PAIN AND GAIN (2013)

PAIN AND GAIN

Elizabeth

First of all, do not see this movie. Instead, read Pete Collins’ original story that the movie is based on. If you insist on seeing this movie, read the story first. If you’ve already seen the movie, stop everything and read the story immediately.

Second of all, I really hope that the filmmakers behind Pain and Gain are completely ashamed of themselves. Imagine if you can that you were kidnapped. And that everything (everything) was stolen from you. And that you were tortured endlessly. And that your abductors tried to murder you by crashing you in a car, lighting you on fire, and running you over. But you survived all of that, despite crippling permanent physical and mental injuries, while your abductors went on to murder two people. Then imagine that your story was turned into a movie almost 20 years later. But in this movie, you are not the protagonist. In fact, you are made out to be a despicable character who got everything that was coming. Your abductors/torturers although shown as stupid, are also shown in a comic light, and 90% of the torture they instilled upon you is never once mentioned, and their story is laid out as one of guys just looking for “the American dream.” Fuck that, right? Well, that’s what happened to Marc Schiller (in the movie he’s Victor Kershaw and played by Tony Shalhoub). Can you even imagine how terrible that would be?

So yeah. the real life people that Mark Wahlberg, The Rock, and Anthony Mackie play in Pain and Gain kidnapped a man, stole everything he had, tortured him, tried to murder him, left him for dead, and then later murdered another couple. Why? Because they could and because they were greedy. I feel like Michael Bay is the same way . . . sure, he could have been true to the real story, which was already crazy and interesting, and not made Schiller/Kershaw look like a womanizing dick and show the killers as the complete psychopaths that they are . . . but he didn’t, because why should he? He’s Michael Bay! He’d rather see ridiculously muscled men have fun by torturing and killing and show them as being just average guys trying to make a living. What. A. Fucking. Dick.

So, as you can see, I hate Michael Bay. All of that aside, Pain and Gain is just not that good. It’s extremely long and oddly shot to the point that it’s distracting. While the acting was good and everything, the actors didn’t have much to work with.

Please do not waste your time on this movie. Don’t let Michael Bay brainwash you and read the real story.

Christopher

We had multiple chances to see this movie but I think the main reason it took us this long to see it was a general dislike for Michael Bay. I kind of feel like anything associated with him is how I felt about watching Ted.

This movie is pretty terrible, especially considering what the real story is.

I hate Michael Bay.

BOOGIE NIGHTS (1997)

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Elizabeth

One thing I love about Boogie Nights is how it’s so different, but so distinctly a Paul Thomas Anderson movie. I’ve seen every of his features, and there’s something so specific about his filmmaking, without being distracting. I don’t think you watch Boogie Nights constantly reminded that he directed it, but it’s still there.

But yeah, like so many of Anderson’s movies, Boogie Nights’s cast is almost unreal. Mark Wahlberg, Julianne Moore, Burt Reynolds, Don Cheadle, John C. Reilly, William H. Macy, Heather Graham, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Thomas Jane, Alfred Molina, etc etc etc etc. I mean, come on! But it’s not just that there’s so many great individual actors; they all just interact so well together. Maggie (Julianne Moore) and Dirk (Mark Wahlberg) have a particularly weird, but still convincing relationship. They have a real Oedipal thing going on.

I think what I love most about the actual filmmaking of Boogie Nights is the transitions. Scenes so often change without being cut; maybe we’ll follow a car driving away at the end of a scene, which passes by a character who will take us into the next scene. It’s a really cool way of totally capturing this weird, sort of closed off universe that Boogie Nights exists in.

One of my friends in high school made the mistake of seeing Boogie Nights with her parents. So definitely see it, but definitely be aware of whom you’re seeing it with.

Christopher

I’m not sure why it took me so long to watch this movie but it’s a masterpiece. This movie has one of the best scenes I have ever come across in my movie watching experience. The scene is the one where Alfred Molina shows up. It’s beyond what I thought this film could provide. It’s pure magic.

