What the hell am I going to do?

 

 
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Posted by on September 3, 2012 in By Jack, By Jill, By Mack

 

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And now the thrilling conclusion…Quantum Entropy! – By Mack

The conclusion.

Soooo…this post is about a month and a half over due. Whoops. But better late than never, right? For those who don’t remember you can catch up with the preceding saga here (1) and here (2). Otherwise shorter synopsis: cool, smart, and sexy dorky girl (who we will call Quantum Entropy) I had a connection with and was dating.  However there was a faint hint of of something being “a little off.”

When planning a second date, dinner and drinks simply won’t do. It usually calls for something to wow her, or at least inspire fun. Normally I’d have to rack my brain, but with Quantum, I had the comfort to take it easy. We ended up at an improv show a friend of mine works for. I found myself up on stage giving suggestion to the actors. Some of my suggestions  were so out there one of them stopped and said “really?” I tried to get Quantum to go volunteer (by grabbing her hand and raising it myself) but she punched my arm and playfully called me an ass.

Laughter may not actually be the best medicine, I’m pretty sure it’s an aphrodisiac as we were all over each other at the bar.  About a half a dozen drinks later, we’re stumbling around the streets of New York looking for a Boar’s Head deli. I swear it was the only mile in Manhattan without one. We ended up in a Walgreens for a bottle of water when we passed some inflatable lawn furniture. Quantum chimed in with, “You know there are people who are into balloons. Like for sex.” To which I snapped back, “They’re called ‘looners.’ It’s a fetish.” She gave me a perplexed look. “You’re not into that are you?”

I should have said no. I’m not into balloons or any other kinky fetishes.  But there was something that stuck out to me. Maybe it was a suspicion of a closed mindedness I wanted to challenge. Maybe it was the tone in her voice, the implied condescension. Maybe it was the look on her face of perturbed dissatisfaction. I didn’t think she was unattractive at all, but in that moment she was. So I replied, “What if I was?

“I don’t think I could date you,” she retorted.  I just laughed it off.  But I don’t think I ever answered her.

We ended up going back to her place but upon entering the apartment she warned me that her roommate was a little “weird.” The plump (but not fat) middle aged man, named Dirk, sat at his dinner table with a look of dissatisfaction. I tried, in my own charming manner, to engage him. I’m usually pretty good at winning people over, even the socially inept. He just stared at me and answered my questions with short single syllable responses. “Yes,” “no,” and the dismissive”huh.” Quantum grabbed me, ushering me into her room.

“Dirk can be a little creepy, but the rent is cheap.”

“And I’m sure he doesn’t charge extra for watching you as you sleep.” My joke didn’t go over well as she gave me a terrified look. “I’m kidding.”

“I think he might have cameras in here.” With this phrase I’d normally start to question the sanity of my present company. But the Dirk really was creepy. “Let’s get out of here” she suggested.  We took a cab back to my place, eating our sandwiches during the ride. Quantum gave me excuses why she was still rooming with the guy. Being a full time student doesn’t leave much time for work and living in Chelsea isn’t cheap. But anyway you slice it, creepy crazy roommate was a mood killer.

Back at my place we got back into it, but there was something askew.  Maybe it was the fetish comment, maybe it was my suspicions of her paranoia, and maybe the thought of Dirk possibly scheming of ways to kill me and collect my pubic hair. Whatever it was, we both couldn’t get lost in the moment. Suddenly Quantum chimed in, “You know what would be fun?” She pulled out a prescription pill bottle.  “I don’t think I need any Viagra.”

“No, it’s an Ambien. It’s more fun that way.”

“I’m still pretty drunk. Is that safe?”

“It makes it better.”

My powers of deduction and reasoning were greatly diminished at that point. I think we had already each done a shot when we got into my room. But I decided what the hell, down the hatch. And for a good bit it was fun…and then I woke up. As you can guess much of the night is fuzzy. So I don’t remember what I said to Quantum as she was getting dressed to sneak out my door. So the rest of this is pretty much me guessing what we said to each other.

“Where are you going?”

“I think…I think I’m going to go home.”

“What? Why? I was hoping to wake up next to you.”

“I’m not really a cuddler.”

“Are you sure you’re going to be alright? You had an Ambien too.”

“I’ll be fine. I have them like every night.”

“Umm…okay…”

Had I not been super dugged/drunk, I would have been more insistent about her staying. I wouldn’t have been good to go home. Granted I wouldn’t have made her sleep with me if she wasn’t comfortable (I could always take the couch.) I don’t see how should could have made it home safe. Especially with Dirk probably waiting for her. But there’s only so much I could do in that state and holding my head up wasn’t one of them. Quantum walked out of my apartment and out of my life. I think we may have had one superficial text conversation after that. But otherwise that well had dried up.

