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Previews, reviews and spoilers

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Re: Previews, reviews and spoilers

Post by Admin on Sat Jun 19, 2010 2:04 am

http://www.moviecitynews.com/reviews/2010/jonah_hex_voy.html

Jonah Hex
Directed by Jimmy Hayward

There are movies that are just mediocre-bad, and then there are those that are so painfully bad that anyone having to review them should receive combat pay in compensation. The one good thing I can say about Jonah Hex is that it's a relatively brief excursion into inanity, logging in at some 80 minutes, but even so, that's 80 minutes of my life that I'll never get back.

Look, if you're going to take a comic book as your source material, particularly one as rich with excellent story possibilities as Jonah Hex, there's really no excuse to end up with a script this pock-holed with ridiculous contrivances, lousy dialogue, and an over-hashed vengeance plot that's been done and re-done many times (and much better) than here.

And if you're going to cast a film with fine actors like Josh Brolin, Michael Fassbender, Michael Shannon, and John-freaking-Malkovich, there's zero excuse for Megan Fox -- here playing a Civil War-era prostitute -- to be pretty much the highlight of your movie. Nonetheless, this is what director Jimmy Hayward (Horton Hears a Who) has managed to accomplish (I'd also blame writers Mark Neveldine and Brian Taylor, but they were originally slated to direct the film and dropped out due to "creative differences," so for all I know they had a much better film in mind and somebody at the studio botched the hell out of it).

There were countless ways in which this could have been (A) more true to the source material, (B) less of an obvious attempt at playing to the video-game geek crowd and (C) all around better storytelling. Unfortunately, the director or whoever was pulling his strings decided it would be a better idea to eschew the idea of making a good, compelling comic book adaptation -- which, it might surprise them to learn, actually does involve more than simply slapping in some animation at the beginning, making things look "cool" and "comic-booky," adding some supernatural crap that wasn't in the source material and giving the character nifty, very large, very phallic weapons.

Before we delve to deeply into what's in Jonah Hex, I'd like to talk about what's not in it. What's not in this movie, is any compelling reason for Tallulah Black (Megan Fox) -- who in the comic book was rescued by Hex from being raped and mutilated by a gang of men who killed her family and subsequently, with Hex's help, exacted vengeance and went on to become a bounty hunter herself -- to be in love with Jonah Hex, unless she perhaps just has a thing for surly, disfigured men who kill a lot.

Here, Tallulah (minus any facial scars that might distract male viewers from admiring Fox's ample and perky bosoms) is a tough-as-nails prostitute, who apparently has access to abundant hair product to tame those Wild West tresses, a full range of makeup products that miraculously fail to smear at all, even after a night of sex with however many men, and a solid dental plan. As if it weren't enough that Hayward has Fox all gussied up like a Civil War-roleplaying porn star, he has all the other denizens of the various small towns Hex wanders through look even worse than people probably did back then, which just succeeds in making Fox's luminous perfection in every scene all the more abrasive and distracting.

That, however, is not Fox's fault, it's the director's, and if some of the dialogue she's given to work with borders on the cheesy, that's the fault of the script and whoever screwed it up so supremely. In spite of those things, Fox is actually one of the more interesting things going on in Jonah Hex; she plays Tallulah with a spunk and tenacity that I actually found somewhat likable. In fair retrospect, the same is also true of her, though to a lesser degree, in the Transformers films.

Her acting is somewhat better here, even if Hayward fawns over her body with the camera almost as much as Michael Bay. Actually, Hayward seems to be taking a lot of his cues from Bay and his ilk here, with a similar tendency to be overly focused on visuals and action (and perhaps, future video game revenues?) than on actually creating a compelling story and characters. It's as if, every time he had a choice to make artistically, he asked himself, "What would Michael Bay do?" and did it.

Even the whole thing with Quentin Turnbull (John Malkovich), the father of Hex's best friend Jeb and Hex's archenemy, is lame, lame, lame here. There is a much more compelling storyline about how Turnbull became Hex's enemy to begin with than how they twist it up here. But once the decision was made that this was going to be a film about Hex going after crazy Turnbull ( who should have been a much more interesting bad guy, although Malkovich does his best with what he has to work with here), the people who put this story together had to make a decision about how that would happen and how it would be structured.

If they wanted the focus squarely on the Hex-Turnbull feud and the ultimate futility of vengeance, they should have just made it mostly a journey story ala Apocalypse Now, with Hex playing the reluctant soldier called to duty on behalf of his country and Turnbull the crazy leader who's infected his men with his particular brand of crazy thirst for blood against the North. And they could have, as adaptations often do, merged more than one storyline together, and created a line where Turnbull and his men are the ones who rape Tallulah and Hex who breaks orders and rescues her from them.

They also, by the bye, could have done a lot more to make Hex likable by focusing on his bounty hunting as a function of his drive to protect the innocent from the evil, rather than just making him out to be a guy who no longer cares about anything and so just randomly goes about killing people (they make one minor concession here by having Hex say something about the sherriff having "shown him proof" that the guys he killed were actually guilty, but other than that he pretty much seems to just kill at will).

None of these things, unfortunately, came together in the making of this movie. Instead what we have is a milquetoast vengeance plot (yawn) not even worthy of a Steven Seagal film, a villain who builds a Rube Goldbergian destruction device that operates like a giant version of Mousetrap, some nifty special effects and plenty of death, destruction and explosions. And maybe that's what the filmmakers were aiming for here: a video game on a big screen and not much more.

I'd like to think, though, that Brolin, Malkovich, Fassbender, Shannon and perhaps even Fox were hoping their director would guide them in making a much better film than what ended up on screen -- even the free movie pass crowd I caught the film with at a promo screening seemed decidedly underwhelmed, and they generally like just about everything. If you're seeing it for free, and you don't mind having 80 minutes of your life wasted seeing a movie that's a whole lot of nothing, go for it.

Otherwise -- trust me on this one -- if you're hankering after a Western, go rent Unforgiven, or The Proposition, or The Outlaw Josie Wales, or any number of better films of that genre. Or just spend your ten bucks at the movie theater seeing Toy Story 3 instead this weekend. You'll get a much better story with an actual plot, characters you can care about, and more exciting action in that animated film than you will out of Jonah Hex.


-by Kim Voynar
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Re: Previews, reviews and spoilers

Post by Admin on Sat Jun 19, 2010 2:05 am

http://www.exclaim.ca/motionreviews/latestsub.aspx?csid1=144&csid2=871&fid1=47410

Jonah Hex
Directed by Jimmy Hayward
By Scott A. Gray

As far as epic failures go, Jonah Hex is in an elite class. Based on the DC Comics character of the same name, and mangled face, this insultingly inept wad of cinematic trash demonstrates a fundamental mishandling of the source material the likes of which makes Daredevil look like The Dark Knight.

In this mega-hack version, Hex is still a former confederate solider who is seen as a turncoat by General Quentin Turnbull, but the reasoning is stupefying in its brittle idiocy. Turnbull went crazy and started slaughtering innocents (don't worry about reasons, there aren't any) and Hex wouldn't go along for the ride, so he reported Turnbull to the authorities. The mad general's son tried to gun Hex down and died in the process, so of course Turnbull vows vengeance and makes Hex watch while he burns his family alive and brands Hex's face as a mnemonic device (no, that's not entirely how Hex's face gets so pretty).

All of this unfolds in a crappy montage with voiceover muting all of the action before the title drops. Throw in some bad animation to remind us this is a comic property being butchered and then we jump forward to where the tale of stupidity really starts. The mind buckles trying to describe just how many things went wrong with this film. How about dual gatling guns on Hex's horse or a predilection for inexplicable, over the top explosions and fires?

Want more? Since he almost died once, Hex can talk to the dead and every time Hex is mortally wounded, a native tribe conveniently finds him and resurrects him by pouring gunk on the wounds. He then pukes up a crow and goes back to ass kicking, good as new. Oh, and then there's the actual "plot."

Turnbull is a terrorist trying to build a super-weapon and decimate America. The attempts at drama are horribly overwrought and sadly, only Josh Brolin as Hex seems in on the joke. He's a perfect fit for Hex's gritty, wise-ass persona, and Megan Fox fares decently well in a horribly underwritten role, even though she and the rest of the cast are practically begging for direction.

John Malkovich and Michael Fassbender make asses of themselves in extremely campy caricatures of villainy. Will Arnett (Arrested Development) takes great pains to not be funny, while the talents of Lance Reddick (Lost, The Wire) and Wes Bentley (American Beauty) are completely squandered.

Most of the blame falls squarely on the shoulders of first-time live action director Jimmy Hayward (Horton Hears a Who!), but a special award goes out to whoever hacked Neveldine and Taylor's script into sh*#&%, illogical bits. And the editor. And the out of place metal riffage punctuating the lameness of every other scene.

