VIDIOT – MARCH 2014

Thor: The Dark World

The upside to being the God of Thunder is that you have a solid excuse every time you fart.

Thankfully, the fair-haired deity in this action movie isn’t passing gas.

When a cosmic event creates porticos between realms, Thor’s (Chris Hemsworth) girlfriend Jane (Natalie Portman) travels through one portal and ends up being contaminated by an ancient weapon.

Jane’s contagion awakens a Dark Elf (Christopher Eccleston) who wants to use her ailment to bring about the elves’ evil empire.

To prevent this, Thor must collaborate with his greatest enemy, his incarcerated half-brother Loki (Tom Hiddleston).

And it’s solely that brotherly interplay that makes this sequel acceptable.

While all the exciting elements of the original are present, Dark World lacks a villain with enough oomph to save a simplistic script that fails to venture beyond its comic book derivation.

Incidentally, the Mighty Thor is the ideal Halloween costume for Jesus.

Gravity

In the 1960s, women were only permitted to be astronauts so they could prepare their male counterpart’s food tubes.

Fortunately, times have changed, and the lady astronaut in this sci-fi thriller can now prepare tubeless meals.

With debris from a damaged satellite fast approaching, the space-walking occupants of the Explorer, Lt. Kowalski (George Clooney) and Dr. Stone (Sandra Bullock), prepare for impact.

Unfortunately, Stone is jettisoned from the shuttle during the high-speed shower and set adrift in space with little oxygen and even less of a chance of surviving.

Her only hope lies in reaching a Chinese space station, by way of a Russian module.

One of the most mind-blowing movies about space, what Gravity lacks in character development and overall story is made up for in awe-inspiring scenery and nerve-racking tension.

Furthermore, astronauts don’t typically take spacewalks unless Chris Hadfield is strumming one of his folksy tunes.

Ender’s Game

The upside to sending children to war is you save money on smaller coffins.

Mind you, the military in this sci-fi movie is more motivated by young people’s instinct.

Recruited by the International Fleet to join Earth’s battle against an alien threat, 15-year-old Ender (Asa Butterfield) is touted by Colonel Graff (Harrison Ford) and Major Anderson (Viola Davis) as a born tactician.

The prodigy bit, however, doesn’t sit well with the other cadets and Ender is immediately ostracized.

Eventually he makes friends (Hailee Steinfeld, Aramis Knight, Suraj Partha) and surpasses everyone in the anti-gravity war games.

Commanding his own squadron, Ender must now endure one final exercise to ultimately set about his destiny.

Based on the award-winning book, this adaptation may alter its source material but it delivers in weightless action and provocative concepts about combat.

Furthermore, we can use that gamer acumen to finally kill that giant barrel-tossing gorilla.

About Time

To make big bucks in time travel, bring retro furniture back to sell to deep-pocketed hipsters.

Regrettably, the transporter in this romantic movie cannot return with bubble chairs.

On his 21st birthday, Tim’s (Domhnall Gleeson) father (Bill Nighy) tells him he has inherited time travel abilities.

Restricted to only traversing backwards, Tim uses his newfound powers to rectify his bumbling present until it works in his favour.

This technique is never used to exertion until he encounters Mary (Rachel McAdams).

But what happens when Tim has a life-altering experience that he cannot alter?

A hybrid of fantasy and romance, About Time isn’t great at conveying either genre accurately.

With an awkward-looking lead, crater-sized plot holes, and an abortive approach to the laws of love and time travel, this twaddle is prosaic in any epoch.

Incidentally, on a non-time-travelling 21-year-old’s birthday, their dad usually tells them to move out.

The Counselor

The worst part about working with Mexican drug cartels is that you not only have to buy a coffin for your wife’s body but also her head.

Surprisingly, the attorney in this thriller in under the impression he’ll need neither.

Interested in exploiting his crooked clientele, The Counselor (Michael Fassbender) partners with an importer (Brad Pitt) who’s in on a truckload of cocaine coming up North.

But when the girlfriend (Cameron Diaz) of The Counselor’s friend (Javier Bardem) hijacks the shipment, The Counselor’s wife (Penélope Cruz) is left to pay the price.

Directed by Ridley Scott and written by Cormac McCarthy, The Counselor is a polarizing picture to say the least.

While most scenes feature deeply profound dialogue laced with allegories, there are also unforgettable scenes of strange sex and gruesome violence.

Incidentally, if lawyers started working alongside their clients there would be lots of lawyers exposing themselves in the park.

