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Rating History

Ghostbusters (2016)
12 months ago via Rotten Tomatoes

THIS. IS. ASS. Ghostbusters (2016) is the worst waste of talent I have seen since Garry Marshall's cinematic abortion, New Year's Eve back in 2011 (One of the few films I've seen in theaters that made me wish I had walked out on it. Though to be fair, Ghostbusters isn't nearly as shitty) and surely one of the biggest debacles of the decade that will live on infamy. It has also become one of the biggest embarrassments to feminism since Lena Dunham and has spawned what are surely some of the most worthless, unfathomably stupid news articles in the history of the human race ("5 times the new 'Ghostbusters' trailer destroyed the patriarchy" I'm not kidding. That's the title of an actual news article about the film. WHAT. THE. MOTHERFUCKING. FUCK?).

You could probably write a book about how not only this a poorly made film, but also the sheer number of stupid decisions made by the film-makers and Sony Pictures in how they handled the production, marketing, the backlash against people who were critical of the film, and dialogue with fans of the 1984 classic original. The whole situation has been nothing short of one big, bumbling, clusterfuck.

Sure, I'm not going to deny there were stupid people bitching only because the Ghostbusters were now female, of course there were complaints because of that stupid reason. I have absolutely no problem with an all-female Ghostbusters crew, especially with the talent they had, like Melissa McCarthy and Kristen Wiig, both of whom I had admired particularly for Bridesmaids (Not only one of my favorite comedies of the decade, but ever). Not to mention, there were always going to be people who never gave the film a fair shake because it was a reboot of a classic franchise. Sure, it would never be as good as the original, but I don't think it's fair to write off a film without judging it by itself.

However, Sony Pictures, as well as the worst form of annoying, unintentionally bigoted, dumb-as-fuck social justice warriors (Who make the thought of giving one's self a shotgun mouthwash a more desirable prospect than engaging in conversation with one of them) didn't help matters. Name-calling and buzz words flew around like machine gun fire as people were pegged as misogynists for denouncing the film from the trailers because they thought the film looked awful (Such as James Rolfe, a.k.a. The Angry Video Game Nerd, who had a gamut of insults thrown at him, as well as his wife who had no part in this situation, for refusing to see the film), when all they did was say that the film looked bad - saying nothing whatsoever about it starring women (Not that it stopped people from throwing around hilarious terms like "casual misogyny." What the fuck does that even mean?).

Fueling the fire by throwing the gas can directly into the fire was director Paul Feig (Why?! I loved Bridesmaids, The Heat, and Spy) who continuously pissed off fans of the original film and then added the cherry on top of the idiot sundae by asking people to donate to Feminist Frequency run by stupid bitch extraordinaire, Anita Sarkeesian (Another utter embarrassment to feminism. The suffragettes of yesteryear are rolling in their graves with the knowledge she, Dunham, and other equally stupid women claim to be "feminists").

However, I tried my best to ignore all this stupid shit Sony Pictures, Paul Feig, faux-feminists, and super bigoted social justice warriors (Who make the average K.K.K. member look like the pinnacle of tolerance by comparison) decided to throw at moviegoers. Believe me, I tried my damnedest to weather the tides of the immense stupidity and unwarranted political controversy. I wanted Ghostbusters (2016) to be a decent film. I wanted so badly to like this film and give it a chance that many would not give it after Sony and the film-makers burned bridges with many fans. Even after a so-so first trailer and absolutely god-awful second trailer, and despite my anticipation that it might be bad, I tried to give this new Ghostbusters a chance. And you know what? It sucked. It sucked a whole lot of ass. Whoa, boy, where do I even begin in sifting through the wreckage of this idiotic reboot?

The beginning of the film starts off with Erin Gilbert, who is a professor at Columbia University and hoping to get tenure, only to realize that her past could possibly bite her in the ass when she sees that a book she wrote with former friend, Abby Yates, about paranormal activity has been republished. Erin no longer believes in such things, and fears that this book will wreck her job prospects.

She goes to confront Abby, along with her assistant, Jillian about the book, who agree to take down the book only if Erin will accompany them on a trip to investigate possible paranormal activity at a historical house. The trio ends up encountering a ghost at the house and even record footage of the encounter, which ends up rekindling Erin's belief in paranormal activity, but also getting her fired as a professor when the video is posted online.

Abby and Jillian are also fired from their jobs, and along with Erin, they end up forming their own group to investigate paranormal activity and set up shop above a Chinese restaurant and hiring an idiot male secretary named Kevin.

During their investigations, they end up at the subway, where they meet Patty, who ends up joining their group as the street-smart member of the group, as opposed to the other members being scientists. Slowly, but surely, the group gains attention for their working in dealing with paranormal activity and uncover the sinister activities of a mad scientist/basement dweller named Rowan, who has built a device to summon these spirits to wreak havoc on New York.

Now the Ghostbusters must stop Rowan and his activities to save New York.

On the surface, the story doesn't seem so bad. Nothing great and mostly the standard fare, but from the brief description of the plot, it seems like a harmless plot with a level of competence behind it. Oh no. Nooooo. Let me tell you why it's actually rather shitty.

For one thing, there are almost no memorable characters. One of the peculiar parts of the plot is how it seems like each of the main characters is trying to be the "quirky" character, to the point of where they even stumble over each other's lines. I don't have a problem with a cast of quirky characters, but with this plot, no one succeeds (At least not fully) at being a "good" quirky character, as they are all thinly written and utterly forgettable.

