VIDIOT – NOVEMBER 2013

vidiot_stockphotoThe Heat

If you’re a female who can endure catcalls, physical intimidation and sexual harassment on a daily basis, you’re ready to work with male police officers.

Fortunately, the lady law officers in this comedy can handle their co-workers.

Straight-laced FBI Agent Ashburn (Sandra Bullock) is gunning for a promotion, so she takes an assignment to bring down a Bostonian drug lord, Larkin (Taran Killam).

On the case she meets an abrasive but street-smart cop, Det. Mullins (Melissa McCarthy), who insists on helping.

Constantly clashing, their investigation struggles until they learn Mullins’ ex-con brother (Michael Rapaport) is involved with Larkin, and can get information for them.

While this foul-mouthed buddy picture does have comedic chemistry between the two leads, it’s clichéd cop-comedy script and run-on gags make it simply mediocre.

Furthermore, having female partners isn’t logistical – if one gets her period then the other one will catch it from close proximity.

Pacific Rim

Ouch! I once had a fissure on my Pacific Rim.

Oops, my mistake. This sci-fi movie is about a fissure in the ocean floor, not one’s anus.

Under attack from colossal sea-creatures, the military constructs Jaegars, large-scale automatons controlled by pilots, Raleigh (Charlie Hunnam) and Yancy (Diego Klattenhoff), to fight back.

But over time, their armour becomes obsolete and other avenues are pursued.

With months left in operation, Commander Stacker (Idris Elba) initiates a final mission to detonate a warhead in the monster’s portico.

Recruiting Raleigh and pairing him with an orphan (Rinko Kikuchi), Stacker has one last chance to destroy the ever-adapting enemy.

Guillermo del Toro’s ode to Godzilla and Gundam, Pacific Rim’s best moments are its bombastic battles, while its worst are when the leads are outside their suits.

Furthermore, if giant monsters are anything like us, can you imagine the kinky things they’d do with a life-sized robot?

The Way Way Back

The best thing about summer with your mom’s new boyfriend’s family is that you don’t have to remember anyone’s name.

And while this dramedy isn’t about the ephemeral nature of post-divorce relationships, it is about their complications.

Forced to accompany his mother (Toni Collette) to her boyfriend Trent’s (Steve Carell) cabin for the summer, Duncan (Liam James) has a hard time fitting in with Trent’s daughter and their neighbour (AnnaSophia Robb).

Finding solace in a water park run by a middle-aged burnout (Sam Rockwell), the introspective Duncan breaks from his shell and starts dating the neighbour.

As summer continues, so does the berating from Trent, who isn’t as pious as he portrays.

While the sulky lead can be annoying and the water park crew creepy, this coming-of-age teen-romance has more strengths than weaknesses.

Incidentally, the experiences you gain from watching people slide down a tube will benefit you the rest of your life.

The Hangover Part III

The easiest way to cope with a hangover is to build your tolerance by becoming a full-blown alcoholic.

Unfortunately, there are no libations in this comedy to binge upon.

When he goes off his medication, Alan (Zach Galifianakis) causes a disaster that subsequently kills his father.

Asked to escort him to rehab, his brother-in-law Doug (Justin Bartha) and his friends Phil (Bradley Cooper) and Stu (Ed Helms) drive Alan to Arizona.

However, a kingpin (John Goodman) commanders their vehicle, takes Doug hostage, and orders them to bring him Mr. Chow (Ken Jeong).

But to do that they must help Mr. Chow steal millions.

The final instalment of the series, Part III is more of a teetotaling manhunt for an annoying character than it is the hair-of-the-dog comedy the franchise started as.

Furthermore, to prevent hangovers, after every drink at the bar: take two aspirins and eat a stack of pancakes.

After Earth

Returning to Earth after an evacuation means front-row tickets to every musical the mutated survivors perform.

Mind you, the stranded family in this sci-fi movie doesn’t have time for Broadway.

When their military vehicle’s struck by an asteroid, retiring officer Cyper (Will Smith) and his son Kitai (Jaden Smith) crash-land on the planet their people abandoned one-thousand-years ago.

