Let Me Spoil That For You: In Time

August 5, 2012 § 5 Comments

Unexpectedly, I’ve come to like Justin Timberlake as an actor.  He has been good on his appearances on Saturday Night Live, he was good in The Social Network, and he seems like a natural actor with good turns in lesser-known films like Alpha Dog.  He hasn’t had any one turn as a starring actor that has stabilized him as a guy that can carry a movie, and after watching In Time, I’m not sure that he ever will.

It’s not that JT was especially bad as an actor in the movie, but I have to question his choices on films and agents, because this is absolutely one of the dumbest movies I’ve ever seen.

The basic premise of In Time is interesting: Currency in the future is time and instead of earning money and spending money, you earn and spend time which is kept on a green-lit counter on your forearm.  When your time runs out, you die.  People stop aging at 25 and then you’ve got a year which starts counting down immediately.  The awkwardness of everybody being 25 starts immediately when Timberlake’s mom, played by Olivia Munn, Wilde turns “50” but still looks like Wilde Munn.

It really opens up my eyes to the fact that it’s a good thing that our parents look older as they get older.  I don’t think any of us want to think of our parents as “hot.”  The movie is fast and loose with the whole “age 25″ thing as the movie goes on.

Timberlake, 31, is just one example.  But then there’s Johnny Galecki, 37, Vincent Kartheiser, 33, and Cillian Murphy, 36.  It’s like an older version of just accepting that everyone in Beverly Hills 90210 was supposed to be in high school.  Okay fine, I can accept that, but I can’t accept one of the worst screenplays ever constructed.

The movie starts out with Timberlake as just a boy who loves his mama and she has three days left, but nobody ever seems too worried about having only a day or two left, or even a couple of hours.  So not worried about it that his mom even gives JT “30 minutes for lunch” and then JT gives five minutes to some little girl on the street even though she has plenty of time and he has less than a day.

Later that night, with only a day left, JT decides to go out to a bar (for what reason, we do not know, but all he tries to do is get his best friend Galecki to leave) and ends up saving a guy from getting killed.  This guy has been flaunting his 116 years all night in buying drinks for everyone and now “Minute Men” are here to kill him or steal it or something.  It’s not really sure because JT says that they don’t want to rob him, just kill him because nobody should have that much time.  But JT saves him, for what reason, we do not know.  I guess because he’s the good guy?

That should be obvious enough right?  We knew going into the movie that Timberlake would be the good guy, the protagonist, but you’ll end up being surprised with how his character turns.  He ends up saving the guy but the next morning the guy gives JT his remaining 116 years and kills himself.  We don’t know why.

After he kills himself, these other guys show up to the body but it’s not really explained why because these aren’t Minute Men like from before, this is a group of men led by Cillian Murphy that immediately show up to try and find where the guys time went. Why they know that he died so soon, where to find him, how much time he had?  We don’t know why.

JT’s first move is to go to his best friends house and give him 10 years, this we can understand why.  Then he goes to meet his mom at the bus stop but she’s not there because she couldn’t afford the bus.  It went up to 2 hours and she had only an hour and a half left.  The bus driver wouldn’t let her ride for free and pay later, even though she would die.  Why he was so cold?  We don’t know why.

She runs and runs to meet her son but wasted too many minutes trying to get help and whatnot.  Why didn’t they setup to meet with a little more time left?  Why cut it so close?  We don’t know.  But she dies running into his arms and apparently this sets off JT to do something.  What?  We don’t really know.

JT decides its time to get out of his time zone so he travels to the rich district known as “New Greenwich” (get it?) and everybody seems to immediately notice that he’s not from here because he’s running and hustling around and everyone in the rich district takes their time because they have time.  He decides to go to the casino and spend his newfound time.  Why?  We have no idea.

He gets into a hand with Vincent Kartheiser (Mad Men) who is really rich and goes all-in.  He risked everything to get to this point even though he was a very big long shot.  (I play poker and let me explain it like this: JT had an inside straight draw, meaning that he had to get a 7 with one card left in order to win.  That gives him an 92% chance of losing.  Yet he risked it all.)  He ended up winning over 1000 years on the hand.  He tells Kartheiser that it wasn’t a risk, he knew he would win.  How?  We don’t know why.

