Richie Rich review

Posted in Movie Reviews on August 1st, 2009 by samuraisam

Richie Rich (1994) is an interesting film. Based on the comic of the same name, Richie Rich tells the story of a kid just like any other except he’s a multi billionaire. After starring in this movie Macaulay took a 9 year hiatus from acting, it was his last movie as a ‘child star’.

Richie Rich

I first saw this movie as a child and although it isn’t exactty what you’d call ‘quality’, it does have some moments. Thankfully the movie requires little thought from the viewer; in the Richie Rich universe there are no poor people or complicated moral decisions that would usually come hand-in-hand with having a fuckton of money; the Rich family is so rich that they are able to willy-nilly buy and sell whatever and whenever they please. The only problem the Rich’s have is their niceness, the fact that they refuse to fire anyone means some greedy asshole (Van Dough) tries to murder them and take over their empire. Confusingly, the Rich family is presented as one that is ostentatious in the beginning steps of the movie; the first word the parents try to teach little Richie is “wall street”, the mobile above Richie’s crib has high denomination dollar bills and diamonds hanging from it.

Richie pimpin' from his crib

You’d almost believe me if I told you the Rich family amassed their fortune from pimpin’ based upon this picture alone.  Later in the movie the parents turn to be the good guys, who have never fired anyone from all their companies and who hold a mystical vault inside a huge mountain that contains all their treasured possesions (treasured possesions not meaning tons of gold bullion, but sappy items like little Richie’s first tricycle and other assorted crap like a banjo, the biggest fail-instrument in history)

As this is a movie in the Richie Rich universe it does have some references to science in it–the family employs a fat bastard scientist type who sits around all day eating and inventing a machine that can compress waste into a bowling ball or a bedpan; this is much like Q in the James Bond world though not as interesting. The entire family mansion has all manner of high-tech crap in it, and the family vault is protected by a voice-activated lock. Without this technology the movie wouldn’t really work as a part of Richie Rich.

We’re made to believe through the magic of movies that Richie is an unfortunate soul with no friends despite immediately having hundreds of things to do when his friends come over, and I’m referring to these hundred things because you’d only have the hundred things if you had friends in the first place. The movie presents Richie as if he woke up one day on his twelth birthday and suddenly thought “gee, it’d sure be swell to have some friends”; it’s almost as if they want it to be believable that someone would go through their entire childhood being raised by a butler and a bunch of maids and having Claudia Schiffer as their personal trainer and not be a complete asshole on every level. Despite schooling with a few other rich kids, Richie obviously doesn’t fit in so well as they’re all a buch of stuck up assholes. So Herbert (Richie’s butler) bribes some street kids that told Richie to go screw himself a few days earlier to come over and play with poor Richie. The kids come over, Richie has a McDonalds in his house…

McDonalds in Richie Rich's house; because Keenbean is a fat bastard and because childhood obesity wasn't such a big issue in 1994

and the kids play with Richie and have a great time; at the end of the day Richie finds out that stupid asshole Herbert tried to bribe the kids just so they’d play with him. At this point it is revealed to Richie that his parents were just in a plane crash. Van Dough (token asshole for this movie) plotted the assassination attempt and had a bomb placed on the Rich’s flight; Richard and Regina (Richie’s parents) find the TNT before it blows the shit out of them and somehow survive and sit on a liferaft trying to get the DadLink working again so that they can be rescued. Technically speaking Van Dough is related to the Rich family (as per the comic) however this isn’t shown in the movie. Seeking to not arouse suspicion from anyone, Van Dough picks up his bottle of champagne and walks casually into the Rich’s main office… as if no one would point out the sight of a greedy asshole with a stupid smirk on his face championing a chilled bottle of vintage Moet.

You stupid bastard, way to fail at being a criminal

Anytime anyone sees that face on someone like Van Dough they know something is up. To tip the scales a bit more towards unbelievable, Van Dough starts screwing around with his secretary after what can only be presumed as a few days after the disappearance of Richard and Regina Rich. The DadLink plays an integral part of the story telling–it enables Richie to keep intouch with his ever busy and always elsewhere father Richard and lets him ‘video talk’. In todays day and age it doesn’t seem nearly as fancy, even the wall-to-wall display in Richie’s room isn’t considered that great in today’s world. The DadLink ends up helping Richie locate his dad in the middle of the ocean.

Dadlink from Richie Rich

Dadlink from Richie Rich

One question I’ve always wondered the answer to is exactly how long are Richie Rich’s parents lost at sea? Answer: Who the hell knows. The timeframe of this movie is skewed beyond reality. If someone I knew was lost at sea, I’d be pretty worried shitless about their overall survival possibility (water/food, heat stroke etc) after no more than a few days. However Richie’s parents probably can take the award for the longest time survived at sea by anyone ever. During the time they are stuck at sea, Richie makes appearances in several publications such as, Money magazine (which is a monthly publication), Fortune Magazine and People Magazine. He also takes control of the Rich Corporation from Van Dough. All of this stuff would take weeks if not months. Herbert is framed for Richard and Regina’s disappearance and is arrested; Richie eventually breaks him out. Van Dough intercepts Richie’s rescue attempt of his parents and gets them to open the stupid family vault. Then the movie goes on to have the family unite as they are shot by a lazer whilst trying not to fall off a giant Mount Rushmore-esque statue of themselves..

