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The Hated – Review of Rocky 5

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Much better poster than the actual one.

I will start this by admitting that I loved each and every one of the Rocky films. Some are decidedly better than others, but none are so bad that I wouldn’t watch them if they were on TV. Still, of all the Rocky movies, Rocky 5 gets the most hate. This movie shows a Balboa fallen from grace because of his asshole brother-in-law. Paulie makes a stupid deal and they lose all of their money. They move back to Philly, Rocko opens Micky’s gym back up, and starts training fighters. Enter Mike Tyson Tommy, the machine, Gunn. He wants Rocky to train him, which he does, then sells out to Don King and leaves Rocky in the dust. He fights until he realizes that he’ll never get respect until he fights Rocky, who ends up beating his ass.

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Pretty sure he did the fallen from grace thing for the comfy clothes and the ability to wear that hat again…

Now that you know everything of importance that happens in the movie, we’ll get down to it. This is very similar to the other movies, except it focuses more on Rocky moving on and taking Mick’s place. Micky used to be a fighter, and he ended up a trainer. Rocky is following in his footsteps, which is a good and logical progression. He’s done being the fighter, he wants to be the father and mentor. The problem is, he can’t let go. He sees himself in Tommy, and since the fighting world is pretty much the only one he knows and is comfortable in, he clings to it via the newcomer. For him, he’s reliving his fighting days in the only way he can. The main result here is the change in the dynamic of his family life. He, in a way, replaces his real son with his surrogate son, due to their similarities. Only after the betrayal does he realize what he did, and what’s happening. Keep in mind, Rocky is not an intelligent man. He’s also sorta socially inept. In many ways, he’s just a large child, which makes him pretty easy to relate to.

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Hands up, hands up, gimme that belt gimme gimme that belt gimme gimme!

We also have Tommy’s journey, the typical deal with the devil type of stuff. He chooses his ambition and desire over the potential family and friends he might have had. He leaves Rocky for the money and publicity, and a ridiculously hot redhead (that part I TOTALLY get!). I do admit that Tommy Morrison, who played Tommy Gunn in the movie, can’t really act for shit. As such, the movie ends up having a mildly comical overtone due to his bad acting, and Richard Grant’s overacting as Don King George Washington Duke. Stallone also cast his own son to play his son in the movie. Apart from adding to the bad acting, he also posed the question of “How did his son age like 5 or 6 years during the flight back from Russia?”.

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The kid was there for his sage advice at the end…get it? huh? oh come on, that was awesome!

Honestly, even though it was a break from the traditional Rocky formula, I still  enjoyed it. It was cool to see Rocky street fight him at the end, even though street fights aren’t much like that, and that last uppercut was so far from connecting that another person could’ve fit between them and still not have gotten hit. It had its sins, but was not a bad movie overall (like Superman IV, fuckin’ yikes!). It doesn’t measure up to the other films, but hey, can’t get it right every time.

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Tommy was offered money, fame, AND sex with this chick! You’d have done the same shit, so quit bitchin’!

The Hated – Review of Congo

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Following the success of Michael Crichton’s Jurassic Park, there was a resurgence of his book to movie adaptations in the 90’s. Many of these were panned by critics, and I’ll be reviewing a few of them here, since I still like them. One of the hated, released in 1995, was Congo.

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I can, like, totally talk n stuff…

I didn’t see this in the theater, I saw it on TV after the fact. Still, I thought it was a pretty fun movie. For those who haven’t seen it, this movie goes like this. Media conglomerate guy sends his son in search of a diamond to power a laser, which is to be used for communications. He gets attacked, and they send his girlfriend/coworker after him. In order to get into that area of the Congo, they tag along with a primate scientist guy (I’m super smart and eloquent), who is going to return a captive gorilla to the wild. Said gorilla can speak using sign language, and has sensors on her to turn her signing into speech.

Hokey? Yup. Still thought it was good? Yup.

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Lindsey Lohan in an early role…

What they find, is a temple protected by these grey killer gorillas, who were bred by their makers to be killers to protect the diamonds. Hilarity ensues. That’s pretty much the gist of the movie. Still, I thought it was entertaining. The killer gorilla part was done well, the special effects and animatronics were awesome and very believable, and the acting was solid.

