Tower Heist: A Case for Ratner


Brett Ratner, cinester.wordpress.com

Brett Ratner.

It’s like someone thought of his name as a joke, so when uttered, it would bring to mind everything flawed and corrupt about Hollywood. To know Brett Ratner is to loathe him. You dislike his success, his flamboyance, him female prospects (unbelievable as they are), his populist attitude toward film-making, his smarmy attitude, his inherent likability and his black credibility. In fact, dislike of Mr. Ratner’s individual person is so strong that his film-making abilities are almost an afterthought. It seems people never evaluate his work or give it serious consideration apart from their critiques of his character, which is odd, because if you evaluate his work with others of his ilk–the action comedy thriller director–his work is far superior to the rest of the pack (McG, Les Mayfield, Louis Leterrier, Simon West). Overall, Ratner is more assured, clean, concise director than people give him credit.

Where some just see a simple and lazy director, I see clear vision and a director who is able to create a filmic atmosphere that allows his actors free range of their comedic/theatrical abilities. In a way, his style is reminiscent of Richard Donner. Like Donner, he is able to work within many different genres, bringing the same consistent level of film expertise, but not with an overbearing  style, whichBrett Ratner, Chris Tucker; cinester.wordpress.com connects him to the great directors of yesteryear’s studio system. In the system, a director with a firm, knowledgeable base of film expertise would be called upon to direct films ranging in style, formula and genre (see Micheal Curtiz and Howard Hawks). If you don’t believe me look at his work. Ratner has directed many different types of films, ranging from comedy thriller, Money Talks (1997); action comedy, The Rush Hour series (1998); human comedy, The Family Man (2000); sci-fi thriller, X-Men 3: The Last Stand (2006); horror thriller, Red Dragon (2002); espionage caper, After the Sunset (2004); and now with Tower Heist (2011), he is tackling the heist film. He has met each genre with varying degrees of success (Money Talks,  Rush Hour 1 and 2,  The Family Man, and Red Dragon) and failures (Rush Hour 3, After the Sunset and X3) However, whether a success or failure, his film-making is never without merit and always assured.

Such describes Tower Heist, a film which succeeds as much as it fails. Leaving an uneven, yet entertaining, well-directed movie. So many review of heist films waste time with pointless synopses; accordingly, I will cut straight to the point: Alan Alda wrongs his employees. His employees decide to take out their righteous anger by stealing millions of dollars that he has hidden. Simple enough, but everyone knows the real dynamic of a heist film is not the heist itself (well, partly). Instead, it’s the dynamic between the stealer and steal-ee, and the subsequent rumblings within the group of thieves. As for the former, the conflict is of standard fare, Alda is serviceable as the villain who wrongs the little people, but aside from the inciting act of stealing their money in a Ponzi scheme , his character offers no real counter to the righteous thieves–except being there, being white and being evil (maybe this is scary in real life, but less so in film where villains are more deeply felt and grandiose). This leaves the other half; our modern-day Robin Hoods, led by Ben Stiller.

Eddie Murphy Tower Heist, cinester.wordpress.comStiller, who has adopted an amnesic Brooklyn brogue, is desperately trying to mask his good-guy-buffoon act with a thin, tough-guy act which fails miserably, though his attempt is endearing. Then there’s thief-for-hire, Eddie Murphy, a coup casting decision for Ratner–a Murphy devotee who’s trying to bring his idol back to his place of 80s glory. Murphy is ratcheted up to 11, screaming jokes at the audience and totally forsaking his more measured comedic performances in such films as 48 hours, Beverly Hills Cop, Trading Places, Coming to America, Boomerang and Harlem Nights. Matthew Broderick shows up and acts so pitifully that we’re tempted to forgive him for sleepwalking through the last ten years of his career, and Casey Affleck wandered over from the Oceans 14 set. As it happens, the only bright spot is Michael Pena, giving a hilarious performance as a ghetto-fied Puerto-Rican hipster slacker, out doing everyone in film with his comedic schtick.  Add a drunk-looking Tea Leoni calling in a favor to Brett from her Family Man days, and you have a cast, that for the most part, doesn’t show up to play at all–Gabourey Sidibe is in the film with a Jamaican accent, so I’ve chosen to forget her involvement in the film.