Unfortunately that idiot manning the laser can’t aim for shit and the Rich family survive this whole ordeal to deliver what amounts to probably the worst line ever:

Mister Van Dough… You’re fired!

Implying that anyone actually gave a shit that the greedy assholes had never fired anyone in their company. This film makes me depressed in that it was filmed on 35mm and probably cost quite a bit to produce; some decently written, directed and acted movie was probably left as liner in some asshole film executive’s bird cage to catch shit from a cockatoo while this got the go ahead. Thanks for nothing Warner Bros.

This is really the type of movie that would have worked better as a direct-to-TV movie or similar.

Probably the best thing about this movie isn’t the movie itself; rather the IMDb forums page for the movie that is frequented by people who sit around all day poking logic holes in stupid kids movies (ahem);

One act of terrorism (advising a bomb to be placed on the Rich’s plane), attempted homicide on over four counts with multiple weapons including a gun and extortion among soo many other shady business. And this guy is gardening as a community service stint…OUTSIDE THE RICH’S MANSION!?!?!?!

IMDb forums: Van Dogh’s Prison Sentence

I dont know if this has been up already, but in the final scene at the mountain, when that dude shoots at the family with the lasergun, he shoots for like 15 seconds or something, and he doesnt even get close to hitting them. Then Cadbury smacks him in the head with that thing and takes over the laser, and WOILAH! Turns out the laser has snipervision.

IMDb forums: What bad aim?

At about 3:37/3:38 seconds, you can see up one of the maids dresses. I felt it was my duty as human being to bring this fact to light is all.

IMDb forums: At about 3: 37 Minutes, something wonderful happens

Probably the most epic post however is this,

“The film seems to me a neorealist fable. The director has taken the tools of neorealism and exploited them to show us his own social commitment. Discuss.”

IMDb forums: Richie Rich as continuation of neorealist cinema

The forums also seem to be the home to certain women that proclaim their sexual attraction to a 12-year old Macaulay Culkin or towards Lawrence Van Dough (which is even more disturbing). I didn’t really pick up much of a sexual vibe when I watched the movie, but thats another viewpoint for us all to consider (or not). Overall the movie is ok; perhaps its biggest merit is that it requires no thinking when watching and is a perfect movie to watch when you’re not bothered.

As a children’s movie it is a big bucket of fail and offers no critique of richery and instead feeds on tacky feel-good sentiment. In my opinion, the acting is pretty decent for a kids movie and is probably what saves Richie Rich overall. As for a movie in the Richie Rich universe it is quite effective and incorporates most characters, or at least character archetypes; the science factor is also there.
The dialog in the movie is semi-effective and even manages to sneak a PG-rated erection joke in there; however Richie Rich’s main failing is that it is just a kids movie and it hasn’t really moved much out of the box or tried anything new.

I rate it


More links:

IMDb page for Richie Rich

Wikipedia page for Richie Rich

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The Net review

Posted in Movie Reviews on July 17th, 2009 by samuraisam

The Net tries to tell us the age old myth that hot women sit around using the internet all day. We all know this is bullshit, in fact most experts agree women did not actually use the internet at all until 2004 (the year facebook was invented).

The likeliest of scenarios.

The opening sequence of the movie features some guy who blows his head off because he (falsely) finds out he has AIDS. It is pretty unconvincing, and even while trying to watch this somewhat seriously I was laughing a bit at it due to just how bad the acting was. Soon we’re introduced to Angela’s mother who has alzheimers and can’t remember who she is–this really isn’t so relevant to the story.

The movie is successful in introducing the concept of identity theft, which at the time wasn’t quite as widespread as it is today. It is a very real problem that the film is somewhat effective in getting across, however there are so many extra characters, floppy disks and bullshit that it is just confusing, Angela (Sandra Bullock) has no constant sidekick, everyone has alzheimers, died in a plane crash or is professionally murdered while they are in a hospital bed, as she doesn’t socialize it is represented that absolutely no one can remember who she is or what her name is, which is somewhat unimaginable. It’s as if there is absolutely no hope or chance of her surviving the situation yet somehow she does, the film is actually kind of dubious in this regard–miraculously there is no paper documentation at all stored anywhere and there is no one that recognizes her.

She also screws the bad guy which is kind of awkward; I suppose it is usually the other way around in this kind of movie.

Probably the most unbelievable scene in the movie is when Angela is using her laptop on the beach and the bad guy (Jack Devlin) starts trying to hit on her. This is 1995. Not only were hot women absolutely not hackers, they also did not sit around in bikinis at the beach playing around on their laptops.

