By: Hawk Ripjaw –
You would hope that Christmas weekend would be one in which at least a few good quality films would be offered up for families to go see on the one day they all are forced together–the terminally ill father, the workaholic son, the ambitious daughter, and the mother trying to keep everyone together–just having a good time at the movies. Unfortunately, the choices this year are a movie based on a video game about virtual reality contract killers in the Spanish Inquisition, a movie about a lonely dude waking up a cute lady from cryogenic sleep so they can die together, an animated movie about singing animals, and a movie based on my high school girlfriend’s father. This year just keeps getting better and better, doesn’t it?
I’ve played most of the Assassin’s Creed games, and they’re pretty cool. The idea of a normal dude who gets to jack into the memories of an ancestor that was part of an order of assassins that fought against the oppression of the Templars during a pivotal moment in the development of the world does it for me. It’s even cooler that these assassins used dank acrobatics and a hidden wrist blade to waste dudes left and right while telling the Butterfly Effect to go fuck itself. Throw in Michael Fassbender and the director of the amazingly visceral Macbeth, and we might finally have the movie that will break the curse of bad video game movies.
Unfortunately, it’s scripted by the writer of Macbeth (which was great, but as an adaptation of the play, probably got minimal tweaks over a glass of “aged scotch,” which was just an $8 bottle of Black Velvet from the corner store close enough to drive to hungover without risking a DUI) and the guy who wrote Tower Heist, Exodus: Gods and Kings, and Allegiant. So… what the fuck, Fox?
It seems I worked a little too hard to forget Max Payne–a movie that almost completely nailed the visual style of the video games, and literally nothing else.
There are two sides to every coin–even in Passengers, which takes place on a spaceship transporting a population of people in cryogenic sleep for over 100 years as they journey to a new planet. On the one side of the coin, you have a man (Chris Pratt) and a woman (Jennifer Lawrence) who wake up early and fall in love. The other side is deceptively hidden from the trailers: you have a man (Chris Pratt) who doesn’t get wi-fi in space and runs out of material for the Spank Bank, so he decides to wake up a woman (Jennifer Lawrence) so he can have someone to bang as they both die of old age before the ship makes it to the new planet.
See, this kind of pisses me off. The original trailer sold a potentially compelling story of two people, alone, who come together as they are tasked with saving a failing ship transporting humanity to a new home. Apparently, the actual movie has Chris Pratt waking up early, feeling horny, and waking up Jennifer Lawrence so he can put his dick inside something besides his hand before he dies alone. That’s fucking creepy. It’s doesn’t matter that Pratt and Lawrence are so hot they could probably power a spaceship on sexual energy alone. You don’t just wake someone up to bang unless you’re dating a person for several years and who doesn’t care if they’re woken up in the middle of a good night’s sleep. That, my friends, is a unicorn that Jennifer Lawrence probably isn’t.
I’m running out of ways to try to defend this movie.
Sing looks like that awful part of many Dreamworks animated films where the main characters all sing pop songs together right before the credits roll, except now it’s an entire fucking movie of it. But wait, there’s more! On top of the singing animals, you have animal kids whose families don’t believe in them, animal adults that need to turn their lives around, and just weird comic relief animals. For a movie that seems packed with cliche and whose finale is almost sure to be a parade of pop music covers, I’m astonished that this is getting such positive critical reception. Something doesn’t feel right. Russia, I see you over there. Is the election the only thing you fucked around with?
It seems to be a somewhat archaic concept to expect the male in a relationship, when he decides he wants to spend the rest of his life with his girlfriend, to ask her father for his blessing to propose to her. It stems from older culture, like when you like a car and have to ask the car’s owner to go for a ride, except that the car is his daughter. His baby, if you will. It’s outdated, but maybe for some situations, the father’s blessing is a good idea–like when I was about to end high school, and my girlfriend’s dad neglected to tell me that his daughter was a power-hungry Joel Osteen addict, or in the movie Why Him? in which James Franco apparently needs to seriously evaluate his life before he shares it with someone else.