Don’t Go to The Movies Right Now

Tenet / John David Washington

I can’t speak for everyone, but I am at a crossroads. On the one hand, it has been six months since I have been to the movies. Six months and one week. One hundred ninety-two days, but who’s counting.

Christopher Nolan’s latest film, Tenet, a film that I have been greatly anticipating, is being released in theatres this coming weekend. With every other major blockbuster being delayed into this fall or next year, it is one of the first times in that one hundred and ninety-two days that a film almost certainly best experienced in a cinema on the biggest screen available is actually being released to cinemas.

I love the movie-going experience. Sure, people can be jerks sometimes (*cough* turn your phone off *cough*), a man was even arrested for assaulting another moviegoer at my screening of Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker (seriously, that happened). There’s nothing quite like seeing an exciting blockbuster film with a large crowd when that crowd is into it. It’s electrifying, and I miss it.

On the other hand, there is a worldwide pandemic on. Two hundred thousand people a day are catching COVID-19 worldwide, and anywhere from 4,000 to 6,000 people are dying from it.

Continue reading “Don’t Go to The Movies Right Now”

Review: Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters

Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters

I must admit that when I first started hearing about Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters I had some moderately high hopes. You see there’s a type of movie that I rather enjoy: the popcorn flick. You know the type; it’s a bit ridiculous, lots of one liners, actors having fun. We’re not talking about high art here we’re talking about fun. Fun at the movies. If you have been following us for any length of time you know that Simon last had this experience with Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance.

We’re talking about the type of movie where you sit down, turn your brain off and enjoy the ride. I was disappointed by a couple of films that promised to be this last year. So how are we doing with the first big effort this year? Actually, pretty freaking good!

Director Tommy Wirkola’s resume isn’t that long but he’s best known for the horror comedy Dead Snow released a few years back about a group of kids being terrorized by nazi zombies. Thinking about that movie now it feels like a dry run leading up to this. Where that movie faltered mixing up the horror and comedy, this movie has a pretty good mix of action and comedy plus a healthy dose of blood and guts and gore to round things out.

The story is fairly basic. Hansel and Gretel survive the childhood ordeal slightly differently than you remember it from the fairy tale and end up orphan witch hunters who come to a town with a bunch of kids gone missing. Much anachronistic badassery ensues.

There’s not anything here you haven’t seen before though and at just over 90 minutes long there isn’t really time for anything you haven’t seen before either. This movie is short and to the point; what little back story we need is given in a brief prologue and then the beautifully animated credits and then we jump right into the story.

I think this is actually one of the films major strengths. Previous fairy tale re-imaginings I’ve seen that try to make sure you know they’re serious films end up boring. This movie doesn’t want you to be anything other than entertained so plot is kept to a minimum and action to a maximum.

And yet despite it’s predictability, it works. When things are revealed you’re not going to be surprised but I didn’t care I was busy enjoying a well staged fight, some well executed gore, or a zingy one liner.

Speaking of action and gore, there’s a nice blend of practical and digital effects at play too. Some things are obviously CG but there’s one big practical effect that I loved. I don’t want to spoil it (even though it isn’t really a secret it’s not in any of the marketing) but if you’ve listened to the podcast when this has come up you can probably guess what it is when you see it.

The film is rife with anachronism as well. The film seems set in the early 1800s but the weapons in Hansel and Gretel’s arsenal appear to be from anywhere from the 1860s to the 1920s and everyone speaks in a thoroughly modern mode of speech.

I’m sure a lot of these elements are going to wear thin pretty quick for a lot of you but they didn’t for me. Chalk it up to the films short running time or the fact that I actually like watching bad movies. Or both.

The films stars do pretty well with what their given. Jeremy Renner might be phoning it in but Jeremy Renner phoning it in is still pretty good. Gemma Arterton plays the whole thing as an over the top ass kicker and that’s actually pretty awesome. Famke Janssen isn’t amazing but her character is such a one dimensional bad guy that it doesn’t really matter. Bottom line here though is that it seems like everyone involved is in on the joke and as such it feels like everyone involved is having a blast making the movie.

I don’t want to leave you with the impression that this is a good movie. Quite the opposite, it’s a bad movie.

Lets be honest it’s a movie based on a joke of a title and it does get repetitive. That said, I still had fun watching it. It’s a bad movie, but it’s so bad I enjoyed it.

Rating: 6/10

Matt Watches Bad Movies: Next


Oh Nicholas Cage, you wily rascal you. You have made some great movies in your time, but you’ve also made a whole bunch that I’ll be talking about for the next few weeks here in Matt Watches Bad Movies in what I’m calling my Nic-Cage-A-Thon!

