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Film Brain

"Blimey Charlie, the video's only been up an hour and there are allusions to it on TV Tropes. My word."
Film Brain, on this wiki

"The world is a worse place for having this movie. I genuinely argue that. This movie—I hate it. I hate it with a passion. It's one of the few movies that I legitimately despise."
Film Brain, on Seven Pounds in his commentary

"This movie is a waste of time, money and effort. It has big special effects, big-name stars, but it can't, can I say, for stupid, incompetent scripting and piss-poor jokes. If you have the chance to avoid this movie, I suggest you do so. Even Eddie Murphy hates the crap out of this film. Still, he learns something out of this, right? Or maybe not. Well, that's all we got time for this week. I'm Film Brain, a.k.a. Matthew Buck. Good night... or day... or whatever this is."
Film Brain, on The Adventures of Pluto Nash

"Although it isn't as bad as some of the heinous sequels it spawned, it does deserve this review for being so dull. I mean you can't just have fast cars take the plot. There has something going on behind it. It takes itself too seriously and is no fun. Paul Walker might need checking for termites judging by his acting. And the film is already heavily dated and only eight years after its release due to its migraine-inducing soundtrack. The new movie, Fast & Furious, is being depicted as a return to form for the series. From terrible to just plain mediocre. Yeah, just some comeback. Now if you excuse me, I need to go rev my engine."

"So anyway, Transmorphers: the ghastly result of Transformers, Starship Troopers, The Matrix, The Terminator, and Demolition Man all mixed together with a miniscule budget, terrible acting and god-awful direction. The special effects are absolutely laughable and the script keeps contradicting itself on the fly. The robots that were apparently invincible are just beaten with a simple plan that someone could've come up in their sleep. They've been fighting for hundreds of years and it took them this long to come up with this plan? As I said the budget is horrendous. Now low budget by no means equals poor quality. I mean, one of its inspirations, The Terminator, was fairly low budget. Here however, they handle it in the worst possible manner. It's always blatantly obvious when they've run into budget constraints. If you can't show a scene due to a lack of budget, don't for the love of God compensate for it by having the characters look at something off-screen and describe it. It only draws attention to itself. Just cut the scene! In fact, that would've made the poor pacing and subpar direction slightly more bearable."
Film Brain, on Transmorphers

"So what have we learned today? We learned that a PG-13 movie for two R-rated horror franchises doesn't cut it, the human characters need to be fleshed out if we want to give a damn, and finally, and by far most important, that these versus movies never give us a clear victor, because that would mean pissing fans off, and not giving them enough room to make a sequel, and money means stabbing the fans in the backside as many times as possible, of which this is a particularly shameless example. It's a spit in the face of both franchises and everything they stood for! The fans frankly deserved better."
Film Brain, on AVP: Alien vs. Predator

"This certainly isn't the H. G. Wells novel in any shape of form. It's not even that I have a problem with, it's the fact it's not even Wells' message! At least keep intact the original spirit. They simply made some crappy little sci-fi flick about time travel, and slapped a name on it. It's a terrible, terrible adaptation, a true bastardisation! The issue is not the film was remade, but the fact that the film had so much potential. This isn't even the worst film featured on this programme by far, but it's still a bad movie just managing to turn a literary great into a boring and idiotic action film! H.G. should be doing cartwheels in his grave about now! Simon Wells hasn't directed anything since, although he is working on an animated feature out next year called Mars Need Moms. Let's hope it's nothing like We're Back! Personally, I wish I could time travel so I can prevent this movie from existing, but unfortunately, I've got to settle for quantum leaping."
Film Brain, on The Time Machine (2002)

"The film's message is weird - it wants to reintroduce the sense of community in Christmas, but it somehow ends up looking like conformity thanks to the bullying neighbours and the fact that going on a holiday for a cruise is considered to be selfish! Not to mention that apparently skipping Christmas is considered to be something truly heinous, which is frankly bizarre. It features some horribly bad writing, not helped by the fact that the actors have been instructed to mug and scream as much as they can! All in all, a sub-sitcom experience that lacks any Christmas spirit whatsoever."
Film Brain, on Christmas with the Kranks

"I mean my god, this is a terrible movie. Spectacularly bad writing is everywhere! The fight scenes are short and poorly done. The performances and casting is atrocious. And for a supposedly faithful adaptation, they changed pretty much everything! Oh, and there were only seven characters from the games. What surprised me about the movie is that it takes itself so goddamn seriously. At least the first attempt was a bit of fun. I mean, who the hell was calling out for a dark and gritty version of Street Fighter? The tone is so erratically different, that if you changed the name and title, this would be a generic martial arts movie. All the characters have been stripped of everything but their most basic traits, or in Rose's case, not even that."

"So that was Mega Shark vs. Giant Octopus. It's got better acting, plot, and effects than Transmorphers, but that's not really saying much. The film still looks very cheap, the special effects have gone from PS1 to PS2 graphics, and they constantly repeat the same shots over and over again. I swear half the movie is just shots they repeated to pad out the running time. And to be honest, it fails as a B-Movie because it fails to live up to its title. I'm sorry, but if you're going to name your movie Mega Shark vs. Giant Octopus, you damn well better live up to it. Because I'm nice, I will give The Asylum a little gold star for attempting to improve, even if their movie is still shit.
Film Brain, on Mega Shark vs. Giant Octopus

"This is so completely ridiculous, it's hysterical! No cliche or left-wing stereotype is left untouched; the product placement is shameless and intrusive, the violence is completely gratuitous, and the plot is farfetched, even by Stallone's standards. The whole thing feels cheap and sleazy, and has aged badly. So, all in all, this is Stallone's Commando, except it takes itself so damn seriously, that it makes it even funnier!"
Film Brain, on Cobra

