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Surrogates vs. Pandorum

vs.

Better Name

Surrogates-Horrible images of Juno and Baby Mamma flashed through my mind when I first heard this movie title.

Pandorum – echoes of “Pandora”, the chick that just couldn’t keep her grubby fingers off the box that released all evil.

Edge: Pandorum

Premise

Surrogates- People plug in to a machine and control robots out in the real world.  This allows them to live isolated lives hooked into machines all day (livin’ the dream).  They can feel pleasure through the surrogates (how else would they infuse sex into the story line) but somehow can not experience pain.  This lovely world ends when someone figures out how to kill people through their surrogates.  Oh my!

Pandorum – What?!  Some unfortunate astronauts on a ship in deep space find themselves haunted by something mysterious?!  Alien–>Event Horizon–>Supernova–>Solaris… that’s what we call “trending down”.

Interesting, as long as it steers clear of the plot lines from Avatar, The Island, Terminator 1-3, Gamer, I-Robot, Bicentennial Man, The Matrix 1-3, Stepford Wives, and The Parent Trap

Interesting, as long as it steers clear of the plot lines from Avatar, The Island, Terminator 1-3, Gamer, I-Robot, Bicentennial Man, The Matrix 1-3, Stepford Wives, and The Parent Trap

Edge: Surrogates

Leading Man

Surrogates – This movie is awesome because not only do we get bald, angry looking Bruce Willis, but we also get his robot played by long-haired- nice-guy Bruce Willis.  This is great for Bruce, cause he has been in a slump lately and now has 2 chances to break out of it!

Pandorum – Ben Foster plays creepy (3:10 to Yuma) and creepier (Hostage) because he looks creepy.  Age hasn’t made him less creepy.  I’d go with him as the bad guy, even if that doesn’t make sense within the context of this movie.  Dennis Quaid is somehow a wannabe Kevin Costner, yet manages to produce even more mediocre movies than his idol.

Bruce Willis is so awesome that if he could be a robot of anyone, he would be himself but with hair

Bruce Willis is so awesome that if he could be a robot of anyone, he would be himself but with bad hair

Edge: Surrogates


Leading Woman

Surrogates – Um..  if you could be a robot of anything, why would you ever want to be a woman?  With that said, Rhada Mitchell plays Willis’ partner and helps him by probably asking questions that need to be answered in order to develop the plot.

Pandorum – the only thing I know about Antje Traue is that there is no way to pronounce the “ntj” sound in the English language.

she kinda looks like she could be a Olsen triplet.  If that triplet happened to actually eat food and not chain smoke.

Rhada looks like she could be an Olsen triplet. If that triplet happened to actually eat food and not chain smoke.

Edge: Surrogates

Preview

Surrogates – Too many sci-fi movies start off with the preview being a commercial for some futuristic product. They are somewhat forced to do this in order to explain the premise of the movie, but this one drags on for too long, and doesn’t make much sense.  We also get the obligatory human face ripped off to reveal robotic inner workings.  Snore.

Pandorum – Really, with these horror movie previews, you can usually stir intrigue by showing a bunch of scared/disheveled people…and this preview is no exception.  We’ll even forgive the laughable baby-alien-thing that pops up at the end:

Pandorum2

Not the strongest part of the preview...

Edge: Pandorum

Winner: Surrogates

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vs.

Premise

Love Happens- Romantic comedy about a guy who doesn’t want to be a motivational speaker (but somehow ended up being one) falling in love with a hot florist.  3 parts romance/1 part comedy

The Informant! – a corporate insider threatens to expose his company.  Only his company just sells corn, the informant is in love with being a spy, and, because he wants others to know it as well, he’s not very good. Yeah, we’re laughing at you Michael Clayton and The Insider.

Edge: The Informant

TheInformant1

Leading Man

Love Happens- With his two major roles being from Thank You for Smoking and The Dark Knight, Aaron Eckhart is  the man.  Plus, he could probably store at least a pound of rations in his chin cleft if you ever took him on a camping trip.

The Informant! Good Will Hunting, Saving Private Ryan, Rounders, Ocean’s Eleven, Bourne Identity, The Departed…would somebody even bat an eye if you told them those were your 6 favorite films? Those chin rations won’t save you against this barrage of movies Aaron.

