Movie – Erased: C-

It’s sad that Aaron Eckhart can’t seem to be in anything good outside of The Dark Knight. This time we have a blatant copy of much better movies, especially recent Liam Neeson actioners like Taken or Unknown. The plot flops along from decent shootouts to mediocre car chases without anything remarkable. And of course there’s the forced (and quite annoying) daughter/father relationship to explore.

Movie – White House Down: C-

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I was tempted to just copy/paste my review of Olympus Has Fallen, as they share so many faults. The forced plotting. The occational decent action in a sea of dumb decision-making. Though this one had Emmerich’s awful attempts at silliness to punctuate the badness. He also decided to make it more politically biased. Jamie Foxx (as a not-at-all disguised Obama) and Tatum worked fairly well together, but not enough to distract from the rest of the astounding ridiculousness.

Movie – Red 2: C-

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A while back, I read Mary-Louise Parker was quitting acting because internet trolls were too mean to her. I initially thought that sounded like an overreaction, but after seeing her in Red 2, I can understand the level of vehemence that could have potentially been flung toward her. Every time she speaks in this film I want to stab my brain to remove the offending memory. Her character was beyond annoying, going so far as to suck away the joy I would usually have when viewing the shenanigans of her co-stars. It certainly didn’t help that the story got progressively dumber as it went. The dialog sounded like a first draft. The first film veered wildly from the source comic, but stayed on an entertaining course. This one veered even further, careening through the railing and off a cliff.

Movie – Dead Man Down: C-

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It did a poor job of establishing the characters and their relationships early, and as a result I was totally lost for a while. Eventually I figured it out, but by then it was too late to enjoy the developments. It started and ended in gunfights, and was populated in between with slow relationship drama that’s mediocre at best.

Movie – Battle Royale: C-

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The acting is so bad it’s like a high school stage play. The actors flail around the sets even when they aren’t being riddled with machine-gun fire. The characters are only distinguishable by their relationships with each other, which is immediately tedious. Any promise from the concept is wasted completely on a baffling ebb and flow between campiness and awkward attempts at artistry.

Movie – Les Miserables: C-

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Taking a play and adding special effects, no matter how beautiful, did not make for a successful formula to turn it into a movie. I don’t hate musicals, but singing every line of dialog was unnecessary, and at times difficult to understand. The sets looked like, well… sets, and not part of a greater city. I’m not as disappointed in Russel Crowe as everyone said I should be. But since he and Jackman were the only characters with full arcs I can see how his lack-luster performance would be more noticable. Also the movie would not end. It just kept going. Forever. So many time jumps…

Comic – Green Arrow vol1: The Midas Touch: C-

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Green Arrow needed expert reinvention on par with those given to Animal Man, Wonder Woman, and Aquaman. Instead, we are given a painfully boring character with no notable characteristics. The new side-kick characters seem straight out of a terrible TV series on the CW. The villains could’ve been interesting, but utterly fail. The first story arc is unforgivably terrible. It feels like it’s written by an old man who has heard that this new thing called “the internet” is hip with the youngsters and attempted to wrap a story around that vague concept. The second arc is only marginally better, despite being written by Keith Giffen, usually a decent writer. Not so much this time around.