Spider-Man: Far from Home

 

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Just a few weeks after opening, we lucked into a private showing one morning last week…matinee prices, too. Going to the Movie Theater is GREAT without all the people!

I wasn’t feeling patient, so I was glad there were only four previews to sit through: Midway (maybe the only WWII film that’s piqued my interest), Blinded by the Light (it just looks WEIRD), Jumanji 2 (the kids are going bananas over this one – demanding to see it as soon as it comes out), and Once Upon a Time in Hollywood (why is there a trailer for this in front of a PG-13 film – and does anyone even give a shit about Tarantino any more?)…

Far from Home was really fun – I was surprised at how much I enjoyed it, wait – didn’t I say the same thing about the first one? There were just so many laugh-out-loud moments, from the bad Whitney Houston PowerPoint, to Peter Tingle, to “I love Led Zeppelin!” I loved that the film took care to circle back to Iron Man and touch on not only the evolution of Tony, but all those around him. Never forget, Tony Stark was a dick, even up to the very end. I like that Marvel let Tony be a dick AND be redeemed – the two aren’t mutually exclusive. What more can I say that isn’t totally spoiler-y? Hmmm…not a goddamn thing. I especially don’t want to ruin the post-credits scenes, they are magnifique.

Jake Gyllenhaal, I’ve never been a big fan. I don’t hate him or anything…he just doesn’t moisten my mailslot. He was a good fit for Mysterio though, although I think Tobey Maguire would’ve been a hilarious choice for the role. It would’ve been a total stunt-cast, but so?

Like the first one, the soundtrack was really smashing. A good dose of The Ramones, plus The Specials and The Jam and some fun Euro tunes. I really gotta give it to whoever put this collection of tunes together – I put together a quick and dirty playlist on Amazon Music – thanks TuneFind!

Oh! And just like Homecoming, Far from Home dovetailed neatly into our recent NYC vacation. Our hotel, The New Yorker, was a block or so from Madison Square Garden, which my kids immediately recognized in a scene, having walked right by it days earlier. We even popped into that very same Duane Reede to buy bottled water! Why is Spider-Man following us on vacation???

Far from Home was a fitting postscript to Endgame, giving the audience a window into how the world rebounded after the unsnap, while also reminding us that not everyone loved/loves The Avengers. The post-credits scenes didn’t necessarily set up future films, as much as they set up a whole new Marvel Universe for Phase 4, with all new rules, new heroes, new villains. I’m looking forward to Phase 4…except for having to watch a whole boring ass movie about Black Widow, that is…

The Last Sharknado: It’s About Time

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I don’t care what they call that damn movie, I really doubt it’s the last one. (Are you sensing a certain cynicality in me, when it comes to franchises? You’re goddamn right you are!)

As the last film ended, everyone on the planet was dead I think, except Fin. His son showed up with a time machine…and that’s right where Sharknado 6 picked up. Fin ended up in the Jurassic period and oh look! There’s Tara Reid riding a Pterodactyl. Or was it a “Tara-dactyl”?

As the shark-fighting team travels through history fighting Sharknados, they also travel from continent to continent. Not sure where they started in Dinosaur-land, but they make appearances at King Arthur’s Court (Excalibur was really a chainsaw), the American Revolution, wherever Billy the Kid was hanging out at, then San Francisco in 1996, and then…the far off future full of Tara Reid Clones wearing tinfoil hats. We truly had no idea what the fuck was going on. And I don’t mean that in a delightful way.

The cameos were fast and furious this go-round. And weird…very, very weird. Alaska Thunderfuck as Morgana (le Fey?); Deanna Troi; Neil deGrasse Tyson as Merlin; The Offspring (the band), literally telling the American Revolution Cavalry to “Come out and play”; Leslie Jordan as Benjamin Franklin; Darrell Hammond as George Washington (but doing his Bill Clinton impression…so weird); Ben Stein as Alexander Hamilton; Dee Snyder; Murr from Impractical Jokers; Gilbert Gottfried (again); Tori Spelling and her gross cheating/anal sex-obsessed husband as Fin’s parents; Peter Brady as Nova’s grandfather; Doc from The Love Boat; LaToya Jackson as Cleopatra; James Hong as Confucius; and Al Roker (also again).

