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A review of a movie or TV show.

Yippie Ki, Meh! A Good Day to Die Hard.

Bitter, Bitter Balcony, Movie Review, A Good Day to Die Hard 2013Skip WoodsJohn MooreBruce Willis, Jai Courtney Bitter,Bitterometer,meter A Good Day to Die Hard(2013)
 

As I contemplated “A Good Day to Die Hard,” I came with two simple conclusions about this borderline Looney Tunes action buffet of a movie. First, I love John McClane (Bruce Willis). This wisecracking, ill-tempered, hairline receding anti-hero is still fun even after twenty five years since the first “Die Hard.” Willis channels McClane’s cold sore antagonism towards his rivals to perfection. His performance is the only reason to keep making these films (they should have stopped at “Die Hard: With a Vengeance”). Second, from now on, these movies should not have “Die” in the title. “Die” implies the plausibility, however remote, that McClane could actually, eh, die. Besides some minor flesh wounds to splash a little blood around Willis’s bald head, no real damaging injuries occur to a fifty-something year old driving a vehicle that flips five times in mid-air before a harrowing crash on top of other vehicles, gets shot at TWICE from a fully armed chopper helicopter, all while leaping, and surviving, outrageous distances from buildings. I realize suspension of disbelief left this series a long time ago.

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Ben Affleck Saves Americans, and His Career, in Argo!!!

Bitter, Bitter Balcony, Movie Review, Argo 2012Chris TerrioBen AffleckBen Affleck, Bryan CranstonTony Mendez (book), Joshuah Bearman (article) Bitter,Bitterometer,meter Argo(2012)
 

“There are no second acts in American lives” quoted the legendary Jazz Age author F. Scott Fitzgerald. Perhaps, but when it comes to Hollywood, careers most certainly do. Case in point, Ben Affleck, who torched his “good will” after winning an Oscar for co-writing (some say proofreading)“Good Will Hunting” with best bro Matt Damon with frigid performances in a clutter of mediocre to worse films (“Reindeer Games,” “Forces of Nature,” “Bounce,” “Pearl Harbor,” “Paycheck,” “200 Cigarettes” and man, can this list go on!). Of course, the nail in the coffin of Ben Affleck’s first film life ended catastrophically in the hands (and many other body parts) of J.Lo in a disaster movie not even James Cameron could surmount in “Gigli.” For close to a decade, Affleck had lost credibility with audiences as a leading man, and while the occasional respectable showcase of his acting abilities (“Hollywoodland” and “Changing Lanes”) would surface, he was mostly seen, unfairly so, as a beneficiary of Damon’s coattails.

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Dredd... this movie not

Bitter, Bitter Balcony, Movie Review, Dredd 2012Carlos Ezquerra,Alex GarlandPete TravisCarl Urban,Olivia Thirlby,Lena Headey Bitter,Bitterometer,meter Dredd(2012)
 

We all remember the mess that was the ’95 version of “Judge Dredd” with Stalone. The movie had some interesting ideas, but the execution was very bland and just not good. The comic relief character (Schnieder) felt unneeded and like he was holding Dredd back from being a badass. Let’s not spend too much time on those memories and enjoy the ones we now have with “Dredd”.

In a dystopian future, America quarantines off a large section of the northeast and call it Mega City One. The city is overburdened with crime, drugs and prostitution. To deal with the growing problem the Judges are created to serve as judge, jury and executioners. Hopelessly outnumbered they do the best they can to deliver swift justice. Among the best of them is Judge Dredd, an angry-faced force of nature, whose typical solution for a problem is to shoot it. Assigned to take a rookie on the streets and assess her ability to be a psychic Judge, yup there are mutants in this world, they run into the Ma-Ma clan and quickly go from investigating three murders to trying to stay alive and if at all possible dispense the justice they were sent there for in the first place.

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The Bourne Legacy Makes Us Miss, Say It, MmmmmmAAAAAaaaaaTTTTTTtttt DddddAAAAAMMMMmmon!

