SAFE: Lone Statham and Cub

There was a time, a few months ago, when Team MM got very excited about an upcoming film. That film was called Killer Elite, and the trailer made it look like the most exciting film of the year. It featured Jason Statham, a much-beloved actor in precisely the kind of films Team MM likes to go and see, facing off against Clive Owen, a very well-respected actor in his own right. On top of that, Robert De fucking Niro was in the film, there seemed to be a lot of action, and the whole thing was topped off with Rock You Like a Hurricane by the Scorpions. We were hyped for that film like you would not believe.

Sadly, when we saw it, it turned out to be two hours of long, contemplative scenes set in England in the early 1980s. Action scenes were few and far between. We’ve been betrayed by film trailers before, but not like that. The trouble with Team MM is that each of us has a beautiful dreaming heart, and with each new exciting film trailer we let ourselves get swept along on a wave of blossoming excitement at the promise of the ultimate film experience. 

So essentially, Jason Statham really let us down. The man who took three Transporter films and two Crank films to dizzying heights of glorious violence had failed in his one task. Andy was so hurt by this that he refused to attend today’s film, Jason Statham’s latest outing. Team MM was wary, wary like a young girl who has been badly hurt by love before and is scared of opening her heart up again for fear of more emotional pain.

So in Safe, as it turns out, Jason Statham is New York city’s toughest, most violent cop. His accent is complete bullshit. But seemingly he’s stopped being a cop, and has a new career as an MMA cage fighter, the kind who is forced to throw fights at the behest of his criminal overlords. I don’t know how he went from being an awesome cop to being an MMA fighter in the pocket of the mob. It may have been explained at some point.

So anyway, Statham is such a fucking hard bastard and is so amazing at being an MMA fighter, that he accidentally kills a rival fighter that he was supposed to lose to, and as the film opens, his wife - never shown on screen - is brutally murdered by some Russian villains, who then tell him that he is not allowed any friends, and if he even shares the slightest fistbump with a stranger on the street, that stranger will be murdered by one of the goons who is always watching him. If he clicks ‘Like’ on someone’s Facebook post, that person will have their throat slit. If he even logs into MySpace, all his friends will be slaughtered.

Harsh stuff! Jason Statham is so bummed out that he spends the next year being a penniless drifter and living in churches and stuff. You might think this is a bad move, but it’s all just to give him some drive later on to brutally kill people, so it’s more of a long-game situation.

MEANWHILE, IN CHINA! There’s this little girl, right, who is a total genius. She’s amazing at maths - which is racist - and when the local Chinese criminal gangs get wind of this, they snatch her up and set her to work being a sort of human financial ledger. This obviously is way better than a computer, because, as David Lo Pan from Big Trouble in Little China says, computers leave a trail. Computers may leave a trail, but little girls need My Little Ponys and stuff. Come on. Is a little girl really a safer bet than hiring some sort of computer expert? Anyway, never mind.

So the little girl gets shipped off to New York, where she is kidnapped by some Russians - you’ll never believe this, but they’re the same Russians that Jason Statham has beef with. Jason Statham is even getting a tough time of it from the local constabulary - it turns out, the coppers in New York are completely corrupt, and they’re well aware of the whole situation where he lives in a gutter being miserable, and they LAUGH ABOUT IT. What bastards. I mean I hope they get some sort of comeuppance at some point. It’d be a rough deal if they didn’t!

Suddenly, the paths of Jason Statham and the little girl happen, shockingly, to intersect. Jason Statham sees that some ne’erdowells are after this little girl because she’s the only one who can remember their GMail passwords, and all he has to do is put two and two together and he realises that two plus two in this case equals brutally beating some men to death. It’s on!

For basically the next hour and a half, every scene Jason Statham is in, he murders someone and then anyone standing next to them that looks like they might have been in the same gang. He seems to basically say “FUCK being homeless, I’m going to beat some people up”, gets himself a nice suit, and starts breaking bones.

Jason Statham kills SO MANY PEOPLE in this film. New York City no longer has a Chinatown. Because the Russians and the Chinese and the corrupt coppers are all trying to get to this little girl, anyone who looks like they might be Russian or Chinese tends to get shot a lot. We’re pretty sure that a few of the random Chinese guys who got shot to death were just random passers-by. There’s one amazing bit where a Chinese mobster clears out a restaurant of people, and as they’re all leaving says EVERYONE GET OUT OF HERE NOW, OR YOU WILL BE KILLED - LIKE THIS GUY! and shoots someone out of the crowd completely at random. God, it was glorious.

At around this point, we get some more backstory on Jason Statham - it turns out, he wasn’t just a cop, he was a cop whose job it was to quietly murder criminals to make the city a safer place. This sounds like something they should REALLY consider making a prequel about.

Suddenly, at the minus-ten-minutes mark, an evil banker shows up for a final confrontation, which confused the shit out of me, because I don’t remember him being in the film up until this point. He’s some sort of guy who’s behind everything, for some reason. They both put down their guns and we, the audience, knows we are going to see a knock-down, drag-out bout of fisticuffs - until the little Chinese girl is all like, WHAT THE FUCK ARE YOU DOING and shoots him in the legs. Oh, we laughed so hard. Jason Statham then shoots him ten times, just to be sure.

Blah blah denouement blah blah Jason Statham takes care of her for the rest of her life blah blah blah!

Oh it’s my SCALE Scale, don’t you forget!

S - Story: 8. You can’t fault it.

C - Comedy: 9: Really there are quite a lot of comedy moments in this film.

A - Awesomeness: 10! SO MUCH FUCKING VIOLENCE.

L - Ladies: 1. I don’t think there are actually any female characters in this film aside from the little girl, who is a little girl. There might be some gangsters’ molls and stuff but they are just window dressing.

E - Et Cetera: 10. Jason Statham has punched, kicked and shot his way back into our hearts. 

-Nick

Sunday, April 29, 2012 — 2 notes

LOCKOUT: SPACE PRISON

There are certain phrases that really excite Team MM. “Would you guys like some free shots?” is one of them. “Double up motherfucker! Double that shit up!” said by Dan when he’s talking about seeing two films in a weekend is another. The phrase that I’m referring to for today’s MM, however, is “He’s the best we’ve got… but he’s a loose cannon”. This is the phrase solemnly intoned by some government suit-wearing bastard in the amazing trailer to LOCKOUT, AKA MS One: Maximum Security (in Europe), AKA Space Prison (in our minds). Look how sophisticated I am - FOREIGN POSTER.

In the first ten seconds of LOCKOUT, or Lock Out as it appears on that poster, Guy Pearce is framed for a crime he didn’t commit and beaten savagely whilst making devil-may-care jokes to indicate what sort of character he is. That sort of character is best described as “John McClane”.

Guy Pearce doesn’t have a leg to stand on, he’s clearly betrayed his best friend and shot him for no reason at all, and there’s nothing else for it, he’s going to SPACE PRISON. Space Prison in this instance is a highly implausible space station where they keep the shittiest evil prisoners in cryogenic suspension . I don’t know why they can’t keep them in cryogenic suspension on Earth rather than spending, presumably, billions, flying them up to a space station, but that is not the kind of question this film is addressing. 

Those bloody liberals are trying to get in the way of what needs to be done to ensure the smooth running of society, and the president’s daughter has, ridiculously, flown up to Space Prison to talk to the prisoners to make sure they’re being treated fairly. This means they thaw one out so she can ask him if they’re bringing him enough cups of tea and so on, but - and you’ll never believe this - something goes wrong! President’s Daughter’s overly gung-ho secret service bodyguard has idiotically smuggled a gun into the interview room in an ankle holster, and the prisoner manages to get it off him and shoot some sort of highly explosive wall - seriously, he fires a bullet and the wall explodes. We had no idea why everything suddenly blows up but BLOW UP IT DOES. The prisoner kidnaps President’s Daughter and frees all the other inmates! You can tell he’s evil because he’s Scottish. If he was any more Scottish the film would need subtitles. There’s another Scottish prisoner and man, you’ll never see this twist coming, but they are BROTHERS. This has no real relevance to the plot at all.

So things look bad. Space Prison, riot, president’s daughter. If only the government had some sort of crack operative they could send up to Space Prison to sort everything out, perhaps not even a volunteer but someone they had leverage over, someone who may not play exactly by the rules but gets the job done, someone who — WAIT. Yes! But sadly, Snake Plissken is busy, so Guy Pearce is going to have to do.

President’s Daughter is being guarded by her noble secret service agent, who fucked everything up and is basically the cause of everything going wrong. They manage to get into some sort of airtight lift situation, but oh dear, the nitrogen levels are rising dangerously, and they may suffocate. Noble Secret Service Agent realises that he is a black guy in a science-fiction film, and makes the tactical decision to shoot himself in the head so President’s Daughter doesn’t run out of air. Dan had the reaction he normally does when a black person in a film sacrifices himself to save a blonde-haired white girl, which is to shout loudly OH COME ON! while the rest of Team MM laughs at him. Ha ha Dan! You care about racism! That’s adorable! Team MM is so post-racial we can laugh about things like that. Hilariously, Guy Pearce blows a hole in the lift about ten seconds after Noble Secret Service Agent kills himself, making his sacrifice utterly pointless.

