Archive | April, 2012

Marcus Reviews Safe

29 Apr

Synopsis:

 A second-rate cage fighter on the mixed martial arts circuit, Luke Wright lives a numbing life of routine beatings and chump change…until the day he blows a rigged fight. Wanting to make an example of him, the Russian Mafia murders his family and banishes him from his life forever, leaving Luke to wander the streets of New York destitute, haunted by guilt, and tormented by the knowledge that he will always be watched, and anyone he develops a relationship with will also be killed.

But when he witnesses a frightened twelve-year-old Chinese girl, Mei, being pursued by the same gangsters who killed his wife, Luke impulsively jumps to action…and straight into the heart of a deadly high-stakes war.

 

What I Liked:

 I have to give many kudos to the director, Boaz Yakin, because the most impressive thing about Safe and the thing that sets it apart from alot of action movies is the innovative camerawork and editing in this movie. Due to the urgent and simple nature of the story it seems like they had more time to spend getting creative with their choices in angling, cutting and other things which resulted in a really unique viewing experience. It’s a bit hard to explain without seeing it for yourself but you’ll know exactly what I’m referring to if you do.

 

If you watch any recent movie with Jason Statham at the helm you essentially know what you’re getting yourself into. In this case though I got a little more than I expected due to the fact that Statham was actually forced to emote a bit in this movie. Usually Statham plays these almost superhuman, Wolverine-esque loner hard asses and while he does play a similar character in Safe, there’s some more depth here. He’s essentially just a down on his luck guy who get’s thrust into this crazy situation and reacts the only way that he knows how.

 

I’m almost certain that this is the first time that I’ve ever heard Statham play an American. He holds an accent pretty well, definitely much better than some people…(I’m looking at you Sam Worthington).

 

Jason Statham and Catherine Chan (Mei) had a surprising amount of on screen chemistry which really helped me overlook the random nature of their partnership. Their characters were portrayed as friends/accomplices instead of having a father/daughter relationship which was risky to attempt because if done wrong it’d come off seeming creepy but somehow they were able to pull it off and make it seem natural. If anything I’d compare their relationship to Jean Reno and Natalie Portman in The Professional.

 

As expected in a Statham flick the fight choreography was impressive but the action was more quick and relentless than you’re average action movie. Instead of having a flashy fight sequence, you’d see someone get disarmed immediately and quickly shot in the face which I personally thought was smart given the urgent nature of the story.

 

What I Didn’t Like:

There were a couple moments of obvious green screen and the final confrontation was a tad bit anti-climactic but aside from those minor gripes/nitpicks, there was nothing that I outright didn’t like about the movie.

 

Overall:

Safe is one of those movies that you go into essentially knowing what to expect and getting rewarded with a little extra bang for your buck. By all accounts it seems like your standard action thriller but the infectious/oddly adorable on screen relationship between Statham & Chan, surprisingly brutal & efficient fight choreography as well as some truly innovative camera work make Safe a bit of a pleasant surprise and put it a couple of notches above the norm. It won’t change your life but it’s a blast to experience and that’s all that really matters sometimes.

 

Rating: B

Marcus Reviews The Cabin the Woods

28 Apr

Synopsis:

Five friends go to a remote cabin in the woods. Bad things happen. If you think you know this story, think again.

What I Liked:

The writing in this movie is by far it’s greatest strength and what made it truly special. Goddard and Whedon did a phenomenal job crafting a truly original script that was genuinely funny, controversial and intelligent. Without these two writing this movie I’m not sure if it would’ve been as impactful as it turned out to be.

Normally characters in horror movies are unlikable but once again due to Goddard and Whedon’s genius writing, all of the characters were fun to watch. The standouts to me were Richard Jenkins and Bradley Whitford as the wisecracking “puppeteers” of the project, Kristen Connolly as reluctant heroine, Dana, and Fran Kranz as Marty the surprisingly profound stoner, Marty.

