31st Oct2015

San Andreas (DVD)

by timbaros

images-371The eagerly-awaited film San Andreas is one of the worst scripted films in recent memory. It’s also a very frightening and almost realistic look at what could happen to California if a major earthquake takes place.

San Andreas, in case you didn’t know, is a fault line that runs roughly 801 miles through California. It’s a tectonic plate that, scientists confirm, will shift, hence causing a major earthquake in that region. The film San Andreas imagines this catastrophe, which practically ruins the state of California, first by earthquakes, and then by a massive tsunami. It’s bone-chilling yet stupid.

The film begins with a young woman driving along a cliff who is distracted by her cellphone. A rock slide takes place, causing her to drive off the cliff with the car nestling on the edge of some rocks, hanging by a thread. Swooping in is Ray Gaines (Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson), a Los Angeles Fire Department search and rescue helicopter pilot, who comes to the rescue with his team and saves the girl. It’s a metaphor for real events in his life; his youngest daughter drowned and he’s still feeling mega guilty about it. It was also an event that led to the breakup of his marriage to Emma (Carla Gugino), and led her into the arms of mega millionaire building developer Daniel Riddick (Ioan Gruffudd). Ray soon discovers that Emma will be moving in with Riddick, taking along their only daughter Blake (Alexandra Daddario).

Meanwhile, scientist Lawrence (Paul Giamatti) and his team discover a previously undetected fault line near Nevada’s Hoover dam. They go there to inspect it, and while they are there, on top and inside the dam, a major earthquake hits. Lawrence is sparred but a member of his team is killed while trying to save a young girl. This earthquake triggers the San Andreas fault line to become active, setting off a massive earthquake up and down the coast of California. Buildings shake violently then fall down, many people die by getting crushed, while Emma is dining at a posh restaurant (with Kylie Minogue). She phones Ray for help and is preposterously saved by him and his helicopter while the building underneath her is collapsing. They then go on a mission to find their daughter, who is in San Francisco with Riddick.

San Andreas then becomes not just a disaster movie but an unintentional comedy. In one scene, Blake asks Riddick why he never had any children. He points to a brochure of his buildings and says ‘these are my children.’ Also, in what can be described as the worst line in screen history, Ray tells Emma ‘It’s been awhile since I got you to second base’ after parachuting into San Francisco’s AT&T Baseball park after enduring death and destruction and also almost losing their lives. And it gets worse. The San Francisco skyline changes from scene to scene (and not just because some buildings fall down) – San Andreas gets worse and unbelievable as the characters continue to survive.

And when you think the characters (and yourself) have had enough, a Tsunami starts to form. Emma and Ray ride into the tsunami on a boat that literally pitches up vertically, only to be sucked under a massive cargo ship – and they survive. And most stupid of all is that, they actually do find their daughter, trapped inside a building with a young British man and his younger brother (both with posh British accents) – and they seem to be the only people who have survived in San Francisco. The filmmakers have obviously applied creative license to a real-world threat, but with a horrible script and unbelievable life and death situations, San Andreas is a fault that never should’ve woken up.

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30th May2015

San Andreas (Film)

by timbaros

sanandreasThe eagerly-awaited film San Andreas is one of the worst scripted films in recent memory. It’s also a very frightening and almost realistic look at what could happen to California if a major earthquake takes place.

San Andreas, in case you didn’t know, is a fault line that runs roughly 801 miles through California. It’s a tectonic plate that, scientists confirm, will shift, hence causing a major earthquake in that region. The film San Andreas imagines this catastrophe, which practically ruins the state of California, first by earthquakes, and then by a massive tsunami. It’s bone-chilling yet stupid.

The film begins with a young woman driving along a cliff who is distracted by her cellphone. A rock slide takes place, causing her to drive off the cliff with the car nestling on the edge of some rocks, hanging by a thread. Swooping in is Ray Gaines (Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson), a Los Angeles Fire Department search and rescue helicopter pilot, who comes to the rescue with his team and saves the girl. It’s a metaphor for real events in his life; his youngest daughter drowned and he’s still feeling mega guilty about it. It was also an event that led to the breakup of his marriage to Emma (Carla Gugino), and led her into the arms of mega millionaire building developer Daniel Riddick (Ioan Gruffudd). Ray soon discovers that Emma will be moving in with Riddick, taking along their only daughter Blake (Alexandra Daddario).

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Meanwhile, scientist Lawrence (Paul Giamatti) and his team discover a previously undetected fault line near Nevada’s Hoover dam. They go there to inspect it, and while they are there, on top and inside the dam, a major earthquake hits. Lawrence is sparred but a member of his team is killed while trying to save a young girl. This earthquake triggers the San Andreas fault line to become active, setting off a massive earthquake up and down the coast of California. Buildings shake violently then fall down, many people die by getting crushed, while Emma is dining at a posh restaurant (with Kylie Minogue). She phones Ray for help and is preposterously saved by him and his helicopter while the building underneath her is collapsing. They then go on a mission to find their daughter, who is in San Francisco with Riddick.