To start anew.

–Big Mack Attack.  o_O*

 
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Posted by on August 10, 2012 in By Mack, Dating

 

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That was good, this was better. –By Jill

20120729-121602.jpg

I guess I’m on some sort of luck streak. I thought the garbage bag of was a freakin’ God sent, that’s nothing compared to what happened at JFK. (I’m flying home to Seattle to see some wonderful friends.)

As I wait through the gargantuan security line ahead of me there seems to be an express line which is only available to people who waited to arrive at the airport 2 minutes before their plane started boarding. I got to JFK mega crazy early. I don’t miss plane flights and am content playing my 3DS for hours at the gate. But my fellow passengers aren’t so content seeing foreigners in broken English plead with the TSA agent that they’re going to miss their flight. Tensions rise and for some reason a 10 year-old throws up.

Eventually one of the TSA agents cave (something I’ve never seen) and switches one of the two check points over to the express line. Meaning that gargantuan line I’m in now only has one person processing boarding passes. I continue to watch tension around me approach a boiling point. The newly cordoned off check point finally lightens the load leaving my line still congested but an otherwise unused station for metal detector preparation wide open.

Maybe it was my relaxed demeanor (brought on by that bottle of wine I finished before my shuttle) or just my cute smile, but I politely asked the TSA agent if it mattered which metal detector line I went though. He unclasped the elastic barrier and ushered me into the empty line. Booya!

But it didn’t stop there. Flash forward a few hours. I’m in my row 28 C seat (that’s back of the plane by the bathroom/aisle seat) when the drink cart pulls out. Now my favorite drink in the world is club soda/seltzer and for some reason air plane drink carts tend to have only 2 the whole flight. So by the time they get to me I’m S.O.L. With the cart pushed all the way passed me to the front of the cabin, one of the flight attendants, (middle aged, but not yet bitter by old age, she could have been my 3rd grade teacher) walks to the back towards me. I grab her attention and ask her if she’d save me one of the limited club sodas. I know she heard me, but this request seemed to be out of her realm of possibility. She doesn’t respond so much, as she turns away and returns to the cart.

I figure “oh well” and return to my Kindle. About 2 minutes later, she comes back with a full can of club soda and a cup of ice. I feel guilty as the looks of the other passengers glare at me (the drink cart is still about a dozen rows ahead of us).

When the drink cart finally does get to us. Said same flight attendant inquires to my English limited row mates about what condiments they’d like in their coffee/tea. After that debacle of misunderstanding, I ask how much one of the liquor bottles are. Her reply, “how many do you want?” She and I exchange a spark of a glance. I’m about to become a partner in crime and I have no idea why. I simply respond “Two. Jack,” and she slips two bottles of Jack Daniels into my front seat pocket and moves on. “Let me know if you need ice or some more later.” She winks and moves on and I’m dumbfounded.

I’ve had guys buy me drinks and honestly I’ve never felt guilty not even talking to them afterwards. It’s their job to charm or whatever me. If I’m not in the mood to put up with their pick up shit, that’s their sleazy fault. But this…I was confused. What did she want? Did she like me? Was she just being nice? Is the cosmic balance of the universe simply rewarding me for putting up with a year of shit in New York? Or did she want something? I’m sure many guys have lesbian stewardess fantasies and even a few girls like myself. But I’m not the type.

In the end I figured fuck it. If she liked me, let her make her case. There was always the thank you but no thank you, response. I was going to just leave the bottles in the seat pocket, but then I figured if someone found it she might get in trouble. I took them with me and so far on this awesome Seattle trip they’re still in my bag. As for the somewhat sexy cougar lesbian flight attendant? I simply got a wink and an enjoy your stay on the way out.

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Posted by on July 29, 2012 in By Jill

 

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All I wanna do is to thank you even though I don’t know who you are…–By Jill

So wet. And not the good kind.

The other day it poured rain like a mother fucker. And not just any old mother fucker, but a mother fucker awakened by a rape horn at 4 in the morning.   If the metaphor is lost on you, I’m saying it rained really hard. Hail in some parts of the city, but thunder and lightening throughout. And of course it’s the one day I don’t have my umbrella because I left it at the bar last night.

As I creep out of the subway tunnel, hoping over puddles already pooling on the stairs, a crowd of stranded subway commuters awaits me at the entrance.  They stare at the sky hoping for reprieve while I’m wondering if the rain will seep though my bag and ruin my iPad if I run three blocks. A woman sitting on the floor among the captives intermittently shakes her cup of change like heavy maraca. Da-du-DAH, Da-du-DAH. I give her what change I have to which she responds with a polite “Thank ya kindly, and God bless.”