Next, made in 2007, is based on a Philip K. Dick story, which is kind of amazing because it’s so bad when Philip K. Dick stories are usually so good. Then you find out how much they changed it all makes sense. Coles notes version of that story is that they changed basically everything except the ability to see into the future, which they also changed from being able to foresee the outcome to decisions.

So calling it “based on a Philip K. Dick story” makes as much sense as calling it “based on that book Snooki wrote”.

Next starts in Las Vegas where Nic –I’ll be referring to him as Nic for all of these, because they clearly take place in the same bizarro universe– is a shitty magician. But wait, it’s just an act, he’s a shitty magician to hide the fact that he can see 2 minutes into the future.

I’m not going to make a sex joke with that. Too easy.

At Nic’s show is gorgeous ginger government agent. She has figured out that he has some weird powers and is trying to figure it out. Nic goes from the show to a casino where they immediately think he’s counting cards. He figures out that they are coming for him, fucking tips them off by looking right at a camera, and leaves the table.

He’s able to escape because he’s in a casino and there’s tons of other people around to hide behind, and also the security team is full of idiots. He even steals some poor guy’s hat! Jackass! He gets to the cashier and has a vision of the most conveniently timed robbery in history (also, who robs a casino in vegas by taking a gun to the cashier? That makes no sense) stops it, has a standoff with casino security, and leaves.

Then he just walks out of the casino and steals a car to make his getaway. Note, to this point he’s technically done nothing illegal. Except stealing that hat. And hitting that guy. Anyway, he leaves and the police are there to chase him immediately. He makes zips in and out of traffic knowing what’s going to happen and then at the last second tries to get across some train tracks before a speeding train goes by but gets creamed by it instead AND THE MOVIE IS OVER YAY!!

Oh wait, that was a vision. Now we see literally exactly the same things happen except this time he beats the train. But he didn’t do anything different. He just made it this time. Ugh.

He drives the stolen car into his own fucking garage and then has a pretty forced conversation with Columbo, who is his father? Uncle? Manservant? It’s not really clear, but since Columbo is only in this one scene it doesn’t really matter. More on that later.

Gorgeous Ginger Government Agent shows up and they talk and then that turns out to be a vision too and he leaves before she shows up. The whole vision thing is getting really annoying.

He makes it to a diner where, at 8am he orders a martini and waits for 12 year old Jessica Biel. Apparently he’s had some vision that’s “way beyond the usual 2 minutes” about her.

Not turning that one into a sex joke either.

She walks in followed by her douchebag boyfriend. Nic goes through several iterations of trying to figure out how to make this underaged girl like him and it turns out the winning try is letting the boyfriend punch him in the face. I kind if wish the boyfriend would stick around to do that more, but he doesn’t. He leaves because of, you know, reasons.

So Nic and Baby Jessica make a connection and she offers him a ride (again, no sex joke) and they end up at a motel together where they totally have a moment and then have sex, which should be a joke since he looks like he’s about 50 and she looks 12, but isn’t. It happens. Mostly off screen thank dog.

In the morning Gorgeous Ginger Government Agent has a big plan to get Nic but he jumps off a cliff instead, and then does a dramatic turn to the left to avoid a sniper bullet, and then saves her life.

In return, she puts him in a chair in a windowless room with clamps holding his eyes open and networks news on TV. Cruel and unusual punishment, I think they call that. He sees ahead to the terrorists…

Oh yeah, there’s terrorists after him too, did I mention that? Not that it matters, they are even more inept than the government in this film. They have a nuke and they want to use it, Gorgeous Ginger Government Agent is trying to stop them and that’s why she’s been after him. This is actually a pretty big plot point, but it literally doesn’t matter, and I’ll tell you why in a moment.

So he fast forwards to the terrorists killing Young Jessica and he agrees to help without the clamps.

From this point it becomes pretty much “SWAT team taking directions from Nic” as he guides them in fighting the terrorists. They save the girl and go to the docks where there is a huge shoot out and then just when you think the day is safe Nic says “oh no I made mistake! I MADE A MISTAKE!” and the bomb goes off and everyone s killed and the movie ends.

Except then we’re back at the motel with him and Young Jessica in bed still. Remember how he lasts longer with her than with anyone else? Well he can see farther into the future with her too (ok, I had to do it once, sue me).

He walks outside and meetsGorgeous Ginger and they ride off to fight the terrorists and the movie actually ends.

