Cloud Atlas Reviewed Without Cursing By DudeMomBro

In the Future, Forrest Gump becomes an angry looking pimp.

(What up, Bitches? I got a nasty case of gonorrhea this week. (Thanks a lot Debbie.) So, while I get sauced off my meds, DudeMomBro is gonna step in and help me out with a Cloud Atlas Review. It won’t have as many dick or fart jokes. Anyway, I’ll be back and banging here soon, until then, please be nice to my beloved DudeMomBro.)

When DudeBro (Do I really have to call him that?) was little, I would take him to the museum on weekends. DudeBro (What about sweetie? Or Pumpkin? Or my special little guy?) never liked the Museum of Modern Art. “Mommy,” he’d say, “What is that? Why doesn’t it look like anything?” Children are very literal. They don’t understand that art can be beautiful in part because it shows you something new. Maybe the inside of another person’s mind. To paraphrase my favorite author, Stephen King, art is, at its best, a form of telepathy.

Since I see a lot of movies, maybe I get a little too excited to see something like nothing I’ve seen before. Most movies are pretty predictable, especially if they give you the abridged version in the trailer. As with the other kinds of art, beauty can come from the unexpected combination of things. I admire ambition. I admire people who try something new, even if it’s a failure. Ambitious failure is much more interesting than unambitious success. You might end up a stay-at-home mom with an art degree and a C-average breast-obessed son, but at least you tried.

Ambition is something Cloud Atlas has in excess. The film follows six different stories set in different periods of time, from the 1800s to a post-apocalyptic future. In fact, two are set in the future, which gives you the rare opportunity to see multiple sci-fi futures in one movie. There are a lot of good actors in the movie, so much so that some of them only get a few good scenes to show off, but the three most common faces are Forest Gump, Catwoman, and Agent Smith.

I don’t want to tell you too much more about the plot because it will ruin the surprise, but the film does a pretty good job of tying everything together. I went in concerned that the whole thing was going to be a huge mess and was pleasantly surprised at how well they integrated so many moving pieces into one coherent whole. There are times that they take shortcuts a simpler movie wouldn’t be able to get away with, but the framework allows them to lay different stories next to each other and show you things through comparison and contrast. Each story would work on its own, but it’s the combination that makes it special.

It must be fun to be an actor and get a role in a movie like this because it allows you to play several very different kinds of people instead of being pegged into one role. The one downside is that they need to use a lot of old person makeup on some of them, which is a little disconcerting. Also, the movie is a bit long, so you should take my advice and only get a small drink.

But go see it. You’ll be glad you tried it out, because the experience is worth the risk. You may not get another chance to step outside the ordinary anytime soon.

Grade: A-

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Paranormal Activity 4

Straight up: this scene isn’t even in the movie. You know how I know? It looks scary.

Straight up: I fucking loved the first Paranormal Activity. It gets a lot of heat for being too slow and subtle but I argue that was part of the charm. Instead of watching a ghost tear a couple apart, audiences kept waiting for a ghost to murder a couple. That’s the definition of tension, for fuck sake.

Plus it was filmed on a shoestring budget by a group people who were legitimately passionate about what they were filming. And it shows. Say whatever you want about the film’s slow pace but there was love all over that baby. Again, these are all things I heart with my peepee when it comes to films.

Then came part two, which sucked but took the story down a new path which seemed cool. The part three was released and it actually proved to be the best blend of the bunch: great tension and a kind of crazy plot.

Needless to say: my expectations were pretty fucking high for part 4 which, technically speaking, is the first official sequel in the series. Everything up until now has been a prequel. It was time for answers, damn it. It was time for this damn demon that’s been haunting camcorder obsessed households to let loose and murder some idiots.

Fuck, I’d even just accept some stupid answers!!! Instead my time got wasted for almost an entire hour and a half. Time I could have spent watching porn. Time I could have spent ballin’ some lady friends. Time I could have gotten blue balls hitting on sorority sisters with high standards!!!

So the film starts when Katie moves next door to a nice suburban family. And, because Katie is an evil possessed demon, who’s best friends with that evil invisible demon Toby, evil things start happening to the nice family.

And it should be rad. I love watching Katie and Toby mind fuck innocent people before killing them. Fun for the whole family, and by family, I mean adults who are capable of sitting through films with frightening content. Don’t be that dick who takes his kids to a horror film. That dude sucks.