Hell, it had Bruce fucking Campbell and Tim goddamn Curry in it. Granted, Bruce was in it for all of 5 minutes or less, but still. Besides, Curry was a complete lunatic in it, which he does REALLY well. It also has Ernie Hudson as the tour guide, who was fucking awesome as well!

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OOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOklahoma!!!!

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Bat shit crazy, I’m doing it right!

So, even though parts of this may have come off as silly (which I think was intentional), I think that overall this was a cool and fun movie. The idea of the grey apes being bred and trained to be intelligent psycho guardians was awesome, and the effects and suspense was done really well. I’m not sure why it got the hate it did, I certainly don’t think it deserved it.

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I’m pretty sure Mark Hamill played this gorilla…..what? too soon?

The Hated – Review of The Postman

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I figured I’d start this series with one of the most despised and put down movies of my generation, and a movie that I’ve seen multiple times and very much enjoy. That movie is none other than The Postman, starring Kevin Costner.

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Not exactly a name synonymous with “badass hero”

This movie is largely panned as being “waterworld on land”, something that is pretty far from being true. Firstly, while I don’t think it’s a great movie, I also enjoyed Waterworld, and can watch it without a problem. I wouldn’t own it….well, I would’ve owned it if Jeanne Tripplehorn had a raucous sex scene where she was nude the entire time, but alas, my wishes fell on deaf ears. Besides, I personally think Waterworld gets the hate because of how expensive it was to make vs how unexceptional it is. Regardless of that, though, we’re here to talk about The Postman, so let’s get to it.

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Will Patton, resident badass!

First of all, if you haven’t seen it, this movie is LONG. Like 3.5 hours or some shit. It’s like Lord of the Rings without the walking montages and fight scenes. The movie takes place in a post apocalyptic US, where a militant faction is gaining power, and people are clustered in small walled off towns that don’t communicate with outsiders. Costner plays a wanderer who gets caught by a military leader played by Will Patton, who rocks BTW, and gets conscripted into his faction. He eventually escapes, after pissing Patton off, and goes on the run.

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Olivia Williams, resident hottie!

He stumbles across a mail truck in the woods beside a road. The truck had crashed, killing the driver, and he took the skeleton’s clothes to keep warm. He also took the mail as an angle to gain access to towns and get fed. He comes to a town where he spins a tale about the US government being intact, and starting up mail routes for communication.  He knocks up a hottie here as well, since some people can’t conceive after the fallout. The army shows up, sees an American flag, and hilarity ensues. Costner flees with Abby (the hottie), since she’s preggo with his kid, and tries to get her to a safe haven so the kid can be born in safety. He ends up starting a mail service, with the help of a kid he inspired, returning communication to the towns. It all leads him to an eventual battle with Patton.

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Tom Petty, resident….Tom Petty….pretty sure he wasn’t “acting” here, he’s likely that crazy…

The movie, I think, has a good story. It’s not a new or innovative story, but it’s solid. Costner’s character grows as a person, as do other characters. The acting is decent, and the ride is fun. Hell, it has freaking Tom Petty as a wacky leader of a town! The visuals are cool for the time, and the immersion is done well. It portrays a post apocalyptic US as it may likely be, with people huddled together in towns, trying to maintain a semblance of civility and community, while attempting to minimize the influence of the rouge military faction attempting to gain power. It also emphasizes how something as simple as snail mail communication can bring people in that type of situation hope, and inspire them to try pushes the boundaries and opening up to try rebuilding the world. It may not be a 5* movie, but it definitely doesn’t deserve the hate it got, IMHO. Sure, it could’ve been an hour shorter, but that was my gripe when I saw Goodfellas. That movie dragged like hell, and it killed my interest in it. Write me off as a nutjob if you want, but I’d rather watch this movie than Goodfellas or The Godfather, two movies I loathe.

So there you have it. This flick, while not groundbreaking, is not a complete horror show. It’s actually a decent movie with plenty of good aspects, and far more than other shit show movies that’ve won awards (I’m looking at you, No Country…yes, I hated that as well). While it may not be everyone’s speed, and could possibly just be a niche movie, I don’t think it’s deserving of the hate.