Release Date: March 27th, 2000 (Westwood premiere) Directed by: Rob Cohen Written by: John Pogue Music by: Randy Edelman Cast: Joshua Jackson, Paul Walker, Hill Harper, Leslie Bibb, Christopher McDonald, Steve Harris, William Petersen, Craig T. Nelson
Original Film, Newmarket Capital Group, Universal Pictures, 106 Minutes
“Our rules supercede those of the outside world.” – Senator Ames Levritt
Twenty-one years later, I finally got around to seeing this movie.
I never had much urge to see it but I figured I’d give it a shot because it popped up on one of my streaming services and I had recently read a book about the Skull & Bones.
So, I probably shouldn’t have clicked “play” because this was just as pointless, terrible and mind-numbingly stupid as I had assumed it would be.
This film has no redeeming qualities, if I’m being honest.
The acting is below the capabilities of the decent actors in this, the direction is bad, the story is moronic, the cinematography looks like a ’90s music video, the score is fucking atrocious and there isn’t a single likable character in this apart from Leslie Bibb, who is the only moral character that doesn’t suck the fluid out of my brain.
Well, I guess that pretty quickly summed up this wet turd. There’s honestly not much else to say other than I wish this movie would’ve been as short as this review.
Original Run: May 7th, 2021 Created by: Steven S. DeKnight Directed by: various Written by: various Based on:Jupiter’sLegacy by Mark Millar, Frank Quitely Music by: Stephanie Economou Cast: Josh Duhamel, Ben Daniels, Leslie Bibb, Andrew Horton, Elena Kampouris, Mike Wade, Matt Lanter, Tyler Mane, Kurtwood Smith
Jupiter’s Legacy was made like it was expected to be a massive hit, right out of the gate. I also think that Netflix, who had acquired a lot of comic book legend Mark Millar’s properties, thought that they could capitalize off of Amazon’s The Boys and make something that could either exist on its level of commercial and critical success or possibly even surpass it.
Sadly, this show was cancelled almost immediately after it debuted due to a lukewarm response, its astronomical production cost and what one would have to assume was complications due to COVID, which has been the death knell of a lot of promising Hollywood productions.
All that being said, it’s kind of sad seeing this television show not having the time to evolve into something. It’s only eight episodes and the first season serves as more of a prologue to a larger, more epic story.
Initially, I wasn’t into the show and I had to push through the first few episodes. But as I progressed through them, things started to click and the show found its footing. By the end, I wanted to see more and to see how this was going to play out. However, I guess none of us will ever know. Well, I could pick up the comics and give them a shot and I might.
At first, I wasn’t too keen on the costumes and the general look of the show but as it rolls on, it starts to work and this does take on its own identity, even if it may appear to be derivative and just another superhero show in a sea of superhero shows and movies.
For the most part, I liked the cast. I especially thought that Josh Duhamel was damn good as the patriarch of his superhero family. I also liked Leslie Bibb and it was cool seeing her get to shine and ply her trade as one of the top characters in a serious drama, even if it is about pulp heroes and concepts.
I wish there would have been a bigger sample size of episodes to critique and analyze but I guess we’ve got what we’ve got.
Rating: 7/10 Pairs well with: other recent comic book television adaptations.
Also known as: Trick or Treat (alternative spelling) Release Date: December 9th, 2007 (Butt-Numb-A-Thon Film Festival) Directed by: Michael Dougherty Written by: Michael Dougherty Music by: Douglas Pipes Cast: Dylan Baker, Rochelle Aytes, Anna Paquin, Brian Cox, Quinn Lord, Lauren Lee Smith, Britt McKillip, Jean-Luc Bilodeau, Samm Todd, Leslie Bibb, Tahmoh Penikett, Brett Kelly
Bad Hat Harry Productions, Legendary Entertainment, Warner Bros., 82 Minutes
“Werewolves, zombies and demons of every variety. They’ve all descended on the normally sleepy town of Warren Valley, OH. Where the holiday and all of its strange traditions are taken very seriously. It’s only 8:00 and the streets are already packed with costumed visitors. Some to show off, others to blend in, but all to celebrate the magical night of Halloween. The one night a year where we can pretend to be the scariest thing we think of.” – Reporter
It’s been a hell of a long time since I last watched Trick ‘r Treat and I was a bit surprised that I hadn’t reviewed it yet, as this is already the fourth Halloween season since Talking Pulp started. Not to mention all my other blogs that predate this one where reviewing movies was part of the regular output.