The film also fails miserably at making the characters likable, strong-willed, and smart resulting in an unfortunate backfire. Instead of likable, most of the characters are annoying, shrieking idiots with terrible jokes that make your eyes roll. Instead of being strong-willed, they cave into pressure (Like releasing a goat demon thing at the request of Bill Murray's comatose cameo instead of keeping it locked up), and are also incredibly stupid (Again, the Bill Murray cameo scene). By the end of the of the film, you'll have great difficulty in even remembering their names. They're not even likable idiots, like Dumb And Dumber, or the oft-forgotten (And thoroughly underrated), Romy And Michele's High School Reunion. Instead, we get annoying, shrill, and stupid characters who feel much too similar to one another to really differentiate (Aside from Leslie Jones who manages to squeeze those precious few funny moments from the film).

The film's story also attempts to be a satire of the male critics and the internet hate machine, with not only an ad-libbed scene where they look up comments on one of their videos, but also in other ways. One of the other ways the film handles these criticisms is in its villain Rowan (The worst villain I have seen in a film since the portrayal of Satan in C Me Dance), who is literally a basement dweller (As the cast liked to call critics of the film). Really subtle, guys. Really subtle.

Further aggravating the viewer is despite the previous work of the director, the film lacks anything that made those films enjoyable. Bridesmaids was a superb comedy about love and friendships. The Heat is one of the best buddy cop films/comedies to come around in ages. Spy is not only a fantastic parody of James Bond films, but also one of the best parody films in ages (Not since Black Dynamite have I laughed so hard at a recent parody film). Those films were not only funny, but well-written, filled with memorable characters, and also had a great deal of heart with genuine emotion behind their foul-mouthed, over-the-top exteriors. I will always cherish these comedies with their humor that had me laughing until I had tears in my eyes, heartfelt moments, and characters that I actually liked and cared about.

Ghostbusters tries to cherry-pick elements from these previous films, but fails miserably to capture any of their charm or humor. It's a soulless film, made purely for easy money and cashing in on nostalgia (Though they sure pissed away a lot of the goodwill from fans of the original film months before it even came out). It's dead behind the eyes, failing to evoke any of the charm of the 1984 classic, ultimately appealing to no one in the process.

Also, the film does a great deal of harm in believing that it is some sort of feminist work. This film does no favors towards women. Going back to Feig's previous films, let's take a look at Spy which admirably handled a number of topics other films wouldn't dare handle or tread carefully when handling.

In Spy, it features not only mostly females in the lead, but the lead is also overweight and constantly gets shit about everything with a gamut of insults. But with Spy, it was a film about how when you don't conform to expectations or aren't the ideal, you can prove everyone wrong. Everyone may give you shit, but it's up to you to prove them wrong and earn their respect, as is the way of the world. It was a film about proving one's self and proving that whatever stereotypes perceived about someone can be totally wrong. So, not only was it a brilliant parody of James Bond films, but it also had important messages to talk about and it worked brilliantly.

No luck with the new Ghostbusters. Instead, it inadvertently does the opposite.

The acting is positively dreadful, which is a bitter disappointment considering the great talent the film has on display.

I greatly admire most of the films I've seen starring Melissa McCarthy because of her knack for comedy as well as her unexpected depth she showed in her films, including Identity Thief (A decent comedy, but nothing great) in which she delivered a fantastic dramatic dinner scene with Jason Bateman near the end of the film (Something far and above a film like that would need). She has shown that she is not only capable of being great in a comedy, but even for serious things like a dramatic scene where she can do great wonders (Something I hope a film-maker capitalizes on for something like say, a dramedy. The potential for something amazing is practically limitless. Please let it happen. Please let it happen). With her work, she has become one of my favorite modern actors and I look forward to her future work. When she has something to work with, she goes above and beyond what most others are capable of. She's that damn good.

However, not since her dreadful minor appearance in the horrendous romantic comedy, The Back-Up Plan, have I been so disappointed by a Melissa McCarthy performance. Instead of the likable sort of underdog, quirky, unexpected hero, or other great characters she's played, she comes across as an unfunny, trying-too-hard-to-be-quirky, snobby bitch (And not the fun kind of bitch character in the tradition of Bette Davis or Sharon Stone - the queens of bitch roles). Her bad performance hurts the most of all because she is capable of so much more than this.

Kristen Wiig, whom I fondly remember for Bridesmaids and also enjoyed in Despicable Me 2 ends up being very underwhelming. Instead of being the upbeat, lively, and unexpectedly versatile actress we've come to enjoy her for, she's stuck struggling with such drab material and seems unsure of how she wants to make her mark on her unremarkable character. With that uncertainty comes a character that has no shape or distinctive traits with what feels like the leftovers from Wiig's other performances sprinkled on said character.

While I'm not particularly familiar with Kate McKinnon, I have seen brief clips of her impersonation of Hillary Clinton on Saturday Night Live, which were amusing. I've heard she's also done a dead-on impersonation of notorious pop singer, Justin Bieber, which she is highly-revered for. McKinnon tries her hardest to work with the material, trying to make something of her nearly nonexistent character, giving me the impression she has a great deal more range than this film would initially have me believe. There are brief glimpses of something much more, but the script retains a terrible stranglehold over her especially, as she has almost nothing to work with - probably the least of all the cast members.

Apparently, Paul Feig wanted to make McKinnon's character a lesbian (As she is in real life), but Sony Pictures objected to the idea (Yes, because lesbianism is what would have ruined the film...not all the stupid shit currently in it), which may have given her a little more to work with. Not that would have done much to save her performance.

The only performance that seemed to stick out and come out fairly decent was Leslie Jones as Patty. She is lively and manages to actually elicit some chuckles from an otherwise horrid script. While there may be some questionable moments in regards to racial stereotypes, the actress herself has firmly maintained that it's only a movie and doesn't seem bothered by it.

