Killer Joe (2012)

Truth in advertising.

Truth in advertising.

Directed by: William Friedkin (I haven’t seen many of his movies, but I doubt they get much better than The Exorcist)

Written by: Tracy Letts adapted her own play to the screen

Starring: Matthew McConaughey, Emile Hirsch, Juno Temple, Gina Gershon and Thomas Haden Church

What it’s about: a redneck family hires a killer to gain access to a life insurance settlement

B-Movie Alternate Title: The title it already has is pretty B-Movie as it is

What I liked: This is probably as black a comedy as it gets, and overall it isn’t even that funny, just slightly off-kilter and disturbed.  It has so many qualities of a B-Movie, but such powerful acting performances.  The entire cast deserved Oscar nominations in my book, mostly for how unflattering and brave their performances were.  Juno Temple is incredibly sexy, even as a white trash trailer park princess.  There are numerous stand-out scenes throughout, and shockingly a naked Juno Temple isn’t the most memorable scene in the entire film.  You just wait until you see Thomas Haden Church’s performance at the insurance building.

What I disliked: I didn’t necessarily dislike anything, but that doesn’t mean it deserves a 5-star rating.

Would I recommend it to anyone?: No,  it would be a hard movie to watch with company, let alone how skeevy you might feel watching it alone.  Very good movie, though.

Rating: 3.5 / 5

Between this and Magic Mike, it is a goddamn crime McConaughey did not receive an Oscar nomination.

Between this and Magic Mike, it is a goddamn crime McConaughey did not receive an Oscar nomination.

John Carter (2012)

Sometimes I go into watching movies knowing little to nothing about them.  I knew that for years, this project had been around and it was originally titled John Carter of Mars and then it was inexplicably changed to something boring that unless you had the knowledge of the previous title, could have been anything.  I’d never read the Edgar Rice Burroughs stories, so I really had no idea what the movie was about, other than it maybe it used to have something to do with Mars, but not anymore.  Also, a guy named John Carter, pretty sure he was going to be central to the story, after all they left his name in the title.

Hey, have you ever seen Army of Darkness, but wished that instead of the far-gone past and undead enemies, Ash was on Mars with some humanoid Martians and some uh, regular looking Martians?  Well good news everyone, Disney made that movie!  It’s called John Carter and it’s a fairly bland but ultimately inoffensive unintentional (?) take on the Army of Darkness story.  Or not.  Whatever, that’s what it struck me as, except Taylor Kitsch is in no way, shape or form a decent replacement for Bruce Campbell.

There are several things that I liked about John Carter, but none of them are really worthy enough for me to highly recommend seeing the movie to anyone else.  I always enjoy seeing Lynn Collins in movies, though for most of Carter I kept thinking she was really Olivia Munn.  Mark Strong did his usual job as the heavy of the film, and yeah, it’s pretty much a cookie-cutter-summer-blockbuster that wasn’t.  Also, not released in the Summer.  Kitsch kept reminding me of a younger, blander Timothy Olyphant, in fact this whole movie was an exercise in disconcerting me about little things.  You might like it though, I’m sure my parents did.

3 / 5

All About Steve (2009)

You know, I generally don’t have a problem with Sandra Bullock.  She’s a fine enough actress, intelligent, funny, self-deprecating, attractive.  These are all qualities that I find immensely appealing in the opposite sex.  But for the most part she doesn’t act in movies I’m interested in seeing, aside from her prequel to 28 Days Later.  The Proposal was what it was, and The Blind Side is terribly overrated, but still a decent film.

I had heard so many things that were terrible when it comes to All About Steve, that I genuinely had no interest at all in watching it.  Then Bradley Cooper became a star.  Actually, I still wasn’t interested.  I’d say seeing Katy Mixon in “Eastbound & Down” really made me want to see it, but I didn’t even know she was in it until I saw her name in the credits.  Ken Jeong is generally hit or miss, more with the awkward miss lately.  Thomas Haden Church was quite great in Easy A, but even that wasn’t enough to make me interested.

I watched it because of my movieaday thing.  That’s it, that’s the whole thing.  Bullock “won” the Razzie Award for Worst Actress for this movie, the same year she won the Oscar for Best Actress.  I wanted to see if it was really that bad and no, it wasn’t.  It’s not great by any leap of the imagination, but it is far from terrible.  There are some laughs to be found, and the sheer buffoonism of Haden Church is tremendous fun, and if you’re mentally torturing Bradley Cooper, I will enjoy that.

2.5 / 5