Edge: The Informant

MattDamon

Leading Woman

Love Happens- Jennifer Aniston is clearly hot, and clearly famous for one role she played quite a while  ago (no, not from Office Space).  Jennifer, you have been with an actor, a musician, and a comedian.  You need to round out with an athlete and I just happened to be captain of my high school baseball team.

The Informant – There, uh, is no leading lady.  Rusty Schwimmer is the closest thing, but…it’s just never a good thing when you’re female and your name is “rusty”.

Edge: Love Happens

when I was in High school, even I wanted this haircut

when I was in High school, even I wanted this haircut

Preview

Love Happens- This preview hits a home run with an 0-2 count.

Strike one- Couple meets by bumping into each other.  Really guys?  Nothing better than that?

Strike two-  The main male character says he has to go and then we see him running through a forest backdrop  so fake it makes the Hills look like a documentary.

Homerun-  Hollywood’s amazing ability to name movies.  See how they took a popular idiom and replaced one word with the word love?  It works great.  Try it on your favorite.  ( Mine are, ” he bit off more than he could love”, and “It’s raining cats and love.”)

The Informant! – reels you in, making you think it’s a serious conspiracy film, then BAM…hits you with the comedy.  Solid work preview makers.  The only request I have: more shots of that ‘stache.

TheInformant2

Edge: The Informant!

X-Factor

Love Happens- The soundtrack to a preview is very key.  And although the Goo Goo Dolls “Better Days” has been used 38 times before, it still gets single female rear ends into movie theaters and sobbing.

The Informant – We have “Flight of the Valkyries” for this background song…too overplayed, and doesn’t really fit.  Besides, do you know what a Valkyrie is?  (“Tom Cruise” will not be accepted as a valid answer).

Edge: Love Happens

lhgoogledollsedWinner: The Informant!

In order to celebrate the start of the NFL season, and the fact that every week movies are battling each other for your money, we’ve decided to do category breakdowns of upcoming movies. This week you can expect “Love Happens” vs. “The Informant”, and “Pandorum” vs. “Surrogates”, starting tomorrow.

Every Friday we’ll give you the last quick shots on the weekend’s movies…

9Poster9

Synopsis: Post-apocalyptic puppets.

Troy: Imagine if these creatures started dueling one another – it would replace Battlebots as the new “human creation fighting matches”, and knitters would become the new engineers.

Torch: 9-9-09 passed and the worst thing that happened was Paula Abdul got kicked off idol.  All is well.

SororityRowPosterSorority Row

Synopsis: I Know What You Did Last Summer: the College Years.

Troy: A sorority accidentally stumbles upon a slave galley, and soon the girls find themselves chained to oars and forced to power the old-school vessel across the Atlantic.  Only their enduring belief that it will tone their buns, abs, and thighs keeps them going.

Torch: Like actual colleges, college movies can be judged based on the number of Asians in them.  This movie only has 1 and therefor sucks.

ICanDoBadPosterTyler Perry’s I Can Do Bad All By Myself

Synopsis: Woman finds redemption or something.

Troy: So like, is the implication that it usually takes more than one person to do something evil?

Torch: Bad if you pay to see this movie by yourself.  Worse if you and others pay to see it.

WhiteoutPosterWhiteout

Synopsis: Murders in Antarctica.

Troy: Is it just a coincidence that this movie called “Whiteout”, and a movie called “White on Rice”, come out the same day as the new Tyler Perry movie?  Or is Hollywood balancing itself out?

Torch: Who’s laws do they follow in Antarctica?  Is it even illegal to kill someone there?

BeyondAReasonablePosterBeyond A Reasonable Doubt

Synopsis: Pesky journalist just won’t leave corrupt DA alone.

Troy: Corruption, for lack of a better word, is good.

Torch: This must be a story set in the past cause last time I checked there were no journalists left.

With Jimmy Neutron and Meet the Robinsons coming out recently, clearly the public did not need another computer-animated movie about a child-inventor…which is why they went a totally different route and made the inventor an adult that merely acts like a child.  But you know what?  I’ll take another kids movie about an inventor, for two reasons: 1) it encourages creative scientific solutions instead of magic (I’m looking at you, Shorts), and 2) as Torch mentioned yesterday, it isn’t a vampire movie.

