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Previews, reviews and spoilers

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Re: Previews, reviews and spoilers

Post by Admin on Mon Jun 21, 2010 12:43 am

http://www.411mania.com/movies/film_reviews/142906/Jonah-Hex-Review.htm

Jonah Hex Review
Posted by Bryan Kristopowitz on 06.21.2010

An awful, awful mess.

"Jonah Hex" Review

Josh Brolin- Jonah Hex
John Malkovich- Quentin Turnbull
Megan Fox- Lilah
Michael Fassbender- Burke
Will Arnett- Lt. Grass
Tom Wopat- Colonel Slocum
Aidan Quinn- President Grant
Jeffrey Dean Morgan- Jeb Turnbull

Directed by Jimmy Hayward
Screenplay by Mark Neveldine and Brian Taylor, based on a story by William Farmer, Mark Neveldine and Brian Taylor and based on characters created by John Albano and Tony Dezuniga appearing in DC Comics

Distributed by Warner Bros. Pictures

Rated PG-13 for intense sequences of violence and action, disturbing images and sexual content
Runtime- 82 minutes

Website: http://www.jonah-hex.warnerbros.com/

"Jonah Hex" is one of the saddest movies I think I've ever seen. Sad because, from the looks of it, it has all of the potential in the world to be a cool hybrid genre movie, a sort of action horror western, but it fails on just about every level. Even with Josh Brolin and John Malkovich headlining, they can't save what is, in retrospect, a spectacularly bad idea.

The flick, directed by Jimmy Hayward and based on a DC Comics title of the same name, has Brolin as Jonah Hex, a scarred up ex-Confederate soldier and bounty hunter pressed into service by President Ulysses S. Grant (Aidan Quinn) to track down Quentin Turnbull (Malkovich), an ex-Confederate general turned bloodthirsty terrorist that plans on destroying America with a special doomsday weapon as revenge for the Civil War. Hex and Turnbull have history, as Turnbull is the man that killed Hex's wife and child right in front of him and then disfigured his face (Turnbull burns his initials into Hex's face so when he looks in a mirror he'll always be reminded of who destroyed his life). Hex, obviously, wants Turnbull dead, and this is likely the best chance he'll ever get (Hex thought Turnbull died in a fire, a rumor that turned out to be just that, a rumor). How can he say no?

One of the flick's biggest problems is you never get a chance to understand the world that Hex exists in. The supernatural aspects of the story are just glossed over and not explained (Hex has supernatural powers given to him by Indians, I think), and no one ever questions the existence of the "super technology" that Turnbull is after. I mean, here it is, after the Civil War, and there's super technology out there that's so more advanced than anything else in the world? Where did it come from? How did the guy that apparently developed it develop it? There's a pit fighting scene involving a snake/human hybrid that, while kind of cool to look at, makes absolutely no sense. Why is the snake man the only human hybrid type monster running around? Why isn't the entire American countryside, especially at night (because you know nighttime is the scariest time of the day), rampant with scary monsters?

The movie also goes by far too quickly. For whatever reason the movie rushes through almost every scene trying to get to the end. There's no chance for a nuanced performance from any of the actors. The first scene in the White House with President Grant and Will Arnett's Lt. Grass is a perfect example of this. The scene is just non-stop background music, rapid fire dialogue that you don't have a chance to absorb, and some incredibly bad acting. But then you can't really blame any of the actors because it appears as though director Hayward has no idea what he's doing. But then you probably can't blame him, either, because there's a chance that the studio wanted a PG-13 rating and Hayward had to deliver that rating so he had to cut out a bunch of stuff, making the movie incomprehensible but ratings compliant.

Brolin does a pretty decent job as Hex, despite the movie's general awfulness. He manages to act through a cumbersome facial appliance makeup that's pretty cool to look at, and he has the swagger necessary to make Hex a bad ass. The Clint Eastwood like dialogue reading is kind of fun, too. Malkovich is pretty okay as the terrorist Quentin Turnbull. He manages to make him menacing more often than not. I don't quite get the accent, though. And Michael Fassbender, as the Irish psychopath Turnbull henchman Burke, seems like he's having the time of his life. You can't understand half of what he's saying (too much background music) but, in the middle of all of the muck, he's a breath of fresh air.

Will Arnett probably could have made a bigger impression as Lt. Grass if he had been given more than three scenes. Arnett just oozes douchebag and it would have been a hoot to see more scenes of him strategizing and trying to figure out what Hex and Turnbull would do next. Arnett's best moment? Getting shaved by an assistant while talking to Hex. What an asshole. Aidan Quinn is okay as President Grant but all he really gets to do is blurt out exposition. Jeffrey Dean Morgan is interesting as Jeb Turnbull, but you totally understand why he doesn't want to be credited with the performance.

And then there's Megan Fox, who puts in one of the worst performances in movie history as Lilah, the prostitute that has a thing for Hex. Her dialogue is horrendous, her character is boring as hell, and because of the period clothing she isn't able to use her biggest asset, mainly her sex appeal. She doesn't even look real here. Fox also has zero chemistry with Brolin. It probably would have made more sense to get someone like Marisa Tomei or someone like that (Elizabeth Shue would have been a good choice here, too). The obvious age difference between Fox and Brolin just makes their relationship kind of gross.

"Jonah Hex" is a disturbing, sad mess of a movie. Hopefully, when the unrated DVD comes out (and there will no doubt be an unrated DVD in the near future) whatever was removed from the movie is put back in and the movie makes more sense. "Jonah Hex" should be better than it is.

Mark Neveldine and Brian Taylor, the duo behind the "Crank" movies and the modern classic "Gamer," are credited with the screenplay here. Why didn't they direct? I'm fairly certain that had they directed "Jonah Hex" it wouldn't be the pile of crap that it is. It no doubt would have made more sense.

Don't bother with "Jonah Hex." Just wait for the unrated DVD.

What a depressing g*&^%$# mess. Ugh.

So what do we have here? Pseudo western Warner Bros logo music, guys on horses shooting people, gratuitous Josh Brolin, gratuitous Josh Brolin voice over, Civil War hooey, gratuitous coffin out in the middle of nowhere, gratuitous John Malkovich, house burning, face burning, face branding, gratuitous Indians, gratuitous animated hooey, dead body dragging, a severed head in a bag, gratuitous hand crank rotating machine guns, a new fat bum town sheriff, exploding buildings, a train robbery with suicide bombers, exploding train cars, gratuitous Aidan Quinn, gratuitous Will Arnett, gratuitous Megan Fox, a disturbing post-sex scene, bullet scar counting, gratuitous Will Arnett getting shaved, flashback hooey, dead body reanimating, soul taking, gratuitous blowing orange balls, gratuitous Tom Wopat, a pit fight featuring a snake human hybrid, Frankensteiner hooey, dog attack, more exploding buildings, gratuitous Jeffrey Dean Morgan, attempted rape, gut stabbing, gratuitous Lance Reddick, a dynamite crossbow, explaining away racism, church burning, Indian tribe black magic hooey, gratuitous telegraph, Irish guy kung fu, a flaming fist, exploding ash body, exploding boat, gratuitous flamethrower, hatchet hooey, gratuitous two final fights, and a stupid f#%@#&! ending.

Best lines: "Son, you are not fit to wear this uniform, you're a coward and a traitor," "You see, talking to dead folks ain't normal, but they're the only ones that can show you the way," "He don't look so tough," "Hey, hey, what happened to your face? I cut myself shaving. What happened to yours?," "Everyone that gets close to me dies," "Christ, woman, how many men you seeing today?," "The future's bright," "There are no innocent," "God, you are such an asshole," "Single shot pistol, asshole, and I ain't much for being owned," "Jonah Hex! I know that half baked pie hole anywhere!," "Detonate the ordinance," "This is for my wife," "Once a coward, always a coward," and "Watch this."

The 411: "Jonah Hex" stinks. It's a depressing mess that has all of the necessary elements to be a cool, fun hybrid genre flick. For whatever reason, it fails miserably. What the hell happened?

Final Score: 3.0
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Re: Previews, reviews and spoilers

Post by Admin on Mon Jun 21, 2010 12:46 am

http://www.the-trades.com/article.php?id=11932

Movie Review: Jonah Hex
by Darren Goodhart
Published: June 20, 2010

Rating: Rated PG-13
Country: U.S.A.
Release Date: June 18, 2010
Distributor: Warner Brothers
Director:
· Jimmy Hayward
Cast:
· Josh Brolin
· Megan Fox
· John Malkovich
· Michael Fassbender
· Will Arnett
· Tom Wopat
· Michael Shannon
· Aidan Quinn
· Jeffrey Dean Morgan
Related Sites:
· Official Site
· IMDb: Jonah Hex

Grade: D+


Near the end of the Civil War, Confederate officer Jonah Hex turns on his commander, Quentin Turnbull, as Turnbull is about to lay waste to a hospital full of innocents. As a result of this, Hex in turn kills Turnbull's brother, Jeb. The war is over and Hex is living a peaceful life with his wife and son. Quentin Turnbull catches up to Hex and enacts his revenge upon him, killing his wife and son and forcing Hex to watch as it happens. In a final moment of torture, Turnbull takes a branding iron and leaves his mark on Jonah's face. Left for dead, Hex is revived by an Indian tribe and as a result of their rituals, now has the ability to talk to the dead.

Hex now makes his living as a bounty hunter and he's good at what he does, with his vengeance fueling his path. Quentin Turnbull resurfaces and now wants to take vengeance on the entire United States and he plans to with an ultimate weapon designed by Eli Whitney. President Ulysses S. Grant thinks that this bounty hunter, Jonah Hex, is the man to go after Turnbull and thusly, enlists his aid.

And so that's the basic premise of "Jonah Hex" directed by Jimmy Hayward, who previously directed "Horton Hears A Who" from an original screenplay from Neveldine & Taylor, who have previously made "Gamer" and the "Crank" movies. Neveldine & Taylor were originally supposed to direct this as well, but left due to creative differences and so, from what I understand, their script was heavily altered.

"Jonah Hex" is also the latest comic book-to-movie adaptation out there. Now, I am a comic fan, but I was never a devout Jonah Hex reader. I've read a story or two with, to me anyway, always his most memorable stuff from writer Michael Fleisher (and now his latest series by Jimmy Palmiotti and Justin Gray is getting much acclaim). Now even though I wasn't a fan, I do know a little something about the character and one of the things that I know was that Hex never had any sort of paranormal abilities.

I go into most comic book adaptations knowing that liberties will be taken, but this one seems to come at us right from left field. It doesn't really help that the whole way in which Jonah acquires this ability is told through a bit of animation and voiceover. And while the animation is nice in it's limited sort of way, it doesn't really have any sort of weight for how the use of this power plays out. It's there to speed things up and get us right into the action. Because this does get sped up, well there's not a whole lot here to really get invested in.

The whole movie suffers from an edit job that seems more like a salvage operation more than anything else. There's lots of jump-cutting from scene to scene and not really a lot of glue to hold the whole thing together. Oh sure, it's plot does progress forward, but it does so at the expense of making this a fuller experience. As such there's really little to care about when it comes to our main character. From what I understand of the character in the comics, there's a lot more to him than this two-dimensional drive that he has here.

Now none of this is the fault of lead Josh Brolin who plays Jonah Hex. When I first heard Brolin was taking the part, I thought it was pretty cool, especially since Brolin was coming off of some high-profile work in things like "American Gangster," "Milk" and "No Country For Old Men." I think Brolin has certainly invested himself here, and it's seen through little bits with his character. But as to a big picture, it's hard to tell, because the editing of the film doesn't really allow anything to breath.

Much ado has been made about Megan Fox being in this movie. She plays Lilah, a cold prostitute who has a warm spot in her heart for the disfigured Hex. My expectations were pretty low for her coming into this, and while she's only on-screen for a short portion of the movie, I actually think she does a pretty decent job with what she has (and this isn't really making huge demands on her, considering what's on screen) and certainly looks good. My bigger problem is with John Malkovich who plays Quentin Turnbull. Now I'm a fan of Malkovich's, but here he comes off more disinterested than anything else. There's no magnetism to the character and you're sort of hoping you'll get him as he was in "Con Air" or "In The Line Of Fire" but it's more like he's just reading the lines and waiting for the check to clear. Even though I'm saying that, it's still a little hard to fault him due to the editing of the movie and it's bigger concern to just get action on the screen more than letting anything develop.

Other members of the cast include Michael Fassbender, Will Arnett, Tom Wopat, Michael Shannon, Aidan Quinn and Jeffrey Dean Morgan who's uncredited as Quentin's brother Jeb. Everything here from these guys is certainly serviceable, with standouts being Fassbender, who's definitely eating things up being Quentin's right hand man, and Morgan who has a pretty good scene as Hex raises him from the dead.

To the movie's credit, it does have a nice look to it and in the words of SCTV's Big Jim McBob and Billy Saul Hurok, they blow things up real good. But that's about it. The way this is edited, it doesn't want to do anything fuller let alone do anything that could make it be a nice western adventure. Of course though, I have to wonder just what they had originally which would cause this, and unfortunately, I doubt we'll ever find out. It's a shame, there's a lot of talent here and (from what I understand) a rich comic book mythos to mine from and it's all squandered away.
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Re: Previews, reviews and spoilers

Post by Admin on Mon Jun 21, 2010 2:17 am

http://blogcritics.org/video/article/movie-review-jonah-hex/

Movie Review: Jonah Hex
Author: Chris Beaumont — Published: Jun 20, 2010 at 8:16 am

"Jonah Hex." "Joooonah Hex." "Jonah." "Hex." Jonah Heeeeex."
The name was said so many times and so many different ways it is hard to say just how it is supposed to be pronounced. However, that is the least of this movie's problems. It does not have any direction, character, or personality. It has a plot filled with character motivations that either do not make sense or seem out of place. It is littered with miscast actors and other out of place elements like some mysterious (unexplained, mind you), exploding orbs. Yes, you read that right.