Pretty much the only thing this movie has going for it is Jessica Biel (who is, as usual, gorgeous) and Julianne Moore (who can do basically no wrong) but even they are hampered by the utterly ridiculous script. Nic Cage is at his lazy best here, delivering lines with energy that ranges from “asleep” to “casually disinterested”.

Hell, I left out a major plot point and it didn’t matter because in the end the whole movie is a big feint anyway. They could literally have gone back to frame one and … well that would have been a little less annoying actually, just end the movie by starting from scratch. And what was the point of Columbo being there? He wasn’t in peril to give Nic motivation and they didn’t come back to him at the happy ending, he was just there because they needed a reason to delay Nic for a few minutes.

Pointless. Just like the rest of the movie.

Be sure to check back next week when the MWBM Nic-Cage-A-Thon continues. What am I watching? Well, don’t put your guesses in a time capsule, there’s a perfectly good comment form to use.

Rating: 2/10 (1 for Jessica Biel, 1 for Julianne Moore, 2 for Philip K. Dick, -2 for Nicholas Cage)

Matt Watches Bad Movies is a weekly feature in which Matt watches a bad film so you don’t have to. If you have suggestions of something terrible you’ve seen, or haven’t seen but are morbidly curious about, feel free to tell me about it in the comments or via twitter @posterboy81

Matt Watches Bad Movies: Judge Dredd (1995)

Judge Dredd
Judge Dredd

While it’s true that nothing is for everyone, Hollywood has certainly recently figured out that if they make movies based on existing properties –particularly comics– there’s a lot of people who will come out to see their favourite hero on screen. This generally only really works if it’s done well because while we nerds will lead everyone else to the theatre, everyone else will only go if the movie is good.

Hollywood understands this now however in 1995 they clearly didn’t.

In some far flung future made entirely of spandex and the cheapest plastic you can imagine the world is destroyed except for one huge city which is located on the eastern seaboard of north america (presumably). It’s crazy over populated and everyone hates everyone because there are so many of everyone. The police force called themselves judges and they sentence and execute people on site instead of having a normal judicial system because violence solves everything in the future.

Judge Chocolate and Judge Redshirt show up to stop a gang war but end up cowering behind their massively oversized Honda Goldwings. After a few minutes Judge Hero shows up and walks right up to them through the middle of the battle zone, his oversized gold painted plastic eagle shoulder pads gleaming in the midday sun.

“Take cover!” they say.

“No need!” He replies, “I’m the protagonist and this is literally the first scene.” He then points at Judge Redshirt and continues “you’re probably not gonna make it though.”

They storm a building, Redshirt goes in first, Redshirt dies and everyone else grieves for about 0.5 seconds. Then Rob Schneider is there for some reason. Oh, wait, 1995. Riiiiight.

Meanwhile, Armande Assante breaks out of jail and makes it back to plastic city one where he finds his old costume, gun, and a massive fucking robot. Yup, everything is coming up Millhouse for the bad guy!

Our hero is then framed for murder and judge chocolate is his lawyer. Why he has a trial in a world where a cop can legally execute you on the spot for committing murder I have no idea.

They find him guilty and send him to jail with Rob Schneider, his punishment presumably to be in the same building as Rob Schneider making jokes for the rest of his life. Death was apparently too lenient, so much so that the Hero’s grandfather quits his job and requests that they don’t kill him. Then he walks out into the desert with only a gun and a stillsuit because he thought he was in Dune.

On the way to prison desert hillbillies crash the ship and everyone dies except for Judge Hero and Rob Schneider. I think that everyone else on the plane was related to Judge Redshirt. Bad week for the Redshirt family.

Turns out the hillbillies are cannibals so they start eating dead people but Judge Hero is able to kill them all pretty quick, except the terrible cyborg one. He has a dial on his head that does…. something. I’m not sure what since he’s clearly a bad guy. It makes him more bad? I guess? Anyway, Dial Head survives long enough to killJudge Hero’s Grandfather who has just inexplicably shown up.

Our Hero kills dial head and Granddad tells him that he’s a clone and so is the bad guy. Cloned from the same DNA but turned out polar opposites. Nature vs. Nurture, I guess?

Judge Hero makes it back to the city with Rob Schneider, they make it into the Judges HQ, steal some outfits and walk down the runway in them, then proceed to the big showdown with Armande Assante who is trying to clone himself to take over ze vorld. Yes, my brain always translates “take over ze vorld” into a terrible German accent for some reason.

They realize that they are brothers, Rob Schneider defeats the giant fucking robot, and in the end Judge Hero goes back to work immediately. Doesn’t even take a day off after confronting his arch nemesis brother, just hops on a bike, puts the shoulder pads back on an drives off into what would be a sunset if there weren’t in the middle of the giant plastic city.