I could go on, but this should be enough of deter anyone not seeking a cut-rate lobotomy. Did I mention the guns that shoot dynamite? (Warner)
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Re: Previews, reviews and spoilers

Post by Admin on Sat Jun 19, 2010 2:06 am

http://www.paloaltoonline.com/news/show_story.php?id=17267

Uploaded: Friday, June 18, 2010, 9:44 AM

Review: 'Jonah Hex'
(Two stars)

Action and eye candy are the main ingredients in this shallow adaptation of the edgy DC comic about Civil War-era gunslinger Jonah Hex. Compelling plot and character development get lost somewhere between explosion No. 1 and explosion No. 78, but the film certainly satisfies the popcorn quotient for summer cinema.

Hex (Josh Brolin) is a scar-faced bounty hunter whose main motivation is vengeance after he was forced to watch sadistic military man Quentin Turnbull (John Malkovich) torch his home and murder his family. Nearing the brink of death somehow imbued Hex with arcane abilities to speak to the deceased -- abilities that prove useful as Hex hunts down Turnbull and his tattooed sidekick Burke (Michael Fassbender of "Inglourious Basterds").

But Turnbull's dastardly machinations go well beyond Jonah and his kin. He and his crew of loyal miscreants are bitter that the Union has won the Civil War, and set out to destroy the country using high-tech explosives. President Ulysses S. Grant (Aidan Quinn) asks for Hex's aid -- along with his array of impressive weaponry -- to take Turnbull down for good. Hex's growing fondness for seductive and independent prostitute Lilah (Megan Fox) complicates matters, but retribution is a powerful motivator.

At a piddling 81 minutes, "Jonah Hex" never provides any real character depth or background. The audience isn't given much opportunity to care about Hex, Lilah or anyone else, making the film all spectacle and little substance. The script is generic and bland, although it seems to stay relatively true to the source material. And the hard-rock soundtrack becomes distracting from scene to scene.

Brolin is admirable in the leading-man role, but his scar prosthetic forces him to snarl and growl his way through his lines, and about 20 percent of his dialogue gets lost in translation. Fassbender is one of the film's highlights and he gives a charismatic spark to what could have been a dull henchman.

Malkovich, though, sleepwalks through his performance in one of the most lackluster portrayals the otherwise excellent actor has ever offered. Fox neither helps nor hurts the film, though her inclusion will certainly satisfy the male demographic the movie is geared toward.

Some comic-book adaptations make for a big-screen bang. This one should have stayed holstered.

Rated PG-13 for sexual content, intense sequences of action, intense sequences of violence and disturbing images. 1 hour, 21 minutes.

— Tyler Han
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Re: Previews, reviews and spoilers

Post by Admin on Sat Jun 19, 2010 2:11 am

http://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/movies/reviews/2010/jonahhex.html

Jonah Hex
David Roark | posted 6/18/2010

Our rating: 1 Star - Weak

MPAA rating: PG-13
(for intense sequences of violence and action, disturbing images and sexual content)

Genre: Action, Western

Theater release:
June 18, 2010
by Warner Bros.

Directed by: Jimmy Hayward

Runtime: 1 hour 20 minutes

Cast: Josh Brolin (Jonah Hex), John Malkovich (Quentin Turnbull), Megan Fox (Lilah), Michael Fassbender (Burke), Michael Shannon (Doctor Cross Williams), Will Arnett (Lieutenant Grass)

"Revenge gets ugly." That's the tagline for director Jimmy Hayward's new blockbuster disaster, Jonah Hex, which is based on a 1970s comic book series. The titular antihero, whose face is horribly scarred, is the only the first of many ugly things about the movie. There's also the disgusting snake man, and then the really hideous stuff, like Megan Fox's acting, the absence of narrative, the exploitation of violence, an overabundance of loud and fast action sequences, and, ultimately, the glorification of vengeance.

Jonah Hex doesn't have much of a story. Through a mildly creative opener and distracting flashbacks, we get a vague understanding of the backstory. The rest of the film is made up of a mindless, frenetic, and banal revenge plot—mainly of the title character trying to hunt down the man who killed his family.

The protagonist, Jonah Hex (Josh Brolin), is a disgruntled Civil War veteran who fought for the South not because he agreed with the army's ideologies, such as slavery, but because he opposed the American government. A skilled and fearless gunslinger, he quickly became a war hero, notorious for taking down hundreds of enemies all by his lonesome. But when his commanding officer, Quentin Turnbull (John Malkovich), grew heartless and started murdering innocent people—women and children—Hex had had enough.

When Turnbull's son Jed dies, he blames Hex, who winds up in the hands of Turnbull and his men, including Burke (Michael Fassbender), a psychopathic Irishman with a bowler hat and tattoos. The stone cold soldiers murder Hex's wife and son right before his eyes and mutilate the right side of Hex's face with a branding iron so that, according to Turnbull, he'll never forget that day.

And he doesn't. After nearly dying—he's saved by Crow Indians whose mystical healing powers give Jonah some sort of semi-supernatural powers—Hex becomes a bounty hunter, pledging vengeance on Turnbull.

While sleeping with a gun-wielding prostitute, Lilah (a half-naked Megan Fox), Hex is greeted by a knock on the door from Union soldiers, who—in a personal message from the President—inform him that Turnbull is building a super weapon that will allow him to destroy and take over the world. Predictably, Hex jumps at the chance to avenge his family's deaths—and he brings the gun-totin' Lilah along to help with the job.

The rest of film is merely the scarred cowboy trying to execute vengeance, taking the form of ridiculous, shoddy action scenes that start off mildly impressive but become obnoxious as minutes pass—i.e., Hex dropping bad guys with machine guns mounted on his horse. In the spirit of Michael Bay, the final 20 minutes are one gigantic action sequence full of implausible stunts and explosions and a predictable finale, all while annoying heavy metal music blares in the background. Hayward and cinematographer Mitchell Amundsen, who also shot Transformers and G.I. Joe, make artless clatter worse than the smoke and mirrors in those movies.

This turmoil, moreover, results in a misuse of violence through the senseless murder of innocent lives. Sure, it's comic book violence and it's supposed to be satirical, but it's too much. Turnbull's character apparently has no goodness in him, and in trying to develop such wickedness, writers Mark Neveldine and Brian Taylor leave us with a monster who slaughters the innocent and eradicates entire cities, over and over again. Hex, the alleged hero, isn't much better; in a bar scene, he murders a stranger for just asking about his scar.

Using his unusual powers, Hex awakens Jed from death; Jed sums things up by saying he can no longer distinguish between Hex and his father because they are both demented and ruthless. It's the truth—two evils pitted against one another. Hex goes down as the good guy, though, for what isn't even fallaciously shrouded as justice. Unlike other films that mistake revenge for justice, this one doesn't even try to hide its depraved message. The tagline speaks for itself and tells a lie, which says the hero's burden will be appeased if he kills the antagonist.

Still, we expect Brolin, who played a fully believable cowboy in the Coen brothers' No Country for Old Men, to perhaps save the day. But he doesn't. In No Country, Brolin showed his talent; here, he's just going through the motions. Ditto Malkovich, who has nearly ruined his career by failing to be selective. As for Fox, well, let's just she hasn't improved since the last Transformers movie. Hollywood has transformed her into a modern day Jayne Mansfield, realized here by her character's cleavage and lack of context.
John Malkovich as Quentin Turnbull
John Malkovich as Quentin Turnbull

Fassbender gives the only positively distinguished performance. He proved his aptitude last year in Inglourious Basterds and Fish Tank and now accomplishes a convincing persona as Burke, whose energy and flamboyance establish a spaghetti western version of Mickey O'Neal, Brad Pitt's character from Snatch.

But Fassbender's role is the only positive element in the otherwise quite forgettable Hex. Ironically, it will be hard to forget the torturous experience of sitting through this awful excuse for cinema that ultimately fails in nearly every way possible.

Talk About It
Discussion starters

1. Is Jonah's revenge justified because Turnbull murdered his family and tortured him? What does the Bible say about revenge? Is killing ever just? What about war?
2. Movies made from comic books sometimes have an excess of violence. Is the violence acceptable because it's derived from a comic? How much violence is too much? Did the violence here seem okay or exploitive?