Though for whatever reason, she's been targeted for criticism, I felt Jones gave the strongest performance and miraculously managed to wring something out of her thinly-written character. Much like McKinnon, I'm not familiar with her work, but I hope she gets much better roles in the future because considering what she has displayed here, she deserves much better work.

While the rest of the cast isn't really worth mentioning, I feel that I must talk about Chris Hemsworth's performance as Kevin, which also ends up hurting. While Hemsworth is known for his blockbuster roles (The Avengers films, Thor films), I came to realize back in 2013 that he has far greater range than an action film star when I saw him as James Hunt in the under-appreciated sports drama, Rush. In that film, he showed he had a great deal of depth and versatility. It wasn't until that film that I actually took notice of him as an actor.

I think that he would be great for a comedy and at times almost manages to make something of his idiot character, but alas, the terrible script won't let him escape its wrath, either, like a tornado.

The cameos are almost too painful to talk about, but I probably should mention those, too.

Apparently, Bill Murray only came back because Sony threatened to sue him. Have you ever seen a bad Bill Murray performance? Even in most of his most hated films, he is one thing praised about those films (See reviews of Hyde Park On Hudson or Rock The Kasbah, for example). Well, if you watch the Ghostbusters reboot, you get a rare opportunity to see a shitty Bill Murray performance.

Not since Charlton Heston's cameo in the terrible 2001 remake of Planet Of The Apes has an actor so thoroughly pissed on not only their legacy, but the classic original film. And, much like Heston's cameo, Murray's is as short and undignified as possible just to further shit on a classic legacy, as the film abruptly kills him off.

Dan Akyroyd briefly shows up as a cab driver, but he's only cast member smart enough to drive away (Of course, the smartest cast member was Rick Moranis who flatly refused to participate altogether). Meanwhile, Sigourney Weaver (*Lays in the corner in a fetal position, crying*) and Ernie Hudson ('re so much better than this, Hudson. Noooo... *Goes back to crying in the corner*) have some of the most pitiful, worthless cameos in the history of film to the point of where I don't even remember Weaver's and Hudson shows up only for the very end of the film in a practically nonexistent role.

As comedy, its gags fall flat on their face. As mentioned earlier, all the characters feel like they're trying to be the quirky character (The answer: you all lose), resulting in comedy routines that feel clumsy and stumble over themselves.

Another issue is that the director feels far out of his element. Sure, he's a director of comedies, but a Ghostbusters reboot feels way out of his element and he seems to opt to just do a lazy rehash of the 1984 original, while also being restricted by the PG-13 rating as opposed to his usual R-rated comedies (Though the script really tries to straddle the line between PG-13 and R at times to test the waters).

The satire also falls flat in how the film tries to address the complaints made by predominantly male critics on the internet, like making the villain a fat basement dweller (No really, his evil lair is in a basement) or making the male characters of the film completely stupid and inept. Rather than being a funny jab at those whiners, it instead results in a film that proves each of those critics right and even feeling petty at certain points in how it handles the issue (Like defeating the villain of the film when he becomes a large ghost by shooting him in the dick with their proton packs).

Not to mention, the film's tackling of gender politics is a catastrophic failure (Further exacerbated by the fact it came out the same year as Zootopia, which also handled that topic but did so brilliantly - including other topics Ghostbusters attempts to handle). There are no strong, independent, intelligent, or remotely interesting characters. Instead, they are stupid, annoying, and can't seem to handle much of anything without screwing up majorly before eventually correcting themselves (Which also comes with a body count).

So frustrating was this film's handling of gender politics that it made me wish Katharine Hepburn could be resurrected so she could reprimand and slap the shit out of the film-makers for doing such a bad job at handling gender politics (Hell, resurrect Bette Davis while you're at it to give them even more Hell).

It also fails at being a horror parody, unlike the original, feeling at times more like one of those CGI-laden, jump scare-laden turds that plague this century of the horror genre. It doesn't have any inkling of how the horror films it takes jabs at (The particularly crappy faux-documentary and ghost story ones) even work to make an effective parody of modern horror.

It's a comedy that attempts a great many things, but it fails at all of them: gender politics, social satire, horror parody, and more. The only thing the comedy succeeds at is being a misshapen mess. I sat in that theater, arms folded, scowling, and face-palming myself at the travesty of comedy unfolding before my eyes.

Even when ghostbusting is occurring, the only interesting scene is the climactic fight which is somewhat decent, but not anything I'm going to remember for any length of time. Great, even when the ghostbusters are hunting ghosts, the film still sucks ass, even when they catch a demon goat thing at a rock concert. How do you fuck that up?

Ghostbusters (2016) is a tragic failure marred by both bad film-making and idiotic controversy. It fails to live up to the classic original, it fails as a feminist work, it fails as a social satire, it fails as a horror parody, it wastes a terrific cast, has no identity of its own and opts to lazily rehash the original film, and is overall just an awful, awful mess. It's a film that will continue divide people and live on infamy.

Just stick to the original and underrated sequel (Yes, I rather enjoyed Ghostbusters II).

Jurassic World
12 months ago via Rotten Tomatoes

It's probably been 20 years since I first watched Jurassic Park as a little kid. Like many others, I have many fond memories of this film (Though perhaps I was a bit too young to be watching a film that is rather terrifying for children). Then again, what kind of asshole doesn't like Jurassic Park? It's one of the best blockbusters ever made, and remains forever rewatchable without getting old because of its lasting power on viewers to thrill, scare, and leave you on the edge of your seat.