San Andreas then becomes not just a disaster movie but an unintentional comedy. In one scene, Blake asks Riddick why he never had any children. He points to a brochure of his buildings and says ‘these are my children.’ Also, in what can be described as the worst line in screen history, Ray tells Emma ‘It’s been awhile since I got you to second base’ after parachuting into San Francisco’s AT&T Baseball park after enduring death and destruction and also almost losing their lives. And it gets worse. The San Francisco skyline changes from scene to scene (and not just because some buildings fall down) – San Andreas gets worse and unbelievable as the characters continue to survive.

And when you think the characters (and yourself) have had enough, a Tsunami starts to form. Emma and Ray ride into the tsunami on a boat that literally pitches up vertically, only to be sucked under a massive cargo ship – and they survive. And most stupid of all is that, they actually do find their daughter, trapped inside a building with a young British man and his younger brother (both with posh British accents) – and they seem to be the only people who have survived in San Francisco. The filmmakers have obviously applied creative license to a real-world threat, but with a horrible script and unbelievable life and death situations, San Andreas is a fault that never should’ve woken up.

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03rd Sep2013

Pain & Gain – Film

by timbaros

 

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In the 1980’s, three men, two who were personal trainers affiliated with the Sun Gym in Miami, kidnapped, tortured and murdered several people. One of those kidnapped was the client of one of the two men. Pain & Gain tells this story.

Daniel Lugo (Mark Wahlberg) is hired by Sun Gym owner John Mese (Rob Corddry), who is impressed with Lugo’s enthusiasm (and good looks), and hires him to do personal training and to help increase membership to the gym. One of Daniel’s clients is the very wealthy Victor Kershaw (Tony Shalhoub). Unfortunately for Kershaw, after going to a motivational seminar, Lugo hatches a plan to kidnap, extort and torture Kershaw, take all of his possessions, and leave him for dead, and enlists fellow personal trainer Adrian Doorbal (Anthony Mackie) and ex-convict Paul Doyle (Dwayne Johnson) to help.

Pain & Gain is loosely based on this true story, with loosely being the key word. Up until when the kidnapping takes place, Pain & Gain promises to be a Boogie Nights-style crime movie, with the hot Miami sun, a lot of muscle on show, and Wahlberg in the lead role. But Pain & Gain all too quickly falls apart, with scenes that are mind-numbingly stupid and a plot that suspends belief.

Once Kershaw is successfully kidnapped (after one failed attempt by the bumbling trio), he is locked up in his own warehouse in the middle of what looks to be downtown Miami. The kidnappers have Kershaw send his family out of the state, and make him sign over his possessions to them. They then attempt to kill him, unsuccessfully a couple times, but then think they have succeeded after running him over in broad daylight in the middle of busy downtown (conveniently with no one in sight).

The boys stupidly fail to check whether or not he is dead, and Kershaw survives, manages to go to the hospital, and tries to get his life back. Meanwhile, the boys are living in Kershaw’s house, spending his money, and befriending all of his fellow wealthy neighbors, with not one of them really questioning Kershaw’s whereabouts (another plot point we are expected to believe: can they all be that gullible?). They also take over his businesses, treating his employees with more respect then Kershaw ever did.

Meanwhile, Kershaw is in the hospital, and no one believes his story (really?), so Kershaw hires a private investigator (Ed Harris) to uncover the truth of his ordeal, who eventually unravels the trio’s misdeeds. The boys continue with their crime spree by attempting to rob an amoured car (which goes very wrong), and attempt another kidnapping which also goes horribly wrong when they accidentally murder the intended victim and his wife in Doorbal’s own house. The walls cave in on the boys and they are eventually caught, and at the end we are supposed to believe it happened this way, either fact or fiction.

Wahlberg, who has been in five films in the past two years, has picked a bad film to be in this time. Wahlberg produced and starred in the 2010 Oscar-nominated film The Fighter, and was most recently seen in 2 Guns (with Denzel Washington). And after starring in Ted, Wahlberg could do no wrong, but this film is all wrong. Sure, there are lots of scenes with his shirt off so he can show off his great physique, and he is believable throughout; it is just that the script that is very bad.

The other actors are fine, with Johnson playing the very dumb body builder, Paul Doyle, though it is hard to believe that a character as dumb as him could be in a gang that pulls off crimes like these. (Johnson’s character is actually a composite of a two actual members of the gang.) Pain & Gain could have been a much better and more realistic film if the director Michael Bay and the writers would’ve stuck to the actual true story, and not Hollywood-ized it. But Bay’s directorial style, where there are way too many car explosions and parts of the plot that are put in for convenience and not necessity, does not add up to a believable story.

Doorbal and Lugo ended up receiving death sentences for their crimes, and Johnson’s composite real lifers received eight years each as they testified against Doorbal and Lugo.