This is where, if you are the sort of person who asks questions, the plot starts to unravel. What are the prisoners going to demand  with even a high-value hostage? They’re on a space station. The two Scottish psychos posture a bit and chuck a few people out of airlocks but while the lead Scot seems like he has some sort of plan in mind, really I don’t see where he’s going to go.

Suddenly, the International Space Station crashes into Space Prison! This comes pretty much out of nowhere, and it’s explained twenty minutes later that Space Prison is, thanks to the jiggery-pokery of the prisoners, about to crash into the East Coast of the USA. Fuck! There’s not much time, warns Earth Command or whatever, as they tell Guy Pearce that the entirety of Space Prison will plummet into the ground in approximately T-minus-the-rest-of-the-film. 

Guy Pearce is such a hero that despite his rough-and-tumble, cavalier attitude, he puts President’s Daughter into the sole escape pod on Space Prison and blasts her to safety, but OH GOD, she’s ALSO such a hero that she slips out of it at the last second and insists that they have a crack at rescuing the other guards and staff and so on. Damn your liberal eyes, President’s Daughter! Why can’t you just stop caring so much about everyone? And why did you let Guy Pearce waste the only escape pod?

I think about two minutes later it’s revealed that everyone else who’s not a psycho rapist murderer is dead anyway, so she really should have just stayed in the frigging pod, but anyway.

One of the government swines down on Earth at this point executes a COUP, and deposes the president via the 25th amendment or something (is it really an amendment that if your daughter is on Space Prison and you want to rescue her, you can no longer be president? That seems strangely specific), so that he can send the Space Army to blow up Space Prison. It’s worth mentioning this little bit of plot, because it goes absolutely nowhere and is never mentioned again.

President’s Daughter is, unfortunately for her, beautiful and blonde. This means the prisoners, devils that they are, want to get at her, and specifically her naughty areas. Guy Pearce disguises her by cutting off all her hair, pouring a bunch of motor oil in what’s left, and punching her in the mouth. For some reason he doesn’t make her take her make-up off so she still looks like a beautiful girl, just one with an elfin pixie haircut and a cold sore.

So Guy Pearce and President’s Daughter make one last daring push to get to some sort of escape route, but they have to go through the place on Space Prison where all the psychos are having fights and looking all scary and rough. This goes awry for reasons I can’t quite remember, and then they are SEPARATED! The Scottish guy who is not the main one, who is a total headcase, kills his brother and gets a hold of President’s Daughter, who he has taken a bit of a shine to. Scottish people are fucking disgusting. It’s like Begbie from Trainspotting in space. Space Begbie.

Space Begbie is the main antagonist of the film, so when Guy Pearce stops him stabbing President’s Daughter in the very nick of time, thumping him in the face so they can make their getaway, we the audience chortles, knowing that soon he is sure to get his comeuppance in some sort of violent, bloody death at the hands of Our Hero. Stay tuned for that moment!

Guy Pearce and President’s Daughter make it to some sort of special spacesuits, but at this point the Space Army has started flying spaceships all over Space Prison to drop bombs on it to blow it up… for some reason. I don’t know why you’d blow up your presumably incredibly valuable Space Prison just because it is full of escaped psychos. Oh, it’s because it’s going to crash into the Earth. But surely they can fix that from Earth Command or something? Oh, I don’t know. Anyway, our heroes manage to leap off the space station in their spacesuits honestly JUST before a bomb blows the entire Space Prison into several fantastically expensive pieces.

Oh shit, Space Prison! You forgot to include the scene where Guy Pearce beats Space Begbie into a million pieces! Ha ha! No, seriously. Fuck you Space Prison! I need closure! This feels like one of about a dozen scenes that were just cut for time, perhaps because the American market couldn’t handle them or something. 

Guy Pearce and President’s Daughter are in their spacesuits in space… now, this scene is kind of amazing. It goes, atmospheric re-entry, burning up, spacesuit sheds its top layer of space armour, parachutes go out, they land in the middle of Future Washington DC, all in the space of about five seconds. The editing is so shoddy that using an iPhone to film a toddler throwing a GI Joe at a patch of dirt would probably be more effective story-telling.

Denouement time! It turns out there was some twist in play, and one of the government bastards who sent Guy Pearce to Space Prison is actually some sort of corrupt bastard. Guy Pearce burns his face very, very lightly with a lighter for this… which seems like kind of an ineffective punishment for making Guy Pearce shoot one of his friends, sending his other friend to Space Prison (where he dies), sending Guy Pearce to Space Prison, and getting all the guards and stuff on Space Prison killed. Jesus fucking Christ Space Prison, how about you show the bad guys getting beaten up a little bit? I know you’re a French film but give me something to work with here.

Outside, President’s Daughter has given her guards the slip and is waiting for Guy Pearce. There’s a bit of light banter but she’s clearly going to bang him the second the camera stops rolling by the ancient laws of action films that ensure that the leading lady has to put out for whoever is the toughest man in the film who’s still alive at the end. I think the horrifying secret truth behind all the modern feminist posturing is that if a girl saw you absolutely beat the shit out of someone in front of her she would be unable to stop herself from putting out so hard your wang would be worn down to a nub. I didn’t say that! I’m not serious! All Margarita Movie reviews are totally tongue-in-cheek!

I’m the spacer woman from The SCALE Scale!

S - Story: 6. You really can’t beat the solid basic concept of a smartmouthed loose cannon going to Space Prison to rescue the president’s daughter from a bunch of rapists, but Space Prison blows it by not including anything else in the film that makes sense.

C - Comedy: 8. Quite a lot! MVP comedy moment is obviously when the black guy kills himself for no reason, but just referring to the film as Space Prison is worth a giggle on its own.

A - Awesomeness: 6. I’m docking 4 points for how derivative the awesomeness is in this film.

L - Ladies: 7. President’s Daughter is pretty good-looking, even when she transitions into Stealth Mode. 

E - Et Cetera: 10. This was a rock-solid, completely satisfying MM. Stupid film, space, punching people, under two hours. Perfect!

-Nick

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Chronicle: TETSUUUOOOOOOO

So we’re in the Pink Taco as per usual, and Han alerts me that a couple sitting to his right are attempting to do British accents. This offends me, so I make it known that racism is not acceptable to me, specifically racism affecting English people. It turns out, the girl actually was English, and her boyfriend was trying to do a British accent. I told her not to let him get away with that racist bullshit. The other Margarita Movie Bros were quite taken with her, and her alleged beauty. I wasn’t, really. I’ve long accepted that me going out with a British person whilst living in America would be a colossal waste of a natural asset, i.e. being English. The conversation with the couple did give me the perfect opportunity to reference my frankly ASTONISHING impression of Alan Rickman as Hans Gruber as Bill Clay in Die Hard when he pretends to be American to fool Bruce Willis as John McClane. It’s such an accurate impression that so far two people who have heard it have said “wait… is that Hans Gruber in Die Hard?” after I’ve done it. A valuable talent!

The only other remarkable occurrence in the Pink Taco was that Dan got so drunk that he confusedly asked “wait a minute… how can you be a QUARTER black?” about someone. The maths of it was just too much for him at that moment. He worked it out a long few seconds later.

So we saw the trailer for Chronicle a few months ago, and we laughed, because it looked ridiculous, and like someone was ripping off Akira. As we got closer to the film’s release date, it started to look like, uh, the film might actually be good, which is something we were not ready for. The director came right out and said that he loves Akira to pieces, and this thing got 85% on Rotten Tomatoes, so we just didn’t know what to think any more. The main problem I have with it is that the title could refer to literally any film, since pretty much all films are chronicles. But nevertheless - TO BUSINESS! 

WARNING. This review contains the entire plot of Chronicle, and it’s actually a pretty excellent film. So, spoilers ahoy!

So there are three kids. There’s Normal Kid, who is a totally regular American bro except he’s pretentious and tries to drop in philosophy references to seem clever to girls, which girls in this film tend not to go for. There’s Black Kid, played by Wallace from The Wire, who is super-popular and cool. Then there’s Tetsuo AKA Nerdy Kid, the one with the abusive dad and a dying mother, who is, right from the start, a bit unstable and weird. Uh-oh!

These three kids all get psychic powers by falling in a hole in the ground with a glowing rock thing in it. The method by which they get psychic powers is so utterly irrelevant to the plot that the hole gets filled in and forgotten about the next day, and there might as well be a title card flashing up saying FORGET ABOUT THE GLOWING THING, IT IS NOT IMPORTANT.

For the first time in history, we see a realistic depiction of what people would do if they had amazing superpowers - they go HEY THIS IS FUCKING AWESOME, and then use them to fuck with people. Team MM was trying to work out which of us would be the one that would cross lines and start taking our powers to a darker place, then we decided it was basically all of us. Humanity would be dominated beneath our pink-booze-soaked fist in a matter of hours, because we are all totally full of evil rage that we cannot control.