But, seriously, nothing happens. They don’t do anything scary this time around. And worse, for the first legitimate sequel, the storyline progresses hardly even an inch.

If you’re not gonna fucking scare me, you better have an interesting story. Paranormal Activity 4 lacks both. TRUTH BOMB!!!! EXPLODING UP IN YOUR FACE NOW!!!!!!

Grade: D

Seven Psychopaths

Plus, you know, dog. Every film needs a dog.

I’ve long been under the belief that a large part of enjoyment of cinema rests with how closely a film’s aim meets the resulting expectation. Because every film is a contract. They promise something: make you laugh, make you cry, make you pop a boner, and sometimes, in boring talky independent films, they just promise to have to people sitting around talking for two hours.

And, believe it or not, from my unscientific polling of myself, most everyone hates a film that reneges on expectations. On those ground alone, I’m willing to turn my back on Seven Psychopaths. Yet, as frustrating as it is, there’s something deeply entertaining about this quirky little film.

The film centers on three buddies. One is trying to write a script. The other two kidnap dogs. The dog nappers end up stealing a gangsters dog and, basically, wacky shenanigans ensue. But, despite what the commercials say, it’s not the type of shenanigans you’re expecting.

Frankly, fucking spoiler alert and shit, everything that’s in the trailer is more or less in the first 40 minutes. After that, well, it’s a total, strange meta trip of a film that, frankly, I can’t quite pin down.

And, unlike other films that lie about their promises, Seven Psychopaths is so blisteringly, brazenly daffy and different that I can’t help but like it a little.

The film gets a lot of mileage out of the script writing premise. It’s a fun and strange concept that is used for all it’s worth. The type of film where a character says, “In my movie: this would happen.” And then, sure enough, that’s exactly what happens. It doesn’t circumvent expectations. It tells you them, point blank, and then makes you watch the results.

That’s… both awesome and horrible, which is why I’m not sure if I actually enjoyed myself. Because, yes, there’s a novel concept in such a straightforward narrative but tension lies in the unexpected.

Plus the dialogue thinks it’s way smarter than it actually is. Blah, I hate went dialogue exists in a stylized bubble. Just speak like normal fucking humans, damn it.

So, in a meandering nutshell, that’s what Seven Psychopaths is: fun, funny, frustrating, and a little bit too smart for it’s own good.

Grade: B-

Sinister

This is how hard you’ll scream in this movie.

Dudes, I’m writing this from my closet from my couch. I’m not trapped in it or anything, fuck R. Kelly. No, it just seems like the safest place in my house right now after watching Sinister.

I know, I know, I should be a fucking man. Go out there and kill some monsters or whatever. I don’t care right now. Sinister fucked my shit up didn’t scare me at all, man. Honestly, I haven’t had a flick freak me out so much since Blair Witch. Yet, interestingly enough, I’m not sure if it was a good movie, by technical standards. And, on the other hand, do I even give a shit if it fulfilled it’s job at scaring me?

Cause, pretty much every genre starts with a promise, the good ones at least. Action movies will pump you up. Romantic comedies will make you swoon. Comedies will make you laugh. And, hopefully, horror films will make you piss your pants. Sinister kind of throws out plot in favor of making you scared shitless mildly frightened, and I think I’m ok with that.

The movie is about a family that moves into a new house. Mr. Ex-Uma Thurman is the father who finds a bunch of tapes in the attic. The tapes are full of inventively violent murders. That’s pretty much it. I mean, sure, there’s the mystery of WHO or WHAT made the tapes. But pretty much it’s just Mr. Ex-Uma Thurman sitting in a room and watching people die.

That’s why I have to be a little, and I do mean very little, hard on the plot. Yes, I get it, the film is playing on the whole found footage fad that most horror films thrive on these days. It’s pretty clever but, ultimately, the film IS basically just a dude watching movies in a room.

But, fuck, those movies are freaky as shit, yo. Why the hell else would I be holed up in a closet  on my couch peeing my pants acting like a manly stud with six pack abs?

It’s almost like watching a haunted house. You know there’s no real redeeming qualities to it. But it still thrills you when a boogy-man jumps out at you and scares you shitless only slightly frightens you. You pay to be frightened. I didn’t walk in there to see Shakespeare.