"This remake was clearly made by people who didn't understand what Get Carter was about; crucially, that revenge doesn't work, which it does in this movie! Stallone is miscast, and the supporting cast don't really get enough to do, they've muddled the story by taming Carter, and adding tacked-on action scenes that hinder the story rather than drive it forward. But worst of all is the direction; it's full of Michael Bay-style tricks, and the film's been edited to an inch of its life. Even if you haven't seen the original, it's still a dull, badly-paced movie. And shame on Michael Caine for appearing on this piss stain on his legacy; he should've known better."
Film Brain, on Get Carter 2000

"Driven needs to be put on the hard shoulder. Yes, it's commendable that Stallone made himself a supporting player in his own movie, but Kip Pardue is a charisma black hole from which there is no escape. The characters are not developed or likeable enough, and the races are ludicrous! There's so many damn crashes, and they're all so overdone, it is nothing short of hilarious! And if that's not bad enough for race fans, it's filled with glaring inaccuracies. The special effects in this movie are atrocious! Driven makes Days of Thunder look like Le Mans."
Film Brain, on Driven

"Finally, a movie that celebrates the cold-blooded slaughter of your enemies. You can see how this might have worked. I mean, the concept has this sense of wish fulfilment. It's hard to get past the bad taste it leaves in the mouth, and the execution here is terrible. It's badly directed and edited, and it looks and feels cheap, wasting most of the cast. The supporting cast only have one or two small scenes to set up their asshole-ness, and then get killed off in ways that aren't funny, as much as the score tells us so. The whole thing, especially the score, looks like it's escaped from the 1970s."
Film Brain, on Parting Shots

"You know how I said at the end of my Mega Shark vs. Giant Octopus review how The Asylum seem to be improving? Well, I take that back because this film is atrocious on every level. The CGI is awful, with the piranhas changing from shot to shot. The acting is more wooden than a rainforest and the script, when it's not being incredibly stupid and filled with plot holes, is just an unimaginative clone of Mega Shark vs. Giant Octopus. Even as a cheesy B-Movie, it's so damn awful it borders on downright unwatchable."
Film Brain, on Mega Piranha

"This movie is a lump of coal! It's terribly scripted with a huge number of plot holes and contrivances. The characters are badly written and often act inconsistently from scene to scene. This isn't helped by the performances, particularly that of a spectacularly miscast Lukas Haas, who makes himself look like a fool trying to act tough! It's like a Lifetime TV movie meets an exploitation flick, encouraging murder as female empowerment, which is borderline reprehensible! It's also full of padding and stalling to make the incredibly thin story reach feature-length, with many dull stretches particularly early on. You know what this reminded me of? British horror flick Eden Lake, which is a lot more brutal, a lot more relentless, and a lot more suspenseful. Go see that, not this turkey!"
Film Brain, on While She Was Out

"Fat Slags is probably a new low for films featured on this show. I don't think a single person escapes from this Hindenburg disaster of a film with a shred of dignity. At 72 minutes, it barely constitutes as a film, and despite the short length, with bits of it clearly hacked out, it's still tortuous to the point of being virtually unwatchable. It's trying to satire celebrity culture, but it's filled with tacky cameos. Its editing is abysmal and it looks outrageously cheap. It's so vulgar and unremittingly crude, that it wouldn't even appeal to the Lowest Common Denominator. This film is an absolute disgrace and those who made it should be bloody ashamed of themselves, just as I am for having watched it. This is hell on plastic. Avoid at all costs."
Film Brain, on Fat Slags

"2 Fast 2 Furious is too lame and too stupid to be enjoyable. It's clear that this was a script that was hastily written to cash in on the first film, and is extremely limited by the fact that almost none of the cast return. It already has barely anything to do with street racing by this point, it uses CGI cars instead of the real thing, it's so dipped in neon, I thought I was watching Batman Forever! Paul Walker is his usual unbelievably bland self, and Tyrese Gibson is an irritating and inadequete replacement for Vin Diesel. The only humour this movie has is the macho subtext, which the movie lays on so much, I'm almost convinced the filmmakers did it intentionally. At least that makes it more enjoyable to watch than its predecessor."
Film Brain, on 2 Fast 2 Furious

"Plot? What plot? It's more like a sieve. It has holes you can drive Optimus Prime through and it buckles under the huge cast of characters the film contains. And that's only the human characters; the Transformers feel more like co-stars in their own movie, disappearing into the background for long stretches. The movie has endless padding scenes and a ludicrous amount of comic relief characters, which means that the tone is all over the place. And considering this is meant to be a film for kids both young and old, Bay fills the movie with completely inappropriate material that should have been cut from this bloated monstrosity. Not even the action scenes are good. They're too close, too incomprehensible, and too long; meaning that we soon lose interest, if we had any, because we don't know who half the bloody robots are. And before you chastise me for changing my opinion on the movie, so did the filmmakers. Both Bay and LaBeouf have been quoted as saying that the film was a disappointment and that it's not as good as it should have been. I don't have high hopes for the third movie and if you see it in 3D, I hope you enjoy the inevitable motion-sickness from Bay's hyper-kinetic directing style. I'm Matthew Buck, beating down bad... (Film Brain looks at his Transformers poster) I think I'd better take that down."

