Daredevil (2003)

I don't plan on re-watching Elektra anytime soon.

I don’t plan on re-watching Elektra anytime soon.

Directed by: Mark Steven Johnson (well, this is his best movie, sad as that may be)

Written by: Johnson wrote the screenplay based on the Marvel Comics character of Daredevil

Starring: Ben Affleck, Jennifer Garner, Michael Clarke Duncan, Colin Farrell, Jon Favreau, Joe Pantoliano, David Keith and Leland Orser

What it’s about: a man struck with blindness as a result of a childhood accident finds his other senses are greatly heightened and uses those abilities to fight crime as both a super-hero and a lawyer

What I liked: To be clear, this was the Director’s Cut that I watched.  It’s a bit longer and in some cases it actually makes the film better.  Most of the action scenes are decent, as well as the special effects.  The costuming of the characters was a fairly decent translation from the comic books, as well.  I liked Affleck’s performance, as well as Colin Farrell’s enormously intense scenery chewing as Bullseye.  It’s also a fairly dark comic book movie, and I think it was actually ahead of its time.  If this movie were made today, it would be of a higher quality with more attention paid to the darkness of the character, as modern audiences are more accepting of those themes than they were 10 years ago.

What I disliked: At times it feels like a comic book, and that’s not a great thing when it comes to the execution of the story.  Pointless scenes featuring action hero poses, and lighting choices that make no sense when you take into account the fact that the character is goddamn blind.  Some scenes are positively goofy.  There was also the sense that – much like Batman & Robin – the story was trying to cram in as much Daredevil history as possible which just led to it being somewhat scatterbrained.  If you’re doing a proper Daredevil movie series, you don’t introduce Elektra until at least the second movie.  Also, the music choices for the movie just reeked of attempted cross-marketing, featuring two flash-in-the-pan Evanescence songs.

Would I recommend it to anyone?: Sort of.  It is a decent enough comic book movie, but unlike the Christopher Nolan Batman Trilogy, it doesn’t transcend the genre.  All that being said, it is still a guilty pleasure of mine.

Rating: 3 / 5

See?  Goofy.

See? Goofy.

Cop Out (2010)

National Lampoon's Stupid Weapon oh kill me now

National Lampoon’s Stupid Weapon oh kill me now

Directed by: Kevin Smith (his best movie will most likely always end up being Chasing Amy, which used to be in my Top Five of All Time)

Written by: Mark and Robb Cullen

Starring: Bruce Willis, Tracy Morgan, Kevin Pollak, Adam Brody, Rashida Jones, Guillermo Diaz, Seann William Scott, Jason Lee and Michelle Trachtenberg.

What it’s about: two wacky cop partners get wrapped up in something stupid

B-Movie Alternate Title: Stupid Cops

Movie Mash Up: The Last Boy Scout – everything great about it

What I liked: I generally enjoy seeing Bruce Willis in movies, so that was a high point.  Kevin Pollak, also.  Moving on.

What I disliked: I don’t get how Tracy Morgan is popular for just spitting out goddamn non sequiturs.  He was pretty terrible to watch in this movie, and since he was Willis’ partner, they pretty much share every scene of the running time, which made it particularly torturous for me.  The writing was bad, the action was bad, the acting was bad, it was just bad in general.  The humour is grade school dick and fart jokes without being ironic or Jackass-level brilliance.  I think there was one scene that actually made me laugh out loud in the movie.  Why do I even own this movie?  Does anyone want it?

Would I recommend it to anyone?: No, it is a pretty dumb cop action comedy with very little to enjoy.

Rating: 1.5 / 5

This is close to the scene that made me laugh.  Movie magic.

This is close to the scene that made me laugh. Movie magic.

Live Free or Die Hard (2007)


Directed by: Len Wiseman (haven’t watched his Total Recall version yet, but honestly the best thing he’s ever done was marry Kate Beckinsale)

Written by: Mark Bomback and David Marconi, based off a “Wired” article by John Carlin called “A Farewell to Arms”.  I am currently reading “A Farewell to Arms” by Ernest Hemmingway and I assure you, the two literary works are not related at all.  Christ, I think Hemmingway hated commas.

