You know that metal head loner who rocks out to Slayer and Metallica all by himself? Well, you should definitely take some life lessons from him some day.
TJ is 13 years old. Two months ago, his mom was killed in an accident, leaving TJ and his grieving dad to move in with grandma to pick up the pieces. Hesher is a loner. He hates the world and everyone in it. He has long, greasy hair and homemade tattoos. He likes fire and blowing things up. He lives in his van until he meets TJ. Hesher is the story of a family struggling to deal with loss and the anarchist who helps them do it in a very unexpected way.
During some of the more angry and I hate “mom, dad, and everybody else around me” periods of my life, I actually found some solace in music that made me want to break down the wall. So with this concept, I could see the cool use of “metal music for therapy” as something new but instead, it just ends up being weird.
Writer/director Spencer Susser does a good job with this film in keeping it weird, a little sad, a little humorous, but never sentimental which is something I can easily say that I appreciated. Right from the get-go, we notice that there has been a death in the family for this father-son combo and there is a lot of really sad and miserable shit that actually happens to this kid, but the film barely ever makes us feel like we have to cry over it all. Instead, he just shows us Hesher being a complete and utter asshole, popping in just whenever he feels like it and doing degenerate things such as lighting a diving board on fire, or even changing the TV channels so he can get porno. It sounds weird I know, but it’s not all that sentimental which I liked considering it was a lot more of a mean film that I thought I was going to get.
Despite the title, this film is actually less about Hesher himself and more about a father and son getting over a death in the family with Hesher popping in just to eff things up more for them. I think it’s cool that they made him the title, but it sort of makes all of the other characters seem like just a bunch of bores when it comes to him. Let me also not forget that this film is incredibly weird which isn’t so bad considering there were a lot of weird and goofy moments that started off pretty strong in the beginning but then it just started getting really weird. Really weird to the point of where I actually wondered if everything I was watching just a part of this kid’s imagination.
The problem with this film is not just the film itself, is more or less just the main character himself, Hesher. To be honest, I don’t know what to really make of this dude other than the fact that he comes into this kids life, with no explanation or reason and even when it seems like he’s asked, nothing is ever said and he just shoots it off to the side. However, if you honestly don’t know how to label Hesher for yourself, just check out the tattoo of the middle finger on his back. That is definitely sure to give you some insight onto who he actually is.
Hesher is also a dude that sort of just keeps to himself but you still never want to eff with him because you know that he will definitely kick the hell out of you right away. Hesher, in his own effed up way, actually ends up slapping a lot of sense into this father and son just by telling them really vulgar metaphors, that he actually compares him losing a nut the same as the dude losing his wife. Yeah, that’s a really bad choice of comparisons but then again this character is not someone who’s normal. Regardless though, the guy is pretty solid because he’s able to give some good insight, provide some dark laughs, and make us feel terribly scared of even messing with him.
However, every time Hesher was working for me the film started to really steer him in the wrong direction I believe. It’s harder and harder to like him considering he does dumb shit like making some joke about Kermit the Frog’s finger that I’ve heard 100 times to this old gal, light this bully’s car on fire but leave the kid there, ask the kid if he has had some sexy time while he fingers the mashed potatoes, and etc. Hesher really can do a lot of cool things and where he can be vulgar and repulsive, some people may find humor in that but for me, I just cringed a lot by how far this guy was pushing the boundaries.
When it comes to playing Hesher though, Joseph Gordon-Levitt is great and I think what makes this character watchable in the first place considering JGL seems so flawless with this performance. It may be hard to actually like him but JGL actually helps that a lot here as well. The rest of the cast here is pretty good too with Rainn Wilson playing a very seriously saddy daddy role; Devin Brochu is angsty but also very realistic as the little kid, T.J.; and Natalie Portman does a good job as well but she seems a little out-of-place with a lot of her scenes. I mean the cast is good but when they are compared to Hesher, you don’t really care nor think about them much at all.
Consensus: Hesher has its moments where the dark humor makes you laugh and some of the touching moments also hit well too, but the problem is just like its lead character. We never understand anything about this character, he can be a total dick at times, and he just makes everybody feel uncomfortable without any real rhyme or reason.