Even as an adult, the prospect of watching a film with dinosaurs remains as enamoring and joyous as ever because these types of films bring out the little kid in all of us. Hell, I even enjoy The Lost World: Jurassic Park and Jurassic Park III (Even with the ridiculous gymnast scene and hypocritical environmentalist messages in The Lost World and Tea Leoni's nails-on-chalkboard screaming in Jurassic Park III) and I always will enjoy those rather divisive entries of the Jurassic Park series.

So, when a fourth entry was announced, I was absolutely ecstatic even with the possibility of being burned by a bad franchise entry (Oh, the pain of A Good Day To Die Hard and Kingdom Of The Crystal Skull...the pain. *Lies in fetal position in corner and cries like a little girl*). So excited was I, that the only film I was more excited and dying to see in theaters in 2015 was Mad Max: Fury Road (A fucking amazing film and one of my favorites of the decade). Not even a new Star Wars film was capable of topping my excitement of a new Jurassic Park film (Sorry, Star Wars. As much as I love you and as much I would enjoy The Force Awakens...move the fuck over! It's a new Jurassic Park flick!).

As you can see by my rating, I was not disappointed by Jurassic World. While purists will always scoff at this film for not being as good as Jurassic Park and bemoan how silly it is, Jurassic World is the best entry of the series since the original film and it has now become a cherished film for me that much like the original, will be forever rewatchable and ass-kicking. So, with the orgasmic John Williams score for Jurassic Park playing in the background to get me in the mood for writing this review, let me tell you why I love Jurassic World.

It's been over 20 years since the events of Jurassic Park, and from the ashes of the original park, a new park - Jurassic World - has been established on the same island of Isla Nublar and has become a popular resort and tourist attraction with the latest high-tech equipment.

The story revolves around multiple characters, and early on, we are introduced to brothers, Zach and Gray. Their parents are going through a divorce, and before they split up, the boys are sent to Jurassic World for a vacation and to see their aunt, Claire, who is an operations manager at the facility. Gray is excited to see the dinosaurs and the sights, while Zach is mostly bored and annoyed that he has to babysit his brother.

Another main character in the plot is Claire, who as the operations manager of the facility spends much of her time trying to recruit new investors in the park and find new ways to increase visitor turnout. One of the new attractions is a new dinosaur created from a myriad number of D.N.A. sources called the Indominus Rex. However, the exhibit has had to delay the opening of the new exhibit because of the dinosaur's troubling behaviors, like eating a companion created for it and trying to break through the reinforced glass.

The last of the main characters is Owen a Navy veteran, who works as a trainer for the velociraptors. Owen is pestered by Vic Hoskins, who works for InGen and is trying to get the raptors trained for military purposes to send in combat zones instead of soldiers (Despite Owen explaining how incredibly stupid this plan is, like asking what would happen if they forgot to feed the raptors).

In preparation for the opening of the Indominus Rex exhibit, Claire approaches Owen at the behest of her boss to provide feedback about the new dinosaur and how to possibly handle it, which is partly strained not only Owen's objection to a freakish new dinosaur creation, but also the fact that he and Claire had a brief fling, further complicating matters. But, he agrees to come and observe the new dinosaur.

However, things are amiss when they get to the exhibit and Claire is unable to find the dinosaur in its paddock via heat sensor, and discovers troubling signs like claw marks on the walls of the paddock, making them believe that it has possibly escaped. Claire drives back to the command post, while Owen and a couple workers explore the paddock, trying to figure out if the dinosaur has escaped.

But during her drive back, Claire gets troubling news from the command post that the dinosaur is in fact, still in its paddock according to its tracking device. Unfortunately for Owen and the workers, this is discovered to be correct when the dinosaur emerges from hiding and kills one of the workers. When the gate to the paddock is opened, all hell breaks loose when the dinosaur escapes, wreaking havoc not only on other dinosaurs, but also the park visitors.

Meanwhile, during their exploration of the park (And ditching Claire's appointed babysitter), Zach and Gray have wandered into a restricted area with the gyrospheres, only to get caught up in the ensuing disaster as well.

Now, the boys, Claire, and Owen must find a way to stop the Indominus Rex and survive against the dinosaur's cunning abilities thanks to its mixture of genetic sources.

The story is undeniably silly and filled to the brim with bizarre plot holes (How does this park have WORSE security measures than the original park? Why is the door to the Indominus Rex paddock big enough to fit the damn dinosaur through? How does one start a Jeep that has been sitting around for 20+ years?), but it manages to still be a rather entertaining ride.

Not only that, but the story itself is more clever than what people give it credit for, thanks to its rather sly meta humor about product placement ("Verizon Wireless presents: the Indominus Rex," quips Claire at one point in the film) as well as throwing jabs at people who are going to complain that the film isn't scientifically-accurate when Dr. Wu explains how the dinosaur came to be. It's also genuinely funny at certain points, particularly with scenes between Owen and Claire.

In short, the story is utterly preposterous, but also entertaining both unintentionally (The Indominus Rex can not only camouflage itself, but is also part raptor - SPOILERS) and also in its interesting satire it throws in every now and then to viewers who pay attention. Its more intelligent than it lets on, but still very stupid nonetheless...but in a good way. It has the aura of a script filled with ideas pitched to the writers by 10-year-olds...and I love it for that.

The acting is also rather solid across the board. Chris Pratt as Owen makes for a charismatic, entertaining, and funny action hero which plays quite nicely. Bryce Dallas Howard as Claire works well as a stuck up workaholic, but proves to be rather charming and funny, too, when she wants to be. I must also give props to the actors playing the children - Ty Simpkins as Gray and Nick Robinson as Zach - for also delivering good performances, being likable, and never being annoying unlike the curse that befalls many child characters in these sorts of blockbusters.