This is a “found footage” film, so there are a lot of dubious excuses for characters in the film to be filming everything. Nerdy Kid obsessively films everything because he’s weird. Normal Kid though, gets a girlfriend who just happens to film everything around her too for her blog. CONVENIENT!

Everything is going swimmingly for the psychic bros. They’re flying around, they’re messing with people, then they attempt to use their telekinetic powers to get Nerdy Kid laid at a party by putting on a sort of talent show where he does a bunch of magic tricks. This makes every girl within a five mile radius start frothing at the gash, because if there is one thing ladies love, apparently, it is magic tricks. A girl with pink hair turns up and puts Nerdy Kid on LOCKDOWN. Now, this girl did not fit in with the rest of the cast because she looked a little older. I would never cast aspersions on someone because of their age, but both Dan and Han shouted in my ear WHAT IS THAT FORTY YEAR OLD WOMAN DOING IN THIS HIGH SCHOOL FILM. Anyway, Nerdy Kid discovers that Pink Haired Old Lady is totally DTF, but then he commits a classic blunder and vomits all over her instead of putting his junk in her. To be fair, it’s a pretty easy mistake to make as all that business with the genitals can get very confusing. What? No, I’m not married.

Damn it! Nerdy Kid doesn’t take this spectacular failure particularly well, and as we all know, people with psychic powers who get angry tend to break things. Nerdy Kid flies up into the clouds and causes a thunderstorm until Black Kid flies up to talk to him. At this point, Nerdy Kid freaks out so hard that he KILLS BLACK KID.

Uh-oh. So at this point, Dan and Lou, who both happen to be black, erupted in righteous fury. As long-time readers will know, the Margarita Movie position on racism is, we are against it. Killing the black guy first is a classic racist error in a film. It was hard to pay attention to the rest of the film with Dan and Lou hitting me for being white and therefore culpable in the racist crimes of this film, but I managed. The only saving grace was that the film didn’t go all the way and have a gospel singer singing Boyz II Men at Black Kid’s funeral.

Nerdy Kid has basically turned to the Dark Side at this point, so he robs a gas station to pay for his mother’s medical supplies. Hey, America, if you had socialised fucking medicine like sensible countries, maybe this shit wouldn’t keep happening. Sadly it all goes tits-up, and the gas station explodes in the kid’s face, so hard that he wakes up in an Akira homage. He’s in hospital and he’s banged up! Stuffed toys then walk all over his bed and the music does that PLOMM PLOMM… PLOMM PLOMM thing… ok, no it doesn’t. But the Akira soundtrack is awesome and I’m listening to it right now.

Oh shit Chronicle! It’s the third act and Nerdy Kid has gone apeshit! Normal Kid goes to stop him. This means revealing to Camera Girl, his girlfriend, that he has psychic powers. She reacts fairly realistically, and doesn’t stop screaming for the rest of the film.

Chronicle actually shames every superhero film of the last 20 years by having a fight between two superhumans be actually pretty awesome. They throw each other through buildings, chuck cars at each other, and so on. The local police force occasionally get close enough to get hurled off into the distance, but strangely they keep coming back for more, like they don’t give a SHIT about what kind of psychic powers that kid has. 

Eventually Normal Kid is all like, listen Nerdy Kid, I know we are bros and all, but I have to put this giant piece of statue through you because you are out of control. Nerdy Kid is all like, uggghhhh <dies>. Normal Kid flies off, because there’s probably no explanation he could make that would satisfy anyone.

EPILOGUE! Normal Kid goes to Tibet to be taught the ways of the ancient and wise monks that live there. SPOILER WARNING, NORMAL KID: those monks know how to sit in an empty room and eat rice. They are not going to be of any use controlling your crazy alien glowing rock psychic powers. If I got some psychic powers and some Tibetan monks told me to just chill out and contemplate the metaphysical concept of eternity for fifty years, I would say listen monks, if you’re so clever, how come your country is still owned by China? Then I would go somewhere sunny and use my psychic powers for prurient personal gain. BOOM!

I am the eye in the sky, looking at you, I can read The SCALE Scale!

S - Story: 9! This shit is A GOOD FILM. We weren’t ready. The experience of a lonely high school student living a pathetic loveless existence and taking out his rage on all around him is one all of Team MM can relate to, because we were nerds. Fuck you, cool people, with your fancy clothes and your chiseled features! Actually Team MM has blossomed like a group of nerdy ugly ducklings and now we are all effortlessly cool and popular. SHUT UP.

C - Comedy: 8. HAHA, the black guy died first! It’s only funny if you aren’t Dan and Lou. Their reaction was solid gold.

A - Awesomeness: 9. I have to say, psychic powers that let nerds with evil rage fly off the handle and murder a bunch of people using telekinesis is actually pretty awesome.

L - Ladies: 6. I don’t know how old Pink Hair Girl was. Honestly she was probably about 25. The English girl at the bar was ok, according to everyone that wasn’t me.

E - Et Cetera: 9. This was a good film and a top-class MM! Even now Dan is complaining in my ear over XBox Live about how racist it was, which is generally an indicator of high quality.

-Nick

Saturday, February 4, 2012 — 16 notes

THE DEVIL INSIDE: Every single one of us.

One third of Team MM is a special birthday boy today, and that third is Dan! Dan treated himself to some pre-birthday Battlefield 3 with his bros (me) last night, and this morning he went to the black barbershop before joining me and MM affiliate Lou for brunch. The black barbershop is, from what I can tell, the purest concentration of black culture in the entire world. Like, you could pluck Kunta Kinte from the 18th century and dress him in an S1W outfit and make him watch every Tyler Perry film, and it still wouldn’t be as black as a black barbershop. Apparently in this barbershop a barber was explaining to someone that the Earth gains its gravity from the Sun, and there is another, 10th planet on the outer edge of the Solar System that travels around the sun once every 3600 Terran years, and it is composed of a dying star, and that is what causes earthquakes. Dan told me about this and I processed it and added it to my understanding of black culture, which now seems less than it was before. We dubbed this fascinating new knowledge Blackstrophysics. Dan actually did astrophysics in college so I think hearing all that caused him actual physical pain.

Apparently in the Pink Taco it was rutting season, as we had a glorious view of a swathe of douchebags, and the kind of girl that will talk to a douchebag, and we were waiting to see who would pair off with whom. Today was a day of great success for douchebags everywhere, as a guy who looked a little like a slightly more twattish Michael Fassbender managed to make out with some slightly drunk girl who should have known better. His friend could probably have got down with her friend, as he was a fairly decent-looking chap, except he had chosen to accessorise with a horrendously stupid-looking gigantic nose-ring. There was also a guy who had a haircut so douchey that we could barely handle it - it was like a giant mohawk thing but with radiating sun lines shaved into the sides. If Jesus himself Returned and saw that guy, He would doubtless encourage everyone around him to deliver unto this guy a solid beating. In His infinite benevolence.

Anyway, we went and saw a terrible film! 7% on Rotten Tomatoes? Oh it is ON motherfucker.

The Devil Inside (someone should tell them that ‘D’ is backwards) is a found footage film, so get ready for 90 minutes of torturous justification for characters steadfastly holding the camera up even though possessed people are giving it YOUR MOTHER SUCKS COCKS IN HELL and all that.

The Devil Inside starts with an OMINOUS 911 call where some woman is saying she has killed an epic, terrifying three people, in the 80s, which makes it even more terrifying because those people probably died listening to 99 Luftballons. Cut to just enough years later to make this a film set in the modern day, and the daughter of this woman (who, SPOILER, is POSSESSED) is off to the Vatican to drop in, visit her mother, say hi, and maybe exorcise her. Naturally she (I can’t remember her name, let’s just call her The Girl) has brought along a guy with a camera (Camera Guy) to document the whole thing.

They go and see her mum in a Vatican hospital (apparently the Vatican has hospitals), and her mum is fairly obviously possessed. She is saying weird stuff and speaking in foreign languages, and the number one clue is that there’s that weird humming scary noise that’s always in the background during found footage horror films. The Girl and Camera Guy decide to get the fuck out, and then, because they are stupid, they start attending exorcism classes, where they hook up with a bunch of priests.

Everyone’s getting along famously, and all the people in the exorcism class go out to dinner. They have a rousing debate about whether demonic possession is real, and whereas most of the priests believe in it, there’s one guy who thinks it’s all just schizophrenia and so forth. This guy gets about two minutes of screen time and is never seen again. Anyway, at a certain point in the dinner, The Girl says, hey guys, I don’t want to bring everyone down, but my mother was possessed and killed a bunch of people and that’s why I came to Italy and the Vatican, to go and see her. One of the priests says listen, that’s a huge downer, have you considered just going to Venice or the Colosseum or something, those are both lovely, but she is steadfast in ruining everyone’s night.

American Priest and British Priest are two priests from the exorcism class who are operating without Vatican approval, taking the cases that the Vatican has rejected and doing off-the-books exorcisms for people. They are essentially The Frog Brothers from The Lost Boys. They tell The Girl that she should come and check out a for-real exorcism, because exorcism classes are total bullshit and don’t have any practical, hands-on component, raising the question of why were they going to those classes, except to trawl for chicks.

