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Vidiot: August 2014

Monday 04th, August 2014 / 12:13
By Shane Sellar

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Sabotage

The first thing you should do after stealing from a cartel is to kill yourself and your family.

Unfortunately, the corrupt cops in this crime-thriller didn’t, so now they’re being offed.

Breacher (Arnold Schwarzenegger) and his badass DEA agents (Sam Worthington, Terrence Howard, Josh Holloway, Joe Manganiello, Mireille Enos, Max Martini) stole millions in drug money from a warehouse raid.

Now they are systematically being killed one by one.

Assigned to their case is an investigator (Olivia Williams) who suspects the assassin is one of Breacher’s own crew.

Weightier than expected, Sabotage is a sombre whodunit with intermittent gunfights and car chases. However, Schwarzenegger’s ham-fisted performance sticks out amid his more talented co-stars.

What’s more, his presence serves to unintentionally lighten the darker elements of the story, making them unbelievable and comical.

Incidentally, it’s not surprising the officers stole the drug money; it’s surprising they didn’t steal the drugs too.

Dom Hemingway

The key to being a professional safecracker is having your own stethoscope.

The burglar is this dark comedy, however, has little use for tools.

Released from prison, Dom (Jude Law) feels entitled to cash from his former employer (Demián Bichir) for keeping his mouth shut.

While Dom obtains the cash, he later loses it when the boss’s girl (Madalina Diana Ghenea) runs away with it after a car crash.

Destitute, Dom attempts to reconcile with his estranged daughter (Emilia Clarke) and rekindle his safecracking career.

Needless to say, neither venture is as easy as he hopes.

A cheeky crime comedy, Dom Hemingway is light on both the laughs and the lawbreaking.

Not only that but the brash British characters and the stylish cinematography aren’t as impressive as this movie thinks they are.

As for safekeeping his reward money, Dom should’ve done like in prison and stowed it up his ass.

The Single Moms Club

The irony of single motherhood is they’re raising fatherless sons who grow up and make more single moms.

Although this comedy doesn’t attempt to break that cycle of abandonment, it does hope to unify those affected.

May (Nia Long), Hillary (Amy Smart), Jan (Wendi McLendon-Covey), Lytia (Cocoa Brown) and Zulay (Esperanza Luego) are all single mothers who’ve been summoned to their child’s school for disciplinary reasons.

While their social class makes them standoffish at first, over time they find common ground in their plight as single moms.

To help ease that burden, they form a society in which one member will watch all of their children while the rest of them go out to the strippers.

Tyler Perry’s insulting salute to single moms, this pap unsuccessfully tries to pass off its simplistic/unrealistic storyline as female empowerment.

Incidentally, if it weren’t for single moms we wouldn’t have our beloved serial killers.

Rio 2

Rio 2? Isn’t that the colloquial term for the shantytown where they hid Rio’s impoverished children during the World Cup?

My mistake, it actually refers to the continuation of a story, not a FIFA cover-up.

Married macaws Blu (Jesse Eisenberg) and Jewel (Anne Hathaway) have started a family in suburbia.

Domesticated and docile, Jewel feels the family needs to return to their roots, so she proposes a trip to the Amazon.

In the tropics they encounter old friends (Jamie Foxx, Tracy Morgan, George Lopez) and new enemies in the form of illegal loggers.

A perfunctory sequel, Rio 2 doesn’t deviate from its mediocre origins or up the ante in any aspect.

Sprinkled with forgettable ditties like the first, the Sérgio Mendes produced soundtrack annoys more than entertains. The same applies to the overworked characters.

Incidentally, we need to chop down rainforests so we can make newspapers for macaws to crap on.

Transcendence

The downside to being a disembodied head is that you’re relegated to the same sexual position for the rest of your life.

Unfortunately for the digitized dome in this sci-fi film, he can’t even offer oral.

With an extremist’s bullet poisoning his body, Dr. Will Caster (Johnny Depp) convinces his wife (Rebecca Hall) to upload his brainwaves into the sentient supercomputer he has been designing.

With access to the Internet, Will’s power grows exponentially – much to the chagrin of his contemporaries (Morgan Freeman, Paul Bettany), the terrorist leader (Kate Mara) and the FBI (Cillian Murphy).

Their fears are later confirmed when Will’s mind control abilities, along with his dream of singularity, threatens humanity.

While Transcendence does present some interesting points on nanotechnology, its lacklustre script and hollow performances dull those points.