This is the worst kind of comic book movie. This is Hollywood making a movie that looks like something people like, but changing nearly everything about it where it counts because they don’t actually understand why people like it.

Judge Dredd is a dark, weird comic and this is a light hearted 90s action movie. Judge Dredd never takes his helmet off, Sylveester Stallone never wears his. Judge Dredd wears body armour, in this movie the judges wear fucking spandex and massive, incredibly plalstic looking should pad things with a thin gold chain attached to their badge. I’m sure at the time Hollywood would have said “Judge Dredd is unfilmable, no one would watch it” but we got a movie that was much, much closer to the comics this past year and it was kind of great.

The only thing that’s even kind of cool here is the Robot, because they basically built a massive animatronic robot. These days they would just do it in CGI and maybe it would move a little more fluidly and maybe it would be easier but in the end when anyone had to interact with it they wouldn’t be looking at it when they did and it would look out of place.

All in all there’s no real reason to ever watch this movie, ever. It’s not even worth watching because it’s a train wreck. Yes, it’s funny to hear Sylvester belt out “I AM THE LAW!” but it gets old fast.

Plus, Rob Schneider. Just saying. Ugh.

Rating: 1/10 (for the giant robot)

Matt Watches Bad Movies is a weekly feature in which Matt watches a bad film so you don’t have to. If you have suggestions of something terrible you’ve seen, or haven’t seen but are morbidly curious about, feel free to make suggestions in the comments or via twitter @posterboy81

Matt Watches Bad Movies: This Means War

This Means War
This Means War

This means war is marketed as a romantic comedy but it’s actually part of a different genre known as the “paycheque movie”. It’s three stars –two of whom can be amazing and one of whom is Captain Kirk– all took this, you can bet, not because of the amazing story but because they needed a pay day.

We start out in Hong Kong where we meet our heroes, Bane and Captain Kirk. We’re told that they are secret agents and that they are best friends and that they are great at their jobs. I say we’re told this because none of it is apparent except the secret agent thing, which is only apparent because we get a voice over from their boss. In fact, despite being good at their jobs they manage to make everyone at the crowded party they are attending aware of who they are and what they are doing despite being on a covert mission.

In the course of things it’s established that Bane is the believes-in-true-love-boring-one and Captain Kirk is the womanizing asshole. Which makes a certain amount of sense, really.

Back at the base we learn that they work for the Fake Central Intelligence Agency (FCIA). We learn this two ways: First, they’re in Los Angeles and not Langley, Second they have massive interactive displays and amazing computers and all manner of things that the real CIA probably can’t afford.

They’re both suspended for fucking things up in Hong Kong, and need a way to spend their time. Bane has a son and an ex who he doesn’t seem to know how relate to. A fact that Captain Kirks grandmother points out by calling him a screw up. What a bitch.

Bane then joins an online dating service using his real details (more proof he works for the FCIA and not the real one) and meets a girl played by Reese Witherspoon. Then Captain Kirk meets her. So now she’s dating both of them. And they’re both dating her. And they decide not to tell her they know each other. And they use the full resources of the FCIA to stalk her. And they bug her apartment. And this movie is a little bit creepy when you consider these facts.

Meanwhile Reese Witherspoon’s best friend is played by Chelsea Handler, a person whose fame is inexplicable to me, and is the annoying married sex crazed seeming miserable but actually loves her husband best friend who gives zany advice. She proceeds to give zany advice that isn’t funny.

Bane and Captain Kirk both take her on a series of dates, the only important one of which is when Captain Kirk takes her to meet his grandmother. She shows Reese Witherspoon pictures of Captain Kirks awkward teenage self. What a bitch.

More happens, there’s some more dates, the boys friendship is tested and since they’re best friends, or so we’re told, this is a big deal. The reason I say it that way is that they don’t act like they’re friends at all let alone best friends.

Then the bad guy shows up. Reese Witherspoon finds out they know each other and is all “I trusted you!” which is nice considering she’s been dating two people and not telling everyone involved.

Just saying, everyone involved is a bit of an asshole here.

Then there is a car chase, a bunch of shooting, Reese has to choose and she chooses Captain Kirk for, you know, reasons. Bane then gets back together with his ex for similar reasons.

Long story short there’s absolutely no reason to see this movie. If you’ve seen more than one romantic comedy before then you know everything that’s going to happen here, right down to what they are going to say probably. Add to that the fact that no one here has any chemistry with anyone else, most notably Bane and Captain Kirk who we’re repeatedly told are best friends for life but seem somehow really awkward around each other.

