REVIEW: PAIN & GAIN (2013)

In a career entirely emblematic of brawn over brains, Michael Bay has long been the butt end of every joke regarding generic, explosion-laden blockbusters and their derivative sequels. While most of us will sadly never forget such cinematic clusterfucks as Pearl Harboror the mind-boggling mess that was Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen, Bay has, at the very least, redeemed himself for Bad Boys II with his latest, modest offering, Pain & Gain. It’s not only a better film than anything he’s produced since the iconic The Rock; it’s a surprisingly competent film on its own terms, assuming you can handle its repulsive characters.

Check out my review of this enjoyable and murky crime comedy.

REVIEW: MOVIE 43 (2013)

Raunchy comedies are a guilty pleasure of sorts, often making us laugh at the most reprehensible and disgusting things out of sheer stupidity. Denmark’s Klovn, for example, managed to be both raunchier and more heartwarming than 2009’s The Hangover, despite using a similar payoff to its advantage. However, raunchiness alone doesn’t exactly qualify as comedy, something Movie 43 doesn’t even attempt to understand. Through its endless barrage of poop, racism and sudden violence, one can’t help but feel exhausted rather than amused.

Click through to read 43 reasons why you should avoid this turd!

REVIEW: SPRING BREAKERS (2012)

In Spring Breakers, Korine has not only made a formidable return to form as one of the most interesting American directors currently working but has also pulled off a coup akin to a heist; thanks to misleading marketing and its poster-friendly stars, he has lured an unsuspecting generation into the multiplexes to see their first art film. The fact that Spring Breakers also happens to be a rich indictment of that very generation makes it too good to be true.

Check out my review of this excessive, darkly funny satire of YOLO culture.

REVIEW: ZERO DARK THIRTY (2012)

While the prospect of a film based around the hunt and eventual execution of Osama Bin Laden may seem mildly distasteful and more akin to a deliberately patriotic ceremony of America’s strength, Zero Dark Thirty is not that film. Kathryn Bigelow and Mark Boal have re-teamed to deliver one of 2012’s most poignant, provocative and important examinations of obsession and the risks associated with cold and calculated persistence, thanks to a great central performance by Jessica Chastain.

Check out just what makes Zero Dark Thirty so special.


Artist: Bill Withers

Song: “Harlem”

Album: Just as I Am (1971)

Genre: Soul / Smooth Soul

Zero Dark Thirty (2012)

Directed by Kathryn Bigelow


Mindhunters (2004)

Directed by Renny Harlin

Deep Blue Sea (1999)

Directed by Renny Harlin

A film in which a scientist’s search for a cure for Alzheimer’s through animal testing results in 3 rapidly adapting, intelligent sharks who will stop at nothing in order to terrorize the humans trapped within the sinking laboratory. Oh, and LL Cool J is a cook with a talking parrot.

Deep Blue Sea is just plain fucking nuts. Think Jurassic Park if it were set in an underwater compound and starred a gang of imbeciles who are simply begging to be torn apart. Did I mention LL Cool J wrote and performed the film’s theme song?

R.I.P. David R. Ellis. You weren’t the best director but your high concept expeditions often entertained on a humorous level.

Precious (2009)

Directed by Lee Daniels

21 Jump Street (2012)

Directed by Phil Lord & Chris Miller

Judging by its origins, its star-studded cast and even its marketing, you’d think 21 Jump Street would be little more than a raunchy and ultimately unnecessary spin on a famous teen drama from the 80’s. To say I didn’t really look forward to this film would be an understatement; I had no intention in even seeing it. Directed by Phil Lord & Chris Miller, the comedy team behind 2009’s underrated hit Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs and the upcoming LEGO film, 21 Jump Street is better than it probably has any right to be. By generally distancing itself from the show it’s based on, Lord & Miller stage a host of enjoyable, often hilarious comic situations amidst a surprisingly natural and strong chemistry between Hill and Tatum; Tatum especially impresses on the comic front, namely when the duo is forced to take on their high school identities. 21 Jump Street even manages to cram in a few notable cameos that will make fans of the show and just about anyone else smile. The result is a surprising one to say the least; 21 Jump Street stands tall as one of 2012’s better comedies.

Also, the film’s much touted drug trip scene does not disappoint. Lord & Miller are a comedic force to be reckoned with.