The Family Corner
For parents to consider

Jonah Hex is rated PG-13 for intense sequences of action and violence, disturbing images and sexual content. There's excessive violence but little blood. Some of the violence is inferred while still disturbing. Jonah is hung on a cross and forced to watch his family burn alive. Turnbull destroys an entire town with explosives as the citizens come out of a church service. Lilah wears provocative clothing throughout the movie.
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Re: Previews, reviews and spoilers

Post by Admin on Sat Jun 19, 2010 2:13 am

http://www.newsarama.com/film/movie-review-jonah-hex-100618.html

Movie Review: JONAH HEX Leaves Scar on Comic Book Movies
By Michael Avila
posted: 18 June 2010 10:33 am ET

[editor's note: this review was originally credited to Michael Doran. The correct author of the piece is Michael Avila.]

Certain cinematic signs are dead giveaways that a movie is bad. Not bad meaning "badass" like the title character that "inspired" the film - bad meaning "terrible."

Excessive voiceover and expository dialogue, ham-fisted acting, nonsensical plot twists...all evidence of a disaster in the making. Cinematic red flags are there for a reason, to warn you of impending awfulness. To put it another way:

You know a movie is in deep trouble when the leading man coughs up a crow.

“Jonah Hex,” the latest comic-to-cinema transfer is more inept than even the most pessimistic moviegoer could possibly imagine. It’s loaded with laughable dialogue, an asinine plot and a tone that almost defies description. It has the depth of an episode from an old TV western, but without the charm and character the Cartwrights or the Barkley boys brought to the table.

The first signs of trouble are spotted at the beginning during a flashback narrated by Hex (Josh Brolin) that details his time fighting for the Confederate Army in the Civil War. We meet his enemy Quentin Turnbull (John Malkovich), who murders Hex’s family right in front of Hex. This act figuratively and literally scars Hex for life, as Turnbull permanently disfigures him.

Years later, Hex has transformed himself into a fearsome bounty hunter with a rep that extends across the country and all the way to Hades’ home turf. You see, the Jonah Hex in this film talks to dead people. How? Because magical Indians gave him the power to do so. Why? Because he’s kind of not alive, yet not quite dead. Wha-at?!

That’s about all the explanation the film gives for Hex’s ridiculous abilities. Director Jimmy Hayward, an animation veteran who directed “Horton Hears a Who!”, shows no skill at handling real actors or ambitious set pieces. The action is clumsy and boring.

Remember when Malkovich made Cyrus the Virus the best thing about “Con Air?” Here, he turns in the most disinterested performance of his career as Turnbull, a corrupt Confederate soldier who turns into America’s first terrorist. He’s gotten his hands on a super weapon, ‘a nation killer,’ and he aims to use it on Washington, D.C. during the country’s centennial celebration. Aiden Quinn, portraying President Grant, drew the short straw in the dialogue room and is forced to spit out dreck such as “the fate of the nation may very well rest with Jonah Hex.”

Quinn isn’t the only quality actor loitering in the movie. Michael Fassbender (“Inglorious Basterds”), the guy reportedly set to play a young Magneto in “X-Men: First Class,” seemed like he wandered onto the set from another production. He plays Turnbull’s psychopath Irish lieutenant Burke like a cross between Dieter Dengler and the Lucky Charms leprechaun.

Tom Wopat appears as the operator of an Old West fight club, and Michael Shannon pops in for a so-quick-you’ll-probably-miss-it spot. Jeffrey Dean Morgan (“Watchmen,” “The Losers”) who’s apparently a DC Entertainment contract player now, shows up in his third film based on a DC comic. The best cameo is Will Arnett, who is unintentionally hilarious as an Army officer.

Every time Arnett appeared onscreen, the crowd at the screening I attended exploded in laughter I haven’t heard in a theater since “The Hangover,” which was actually going for laughs.

As for Megan Fox, she’s onscreen as Hex’s hooker squeeze Lilah for 10 minutes at the most, mostly to pout her lips and show off the Victoria’s Secret Old West collection.

No one can fault Josh Brolin for trying to parlay his recent string of top-notch roles in “No Country for Old Men,” “W” and “Milk” into blockbuster leading-man work, but “Jonah Hex” will probably put an end to that dream. In fairness to Brolin, how effective can an actor be as a legendary bounty hunter, when the script saddles him with the funniest onscreen drinking problem since “Airplane’s” Ted Stryker’s?

Brolin has stated in pre-release interviews the filmmakers were going for a campy tone. The problem is that true camp, the kind that sparks a playful affection in fans, is achieved incidentally. When you set out to do a campy movie, it comes off as thumbing your nose at the subject matter and the audience.

The lack of respect for the source material is glaring. Not that a movie based on a comic book needs to be overbearingly faithful; But if you’re not going to try to at least maintain the spirit of the original work, why bother? No one who has read “Jonah Hex” comics, be it the original John Albano/Tony DeZuniga issues or the more recent, hardboiled tales from Justin Gray and Jimmy Palmiotti, will recognize that Hex here.

This isn’t a Western. There are thugs with full-body tattoos, weapons that seem lifted from a third-rate steam punk novel and zero atmosphere. The fact that the film’s violence was sanitized to score a PG-13 rating only makes things worse.

Incidentally, Akiva Goldsman is one of the film’s producers. Which means the same guy who helped carpet bomb the first Batman franchise just cut the theatrical legs out from under another DC character.

One bit of good news? The movie is astonishingly short, barely 70 minutes and that’s including an extended animated transition sequence at the beginning, several flashbacks and eight minutes of credits.

Remember all those ambitious plans DC and Marvel’s film crews had to use their massive character libraries as movie R&D? After sub par returns for “Kick-Ass,” “The Losers” (two movies that deserved better box-office) and with “Jonah Hex” a near-certain bomb, fans may want to dial down those dreams of an Ant-Man or Booster Gold movie.

When the bell finally tolls in Hollywood for films based on B-list comic book characters – and you can bet Quasimodo is warming up in the bell tower -- you might be able to blame “Jonah Hex” for being the tipping point.
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Re: Previews, reviews and spoilers

Post by Admin on Sat Jun 19, 2010 2:17 am

http://blogs.wsj.com/speakeasy/2010/06/18/jonah-hex-review-revue/

* June 18, 2010, 11:00 AM ET

‘Jonah Hex’: Review Revue

By WSJ Staff

Warner Bros.
Megan Fox and Josh Brolin

When the biggest buzz online about your movie concerns whether its running time is 72 or 73 minutes, you know your film is trouble. Case in point: Comic book adaptation “Jonah Hex,” which stars Josh Brolin as an ex-Confederate soldier looking to avenge his murdered family. (The film, by the way, is actually 83 minutes).

Having nearly died, Hex is able to talk to the dead, which seems like a relief when his only earth-bound companion is a hooker, Lilah, who’s played by Megan Fox. “Jonah Hex” also boasts a fair number of good actors, including John Malkovich, Will Arnett, Michael Fassbender, Wes Bentley and Michael Shannon — too bad each isn’t given that much to do. Here’s what the critics are saying about “Jonah Hex.”

* “It’s unclear how long this movie was meant to be. But at 81 minutes, it’s charred, bullet-riddled mulch. You can see the longer movie twitching around inside the shorter one. Even then, time refuses to fly. It drags, although not entirely unpleasantly. I like the violence in Mastodon’s guitar-sludge score. And I’m still amazed by how the effects department managed to make Jonah’s facial scar look so believable. It’s like it was cooked in a George Foreman grill.” [Wesley Morris, Boston Globe]

* “The presence of Lilah in the film is easily explained: She is played by Megan Fox. If you want a woman in an old western town, there are only three occupations open to her, hooking, schoolmarming, and anyone called Ma. Lilah and Jonah are in love, for reasons unexplained. It certainly isn’t because of the level of their conversation. The only hooker in a Western I’ve ever believed in was in “Lonesome Dove,” but I’ve seen “Lonesome Dove,” and “Jonah Hex” is no “Lonesome Dove.” [Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times]

* “This looked to be a priority project by Warner Bros. at one point — that is until the cash spigot got turned off. The special effects are really cheesy, even by comic-book standards. The running time has been cut to a savage 81 minutes, suggesting serious editing, but it still feels long. You’d have think they’d had learned from the spectacular failure of Wild Wild West a decade or so ago. But you know what it is about hexes; they’re awfully hard to remove, once acquired, and Jonah Hex seems well and truly cursed.” [Peter Howell, Toronto Sun]
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Re: Previews, reviews and spoilers

Post by Admin on Sat Jun 19, 2010 2:19 am

http://www.filmjournal.com/filmjournal/content_display/reviews/major-releases/e3ic0c203644bbc3d5fcff5baf717b06189

Film Review: Jonah Hex
An intriguing comic-book hero is left stranded in a half-baked film adaptation that bears the marks of severe post-production tinkering.

