Wednesday, July 20, 2011

"You've done some bad things, sweetie": Holy Rollers, Hall Pass, The Mechanic and The Warrior's Way

You remember how around a month ago, when I was wallowing in the pain of getting my tonsils out, I had a big clump of movies which I found really bad? Bad enough to get the "You've done some bad things, sweetie rating? Yeah well, that has happened again. Except this time there wasn't anything that made the experience really bad. Okay, Holy Rollers was watched during a thunderstorm, Hall Pass was watched after I'd been walking around in the rain, and The Mechanic and The Warrior's Way were watched last night when...uh, I had a blister on my foot? Yeah, these were just really mediocre flicks.

So, without further ado, here are my paragraph long reviews on movies which don't deserve I can't be bothered doing full reviews on.

Holy Rollers

Jesse Eisenberg was once this awkward geeky actor that everyone was billing as 'the next Michael Cera!' That was until he got nominated for an Oscar for playing an awkward geeky guy. But even though I love Jesse dearly, I can't help but be a little worried that he might not ever get nominated again, or, heaven forbid, ever get out of the Michael Cera mold. I thought that Holy Rollers had the right sounding material to ensure Jesse's acting extraordinaire future, but I could see Cera playing his part. The part in question is that of a Hasidic Jew named Sam who lives in an Orthodox Jewish community and is destined to become a Rabbi. Well, that's until some 'cool' Jew by the name of Yosef (played by Doug from The Hangover - Justin Bartha) decides to get Sam into dealing some ecstasy. And this is the true story of how ecstasy got into America via some Hasidic Jews. The problem with this true story is that it sounds exciting, but it really wasn't. I tried really hard to like Holy Rollers, believe me. Unfortunately, the movie moved quite slowly and there wasn't a lot really happening as such. This was due to it's overly cliched script and it's lack of depth into any of the characters. However, Jesse was brilliant in his role, with the awkward air hanging around him and all. Bartha, too, was impressive, even though his character fell prey to the lack of dimension. Just the rest of it felt like a wasted opportunity: the good premise, the interesting insight into Jewish life, and Ari Gaynor's character, who was pretty much just a sex object. It was such a shame that this didn't work.

Hall Pass

Every one I've spoken to absolutely loved this movie. My question is, why? Sure, there were some very funny parts. But when I went into this movie I was hoping for something similar to The Hangover - lots of fun without any consequences. Because, after all, a 'hall pass' and a night out on the town with the boys are pretty much the same thing, right? Hmmmm. The problem with Hall Pass is also it's best feature: the guys that have been granted a week off marriage never actually commit to anything that would hurt their significant others. That's all good, because in most movies, the guys are always doing all sorts of stuff and they're always the bad ones. But because of it's attention to all of this heart and domestic values, there are a lot of laughs missing. In fact, there's a whole lot of laughs missing from most of it. I just don't find Owen Wilson very funny anymore, as he is definitely better being a little more serious. In this movie, he barely gets any of the laughs, instead pushing across this movies dark undertone. Jason Sudeikis, on the other hand, is hilarious, especially in the scene where he tries out all of these different pick up lines on chicks. I am really warming to Sudeikis. But other than a few laugh at loud jokes, Hall Pass is trying so hard that it's not funny. At least it's a hell of a lot better than the Farrelly's last movie, The Heartbreak Kid.

The Mechanic

I really dislike Jason Statham. All I've seen him do is say 'menacing' things in his weird little voice, whilst walking around without any emotion. And then he goes and beats the bejesus out of someone. Yes, there's not much different about him in The Mechanic. In fact, this movie was everything that I thought it would be: mindless violent with lots of killing and guns. Except it stars Ben Foster, whom I loved in The Messenger. Sure, this isn't the best that he could have starred in, but he makes it work, somehow. With his good acting skills and Statham's...ah...persona, their relationship is surprisingly interesting. Especially seeing as their relationship is based on betrayal: the Statham is an assassin who has to train Foster who just so happens to be the son of someone Stathe killed. Now, while this is an okay premise, it's riddled with the same old cliches you expect to find in the average action thriller. The end is especially cliched. I really don't have much else to say about The Mechanic, I've pretty much forgotten it already even though it's been barely 24 hours since I saw it. All I remember is the mind numbing violence which I didn't find fun at all.

The Warrior's Way

I never watch films like The Warrior's Way. You know, the kinds with Asian assassins and ninjas and...clowns. The ones that look like video games. The ones with more slow-mo then you can shake a stick at. I would have given it a miss, but the promise of Geoffrey Rush starring in it made this seem like a bit of a better time. I'll admit, he wasn't in this as much as I would have liked him to be, but he made it a bit better. However, this is a prime example of why I usually ditch these sorts of films. I found it very over the top, using style over substance far more often then it needed to, and the lead actor, who remained silent for a lot of it, Dong-gun Jang, was so awfully blank that it hurt to watch him. He was impressive in the action sequences, but nothing more. The action sequences...well, they really were something else. It was exactly like watching a dramatization of a video game. A bad dramatization, that is. I really didn't dig all of the style that went into it, even though I do admire their effort. Apparently this film was made in NZ. I wouldn't have been able to tell. The cinematography is great, and I'm sure that everything looks like a set for a reason. But when I picture NZ, I picture lush green forests and pastures...none of that was present here, thanks to the whole thing practically having a green screen as the backdrop. If there was one thing that I did like about this movie was the Eastern/Western clash, but that was by no means enough to make this film passable.

Of course, all of these movies got this lovely rating:

Got any thoughts on these movies?


  1. Poor Mr Statham....He does get a bit of a whacking from the blogging world. BUt I actually quite like him. I think the boy has done good. Become quite a star.

    I agree thought the Mechanic was pretty plop. Although Foster was excellent, the homosexual seduction/murder scene was super intense too!!


  2. I thought Holy Rollers would have been fairly decent, but it seems to be getting a mediocre reception. It's a shame because it did seem like a step into a different direction for Eisenberg as well.

    And The Warrior's Way...I think that's one I am going to give a miss, or watch just because it seems hilariously bad.

  3. I haven't watched any of those films, but I was really hoping that Holy Rollers was good :/ I think I'll still give it a shot. As for the others... I share the dislike for Statham, and the love for Foster, and I think that Owen Wilson is pretty funny, he just hasn't been in good films lately... So I'm really looking forward to Midnight in Paris. But The Warrior's Way...? Only Geoffrey Rush to make me even consider watching that, haha!!

  4. Shame about Holy Rollers, it sounded quite promising...

    I can't say I'm surprised about the others though, I haven't seen any of them but they all look below average at best.
    Nice reviews!

  5. Custard - I don't hate Statham...I'd just like to see him in a romantic comedy, you know? (that was a joke).
    Foster was pretty great, and that scene was cool too!

    Cherokee - I thought Holy Rollers would have been fairly decent too, but I don't just never got going for me. Eisenberg was brill, though.
    What the hell, go watch The Warrior's Way. It's an...interesting experience.

    Maria Sofia - Still give Holy Rollers a shot, it definitely has more merit than any of the others. I'm looking forward to seeing Midnight in Paris too, it looks so good!

    Jack - I wish it delivered on that promise, I really do.
    Yeah, I'm not surprised about the others either :P


You mustn't be afraid to dream a little bigger, darling.


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