Jonah Hex is the sort of movie that sounds good on paper. I am assuming the comic upon which it is based is pretty good, although I cannot definitively say, not having read it. It is a sound concept that seems to have been partially adapted into the excellent yet short lived series Pushing Daisies where the bit it used was executed flawlessly. Add to that a cast that includes the likes of Josh Brolin, John Malkovich, Aidan Quinn, Michael Fassbender, and Michael Shannon and it's starting to look like something pretty solid. Of course, the presence of Megan Fox (I know, I know, a lot of people like her, I'm just not one of them) and Will Arnett (who I think is fantastic, just not here) make me scratch my head. Well, Fox's presence I can see, but with Arnett I kept waiting for the punch line that never came.

The trailer, on the other hand, indicates a movie that could be some B-grade fun. An action film with a supernatural edge set in the post-Civil War era West with plenty of bullets, explosives, and quippy one-liners seems perfect for a fun afternoon at the theater. The movie is pretty much a parody of itself — it loses itself amidst the explosions, bullets, quips, and loud rock music score. It gets close to the "so bad it's good" line but does not quite have the juice to go all the way over the edge.

The short feature runs roughly 80 minutes, including credits. That is barely enough time for it to get a head of steam leading up to the climax. I get the feeling there is a considerably longer, but not necessarily better, movie on the cutting room floor. The choppy flow feels like the work of a suit and not the work of an editor. Somebody must have seen something in the film and decided to cut it up in the hopes of making something salvageable. You know, sometimes you get to far along in a project and it becomes too big too fail even when disastrous issues arise during production.

The film opens with a fast forward through Jonah Hex's (Brolin) origin. We learn of his fighting for the South, having to make a decision to do the right thing, and having the bad guy, a fellow named Turnbull (Malkovich) take revenge on his family. Turnbull also decides to give Hex a lasting reminder of the event in the form of a brand that leaves his face horribly scarred.

Jump ahead a few years. Hex makes a living as a feared bounty hunter, who also happens to be a wanted man. Turnbull was believed to be dead, but pops up with a plot to attack the Capitol. The government tracks down Hex and enlists his aid to stop Turnbull. The rest is history.

Yes, that is pretty much the story, such as it is. We get moments with Megan Fox's whore with the heart of gold that indicate some deeper relationship with Hex that we never get. Beyond the surface hate between Turnbull and Hex, the relationship is not explored all that well. The movie should really be based on the conflict between the two and, oddly, it isn't. Turnbull fancies himself a terrorist and has ideas to use some "nation-destroying" weapon to take down the government. The weapon uses those glowing orbs I mentioned earlier.

The movie just does not hold water. The focus of the plot is misguided, none of the characters feel like they are in the same movie. The scenes just stop as new ones begin, there is very little connective tissue to lead you along. It has a bizarre dream sequence with a fit on red sand. There is an appearance by an Indian tribe that has nothing to do with anything else. The bad guy tells Hex he wants him to watch his family die and then closes the door.

What is going on here?

I don't know what to say. I am not sure there is anyway to defend this movie. I really wanted to like it. I would have settled for a fun bad movie. What I got was Brolin grumbling every line in a story that defies explanation populated with characters from different movies who do not want to be in this movie it would seem.

The film is the live-action directing debut for Jimmy Hayward who previously directed Horton Hears a Who! and worked on films such as Toy Story 2, Monsters Inc., and Finding Nemo. He does not seem to have a good sense for working with people. He fails to get good performances from his cast, has action that is hard to follow, and a pace that has no flow. He worked from a script by William Farmer and the duo of Neveldine & Taylor (Crank I + II, Gamer). I was surprised to see the Crank guys involved with this. It does not feel like them at all. I almost feel like the studio was sitting on their shoulders as they wrote, not allowing them to inject any original flavor. Then there is Mastodon's score. As a band they are pretty great, however this sounds nothing like them and I am not sure they were the right choice. I did not even know it was them until the credits, I just thought it was obnoxious music.

Bottom line. You would be better served to go see something else. This does not deliver. I am still convinced a good film can be made with the source material and would love to see it revisited by someone who has a passion for it. As it is, the movie is not witty, the action is not interesting, the characters have zero depth, and the story goes nowhere.

Not Recommended.
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Re: Previews, reviews and spoilers

Post by Admin on Mon Jun 21, 2010 2:19 am

http://www.2snaps.tv/98110187

Movie Review: Jonah Hex (2010)
By Noel Penaflor - Posted on June 20th, 2010

Good on you for staying at home this season as it seems to be the best bet to weather the worst movie summer, box-office and otherwise, in recent memory as its only true bright spots are a 15-year old Pixar franchise that’s the only valid reminder that Tim Allen actually still exists and an indie thriller named Winter’s Bone that’s opening on like, 7 screens across the country.

Watch Mad Men. Watch True Blood, as you’ll get more entertainment out of them than anything opening in your local megaplexes this weekend...other than Toy Story 3 of course. Just make sure your roommate returns your copy of The Girl with the Dragon TattooJonah Hex (based on the comic book), you’ll need something to purge what you’ve seen and try to help you forget about the 10 dollars you just blew.

Should have seen it coming, as Hex is written by the guys that brought you those moronic Crank movies (as well as the Gerard Butler epic fail Gamer) and directed by a guy named Jimmy. As movie historians will tell you, no “Jimmy” has ever directed a good movie in the 35 trillion year history of cinema. But if you start calling yourself James, you may just have another Avatar on your hands.

Jonah Hex (Josh Brolin) is in a pickle.

The bad news: He’s tied up and the unscrupulous General Quentin Turnbull (John Malkovich, paycheck slumming) is about to burn a huge QT into his face.

Worse news: Turnbull isn’t going to kill him, no sir. Hex gets to live, but he then gets to see his wife and son burned to death.

Good News: Accidentally gets Jonah Hill’s mail by mistake and Jonah Hill gets a lot of meats and Ice cream online sent directly to him

Hex’s crime: He had an attack of conscience which resulted in Turnbull’s son Jeb (Watchmen’s Jeffery Dean Morgan, reminding you to be watching Watchmen instead), getting killed.

Hex almost dies, but comes back with some very special powers because he’s been cursed with “knowing the other side”. He can talk to corpses. Okay, that’s actually one special power, but it serves him well during those lonely nights in graveyards as female companionship is difficult to come by when his face is all charred up like that.

While Hex was temporarily dead, it turns out that Turnbull died as well, so Hex’s revenge no longer has an outlet. Hex turns to bounty hunting because he’s still pretty good with a gun.

5 minutes after we learn that Quentin Turnbull is dead, we find out that he was faking it. Now a not-dead Turnbull and his nefarious cohorts are bent on stealing stuff for some unknown but probably evil purpose.

President Grant (Aidan Quinn) knows of only one bounty hunter with a Post Toastied-face that could possibly stand up to General Turnbull: Jonah “I want your” Hex.

Jonah comes back to a familiar town of Stunt Crick to re-up on some supplies. He has a local Negro named Smith (Lance Reddick) to make him state-of-the-art weapons. That reminds you of Morgan Freeman in the Batman movies. That reminds you you’d be better off watching those.

Jonah has a hooker friend named Lilah (Megan Fox). She seems to like him despite having a charbroiled kisser. We think it’s just because she’s a ho, but then you realize she just gave him a freebie even after hours, so it must be true love.

After Hex cashes in his freebie, a bunch of President Grant’s soldiers barge into Lilah’s room (“Jesus woman, how many men you seein’ today?”). They fill him in on what the audience already knows and Hex would have known had he not been pounding the Fox-hole...

...That Quentin Turnbull is not dead and is up to no good. And only Hex can stop him. Cuz when Stunt Crick gets that feelin...it needs Hexual healing.

What works with Jonah Hex-

1) The train assault at near the beginning is the best action set of the entire film. Too bad within 15 minutes of the movie starting and you have to endure another 65 before you get to go home.

2) Inglourious Basterds’ Michael Fassbender steals every scene he’s in as Turnbull’s knife-wielding Irish Henchman Burke. Almost makes you forget what a bad movie you’re watching as he cements his hold as a superstar in the making.

Speaking of Irish, this just in: The Los Angeles Lakers are still back-to-back World Champions while the Boston Celtics are still one-and-done Losers.

What doesn’t work-

1) Not that Megan Fox did anything worth nothing in the Transformer movies other than look hot, but Hex gives her a barely written character to begin with she doesn’t do anything to disprove that she can’t open a movie on her own. After Hex bombs, and it will, Fox may be wishing (if she isn’t already) that she didn’t get booted off Transformers 3. Let’s give it 2 years and counting before she does a Playboy spread to resuscitate her career.

2) I thought a couple of times about how Hex is almost as bad as Ghost Rider, another dull comic book movie, when who shows up? Ghost Rider’s Wes Bentley in a nothing role. So sad, as he seemed to have such a promising career after American Beauty a decade ago. Guess that’s what happens when you appear in crap.

3) After the train assault, the rest of the movie’s “action” sequences are barely passable at best and aren’t mindlessly entertainingly enough for the weak story line, dull visuals (everything’s streaked in flashes of yellow and dust) and seem like outtakes from other, better movies. Then again, maybe they are.

4) Since 2007 Josh Brolin’s been on a white-hot streak where he can’t seem to do any wrong. Starting off with Grindhouse, Brolin’s lit up American Gangster, Best Picture Winner No Country for Old Men and capping it off with his Oscar Nom for Milk, along with the Oscar Nom he should have gotten for W. With this dud, Brolin’s winning streak is snapped. Maybe he should have requested his entire face be burned so he could distance himself even more from this washout.

Overall. As far as comic book movies go, Jonah Hex isn’t as bad as The Spirit or those awful Fantastic Fours...but just barely. Still, you’re wise to stay far, far away from this. Don’t even use Jonah Hex as a fallback when Toy Story 3 is sold out. Again, you could do worse than Jonah Hex, like getting your face broiled, but just barely.
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Re: Previews, reviews and spoilers

Post by Admin on Mon Jun 21, 2010 2:48 am

http://anothercomicgeek.blogspot.com/2010/06/seriously.html

Sunday, June 20, 2010
Seriously...
When did Jonah Hex become the Crow?

C'mon Warner Bros. ... all you're doing is making us more concerned about your actual superhero movies that don't involve Batman.

Though hex has some nice little shoot outs and Brolin was otherwise fine, the film could have been greatly improved with a)No supernatural element b)R rating for violence and c) nudity. I'm telling sex and blood gushing violence can save films.

Michael Fassbender practically stole the show.
Posted by Westside Goth on Sunday, June 20, 2010
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Re: Previews, reviews and spoilers

Post by Admin on Mon Jun 21, 2010 2:52 am

http://rockmarooned.livejournal.com/315814.html

The next morning, Marisa and Nathaniel and I checked out a showing of Jonah Hex, a first stab for me and Marisa trying out AMC's pre-noon six-dollar movies. We may try it again in the future, as a movie like Jonah Hex, which I totally wanted to see regardless of the disasters in the press and at the ticket counters, feels like less of a burn at six bucks. Which is not to say it is a satisfying movie experience. The strangest thing about Jonah Hex is that apparently someone at some stage decided the movie would make more sense if cut down to the bone; it runs around 75 minutes sans credits, and I can't imagine there were cut sequences that made the movie -- which in its truncated form is illogical and rushed and stupid, but sometimes campily enjoyable -- far worse, although maybe my imagination is simply limited in this area. The second-strangest thing is the way this 80-minute movie feels just like a 100-minute movie; even with all of the cuts, it hasn't gained a quicker pace. In fact, this will make a perfect example for future generations needing an illustration that making a movie shorter does not make it feel shorter.

The third-strangest thing about Jonah Hex is that Warner Brothers, the company that made Wild Wild West back before its big-ticket movies started looking more like Batman Begins, essentially commissioned a more serious redo of Wild Wild West, without Will Smith. For serious: Hex also has a post-Civil War semi-steampunk western feel, and also features a Confederacy madman bent on bringing the country to its needs (that's what Branagh was doing in Wild Wild West, right?). It even features a famous actor playing President Ulysses S. Grant (which is to say, yeah, that really was Aidan Quinn in Jonah Hex, handily losing the Hilarious Grant Impersonation Contest to Kevin Kline, who pulled a double-role in West to play the same part) (yeah, I know a fair amount about Wild Wild West). Sure, it throws in supernatural elements not present in West, taken from the comics which I imagine being more like Constantine or Preacher or any number of violent non-superhero works. But it's pretty similar. That alone, well, it didn't really win me over, but it cheered me a little, that anyone would think, unconsciously or not, that redoing Wild Wild West was a good idea.

