Category Archives: Skip it

I wasted my time, you don’t need to waste yours.

Dark Shadows

I have never seen the original Dark Shadows, so I am coming in to this with only the trailers giving me pre-conceived notions. Being a Johnny Depp and Tim Burton vehicle, I expected more. All I could mange was a few giggles and stifle even more yawns.

Barnabus’ (Johnny Depp) family came to America in 1750 to expand their fishing business. The expansion was a success and the town was named Collinsport. Barnabas becomes a man, and Angelique  falls in love with him. She expresses her love to Barnabus, but it is unrequited. He instead falls in love with Josette. Angelique kills Barnabas’ parents, causes Josette to kill herself and curses him to be a vampire. (From what I have learned about vampire lore from books and other movies, a vampire is not created by casting a spell.) At some point after the curse, Angelique gets a mob to attack and bury the monster. He is set free in 1972 to find the family business and estate in ruins. Angie and her “ancestors”, have been running the company that has dominated Collinsport since Barnabas had “gone away.” (They neglected to say who exactly took over the business as the principal players were out of commission.)

The story seems to be based on 3 shaky topics- showing how comically out of place Barnabas is, needless sex references (specifically with Angelique [Eva Green] &  Doctor Hoffman), and depicting how obsessed Angelique is. More on this later…

The other players had potential to add to the story that was never explored, or was left on the virtual cutting room floor. It felt like everyone was just a backdrop to support Depp’s greatness. Here’s who we could have learned more about:

David Collins (Gulliver McGrath) – Descendant of Barnabas who is considered troubled because he can see and speak to ghosts, specifically his dead mother.

Dr Julia Hoffman (Helena Bonham Carter) – She is the consistently hung over, onsite psychiatrist who has been treating David for his “condition.” (There doesn’t seem to be much of a condition, except in the conversations about it.)

Roger Collins (Jonny Lee Miller) – David’s never present dad. We do learn one more important thing about his character later…

Carolyn Stoddard (Chloë Grace Moretz) – David’s older sister. A 15 yr old growing up in an unquestionably crazy situation, with nowhere to turn.

Victoria Winters (Bella Heathcote) – David’s nanny, as if having your own live in doctor is not enough.

Willie Loomis (Jackie Earle Haley) – The drunken, underutilized caretaker.

David’s mother (Josephine Butler) – Or should I say the ghost of. She was introduced to us as a child masquerading as a ghost. A ghost in a sheet. Really? I think they wrote her in so she could be recalled to help add absolutely nothing to the haphazard, confusing ending.

What I took away from this is that no matter how powerful, successful, pretty or smart a woman is, she can still be monumentally crazy. 200 years after Barnabus’ imprisonment, Angie has built an empire, is (still) a witch, and haves whatever she wants. Except the love of a single man. When she learns that Barnabas has risen, she attempts to get him back.

I don’t know where Tim was headed with this one, but he missed the exit.

The Five Year-Engagement

Ugh… Ouch… *gut punch*…

Yep, that pretty much sums up how I feel about The Five-Year Engagement. Instead of just being critical, I have a way to fix this film. Make it a short. Use the first 15, and the last 10 min, then it would be great. Now I shall get back to the negative.

This was so bad on many fronts, I’m not sure where to start… I think main area of suckiness is that it didn’t know where to go. Tom Solomon (Jason Segel) is a successful sous chef of a San Francisco restaurant. Violet Barnes (Emily Blunt) is a student who gets accepted into a grad program in Michigan. Tom give up a promotion, (that he learns of after he has decided to move with Violet), to be the head chef of the owners new restaurant, The Clambar. As you can infer from the title, the engagement process is not a smooth one, and gets dragged out for, you guessed it, 5 years.

During this time, Tom is unable to be happy. He has given up his dream to follow the woman he loves across the country. His and Violet’s journey is not funny nor interesting. It’s sad and depressing. It seems more like a lesson in not being stupid about giving up the awesome things you have in a desperate hope that a single individual is the one for you.

While in Michigan, the best job Tom is able to find is at a sandwich shop. A large step down from sous chef. As the years go by, he adopts some hobbies including hunting, camping, brewing his own mead, and sweater knitting. During his hunting phase, he dresses everything in the house in carcasses of animals. And grows out lamb chop side burns. Violet has a moment where her professor misreads her signals and goes in for the kiss. This creates more unfunny issues. Jason Segal is also in danger of becoming the male version of Julia Roberts, right behind Hugh Grant.

