Stuff Pirates Like

by Lisa Waugh 

Scandal 

Dave Grohl will tell you that he doesn’t believe in guilty pleasures. He puts it simply, “If you like something. Like it. Don’t be ashamed of it. Screw everybody else.” So here goes. I like Shonda Rhime’s Scandal. Yes, it’s overwrought and a quip-a-minute. The president spends more time with his trousers around his ankles than running the Super Power that is America and huge plot lines are neatly resolved but I love every second of this night time soap. 

Rhimes knows how to serve up a juicy, satisfying show. I know that the show is based on former George Bush aide Judy Smith’s experience at the White House. Kerry Washington, as Olivia Pope, is delicious to gaze upon but sometimes her acting hits the sugary level.

Normally I’m a snob about my actors preferring a doughy Philip Seymour Hoffman to a svelt McDreamy but I make the exception in particular cases.

If you like your plots deep and quick, you’ll enjoy this version of the president, Tony Goldwyn, and his pawing of fixer Pope.

 

Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter

I’ve been waiting to see this for a while. Waiting for it to hit streaming. But because I was drunk, I rented the damn thing for 5.99. This is why discount vodka and surfing Apple TV at 4 a.m. do not mix.

Let me axe you a question…

I love me some Abe. I love me some vampire slaying. And I like the idea of wire teams and axe work. But… for this price, I couldn’t get over the fact that the movie is just a bit odd. Like oddly directed. A bit off. Something.

It’s hard to tell when you are faced but upon viewing it sober the next day (trying to get that money’s worth), it was still odd.

I couldn’t get past how they didn’t mention that he was a pugilist. Why does that matter? The movie is called Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter. It matters. Or should matter.

I didn’t mind the wild leaps or that the South was vilified. Hey, I’m a Southerner and I get it. You can only marry so many relatives, shoot up so many trailers and make so much meth… you get a reputation, I reckon.

But in the end, it was played way too seriously and that was the killing axe blow. You just can’t get around the whole Lincolnness of the thing. I’ve read other reviews by people who are dead serious when they say this was a parody.

Uh, I never got that it was.

I was aching for it to be a spoof, parody, anything. I love that this was made. I’m glad it’s out there. Films take a lot of work and shitheads like me dismiss them in a few hundred words so… screw me.

However, if you’re going to go to all of that trouble and blow nearly 70 mil… having fun with it might have laid more track.

An immortal vampire Lincoln… oh yeah.

 

 

The Avengers

I don’t get why critics ripped this one apart. I’m even siding with Sam Jackson on calling one critic “jaundiced.” I don’t know what people expect out of an action movie but this was a good time. We watched it from our big ole bed with our huge dog tucked between us. Fun times.

Ruffalo was a nice choice

I also liked the other films in the series – Captain America, Thor, the Iron Mans and can’t remember the other one, if there was another one. Special effects, quippy dialogue, the Hulk smashing the shit out of stuff. The Hulk was my favorite. And Whedon’s dialogue was a nice shot in the arm from the usual shitty dialogue found in action/sci-fi movies.

I liked all of it and I was sober. I think people should lighten the fuck up about movies. I was watching the Prometheus trailer and was like, “Freaking wow!” The first Alien seemed like magic and my old ass saw that thing in the theatre a few times. Now, I’m completely amazed at visual effects. I feel sorry for people who are such brats about technology and I don’t give a rat’s if that makes me seem old.

Fuck you. I saw the Ramones live. And I know all of the Family Guy references.

 

Dark Shadows 

I watched this horrible show as a kid and was mesmerized by it. Three channels and two of them didn’t work so good… It stands to reason that a shitty awesome show like Dark Shadows would have a captive audience with housewives and latchkey kids.

I like what Burton did with the film. I guess they could have done an homage to the mishaps that happened during the original live shows but there’s only so much of that you can take.

Edward Willy Ichabod Collins

 

Depp once again puts on drag. His Barnabas reminds me of a lot of his past characters which kind of bugs. It was a fun little film but after a while, I thought I was watching any number of Burton films. Maybe it’s Hobo Cher or Helena Bonham Carter… but I have uninterrupted dega vu when I’m watching his films of late.

I’d like to see him zag a bit but still, it wasn’t awful. But I do always have one question… why is Johnny Depp so unappealing in any attempts at a sex scene. I think the only time he truly emoted any kind of sex vibe was in What’s Eating Gilbert Grape. Seriously, even in Don Juan, he was kind of  meh. He was sexier while ironing that cheese sandwich in Benny and Joon.

Anyway, carry on.

 

 

 Ted 

We went with friends last night. As we walked past a security dude, I asked him if he had my back if some asshole came in with a gun. He nodded, “Oh, hell yes I do.” I liked his attitude. Now in the face of an assault rife, I’m sure he’s going to have some hard questions to answer but there was something solid in his stance.