June 18, 2010

-By Ethan Alter

I'll say one thing for this summer's latest comic-book-derived feature, Jonah Hex: At least it isn't another origin story. Too many big-screen versions of these amazing fantasies waste an awful lot of time explaining who the central hero is and how he came to be, exposition that was generally dispensed with in a few pages (or even just a few panels) back in the golden age of comics.

Jonah Hex thankfully follows in that older tradition, outlining the titular anti-hero's secret origin in the first ten minutes of the film. A soldier in the Confederate Army during the Civil War, Jonah Hex (Josh Brolin) betrays his unit and kills his best friend, actions that understandably put him on the outs with his commander (and father to the aforementioned pal), Colonel Quentin Turnbull (John Malkovich). Since Turnbull is a firm believer in the eye-for-an-eye school of justice, he shows the turncoat the error of his ways by murdering his wife and son right in front of his eyes, then branding the poor guy's face and leaving him for the crows.

Rescued by a Native American tribe just as he's slipping away into the great beyond, Jonah is nursed back to health and returns from his near-death experience with a special power: the ability to talk to dead people. At first, he uses his new ability—as well as his already exceptional skills with guns and fisticuffs—to track down and kill Turnbull, but when his nemesis apparently burns up in an inferno not of Jonah's making, he instead pursues a lucrative career as a bounty hunter, capturing evildoers and causing a lot of bodily harm and property damage in the process.

So far, director Jimmy Hayward and screenwriters Brian Neveldine and Mark Taylor deserve a big "Yee haw!" for swiftly establishing Jonah Hex as a compelling anti-hero, albeit one who differs substantially from his comic-book incarnation. (That Jonah was never able to resurrect the dead through his touch—a plot point that seems lifted from the much-missed TV series "Pushing Daisies" rather than any one of the character’s four-color adventures.) Unfortunately, after introducing us to this great character, the filmmakers have no clear idea where to take him next. Instead, they plug Hex into a generic revenge plot that finds him once again chasing after Turnbull (who of course isn’t really dead) before the colonel launches a devastating attack on the Union on the Fourth of July.

During the course of its ultra-brief 82-minute running time, Jonah Hex attempts to wear many hats—among them old-fashioned western, supernatural action film, El Topo-like acid trip and steampunk-style science fiction—but models none of them well. The film's general messiness is likely the result of a difficult post-production process; certainly the version that's being released in theatres looks and feels like a picture that's been taken apart and stitched back together numerous times in the editing room. Key scenes and storylines seem truncated, certain characters are abruptly introduced only to just as abruptly vanish for long stretches of time, and voiceover is used to stitch together the gaping seams in the narrative. Within individual scenes there are a number of obvious continuity errors and repeated shots, as if the editors were swapping out takes right up to the last minute. It’s rare to see a would-be summer blockbuster arrive in theatres so clearly compromised, which suggests that the studio just wanted to get Jonah Hex done rather than done right.

But that approach cheats both the audience and the actors, most of whom apparently showed up on set ready to have a good time. Jonah Hex’s duster and hat proves to be a comfortable fit on Brolin, who plays the role with the right mixture of bad-ass brio and emotional conviction. And while Malkovich largely phones in his performance as yet another villain, the British actor Michael Fassbender picks up the slack with a gleefully menacing turn as Turnbull’s psychotic second-in-command, Burke.

As for Jonah Hex’s lone female cast member, one Megan Fox, she displays more fire here than in her somnambulant turns in both Transformers movies, but the filmmakers’ emphasis remains on her looks rather than her acting. It doesn’t help that her character—a “lady of the night” by the name of Lilah—is one of the biggest casualties of the film’s rough journey through the editing room; despite being third-billed and prominently featured in the trailers, Fox only appears in about four or five scenes of the finished film. (Sorry, fanboys, one of those scenes is not Fox’s much-rumored first onscreen sex scene—in order to secure that all-important PG-13 rating, the movie prudishly fades to black just as Jonah and Lilah pull each other close.)

An animation director making his live-action debut, Hayward demonstrates a decent eye for composition, but again it’s hard to say how much of his vision actually made it to the screen. The theatrical cut seems largely created by committee, especially in the action sequences that slavishly follow the current house style for blockbusters—i.e., over-edited and chaotically choreographed. (It’s tempting to give Hayward credit for some of the movie’s weirder touches—including a fever-dream sequence in which Hex and Turnbull battle each other in the afterlife—but those could also be the inventions of Neveldine and Taylor, the strange minds behind the Crank franchise.)

When a comic book isn’t working, it’s given the reboot treatment and a different creative team comes onboard to start the series again from the beginning. Jonah Hex is a comic-book movie in desperate need of a reboot.
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Re: Previews, reviews and spoilers

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

http://www.cbc.ca/arts/film/story/2010/06/17/f-jonah-hex-review.html

Review: Jonah Hex
This comic-book adaptation bears the scars of a troubled production
Last Updated: Friday, June 18, 2010 | 11:32 AM ET
By Jason Anderson, CBC News
Josh Brolin stars as the scarred gunslinger of the title in the action adventure Jonah Hex. (Warner Bros. Pictures)Josh Brolin stars as the scarred gunslinger of the title in the action adventure Jonah Hex. (Warner Bros. Pictures)

The history of cinema is rich with stories of films that were thought to be lost, only to suddenly appear in the strangest of places. The original version of Carl Dreyer’s much-revered The Passion of Joan of Arc (1922) was missing for decades before a print was discovered in a janitor’s closet in an Italian mental asylum. The complete three-hour version of Fritz Lang’s Metropolis (1927) – a seminal work of science fiction that had survived only in damaged, drastically cut forms – turned up in a film archive in Argentina two years ago. A pornographic film reported to be the final picture by Ed Wood Jr. was unearthed in Vancouver in 2004.

This once-promising adaptation of a DC Comics horror western is but a shadow of what might have been.

All of which is to suggest that future film historians may be in for a treat when an unexpurgated version of Jonah Hex is found in some bus-station locker in the year 2067. Released this weekend in a version wounded from obvious studio cuts, this once-promising adaptation of DC Comics’ horror western title is but a shadow of what might have been.

Josh Brolin stars as Jonah, a disfigured Civil War vet turned bounty hunter who has an unusual talent for talking to the dead. He’s enlisted by the U.S. president (Aidan Quinn) to capture Quentin Turnbull (a memorably hirsute John Malkovich), an ex-Confederate general still waging war on the Union by using proto-terrorist tactics like bombing trains full of women and children. That Turnbull also killed Jonah Hex’s family and destroyed his face makes it all personal-like.

At a running time of 81 minutes, the movie is too brisk to be boring, but this two-fisted tale is still a messy waste of money and talent. That will be especially disappointing to those who heard the early buzz when Jonah Hex was in production and still being hyped as a darker, harder-edged variety of comic-book movie, something more akin to Sin City than Spider-Man. As such, it would’ve fit well with the source material.
Megan Fox portrays Lilah in Jonah Hex. Megan Fox portrays Lilah in Jonah Hex. (Frank Masi/Warner Bros. Pictures)

Created by writer John Albano and artist Tony DeZuniga, the original DC character had a hardy cult following since he got his first stand-alone story in an issue of All-Star Western in 1972. The involvement of the gonzo action-movie team of Neveldine & Taylor (Crank) boded well for the film adaptation, at least until they were replaced behind the camera by Jimmy Hayward (Horton Hears a Who). Heavy-metal gods Mastodon even signed up to do the soundtrack. Their unholy maelstrom of a score – heard in tandem with more conventional film music by Marco Beltrami – is one of the few elements of the production to emerge relatively unscathed.

The majority of the performances by several familiar actors – Michael Shannon, Will Arnett, Wes Bentley, the great Lance Reddick of The Wire and Fringe – appear to have gone AWOL. So have the bloodier brand of violence, caustic sense of humour and visual panache that survive only in part. The movie needed a lot more of all three.

Jonah Hex’s few good stretches bear less of a resemblance to any current comic-book-derived fare than to the more brutal and stylized strain of screen western developed by Sergio Leone and Sam Peckinpah in the ‘60s. That’s not surprising given that the character was largely inspired by Clint Eastwood’s surly, nameless heroes in Leone’s spaghetti westerns. With his grisly features and permanent growl, Brolin makes for a half-decent anti-hero who fits into that tradition. While Malkovich sleepwalks through his part as the primary villain of the piece, Michael Fassbender (Inglourious Basterds) conveys the right degree of menace as his cackling, tattooed henchman. As for Megan Fox, she continues her career slide with a barely-there turn as Jonah’s sometime squeeze Lilah.

But in a movie like this, the actors’ contributions (or lack thereof) mean less than the quality of the bombast. Unfortunately, that’s where Jonah Hex really fails to deliver. Cluttered and clumsy, the action scenes lack any flair, tension or momentum. Only those on the inside of this troubled production can know whether this hatchet job qualifies as an improvement on earlier, unreleased incarnations. If it doesn’t, then I hope they’ve stored the goods somewhere we’ll find them again.