So they all go to check out some possessed girl, and wouldn’t you know it, she’s possessed by some kind of scary demon thing. It’s around this time that the camera starts flickering any time something scary happens, for dramatic effect. Although it gets pretty hairy, British Priest manages to successfully exorcise the demon living in the possessed girl, and they all high-five each other and get out of there.

After this, another exorcism seems easy, so they head home to regroup and exorcise The Girl’s Possessed Mum. They head to the Vatican hospital to grab her and have a crack at an exorcism, but turns out her body is some sort of demon clown car, and there are all kinds of demons inside her having an evil party, and it’s going to take a few goes to get them all out.

UH OH! American Priest has started acting kind of sketchily. He goes to perform a baptism, and in the middle of it, tries to drown the baby. I’m no expert on Christianity but I don’t think that’s how it is supposed to work. He comes home, and everyone just kind of assumes he’s had a long day and decides not to worry about it. Later, he’s basically just sitting up at a table in the middle of the night eating cheese, but he’s doing it WITH THE LIGHTS OFF, which is totally unnerving and weird. Bizarrely, nobody thinks HEY HE MIGHT ALSO BE POSSESSED, and they just assume he’s under a lot of stress and acting like a totally possessed freak because he’s having a nervous breakdown or something. 

Anyway, American Priest eventually gets A GUN and starts saying HEY IF NOBODY NOTICES I’M POSSESSED I’M SERIOUSLY GOING TO LOSE IT, COME ON GUYS ARE YOU EVEN WATCHING THIS MOVIE. British Priest, his close personal friend, tries to talk him down, but American Priest puts A GUN IN HIS MOUTH and starts going to pull the trigger. At this point every girl in the audience is gasping! It’s an exciting moment. Anyway, American Priest starts reciting the Lord’s Prayer, except he has a gun in his mouth so it sounds hilarious, it’s all “AYE ARVAR OO’ AR’ ING EAVA’, AWWOOWE’ EE AYE AAING”. Then he takes the gun out of his mouth after standing CONSPICUOUSLY in front of a corkboard full of bible pages, and absolutely nobody at all thinks “wow I guess he’s going to be ok!” Then he shoots himself in the head and brains go all over the bible pages. It’s CHILLING STUFF.

The Scooby Gang (consisting of The Girl, Camera Guy and British Priest) all get in their shitty Skoda or something to go to somewhere where they can just give everyone a big exorcism bath to make absolutely sure nobody at all is possessed, but The Girl has started to really go mental, so she starts grabbing everyone and trying to make the car crash. After a few exciting seconds of this, the film ends.

YES, THAT’S RIGHT, THE FILM ENDS. A title card is displayed saying some shit like NOBODY EVER FOUND OUT WHAT HAPPENED TO ANYONE IN THIS FILM, TO LEARN MORE GO TO www.thedevilinside.com. I have never seen an audience more united in their angry disapproval. Everyone in the theatre just stood up and shouted WHAT THE FUUUUUUCK. 90 minutes of sub-par exorcism thriller and instead of an ending you’re told to just fuck off and google what happened? 

Also, INXS are NOT ON THE DEVIL INSIDE SOUNDTRACK, REPEAT, NOT ON THE SOUNDTRACK. We were expecting at least for a few sneaky references, like a priest could call up a higher-ranking priest on the phone and say “father, we’ve got a situation here, we really NEED YOU TONIGHT”, or a person who’s possessed could say “hey I’m really feeling a NEW SENSATION”, or something scary could happen where a girl kills herself and someone could say “this girl with the yellow hair just killed herself, she’s some sort of SUICIDE BLONDE”, but nothing.

I could live for a thousand years but if I hurt you I’d make wine from The SCALE Scale!

S - Story: 666! For the DEMONICALLY EVIL STORY OF POSSESSION THAT suddenly stops right at the end.

C - Comedy: 2. Demonic possession isn’t that funny, weirdly. To be fair it is pretty amusing when the possessed girls are all FATHER I CAN TELL YOU HAD A WANK WHILE THINKING OF ME THE OTHER DAY, HA HA YOU’RE GETTING A BONER LOOK, NO DON’T TURN AWAY WE CAN ALL SEE IT, HA HA LOOK IT’S TINY.

A - Awesomeness: 4. I guess demons are pretty awesome. I’ve always held that Christianity makes for fantastic fiction but a terrible religion, and this is a reasonable example of that.

L - Ladies: Oh dear. The Girl is actually a saucy little thing, but the only expression she has on during the entire film is OH GOD I THINK THAT PERSON MIGHT BE POSSESSED, which is not very fetching on her. Her mum is ok if you’re into self-harmers. 2.

E - Et Cetera. 7 points for the beauty of hearing an entire theatre-full of people go OH WHAAAAAAT when the film suddenly got cut off 80% of the way in.

-Nick

Saturday, January 7, 2012 — 8 notes

Breaking Dawn: The Long Dark Winter of Margarita Movie

Dan, Han and I have seen, between us, all the previous Twilight films. I’ve not seen the first one, but I feel I get the gist of it. These films are how you separate the Margarita Movie men from the Margarita Movie boys. They are very similar to being in a horrific war together. You’ve seen all these terrible things, but they’ve brought you closer to your comrades in arms than you ever thought possible. Dan, Han and I, battle-scarred veterans of a thousand terrible cinematic assaults, we’ve run through Twilight films like they were tours of duty in Vietnam. It’s a wonder we don’t come out of those films wearing necklaces of teenage girl ears.

Because of the bonding experience and the sheer challenge of sitting through Twilight films, we have been telling all the some-time Margarita Movie Bros that these are the best Margarita Movies and so on. What we meant by this is, they are the worst, most dire films, but the trauma makes you a stronger person in the end. What all our comrades interpreted this to mean is, Twilight films are really fun and enjoyable. Thus, we had a lot of people along for this one. 

It’s actually more or less impossible to find a legit Breaking Dawn poster so I’m just going to use this one that I found, I think it’s about as good as the real one anyway. I think it might be a little photoshopped. It kind of makes me laugh for a lot of reasons.

If you have not been keeping up with the Twilight Saga, here is the entire plot of the previous three films. There’s a vampire, he’s in love with a girl, they can’t be together because he’s a vampire, there’s also a werewolf, also in love with the girl, he hates the vampire, some guy tries to raise an army of vampires (about twelve), they are fought to death by the other vampires and werewolves. I’m being pretty fair to the series when I say that’s about it. It takes three films to get through all that. 

At the end of the previous exciting film, Edward the Sparkly Vampire stuns the audience by asking Bella the Boring Human to - GASP - marry him. When we saw it the audience gasped so hard it’s a wonder there was any oxygen left for us to breathe, despite them presumably having read the books.

At the beginning of this film, it has transpired that Bella has confounded audience expectations by ACCEPTING Edward’s proposal, and they are to be married. They have not, at this point, had sex, but by the laws of the EXTREMELY Christian and moral Twilight universe, this allows them to totally have at it, now that they are joined in matrimony. After a tasteful wedding reception that goes on for approximately five billion years, Edward takes Bella to some island in the Caribbean  and BONES HER SENSELESS. It is pretty erotic, let me tell you. 

Anyway, after the couple have banged each other so hard the walls are falling apart, disaster strikes as Edward notices that he has given Bella some light bruising in his passion, and tells her they can no longer have sex. Bella does not seem that bothered, and says uh, we totally can, it’s just some light bruising. I know this film is for children but they have to learn one day that people get bruised during sex and that is totally fine.  

We are now approximately one hour into the film. Bella starts looking kind of rough at this point, and wouldn’t you know it, the filthy marital sex the two perverts have had has been punished appropriately, as Edward and his disgusting alabaster sex organ have put a demonic baby of some sort inside Bella, who promptly starts looking skeletal and unhealthy.

It’s an edge-of-your-seat thrill ride from here on in, as the most exciting obstetric adventure in cinematic history unfolds with one spine-chilling twist after another. Jacob the Shitty Werewolf is LIVID that he has not only lost the object of his affections, but that his rival has put a shitty demon baby inside the girl he loves. It looks like Bella is going to DIE as the baby dickishly sucks all the life out of her, as it is some sort of vampire-ish baby. Is this the first time a vampire has banged a human? You’d think this might have occurred once or twice before. Why were they not ready for this?

It looks like Bella is going to die because of this stupid baby inside her. You shouldn’t have had sex, even in the loving partnership of marriage, you WHORE! That’s the message, and quite right too. At this point all the other shitty, sparkly vampires are saying hey, we should make Bella a vampire at the critical moment and then it’ll all be fine. This sounds like a pretty good plan but there was some complication I can’t remember because I had five margaritas and three shots before I went into the theatre. The tequila cushion had to be as soft and comforting as Christina Hendricks’ bosom for me to see even a second of this film.

