Grumplets: Michael Sheen and the Excitement Machine


Frost/Nixon (2008)

By far Ron Howard’s strongest film even if it is kind of unremarkable as a whole. W., released the same year, makes a much more reviled president look sympathetic too. Add to the fact that politicians today do far, far, far worse things than Nixon ever dreamed of. Still, I suppose he set the precedent, and if we are to believe Frank Langella’s excellent performance as the magnificent bastard he felt pretty bad about the whole thing. And that’s why you should see the film. Langella may not exactly look like Nixon but it’s one of those performances you can’t look away from, and at times the lighting is set in such a way that he does seem to resemble the bastard. The movie reaches greatness when it centers on interviewer David Frost and Nixon warring with words. Whenever Langella or Michael Sheen’s Frost are on screen the movie crackles with energy that could light a city block. The  supporting cast is extremely one-note: Kevin Bacon loves Nixon, Sam Rockwell hates Nixon. But they do their part.

Bolt (2008)

Pretty lousy! Though I thought it was nice when the cat taught the dog how to be a dog. Otherwise, it’s a jumbled up Truman Show, Aladdin, Homeward Bound thing with annoying pigeons. Bolt finds out reality is a lie, learns how to enjoy being himself and three animals go on a long journey to find Bolt’s “person.” Too bad Bolt’s person is the blandest girl in the world with a voice that pulled me out of the movie every time she talked. The other voices? Nondescript. So John Travolta is Bolt – who cares? I thought one guy was James Woods but it turned out to be someone else doing a James Woods impression and someone else was Malcolm MacDowell and I had no idea during the movie. So what’s the point of casting “names” then? The message of the movie rings extremely false too, as it celebrates the mundane over the special. The girl quits her blossoming acting career for her dog? Yeah, that sounds honest.

Underworld: Rise of the Lycans (2009)

Wow. Um. I didn’t bother with the first two movies – that shit looks so boring – so I admit I was kind of lost when characters and situations were never properly introduced. I guess the rambling narration at the beginning was supposed to help with that but it didn’t really. So I guess it’s a war between vampires and werewolves? Where the vampires are clearly outclassed by rampaging, rubbery-looking werewolves because they’re too busy staring at each other in Jedi council meetings the entire time? For fucking VAMPIRES these pusses show no backbone. Or fangs, really. Bill Nighy, as the vampire leader, is the only one with a pulse, looking fucking insane the entire time he’s onscreen. He hams it up very well, so it’s a shame everyone else BORES. There’s not a humorous bone in its body considering its stupid premise. Underworld is a key part of the Twilight crowd diluting the vampire fiction pool. I mean, fuck, Interview with the Vampire is cooler than this shit and that has Tom Cruise making kissy faces at Brad Pitt while they raise a hideous young Kirsten Dunst together. This is just boring, I even nodded off a few times. The sets c0nsist of the woods and what looks like some half-assed Helm’s Deep. The whole thing looks Sci-Fi Channel cheap.

Most interesting thing about it? MICHAEL SHEEN IS THE MAIN CHARACTER. I thought that guy looked familiar under all the filth and hair. That’s some range, Mr. Frost.

One Response to “Grumplets: Michael Sheen and the Excitement Machine”

  1. Marc M Says:

    Bill Nighy’s head got bisected in the first one.
    That’s about all you missed.

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