The other thing that I think makes Boogie Nights so grand is the fact that it has an all-star cast but that it’s not distracting. This movie provided so many things that I thought I would never see involving so many actors that I really really like.

 The movie was great and I hope that I watch it again soon.

FEAR (1996)

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Christopher

This movie did have some pretty unsettling moments but it’s overall problem was having Mark Wahlberg as the psycho boyfriend. He’s just not really that scary. And he’s so tiny. It’s pretty funny in the end when the dad is just throwing Wahlberg like a child.

What I walked away with from Fear is that I really want them to make a Fear 2 now. With Donnie Wahlberg as the boyfriend, Reese Witherspoon’s sister as the girl, and Susan Sarandon’s daughter as the mom. It would be so good!

Elizabeth

Fear deceived me. I recorded it because of a joke in It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia, when Dennis’ crazy wife starts hitting herself and Mac recognizes it as the thing Marky Mark does in Fear. So I was expecting it to be sort of goofy.  And it kind of is for most of it; it’s just really over the top. Reese Witherspoon plays Nicole, a 16 year old, with a boyfriend played by David, who is obviously way older, played by Mark Wahlberg. David sends up some pretty clear red flags that Nicole ignores, etc etc.

THEN IT TURNS INTO A SUPER SCARY HOME INVASION MOVIE, which begins when the family dog is decapitated and the crazy killers push the dog’s head through the doggy door. GREAT! I tried to distract myself during this scary scene with some of the implausible parts, like how this family has insane security (security cameras, security guard, electric security system, reinforced doors and windows), but no weapons in the house? Wouldn’t weapons be your first line of defense? It was also funny how tiny Mark Walhberg gets thrown around pretty easily.

But don’t watch this movie thinking it’s going to be really goofy. There’s rape, beating-to-deaths, and DOG DECAPITATION.

TED (2012)

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ACADEMY AWARD NOMINATION:

  • Best Song

Christopher

I really didn’t like watching this movie. Everyone should avoid.

Elizabeth

Poor Chris. I don’t think I’ve ever seen him so unhappy watching a movie before. But we both trudged through this one, and it wasn’t easy.

Ted is up for Best Song, and I’m not sure where the song was (in the beginning? I think?) but sitting through this just because of the song’s Oscar nomination made me question our quest to see every nominated movie. Because Ted is not a good movie.

Seth MacFarlane takes a similar approach to Ted as he does to Family Guy: if you pack in as many jokes as you can, surely some of them will land occasionally. And yes, there are some funny parts. I chuckled a few times. But those times were vastly outnumbered by feelings of discomfort, offense, and boredom. Ted is the first non-Tyler Perry movie I’ve seen in a long time that has so many homophobic, racist, and sexist jokes that are played for actual humor rather than horror. Examples: A.) John (Mark Wahlberg), while hugging Ted (voiced by Seth MacFarlane) accidentally presses a button that makes a recorded “I love you” come from Ted. They both back away, continually explaining to each other that they’re not gay. B.) When describing his new Chinese neighbors, Ted says “They don’t have a gong or nothin’, so it’s not that bad.” C.) After one of the breakups between John and Lori (Mila Kunis), Ted explains to John that she’ll be okay after she watches Bridget Jones’ Diary.

The only decent thing in Ted were the pretty seamless visual effects, to the point where I’m almost surprised it didn’t get an Oscar nomination for that. I never thought the character of Ted looked fake and his interactions with the human actors were kind of amazing. Now if only it had been funny and not awful!

Also, I think it’s worth noting that during the night after we watched Ted, I woke up with a horribly painful ear infection. Was it because of fluid in my ears from two recent colds? Or was it Seth MacFarlane’s Peter Griffin-esque voice as Ted clawing against my eardrums that caused this intense pain? You be the judge.