Movie Review: Punisher: War Zone – 2008

May 17, 2009 at 7:08 PM (Movie Reviews)

When I am able to watch a movie, I will do my best to give you my thoughts on it.  I expect you to listen to what I say unquestioningly!  Just kidding, I understand that my taste in movies certainly branches off the path of the “norm”.  Gosh knows there are movies that I love that major critics have panned and vice versa.  Now that I’ve given you the proverbial grain of salt, please read on and enjoy!

***

I’ve decided that I have an unhealthy obsession with movies that I know will be bad.  These aren’t movies that I’m willing to take a chance on the off chance they might be good.  No, these are movies that I know will be really, really bad with few or no redeemable qualities at all.  Punisher: War Zone is one of these movies.

I’m definitely a comic book fan despite the fact that I haven’t bought one since I was maybe 14 or 15.  When a comic book movie comes out, I feel compelled to watch it.  Until a number of recent blockbuster comic book movies began to be released, I knew I was in for a campy mess from the beginning of the movie until the end.  I was cool with that, though.  I revelled in it, even.  I don’t feel ashamed admitting that I’m not much of a Punisher fan and don’t know a ton of the storyline that sets up this movie, but after watching this movie, I realize it isn’t necessary.

This movie was terrible.  I won’t even mention the names of the actors and the roles they played for fear of tainting their careers even further.  I hope these folks collected their paychecks and then went home and cried.  For weeks.  If Punisher: War Zone was a candy bar, it’d be made of out fresh feces, broken glass, a used band-aid, and toenail clippings with maggots thrown in for flavor.  If it was underwear, it’d be a pair with a stretched out waistband and holes in all the wrong places, and when you wore them you’d be in a constant state of wedgie.  If it were a car, it’d be a Yugo with no engine, 3 wheels, and an elementary school honor roll bumper sticker.  I could go on and on.

But as far as information for a real movie review is concerned, here’s the scoop.  The acting is bad; really, really, unfathomably bad.  The action is so over the top and unbelievable that it makes one wonder if it was being shot in The Matrix.  The accents, oh my gosh, the accents.  Every frickin’ person has some sort of weird accent.  That’s cool if you have an international meeting of some sort, but this isn’t the case.  Everyone speaks with some weird accent and they do it for no apparent reason.  There are large guns involved, so I guess it is possible to find a positive if you are looking really hard.  The story is exceptionally weak and pulls out every cliche relating to a vigilante hero that you can think of and then goes so far as to use a few more.

In the end, I would recommend this movie to people that I don’t like who need to be kicked in the balls, and only if you are for some reason incapable of actually kicking them in said balls.

Rating: 0.0/5

-Ben

Permalink Leave a Comment

Pre-Marital Counseling

April 1, 2009 at 8:48 PM (Books, Family, Inspirational, Movie Reviews, Movies, Relationships, Wedding)

Ben and I have been undergoing our self-designed version of pre-marital counseling for the past 2 weeks.  We wanted to focus on strengthening our relationship even more and developing new skills since our wedding is 53 days away.  So far is has been a very rewarding process.  We started by watching the movie Fireproof based on the recommendation of a co-worker.  The movie has religious components, but even if you aren’t religious we both recommend the movie.  In fact, we believe that every single couple and individual should watch this movie.  It will affect you in ways you can’t predict.  On a negative note, the movie is overly dramatic at times.  However, anyone can relate to the issues and emotions in the movie.  Watch this movie with a friend or significant other.  You won’t regret it!

The second portion of our pre-marital counseling is the longest.  As an undergrad at High Point University, I took a class called Close Relationships.  In the class, I read and studied emperical research about a variety of close relationships.  My professors (there were 2) spoke highly of research by Julie and John Gottman, Ph.Ds.  The Gottman’s run The Gottman Institute in Seattle where they scientifically study couples.  They have written numerous scientific articles as well as popular press books (e.g. The Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work: A Practical Guide from the Country’s Foremost Relationship Expert and The Relationship Cure: A 5 Step Guide to Strengthening Your Marriage, Family, and Friendships).  I’ve always admired them and respected their work and thought of them immediately when we considered pre-marital counseling.