I take it back, this really has to be the last one. There’s no where else to go, right? RIGHT?

Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom

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Well, it’s official…the Jurassic Park movies have gone full Sharknado. (No spoilers, but once you see the film, you’ll get what I mean.)

There was plenty of action and there were plenty of dinosaurs, but the plot clicked together so predictably that it took a lot of the fun out of the proceedings. There were elements of the plot that were frankly unbelievable – like Claire dumping Owen because she didn’t want to live in a van down by the river. (I feel you Claire, I fucking HATE camping.)

The film also didn’t have enough Jeff Goldblum. Why tease me like that? Every time, every day and in every way, I would pick Jeff Goldblum over Chris Pratt. Even old Jeff Goldblum.

It is always a treat to see Ted Levine in a film – tucked or untucked. He is so delightfully unhinged. So…is it creepier to keep fat girls in a pit in your basement? Or to have a pocket full of extracted dinosaur teeth?

Oh, and the trailers in front of the film were…odd. I’ve never even heard of Welcome to Marwen, but it looks amazingly weird. Oh! And yet another remake of The Grinch, but this time with Benedryl Cucumberpatch. Shit…I swear there was another one, but I’ll be damned if I can remember it. I asked my son, my daughter, my husband – no one can remember what the third trailer was.

Ultimately, I kinda wish that I had spent my $38 on Ant Man and the Wasp instead. Oh well.

Sharknado 2 : The Second One

I watched Sharknado 2 several weeks ago and as excited as I was to sit down and watch it – after watching it, it was hard to muster enough excitement to write about it. All of the joy has been sucked out of writing about crappy SyFy movies now that they have become a mainstream pop culture phenomenon. If Matt Lauer and Al Roker get to kill sharks in your movie, it’s fucking mainstream as shit.

We reunite with our shark-slaying hero as he’s flying into New York. Without warning, sharks start attacking the plane. No set-up, no background reasoning…just sharks flinging themselves at his aircraft. Wouldn’t this have been a perfect time for someone to say, “I’m motherfucking tired of these motherfucking sharks on my motherfucking plane!”?

Even without that line, I was happy as a clam during the plane…or excuse me – Airplane scene. In fact, the only thing that kept me watching was to see how each cameo would die next. I was thrilled to see Kelly Osbourne, Wil Wheaton, Subway Jared, Perez Hilton and that guy from Shark Tank get killed in interestingly painful ways. I paid little attention the plot, excusing my confusion that the Sharknado caused it to snow.

When did Mark McGrath turn into kd lang? What happened to his face? Not sure if it’s Botox or a bad face lift, but he looks like a middle aged lesbian. It’s unnatural. Vivica A. Fox actually looks better than she has in years…I wish I could say the same about Tara Reid. YES, I know she’s coming out with Sharknado cologne and YES, it’s fucking stupid…but no less stupid than Beiber and One Direction having cologne…

My husband totally gave me a conniption fit, asking me if I thought Tara Reid would end up with a chainsaw on her stump. I believe my exact words were, “They better hadn’t dare!” I was relieved when they only put a table saw on her stump…

So…the question remains – now that everyone is watching this shit, will I stop watching and reviewing this shit? Fuck NO. I’m no cinematic hipster – I think everyone should watch the kind of movies I enjoy. Their popularity will cause more of this shit to be made, which is fine by me. I’ll be sad the day that interest in shitty shark attack movies wanes and everyone goes back to watching the umpteenth Michael Bay explosion-fest (yawn) and terminal illness porn like The Fault in our Stars (double yawn). Until then, I’ll enjoy the zeitgeist. Please slap me if you ever hear me claiming that I liked chainsaws before they were cool…even though I totally did.

 

Blast Vegas

Poor Frankie Muniz…it’s come to this.

Has anyone else noticed that the cute child stars that are able to play kids well into young adulthood, appear to skip young adulthood? One day, they don’t look a day over 15…then overnight…BAM…45 years old. Think of Edward Furlong, who is already playing “dad” roles. That’s what happened to Frankie Muniz. On the bright side, at least he didn’t “Corey Haim” and go straight from cute teen to middle aged lesbian.

