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Movie Reviews: Vampire Academy + A Pocketful of Rye + The Negotiator

Vampire Academy (2013)
From the director of the ten year old ‘Mean Girls’ comes this tale based on a crappy teen novel. The Richelle Mead novel was adapted into a screenplay by Daniel Waters who wrote ‘Heathers’. Rose and Lissa ran away from St Vladimir’s Academy a year ago and now they are being dragged back by pasty Russian lump of lard Dmitri. This film was a huge stinking bomb like ‘Teaching Mrs Tingle’ and it is easy to see why as it is incoherent and full of stupid plastic fangs and exposition dumps.

Rose does kung fu (badly) and falls for Dmitri for no clear reason. Lissa seems slow and has a huge mouth. Friendly fastidious elder vampire Victor (Gabriel Byrne) lurks and you just know he is the bad guy because he is the biggest name in the cast. The headmistress shrieks and the vampire Queen (Joely Richardson) prances. This was anodyne and logic violently unspools yet it has a cheesy attraction.

Lissa symptom substitutes or something. Lissa’s former friends aren’t conciliatory at first. Rose acts like a one woman reality show. Vampires go to church and that is where any resemblance of reality went right out the window. There is subplot about a missing teacher named Ms Karp (Claire Foy of ‘White Heat’) which is set up as a sequel hook. A baddie blows in someone’s ear, the vampire mythology makes no real sense and there is an idiot climax with revelations, a twist, a ridiculous speech, sequel hooks galore and Rose making out with Dimitri the 40 something lump and his tiny underpants. This is a ridiculous film that is skewed fatally towards cheese and a sequel full of edginess and loss of restraint in promised in the final scene but that will never be now will it? The alternate opening was much better, this could and should have been better.

Best Lines:
“It speaks.”

“Nothing resembling fun.”

“I have no friends to tell.”

“If you see a Strigoi, I recommend running.”

“Fat lady feeder breath.”

“She writes ‘Twilight’ fan fiction.”

“Jesse has a personality? I didn’t know.”

“He liked to hit my mother. When I was old enough, I liked to hit him.”

“Not everything to be feared roams outside the gates of St Vladimir’s.”

“They say Dmitri is a god. Well I’m an atheist. An atheist with a big gun.”

~
Agatha Christie’s Miss Marple: A Pocketful of Rye (1987)
Joan Hickson stars in this inept adaptation of a lesser novel. The opening credits are unsettling with lovely music. Rich man Rex (Timothy West of ‘Eastenders’) is murdered. The police investigate. This is different from the book. Prodigal son Lance (Peter Davison of ‘Doctor Who’) returns. He has no emotional maturity and is the world’s brattiest son and looks about 20. Good son Percival wears a costume of machismo. Rex’s second trophy wife is a low culture, pouty, submissive blonde and Mary Dove the housekeeper is greasy looking, literally.

Characters act idiotically and this has a stench of inauthenticity and I felt minimally involved with this dire artless boring mess. Class issues are ignored as Miss Marple shows up to remonstrate and the police let her take over the investigation in asinine fashion. Lance’s concomitant is obvious as is his fecklessness and untrustworthiness. Gladys the doomed maid is way too dim.

What was Lance doing in British East Africa? Everyone has impiety and grave pathologies. The police have no inquisitiveness. Nobody is discomfited by Rex’s murder or any of the further murders. There is corrosion, sadness and isolation as people disparage each other. This was devoid of merit as Miss Marple uncovers the murderer. This was full of mendacity and weak, inept, cowardly, unprincipled types who you don’t care about. Everyone is brash, uncouth, boorish and forments withering contempt. Also the acting is appalling.

Best Lines:
“Godless things.”

“Your father was a rogue and he married a harlot.”

“Matrimonial warfare.”

“An odious man. In fact the whole family are most unpleasant people.”

“A den of iniquity.”

“Bloody grim.”

“A lunatic posioner at large.”

“Great useless chump.”

~
The Negotiator (1998)
Police negotiator Danny Roman (Samuel L. Jackson) is framed for murder and corruption by corrupt co-workers. So he takes hostages, waves a gun and shouts about his innocence. He will only talk to negotiator Chris Sabian (Kevin Spacey) who is from another precinct and therefore can be trusted. Roman is determined to prove he isn’t a gun wielding maniac by acting like a gun wielding manic. There is active distrust in play as Roman yells and Sabian talks. Both have no indoor voice. There are guns, swearing and deceitful attempts to influence. Sabian has repellent contempt for everyone. Danny menaces and yells constantly to embellish his willingness to do anything to prove his story.

Outdated computers are looked up. Convenient evidence is kept by baddies so the goodies can find it. Stockholm syndrome sets in. There is plot illogic, violence and the surprising head bad guy has impertinence. This was okay with an overblown soundtrack. But why wasn’t Roman arrested for taking hostages? Danny’s co-workers include David Morse, John Spencer, Tim Kelleher, Nestor Serrano and Dean Norris and his hostages include J.T Walsh, Ron Rifkin and Paul Giamatti.

Best Lines:
“You bring tension and emotion to a scene that already has too much of both.”

“There are ways to prove your innocence. This is hardly one of them.”

“THIS WILL HAPPEN!”

“What was that? A threat? Did you just threaten me?”

“There is no they, right?”

“They had to believe I was capable of that.”

“Surrender my ass!”
Tags: bbc-christie, doctor who, house of cards, mortal instruments, movie review, vampire academy
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