Why Xenomorphs and Taco Bell Go Together So Well

WARNING: The following post has graphic content (of the urban dictionary variety).alien-isolation-screenshots-7-alien-isolation-tips-to-help-you-survive-the-xenomorph

So, I was with a friend and we had some time to kill, so I suggested “hey, let’s go to Taco Bell. It’s been a few years, and I haven’t had their shitty imitation Mexican in a while”. Sure, he hesitated, but eventually I swayed him to just go with it. Point is, afterward I had to go to the bathroom. So, my friend says, “dude just go to the bathroom here then we’ll leave for the movie”. I gave him a two minute monologue about why I was not stepping my foot in a Taco Bell bathroom.

See, besides the Miami Heat logo being a visual analogy for what goes on in those bathrooms, a far more sinister theory arose in my mind as I was trying to explain to him the horrors that would await me in there. I explained to him that if I sat down on one of those God-forsaken toilets, a xenomorph mouth (the one inside the regular mouth) would come out of the little hole in the toilet and toss my salad. Just, picture that for a moment, I implore you. So, after planting that idea in his mind, I started rambling about how Alien: Isolation actually just took place entirely inside of a Taco Bell bathroom, and how the entire thing was just about Amanda Ripley looking for the door handle to escape the whole time (I mean, both Taco Bell toilets and Sevastopol station have horrid lighting, so…). When I was in the moment giving this glorious speech, it sounded a lot wittier, but the basic idea was still worth sharing here, I felt.

Review of “Foxcatcher”

Harrowing is probably the most apt term to describe this movie, but if you have any respect for great cinematography¬†you’re still obligated to run out and see it right this instant. Or on DVD in a few months, if it’s out of theatres at this point. Either or.MV5BMTQ2MjQxNjYxOV5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTgwMzIwODUxMzE@._V1_SX640_SY720_

Steve Carell plays a non-funny character for once, and it is amazing. He absolutely nails it as John Du Pont, and it’s such a good performance that similarly to Nightcrawler, it justifies the price of admission even if you’re not into the movie’s premise. Channing Tatum is very good as well, and you can tell he’s trying really hard to be which is endearing in a weird sort of way. Mark Ruffalo is phenomenal too, although I get this weird feeling that he might’ve been slightly (like, as slight as slight can be) overacting in this movie. That got me reflecting on his Avengers performance as well, and then I came to this kind of unsettling conclusion: he goes a bit too hard here trying to be good, but you can tell that in Avengers he hardly gave a shit and just took the paycheck. It makes me respect him just the smallest bit less.

The movie is super slow, but about halfway through you start to see why it was directed at the pace it’s at. Then it makes sense and justifies everything, but up until that point it can be a drag.

There’s nothing really left to say about Foxcatcher, as its merits are few in quantity but extraordinary in quality. Go see it. It’s easily one of those movies that you’ll never want to see more than once but owe it to yourself to have that single experience with.

Review of “The Gambler”

It’s two hours of Mark Wahlberg being an irresponsible person. No real character arc (*spoiler* other than how he kind of gets over his addiction), not a whole lot of action, not a whole lot of anything. It’s just a compilation of a lot of enjoyable, well-written scenes strung together in a decent plot. If that sounds like a good time to you like it was for me, then go out and see it.

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Mark Wahlberg is wonderful in the film, and if you’re going for him, prepare to be satisfied. John Goodman is solid for the collective ten minutes he has on-screen, make of that what you will. Brie Larson is cool as well, if you even know who she is. Michael K. Williams puts on a great show, even though I’ve only really seen him in three other things (Battlefield 4, the Purge sequel, Robocop and now this). Overall, good performances.

The scenes are snappy and well-written, giving Wahlberg a lot of fun dialogue to play with. Some of it might be melodramatic, some of it might be douche-y, and some of it might not make a whole lot of sense. But all of it is fun to hear. I mean, if you want dramatic build up with slow scenes setting up a colossal finale, look elsewhere. Events in this movie just sort of “happen”. It’s a tidy story that fits together perfectly well, but there’s no real “this time is different from the last” sort of feeling in any given scene, it’s just “Mark Wahlberg fucks up again but gets out of it with his cynicism intact”. And to be honest, it’s done well enough that to me personally it justifies the movie’s style.

The ending of the movie is pretty interesting, so just know that it ends on a solid note if that tends to be a deal breaker for you. And there’s this nice little allusion to how dealing with banks can be just as much of a gamble as actual gambling.

The soundtrack is good too, since no one else seems to be mentioning it in their reviews. I discovered this great band thanks to the movie, M83 (French electro-musicians… sort of like if the majority of Daft Punk’s work was their Tron: Legacy soundtrack).