I guess there is such a thing as too many robots.
The plot revolves around Sam Witwicky (Shia LaBeouf), the human caught in the war between two factions of alien robots, the Autobots and Decepticons. Sam is having visions of Cybertronian symbols, and being hunted by the Decepticons under the orders oJosf their long-trapped leader, The Fallen, who seeks to get revenge on Earth by finding and activating a machine that would provide the Decepticons with an energon source, destroying the Sun and all life on Earth in the process.
Now since the third one is coming out, I just wanted to brush up on the last two and as much fun as I had with the first one, it was all lost when I saw this heaping pile of shit.
First off, the plot doesn’t even matter. It’s just another excuse to get a lot of these robots fighting something that entertained me so much in the first, here, not so much. The special effects are good but other than that I had no real idea what the hell was going on and nor did I really care that much since this plot is stupid to begin with, and keeps on getting dumber and dumber as time goes on.
Director Michael Bay took all that money he got from the first film’s box-office and spent it all on crack, soda, and pills. That actually sounds like it would be awesome, but it’s just insane what he puts on screen here. The action was annoying because all these special effects are flying around the whole screen and the problem was I had no idea who was fighting who. I know Optimus Prime is red and blue, and Bumblebee is orange with a slight tint of yellow, but everybody else is just gray, so I really had no idea who was fighting. But once again, nor did I care.
But I almost forgot to get started on the script which is just dumb, stupid, and lame. I actually laughed a lot at the first one, but all the dialogue here just seems like a crappy punch-line for a joke that didn’t need to be there and wasn’t even funny in the first place. I think they wrote this script as the film went along and for almost two-and-a-half-hours, I just totally zoned out.
Just to prove to you how dumb this script really is with this one scene in this film where out of nowhere, they find a robot that can teleport from Egypt but for some odd reason, no other robot actually has that ability. Why? No reason. Just does I guess. Once again, I did not care, and after about the third scene of showing two dogs humping, somebody getting tasered, and annoying robot mythology, you’ll start to see what I mean.
Shia LaBeouf was actually really charming in the first one as well but he really doesn’t know what to do here and I don’t quite think that was his fault. All Shia does here really is flair his nostrils, run from things, and yell; “Optimusss!”. However, I think it would have been a better film with the title; “Transformers: Revenge of Megan Fox’s Ass“. I have no idea just what the hell she does here other than share this scared face she does the whole entire film but she’s still hot, so I can’t hold too much against her. The rest of the cast doesn’t matter because stars like Josh Duhamel, Tyrese Gibson, John Turturro, and Rainn Wilson just feel like extras here and are used for nothing else other than just little story distractions.
But the one thing about this film that really pissed me off was the completley stereotypically racist portrayal of the two “hip” bots, that were obviously black. These two robots are the most blatant forms of black-face that I have ever seen and there not even funny, if you find that stuff funny. I don’t know if Bay has talked to many black people even though he has because Tyrese Gibson was in this, but whatever black people he talks to must jive-talk the whole conversation. That’s all that these two do and once you see what I’m saying, you’ll just hate this film even more too.
Consensus: The special effects are at least done nice but other than that, this terrible sequel features no humor, a very hard and confusing plot to follow, characters and robots we didn’t care about, and the most random shit blowing up all-over-the-screen for two-and-a-half hours. Thanks Michael Bay! Asshole.
Basically Kick-Ass with a lower-budget.
When his wife (Liv Tyler) falls in league with a drug dealer, average guy Frank D’Arbo (Rainn Wilson) dons the guise of a superhero, dubs himself the Crimson Bolt and tries to keep a tagalong comic-book store clerk (Ellen Page) from becoming his sidekick. But it’s hard to be a superhero when all you’ve got to work with is a pipe wrench.
When I first saw the trailer for this way back when, I didn’t buy it, and just thought it was going to be a complete rip-off of Kick-Ass. In a way it is, but it still works.
Writer and director James Gunn is very good here with this already pretty dark story, and putting some comedy into it and heart here. It starts off as a parody of those super-hero films that we all see, but then turns into one of its own and dives into some very dark and disturbing places. I have to say some of this comedy doesn’t work because it’s almost too terrible to even laugh at, but I have to say I felt uncomfortable at times, and I think that’s what the film wanted to do.
