I hate flying. I mean, if you read my post regularly, you probably know by now that I hate pretty much everything but brown liquor, ethnic food, and busty redheads. I also enjoy green tea. But flying is a particular nightmare for me, bordering on a legit phobia. Every time the airframe shakes in the slightest, as is completely normal and expected, my first instinct is always that engines have exploded and we are about to plummet to our fiery deaths whilst we scream and poo all over ourselves right up until we disintegrate at the moment of impact.
So, with that in mind, I’m sure you can all understand that, while my trip to Australia was absolutely the tits, the lengthy flight I had to take from New York to the depths of a Stygian hellscape were no fun. And then, after my layover in LA (rimshot!) I had an even longer flight to Brisbane. Then, after many days of drinky-drinky happy fun time in the sun, I had to fly back. That all sucked. Hard.
Since I typically can’t sleep on the verge of gruesome death and drinking heavily enough to pass out would cost me shitloads of money on an aircraft, whenever I travel by air I am forced to delve into the morass of in-flight entertainment to pass the time. Over the course of my cumulative forty hours in a tube screaming through the sky last month, I watched a whole butt-ton of movies on tiny screens. Some old, some new. Some I’d seen before, other’s I hadn’t. And guess what? P. D. Montgomery isn’t the only one here who can review shit. But I will be the one with an entirely arbitrary but completely accurate point system. Let’s do this.
Paul’s Quick Reviews of the Movies He Watched While Sweating Pure Fear at 30,000 Feet
Be Kind, Rewind – Jack Black does Jack Black things while helping Mos Def remake all the movies in Danny Glover’s video store in scenic Passaic, New Jersey. The town starts to love their goofy, low-budget remakes until the terrifying villain CORPORATE AMERICA SCARY LADY steps in.
- Jack Black: +2
- Danny Glover: +5
- Mos Def: Not Kyle Gas
- Sigourney Weaver: Was in this?
- Idea: +1
- Execution: -3
Bottom Line: Watching this felt like being at a party where nobody brought beer because they just assumed everybody else would bring beer. Quirky ideas can be great movies, but somebody’s still gotta write a script. And act. And give a shit. Final Score: 5.
Fast & Furious 6 – Carsplosions galore! According to P. D. Montgomery, this is the Citizen Kane of movies for guys with small penises. Or at least that’s what I got out of skimming of his review. It seems accurate.
- Action: +5
- Script (One-Liners): +3
- Script (Everything Else): -3
- Magical Endless Airport Runway: -2
- Ludacris: Way Better Actor than Mos Def
- The Male Cast: Prettier than the Female Cast
Bottom Line: Okay, so a couple dozen innocent bystanders got crushed to death by a tank and the Asian guy’s hot girlfriend got splattered on a runway by the jet exhaust of an Antonov-225, but we’re still gonna ring this up as a happy ending because Vin Diesel got his bitchy girlfriend back? Oh wow, it’s actually concluding with everybody holding hands at a family BBQ? Really? We’re doing this? Okay. Jesus. Final Score: 4 (Bonus Point for The Artist Formerly Known as The Rock).
The Great Gatsby – Baz Luhrmann does what Baz Luhrmann does while 2007 Spider-Man explains everything you’re seeing.
- Baz Luhrmann: -3
- Trying Too Hard: -5
- Trying Too Hard Even for Baz Luhrmann: -20
- Carey Mulligan: -Everything
- Minutes That Could Have Been Cut: 25
- Leonardo DiCaprio Gets Shot: +12
Bottom Line: Of all the films I watched, this was the only one that actually made my flight seem longer. It was like Baz Lurhmann ate a huge box of crayons and then shat brightly colored diarrhea into my brain while making me listen to godawful music for over two hours. Final Score: Fuck No.
The Hangover Part III – Hey everybody, The Wolf Pack is back again! Get it? Remember that? The Wolf Pack? From that hilarious speech Zach Galifianakis made in the first one? Huh? Remember? Do you? Hey, get back here! I’m talking to you! LOVE ME!
- Zach Galifianakis: +2
- John Goodman: +5
- Melissa McCarthy: +2
- Original Ideas/Humor: -6
- Ken Jeong’s Welcome: Worn Out
- Justin Bartha: Get’s Kidnapped More than Zelda
Bottom Line. Whelp, this happened. Final Score: 3
Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters – The titular children from the fairy tale grow up and travel through a gritty fantasy land murdering the ever-loving shit out of witches. They swear a lot and learn a little about themselves along the way.
- Gemma Arterton: +10
- Gemma Arterton’s Accent: -3
- Jeremy Renner: – 6
- Jeremy Renner Slammed Repeatedly into Trees: +5
- Surprisingly Not Bad: +2
- Peter Stormare: Needs More Screen Time. Always.
