Thursday, April 17, 2008

Rickey's Summer Movie Preview

If the attentive individual were to take the time to cast a quick glance out the window, they would notice the fact that the warm months are rapidly approaching. And we put it to you thusly: are you going to spend your summer outside in a hammock blissfully reading a book? No, you most definitely are not. You’re going to drive to a hideous mall somewhere, spend thirty minutes circling the lot looking for a parking spot, then sit your ass down in a freezing movie theater to get your ear drums blown out and your soul trampled on out by the lowest common denominator of mass entertainment. And lucky you, Rickey’s here to help you with that selection. So here are Rickey’s opinions on some of the big releases coming soon to a theater near you.

IRON MAN. Rickey was initially excited for it, but upon second consideration, our enthusiasm has dwindled. First off, thanks to an overzealous ad campaign, Rickey’s already seen 95% of the movie in the commercials. That’s kind of an issue. Moreover, even if Rickey hadn’t seen the trailers, we’re pretty sure we could guess how this movie unfolds:

1) Movie starts with average guy
2) Average guy gains powers
3) Guy has wacky exploits adjusting to new powers
4) Guy defeats bad guy, saves girl
5) Room is left open for a sequel, roll credits

And in a way, this is actually worse than being merely a bad movie: it’s formulaic. If you’re a fan of the property, sure, plop down the $10 and watch Robert Downey Junior put on his “I’m Robert Downey Jr. and you’re not” face. Buy the Robert Downey Jr. IRON MAN action figure while you’re at it (comes complete with vodka bottle and kung fu grip drinking action arm!) Look, GTA IV also happens to come out that week, so if the movie studios think that Rickey will be leaving the apartment for the weekend of May 2nd for anything short of a full blown spitting cobra infestation, they are sadly mistaken.

THE INCREDIBLE HULK. Rickey’s not sure how the big green meanie has managed to amass such a huge following, because he’s remarkably shallow and uninteresting, even by superhero standards. As best as we can figure, it’s a modern day Jekyll & Hyde tale infused with Gamma Rays, and that’s pretty much it. Are we missing something here? Say what you want about the Ang Lee take on the franchise a few years back, at least it tried to elevate the subject material. This? Not so much. It looks loyal to the character and that’s a very bad thing. Definitely a skip in Rickey’s book.

THE DARK KNIGHT. Because all these comic book movies hadn’t quite sated your need for adolescent revenge fantasies, behold the granddaddy of all the brooding action heroes: Batman. Just to reassure you that no, Rickey isn’t totally biased against comic book movie adaptations, we are strongly recommending this flick. The movie could be two and a half hours of CGI versions of Caesar Romero, Heath Ledger and Jack Nicholson doing the Batoosie in drag and we’d still line up to see it. It’s Batman people: the Dark Knight, the Caped Crusader, get with the freaking program here already.

INDIANA JONES AND THE KINGDOM OF THE CRYSTAL SKULL. Despite Rickey’s initial reservations, this is another solid property we feel fairly comfortable in endorsing sight unseen. Rickey eagerly awaits the return of the movie franchise that was responsible for the PG-13 rating classification being created by the MPAA.

THE LOVE GURU. Will someone kindly inform Mike Meyers that his career is officially over? The guy doesn’t seem to have gotten the memo, and really, we hate to see him go through all the trouble of seeing him doing his very best Austin Powers impression for a movie that’s going to take in $25 million domestic.

THE X-FILES 2: I WANT TO BELIEVE. Once you get past the fact that it has quite possibly the worst title in movie history, this one definitely has boatloads of potential. “I Want to Believe”? Seriously, after seven seasons which character doesn’t believe that crazy paranormal stuff is out there? Scully? Mulder? Skinner? The custodial crew at the FBI building? Everyone’s seen their fair share of UFOs, ghosties, werewolves, cults, etc., and by now, we’re all pretty much on board with the fact that yes, unexplainable things are out there in the X-Files universe. All that having been said, this looks terrific and yes, much like the strongest episodes in the show’s history, this movie doesn’t revolve around the UFO mythology.

SPEED RACER: Hey kids, do you like epilepsy? Well then you’ll love this nonsense. Tell you what, rather than seeing this film adaptation of the wacky Japanese cartoon series, Rickey will just drive around at 120mph with his eyelids pried open and neon lights glued to his retinas. That ought to approximate the movie experience nicely wethinks.

