By: Hawk Ripjaw –
A Cure for Wellness
There’s not a lot known about Gore Verbinski’s latest feature, other than the fact that it looks like a movie from the guy who made the American Ring (which it is). People are also drawing a lot of comparisons to Shutter Island, which I guess makes sense when you factor in an isolated medical facility, a creepy doctor, a protagonist in way over his head who might be crazy, and really creepy patients. As much as I enjoy Shutter Island, the twist was stupid, and I really need for this movie not to do the same thing.
At the very least, Verbinski looks like he’s once again leaning into the weirdness that he so loves to do, and so often does well (The Lone Ranger notwithstanding; fuck that movie and its $225 million budget and stupid bloated plot). It’s also like two and a half fucking hours long, which is also something Verbinski likes to do. What remains to be seen is whether that mystery and suspense can be sustained for that amount of time, unlike some of his later Disney movies, where the only suspense was whether the liquor store would still be open by the time the movie finally ends. If this fails, it’ll be another nail in the coffin of not only R-rated movies, but original films that aren’t based on something else. So I really hope it doesn’t fail.
I believe in you, Gore!
When I woke up this morning, I glanced at the critic reviews for Fist Fight and was surprised to see that the reviews were not altogether terrible. I returned later in the day, and was no longer surprised to see that the reviews had slipped into predominantly negative territory. The marketing for this has been awful. The trailer has no structure. The jokes aren’t very good. The actors are either doing an amazing job looking angry and frightened–or maybe they really just are angry and frightened. I’m automatically going to go see this, because I have more respect for Charlie Day than I have for most people, and I expect to enjoy his performance, as I always do. Unfortunately, “enjoying the performance” and “enjoying the movie” can be two profoundly different things, and I’m pretty sure I’m going to find that out this weekend.
This is going to be one of those “famous comedic actors cast to type try to elevate a bad script” movies, isn’t it?
The Great Wall
From the director of such martial arts classics as Hero and The House of Flying Daggers, and a heap of other artfully made, compelling Eastern films, comes a new film… about Power Ranger-colored armies defending the Great Wall of China from giant iguana-looking World War Z monsters while Matt Damon… helps, and Willem Dafoe looks like he doesn’t speak a damn word of Mandarin and wandered into the wrong movie. Everything I know about Zhang Yimou makes me want to watch his movie, but everything I’m seeing and hearing about it makes me want to jump out of a plane with no parachute. Sure, it looks colorful and nice, but so does a fucking episode of Teletubbies. You may be pleased to learn that “Teletubbies” is a word recognized by both Google Docs and Microsoft Word, and some episodes of that shit is fun. The sun is a fucking baby! You can’t make that shit up! The Great Wall, on the other hand, looks like shit.
Maybe it’ll be more fun if we pretend this is The Bourne Chinesening, where Bourne goes to fight monsters on the Great Wall of China. All we need is one of the monsters looking up and yelling “Jesus Christ, it’s Jason Bourne!”