I CAN DO BAD ALL BY MYSELF (2009)

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Elizabeth

We really have a habit of watching movies about awful people whom we are not supposed to think are awful. Case in point: I Can Do Bad All By Myself, another horror from Tyler Perry. But because the character of Madea is such an awful person, this isn’t really uncommon for Tyler Perry. But what makes I Can Do Bad All By Myself particularly stand out in awfulness is the fact that it’s a musical.

“I didn’t know it was a musical!” You might be thinking to yourself. Well, that’s because it’s not a musical in the traditional sense, where songs are integrated into the story and, ideally, help the story along. I Can Do Bad All By Myself is just a regular movie that happens to include 7 full-length songs performed within it. It’s not an accident that Mary J. Blige and Gladys Knight are randomly in the movie for no real reason. These song sequences are so fucking boring that it’s hard to watch. I’m not the biggest ever fan of musicals, but a good musical is good. A shitty movie with awful full-length songs is just a really really really shitty movie.

And, once again, Tyler Perry displays here the conflicting idea of having superior black actors (in this case, it’s Taraji P. Henson) in terribly written, terribly shot, terribly produced movies. Henson is not bad in this movie because she’s a really good actor. But she falls into the same trap that Idris Elba found himself in in Daddy’s Little Girls, along with Kathy Bates in The Family That Preys, Blair Underwood in Madea’s Family Reunion, Angela Bassett in Meet the Browns, and most of the cast of For Colored Girls: how much good can even a good actor do in such a terrible movie? The answer: not much.

Although I Can Do Bad All By Myself is often unbearable, it still has the violence-without-consequences, child-abuse-by-Madea, random rape, melodrama, sexism, and racism that we all know and love about Tyler Perry movies. So, there’s that!

Christopher

Since it was not only my birthday but also Elizabeth’s and my anniversary, we decided to revisit the holy entity that brought us together in the first place. Tyler Perry. I Can Do Bad All By Myself is one of his films I had yet to watch but Elizabeth and our friend Ben have always mentioned it as one of the craziest (For Colored Girls is still my favorite though) and they were absolutely right, it’s insane.

The one negative I would give it is the main negative I have about TP’s plays, there are so many fucking songs, in full length. And you really don’t have to know too much to guess that he really is an awful songwriter.  Every song sounds the same and they all deal with people just yelling. So this movie had 7 full songs, probably 40 minutes of the movie.

Great movie to watch but have a cup of coffee to help you through the singing.

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PACIFIC RIM (2013)

PACIFIC RIM

Christopher

Guillermo del Toro is one of those directors that is really hit or miss with me, a lot like Ron Howard, although I think I like del Toro more. Pacific Rim was only about the robot fights. The characters, their relationships with each other, the story, and the technology in this movie all don’t make a lot of sense and are not consistent but it really doesn’t matter.

What this movie does best, and I think the big reason why I love it, is that even with all the flaws it makes the Transformer movies look even worse then I had originally thought. I think I saw the first two(?) Transformer movies in college and each time I walked away feeling gross and wasting three hours of my life. After seeing Pacific Rim, I felt for the first time in my life that some great movies/TV shows are going to be made now because of this. Mainly, some pretty badass manga series.

Elizabeth

Pacific Rim is weird, and I mean that in a good way. I really didn’t know what it was about before I saw it; all I knew was it was directed by Guillermo del Toro (and I love Pan’s Labyrinth) and starred Idris Elba. Because I have seen both Daddy’s Little Girls and Obsessed, I can safely see any Idris Elba movie because it could never possibly be as bad as either of those. It’s a theory that keeps proving to be right.

While I definitely liked Pacific Rim much more than I ever thought I would like a robot/monster movie, it has some problems that I think a lot of large-scale, especially sci-fi, movies have. A lot of the characters were under-developed or seemed unnecessary. And I have to say, I was distracted by Charlie Hunnam, who played Raleigh Becket. At first I was distracted because I kept wishing his role had been played by Channing Tatum. Then I was distracted by his weird accent (he’s British with a bad American accent). Then I was distracted by how similar he and the semi-villain, played by Robert Kazinsky, look. Couldn’t at least one of them have dark hair or something?

But anyway, Charlie Day is also in this, which was a weird and pleasant surprise, as he sort of plays Charlie Kelly The Scientist. But, obviously, the best part was Idris Elba. He is so cool. Such a badass. There’s a great moment where he, some kind of commanding officer, is grabbed by Becket, and I swear a little bit of Stringer Bell came out. It’s awesome.

But yeah, Pacific Rim is fun for sure. Worth seeing.