I like this movie quite a bit, especially because it truly is a love letter to Halloween and while we have a lot of horror movies in the universe, we don’t have enough that feel like they’re Halloween specific.
This is an anthology but all the stories are connected and happen in the same town on the same night. The plots overlap a bit and the movie is shown out of order ala Pulp Fiction but it isn’t hard to put the pieces together and it keeps you guessing as the multiple plot threads develop.
My only real complaint about the film is that it felt like it needed one more story thrown in to help pad out the running time and to take the picture to the next level. It’s short, moves really quick and the flick ends before you’re really ready to say goodbye to it. But I guess that’s also a testament to how entertaining it is.
I had always hoped that this would’ve kicked off a franchise of annual or semi-annual Halloween anthologies that exist in this same universe. Michael Dougherty, the film’s writer and director, has said he’s wanted to make more but it’s been thirteen years since this was originally shown and not much has happened since.
Well, Dougherty did do another holiday themed horror movie with 2015’s Krampus and I did enjoy that as well. But still, this deserves more love, more chapters and with that, I feel like it could evolve into a franchise strong enough to rival John Carpenter’s Halloween series.
Rating: 7.5/10 Pairs well with: other horror anthologies, as well as movies about Halloween.
Also known as: Truth or Dare (working title) Release Date: January 1st, 2013 (Russia) Directed by: Steven Brill, Peter Farrelly, Will Graham, Steve Carr, Griffin Dunne, James Duffy, Jonathan van Tulleken, Elizabeth Banks, Patrik Forsberg, Brett Ratner, Rusty Cundieff, James Gunn, Bob Odenkirk, Steve Baker, Damon Escott Written by: Steve Baker, Ricky Blitt, Will Carlough, Tobias Carlson, Jacob Fleisher, Patrik Forsberg, Will Graham, James Gunn, Claes Kjellstrom, Jack Kukoda, Bob Odenkirk, Bill O’Malley, Matthew Alec Portenoy, Greg Pritikin, Rocky Russo, Olle Sarri, Elizabeth Wright Shapiro, Jeremy Sosenko, Jonathan van Tulleken, Jonas Wittenmark Music by: Christophe Beck, David J. Hodge, Leo Birenberg, Tyler Bates, Miles Moon, William Goodrum Cast: Elizabeth Banks, Kristen Bell, Halle Berry, Leslie Bibb, Kate Bosworth, Gerard Butler, Josh Duhamel, Anna Faris, Richard Gere, Terrence Howard, Hugh Jackman, Johnny Knoxville, Justin Long, Christopher Mintz-Plasse, Chloë Grace Moretz, Liev Schreiber, Emma Stone, Jason Sudekis, Uma Thurman, Naomi Watts, Kate Winslet, Dennis Quaid, Greg Kinnear, Common, Charlie Saxton, Will Sasso, Seth MacFarlane, Mark L. Young, Fisher Stevens, Beth Littleford, Julie Ann Emery, Chris Pratt, J.B. Smoove, Kieran Culkin, Bobby Cannavale, Patrick Warburton, Seann William Scott, Stephen Merchant, Snooki, Emily Alyn Lind, Julianne Moore (scene cut), Tony Shalhoub (scene cut), Bob Odenkirk (scene cut), Anton Yelchin (scene cut)
“Excuse me, I’m gonna go do some Batman-ing.” – Fake Batman
I never wanted to see this movie and that was before I heard how bad it was when it came out. Also, the few people who seemed to like it were people that have historically had terrible recommendations in not just movies but just about everything in life.