Bottom Line: I thought I was down to the dregs of available in-flight flicks when I picked this one. But it actually surprised me by being a decently entertaining semi-spoofy action movie. It comes off like a grad student’s well-made homage to the Evil Dead movies. No Army of Darkness, but tolerable. Final Score: 11 (Bonus Point for each of Gemma Arterton’s breasts).
The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey – If I need to explain this to you, you should be goddamn ashamed of yourself.
- Not Lord of the Rings: -2
- Still Really Good: +1
- Ensemble Cast: +7
- Gandalf Fights Giant Scrotum-Faced Goblin King: +5
- Azog the Defiler: Was That Huge Dude From the Spartacus Series
- Radagast the Brown: Annoyed the Crap Out of Me
Bottom Line: Yeah, so it’s not as good as any film from the first trilogy. But you know what? Screw all you haters. You fucking nerds could complain about anything. It was still a damn fine movie and I look forward to the next one. Because it will have Benedict Cucumberpatch or whatever his name is playing a dragon. And Stephen Fry. Final Score: 14 (Bonus Hugo Weaving/Cate Blanchett Point).
The Internship – Vince Vaughn and Owen Wilson play Vince Vaughn and Owen Wilson trying to get a job at Google because we’re all so fucking sick of them and the same shtick that made us all tired of Wedding Crashers already.
- Vince Vaughn: -7
- Owen Wilson: -5
- Aasif Mandvi: +3
- Rose Byrne: +3
- Rest of the Cast: Who Gives a Shit?
- Funny: Nope.
Bottom Line: Albert Einstein once defined insanity as “Doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.” Wilson and Vaughn seem to have decided that, ipso facto, doing the same thing over and over again and expecting the same results is entirely sane. It’s not. It’s boring as fuck. Final Score: -6.
Iron Man 3 – Robert Downey Jr robo-punches his way through PTSD, relationship problems, exploding fire monster people, and terrorism, all the while quipping his way deeper into our collective hearts. Not a big difference from the first two films, but who cares.
- Robert Downey Jr: +5
- Ben Kingsley: +7
- Rest of Supporting Cast: +5
- Vague and Nonsensical Political Themes: -3
- Hyperactive End Battle: -2
- Stereotypical Smart/Tough Little Kid Who Helps Hero: Not Too Annoying
Bottom Line: I like these movies. I like the first two. I like this one. Probably the best entries in the Marvel films. ‘Nuff said. Final Score: 13 (Bonus Point since whenever Guy Pearce plays a tough guy it makes me laugh because I can’t help but picture him doing this).
Mud – A little-known film wherein Matthew McConaughey plays (get ready for a surprise here) a sleazy southern redneck with a troubled past. Mind blowing, right? Anyway, he’s the catalyst for a coming-of-age story for two young boys on some hillbilly river in Arkansas. Hyuck!
- Competent Child Actor: +4
- Crappy Child Actor: -2
- Really Predictable Scene With Snakes: -3
- Actual Script and Plot: +5
- Sam Shepard Sniping the Shit Out of Some Evil Bounty Hunters: +7
- Matthew McConaughey: Knows What We Expect From Him Now
Bottom Line: I’d heard a few good reviews of this back when it came out, but it quickly faded off the radar. Turns out, the reviews were pretty on the money. Not a great film, but definitely a good one with some interesting twists that make it the best “growing up is hard” flick I’ve seen in a while. Final Score: 11.
The Right Stuff – The 1983 classic that tells the story of the dawns of the Jet Age and Space Age. A fantastic film, but probably not the best thing for me to have watched on a plane since a good chunk of the running time is Sam Shepard (as legendary pilot Chuck Yeager) ramming experimental jets into the desert.
- Talented Cast Members: +5
- Dennis Quaid: -2
- The Scene Where Ed Harris (as John Glenn) is Humming “The Marines’ Hymn” While Masturbating Into a Metal Tube: +9
- Dennis Quaid (as Gordon Cooper) Humming “The Air Force Song” While Doing the Same in the Stall Next to Him: -3
- Sam Shepard Crashing the Shit Out of Some Planes: +3
- The Commies Beat Us Into Space: Sad But True
Bottom Line: Watch this movie on the ground. Final Score: 14 (Bonus Point for wacky bit parts played by Jeff Goldblum and Harry Shearer)
Star Trek: Into Darkness – KHAN!
- KHAN!: +7
- KHAN!: +4
- KHAN?: KHAN!
- Strong Female Characters in Their Underpants: +5
- KHAN!: -3
- Robocop Gets His Skull Crushed By: KHAN!
Bottom Line: Don’t make me say it again. Final Score: 13.
And that, my dear readers, is how I spent my two days worth of panic attacks to and from the Commonwealth of Australia. Next time I’m taking a fucking boat.