Furthermore, if we start downloading our minds onto the web then Heaven had better secure a domain name.

Heaven is for Real

If Heaven is a real place than why do all of my letter bombs get sent back unopened?

Despite not having an updated mailing address, this drama still swears Heaven exists.

Pastor Todd (Greg Kinnear) always held the Lord in high regard. That was until his four-year-old Colton (Connor Corum) was stricken by infirmity.

In the hospital chapel, Todd questions God’s action, pleading to take him instead.

Miraculously, Colton pulls through, but something about him is different.

Confessing to have travelled to Heaven while under sedation, Colt recants for his family the folks he met there, including his great-grandfather, his unborn sister and Jesus Christ.

Based on the bestseller, Heaven is for Real is more movie of the week than cinematic marvel. While Kinnear’s turn as the skeptical preacher is believable, the kid’s account of Heaven is not.

Furthermore, Heaven was a real place up until science came along.

Nymphomaniac: Volume I

In this day and age, if you’re not a nymphomaniac then marketing and advertising firms have failed to do their jobs.

Fortunately for them, the female in this drama is a full-blown sex-fiend.

Seligman (Stellan Skarsgård) comes across a severely beaten woman, Joe (Charlotte Gainsbourg), in the alley one night.

He takes her back to his apartment for recuperation. While she rests, Joe regales Seligman with the sorted saga that lead to her attack.

From an early age Joe was a sexual being. It was not until her deflowering by Jerôme (Shia LaBeouf), however, that she discovered the virtues of copulation.

Lover after lover, Joe details for Seligman her hypersexuality and the events that formed her professed impiety.

More analytical than exploitive, writer/director Lars von Trier doesn’t shy away from the dalliances. Instead he dissects them with poise and humour.

Incidentally, nymphomaniacs should make sure they have a sturdy bed.

Nymphomaniac: Volume II

The best part of being a nymphomaniac is you don’t need to own many clothes.

Surprisingly, the sex-fiend in this drama has a respectable wardrobe.

Joe (Charlotte Gainsbourg) continues her sexual confession for Seligman (Stellan Skarsgård), the impartial passerby who found her beaten in an alleyway.

From her failures as a wife and mother that lead her to weekly sessions with a sadomasochist (Jamie Bell), to her relationship with her father (Christian Slater) which now influences her relationship with her protégée (Mia Goth), Joe bares her soul to the stranger.

Drawing ever closer to the reason she was left half-alive in the gutter.

The final chapter of Lars von Trier’s magnum opus, Volume II fills in a lot of the holes from the first volume but also tends to venture into some unlikely scenarios involving a criminal (Willem Dafoe).

Ironically, this film’s target audience will be having sex throughout it.

Bad Words

Thanks to SMS’ truncation of words, winning a spelling bee nowadays is so EZ.

Even easier is entering as an adult, like the guy in this comedy.

Forty-year-old Guy (Jason Bateman) hires a small-time reporter (Kathryn Hahn) to detail his subjugation of a national spelling bee for 10-year-olds.

To win, Guy must endure the vitriol of both parents (Rachael Harris, Anjul Nigam) and administrators (Allison Janney, Philip Baker Hall).

Not until he befriends a competing speller (Rohan Chand) does Guy loosen up and let slip the meaning of his mission.

The directorial debut of star Jason Bateman, Bad Words is a valiant effort on both sides of the camera.

His contemptible character manages to strike an accord with his adolescent co-star’s naivety, while his camera skills capture that great comedic and dramatic interplay.

Incidentally, the only word spelling bee judges need to give grown male contestants to spell is: Pedophile. ​

The Raid 2

The upside to working undercover is getting two paychecks at the end of the week.

Unfortunately, the covert agent in this action movie isn’t collecting on the dirty income.

Shortly after the events that left him the lone survivor of his SWAT unit, Rama (Iko Uwais) is recruited to join a task force devoted to weeding out corrupt cops.

With his wife and newborn in danger from mob retaliation, Rama agrees to go to prison under the name Yuda to gain the trust of Uco (Arifin Putra), the son of Jakarta’s biggest kingpin (Tio Pakusadewo).

Unbeknownst to Yuda, however, his involvement with the mafia family comes during their turf war with their Japanese rivals.

Detached enough from the original to be accessible to newcomers, this rapid-fire follow-up has more consistency and contains some of the most mind-blowing fight sequences ever.

On the upside, gang wars typically involve Broadway style song-and-dance numbers.

He’s a Fool’s Errand Boy. He’s the…

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