They ultimately break up and try to proceed. Tom back in San Fran, with Violet staying in Michigan. MORE depression…

Here comes the spoilage, they eventually get together!!! Back to the goodness of this film. The opening is cute, where Tom has an elaborate plan to propose, during which flashbacks are inserted to show how they met at a costume party. Now jump to the end->  Violet has an argument with her sister Suzie (Alison Brie) while they use the voices of Elmo and Cookie Monster. Violet hatches an elaborate plan to propose to Tom. And if he accepts, they will get married right then. He does, they do, and it is truly heartwarming!

Jason, JuddNicholas, I expected more. The shock and awww… idea used in previous movies just doesn’t work here. Tom falling asleep in the snow and losing a toe. The aforementioned house covered in carcasses. Violet getting shot with a crossbow. Grandparents dying off before the wedding. Using Alex (Chris Pratt) as the abrasive comedic foil, he’s too abrasive. Oh yeah, forgot to mention he knocks up Suzie early in the movie and they end up married and ultimately ends up a good father and husband. Yet he retains too much abrasiveness to become likable. I’d rather see the characters die in a firey train wreck, then I might have some sympathy.



In the year 2079, apparently man is still alive and building REALLY stupid prisons.

Lockout has a few issues in addition to the opening line… Virtually every scene or character reminds me of someone from another movie. The films that immediately come to mind that served as direct source material are Escape from New York, Demolition ManFifth Element, Star Wars, Battlestar Galactica, Blade Runner and probably Batman Begins as well.

You can read the one sentence, 47 word synopsis on the Lockout official website. I’m going to jump straight to the plot chasms. (AKA spoiler alerts.) A maximum security prison, in space, for prisoners in suspended animation. They escape and shoot one of the techs, it is revealed the orbit has started to decay because it is a fly by wire system, which is constantly on the verge of falling out of the sky, kept aloft by said dead tech. Really? Wouldn’t all the gunfire destroying important systems been more plausible? Who is going to have a multi billion dollar installation kept in orbit by “red shirt” tech Smith? As it turns out, the decaying orbit was a plot point to force them off the prison, or else it would have dragged on forever. Did I mention the prison has an incredibly effective Battlstar Galactica level defense system, activated by one button. But the Low Orbit Police have no way of over riding it?

The breakout begins when Emilie Warnock (Maggie Grace), the President’s daughter, flies up to the prison on a humanitarian mission. One of her secret service men takes a weapon into the interrogation room. I thought he was supposed to be a professional… The interrogation room is divided by a wall with bullet proof glass, but the Emilie’s secret service men are on the side of the prisoner?!?! Hydell gets mouthy > SS man slams his head into table > Hydell takes his gun > SS men on Emilie’s side fire > gun fire from Hydell’s side > explosion from Emilie’s side of the protective glass. WTF? It all happened so quick and close up, it’s hard to follow the action.

Hydell (Joseph Gilgun, known as Rudy Wade from Misfits) is the inmate being interviewed by Emilie. He’s quite deranged and the little brother of the man who assumes control of the prisioners, Alex (Vincent Regan). If you are trying to be a criminal mastermind, and your brother is a lunatic who is probably responsible for landing you in suspended animation prison, would it not be better to put him down? Family ties can only go so far until they choke you.

This film was a jumbled mess. Which is odd, because the poster says, “From the producers of Taken“, which I really enjoyed, and the original idea/partial screenplay credit goes to Luc Besson, who has turned out some awesome stuff.  I generally like Guy Pearce (who plays lead character Snow), but he does not quite pull off the bad ass, wise cracking pseudo hero.

On a (partially) positive note, most of the special effects in space were somewhat decent, but an unnecessary motorcycle chase scene was absolutely laughable.


In Time

Yeah… Let’s start off by saying I like Justin Timberlake, and Amanda Seyfried is ridiculously cute. But liking and looks are not enough to save “In Time.”

The story is set in an indiscriminate era that visually reminds me of Equilibrium, where time is literally the new currency. Presumably to cure overcrowding, the aging gene stops at 25. At that time, a visual biological clock starts a countdown of one year. That amount can be increased or decreased by working or paying off bills. The “rich” have a lot of time and the poor have to scrounge and live day to day. You get the idea? Good.

Will Salas (Justin Timberlake) is a working man who saves Henry Hamilton (Matt Bomer) from being robbed in a bar. Henry is an old man who is basically ready to die. Don’t forget no one appears older than 25. Henry (through a much used, but not explained process of control) transfers almost all but a last few moments of his time to Will. Will is assumed to have killed Henry and later goes on the run. But not before he is unable to save his mother (Olivia Wilde) who dramatically dies in his arms and he becomes angry at the system.

