Prisoners Lives In The Gray

The Wolverine will tear off your fucking face if you mess with his kids.

A couple of days ago I watched Admission for the first time. I know right. The worst. But this chick I was trying to bang suggested we rent it and my penis will sit through anything if it’s getting blown at the end. Anyway, spoiler alert, Admission is about Tina Fey trying to find her son she put up for adoption years earlier. After a few long, uninspired hours the film ends with the son deciding she doesn’t want to meet Tina Fey. Roll Credits.

My broad was all upset by this. I asked her why and she responded, “Well, I’ll never know if she gets to meet her son. It would have been better if the film ended with the son dying. Then I’d know for sure everything was over.”

I then replied, “But that wasn’t the point of the film. If they killed off the son they would have had to tack on another thirty minutes to tie everything up. The whole moral is designed to be ambiguous.”

To which she shot back, “Well that’s stupid.”

The ambiguous narrative ain’t for everyone. I get it. But I tend to eat these stories up. There’s a lot of gray in the world and sometimes answers don’t come so easy. And they sure as hell aren’t wrapped up in two hours like most movies. So, it’s with that love of ambiguity, that I quite liked Prisoners. But, be warned, you won’t find things easily compartmentalized.

Prisoners stars The Wolverine and the Pimp from Hustle and Flow. Their daughters disappear. And The Wolverine is all like, “RAAAWAEEERRRRR FUCKING RAWWWWRRRRR I’M GONNA KILL THE BITCH THAT KIDNAPPED MY GIRL!!!!” So he sets Donnie Darko on the case but Darko is a slow son of a bitch so The Wolverine goes, “FUCK YOU DARKO I’M GONNA BEAT THE GUY THAT STOLE MY PRINCESS!!! RAWWWWRRRR!!!!!”

There’s a lot of meat to chew on here. Meat that, with a lesser director and cast, could have fallen by the wayside and made Prisoners a paint by number thriller. And, in a lot of cases, it is fairly straight forward. If you’ve seen an episode of SVU, you can probably anticipate the narrative beats. But, unlike SVU, Prisoners does a really good job showing what crimes actually do to victims. We get to see The Wolverine hit the bottle a little too hard. His wife shuts down completely. And we don’t really begrudge them when they decide to take matters into their own hands.

Yet they’re never portrayed as heroes. Lord no, they’re real and flawed and probably have years of therapy to deal with following the events of the film. That’s where Prisoners succeeds. The bad guys are never quite purely evil. And the good guys don’t wear white.

So, if that’s you’re cup of tea, go for it. It’s a dour and sturdy flick that shouldn’t have gotten made by a big studio in this day and age. Main stream movies like this need more attention so hopefully Hollywood will stop making Pirates of The Caribbean 20. But, be warned, there’s nothing but gray at the end of this tunnel.

Grade: B+

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Riddick Ignores Basic Three Act Structure And Bangs Lesbians

He has a magical penis, people!!!! One that makes even Lesbians all hot and bothered!!!!

A couple of dudefriendbros asked me why I always compare film to sex in my reviews. They don’t see the logical connections between pounding a nice ripe ass and an hour or two narrative. It’s simple. First, I’m a dude, bro, I like to fuck so I equate fucking to most things in life. But second, and more importantly, good sex rolls out exactly like a story. Bad sex, well, bad sex is all over the place and ends up making you question reality. Like Riddick. Riddick plays out exactly like shitty sex.

Riddick is about this space alien with cool eyes who used to be cool two movies ago. Now he’s kind of a joke. He just sits around with one facial expression and doesn’t really do anything all that awesome. But people want him dead anyway. So he has to fight them and other aliens.

It sounds way more exciting than it is. And, yes, there are nuggets of good ideas here in the film. Little scenes that pop or maybe an awesomely violent death that make you pray against all odds that the film will somehow do better, become more. Because this is a passion project for 2 Bald And Furious Guy. He put a lot of his money on the line to make this stinker and it doesn’t show. And I mainly blame the writers for ignoring simple rules of writing.

All right, so most stories, simple ones, more good ones than bad, follow the simple three act structure. There’s a beginning that houses most of the exposition and lays groundwork for the stakes of the story. There’s a middle that raises those stakes to an inevitable conclusion. And then there’s the end that contains the climax and falling action of said stakes.

Now, this isn’t just the pervert in me, but that sounds a lot like sex. When I fuck a broad there is a definite beginning, middle, and end. I’m telling that bitch a night time story she’ll remember for the rest of her life. Good movies will stick like that too. But Riddick doesn’t have three acts. It has three stories that are loosely tied together but never quite gel.

The first third is Riddick stuck on a planet, trying to survive, finding a loyal alien dog to hunt with. It’s alright, if it lead somewhere important, but it gets ignored pretty quickly and, thus, lags on far too long.

