( The Muppet Movie 2012)
The obvious inherent problem with prequels, specifically one so well read, is that we already know the eventual outcome – thereby lacking any kind of suspense. Worse, is the expected and accepted m.o. nowadays to milk every saga, and force the public (nerds) once again to fork over their dollars. But what insults me most is that this time around we really just needed one movie, not another fucking trilogy! In this case even Tolkien said as much, that it’s a single novel. And that’s coming from the pioneer who revised and cashed in on his forthcoming trilogy. Maybe if they cut out the lame preface, Elijah Wood, Cate Blanchett, and Hugo Weaving cameos they wouldn’t have to make up for the budget with the price of two more movies.
But let me just cut to the chase, my problem with Peter Jackson’s much anticipated, The Hobbit, is that it spends way too much time on dwarf character development – from them eating and singing, to shitting and group circle jerks, when really it’s just Bilbo and Gollum that I came to see.
So the fact that it took two hours to see only fifteen minutes of the two is a capitol crime. And now that the next two installments will no longer have Gollum in them I may just tune out. But…Fuck! I really like Martin Freeman as Bilbo Baggins! So I guess I just might have to endure more fucking closeups of Ian McKellen’s sad eyes and stupid all knowing grins, ugh!
Speaking of all knowing, I thought I was paying to see this presented in the much ballyhooed IMAX HFR 3D 48fps, but to my chagrin I found out afterwards that it was only playing in another IMAX theater and that my vision was instead blurred by how long the movie was. Leaving me further pissed that I also missed the new 9 minute Star Trek Into the Darkness trailer which was only shown in that faux IMAX theater too. So maybe I don’t know shit after all.
I thought Spielberg fulfilled his inner child when he made Hook and those dino movies – or with definite all time low on his last outing, Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, a movie that not only appealed to kids but to retards. I know Lucas is partially to blame but that’s a whole other saga. So after a 3 year directing hiatus, Spielberg leaps into the 3D animation world just in time to cash in on the holidays, reviving the beloved comic series, The Adventures of Tintin.
Like most animated features marketed to kids the first 45 minutes are dazzling, fun, and clever with the second half dragging on way too long with a series of never ending frenetic chases that always end predictably happy – leaving the door open for inevitable sequels to come. Even with the collaboration of ultimate nerd Peter Jackson, I have no interest in seeing this planned franchised trilogy especially since animation nowadays is trying to use CGI as a substitute for real life, thereby defeating it’s purpose, lacking poetry and soul. This style really only works for video games and the couch potatoes socially more awkward than me – vicariously living through their RPGs.
Writer, Edgar Wright retains his wit capturing Herge’s humor not just with the casting of his butt buddies, Simon Peg and Nick Frost, but by portraying Captain Haddock as the drunk that he really is, and not a watered down Disney version, and with Snowy the dog, who seems to generate the most laughs. But then again, I REALLY want a dog.
Producer Peter Jackson, the new James Cameron’s of state of the art sci-fi movies and special effects, is perhaps the biggest draw to District 9. That and the fact that I could not walk a block without being bombarded with ads leaving me wondering, “What’s with that huge fucking UFO?” I mean, I sure as shit never heard of Director Neill Blomkamp.
Well as it turns out it just ran out of gas. But I guess not completely, for it still had the fuel to remain hovering over Johannesburg for almost three fucking decades without falling to the ground. The movie opens with the Aliens (or Prawns as they’re called due to their aversion to shellfish) already established in their own district within the city and as I would surmise leaving Districts 8 and 10 none too pleased as their neighbors are not only scavengers and slobs but like to deal in the dangerous contraband of overpriced catfood, Nigerian Gangstas, and fornicating with local prostitutes. So to clean up this fishy ongoing twenty eight year mess up, they hire Wikus Van De Merwe (Sharlto Copley) who works for some kind of governmental authorized munitions company that secretly is just interested in activating the alien weaponry by extracting their DNA more so than relocating the one million plus aliens including Christopher Johnson and his precocious son Christopher Johnson Jr. (?) (probably the worst fucking names for an alien in the history of movies since Alien or The Thing!), whom Wikus comes so intimately in contact with to the point where he is falsely accused of doing it doggie style with Johnson so as to smear his credibility. Thank God Peter Jackson learned his lesson from Kong and didn’t cast Jack Black because Sharlto is quite good and just campy enough that he pulls off this implausible yet original tale whereas Jack Black would readily be believed to be an alien ass fucker. Blomkamp also establishes early on the sense of urgency and immediacy by his hand held documentary style and by incorporating mock TV and black and white surveillance camera footage giving the overall film an original approach to the Sci-Fi genre.
However despite this fresh take on alien visitors I cannot fully accept the attempt to correlate Apartheid and xenophobia as these Jumbo Shrimp have no interest in integrating or sitting in the front of the bus thereby nullifying the notion of a District 9 eviction.
Still the real heart and humanity of the story remains in the relationship of Christopher Johnson (the only Prawn who has a chemistry set and higher intelligence) and his lovable Son whom both just yearn to phone home.