The costume design and CGI in the movie were really impressive for a film with only a 30 million dollar budget. Most of the effectiveness of the scares came from the strong costume design.

The movie was really well paced and did a great job of keeping you on the edge of your set wondering what was next. Everyone in the theater left completely wired.

The final act of this movie was one of the coolest things that I’ve ever seen.

The scoring of this movie was brilliant with the way it toyed with the audiences emotions. There were a lot of false scares followed by an actual one and the music really helped lure the audience into a false sense of security only to betray them a second later.

What I Didn’t Like:

 There is honestly not one thing that I didn’t like about this movie. It was the perfect horror film in my eyes.

Overall:

 The Cabin In The Woods was a ballsy film to make but the risk paid off and resulted in the best horror movie that I’ve ever seen in my life. Drew Goddard and Joss Whedon have crafted a totally innovative and self aware film that gathers up every horror movie stereotype, monster and cliche takes it out back and proceeds to put them out of their misery. It’s one of the rare movies that comes along every now and then that is viewed as a “game changer” and I honestly find myself wondering how it’ll effect he way that horror movies are made from here on out. The last time I left the theater feeling this enriched after watching a horror movie was when I saw the first Saw. This is destined to go into the annals of film history as a horror classic.

Rating: A

PCP Episode 072: Incredible Hulk

26 Apr

This was supposed to be an episode focusing on the Jekyllian character Bruce Banner and his alter ego The Hulk. That’s what it was supposed to be. Now, while we do discuss all the necessary points: the history, rogues gallery, characters in his life and where the character is now, we had the detour of all tangents. Let’s just say we had a special guest host in the form of Google Translate. What does that mean? Listen to find out. Siéntate y disfruta del show si usted es un tonto inmaduro.

PCP Episode 071: Iron Man

24 Apr

The road to The Avengers continues! Yep, this time we highlight the man in shiny pants and a thing for the bourbon: “Tony ‘Iron Man’ Stark”  to get you all prepped for the big flick. We talk the character’s history, his rogues gallery, where we see the character’s future going and touch on the movies as well.

PCP Episode 070: Joss Whedon

19 Apr

Hello fellow disciples of Whedonism. As you may very well know, we’re excited about a little movie called Avengers that’s coming up. As such, we’re gonna spend some time preparing for it. We’re starting things off with another chapter in our spotlight series; this time for geek icon Joss Whedon. We talk his collective works in television, film and comics here before we completely forget that it’s not an episode about The Avengers movie.

PCP Episode 069: XXX

17 Apr

At long last, it has happened. After weeks of delay, upon delay, upon delay…it has happened. We’ve been building the tease for 069 so long that it nearly hit critical mass. Well, the wait is over. We’re here to talk about the ladies. Dim the lights, get comfortable and enjoy.

*Update* Audio Quality Issues Have Been Improved *Update*

PCP Overdose: Biff Hardpeck

12 Apr

After the success of last weeks Overdose episode, we’ve decided to to being it back. The title makes sense if you listen, but is funny regardless. This episode brings the return of Carrolbot (from HR?) to the crew. We discuss a lot here. The change in game difficulty over the years, argue whether games are art (some of our replies may surprise you), we define what a “backpacker” is, the “old people complaining about young music” story, music sampling, white liberal guilt, Game Change and so much more! So much more that we have to push back 069 another week. It’s turning into a running joke, we know, but it’s one we can all revel in. Join us as we play the “Which ___ Cast Member Are You?” game.

PCP’s Weekly Dose: Wrestlemania XXVIII Review

10 Apr

You may have noticed a lack of Pop Culture Podcast last week. Well, this is why. The crew gathered for a sort of team-building exercise. Okay, it was more of a “bromantic evening” really. Now that the dust has settled and the we’ve hosed down Marcus, it’s as good a time to discuss what happened. We gathered around, ate pizza, watched grown men sit on each other and it all was well. Here’s our review of Wrestlemania 28.