And I feel like that’s what genre movies come down to: fulfill your promise and I won’t hate you. You’re a comedy? Make me laugh! You’re an action movie? Make me want to punch a hole in the wall with manly aggression, EEEEAARRRGGGGG!!!! A horror movie? Make me want to sneak into my mother’s bedroom be really manly like a boss.

Grade: A Not At All Frightened B

Frankenweenie

Go fuck yourself, Burton.

If I take one thing seriously, it’s being a DudeUncleBro. It’s a large task, ya know. Being an uncle. Making sure my nieces and nephews grow up to be ballers, not nerds. In many respects it’s a harder job than being a parent. Pfft, all parents have to worry about is homework and making sure they don’t die. I have to worry about important shit: when to show them Star Wars, making sure they don’t talk about their stamp collect, and knowing how to use monkey bars properly.

Big task, huge.

Part of the task is also screening movies before the LittleDudeBros, so I can make sure they don’t see shit like Madagascar. No, They gotta see cool shit, shit that means something. Cause, not to sound like a total pussy, but kids films should teach some kind of moral. I mean, what’s the fucking point if it’s not to fill their wee little heads with wee important thoughts. It is with this basis in mind that I’m ready to shit all over Frankenweenie.

Frankenweenieis about a kid whose dog dies. So he uses the power of science to bring him back to life. But his classmates are all

so they, like, use science to mutate their pets. And, because it’s a children’s movie, wacky shenanigans ensue.

But the problem is: there’s a scattershot theme of morals that just don’t jibe together. Morals like: pets are important, science is important, but, most of all, disobeying adults works out only if you’re nice.

First up: I love that there was a section of this film that promoted science. We need more scientists and most kiddie films only promote being an idiot musician. Fuck musicians, mathematicians and scientists are way cooler and won’t make you look like a loser at an American Idol tryout.

They should have stuck with that moral. BAM, kids grow up thinking science can do bad ass things like create a giant monster turtle. Instead, they give that moral up halfway though and just stuck with the idea that you can do horrible things as long as your good.

Seriously, that’s the main takeaway from this stupid movie. The main kid gets to disobey everyone and things magically work out just because he’s nice. Things don’t end up as well for his peers, who are all mean and all end up with hideous freaky pets that want to kill everyone. (Which, don’t get me wrong, I like watching anything that involves killing.)

But, eh, it just bothers me this little shit can play God, bring back his dog, and consequences only happen to people he knows. All because, according to the movie, he loves his dog. But that’s stupid too because his peers love their pets equally. See, the whole movie is a mess of ideas thrown at the wall like spaghetti.

Needless to say, I’m not taking my little nieces and nephews to this turd.

Grade: C-

Argo

Here are your plane tickets, sir. And, also, you were the bomb in Phantoms, yo.

Lohan doesn’t have a excuse now. She’s been bellyaching and crying for years now about how unfair she’s portrayed in the media. She’s not. But that’s beside the point. The point is: if Affleck can turn his career around, ANYONE can turn their career around.

Let’s turn back the clock to a simpler time: when Nickleback wasn’t on the radio and Chaz Bono was still a chick. Ah, such a wonderful time, unless you count Affleck movies. Those things blew. Daredevil? Please. Reindeer Games? ENJOYABLE ONLY WHEN I’M DRUNK, DAMN IT!!! Plus, he was banging J.Lo and whatnot. It was a very, very, bad time for the dude. I never would have imagined he would have rebounded. But, damn it, he went away for a couple years, took some small character roles, and, most of all, he directed some fine ass films including but not limited to Argo.

Argo is, for all intents and purposes, the next logical step in his career. It’s bigger, snappier, and more commercial friendly than either Gone Baby Gone and The Town. (Don’t take that as a knock against those films. Fuck that, Gone Baby Gone is easily one of my favorite films of last decade. It’s balls to the wall awesome.)

Argo is the true story of a bat shit insane plan to procure five Americans trapped in Iran in some decade other than the one we’re living in. Affleck shows up and is all, “We’re making a fucking pretend movie!!!” And American is like, “What the fuck?” And Iran is all like, “We gotta kill these infidels, yo.”