THAT BABY IS COMING! Bella is about to launch that baby out of her insides like a vampiric chestbursting alien. At this point, I had to go to the toilet really badly, so I left for about three minutes. Apparently these were the most critical three minutes in the film, i.e., something actually happened in them. I am told Edward CHEWED THAT FUCKING BABY OUT OF HER STOMACH, in what I am calling a “v-section”. I’m not making this up. It’s in the books and everything. This is what awaits you if you use your vagina for anything fun! Don’t do it, girls!

Edward has a syringe full of grey crap that he shoves unceremoniously in Bella’s chest like she was Mia Wallace overdosing on heroin. A close-up, microscopic, inside view of some blood cells and veins and stuff inside Bella lets us know that it MAY OR MAY NOT BE DOING ANYTHING USEFUL, you just don’t know how it’s going to turn out. Jacob asks Edward, quite reasonably, what the hell he’s doing, and Edward says “IT’S MY VENOM”, which seems quite absurd to me. I will henceforth be referring to any substance generated by my loins as “MY VENOM”, though.

Jacob the Shitty Werewolf is brooding because the girl he loves is looking like a skeleton and squatting out a dickish vampiric baby. Although it’s never been mentioned in the previous films, this film is absolutely rife with all the werewolves conspicuously talking about “imprinting”. They’re all “oh I wish I would imprint on someone, I’m so lonely”, “did you see Dave? He imprinted on someone just last night”, and “oh if only I could imprint on someone all my problems would be solved and I could have dramatic closure”. Imprinting is basically falling in super-love with someone from what I can tell, it’s like your common-or-garden falling in love but because this is Twilight there’s some spiritual bollocks to it to that makes it incredibly meaningful. Anyway, you’ll never believe this, but it turns out Jacob the Shitty Werewolf takes one look at that dickish vampire baby and imprints the FUCK out of it. That’s right, the love triangle problem has been completely solved by the werewolf kid falling in love with a newborn baby. Again, I swear I am not making this up.

Prepare to have your mind blown, but Edward’s venom SUCCESSFULLY TURNS BELLA INTO A VAMPIRE, and she wakes up. THE END! What a totally satisfying and thought-provoking parable of love and horror.

Who waaaants, to liiiiive, foreevaaaaaah, who waaaaants, to liiiiive, foreveaaaarr, whoooo-ahh-ooohhhh, whooo-aaaaour love must diiiieeeeee but first the SCALE Scale.

S - Story: Nothing happens in this film. Two hours for a shag, a pregnancy, and a birth. It’s all prologue. 1.

C - Comedy: The main comedy is how furious everyone was with Dan for spearheading the charge to go and see another Twilight film. 8.

A - Awesomeness: Vampires are so awesome, and werewolves aren’t bad, but not these ones. 1.

L - Ladies: Bella, already very low down on the list of lovely ladies acting in films these days, looks even worse than usual as she spends half the film wasting away to nothing. Hot Vampire gets a couple of lines but her haircut gets worse with each film. 2.

E - Et Cetera: I don’t think I can bear the psychic cost of more than one more Twilight film. 6, for the six months remaining until the exciting conclusion of Breaking Dawn Part 2.

-Nick

Saturday, November 19, 2011 — 14 notes

Abduction: All Dan’s Fault

We are still in the doldrums of movie releases. Although good films are starting to come back into season, a never-ending wave of shit is still flowing through American movie theatres. Excitingly, the film we have been waiting for for months and months is out this weekend - KILLER ELITE. The title alone makes it an automatic Margarita Movie must-watch, but it actually features Jason Statham fighting Clive Owen with a comedy porno moustache while things explode and Robert De Niro provides comic relief in the background. All this, and the trailer features Rock You Like A Hurricane. Team MM CANNOT FUCKING WAIT. Alas, that is tomorrow’s film. Today, Dan’s bizarre fascination with entertainment aimed at the teenage girl demographic had us seeing an entirely different film, so after a slightly more racist than usual pre-game bout of banter and slurs, during which Dan referred to Elton John as Elton Gay by accident, we were ready for the least manly action film of all time.

That’s right, someone important decided that the llama-faced werewolf kid from Twilight needed to branch out, and thus here he is, fronting an espionage action thriller. Good luck, werewolf kid! We were actually going to skip this one, but then for a time it was at 0% on Rotten Tomatoes, and Han was like, oh, it is on now motherfucker.

Ok. So, at the start of the film, Werewolf Kid is a perfectly normal American teenager, i.e., a total cunt. He does dangerous thrill-seeking things, and goes to parties that seem, frankly, improbably cool. In American films where there are parties where teenagers are at, it’s always luxurious mansions and scores of stunningly beautiful women idly kicking it to the sounds of whatever the freshest DJ is at the time. Is this why Americans are so fucking insufferable? Is this what you all experience at all stages of your life? In the countries I grew up in, parties were grimy affairs in someone’s house, or a park, and generally everyone would get shitfaced and talk absolute idiocy at each other while absolutely nobody managed to talk to a girl. 75% of the time either the police or the fire department would show up and shut it all the fuck down, or on one memorable occasion, my parents would shit bricks that I had gone unwatched for an entire night and embarrassingly interrogate all my friends until they could discover I had woken up in bed next to a girl (sadly, not even remotely in a romantic capacity) and then shame me by dragging me out of there to later apply their fearsome wrath. What I am trying to say, is that parties were essentially crap, assembled by idiotic teenagers who did not know the first thing about how to successfully manage the fun-having process except to acquire the alcohol with the absolute best alcohol-to-cost ratio and imbibe as much of it as was possible before vomiting occurred. Is this the fundamental difference between Americans and the rest of the West?

Anyway blah blah teenager blah blah he likes a girl blah blah she has a boyfriend. Luckily her boyfriend is a violent and rageful young man, although so is Werewolf Kid, but apparently in a much more acceptably charming way. The Girl chucks the other kid and hey, guess what, she’s the leading lady. She’s also Phil Collins’ kid. I guess Werewolf Kid is going to be getting some IN THE AIR TONIGHT. If she’s too much of an EASY LOVER he might end up having A GROOVY KIND OF — alright, alright, sorry.

But then The Plot happens! Some mysterious goons invade the home of Werewolf Kid and his parents turn out to be secret ninjas and they all kill each other. Then one agent is like, BY THE WAY, we put a bomb in your microwave. He wasn’t wrong, either! The house explodes. 

Werewolf Kid goes ON THE LAM with The Girl. There are all kinds of totally appropriate times where he can put the moves on her and does not, and all kinds of times when it is wildly inappropriate, and he does.

It turns out it’s only the bloody Russians who are after Werewolf Kid, for some fucking reason. It turns out his parents were super-spies and the Russians want to go after a child that his parents have abandoned for 15 years to use as leverage against his still-living father. Makes sense! Before you can notice how flimsy this is, a Nokia MacGuffin N70 cellphone is introduced that contains a highly convenient encrypted list of names of traitorous Americans who have sold state secrets to the Russians. Nobody says “and there’s some evidence, too”. It’s just a list. So if the list is like, Barack Obama, Roddy McDowall, Wesley Snipes, Leonard Cohen, et cetera, do they just arrest all those people? I know they just throw people in Gitmo these days instead of having jury trials but you’d think you need more evidence than some Ruski’s dream make-out list.

They then get on a train! I think this whole train sequence is meant to rip off From Russia With Love, which it does pretty effectively, except without James Bond and without a Bond Girl. Some Russian bastard manages to get in Werewolf Kid’s cabin and they have an exciting bout of fisticuffs. Werewolf Kid eventually wins, and then after winning, kicks the window out and throws the Russian out of the train window. This is the most sensible thing he does at any time in the film.

There was some fucking gasping going on from the audience in this film. The average audience member at this film was a teenage girl, and they were PRETTY excited every time Werewolf Kid took his shirt off or was in jeopardy. I realised after an hour or so of this that to those girls, this film is Killer Elite.

Eventually it is arranged that Werewolf Kid must go to a baseball stadium and hand the list over to the head Russian (probably Vladimir Putin) and then he will… I don’t know, something. So there’s a tense yet retarded bit where the Russian casually eats popcorn while outsmarting Werewolf Kid, and then there’s the exciting pseudo-parkour scene from the trailer where he jumps down a sloping glass thing and ooh, we were all on the edges of our respective seats. Eventually Werewolf Kid leads Vladimir Putin outside, where his mysterious father snipes him to death from a distance. 

After this there’s a bit where friendly psychiatrist Sigourney Weaver turns up to adopt Werewolf Kid, and the dialogue in this bit is about on the level of a Japanese videogame cutscene. I saw Han unconsciously trying to press A to continue.

Argh! The trouble with Werewolf Kid as an action star is, his face. Every scene, he screws up his eyes like he’s staring directly into the heart of a thousand supernovas, and his only method of emoting is swivelling his head around like RoboCop. Long story short, I do not recommend this film.

This is the world we live in, and these are the hands we’re given, use them and let’s start trying, to make the SCALE Scale!

S - Story: I can’t help the feeling that I’ve seen this story before! A MILLION FUCKING TIMES. 3.

C - Comedy: A few half-hearted laughs, mostly rendered terrifying by Dan baring his chest at Han and I whenever Werewolf Kid took his shirt off, which was OFTEN. 4.