As a popcorn action flick, Jurassic Park delivers most splendidly, complete with all the trimmings and fancy special effects to be expected from a $150 million budget. It contains all the dinosaur mayhem one could ever want from a flick, including a glorious showdown between *SPOILERS* the Indominous Rex, raptors, Tyrannosaurus Rex, and Mosasaurus bringing out the child-like joy from any viewer who isn't a completely pretentious, un-fun shithead. I don't want to know that person who can't get a kick out of that scene. If you can't at least enjoy that scene, you're not worth watching films with.

Needless to say, if you're an action fan, Jurassic World delivers the goods in plentiful helpings to satisfy your cravings.

Overall, while Jurassic World will never top Jurassic Park, it's still a damn fine popcorn flick and one that I am sure to watch many times for the remainder of my life. It's well-directed, action-packed, well-acted, and above all else, a hell of a good time. Thank you, Jurassic World for all the unpretentious fun you have gifted me, and I greatly look forward to Jurassic World 2.

Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2
18 months ago via Rotten Tomatoes

Truth be told, I did not enjoy Paul Blart: Mall Cop. It was nothing more than a bad parody of Die Hard that wasn't even 1/10th as funny as Die Hard (You know you fucked up on a parody film when the film you're making fun of is funnier than your parody). It was largely boring and mostly unfunny.

As much as I dislike the original, I could at least see why it has fans. In fact, I have a number of friends who enjoy the film and will look at me with jaws dropped when I tell them that I hated it, as if I had just insulted some comedy classic like say, Caddyshack.

Still, the original film was largely an innocent, mostly family-friendly, cheesy comedy with attempts to be a feel-good sort of film with a bumbling protagonist that a lot of people seemed to warm up to. I can see the appeal, but I still hated it.

Considering the type of film this is, I generally don't expect great things. I would compare this sort of comedy to say, fast food - quick, not particularly good for you, but satisfying to fulfill that craving for quick entertainment. Unfortunately, the first film just couldn't even meet this particular standard. The sequel could have remedied this and it could have been something decent.

Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2 is like going from a disappointing burger from a fast place to eating a moldy turd sandwich you found in the dumpster behind a crack house, in the same tradition as fellow comedy sequel abortion, Grown Ups 2.

This sequel does nothing whatsoever to improve upon the original's failings. In fact, it takes all the problems of the first film and makes them FAR WORSE. Hell, the first film looks like His Girl Friday or Bringing Up Baby in comparison. I shit you not, this sequel is that heinous in quality that I would dare mention the first film in the same sentence as all-time comedy greats like His Girl Friday and Bringing Up Baby, which makes me want to punch myself in the face for my heresy of dragging those two films into this discussion.

Set six years after the first film, things are not going well for Paul Blart. His wife left him after only six days of marriage and his mother was killed by a milk truck while going out to get the paper.

The only person left in his life is his daughter, Maya, though she, too, will soon be leaving, for she received a letter of acceptance to UCLA, though she's hesitant to tell her father, for fear of leaving him alone and how he'll react.

Paul just attends to his job as a mall cop, pretending to act like a real cop and having to put up with the stupid bullshit from mall shoppers.

Then, out of the blue, Paul receives an invitation to attend the security officers convention in Las Vegas to possibly receive an award for his actions that saved people at his mall six years earlier.

Excited at this opportunity, Paul decides to go along with Maya. Their hotel is the Wynn Hotel, and Paul makes an ass of himself almost immediately by trying to be annoying dipshit wannabe hotshot in the presence the hot hotel manager, Divinia (Whom Paul is convinced has a crush on him and ends up developing a crush on him), the head of security/Divinia's boyfriend, Eduardo, other security officers in attendance for the convention, and the hotel valet, Lane, whom his daughter develops a crush on and vice-versa.

During his stay at the hotel in which he makes an ass of himself through an abundance of unfunny slapstick jokes and jokes about him being a fat ass, a gang of thieves is planning to steal the priceless artwork at the hotel through an overly elaborate heist.

Paul, through his continuing arrogance and being stupid, irritating asshole begins to alienate his own daughter (Like spying on her conversations with the guy she's flirting with), and things reach a boiling point when he finds out she's been hanging out with Lane and that she was accepted in UCLA (How dare you accepted into college!), which makes her seek solace with Lane to go to a party with him, while Paul goes to his convention to give a speech, since the original speech giver is a drunken dipshit and can't give the speech.

While missing her father's speech, Maya and Lane inadvertently walk in on the gang of thieves, who take them hostage.

Once again, Paul must rescue his daughter and thwart the criminals - much terrible slapstick, fat jokes, and unbearable cliches unfold. Fuck this plot and every person who wrote it.

The plot is essentially another Die Hard parody, with elements of Taken thrown in for good measure. There could have been a decent parody film made from this, but this is Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2 we're talking about here. Hell, this film came out the same year as the fantastic James Bond parody, Spy, which is one of the best parody films made in years, which paints this film in an even worse light.

While the first film was a light, fluffy, feel-good comedy in its intentions, this sequel feels bitter, cynical, and contemptuous of its audience. The plot treats the viewer like a complete moron, with Kevin James completely degrading himself and his character, as if to say, "Hey, did you know Kevin James is a stupid, fat motherfucker? Fatty, fat, fat, fat. Did we also mention that he's stupid? Fat, fat, fat, fat. Ha! Ha! Look at fat ass being stupid!"

The plot is a blatant "Fuck you" to the audience dishing out cliches in the most lazy, uninspired ways in the genres of romance and action films, while also inflicting the most painful slapstick and fat jokes seen in years.

It also has no real likable characters. The doofus that so many people liked from the first film is no more. Paul Blart is now a bitter, arrogant, egomaniac on top of being a bumbling idiot. As for the other characters, they barely exist at all. You could just as easily place a bunch of cardboard cutouts around Kevin James and virtually nothing would change about this film's story because there's nothing else to latch onto.