We now get a CW show as well about attractive vampires in highschool...

We now get a CW show as well about attractive vampires in highschool...

My real beef (get it? beef as in ground beef, which makes up meatballs? yah?) with this movie is the invention itself:  sure, the intentions are noble, but ending world hunger with a machine that turns water into food still has the problem that poor people in Africa without food also don’t have water.   So, nice try, but no.

CloudyWithAChanceVampireWaterAnd yet, even without a practical purpose, even I can admit that turning water into hamburgers is freaking amazing and the inventor is a genius.  Why is it that in these types of movies, the inventor has only one shot at a demonstration, and if one silly thing goes wrong everyone writes the inventor off as an idiot? Take his “hair” grower for example:

CloudyWithAChanceHairWe have demonstrated proof of hair growing in previously bald areas within seconds, and yet nobody comes calling because it was a little too potent?  Nobody wants to build on that, eh?  Rogaine, you’re cool with a product that may work to regrow hair over a long period of time…don’t even want a sniff of this, huh? OK.

Having taken all this into account, however, the bottom line is that it’s a movie for kids.  And despite the animation looking like it’s a bit on the lower end, there are a few reasons to see this movie:

1) The dude is getting chased by pizza.  Anything that works that into the plot gets an A+ for creativity.

Getting chased by delicious food is like getting stalked by a hot chick...it's bad, technically, but part of you is glad it's happening, right?

Getting chased by delicious food is like getting stalked by a hot chick...it's bad, technically, but part of you is glad it's happening, right?

2) Everything looks delicious.  It may make me sound like a fatty, but watching that school get destroyed by those pancakes, with a slice of butter and some dripping syrup on top, sure made my mouth water.

CloudyWithAChanceVampirePankcakes3) It has more words in the title than Meatballs, therefore it must be better, and Meatballs was classic Bill Murray.

CloudyWithAChanceMeatballs4) Bruce Campbell does the voice of the mayor, and he is flat-out awesome.

Whether it be Army of Darkness or Burn Notice, Bruce Campbell gets things done.

Whether it be Army of Darkness or Burn Notice, Bruce Campbell gets things done.

So yes, I will recommend seeing it.

Rating: 3 out of 4

Jennifer’s Body

The only thing  scarier than the trend of musical based movies and the proliferation of movies staring Zac Efron is the current trend of vampires.  They are everywhere.  We have hundreds of books, about 5 shows and more and more movies based on vampires coming out every year.  I don’t understand it, but apparently chubby goth girls think that vampires will love them even though no one else will.  This gives them hope and Hot Topic the best financial quarter they have had in years.

Yes.  People actually pay to look like this

Yes. People actually pay money to look like this

We see this in Hollywood and popular culture every couple of years.  First, we had the superhero trend,  then pirates, followed by the  dwarves/elfs trend, then the wizard/magic trend and now finally we have the vampire trend.  These trends usually result in true fans being angry because, “they were wizards/vampires/comic book nerds before it was cool to be a wizard/vampire/comic book nerd.”  Girls however are not impressed and will still not kiss them.

lets combine 2 things that have not been overdone at all.  Penguins AND ninjas

lets combine 2 things that have not been overdone at all. Penguins AND ninjas

Here at Reel Stupid, we have our hands on the pulse of Hollywood and are able to tell you what the next couple of HUGE trends to hit the world are going to be.  In no particular order they are:

  • Giants-  BFG anyone?  This trend is going to be large (pun intended).  Hagrid was just the beginning of this trend and who knows where it will end.
  • Greek/ Roman Mythology-  This area has been touched by Disney and others but no one has really delved deep into the sick twisted minds of both of these cultures.
  • Plumbers/Electricians- Joe the plumber is the name that comes to mind here.  Handy man by day- handier man by night!
Hey!  I have that lamp also!

Hey! I have that lamp also!

