I know it’s in vogue to just automatically dislike any new take on beloved childhood icons, but I don’t have the energy for hating things I haven’t actually experienced. As such, I took the Michael Bay-produced, Jonathan Liebesman-directed Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles movie from a few years back with a grain of salt. I had to cover a lot of the pre-release outrage for Spinoff back when it all happened and yet still decided to give it a watch on On Demand recently. Continue reading We Want Action: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (2014)
I was pretty excited for Jennifer’s Body, but it had nothing to do with plot or acting or story or the fact that it was written by Juno’s Diablo Cody (I thought Juno was mostly boring and kind of ridiculous when it came to dialogue), but because I’ve always had a thing for Amanda Seyfried and Megan Fox is crazy hot. Oddly enough, it’s the leads’ star power that kind of derails the movie’s sleaze (just to let you guys know ahead of time, there is sex in the movie, but no nudity, which kind of deflates it a bit).
Anyway, the story’s about Fox (Jennifer) getting turned into a succubus by a band with Adam Brody in it. They’re trying to make a sacrifice to become gigantic rock stars, but it turned out that Jennifer wasn’t actually a virgin when they sacrificed her so she turned into the succubus (which kind of eats human life/blood to stay hot and healthy looking). Her best friend Seyfried sticks by her, but turns into the story’s hero as she figures things out.
I can’t really place my finger on it, but this movie just seemed kind of whatever. Maybe it’s because a lot of the gore was shown off camera (what’s the point if you’ve already got an R?). Maybe because of unbelievable/sketchy plot points like Seyfried learning all about succubi from the local library (does Giles run it?) or even the fact that Seyfried and Fox are friends. She says its because they’ve known each other forever, but I just didn’t buy it. Why would the ultra hot and popular Jennifer want to hang out with the nerdy girl? Why would the nerdy girl put up with her abuse? Maybe it’s because I don’t still have friends from when I was very young anymore, but that “well, we’ve known each other forever” thing doesn’t hold water with me once you hit high school.
I will say that there are some good lines. I liked the dialogue in this one way better than Juno because it didn’t seem as in your face or mile a minute or all over the place. I also liked Johnny Simmons as Seyfried’s boyfriend, JK Simmons as a hook handed teacher (I didn’t notice it at first and unfortunately it has NO pay off throughout the film) and Amy Sedaris as Seyfried’s alcoholic (I think) mother. It was cool seeing her especially play outside her normal wheelhouse.
All in all, it wasn’t a terrible movie, but it didn’t really do much for me as a story, which is too bad because there’s such a dearth of original non-remake, non-sequel horror movies coming out. This one clearly got made on the strength of Cody’s name and a solid cast, but I think it’s wobbliness says more about why the movie didn’t do super well than why new horror movies shouldn’t get made. There have got to be better horror scripts floating around just waiting for some new studio looking to make some bucks can put some money behind. Hell, I’ve got a nice little slasher script I bet could be made for short money if anyone’s interested.
I had completely forgotten that tonight was the season premiere of SNL (it’s 35th year!), with Megan Fox hosting and U2 as the musical guest, but luckily the Notre Dame game ended just in time (and even more luckily, they won), so the timing just worked out. I was impressed to see a fairly healthy roster of up and comers in the opening credits. The opening monologue was pretty good (we missed most of the pre-intro skit, but I saw Conan do pretty much the same joke earlier this week on The Tonight Show, so no big loss. All in all the episode was okay, not Justin Timberlake-good by any means, but there were more skits with laughs than stinkers, I especially liked the phone sex commercial one. That was a lot of fun and damn if Fox wasn’t both good and bewitching. Her eyes are like dude tractor beams, I’m convinced.
Also fun was seeing one of those newbie cast members drop the f-bomb during the Bicker Chick Chat segment (or whatever it was called). It made an otherwise dull skit at least interesting to listen to. The whole “friggin'” thing got real old, real quick. And speaking of old, I hate U2. I know I’m one of the few people in the world that doesn’t get Bono’s inflated self importance or why such simple music has made so many people happy for so many years, but their performances were just rough, especially at the end, when Bono was swinging around on a weird, circular light-up mic/trapeze rope. Hey, I thought Pink’s performance at the VMAs was rad too, but you don’t see me putting on a shiny suit and swinging around my living room (mostly because I haven’t filmed it yet, I’m still nailing down the routine).
So, it wasn’t a perfect episode by any means, but worth not watching a movie during that time slot (I’ve got Steel Dawn and Lake Placid burning holes on my TV stand). Oh, also, the first Digital Short was pretty lame, while the second was good. So, if you’re watching them on Hulu tomorrow/today, you can skip that one.