This leaves the success of the film in Ratner’s hands, and I must say, even amid the display of comedic mediocrity, heGabourey Sidibe, Tower Heist poster, cinester.wordpress.com does manage to craft a pretty slick, well-directed movie. Ratner creates some nice set pieces: the steal-something food court scene and elevator car lift are standouts. Furthermore, the film is directed with a clean, clear sense of movement and style around New York city. Unfortunately,  unlike his previous films, Rush Hour and Money Talks in particular, his actors just don’t come alive–even though he sets them up with a pretty nice pitch. The result: his capable directing looks flat and uninspired.

So actually, no one showed up to play except Ratner, and you are only left to wonder how the film Tower Heist would have fared in its original inception as the “black Oceans’ 11″ starring Chris Rock, Chris Tucker, Eddie Murphy and Dave Chappelle, but alas, Tower Heist will only go down as another strike against a talented director and his misdirected, uninspired crew.

 

From Cinester contributor Raymond Woods

From The Cinester Archives: Transformers 3: Dark of the Moon

Shia LaBeouf, Transformers 3:Dark of the Moon, cinester.wordpress.com

When Shia wasn't crying in front of a green screen, this was his main expression

Dear Michael Bay (Director), and Ehren Kruger (Writer), Steven Spielberg (Shame on you–Producer), and Shia LaBeouf:

Your Movie Sucks!!!

I was tricked into watching Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen (2009). Somebody promised me that there were still decent action scenes to be had and less overall screen time for one Megan Fox. They lied. Accordingly, I went into Transformers: Dark of the Moon (2011) with my eyes wide open.  Sure the film’s been out for a while (DVD release date: 9/30/11), but I’m perfectly content to wait for a crappy film to hit Redbox, or better still, pop up on FX at 7:00pm on a Sunday night.

Why didn’t someone stop me?

The movie begins with a shot of Rosie Hungtington-Whiteley’s butt. Then lingers there. For five minutes. Oh Michael, you are oh so classy my good man. Rosie, my dear, you’re very attractive, but perhaps there

is a reason that photos are silent. Every time you opened your mouth, you might as well have been saying “sex” over and over again; I know it’s not your fault (covert finger-pointing to the Bay-ster over there). I will say that I admire your (and your stunt double’s) ability to run in skinny jeans and five-inch stiletto heels. You are a better woman than I.

Rosie Huntington-Whiteley in Transformers 3, cinester.wordpress.com

It's hard work being objectified isn't it, Rosie?

The Director Whose Popcorn Films Have Gone Stale

Michael, you are the director that everyone loves to hate, but it’s not because you aren’t talented. You have a flair for stylized action films. I enjoyed Bad Boys (1995) and the Island (2005)when Scarlett Johansson wasn’t speaking–the first Transformers (2007) and about five minutes of Bad Boys 2 (2003). And, I admit, I will occasionally watch the last 20 minutes of Armageddon (1998) with my mother.

The problem is that you’re too busy filming the top of the latest Victoria’s Secret model’s leopard print thong, and blowing CGI cities to smithereens to cobble together a decent narrative in your films. The times when you do (see above-mentioned films) the results are decent and, (for the most part) entertaining popcorn films. 

Spielberg, stop producing crappy films. If you wouldn’t touch a film with a 10-foot pole, let alone get close enough to direct it, then don’t put your name behind it. Come on, you didn’t see Orson Welles’ producing stuff like Test Tube Babies (1948).  Note: These statements also apply to your production credits on Real Steel (2011), and the television show, Terra Nova. You’re better than this.