I actually have an irrational soft spot for any number of things about Jonah Hex that are not inherently good: post-Civil War steampunk westerns, for one; Megan Fox, for another. Really, no one in the cast, including Fox, is actively bad; most of them don't have big enough roles to make that kind of impression. Michael Fassbender has some fun as an Irish henchman, Josh Brolin does what he can as Hex, and Fox, well, this movie isn't exactly Jennifer's Body, but I believed she was a hooker (and tried to believe that someone invented Civil War-era hooker-red lipstick). The movie has its weird, goofy moments, like the cute dog that follows supernatural bounty hunting asshole Jonah Hex around for no reason. Or the throwaway detail that the movie's doomsday device was designed by Eli Whitney! Like Wild Wild West, it's a movie I can't really say is any good, and in fact can explain why it doesn't really work, yet as far as bad movies go, well, it's a bad movie set in a period of American history I find really interesting. Marisa calls this "misplaced affection."
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Re: Previews, reviews and spoilers

Post by Admin on Mon Jun 21, 2010 3:31 am

http://shouldiseeit.net/?p=1842

Jonah Hex (2010)

By Mike Ward on June 20th, 2010

Rating: ★½☆☆☆

Starring: Josh Brolin, John Malkovich, Megan Fox, Michael Fassbender, Will Arnett, Michael Shannon, Wes Bentley, John Gallagher, Jr., Tom Wopat.
___________________________
Director: Jimmy Hayward
Rating: PG-13
Running Time: 82 Mins.
Release Date: June 18, 2010
DVD Release Date: TBD
Box Office: $TBD
___________________________

Weed Road Pictures, Mad Chance, DC Entertainment, Legendary Pictures and Warner Bros. Pictures.

Written By: Mark Neveldine and Brian Taylor. Story by William Farmer, Mark Neveldine and Brian Taylor, based on DC Comics characters created by John Albano and Tony Dezuniga.

“What happened to your face?”
One of the most confounding releases of recent memory, “Jonah Hex” is a bizarre trainwreck of a film that has no idea what it is, what it wants to be or what purpose it even serves. Of course, I have no idea what the point of it was either.

So it seems that “Jonah Hex”, and its universe of related characters, exist in and amongst the pages of several different DC Comics. From time to time, DC released a comic book series around the branded outlaw cowboy, with supernatural abilities, who looks to avenge those who harmed him and murdered his family. As people chatted in line about the character and the storylines, I reasonably assumed that Hex was a noteworthy figure in the DC Comics Universe. To those fans of the series and the character, I wonder what they must have been thinking watching this debacle play out in front of their eyes.

The movie’s failure is not the fault of Josh Brolin, who plays the title character. Brolin is one of our finest working actors, and probably should be a bigger movie star than he currently is. As Hex, he carries a hideous scar on his face from being branded by his archenemy, Quentin Turnbull (John Malkovich). Turnbull is identified as a domestic terrorist, who forced Hex to watch his family burn alive. When Turnbull reportedly dies in a hotel fire, Hex is unable to gain his revenge and becomes a bounty hunter. When Hex is captured by the authorities, he learns that Turnbull is alive and well, but is building an army to execute the biggest destructive attack on the United States to date. Hex is given his freedom on the condition that he can bring down Turnbull and save everyone from what Turnbull is set to unleash. Along the way, Hex rekindles a relationship with Lilah (Megan Fox), a prostitute who harbors love and affection for Jonah and is willing to do whatever she can to help Jonah on his quest for retribution.

Again, Josh Brolin is not the problem here. “Jonah Hex” is a failure because it has no earthly idea what it is or what it wants to be. Narration and stylized comic book animation opens the film and never returns. Hex has scenes riding a horse, collecting bounties, with an old-fashioned western shootout; yet, the film is not really a western. Hex has the ability to speak to the dead merely by touching them, yet the film is not a supernatural horror film. Hex has a love interest in Lilah, the prostitute (Megan Fox), but the film is not really a love story. There are action sequences, but it is not an action movie. Thousands of people die in the film, yet without any blood or recognizable consequences, the film lacks any edge or grit.

And, complicating matters even further, there is approximately 73 minutes of non-credit screen time to tell a story that feels more like a pitch of what “Jonah Hex” could be as a movie, instead of a fully realized final product.

A film too short to mean anything, too haphazardly constructed to carry any rhythm and too absurd to be believable, “Jonah Hex” is a waste of its meager running time and inflated budget.
Should I See It?
YES

You are a fan of the comic book and have been waiting for the big screen adaptation.

Josh Brolin fans will finally have the first big-time, name-above-the-title opening.

Megan Fox is not in the film as much as the advertising indicates…Just sayin’…

You like violent movies without the blood and carnage shown on screen.
NO

Think of all the things you can do in 82 minutes…time better served than sitting through this film.

This has the most violence of any PG-13 film I have seen in recent memory. A staggering amount of people die in the first 20 minutes and the film’s visuals are rather intense, especially when Hex talks to the dead.

Three editors, approximately 10 producers…the film has clearly too many chefs in the “Jonah Hex” kitchen.
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Re: Previews, reviews and spoilers

Post by Admin on Mon Jun 21, 2010 3:35 am

http://www.backseatproducers.com/2010/06/20/theatrical-review-jonah-hex/

Theatrical Review: Jonah Hex
June 20th, 2010 · Author: Darren Goodhart · No Comments

Near the end of the Civil War, Confederate officer Jonah Hex turns on his commander, Quentin Turnbull as Turnbull is about to lay waste to a hospital full of innocents. As a result of this, Hex in turn kills Turnbull’s brother, Jeb. The war is over and Hex is living a peaceful life with his wife and son. Quentin Turnbull catches up to Hex and enacts his revenge upon him, killing his wife and son and forcing Hex to watch as it happens. In a final moment of torture, Turnbull takes a branding iron and leaves his mark on Jonah’s face. Left for dead, Hex is revived by an indian tribe and as a result of their rituals, now has the ability to talk to the dead.

Hex now makes his living as a bounty hunter and he’s good at what he does, with his vengeance fueling his path. Quentin Turnbull resurfaces and now wants to take vengeance on the entire United States and he plans to with an ultimate weapon designed by Eli Whitney. President Ulysses S. Grant thinks that this bounty hunter, Jonah Hex, is the man to go after Turnbull and thusly, enlists his aid.

And so that’s the basic premise of Jonah Hex directed by Jimmy Hayward, who previously directed Horton Hears A Who from an original screenplay from Neveldine & Taylor, who have previously made Gamer and the Crank movies. Neveldine & Taylor were originally supposed to direct this as well, but left due to creative differences and so, from what I understand, their script was heavily altered.

Jonah Hex is also the latest comic book-to-movie adaptation out there. Now, I am a comic fan, but I was never a devout Jonah Hex reader. I’ve read a story or two with, to me anyway, always his most memorable stuff from writer Michael Fleisher (and now his latest series by Jimmy Palmiotti and Justin Gray is getting much acclaim). Now even though I wasn’t a fan, I do know a little something about the character and one of the things that I know was that Hex never had any sort of paranormal abilities.

I go into most comic book adaptations knowing that liberties will be taken, but this one seems to come at us right from left field. It doesn’t really help that the whole way in which Jonah acquires this ability is told through a bit of animation and voiceover. And while the animation is nice in it’s limited sort of way, it doesn’t really have any sort of weight for how the use of this power plays out. It’s there to speed things up and get us right into the action. Because this does get sped up, well there’s not a whole lot here to really get invested in.

The whole movie suffers from an edit job that seems more like a salvage operation more than anything else. There’s lots of jump-cutting from scene to scene and not really a lot of glue to hold the whole thing together. Oh sure, it’s plot does progress forward, but it does so at the expense of making this a fuller experience. As such there’s really little to care about when it comes to our main character. From what I understand of the character in the comics, there’s a lot more to him than this two-dimensional drive that he has here.

Now none of this is the fault of lead Josh Brolin who plays Jonah Hex. when I first heard Brolin was taking the part, I thought it was pretty cool, especially since Brolin was coming off of some high-profile work in things like American Gangster, Milk and No Country For Old Men. I think Brolin has certainly invested himself here, and it’s seen through little bits with his character. But as to a big picture, it’s hard to tell, because the editing of the film doesn’t really allow anything to breath.

Much ado has been made about Megan Fox being in this movie. She plays Lilah, a cold prostitute who has a warm spot in her heart for the disfigured Hex. My expectations were pretty low for her coming into this, and while she’s only on-screen for a short portion of the movie, I actually think she does a pretty decent job with what she has (and this isn’t really making huge demands on her, considering what’s on screen) and certainly looks good. My bigger problem is with John Malkovich who plays Quentin Turnbull. Now I’m a fan of Malkovich’s, but here he comes off more disinterested than anything else. There’s no magnetism to the character and you’re sort of hoping you’ll get him as he was in Con Air or In The Line Of Fire but it’s more like he’s just reading the lines and waiting for the check to clear. Even though I’m saying that, it’s still a little hard to fault him due to the editing of the movie and it’s bigger concern to just get action on the screen more than letting anything develop.

Other members of the cast include Michael Fassbender, Will Arnett, Tom Wopat, Michael Shannon, Aidan Quinn and Jeffrey Dean Morgan who’s uncredited as Quentin’s brother Jeb. Everything here from these guys is certainly serviceable, with standouts being Fassbender, who’s definitely eating things up being Quentin’s right hand man, and Morgan who has a pretty good scene as Hex raises him from the dead.

To the movie’s credit, it does have a nice look to it and in the words of SCTV’s Big Jim McBob and Billy Saul Hurok, they blow things up real good. But that’s about it. The way this is edited, it doesn’t want to do anything fuller let alone do anything that could make it be a nice western adventure. Of course though, I have to wonder just what they had originally which would cause this, and unfortunately, I doubt we’ll ever find out. It’s a shame, there’s a lot of talent here and (from what I understand) a rich comic book mythos to mine from and it’s all squandered away.
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Re: Previews, reviews and spoilers

Post by Admin on Mon Jun 21, 2010 3:38 am

http://sweetmysteriousfeast.blogspot.com/2010/06/movie-of-week.html

Sunday, June 20, 2010
Movie of the week

Jonah Hex, starring Josh Brolin and John Malkovitch

Note: Contains spoilers (but it might save you $7.50)

My sister and I are HUGE (and I mean HUGE) Michael Fassbender fans, so we have been waiting to see his latest project, Jonah Hex. It opened Friday, June 18, to some pretty rotten reviews. We almost let that deter us from seeing it, but we decided it was important to lend support to our favorite 33-year-old Irish actor (Fassbender). I thought that most of the reviews came from people who loved the comic books, so they would understandably have higher standards for the movie.

Boy, was I wrong. To put it kindly, this movie is bad--just plain bad.

It's only 80 minutes, so there was little time for plot development or for the viewer to understand character motivations. For instance, I didn't understand why the villain, Confederate officer Quentin Turnbull (John Malkovitch), wanted to destroy the country. I get that he was angry about his son's death, but why would that make him want to unleash a weapon of mass destruction? So for one, the movie would have been a lot better if there had been time for more back story and to understand why characters made certain decisions.

Second, the main character, Jonah Hex (Josh Brolin), wasn't someone I could sympathize with. Sure, I understood his sadness and rage over losing his family at the hands of Turnbull, and I can't blame him for wanting revenge, but I never saw any display of moral fortitude or qualities that made him a dark horse hero. For example, he only decided to help bring Turnbull down (and thus save the country) in order to get his revenge on the man, not because he cared about a higher ideal. In short, he didn't stand for anything other than vengeance against the man who murdered his family.

Finally, as a lover of action movies, the fight scenes and action sequences did nothing for me. I was especially excited to see the "fight scene" between Lila (Megan Fox) and Burke (Fassbender), but it amounted to little more than a slap and a punch and some dragging by the hair. Not exciting at all. This made me sad.

There have been some mean comments made about Megan Fox. I assume these comments are made by people who are jealous of her, and sure, how can most of us gals not be? She's truly gorgeous. But this shouldn't make us be mean about her. Some people have said that her acting was bad, but I didn't find that. I don't think her role was very interesting, but that's not entirely her fault. I don't think there was much she could do with that character. I'll say the same about Brolin--we all know him from No County for Old Men, W, and Milk, and we know he's a great, accomplished actor--but I wasn't too impressed by his performance and I think it's because the character (as it is written for the film) was so one-dimensional. This I will say about Megan Fox--I'd like to see her take a few roles that have nothing to do with her looks or with her being the hot young female interest. I'd like to see what she can do with her brain and inner qualities, and then I'd like to judge her as an actor based on those performances. At this time, I feel it is premature and unfair to judge Megan's abilities. She is just doing what anyone trying to break into the industry would do--get work based on what people consider to be her hottest commodity (looks) so that she can get experience and make a name for herself. All actors have to start out in some rotten films and they get their roles based on their type. It's kind of hard to ignore that she's beautiful, so unfortunately, that's all that she is known for now. Let's give her a break until she proves she can't do much with better material.

The best part of the film was, of course, Michael Fassbender. What I liked about his performance is that you can tell he committed to his character. I wonder if on some balmy New Orleans evening he had his pint and thought, "This feckin' film is a disaster! This director better quit arsing around and acting the maggot!" (Thanks, irishslang.net) Even if he did feel this way, you wouldn't know it by his performance. He handled his sociopath, mayhem-loving Burke with energy and sick humor. Too bad the film couldn't better showcase his gifts.

Rating: 1/5 (Fassbender single-handedly provides any redeeming value in this movie)
at 3:58 PM
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Re: Previews, reviews and spoilers

Post by Admin on Mon Jun 21, 2010 3:39 am

http://deedsandwords.com/?p=1139

Jonah Hex
June 20th, 2010 by Marion

Well, my one burning question is answered. Jonah Hex is steampunk, sort of. Jonah has two mini, semi-automatic Gatling guns mounted on his horse’s harness (apparently no cranking required). The villain, General Turnbull, builds a secret weapon, a “nation killer” that is catalyzed by orbs filled with a glowing golden plasma.