Recently, I was told to watch it and I kind of just said fuck it because part of me was curious and wanted to know if this was as bad as I had heard it was.
In fact, I can confidently say that this is the biggest waste of talent I have ever seen in a motion picture.
It’s so bad that it’s beyond atrocious. So much so, that I find it not just baffling that this film attracted so many big stars but I find it really unnerving.
Who greenlit this fucking thing? And how many terrible agents are there in Hollywood? Fire all of them!
Anyway, I had to start asking myself some questions while trying to work this film’s existence out in my brain:
Is everyone in Hollywood actually insane?
Do the Hollywood elite want all of us to commit seppuku?
Do the Hollywood elite think that sucking their own assholes is a good use of time?
Did this movie somehow leak over from a parallel dimension where Earth actually is Hell?
Did all of these “artists” commit some unspeakable crime and this was secretly some sort of punishment for said crime?
Did all of these people lose a bet?
Was this movie actually the result of a writing contest for mental patients?
Is this what people mean by “anti-humor”?
Did the person who put up the money have some sort of Brewster’s Millions deal where they had to throw away money to get their full inheritance?
Was this produced to debut on an earlier, failed attempt at CBS trying a streaming service?
I mean, those are all legitimate questions. In fact, I’d say that they’re more legitimate than this film.
This is the worst movie I’ve seen that was made for more than thirty dollars.
The film was full of crude jokes, none of which landed, and it offered up a bunch of gross out moments that just come across as Hollywood trying so hard to be edgy when in reality, they haven’t had their fucking balls in a long time.
Honestly, seeing how “politically correct” and “apologetic” the Hollywood elite have become since SJWs emerged and Cancel Culture took hold, this film feels like them desperately trying to get all the edgy shit out of their system before they all started their “I’m sorry, I’ll strive to do better” world tour.
Additionally, none of these gross out moments are all that effective if you’ve been a fan of ’70s and ’80s horror. Go watch Society and try again. Better yet, you shouldn’t have tried at all.
I think that film critic Robbie Collin said it best in his review of the movie:
“I was immediately overcome with a sudden rush of emotion: not amusement, anger or even mild irritation, but a profound and faintly tragic sense of pity.”
Speaking of reviews, let’s look at what all the big sites think. IMDb gives it a 4.3/10, Rotten Tomatoes gives it 5 percent from critics with 24 percent from the audience, Metacritic gives it an 18 percent and Richard Roeper referred to it as “the Citizen Kane of awful.”
In closing, I’ll simply state:
Rating: 0/10 Pairs well with: bad cavities and genital warts.
Release Date: April 26th, 2010 (El Capitan Theatre premiere) Directed by: Jon Favreau Written by: Justin Theroux Based on:Iron Man by Stan Lee, Larry Lieber, Don Heck, Jack Kirby Music by: John Debney Cast: Robert Downey Jr., Don Cheadle, Gwyneth Paltrow, Scarlett Johansson, Sam Rockwell, Mickey Rourke, Jon Favreau, Paul Bettany (voice), Samuel L. Jackson, Clark Gregg, Leslie Bibb, Gary Shandling, John Slattery, Kate Mara, Olivia Munn (cameo)
“If you try to escape, or play any sort of games with me, I will taze you and watch Supernanny while you drool into the carpet.” – Agent Coulson
I remember that when I first saw Iron Man 2, I was disappointed. I really hadn’t watched it since it came out but it was nice revisiting it and I was surprised to discover that it was better than I remembered it. Maybe it’s because Marvel movies are a dime a dozen now but this had more of a plot and more character development than most of the massive team-up movies we get today.
This film also introduces us to Scarlett Johansson’s Black Widow, who would become a major player in the Avengers franchise, and it recasts James Rhodes a.k.a. War Machine with Don Cheadle, who brought more charisma than Terrence Howard and also has much more chemistry with Robert Downey Jr. We also get more of Sam Jackson’s Nick Fury, Clark Gregg’s Agent Coulson, small roles for John Slattery and Kate Mara, a cameo by Olivia Munn and others, as well as the addition of Gary Shandling and the return of Leslie Bibb.