With two broken legs, Cyper is unable to accompany Kitai on his mission to retrieve a homing beacon.

Via com-link, Cyper guides Kitai through Earth’s cruel terrain, which is populated with evolved predators.

Meanwhile, an alien prisoner abroad their ship escapes, and hunts down Kitai.

M. Night Shyamalan’s tedious space tale about father/son relationships, After Earth offers little in ingenuity and lots of bad acting from Jaden Smith.

The downside to being on a desolate Earth with your dad is that there’ll be more than one Mr. Smith in the phone book.

The Purge

Luckily, those in cold climates are protected from home invasion by thin layers of clear plastic film insulating their windows.

Regrettably, the family in this thriller lives in sunny California.

One day of the year, the new leaders of the US government make it legal to kill anyone you wish, so long as it happens within a 12-hour period.

While it’s characteristically the homeless who are purged, this year a home security salesman James (Ethan Hawke), his wife (Lena Headey) and two kids, Zoey (Adelaide Kane) and Charlie (Max Burkholder), are the target of a gang of affluent attackers.

When Charlie provides shelter for an injured stranger (Edwin Hodge), their high-tech home can’t protect them from the human animal.

Spoiling its philosophical merits with an unfocused story and clichéd gunfights, The Purge never reaches its full potential.

What’s more, family members are the most likely to want to kill you.

The Croods

The advantage to being a caveman is that it takes absolutely no effort to stay on a Paleolithic diet.

However, the hunter-gatherers in this animated adventure are having a hard time eating at all.

Forced to live in a cave alongside the rest of her family (Nicolas Cage, Catherine Keener, Clark Duke, Cloris Leachman), teenage troglodyte Eep (Emma Stone) takes every opportunity to explore the outside.

One day she meets a cave-boy (Ryan Reynolds), who not only possesses fire but a plan to escape the pending end.

When an earthquake leaves her clan homeless, she asks him to help lead her family to safety – much to the chagrin of her overprotective patriarch.

While the animation is crude and the history completely skewed, The Croods prospers thanks to its archetypal characters and its goofy sense of humour.

Furthermore, it’s fascinating to know that cave people will eventually evolved into Creationists.

This is the End

The annoying thing about the Apocalypse is that God’s name is the only one that will appear in the end credits.

Fortunately, this comedy’s end credits are a star-studded affair.

When Jay Baruchel visits LA, Seth Rogen takes him to James Franco’s house party, and introduces him to his new friends.

Uneasy with the prominent partygoers (Emma Watson, Rihanna, Michael Cera, Jason Segel, Mindy Kaling), Jay flees the festivities only to discover the Rapture has begun.

Hold up in Franco’s house with Jonah Hill, Craig Robinson and Danny McBride, Jay and Seth work on their troubled friendship, as they consume drugs and conserve food.

Outside, Hell’s minions stalk the Hollywood Hills.

Not as funny as projected, this reality-wrapping parody relies too heavily on movie references and penis jokes to propel its unique script.

Besides, everyone knows that young Hollywood would rather spend their final days in the company of the paparazzi.

Iron Man 3

The benefit of a wealthy superhero is they can afford restitution for the public property they destroy.

However, the hero’s home in this action movie is what’s being obliterated.

Suffering PTSD from the Avengers Initiative, Iron Man inventor Tony Stark (Robert Downey, Jr.) brazenly invites an attack from The Mandarin (Ben Kingsley) that leaves his estate, and armour, in the ocean.

Believed to have perished, Tony resurfaces in Tennessee – alive but armourless.

With help from a kid (Ty Simpkins), Tony’s forced to use his mettle – not his metal – to save his friends (Don Cheadle, Gwyneth Paltrow) and stop a virus created by Mandarin’s weapons supplier, Advanced Idea Mechanics (Guy Pearce).

The third, and arguably best, Iron Man, director/co-writer Shane Black recaptures Tony’s charm and humour amid amazing aerial battles against an unconventional villain.

However, with that airtight armour, Iron Man missed his true calling as a beekeeper.

He’s an Emotionless Wreck. He’s the…Vidiot

By Shane Sellar
Photo: STOCK.XCHNG

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