It’s also dark fantasy because Jonah can reanimate the dead and talk to them.

It’s a comic book.

A brief bit of background; the time is shortly after the American Civil War. Hex and the Turnbulls, father and son, fought for the Confederacy. General Turnbull chose to kill civilians, so Hex betrayed them to the Union; the General’s son Jeb was killed by Hex. Turnbull took a terrible revenge upon Hex, including branding his face. Hex nearly died and in the twilight lands between death and life picked up this talk-to-the-dead thing, which could, I guess, come in handy.

The movie has that excellent comic-book-to-big screen look. It’s sweaty and gritty when it has to be—Josh Brolin as Hex is sweaty and gritty most of the time—lush and colorful when it has to be, and imposing and Victorian when it wants to be. Establishing scenes could have been lifted straight from splash-pages or centerfolds (I’m sure that’s not the technical name for a close-up that covers two pages). Most of the action sequences involve blowing stuff up, but there’s a weird prize-fight scene that’s kind of cool. Nothing blows up, but a lot of stuff burns. For a man whose family burned to death and who was branded, Hex is remarkably comfortable around fire.

The movie’s fine cast and good looks can’t quite lift it into the Success category. John Malkovich plays General Turnbull with a fine, measured malice. For me, 40% of a Malkovich performance is voice, another 40% is eyes. Eyes and voice get a workout here, but there’s only so much he can do with the material. In the early sequences when he is taking his revenge on Hex, he is a compelling villain; the rest of the movie he’s an Evil Overlord. The screenplay never bothers to tell us what drives Turnbull. The death of his son? The failure of the Confederacy? Maybe, but in the movie’s “real time” plot, Turnbull is willing to blow up anything and anybody, attacking towns in former Confederate states. What’s that about? The screenplay tries to address this by calling him a terrorist. Sorry, not good enough.

Lilah, or Talullah, played by Megan Fox, is the cleanest prostitute anywhere in the whole wild west. Even though she sees many sweat-and-whiskey soaked men in the course of her profession, and works in a dusty two-horse town, her hair and clothes are always perfect. Even at the end, when she is running through the steam-powered warship, shooting and cutting people, her cute white cotton batiste bloomers and camisole remain pristine. I find when I’m thinking, “Gosh,she’s so clean,” every time a character appears, that I’m not very engaged with the story.

The movie is short. The plot is linear, with no surprises. Michael Fassbender is entertaining as Turnbull’s second villain. He has Maori tattoos, an Irish accent, and no backstory. Brolin, of course, is good and growly as Hex. Aidan Quinn does a nice job as president if he is some generic president. If he is meant to be U.S. Grant, then not so much.

The film is 90 minutes long. If you see it at a matinee you will have invested exactly enough money and time in it. If you wait for Netflicks, you’ll be getting a bargain.
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Re: Previews, reviews and spoilers

Post by Admin on Mon Jun 21, 2010 3:47 am

http://www.weekinrewind.com/2010/06/jonah-hex-movie-review-2010.html

"Jonah Hex" Movie Review (2010)

6/20/2010 Posted by Admin

Directed by Jimmy Hayward, Written by Mark Neveldine and Brian Taylor, 85 Minutes, Rated PG-13

By our guest blogger, Rob Stammitti

"Jonah Hex" is a movie missing every element of what makes a movie. It's a gritty comic book adaptation without the grit. It has characters without character in a story without storytelling. There is no rhyme nor reason to it--it is simply a muddled mess of what might have been a film if any good decisions had been made behind the scenes.

The eponymous hero of the tale, Jonah Hex (Josh Brolin), is a former confederate soldier in post-Civil War era America who roams the West as a bounty hunter. He has no true purpose, as the man he seeks to murder, Quentin Turnbull (John Malkovich), who murdered his wife and child and left his face scarred for life, has allegedly died in a fire. Upon a visit to his friend and lover, Lyla (Megan Fox), Hex is recruited by the American military when they discover Turnbull is alive and well, and he faked his death in order to secretly construct a sort of steampunk nuclear device so that he can take out Washington D.C. and begin a new revolution. So, Hex goes on a warpath to kill Turnbull, his psychopathic Irish lackey, Burke (Michael Fassbender), and save a country in which he no longer has faith.

There is so much potential for a great modern Western here. The supernatural stuff combined with the steampunk and alternate-history elements could have made for an interesting take on the genre, but somehow, somewhere, something went horribly, horribly wrong.

To start, the film's plot is simply incomprehensible. I'm not familiar with what went on in the production, but the way it's told, it seems as if the whole thing used to be one film, but was chopped to pieces and became something quite different. Any remnants of true character or plot development are gone, with crucial pieces of the puzzle left to bad dialogue and really poorly implemented narration. Action sequences are jumpy and nearly unwatchable, the setting changes are quick and jarring, and not a moment goes by where you feel as if you're with a likable or relatable (or even human) character.

This kind of incomprehensibly kinetic style is quite typical of the screenwriters Neveldine/Taylor, who have made a name for themselves making equally incomprehensible but at least somewhat stylish and amusing schlock like "Gamer" and "Crank." Much of the poor quality can likely be laid on them, but director Jimmy Hayward, having previousy only worked in animation ("Horton Hears a Who," for example), definitely seems out of place working on a live-action film. There's not an ounce of energy or artistry, or even vague technical ability, on display here.

All storytelling and filmmaking aside, the real unforgivable travesty here is that one of the finest ensembles ever assembled goes entirely to waste.

Some of this generations very best actors--Josh Brolin, Michael Fassbender, Lance Reddick, Michael Shannon, John Malkovich--they are all misused and tossed around to the point of humiliation. Of the bunch, Fassbender and--shockingly--Megan Fox get the most out of their material, the former because, well, Fassbender is truly a master of his craft and can seemingly get something out of any character, and the latter because not much is required of Fox. Just a revealing outfit and some sassy one-liners.

But Shannon? Brolin? It seems as if the whole cast is on autopilot, some more than others. Malkovich, for example, who plays a Confederate terrorist, a villain that could be totally riveting, pretty much just smirks and stares his way through the whole film. It's difficult to even call what he does here acting. Brolin is generally fine outside of the fact that his character has pretty much nothing to him, but the scar makeup singlehandedly ruins his performance, reducing every one of his lines to an incomprehensible mumble. Shannon, who has given some of the best performances of the past few years and was supposedly brought on to portray a character who would reappear in all the potential sequels, gets a whopping five seconds of screentime. No exaggeration. The film reduces all of these actors to dull cutouts of their ordinary selves.

Generally, nothing goes right here. Everything about the film is a disaster, and it wouldn't be such a shame if so many talented people hadn't been wasted for such a half-assed comic book adaptation. I don't know if suits looking to cut it down to a PG-13 are to blame or what, but something just went very awry. Whatever the case, "Jonah Hex" stands beside the very worst in modern comic book film adaptations.

Grade: F

View the trailer for "Jonah Hex" below. What are your thoughts?
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Re: Previews, reviews and spoilers

Post by Admin on Mon Jun 21, 2010 4:49 am

http://comicsconqueso.wordpress.com/2010/06/20/film-review-jonah-hex/

Film Review – Jonah Hex
Posted: June 20, 2010 by Rev. Jacob Dodd in Blog Posts, Reviews

Here’s a caveat that I feel needs to be introduced early on into the review before I really get into the meat and potatoes of the critique; I enjoy bad movies. My taste is somewhat questionable because I love stuff that ranges from high art to utter dreck. That having been said, even a bad movie has to have certain things going for it that transcend whatever it is that makes the mainstream reject it in the first place and therefore allow it to meet the criteria of ironic enjoyment. There are unending caches of horror films that are only enjoyable because of their incompetent nature. How many people watch the films of Ed Wood simply because of how shoddy they were? There’s nothing wrong with a good bad movie.

Jonah Hex was never going to be high art. We were lucky enough to get a Batman film that saw itself as a finely crafted film first and a comic adaptation second, that used up all the good will we were gonna get for a long while. The off-kilter characters that don’t have a mainstream following, ie. Jonah Hex, The Spirit, etc. are going to have trouble being taken seriously by anybody but the die-hard fans. The studios don’t understand them, the mainstream audience doesn’t understand them and more often than not, the people working on the film don’t understand them.

With Jonah Hex, we get a film that has production values that frankly seem a bit out of place when it comes to what’s put on screen. The environments and set pieces, when not underlit in times of darkness, are all vibrant and don’t look like cheap shoddily built props. The movie doesn’t look like it was shot by amateurs and so the film looks good. My contention is that it really looks too good.

The story and the broadside anti-subtlety of the actors performing their parts make me feel like they should have shot this thing and made it look like a straight-up spaghetti western in the style of Django or A Fistful of Dollars. I think if the producers of the film had tried to go for more camp they might have picked up more people coming in to see the film. Though most people won’t admit it, everybody enjoys a bad movie now and again. The problem was that everyone went into this film with their serious face on and rather than coming off as fun it tends to seem like a missed opportunity. Josh Brolin brings a lot of gritty charm to Jonah but everyone else, aside from maybe Michael Fassbender, just seem to be going through the motions. Imagine if Malkovich could have really poured on the ham. What if we could have gotten another Con-Air style performance out of him?

Even the supernatural elements wouldn’t have seemed so out of place if the tone of the film hadn’t been so serious. The best thing that could have happened to this movie would have been a direct edict to go over-the-top with no restriction and they really should have kept the previously rumoured “zombie confederate army” plotline that got mentioned so much in the early stages of development. Hex talking to the dead would have made a lot more sense if the central plot of the film revolved around the resurrection of the dead. Instead he has supernatural powers for no real reason and Turnbull wants to blow up Washington with a cannon that shoots Dragon Balls.

I actually enjoyed the movie, I thought it was a pretty middle-of-the road actioner and that Josh Brolin did a damn fine job as Hex. But it really is a silly little movie that is hampered by it’s reluctance to admit its own ridiculousness. I won’t bother mentioning the plot holes, or the choppy storytelling, or Megan Fox’s accent. Those things are self evident. I’m just saddened that we couldn’t have gotten something unique and special out of Jonah Hex. Instead we get a spiritual cousin to Will Smiths’ Wild Wild West. The tone is almost identical. The “wtf” factor of the villain’s plan is almost identical, and neither of them seemed to care much about catering to the hopes of the original fans.

I won’t say that I hated it, but I won’t admit it wasn’t a dissapointment either.
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Re: Previews, reviews and spoilers

Post by Admin on Mon Jun 21, 2010 4:53 am

http://www.overallsite.com/2010/06/jonah-hex-movie-review/

Jonah Hex Movie Review

Review by The Globe and Mail

Calling Jonah Hex a waste of time requires qualification, given the action flick weighs in at 82 minutes. And that includes a lengthy comic book prologue and two or three Maxim-style pictorials of star Megan Fox twitching her lips in come-hither poses.

The film is based on the popular DC comic franchise, the story of a Confederate Civil War veteran (Josh Brolin) who turns to bounty hunting to fill his angry hours after a Mean Evildoer rubs out his family.

How despicable is Quentin Turnbull (John Malkovich)? Meaner than Johnny Cash without pills – the kind of villain who would stick a branding iron in a man’s face just to watch him fry.

Read Full Review
Review by Chron

“This here’s my story,” says Jonah Hex, the ax-wielding, corpse-whispering, hideously scarred 19th-century Western-style bounty hunter at the outset of the film that bears his name.

Thing is, it isn’t much of a story. Sure, it’s got a hero on an errand of vengeance (Josh Brolin), a hooker with a heart of gold (Megan Fox, corseted to within an inch of her life), an incompetent Irish thug with chin tattoos (Michael Fassbender) and a wacky genocidal villain (John Malkovich) who plans to kill Jonah and, more importantly, destroy the United States government with translucent orange bocce balls. Or something. It also has several actors with really bad quasi-Southern accents.

Oh, and fire — lots and lots of fire. Explosions, too. Stuff blows up, and I mean constantly; seven scenes (I counted) climax in flames, as though Crank writers resolved to drop a bomb on every narrative roadblock in the script. Included in these serial conflagrations: a shack; a train; two large ships; two small towns; and a tentlike venue where a muscled prizefighter goes mano-a-mano with a gymnastic snake-man drooling acidic spittle.

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Review by The New York Times

Jonah Hex, the titular tough guy of the enjoyable neo-B-movie of the same title, is so unforgiving that he doesn’t kill a man once — he brings one unlucky victim back from the dead just so he can kill him again.

A former Confederate soldier turned bounty hunter, Hex dates back to a DC Comics series that originated in the early 1970s and clearly owes something to any number of Clint Eastwood antiheroes with and without names. Hex takes the form of Josh Brolin, who can play tough and hard but here is playing tough and funny while wearing a face that looks like a bowl of Hamburger Helper as whipped up by Chester Gould. Hex was scarred, both physically and psychologically, by another Confederate veteran, Quentin Turnbull (John Malkovich), who has emerged to wreak ruin on a united nation he despises.

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Re: Previews, reviews and spoilers

Post by Admin on Tue Jun 22, 2010 12:55 am

http://www.locusmag.com/Reviews/2010/06/howard-waldrop-lawrence-person-review-jonah-hex/

Howard Waldrop & Lawrence Person review Jonah Hex

— posted Monday 21 June 2010 @ 2:08 pm PDT

Howard Waldrop: Well, it could have been a lot worse.