Actually, I liked the pianist during one scene, even though he didn't talk. I'll explain in a moment.

The acting is deplorable. That's the nicest thing I can say about it. While everyone around him simply ceases to exist for interest because of the abortion of a script, Kevin James reduces Paul Blart into an unlikable asshole who also happens to be painfully awkward.

I hated his character so much that at one point in the film when he gets attacked by a bird, I was hoping that it would kill him so this film would be over with. This was the closest joy the film brought me, as the scene happened as the silent pianist played some nice piano music as he watched Paul getting attacked by the bird - smiling, even as he watched. That pianist personifies the audience - he's letting happen what we all want to happen to Paul Blart, because Paul Blart is so damn irritating. When a so-called "feel-good" film makes me want a character to die horribly, it has fucked up royally. Thank you pianist guy, you tried to provide the one moment of joy in the whole film. And thank you, too, CGI bird.

And no, Kevin James wasn't just doing this sequel out of contractual obligation. He had a hand in both writing it and producing it, so he definitely gets much of the blame for its shittiness.

The humor and entertainment elements are also an absolute failure. I got one chuckle during the whole film, which was at the beginning when a mother told her son while posing for a picture, "Go ahead *whatever the fuck his name was*, stand next to the fake policeman." That was it. No laughs or chuckles again.

The first film at least had a few chuckle-worthy moments. This sequel has only a single chuckle, which is the one thing that prevents me from bitch-slapping it with a zero-rating.

The humor is so bad that it's difficult for me to properly describe it. I'd go as far as to say that's uniquely bad. None of the jokes have proper timing, they don't flow - they aren't cohesive at all. It's like someone put together a puzzle with all the wrong pieces from different puzzles, violently mashed the pieces together, and then threw up their hands up saying, "Fuck it! Done!"

This also makes the jokes absolutely painful. If you saw my reactions while watching the film, you'd think someone was standing behind me scratching their nails on a chalkboard. I was cringing as much as I was when I watched Lars Von Triers' Antichrist during such scenes as Willem Dafoe's character getting hit so hard in the balls by a wood plank that it knocks him unconscious, followed by Charlote Gainsbourg's character jerking off his still-erect penis, causing it to ejaculate bloody semen; or the scene in which Dafoe snips off Gainsbourg's clitoris with a pair of scissors. A feel-good comedy shouldn't make me cringe in the same way as watching genital mutilation, I can tell you that much.

Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2 is one of the worst comedies I've ever seen, as well as being among the fifty worst films I've ever seen. It's a film devoid of any creativity, and completely insults the intelligence of its viewers. Hell, it'll even piss on the good will of fans of the original film. Even they aren't immune to the giant middle finger this film gives to the overall audience.

Somehow, though, this film has fans, with such insightful reviews such as these couple of snippets I culled from IMDB:

"I really enjoyed this movie because of its morals. No cussing, sex, or real violence, and that's getting rarer each year."

"This is the kind of film we need more of in America. No profanity, no homos, no murder, no blood, just good clean family friendly fun."

Dear God, you people need help. Might I recommend some golden age films for you to watch that are moral and clean, as you seem to want? Here, I'll do it anyway: Mr. Smith Goes To Washington, The Shop Around The Corner, Harvey, It Happened One Night, Roman Holiday, His Girl Friday, Bringing Up Baby, Holiday (1938), The Philadelphia Story, My Man Godfrey, The Awful Truth, All About Eve, Pat And Mike. Woman Of The Year, It's A Wonderful Life, The Bishop's Wife - how about that for starters? Go watch those films instead to get your clean, moral, family-friendly fix. And those are ones I can think of at the top of my head, there are a great many more to discover and cherish.

Don't settle for shit just because you don't like violence and sex. There are other options people - go look for them. Fuck Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2. Fuck this piece of shit hard.

Welcome to Mooseport
18 months ago via Rotten Tomatoes

I remember when I was once sick with sort of bug. Though the sickness only lasted for one day, it was the most agonizing pain I had ever felt. I puked my guts out - nothing would stay in me, not even water. If I had so much as a small drink of water, I was going to purge shortly after. Even if I had nothing in my stomach, if I so much as shifted slightly in the chair that I lay, I was going to vomit shortly afterward. It was horrible. The pain wouldn't subside. I couldn't even entertain myself with a film or a video game. Trying to do anything made it feel even worse. I just lay there in the chair for hours on end, staring at nothing and in agonizing pain. It literally made me want to die, it hurt so bad.

Why do I bring this story up? Because Welcome To Mooseport induced similar levels of pain. This film was so wretched, so horribly unfunny, so awkward, and so painfully lazy and stupid that it actually caused me physical pain to watch it. It's one of the most agonizing, horrible film-watching experiences I've ever had and easily ranks among the twenty worst films I have ever seen.

I will go to my grave cursing this film and its existence. I am filled with seething contempt for it with every fiber of my being.

The story revolves around the town of Mooseport, a small, idyllic, thoroughly cliched town which in the midst of an upcoming election for mayor.

The focus falls on two characters: One is handyman, Harold (Also known as Handy) Harrison, who is a bumbling idiot plumber of sorts whose long-time girlfriend, Sally, has broken up with him after not proposing marriage after so long.

The second is former president, Monroe "Eagle" Cole, who has just left office with very high approval ratings looking to retire to his vacation home in Mooseport.

Despite having left office with such high approval ratings, some things in Monroe's life aren't going so well, as he in the midst of a divorce and his ex-wife is looking to attain his various assets in the divorce proceedings, much to his chagrin.

