Archive for the ‘Up, Up and Straight Up My Ass!’ Category

Iron Man 2 – The Wrath of … Um, Uh

May 11, 2010


Co-written with ironclad resolve by Terry “Kefka Jr.” Torres

Iron Man 2‘s a mess.

All the actors turn in performances, things explode and some things even fly, so yeah, it satisfies at the bare minimum level. The climatic action medley has men in mecha suits fight in a Japanese rock garden — three cyber samurai duking it out — which pleased me for a little while, and once Scarlett Johansson started beating guys up by writhing all over them I looked up from my watch and even paid attention for a while.I struggled to do that the preceding two hours though, when a nonsensical, inconsequential plot gurgled along in front me.

Things happen from scene to scene that don’t add up, and characters show up just to move the creaky plot along and wink at the audience, literally at times — “I’m keeping my eye on you!” Ohhhh, he’s got an eyepatch. Aha ha. Ha. Ha. Why’re there so many dumb jokes in this movie? Besides that, Samuel L. Jackson wastes his yelling talent as Nick Fury, having about as much reason to be in Iron Man 2 as he did in the Star Wars prequels. He doesn’t fight, he doesn’t do anything badass. He finds Tony Stark inside a giant donut (jokes ‘n jokes ‘n jokes), berates him in an L.A. diner reminiscent of the one in Pulp Fiction and hands him a Magic Plot Advancing Box. And no, not a mysterious MacGuffin like the suitcase in Pulp Fiction, but an actual Magic Box that solves everything. Everything gets solved so easily, so randomly that there’s no drama, no attachment.

What is wrong with my face why is my face so orange


(grumplet) Up, Up and Straight Up My Ass: Kick-Ass

May 5, 2010


There comes a point in every genre where straightforward explorations of the genre’s tropes and variations are abandoned and you enter a period of deconstruction. Look at the difference between something like classic Golden or Silver Age Superman and Alan Moore’s Watchmen. One’s a simple, honest story and the other’s a story about stories that came before it, perfectly post-modern. It’s taken until now for big screen comic book adaptations to reach the same level of self-awareness and post-modern snark that modern comics have been, and the result is the recent Kick-Ass. But why should you care?

Dual-wielding dildoes


Up, Up and Straight Up My Ass – Superman Returns: To Be Boring

December 8, 2008

Look, up there in the sky! It’s a reboot! It’s a sequel! No… it’s another tepid Superman movie.


Superman was in limbo (or the Phantom Zone, if you prefer) for almost two decades after the world at large recoiled from Superman IV in disgust after waking up from a decade’s worth of coke-filled binges which are the only explanation I can think of for Superman’s Pryor prior success. All we were left with was a steaming crater that was filled by the worst television series ever. After Burton swooped in a few years later and reinvigorated the idea of superhero movies and a collection of sweaty-palmed DC editors decided to kill off Superman in the early 90s, the cogs were set in motion for Superman’s eventual big screen revival.

Burton, the superhero “it” boy, was originally approached to direct a movie supposedly titled Superman Lives! written by Kevin Smith. The nitty gritty of how doomed this venture was is best detailed by Smith himself in An Evening with Kevin Smith, but a few gems polar bear mentioning. Burton wanted to basically turn Superman into a sci-fi space opera with Superman (played by Nicholas Cage?!) wearing a redesigned, futuristic suit and fighting against the monster Doomsday on Krypton. And somehow this would all involve giant spiders and a Superman that never flew.

Fortunately, that project collapsed. And so did the myriad of rumored attempts between that and what eventually became Superman Returns. There’s no real way for me to know what really did go down, but IMDB listed fauxteurs McG and Brett Ratner as directors that made it into pre-production. Most of the scripts apparently dealt with Superman’s death and return, because he isn’t already enough like Jesus. The most cockamamie thing I heard from this period was that J.J. Abrams had been tapped to write a script that involved Superman and Kryptonian civil wars and Lex Luthor would be an FBI agent that was secretly a fellow Kryptonian or some nonsense like that.

After all that failed, WB asked the one guy that seemed to have the best track record with superhero movies at the time: Bryan Singer, the man who had built X-Men up into a respectable franchise. Although Singer was already committed to X-Men 3, who could blame him for abandoning ship and choosing to tackle Superman instead? Superman’s an ICON. You don’t get a crack at interpreting Superman every day and he’d already made two successful X-Men movies, why bother making a third? I’ll always have to wonder, though, what kind of world we’d be living in if we’d gotten the Singer-directed X-Men 3 and Ratner had followed through on Superman. Because what ended up happening was just tragic for everyone.

In space, no one can hear you bore


Up, Up and Straight Up My Ass! – Superman IV: The Quest for Euthanasia

December 1, 2008


Now that my senses have returned to me (someone must have slipped me some tainted moratanium!) I can move on to the sorry business of Superman IV: The Quest for Peace. Where do you even begin with a movie so steeped in bad vibes? THIS is the movie that killed Superman; it beat Doomsday to the punch by about 5 years. That seemed to imply this movie was so bad, so TOXIC, that the mere release of it marred Superman‘s chances at the box office seemingly up until this very day.

But could it possibly be worse than Superman III?!

Wow, what an awe-inspiring title


Up, Up and Straight Up My Ass! – Supergirl: Superman For Your Grandmother

November 24, 2008

Another exciting installment!

There are times where we, as a nation, ask ourselves the eternal question: Why? Why do studios make movies with ridiculous plots starring talentless hacks that will appeal to no one? I’m not sure I can think of a superhero more extraneous than Supergirl. I’m trying to imagine a place and time where releasing Supergirl as a movie seemed like a good idea. I THINK I can… Superman III was in the pipeline and all signs pointed to that being a blockbuster… but couldn’t they be making MORE money at the same time? I mean, why WAIT for another Superman movie to happen? So a mustache-twirling studio executive greenlit a movie all about Superman’s cousin, Kara. THE MOVIE EVERYONE HAD BEEN ASKING FOR.

This is where the budget went


Up, Up and Straight Up My Ass: Superman III – HAPPY HAPPY JOY JOY

November 3, 2008


Okay, since I have to get through all the Superman movies, I thought to myself, “Why make it so hard on myself? Shouldn’t I WANT to be entertained by these films?” So with a much more accepting, positive, upbeat attitude, here comes Superman III!

This really speaks for the whole movie


Up, Up and Straight Up My Ass – Superman II: Boring Boogaloo

October 20, 2008


So while Richard Donner was making Superman the Movie, he also had his eyes on the future. He was simultaneously writing and shooting for the sequel, as well! But you know what they say about the best laid plans of mice and men… Donner got into a huge fight with his producers and bolted from the franchise, taking the footage he’d shot for the sequel along with him. Yipes! So what did they do? They got Richard Lester, the guy who made the Beatle flicks Help! and A Hard Day’s Night. The only problem is that Richard Lester has no clue who Superman is (?!). This can’t possibly be a good idea!