A - Awesomeness: On paper, it sounds like this film has some awesomeness. A dude breaks another dude’s neck, and people are getting shot, and hitting each other, but it’s all done in a way that’s the precise opposite way it would be done if it had a soundtrack by Pantera. 2.

L - Ladies: The only real female who hasn’t passed menopause in this film is Phil Collins’ daughter. I’m not sure if it’s legal to rate her at all so I have to give this film (X) for Ladies.

E - Et Cetera: The black kid in this film, who does not die, but does nothing else of note, is called Denzel Whitaker. Team MM is assuming that Forest Whitaker named his kid Denzel. This makes us laugh. 6.

-N

Tomorrow! KILLER FUCKING ELITE!

Saturday, September 24, 2011 — 15 notes

Conan/Fright Night: Margarita Disaster

Many developments have taken place in the world of Margarita Movies since last we blogged. The first big news is that we have FRANCHISED. Over on the East Coast, our slightly more frou-frou brethren have launched Martini Movies, a pale imitation of the great Margarita Movies but nonetheless, a worthy addition to the world of drunk movie reviews. You can check them out here:

http://martinimovies.tumblr.com/

Frankly we doubt they have the staying power to keep it up. We’ll see!

And up in the San Francisco Bay Area, the short-wearing hippies have launched Mojito Movies, the eco-friendly vegan recycling version of Margarita Movies. You can check them out here:

http://mojitomovies.tumblr.com

Up in Portland, there’s also The Dirtbags, but they’re too lazy to blog. It’s a beautiful interconnected league of drunk movie reviewers. We’re all planning on getting together in New York in October and teaming up. It’s going to be like when the JLA and the Avengers have a crossover. George Perez is going to draw the whole thing, it’s going to be beautiful. Just remember: we were first and therefore we are the best. Well, except the Dirtbags claim they’ve been going since 2007, but they haven’t got any records, so fuck them.

So August is traditionally the month when the studios offload their shitty stock of films that nobody really wants to go and see, because it’s a bad month for the box office. This is why you see a lot of crappy action films, horror films, and the like. For Team MM, this is the most important month of the year. In fact, there are so many films we want to see coming out this month, that we are two-thirds of the way through the unprecedented TRIPLE DOUBLE. That’s right - for three weekends in a row, we are seeing two films, drunk.

Last week we saw 30 Seconds or Less and Final Destination 5. There’s not much to say about either of those because neither film takes itself seriously. Any jokes we made would be better made by the film itself.

This week, however, we didn’t just do what we usually do when we Double Up, which is to see a film on Saturday and a film on Sunday. We meticulously crafted a complex plan that meant we could see TWO FILMS DRUNK IN ONE DAY. The plan was, we turn up at 1, and then drink. We see a film. We go back to the Pink Taco, and drink again. Then we see another film. Simple, yes? So simple.

Everything is proceeding as planned. We get to the Pink Taco, and Kendall is serving. We eat some food, we talk some shit, it’s a beautiful day in LA. Then Dan decides to throw caution to the wind. He decides his drink is not strong enough. To be fair, Kendall does pour pretty light. He conspiratorially beckons to Rina, and says to her “I will give you twenty bucks if you remake this drink with actual booze in it.” Rina earned that twenty, let me tell you. She remade all our drinks and made them so strong that all we could taste was tequila. I wanted to cry after each sip. Dan, you fool! You brave, noble fool! I suspect Rina could probably have a very fruitful career as a biological weapons manufacturer if the barmaid thing doesn’t pan out.

At this point, it is time for film #1 of 2.

Conan! Featuring Khal Drogo from Game of Thrones as Conan! A promised DPM (deaths per minute) of 1.009! Not bad.

Conan begins as Young Conan in his village of Cimmerian Barbarians is proving himself to, even from a young age, love slaughtering people in a bloody fashion. Some villainous types invade the village and Conan, despite being about 12, slaughters approximately five hunded million of them, then brings the heads back to his dad, Ron Perlman, who is so full of fatherly pride you can almost see him well up. Anyway, then some bastard invades the village, slaughters everyone, and Conan’s life mission is decided - he’s going to kill every person in the entire world, starting with the guys who invaded his village and killed his dad before his dad got to explain what the Riddle of Steel was all about.

Wouldn’t you know it, Young Conan grows up to become a hulking collection of perfectly sculpted muscles, murdering his way around Hyborea. I believe the villain is trying to collect pieces of some sort of magic mask so that he can do… something. The mask gives you powers? Maybe? I can’t remember. Anyway I seem to remember he gets the last piece from Conan’s dad, but then he only starts using the mask later on when Conan is grown up. The details escape me, to be honest. I’m telling you, that drink was pretty strong. 

Conan’s best friend is a black guy who is similarly huge and murderous. They’re so fucking tough and manly that they just casually hit each other in the face for fun and laughs. If one of Team MM ever hit the other in the face I think it would not be as jovial. Wait! As I type this, part of my brain just gave up a drunk memory. Han slapped me in the face after Conan, in reference to this scene. In response I hit him, and he complained “ow dude, you hit me in the tit.” So, not quite as manly as Conan and Black Conan, but pretty close.

Anyway, Conan kills basically everyone that crosses his path. I want to say the black guy died… but I’m not sure if he did. I just assume he did because he’s black. Sadly, this film is pretty forgettable. The 1982 Conan starring Arnie in the titular role is better in pretty much every way. 

Crushing our enemies, seeing them driven before us, and hearing the lamentations of the SCALE Scale:

S - Story: There definitely is one. It makes sense. Conan kills some sorcerors, which is all I really wanted. 7.

C - Comedy: There is really no comedy at all. I mean, that I remember. 2.

A - Awesomeness: Conan kills a guy with his sword like, once every thirty seconds for most of the film. Did they have it coming? Who gives a shit? 8.

L - Ladies: I am 80% sure there were some topless wenches that Conan and Black Conan manhandled into having rough medieval sex with them. If not, it was a sex dream I had while I was asleep, which is probably bad for Dan, who was sitting next to me. Sorry if I got anything on you, Dan.

E - Et Cetera: The other bizarre thing that merits a mention is that there was a kid of around 16 years sitting in our row who was clearly autistic. He had a pacifier in his mouth. For most of the film, this 16 year old autistic kid was sat in his father’s lap being comforted… because the film was so fucking violent. Team MM is really kind of against young or mentally handicapped people being brought to insanely violent films. It was bad enough listening to a 6 or 7 year old girl telling her mum that she wanted to go home and she didn’t like this, during FINAL FUCKING DESTINATION 5, A FILM ABOUT FUCKING GRISLY DEATH AND THE INEVITABILITY OF YOUR OWN FUCKING DEMISE. I give Conan a 0 for Et Cetera for this highly inappropriate parental behaviour.

Next week: Fright Ni — oh wait!

So we go back to the Pink Taco, where we are joined by Margarita Movie Guest Stars David and Andy, who can immediately detect that we are kind of wasted. Rina is still behind the bar, and convinces us that pitchers of margaritas are a really good idea. So we top up our already ruined bodies with yet more booze, which as it turns out, was more than we were prepared for. 

Man! So at this point we are kind of trashed. But Margaritanauts never give up! Fright Night is a remake of an old 80s horror film I haven’t seen about a vampire moving in next door to the unlikely hero. Our hero in this case is the ‘09 model Chekov from Star Trek, a plucky young man who lives in a weirdly rectangular little group of houses just outside Las Vegas, the city where dreams are not only crushed but first convinced to become prostitutes for other dreams, then hooked on drugs, and then really well and truly crushed.

Wouldn’t you know it, his next door neighbour, dreamy Colin Farrell in his sexy wifebeater, is only a bloody vampire or something. McLovin from Superbad is in this film too, I believe he’s a high school student. Chekov seems like he’s too old for school but he must know McLovin somehow so maybe he’s meant to be a teenager. The details, gentle reader, really do start escaping me at this point.

I’m basically piecing together the plot from the trailer and what I’ve read online, but I believe Chekov has to go and get help from David Tennant, who is playing a sort of showy stage magician of some sort. I don’t know why that makes him useful for killing vampires. Being Doctor Who is probably more useful, because Doctor Who sorts out vampires no trouble. “Oh look, they’re actually aliens, fuck off aliens, let’s go and get breakfast” is how it generally goes.

At this point, all the core members of Team MM fell asleep. Not like, dozing gently, but totally fast asleep. As it turns out, drinking a shitload of tequila plus whatever vile sugary substance they put in it to give it its delicious texture, then sitting down somewhere quite dark, puts people to sleep. The sugar crash just sends you right off. So that is all I can tell you about Fright Night.

I was rudely awoken by Andy, who informed me that the film was, sadly, over, and it was time to go. At this point I felt quite drunk, and my brain was running at about 20% capacity. As Andy drove us home I made some comical attempts to speak but quickly abandoned this as it became clear that the piece of my brain responsible for operating my mouth was possibly the drunkest part of it. Secure in the knowledge of a truly MM-appropriate experience, I got into bed and fell asleep. It was 8:30.