The instant she finishes her blessing, a man shuffles down the stairs with a garbage bag for protection. He disrobes his disposable poncho, gives me one look and says, “You want this?” “Damn, skippy. ” I reply (I’ve become very fond of that phrase) then take out my wallet and give the maraca lady another buck. I thank the gentleman and head on home looking like white trash (literally).

As I navigate the drenched streets through a severely limited peripheral vision, three things strike me. 1) This is what Harry Potter must feel like when he wears the Cloak of Invisibility. 2) I’ve never had the sensation of getting wet, i.e. pelted with rain, without actually getting wet. It’s sorta trippy. And finally 3) I would have Geggy Tah’s Whoever You Are stuck in my head the rest of the day. Granted I wasn’t driving, but I think the spirit hold true.

–Damn Skippy!

 
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Posted by on July 20, 2012 in By Jill

 

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In spite of itself. –By Mack

It’s 3am when my phone wakes me up with the ringtone…

Your skin, oh yea your skin and bones
turn into something beautiful
D’you know , you know I love you so.

A dangerous precedent has been set. This phone call makes me think I have access to something, or that I am something to someone that no one else is. And even though I know it won’t last. This phone call makes me believe something lost might grow back in spite of itself.

It’s been months since this scenario.  I promise I’ll write Qunatum Entropy part three soon. But I felt the need to express a certain sentiment that struck me.

We’ll call her Yellow. Not because of any distinguishing characteristic or fondness for a certain colored clothing, but simply because when I was with her Coldplay’s song Yellow would play over and over in my head. Not the whole song, just the stanza quoted above. I learned long ago to trust the songs in my head. A girl broke up with me in college and the whole day before she did it Death Cab’s I Was a Kaleidoscope was on continuous repeat. Back to Yellow. I trimmed that part of the song for her ringtone. Obviously things didn’t work out and we went out separate ways. But we had grown close enough that a clean break wasn’t going to happen. We dabbled in that residual lingering friendship and when crisis happened, I was there for her.

That’s when the 3am phone calls started. She would always apologize for them later, but to be honest I really miss them. I miss being woken up by Chris Martin’s voice cracking like prepubescent teenager. I’d listen to that ringtone for almost the entire 20 second cut every time. Then I’d answer and hear that half apologetic but longing voice. I was something someone very beautiful inside and out needed. It felt good. Sadistic. But good.

Though I haven’t thought about Yellow terribly much recently I did lose my phone yesterday. Our pictures, her number, that perfectly trimmed ringtone. And of course the backlog of text message. Gone.  It’s probably for the best, in the spirit of moving on and such. But I had always hoped I’d get one more 3am serenade.

–Big Mack Attack

 
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Posted by on July 18, 2012 in By Mack, Dating

 

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Not so Amazing Spider-Man — By Jack

Once a generation a Spider – Man is rebooted.

It’s a shame our cinema blockbusters have come to this. The mass rebooting of franchises and poor ones at that.  The newest victim Spider-Man–

That’s it! I’m not letting your poo-poo another awesome summer movie. First Prometheus, then Ted, which was freakin’ hilarious! Now–
This is my blog post, Jill. Why don’t you bitch about the subway or something?

It’s coming. And I can’t have you crap over every fun action film. No one’s trying to win an Oscar this season! Are we really doing this? You’re going to argue with me as I review Amazing Spider-Man?

Damn skippy!

***Word of warning – this is no longer a review, Jill and Jack are going to bitch about this movie with the assumption you’ve seen the film. MAJOR SPOILERS!***
Shut up Mack! Go write about Quantum Entropy!

Okay…let’s start again. Throwing out the baby with the bathwater this reboot–Looks amazing. From the first person web slinging, to the darkness of Manhattan at night–
Yes it looks good. The action is fast. This Spider-Man is lankier than the Tobey Maguire Spider-Man which is true to the comic.  But let’s talk about the plot–

Okaaaay. Peter Parker is a bullied and likes Gwen Stacy. He gets bitten by a genetic spider. Becomes Spider-Man. Bada-bing! Bada-boom web-slinging action! But this movie is desperately trying to follow the Christopher Nolan-make-a-dark-and-compelling-superhero-story-so-we-can-be-taken-seriously approach. It casts Sally Field and Martin Sheen in the smaller parts (ala Michael Caine and Morgan Freeman.) Even its opening screams Batman Begins. Hell, I thought little Peter Parker was going to fall down a well and get covered in spiders. 

So? What’s wrong with that? It doesn’t pull it off. It has plot holes you can drive a truck through (Spider-Man just gives up looking for the guy who killed Uncle Ben)  and forced emotional moments that make you want to laugh. (cough cough the construction crane scene, anyone?) 

They’re just so good together.

