The World’s End is the third instalment of Edgar Wright’s Three Flavours Cornetto trilogy. It features a mint chocolate chip Cornetto that’s supposed to represent aliens. Unlike Shaun of the Dead and Hot Fuzz, I followed The World’s End a lot more closely. I’ve always had an interest in alien movies, but that’s not the reason. Edgar Wright was originally supposed to direct Ant-Man, but he put that on hold until he finished this trilogy. I watched The World’s End late at night, five minutes after finishing Hot Fuzz. Most people agree that The World’s End is the weaker of the three. It’s still good, but it sort of feels like it was just made to fill a quota. Simon Pegg plays Gary King, an alcoholic who won’t even let the end of the world ruin his plan to complete the “Golden Mile.” Nick Frost plays Andy Knightley, one of Gary’s childhood friends who reluctantly joins him on his endeavor. While The World’s End does acknowledge the science fiction aspect of the movie, it seems to be a lot more focused on the alcohol. The main characters go to several pubs throughout the movie. Another difference between the films is the level of violence. All the aliens have blue blood which makes it a little less gory. On its own, The World’s End is hard to seperate from the other films, but still has sci-fi merit.
Month January 2018
Who Called the Fuzz?
Hot Fuzz is the second instalment of Edgar Wright’s Three Flavours Cornetto trilogy. It features an original Cornetto that’s supposed to represent the police force. Much like Shaun of the Dead, Hot Fuzz didn’t really interest me too much when I first saw the trailer. Buddy Cop movies are also something that I don’t see all that often. Though I did notice the similarities between the two movies. Little did I know the movies would end up being part of a trilogy. So I watched Hot Fuzz about five minutes after I just finished watching Shaun of the Dead. Hot Fuzz is my (very close) second favorite of the three. It’s definitely funny, but a bit more offensive. Simon Pegg plays Sergeant Nick Angel, a model police officer forced to transfer to an unusually quant village. Nick Frost plays Constable Danny Butterman, Nick’s over eager new partner. Hot Fuzz plays up all the familiar tropes of an action movie. With things like two gun shooting, jump kicks, and car chases. Its also got a bit of a twist. The main characters attend a pub mostly for recreational purposes. The violence is also present and a lot more shocking, because you don’t really expect it to be so bloody. On its own, Hot Fuzz is a clever self aware buddy cop action movie.
You’ve Got Red On You
Shaun of the Dead is the first instalment of Edgar Wright’s Three Flavours Cornetto trilogy. It features a strawberry Cornetto that’s supposed to represent blood. When I first saw the trailer for Shaun of the Dead, I didn’t pay it much attention. I didn’t get into zombie movies until way later and I guess I just didn’t get it. However, when people started to praise the film, I became more opened to seeing it. Since it’s part of an accidental trilogy, I had the crazy idea of watching every movie all in one day. So I did just that. Shaun of the Dead is easily my favorite of the three. It’s the least offensive and the most funny. Simon Pegg plays Shaun, a working man suddenly plunged into the zombie apocalypse. Nick Frost plays Ed, Shaun’s layabout best friend that nobody likes. Shaun of the Dead crafts a love letter to zombie movies that still manages to have a story. Zombies are killed in a variety of funny ways which include cricket bats, shovels, and record albums. The main characters plan to flee to their favorite pub, which is just one of the many recurring themes in this trilogy. Along with bloody violence, jumping fences, and quick cuts. On its own, Shaun of the Dead works as a fun zombie movie for everyone who knows how to take down a zombie.
