Monday, January 20, 2014

The FP

Hey folks! I haven't forgotten about my 2014 year of movies previews, but I watched a movie last night that I just had to review. Check out..."The FP"

The FP 
(R) 2013

Jason Trost, Lee Valmassy, Art Hsu, Caitlyn Folley

If you liked...:
Idiocracy, Malibu's Most Wanted, Grindhouse, Army of Darkness, The Warriors

What's it about?: 
In a near-future "post-apocalypse" wasteland, two gangs fight for dominance of Frazier Park (the FP), where gang members compete by playing "Beat Beat Revalation" (a parody of Dance Dance Revolution) against each other, sometimes with deadly consequences. No. I'm not making this up.

Are you serious...?:
Yes. And most importantly, DO NOT go into this movie with high expectations of Oscar-worthy performances, massive plot twists, etc. It's purely what it was made to be: a weird, hilarious, "watch it once and be done with it" kind of movie.

For anyone familiar with their work, myself not included, the movie is typical M.O. for the Trost brothers (directors), whose movies tend to be off-the-wall, inappropriate B-movies.

The Good:
The plot is absolutely ludicrous. The acting is purposefully bad, and the characters are just weird. You'll hear more curse words in the first scene of the movie than you'll probably hear in the entirety of any other movie this year. But this movie is by no means bad! I mean, its not an award winner, but it is made to be ridiculous, and it succeeds very well.

To get an idea of what you're in for, picture "Mad Max" with a dose of "Rocky" and topped with a sprinkle of "The Warriors", if all of those movies took place in an arcade in the late 1990's.

BTRO (left) dance battles L Dubba E (right)

After a few instances of sighing, "Whaaaaat....?" I finally just gave in to the goofy insanity that the movie had to offer. If you don't just enjoy the ride for the crazy that it is, you won't like it. But by the end of the first scene, I had to keep watching, and it  was definitely worth it.

Outside of the goofiness, the visuals were, for such an extremely low budget movie, very appropriate, and well done. Whereas the synopsis states that the movie is supposed to be "post-apocalyptic", I'd more so classify it as the American south in about 50 years. The cage match-style "Beat Beat Revelation" scenes were always a lot of fun, and filled with color, in a 80s-meets-2013 sort of way.

The Bad:
As mentioned before, if you're not a fan of vulgar movies, steer clear . As an R-rated movie, there are a few scenes with some brief nudity, and some odd sexual content, but again, they're all very brief, and if you've seen an R-rated movie in the past, its nothing surprising. I expected it to be WAY raunchier than it turned out to be, honestly. A couple of vomit scenes too, which felt unnecessary, but then again almost everything did at some point.

Outside of that, I can't really complain about this movie, not because it was astoundingly great, but because it wasn't trying to be. If I caught myself saying the acting was bad, its because it was meant to be bad. If I thought the plot was extremely predictable, its because it was parodying the predictable plots of countless movies before it.

JTRO, the protagonist
If you really want to give this movie a chance, I cannot stress enough how much you have to just let loose and not think so hard. If you want a deep movie, throw in "The Shawshank Redemption." If you want goofy, one-time hilarity, try "The FP." And guess what?! IT'S ON NETFLIX! (Seriously...I need an endorsement deal...)

7 awesome dance moves out of 10

Good, not great. Very fun once, but I can't see myself watching it again in the near future. It's a parody for the sake of parody.

Monday, January 6, 2014

2014 Movie Guide part 1

Another holiday season has come and gone, and with it, all the best movies of the year. I have to admit, 2013 was pretty lackluster for movies if I do say so myself, but that said I am REALLY looking forward to 2014! From the upcoming summer hits like Amazing Spider-Man 2, to next holiday's sure-to-be smashes like the final Hobbit film, it's sure to be a good one!

That said, I'm guessing that those two that I mentioned are probably the highlights that most people know about. So today I'm going to be covering part one of my 2014 movie preview! So let's get started with January - March. And because I love you all sooo much, I've linked trailers to each movie if you click the titles! Enjoy!

I bet January will be great! I can't wait for January's awesome movies!
-Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones
Oh...another found-footage horror movie? This is also the 6th Paranormal Activity movie? Huh. Well, they can't all be winners, but I'm sure the rest of the month will be good!

-The Legend of Hercules
Huh. The first of two Hercules movies coming out in 2014, which is blatantly ripping off every scene from "300"...mmmkay so again maybe not a super original way to start the year, but let's move on.

-Devil's Due
A...another crappy Paranormal Activity-type horror movie? Two in the first, okay, this isn't going well but I'm SURE there's one good one in January!

-Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit
Super-spy being chased by his own government, and doesn't know, its just a Bourne movie? Wow, this is a bad start. But hey, we've got one more super hyped movie, I bet its totally original! I still have faith!