Lawrence Person: Have you ever worked in an office building late at night? And you’re there late enough that your stomach starts rumbling, but you don’t have time to go out for dinner, so you go down to the vending area and there, between the Coke and candy machines, is the “food” vending machine, with canned soup, cheese sandwiches, etc. And the only thing that looks even slightly appetizing is one of those bagged microwave cheeseburgers, so you end up getting one. And you see that it’s a still few days shy of the expiration date, so you nuke it in the microwave and eat it, and it doesn’t make you sick, but whatever tiny remnant of taste that remained in it had long since dissipated, making chewing more of a chore than a pleasure.

Jonah Hex is that bagged microwave cheeseburger.

HW: Give them some points: they were trying to wrestle with some big ideas. I’m just not sure a 6th banana comic book hero from Weird Western Comics was the ideal focus for a morality play.

Jonah Hex, bounty hunter who suffered a near-death experience (and can now “talk” with the dead) is the hero. Disfigured during the Civil War by Colonel Turnbull (John Malkovich, looking like a reject from a spaghetti western), Hex finds the Colonel still alive on the eve of the nation’s Centennial (and plotting the resurgence of the South via the Nation-Destroyer, sort of a Manhattan Project of the Civil War that was never used).

There’s some stuff that boggles your mind at first—horse-mounted Gatling Guns for instance. (Not as crazy as it sounds. The Army tried mule-mounted howitzers at Council Bluffs, Iowa in the l860s; the watching crowd of brass was menaced when the mule turned to see what the noise from the cannon-fuse was, and the recoil, when the cannon fired, knocked the mule off the bluff. So horse-mounted Gatlings seemed at least reasonable to someone in the 1800s.)

The movie tries to do more than it can deliver, which makes it seem worse than safer movies. The battle between good and evil is signified in a dream/reverie ass-whipping fistfight between Hex and the Colonel. We only see the end of it at the movie’s conclusion, when things work out in real life in a fairly nasty battle on a gunboat in the Potomac Tidal Basin.

I had no hopes for this movie, but an hour in I started rooting for it to get way better and turn into something swell, despite its origins. No luck, of course.

Lawrence Person: Two of writers Neveldine and Taylor’s previous movie outings were Crank and Crank 2. (I didn’t see their third, Gamer, because the previews made it look like a waste of a perfectly good Dexter.) No way would you call Crank/2 classics, but if you looked on them as big budget exploitation films, they were quite satisfying as a sort of guilty pleasure cinematic junk food. Like the Hong Kong action films that obviously inspired them, they were non-stop cavalcades of deeply improbable violence, but like good exploitation films, they were willing to do anything to keep your attention, no matter how insane, gross or lowbrow. But both Cranks were also directed by Neveldine/Taylor, whereas Jonah Hex is directed by, uh, the guy who helmed the remake of Horton Hears a Who. Evidently Neveldine/Taylor bowed out over creative differences. It shows.

A Neveldine/Taylor version would have at least had some frenetic novelty value going for it. Sadly, the actual Jonah Hex has very little going for it at all. It’s not awful, it’s just not good. It’s mediocrity incarnate. There’s guilty all right (after all, you could be watching Toy Story 3 instead), but there’s precious little pleasure.

It’s obvious that the film went through several sets of radically different re-writes, and what remains on the screen is an amalgamation of several of them, and the “dream fight between Hex and Turnbull in Hell” is obviously the remnant of a different script. And despite the sparse 84 minute running time (including the credits), the movie is still padded out with unnecessary dream sequences and flashbacks.

HW: Considering the script, the acting is fine. Megan Fox is fairly good in an underwritten working-girl-with-a-heart-of-gold role. The hellhound Hex befriends is pretty wonderful.

LP: Having not seen any of her previous films, I wasn’t sure before seeing this one whether Fox (Hollywood’s designated lust object for the last couple of years) could actually act or not. Now that I’ve seen Jonah Hex, I still don’t know. She’s trying, but neither the director nor the script is giving her (or Josh Brolin) much help.

In the Cavalcade of Crazy Confederates, Kenneth Branagh’s scenery-chewing performance in Wild Wild West is far and away more interesting than John Malkovich’s bloodless turn as villain Quentin Turnbull. Malkovich is an exceptionally effective actor in the right role, but here his usual underplayed approach is (much like Peter Fonda’s Satan in the slightly better Ghost Rider) at odds with both the character and the source material. And yes, Jonah Hex just came out on the losing end of comparisons with Wild Wild West and Ghost Rider. If that doesn’t scare you away, nothing will.

Indeed, this version of Jonah Hex plays like an attempt to rip off the movie version of Wild Wild West, and fails (never mind why you would even attempt such a thing, save out of sheer perversity), mainly because the Nation-Destroyer isn’t nearly as interesting as the giant mechanical spider.

The only actor who seems to be having any fun in this film is Michael Fassbender’s Crazy Tattooed Irish Henchmen. He’s having such a blast that he would have done fine in that parallel universe Neveldine/Taylor version.

To my mind the most effective scenes are the “weird western” ones, especially when Hex talks to the dead. A weird western version could have been good. An insane Neveldine/Taylor version could have been interesting. Sadly, just about any version seems more intriguing than the one we actually got.

In a sense, the fact that Jonah Hex is as watchable as it is, is a credit to Hollywood professionalism. With such a poor script and such indifferent direction, reaching the level of “meh” is actually quite an achievement. So to the foley artists, key grips and film editors of Jonah Hex, I say take a bow. You’ve managed to snatch mediocrity from the jaws of abject failure.

HW: You needn’t worry about a sequel—I saw this with about 20 people in a 400-seat theater.

Directed by Jimmy Hayward

Written by Mark Neveldine, Brian Taylor, William Farmer (story), John Albano (original comic), and Tony Dezuniga (original comic)

Starring Josh Brolin, John Malkovich, Megan Fox, Michael Fassbender, Will Arnett, Aidan Quinn, Lance Reddick

Official Website: Jonah Hex – Official Site

Howard Waldrop’s latest books are Other Worlds, Better Lives: Selected Long Fiction, 1989 – 2003 and Things Will Never Be the Same: Selected Short Fiction 1980-2005, from Old Earth Books. Locus Magazine interviewed Waldrop in its November 2003 issue.

Lawrence Person is a science fiction writer living in Austin, Texas. His work has appeared in Asimov’s, Fantasy & Science Fiction, Analog, Postscripts, Jim Baen’s Universe, Fear, National Review, Reason, Whole Earth Review, The Freeman, Science Fiction Eye, The New York Review of Science Fiction, and Slashdot.org, as well as several anthologies. He also edits the Hugo-nominated SF critical magazine Nova Express and runs Lame Excuse Books.
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Re: Previews, reviews and spoilers

Post by Admin on Tue Jun 22, 2010 12:58 am

http://www.heyuguys.co.uk/2010/06/21/jonah-hex-review/

Jonah Hex Review

Posted by Tracy Ladd on June 21, 2010 · View Comments

Based on the DC Comic of the same name, Jonah Hex tells the story of a Confederate soldier who turns against his fellows soldiers and disobeys a direct order given by his superior officer, Quinten Turnbull. The result of which is the death of Turnbull’s son. Once Hex is reunited with his family, Turnbull shows up and forces Hex to watch as he exacts revenge by killing Hex’s wife and son. Turnbull then disfigures Hex so that he’ll always remember (not that one could forget that…I’m just saying). Left for dead, Hex is rescued and brought back from the precipice of death by a Native American tribe. Hex recovers, but now he has the ability to converse with the dead (a handy skill indeed). He becomes a bounty hunter hoping to take his own revenge on Turnbull, but believing Turnbull died in a fire, isn’t able to. It is soon discovered that Turnbull is alive (of course he is)and is planning to unleash hell on the new world. Under direction of the US government, it’s Hex who must stop it from happening.

To be honest, I’m surprised I even remembered that much of the film. I’m just going to get right to it and break it down.

The Story:
I don’t have any prior knowledge of the comic books or the story of Jonah Hex. I can only imagine that this may be a good thing. Not having anything to compare it to means I wouldn’t be upset if it deviates from the source material. The story seemed straight forward enough but it was so rushed and jumbled that in the end, I really didn’t care who was doing what and why they were doing it. There wasn’t really any major character development and I wasn’t able to engage with them on any level. When that happens it makes it hard to give a rip about the story or what’s happening. They tried to jam in so much exposition in the beginning that I was left shaking my head wondering what the heck I had gotten myself into. I’m all for fast pacing as long as it’s fast pacing with a purpose. This film lacked any sense of that.

The Film:
I don’t even know where to start. First of all as I already stated, the pacing was ridiculous. One of the other major problems with this film was the editing. It jumped from scene to scene so fast, you weren’t able to discern what exactly was happening. While I’m in no hurry to see this film again, I would be interested in seeing an extended cut or directors cut just to see what was left out. I have a feeling it would show a much more cohesive complete story than what was released. The acting suffered, the dialogue most definitely suffered and whenever they had a chance to throw in some effects or explosions, they did. Just for fun. The film suffers from attention deficit disorder and it’s apparent for the duration.

Clocking in at 80 minutes (including end credits) it’s a jumbled mess that jumps here, there and everywhere leaving you wondering what director Jimmy Hayward was thinking.

The Cast:
Josh Brolin as Jonah Hex was actually a brilliant piece of casting. He played it to the nines, even thought he really wasn’t given much to work with. I would actually love to see Brolin in a traditional western because he’s got that gritty quality. He’s got the look and is also able to speak with the drawl that doesn’t sound forced. Hollywood, if your listening, make that happen please. It’s the subtle nuances that make those western types work, and he’s definitely able to pull it off without it being over the top or one note.

Speaking of one note….Megan Fox. Fox plays the love interest / prostitute Lilah. I can’t really say why she’s there other than to serve as window dressing or eye candy. Harsh I know, but her performance was nothing memorable. The only thing that sticks out for me regarding her performance was her sorry excuse of a southern accent that made an occasional appearance. Sometimes you heard it, sometimes, not so much. It threw me back to the good ole days of Kevin Costner in Robin Hood. Ok, maybe that’s a little too harsh, but you get my drift. I would love to see Fox go the way of Charlize Theron in Monster, just to see if she could pull it off and to see if there is any depth to her at all.

And speaking of depth….John Malkovich. Malkovich plays Hex’s nemesis, Quinten Turnbull. Malkovich has shown time and time again that he is one of those actors that have a space reserved for them in the upper echelon of acting. Even though he’s never won an Oscar (shocking, I know) he has been nominated and has played roles that cover the spectrum. Here he basically seems to sleep through his entire performance. It seems like more of a paycheck role than one he put his heart into. Which is a shame because it really is a waste of his talent.

Michael Fassbender plays Burke, Turnbull’s right hand man. The scenes with Burke were actually entertaining. His presence was probably the only other positive aside from Brolin. The character of Burke was a bit over the top and ruthless and Fassbender played it with a grinning Irishman’s enthusiasm. It may have been a small bit, but it was effective and entertaining.

In the end Jonah Hex isn’t worth the time, energy or money needed to go see it. It maybe good enough for a rental. It could rank as one of those Sunday-afternoon-when-there’s-absolutely-nothing-on films. Quite frankly, the best part of the film was the previews. Being the latest in a long line of comic book adaptions, Jonah Hex should have been left on the page.
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Re: Previews, reviews and spoilers

Post by Admin on Tue Jun 22, 2010 12:59 am

http://www.buckslocalnews.com/articles/2010/06/21/entertainment/doc4c1fb320c39a7774396789.txt

Movies: Comic-book western 'Jonah Hex' is unnecessary and instantly forgettable

Published: Monday, June 21, 2010

Josh Brolin stars as the scarred title character in "Jonah Hex," based on the DC comic.

By R. Kurt Osenlund, The Good Life film critic

Movie Review: “Jonah Hex,” 2 stars (out of 5)

In the comic-book western “Jonah Hex,” the title character, a sort-of-resurrected bounty hunter with a sort-of link to the land of the dead, has a talent for touching corpses and bringing them back to life, if only for a few intense, interrogative moments. Trouble is, if Jonah holds on too long, the reanimated stiffs start to slowly, painfully burn up, inching ever closer to what I assume qualifies as a second, definitive kicking of the bucket. Watching this movie isn't much different. As safe and standard a Hollywood product as they come, “Hex” bores you to death with its platitudes and processed plot, then revives your attention with blaring noise and frenzied editing that wind up incinerating your senses. What really burns is knowing that increasingly risk-averse studios like Warner Bros. won't get behind gems like “Winter's Bone,” but they'll invest millions in this kind of dime-a-dozen rubbish. There have been worse movies this season, but “Hex” is probably the least necessary.

Based on the DC Comics character who first appeared in the 1970s, the film is your average bad-ass antihero tale dropped into the Old West. You know the drill: Jonah (Josh Brolin) is a man with nothing to lose who's turned to murder-for-hire to fill a hole in his soul. A prologue informs us he was once a Confederate soldier, but he defied his commander (John Malkovich), murdered the commander's son (Jeffrey Dean Morgan), then hung up his musket after an amoral mission activated his hidden conscience. The irate commander, called Quentin Turnbull, saw to it that Jonah would never forget the high cost of having principles, forcing the noble traitor to watch as his family was burned alive, then branding his left cheek, which would ultimately leave him looking like Two-Face, the disfigured villain from that other DC comic. Having an in with the Indians, the left-for-dead Jonah landed a second chance thanks to Native American mysticism, and went on to earn a reputation for ruthlessness and perpetual teeth-baring. The film proper sees Turnbull re-emerge as an anti-American terrorist hellbent on destroying the nation on its 100th birthday, and Jonah, we are plainly told, is “the country's only hope.”