So Kartheiser ends up inviting the guy that just took hundreds of years off of him to a party at his mansion.  Why?  We don’t know.  JT buys a 59-year sports car.  Why?  We don’t know.  Immediately at the party he makes lovey eyes with Amanda Seyfried, Kartheiser’s daughter that he met at the casino, and they go off into the backyard which is actually a beach.  This is when JT really lays the charms on by suggesting they go for a swim but she’s like all “What? I’m rich, I don’t swim!” or something but it’s one of those really setup cliche lovey moments that immediately intertwines the two as soulmates, right?  Okay, fine, whatever.

But then when they get back in the party, Murphy and his goons (one of which looks exactly like Nick Carter and I really wish that it was) are there and they say that they just need to talk to JT.  Kartheiser is like “Okay” and then without asking they just take him upstairs into a room.  Its kinda rude to be conducting interviews in another dudes house without asking permission right?  But they accuse JT of killing that original guy for his 116 years and they take away all of his time except for a couple of days or something.  Why?  Why not at least give him enough himself in a court of law?  By now JT had over 1000 years and you’re accusing him of stealing 100+ years, so why take all of it?  In the future, cops can just kill you?

Ok.

Except that JT ends up escaping easily by hitting a couple of goons in the face and then, get this, stealing a gun and taking Seyfried hostage.  Like, this girl that he just met and made a lovey swim with, he’s now holding a gun to her face and kidnapping her.  They escape in his new car and get chased down.  The car chase that ensues is not only boring but incredibly cliche as JT ends up driving backwards for awhile and then just getting away.

That sums up the action part of this action move pretty well… its incredibly boring and stupid and easy and cliche.  He escapes danger without much effort.

With only a few hours left, it’s now morning and they’re driving back to his own time zone and then all of a sudden drive over a tire strip and they flip over in the car into one of those man-made ravines in an accident that looks like it should kill or at least seriously injure somebody, but it just knocks them out.  Now they’re back to the Minute Men, not the cops, and those guys steal their time.  Not all of it of course, because that would end the movie, but just enough.  Just enough for JT and Seyfried to find a pawn shop and trade her diamond earrings in for two days.

How did the Minute Men know exactly where to put the tire strip?  We don’t know.

At this point, JT is basically a bad guy, right?  He was falsely accused of killing that guy, but now he’s committing real crimes.  He kidnapped Seyfried.  It’s not “cute.”  It’s not “chivalrous.”  He just kidnapped her.  A swim in the ocean on your first night together doesn’t give you the right to take someone hostage and almost get them killed.  Then as the movie goes on, they BOTH turn into criminals.

They end up robbing the time lending banks that her father owns.  The film tries to turn it into a whole “Robin Hood” thing by stealing the time and then giving it to the needy, but they never explain why any of this happened in the first place.  Yeah, that’s right, they never explain it.  You’re just supposed to accept that the government has given everybody only 25 years and a year, and that some people will get to live forever.  But no real antagonist in the government is ever given.

Is Cillian Murphy, a cop doing his job, really the antagonist?

Or Vincent Kartheiser, a businessman who we’re supposed to hate simply because he has money?

The Minute Men are obvious antagonists because they kill and steal for time, but they’re hardly a big picture “bad guy.”  If anything, the bad guys have become JT and Seyfried as a Mickey & Mallory, Bonnie & Clyde, Robin Hood & Patti Hearst duo.  Except that I have no real reason to care about them, like them, or root for them.

After a 10-year reward is put on the heads of Seyfriend and Timberlake, the Minute Men track them down to a hotel and decide to “fight” to the death.  Fighting is basically the stupidest thing I’ve seen in a science fiction action movie since Equalibrium, except way dumber.

Basically you hold hands with your opponent and the person that has their arm turned over until the other person runs out of time, wins.  Yep, that’s IT.  You expect that there’s more to it?  There isn’t.  Timberlake loses most of the “fight” until he has just seconds left and then he turns his arm over.  OH MY GOD, LOOK, HE TURNED HIS ARM OVER!  Then he takes all of the guys time and takes a gun out of his shoe and shoots the other three Minute Men, who all have horrible reaction time.  And that’s how the Minute Men get killed.

JT and Seyfried decide that they need to steal enough time to balance out the rich and the poor and so they steal a million years from her father.  Again, her father isn’t really the bad guy here.  Maybe he’s greedy.  Maybe he thinks that it’s okay if a few people die for a few people to be immortal, but he hardly setup the system.  Who did?  We don’t know, really.