There is also loads and loads of blood, gore, and just really hard-to-watch violence. Some of it will keep you watching and actually rooting for more, while others will just have you totally horrified and taken aback by what you see. Basically, if you’re squeamish, don’t see this film.
My main problem with this film is that Gunn tries to make the audience actually feel bad for rooting this violence on which I did not understand. I guess that Gunn was trying to comment on how we see violence in our every-day life and it’s basically glorified, but this film is pretty much doing the same exact thing here. I didn’t get what he was trying to say, if anything at all, and to be truly honest I think that Gunn could have done a better job of getting his point across.
Rainn Wilson is totally awesome here as Frank aka Crimson Bolt, and is playing this character very straight-laced and normal, with barely anything funny, but he totally gets lost in the character. Wilson is good at making this loser, who turns crazy and wants vengeance, seem believable and actually likable. I think Wilson should keep on doing more roles like these because they actually do work. Liv Tyler is here and does a good job at just being there. Kevin Bacon is great at playing this slime-ball, Jacques, and although he is a total asshole, he still manages to bring laughs out. Nathan Fillion is funny here as The Holy Avenger, the Christian channel superhero who fights off evil. However, Ellen Page is the real delight in this film as Libby who comes out of nowhere and you expect her to be really annoying, but somehow is a great character which Page plays to perfection and her best scenes are with Wilson where they just are total opposites, but seem believable friends.
Consensus: James Gunn’s supposed message may get a little messy, especially towards the end, but has some very dark laughs, a good story, and great acting that keep us involved with this sometimes gruesome superhero tale.
If only this film actually rocked as hard as it looked.
“The Rocker” is Robert “Fish” Fishman (Rainn Wilson), the drummer for an eighties hair band. He’s living the rock n’ roll dream… until he is kicked out of the group. Twenty years later, the desperate rocker joins his nephew’s band, ADD, finally reclaiming the rock-god throne he’s always thought he deserved – while taking his much younger band-mates along for the ride of their lives.
This little old film came out back by the end of summer 08, and literally went by, and no one caught it. I have always had a soft spot for films that combine humor with rock (School of Rock, This is Spinal Tap), but this film doesn’t seem to deliver on either ends.
The one thing I did enjoy about this film is that it is a good ride. There is a lot of rockin’ music, and some decent funny moments to hold you down, so if you like movies that will at least hold your attention for a bit, this is the film.
However, it still didn’t seem like anything was right with this film. The whole film had you look at it, as if it was a rock fest, but with enough heart and humor for the whole family. Well, the humor, isn’t quite for the whole family. There are many musical references that I got, cause I love music, but others watching this, 9 times out of 10, won’t, and the humor gets a little too raunchy and dirty. I wasn’t expecting a dick joke, and so much alcohol induced in the film. I mean School of Rock wasn’t the sweetest comedy ever, but it still didn’t throw in all this un-needed sex jokes.
Also, since this film was about rockin’, and rockin’ hard, I was expecting lots, and lots of that. Instead, I only got a mediocre amount of it, and they played the same songs about 3 times each. I was looking for a new fresh song from these people, not just the 3 songs that define them. There was not really insight about rock music, as there was with School of Rock. all I got from this film, was have a good time, but nothing that made me come out of this film, saying: “Yeah, I want to start a band”.
The one thing that just almost saves this film is the cast. Rainn Wilson seems like an un-likely choice for this role, but he does a good job with it, bringing a lot more energy than I expected, and providing us with a likable character. Teddy Geiger, Josh Gad, and a young Emma Stone, all are OK as the rest of the band, ADD (really bad name), but nothing spectacular. You will also spot out funny appearances from Jane Lynch, Bradley Cooper, Will Arnett, Jeff Garlin, Aziz Ansari, and an attractive, but goofy performance from Christina Applegate. They all try their hardest, but the script lets them all down.
Consensus: The Rocker may have some fun stuff with it, as well as a good cast, but it never gets off its feat, with enough rock, and humor, to satisfy all, and just becomes a cheap rip-off of School of Rock, sorry to say.