Jonah Hex opens June 18.

Jason Anderson is a Toronto-based writer.
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Re: Previews, reviews and spoilers

Post by Admin on Sat Jun 19, 2010 2:27 am

http://www.cinematical.com/2010/06/18/jonah-hex-review/

Review: Jonah Hex

by Peter Martin Jun 18th 2010 // 9:48AM

He's got a burnt face and a hole in his cheek that's bigger than the hole in his heart! He touches dead people and brings them back to life! He kills people who ask rude questions! He's wanted by a sweaty prostitute and the President of the United States! He's Jonah Hex, Confederate soldier turned bounty hunter turned savior of our nation!

The big screen version of the DC comic book series begins with glimpses of what might have been -- a supernatural Western featuring a murderous leading man dueling a Civil War-era terrorist consumed by hate -- before collapsing into a confusing, disjointed heap of hopped-up action scenes. Directed by Jimmy Hayward (Horton Hears a Who!), Jonah Hex is Crank in the Old West, which shouldn't be a big surprise since Neveldine and Taylor (Crank, Crank: High Voltage, Gamer) are credited with the screenplay. On the positive side, Josh Brolin infuses the title character with a weary yet lively persona, a man who is quick to take offense at any perceived slight while still nursing an open wound of grief over the loss of his wife and child.

Jonah was forced to watch his family burn to death at the command of Quentin Turnbull (John Malkovich), a rogue Confederate General seeking revenge for the death of his son at Jonah's hand. Jonah was meant to be executed as well, but he survived, gained mysterious powers, and became a trigger-happy bounty hunter. Now the only person he trusts is Lilah (Megan Fox), a prostitute who is so hot that she's constantly covered in a sheen of dewy perspiration.

Presumed dead himself, Turnbull comes roaring back to life with a series of terrorist acts that attract the attention of President Ulysses S. Grant (Aidan Quinn). Grant is concerned that Turnbull's actions will undermine the country's confidence in its government and rip apart the fragile peace of the post-Civil War era. When evidence indicates that Turnbull has captured a secret, incredibly powerful military weapon described as a "nation killer," Grant orders that Jonah Hex be set upon the case.

Before watching the movie, I was only vaguely aware of Jonah Hex's long lineage. The character was created for DC Comics in the early 70s by writer John Albano and artist Tony DeZuniga; more recently, he was resurrected in 2005 and has been appearing monthly, as written by Justin Gray and Jimmy Palmiotti. I've read and enjoyed six or eight issues of the Gray / Palmiotti series, in which Jonah is consistently a merciless anti-hero who, nonetheless, displays honorable scruples. From those few samples, he seems like a worthy heir to the Western canon.

The movie, however, is less interested in exploring its own version of Jonah Hex than it is in creating an action vehicle for a new kind of superhero. The lead character, whoever he is supposed to be, is besides the point; the movie just needs a big body to dispense wisecracks and kill people.

The initial scenes establish Jonah as a laconic bounty hunter, steeped in blood and violence, and indifferent to human suffering. No wonder he has a bigger price on his head than the criminals he's bringing to justice! He has a mean streak a mile wide, as demonstrated by his shooting a man in cold blood because the dope starts to joke about Jonah's disfigured face. How rude! Yup, Jonah is a bad ass bounty hunter with a nasty sense of humor.

Beneath the bluster, though, he has a tender heart, as we see when he spends the night with the lovely Lilah. It's an odd scene, in that it's lit like a photo shoot for a men's magazine, but it's tailored to showcase Megan Fox's eyes and cheekbones. As Lilah, she's a PG-13 prostitute, talking tough without using profanity and flashing barely enough skin to tease. It's an effective performance, but she sweats so much I was worried that she would pass out from the heat.

Jonah's character does a 180, however, when he's asked to stop Turnbull. Jonah is transformed into an avenging spirit, hell bent on righteous revenge against the man who killed his family. He's no longer a rootless, scrappy cowboy. The recasting of the character is furthered by the supernatural elements that are introduced. By touching a dead person, Jonah can bring the individual back to sputtering life, as long as he remains in constant physical contact with the body. Jonah himself seems resistant to death, surviving gunshots to his chest at point-blank range from Burke (Michael Fassbender), Turnbull's dutiful lieutenant.

The gunshots are supposed to mean something significant -- in the bedroom scene, Lilah pointed out all the bullet wounds that scar Jonah's chest -- and they trigger some kind of dream sequence, mixed with flashbacks. Did Jonah die and then come back to life?

Darned if I know; the movie leaves it mysterious and unexplained. But that's OK, because it gives the filmmakers an excuse to make the scene all weird and trippy, with day-glo colors splashed about. On balance, that seems to be the movie's aesthetic as a whole: don't worry about the details, just keep the action going.

That might be excusable if the action scenes were comprehensible. Instead, they're a jumbled mess of poorly-assembled images; you can't tell who's doing what to whom, it's just sound and fury, gunshots and explosions, accompanied by the heavy metal guitar-heavy power-chording of the musical score by Marco Beltrami and Mastodon, and then it's over and someone is running away and bodies are everywhere.

Making matters worse, a number of scenes are obviously meant to be punctuated by a bloody / grisly kill shot at the end, but the kill shot is missing, presumably to preserve the PG-13 rating. Maybe some wild and over the top violence would have helped give the picture some oomph, which it's sadly missing.

To compound the problem further, the villain of the piece is a listless, bored man. John Malkovich, who has a rich history of playing juicy bad guys, can barely muster the energy to say his lines. In the same way that I worried about whether Megan Fox would die from heat exhaustion, I began to worry that Malkovich was ill. Then again, maybe he didn't read the script until after he arrived on set and got sick when he realized what he'd have to say.

Aidan Quinn, as President Grant, is similarly defined by his bushy beard, and Michael Fassbender can be identified by his bare face and tattooed body. That's a trio of good actors who have very little to do, which is a huge waste of their talents and our time.

Indeed, Jonah Hex runs barely 80 minutes (including credits) but feels longer. Instead of building to a climax, it stumbles to the finish line. I couldn't help wishing that the real Jonah Hex would show up and put the thing out of its misery. It would be a mercy killing.
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Re: Previews, reviews and spoilers

Post by Admin on Sat Jun 19, 2010 2:28 am

http://www.washingtonpost.com/gog/movies/jonah-hex,1158866/critic-review.html?hpid=topnews

Jonah Hex

Not much more than an ugly face
By Michael O'Sullivan
Friday, June 18, 2010

"Jonah Hex" may not be the longest 81 minutes you ever spend, but it might well be the most tedious. Inspired by the comic-book cowboy character of the same name -- a scar-faced Civil War-era bounty hunter who can commune with the dead, and who seems impervious to bullets himself -- the movie plods forward, one leaden step at a time, in single-minded pursuit of a goal.

No, not brains, as in some zombie movies.

There's precious little of that commodity here, under the serviceable but uninspired direction of Jimmy Hayward, making his live-action debut after "Horton Hears a Who." Instead, Hex (Josh Brolin) is driven by revenge. Revenge for his slain wife and child, who were murdered by a demented Confederate officer named Turnbull (John Malkovich, in full snake mode). In a prologue, we learn that they were killed as punishment for the death of Turnbull's son (Jeffrey Dean Morgan) at Hex's hands.

Will Hex catch Turnbull? And will he be able to stop him in his fiendish plan to attack Washington with a secret, and wildly implausible, super-weapon?

Who cares.

There are diversions along the way. Megan Fox is one. As the prostitute Lilah and Hex's love interest, Fox, the buxom hottie of "Transformers" fame, will appeal to the same lad-mag crowd that "Jonah Hex's" crunching hard-rock score does.

Michael Fassbender ("Inglourious Basterds") makes an interesting-enough villain as Turnbull's tattooed Irish henchman, Burke. Though, truth be told, his fights with Hex only serve to prolong the story unnecessarily.

As for the title character, Brolin has a suitably embittered, hard-boiled presence. Most of his acting, however, is done by his facial prosthesis, a gruesome-looking hole in his right cheek, courtesy of Turnbull, that has left him with a mouth that doesn't quite work. No matter. There's nothing of particular importance in the dialogue, which largely consists of such schoolyard taunts as "Is that all you've got?"

Of course there's plenty of shooting, if you like that sort of thing, including from Hex's horse-mounted, twin Gatling guns, which are kind of cool. But the way Hex can resurrect a corpse, simply by touching it, to perform a bit of postmortem interrogation, is the film's most original touch.