Ehren Kruger, every time you put pen to paper, I’m sure that somewhere a great screenplay dies. It wasn’t enough that you wrote the second Transformers, but you had to come in and pen the third. The conversation in this film was so thin that it was virtually invisible. The bad guys sounded like Villains from a Disney film.

I could say more, but I’ve put together a movie commentary for the film that I’m attaching below. This follows the film exactly, so it’s meaningless unless you play up the DVD to watch along.


(If you can’t play the link through the player, download the original file above)

Kisses and Hugs,
The MovieAngel

In Time: 2 Little, 2 Late

Justin Timberlake, In Time, cinester.wordpress.com

Dear Andrew Niccol (Director, Writer, Producer) and Justin Timberlake (Actor?):

YOUR MOVIE SUCKS!!

Andrew, I’m assuming one of the main points of the film In Time (2011), as repeated often by our earnest thespian-in-training Justin, is that time is precious (“Yo dawg, every second counts.”). Well I’m sorry to report that mine was squandered watching this film. I’d like my time back sir. Time is currency in your movie, so mail me a two-hour check, please.

I don’t get it. You can direct! You can write! I thoroughly enjoyed Gattaca (1997), same dystopian sci-fi genre, but I also thought the Truman Show (1998) and Lord of War (2005) were well made and hugely entertaining. So what happened!?

Your concept is there—dystopian future where human beings are genetically engineered not to age past 25. After that, you have one picture of numbers on arm, from film In Time, cinester.wordpress.comyear on the “clock”, the thirteen numbers on your left forearm. Time is money, so the moment you spend those last seconds, you die, or “time out”. The rich get more time and, barring an act of random violence, live forever. The poor are “timing out” on the streets. It’s a little bit of the Frighteners (1996 Peter Jackson film, where the Grim Reaper is putting numbers on people’s forehead marking them for death) and a little bit of the “Savin’ Me”(2005) video by Nickelback.

Justin Timberlake is Will Sylas, a hardworking guy from the wrong side of the tracks, living second-to-second, who’s given the gift of time by Matt Bomer (Henry Hamilton in the movie, and the tool who wears all of the pretentious fedoras in White Collar). Henry Hamilton lets Will in on the dirty secret of the system. Then, when tragedy strikes, Will decides to “Make them pay, dawg.” Enter SylviaJustin Timberlake and Amanda Seyfriend, In Time, cinester.wordpress.com Weis (Amanda Seyfried, wearing one of the worst wigs I’ve ever seen), she’s got a lot of time on her hands (haha—get it, she’s rich) and takes up with the bad boy, Bonnie and Clyde style. Seconds behind him is Raymond Leon (Cillian Murphy), a timekeeper (because the word TimeCop was already taken by Jean-Claude Van Damme) and the time-mafia, referred to as Minutemen in the movie, and no, I’m not joking.

Andrew, the biggest problem here was that every two seconds, the actors were winking at the audience, like “See, did you get that?” or “Boy, aren’t we clever?” Every cliché involving time that I’d ever heard, and a few I hadn’t, was spoken at least once. If you’re going to introduce something to the audience, say the vocabulary of a future society, it should sound natural. Harrison Ford didn’t run through Bladerunner shouting “Replicants!” every five seconds.

Now Justin, “My Love” let me “Take It From Here”. When I left the theater after the movie, your performance was “Still On My Brain”. I don’t want to say that you can’t act. I think that there are far worse actors out there than you, but perhaps I can say that your reach exceeded your grasp. You did a good job in The Social Network, but then again you spoke in taglines like, “A million dollars isn’t cool.”It’s easy to give an accurate portrayal of the guy who created Napster, just act really sad that the music industry took your money.  Bottom line, at the end of In Time, I just felt like I’d watched an extended video for “4 Minutes”.

Don’t despair, I would never leave you hanging, dawg. Here’s what you should watch instead.

