Watchin’ Stuff #31

Movie of the week goes to Pacific Rim – Uprising this time! It was everything I expected it to be. The comic relief was a little flat a lot of the time, but other than that it had very likable characters, a clever way of letting the kaiju threat return after seemingly being permanently stopped in the last one, and just unbelievably amazing looking action scenes. It’s simple and silly, but a lot of fun. I couldn’t stop smiling at this modern day version of the goofy monster movies I used to watch as a kid.

I really hope that they can get another sequel together, because the implications of where the franchise would go next if given a chance are pretty exciting. Hopefully this doesn’t do too badly in American theaters, despite how it seems to already be getting completely overshadowed by Ready Player One (which I don’t understand the excitement for at all, but let’s not even get into that).  

The fourth Mission Impossible takes on a slightly lighter tone with the addition of some minor comic relief like Simon Pegg‘s character. It’s all kind of safe, generic comic relief that doesn’t really add anything to the experience, but its presence is minimal enough that it doesn’t interfere with it either. Overall it’s an enjoyable entry in the series with a lot of cool spy gadgets and elaborate action scenes.

I suddenly realized that these movies all have essentially the same plot too, aside from the ridiculous 2nd one. Mysterious bad guys get up to no good, frame Tom Cruise for it, then Cruise becomes a fugitive and is forced to carry out an elaborate heist against his own government in order to beat the bad guy. Every time. Oh well. Still enjoyed it.

Yep, they do the exact same thing again here too. Bad guy frames Cruise, Cruise has to steal thing from government to win. Again, it still managed to be a fun movie anyway. Cruise is finally starting to show some signs of aging like a normal human being, but it doesn’t seem to be slowing him down at all. More high quality spy action.

This week’s pick from the horror shit pile was Death Walks on High Heels. Didn’t get very far into this one. Horrible looking sets and effects, terribly unpleasant characters, and a plot that just couldn’t keep my attention. DNF! Oh well.

This was a strange one. Not a terrible movie, but one that proved to be a bit too directionless and unsatisfying in the end. This kid and a secret nazi war criminal blackmail each other and form some weird semi-friendship with some vague, yet blatant homosexual overtones, none of which is really properly explained or explored. We never learn what the motivation was for the kid doing anything he did. Is he racist? Just generally psychotic? Training to become a serial killer? We don’t know and he doesn’t really seem to learn much from the experience except how to be slightly more of a sociopath than he already was. It all just felt kind of pointless.

Speaking of pointless movies, The Titan had a great concept, with the government looking to create a new form of man that’s capable of surviving the hostile environments of other planets, and a trailer that made it look like this was going to go wrong and create a horror movie kind of situation. Instead, while it started out decently enough, it seemed to shift gears at the last minute and had a sloppy, unsatisfying ending that just kind of sputtered out. A big missed opportunity.

Liam Neeson’s latest sees him getting sucked into a plot that seems overly convoluted and a bit predictable, but still manages to be decently entertaining. It’s nothing mind-blowing, but it’s a generally well-paced and enjoyable action-thriller.

Oh, right. I was watching all those Dario Argento movies and then just kind of forgot about them. Oops. I suddenly remembered when I felt the craving for some weird old horror, but didn’t feel like risking the horror shit pile yet again. This is one I’ve seen many times before. Phenomena is kind of a giallo with some supernatural elements thrown in. A very young Jennifer Connelly plays a schoolgirl with mysterious insect telepathy who gets mixed up with paraplegic entomologist Donald Pleasance, who’s trying to catch a mysterious killer. It doesn’t quite have the impressive visual qualities of his earlier works like Suspiria or Inferno, and it kind of drags a bit in the middle, but it goes pretty insane in the last 20 minutes or so, making it a flawed, but memorable experience.

Finally, we got caught up on Mr. Pickles, whose third season just ended. If you don’t know about Mr. Pickles, just watch this quick intro. It pretty much tells you all you need to know.

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