So, BAM, right there you got a shit ton of tension. And they just keep piling it on until, by the end, your ass is clenched so tight it actually hurts your glutes, yo. I’m sure there are some liberties taken but it works.

Most interesting is how Affleck lacks a specific style. That’s not a mean thing to say. It’s just a fact, each of his films have looked and felt remarkably different. I don’t know if he’s still trying to find his voice or the dude is merely content being an every-man-auteur.

In either regards: your move Lohan.

Grade: A-

Taken 2

He has a very special set of skills that pretty much include being an invulnerable super hero.

I knew the Die Hard franchise was dead during Die Hard 2: The Hard-iest Death That Ever Hardened. John McClain is inside an exploding airplane and the blast throws him what appears to be 7 stories into the air, and homeboy survives.

Fuck. That. Shit.

And I don’t mean that I can’t suspend my disbelief. Fuck, I love fucking super hero movies where dudes survive impossible things. What pissed me off about Die Hard was how quickly it turned on it’s central idea. Die Hard was never about a super hero. It was about an average dude fighting bad guys before his body completely gives up. Die Hard started sucking the second John McClain became capable of surviving anything. Taken 2 looks to be the start of Oscar Schindler’s take on Die Hard.

Because the first Taken was pretty surprising in it’s grounded approach. Oscar Schindler was just a crazy old man out to find his kidnapped daughter. It was a hard task that tried Oscar Schindler as a man. The tension existed because he was flying blind most of the film. Taken 2 does not have that tension. Schindler knows where every bad guy is, kills them, and then saves his family. Oh!! Yeah, spoiler alert, he saves his family. Like it was ever in doubt.

There’s a scene where, early on, after he’s been kidnapped, Oscar Schindler deduces his location based upon hearing waves and a barking dog.

It’s supposed to be a cool scene. The audience is supposed to be like, “HOLY FUCK STICKS!!!! That dude is able to find himself based solely on a dog’s bark!!!” But it has the opposite effect. Anyone with a brain will be like, “Wait, a barking dog, really? Is there only one dog in this city? Does Oscar Schindler know that dog? Does he go surfing with that dog too? Cause he seems pretty excited about being next to water too.”

He just knows too much. He knows exactly where the bad guys are, exactly where his ex-wife is, and how to save them all within a short period of time. It’s the opposite of tension. It’s boredom.

The entire film turns it’s back on everything that clicked in the first film. And that’s how sequels fail. They quickly, sometimes eagerly, forget everything that made the series popular in the first place. It’s a real shame too because I really like Oscar Schindler as an action star. Let’s hope Taken 3: The Third Taken-ing gives Schindler a bigger challenge.

Grade: D-

Pitch Perfect

Best scene of the fucking movie: BOOM!!!! Naked Chicks!!!

I think one of the most underrated genres in cinema is the Chicks Dancing Around genre. Wait, it’s not a genre, you say? Stop fucking lying. I’ve seen Bring It On, Dirty Dancing, Strictly Ballroom, and Flashdance, not mention Bring It On 1, 2, and 4. (I fucking refuse to live in a world where Bring It On 3 happened. IT DOESN’T EXIST DAMN IT!!!!)

Ok, ok, fine. Dancing movie aren’t exactly plentiful but I do love them. Hot broads gyrating all seductively and whatnot. It should actually be more of a thing. If the stupid fucking Hollywood suits weren’t so damn afraid of chicks, they would be. Instead they’re all like, “GASP!!! It’s a hot chick!!! Make sure she doesn’t talk much and looks good pining over a hot guy!!”

Pitch Perfect is one of the few smart-ish/fun chick flicks to slip past Hollywood’s misogynistic radar every couple of years. That’s not to say it’s amazing. It’s merely above average. But it’s so rare to see any film where chicks talk, act, and treat each other like equals, not threats. So it’s kind of a mixed bag.

The film centers on Anna Kendrick. (She’s not popular enough to use a fake name, but she’s getting there. That’s all that matters.) She’s a bad ass and you can tell because she has tattoos and wears black. GASP, a real rebel. She joins a ragtag a Capella group and wacky shenanigans ensue.

The thing about Pitch Perfect is: it’s not about the plot. You know it by heart. Good guys face opposition. Good guys work together. Good guys learn something about teamwork. Blah, blah, blah. It’s old hat. I get it.