SPACE CHIMPS: Ah Christ, just freaking shoot Rickey already. When aliens come to conquer the Earth, they will put humanity on trial. Exhibit A will be “Space Chimps.” Mankind will argue “but wait, what about ‘Children of Paradise’? We made that too!” And the aliens will ask us which movie took in more money at the box office and then proceed to eradicate the planet.

SEX AND THE CITY: THE MOVIE. As a child, Rickey plead with his parents to take him to see the 1986 animated Transformers film, and they cringed, refused, then finally gave in after much wailing. Rickey will undoubtedly undergo a similar experience when Ms. Henderson asks to be taken to see the new Sex & the City flick. And Rickey will have no choice but to concede, but only under the condition that he is allowed to pick the next movie, which brings us to…

CHOKE: Based on the Chuck Palahniuk book (one of Rickey’s favorite writers) this flick is about a sex-addicted colonial theme park employee who purposefully chokes himself with food at restaurants in order to gain the friendship of random strangers. Oh yeah, and he may or may not be Jesus Christ. If done properly, this could be one helluva dark, twisted, and funny movie. It will disgust 95% of the audience and Rickey most likely will love it.

WALL-E. Fuck it, we’re whole heartedly recommending this. That little robot looks cute.

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AmyV said...

i am so there to see Wall-E. Of course, I have a four-year-old, so it's mandatory. I've seen every Disney/Pixar movie since and including Cars. Actually, almost every animated movie that's come out in that time period. Fortunately, the Pixar ones are pretty good.

I hate to say it, though, I'm still jazzed for Iron Man. Hulk, not so much. Batman, yes. Sex and the City I can wait for the DVD and I've never heard of Choke, but it sounds really cool! I'll have to get the book from the liberry!

Smitty said...

Iron Man: Sorry. Gonna see it. Can't wait. Wish I was Iron Man. I have the drining part down. Now I just need the super suit.

Hulk: Not so much. It's like an hour and a hlaf of watching a Grizzly bear eating salmon.

Dark Knight: More than I wish I was Iron Man, I wish I was Batman.

Indiana Jones: I modeled my whole life until the 7th grade on Indiana Jones.

Love Guru: we hate to see him go through all the trouble of seeing him doing his very best Austin Powers impression. Yup.

X Files 2: Chupacabra, motherfu**er.

Speed Racer: I can't hardly type the title witout having a seizure.

Space Chimps: Sex and the City?

Sex and the City: Space Chimps?

Choke: I love Palahniuk. I'll see this movie, like you, because most other people will find it reprehensible.

Wall-E: ?

Alex L said...

Gillian Anderson could just stand there spinning in a circle and I would see the second x files movie...

Rickey Henderson said...

Don't get Rickey wrong, Iron Man looks like a perfectly competant movie, just nothing terribly interesting. Rickey will probably see it in some form sooner or later, and yes the sequel will be better because "that's where they really cut loose now that they've established the character" blah blah blah... Rickey's more of a DC guy than a Marvel one, hence the irrational love for anything Batman related.

Smitty: never heard of WALL-E? Definitely look it up. You gotta respect a flick that uses the theme from "Brazil" in it's trailer...

maybe i can help... said...

1. Major respect for recognizing the theme to Brazil... one of the best movies ever

2. When I first started reading "Choke" a few years back, my initial reaction was "This would be a great movie". When I finished "Choke" I said "If they ever make this in to a movie I will torch the studio that ruined this disgusting masterpiece" There is no way they can stay true to the book and not alienate 99.9% of the audience. I'd love to be proven wrong, but there are certain things that will not translate for a mass audience. "Choke" is one of them.

Toasty Joe said...

Rickey - No love for "Forgetting Sarah Marshall"? I, for one, am slavishly devoted to just about anything the Apatow cabal cranks out, so I'll be lining up to see this one.

Toasty Joe said...

I must have missed where Rickey referred to "Brazil," but all I know is that movie gave me a headache.

Mark said...

I'm on board for the Chuck Palahniuk movie! (Sam Rockwell in the lead role. I'm a little worried about the screenwriter/director, though.) Thanks Rickey, that made my day.


steves said...

I think Iron Man looks pretty fun. I mostly go to movies for mindless escapism. If I want an intellectual challenge, I'll read a book. In movies I want to be entertained.

With the exception of the 1970's Bill Bixby show (as a child), I have never liked the Hulk. Even when I was really into comics he seemed like a dick.