While I appreciated the elements of U.S. history (President Grant and the Industrial Revolution play key roles), the story of Jonah Hex doesn't have enough creative juice to not register as a dusty, spurred reiteration of the adventures of The Crow, The Punisher, Ghost Rider, or any other vengeful vigilante who's made his way from the graphic novel cell to the big screen. And any gritty, noir mystique established in the source material evidently evaporated when the studio put the property in the hands of screenwriters Mark Neveldine and Brian Taylor (“Crank,” “Gamer”), the Dolce & Gabbana of bad movies, and director Jimmy Hayward (“Horton Hears a Who!”), a former animator making his live action debut. Working from a screenplay with all the inspiration of a Saturday morning cartoon, Hayward shows a remarkably unsteady hand as a filmmaker and fails to find a distinctive style. The prologue is followed by a graphic animation sequence, which, albeit nothing special, indicates the possibility of personality. But that technique is swept away like a tumbleweed, never to be seen again, and thenceforth the film consists of relatively poor camerawork and deeply saturated dream sequences that don't serve the look or the story.

On paper, the casting seems promising, even needle-waisted Megan Fox as the corset-clad, come-hither prostitute, Lilah. But the only performer to make a strong, positive impression is the meteoric Michael Fassbender, who gnashes his teeth, sports expansive tattoos and exercises a hearty Irish accent as Turnbull's merciless, scene-stealing henchman, Burke. Poor Malkovich looks completely ridiculous, rocking a scuzzy beard and an old-lady wig and doing that loud-and-clear-line-emphasis thing that made his Cyrus the Virus such an infectious joke in “Con Air.” Fox has never been more dreamily photographed, her bold features beaming in the glow of the hot sun, but her acting style remains little more than the chirpy purr of a sex kitten, which sounds no better in a twangy accent. And Brolin, aiming for an over-40 superhero success a la Robert Downey Jr., turns off the charm and never recovers from Neveldine & Taylor's dumb declarative statements and soap opera-style self-talk.

Nearly everything in this movie lands with a thump, from the line readings to the deafening sound effects (at one point, the orchestra included pounding horse hooves, screeching crows, blaring electric guitars and bass drums – all at once). Much of what goes down involves Jonah entering a place (a bar, a one-horse town, a shady fighting arena, etc.), beating up or killing most of the individuals, destroying all or most of the property, then moving on to the next target. The final showdown, which follows another snooze-inducing villain's speech from Turnbull, is so hurriedly and preposterously wrapped up that it's difficult to even comprehend what happened. Not that it really matters. I found it funny how often the movie insisted on repeating Jonah's name, as if driving a brand into the heads of the viewers. A franchise, however, is horribly unlikely, especially since the name – and the movie – are all but forgotten the moment you leave the theater.
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Re: Previews, reviews and spoilers

Post by Admin on Tue Jun 22, 2010 1:00 am

http://www.fanbolt.com/headline/8515/Jonah_Hex_Review:_At_Least_It_Is_Short

Jonah Hex Review: At Least It Is Short
Submitted on 06.21.2010 - 01:31:26 pm by DoubtingSalmon

The ludicrously short run time of only eighty minutes is just about the only thing the painfully dull film, Jonah Hex, has going for it. The screenplay written by Mark Neveldine and Brian Taylor, the men behind the beautifully nihilistic Crank series, shows little of the two's penchant for the absurd, and hews pretty close, if not on the downward slope, of the middle of the road. There are a lot of gunshots, a plethora of explosions, and just about as many B and C list actors, but is short on all else, especially entertainment.

Josh Brolin plays the titular character, snarling through some gruesome burn prosthetics, but serving up very little in the way of character development. Hex is on a revenge quest to kill his former Confederate Army commanding officer Quinton Trumbull (John Malkovich) for murdering his family. During that incident, of which we are treated to numerous, some might say redundant, flashbacks, Trumbull brands Hex's face, and leaves him for dead.

Told through some uninspired comic book style animation we find out that Hex was nursed back to health by a tribe of Native Americans, and is endued with the power to converse with dead people. He's like a Civil War-era Haley Joel Osment. After being conscripted to hunt Trumbull by order of President Ulysses S. Grant (Aidan Quinn), Hex uses his gifts to track his prey.

The only light in Hex's life is Lilah, the prostitute with a heart of gold. Lilah is played by sex bomb Megan Fox whose acting skills are about as slim as her waist, as such was seemingly hired for her many other attributes. No matter her looks director Jimmy Hayward and Cinematographer Mitchell Amundsen digitally airbrush Ms. Fox's close-ups in such a distracting way it is possible that her beauty isn't even skin deep.

No one in the picture is believable; from Michael Fassbender as Trumbull's henchman, Burke, who sports the face tattoos of a Maori warrior, to Will Arnett as Lieutenant Grass, an Army Brass who comes in and out of the picture faster than you can say "Cutting room floor." Wes Bentley plays a plantation owner who helps Trumbull, whose accent is about as phony as his mutton-chops. Jeffery Dean Morgan, Michael Shannon, and Tom Wopat are all on screen for about a blink of an eye each, not really in cameos per se, but rather just distractingly over cast bit parts. The lone African American in the movie, Lance Reddick, plays the creatively named Smith, a gun smith and friend to Hex, but it is obvious he is only in the picture to prove that the former Confederate was not a racist slave owner, but only supported the South because he was some kind of proto-Libertarian. Forget the Haley Joel Osment thing, he's like a Civil War Ralph Nader.

Nothing much really happens in the eighty minutes other than booms, bangs, and flames, and none of them are all that fun. The film is so straight-forward that it should have been an arrow pointed right at the heart of the "bad idea" department. Having been a recognizable face since 1986's The Goonies, Brolin will probably weather the storm, but Megan Fox tacks on another bomb onto a long string of box office flops. With her ejection from the Transformers franchise it may be time to say good-bye to the pretty little gaffe machine. I wonder if Jonah Hex can commune with her career?

El Luchador Rating: 1 out of 5 1 out of 5
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Re: Previews, reviews and spoilers

Post by Admin on Tue Jun 22, 2010 1:29 am

http://www.playbackstl.com/movie-reviews/9663-jonah-hex-warner-bros-pictures-pg-13

Jonah Hex (Warner Bros. Pictures, PG-13)

Written by Matthew F. Newlin Monday, 21 June 2010 10:44

What Brolin does in the film can’t really be called a performance because he merely grimaces and mumbles through the whole movie beneath the increasingly distracting makeup.

Serious film buffs will often be heard saying “No good movie is too long and no bad movie is too short.” This is one of the few truisms in the world and Jonah Hex, at a run time of barely 80 minutes, felt like an eternity due to the meandering story and absolutely pathetic excuse for a screenplay. Occasionally a film can be salvaged from becoming absolute garbage by the performances of the lead actors, but that is not the case with Jonah Hex. Even though the two stars, Josh Brolin and John Malkovich, are wonderful actors they are unable to elevate this movie above the quality of a something that should have been double-billed with Mega Shark vs. Giant Octopus and left to rot on late night basic cable for eternity.

Though its source material is yet another comic book (and never a popular one either), Jonah Hex is almost identical to Wild Wild West starring Will Smith and Kevin Kline, another forgettable summer movie that will hopefully soon fade from memory. Hex stumbles through an asinine plot that toys with supernatural elements that are only used to progress the story and are ultimately unimportant.

The character of Jonah Hex (Brolin) is a former Confederate soldier whose family is murdered by Quentin Turnball (Malkovich) because Hex killed Turnball’s son. So now Hex wants to kill Turnball. It’s a revenge story, get it? Hex is a really bad dude and you can tell right away because his face is all scarred which would be intimidating if it didn’t look so silly and artificial.

There is no sense summarizing the plot because it is so absurd and comical. Apparently, Hex is straddling the world of the living and the world of the dead so he can talk to dead people if he touches them. This only happens when he needs information from people so it is really more of a technical detail than a real plot point. Turnball hates the Union and the new country that has developed since the Civil War so he is going to destroy it with a giant weapon he built that is light years ahead of the technology available at the time. Again, almost a mirror image to Wild Wild West.

What Brolin does in the film can’t really be called a performance because he merely grimaces and mumbles through the whole movie beneath the increasingly distracting makeup. Malkovich gives Turnball little depth and doesn’t even attempt a Southern accent which almost makes you respect him; it’s as if he’s saying, “I’m John Malkovich and my almost-British cadence and inflection is good enough for any role.”

It should come as no surprise that the screenplay is incoherent since it was written by the team of Neveldine & Taylor who co-wrote Crank and Crank: High Voltage. Director Jimmy Hayward took quite the gamble on his first live action feature and after this will hopefully resign himself to more animated films like Horton Hears a Who! and leave real movies to real directors.

The filmmakers are even so blind as to waste a wonderful actor like Michael Fassbender as a sidekick to Malkovich who is sadistic and violent for no reason. Michael Shannon, one of the most intimidating and intense actors working today, is credited as appearing in the movie but if you blink you’ll miss him as some guy who runs a circus.

Jonah Hex is just another movie that will disappoint moviegoers in a summer overrun with disappointing movies. | Matthew F. Newlin
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Re: Previews, reviews and spoilers

Post by Admin on Tue Jun 22, 2010 2:15 am

http://moviemadness-oliverryan.blogspot.com/2010/06/jonah-hex-review.html

Monday, June 21, 2010
Jonah Hex review

Jonah Hex
Directed by Jimmy Hayward
Written by Mark Neveldine and Brian Taylor
Stars Josh Brolin, John Malkovich, Megan Fox, Michael Fassbender, Will Arnett, and Michael Shannon
MPAA: Rated PG-13 for intense sequences of violence and action, disturbing images and sexual content

Zero stars (out of four)

Jonah Hex - based on the DC Comics antihero created in the 1970's - is a complete and utter disaster of a movie. Which is actually a shame, given the overqualified cast. Josh Brolin takes on the title role as Jonah, a Civil War vet who deserts his captain Quentin Turnbull (John Malkovich) because he wants his crew to do terrible things. As a result, Turnbull murders Jonah's family, brands his face, and leaves him for dead. After being found by a group of Native Americans, Jonah becomes a ruthless bounty hunter who for some reason acquires the gift (or curse) of talking to the dead. Meanwhile, Turnbull has a plan to destroy the U.S. on its 100th birthday, so Jonah is asked by the government to stop him.

I know what you're thinking: "Really, that's it?" Yes, it is. The movie runs for a short 80 minutes, but it still feels like an eternity. That's just the beginning of the laundry list of problems this movie has. For one, the villainous acts that Turnbull commits that causes Jonah to desert - such as blowing up a hospital - have no motives to speak of. At one point, one of the characters says he was trying to prove a point, but we never know what the point is, nor do we know why he wants to destroy the country. Secondly, Turnbull tells Jonah that he took everything from him. We later find out that Jonah killed his son, but we don't know why and how. Third, Megan Fox plays a hooker named Lilah who has had some sort of relationship with Jonah, but we don't know how they met or how their relationship goes. Fourth, did the budget not cover lighting? The night scenes are so dark and the editing is so choppy that you cannot tell what is going on.

So there's what I got off the top of my head, but I'm sure I could think of thousands of reasons so I'll stop there. For being a comic book fan, I had never heard of Jonah Hex before this movie (and judging by the box office, neither has the rest of the country), so I don't know who's bright idea it was at Warner Bros. to make this film, but it was completely unnecessary and just plain awful. There's nothing in it to like besides the score from heavy metal gods Mastodon. John Malkovich is disappointing as the villain, camping up all his lines big time. Megan Fox continues her streak of being lifeless on the screen. As for Josh Brolin, he's not actually terrible in this film, but now I need to rewatch No Country for Old Men - a modern western of real grit and grace - to remind me of great Brolin and to wash this sour taste out of my mouth.

Photo copyright of Warner Bros. Pictures
Posted by OliverRyan at 6:05 PM
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Re: Previews, reviews and spoilers

Post by Admin on Tue Jun 22, 2010 2:17 am

http://movies.insidepulse.com/2010/06/21/jonah-hex-review/

Jonah Hex – Review
By Scott "Kubryk" Sawitz - June 21, 2010

A mess on every level

One of the downsides of the summer blockbuster season is that films that normally would merit an R-rating, and a hard one at that, get gutted down to a PG-13 to make it more commercial. Some films make that transition easy and others, like Jonah Hex, prove that not all films can be toned down and still be good films. Hex doesn’t even measure up to being perfectly acceptable entertainment.

Following the titular character (Josh Brolin), a Confederate soldier turned bounty hunter in the period following the Civil War, Jonah Hex is a supernaturally themed western based off the comic book character of the same name. When his former commanding officer, Turnbull (John Malkovich), decides to create his own nation-destroying weapon and unleash it upon Washington, D.C, during the first centennial celebration, it’s up to Hex and his prostitute girlfriend (Megan Fox) to save the day.