Would that he could accomplish that same miracle with the film. Like Hex himself, the movie may not exactly be dead, but it sure as heck ain't living.

Contains frequent violence and brief sensuality.
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Re: Previews, reviews and spoilers

Post by Admin on Sat Jun 19, 2010 2:30 am

http://www.awn.com/blogs/ricks-flicks-picks/jonah-hex-2010-12

JONAH HEX (2010) (*1/2)
By Rick DeMott | Thursday, June 17, 2010 at 3:47 pm

I went into this film knowing only the basics about the title character. Jonah Hex is a severely scarred bounty hunter with some supernatural abilities. His family was murdered. The film didn’t really expand my knowledge and in some ways confused me even more. At 80 some minutes, there were times I thought I was watching a reel of the cut scenes from the JONAH HEX videogame.

The film begins with Hex (Josh Brolin, MILK) voicing a montage of his time fighting for the Confederacy. He explains why war suited him and why that changed. Then the story jarringly cuts to Quentin Turnbull (John Malkovich, BURN AFTER READING) burning Hex's family alive and branding his former soldier as he explains that he's doing so because Hex betrayed him and murdered his son, who was Hex's best friend. Then we jarringly cut to what seems like an excerpt from the JONAH HEX motion comic filling us in on how Hex nearly died, gained some powers, has something to do with crows and that Turnbull presumably died in a fire. For all intents and purposes, the first act of the film is simply told to the viewer instead of shown.

The story begins to show us events in a scene where Hex delivers the bodies of men he was assigned to kill. A gunfight ensues and enemies pop up in clock towers and out of coffins like it’s a shooting gallery. It's also the first of many times Hex rides away with an explosion behind him. He has a thing for dramatic getaways. Turns out, Turnball is not dead. How he survived I can't say if it was even explained. President Grant (Aidan Quinn, BENNY & JOON) fears that the Confederate general is building a doomsday device originally conceived by Eli Whitney. The Commander in Chief knows Hex will want revenge so he's the perfect man to hire to save America.

The rest of the film is simply Hex moving from one set piece to the next in search of Turnbull and his weapon. The narrative is so truncated that one rarely knows the connection of one character to the next. Only two other characters emerge — prostitute Lilah (Megan Fox, TRANSFORMERS) and Turnbull's Irish right hand assassin Burke (Michael Fassbender, INGLOURIOUS BASTERDS). While the story tries to develop Lilah as a tough independent woman, she turns simply into a damsel in distress/last minute sidekick. There's an episode with an obsessive client that ends dramatically, but leads to no ramifications. Fox is not given more than she was given with the robots. Fassbender shows why he's a hot actor in Hollywood at the moment. He gives the tattooed thug some personality. During a train heist, I liked how he casually whistles a tune as he prepares to blow a ton of dynamite.

As for the other characters, who knows? TV's Luke Duke, aka actor Tom Wopat, shows up as Confederate colonel Slocum. He's at some underground fight club where a lizard man fights some guy. If you blink you'll miss Oscar nominee Michael Shannon (REVOLUTIONARY ROAD) as Doc Cross Williams. Had to look up that character name. AMERICAN BEAUTY's Wes Bentley plays Adlman Lusk, some guy who has something that Turnbull needs. Funnyman Will Arnett (BLADES OF GLORY) has the all-too-serious role of Lt. Grass, some soldier Pres. Grant talks to in the Oval Office. And don't forget FRINGE's Lance Reddick, a kind of African-American Q, who supplies fancy weapons to Hex and the modern audience a reason for forgiving the scared guy for fighting for the Confederates. Oh, and don't forget the magic Indians who are far better than any Calvary in a crisis.

Because the film doesn't take a lick of time to set up any character in the first act, every scene that follows is void of emotional connection. One of Hex's powers is to reanimate the dead and speak with them. He has a heart to heart with Turnbull's son, but it means nothing because it's the first time we've ever seen Turnbull's son. If the crux of the whole story is Hex getting revenge for the murder of his wife and son, you got to give us more than one scene where Lilah names Hex's scars to make us care about their relationship. And a brief flashback two-thirds into the film of Hex with his family is a little too late in the game to create any emotional engagement.

Even on a technical level, the film seems to betray the story. Scenes are cut so abruptly that one loses the sense of time and place within the movie. Visually the film looks good, but too often, Fox is airbrushed so much that one thinks you've gone back to the days of Vaseline on the lens. Explosions and supernatural effects need characters behind them, not just galloping away in front of them. The film is so obsessed with its razzle-dazzle that one closing fight scene isn't enough, so it's intercut with a fantasy fight scene as well.

I had high hopes for this one. I like Brolin and he's good in it. I was hoping for an iconic supernatural Western. The elements seem there for that to be the case, but the film doesn't seem interested in telling that story. Or any story at all.
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Re: Previews, reviews and spoilers

Post by Admin on Sat Jun 19, 2010 2:32 am

http://topnews.co.uk/26939-jonah-hex-wearisome-zombie-movie

'Jonah Hex' A Wearisome Zombie Movie
Submitted by Gurpreet Singh on Fri, 06/18/2010 - 11:14

In the list of the horror movies, yet another name is added, Jonah Hex.

The movie that runs for the duration of 81 minutes makes the audience gasping, as the movie is one of the most tedious endeavors in the zombie movie genres.

Jonah Hex is essentially a comic-book cowboy character and the movie is based on the same name. The lead actor in the movie is Josh Brolin and the reigns of the direction have been controlled by Jimmy Hayward.

Jonah Hex, played by Josh Brolin, is a scar-faced Civil War-era bounty hunter. Further, the lead can also communicate with the dead and is resistant to bullets, as well.

The direction of the former director of `Horton Hears a Who' is nothing but an uninspired attempt at direction.

The plot of the movie revolves around revenge as the protagonist seeks to balance the death of his wife and child, as they were murdered by a Confederate officer named Turnbull, who is played by Michael Fassbender.

The love interest of the lead is played by the hot and sexy Megan Fox. The `Transformers' fame dame plays a prostitute in the movie.

As far as the performances go, Fassbender is not much of a disappointment as he makes an interesting villain.

For the main lead, Brolin is nothing more than a scary face, as there are also no meaty dialogues and the dialogues largely seem like schoolyard taunts.

To sum up, it just appears as if the movie slogs forward at a never ending pace, however it can be passed as its sure not make its presence felt.
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Re: Previews, reviews and spoilers

Post by Admin on Sat Jun 19, 2010 2:48 am

http://www.boston.com/ae/movies/articles/2010/06/18/jonah_hex_is_a_western_that_never_gains_speed/

Jonah Hex
A mangled Western twitches and drags
Josh Brolin’s Jonah Hex scowls and lumbers through a post-Civil War landscape, seeking to avenge his son’s death. Josh Brolin’s Jonah Hex scowls and lumbers through a post-Civil War landscape, seeking to avenge his son’s death. (Warner Bros.)
By Wesley Morris
Globe Staff / June 18, 2010

The only thing sadder than Jonah Hex is what appears to have happened to his movie. Hex (Josh Brolin) is a renegade Confederate soldier and bounty hunter looking to finish off the general (John Malkovich) who killed his son and burned half his face. The movie began life as a macabre postbellum western for DC Comics. Now it’s lumbering action-camp following a video game plot.

JONAH HEX

Directed by: Jimmy Heyward

Written by: Neveldine

and Taylor

Starring: Josh Brolin, Megan Fox, and John Malkovich

At: Boston Common, Fenway, suburbs

Running time: 81 minutes

Rated: R

Brolin scowls throughout most of “Jonah Hex.’’ But other actors and subplots pop up then vanish. Michael Shannon, Will Arnett, Aidan Quinn, (as U.S. Grant, no less) Michael Fassbender, that guy from “The Watchmen’’ (Jeffrey Dean Morgan), the dude from “American Beauty’’ (Wes Bentley), the enticingly poised lieutenant from “The Wire’’ (Lance Reddick), the chick in the ads for the next “Twilight’’ movie (Julia Jones): They all come and more or less go.

It’s unclear how long this movie was meant to be. But at 81 minutes, it’s charred, bullet-riddled mulch. You can see the longer movie twitching around inside the shorter one. Even then, time refuses to fly. It drags, although not entirely unpleasantly. I like the violence in Mastodon’s guitar-sludge score. And I’m still amazed by how the effects department managed to make Jonah’s facial scar look so believable. It’s like it was cooked in a George Foreman grill. A band of skin reaches from his cheek almost to his chin, keeping his jaw from hanging open — it’s a mouth and a drawbridge. Brolin appears to be having a decent time clenching his quips with it. He’s laboring though. Clint Eastwood makes that look so easy.

