VIDIOT: DECEMBER 2013

vidiot_stockphotoMan of Steel

At last, Hollywood has decided to embrace the modern family dynamic with a super hero raised by two fathers.

What’s more, the alien in this action movie also has two moms.

During Krypton’s final hours, Jor-El (Russell Crowe) infuses his son with the DNA of the planet’s population and launches him into space.

Landing on Earth, he’s adopted by a farm couple (Kevin Costner, Diane Lane).

Imbued with extraordinary powers but unable to exploit them without exposing himself, Clark (Henry Cavill) struggles to find his way.

But that changes when a Kryptonian prisoner (Michael Shannon) comes to Earth intending to colonize it.

While this reboot has the most fisticuffs of any Superman film, its love story with Lois (Amy Adams) lacks oomph and its dark alterations to the character’s moral conduct are uncharacteristic and unwelcome.

Incidentally, the best way to thwart any super-powered saviour from the heavens is to crucify them.

Frances Ha

The best thing about being a part of the Millennial Generation is that you can wear your Superman costume to work.

And while the protagonist in this dramedy doesn’t partake in her age groups theatrics, she has their mind set.

When Frances’ (Greta Gerwig) best friend Sophie (Mickey Sumner) moves out, she is left to pay rent on her paltry dance salary.

Unable to cover the cost, she rents the couch of two artists (Adam Driver, Michael Zegen). But again, she cannot afford it.

Later, Frances bunks with a fellow dancer (Grace Gummer) and takes a trip to Paris.

Meanwhile, Sophie has got engaged to an old flame (Michael Esper).

Although it takes awhile to get adjusted to Frances’ social awkwardness, and her irresponsible nature, eventually she – and the black and white cinematography – becomes endearingly sweet.

Furthermore, sleeping on peoples’ couches is only embarrassing when you bring someone home.

Grown Ups 2

The best part of being a grown up is that you can buy alcohol for your under-age girlfriend.

Thankfully, the adults in the comedy are married to fellow grown ups.

Desperate to relive his childhood, Lenny (Adam Sandler) moves his wife (Salma Hayek) and children to his Connecticut hometown.

Reunited with grade school buddies Eric (Kevin James), Kurt (Chris Rock) and Higgins (David Spade), Lenny plans to make this summer the most memorable.

But for that to happen the gang must endure a childhood bully (Steve Austin), rowdy frat boys (Taylor Lautner, Milo Ventimiglia), an estranged son (Alexander Ludwig) and angry wives (Maya Rudolph, Maria Bello).

The unwarranted sequel to the awful original, Grown Ups 2 foregoes plot for the sake of puerile pranks perpetrated by formerly funny comedians.

Besides, growing up doesn’t mean you have to stop being a kid, it just means you can’t be tried as one.

White House Down

The upside to being an African American President is that if you are ever taken hostage, the authorities will actually negotiate for your release.

However, the higher-ups in this action movie cannot be trusted.

While U.S. Capitol Police officer John Cale (Channing Tatum) is touring the White House with his estranged daughter (Joey King), Pennsylvania Avenue is attacked by homegrown terrorists lead by a civil servant (James Woods).

During the melee, Cale comes to the aid of the president (Jamie Foxx), who is required by the gunmen to launch nuclear weapons.

Meanwhile, to avert an air strike, his daughter broadcasts vital Intel to the outside world via her YouTube channel.

Mired in patriotic rhetoric, green-screen action and an ignominious Obama impersonation from Jamie Foxx, White House Down doesn’t hide its hostage movie inspiration or its hackneyed plot twists.

Besides, forget launch codes – get the President’s keys to the Roswell UFO.

Lovelace

Before pornography was peddled to women as shoddily written Twilight fan-fiction, it was shown to men on 16mm film.

Either way, as this biography proves, both were profitable.

Straight-laced Linda Boreman (Amanda Seyfried) and her girlfriend (Juno Temple) take a go-go dancing gig at a roller rink.

Onstage, Linda attracts the attention of Chuck Traynor (Peter Sarsgaard) who goads her into introducing him to her parents (Sharon Stone, Robert Patrick), confident they will approve of him.

Chuck’s charm does its job and soon enough, they’re married.

Impressed with her oral skills, he lands Linda the lead in a porno titled Deep Throat.

A mainstream success, Linda’s life is commandeered by Chuck and navigated into a world of forced prostitution and physical abuse.

Erupting with cameos, this stylistic take on Linda’s sad sex life is well acted, cleverly directed and brutally detailed.

However, who wants to watch a porno about Watergate?

Monsters University

Higher education benefits all creatures so long as they don’t major in Monster Anthropology, Monster Psychology or Monster Fine Arts.

Luckily, neither creepy co-ed in this animated-comedy is studying the aforementioned.

At M.U. for a degree in scaring children to supply energy to their world, one-eyed teenage monster Mike Wazowski (Billy Crystal) isn’t as well received at school as his fellow scarer Sulley (John Goodman).

To prove his frightfulness, Mike joins a rag-tag fraternity (Charlie Day, Joel Murray, Dave Foley, Sean Hayes) and competes in the Scare Games alongside Sulley.

But their doubt in each other threatens to cost them the event – and their education.

The prequel to Monsters Inc., Monster University reunites the monsters but doesn’t give them much to work with in the way of narrative, substance or laughs.

What’s worse, these monsters will have to carry around their student loan debt until angry villagers behead them.

R.I.P.D.

If there is a ghost police department, then I know exactly where all those bags of day-old donuts have been going.

Surprisingly, this action-comedy doesn’t delve into their disappearance at all.

After being shot dead by his partner (Kevin Bacon), police sergeant Walker (Ryan Reynolds) finds himself in an arresting afterlife.

Enrolled in the ethereal Rest In Peace Department by Mildred Proctor (Mary-Louise Parker) and partnered with deceased US Marshal Roy (Jeff Bridges), Nick is tasked with tracking down dead souls clandestinely living among humans.

On the beat, Nick and Roy learn of a plan by the secret dead to reverse the way to Heaven, sending all souls back to Earth.

Based on an obscure comic book, R.I.P.D. rips off Men in Black, and adds nothing to the co-option but a cartoonish story, hokey acting and lacklustre effects.

Besides, a dead police force is nothing but a burden on dead taxpayers.

Before Midnight

Before you do anything at midnight, double check the clock to make sure that it’s not actually noon.

Fortunately, the couple in this drama has an excellent concept of time.

Nearly a decade after we last saw them, successful American author Jesse (Ethan Hawke) and his French lover Céline (Julie Delpy) are now raising twins.

At the end of their Greek summer vacation, the pair spends the night at a hotel. During their evening, a heated debate about their relationship is ignited.

While Céline calls Jesse’s fidelity into question, he challenges her parenting skills, which results in her doubting their love.

With its relevant stance on relationship qualms, this second sequel to Before Sunrise serves as an endearing and worthy bookend to the dialogue heavy trilogy that began in 1995.

Luckily, thanks to Greece’s recession, you can easily get out of the doghouse by buying your wife the Parthenon.

He’s an X-Ray Visionary. He’s the…

Vidiot

By Shane Sellar
Photo: STOCK.XCHNG

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