Frankie plays a balding college student on a Vegas Spring Break trip. Of all the shenanigans possible in Vegas, his douchey friends manage to unleash an ancient Egyptian curse, which results in feeble special effects lifted directly from The Mummy…so the the sand-snake-face thing special effects were cutting edge back in the 90s. Oh…and they also stole the CGI tiger from Life of Pi. Or was it a nod to The Hangover? It would have been funnier if it was one if Siegfried & Roy’s white tigers…

I almost forgot – the other “name” star in Blast Vegas is Barry Bostwick. Yes, THAT Barry Bostwick. Dammit, Janet. He didn’t even sing.

Boring as fuck and all the casino scenes were obviously filmed in the same casino with the same carpet and wooden Indian. Don’t bother watching this one.

Sharknado

So now the rest of the planet knows what Joel McHale and I have known all along…SyFy movies are the shit! Oops, that was a typo – I meant to say, “are shit!”

Yes, social media was buzzing in the weeks leading up to the premier of SyFy‘s latest entry in the improbable animal/natural disaster genre…Sharknado. Not only was everybody twittering and facebooking Sharknado, I had the pleasure of hearing about it on not only my local news, but the Nightly National News. What the FUCK, Diane Sawyer?

Even with all the internet buzz, the viewership totals for the premiere of Sharknado were somewhat disappointing. Would Sharknado be another Snakes on a Plane? All buzz and no bite? But SyFy has an advantage that the big studios don’t have…a captive audience. They quickly decided to keep inserting Sharknado into the programming schedule until they hit paydirt on the third showing with a record 2.1 Million viewers. See, Sharknado was free (to those with basic cable, anyway), so no matter how bad the reviews were, most people will muddle through, just to say they did. I wonder how the midnight theatrical showings this weekend will fair? Seems like a mistake to me…

Back to the movie itself, the title says it all. It’s a motherfucking tornado full of sharks. The forgotten teen idols (a now vital part of the formula) are the rich douchebag from 90210 OG and trainwreck Tara Reid. They both lived through the movie, which was an utter disappointment. Another interesting addition to the cast was Jaason Simmons, who you may know from Baywatch, but I know from one of my favorite college-days films, Nowhere. He still has that “rapey” quality, doesn’t he?

The funniest scene in the movie wasn’t one of the insane shark attacks, but the one scene intended to be serious. It was that old movie convention, “Heartwrenching explanation of why I hate _____ so much.” You may remember the gold standard from Gremlins, with Phoebe Cates explaining why she hates Christmas so much. I was laughing so much that I almost fell off the couch as Nova explained why she hates sharks so much…of course, her grandfather was eaten by a shark…while she watched. Oh, the humanity! As much as that sucks, it’s a much more merciful death than dying of Lymphoma, like my grandfather did. Just sayin’ that cancer is shittier than sharks, mmm’kay?

So how does Sharknado stack up? It’s much better than Metal Tornado and Arachnoquake, but still not as good as classics like Sharktopus and Mega Python vs. Gatoroid. I have high hopes for the next big release from SyFy – Ghost Shark. The Sharknado sequel has also been announced, which begs the qyestion…is it possible that this genre of movies is in danger of “jumping the shark”?

I’m truly sorry for the above sentence. I just couldn’t stop myself.

 

Stonehenge Apocalypse

“Apocalypse movies always have a weird way to save the world at the end. You can’t just blow up a volcano.” For a seven year old, my son is pretty smart.

I’ll go ahead and throw him under the bus for picking this shitty movie out. I was scrolling through the guide and he demanded that I record it. Oh, what monster have I created?

The plot of the film was very simple…Blah, blah, blah, electromagnetic pulse, blah, blah, blah, terra-forming. Blah, blah, blah, Stonehenge, blah, blah, blah, end of the world. Blah, blah, blah, exploding pyramids, blah, blah, blah, volcanoes. Blah, blah, blah, earthquakes, blah, blah, blah, Mayans. I admit it, I wasn’t paying very much attention, but that’s about the gist of it. Oh yeah, and an underground Egyptian shrine…in Maine. What?