“A bunch of friends who might not be film experts, but sure do have funny opinions, watch bad movies and rag on them” is a podcasting trope by now, if such a thing can exist. How do you wade through the sea of cinematic chit-chat to find one you know will be good? That’s not actually a question I can answer, since I was lucky enough to stumble into Trash & Treasures sideways, but I can help by assuring you that Trash & Treasures is one worth checking out.
Trash & Treasures is where self-described “three weirdos”, Vrai, Dorothy, and Chris, watch movies and sometimes TV series that have been lost down the back of the pop culture couch. Maybe they’re a product of Disney’s awkward and edgy dark era where the company was low on funds and fighting with Don Bluth, maybe they’re an obscure single-release piece of queer action cinema, maybe they’re… just plain bad. Each episode is devoted to a different piece of media, and the trio discuss the plot, context and history of how this movie came to be and how they came to find it, and which parts of it are terrible and which parts are actually, maybe, kind of good.
The 1997 movie Batman & Robin is quite possibly one of the strangest movies I have ever watched. The last time I watched it, I noticed that the story liked to switch back and forth between two different things—being completely awful and being completely awful. It does literally nothing else. At any given time Batman & Robin is so awful it’s boring, and during all the other times, it’s so awful it’s baffling. Nevertheless, it’s a movie that has stuck with me over time—not because I particularly want to remember it, but because my traitorous mind won’t let me forget it in the slightest.
I finally saw the Batman v Superman movie yesterday, and well… I’ve seen better. A lot better. I honestly had no idea what to expect going in, because not only did I adamantly avoid spoilers, reviews online have been mixed. The movie has received both scathing reviews from critics as well as unending praise. As such, I tried to keep an open mind. I didn’t like Man of Steel all that much and have consistently hated just about every DC live-action movie in the past five years. I thought Man of Steel was too dark and muted, and it lost itself in the storytelling process. It had little to no characterization to speak of, and the climax ended up being an hour-long fistfight of two assholes punching each other through buildings while thousands of innocent bystanders died.
Even then, I wanted to like Batman v Superman as the next big superhero movie, because it’s paving the way for the Justice League’s entrance to the big screen. I didn’t. Almost none of the problems from Man of Steel were fixed, the characters are all still unlikable and unrelatable, the plot made no damn sense, the message was still over the top, and I came out of that theater feeling as though I had just wasted five dollars and a good fifteen hours of my life. Thankfully, I only wasted five dollars and two and a half hours of my life. But even that was still too much.
It has now just been ten years since the Eragon movie came out, which means that I can finally talk about it for my Throwback. Like its book counterparts, I’m sure no one will be surprised to hear me say that the movie is awful. Granted, I’m sure that any movie which attempted to accurately portray the first book would be pretty bad—but this movie didn’t even try for accuracy. In terms of adaptations, it’s at about The Last Airbender’s level of bad. Not only is the movie only an hour and a half long—which is not enough time to adapt a book over five hundred pages—nothing in it makes any kind of sense.
So, the other day, I found proof that the universe hates me.
I am baffled that this is actually happening. For anyone who missed it, the first Percy Jackson movie was nothing short of terrible. It had its moments, and I’ll admit to liking some of it. It was certainly a movie with potential, but it didn’t follow the books. It added some unnecessary romance between Percy and Annabeth—because why the hell not?—it completely cut out the actual main antagonist in order to make Hades the bad guy—again, because why the hell not?—and it took just about every opportunity to disregard what made the books so great to begin with.
Percy Jackson was a unique retelling of the Greek Pantheon because it modernized everything. While I did find the books remarkably similar to Harry Potter in a lot of ways, which only served to worsen my opinions of the books—special place for special people (Camp Halfblood/Hogwarts), trio of three main characters, etc.—Percy Jackson still managed to be its own story. I didn’t love the books, but I could respect the writing style, the original characters, and a unique spin on an already well-known mythos.
But the first movie changed all that. It ruined the uniqueness. By changing the villain, it created plot holes, by adding the romance so early on it wasn’t true to the main characters, and by un-modernizing the gods, it ruined what made the premise justifiable and not overdone in the first place.
While this trailer for the sequel certainly looks better, as though hopefully the director and writers learned from the mistakes of the first movie, I don’t have high hopes. How can I? It’s been so long between films that I had actually thought this one would never happen. I’d have much rather seen the first movie rebooted. So here’s me not being excited to go see this.
I realize that I’m getting to this one a little late, considering that it’s been out for almost a week, and I would have seen it sooner, but you can blame work and my adamant refusal to watch it in 3D, which severely limited my viewing options. But I finally saw it last night. It’s movies like these that always leave me in awe, awe that so much money went into something where absolutely nothing interesting happened. John Carter is a typical science fiction movie with typical science fiction everything. It adds nothing new to the viewing experience.
Some movies just don’t seem to care about anything. They just drone on and on, and they don’t stop going until they’ve effectively wasted two hours of their viewers’ lives. This movie is so bad that mustering the amount of energy it would take to laugh at it properly seems like an impossible endeavor, especially when trying to fight off sleep. And don’t get me wrong. It might seem like I’m suggesting that this movie is at least good for a decent nap, but it’s not. It never will be. As a bad movie, it can’t even say that, because it’s so loud during the action sequences. And action sequences should be exciting, but I found myself not involved in any of it.
Furthermore, I just left the theater feeling utterly confused. I can’t tell if this is supposed to be a sequel or a complete remake. If it’s a sequel, I don’t think anyone cared to look back on the first one to remember what happened. So I’m going to give everyone the benefit of the doubt and say that this is a standalone movie.
Which then makes me ask: why the hell did they get Nicolas Cage back for the role? Could they not find a better actor?