Woe to you, oh Earth and Sea, for the Devil sends the beast with wrath, because he knows the time is short. Let him who hath understanding reckon the SCALE Scale:

S - Story: The trailer made it seem like quite a good story! I presume the vampire was killed at some point. 6.

C - Comedy: I recall finding Doctor Who quite funny. 7.

A - Awesomeness: Vampires! Doctor Who! 8.

L - Ladies: I cannot remember a single female character in this film. I’m sure there were some, but I cannot in good conscience award points without evidence. 0.

E - Et Cetera: I have to give out an 8 just for the body-ravaging level of alcohol we imbibed for this film. 

-Nick

Next Week: Columbiana and Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark!

Sunday, August 21, 2011 — 1 note

Transformers 3: Autobots, Transform and Fuck Off

Have you seen Michael Bay’s Transformers? It came out a few years ago, and it’s dreadful. Have you seen Michael Bay’s Transformers 2? It came out a few years ago, and it’s dreadful and racist. Seriously racist. Gangsta caricature robots who cannot read, have gold teeth, and drop n-bombs cavort like idiots for the amusement of the audience. It’s a dark time. Not as dark, however, as the Pink Taco with no female bar staff on-duty. It’s not called the Pink Burrito!

So anyway, Transformers: Dark of the Moon is such a shitty-looking prospect despite costing like, half a billion dollars to make, that it was just Dan and I today. We had scant time to get wasted before the film, but there was no fucking way on Earth we were going into this motherfucker sober, so we threw down a herculean amount of booze in a herculean amount of time. Two shall stand, two shall sit for two and a half hours.

Shia LaBoeuf is a professional douchebag. He plays Indiana Jones’ douchebag son, Optimus Prime’s douchebag friend, Gordon Gekko’s douchebag protegé, and he’s so fucking method that in real life he is in fact a douchebag. You have to respect that kind of dedication to one’s craft. He’s been seen in the previous two films shagging Megan Fox, an entity so sexy that she goes all the way back around and becomes pure gauche tackiness. I find it impossible to have any kind of sexy thought about Megan Fox because there’s just too much of her. Like, I’d say “hello, how are you?” and she’d put her finger up my bottom. Anyway, she was ousted from the Transformers franchise for calling Michael Bay ‘Hitler’, so she’s been replaced with a duck-faced British model who, in terms of acting ability, makes Megan Fox look like Helen fucking Mirren.

Shia LeDouche and Megan Fox 2.0 live in the world’s most beautiful hipster loft in Washington DC despite Shia being broke. Megan Fox 2.0 seemingly pays for everything with her job working for “SOMEONE”. “SOMEONE” has bought her a very expensive sexy car. Michael Bay, please. This is a film where robots turn into sexy cars. Are you seriously expecting us to think a $200k sexy Mercedes is not at some point going to turn into a robot? Spoiler: IT DOES, LATER.

Anyway, the main thrust of the film is that millions of years ago on Cybertron, a spaceship containing vitally important technology buggered off for some reason and then by some MIRACLE, landed on Earth’s moon with the intent of being featured in the third Transformers film. There is one transformer on that spaceship, and it is Leonard Nimoytron. Leonard Nimoy was the voice of the villainous demi-god transformer Galvatron in the 1986 animated Transformers film (a film most dear to me). This is important, because his character does a highly predictable heel turn about halfway through the film.

The vitally important technology that would have won the war for the Autobots is in fact ‘space bridge’ teleportation technology that can teleport an ENTIRE PLANET (i.e. Cybertron) to Earth. I don’t know why this technology would win any war. I don’t know why any transformers want to teleport Cybertron to Earth. I have a sneaking suspicion that the whole ‘space bridge’ concept is a reference to the classic G1 episode ‘Transport to Oblivion’, and the whole ‘teleporting Cybertron to Earth’ concept is a reference to the classic G1 episode ‘The Ultimate Doom’. Yeah, I’m a nerd, what of it? 

Anyway, Megatron has started wearing a headdress and living in the desert, and turning into one of the vehicles from Mad Max 2: The Road Warrior. If I didn’t know better I’d say Michael Bay was trying to make us draw associations between the Decepticons and Arabs, but — no wait, that’s exactly what he’s doing. Megatron and some elephants are hanging out in the desert somewhere scheming like motherfuckers about how they are going to jazz up the third act in an exciting fashion. Shockwave - or at least, a grey pile of spikes that I’m told is Shockwave - has some robot sandworm things, for some reason. The reason is more than likely ‘Michael Bay thinks this looks cool’.

STUNNINGLY, the sexy car that Duckfaced Megan Fox 2.0 has been given turns out to be Soundwave, or at least, a pile of grey spikes that I’m told is Soundwave. Soundwave sends Laserbeak - or at least, a pile of grey spikes that I’m told is Laserbeak - out to do some damage in the service of The Plot, such as it is. The car was given to Duckface by some treacherous humans that have sided with the Decepticons, for a reason not made fully clear to me. 

Michael Bay finds gayness very amusing. As such, there is a comedy toilet scene with Shia LeDouche and Senor Chang from Community, shortly followed by the grisly death of Senor Chang. That is pretty much all Michael Bay has to say on the topic of gayness. Team Margarita Movie is fully down with the gays, so we find this just as offensive as all the racism.

I think around this point in the film, Chicago gets overrun by the Decepticons. I didn’t realise Chicago was a real city, I thought it was just a musical. Anyway, the Decepticons have some spaceships that float around causing trouble, and some smaller one-robot spaceships that float around causing very specific trouble. I think that any spaceship or vehicle in a transformers film that DOESN’T turn into a robot is unspeakable bullshit, but nonetheless.

What with the third act kicked into action by a generic inciting event, it’s time for the black people to show up. Tyrese Gibson is working as some kind of baggage handler around a space shuttle worksite, in a scene presumably set shortly after Fast Five, but all it takes is a whiff of trouble and he is somehow back in action, spouting Black People Talk and fistbumping anyone he sees with the same colour skin as him. Michael Bay teaches us the inherent wisdom and sensibleness of black people, and also their willingness to risk their lives in order to save white people. It’s a dichotomy that takes some lengthy contemplation to fully understand.

So anyway, Leonard Nimoytron betrays everyone, teams up with Megatron, and starts teleporting Cybertron to Earth. After a few exciting action scenes where shit explodesin slow motion, we’re invited to care about Shia LaDouche’s mission to save Duckface Megan Fox 2.0 because they have the kind of true love that is really, really important. If it wasn’t for their tedious douchebag love affair presumably all the soldiers wouldn’t need to be there at all, since all the fights are won by Autobots. Many of the soldiers die.

Optimus Prime, at this point, gets tangled up in some wires. Uh-oh! And there he stays for the next ten minutes, while some other stuff happens off-screen. Him being tangled up allows some Peril to be generated for the characters we’re supposed to like, until OPTIMUS PRIME RETURNS! He takes out Megatron AND Leonard Nimoytron in about thirty seconds, which makes you wonder why he didn’t do that earlier, or in a previous film.

This film is a million times better than Transformers 2. It is still a piece of shit. I can’t explain what Megatron is getting out of the scheme, or for that matter Leonard Nimoytron. They’re going to bring Cybertron to Earth, and then what? Seemingly there are less than 20 living transformers - what are they going to do? Why do they expect me to care about Shia LeDouche and his duckfaced sweetheart? What are the Decepticons really going to do when they take over the world? 

Here is the thing. I have watched a ton of romantic comedies or straight up love story films, and for some reason NONE of them have a b-plot dedicated to transforming robots fighting each other and blowing things up. I don’t understand how this is fair. Either I get transforming robots in romcoms, or you get your shitty love subplots out of my transforming robots film.

The first comic I ever owned, and the oldest personal possession I still own, was Transformers UK #29, bought for me by my father in 1985. I still have it. I like Transformers. It’s a brilliant if nerdy concept. I think the question “what would Transformers look like if it was created by, for and starring douchebags” has now been adequately answered.

More than meets the SCALE Scale!

S - Story: 2. About as coherent and compelling as Desertion of the Dinobots.

C - Comedy: 4. Roughly as racist as Five Faces of Darkness.

A - Awesomeness: 7. About as action-packed as War Dawn.

L - Ladies: 3. She has a face like a fucking duck. About as sexy as The Girl Who Loved Powerglide.

E - Et Cetera: 2. As stupid as Starscream’s Ghost.

-Nick

Saturday, July 2, 2011 — 10 notes

Bad Teacher: Shittest Teacher

1. Vanessa the Pink Taco barmaid today asked Dan if he would like some watermelon, as he is black. She is now part of Team MM.

2. Kendall the Pink Tack barmaid today did an impression of my accent (British) that was so offensively racist it’s going on the list along with Paul Revere and the 4th of July.

I was hoping someone would ask Han (Chinese) if he ever visited his parents back on the boat, but sadly we were one short of a hat-trick and it was not meant to be.

Hey, remember that Cameron Diaz? Let’s see what she’s been up to since her last brilliant film, which was, er, I don’t know. Was she ever in anything good?