When looking at Jennifer’s body, I don’t really know what to say about it.  Being written by Diablo Cody (Juno) and directed by Karyn Kusama (Aeon Flux), we don’t have much to go off of.  Aeon Flux was a major flop but Juno was everyone’s favorite overrated movie.  I think that they are making fun of the genre and poking fun at the formulaic way that highschool movies turn out but I can’t be 100% sure.  Regardless of actual quality, Megan Fox starring in this movie is going to fill the theater and http://www.vampfangs.com is going to sell buttloads of specially fitted vampire fangs.  ORDER NOW!

cause non-custom fangs just don't cut it...

cause non-custom fangs just don't cut it...

Rating: 2.5 out of 4

Sorority Row

In order to simulate a real rush event, I’m going to go ahead and introduce the major girls of this sorority.  Also, since we don’t know who or what is actually killing off the girls, I present a guess as to the most likely enemy of each girl — the person that may want them dead. We have…

1. Jamie Chung

SororityJamieChungIntro: started off as an MTV Real World star.  I’d love to say she graduated to “actress” in the movie Dragonball Evolution, but I had the unfortunate privilege of seeing that particular film on a plane flight…trust me, there was no “acting” done in that movie.  On a more positive note, it’s about time there was some Asian representation in the Hollywood Greek system, given their large population in US universities.

SororityOozaruMost likely enemy that might be trying to kill her: Oozaru. This monkey-monster thing was an enemy in Dragonball.  I was originally considering whether it might be one of her Real World cast mates, but couldn’t imagine any of them summoning the ambition required for a premeditated murder.

2. Audrina Patridge

SororityAudrinaIntro: if you were worried we’d only have one MTV reality star pretending to be an actress, this should put your fears to rest.  Audrina, known for being herself on The Hills, is (I think/hope) the first one killed.

SororityHamburglerMost likely enemy that might be trying to kill her: Hamburgler.  You thought I might go the Spencer or Heidi route here, but Audrina did that commercial for Carl’s Jr. in the gold bikini, making the McDonald’s folk pretty angry.  Hamburgler has the criminal record, so he’ll do the dirty work.

3. Rumer Willis

SororityRumerWillisIntro: the daughter of Bruce Willis and Demi Moore.  I’d say that this was a case of nepotism, but look at the roles she’s been in: Striptease, Whore, House Bunny, and now this.  She’s like the kid who wins first place at the science fair because her entry is so crappy…it’s the only one that the parents clearly didn’t help with.

SororityKutcherMost likely enemy that might be trying to kill her: Ashton Kutcher.  She’s been giving him the “don’t sleep with my mom” stink-eye for far too long.

4. Briana Evigan

SororityBE

Intro: when your most respectable young actress is the one known for playing a dancer in Step Up 2 The Streets, you know you’re in trouble.  Step Up 2 The Streets made our list of the Ten Worst Movie Previews of 2008…but hey, she’s hot, and there’s a short clip of her dancing at a party in this preview.

SororityAPMost likely enemy that might be trying to kill her: Anna Pavlova.  Typically considered the most famous classical ballet dancer of all time, she hates what these young (and alive) whippersnappers have done with the tradition of dance.

5. Carrie Fisher

SororityCarrieFisher1
Intro: it’s true, 98% of Star Wars nerds would still go gaga over her, but more for historical purposes than for any other reason.  She’s one of those women that men have been trying to ignore for the past 25 years, so they could continue to maintain the image in their head of the bikini-clad slave girl in Return of the Jedi.  I’ll admit that I was thoroughly confused at seeing her part in this movie…I still am.

SororityJabbaMost likely enemy that might be trying to kill her: Jabba the Hutt.  Sure, she had plenty of enemies, but she killed (or did she?!) Jabba with a chain around the neck…and all he wanted was a little love.  That’s cold.

So there you have it…some fine “talent” there.  You’ll also find the following other characters in the credits, for which they didn’t bother to come up with names: “Bra-Clad Sister”,”Trampoline Sister”, “Over-It Sister”,”Thwarted Guy”,”Slutty Sister”,”Nerdy Underclassman”,”Already Drunk Sister”,”Hot Guy”,”Stoned Dude”,”Wasted Guy”.  Awesome.

Based on how over-the-top and poorly acted this movie appeared in the previews, I was debating over whether this was tongue-in-cheek or not.  Taking one more look at the cast, I’m going to go with “no”.  Maybe this will turn out to have all the perfect elements of horror, sexiness, and campiness come together, but I’ll bet against it.

Rating: 1 out of 4