Rickey Henderson said...

Toasty: Yeah, Rickey left that out as well as "Pineapple Express" which also looks fun. Our written letter of apology to the Apaltow contingent is forthcoming. But dear god man, how do you not like "Brazil"?! DeNiro as an HVAC guy wrestling with the piping?

Tom/Mark: Yeah, there's potential for "Choke" to be a huge flop and Rickey highly doubts we'll see anything on the level of "Fight Club." Too bad Fincher couldn't direct it. You know what Palahniuak movie Rickey is DYING to see made but never will be for obvious reasons? Survivor. How awesome would that football game scene be to watch on the big screen?

wfta, the English minor said...

"he would notice,"

Zernialophile said...

Hey Rickey,

Do you know where I can get a baseball glove autographed by former NY governor George Pataki?

I think owning such an item would be a better conversation starter than choking on my own food...

... though "Choke" does look like great fun.

Toasty Joe said...

Oh, I don't doubt the visual skills of Mr. Gilliam. However, his films never really did anything for me (apart from, of course, Life of Brian, and even then it was more for his acting role as the perverted jailer). More importantly, I am having trouble figuring out where the reference to Brazil is in Rickey's post. Seems like a total non-sequitur by Tom to me (Tom-sequitur?)

Mike said...

I'm also missing the Brazil reference . . . and I know the theme (called, wouldn't you know it, "Brazil")

Speed Racer Please say it ain't so. A bad cartoon, resurrected in the 90's at the height of the whole "irony" thing. And now a feature-length movie. No. Just no.

Choke I didn't hate the book so much as it just bored me. The character wasn't unlikeable. He was just . . . not someone I cared about much.

And maybe it was just me (or my envy) but I had a really hard time buying into why every girl he met was just dying to let him bone her.

Who knows how the flick will be.

Adam said...

I'm definitely a lot more bullish on IRON MAN than you, my friend. All comic book movies are formulaic. The good ones take the formula and reinvigorate them with inventive action and high-quality production values. Chin up, old boy. I predict you'll like this movie a lot more than you think.

leigh said...

is it just me, or is anyone else having problems buying RDJr. as a super hero?

Toasty Joe said...

I guess if we bought Michael Keaton, we'd buy anything.

George said...

Tobey Maguire, Super Hero.

That is, it's the movies, anything can happen.

BTW, "Forgetting Sarah Marshall" is the most fun you'll ever have laughing at a flaccid penis.

Mr Furious said...

1. IRON MAN -- Like all the other superhero movies, I'll never see this 'til it's on DVD, but I think it'll be worth my time. Yes, they've given far too much away in the 20 minutes of footage employed in the various trailers...but still looks good.

One question though, and it never really came up for me until watching RDJ creating his suit...Why the fuck is Iron Man not a robot? I'm pretty damn sure Stark could build something just as kick-ass without having to place himself inside of it. Just sayin.

2. HULK -- I don't think there's any way this movie doesn't totally suck. Even if it (somehow) rocks, I'll resent it because it's keeping Norton from working on a far more important project—'Motherless Brooklyn.'

3. DARK KNIGHT -- This will be the film I insist on seeing in the theater, and as soon as it hits theaters. I'm "jacked and pumped" like Pete Freaking Carroll for this. I'm actually worried I have set the bar unreachably high.

4. INDIANA JONES -- Meh. Don't care. Only liked the original, and don't care about this at all.

5. Not worth any effort.

6. X-FILES -- I was a big fan of the show, but disappointed in the first film. This could be a redemptive pleasant surprise. One for the DVD player...

ALL THE REST -- Excepting "Choke" which I know nothing about, all the rest of these are total crap. Especially SITC.


Rickey? I think you forgot all about the second best movie of the summer...

Mr Furious said...

Reading on, I see you've realized the ommission...

I have NO trouble buying RDJr as Tony Stark. None at all. He's perfect casting.

Mr Furious said...

Brazil is a great flick. Fucking whacked, but great.

damon said...

So basically, Ironman is a lot like that "greatest american hero" show. Remember that? that was sweeeet.

And Wall-E does look funny. At least funnier than that chimps in space thing.

Rickey Henderson said...

Toasty: to respond to the DeNiro confusion, If Rickey remembers correctly, there's a scene in Brazil where he shows up and wrestles with HVAC piping.

yagmurunsesi said...

Thanks man good job.