And You Thought It Was Safe(?)


Die Another Day (2002)

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Our review of the twentieth James Bond movie. God help us all.

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AYTIWS Commentaries: Catwoman

One year ago today (well, one year ago Sunday, but whatever) we posted our first video review. To celebrate, we present this, our first episode-length commentary. Join us as we relive all the fun, excitement and adventure of listening to ourselves bitch about a shitty superhero movie from 2004. Hope you’re all stocked up on catnip.

(And if you’d like me to talk over any of the other episodes, don’t hesitate to ask.)



Die Another Day (2002)
This is where I abandoned all hope.

Don’t know about you, but this is where I abandoned all hope.

Bond is, in many ways, every “civilized” government’s wet dream: a nominal superman, possessed of  knowledge, skill-sets, and technologies far beyond we mere mortals…with no attachment to humanity.

Die Another Day finds the Fifth Bond (Pierce Brosnan) visibly aged since his previous appearance on the world stage and sent to assassinate one Colonel Moon (Will Yun Lee) of the North Korean Army. Moon’s your usual evil hypocrite, having used his American education to get in good with international Conflict Diamond smugglers. As he tells Bond “I studied at Oxford and Harvard: majored in Western hypocrisy,” and it’s nice to see a fellow History Major on screen, even if only as a Bond Villain. So far, so good, but things will get bad very quickly. Continue reading



X-Men: The Last Stand (2006)
Oh crap. I put in a Twilight movie by mistake.

Oh crap. I put in a Twilight movie by mistake.

Doc Psy’s Journal: May 26, 2006. Shitty movie in theaters this morning. Finger pints of meddling executives all over the remains. This entertainment industry is afraid of me. I have seen its true face. Its corporate boardrooms are blood-stained abattoirs where good ideas go to die, tortured by bean counters and business school graduates even more cynical than I am. If that’s possible.

The hatred I feel now’s been a long time coming. For two movies, I watched as fanboys and -girls the world over sang the praises of X-Men. They jumped for joy when X2 managed to avoid outright sucking. And then it happened. Bryan Singer jumped ship to do Superman Returns. Wouldn’t you? Yes, you would. You would abandon the franchise you’d spent half a decade building for the chance to do Superman. I don’t blame Singer for taking the opportunity to make that film. I blame him for the crappy film he eventually made . The rest of the blame is fitted for the shoulders of 20th Century Fox, the movie company that can’t pass a shark without jumping it. Continue reading



Catwoman (2004)

Continue reading



X-Men (2000)
"What did you expect...a group shot full of action? Go back to your Rob Leifeld comics then, you posers,"

"What did you expect...a group shot full of action? Go back to your Rob Leifeld comics then, you posers,"

Now here’s a case study in adaption, a simultaneous example of how to successfully make a comic book movie and how to cock it up even as you’re supposedly doing “right” by both your fans and your studio backers. An unqualified box office success, X-Men ignited what I’ve come to call the Silver Age of Comic Book Movies, inaugurating trends and best practices that hamstring the genre to this day, despite elevating superhero flicks up to a level of respectability they’d never previously enjoyed…save, perhaps, for about a minute and a half there, after Tim Burton’s Batman.

Batman was a filmmaker’s film by a man who’s gone on to admit he’s never read a comic book in his life. (“Which,” as Kevin Smith put it, “explains Batman.”) At least X-Men‘s Bryan Singer had the good since to claim making his “comic book” movie helped him see the light. Before this, Singer was known for one decent thriller (Unusual Suspects) and one half-decent Stephen King adaption (Apt Pupil). Seeking to do a sci-fi picture, he nonetheless turned X-Men down three times…until producer Avi Arad convinced him to actually read the damn books…and watch some of the wonderful animated series Arad brought to Fox Kids for five season’s in the 90s. Continue reading



X2: X-Men United (2003)

I went into this farce with no expectations.  In case you haven’t figured it out by now, I’m a natural pessimist. So much of a pessimist I was prepared to write X2 off completely, like all the idiots I criticism for their blatant hypocrisy, dismissing “comic book” movies without daring to sully their eyes by actually viewing  one. Then the maintenance man comes by at nine in the morning, screwing my sleep schedule all to hell. And he tells me I should see this movie. It apparently, “kicked serious ass.”

So off I go to Target. Twenty minutes, two cigs, and one neutered anti-theft device later, I returned the proud (if ambivalent) owner of X2, second in what will no doubt be the epic superhero movie trilogy to end all epic superhero movie trilogies. For, like, ever.

As if. I say “ambivalent” whenever I’m faced with something like this…like almost any movie from the summer of ’03…with one notable exception…something that makes me feel anything but united. I love glitz and glamor as much as the next Red Blooded American Male, but I’m getting mighty tired of leaving a movie feeling hollow and gypped. After all, didn’t they used to make movies with something more than a few hundred million dollars of special effects? Something that engaged its audience? That challenged us? Was that just a dream? I swear they were still doing it a few years ago… {More}