So do Eastwood’s movies, from which this liposuctioned blockbuster cribs. But the director, Jimmy Hayward, appears to be following Warner Bros. notes for when to blow up something. With all respect, placing your next action franchise in the care of the man responsible for “Horton Hears a Who!’’ does not speak highly of your enthusiasm for future installments.

Opportunities go begging for pulp or historical rethinking (news of American Indians and freed slaves crop up, and, boy, does Jonah seem like a crypto-libertarian). Instead, the movie offers the standard cartoon warfare — the Gatling guns come in so many sizes! — and bowdlerizes the comic book for maximum box office effect.

Now “the very fate of our nation rests with Jonah Hex.’’ He has supernatural powers (he talks to the dead; thanks, Crow Indians!) and lies in bed with Megan Fox, who’s been cast and clothed, so imaginatively, as a wild-west prostitute. She damsels too easily. In her close-ups, Fox appears to be staring out from a music box or a department store window. If she won’t be returning to “Transformers’’ and she’s looking for a new recycled franchise, might I suggest “Mannequin?’’

The movie’s desperate, mangled assembly does produce an unexpected side effect. The general incoherence is almost druggy (one of the production companies is Weed Pictures). From Warner Bros.’ standpoint, this seems apt. If the studio thinks this is its next “Batman,’’ it might be high.
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Re: Previews, reviews and spoilers

Post by Admin on Sat Jun 19, 2010 2:54 am

http://wearemoviegeeks.com/2010/06/review-jonah-hex/

Jun 18, 2010

Posted by Andy Triefenbach in General News, Review
Review: JONAH HEX

With games like RED DEAD REDEMPTION out on game consoles, westerns seem to be the new black within the movie geek community. JONAH HEX seems properly timed, but is it any good?

JONAH HEX stars Josh Brolin, John Malkovich, Megan Fox and Michael Fassbender in a supernatural western yarn based on the DC Comics character. The character is not as well known as someone like Batman or Spider-Man but has been around for 30 plus years. Jonah Hex (Josh Brolin) is an antihero drifter who acts as a bounty hunter to get by. When word that his presumably dead enemy Quentin Turnbull (John Malkovich) is in fact still alive, Hex goes on the hunt to find and seek vengeance on Turnbull who murdered his family in retaliation for Hex betraying his squad and killing Quentin Turnbull’s son, Jeb – who happened to be Hex’s best friend. Lilah (Megan Fox), is Hex’s closest friend and slight love interest in the whole film. When Hex learns that Turnbull has acquired a Nation-killing weapon, Hex decides to do the right thing and stop him from executing Turnbull’s diabolical plan to destroy the nation – muhahahahaha.

The whole film is a mess. Whether the blame is to lie with director Jimmy Hayward, the CRANK screenwriting duo Neveldine/Taylor or Warner Brothers themselves, no one knows. The film has been plagued by re-shoots, the studio changing composers and forcing progressive-rock group Mastodon into creating a new outlook to the score the utilizes Mastodon-esque riffs as opposed to what Mastodon was originally wanting and agreed to do, to editing this film down to a measly 80 minutes – including the 5 minute (or more) animated introduction and the 8 minute credits. This thing definitely reeks of studio interference.

Honestly, I never read the comics, but I know that this character could have been pretty damn cool. Unfortunately, those efforts were not made. JONAH HEX results in a lifeless adaptation with Malkovich phoning in his performance and Megan Fox or her character shouldn’t have even been in the 15 minutes of this movie that she was in. While you will read the reviews that Fox is horrible in the film, I will say that it is an unfair judgment because, like I said, she was maybe in this film for 15 minutes, tops. Will Arnett is incredibly underused and will make you question why he is even in the film. Brolin is decent as our antihero and definitely fits in a western film. It’s a damn shame he wasn’t given a more powerful script. Watching this limp, but short, film made me wish that Neveldine and Taylor directed it. While I wasn’t a fan of GAMER, their previous film, I think they would have injected some adrenaline that this film needed.

While the end result is abysmal, if a director’s cut of this film hits the shelves with a substantial amount of footage added in, I would revisit it to see what was cut out as it is pretty apparent that this was meant to be an R-rated film but was hacked to pieces to fit the PG-13 summer blockbuster archetype.
Overall Rating: 1.5 out 5
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Re: Previews, reviews and spoilers

Post by Admin on Sat Jun 19, 2010 2:57 am

http://www.ropeofsilicon.com/article/movie-review-jonah-hex-2010

Movie Review: Jonah Hex (2010)
A film that simply feels empty and without a need to exist
By: Brad Brevet
Published: Friday, June 18th 2010 at 3:03 AM
Josh Brolin in Jonah Hex
Photo: Warner Bros.

Jonah Hex centers on the titular comic book Confederate-turned-bounty hunter played by Josh Brolin, a man who's watched his family burn at the hand of Quentin Turnbull (John Malkovich), a former Confederate army colonel-turned-terrorist. Vowing revenge on Turnbull, Hex begins working for the U.S. military, and in exchange for the capture of Turnbull he'll receive a full pardon. Of course, Hex accepts and the story doesn't get much deeper than that.

"Jonah Hex" is a Warner Bros. release, directed by Jimmy Hayward and is rated PG-13 for intense sequences of violence and action, disturbing images and sexual content. The running time is 1 hour 30 minutes

The cast includes Josh Brolin, John Malkovich, Megan Fox, Will Arnett, Michael Shannon, Michael Fassbender, Aidan Quinn, Thomas Lennon and David Patrick Kelly.

Adapted from the comic book series of the same name, Hex has apparently been toned down from the highly graphic nature of the comic, though the PG-13 rating is taken just about as far as it can get as Hex leaves very few alive on his warpath to kill Turnbull. However, even some highly suggestive scenes from early trailers have been cut from this release indicating an unrated DVD/Blu-ray release is likely to take greater advantage of Megan Fox, playing the Civil War prostitute Lilah and perhaps everything else the original script likely had in it.

Maybe there was something to Jonah Hex before Warner Bros. stamped it for mass audience appeal. The flick was written by R-rated script jockeys Mark Neveldine and Brian Taylor who are best known for the hard R-rated Crank franchise, but nothing too exciting really happens in this feature, which is bland at best. Chopped down to about 80 some minutes once you take front and back-end credits into account, along with a rather slipshod animated sequence at the opening in an attempt to speed the story along, there's very little left to grab hold of.

As Hex, Josh Brolin is taxed with the attempt to create a meaningful character while saddled with a face prosthetic that limits his speech to gruff mumbles and a script that doesn't do him any additional favors. I can only assume lack of money was the reason director Jimmy Hayward didn't go for a full on green screen effect such as Aaron Eckhart's make-up in The Dark Knight, but what's offered here just doesn't fit the bill.

Megan Fox adds little other than sweaty cleavage and a dirty bustier to the proceedings though I wouldn't call it her fault. Her character is suddenly introduced and just as quickly abandoned until a damsel in distress is necessary to prolong the film's finale as Turnbull has gained possession of a Civil War-style weapon of mass destruction about as ill-conceived as they come. Tension is lacking and interest wanes as this film never grabbed me by the guts and demanded I pay attention.

My personal enjoyment watching Michael Fassbender in pretty much anything can't be shared here. Playing Burke, Turnbull's oxymoronic Irish lightweight heavy, Fassbender, along with everyone else working for Turnbull, is given no room to create a character other than to stand in front of Hex long enough to die. If you're paying enough attention you'll likely notice Michael Shannon in a tiny, tiny, tiny role and Will Arnett even gets about five minutes of screen time. Wes Bentley also shows up long enough to offer the worst Southern accent I've heard in some time and, of course, I have to mention John Malkovich whose villainy is about as predictable as each of his evil one-liners.

Beyond the shallow acting and character development, CGI crows dominate the landscape whenever obvious green screen backgrounds don't. Perhaps Hayward is more at home with films such as Horton Hears a Who (his only other feature directorial outing), or the PG-13 rating caused this one to lose its bite and whimsy, or this was simply a troubled project from the start. Either way, little worked, because there was very little to work with.

It's not that Jonah Hex is incredibly bad as much as it is unnecessary and empty in its current state. Much of the film feels like videogame cut screens and the action is muted at best. You can mark down Jonah Hex as just the latest example of crummy movies setting out to fill the growing geek niche and offering little-to-nothing in its attempt.