Go Go Speed
Speed Racer is a movie that most people can’t agree on. When I first saw the trailer, I almost thought it was a Hot Wheels movie. Until I realized it was a live action Speed Racer movie. Speed Racer is based on an old cartoon with fast dialogue and even faster racing. It’s technically one of the earliest examples of Anime that managed to get popular in America. So it’s only fitting that the directors of The Matrix trilogy, the Wachowskis, would want to adapt it. The movie does its best to bring that same fast energy to the big screen. It’s extremely colorful and yes, very fast paced. I was interested enough to go to the theater to see it and I actually still like the movie. Sure the effects are bad, but I’m kind of convinced that it was intentional. Just to give the movie sort of an anime look. Yeah it can be distracting, but it doesn’t bother me. My only real complaint would be its runtime. Which is 2 hours and 15 minutes for some reason. Other than that, Speed Racer deserves to be reexamined. I would even go so far as to call it underrated.
Queen of the Galaxy
Barbarella is a bit of an enigma. I’ve said in other comic book movie reviews that they would make a movie out of just about anything back then. Barbarella is based on a French comic book that I guess was popular back in the 60’s. The only reason I know about the movie is because of a list that I saw on TV when I was younger. It was called “Bravo’s Heroes, Villains, and Vixens.” Barbarella was on the vixens list and I never forgot her. Barbarella is about an astronaut whose tasked with saving the galaxy from a villain who plans to destroy it. A villain named Duran Duran (admittedly an odd place to get your band name from). But who cares about that, Jane Fonda is drop dead gorgeous. Barbarella travels to foreign planets, encounters a blind angel named Pygar, and has sex with everyone she meets. I’m not even exaggerating. Barbarella also dresses in several revealing outfits throughout the movie. The strangest thing of all however is the fact that the movie managed to get a PG rating. Despite the fact that Barbarella strips naked in the opening of the movie, appears naked in other semi obscured moments, and topless women are shown on more than one occasion. I know it was the 60’s, but come on. Barbarella is neither deep nor groundbreaking. Its only purpose is to show off how hot Jane Fonda is. So who am I to complain?
Farewell to the Master
The Day the Earth Stood Still was never a movie that I expected to see a remake for. The original is fine the way it is, but you know how Hollywood is. They decided to make it to where it fit with the modern times (sort of). It seems to me like themes of us destroying each other would be too timeless to change. Well this is the late 2000’s, what do you think the new problem is gonna be? Why the environment of course. Back then it seemed like almost every major movie had some kind of environmental agenda to push. Sometimes it worked, sometimes it felt too preachy. The Day the Earth Stood Still (2008) falls into the latter category. It doesn’t help that Keanu Reeves is terribly miscast as Klaatu. Jaden Smith is annoying as well. They also gave Klaatu super powers for some reason. Then there’s Gort. He was definitely big in the original, but here he’s a literal giant. Which wasn’t a bad decision, but he also turns into a nanobot cloud. I don’t know what they were thinking with that one. The flying saucer is also replaced by some kind of green energy sphere. They occasionally tie in themes from the original, but a lot of it doesn’t make sense compared to the new stuff. It’s just way too complex. It’s so bad in fact that the title doesn’t even make sense in the remake. Just watch the original and don’t bother with this one.
Remake of: The Day the Earth Stood Still (1951)
Klaatu Barada Nikto
The Day the Earth Stood Still is a classic with a message that still holds up today. Simply put, quit trying to destroy each other. If you do, aliens will come down to Earth and tell you to knock it off. But in all seriousness, The Day the Earth Stood Still is one of the best science fiction movies ever made. Although it came out in 1951, I’ve seen the movie at least 3 times in my life. My mom suggested it many years ago when my brother and I had a huge alien obsession. Since it was difficult to get our hands on a copy, we bought it on DVD instead. The Day the Earth Stood Still is about an alien named Klaatu that unexpectedly lands on Earth. Accompanying Klaatu is his peacekeeping robot bodyguard named Gort. The most iconic character in the movie. Klaatu comes to Earth with his important message, but is met with untrustworthy humans. The only dated part of the movie is the friendship he develops with a young boy. Something that wouldn’t fly nowadays. Other than that, the title refers to what Klaatu does to get the Earth’s attention. He freezes all technology on Earth (except for planes and hospitals). The words “Klaatu Barada Nikto” are what keeps Gort from destroying the entire planet. In the end, Klaatu delivers his famous speech and the ending is left ambiguous. Whether you choose violence or not, the decision rests with you. That’s what makes The Day the Earth Stood Still feel timeless.