If you think about it, the system was always going to fail.  The people in poverty would die out in a very short amount of time.  They only have 25+ years and so you eventually will not be having as many babies as you’ll have deaths.  The rich people will never die.  Steve Jobs would never die.  Paul Allen would never die.  Even people of moderately high wealth like a baseball player or actor would probably be able to live for thousands of years.  They’d have lots and lots of kids.  The poor wouldn’t.

So eventually the system would topple over when only rich people lived and the poor people died.  There is no 1% without the 99% to give them all our money.  The whole concept of In Time, ultimately, is flawed.  And if it’s not flawed, well, it’s never explained.  Just like nothing is ever explained in the movie.

Murphy is eventually and cleverly killed when… his time runs out.  Wait, that’s not clever.  That’s just a thing that happens.

So JT and Seyfried end up just barely getting some extra time… in time…. and then decide that they need to steal more time and give it out to the poor.  By now they’ve just fully turned over from the good guys in the movie, to bad guys.  They’re just criminals by now.  Huh.  Okay.  Well, interesting move, I’ll say that!

Fin.

In Time had some good production value.  It has good actors like Murphy and Timberlake.  But wow, what a shitty story.  The script was, without a doubt, one of the flimsiest, cliche, unexplained, boring, plothole-ridden, pieces of crap that has ever been given a big Hollywood budget.  Usually bad screenplays are only greenlit when a star decides he or she wants to be in it.  I can only imagine that JT decided this would be a hit, that it was a good movie, and so they made it.  He was also really wrong.

Writer/Director Andrew Niccol, who wrote Truman Show, Gattaca, and Lord of War, I thought was better than a piece of shit like this.  I guess he wasn’t.

If there’s a reason for why he made this terrible movie, it was never explained.

Bulletpoints Movie Review: Tim & Eric’s Billion Dollar Movie

February 6, 2012 § Leave a comment

  • Ooooh… I think you’re gonna like what you see.  Ooooh..
  • If you don’t like Tim & Eric, don’t fuckin’ watch it then.  The rest of this is obviously not for you.
  • If you do like Tim & Eric, I think you’re gonna like what you see, ooohh…  It’s a 90 minute episode of Tim & Eric Awesome Show Great Job!  That’s basically as basic as I can put it, except that they are able to do some shit that you can’t ever un-see.  So be prepared for that.
  • If you don’t even know who Tim & Eric are, then I would probably watch a few episodes of Awesome Show before you watch Billion Dollar Movie.  Find out first if this comedy is for you.  Because it’s not for everybody.  It’s the only kind of comedy that I love that I could understand why other people would absolutely hate it.
  • This is Tim Heidecker:

  • This is Eric Wareheim:

  • Or this is Tim Heidecker

  • And this is Eric Wareheim

  • This is Tim & Eric:

  • I mean, they are a couple of freaks.  I don’t mean that in a bad way, but the weird shit that I think about that I never tell anyone about?  They not only tell other people, they re-create those fucked up ideas and now they’re putting it on the big screen.
  • They like to come up with weird words like Schlaaang and Dobis.  They like to have celebrity cameos (Will Ferrell, Jeff Goldblum, John C. Reilly, Zach Galifinakis) and then have those celebrities do weird shit.  My personal favorite being anything with Ray Wise.
  • Tim has scenes with his new son Jeffrey that might be the most uncomfortable thing I have ever witnessed.  It’s well worth the price of seeing the movie.
  • Tim and Eric take TV and turn it on it’s head and that’s the same  thing that they do with Billion Dollar Movie, poking fun at classic movie cliches and taking it to 17 levels beyond where anyone else would.  The opening sequence I’m sure will absolutely kill in a theater full of Tim & Eric fans.  Or would it?
  • It seems like a lot of Tim & Eric “die-hard fans” hated this movie and called it a “Slap in the Face” to Awesome Show.  Ehhh.. get over yourself “Die hard fan” and stop claiming you get their humor more than they get their humor.  Just enjoy that you get more of Tim & Eric.  Some people are just dying for their favorite people to make a movie just so they can say “Man, I liked these guys before they were big!”   Go fucking be a hipster to some shitty emo band, not to Tim & Eric.
  • Just by saying that, I can guarantee that many of these reviewers indeed did not “get it.”
  • I give it 999,999,999 out of a billion.  
  • Tim & Eric’s Billion Dollar Movie (of which I didn’t even speak of the plot, because who cares?) is in theaters on March 2nd, but you can get it on iTunes or OnDemand right now.  So stop reading this and start giving the Schlaaang Corporation your money and learn about Dobis and the Shrim health center.
  • I think you’re gonna like what you see.  Oooohhh.