Thunder buddies

My boyfriend and I sat right next to the door in the far back, tucked in a corner. I’m thinking about triangulation, etc. When it’s just stupid. Weirdos are going to do what weirdos do.

I just don’t want to get winged or killed watching some subpar Seth McFarland movie.

Okay, Ted was fairly funny but nauseatingly predictable. The premise was interesting enough but I think I would have given it more props had I watched it at home.

It didn’t seem like a good way to spend quality Sunday night time. I wish we had gone to the drive-in but it’s way the hell out in City of Industry.

There is the usual McFarland approach with insult comedy and occasional bust out bit. The use of Sam Jones (the 80’s Flash Gordon) was nice and I always like Mila Kunis. Overall, it didn’t suck but I will forget the premise by tomorrow.

But I’m so glad someone didn’t act stupid. Cause I would have straight killed them out of righteous indignation of dying during a talking bear movie.

 

It’s Kind of a Funny Story

It’s kind of not. At all.

Please take a break

I’m glad Zack Galifianakis is working but I wish he would take a break. He doesn’t have to show up to all of the meetings and take what they’re offering. It’s a sweet film, yes, but his appearance is distracting as is Jim Gaffigan as the kid’s dad.

This heavily casted film demonstrates that too many smarmy smart asses can kill… and thwart your audience’s desire to give a shit. It’s the story of a kid’s crack up as he faces the pressures of the future which I just don’t relate to. Which I’m not supposed to because I’m not an intellectual well to do kid in Manhattan.

Mainly, it’s just way to in love with itself for me to care. A hipster One Flew Over the Cuckoos Nest.

 

Project X

Whatever

If you are 14, this is your Say Anything, only without Cameron Crowe and quality and watchability. No doubt many will think it is an amazing film but altogether a played out snore fest. The only reason to watch this film is to see the small person punch a bunch of people in the nuts which I can see any old time at the 7-11 down the street from my house.

You don’t really get invested because you’re intelligent and awake. This is the the typical story of nerd losers trying to be cool by throwing a big party when we know that giving people head is the best way to become popular in high school for both girls and boys. Shooting a tired script on a shitty home camera may have helped the budget but it doesn’t add anything to the story or prevent me from punching a bunch of actors in the nuts.

 

 

Young Adult 

For the most part, I like Charlize Theron. I might be less of a Diablo Cody fan. I never got on the train. It’s a fine enough film but seeing through the eyes of that girl you hated in high school is pretty limiting. It is fascinating watching the character implode after returning to her hometown to get her old flame back, despite him recently becoming a father and happily married.

Mavis Gary drags herself around in the manner of someone who is accustomed to being the Shit all the time. Although I’m not so sure that the cool girls in my school would be writers. That seems more like something people like me did. It’s a little too precious at times, like Reitman and Cody can do no wrong. But they can. They sometimes make the mistake that we give a shit about them way more than we actually do, just like Mavis.

 

Jesus Henry Christ 

There’s quirky and unique and then there’s annoying. The film got off to a nice start and then disappeared up its own ass mid into act two. A nice cast, well shot but… then just random. You don’t always have to make the movie off of a third draft of a script. You can actually wait until the script doesn’t suck before you ask Toni Collette to show up for principle shooting.

I love Michael Sheen but he says yes to everything. He can also turn stuff down to wait until the script is done.

 

21 Jump Street 

I rented this one on iTunes and thought it would be dumb enough to work to. I play movies like people play music while they are working. Totally surprised how much I actually enjoyed this film. I used to watch the old Depp series and thought it was so awful, I never missed it.

This is a delicious send-up of the original. I’ve never seen Channing Tatum in anything. He is hilarious in this and takes the edge off of Jonah Hill who is best consumed in small quantities. He lets Tatum shine. Michael Bacall’s screenplays usually always rock and the actors get to play with the words.

The Depp cameo was pretty awesome. Ice Cube was fun. Watch a bit of it here.

 

Wanderlust 

“We don’t believe in doors here”

Now this is a film you can play in the background. Paul Rudd and Jennifer Aniston are a city couple who hit some bad luck and have to go to Atlanta to live with Rudd’s brother, who’s a real dick.

On the way to the brother’s super house in the suburbs of Atlanta, they discover a commune.

Chocked full of improv comedy actors, it’s surprisingly conservative. There’s an unnecessary plot device involving a land deal and the film in general suffers from predictability. But there are many funny moments in the film. It’s worth $3.99 to rent on iTunes but I would have been quite frothing mad if I had seen this in a theater.

There’s one particularly funny and creepy scene where Paul Rudd is looking in the mirror, practicing how to ask another woman to have sex with him.

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