"Whilst the first two Spy Kids movies succeed in targeting their kid demographic whilst not alienating adult audiences by being colourful, imaginative, and ultimately aware of their audience, Spy Kids 3D fails in all areas which the originals succeed. It's all too aware of its target audience and feels the need to patronise them, and it's blatantly obvious that the story wasn't as nearly thought-out as it should've been, only resulting in confusion. Huge segments just feel like video-games with the controls disabled, the characters are flat and unlikeable, and the effects are dreadful throughout, with its 3D being some of the most gimmicky on the market. The end result is a shallow thrill-less movie that I doubt even kids would enjoy."
Film Brain, on Spy Kids 3-D: Game Over

"Gamer deserves to be switched off. It is a nasty, mean-spirited movie posing as satire. It condemns its target audience "gamers" for their bloodlust, then wallow in the imagery themselves with lots of shock shots for no reason in the narrative. The characters are shallow idiots with poorly written spiteful dialogue played by great character actors with nothing to do. The worst part of the movie is the action scenes which are frankly incomprehensible shite combining all the worst aspects of modern action movies. Shaky cam, poor editing and the lack of any sort of goal. Oh, and the ending is a complete insult. Just because they were trying to make a social statement, doesn't excuse them for bad film making."
Film Brain, on Gamer

"I'm going to put this briefly, because I've said everything I wanted to say already. This is a hateful sexist movie that operates in a complete moral vacuum that is painfully unfunny, largely due to the smug overacted performance of Dane Cook, who fails to be likeable. The sex is a coarse and uncomfortable fit with the mean-spirited slapstick comedy, and the script is astonishingly dumb. Dan Fogler delivers the worst comic performance I've ever seen. I hated this offensively terrible movie! The fact that this got made in 2007 is frankly astonishing."
Film Brain, on Good Luck Chuck

"Not that dignity is a thing that anyone escapes with in this movie. The movie's basically written like a cartoon, with these broad one-note characters who do stupid things repeatedly over and over again, when it often doesn't make any sense in context. This cast of talented comedians are both completely wasted and incredibly irritating, and the film's idea of love and romance is startlingly naive, even by Hollywood's standards. The film shows clear signs that someone hacked it to pieces, trying to salvage it, but there is nothing to rescue but dusty old romcom clichés and dismal slapstick. Not even the charms of Kristen Bell could save it for me..."
Film Brain, on When in Rome

"So that was Bear. It was completely unbearable. The characters are all completely unlikeable sacks of shit who lie, cheat, and betray each other. The bear ends up being the most likeable character. The characters constantly make stupid, implausible decisions because the script is dumb and repetitive; having to repeatedly engineer ways for why the characters haven't escaped the scenario. This culminates in a twist that is preposterous and nonsensical, and I can't believe this extremely pretentious horror flick expects us to swallow such nonsense. On a technical level this movie completely falls apart, particularly because of their budget. It's almost like a crash-course on how not to make a film, and should be avoided because it's a total waste of time."
Film Brain, on Bear

"The Happening is a bizarre film. It seems to have been made by an alien, because everything is so... off. The script is full of things that people would never say or do, acted unconvincingly by mis-cast actors delivering their worst performances ever. Mark Wahlberg, with his soft voice, is completely humiliated, and Zooey Deschanel makes googly eyes throughout the whole film that make her look braindead. The science of the film is shoddy, but that's not surprising considering the green message of the film, which is laid on with no subtly or respect for the audience. "Man and Science is weak, and we should all respect the power of Nature and Love!" Its saving grace is being so incredibly unintentionally funny, because it's a ridiculous film approached with a po-faced seriousness, and lack of humour that is so gloriously pretentious. The film tries to make a comment on paranoia, but it just ends up becoming a farce. After this, M. Night's descent into complete madness was sealed by his adaptation of the cartoon Avatar - not related to James Cameron's work obviously - into The Last Airbender, which was critically panned and destroyed at the box office, putting his writer/director days to an end presently. He has since produced Devil, which, whilst mediocre, is certainly a step-up for a director who sums up once and for all, how the mighty can fall."
Film Brain, on The Happening

"So that was Reckoning Day. Man, was that exhausting! Its script is stunningly poor and juvenile, serving only to tie staggeringly violent set pieces together. It's like what the kids in Son of Rambow would make if they grew up worryingly obsessed with violence and guns! It's the violence that really makes this a slog; it's so vicious and unrelenting, it leaves a bad taste in the mouth, and at 105 minutes, it's certainly an extreme test of patience. However, you can clearly tell there is some talent behind the camera, and it's clear Gilbey has moved on from this effort, and I do wish him the best of luck."
Film Brain, on Reckoning Day

"Little Fockers is a comedic catastrophe. The original Meet the Parents was an exaggerated and funny satire of an awkward situation we're all familiar with. But whatever comic mileage from the setup has been used long ago, and in desperation, the film resorts to bodily function humor instead of genuine laughs. The characters by this stage are caricatures, and the filmmakers feel like they need to jam everyone in, resulting in most of them getting nothing to do, and total plot dead-ends. It feels re-written and re-edited, and the cast seem to be thinking of their next mortgage payment to get themselves through it. This is most nakedly exhibited by Dustin Hoffman, whose late addition is frankly awful! Oh, and the one new element that could've saved the film is completely ignored of going through the motions yet again! It's nothing but a great big Christmas time turkey of a movie that leaves you with nothing but an empty wallet and no laughs."
Film Brain, on Little Fockers

"Tooth Fairy is about as cheerful as a trip to the dentist, but at least the gas might make you laugh more than the film does. I'm probably going to have a dozen complaints from people saying I was too hard on it because it's a kid's film, and generally, I avoid doing them so I don't get criticised for that. But even still, it shouldn't be an excuse for laziness. They could've took their silly idea in interesting and playful directions, but they made it as mundane and boring as possible! The film's single joke dries up fast, and it ends up relying on their incredible cast to liven up non-existent material, and it ends up drowning in sub-plots. There's just no feeling of magic. They've made the fairy world into an accounting department that will bore kids. It looks heavily re-edited, but the most egregious thing is the blatant abuse of amnesia as a cheap "get out free" clause that shows massive disdain for the audience. Again, this took five writers to come up with?! Oh, and seldom a date passes where someone on Twitter doesn't ask me whether I've heard about the In Name Only sequel Tooth Fairy 2 starring Larry the Cable Guy. Well, yes I have, and frankly, it makes me wake up in cold sweats just thinking about it. In short, this movie bites. Get it? 'Cause you bite down with your teeth and... Sorry."
Film Brain, on The Tooth Fairy