The main additions to the film are the villains though. We get Sam Rockwell, recent Oscar winner, as Justin Hammer, a rival of Tony Stark. We also get Mickey Rourke as Whiplash, who is a combination of Iron Man villains the Crimson Dynamo and Whiplash. I liked both men in their roles and thought they had a solid chemistry when they shared scenes together. Whiplash’s backstory was interesting and I actually would have liked to have seen him return. Well, I’d like to see Hammer return too and since he doesn’t die, his return isn’t impossible.
The film isn’t as good or as refined as the original but it expands on the Iron Man pocket of the larger Marvel Cinematic Universe that hadn’t reached its apex by 2010. It is a better film than The Incredible Hulk and seeing it now, I like it better than all of the other Phase One Marvel films after the first Iron Man. Although, I am planning to revisit Thor and Captain America: The First Avenger over the next week.
I think that Jon Favreau did a great job directing the first two Iron Man movies. It was a hard task but he accomplished what he set out to do, which was to build a good foundation for the future of the MCU. The entire franchise was born out of Favreau’s vision for Iron Man and I think it was a good vision and a great starting point.
The climax was long but it was much bigger than the simple fight that capped off the first film. Iron Man had his work cut out for him but now having allies made for a much richer finale. I just wish that the actual fight between Iron Man and War Machine against Whiplash wouldn’t have ended so quickly. I felt like Rourke’s character deserved a few more minutes of being a total badass. Then again, he bit off more than he could chew in engaging two men in Iron Man suits.
Iron Man 2 is a better movie than what I thought it was at first glance, back in 2010. Ultimately, it is a fun, larger than life, popcorn flick. It’s a damn good one at that, though. We now live in a world where there’s a half dozen superhero movies per year and that might be a low estimate. Iron Man 2 is better than what has become the standard, as the genre becomes more and more watered down with each comic book movie and television show.
Rating: 7.75/10 Pairs well with:Iron Man, Iron Man 3, Captain America: Civil War.
Release Date: April 14th, 2008 (Sydney premiere) Directed by: Jon Favreau Written by: Mark Fergus, Hawk Ostby, Art Marcum, Matt Holloway Based on:Iron Man by Stan Lee, Larry Lieber, Don Heck, Jack Kirby Music by: Ramin Djawadi Cast: Robert Downey Jr., Terrence Howard, Jeff Bridges, Shaun Toub, Gwyneth Paltrow, Jon Favreau, Paul Bettany (voice), Samuel L. Jackson (cameo), Clark Gregg, Leslie Bibb, Tom Morello (cameo), Ghostface Killah (scene cut), Peter Billingsley (cameo)
“[reading the newspaper] Iron Man. That’s kind of catchy. It’s got a nice ring to it. I mean it’s not technically accurate. The suit’s a gold titanium alloy, but it’s kind of provocative, the imagery anyway.” – Tony Stark
I decided that it’s time to go back and rewatch the Marvel Cinematic Universe from the beginning, as the world patiently waits for the release of Avengers: Infinity War in less than three months. It’s been a really long time since I’ve watched the Phase One films, so I figured I’d start with the first, a film that I can’t believe is a decade old already. Man, time flies.
Maybe it’s because I haven’t watched the Phase One stuff in so long, but I truly forgot how great the original Iron Man is. It’s definitely the best of the Iron Man films and much better than most of the Phase Two and Phase Three movies. It was smaller, simpler and actually told a story instead of being a dozen big action sequences strung together by a fragile plot thread.
This is the origin story of Iron Man and really Tony Stark, even though some of the sequels to this flesh out his backstory more. This doesn’t get too bogged down in the origin stuff though, as it does a great job of focusing on the main story and moving forward. Plus, that post credits scene sets up what’s to come with the formation of the Avengers and a hint at something much larger than just Stark’s world. In fact, Nick Fury even states that Stark isn’t the first superhero, alluding to Captain America and possibly even Captain Marvel, who ten years later, still hasn’t gotten her movie.