Scripted by Crank duo Neveldine & Taylor, Jonah Hex feels like one of their films but without the zealous nature that drives that franchise (and drove Gamer). That’s because the duo only scripted the film after having also been in talks to direct it as well. Jimmy Hayward, making his live action debut after helming animated hit Horton Hears a Who, seems to have a difficult job of taking material from a writer/director team and transforming it into his own. The result is an erratic pace and an atmosphere that tends to fluctuate from serious to campy. Coupled with extensive reshoots of the film and there’s no real strong narrative to the film.

It feels like the discarded pieces of a better film; Hayward does an admirable job with someone else’s material but one only imagines the sort of dark, twisted film the Crank boys had in mind. It seems as if Hayward has a different idea on what he wants Hex to be with a script that is going in a different direction and this is a bad combination of the two. The films like it wants to be a hard R rated film, with lots of horror film level violence coupled in a story about revenge coupled with the supernatural, and settles for appearing to be a hard R but being a soft PG-13 instead.

That aspect cripples the film because Jonah Hex has all the atmosphere and feel of a dark, disturbed film. Hayward may not be overly acquainted with action sequences but it’s the one thing he gets absolutely perfect; they may not mean anything when connected to the plot but he crafts one mechanically sound action sequence after another. They lack the pizzazz and emotional connection that they would in a better film, as well as the violence a more mature film would have, but they aren’t without merit.

It’s a shame, really, because Josh Brolin does admirable work as the disfigured anti-hero. Hex is a complicated guy, wanting freedom but always finding himself back in the arms of a hard-working prostitute half his age. Brolin, sometimes barely able to be understood because of the amount of makeup on his face, has all the physical tools and appearance of a menacing cowboy. He just deserves to be in a better film. Unfortunately he’s the only bright part in an underused cast.

Considering his experience in better action films, John Malkovich completely mails in his performance as Hex’s antagonist. This is a shallow imitation of a villain from an actor who has done better ones in better films, most particularly as Cyrus the Virus in Con Air. In a film that could use a better villain to at least make the film interesting, Malkovich is about as good as the material provided to him. The rest of the cast fares no better; comedian Will Arnett and established character actor Aidan Quinn are given thankless roles while Academy Award nominee Michael Shannon has a “blink and you miss it” cameo early on. It’s better than Megan Fox, who shows the same level of stiffness that she did in the Transformers franchise.

Jonah Hex had the makings of a disaster from all of its off-set controversies and turned out to be even worse than expected.

Director: Jimmy Hayward
Notable Cast: Josh Brolin, Megan Fox, John Malkovich, Will Arnett, Michael Fassbender
Writer(s): Neveldine & Taylor (Screenplay), Willam Farmer (Story), John Albano and Tony Dezuniga (Characters)
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Re: Previews, reviews and spoilers

Post by Admin on Tue Jun 22, 2010 2:19 am

http://comicsgrinder.blogspot.com/2010/06/movie-review-jonah-hex-misfires.html

Monday, June 21, 2010
Movie Review: Jonah Hex Misfires


"Jonah Hex" is an action movie that aims to give an offbeat comic book character what he needs to jump to the big screen but it is misguided and leads to a movie that misfires. In the spirit of Guy Richie pumping adrenaline into "Sherlock Holmes," Jimmy Hayward attempts to do the same with this cult favorite title from DC Comics. Along with sharing some steampunk urgency, both of these Warner Bros. movies have star power. James Brolin's brooding Hex can pretty much hold his own with Robert Downey Jr.'s neurotic Holmes.

When a big studio rolls out an action movie, you can expect a lot of shooting and things being blown up. And the lead character is likely on a big mission to save his country, if not the world. Where "Sherlock Holmes" was an action movie with a mystery to solve, the villain's ultimate plan wasn't revealed until the very end. But with "Jonah Hex," we at least get an interesting look at John Malkovich's Turnbull and what he has in mind with his Nation Killer machine. And we get to see him get closer to satisfying his evil plans than we usually do in an action movie.

Writing duo Neveline and Taylor ("Crank") do a fair job of working with the comic book history of Jonah Hex. They explore Hex's brief stint with the Confederacy which spiraled into tragedy. In the movie, General Turnbull has his revenge on Hex, for killing his son in a fair fight, by killing Hex's wife and son and disfiguring his face. Hex is left tied to a cross where he would have died if not for being rescued by the Apache. It is this experience, like being bitten by a radioactive spider, that defines Jonah Hex. Having come so close to death, Hex is now virtually fearless and, in the movie version, he gains the ability to interact with the dead.

Some good scenes involve Hex confronting the dead. In one scene, we cut to a graveyard. We hear the clink of a shovel and that disrupts a murder of crows. We then cut to Hex as he places a hand on a corpse that suddenly returns to life and wants to resume the fight it had with Hex when alive. There's another scene where Hex gets to enjoy killing one particularly evil dude, played by Michael Fassbender, and then brings him back to life for one last thrashing.

And Megan Fox gives us a decent performance despite limited screen time and a corset that could easily displace every one of her internal organs. As Tallulah Black, the love interest, and sidekick to Hex, Fox proves believable and a delight in her brief time in the movie. The gripe that she can't act is pretty tiresome. She can act. We just don't see that much of her in this movie. In fact, the whole movie is made up of all too brief scenes as if it is afraid to linger for very long anywhere.

I can imagine Warner Bros. executives having "Sherlock Holmes" fresh on their minds when they gave "Jonah Hex" the greenlight. Whether we should welcome a trend of mashing up thoughtful source material, be it classic or contemporary, with the action movie genre remains a bit up in the air. I think Guy Richie got away with it but it was something of a close call. In the case of "Sherlock Holmes," you don't mind too much it being more style than substance. With "Jonah Hex," that delicate balance is upset. When you've got a music video type sequence of Hex and Turnbull in a fantasy fight scene to fill time, that's not good. And then to return to it to fill more time, that's really not good. This is not to say there aren't some good things going on in this movie but just because it's an action movie and it includes Megan Fox doesn't mean you can take anything for granted.

There are enough hints to indicate that "Jonah Hex" could have been a much better movie than what was released. So, maybe that can be a lesson to learn: Aim at least as high as Guy Richie's "Sherlock Holmes" and then aim higher still. Director Jimmy Hayward said in an interview, in the current issue of the Jonah Hex comic, that the only way to make "Jonah Hex" today, by a big studio, is as an action movie. In light of this action movie version of Jonah Hex, you're just left thinking that can't be quite right. In the same interview, Hayward spoke of his love of quirky Westerns like, "The Outlaw Josey Wales." Maybe Hayward should have followed his heart and maybe he would have ended up making a movie people would want to see instead of one that makes it harder for the next offbeat project to get picked up by a big studio.
Posted by Henry Chamberlain at 4:01 PM
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Re: Previews, reviews and spoilers

Post by Admin on Tue Jun 22, 2010 2:21 am

http://icospicturecircus.blogspot.com/2010/06/jonah-hex-review.html

Monday, June 21, 2010
Jonah Hex review

I did a bit of research before I sat down to write this. See I've been following the production of "Jonah Hex" for quite some time now. First off I'm a fan of Josh Brolin and the idea that the dude was going to attempt to dive into being an action hero struck me as cool. Second was that "Crank" and "Crank 2" creators Neveldine & Taylor were writing and directing the film. And third because of the previous reasons and knowing that the world would have a hard R-rated action piece with a nice sized budget about a disfigured gunslinger fighting supernatural evils. Sorry art world, but that s$#! will win by bucks any day. Unfortunately as time passed a lot changed. Neveldine & Taylor were out as directors and in was Jimmy Hayward; director of "Horton Hears a Who!".... I'll let everything I've told you sink in. So I wanted to know what happened, but we'll get to that later.

Now I'm all for giving people a chance to try something new, but that's considering if the material works for that person. For Hayward... ehhhhh I'm gonna go with no. All that R-rated s$#!... out the door. Time for some good ole' fashioned PG-13ing which is apparently what Warner Brothers was looking for. Now in addition to Brolin let's bring in John Malkovich cause he sell anything... Megan Fox for all those horny men out there and then toss in some other familiar faces for good measure. Yeah... now we have a movie that someone will buy to see right? Right?!

Apparently wrong goop for brains. The story of Jimmy Hayward's "Jonah Hex" is basically this... Hex was a soldier whose family was killed by Quentin Turnbull (Malkovich) for killing his son and Hex's best friend (reasons are pretty paper thin). He's now a supernatural fighting, disfigured bounty hunter that's been hired by the government to hunt down Turnbull who is going for destroy Washington D.C. with a super weapon (aka a big ass cannon on boat) for some reason. Oh and he apparently likes Lilah, a hooker played in a couple scenes by Megan Fox. I don't know... call me crazy, but there could be some holes in this story.

As it turns out Malkovich can't sell everything. For example being a ex-southern general who wants to destroy the capital. I guess we're supposed to believe that since he was a confederate that he's just hell bent on destroying the U.S. or something of that sort. But as little sense as he's whole dastardly scheme makes, still it'd be nice if he could sound like a southerner. Instead he does this odd vocal changing that makes him sound more like slack-jawed northerner than anything else. Equally Megan Fox's accent is flimsy, but sometimes works. I'm not a Fox hater and I think she's far from being a horrible actress. Mainly because she's never tired to be anything out of the norm character wise that would make me think that. It doesn't take Kate Winslet to read Fox's lines in "Transformers" and most of the Fox haters I've discovered are simply people who dislike her media attention. I could care less. The thing of it is she can work and with someone like her in your film you can use what she has (ala' some skill, but lots of looks) to your advantage. Instead she has about four or five scenes, is loosely connected as a "love" interest for Hex and really has no reason to be in the story except to be there and get people to see the movie.

Rounding out the casting f&#! ups is the under using of great talents like Will Arnet, Jeffrey Dean Morgan, Michael Fassbender and worst of all Michael Shannon who has ONE LINE. A man who is one of the very best working actors today... has one f#%@#&! line in this film. He had more lines in "Bad Boys II"! He had more lines in "Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call, New Orleans"! What in the living s$#! is going on?! At least that was what I was asking myself for the latter half of the movie. The first twenty or so minutes isn't terrible. The introduction to Hex is alright; as is the following train sequence. But after that it's all downhill, with the only saving grace being Brolin.

I can honestly say that despite all the f&#! ups in the film, Josh Brolin is a great looking and acting Hex. He'd be even better if he wasn't neutered and was allowed to be the ultimate badass he could be. As far as spouting quirky one-liners and the dispensing of bad guys however he's pretty darn good. I should also mention that with all the killings and what not that we don't see a drop of blood or anything. In fact one thing that kills the pretty nice train scene is the fact that when the cart with all the people in it blows to kingdom come, the aftermath simply shows a couple of fully intact, semi blackened bodies near the rails. The final battle between Hex and Turnbull is also strange. It's short, shot through awkward close ups and honestly the most forgettable thing about the movie. Oh and there's this completely ridiculous and pointless "dream fight" where the two battle in the red clay desert type arena that keeps getting cut to in the sequence.

So who's to blame? Neveldine & Taylor are still credited as the screenwriters however their script is VASTLY different from what they ended up doing. How different? Well being a fan I did some digging and discovered this great article going through what they intended to happen versus what was made. Also on Neveldine & Taylor's website you can actually purchase their scripts including their original one for "Jonah Hex"; something I might do the next time I've got some extra cash. From what I've read and heard their version would have been without a doubt superior and could've really delivered that kick in the pants the summer season has yet to really get.

I would love to think that someone, somewhere is reading that article or their screenplay and is realizing how much Warner Brothers screwed up. I'd love to think that they're going to wait it down for a while and try to figure out a way to use this character from something worth while. Of course that MIGHT have been the case if they hadn't released the film against "Toy Story 3"; one of the biggest movies of the year. You see if you have a s$#! movie and you know it's a s$#! movie and you just want to release something to grab some cash and be done with it all... then perhaps picking a proper release date would be wise. The film opened at #8 so it's my guess that it won't be making back it's $65 million dollar budget (by the way... I'd LOVE to know where that money went). However their is a silver lining to all this. As it turns out someone did love what Neveldine & Taylor wanted to do for "Jonah Hex" and apparently wants them to do that for another back-burner comic book character, Ghost Rider. And while co-writer/ director Mark Steven Johnson ("Daredevil" and "When In Rome"... yes the one with Kristen Bell) did make the first awful damn movie, it seems the "Crank" boys will sweep in to actually turn it into something fresh, exciting and I'm sure quite ballsy. Everything "Jonah Hex" was not.
Posted by Ico Calminski at 5:44 PM
Labels: Action, comic book
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Re: Previews, reviews and spoilers

Post by Admin on Tue Jun 22, 2010 2:54 am

http://www.tor.com.vhost.zerolag.com/blogs/2010/06/review-jonah-hex

posted Monday June 21, 2010 01:04pm EDT
Review: Jonah Hex
Genevieve Valentine

Missing from photo: Josh Brolin making “Pew pew!” noises.

If this year’s speculative-cinema offerings have taught us anything, it’s that many speculative movies are bad. Many of them are very bad. But every once in a while, a movie comes along that is so gleefully bad, so delightfully awful, so surreally self-serious, that it transcends every rubric of quality and ascends in the camp canon as unintentional comedy gold.

In completely unrelated news, let’s talk about Jonah Hex.

The plot of the film can be boiled down as cleanly as any focus group could wish: Jonah Hex, grizzled bounty hunter with distinctive facial burns, rides through the Weird West kicking ass and taking names on his quest to kill Quentin Turnbull, the Confederate general who killed Jonah’s family. Turnbull and his henchmen are attempting to construct a nation-killer machine to ruin the tenuous post-Civil-War United States; after the Army recruits him, it’s officially up to Jonah to stop Turnbull for good.