The Gottmans host 4 marriage workshops each year in Seattle called The Art and and Science of Love.  Much to our dismay, the workshop costs $725 plus airfare, hotel, meals, etc.  We were ecstatic to find the DVD version of their workshop for much cheaper. We ordered the workshop materials and started working on it last week.  The workshop takes about 12 hours to complete and consists of lectures and hands on exercises.  We just completed Part 2 of the workshop.  So far it has been insightful and a lot of fun.  It has also strengthened our beliefs in our relationship (i.e. we are doing a lot of things right).

Rather than writing on the materials that came with the workshop, we have been using our own paper in case any of our friends want to borrow it. 😉 The workshop is for couples at any stage in their relationship.

What have you done lately to improve your personal/relationship skills?

We hope you are having a great week!

– Stephanie

Permalink 1 Comment

Movie Review: The Day the Earth Stood Still – 2008

December 22, 2008 at 8:02 PM (Movie Reviews)

When I am able to watch a movie, I will do my best to give you my thoughts on it.  I expect you to listen to what I say unquestioningly!  Just kidding, I understand that my taste in movies certainly branches off the path of the “norm”.  Gosh knows there are movies that I love that major critics have panned and vice versa.  Now that I’ve given you the proverbial grain of salt, please read on and enjoy!

***

I was pretty excited to go see this movie.  I saw the original 1951 version as part of a Science Fiction History course in college and feel that I am a better person for it.  When I saw the trailers for this remake, I thought that the original movie with a modern budget and special effects would turn out to be something special.

Boy was I wrong.

The acting was not bad, but the story and plot had much to be desired.

The primary characters are played by Keanu Reeves (Klaatu), Jennifer Connelly (Helen Benson), and Jaden Smith (Jacob Benson).  The wooden acting required for the role of Klaatu was well within the limited range of Keanu Reeves.  Jennifer Connelly was solid and more than passable in her role as doctor of biology.  Jaden Smith really shined in this one, and while it is just short of the coming out party that some roles have provided for child actors, I’m sure the next role he has in a movie in the future will give him some instant recognition.

This remake is not all that different from other movies that have been “modernized” and redone.  Basically they try to keep the spirit of the movie but change everything else, minus a few of the most important events.  Unfortunately for The Day the Earth Stood Still, they would have been better off taking the script and everything from the original version.  Sure, the special effects add a lot of glamour to the shindig, but along the way they lost the essence of the original movie.  Oh, they make some vague references to Man doing a bad job of taking care of the Earth and that the Earth would be better off without us, but the crux of the problem is this:  Keanu Reeves’ character has decided that Man does not deserve to live and is going to exterminate the race.  However, he spends the entire movie witnessing people at their most evil and depraved moments but finally changes his mind when seeing a mother and son hug in an emotional moment.  It doesn’t really make much, if any sense.  There was no change over time, and while an immediate switch in view might have been possible, I don’t see how it could have worked the way the director laid it out for us.  In short, bad plot with little plausibility.  Personally, I can only suspend disbelief for so long.

The special effects are certainly nice and not overdone.  They are there in all the right places and don’t manage to overshadow the movie itself, as has happened with science fiction ventures in the past (Hello, I Am Legend zombies!).  Everything looks good, looks believable/realistic, and fits in nicely.

If you have seen the 1951 version of this movie, under no circumstances should you pay money to view this movie.  Don’t ruin something that should be remembered fondly and well.  If you haven’t seen the original, then wait for this one to come out on DVD and wait for a poor sucker of a friend to rent/buy it.  Don’t spend the money.

Rating: 1.5/5

-Ben

Permalink Leave a Comment