Fun Reviews from ESPN’s Grantland, the online pop culture arm of ESPN. (It still seems like odd bedfellows to me, but whatever.)
First I look at a review about a campy horror movie that looks like fun, then a movie that is so stupid the review is hilarious. Take a look:
GRANTLAND MOVIE REVIEWS
Movie 1: It Follows
Plot: After a girl loses her virginity, her partner says that someone gave “it” to him and he’s going to pass it on to her. It is completely unclear what “it” is that he’s giving her. She feels like something is following her. Then she sees it following her, but no one else does.
Spoilers skimmable? Yes, but be careful. Cills wisely says that we should “go in cold” when we see the movie,” but then gives away what look like some tense scenes.
Bottom line: “Smart and thought-provoking’.” A throw-back horror movie with a cool, vintage feel, however, no time period is established.
“This is a movie that will be referred to as an ‘STD horror movie,’ but it’s also a movie about the larger terror that looms every time you have sex with a new person….You’ll leave the theater watching your back, while a reminder to get yourself tested lurks in the back of your brain.”
Movie 2: The Gunman
review by Wesley Morris
Plot: Sean Penn plays Jimmy Terrier, a mercenary who assassinates the Congolese mining minister. He has a beautiful girlfriend who his best friend (Javier Bardem) is in love with. He goes into hiding for eight years during which–wouldn’t ya know it–the babe is “shacked up” with Javier Bardem. Penn reappears as a “do-gooder” for the
environment, fighting the evils of offshore drilling (something like that). In the meantime, the company who hired him to kill the Congolese minister is sending mercenaries to kill him.
Spoilers Skimmable? Not at all, but the review is hilarious and there is no way I would watch this movie. I am unsure as to why anyone would.
Bottom line: A dud from beginning to end. So many reasons, most if not all, having to do with Sean Penn, who is also a co-writer:
1: “it’s unconvincing and incoherent.”
2: “international intrigue” is superfluous to what seems like the movie’s theme, Penn’s body:
“Why bother with all of this international intrigue just to treat Penn’s body as a tourist attraction?”
3. Penn looks for any excuse to rip his shirt off: “He’s 54, and the prominence of his body is a matter of prerogative. At that age, when you’ve still got it, flaunt it. But Penn doesn’t simply flaunt it. He Stallones it.
4. The political correct theme is gratuitous–Penn is always so serious and not funny that he has to throw in a cause, Morris laments. (Penn is one of the screenwriters.)