Then these hunters come to kill Riddick. This is the best act of the film, the one where I felt things might be looking up. There are some pretty rad deaths. And actual dialogue. And Starbuck shows up too. But then everything cool here goes down the drain once the third act starts and Riddick becomes nothing more than a Pitch Black rip off. There’s even some weird section where Riddick pointlessly turns a lesbian straight. It’s a fucking mess.

Look, I get it, Pitch Black ruled and the Chronicles Of Riddick sucked. But that doesn’t mean you have to create Pitch Black with new aliens. It’s worse than lazy. It’s offensive and boring, like bad sex. I don’t tolerate bad sex and I sure as shit won’t tolerate Riddick films anymore.

Grade: F+-++–

Blue Jasmine Vs The World’s End And Unlikable Characters

He’s a douche bag. But you’ll still like him.

“Say what?!?” You might find yourself saying as you realize I’m about to compare and contrast Blue Jasmine and The World’s End.

“Dudebro, you beautiful Son of a Bitch,” You’ll say. “Those films have nothing in common. One is a character study set around the financial collapse of rich white people and the other is a fast paced action comedy with aliens. Clearly, there’s nothing similar about the two.”

To which I’d say, “Shut your fucking mouth, you dirty whore. I can compare any fucking film I want at any fucking time. And, you know what, you smell bad. And I hate your lazy eye. And the two films have incredibly similar character arcs. So. Yeah. Shut it.”

Now, Blue Jasmine is Woody Allen’s new flick. It’s getting a lot of buzz because he’s Woody Allen and the acting in the film is damn sharp. It’s all about this rich bitch named Jasmine who becomes poor because she married an asshole on Wall street. So then she basically drinks the rest of the film and feels sorry for herself.

The World’s End, conversely, is Edgar Write’s new opus. And it, unlike Blue Jasmine, lives up to the hype. This one is about Drunken Shawn of the Dead feeling sorry for himself because he’s not as cool as he used to be. So he rounds up his buddies and they all go out drinking with some aliens. The aliens get pissed. People end up dead. It’s pretty damn fun.

At first blush, sure, you’re right. There’s nothing alike about these films. Until you watch the main characters. Jasmine is a drunken asshole who dreams of better times. She whines. Drinks. Whines some more. Before finally acting like a crazy person. Drunken Shawn of the Dead is also a drunken asshole. He also dreams of betters times. He even whines before drinking. Then drinks some more.

They are, on a basic level, blueprints for an unlikable lead, characters we’re not especially supposed to root for, but enjoy none the less. Tony Soprano is a great example of this character-type. That guy was a fucking cunt. Yet, for some reason, mostly because of his complex portrayal, we ended up liking the guy despite his failings. I love unlikable characters. They’re fun and engaging as they are frustrating. But, at the end of the day, Blue Jasmine fails where The World’s Ends soars. Why?

Simple, Blue Jasmine never once makes Jasmine a complex or layer person. She’s just this sad, angry, worthless woman who never does anything to gain our sympathy. Every malady that befalls her is, not only of her own choice, but completely deserved.

Drunken Shawn of the Dead is just as big of a dick. But there’s a soft center to him that makes him worth cheering for. He’s like the fuck up friend you had in high school. He’s gone nowhere but he could, and you’d like to see him succeed. That’s exactly how The World’s End becomes more compelling than Blue Jasmine.

Because, again, I’m not saying all characters need to be likable. I’m arguing that, if there isn’t enough complexity to the unlikable, it’s gonna be a tough slog getting the audience to enjoy your film. It’s strange too because Woody Allen has made tons of interesting unlikable characters. This time, however, he kind of phoned it in and made his lead a fucking black hole of sympathy.

The World’s End: A-

Blue Jasmine: C+

You’re Next Quickie

Dude, Kevin is gonna fuck you’re shit up. Be warned.

Nostalgia is a powerful thing. For instance, I grew up addicted to Home Alone. I watched that fucking movie so many times I wore out the VHS tape. Yes, I’m that old. And, also yes, you can go fuck yourself. Any-who, I decided to re-watch that bitch the other day. Didn’t. Hold. Up. It’s just a fucking mess of clichés and easy gags. And I found myself thinking, “Dude, they should update this for adults now. Throw in some excessive violence. Maybe a tit or two. And blood. Lots and lots of blood.” And, guess what, the Gods of Hollywood heard my prayer and sent me You’re Next.

So, yeah, no real reason to get too detailed. As the last paragraph states, You’re Next is basically the most violent and radical Home Alone ripoff but instead of a precocious little boy the lead is this bad ass chick with an accent. She’s rad and knows how to murder a shit ton of dudes.

One of the many reasons I get major wood for horror is because it is a fairly egalitarian genre. Man. Woman. It doesn’t really matter. If they don’t have the skills to survive, they’ll die. You’re Next is a prime example. One by one people get picked off simply because they don’t know what the fuck they’re actually doing in a horror situation.

But the lead chick, man, she’s something else. She sets up booby traps and shit. Violent ones with axes and nails and shit. And, boom, she let’s shit rip. It’s a nice little twist on the old horror genre and it’s fucking fun as shit to watch.

Grade: B+