Bitter, Bitter Balcony, Movie Review, The Bourne Legacy 2012Tony Gilroy, Dan GilroyTony GilroyJeremy Renner, Rachel WeiszRobert Ludlum (inspired by his novels) Bitter,Bitterometer,meter The Bourne Legacy(2012)
 

There’s always a huge risk when both the star and the director of a successful, if not groundbreaking, film series depart, forcing a franchise to justify it’s continuation, transcend the established and re- invigorate, and most importantly, define it’s legacy. That was the challenge that awaited the fittingly titled “The Bourne Legacy,” the fourth installment of the adventure saga, as Paul Greengrass and Matt Damon went to find better things to do with their time than shake a camera around for six months. This latest entry, now helmed by series screenwriter Tony Gilroy, hopes its’ fans can be afflicted by the same amnesia Jason Bourne (Matt Damon) endured in the previous three movies and embrace the future of the Bourne movies with a new lead, Aaron Cross (Jeremy Renner).

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Frankenweenie rises from the dead! Or at least he's back from the archives.

Bitter, Bitter Balcony, Movie Review, Frankenweenie 2012Tim BurtonWinona Ryder,Michael Keaton,Martin Landau,Martin Short,Atticus ShafferTim Burton Bitter,Bitterometer,meter Frankenweenie(2012)
 

Tim Burton returns to making movies that truly fit him. Movies that are not remakes, but original ideas. Sure this is actually a remake, but as a remake of his work and ideas I let it slide. Burton has proved that he can make great films, but if you look at his pedigree and compare what is good and what is bad you are likely to see that the man is horrible at remakes of other people’s stories. He tends to miss the point more often than not. Thankfully, “Frankenweenie” doesn’t end up on the same side as “Alice in Wonderland.”

Victor is a young boy who is a tad antisocial and would rather spend his time with his charismatic pup, Sparky. During a baseball game Sparky enthusiastically chases a homerun ball into the streets and is ended. Victor, grief-ridden, chooses to dig up his dog and resurrect his pup with the use of electricity. Of course, he fails to keep his successful experiment secret, but it doesn’t last and soon the town is in danger because of the science Victor has created.

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Resident Evil: Retribution takes its revenge on our wanting to watch good films.

Bitter, Bitter Balcony, Movie Review, Resident Evil: Retribution 2012Paul W.S. AndersonPaul W.S. AndersonMilla Jovovich,Michelle Rodriguez Bitter,Bitterometer,meter Resident Evil: Retribution(2012)
 

During my time of writing reviews I can say that I’ve seen many terrible films. I dislike some and like a very small few. If I’m lucky I hate, and I mean, “Every single copy should be burned,” hate even less. Honestly, I F-ing hate the latest installment of the already overly sequeled series. This is yet another example of how Paul W.S. Anderson really should be banned from making these incredibly bad films.

The entirely lame premise of “Resident Evil: Retribution” is Alice wakes up in some lab… and is recruited by the dregs of upper-Umbrella management to fight Umbrella's A.I. That is it and the recruitment takes place in the last minute. Seriously, there is nothing else in this story. There is some shooting, some running and then some shooting again. NOTHING in the way of a story is told here.

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Branded - A film about advertising that can't even advertise itself well.

Bitter, Bitter Balcony, Movie Review, Branded 2012Jamie Bradshaw,Aleksandr DuleraynJamie Bradshaw,Aleksandr DuleraynEd Stoppard,Leelee Sobieski,Max Von Sydow, Jeffrey Tambor Bitter,Bitterometer,meter Branded(2012)
 

For starters, for a movie about advertising, this film has no idea how to market what it really is. What you get from the trailer and what you see in the film are completely different experiences. Of course, when you actually watch the film you can see that the filmmakers involved didn’t know what they wanted this film to be in the first place.

In a dystopian future (I didn’t get that from the trailer) in Russia (didn’t get that either) corporate brands and advertising have manipulated man into becoming the most stereotypical of bad consumers. Fat is the new attractive, eating from “The Burger” for every meal is ideal and being controlled by brands is commonplace. The only thing that can destroy the brands… The very same advertising they used to gain their power.

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