Six: Lost in Space, the horrors of ’98, villainous career advice, and life lessons from Vincent Price

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And here we have it! The first truly, truly terrible movie from Gary Oldman’s oeuvre that I’ve hit this year. When I say this movie is heinous, I’m not joking. Just when you think the cinematic dust has settled (and there’s a lot of literal dust in this movie. Space dust?), just when you start hoping that this hunk of sci-fi flotsam might at least coast to a passable ending, it surprises you by getting even worse.

Four: Criminal, Limitations of Independence, and Personal Growth

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I went to go see Criminal last week on a Friday afternoon, by myself. Admittedly, 4:45PM is not necessarily when the big crowds roll in, but it still counts as the weekend, so I was surprised to find that I had the theatre all to myself. I knew the movie had pretty much bombed on its opening weekend (the death knell for all wide releases), but it’s still a big action movie with a bunch of familiar faces, so the completely empty seats seemed undeserved. Well, not so fast– Criminal is not a good movie.

  • Criminal’s ranking on the Oldometer: 3/10
  • Gary Oldman character quality: Quaker Wells is probably the lamest character Gary has ever saddled himself with. I don’t know if 80% of him ended up on the cutting room floor or something, but the final product that is Quaker is the most nonsensical part of this movie, and that’s saying ALOT.
  • Does Gary die in this one? No. That would have given him too much to do.

It’s not a BAD movie, either, for the record. It has a coherent narrative and I wouldn’t say it’s convoluted in the way that some recent thrillers have been, but despite some nice work here and there from Kevin Costner (though even that’s been contested– maybe if he didn’t grunt so much), as a depraved man (named Jericho) with the empathetic part of his brain missing until he receives a memory transplant from Dead Ryan Reynolds, Gal Godot (with not much to do, though she does what she can– also, she’s stunning),  and whoever this movie’s editor was, this one is a pretty lame excuse for a popcorn flick. I don’t require my action movies to reach great emotional depths or to have incredibly involving storylines, but I do hope for something I haven’t seen 10 times before. And maybe a character or two that give me reasons to root for them. In this film’s defense, though, the thriller is a genre that has been phased out in the past 15 years or so since its heyday in the 90’s, and, strangely, the only thriller hero we seem to accept these days is Liam Neeson, and more power to him, but I digress.

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Oh Liam. Nothing like a little reminder of Episode I to keep you humble, hm?

Continue reading “Four: Criminal, Limitations of Independence, and Personal Growth”

One: Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, Character Building, and The Gift of Loss

  • Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix’s ranking on the Oldometer: 5/10
  • Gary Oldman character quality: Sirius Black is troubled, interesting, solid. Also has great hair.
  • Does Gary die in this one? Yep.

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I didn’t read the Harry Potter books when I was a kid. I recognize that this is weird for a millennial, but I was highly resistant to major trends because I was far too cool for that crap and I would either join the party very late (my first Britney Spears album, Baby One More Time, was purchased at the local used bookstore) or not at all. I’m not sure how Lord of the Rings figured into all of that, but we’ll just make a special exception for that one; I was a homeschooler, after all, and dressing up as a hobbit was practically a requirement for my breed. Okay, I never dressed up as a hobbit, but I did start a website with my friend called “The Hobbit Hovel” using Homestead.com (anyone remember them?) wherein you could choose your own Shire-related adventure. I lost interest in this project quickly, which is too bad, because I’m not unconvinced that it could have really taken off. I mean, come on, that classic Enya midi music that played on the homepage and caused the site to move at a snail’s pace? I could be sitting on millions right now. Anyway….

Continue reading “One: Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, Character Building, and The Gift of Loss”