  1. Gattaca (1997) – As I said before, Andrew Niccol can direct/write. This dystopian future flick with post-Reality-Bites Ethan Hawke and Uma Thurman tells the story of a society where children are engineered for superiority and anything organic is inferior.
  2. Minority Report (2002) – I weep at the perfection of this film. Spielberg directs Tom Cruise, who plays a cop in a future where crimes can be seen before they occur. The system is perfect, the flaws are human.
  3. Bladerunner (1982) – Cult classic by Ridley Scott starring Harrison Ford and Sean Young (before she was scary). Ford tracks down 4 human “replicants” who’ve hijacked a ship in space and are returning to look for their creator.

Kisses and Hugs,
The MovieAngel

The Three Suck-a-teers

The Three Musketeers (2011), cinester.wordpress.com

Dear director, Paul W. Anderson; writers, Alex Litvak and Andre Davies; actors Milla Jovovich (Milady De Winter); Christoph Waltz (Richelieu); Orlando Bloom (Duke of Buckingham); and everybody else who had any part in this monstrosity (yeah caterers, I’m talking to you!):

YOUR MOVIE SUCKS!!!

The movie was one big “clustercuss” (see The Fantastic Mr. Fox). Case in point, about 30 minutes into the movie my brother turns to me and asks, “Dude, is it me or is the sound kinda low?” It was, and honestly, I hadn’t noticed. I was too busy contemplating: a) the ridiculous use of musket-time (musket-time=bullet-time in historical action films—see Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest), b) the conversation that was both superfluous and banal, and c) the impossibility of Milla Jovovich’s acrobatics in her ridiculous costumes.

Milla Jovovich in The Three Musketeers, cinester.wordpress.com

Milla Jovovich (Milady De Winter): I'm sure all 17th century women would run and fence in their corsets and skirts

The story, which centers on the classic Dumas’ tale about a young man, D’Artagnan (eye-candy-for-those-with-baby-teeth actor, Logan Lerman) and three men of the musketeer guard: Aramis (Luke Evans), Porthos (Ray Stevenson), and Athos (Matthew Macfadyen). They square off against the dastardly Cardinal Richelieu, Duke of Buckingham, and Milady De Winter. In an effort to prevent almost certain war in Europe, these heroic figures must return a stolen piece of jewelry to the young Queen of France (Juno Temple). Simple right? Wrong!!

Mistake #1: filming for 3D. I hate 3D (see previous post). Accordingly, I decided to see the film in 2D. The shots that were supposed to be 3D were painfully, glaringly obvious: swords pointed at the screen, flying film and hovering location titles, and swooping shots past nondescript European monuments. If the shots fit well into the movie, fine; these shots were non-sequiturs like, “Look Ma, I’m flying!” gimmicks.

Come on Paul, I thoroughly enjoyed both Mortal Kombat (1995) and Resident Evil (2002). You have a flare for pulpy action films. However, the only action in this film came from the characters mouths, which never stopped moving, and Milla Jovovich’s eyes, which I’m sure she exhausted with her long, lingering looks.

Now Christoph (fantastic German actor made mainstream by your brilliant turn as Landa in Inglorious Basterds). You are above these bit roles (see “Bloodnofsky” in The Green Hornet). I’m reminded of Chris Rock’s speech at the 2008 Oscars and just want to pass this little nugget along. If you can’t get Quentin Tarantino to write for you…Wait. If you read a script that calls for you to say such profound things as, “I’m playing chess by myself because everyone else was too easy to beat”…pass on it, and then…Wait.

Orlando, your turn as Buckingham was so effortless in its lack of craft and affectation that I am forced to assume that your body has been taken over by an even worse actor than that which originally occupied said space.

Orlando Bloom in The Three Musketeers, cinester.wordpress.com

Finally, the writers; may God have mercy on you for inflicting unsuspecting film-goers with your reckless and vapid use of the English language.

Now, for the fun part: alternatives. Here’s what you should watch instead of the Three Musketeers.