Iron Man is just so well acted, well constructed and Jon Favreau did a fine job directing it, even though he got to play a role in it and other Iron Man-related films after this one.
This is small in comparison to the Marvel films that would come later but I think that’s why I like it so much. It’s a bit more grounded in reality, emotion and something actually genuine.
Robert Downey Jr. is the perfect Tony Stark but we all know that by this point. It’s like he was born to play the role and everything else before this, as great as many of his films were, was just preparation for this role, the biggest thing he’s ever been a part of.
Jeff Bridges was fantastic as the first ever Marvel Cinematic Universe villain. He was a powerful and charismatic choice and still, better than most of the other villains that have come and gone. Granted, other than less than a handful of characters, Marvel has had an issue with managing their bad guys in these pictures.
This was a perfect start to the larger Avengers universe. I think we knew how good this was, at the time, but seeing it now, with so many other Marvel movies having come out after it, helps put into perspective how good this motion picture was.
Rating: 8.5/10 Pairs well with:Iron Man 2, Iron Man 3, Captain America: Civil War.
Release Date: October 13th, 2017 Directed by: McG Written by: Brian Duffield Music by: Douglas Pipes Cast: Samara Weaving, Judah Lewis, Hana Mae Lee, Robbie Amell, Bella Thorne, Leslie Bibb, Ken Marino
Boies / Schiller Film Group Production, Wonderland Sound and Vision, Netflix, 85 Minutes
“Three out of four people got an STD; I got two people’s blood on me! You do the math! I got AIDS! I know I got AIDS!” – John
McG has never made a film that I have liked. Still, a lot of time has passed since I watched a McG movie and I like comedy horror films, so I gave this a fair shot. However, just as McG is a stupid douchebaggy name, The Babysitter is kind of a stupid douchebaggy movie.
The problem however isn’t the actors or even the script, it is solely the director and his creative decisions. With McG pictures in the past, it was the same thing. All the things he ultimately controls, are shit.
The quick music video style editing is annoying and sloppy. While he started as a music video director, there is a big difference in trying to convey a story over four minutes than there is when it’s a feature length film. McG seems to embrace the style that got him his earliest work, even though it isn’t beneficial to the medium he works in now. Nobody wants a ninety minute music video with fast cuts, overly stylized camera movement and funky graphics sprouting up on the screen. Well, some people do I guess, like those who gave this a “thumbs up” on Netflix.
I can’t fault the cast, though. In fact, most of the actors were really good.
I especially liked Samara Weaving, who has impressed me between her performance here and her small but sweet role in Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri. She was likable and hot and even when you realized that she was a psycho Satan worshiping serial killer, it only makes her presence in this film, that much cooler. And really, I mostly liked the story. It was the execution of it that was the problem.
Robbie Amell and Bella Thorne are also pretty good but their screen time was limited to just a few good scenes, as Weaving and the young Judah Lewis were really at the forefront.
Also, despite Weaving giving a good performance, her “too cool” character was presented a bit over the top and it just didn’t feel believable. Something felt off about her being the hot and cool babysitter that was really into nerdy shit with her BFF, a twelve year-old boy. I attribute this to a combination of the direction, the editing, the dialogue and the overall writing.
All the comedy elements tried really hard to generate laughs but the vast majority of it missed the point, came off as forced, seemed overly hokey and was really just derivative schlock. The character of John had some funny lines but I’ve heard just about the same shit from a dozen other characters that did it better.
At least this wasn’t a boring movie and it was over pretty quickly.
So the question is, does The Babysitter need to be run through the Cinespiria Shitometer? Why, yes it does! And the results read, “Type 5 Stool: Soft blobs with clear cut edges (passed easily).” Seems about right, as it was shitty but it did pass pretty easily.