While on the run, but before he knows he is being pursued, Will meets the daughter of Phillipe Weiss (Vincent Kartheiser), Sylvia (Amanda Seyfried). Phillipe is one of the richest men in country? World? I’m not sure. Sylvia is also upset at the system. Specifically how the rich are alive for however long they can afford, but they do not live the life they have. From here, it becomes more incoherent. And the whole checking how much time is left, and transferring of time gets played out very quickly.

For a technologically advanced time, no one has a cell phone. A poor plot point is completely reliant on a pay phone… During this crappily executed point, Raymond Leon (Cillian Murphy), a Timecop, is shot. He lays on the ground, apparently seriously wounded. Next scene he is walking out of zone 12, bleeding and injured. (he went in with no back up and his vehicle was stolen). The next scene seems to forget the last 2 ever happened and no indication of a wound ever shows up again.

More items pop up but never seem to pay off or make sense. If a person won a windfall, twice, what would they do? Will’s father and his legacy… (He is mentioned multiple times, and the associated reveal is LAME) Can one or two persons by themselves, without a substantial plan, really make a difference? How much is too much blatant exposition? (To cover the plot holes that were created). How can passengers in a convertible that flips and rolls multiple times, with no seat belts on, not fall out? Is this supposed to be Bonnie & Clyde? Or Robin Hood? Or Romeo & Juliet?

I will say that I liked the cars. Mostly old school and muscle cars with flat black paint and modified lighting. The only  thing that will make me feel better is “Logan’s Run” which it seems this movie was inspired from. Watch the extended trailer, it’s more cohesive and entertaining than the movie.


There seems to be a pattern to movies I’ve been seeing lately… I’ve been loving them or hating them. Takers falls in the hate category. Which is sad, because I felt it started off really smart. The film opens with the gang robbing a bank, making the dramatic departure in a hijacked news helicopter. Another film goer felt this was a bad way to plan a getaway. I saw it as an escape OPTION they had in place because the silent alarm was triggered. Which ever way you look at it, it was a cool scene.

We were treated to a few teaser scenes that threatened to engage, and keep us hooked. The team gives a portion of the take to charity and has a financial consultant! Two brothers, Jake (Michael Ealy) and Jesse (Chris Brown) were discussing their father who was in prison. There is no way Jesse could go visit while Dad is incarcerated. They are going to build him a house when he gets out. Gordon’s (Idris Elba) older sister Naomi (Marianne Jean-Baptiste) is now in rehab, and he is trying to take care of her. Jack (Matt Dillon) is the sterotyped cop with family issues and can’t let the job go, who vaults to bad parent of the year when he takes his daughter on a quick stake out. The introduction of Ghost (T.I.), a former team member locked up after being shot, then caught, on a fire escape five years ago, is the cue for the sound of a giant ship hitting an iceberg. We learn virtually nothing else about the brother’s relationship, Jake’s story plummets even faster with a completely irrelevant subplot with his partner Eddie (Jay Hernandez), but at least Naomi is a convincing addict.

Before I continue with my less than complimentary review, I will say I did enjoy the music. Now, back to the scathing. One part that really, really bothered me was they actually referenced one of the many movies they were ripping off in the dialogue. The para phrase, “let’s Italian Job this” was actually uttered. (I am using the reference to the 2003 version as I have not seen the original yet). I do not see this as an homage, but as a slap in the cinematic face. During the whole debacle, Ghost is LITERALLY giving a running commentary!

Hey, look! More scathing–>> The intuitive plot leaps, are simply idiotic. The police conclude that Ghost was released on the same day as the opening bank heist, thereby, they must be related. Really? For some unknown reason, the current crew has a massive hatred for Ghost who, while in prison, DID keep his mouth shut and ratted no one out. In the final showdown, John (Paul Walker) deduces Jake is the cop that was following them, never having established seeing him in the car, only a little girl (could have been ANY little girl). I am wondering when this was actually produced/conceived due to the completely out of the blue parkour chase where the cops were able to keep up.

Zoe Saldana made an appearance or two, had virtually no lines and looked a very sexy, underused and highly unappreciated eye candy. Paul Walker and Hayden Christensen also showed up… Sorta.


If the scientists who recently manufactured the first artificially created DNA had been in this movie, there would be potential for fear and a semblance of even movie “realism.” Well, they weren’t.