  1. A white wall. That’s right, focus on any wall in your house and I can guarantee it will off you more amusement than this film.
  2. The Three Musketeers (1948)-Gene Kelly as D’Artagnan and Lana Turner as Milady De Winter? Check and mate.
  3. The Three Musketeers (1993)- Ok, I haven’t seen this one (gonna rent it this weekend) but director Steven Harek (Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure, Don’t Tell Mom the Babysitter’s Dead, and Mr. Holland’s Opus) casts Charlie Sheen, Kiefer Sutherland, Chris O’Donnell and Oliver Platt as musketeers. Even if they just sit around reading the script in an empty room, it would be better than the latest reincarnation.
  4. King Arthur (2004)-Clive Owen’s turn as the legendary knight, turned King of England has more gravity and better action scenes.
Kisses and Hugs,
The MovieAngel

Dear Sir or Madam: Your 3D Film Sucks!!

Stock photo from Spy Kids 3D: Game Over

Spy Kids 3D: Game Over. The title says it all: Game over, 3D.

I should be excited about 3D. I mean, I like technology. I don’t sit at home hatching robot conspiracies when Apple debuts its latest toy (but I’m not standing in line at 6:00am either). When I was a kid, I consumed mass quantities of Cap’n Crunch, mainly because it is amazing, but also because the Cap’n himself promised me cheap 3D glasses that I could use to watch the newest Crunchberry Beast commercial.

So when 3D experienced its mainstream resurgence in 2003—oh yes, 3D has a long history going back to William Friese Greene’s two-screened, stereoscope debacle in 1894 (you can view the timeline in John Patterson’s 3D film history overview for the Guardian UK)—I was ready.  I wanted to like it, I really did. I happily forked over the extra 5-7 extra dollars, expecting a different and better film experience.

I was disappointed.

Over the years, that disappointment has deepened to dislike, and finally, to disgust.

And it’s not just because of the dirty glasses that they parcel out. Every time I perch a pair of IMAX/RealD glasses on my face I imagine a thousand other oily schnozzles—like the face’s version of bowling shoes—resting in that same spot. And ok, so they say they pop them in industrial dishwashers, or have the 10-year-old behind the counter wipe them down with soap and water (this according to The Explainer on Slate.com). I, however, am not satisfied. I swear I saw hard-water stains (at least, I hope that’s what they were) on my glasses during the midnight showing of Avatar in IMAX 3D.

I’m not alone in this—the modern phenomenon of 3D polarizes film-goers and critics alike—from the “Oh God, I hope this is a fad” group to the “Dawn of a newScene from Avatar, cinester.wordpress.com age” proponents. Let me kill the suspense. This ain’t a fad.  It’s been in the making for over 100 years and technology is just beginning to catch up with the wild ambition that everyone saw in Cameron’s eyes while he filmed Avatar. At this point we have to ask ourselves, a la Jeff Goldblum as Ian Malcom in Jurassic Park, if we’re not so preoccupied with whether or not we can to stop and wonder whether or not we should.  And, really, what does 3D have to offer?

I ask this in light of and in comparison to the other larger innovations of modern film— everything from recorded voice, color, and CGI—and I wonder if 3D isn’t like adding an extra eyebrow on a face—unsightly and unnecessary.

3D is dark.

In fact, it’s about 50% darker than 2D films. According to the father of modern 3D, Lenny Lipton (also the writer of “Puff the Magic Dragon” (no, I’m not kidding)), viewers lose half their light due to the simultaneous projection of two pictures, burned out lamps and poor projector choices by your local theater, among other things.  His suggestions, outlined in his “Modest Proposal for 3-D Projection” are: smaller screen size, high-gain screens (non-metallic screens that increase brightness), earlier lamp replacement, better film projectors (i.e. costlier projectors), and scope projection (use an anamorphic lens, no cropping). Sounds great Lenny, I’ll just march myself right up to the local theater and demand that the 9 year old manager replace the screens and lamps in his theater, and buy better film projectors. While I’m at it, I’ll ask him to stop showing films by Michael Bay.

