Monday, November 5, 2007

Awesome review of Gymkata

Remember the other day when I was making fun of bombastic, pseudo-intellectual movie reviews? Well, I found the perfect one! This is a review of Gymkata I found on Check this out . . .

A Carefully Scripted & Subtle Cold War Commentary

Extremely reminiscent of cold war sleepers like "Gorky Park" and "Reds", Gymkata is one of the most carefully scripted and brooding commentaries on American foreign policy during the Reagan years. The film is more like a documentary than a work of fiction in its deep attention to historical accuracies and avoidance of hyperbole. Robert Clouse's directorial adaption of Dan Tyler Moore's Pulitzer-shortlisted novel manages to capture timbre of the times and the voice of the decade in a script of intricate complexity. Kurt Thomas's portrayal of the hero across from Tetchie Agbayani's heroine is one of the most dynamic and surprising chemistries since Bogart and Bergman's 43 years before. However, where "Casablanca" fell far short of documenting the spirit (and fears) of the times on a granular level, Gymkata and its cast is unafraid to take this plunge. In characterizations deeply respectful, and yet photo-accurate, regarding world cultures and global motifs, Gymkata manages spell the poly-sided views of complex conflicts that occurred during the final grey gasps of the Cold War. Amazingly Gymkata manages a foreshadowing the rise of the Neo-Cons some 20 years later in its depictions of the United States use of aggression in strategically important hotspot regions -- and as well -- the film is able to show that the nationalistic concerns of the competing sovreignties (both ally & foe) remain unchanged despite which decade these events play themselves out in. A timeless film, Gymkata should be a core film study in every graduate level political science class.

Here is a link to all of his reviews.

Sunday, November 4, 2007

Just for the Record

There are some things that the world just assumes everybody agrees with but I don't. So, I am going to start a new section called . . .

Just for the Record:

I think Sammy Haggar era Van Halen is a million times better than the David Lee Roth era.

I think Ice Ice Baby is a much more fun and catchy song than Under Pressure.

The urban myth that all even Star Trek movies are good and all odd ones are bad is bullshit. The Search for Spock is an awesome movie and has some of the greatest moments in all of Trek. Not to mention The Voyage Home and Nemesis are even ones and they are not so good.

Sam Raimi's Spider-Man movies are awful. I don't like that persistant yellow cinematography. I don't like Kirsten Dunst. I don't like Toby Maguire. I don't like how sappy they are. I don't like that he doesn't wear the costume as much as he should. These movies do not represent the Spider-Man universe as I had imagined it by reading the comics.

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Critics and Horror Movies

I read a lot of reviews of movies on the Internet. Why I don't know. Most of the time they don't enlighten or inform me, they just serve to remind me what pompous asses critics are. The only site that writes the types of reviews I can relate to and appreciate is Ain't It Cool News. I read two yesterday that reminded me why reviews tend to aggravate me so much. One was on DVD Talk for Hostel II and the other was for the original Halloween on The Digital Bits. Now you may be asking yourself, why do these reviews aggravate Johnson so much? Well, it is not because I agree or disagree over liking the movies in question. It is how they phrase their reviews and the seemingly obligatory comments that they must always include.

Most reviewers cannot seem to write a review without referring to horror sequels as "money grabs" and saying how they just "run the original idea in the ground." For all of you critics that seem to think movies are art for art's sake, let me remind you that movies are the commercial arts. EVERY movie is a "money grab." Movies are made to make money for movie studios. I happen to love franchise movies. I enjoy seeing different films in a long-running series. I don't apologize for it either. There seems to be a mentality amongst critics that movies in a horror series are unworthy of any praise or legitimate fondness from the audience. You know the lines, "we know they're junk but they are entertaining." No, Mr. Critic. I'm sorry, they are NOT junk. If a movie has entertained you and made money then it has accomplished it's two primary goals. In my book I call that a success. I think all of the Friday the 13th movies have their pluses and minuses but, in the end, I like them all. I don't have, nor do I need, an intellectual rationale for why I like them. I just enjoy the hell out of those movies.

Why do they always feel the need to distance themselves from certain movies? It's like they are saying "I know it' OK to like the original Halloween but I better put a qualifier on my liking of the other films in the series." I suppose they don't want to be thought less of by their snooty critic friends. I guess it's also not fashionable to give any of the Friday the 13th movies any respect. What a bunch of obnoxious crap.

I am also SO F'N TIRED of critics stringing not-so-catchy, intellectual sounding phrases together sentence after sentence in some ridiculous attempt to make themselves sound smart. They just end up sounding the the Nation of Islam character Damon Wayans would play on In Living Colour. If you don't remember, that character would talk like he was really smart but just sound like a fool. He would say things like " if you look at the situation in terms of the constipation, needing remuneration . . ." The way I wrote "When Johnson Met Harryhausen" was written to be a parody of this style of writing.