October 6, 2012, - 7:56 pm
Due to the Jewish holidays, I was unable to attend the “Frankenweenie” critics’ screening, but I will see it later this weekend and post my review. Of the new movies I did see, only one is worth seeing, even if its star has a silly love affair with Islam. **** UPDATE, 10/7/12: I’ve added my review of “Frankenweenie,” below–the movie is fabulous! ****
* “Taken 2“: This isn’t nearly as good as the original “Taken” (read my review), to which it is a sequel. But it’s good enough, and I liked it. It should be a big hint that it’s being panned universally by mainstream media movie critics. If you were expecting a deep, thoughtful, Shakespearian masterpiece, then you clearly didn’t see the first “Taken.” And you are applying standards to this movie that you don’t apply to most others. I liked this, even if, per usual, the references to the villains being Muslim are muted–muted even from the original trailer for the movie. But they aren’t muted enough. It’s quite clear–even clearer than in the first “Taken”–that the brutal, violent, unforgiving, dishonorable, murderous villains here are Albanian Muslims, who get quite a bit of help from the Turkish Muslims in the movie’s setting of Istanbul. You’ll have to suspend your knowledge that the movie’s star, Liam Neeson, said he fell in love with Islam while filming this and considered converting to this violent religion and that he made the preposterous claim that the lion in “The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe” is Mohammed, when it was clearly meant by devout Christian author C.S. Lewis to be Jesus, nothing else. (No surprise, given that this is coming from the son-in-law of dhimmi, pro-terrorist skank, Vanessa Redgrave.)
You don’t have to see the original “Taken” to see this, but a quick summary is in order here. In the original, Neeson is retired CIA agent Bryan Mills, whose teen daughter goes to Paris for the summer. When she is kidnapped by Albanian Muslim slave traders and sold into sex slavery to Arab Muslims, Neeson goes to Paris to find her, rescue her, and kill her captors. He achieves all three with aplomb. In this second installment, the father of one of the Muslim sex slavers wants vengeance. Neeson has just finished a private security gig in Istanbul, protecting some Arab Muslim. He invites his ex-wife and their daughter (Maggie Grace) to Istanbul to spend some quality time, when Neeson and his ex (Famke Janssen) are kidnapped by the Muslims, and Neeson enlists his secret agent skills to get out with the help of his daughter and then rescue the ex. Throughout Turkish Muslims help the Albanians and don’t help Neeson or his family, to whom they are particularly unfriendly. And the Muslim stuff is clear. We see the villains wearing Islamic garb and praying to allah. And that’s not to mention the quick shots of the crescent and star tattoos–bearing the symbol of Islam–also shown on the villains in the first movie. Muslims and their friends won’t like this. But you will.
Like I said, the movie’s not deep stuff (and it’s predictable), but neither is there depth in James Bond movies, superhero movies, etc. This is an escapist delight. And I enjoyed it. You know what you’re getting here before you buy the ticket, and it doesn’t disappoint. Again, not nearly as good as the first one, but pretty good. And it’s very clear that the Muslims are the bad guys all around in this movie–something you rarely see from Hollywood. And, toward the end, there’s a great scene in which you’re led to believe that Neeson is acting like a stupid liberal and that it will be the death of him. But it’s a good trick, proving yet again that the Muslim villains have no honor, no decency to speak of. But we knew that. Good to see a major motion picture release reaffirm it, rather than fantasize otherwise.
Watch the trailer . . .
* “Butter“: This movie is meant to be a parable of some sort–a satiric take on the Clintons versus Barack Obama or John McCain versus Obama. Regardless, it’s clearly about the “greatness” and ascendance of Obama, and it’s a very clear knock on conservatives and conservative values. And it’s silly and a waste of time, not worth your ten dollars and 1.5 hours . . . even to see the butter version of “Schindler’s List” on quick display here. Question: is there a coincidence that a Black Muslim girl was tapped to play the Obama figure here? Just askin’.