3D films give me headaches.

At first, I honestly thought my cranial stress was due to the fact that the movies sucked.  Step Up 3D, Clash of the Titans, Avatar—at their conclusion I found myself simultaneously rubbing the bridge of my nose and scratching the top of my head, wondering what just happened and why I paid to watch it go down.

3D Slurpee Scene from Step Up 3D, cinester.wordpress.com

Step Up 3D: Didn't that Slurpee scene just make the movie?

Then I discovered that my eyes were rebelling against 3D (and bad film in general).  According to a report done by UC Berkeley, “3D violates the normal rules of perception” Normally, our eyes converge when we look at an object that nearby and diverge when we look at something in the distance, all the while focusing. 3D is asking for more.  It says, here, focus on the screen, but converge on this bubble popping over there, or the spear/finger/piranha that just flew out at you. The strain of doing so creates for many a feeling of nausea, fatigue, and…headaches. Walter Murch (legendary film editor) sums it up brilliantly in his letter to friend, Roger Ebert—who posted said letter on his blog, along with an articulate rant on 3D.

3D has no merit.

Alva Noe, in his NPR write-up on the technology argues, “3-D special effects have about as much to do with storytelling as a punch in the stomach has to do with giving you what you want.” This is the over-reaching argument—above and beyond the gripes of cost and the visual acrobatics it asks of us—it all comes down to what it does for the medium. The answer is a resounding NOTHING! I can’t think of one film (if you can—please prove me wrong) where 3D actually added anything substantive to the film that I was watching. Is it integral to the plot? No. Does it immerse me more in the film? No. That’s the job of the story, the cinematography, and the actors.  Think of the sunset in Gone With the Wind, or the moment Dorothy steps into OZ, and into color. Color adds to the film. Consider the lines “Here’s looking at you, kid” or “Rosebud”. Now, imagine them as quotations in a silent film.  Sound adds to a film. Now show me where shards of glass flying out of the screen, drops of Slurpee winging past my eyes, drifting balloons meandering on the edge of the screen, and comically outstretched hands add to a film.  They don’t.

Also, check out the video from British film critic Mark Kermode, on his blog Kermode Uncut.

You Do The Math…

Dear Ms. Gabrielle Allan and Jennifer Crittenden, writers of the film What’s Your Number (2011):

YOUR MOVIE SUCKS!

Thank you. No, really. Thank you for wasting 2 hours of my life, $7.50 (matinee!!) of my money, and $4.00 worth of gas, but like the Visa commercial, I came away with some priceless information: you are totally and completely clueless when it comes to writing women.

Anna Faris IS funny (this, incidentally, was my mantra as I left the theater). See: Scary Movie, Just Friends, Lost in Translation, etc. Unfortunately, she often makes poor film decisions. See (or don’t): My Super Ex-Girlfriend, Observe and Report, and The House Bunnies.

Chris Evan is a solid actor. He makes interesting Indie choices; see: Sunshine and Puncture. He has a couple of good action flicks under his belt: The Losers and Cellular (betcha thought I was gonna mention Captain America, huh? I wouldn’t touch that steaming pile with a ten-foot pole). Unfortunately, he also makes poor film decisions; avoid: Push, Fantastic Four, and Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer.

So ladies, with solid leads and (usually) decent supporting actors (Blythe Danner, Heather Burns, Joel McHale) I am left to conclude that the fault lies with you.

Ally Darling (Anna Faris) is thirty-ish and living in Boston (shot to look like New York City). She’s just been fired from her job in marketing (Don’t worry, she’s not really concerned so neither are we) and is fixated on an article in Marie Claire (or as I like to call it, “not-Vogue”) Said article, which will be referred to 100 times in the movie states that women who sleep with 20 or more men are less likely to be married. She makes a list and discovers (gasp) she’s at 19!! Using the logic of a two-year old (square peg-round hole sweetheart), she decides to revisit each of the losers on her list and see if there wasn’t really something there. But wait, she isn’t alone on her moronic quest, she has the help of her womanizing neighbor Colin (Chris Evans), an aspiring musician who plays butt-rock when he’s not using women like Kleenex. Together, they stalk these unsuspecting dolts while she plays second-fiddle to her sister Sheila (Ari Graynor- the drunk girl in Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist) who is getting married.

