Thursday, January 2, 2014

Movies of 2013, Apocalypses, pt2

Apocalypse Films (or "What is the Dumbest Thing I have seen all Year?")
            Aliens came down and made everything into shit.  I guess the only way to save it is through heroic self sacrifice, or friendship... or being incredibly selfish.

Oblivion, or "What a Twist in that at least it looks Pretty."
Overall: 5/10

It's look is as pretty as the plot is preposterous.
            I called every single thing that happens in this thing from the trailer.  It is cliché sci-fi mystery whose twist is that it was in fact, a different cliché all along.
            It is visually engaging, the sound and light and whole aesthetic work really well.  Though I cannot really figure out why Tom Cruise's uniform would be the impossible to keep clean and impossible to hide in bright white, rather than digital camouflage or just plain black, he is going into a hostile wasteland filled with monsters to try and repair killer robots.  Also, it is really odd that Tom Cruise is the lead in this movie.  He is 50 years old, and while I am sure that the main character's sense of humor and quirks were his invention as he is a good actor, he is 20 years older than the women playing his love interests, and when you take into account the twist of his existence his physical age becomes even more of an issue.
            Spoiler time discussion: Tom Cruise is a clone.  Who clones a guy and then ages him to 50?  Wouldn't a 30 year old Cruise be more of a physical asset?  This is not a shot against Cruise's body, which for a 50 year old is in really good shape, I could only hope to look as good when I am his age, but the point is that makes no sense.  Channing Tatum, Liam Hemsworth, Ryan Gosling are all in their physical prime and would be more convincing for what this role demands... But even the role itself makes no sense.

Why would its number decal be only on the front?  And why is it also really bright white?
            This giant alien robot clones astronauts to use as shock troops to defeat earth?  Why does it have the ability to do that?  Biological systems are hard to replicate, has it done this before on other populated worlds throughout the galaxy?  Why?  It has killer, flying, robots.  Let me explain in no uncertain terms, robots feel no pain, no fear, they require no sleep, no food, and no comfort.  Robots will follow orders without fail, they never get stressed out and never require any sort of pep-talk or status report... Humans require all of those things.  So why use clones?  Robots are clearly superior, the US military thinks Drones are the best thing for killing enemies since Cain killed Able.  Humans are squishy, whiney, and demanding, the alien drones are fast and powerful.  There is no reason to have Cruise clones at all.  And that is the real core as to why this movie is incredibly stupid.
            Additional problems: most actors are not developed, causing their actions to be questionable or just pensive and obnoxious for no reason.
            Additional blessings: the look of the movie is top notch, especially the armor of the human resistance being made out of stealth material but still having feathers or other adornments gives them a lot of visual personality.

The World's End, or "I am kind of siding with the bad guys on this one."
Overall: 8/10

I have given all of Edgar Wright's other movies a 10/10, so this one may warm on me.
            If you like humor based on goofy action or quick dialogue then this movie should really work for you.  A strong ensemble cast, a fun premise (pub crawl during an alien invasion), and a very cool twist on the whole thing which gives the characters arcs and growth.  It should be watched, and while it is not the strongest of Edgar Wrights movies it is still one of the best movies out this year.
            Spoiler time discussion: strictly speaking the end of this movie almost killed it for me.  The aliens are confronted, and are so frustrated with humanity's inability to just sit down and have a polite discussion that they nuke the planet into an endless dark age.  Apparently the aliens gave us the internet and were offering a sort of immortality in the form of becoming robots... I am kind of on their side.  Bland, but just as peaceful and fun as one could imagine.  Instead all of humanity has to live in the Fallout universe... that sucks.

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