Bulletpoints Movie Review: Paranormal Activity 3

January 30, 2012 § 1 Comment

  • If you ever find yourself bored watching a Paranormal Activity, think about how bored the guy in the movie is having to watch 98% of the Normal Activity.
  • There are several moments of boredom throughout.  But that’s how these movies work… they lull you into a calming trance and then BOOM!  Shit your pants.
  • There are some good shit-your-pants moments.
  • It’s better than Paranormal Activity 2.
  • The movie is set in 1988, which means that this guy was the FIRST to have an HD camera and better yet, he had TWO of them!
  • Today, you can hook up your camera to a PC or whatever and film as many hours of footage as you want.  They had to justify it with 6-hour tapes, but if taping stuff on TV when I was a kid taught me anything, it’s that 6-hour tapes have shittier quality.  Luckily, he still got HD-quality video.
  • This also meant that technically, he would have had to get up every 6 hours to change out the tapes.
  • Why are you filming yourself watching film?
  • Putting a camera in your step-daughters rooms to film 24 hours a day?  Somebody call CPS.
  • Catching some of the earlier scares on tape and not telling anyone except for your lackey assistant?  Fine.  But once he caught the babysitter footage on tape, he should have called Unsolved Mysteries, which began production in 1987.  He would have been the most famous episode of Unsolved Mysteries ever.
  • No, not that kind of babysitter footage.
  • At a certain point, there was absolutely no justification for living in that house and then the movie went on for another 30 minutes.
  • I’m usually annoyed at the bad acting in Paranormal Activity movies, but this one wasn’t as bad and the two young girls did an awesome job and overshadowed the adults.
  • The first movie was super cheap and made a buttload of money.  This one was still super cheap at a budget of $5 million.  It pulled in $104 million domestically.  This almost guarantees a Paranormal Activity 7.
  • Paranormal Activity 4 comes out on Oct. 19, 2012.
  • I assume that it will be set in 1850 and witches will have created HD video cameras.
  • I give PA3 7 out of 10 angry ghosts because while it was boring at times and really forces you to stretch your imagination, it was more entertaining than PA2 and had some good scares.
  • I watched it on Amazon, but you know its on DVD and probably On Demand and stuff but I doubt it’s on Netflix Instant yet.  PA 1 and 2 are on Netflix Instant though (or at least they were) if you need to catch up.  Sadly, they connect all of the movies so it actually does help to watch them all in order.

Bulletpoints Movie Review: 50/50

January 14, 2012 § 3 Comments

  • I haven’t been a Seth Rogen fan for quite some time.
  • Seriously Rogen, you’ve been an actor for long enough that you should be able to play somebody else besides “Seth Rogen.”  Why don’t they just name every character he plays “Seth Rogen”?
  • I know that a lot of actors play themselves or don’t have much range, but even Adam Sandler and Will Ferrell change their personas when they do more serious roles.  50/50 is a movie about cancer and he was no different than he was in Funny People or Knocked Up.  He was Seth Rogen.
  • I haven’t been a fan of Joseph Gordon-Levitt for quite some time.
  • I just don’t think he’s a very good actor and is quite overrated and now he’s showing up in everything.  I know it’s popular now to turn TV stars into movie stars, but 3rd Rock from the Sun was like 15 years ago.
  • This might have been the first time I kind of liked him.
  • I have been a fan of Anna Kendrick (Up in the Air) for not very long, but I’ve only ever seen her in that one movie.  Okay, I might have caught PART of that Twilight movie.
  • She’s the kind of girl you bring home to Mom.  You know, because she’s a super hot movie star.  That’s all.  I would bring Sasha Grey home to Mom too.  Since when did I start dating girls based on what my mom thinks?
  • Movies about cancer are interesting but rarely funny.  This wasn’t really an exception.  They are interesting but not funny.  Did you watch The Big C?  Well, I did, and it’s a sitcom on Showtime and I think I giggled once.  But I watched the whole season.
  • How many more times is Anna Kendrick going to play a young female “hot shot” that’s new to the job?  I don’t think that type-casting will work when she’s 27, unless she’s playing the first female President of the United States who is really smart but not sure how to handle the responsibilities of the job.
  • Bryce Dallas Howard is in this movie.  I had to go to IMDB to find out that Bryce Dallas Howard is not Evan Rachel Wood.
  • I’ve now seen like five movies that Bryce Dallas Howard was in, and I still don’t recognize her.
  • I’d totally take her home to mom and my mom would say “Oh, I loved you in The Wrestler.” and then I’d be like “Mom, that was Evan Rachel Wood.” and then I’d look at my girlfriend Bryce and sort of give her a look like, “Right?”
  • Nothing really happens in the movie.  I mean, sure, he has cancer and then he has to deal with that and with his relationships and then Rogen is there for no apparent reason, but nothing really happens.  I don’t know how you can have a movie about cancer where none of the characters overcome any adversities.
  • Seth Rogen serves no purpose.  He’s just a guy who isn’t a very good friend even though we are being told “Oh yeah, he’s totally a good friend.”  He’s a selfish person and yet that serves no real purpose either.
  • The movie is set in Seattle for no apparent reason, other than people wear flannel shirts and girls have short hair and glasses.
  • The exposition in the movie has no subtlety.  The first shot in the movie is Gordon-Levitt being too cautious to cross on a “DONT WALK” sign while no cars are in sight.  Then you find out he doesn’t drive even though he’s 27 years old.
  • He got back cancer, but it seems to me he really had pussy cancer.
  • This movie wasn’t that funny and almost every plot twist and the ending could be seen from a mile away.
  • If you absolutely love watching Seth Rogen being Seth Rogen and you think that Joseph Gordon-Levitt is a good actor, than this movie is for you.
  • This movie has an 8.1 on IMDB!  I guess I’m in the minority that Rogen isn’t enough comedic relief without James Franco and that Levitt isn’t a lead actor, but I might watch it again for Kendrick and Bryce Dallas Howard.  This movie could have used at least three more people with “three name” names.
  • I give it a score of 25/50 because it’s watchable and because of Kendrick but ultimately I think that it needs a whole lot more chemotherapy.

Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol /Bulletpoints Review

January 2, 2012 § Leave a comment

  • Let’s get this part out of the way: I give this movie 4 Ghosts out of 5 Protocols
  • The action, Simon Pegg, and even Tom Cruise make it worth 2 hours and 15 minutes or whatever the fuck
  • Needed more ghosts
  • You can survive anything if you’re a good guy
  • Sawyer from LOST is officially off of the island
  • As long as he has a really small role
  • I don’t give a shit about any of your references to past movies in the franchise, this isn’t that kind of franchise
  • Tom Cruise is back!
  • As far as I’m concerned, Tom Cruise never went anywhere.  I don’t care about what he does off of the movie screen as long as he is only harming himself.  I never went to Tom Cruise for spiritual advice, he’s only good to me as an actor.
  • I just think that Cruise can act and off of screen he is probably a terrible, empty vessel.  But you tell him “Okay, you’re Ethan Hunt” or “Okay, you’re Jerry Maguire” or “Okay, you’re sane” and he will pull it off.
  • He is a good actor and he can carry a movie, which is rare
  • Some of my favorite actors in the whole wide world can’t carry a movie
  • Shaun of the Dead was the saving grace of any non-action scenes, keeping the movie from getting boring while it got slow
  • The Hurt Locker was also enjoyable and I would like to see him in more of these movies
  • The action was good, even though as you get older you can’t help but try to make sense of it.  People can’t walk away from what MI says they can walk away from.
  • I forgive you because 90% of your technology doesn’t exist either
  • Seriously, where were all of the ghosts?
  • Why do they always get assigned missions right before they get framed and become rogue agents?  Why can’t they ever just get a mission and then go accomplish the mission?
  • Eventually, every Mission Impossible turns out to be Possible.

SPOILER ALERT SPOILER POINTS

  • Seriously, I don’t give a shit about seeing Ving Rhames at the end of the movie or your stupid dead wife.  What does that have to do with ANYTHING?
  • You can survive driving your car off of the edge in a parking garage and falling some 40 feet into a head-on collision.  Not only survive it, but you’ll be totally cool by the next day.
  • I can’t believe that the first hour+ of the movie was supposed to be like less than two days worth of time in the movie
  • Plot?  I honestly couldn’t tell you much about it, and I JUST saw this movie.  Don’t give a shit who the bad guy is or why he’s doing what he’s doing but I admit that I did want to see that nuke go off
  • I wonder how many people would have survived a nuclear blast if they hadn’t stopped it one second before it destroyed America
  • I do like nuclear sub-plots, can we get one where somebody accomplishes destroying the world and then MI:6 or where ever we are at now will be a REALLY interesting movie

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