Friday, January 25, 2013

Movies of 2012, Comedy Awards

            I want to give out some more awards before I count down my Top 5, so here are all the non-animated "comedies" I saw this year and the numerous complaints I have about them.  I gave each a numerical rating out of 10... but as time marches on those numbers will probably drop as my tastes continue to change.

Possibly the only funny movie I saw this Year Award: "21 Jump Street" (Trailer)
            This was not a good year for comedy.  In my own way I am to blame, I failed to catch "Ted", "The Dictator", or "7 Psychopaths" each of which showed promise (especially "Ted"), but I saw five comedies and none of them really worked for me.
            I have no nostalgic connection to "21 jump Street" and my expectations were so low that they communed with a lost city of Mole-people.  I do feel that this movie had some good stuff, but none of it seemed totally realized.  "21 jump Street" was just okay, there were parts that made me laugh loud and hard, but mostly it was really stupid.  I don't hate it, so I will damn it with this faint praise, "It is better than watching nothing."

 The Who was Clamoring for this Award: "The Three Stooges" (Trailer)
            Who wanted this?  I guess there is a stupid appeal to it, and the idea that the idiots of yesteryear beating the crap out of moronic reality stars of today highlighting how the Stooges existed to be laughed at and not imitated, unlike today's moron freak show which seem to exist in a limbo of being vilified by some and imitated unironically by others.  But the movie isn't smart like that, its just the Stooges doing there thing in the modern day without irony.  That doesn't work anymore.
            So, it can't be poignant because it commits too much to the source material, and it can't be timeless slapstick because of all the instantly dating pop culture references.  It is just pointless.

The Who Needs Subtlety Anyway Award: "The Campaign" (Trailer)
            When watching this movie I thought back to a better movie called, "The Other Guys".  During the credit sequence of, "The Other Guys" (Trailer) a presentation on white collar crime and corruption is displayed, explaining colorfully and intelligently the current financial plight of the Western World.  "The Campaign" is the disgusting pile of after birth that followed that credit sequence.
            It has its moments, but almost nothing in it has any grace in delivery, they throw jokes like knuckle balls, sometimes they are right down the pipe.  Mostly though it is just blunt and un-clever bullshit that fails to connect over and over.  It doesn't even piss me off, it is just wasted time.  You would be better off watching nothing.

The Award for trying to be Edgar Wright and Failing: "Detention" (Trailer)
            "Detention" is an obscure bit of junk with a cluttered narrative trying to spoof every Teen-(Genre) movie in existence and ending up with a cluster fuck.  It does have one really strong quality: it shows that one of my favorite directors, Edgar Wright, is having an effect on up and coming directors.  The pacing, camera work, and dialogue all try to have the same snap as "Scott Pilgrim versus the World" and each fails in turn.  There are funny parts, but as I look back on this movie it slowly moves away from mediocrity toward shitty.  Don't bother watching this.

The Worst Movie I saw all Year: "Madea Witness Protection" (Trailer)
            Before I start, I will say, "I am open to things, and want to be surprised and delighted by everything in life, I watched this hoping that it might serve to introduce me to a humorous character that had previously evaded my interest.  I will continue to give movies chances in hopes of finding diamonds in the cast off.  This movie is no diamond."
            I have no idea how Tyler Perry keeps getting money to make his terrible fucking movies.  This is the first Madea movie I have seen.  This will be the last Madea movie I will ever see.  Where to begin?
            Plot points are brought up and dropped without follow up, chief among them the mob death threats, which happen at the beginning of the movie and never reappear in the movie.  Scenes are poorly edited, going on for several seconds too long like an awkward silence in the middle of a boring conversation.  The culture clash that the movie seems to be built around (a white family forced to live with Madea, oh wacky high-jinks will ensue) is flaccid, slow, and ultimately resolved in a harsh and clunky fashion.  The third act has no conflict at all, they decide they are going to steal mob money from secret accounts, and they do... that is it, where is the conflict?
            In a normal film the third act would have a couple different antagonists closing in on the hero; take for instance, "No Country for Old Men" (Trailer).  In "Country" the hero, Josh Brolin has millions in stolen drug money; cops, drug cartels, and a psychopathic hitman are closing in.  Brolin has to figure out a plan, and after dodging through Mexico, getting suited up, and his wife having told the sheriff where to find Brolin, he is killed by the drug cartels.
            In Madea the FBI should be after Madea and crew to arrest them for fleeing protective custody, the Mob should be after them to take back the money, the original lenders should be trying to move the money before the heroes can secure it, and there should be some kind of ticking clock!  But instead there is nothing, they just move the money and the movie is over.
            This "movie" is just bad.  I will concede only to the fact that it is a movie (images and sounds forming a narrative), but should not be watched, and Tyler Perry should not be given any more money for these projects.

Not even exaggerating, "No Country for Old Men" has more comedic scenes in it than  "Madea".

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