-I, Frankenstein
*sigh* From the producers of Underworld comes...Underworld, but this time starring the guy who played Two-Face in "The Dark Knight".

So all-in-all, every hyped movie in January is utter crap, and is in some way totally copying or ripping off something else in a huge way, with absolutely ZERO originality. Crap. Well, let's leave this garbage month behind, and see what February has...surely something note-worthy?!

-The LEGO Movie
Awww yeah! Here we go! A HUGE cast of voice actors in a movie about one of the most popular toys of all time! This movie looks great, and the trailers seem to market it as one of those kids movies that will have plenty of jokes for the adults too. The movie will be featuring LEGO versions of hundreds of characters, including Batman, Superman, Ninja Turtles, several pro athletes, Abraham Lincoln, and many many more.

-The Monuments Men
Starring George Clooney, Matt Damon, Bill Murray, and more, this movie is not your typical World War 2 shoot-em-up. It tells the true story of a group of art historians who were sent into Italy in WW2 to obtain as many timeless pieces of art as they could from out of the Nazi's hands. Definitely going to see this one!

A reboot, with a very iffy mix of reactions so far, RoboCop brings a big-name cast (including Michael Keaton, Samuel L. Jackson, and Gary Oldman) to re-tell the origin of the futuristic cyborg law-bringer. I'll reserve judgement, as it looks good, but I know how hard it's been in the past for companies to reboot 80's action flicks.

-Vampire Academy
Ugh. The preview basically tells me that its Twilight, but trying to be sexier. In other words, a bunch of 17 year olds sucking each other's necks. Pass. But I figured I'd mention it since I'm sure you'll all be seeing countless commercials for it in the coming weeks.

Another movie ripping off every famous scene from "300" from the looks of it. As the title implies, it tells the story of the destruction of Pompeii, but with all the slow-motion and streams of blood ripped off from every other movie made in this time period from the past 6 or 7 years. I may watch it if it ever goes on Netflix, but if I want to see the same shots over and over, I'll just watch "300" again. Y'know, a quick side-note here: "Troy" managed to pull off that time period just as well as "300" and without all the unnecessary Zack Snyder trademarks of slow-motion blood and sex scenes...I'm really excited for when movies STOP ripping off the Snyder style.

-The Wind Rises
Ok, after the few weeks of boredom there after you all went to see the "LEGO Movie", now we can all return to theaters to see Miyazaki's final masterpiece. If you've seen any of his past movies (My Neighbor Totoro, Ponyo, Howl's Moving Castle, etc.) you'll know what to expect, because Miyazaki never disappoints!

-Son of God
Uh oh...a Biblical movie. Don't get me wrong, as a Lutheran I have absolutely nothing wrong with spreading the word through the big-screen, and I remember how big of an impact "Passion of the Christ" made. But that said, this movie looks like it may be foregoing the actual Bible in some areas, just to draw in a bigger crowd. I'm hopeful, but very wary on this one...

-300: Rise Of An Empire
Ooooh JOY. We're only in March, and we already have three movies based in the time period of ancient Greece, and with the exact same visual style. From the same director as the original "300" comes an extremely unnecessary, money-grubbing sequel. Just re-watch the original "300".

-The Grand Budapest Hotel
Here we go, something good! This is the newest film from director Wes Anderson, one of my favorites. If you've seen his past movies (The Royal Tennenbaums, Rushmore, The Life Aquatic) you know who will star in it, and what it'll be like. Although this one does add some actors relatively new to Wes Anderson, such as Ralph Fiennes, and Edward Norton!

-Journey To The West
From the makers of "Kung Fu Hustle" comes pretty much Kung Fu Hustle 2. I love Stephen Chow's movies, they're always a really absurd mix of kung fu, and slapstick comedy that I can only describe as what an anime would look like if it were filmed in live-action. Go watch "Kung Fu Hustle" and if you like it, you'll probably like this!

-Mr. Peabody & Sherman
An unnecessary 3D adaptation of a really old cartoon. Pass.

-Need for Speed
Starring the guy who played Jesse on "Breaking Bad" comes the closest thing you'll get to "Fast & Furious 7" this year. Fast cars, explosions, most likely women in short skirts. Enough said.

-Tyler Perry's Single Mom's Club

-Muppets Most Wanted
Following the surprising success of the most recent Muppets movie, comes another star-studded family adventure! I'm looking forward to watching Ricky Gervais, Tina Fey, and more interact with Kermit and his pals. I'll be seeing this one early on!

Aaand here's our second Biblical adaptation of the year. I'm VERY wary of this one. It looks cool because of the big-name cast and very nice special effects, but from what I've read of the synopsis, they stray waaaaaay away from the actual Bible story of the flood. We'll have to see about this one...

PHEW! There you are, the biggest upcoming movies from January through March. Keep a lookout soon for part two, and sound off in the comments if I missed any that you've been looking forward to!