"If Adam Sandler had his way, every copy of Going Overboard would be lying at the bottom of the ocean, and you know what? I'd be right alongside him chucking them in! It's pretty easy to peg this movie very early on in terms of how it got made and how it went wrong. It's pretty clear that he didn't have any real plan aside from a ship, some swimsuit-clad women, and a plot that could fit on a postage stamp. As a result, this movie is clearly and painfully improvised, with actors desperately pulling funny faces to try and earn laughs and pad out the running time, and no-one telling them that their ideas are terrible. Everyone is super annoying as a result, and Adam Sandler comes off particularly badly. He's supposed to be the underdog, but the impression is that of someone delusional about their abilities. There is nothing more brutal than unfunny comedy, and there is no redeeming value in any of it. Not a single thing! Going Overboard is well deserving of its place on IMDB's Bottom 100, and if you know what's good for you, never ever watch it, not even if you're a die-hard Adam Sandler fan!"
Film Brain, on Going Overboard

"The Dilemma is horribly misconceived from the premise up. The fact of the matter is infidelity is a very, very hard subject to make funny and that's clear from the way the film gasps like a fish; struggling to raise even a smirk, let alone a laugh, inventing a whole manner of contrived set pieces that are completely ridiculous and implausible. Ron Howard's inexperience at directing comedy really shows and it isn't helped by the fact that Vince Vaughn is left completely unchecked to take over the film with his self-indulgent monologuing, including that dreadful toast scene. The other cast members are wasted; including Kevin James in a part that seldom requires him to be funny, and Channing Tatum is the best thing in it, but is only in a handful of scenes."
Film Brain, on The Dilemma.

"Damn it, One Night Stand you are infuriating! This drama is completely confused. The issue of infidelity is a tricky subject and the treatment here doesn't do it justice. The performances are excellent, especially Robert Downey Jr., but the characters are largely unlikable and the plot is ludicrously convoluted. I really don't get who this was supposed to be aimed at, it's not lurid and exploitive as you might first think, but it doesn't really satisfy some mature drama because it constantly shies away from making tough decisions or actually having a viewpoint. This culminates in a preposterous cop-out twist that is absolutely rage-inducing. The AIDS scenes are absolutely harrowing but they deserve a better, different movie that isn't using the topic to make itself feel so usually important. I also found the directing style irritating and aggravatingly pretentious. The film is basically a time capsule of 90s filmmaking both for better and for worse."
Film Brain, on One Night Stand.

"You know, Wesley Snipes is actually right about a lot of this movie. David S. Goyer's script for the film is an absolute mess! A bunch of plot points thrown together and often forgotten about for long periods of time with frat boy humour only making things worse. The inclusion of the Nightstalkers, obviously intended to launch a spin-off, hinders the film due to their lack of credibility, especially Ryan Reynolds, who I found insufferable. Goyer's direction is ropey, and the over-long running time isn't helped by loads of minor scenes that they really just should've cut. The inclusion of Dracula is a disappointment, partly due to the bad writing, and partly due to the fact that Dominic Purcell is a completely charisma-less block of muscle. Even the action is weak, and it's positively anaemic compared to the other two films. But Snipes himself deserves blame too; his central performance brims with obvious disdain for the film, and whilst it wouldn't have been good even on his A-game, he ends up making the film implode around him. Clearly aimed at a younger mainstream audience, Blade: Trinity is a failure of a climax for fans of two otherwise decent films in this series."
Film Brain, on Blade: Trinity.

"Ghosts of Mars suffers from many, many crimes. The fact that it feels incredibly derivative even within Carpenter's own work feels like a result of laziness both in Carpenter's co-written screenplay and his direction. The framing device is incredibly ill-conceived and feels tacked-on, with the scenes being superfluous because they are explaining stuff the audience already knows. Not just because the story told us them, but because we're familiar with them from other films. The performances from the entire cast are as atrocious and unconvincing, even the charismatic Jason Statham suffers from spending half the movie doing cheesy pickup lines. Worst of all, it isn't scary nor suspenseful for a second, it's just actors running around on cheap sets. Part sci-fi, part horror, part western, part heavy metal, it all adds up to complete crap."
Film Brain, on Ghosts of Mars.

"No. No, you didn't. You did not just end your movie MID-RAPE SCENE! How dare you! And I know, that was what the earlier sex scene in the cave was leading towards, and the film thinks its clever by ending on a rape scene. Well no, it isn't clever! You didn't think about the weight of including a rape scene. You just used it as a cheap shock tactic, and that's deplorable. The movie itself beforehand was so bad, but this just leaves a truly rotten taste in the mouth, and I can say, without hesitation, that this movie can go FUCK ITSELF!"
Film Brain, on the ending of The Cavern.

"The Cavern not only surpasses Bear as the worst horror film I've ever seen, but may well be the worst film period. I reviewed racist, sexist, unfunny, and downright unpleasant films before, but this is a special kind of film: It's unwatchable. I don't care if it's low-budget, that doesn't mean you forget basic principles of lighting or cinematography. I know the film's creators though they were being iterative, but that's because no one was dumb enough to do it before. The film has an ugly, over-produced digital look, the script is woefully incomprehensible nonsense, and the ending is reprehensible. Even at 80 minutes, this is sheer torture that makes your home movies look professional by comparison. Every single copy of The Cavern should be thrown in the deepest, darkest pit imaginable, so that it never blights a TV screen EVER AGAIN."
Film Brain, on The Cavern.