Overall, it’s a great movie if you have some downtime and want a fun flick. Nothing too major justifying that you run out and see it immediately, but I had a very good time with it if that means anything to you.

Fun fact: this is the second time Mark Wahlberg has played an irresponsible character with the last name “Bennett”. First in Ted as John Bennett and now in this as Jim Bennett.

Gamerrob’s Worst Movies of 2014

Well, although I still have a handful of movies to see, by all reports they won’t be bad enough to make this list (and if by some off-chance they are I will update it). Regardless, here are the movies I thought were a waste of time and money in 2014.

Honorable Mention: Birdman765185605565054609
I respect the movie, sure. I applaud its whole one-shot camera gimmick, although the transitions were extremely noticeable (I can recall about five of them off the top of my head). And I get the movie’s message. Here’s the issue: it’s too bizarre for its own good. Near the end of the movie, the voice in Michael Keaton’s head says something along the lines of “they don’t want this pseudo-philosophical depressing bullshit” and at that point, while I knew he was exaggerating, I couldn’t help but agree. I dislike this movie so much because it’s one hundred minutes too long. This could’ve made for a fantastic fifteen minute short film, but instead it was painfully dragged out to where it is now.

2.) The Lego MovieThe_Lego_Movie_poster
Why do people enjoy this movie so much? It’s literally a giant commercial, lacking any soul of its own and relying on popular kids’ properties such as Lego Batman cameos to keep itself afloat. It’s stupid. And that’s the thing: the fact that this movie exists is pure stupidity. It feels like a by-the-numbers story that could literally fit any animated kid movie, and in that respect it’s the exact antithesis of what Lego is; the foundation for creativity.

1.) Transformers: Age of Extinctionimages
How can one spend $210 million so wrong? I’ve never seen a big budget travesty like this in my life before. Devoid of charm, plot cohesion or even basic fun robot action, this is the only Transformers movie so far that I’ve downright hated. I cannot find one redeeming quality in this film, as even the dinobots are underused and under-loved. While Michael Bay might be great from a technical standpoint in terms of film-making, in terms of entertainment he’s a train wreck that’s managed to create one of the worst films I’ve ever seen.

Review of “The Interview” (THEY RELEASED IT!)

Seth Rogen and James Franco team up to fight communists, North Korea and censorship, resulting in the best comedy of the year!… Even though the real punchline is that Sony grew a pair and released the movie at all. So, before I give my thoughts and opinions on the film itself, I’d like to personally thank Sony for releasing it, Obama and Mitt Romney for endorsing its release (isn’t it great when we can come together as a country for the common good?) and most importantly, North Korea for providing us with one of the most triumphant stories of overcoming censorship in decades.

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The Interview is a great comedy and overall movie. Sure, it’s got the Seth Rogen dick jokes we’ve all come to expect, but for once Rogen has decided to inject some more serious humor to his movie. Let’s not fool ourselves, a good ninety percent of the movie is still funny in that way you’re not proud to be laughing at, but that other ten percent allows for some nice contrast. Seth Rogen plays himself and does it well (like every other movie he does), but James Franco was the real star here. He managed to make one of the most obnoxiously written, child-like TV show host characters into a lovable goof of a celebrity, and for that I applaud him. And out of left field came Randall Park, providing one of the best performances I’ve seen all year as the North Korean dictator himself, Kim Jong-un. ¬†Kim has been made out to be both the psychotic tyrant we believe him to be but also shows a more intimate side, and the fact that Randall Park managed to make such a bipolar take on an insane dictator endearing is flabbergasting.

In terms of writing, it’s solid. There are the cheap jokes, the gasp/cringe jokes, the surprisingly clever jokes, the racial jokes, the Katy Perry jokes and even one joke that covers the entire length of the movie (aside from the premise itself). In other words, mostly everyone will find something to laugh at. I don’t know how to share just how funny the movie was without spoiling the gags, but I can say that I laughed heartily at almost every bit (excluding a scene where Rogen shoves a container up his ass and a second scene where *SPOILER* Rogen gets a few of his fingers chewed off).

One small thing worthy of mention is the surprisingly good CGI in the film. I wasn’t expecting to buy into the special effects of the film, but they really did wonders with their budget.

In short, if you have any inkling to see this movie, I implore you to see it right now, either on Google Play, Youtube, or in a local theatre if you have one near you that plans on showing it (Dipson theatres are, so check them out!). If you want to fight censorship, support democracy, and do your duties as a member of the free world, see this movie! And most importantly, if you just want a good time courtesy of Seth Rogen and James Franco, then you have every reason to go and see The Interview.