The Bad Review Revue

Rings: “First you watch Rings, then you die…of boredom. And it might feel like seven days before the end credits too.” — Don Kaye, Den of Geek

50 Shades of Grey: “Very, very, very, very, very, very, very, very, very, very, very, very, very, very, very, very, very, boring.” — Liz Braun, Toronto Sun

A Dog’s Purpose: “It might be one of the most cloying and aggressively irritating films that I have ever been subjected to.” — Josh Kupecki, Austin Chronicle

Monster Trucks: “What if ‘monster trucks’ actually meant – wait for it – that there were monsters in the trucks? From an idea by a four-year-old (really), and it shows.” — MaryAnn Johanson, Flick Filosopher

Gold: “Gold is more of a bronze.” — Peter Howell, Toronto Star

The Bad Review Revue

Twilight Saga Breaking Dawn: “The tagline states, ‘Forever is only the beginning …’ After viewing this lifeless pap for mere minutes, we realize that it’s not a slogan at all. It’s a warning.” — Kimberly Gadette, Doddle

Jack and Jill: “Howard the Duck, Gigli, Showgirls, From Justin To Kelly. What do they all have in common? They’re all widely considered to be among the worst big studio movies ever made. You know what else they have in common? They’re all better than Jack and Jill.” — Mike McGranaghan, Aisle Seat

Immortals: “When Hyperion says of one character, “His pain has just begun,” you know exactly how he feels.” — Ty Burr, Boston Globe

In Time: “It’s an intriguing concept, rather than a compelling story. Before the movie’s over, its time is up.” — Moira MacDonald, Seattle Times

The Hunt for Gollum

I, for one, am really looking forward to the Peter Jackson-Guillermo del Toro two-part film based on The Hobbit, but in the meantime fans of Middle-earth have taken it upon themselves to create a prequel of their own, with The Hunt for Gollum.

The 40-minute film based on J R R Tolkien’s appendices to The Lord of the Rings fills in some of the untold events that befell between the end of The Hobbit (with Mr Bilbo Baggins having unwittingly carried off the One Ring from its then ‘owner’, Gollum) and the beginning of the saga of the War of the Ring as recounted in The Fellowship of the Ring.

What is most amazing is that the filmmakers have managed to produce their film for a mere $500.

“The Hunt For Gollum is an unofficial non-profit film made for private use, and is not intended for sales of any sort. No money is being made from this film, and no one was paid to make it.”

The Hunt for Gollum is easily the highest quality fan movie I’ve ever seen. Lord of the Rings fans will love the incredible 40 minutes, as it depicts Strider’s adventure in gathering clues about the coming horde by tracking down Gollum. Almost as if pulled from cut scenes out of the Peter Jackson trilogy, if you’re a fan, you’ll probably not want to miss this.

Here’s the trailer:

I’d like to see them make one about the cleansing of the shire, but in the meantime, you can watch The Hunt for Gollum online (for free) right now.

Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs

The first time I’d ever heard of Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs was when my dad made a wood carving based on one of the characters holding up a plate to the sky. (Apparently my parents are better acquainted with popular children’s books than I am.)

Sony pictures is now making a Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs movie. (Check that link for the trailer.)

Cloudy with a chance of meatballs

I’m not convinced doing it in 3D is a good idea, but I haven’t actually seen any of the new 3D movies lately and so, I’ll save my judgement for now.

Two New Hobbit Movies

Guillermo del Toro has been hired to direct two movie adaptations of J.R.R Tolkien’s The Hobbit.

His previous directing credits include Pan’s Labyrinth, Hellboy, and Blade II, none of which I’ve seen but Ebert’s review of Pan’s Labyrinth has me curious.

I’m one of the few fans Tolkien’s books that enjoy The Hobbit more than the Lord of the Rings, so news of the new movies has me fairly excited. I’m not sure how I feel about Peter Jackson sitting in as producer instead of director, but you can bet they will be filmed in a way that seamlessly completes the series.

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Oscar Nominated Animated Shorts for 2008

The Oscar nominations for the 80th annual Academy Awards were released yesterday. The nominations in the class of Best Animated Short Film are:

  • I Met The Walrus (Josh Raskin) View
  • Madame Tutli-Putli (NFB, Chris Lavis and Maciek Szczerbowski) View
  • Meme Les Pigeons Vont Au Paradis (Even Pigeons Go To Heaven) (Samuel Tourneux and Simon Vanesse) View
  • My Love (Moya Lyubov) (Alexander Petrov) Part one, part two, part three
  • Peter And The Wolf (Suzie Templeton and Hugh Welchman) View DIVX version.

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Sweeney Todd

Last night I went to see Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street.

Sweeney Todd Movie Poster

The critics are giving it rave reviews, but don’t be deceived. If you have a sinking suspicion, this movie is not for you, go with your gut.

On the other hand I enjoyed it for what it is, a chance for Tim Burton to do the kind of work he does best. It’s dark, macabre, and stereotypically Burton. What was once the bloodiest musical in stage history is now the bloodiest in film history.

And what a lot of blood! Fans of gore will not be disappointed. Wow.

It should be noted that, if stylized animation and HDR imagery are your thing, the opening credits will please you.

If this movie intrigues you, Brian Sibley’s review, offers the kind of insight that only someone from London who has seen the musical could offer.

The Mormons

“I find the whole business of religion profoundly interesting. But it does mystify me that otherwise intelligent people take it seriously.”

-Douglas Adams

Twenty years ago today, I was baptized a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. That’s right, the Mormons. At this time, I won’t go into any detail how that’s worked out for me.

I will point out though, that a couple of days ago, the American channel PBS aired a documentary titled “The Mormons” which offers at least a relatively fair look at the church, its inspiring history and many of its blemishes. If you’ve ever wondered what the Mormons are all about, this documentary is a good place to start.

The Mormons (PBS Documentary)

I believe the author and producer, Helen Whitney, tries to come off as impartial, however, she did make the impression to one of her interviewees that she really didn’t want to hear any negative comments about the church, even if they are true. In an off camera pre-interview he asked her, “If you love the church so much, why don’t you join it?” She responded, “well maybe if I were younger.” It gives cause to wonder at her true impartiality.

Still the documentary will probably show you whatever you are looking to find, whether it’s support for the church or evidence that Joseph Smith was a con man who was so convincing that he even had himself fooled.

You can view it online in its entirety at pbs.org/mormons/.