"Die Another Day was actually the first Bond movie I saw in the cinema, having grown up with the Brosnan films on video, and I liked it at the time, but that's because it was my 12th birthday, and that's the biggest problem with the movie; it tries to prove it's young and hip, and ends up being so juvenile, it would only appeal to adolescents. The action scenes are atrocious CGI-fests, the dialogue is idiotic with innuendo's that are crass and and charmless, and Brosnan is just on the edge of being too old for this. The film's meant to be a celebration of 007, but it brings out all the worst elements of the series, descending into laughable self-parody. How else do you explain the DNA alteration plot? It's basically the birthday boy getting drunk and falling face-first into the cake; it's just shameful! This year marks Bond's 50th anniversary, and I can safely say that Skyfall is a celebration of everything that is good about the series; Die Another Day is the Batman & Robin of the franchise!"
Film Brain, on Die Another Day

"Stealth certainly feels like it's a classic case of too many cooks in the kitchen, because this has been clearly homogenized to death. There are points where the original absurdities of the premise shine through, and these just clash with the attempts to actually try and make serious points about war, which feel like they're straight out of a different movie. This results in an utterly hilarious film that plays a very silly sci-fi premise straight. And yet, with all the rewrites, this script still has some of the worst dialogue I've ever heard. The performances are weak, largely related to the most stereotypical cliched characterizations imaginable, which are just filling time between the endless fake CGI action scenes. Jamie Foxx, in particular, seems to play his useless part with the disdain that it deserves; and worst of all, it's surprisingly boring, because the predictable recycled storyline means that you quickly lose interest. Stealth is an embarrassing example of big-budget blockbusters at their most audience-insulting, but it's a great movie to rip apart if you're a bad movie fan."
Film Brain, on Stealth

"Deck the Halls lets the audience know exactly what a mean-spirited film it is, from its title that makes a pun out of trying to punch one of the characters in the face, and after you've seen it, you'll want to deck someone as well! It's not hard to see why Danny DeVito was attracted to the film, because it's clearly a dark comedy that has been homogenised into a light broad comedy with frankly disastrous results! The film's a crass and cynical look at the festive season, and with the constantly shifting tone, any attempts at sincerity like the woeful ending fall flat. But then again, so does the humour, which relies on an unbelievable premise, being acted out by unlikeable characters, and is entirely unfunny! It's also abundantly clear that damage control is being applied, because it feels like gags have been cut out to try and salvage anything, and you can even see some of the deleted footage in the trailer, but it's just a big mess whatever way you slice it. Hopefully, you'll stay out of criminal acts as you stay safe this Christmas, and I hope you have a good one. Whatever you celebrate, I'm not judging."
Film Brain, on Deck the Halls

"So that was Prometheus in all its gory glory. I cannot deny that on a sheer technical level, Ridley Scott is an absolute master of his craft. The film looks gorgeous and it's clear that it has plenty of ambition, which puts it above your average bad movie. However wasting that much promise and that much talent, both in front and behind the camera, on such a poorly written mess is absolutely criminal. The script is littered with improbable scenarios acted out by outrageously inconsistent characters spouting leaden dialogue and great actors can only do so much. For all the talk about intelligent sci-fi, the film feels like every other modern blockbuster. It touches on complex ideas, but is distracted by constant special effects and the result is vapid. This is made worse by the Alien DNA; which is basically that movie on shuffle-mode, copying scenes and cranking up the pace without the tone or the subtlety. Prometheus may not be the worst movie in this franchise, but it is by far the most painfully disappointing. While the follow-ups to the franchise that this is clearly setting up may answer some of the ambiguities, it won't answer the lazy writing throughout and it doesn't stand on its own feet apart from Alien. But if you like Prometheus then all the power to you, it's just that I can't as much as I want to."
Film Brain, on Prometheus

"Although I Love You, Beth Cooper is actually fairly close to its source material, thanks largely through sharing the same writer, it still manages to be lost in adaptation. The book's content, which would've made for an R-rated movie, has been toned down for the PG-13, so the vestiges of the original darker content come across as harsher in the sea of mediocrity. If they were attempting to satirize or make a comment on teen flicks, then they failed, because the final film shows little evidence of this, and it's just another entry tredding on familiar ground. Hell, even The Girl Next Door is a better take at this kind of material! The running gay joke not only wears thin, but comes close to being worryingly homophobic, especially given the character's alternate name is "Dick Munsch", and his habit of quoting movies is another staggeringly unfunny runner that only reminds you of better films! Director Chris Columbus has to lay a lot of the blame here, as he does a poor job, because scenes feel slack, forced, and tone-deaf, laying on subtlety-free slapstick to compensate. This reflects in many of the lame stereotypes throughout, especially Paul Rust's way overplaying nerd, who is one of the most irritating lead performances I've seen in ages, who actually looks older than the eight-year age difference suggests, making things even more unsettling! In short, I don't like you, Beth Cooper, let's not be friends, and I'm not accepting a Facebook invite either."
Film Brain, on I Love You, Beth Cooper