That’s it. Really.

The female friends in this movie (Heather Burns, Eliza Coupe, Kate Simses, and Tika Sumpter) are jokes. One-dimensional airheads that could have been replaced mid-production with: a water cooler, a cactus, a tire, and an egg–and I wouldn’t have really noticed. Their conversations, which couldn’t pass for “girl-talk” among hookers, had all the charm of a Discovery channel documentary on sex or a cheap porno.

This movie neither deserves nor earns it R-rating. Ladies, let’s just call it quits on this one. May I recommend these instead:  Working Girl (Melanie Griffith gets the guy AND a job); There’s Just Something About Mary (another funny blonde, this time with good lines); Romy and Michelle’s High School Reunion, and Clueless. That will be all.

Kisses and Hugs,

MovieAngel

P.S. Does anybody else remember those old-school PSAs about sexual exposure (you have sex with one person and you’re really having sex with all the people who they’ve had sex with)? Well that’s all that I could think about during the movie (believe me, there was nothing on the screen occupying my attention). So I found an online chart that only went up to 12 partners (wow, Ally, they didn’t even think you’d get that far) and the number of people you’re exposed to is…..drumroll….4095!! So, I guess the movie should have ended with Ally getting tested.

Let’s Be Honest….

Welcome friend,

join the circle of trust.

All settled in the circle? Good.

I have a declaration.

I love movies. A good movie can blow your hair back, lie heavy on your thoughts, surface in your speech with a little “Here’s Johnny!”, and sit with you on a cloudy day like an old friend. You wanna talk film–let’s pull out The Long, Hot Summer (1958) and watch Orson Welles drawl his way to an Oscar; or sit down while the yellow pavement lines streak by in Cameron’s Terminator (1984). I don’t need much on a Saturday afternoon, just Andy Dufresne “crawling through five-hundred yards of foulness” in the Shawshank Redemption (1994). 

In the words of Jerry Maguire’s mission statement, “These are the things we think and do not say.”

There’s something wrong with movies today. 99.99999999% of the movies that come out today SUCK! There’s no other word (well maybe there is, but this just sounds so good) movies today are a drain on your time, patience, intelligence, and money. It’s all been done before (but wait, we really did need Transporter/Transformers 2 and 3); the lack of diversity is sickening (have you noticed how “Black music” is starting to replace Black people?); 3D is the death of modern film (cuz God knows it just elevated the masterpiece that was Clash of the Titans); and the majority of characters on the screen today are so one-dimensional that they could be played by monkeys. Seriously. Monkeys.

John Luc Goddard says film is dead. Let me kill the suspense, it isn’t. However, it ain’t looking too good.

So what’s a cinephile to do? (cinephile=any man, woman, boy, or girl with a pulse and avid interest in film) Well, the first step is to stop walking out of movies 20 minutes in, storming up to the counter and demanding: a) Your money back and an apology from the manager for showing filth in his theater, or b) Four passes to any movie  currently in theaters, while you silently vow never to return until they do “Spotlight on the Oldies” and show Casablanca or Seven Brides for Seven Brothers.

But maybe that’s just me.

The second step is even easier than arguing with the 12-year old manager at your local theater. Stop watching crappy movies. Got a recommendation from your friend Bob who can’t pick a movie (or a direction in life?) Just say no! Do you see Judd Apatow’s (Yeah, I said it) name anywhere in the trailer? Just say no! Are there more celebrities involved than a Los Angeles car accident? JUST SAY NO! Come on, face it…

Everybody needs a little MovieAngel on their shoulder.