Splice is… bad. I can’t come up with a cool way to say it. Clive (Adrien Brody) and his brother Gavin (Brandon McGibbon) look like they were alternates for the Ramones. Elsa (Sarah Polley) is the girl next door trying to be the alternative girl so she can hang with the band. “Yeah, right. THEY’RE scientists,” kept ringing in my mind. They are way too cool and way too young to have broken thorough the barrier of human cell manipulation. I have a hard time believing they graduated in the top 60% of their high school class.

The list of ridiculousness is long, but here are few… SPOILER ALERT!!! You can operate a lab overseen by corporate bureaucracy in which you can test clone hundreds of unsanctioned embryos (or 4, as seen in the montage), bring one to term, and raise it to young adulthood with almost no one noticing. When someone does notice, it is because he is nearly killed by said human hybrid that is running free around the lab. The genetic creation that can change human history is scolded like a pet that peed on the carpet for nearly killing a fellow scientist. Did I mention the door was unlocked?

There are so many plot holes, story manipulations and stupid ideas crammed into this movie, it’s laughable. Literally. Director Vincenzo Natali should have intentionally gone straight for the MST3K audience or decided to stay away from this project completely. (Oh, wait! He helped with the screenplay.) By the time it actually attempted to be a horror movie, it had 5 minutes left. I had tears of unintended laughter and a bad taste in my mouth from the last 100 minutes. I don’t think I’ve used the phrase, “…And you’ve lost me” so many times in the same movie. (Assuming that I was pulled back in, from the last time I was lost.)

Splice made Species look like a Shakespearian triumph. At least Species was enjoyable and followed a path of “believability.” Splice feels like it was conceptualized by Adrien’s mechanic cousin that has blackmail material. I could go on with the MANY problems of this film, like Elsa’s instability within her character, the way she is depicted as Eve taking fruit from the Tree, and how Dren “doesn’t eat meat…”  (The good part was the nudity towards the end. But wait… it was awkward, uncomfortable, alien nudity, so that goes back in the bad column.) I will just cut it short and say the closest this movie gets to horror is horrible.


Legion movie poster My mom always told me if I can’t say anything nice, don’t say anything at all. If that theory applied to movie reviews, this one would be blank…

Legion was a mess from the opening voice over quote. Insert one dimensional characters, implausible action scenes, simple logic mistakes of what ANYBODY would not do in any horror situation, the stupidity of the Angels, and you have yourself a direct to DVD release.

God has sent his angels to erase mankind of the face of the earth, because in essence, he is tired of them. But wait! There is an unborn child who is not supposed to be born, but if he/she is, humanity has a chance. Michael, the Angel tasked with the destruction of said “chosen one” refuses, removes his wings, and takes up the mantel of defender. Fine, whatever.

Here’s the plan to wipe out humanity… Angels possess the weak humans and use them as vessels to destroy the stronger ones. I’m thinking, why not just have the Angels (as ACTUAL Angels) wipe them out. Seems to be a bit easier, no middle man. Oh yeah, did I mention that since humans are vessels, all the “Angels” have to freakin’ DRIVE to the diner  where the unborn child is. Why not smite the diner, called Paradise Falls,  from on high? Too much imagery example -> Michael arrives on earth at a building that contains an arsenal. Upon leaving, instead of walking out the door, he blasts a hole through the wall that is a perfect cross.

The most glaring plot hole of the entire movie is one of the minions is mere inches away from the belly of the typically unwed mother. Instead of slaughtering her to bring about Armageddon, the old lady simply becomes vulgar and tells the patrons they are all going to die. Talk about a missed opportunity. Yes, the movie have been over at that point and my review would be more favorable.

One thing that MAY have made this movie better is if it did not try to take itself so seriously. A swift kick in the ass from the (attempted) Epic end of the scale to comedy horror (somewhere towards Shaun of the Dead) would have been a major improvement. There were a few witty lines strewn throughout, but in the context of “this is really serious stuff,” they felt awkward and definitely out of place.

Rating: 3 0f 10 (It gets 2 points for being made and distributed, and 1 for production quality)


I have been catching this show on occasion, and every time it’s caught, I just want to let it go…

From David Caruso’s “acting,” the FLIMSY plots and the BS forensics, (yes, all the crime shows take some liberties, BUT COME ON!) how has this stayed on the air?!?

This is one car wreck that I can turn away from. I have reached my limit of giving it a chance… I say no more CSI:Miami. No more superficial eye candy. (Eat too much and it makes you sick) No more ridiculously STUPID stories. No more contradicting evaluations of a crime scene before the sentence is ended.

No more.