Plus, for some reason the world they live in doesn’t make any sense to me. Not just all the ridiculous fake CIA mega computer bullshit, but Reese Witherspoon’s office is so colourful it looks like it has been terribly photoshopped and the CIA doesn’t reprimand anyone when the two spies destroy a multi-million dollar drone that’s being used to spy on one of the dates.

During the car chase they shoot out the tires of the car Chelsea Handler is driving and it careens through a hedge into a pond and just when you think she’s going to die and the film will be less annoying the car floats on said pond. Fucking floats. The metal car. Floats.

This is all little stuff but it’s all stuff that takes me out of the movie. Then again maybe I’m just expecting too much from McG, who’s only notable directorial efforts in the past were the Charlie’s Angels movies (which no one noticed were kinda bad because of all the gorgeous on screen) and Terminator: Salvation (which may have ruined the franchise. Jury’s still out on that one). I get the feeling that maybe McG thinks I’m an idiot, which is just another reason to not watch his movies.

So predictable and boring and terribly directed and when I laughed it was inappropriate. Don’t see this. Just don’t.

Rating: 0/10

Matt Watches Bad Movies is a weekly feature in which Matt watches a bad film so you don’t have to. If you have suggestions of something terrible you’ve seen, or haven’t seen but are morbidly curious about, feel free to make suggestions in the comments or via twitter @posterboy81

Matt’s Best of 2012

It’s now 2013. Another year is over so here’s a brief look at what I thought of 2012.

Favourite Film – The Avengers

The Avengers
The Avengers

There’s so much I can say here but what it comes down to is that I’ve been waiting for this film for basically my entire life. Having been reading Marvel comics since I was a kid seeing all these characters brought to the big screen in a way that doesn’t suck on their own was good, seeing them all on screen together in a way that doesn’t suck is fucking amazing. Because let’s face it: a lot of superhero movies suck.

You see it’s not just that this is a good film that makes it my favourite of the year, hell I’ll even admit that there are a bunch of objectively better films that came out this year, but The Avengers is the geek dream realized: comic book continuity brought to the movies. Proof that you can create an entire universe in film and it won’t be rejected by the masses. Proof to the studios —finally— that their audience is full of intelligent people who are looking for an interconnected film series with characters that stand both on their own and as a team in a single universe. Yes I realize I just said the same thing three times. If you think The Avengers isn’t a milestone in filmmaking consider this: Fox just hired Mark Millar to oversee X-Men continuity and DC had the ending of Man of Steel retooled to leave it open for a Justice League style team up movie down the road.

And aside from all that it’s just a damn good movie. It’s near-perfectly cast, they’re all clearly having fun, Joss Whedon’s script is lively and full of humour and it features one of the best action set pieces of the year. Who knew basically destroying New York could be so fun? More than that though, Joss Whedon understands that what makes a large cast work isn’t the action or the bad guys plans, it’s the relationships between the characters and he completely nails this aspect of the film.

At the moment when The Avengers finally assemble for the third act of the film I was one of the people standing and cheering and I full expect that the next time they assemble I will be again when Avengers 2 comes out in 2015.

Honourable Mentions

“I don’t want to talk about time travel, we’ll be here all day.” is my favourite line from Looper. This is the scene in which writer/director told us “stop worrying and enjoy this story because the story is what matters.” All of this is completely true. Looper is a film that tells you that it’s about time travel but it’s really about love and it’s effect on our lives. That message, coupled with fantastic performances from the cast, a brilliant script make this a must see.

Skyfall is the best James Bond story in years. It’s also the third act in a larger story that sees the latest Bond become fully realized and ready to move the franchise forward. Combine that with some of the best action direction of the year from Sam Mendes and you’ve got a recipe for a great movie, which this is.

If you’dve told me last year that one weekend in the summer all the guys I knew would be in a theatre watching a movie about a teddy bear (and all the girls were watching a movie about a stripper) I’d probably have given you a funny look, but that’s pretty much exactly what happened when Ted came out. It takes the aging buddy movie schtick and manages to make it fresh again, it’s hilarious from start to finish and it gives Mila Kunis a character to play. What more could you want?

Favourite Game – Punch Quest

Punch Quest
Punch Quest

I actually struggled with this category because in all honesty I don’t really have that many memorable gaming experiences from the year. There were a few flash-in-the-pans like Borderlands 2, but it ended up not holding my attention for more than a couple of weeks. Punch Quest however I can’t seem to get enough of.