The real entertainment shows up when chicks get to hang out and be funny together. It’s hot. Plus they dance and sing and shit, even hotter.

Cause, sometimes, in genre shows like this, it isn’t about the actual beats the narrative hits. It’s about how much it can make you care about characters while mining familiar tropes. Number one, in any story, always falls to how much you care about the characters involved.

And, it doesn’t make me feel like any less of a Dudebro to admit, Pitch perfect made me care about these broads.

Grade: B

Sleepwalk With Me Quickie

I’m telling ya, it’ll make you laugh, cry, and pop a boner.

Rare is the film that’s hilarious, heartfelt, and honest. (Fuck that’s a lot of h words.)

But, damn it, this film is. It’s one of the few “based on a true story” stories that I actually believe. It’s just so, so, raw. But in a great way. A way that’ll make you, hopefully, learn something.

I know, myself, I’ll never bang another random so long as I live.

Ha! Just fucking with you. I’ll probably just take a sleep study or something.

Grade: A-

Looper Review: FROM THE FUTURE!!!

“I’m gonna make sure John McClain, I mean me, dies hard, bitches!!!!” -3rd Rock Tommy looking like John McClain

True Story: I received this e-mail sometime during June of 2008, a couple of weeks after watching The Brothers Bloom. I thought it was full of shit but so far everything in it has come true, especially that part about Shanna’s herpes. Dodge a bullet there, bro.

Dear DudeBro,

What’s up you beautiful bastard? It’s you, from the future. No worries, you’re still as hot as a thousand suns and have abs like a depression era washer board. This isn’t about us. (Although you should totally watch out for Shanna, she defiantly has the herp.)

Wait, what? You don’t believe me? I need to fucking prove myself to the hottest, best fuck in the tri-state area? Fine, I’ll prove myself, but only because you’re fucking gorgeous. In the future Taco Bell tacos will use Doritos for taco shells and KFC sandwiches will use chicken instead of bread. Both are fucking rad but be careful, I don’t want you ruining that tight ass of yours. Oh, also, they REALLY like skinny jeans here. You’re gonna look like a chick but you gotta stay ahead of that fashion curve, bro.

I’m writing this because I know you’re about to give up on Rian Johnson. I know. The Brothers Bloom kinda sucks. Just as I know you got a raging man-boner for Johnson after Brick and you’re wondering if Bloom erases Brick. It doesn’t. But, even better, Johnson is going to direct this super rad film named Looper. You’re gonna fucking love it.

It’ll be hard to believe when I describe it but the plot involves 3rd Rock Tommy wearing makeup to look like John McClain. BECAUSE THEY’RE THE SAME DUDE!!!!! I know!!! Trippy, right? John McClain is all, “Fuck the future, it sucks. I’m gonna go back in time so I can ball more broads.” But 3rd Rock Tommy has to kill his older self to live. I KNOW!!!! You totally have a chubby reading this. I TOTALLY HAVE A CHUBBY WRITING THIS!!!

Because none of this would be nearly as radical without Johnson’s direction. He’s kind of a dark dude, that’s why the Brothers Bloom didn’t work. It was too cutesy for his nior-like sensibilities. Looper thrives on that dark shit while being WAY more audience friendly than Brick. This is, essentially, Johnson’s swing at the big leagues and, brother, he knocks it out of the park. He does this by employing one of the oldest tricks in a director’s playbook: giving the audience what they need instead of what they want.

You’re gonna hear a lot of your DudeFriendBros complaining about how it isn’t, “action oriented” and “has too many plot holes.” And, technically, they’re right. There isn’t THAT much action, but there’s enough to be entertained, tons of blood. Plus, yes, if you do think too hard about the time travel shit things start to unravel. But Looper isn’t about that. It’s a fucking glorious character study set to explosions.

I mean, it’s happening to you right now. Older DudeBro talking to Younger DudeBro, what would you say to me, yourself? What would I say to younger you/me? (Seriously, bro, Shanna has herpes.)

It’s a rich damn idea that gets plenty of exploration, along with another radical theme about killing Hitler. Seriously, Johnson is a great director. Don’t give up on the dude just because he made a single boring film.

And stay classy you beautiful mother fucker,

Future Dudebro.

Grade: Future A!