“You must have really great bandwidth”

In fact to see someone using a laptop on the beach in 1995 would be so out of place, to have it be a someone in a bikini absolutely pushes it off the believable scale… The only medium such an unseemly and farfetched situation would be appropriate would be in a porn movie. Even the quote “That’s a nice piece of hardware, I assume you’re in the business” could be misconstrued as some kind of porn industry related banter, however it is said while this shot is on screen:

Now I’m not saying that a woman can’t use a computer or play Wolfenstein, I’m just saying that it really isn’t believable in this situation and in truth it doesn’t really add anything to the story, it just takes away from it.

One thing this movie has too much of is loading screens–there are only so many times you’ve started copying a file and the bad guy is coming after you. It’s kind of redundant in this day and age even though all movies relating to computers or computer crime still manage to fit in a few adrenaline fueled loading screens here and there..

This movie did not have enough loading screens.

That’s basically what your typical good guy/bad guy thriller movie somehow related to technology is about: Files. They have the files and the need to copy them and recover the data from broken floppy disks or send them to people. In this day and age we have something called email so congratulations for being redundant.

The whole film really feels like it was meant for a TV movie, the script just isn’t as developed as it should’ve been; I’m also pretty sure this is the 800th movie I have seen where the bad guys are called Praetorians.
The film hasn’t aged well at all, the computer sequences are somewhat laughable and make no sense at all, in this day and age I think Angela would’ve just updated her twitter and said “OMG guys my identities have been stolen” and she wouldn’t have had any problem. In general the script could’ve had a bit of polishing and the movie could’ve done with a bit more work overall. Later on, this movie was actually remade as a straight-to-video movie, it fared even worse than the original and scored a paltry 4.8 on iMDB (because iMDB is the final say on what movies are shit and what movies are good)

I rate this film:


IMDb: The Net

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Terminator Salvation (Terminator 4) review

Posted in Movie Reviews on July 5th, 2009 by samuraisam

Overall I thought Terminator 4 was a pretty good movie–obviously there is some difference if you’re considering it a part of the rest of the Terminator series, I’ve heard many people claim that it doesn’t match up to the other terminator movies, but I felt differently, I think it does match up in some ways.

Obviously it doesn’t have Arnold or Edward Furlong as in Terminator 1 and 2, but it definitely added to the story quite a bit for me. It did take the Terminator series in a new direction, perhaps Furlong had been made too nice in Terminator 2 and it would’ve been a bit weird to see him suddenly bust out like John fucking Rambo and start shooting the shit out of everyone when we’re all aware as an audience that he has been a ‘nice guy’ in the previous movies (or rather, the previous movie he was in as he didn’t play in Terminator 3 or Terminator 1). The absence of James Cameron as director is felt clearly in the movie just from the different tone it has. However I’m not sure the same tone would’ve been possible without a complete change of actors and directors, I wonder what Terminator 3 + 4 would’ve been like with Furlong, Schwarzenneger and James Cameron but I’m not sure what I would’ve expected–undoubtedly something entirely different though.

(SPOILER warning from now on)

The visual effects were really nice, not too over the top, the camera angles were really what made it nice as they didn’t do your typical change-camera-angle bullshit like in other movies all the time (like when the heli is upside down and the camera remains on a stationary angle throughout. Some stuff in the movie I found a bit weird, like the skynet facility had impeccable interior decor, yet why would any robot give a shit? I don’t even understand why anything was accessible by humans as wouldn’t the robots just use wifi? The part where the sound sequence brings down robots in their tracks was kind of cool but totally under used, they discover it then just don’t give a shit once they’re in skynet.

The little kid with the afro (Star, whatever the fk kind of name that’s supposed to be) did absolutely nothing to add to the story and was pretty much a complete waste of space (probably a setup for Terminator 8), the wikipedia page states that she has the “unnatural ability to sense when a Skynet machine is approaching”; I was pretty sure Terminator wasn’t Heroes but someone decided to start giving characters ‘special abilities’.

Christian Bale probably wasn’t as bad as I expected he would be, in fact we was somewhere between good and very good; however the part where the A10 jet is being chased by missiles and he shouts into the microphone “PERFORM EVASIVE MANEUVERS NOW” is completely fucking stupid, I’m pretty sure someone in an aircraft who is very aware they are about to be blown to shit by some missiles is going to be performing all the evasive maneuver in the book.

The sequences with the chick (Blair Williams) are absolutely cringe-worthy, and unworthy of any merit whatsoever, she plays pretty much the cheesiest love story possible.

There is a cameo of sorts of Arnold Schwarzenegger which is pretty cool yet at the same time probably unnecessary, it’s nice that there were as many references as there were in the movie however they probably needn’t have been so damn blatant.

The sound design was really spectacular, especially the giant robot that hits the petrol station–the sounds from that thing were absolutely insane, I sat at the front of the cinema and you could feel the seat shaking with every motion and explosion during that particular sequence.

The ending was cheesy as fuck, really spectacularly cheesy. I felt they could have avoided making it so cheesy and the movie would’ve been better overall just from that.

Overall, I rate this movie twice
8.5/10 as a standalone movie
7.9/10 as a part of the Terminator series

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