There’s not really that much new stuff here, it’s an infinite runner that features punching. Strange at it may seem, that simple addition makes it completely addictive, and like all good single player games it engages me to keep playing by asking me to compete with myself and also by offering upgrades that make the punching cooler, routes that lead to boss battles or treasure troves, and a host of other “I can’t wait to see what comes next” moments in the gameplay.

Honourable Mentions


Biggest Disappointment – The Dark Knight Rises

The Dark Knight Rises
The Dark Knight Rises

You know I could go on and on and on about The Dark Knight Rises but I am not going to go into specifics because I already did on the podcast but also because the specifics don’t really matter.

Sure, there’s plot holes that you could drive a bus through and there’s a lot of them but you know what? Batman Begins and The Dark Knight both have some pretty big holes in them too. The difference is that where Batman Begins and The Dark Knight are both compelling stories and The Dark Knight Rises is not.

Batman Begins had Bruce Wayne training and learning to become Batman. The Dark Knight pitted Batman against The Joker, his philosophical opposite. The Dark Knight Rises had Batman face off against his equal after learning to become Batman again, twice. This is not compelling, it’s repetition. Bane, despite Tom Hardy wearing the mask, just isn’t interesting and all his characters weight is robbed by a last minute twist.

I feel like Christopher Nolan might have been going for fan service with this one (and let’s face it, if the story were a comic book few people would complain because comics are strange), tried to work too much into the story and the end is an non-compelling mess.

And how did Bruce Wayne get half way around the world with no money or ID in just a few days time and then enter Gotham while it was on a total lockdown, anyway?

Dishonourable Mentions

Halo 4 may have made all the money but I personally didn’t connect with it in the same way that I did the previous 5 entries in the franchise. I can’t quite put my finger on why, but every time I got stuck I got frustrated rather than spurred to push harder as I did in Halo: Combat Evolved, Halo 2, Halo 3, Halo: ODST and Halo: Reach.

Prometheus was meant to be Ridley Scott’s triumphant return to SciFi and to the Alien franchise. It’s pretty safe to say that this was one of my most anticipated releases of the year, so when it turned out to be a convoluted mess you could say that I was disappointed. Listen to the podcast episode in which we talk about Prometheus to get a better idea of how I felt.

Top Three I haven’t Seen/Played

I’ve tried to see Django Unchained twice now and both times I’ve gone down to the theatre every showing has been sold out. Love it or hate it, people are certainly seeing it. I have mixed feelings about Tarantino as a whole but I loved Inglorious Basterds and this one looks to be right up the same alley of bloody American history.

I’ve heard very mixed things about Les Miserables but I very much want to see it for myself. I love the idea of live singing in a movie but I can see where that might detract from the show as well. Plus it’s full of people that I like, including Anne Hathaway and Hugh Jackman.

The C.I.A. say that Zero Dark Thirty isn’t realistic but I’m not sure I care. I’ve yet to hear a bad review, and it has one of the more interesting production histories of the year. Plus, Jessica Chastain. Just sayin’.


That’s about all I have for 2012. All in all it was a pretty good year for film for me, but not so much for games. Hopefully that changes in 2013!

Be sure to check out Simon’s Best of 2012 before you go, and have yourself a great 2013!

Matt Watches Bad Movies: Twilight: Breaking Dawn Part 2

Twilight: Breaking Dawn Part 2 Poster
Twilight: Breaking Dawn Part 2 Poster

I’ve been staring at a blinking cursor for a few days now, stupefied. Every time I start to write I just don’t know what to say because as it turns out I actually liked parts of this movie. No foolin’. So before I start ripping it to shreds, because I said I liked parts of the movie and not the movie I am going to say this: If you want to have a decent time at the movies pointing and laughing at something, you could certainly do worse than Breaking Dawn Part 2 and if you can sit through the whole thing you’ll be rewarded with one of the best action set pieces I’ve seen all year.

So with that in mind if you want to go in spoiler free then you should stop reading right now, go watch it and then come back.

I’ll wait here.

Last chance.

Ok good. Let’s get started then.

Apologies if I created the impression that Twilight Breaking Dawn Part 2 is a good movie, it most certainly is not a good movie but what it is is a movie that, at least in part, is so bad that it’s good. Or at least has some fun bits.


This one starts out where the last one left off. Sad Girl has just woken up from being dead and is now Sad Vampire. Except she’s not sad anymore. And Sparkly Vampire is happy she’s a vampire and conveys this by staring sullenly.

