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Monthly Archives: April 2011

 

 

  

 

What’s the Story?

A deadbeat comic book artist and a deabeat comic book writer go to Comicon in San Diego, then road trip across America. Then they pick up an alien (Paul) who was stranded on Earth in 1947 and help him get back to his mothership. On their way, they encounter a bible-believing woman whose faith is shattered by Paul’s existence.

 

What’s the Problem?

In a word, Paul. He’s an obnoxious stoner. He’s like the bearded guy from The Hangover, only CGI, which isn’t enough to carry the whole film. Yes, he defies our expectations of a high-voiced, demure Little Grey alien, but that’s not 90 minutes of entertainment. Once you accept “Oh, he’s a jerk”, you need something more to base your film on.

Which is a ptiy, because there’s good stuff in this film. It’s Simon Pegg and Nick Frost. But it’s not up to the quiet brilliance of Shaun of the Dead or the balls-out ridiculous action of Hot Fuzz. It’s better than most comedies, but not a game-changer.

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What’s the Story?

Babydoll is taken to a mental institute because she accidentally killed her sister. Her step-father then pays the orderly to have her lobotomised. Babydoll deals with this by imagining the asylum is a bordello, where she befriends four of the other girls and they go on a quest to find four items that will help them escape.

 

What’s the Problem?

Lunacy

The main problem is that Babydoll isn’t crazy.

That is, we are given no indication, prior to her suddenly imagining that the asylum is a bordello, that she is anything other than a normal, healthy girl. She was understandably upset when she accidentally shot her sister, sure, but surely when she told the cops that her step-father had been about to rape her and said sister they’d have taken her out of his care.

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What’s the Story?

Mau left his home (an island known as the Nation) to fulfil the rites required to become a man. Then a giant wave washed through and killed everyone on the Nation. He returned to the island unable to fulfil the rites and met a young British girl who was the only survivor of a crashed ship.

Together they start to rebuild the Nation, learn about one another (not in that way), and create a society out of the survivors of the Great Wave. Daphne’s past catches up with her, though, so Mau must outsmart the vile pirates who have followed her here.

 

What’s the Problem?

The problem is that if you like Terry Pratchett (and I do) then you’ve probably read most of the Discworld series. If that’s the case, there’s little new in Nation.

Pratchett’s central two characters both question tradition and authority in the same way that many of his Discworld characters do. They ask why things are the way they are, and refuse to follow tradition for the sake of tradition. They want to know the Why of everything.

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 What’s the Story?

Aliens are attacking the world again. These ones are after our water. Aaron Eckhart was going to retire today, but instead leads a squadron to take down the alien menace. What started out as a simple recon/rescue mission ends up being a full-on attack against the alien command ship (which conveniently disables all of their tech in one fell swoop leaving it easy for the humans to win). 

     

What’s the Problem?

Cliches

Battle LA seems to have read the action/war-movie cliche handbook, and is determined to follow them all. The lead character was retiring that very day (what a coincidence), but goes out on one last mission (sigh) before he does. They pick up a few useless civilians. Their commander is inexperienced but was top of his class and gets handily killed off so Eckhart can lead the squad.

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