Those didn’t bother me. I got to see a romance blossom that was miles deeper than anything Tobey Maguire and Kirsten Dunst were ever capable of having. Jesus, did Peter have to reveal his identity to everyone in the film? We’ve seen three movies of Peter Parker keeping his identity secret. It really struck me to see him come to Gwen’s window, bruised and beaten, to be cradled in her arms. Andrew Garfield and Emma Stone had great chemistry. They’re dating you know. Duh!

So many elements just felt left out there waiting be developed but instead were forgotten while other moments felt forced. The lizard cops, Ben’s killer, the true nature of how Peter got his powers. Hell, even the tower falling from the top of Oscorp felt superfluous. Once again! Summer action film! If you want to see character development go see Moonrise Kingdom.

There is an important distinction between action sequences and explosions for the sake of explosions. One moment that did work for me was when Spider-Man was on the bridge, webbing the cars to stop them from falling. He finds the one kid trapped in the car and goes to pull him out before the car infernos. You’re really going to use inferno as a verb? The point is in that scene, Spider-Man’s holding the car with one hand, the webbing with the other and doing everything thing he can to get the kid to climb. He’s being pushed to his super hero limits and he still might fail. That what I want to see in my summer action sequences. Not a giant skyscraper antenna falling after the villain of the film has been defeated which it doesn’t affecting anything except to give the unsuccessful justification of the  3D glasses upcharge.  

I thought that was awesome. Except that I saw it in the trailer a dozen times. Okay, point blank question; were you bored?
 
No. But counter point blank. Were you satisfied?
Sure.
Really? The way you were with The Dark Knight, The Crow, and The Incredibles?
Yes. Yes I was.
I can’t believe that. 

Maybe it’s because I’m a Spider-Man fan and have been since I was 4. The movie just got what I’ve always loved about him so much more than the Sam Raimi films did. The web-shooters, the wise-cracking, and of course the sewer scene.  This was a film for Spider-Fans. 

Okay this was pretty cool.

We’ll just have to agree to disagree. I don’t agree with that.

Addendum: Jack, Jill, and I all agree, The Amazing Spider-Man has the best Stan Lee cameo ever. Period. 

This isn’t the cameo.

 

 
 

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Jack reviews Ted — by well…uh…Jack.

But teddy bears are wholesome!!

Should you see Seth MacFarlane’s new comedy Ted about a crude lecherous but lovable teddy bear come to life? Chances are you’ve already decided. If you like Family Guy and all of MacFarlane’s spin offs you’re going to laugh and have a fun time. If you don’t, you won’t like this movie.

Now for a more thorough opinion. I think Seth MacFarlane is funny. He makes jokes about things many of  us are thinking and does so through crude and clever ways. Often times it’s based around pop culture from the 1980’s, but I’m 28 and so works for me. Can he cross the line and rely on stereotype, becoming both tired and offensive? Absolutely. And sometimes it’s obvious his scrips are too short and he resorts to filler. But all in all I’m probably going to laugh when I watch him.

Ha ha…I have so much money now.

Is Seth MacFarlane a talented story teller? Not so much. His plots are vessels for his jokes. And that is very true with Ted.   It doesn’t take a genius to take one look at the poster and guess the plot.  John Bennett (Mark Wahlberg) wished for a living teddy bear as a boy and hot damn it came true. Now an adult, John and Ted are still best buds. Ted (voiced by Seth MacFarlane) is crude but lovable. John’s long time girlfriend Lori (Mila Kunis) thinks he needs to grow up which requires saying goodbye to Ted.  And let’s throw in a crazy guy(Giovanni Ribisi) who wants to kidnap the bear so we can have a chase scene.  Oh and Community’s Joel McHale shows up as the douche bag that wants to bang Mila Kunis. He has one good line.

The question is does the comedy work? For the most part, yes. The opening is hilarious. The humor mostly hits throughout the middle. Occasionally, I was actually sick of the jokes and wanted the damn thing to move forward.  But the ending really sags. It’s both predictable and tiresome.   Ted is essentially Peter Griffin (there’s a crack about this in the film.) When he’s on screen you’re gonna laugh. I’ll hand it to the script for making the girlfriend, Lori, actually likable. She puts up with a lot of John’s crap before she lays down the Ted or me ultimatum.

But my question is why Mark Wahlberg? He’s not very funny. He doesn’t pull off the every man particularly well. There’s this feeling of “I’m love this walking teddy bear, I do this infantile shit, and I’m obsessed with Flash Gordon because the script tells me to.” I just don’t buy him. The character of John (not Wahlberg’s fault) fucks up his life so many times, it’s pretty hard to stay with him by the end.

All in all I mostly had a smile on my face. $13 bucks to see it in the theater? I didn’t smile that much. It probably be better to wait for the DVD, get drunk or stoned with a group of your friends and pass out before the end.

 

 

 

 

 

 

–Jack Out

 
 

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