November Sci-Fi Marathon

All I remember about November is we watched a lot of crap. Complete and total crap. Instead of sticking to the trustworthy collection, we decided to knock out a few movies we missed — intentionally or not. Bad idea.

Back to the Future (1985)

This has been a personal favorite since I was a kid and it always remains somewhere within my top 20. Some claim that it hasn’t held up over time, but I respectfully disagree. There are so many memorable and iconic moments throughout the film that I find it near impossible not to be sucked in and taken along for the ride. I think this is mostly due to the minimal special effects that prevent it from feeling too dated, plus the fact that it already seems to be parodying the ’80s. It doesn’t for one second take itself too seriously and neither do we.

A

Back to the Future Part II (1989)

Now this film has the opposite effect on me, I like it less every time I see it. In trying to be bigger and better, there are more special effects, and it ends up feeling very dated. The humor is cheapened and the plot is basically one big excuse to revisit all the moments we loved from the first film.

C+

Battle Los Angeles (2011)

This is a film that should have plunked you in the middle of the action, given an intense ride, and let the characters and relationships develop naturally through the chaos (ala, let’s say, Saving Private Ryan). Instead it forced story and drama into places they have no business being. It tried so hard to get me to like these cardboard characters it was borderline offensive. Get off my lawn bro, I came for the action.

D

Darkman (1990)

Perhaps ’90s cheese at its finest. Sam Raimi

B-

Green Lantern (2011)

Oh god, what did you do? You finally make a Green Lantern movie and this is the best you can come up with? Mark Strong is quite literally the only memorable thing from this film. I could go on about Ryan Reynolds being completely miscast, Peter Sarsgard being completely wasted, the out-of-place-darn-near-cartoony special effects, or any number of disappointments…but Blake Lively I’m coming for you. Pretty much every time you graced the screen it ruined the movie for me. It’s not your fault, you were out of your element, but I want to punch whoever it was that cast you as a hard-nosed businesswoman/fighter pilot and thought for one second anyone was supposed to buy it. ARGHSUUNNNGHAEW!!1%6^$&#

C

Hellboy II: The Golden Army (2008)

I adore the first Hellboy film. The mythos, the sense of humor, Ron-fucking-Perlman. It got everything it needed to right, in spite of less than fulfilling third act. Well Hellboy II is even better. The story here has more weight, the villains are more interesting, and the characters more realized — meaning more emotional investment and a jolly good time.

A

Inception (2010)

I left the theater feeling pretty indifferent the first time I saw this. Convoluted =/= Clever. Also, Nolan tends to take himself far too seriously — if he had more fun, so would I. So anyway, I decided to give it another try, which most of the time results in at the very least slightly greater appreciation for a film. Not this time. There have been far too many memes, spoofs, South Park episodes to ever go back. There are two things in this film that I think are pretty spectacular: Tom Hardy and the hallway fight scene. Outside of that, DiCaprio is one-dimensional, my doppelganger Ellen Page is just kind of along for the ride, Joseph Gordon Levitt does what he can but is given zero attention, and the entire thing takes itself too goddamn seriously. Tom Hardy is the only person that got the memo that this was supposed to be fun. Dreams within dreams within fucking dreams? HAVE SOME FUN WITH IT. Fuck.

B-

Jumper (2008)

It’s frustrating when a film has moments of potential and then never fully explores any of them. Jumper is a waste of talented filmmaker and an interesting premise that focuses too much on romance bullshit while much more compelling plot points slip by. I have much the same distaste for Rachel Bilson here as I did for Blake Lively in Green Lantern. I don’t think it’s any coincidence that they are both second tier television actresses either. In Jumper, Bilson feels equally out of place and it’s near impossible to get into the film as a result.

C

Muppets From Space (1999)

Second tier Muppets film, but still better than The Muppets. I’m still pissed at you Jason Segal. -_-

B-

Skyline (2010)

What the fuck did I just watch? Stupid people, aliens, stupid bullshit happens. Nobody cares.

C-

Unbreakable (2000)

Over the years my interest has shifted to the family dynamic in this film, rather than the superhero plot. The blatant set up for the “twist” seems so obvious it’s insulting at this point. It’s unfortunate too, because I think it’s Shyamalan’s later works that make the earlier films feel trite and gimmicky — I distinctly remember enjoying both The Sixth Sense and Unbreakable quite a bit when I saw them in the theater. Signs is the only film that’s held up for me, mostly because that fantastic family dynamic is what drives the film, instead of taking a backseat to spoon-fed plot points.

B+

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December is always WESTERN MONTH, so I’m going to make sure we watch slightly better films to avoid all the headaches from too much >_<.

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