In this film, which is allegedly a comedy, Cameron Diaz is a woman who is engaged to be married to a rich man, purely because he is rich. But she’s sassy! So you’re supposed to be on her side. But it ALL GOES SOUR!

Look at that tagline in the poster. She doesn’t give an “F”. HA HA HA fuck you.

So anyway, she’s a teacher at this school somewhere in America, and she sucks. Jason Segal is the gym teacher, and Justin Timberlake is some other teacher. She likes Justin Timberlake, and Jason Segal likes her, even though he has no reason to because she is a terrible person.

Cameron Diaz basically looks like a busted old lady in this film. You could fall to your death in those crow’s feet. They kept doing these dramatic slow motion scenes exposing her astonishing sexual charisma while washing cars and walking around in a skirt and heels, like in those other films with sexy ladies, and I kept wondering when Monica Bellucci was going to show up. She has the kind of figure where there is not a single spare ounce of fat anywhere at all, which is quite impressive if you like waifish skinny girls. Personally I think having sex with her would be like fucking a sack full of wire coat-hangers. But apparently many people think she is a very pretty lady, so who am I to judge? All I’m saying is, if you put Christina Hendricks in that role, I would believe it.

So there’s this kind of love triangle thing going on with Justin Timberlake and Jason Segal. At one point Justin Timberlake gets on stage to do a musical number and you think man, this film is about to kick into high gear because Justin Timberlake is a man who is a serious contender for the title of King of Pop after Michael Jackson died. But they completely blow that opportunity, to have him strum a guitar a little bit and warble ineffectually about nothing much at all. 

At this point I was punching Dan about once every five minutes for making me see this film. 

So… Jesus, what happens next. I had a bunch of booze in me for this. If I have to see a Cameron Diaz rom-com you had better believe I will need a tequila cushion to make it through. As it was I barely made it out.

Cameron Diaz in this film is meant to be all sassy and immoral but it just makes her kind of unlikeable. The film is meant to be the kind of irreverent story where that kind of thing works, but for that to work, crucially the film needs to be funny. And this film is NOT.

Oh, for fuck’s sake. Long story short, she gets with Jason Segal and learns the value of being a good teacher. The funniest part in the film is where a dowdy schoolteacher drives some sort of hatchback Subaru, and I turned to Dan and said, isn’t that your car. Dan gave me The Finger. Han, on the other side of Dan, said isn’t that your car, and also received The Finger for his trouble. Apparently one is a Legacy and the other is a Forester or something. They look the same to me.

Earlier in the week Dan claimed that white people have never written a song about dancing. Dan is a fucking racist. I pointed out several tracks, including:

David Bowie - Let’s Dance
Bryan Ferry - Don’t Stop The Dance
Lords of the New Church - Dance With Me

At this point he revised his story so that white people had never written a song about a SPECIFIC dance, in the style of The Twist, The Macarena, et cetera. Eventually he sabotaged his own belief by mentioning Vogue, but I’m also claiming The Locomotion (written by Carole King, originally performed by a black person who Dan claims is famous, but popularised by Grand Funk Railroad and Kylie Minogue IN MY VIEW). I’m also having Do The Bartman and there must have been some sort of Batusi song that counts. I’m claiming that Let’s Dance is a song about a specific dance because it contains the lyrics “put on your red shoes and dance the blues”. If that isn’t instructional, I don’t know what is. 

Oh, also The fucking Timewarp!

Visions of swastikas in my eyes, plans for the SCALE Scale!

S - Story: 2. Utter crap.

C - Comedy: 4. Which for a comedy is preeeeetty lame.

A - Awesomeness: 1. You get JUSTIN TIMBERLAKE in your film and don’t let him do a musical number? You IDIOTS.

L - Ladies: 2. Cameron Diaz? I guess, if you like that sort of thing. Team Margarita Movie DOES NOT.

E - Et Cetera: 6.66% for the Pink Taco barmaids managing to say outrageously racist things to two-thirds of Team MM!

-Nick

Next Week: I have a deep dark fear that next week is Transformers 3. Send help. And heroin.

Saturday, June 25, 2011 — 2 notes

X-Men: First Groovy Class

Lou and I got to the Pink Taco obscenely early, so committed were we to the Margarita Movie process. Andy texted us for a ride, and all we could do was laugh cruelly from the bar. Many hours of drinking later, it was TIME FOR SOME FUCKING MUTANTS.

X-Men: First Class is notable for having some of the shittiest advertising in history, as pictured above. I mean seriously, guys. It’s the X-Men. Can you not make it look a LITTLE cooler than this “Magneto’s stomach wants to talk to you” thing?

Anyway, it’s the swinging 60s, and Charles Xavier’s legs are working. He’s using those legs to swan around London pubs like a complete jack-the-lad, trying to get up what in the 60s were termed ‘dollybirds’, by all accounts. He’s using his luscious, luscious hair to reel them in. And also, booze. After a while of this, Mystique turns up at his luxury mansion and says hey, would you like to have a weird brother/sister relationship? Professor X basically says, ok, but I hate you, you blue freak.

Magneto, on the other hand, is strolling around South America murdering Nazis in interesting ways. This is such a brilliant thing that it should have been the entire film. Michael Fassbender is so menacing and malevolent in this part of the film that I would personally help finance a sequel featuring nothing but him swanning into pubs, casually threatening a Nazi or two, and then murdering anyone around with a German accent.

Betty Draper from Mad Men has decided that in-between making Don Draper miserable and shagging that other guy, she’s going to hang around with Kevin Bacon on a superspy submarine, wearing saucy white leather outfits and using her mind control powers on people. Some people say that January Jones cannot act. This is a fairly reasonable claim, but as a counterpoint, I would point out that she is really pretty nice to look at. You can’t have everything. If you want to cast Judi Dench in the role of Emma Frost, you go ahead! You monster.

Anyway the X-Men assemble slowly over the course of the film. Instead of each getting a single amazing mutant ability, they get a single amazing character trait. Havok turns up - he’s dangerous. Beast turns up - he’s clever. Darwin turns up - he’s black. Angel turns up (the insect winged one from the Grant Morrison run) - she’s a stripper. Banshee turns up - he’s ginger. It’s generally a very well-realised interplay of characters, let me tell you.

The baddies have their own team of personalities - there’s Azazel, who is a red teleporting bloke who in the comics is Nightcrawler’s demonic dad, but in this is just a red fella in a sharp suit. There’s also a guy in a purple suit. Our best guess as to who he was is a Prince cosplayer, but it turns out he’s Riptide. He has air-control powers - makes sense.

There’s a lot of the kind of creaky foreshadowing that you only get in comic films - at one point I swear Professor X goes “I’ve got this big ROOM, we can train in it, it’s a bit DANGERous though”. The bit where they all give each other their codenames is also pretty dumb. They make the codenames seem lame and stupid, and then by the end of the film Magneto is all “I RATHER LIKE THAT” and now he’s Magneto. 

Kevin Bacon is a BASTARD. He’s such a bastard that despite the film not having much death in it, he strolls up to Darwin, whose mutant ability is to SURVIVE, and kills him. It did not escape Team MM’s notice that the black guy died despite there being no reason for it and him having powers that specifically protected him from death. Being the black guy in a sci-fi film is basically a death sentence, I don’t care if you are invulnerable.

Kevin Bacon also has some sort of nefarious plot to plunge the world into a nuclear war, so he can… I forget. Something pretty dastardly, I expect. Anyway, his submarine turns out to tragically be made of metal, and the one tiny flaw in his evil plan is that the child he has been cruelly tormenting for twenty years has the power to control METAL. I bet he kicked himself when he realised this. Magneto picks up his submarine and throws it about like you’d expect, and then Magneto becomes SO ANGRY that he becomes Irish. All through the film he’s been maintaining a sort of generic British accent, which is weird considering he’s German, but then he lapses into a sure-an’-you-wouldn’t-wanna-be-sittin-inside-yer-submarine-wouldye-Mister-Shaw-a-toi-toi-toi thing for the last twenty minutes of the film. Did nobody notice during filming? Come on!

By any means necessary, The SCALE Scale!

S - Story: 8. There’s a story! It mostly makes sense. I wish they’d all just get along, though. The only dodgy bit is that whenever they cut to a secret location, the caption is kind of crap. It always says something like ‘COVERT CIA BASE’ like they couldn’t be bothered really explaining it. ‘A BEACH SOMEWHERE’. ‘A PUB IN LONDON WHERE CHARLES XAVIER GETS UP STUDENTS’.

C - Comedy: 7. There is some!

A - Awesomeness: 9. Magneto killing Nazis, Inglourious Basterds style, is worth the price of admission alone. Kevin Bacon hamming it up as an arch-60s-bastard is also very watchable.

L - Ladies: 9. January Jones is a pretty lady. So is Angel. And Mystique. Oh, you thought I meant when she was a blonde girl? Margarita Movie readers should be aware that I fancy her the most when she’s blue. Scales and all!

E - Et Cetera: 7. For the TOP SECRET BIT that I will not reveal.

-Nick

Next week: Super 8!

Wednesday, June 8, 2011 — 4 notes