The Drug Dealer, the Stripper, the Virgin, and the Runaway
We’re the Millers is another movie that (for reasons I can’t explain) I wanted to see by myself. So I rented the movie and did just that. I’m not sure why, because I’m not a huge fan of raunchy R rated comedies. Although, most comedies like this that I’m even slightly interested in I keep to myself. I think maybe it was the familiar cast that caught my attention. Jason Sudeikis, Jennifer Aniston, Emma Roberts, and Will Poulter all play members of the We’re the Millers family. The interesting premise also caught my attention. The Miller family actually isn’t a family at all. A petty drug dealer poses as a father in order to smuggle drugs from Mexico into the U.S. Mostly because nobody looks twice at a family of tourists. He hires his stripper neighbor to play his wife, a loser neighbor kid to play his son, and a homeless girl to play his daughter. While some of it did make me laugh, most of it felt like wasted potential. You know the fake family is gonna get close and become a real family. You know a lot of the jokes will either drag or feel unnecessary. A problem I have with a lot of modern R rated comedies. We’re the Millers isn’t great, I didn’t mind watching it, but I wouldn’t recommend it.
Less than Wowzers
I’ll bet you didn’t know there was an Inspector Gadget 2. Well there was. A direct-to-video movie without the original cast that was still technically a sequel to the first Inspector Gadget. Now on paper that may sound like a horrible idea, but it’s actually not that bad. I like the first movie in a guilty pleasure sort of way where I know it’s bad. Inspector Gadget 2 is also bad, (mostly because it has a direct-to-video budget) but they at least tried to fix the problems that the first movie had. French Stewart is a much better bumbling detective than Matthew Broderick. Penny and Brain are actually doing something important like in the show. Dr. Claw’s face is not shown like in the first movie (they conceal his face with a hat). Why couldn’t they just do that in the first place? Why did it have to come from a throwaway movie? I was still young when I saw this movie. It came on the Disney Channel one time and I watched it with my brother. The stuff with the new robot gadget, G2, was fun. Some of the jokes made me laugh. Sure nobody’s gonna remember Inspector Gadget 2 like the first, but I still had an okay time watching it.
Preceded by: Inspector Gadget
Go Go Gadget
Inspector Gadget is another bad movie that I love from my childhood. I’ve also seen it several times and I know pretty much every line in the movie. It’s a lot easier to like it if you’ve A, not seen the cartoon, or B, are a child who doesn’t know any better. Well I was both, so Inspector Gadget is one of my guiltiest guilty pleasures I’ve ever seen. I completely understand the criticism. I’m even completely fine with ripping on it, but the nostalgia I feel for the movie is just too strong. Along with seeing it in theaters, I remember I used to watch Inspector Gadget a lot. There was also a very cool Happy Meal toy that came with the movie. It was eight separate toys that when you put them all together, it makes a big action figure of Inspector Gadget. I also have a bit of a sentimental attachment to the VHS tape. Believe it or not, the opening and closing with the trailers and stuff lasted a full 14 minutes (and I watched every bit of it). Now let’s talk about the problem with the movie. I’ve seen the show, but I wouldn’t call myself an expert. I just know the basics. Inspector Gadget is a bumbling idiot, his niece Penny and her dog Brain do most of the work, and Dr. Claw’s face is never shown. It’s very unusual that the movie Inspector Gadget manages to get almost everything wrong. Matthew Broderick was a weird choice and Rupert Everett was an even weirder choice to play Inspector Gadget and Dr. Claw respectively. It’s goofy, it’s badly acted, it barely honors the source material, but gosh darnit I still love it. Only 90’s kids will understand.
Followed by: Inspector Gadget 2