Archive for the 4/10 and below Category

Major League (Ward, 1989)

Posted in 1980s, 4/10 and below on January 31, 2014 by chrisfilm

Major League (David S. Ward, 1989)

Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their toil.  –Ecclesiastes 4:9

A group of co-workers have been begging me to watch this since we are all baseball fans. I now consider none of them actual baseball fans or even friends. Like most sports movies, this is an embarrassment to the actual sport. This features actors whose execution of the game looks like a bunch of little leaguers, basic misunderstandings of the way the sport actually works, and an awful underdog storyline. Not to mention it’s just another comedy using walking clichés as characters in place of realistic humans with traits and mannerisms that are naturally funny. It doesn’t work as an all out spoof. (Entirely too much of this is to be taken seriously.) And it’s obviously not trying to be a subtle comedy. It’s just a mess in every way imaginable.  3.25/10

majorleague

Elysium (Blomkamp, 2013)

Posted in 2010s, 4/10 and below on January 7, 2014 by chrisfilm

Elysium (Neill Blomkamp, 2013)

Indeed, there is not a righteous man on earth who continually does good and may not sin.  –Ecclesiastes 7:20

There is a lot wrong with this movie. Outside of its blatant attempt to cartoonishly demonize a sect of our society (while inadvertently demonizing another sect they were attempting to victimize), it’s just not in any way a quality science fiction film. It takes itself entirely too seriously which leads to endless amounts of story format clichés and weak production levels. The protagonist if flawlessly good with zero depth or growth. The two antagonists are recklessly evil even when it makes no sense that they be such. Really, the whole movie is divided distinctly into good guys and bad guys which is never good. And, of course, there’s way too much bland CGI; nothing bold or unique. Just a ridiculously dull and uninspired movie.  3.5/10

elysium

The Counselor (R. Scott, 2013)

Posted in 2010s, 4/10 and below on October 31, 2013 by chrisfilm

The Counselor (Ridley Scott, 2013)

For the wages of sin is death  –Romans 6:23a

What a dumb movie. Cormac McCarthy needs to stick to writing novels and letting screenplay writers adapt them to movies. Or something. He must have been so impressed with himself over the success of No Country for Old Men and its ending that he wanted a film of several of those pseudo-intellectual monologues thrown together with no vision or purpose. Almost every one of them feels flat and forced here. And, while usually I’m not all that concerned with whether a film has all of its plot points lined up perfectly, I was unimpressed how completely unbelievable so many of these events were, not to mention the numerous tangents – most of which lacked any substance. There were some nice images and Michael Fassbender is impressive as always, but this was mostly a trainwreck.  3.75/10

the counselor

The Numbers Station (Barfoed, 2013)

Posted in 2010s, 4/10 and below on June 17, 2013 by chrisfilm

This review contains spoilers.

The Numbers Station (Kasper Barfoed, 2013)

When we looked this movie up, I thought it said it was 129 minutes. So when we reached the 1 hour, 25 minute mark and the bulk of the action looked to be resolved, I was excited. Sure, what happened prior was a rather dull and emotionless (besides some terrible falsely sentimental flashbacks) attempt at a claustrophobic thriller. But with the main conflict resolved, Cusack having already looked the bad guy in the eye and taken him down as one final twist, and our two protagonists recovering in the hospital, what, my mind wondered, will happen in these last 45 minutes? Are the two going to run away together, live off the grid, start a romance drenched in fear and anxiety of these awful events? Will they separate, both haunted in silence by their pasts with no real way to ever find each other again? I found myself intrigued. Then the credits rolled and my research led to the discovery that the movie was 1 hour 29 minutes, not 129 minutes. I was deflated; it turns out it was just a bad movie.  3.75/10

numbers station

Trouble with the Curve (Lorenz, 2012)

Posted in 2010s, 4/10 and below on March 6, 2013 by chrisfilm

Trouble with the Curve (Robert Lorenz, 2012)

This is an insult to baseball, an insult to romance, and an insult to parent/child relationships. I don’t know how they managed to inaccurately portray so many different aspects of life. A movie like this is everything that is wrong with the romantic comedy genre. Predictibility, a horrid level of false sentimentality, and poor attempts at deep dramatic revelations haunt this latest attempt at the sports/girlie-movie combo. And, oh, the disgusting treatment of the game of baseball and its operations is mind-boggling. I have to assume they didn’t bother putting a baseball consultant on staff. Basically, it felt like no one involved was even trying. Amy Adams is the lone bright spot, but I still have to question her sanity for willingly participating in this.  3/10

trouble with the curve

The Girl in the Café (Yates, 2005)

Posted in 2000s, 4/10 and below on March 7, 2012 by chrisfilm

This review contains spoilers.

The Girl in the Café (David Yates, 2005)

At the end of the film, Kelly Macdonald’s character admits to being in prison for hurting a man who killed a child. When asked if it was her child, she responds, “Does it matter whose child?” To me, this exchange summed up what a failure of a movie this was. It’s the punctuation on what was not a movie about people, but a movie about a filmmaker’s ideals. When I watch a movie about two lonely individuals who happen upon each other and start an interesting, well-constructed romance, I want to know about these people. But when a character whose most prominent personality trait is shyness starts randomly and repeatedly shouting facts about how many poor people die in a day (at a G-8 Summit, directed towards world leaders), any respect for the character as a person is gone. It’s now all about the message. What a terrible waste of a good setup, and a disgusting use of the film medium.  3/10

Contraband (Kormákur, 2012)

Posted in 2010s, 4/10 and below on February 14, 2012 by chrisfilm

Contraband (Baltasar Kormákur, 2012)

Yawn…I’ve seen this before, and I don’t even watch these kinds of movies normally. I can’t imagine how redundant this must have felt for an action movie aficionado. Many of the same tired clichés and plot holes that plague all other poorly written, plot driven heist movies are present here. The characters have zero layers, and as much as I hate gimmicky characters, someone with a tiny bit of personality would have at least been more interesting than what we got. Overall this would have teetered dangerously on the ‘worst movie I’ve seen in a long time’ edge if it wasn’t for a Michael Mann-esque opening with some decent nighttime shooting and an ambient soundtrack. Doesn’t last long, though, that’s for sure.  4.25/10