Not Sad Vampire girl is told she needs to go eat, so she runs out into the woods to find something to kill. This part of the movie is, with out a doubt, one of the most ridiculous things I have ever seen. I hope to god it plays well in the book but in the movie? Not so much. But it does at least establish that she can run fast, hit hard, and smell things from miles off. Such as when she smells a climber from 10 miles away and runs after him by clawing her way up a mountain side. Yeah, literally, it’s fucking ridiculous. Sparkly Vampire shows up to stop her but her Vampire Super Power is self control, so that works out well for the hiker. I would have preferred to see her eat someone, but that’s just me.

She heads back to the deer, then a cougar is there, and she kills the cougar instead of the deer and it’s exactly as terrible as it looks like it is in the trailer.

When she gets home she finds out that Buffy the Werewolf totally isn’t in love with the baby and proceeds to beat him up. Which is kind of hilarious. Not that there are other werewolves in this scene but it’s apparently too much money to pay real people to appear so instead we get CGI werewolves that I can’t tell apart. In fact, I can’t remember any of the other werewolves having any dialogue in the whole film that isn’t barking or growling. I wonder how much money they saved.

Then Maggie Grace reports Not Sad Vampire, Sparkly Vampire and the whole family to the Vampire Police for making a vampire baby because, you know, reasons. We met her for about 30 seconds (not an exaggeration) in the last film and she said something about a bad guy character from the second movie but in this movie we don’t have any real context about why she’d rat them out (and for the wrong thing, too). Wait a minute, this is Twilight, nothing has made sense so far so why the fuck am I surprised?

So now the bad guys are coming again. VPD chief Michael Sheen is bringing the entire department to kill everyone. And there’s fighting in the trailer so this could be good. Except now we come to the requisite hour or more of absolutely nothing fucking happening. They say “ok, we need to get all our friends togehter to testify at the trial that may or may not be happening and also to fight the police because in the words of Ice Cube_fuck tha police_. They all go their separate ways and then nothing. Again.

I could rag on Stephanie Meyer for a lot of reasons but honestly, none of these moveis have a second act. You could literally cut this whole bit out and it would all make the same amount of sense.

Once the team is assembled assembled we get a brief “here’s how to use your powers” sequence because vampires get superpowers in this story (more on that shortly). There’s a girl with electricity powers, there’s a mind reader, there’s a girl who can project thoughts into your head, and a guy who can “manipulate the elements”. Not Sad Vampire Girl, as it turns out, has all of the Invisible Woman’s superpowers except the turning invisible bit. For those of you in the crowd who aren’t comic book that means force fields.

All this time Buffy the Werewolf is hanging around because he totally isn’t in love with the baby. No, really, he’s imprinted and devoted to her and her needs and wants and desires but it’s totally not a romantic thing. Seriously. It’s not.

Here’s where this film gets interesting. The good guys line up on one side of a frozen field and the bad guys on the other. There’s a lot of posturing and talking and Not Sad Girl uses her force fields and then HOLY SHIT THE HEADS ARE FLYING.

Sparkly Dad runs at the bad guys and gets his head ripped off. This starts one of he most entertaining battle sequences I’ve seen on film all year. It’s ten solid minutes of nearly indestructible people with super powers beating up on one another and ripping each others heads off (because that’s the only way to kill a vampire in this world). People are leaping, getting zapped with electricity and suffocated in killer fog, there’s kung fu fighting and all out brawling and then the guy who manipulates the elements PUNCHES THE GROUND SO HARD IT OPENS UP A CHASM FULL OF LAVA. TOTALLY NOT KIDDING. People fall in, get tossed in and die in the lava. One of the wolves I’m totally supposed to be on a first name basis with by now dies in what the 13 year old girls in the crowd later told me was the saddest shot in the movie. Still didn’t know who it was, but sure, it was an effective shot.

Not as effective though as my favourite shot in the movie where, when Future Telling Sister Vampire grabs Dakota Fanning by the back of the neck and FEEDS HER HEAD FIRST TO A WEREWOLF.

You also have to remember during this entire sequence nothing is held back. Good guys and bad guys alike are dying left right and center. I’m completely not kidding when I say it’s an epic fight with lots of consequences. Or at least I wouldn’t be if it were any other movie, because turns out the battle didn’t actually happen. Yeah, that’s right, it’s just a mental projection by Future Telling Sister Vampire to scare off the VPD.

Everyone is still fine standing in the background and the chasm full of lava was just a cruel dream. Then a new character we’ve never met before, ever, or even really heard of shows up and says “the baby is like me, half and half” and the VPD says “oh really? we’re cool then. bye guys, thanks for coming out” and everyone gets a happy ending.