Seeing as he is a popular president, the town council approaches Monroe about running for office, which he is reluctant to do since he just finished his presidential term. But, as his aides explain to him, if he runs for mayor, his vacation home can serve as his office and can't be obtained by his ex-wife in the divorce proceedings.

Seeing this opportunity, as well as sort of ego boost to be both a popular president and a popular mayor, he decides to go for it.

Meanwhile, Handy's name has been put up as a candidate for mayor unbeknownst to him, which at first decides not to go for, seeing as his rival is a former president, but when Monroe flirts with Sally, Handy decides to run for mayor to win her back.

Soon, wacky election shenanigans take place as the two battle it out, complete with all sorts of scenarios like Monroe's ex-wife helping out Handy to humiliate Monroe, Monroe's true feelings for his executive secretary/aide, Grace, start to form, blah, blah, blah. Cliches abound, to cut this summary shorter. You know what's going to happen like clockwork, for there is not an original bone in this film's body.

The story, despite its cliches, sounds fairly promising with all the makings of a screwball comedy with romance and political discussions sprinkled about. In fact, the plot feels like its trying to invoke screwball comedies of the 30's and 40's.

However, this plot can't even begin to compare to those classic films it so desperately wants to emulate. It doesn't even earn the right to kneel before the altars of those comedy greats. It is a complete and utter failure - one of the biggest blights on comedy of the century (Which is pretty damn impressive considering the sheer number of shitty comedies this century has inflicted upon the masses less than twenty years in).

The plot is so poorly written, that it would have trouble sustaining a 22-minute episode of a shitty sitcom, yet it has the gall to clock in at nearly 2-fucking-hours.

There are no real characters. There's no interesting development. There are no interesting discussions about politics. Nothing interesting or feel-good about romance. Not a single joke feels timed or written right. Nothing works. There is nothing to latch onto - not as an intelligent comedy, not as a stupid-fun comedy - NOTHING. It will leave the viewer dead in the water.

The plot isn't even assembly line generic. It's below even the bargain bin version of assembly line generic films. It's the rejected bargain bin version of assembly line generic - with its rotting corpse fished out of a dumpster.

The acting? Oh God, the acting.

If this were a screwball comedy of the 30's or 40's, it would have been great. I would picture it being directed by say, Frank Capra, George Cukor, or Howard Hawks. It would be written by Donald Ogden Stewart, Ruth Gordon, or Garson Kanin.

In the Gene Hackman role, I would imagine it to be played by someone like Spencer Tracy, or perhaps Lionel Barrymore. In the Ray Romano role, I would imagine James Stewart or Cary Grant. The love interests, oh, so many choices...Katharine Hepburn, Rosalind Russell, Margaret Sullavan, Jean Harlow - take any pick of an actress you enjoy from those decades. The ex-wife? Heh, heh...Bette Davis, no question. Oh, to dream of how this premise could have worked. If it had been made and starred these Hollywood greats, it would have been one of the best damn films ever. But, we can't have everything we want.

Instead, we get this abomination of acting, even from distinguished stars.

Gene Hackman delivers a career-worst performance, which is a hell of a way to go out as this was his last film. I suppose it's karmic retribution for all his shitty behaviors on the sets of various films he worked on (For example: The Royal Tenenbaums), but still, it's rather sad to see an accomplished actor end their acting career on something that is not only bad, but something so utterly horrible and brain-dead.

Ray Romano can play a charming doofus. Though it's been a number of years, I remember liking Everybody Loves Raymond and he proved himself to be a decent actor, and Ice Age (First one. I can't comment on the sequels) was also a decent showing of his acting capabilities. Even he isn't spared despite the character he plays. He, too, delivers a career-worst performance, for he is not charming or likable. He just comes across as painfully awkward.

Though there are other stars, including the career thrashing of award-winning Marcia Gay Harden, nobody else is worth mentioning - not even Harden, for she is thrown to the side of the film's plot as the disposable love interest/aide of Monroe. There is nothing for her here. Oh, it's also got Rip Torn. Despite the presence some rather established stars, this film wastes them so badly that I barely recall them even being in the damn thing because it's so lazy and uninspired.

The humor in this film is nothing short of utter failure. I did not laugh once. I didn't even so much as slightly chuckle. So painful was this film's humor that while watching it, I threw myself to the floor to bang my head on the floor. Big mistake, for the humor was so awful, it left me on the floor as if I was receiving a beating from the film. I just lay there, staring up at the TV, hating it, loathing it. When I attempted to get up, I would pick up the box on the coffee table, only to angrily throw it whenever I looked upon Roger Ebert's endorsement of the film ("Thumbs up. A very good time." BULL. FUCKING. SHIT). I would then fall back to the floor, enduring the agony of what was destined to become one of the worst films I had ever seen, hoping that it would either end soon or that I would die.

When the comedy fails in a comedy, what else is there to be entertained by? It's not like say, Showgirls, which despite being utterly awful, it became entertaining because of how bad it was. All other film genres have this luxury: if they fail at their intended purpose, there might at least be a chance of salvaging it on the basis of unintentional comedy. But when a comedy fails at being funny, there's nothing to fall back on - nothing to salvage. Welcome To Mooseport is a particularly painful example of this kind of botch.

Welcome To Mooseport is one of the worst films I have ever seen. It's not only bad, but it's physically painful to watch. It's one of those bad films that has changed me and helped me really understand the meaning of a truly bad film. Whenever people ramble on about the latest Michael Bay blockbuster, Roland Emmerich film, Uwe Boll B-movie crapfest, or whoever's film is the "WORST MOVIE EVER!!!", I am envious of their naivety. That have not experienced the film-watching horrors that I have endured. They have no idea how far the rabbit hole of shitty films really goes. This film is one of the horrors of taking the ill-advised journey down that rabbit hole just to see how far down it really goes.