This is the story of an Iowa butter carving champion (Ty Burrell) who retires. But his perfect, conservative wife (Jennifer Garner a/k/a Mrs. Ben Affleck) can’t handle it, so she takes his place, entering the butter carving competition. She’s very good, but she’s soon upstaged by a young Black girl (Yara Shahidi), who is a foster child to White people and utters such slogans as, “White people are weird.” (You think a White hero of a movie could utter, “Black people are weird,” and get away with it?) The Black girl is helped by a disgruntled stripper (Olivia Wilde), while the wife resorts to unethical behavior to try to win, all while touting conservative values. Alicia Silverstone and Hugh Jackman also co-star.
Like I said, this is a cheap, stupid attack on conservatives and middle America. And it’s full of the c-word, lesbian make-out scenes, and other similar stuff gratuitously inserted to shock. Instead, it was just a bore like the rest of this waste of time movie.
Watch the trailer . . .
* “The Master“: If this is a knock on Scientology–as it’s alleged to be–the Scientologists have nothing to worry about. The movie is long, boring, and a complete waste of time. The only similarities at all to Scientology are that it’s about a silly cult parading as a religion, complete with stupid BS as its philosophy, and the leader of the cult is a total phony. Even the son of the cult leader (the cult leader is played by Philip Seymour Hoffman) knows he’s a complete fraud and says as much to Joaquin Phoenix, who plays a new follower. The setting is the early ’50s, and Phoenix is a lowlife drunk who is a Navy veteran of World War II (yup, another Hollywood flick in which the military veteran is a scumbag). He’s obsessed with sex and drinking and makes a “tonic” with part paint thinner in it (not sure how you can drink that and survive–and one guy dies from stealing the batch and making too much).
The movie goes on and on and on with zero point to it. But along the way, we see a scene in which women of all ages walk around in full frontal nudity for the cult leader (though it’s not clear if this is real or in the imagination of Phoenix–either way, it doesn’t matter ‘cuz the scene was unnecessary and low class), another scene in which the cult leader’s wife (Amy Adams) masturbates him in the bathroom, and yet another with Phoenix having sex with a sand sculpture of a woman on the beach, after which he masturbates. Oh, and it’s filled with the c- and p-words. You stay classy, Hollywood.
Complete and total garbage. Where do I go to get the nearly 2.5 hours of my life back that I wasted on this?
FOUR MARXES PLUS A BIN LADEN
Watch the trailer . . .
* “Frankenweenie“: This was absolutely terrific. Fantastic animation, cool and creepy story, cute and funny throughout, and just all-around great. I saw this in 2D, and enjoyed it thoroughly, so I can only imagine how much better the already stellar animation looks in 3D. It’s in black and white and appears to take place in the ’50s. My only reservation is that while kids will enjoy this, they may be a little scared by it. It’s dark and creepy, if in an ultimately cute way.
Victor Frankenstein is a nerdy, genius kid with no friends, but a strong interest in science. He loves his dog, Sparky. His parents, worried about his lack of friends, and they allow him to participate in the science competition, so long as he joins the school baseball team. But at his first outing, he hits a home run, with the ball out of the park. His dog chases the ball, gets hit by a car, and dies. Victor is extremely depressed. Soon, though, Victor is inspired by his quirky mad genius new science teacher to try to bring Sparky back to life using lightning and electric current. He succeeds and tries to keep it a secret, but the secret gets out when one of his creepy classmates discovers it and blabs. Soon, Victor’s other classmates are trying to find out what he did and imitate his experiment, so that they can win the trophy at the science fair.
One cute thing you’ll notice is that each of Victor’s creepy classmates is modeled after and resembles a major scary character in a classic horror film. This movie is so clever that kids might not get a lot of it, but adults will thoroughly enjoy it. I loved every minute of it. Perfectly fine in 2D. One of the best animated movies I’ve seen in a long time.
Watch the trailer . . .
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