Friday, June 20, 2014

A Million Ways to Fart in the West.

The role that expectation plays in our enjoyment of cinema is an intriguing one.  As I get older, it seems more and more people—notably those with spouses, kids, or responsibilities other than checking their Facebook notifications—have begun using the phrase, "It seems like a rental," when referring to films of tentative quality.  My version of "It seems like a rental", is the noon showing on a Thursday afternoon, when I've suddenly found myself mysteriously awake before 2 PM.  This is the story of how I found myself watching A Million Ways to Die in the West.

Thursday, June 19, 2014

22 Jump Street: You Know, The Second One.

21 Jump Street was way better than it ever deserved to be.  In an era of reboots, it stood alone as the film that actually tweaked its source material enough to spit out an original product.  It occasionally mocked its existence, but spent more time poking fun at the Glee-generation and flipping high school stereotypes on their head than it did rehashing old narratives.  It barely felt like a reboot.

Two years later, 22 Jump Street feels like nothing but a sequel.  In fact, the movie's sole purpose is to remind you, over and over again, that you're watching a sequel that was only made to squeeze more money out of a tired concept.  The self-satire is frequently amusing, but 22 Jump Street spends so much time making fun of itself that it forgets to become more than the concept it's been mocking.