Starring: Bruce Willis, Justin Long, Timothy Olyphant, Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Maggie Q, Cliff Curtis, Zeljko Ivanek, Sung Kang, Kevin Smith, Jonathan Sadowski, Cyril Raffaelli and Andrew Friedman.

What it’s about: John McClane once again gets involved in saving the day, this time from a highly intelligent hacker hell-bent on bringing down the American Government

B-Movie Alternate Title: Die Hard: Car vs. Helicopter

Movie Mash Up: It’s like Die Hard, but 20 years later and with technology and hacking and stuff!

What I liked: Holy smokes, Justin Long isn’t a sassy black man!  McClane gets a white sidekick this time and he’s generally entertaining for most of the film.  I enjoyed seeing Mary Elizabeth Winstead as Lucy McClane, John’s all grown-up daughter.  Timothy Olyphant makes for a compelling villain, and even Kevin Smith was fairly tolerable in this one.  Can we also put Maggie Q in everything forever?  The action was fairly jacked up, even compared to the first Die Hard.  While it certainly was an easy cash-in, the movie feels like it belongs in the Die Hard franchise.

What I disliked: While I felt that it belongs in the franchise, I still never saw any reason for them to go back to the well.  It is nice to see characters grow and catch up with them later on in life – especially since at the beginning of Die Hard with a Vengeance, McClane was an alcoholic – but it still is a bit depressing, and creates a more difficult belief to suspend.  Pretty much like all those seasons of “24” and all the bad shit happening to the same guy.  It was enjoyable, but felt just a bit too slick and polished.

Would I recommend it to anyone?: Sure, why not.  As previously mentioned, it was enjoyable enough.  Just make sure you watch the Unrated version.  I don’t ever want to watch a PG-13 Die Hard film.

Rating: 3.5 / 5

HAHAHHA oh so ridiculous

Red State (2011)

I just watched Red State and I’m trying to muddle through exactly how I feel about the film, and I’m finding myself conflicted by how I feel about Kevin Smith.  Maybe conflicted isn’t the right word.  Maybe disappointed is.  I think he may actually be regressing as a filmmaker, or just has lost touch or something.  Perhaps there’s such a thing as TOO MUCH social media interactivity.  I don’t know, I don’t want to be a “hater” or whatever.  Chasing Amy is still one of my all time favourite movies, and my growing discontent with Smith has been bubbling since, I dunno, probably Jay & Silent Bob Strike Back.  I had to unfollow him on Twitter because dude, just stop, yes you’re verbose, you love semantics, etc. just shut up.  Hell, I want to cut this short because it could just turn into bullet points of “I am disappoint”.  Dude was one of my favourite writers and directors, he made me interested in learning more about film and kinda made me think anyone could do it.  And he keeps doing it.

I don’t want to see another View Askewniverse movie.  I want to see Kevin Smith succeed, despite his own excess of personality.  I don’t need to see Jay or Silent Bob doing the same thing over and over again until they’re both pushing 50.  I want to see Smith grow as a filmmaker, I really do.  Cop Out was a slightly charming mess (still trying to figure out how I came to own it), but Red State, man, I was turned off of seeing it by Smith’s screening commentary on Twitter (sample paraphrased Tweet: “Oh I’m not spoiling anything but cats in the audience just reacted huge to that reveal about 56 minutes in”).  Yeah, Kevin, it is “nasty-ass”.  Congratulations, you had me worried you were treading into Hostel territory, thinking you had finally just given up or something and wanted to combine your love of porn with torture.

It is a grim fucking movie.  I’m trying to find something positive to say about it, but… it’s a complete departure from your typical Kevin Smith movie.  However, thanks to Kevin Smith talking incessantly about it, pretty much most of the intrigue about the movie is ruined for those that pay attention to Kevin Smith, and for the mainstream audience, it’s not that accessible either because as we’ve all learned, the mainstream audience isn’t interested in Kevin Smith movies.  Visually, it’s nothing that has ever been seen in one of his movies, and there are some good performances in it, just in regrettable roles.

I post these write-ups on the Internet, and I’m kinda terrified that this one is actually going to be noticed.  Feel free to attack my writing and such, I just don’t put a lot into these write-ups usually, and this one got away from me a bit.

2 / 5