Mystery Science Theater 3000 was one of those shows I liked but barely ever watched. The sequences between the commercial breaks were also a bit distracting, but I’d always tried to watch the show whenever I happened upon it. Luckily, the men behind that show have continued their tradition with RiffTrax, this time taking on modern movies as well.
I watched my first two RiffTrax’ed movies and they were quite entertaining. We watched Aeon Flux and The Last Airbender. I’d seen both previously, (well, I only watched some of Airbender on a plane,) and they were just as awful as I remember them. Both featured terrible plots, inexplicable scenes, and annoying characters. The Last Airbender went even further to include horrendous casting, distractingly bad CGI, and some of the worse acting and dialog ever portrayed in cinema. But the guys at RiffTrax made the experiences entertaining and hilarious. I will definitely be watching more films with their commentary.
I also watched some movies the ole’ fashioned way. They were much better movies but sadly the commentary from my friends and myself wasn’t quite as funny.
Battle Los Angeles: C+: I wanted “Black Hawk Down but with aliens” and for about 45 minutes in the middle that’s mostly what I got. Unfortunately, that description was surrounded and occasionally interrupted by boring character establishment, confusing sequencing, and every military movie cliche ever contrived. As Jeremy put it, it wasn’t so much “military vs aliens” as it was “The military is awesome! Ho rah!” Also, the aliens looked laughable and their vehicles were ill-conceived.
13 Assassins: A-: Like most Japanese samurai films for me, this one was often hard to follow at first. Characters look the same, their names are difficult for my English sensitivities, and exposition explodes through long blocks of dialog at the beginning. But the story was classic, if a bit over-done. The ending fight was fantastic though. And I use “ending” loosely because the final battle sequence was probably 45 minutes long. Though there was a fairly obvious overflowing of extras to kill (confounded by the fact they stated it was only 200, though clearly more than that were killed), I enjoyed this modern take on the samurai genre.
Transformers: The Movie: A: Nostalgia definitely plays a part in my love for this movie but I still maintain that it took the series and stepped it up sufficiently to make this a stand-alone film and not just a long episode. Great new characters are developed. Beloved characters are killed. New and interesting worlds are discovered. And the plot progresses quickly and entertainingly, and in epic ways the cartoon would never dream of attempting. It is still a kid’s movie though and the Dinobots constantly did their best to remind me of that fact.