On paper, this is a standard action Western. In execution, it becomes a thing of beauty. Take, for example, the early scene in which Jonah brings the bodies of four outlaw brothers to a grimy sheriff and his hygienically-challenged deputies to receive his bounty.

(Jonah arrives. All stare.)

Filthy Sheriff: Jooooonah Hex.

Filthy Deputy 1: Jooooonah Hex.

Filthy Deputy 2: Jooooonah Hex.

In the Jonah Hex drinking game, that’s already three shots.

Upon their refusal to pay, Jonah reveals horse-mounted machine guns, mows down the sheriff and all his men, anoints a stablehand the new sheriff, takes his money, and blows up half the town on his way out. (In these parts they don’t take kindly to breach of contract, I suppose.)

There’s no point in drinking every time Jonah Hex kills someone (there’s not enough booze in the world). However, the movie offers plenty of other opportunities.

You’d drink every time Jonah howled “TURNBULLLL!”, followed by a quick cut to him riding his horse across the plain. (His horse is astonishingly efficient; it crosses several of the southern states in the movie’s ten-day time frame. Giddyup!)

You’d drink every time there is a close-up of the absolutely adorable hellhound that follows Jonah on his adventures.

You’d drink every time someone reiterates information the characters already know, which happens remarkably often for a film that runs less than 80 minutes. Perhaps the best example is between John Malkovich (Turnbull) and Michael Fassbender (Standard Psycho Henchman), both of whom must have lost a bet to appear here, since they forego any attempt to act and mostly stand around trying to elbow the other one out of the frame.

(Turnbull and Burke survey the Nation-Killer machine, which looks suspiciously like a really big machine gun. Turns out it is a really big machine gun, detonated by horcruxes.)

Turnbull: Do you know anything about Eli Whitney?

Burke: Oh, no, I’m just an uneducated lad. Senior or Junior?

Turnbull: *chuckles* After Eli Whitney invented the cotton gin, he was conscripted by the government to design weapons for them…

The exposition ends a few sentences later, but the grandeur of this moment will never go.

Of course, it’s not just the dialogue carrying this movie to unintentional-comedy heights. At one point in the film, Jonah and Turnbull fight. The real-time fight is intercut with their fight on the astral plane, during which there are flashbacks to an unrelated scene AND a voiceover talking about the thematic importance of what’s happening.

Josh Brolin makes his way through the film looking vaguely sheepish, a feeling that’s magnified whenever he meets up with one of the cavalcade of actors from whom you expect more: Fassbender, Will Arnett, Wes Bentley, Jeffrey Dean Morgan, Aidan Quinn. It’s the actors from whom we don’t expect more (Malkovich and Megan Fox) who seem the most comfortable; Fox because the movie asks nothing from her except to look dewy, Malkovich because that’s just how he’s going to play everything from now on.

Luckily, the abridged running time means that scenes happen at a clip that prevents anything from getting old, so when Jonah brings a soldier back from the dead (P.S. he can do that, fun fact) and exposits at length about what he’s doing as he does it, “at length” means “for about thirty seconds until he yells ‘Turnbull!’ and it cuts to a shot of him riding his horse really fast.”

We all know Jonah is bound to succeed, which might feel like a triumph except there’s no telling what it’s even a triumph over. Just know that after the scene in which the President hands Jonah an enormous silver-star badge and offers to make him Sheriff of America (oh, it happens), you can enjoy the heartfelt Confederate anthem that plays over the closing credits. (Belated political undercurrent! Drain your glass!)

Though I cannot recommend this film in any way as an example of skillful, or even competent, moviemaking, I can confirm that Jonah Hex is Weird West’s answer to LXG; a movie so bad, it’s extraordinary.

Genevieve will never cease to be surprised by how many times you can laugh in less than 80 minutes when the movie’s not supposed to be funny. She writes about movies and other unintential comedy on her blog.
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Re: Previews, reviews and spoilers

Post by Admin on Tue Jun 22, 2010 3:29 am

http://steadygoing.blogspot.com/2010/06/in-semi-defense-of-jonah-hex.html

Monday, June 21, 2010
I come to bury Jonah Hex, not to praise it.
In keeping with my innate ability to at least attempt enjoy the heck out of almost any piece of cultural garbage, this weekend I hied myself down to the Battery Park cinema and paid $13* to see Jonah Hex. Yes, that Jonah Hex, the one the AV Club gave an "F" to and called "a film... so stitched together, it’s a wonder it doesn’t rip apart in the projector." The one currently batting at 14% on rottentomatoes.com. The one that only made $5.1 million on its opening weekend. To put that last number in perspective, Toy Story 3 made $41 million on its opening night.

A rational person might ask themselves "Why?" when faced with the sight of an actual person who paid actual money to see Jonah Hex and didn't then sneak into another film (like Toy Story 3). This is a valid question. After all, what kind of person would willingly pay to see a pseudo-gothic Western based on a long-running comic book directed by the guy who helmed the animated Horton Hears a Who and written by the goons who wrote Crank? The answer is: this person, right here, who owns all three Underworld movies on DVD.

I went to go see Jonah Hex for the following reasons:

1. Michael Fassbender
2. Josh Brolin
3. Daniels from The Wire
4. an un-credited Jeffrey Dean Morgan
5. Will Arnett
6. Aidan F-ing Quinn
7. Oscar Nominee Michael Shannon (No, really)

Look at that cast. Those are some GQMFs right there. That is a gigantic aggregation of on-screen talent and I didn't even list John Malkovich**. I thought, surely this group of people, assembled together in one project, will produce a film that is at least moderately worth watching. These terrible reviews can't all be correct.

Jonah Hex tried even my ability to find entertainment in a sh*#&% movie.*** From lopsided-flashback beginning to abrupt and unintentionally-humorous end, Jonah Hex is a movie that has no idea what it wants to be when it grows up. All the things that looked awesome in the previews- horse mounted gatlin guns! Michael Fassbender's wierd maori chin tats! -were bright moments in a gray sea of confusing vengeance metaphors, strange red-tinted fight dream sequences, and a plot that focuses around the theft a superweapon invented by Eli f#%@#&! Whitney for the sole purpose of destroying the U.S. It was an apt metaphor for this movie when, towards the movie's climax, when President Aidan F. Quinn is making a speech on the steps of the half-built Capitol building, the crowd in attendance doesn't number more than 500 people. Only 500 fictional CGI people cared about this President's speech enough to show up. (Let's not even go into the historical accuracy of this cinematic depiction of the Centennial- in reality, the big shindig was in Philadelphia, and ten million people went.)

The frustrating thing about this cinematic half-assery was that Jonah Hex did not have to be a terrible movie. Jonah Hex has been running since 1971, and has some great storylines that could have been mined for adaptaion (including, apparently, a jaunt to China, if Wikipedia is to be believed which, I get, doesn't necessarily have to be) Even the origin story of Jonah Hex is pretty cool: Hex's face is disfigured by the Apache tribe that adopted him as a child as punishment for breaking the rules of sacred battle (no joke!). In the film, Hex's face is branded and his family slaughtered as vengeance for the death of Quentin Turnbull's son, Hex's best friend. This version of the origin story makes sense- it gives Jonah a Big Bad to fight against, and provides personal motivation for his journey. But even this version of the story doesn't get the treatment it deserves. As one review pointed out, the moment where Hex decides to mutilate his face even further rather than bear Turnbull's brand is shown in an off-hand moment told in a (f#%@#&!) flashback. (If anyone can point me in the direction of the review that made this point, I'd appreciate it.)

Before I wrap up, let me just address the hot elephant in the room: Megan Fox. Now, a lot of people don't like her, because she says ridiculous things in interviews, and is famous for being hot in the Transformers movies, and has an assortment of stupid tattoos. These things are all true. But in a movie where the wittiest banter is between Josh Brolin and a dog, having an actress rise to the occasion of being hot and occasionally shooting guns is actually kind of an accomplishment. Her character, Lilah, is a version of a character from the comic, Tallulah. In the comics, Tallulah is also disfigured and, after hooking up with Hex, becomes a badass bounty hunter herself. How much more interesting would that have been?

All in all, Jonah Hex rose to every poor expectation I had. The actors were completely and utterly wasted on this movie. (As the Pajiba review says, "they assembled a f#%@#&! amazing cast and then wasted them like showgirls pre-pretty button pushing at casino buffet salad bars"). DC Comics better think long and hard about their strategy for movie adaptations going forward, because if Jonah Hex is the quality of film they're planning on producing, they might as well set their entire back catalog and all their money on fire.

* Not counting popcorn and soda, for which I had to take out a loan)
** Or Wes Bentley. Or Tom Wopat
*** For perspective, I own and have watched more than once the Doom movie on DVD. In my defense, I got it for free.
Posted by One-Legged Jenny at 11:10 AM
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Re: Previews, reviews and spoilers

Post by Admin on Tue Jun 22, 2010 3:37 am

http://davesmoviesite.blogspot.com/2010/06/movie-review-jonah-hex.html

Monday, June 21, 2010
Movie Review: Jonah Hex
Jonah Hex * ½
Directed by: Jimmy Hayward.
Written By: Mark Neveldine & Brian Taylor & William Farmer based on the DC Comic by John Albano & Tony Dezuniga.
Starring: Josh Brolin (Jonah Hex), John Malkovich (Quentin Turnbull), Megan Fox (Lilah), Michael Fassbender (Burke), Will Arnett (Lieutenant Grass), Tom Wopat (Colonel Slocum), Michael Shannon (Doc Cross Williams), Wes Bentley (Adleman Lusk), Aidan Quinn (President Grant), Jeffrey Dean Morgan (Jeb Turnbull).

I have always liked Westerns. They don’t make very many anymore – in fact you are lucky if you get 4 or 5 great Westerns in a given decade nowadays, instead of 4 or 5 a year back in their heyday of the 1940s and 50s. But whenever a Western comes out – even a supernatural one based on a comic book like Jonah Hex was – I have to go and see it and hope that the filmmakers live up to the best of the genre. In this case, they failed miserably. What makes that even more disappointing that it already would be is that in terms of casting, they could not have asked for a much better, better suited cast. And yes, even if this Western has a supernatural twist, it should have provided fans of the genre a good time at the movies. Unfortunately it seems like no one involved in the film really cared about the quality of the finished product – if they did, they would have demanded a rewrite.

Jonah Hex (Josh Brolin) was a Confederate soldier in the Civil War, but he betrayed his platoon (with good reason mind you), leading to all of them being killed. This angers Quentin Turnball (John Malkovich) to no end, because his son was among those who got killed. He shows up at Hex’s house with his henchmen, and forces him to watch as they burn it down – killing Hex’s wife and son, before branding his face, leaving him forever scarred. Hex somehow survives, and wants vengeance. But his near death experience has given him the ability to bring people back from the dead – at least temporarily. He’s kind of like the Pie Man in the short lived, but wonderful, TV series Pushing Daisies.

In the years following his family’s murder, Hex has become a violent bounty hunter – one that will just as soon kill you as arrest you. What he is most bitter about is that Turnball was apparently killed. But when the government approaches him, and tells him that not only is Turnball not dead, but he maybe assembling some sort of doomsday device, and they need his help, he immediately jumps at the chance to bring down his rival.

All of this probably sounds like goofy entertainment – and had it been handled properly, it probably would have been. Josh Brolin is pretty much perfectly cast as Hex – the problem is that the movie doesn’t really give him anything interesting to do or say – and he pretty much delivers his dialogue like a warmed over Clint Eastwood. Malkovich can usually be counted on to be a great villain – but he’s sleepwalking through his role here. He knows what the movie is, and is content to cash his paycheck and move on. The best one in the movie is actually his British henchman played by the great Michael Fassbender (Hunger, Inglorious Basterds, Fish Tank). He goes wildly over the top, but at least he injects some life into the proceedings. I’m sure most critics will be harsh on Megan Fox – they always are – but it’s not really her fault that the prostitute she plays is rather lifeless. The movie gives her NOTHING to do, and very little reason for her character to actually be in the movie. They wanted a hot girl, wearing an old fashioned prostitute getup, including a corset to emphasize her breasts, and that is exactly what they got. Nothing more, nothing less.

The director of the film is Jimmy Hayward, working from a screenplay co-written by the horrible team of Neveldine and Taylor – the writer/directors responsible for both Crank movies, and the horrible Gamer with Gerald Butler. Hayward, whose only previous director credit was Horton Hears a Who, is not nearly as hyperactive as Neveldine and Taylor behind the camera – but he still seems to have graduated from the Michael Bay school of filmmaking. The action sequences are so quickly edited, that it is hard to tell what the hell is going on. He slows down for the dialogue driven sequences, but it doesn’t help. The movie is barely 80 minutes long, but feels much longer.

Jonah Hex is a movie that doesn’t work simply because no one really took time to make it work. I have never read the comic this film is based on, but watching the movie I was struck that a movie with similar story elements could work as B-grade fun – even if they kept the entire cast they had. What they needed though was a coherent, interesting screenplay – something to make these characters feel real, instead of like a bunch of actors playing dress up. Since the movie bombed opening weekend, we will likely never see another Jonah Hex movie – which if they kept the same creative team behind this one is most likely a blessing. But I couldn’t but thinking that the film is a wasted opportunity. Given to a better team behind the camera, this could have been great fun. It isn’t, and that’s a shame.
Posted by Dave Van Houwelingen at 8:25 AM
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