Dallas Buyers Club

When told you have 30 days to live, you should go buy furniture you don’t have to pay a cent for for 90 days.

Strangely, the dying man in this drama isn’t interested in ottomans.

In one fell swoop, homophobic bull rider Ron Woodroof (Matthew McConaughey) is diagnosed with HIV and given one month to live.

Unwilling to accept that fate and unsatisfied with the approved medicine, Ron and his afflicted friend (Jared Leto) establish a network of ailing buyers for the unsanctioned AIDS medication Ron smuggles in from Mexico.

As he surpasses his death-date, Ron’s struggle against the FDA to distribute the magic pill intensifies; meanwhile the disease cuts down his customer base.

Based on true events, DBC captures the confused climate of the 1980s, while McConaughey embodies the physical and emotional strain of the impartial syndrome.

Thankfully, today, HIV/AIDS is a more manageable STI like pregnancy.

Escape Plan

The easiest way to breakout of prison is to shank your way through the concrete walls.

Mind you, the incarcerated pair in this action movie would prefer a less strenuous plan.

Hired by the CIA to escape-proof their maximum-security penitentiary, jailhouse escape artist Ray (Sylvester Stallone) goes undercover as an inmate.

In the big house, he aligns himself with Emil (Arnold Schwarzenegger), a con that can help Ray get a message to his outside team (Amy Ryan, Vincent D’Onofrio, 50 Cent).

But a rat on Ray’s side is pulling the strings on the secret lockup, sending the warden (Jim Caviezel) and his men (Vinnie Jones, Sam Neill) to end Ray and Emil’s getaway.

Despite its big names, Escape Plan is a subpar throwback to the poorly acted ‘80s actioneers that made Stallone and Schwarzenegger stars.

Besides, at his age, shouldn’t Stallone be breaking out of an old folks home.

Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2

The only time that I can really appreciate a meatball monsoon is when it’s followed up by an antacid rainbow.

Mind you, the man-eating meals in this animated adventure aren’t too concerned with agitating anyone’s esophagus.

In the wake of a food deluge that ravaged his hometown, inept inventor Flint (Bill Hader), his girlfriend (Anna Faris), his monkey (Neil Patrick Harris) and the townsfolk (James Caan, Benjamin Bratt, Terry Crews) are relocated.

But, when Flint’s icon (Will Forte) asks him to help find the food-making machine causing all of the chaos, he and his friends get to return home, only to discover its overrun by carnivorous cuisine.

The requisite sequel to the 2009 hit, Cloudy 2 serves up similar slapstick fare to its precursor.

However, despite clever food-animal classifications, this time around the kooky characters and adult humour feels forced.

Incidentally, alive or not, KFC’s Double Down will kill you.

Rush

An easy way to curtail crashes in Formula One is to introduce distracted driver laws.

Unfortunately, those laws would be as ineffective in this 1970s action movie as they are in 2014.

From their early days in F3, Britain’s rebel racer James Hunt (Chris Hemsworth) and Austria’s pedantic Niki Lauda (Daniel Brühl) had a rivalry.

Their competitiveness increased as both advanced to F1.

Between Grand Prix, both marry (Olivia Wilde, Alexandra Maria Lara) and struggle to balance love of life and love of death.

But that audaciousness is tested when Niki is disfigured in an accident, and James looses his direction.

Based on real racers and real races, director Ron Howard handles this rubber-burning biography with precision.

And though the ending is somewhat anticlimactic, it’s a testament to the film’s authenticity.

Incidentally, after that many laps around a boring track, who wouldn’t get road rage and start a grudge match?

The Fifth Estate

If WikiLeaks is anything like Wikipedia than their information is only 15 per cent accurate.

Either way, this thriller about the whistleblower website does not allow users to edit its content.

From their early days as online activists, Julian Assange (Benedict Cumberbatch) and Daniel Domscheit-Berg (Daniel Brühl) have had a mentor and student relationship.

It is not until their online news-leaking enterprise starts exposing politicians’ personal information that Daniel sees his hero has feet of clay.

But that doesn’t compare to when Julian leaks top-secret missives concerning world leader standings, covert air strikes and evidence of corruption and cover-ups.

Despite Cumberbatch’s spot-on performance as Assange, this adaptation of Domscheit-Berg’s memoir portrays him as a whack-job.

Furthermore, the compelling subject matter is cluttered up with languid directing, monotonous dialogue and a useless romance.

Besides, if politicians didn’t want their dirt circulated on the Internet than they shouldn’t have let Al Gore invent it.

He’s a Contradictionary. He’s the…
Vidiot

By Shane Sellar

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