Don't do it, people. You won't come out the same person.

The Singing Forest
19 months ago via Rotten Tomatoes

In my review of the Kenji Mizoguchi masterpiece, Sansho The Bailiff, I praised it as being the perfect film in which every shot and every detail - no matter how small - was made with total precision and care, making even all the little details seem important. It's a work of pure craftsmanship in which there is not a single flaw present, hence why I consider it to be one of the greatest dramas and films I've ever seen.

Why do I bring it up in the same breath as a film such as The Singing Forest? Because The Singing Forest is a film that is the polar opposite in quality. It is truly a film with no merit, no technical finesse, not a shred of acting talent, no believable drama, a terrible selection of music that feels patched together, horrible sound quality, disturbing themes (Rape and then falling in love, exploitation of the Holocaust, etc.), poor sex scenes, horrible dialogue, poor picture quality (If you didn't know what year it came out, you'd swear it was a lost relic of the 70's or 80's), poor camera work (Shaky cam, bad scene transitions, fade-ins within the same shot, overly long shots, and more), and the whole film also reeks of crippling narcissism from an untalented, moronic fucktard who may very well be not only the worst film-maker alive, but of ALL TIME.

I shit you not, this film is so bad, it makes me want to take back every bad thing I ever said about the notorious Sam Mraovich gay film, Ben & Arthur. It makes that film look like a misunderstood masterwork worthy of prestigious awards, followed by a top notch treatment by the Criterion Collection. At least with Ben & Arthur, there was a somewhat focused plot, better camerawork (Yeah, The Singing Forest is really that fucking bad. Do you know how bad the camerawork was in Ben & Arthur?), better acting (Which really pains me to say because that film featured some of the worst acting of all time), and it also at least had the courtesy of having a few unintentionally funny scenes to keep it from being a totally worthless film. The Singing Forest can't even manage that!

The narcissism and ego of Jorge Ameer is truly astounding, putting even the legendary egomaniac Sam Mraovich to shame. Every rotten piece of his ego smears every single frame of this art house nightmare like a diarrhea disaster as he tries to be deep, philosophical, have touchy themes, and tries to explore love and reincarnation. All of these themes, which could have been interesting, are handled in a way that is nothing short of a total fuck-up, to put it kindly.

Not only is the film poorly made, but it is deeply offensive in the tradition of animated Titanic films and the 2011 shit stain of a film, Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close, by shamelessly exploiting the Holocaust (Even splicing some footage of victims. Stay classy, Jorge Ameer) for its incomprehensible clusterfuck of a story (And not even integrated as being a major part of the story. It feels like a fucking side note, for fuck's sake). It's also deeply offensive in how it handles the issue of rape when the main character, Christopher, talks about how he met Destiny's mother by following her, raping her, and then they somehow fell in love and stayed married for 22 years until her death. Christopher is apparently also a rapist who likes to pitch for both teams, as he also proceeds to rape Ben after Ben comes home drunk after a bachelor party and falls into bed with his soon-to-be father-in-law.

I'm not exaggerating when I say that even the meanest rape joke seems like a sensitive discussion of the topic by comparison to how The Singing Forest handles the issue.

Oh, but the icing on the offensive cake doesn't stop there. Oh no, the character Destiny is thrown under the bus as basically not having a soul (As claimed by some random bitch who's a psychic) because she was a product of rape (And her only purpose was basically to unite her rapist father with her fiance who turns out to be his lover in his past life). Naturally of course, gay people are also thrown under the bus as basically being shown as sexual deviants, which also pissed me off especially as a gay guy (I'm the kind of gay guy that doesn't even mind politically-incorrect jokes. It takes shit like this to piss me the fuck off).

Oh, and despite the inclusion of reincarnation, don't expect any deep religious discussions, either. In a world filled with abominable Christian films, this film with its religious discussions is the worst religiously-themed film I have ever seen - the polar opposite of the South Korean masterpiece, Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter...And Spring. It will shock, offend, and bewilder in this category as well.

The acting is absolutely horrible across the board. It's definitely at porn standards, but without any good sex scenes (There's a fade out before any sex actually occurs) or nearly enough nudity (I must confess Ben was fairly attractive, like a very brief full frontal moment) to distract me from what a piece of shit I was watching. If you're going to give me porn-levels of acting, at least distract me with some sex and nudity. Give me that, at least!

Nobody can emote worth a damn, even when discussions about death or talking about absolutely horrible things (Like rape). Unless you like watching actors that are below that of robots attempting to emote, then there is nothing to derive from this film's acting quality, other than astonished bewilderment of how something so poorly performed exists. Hell, it might even be below porn standards.

On top of being horribly offensive and horribly made, it's also mind-numblingly boring despite being only 60-odd-minutes in length (It's not 80-something as claimed by the box). There's no good drama, no interesting religious discussions, no meaningful discussions about gay people or relationships, utterly horrifies with its discussions about rape and the Holocaust in such nonchalant, exploitative ways, no good sex scenes, very little nudity to work with...and worst of all, it can't even be salvaged for camp. It's too boring and too offensive as such.

It's hard not to walk away from The Singing Forest feeling offended, bewildered, angry, and very confused. This is beyond any doubt, one of the worst films ever made...maybe even the WORST FILM EVER. It's a film that will offend anyone who watches it, regardless of taste or background. Jorge Ameer isn't just one of the worst film-makers alive, he is easily one of the worst film-makers of all time. If you value your sanity, you must never watch this film. ZERO STARS, if I could give it that rating.