"Breaking Wind: Part 1 is one of the worst spoof movies ever made and definitely one of the worst comedies I've seen in general too. It has nothing to say about its topic, which it hates to the point of being dismissive. All the jokes are below the belt and if they thought this was at all edgy or adult, then they should be downright ashamed of themselves. In addition, the terrible direction and acting oversell every single repetitive joke, to the point that it becomes almost unbearable. Craig Moss needs to stay away from doing anymore of these spoof movies, because he's frankly so abysmal that the art of comedy needs to file a restraining order. And really, if you want to laugh at Twilight, go watch the first, second, and fifth films since they're pretty much unintentional comedies anyway. All watching this does is award the filmmakers lack of effort and encourage them further. And pray they don't make a part two. Or to put it in a way that this movie frankly deserves... (Film Brain starts Blowing a Raspberry while giving a two-fingered gesture at the camera)"
Film Brain, on Breaking Wind

"Gone Fishin' never really aspired to be much, just a light buddy comedy that's inoffensive and innocent with an easy charm. I would say harmless, but I've watched it and it's anything but. This is comedy at its most painfully misfiring, and it goes wrong in every conceivable way. Danny Glover and Joe Pesci are, suffice to say, not a modern day Laurel and Hardy. In fact, they don't have much chemistry at all, with Pesci doing overed O-faces, and Glover being so relaxed, he's borderline sleepwalking, and that's before he literally does so due to the terrible material. Their rasping renders the dialogue barely intelligible, but most of it is endlessly repetitive, shouting each other's names at the end of every line, or inane catchphrases, and that's when they're not setting up jokes that can be seen from space! In short, this film stinks like fish and should be thrown back, where it'll probably sink like a stone!"
Film Brain, on Gone Fishin'

"Oh, well if you had it so good in Queens, why don't you fuck off back there?! It's like if you put Eric Cartman and Phil from The Hangover in a blender, and since he is personally responsible for everything that happens, I'll be keeping what I like to call the Screw Costa Count. I'd say he's about two so far."
Film Brain, on Costa in Project X

"Project X is a detestable little film — and that's frankly if you can even call it that, because it barely has enough plot to fill a 2-minute trailer, let alone a feature film. What passes for a script here probably amounts to about 10 pages tops, half of which are references to much superior films in the genre. Every single thing about the movie is ugly, from the nasty pustules passing for characters, including Costa, possibly one of the worst seen on screen in the last ten years, to the camerawork due to its badly executed found footage gimmick. But by far the most ill-judged thing is its tone. This could have made a terrific social parody if they actually showed the consequences, but the film depressingly plays it straight, and actually endorses and celebrates the increasing depravity, and even encourages emulation to top the partying bar. And to cap it all, the party just looks overcrowded and crappy. This is basically a vile film that seems to be aimed at sociopaths and pricks, and is skin-crawling for all the wrong reasons. I mean if you want to go to a party, you don't have to live vicariously through this movie. Just to go one. I guarantee you'll have a much better time."
Film Brain, on Project X

"I Now Pronounce You Chuck & Larry is one of the most hypocritical films I've ever seen! This is a film that pays lip service to emoting acceptance of homosexuality and tolerance, but apparently is taking the time to learn that lesson itself. It consistently goes to cheap jokes aimed at the most common denominator at the expense of the very people it purports to help, and as a result, its racial, gender, and sexual politics all feel like they're at least thirty years out of date. It's downright shocking that this was made in 2007! There's no subversion, insight, or wit given to the subject matter, and the film patronises it to compensate. It's all the usual traits in Sandler's work taken to their most offensive extreme. Whilst Kevin James is a likeable lead despite the woeful material, Adam Sandler is as most obnoxiously egotistical with his ladies' man persona feeling like a self-inserted fancy build on insecurity. There's very, very brief glimpses of a smarter film trying to escape, but that's too often snuffed out by tastelessness and deeply lackluster direction, and is way, way too long at nearly two hours! I often found Chuck and Larry to be deeply unpleasant, and even felt ashamed to be watching it at points. It's that bad!"

"Yes, that REALLY IS how the movie ends. It closes with yet more mutilation, an arbitrary wrap-up and an outtake. This isn't a resolution, it's a sudden stop 78 minutes in! And yet it's a fitting ending with everything that came before it. 'We don't know how to end this, but who gives a shit?! We're having too much fun to care!'"

"Strange Wilderness is basically a celebration of stupid, ignorant people who are too lazy to even make an effort but still feel a sense of entitlement regardless. What little characterization there is, especially the two leads, is annoying and obnoxious. And that's a shame because this is an actually fantastic cast but they're all terrible here. Even Steve Zahn resorts to shouting and overacting when he's not coasting, and it squanders his talent. But then again, you can't turn a sow's ear into a purse, especially when large chunks are clearly improvised with no direction whatsoever. The whole thing looks and feels cheap and ugly, but somehow scenes run too long, even when the film itself barely scrapes 80 minutes. Even if it's a stoner comedy, this is poor stuff because the good ones in this subgenre, your Harold and Kumars and Cheeches and Chongs are genuinely funny and don't require you to be baked to find them so. There's always that old trap of you're enjoying each other's companies so much that it doesn't rub off of the audience, and Justin Long hits that in his sort of defense of the film: "The first few times I saw it, I loved it. And I don't often see movies that I've done multiple times, but I kept going. [...] And then I saw it once when I wasn't stoned and I was like, woah. This is a mess! This doesn't make a shred of sense! [...] But stoned it's the funniest, and I think I have so much love for it because it's the most fun I've ever had shooting." So does it deserve its 0%? Ehhh, it's really, really bad, but it's not quite the same level of agonizingly awful as, say, Fat Slags or The Master of Disguise. That doesn't mean I recommend the trek by any means."
Film Brain, on Strange Wilderness

