Wednesday, January 07, 2015

What I Watched in December

I wasn't able to go out to the theater a single time in December and that is not cool. I wanted to see several films in wide release but could not manage to make the time to go. Instead, on New Year's Eve, I agreed to rent THE INTERVIEW and see if Sony's hack cost them a triumph or saved them some embarrassment. Actually, I'm sure the film would have earned a butt-ton of money regardless of the silly controversy around its release but I would probably never have seen it - and I wish it had stayed unseen by my eyes! Oh, the pain!

First, I have to say that the Rogan/Franco comedies have been very hit or miss with me. PINEAPPLE EXPRESS was a stultifying bore but THIS IS THE END was very funny and surprising in its desire to provoke the audience. Sadly that desire to mess with the audience is put to bad use in this new film as the story is never more than a poorly thought out idea. What they have could have made a pretty good short film but at feature length the seams not only show they tear. The contrived plot mechanics are so perfunctorily staged ("Yeah- you're not a REAL journalist, bro!") that they might have been better off skipping the half-assed attempts to provide Rogan's character with motivation beyond fame and glory. And Franco's character is such a joke that I kept waiting to laugh at his antics but the film never lets you into the story enough to see his self-centered TV host as anything more than a silly cipher. I knew I didn't care about a damned thing that was happening when Franco's character is having his huge revelation about the true nature of his new buddy Kim-Young Un and all I could think about was how expensive his shoes must be.

I'll give the movie credit for being fantastically photographed but as a comedy it just failed for me. Next! 

THE SKIN UNDER THE CLAWS (1975)- 4 (OK but poorly directed thriller)
ARSENE LUPIN (1932)- 8 (excellent mystery)
SILENT NIGHT, DEADLY NIGHT (1984)- 7 (rewatch)
MAKE WAY FOR TOMORROW (1937)- 7 (good sort-of Christmas film)
HELLBENDERS (2012)- 4 (misfire of a great concept)
SILENT NIGHT, BLOODY NIGHT (1974)- 5 (OK but muddled)
THE SHOP AROUND THE CORNER (1940)- 9 (excellent!) 
THE ROOST (2005)- 3 (terrible, slow and boring horror effort)
CURTAINS (1983)- 6 (interesting slasher)
DOCTOR WHO AND THE DALEKS (1965)- 7 (rewatch)
THE INTERVIEW (2014)- 3 (clunky, sloppy and dumb in a bad way -I laughed three times) 


Nick Rentz said...

I'm with you on Pineapple Express. Senior year my class picked out that to watch. I later picked out The Warriors. One thing that surprised me was I believe Danny McBride makes a Mr. Majestic reference. I had to look around the room to see if anyone got it. Did you catch that?

Rod Barnett said...

I remember very little from Pineapple Express other than my bored desire for the damned thing to end. When I don't want to watch a film with Gary Cole in it, you have fucked up hard!