Yeah, Deus Ex Machina and a happy ending for all. No consequences for anyone, just exactly the happiest of endings for everyone without any real work to get there. Fuck you Stephanie Meyer.

The only other thing about this movie I liked was that Sad Girl became Not Sad Vampire and finally became somewhat of a real character. I know this is meant to fulfil the “born to be a vampire” bit of her arc, but it’s nice she’s not so much of a blank slate and finally a character that it makes sense people would want to fight over / have sex with. Speaking of which, they all say how much better she looks dead but I think that’s just because she starts wearing makeup and dressing better.

Other than that this is a lot of the same old shit, right down to having some otherwise great actors (like Lee Pace and Joe Anderson) horribly miscast and a middle act with nothing happening.

The films all seem to have a bad case of Harry Potter Syndrome where the story has been adapted but only the basic parts of it, none of whatever nuance the books may have and as a result I had no idea who any of the supporting characters were in any of them.

This one also has a mild case of Lord of the Rings-itis too in that it has a number of endings including the Deus Ex Machina mentioned above, and also including one where Buffy the Werewolf asks Sparkly Vampire “should I start calling you dad?” and you realize “FOR THE LOVE OF ALL THAT’S HOLY HE REALLY DID FALL IN LOVE WITH A BABY! IT’S NOT PLATONIC LIKE THEY SAID, IT’S ROMANTIC AND SHE’S LITERALLY A BABY. WHAT IN THE ACTUAL FUCK STEPHANIE MEYER!”

And when it ends there’s sweeping Lord of the Rings style credits where we get images of everyone who starred in them, including all the minor characters I couldn’t keep track of as well as Deus Ex Machine himself who was on screen for less than 2 minutes total.

I did have a good time watching this movie, but it was mostly due to a combination of how easy it was to literally point and laugh and also Stockholm Syndrome. I’m pretty sure anyway.

Just remember, no matter what anyone else says in any of the movies, THE WEREWOLF FELL IN ROMANTIC LOVE WITH A BABY. SERIOUSLY, WHAT THE FUCK.

Rating: 4/10

Matt Watches Bad Movies is a weekly feature in which Matt watches a bad film so you don’t have to. If you have suggestions of something terrible you’ve seen, or haven’t seen but are morbidly curious about, feel free to make suggestions in the comments or via twitter @posterboy81

Episode Thirty Nine: Twilight and Star Trek

We;re back with another episode! This week we talk a lot about a little, most prominently of Twilight: Breaking Dawn Part 2, the new teaser for the teaser of Star Trek Into Darkness, a whole bunch more about Minecraft and Halo 4, and a lot of other things too!

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Like what you hear? Don’t like what you hear? Tell us! email at comments at, leave comments on this episodes page, and you can also follow us on twitter: @ManBitesWonders is Simon and @posterboy81 is Matt

Episode Thirty Eight: Cloud Atlas, Halo 4 and Skyfall

We’re back with another episode. We take on one of the most ambitious films going, Cloud Atlas, the start of another cycle of Microsoft taking our money, Halo 4, and quite possibly the best Bond film to date, Skyfall.

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Like what you hear? Don’t like what you hear? Tell us! email at comments at, leave comments on this episodes page, and you can also follow us on twitter: @ManBitesWonders is Simon and @posterboy81 is Matt

Episode Twenty Six: Las Vegas, E3, Battleship, Black Mirror and Men in Black 3

We’re back after a hiatus and this week we’re talking about Las Vegas, E3 and how underwhelmed we are, The Walking Dead game, Black Mirror, Battleship and Men in Black 3!

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Like what you hear? Don’t like what you hear? Tell us! email at comments at, leave comments on this episodes page, and you can also follow us on twitter: @ManBitesWonders is Simon and @posterboy81 is Matt

Episode Twenty Two: The Raid, The Natural, Classic Gaming Moments, and The Year of Living Gamelessly

aAnother Friday, another Awesome Friday Episode! This week Matt watched a few movies, Simon played Rez, and we talk about some of our all time favourite gaming moments, our reactions to the news about Halo 4, and Simon is starting to feel the pain of the Year of Living Gamelessly.

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Like what you hear? Don’t like what you hear? Tell us! email at comments at, leave comments on this episodes page, and you can also follow us on twitter: @ManBitesWonders is Simon and @posterboy81 is Matt

Episode Eight: The Year In Review

In the last episode of 2011 we look back and talk about the movies and games that came out, which we liked and which we didn’t, and was it a good year or not?

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Full show notes for this episode will follow in the new year when Matt has some free time.