"Just Go with It is just horrible in almost every way, which makes it hard to know where to start. How about another insufferable, smug, self-centered "performance" from Adam Sandler, rivaled only by the infuriating Nick Swardson and those creepy pod-people children? How about the naked cynicism of setting your movie in Hawaii for no reason other than a paid holiday, or the sheer idiocy of the plot, that the title itself seems like a taunt to our suspension of disbelief? Oh no, let's lay it right down on the feet of director Dennis Dugan, whose work is especially awful here. He has no flair for the material, no connection, nothing. For a guy working in directing comedy for two decades, I don't understand how he can edit a movie this witless and overlong. This doesn't need to be just under two hours. The only thing I liked was Jennifer Aniston who is so down-to-earth that it's the only believable character; that she doesn't so much anchor the proceedings, but seem to be in a completely different universe entirely. This is a terrible sitcom episode stretched into feature film purgatory and I found close to utterly unbearable. Listen, I don't mind if you had fun making a movie with your friends together, but can you at least make it enjoyable for us lowly peasants who had to watch your putrid end results?"
Film Brain, on Just Go with It

"Is Jack and Jill the worst thing ever? No, I've seen worse. Oh, don't get me wrong, it's bad. It's downright awful, but so is Just Go with It and if you made me choose, I would probably pick this one over the latter because it's much shorter. Even Dennis Dugan must have known how bad it was because it's only ninety minutes. That said, even with the short running time, this has absolutely dreadful pacing issues, hideous comedic dead-spots, and at times, barely cohesive. Adam Sandler manages to be utterly detestable in two equally terrible roles, which dominate much of the film and its cast. For a film aimed at younger audiences, this is a total failure. They might vaguely relate to Jill, but I don't think they would be at all interested in the stuff between her and Al Pacino; a lot of which is actually really inappropriate for a family comedy. Speaking of Pacino, he is actually trying here even with the awful material, injecting a lot of misplaced intensity into something he could have just HOO-HAH'd his way through in his sleep. But mostly this was just horribly misguided from before Sandler even remotely put on his fake boobies. I mean even in Happy Madison's work, it's debatable whether Jack and Jill is actually worse than Bucky Larson, That's My Boy or Grown Ups 2; but I won't be finding out just yet because I've had just enough of Sandler's mug for some time now."
Film Brain, on Jack and Jill

"The Devil Inside is one of the most cynical projects of recent years. It is absolutely devoid of any kind of creativity or originality, and its handling of both the exorcism theme and the found footage style, it's woed and only go where countless other imitators have gone before and much better, as both are laughably artificial. In fact, it's not even sure whether it's trying to be a mockumentary or a found footage movie and, as such, does both poorly. The pace is mind-numbingly slow and drawn-out, with a whole host of characters you don't care about discussing eye-rolling semantics over and over again. It gestures in about half a dozen directions, including hints of a Vatican conspiracy or dark character backstories, that has no intention of fully exploring. So what we're left with is an air of the movie not doing very much before rushing headlong into a frenzied last ten minutes and then stops. It's there where you realize the real evil here is the whole exorcising fleeting poor already exploited horror fans with less than minimal effort. The Devil Inside, you foul demon! I spit and denounce at thee, and I cast you out. Be gone, Devil!"
Film Brain, on The Devil Inside

"The Total Recall remake is a memory you'll want to forget. It's the archetypal example of something that's been remade purely because of name recognition. It does virtually nothing new and actually follows many of the same plot beats from the 1990 film in order. And it's definitely not a re-adaptation, because it strays even further from the source material. It has nothing to add and in many cases has less, because it removes much of the subtext. You could argue that it makes it more ambiguous, but when you strip all the fantasy out, it barely tries to suggest an alternate reality and even less reason to care. As such, the leads have nothing to work with; apart from Kate Beckinsale, whose role is expanded to the point of overbearing because Len Wiseman keeps flaunting her. And if their roles are thin, than the supporting cast are virtually non-existent, being on-screen for mere moments and then exit, never to be seen again. The only thing the movie cares about is going from one CGI action scene to the next; all of them repetitive and like a video game, with endless anonymous robot bad guys that make it feel like a sequel to I, Robot; which makes sense given how derivative it is of almost every major sci-fi film made in the last 30 years. Wipe your memory of this tiresome mediocrity and go watch the original, see the same ideas executed without compromise, and is a hell of lot more entertaining because of it."
Film Brain, on Total Recall (2012)

"This is one of the most uncomfortable rom-coms to come out since, well, The Ugly Truth. And boy does it have ugliness to it right down to the central conceit, which has flagrant abuse of the Patriot Act as the basis of humor, in a way that is unsettlingly casual and strangely uncritical about. Reese Witherspoon hasn't been this zealously pursued since F.E.A.R.. Chris Pine & Tom Hardy have good chemistry together, but that's little consolation with what they have to work with. Pine comes off as an abusive, arrogant sleaze that you want to punch off the screen, and Hardy is crazily miscast as the plain one yet still the best thing about the movie, but this is way beneath him even if he was only in it to do something lighter. McG's direction is aggressively awful throughout; from the sex-filled rom-com shtick mostly provided by the heinously unfunny Chelsea Handler, to the inept action sequences that feel slapped on at about 10 minutes, and bathes it all in garish, perky colors. In fact, it often feels like an R-rated movie awkwardly shoehorned into a PG-13. Til Schweiger's bad guy in non-existent. But by far the worst off is Reese Witherspoon, who is basically a prize and has to act so dumb that she can't even make a decision; and certainly never makes the right one, which is to run away from them as far away as possible, just as everyone should've done from this project and so should you. It's a movie that will unite men and women in just how much they hate it. The action part is clumsy and infrequent, but the rom-com part is enough to make you a paranoid agoraphobic.
Film Brain on This Means War (2012)

"Watching Lawnmower Man 2, your mind makes an easy parallel to another infamous sequel, Highlander II: The Quickening. The two are very similar in some respects: the baffling dystopian future, the spitting in the face of existing continuity, the endless plot holes, and mincemeat editing that seems to have crucial plot scenes missing. I think the only reason this doesn't share the same notoriety is that luckily, no-one saw it. The film so drastically changes everything, especially the ending from the first movie, that fans would feel completely alienated, and teenagers will cringe at the lame stereotypes spouting things like "Radical". The acting from them is especially atrocious, but it is in general, from Patrick Bergin's daft "Dances with Wires", to Matt Frewer dusting off Max Headroom for a totally mis-cast toe-curling performance. As a standalone movie, it's still mind-numbing stuff, and come on, they were screwed the moment they started making a sequel to something with a closed ending! It doesn't seem like a movie made by people who even vaguely know computers. The script seems to have been written by taking random phrases out of the glossary of "The Complete Idiot's Guide to the Internet". Lastly, the CGI effects are a step down from the original despite the obvious technical advances, because at least the first movie was wholly digital rather than the constant shortcuts here making it look worse. Even for 1996, this movie was irrelevant. By today's standards, the technophobia of The Lawnmower Man movie seems downright quaint. Hell, if Jobe really wanted people to flock to virtual reality, he should've just taken a page out of the modern Internet's book and offered an endless supply of porn! Jacking indeed."

"You can see the seeds of The Love Guru in the Austin Powers sequels that increasingly relied on crude humor and penis jokes, but this takes it to a whole new level. I hate to place all the blame on Mike Myers, but when he's the main creative force and is in virtually every scene, it's hard not to. He's downright insufferable in this movie, a giggling nutcase who is so desperate, it makes you wonder if Myers was ever really funny. He's so the center of attention here, that he forgets to give many of his supporting players any material of their own, despite a cast of talented actors and comedians who flail around just as badly. The paper-thin plot is simply all about the gags in the movie disregarding logic, sense, or continuity, which is the crucial context of making them funny. Compounding this is despite Myers' hiatus, many of them are recycled old material from Austin Powers, including Verne Troyer himself, while you're beaten over the head with crass sex jokes over and over, just like all the other lame pieces of humor in this movie, and it makes it seem as though Myers' sense of humor stopped developing at age 10. The worst thing is, this movie sells Myers' talent short as a comedian, and it's so dispiriting because we know he can do so much better. The only real positive is that at least it's less than ninety minutes, no doubt thanks to some heavy trimming. UK comedian Omid Djalili gets prominent billing despite having all his lines cut in the one scene he appeared in, and given he was playing Guru Satchabigknoba, I think maybe we should all be thankful for that. All I know is that somewhere in the deepest, darkest pits of Hell, this and The Master of Disguise are playing as the most punishing double feature ever made, and if you don't want to take your memory of Mike Myers, stay as away from this as humanly possible!"
Film Brain, on The Love Guru

"You know what I see when I watch New Year's Eve? A triumph of scheduling. They managed to get a load of name actors for a couple of days to shoot some small roles as a favour, and they probably didn't cast a second glance after. Certainly that's the only real positive of the rest of the film which features eight different stories of varying degrees of silly or plain dumb, about a number of characters whose sole personality is who exactly is playing them, and the audience's history with them. In that regard, it's like we need a gossip magazine with just as much substance and authenticity. It constantly makes speeches about the power of love and New Year's, but the manufactured nature of the whole project means it rings completely false, and by the fifth time someone does an impassioned monologue, it's downright nauseating! Let's make a resolution that we can all follow - how about we try to watch less bad movies next year, and we can start with New Year's Eve!"
Film Brain, on New Year's Eve

"Even as a fan of the franchise, A Good Day to Die Hard is not only a disgrace to its namesake, it's also one of the worst big-budget action movies in recent memory. As much as it pains me to say this, it's abundantly clear that the Die Hard well has completely dried up by this point. There is barely the faintest echo of the original classic in this soulless embarrassment that has virtually no connection to the earlier movies, but damages it by association. Even without the name, this is an incompetent action movie, as director John Moore's awful camera work and editing turns the whole film into a headache, the villains are lame and thinly-drawn, and the cobbled-together script is clearly an afterthought between mind-numbing set pieces. But the worst thing about the film is Willis himself, who's phoned-in and disinterested reprisal of his Star-Making Role sees him barely show up as a sidekick in his own movie to Jai Courtney's lunkhead replacement, and John McClane's become this massively unlikable wanker that gets his kicks out of hurting people, especially if they don't speak his language. This is radioactive waste that makes the fourth film look like the first by comparison! In the end, it's a good day to put this series out of its own misery!"
Film Brain, on A Good Day to Die Hard

"Leap Year is so awful, that it can almost be considered a cultural insult. It's clear that the writers had no idea what Ireland was like whatsoever, other than what's on a Lucky Charms cereal box, and shoehorn them into every romcom convention known to man, depicting the country like it's barely progressed in a hundred years and filled with stereotypes. Amy Adams and Matthew Goode are wonderful actors, but this movie does them a disservice because it makes them look like fools, playing petty, spiteful, and just plain aggravating characters who can hardly stand to watch, let alone want to see together, with Goode's sullen barky being obnoxious. It aims to be this charming comedy, but it's clawing and sloppily made with a haphazard quality at every turn, as they don't even put effort into the conventions. I can't imagine what it must be like watching this as an Irish viewer; this must've been laughed off the screen in the country, and not in the way the filmmakers intended. For all involved, this is a total embarrassment that, to quote the movie, is a load of poo. If you want to have a lucky day, don't waste your time watching this absolute drivel! Maybe take a page out of Matthew Goode's book and watch The Quiet Man instead, or hell, even watch a Leprechaun sequel; those are about as Irish as this is!"
Film Brain, on Leap Year