GRADE: D+
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Re: Previews, reviews and spoilers

Post by Admin on Sat Jun 19, 2010 3:00 am

http://www.collider.com/2010/06/18/jonah-hex-review-josh-brolin-megan-fox/

JONAH HEX Review
by Matt Goldberg Posted:June 18th, 2010 at 12:48 am

Jonah Hex doesn’t seem like it runs from a script as much it runs from an outline. The basic plot beats are in place, characters have motivation, events occur in a mostly logical order (although the actions within those events don’t hold up so well), and then the movie ends. In 80 minutes. I don’t think there’s a scene in Jonah Hex that lasts longer than five minutes. I’m all for brevity of storytelling, but Hex seems to be racing to the end before anyone notices it exists. That’s a shame because it has some good performances and some creative sparks. But watching the movie, you know that it’s been edited to hell and stripped of what it was supposed to be—for better or worse. It’s a bloody, angry revenge flick that doesn’t have any blood and is trying to manage its anger. The result is an uneven film that never feels true to itself and does the bare minimum in order to get by.

Josh Brolin stars a Jonah Hex, a disfigured confederate soldier turned bounty hunter out to avenge his family’s death by killing his former commanding officer, Quentin Turnbull (John Malkovich). Aside from being really good at killing people, Hex also has the ability to communicate with the dead. Contracted by the U.S. Government, Hex is tasked with stopping Turnbull before the “terrorista” (as the Mexicans call him) uses a super weapon to destroy Washington D.C. on the centennial. Hex also has what would technically qualify as a romantic relationship with a prostitute (played by Megan Fox), but they’re probably on screen together for less than ten minutes. Unlike the fun talking-with-dead-folks aspect, the relationship with Fox’s character feels perfunctory. Hex has wilder elements worth exploring, but it’s constantly dragged down by tired Hollywood conventions.

Strangely enough, for a movie rushing to get to the finish line, Jonah Hex doesn’t have much energy. The film never drags, but it rarely seems to be having as much fun as it should. Brolin acquits himself well and Michael Fassbender steals the entire movie playing Turnbull’s chief henchman. When the film gets outlandish, it gets fun. It’s fun that Hex has crossbow-guns that fire dynamite. It’s fun that Hex talks to the dead like it’s no big deal. But most of the time, the film is trying to be a standard blockbuster. Hex, depsite its modest budget, has the scale of a big action movie, but no one’s going to mistake it for one. It’s too brief, too colorless, and doesn’t know what kind of movie it wants to be.

The problem with Jonah Hex isn’t necessarily that it’s not long enough. It’s problem is that it’s not enough, period. There’s not enough laughs, not enough thrills, not enough confidence, and not enough fun. Brolin, Fassbender, and some of the more clever designs stop the movie from being a total wash, but the completed picture is as mangled as its protagonist’s face.

Rating: C-
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Re: Previews, reviews and spoilers

Post by Admin on Sat Jun 19, 2010 3:03 am

http://www.thenewstribune.com/2010/06/18/1231646/hex-too-short-too-sugar-coated.html

‘Hex': Too short, too sugar-coated

WARNER BROS. PICTURES
Lilah (Megan Fox) and Jonah (Josh Brolin) find themselves in a sticky situation in “Jonah Hex.”

DAVID GERMAIN; The Associated Press
Published: 06/18/1012:05 am

Critics always gripe that movies are too long and could stand some pruning.

Then you get the occasional movie such as comic-book adaptation “Jonah Hex” that’s too short — so short, and so bad, you cringe at the thought of how awful whatever ended up on the cutting-room floor must be.

Part of what’s missing is the harder-core violence chopped to get “Jonah Hex” down to a PG-13 rating, the theory being that an R rating scares off customers. But the film starring Josh Brolin as a disfigured 19th century bounty hunter with his own connections to hell needed to take the gloves off.

This is a story about a man who watched his wife and son be burned alive, communes savagely with the dead, and vows unholy vengeance against the man responsible for all of his troubles.

The subject matter alone will scare off a chunk of people, while the PG-13 rating will annoy many fans of the comic book. So the filmmakers have shot off both feet by telling a nasty story then dusting it in sugar.

Jonah Hex is a Confederate Civil War veteran who turns to hunting down bad guys after his family is immolated by evil-for-the-sake-of-being-evil villain Quentin Turnbull (John Malkovich).

Turnbull also horribly scars Jonah’s face with a branding iron. The whole experience somehow leaves Jonah able to bring the dead back to life momentarily with a touch so he can interrogate them.

With Turnbull aiming to unleash a doomsday weapon to destroy the United States as it celebrates its centennial, Jonah is enlisted by the federal government to stop the madman.

The action feels choppy and unfinished, continually and jarringly stacking up a colossal body count without showing the killshots that made so many people dead. Such prudishness does not serve a supernatural story set in bloodthirsty pioneer days.

Jimmy Hayward, who directed the animated hit “Dr. Seuss’ Horton Hears a Who!” and was an animator on “Toy Story,” “Finding Nemo” and other beloved Pixar films, makes his live-action directing debut on “Jonah Hex.” That career progression is so puzzling, it’s best to leave it alone. The film is adapted from the DC Comics series by screenwriters Mark Neveldene and Brian Taylor, who wrote and directed Jason Statham’s “Crank” action thrillers. That career progression makes sense.

As for the careers of the on-screen players, well, Brolin’s had a good run lately, and he does try to bring gravity to Jonah, even if you can’t understand a lot of his dialogue because of a speech impediment caused by his facial wound. You can’t blame Brolin too much for trying to land his own action franchise.

Megan Fox — yes, her again — co-stars as Jonah’s love interest, Lilah, a prostitute with a heart of cardiac muscle and a brain apparently made of the same material. Her role is skimpier than the necklines of her dresses, and she delivers her lines as robotically in the 1870s as she did in the “Transformers” flicks.

There’s nothing wrong with Malkovich working for a paycheck, only he’s not working very hard. Turnbull is an utterly forgettable villain who seems to have two modes of speaking, boring and really boring.

Aidan Quinn mucks his way through a few sad moments as President Ulysses S. Grant, while Will Arnett adds some comic tension by doing nothing as a stonily straight-faced military aide. You expect Arnett, a master of smarm in “Arrested Development,” “30 Rock” and other roles, to lose it and burst out laughing at any moment.

Wish he had.

“Jonah Hex” could have used some laughs. ‘Jonah Hex’

H 1/2 I I I

Cast: Josh Brolin, John Malkovich, Megan Fox, Michael Fassbender, Will Arnett, John Gallagher Jr.

Director: Jimmy Hayward

Running time: 1:22

Rating: PG-13; intense sequences of violence and action, disturbing images and sexual content
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Re: Previews, reviews and spoilers

Post by Admin on Sat Jun 19, 2010 3:05 am

http://www.mania.com/jonah-hex-movie-review_article_123324.html

JONAH HEX Movie Review
Not In The Face! Not In The Face!

By Rob Vaux June 18, 2010

I wonder at which point in the production Jonah Hex went so wildly wrong. Certainly not with the hiring of Josh Brolin, who alone among the principle creative forces seems to really understand the character. But whatever the problems were--whether it was replacing directors Mark Neveldine and Brian Taylor with animation journeyman Jimmy Hayward, or some similar bit of Hollywood “magic”--they came early enough to sabotage the entire affair. The resulting film speaks to a desperate patch job in an effort to deliver something--anything--watchable before being thrown to the summer wolves in the middle of June. It runs a sparse 76 minutes if you don’t include the credits… every one of them a jumbled, confused mess.

At least you can’t accuse the film of deviating from canon, since the canon itself is a bit of a quagmire. And Jonah Hex sets up a suitable cocktail of steampunk, black magic and Leone-esque western to establish the proper mood. Confederate soldier Hex (Brolin) balks when his superior, General Turnbull (John Malkovich), orders him to burn down a hospital; instead, he betrays the unit to the North, prompting Turnbull to slaughter his wife and child while he watches, then sear the right side of his face with a brand. Crow Indians nurse him back to health, and he emerges from the ordeal with the ability to speak to the dead. He makes a living as a bounty hunter until Turnbull shows up again with a plot to destroy Washington using a new super weapon.

The script borrows heavily from The Outlaw Josey Wales, as well as some of the more unseemly parts of Wild Wild West. It might have been serviceable, however, had Hayward not been so emotionally tone deaf. Once he establishes the basic atmosphere, he goes absolutely nowhere with it, repeating the same notes over and over again. Hex is a bad-ass, he wants revenge, pointing a gun at him is a bad idea, blah-blah-blah. A few bits of Q-style cowboy gadgets are intended to liven up the affair (without success), as is Turnbull’s hackneyed effort to bring the United States to its knees. Even with such a brief running time, the action gets old very quickly, as does the film’s annoying habit of trying to appear contemporary (referring to Turnbull as a “terrorist,” for example).

Jonah Hex compounds that by rushing through everything in a frantic effort to get where it’s going. One gets the sense of copious subplots left on the cutting room floor, which explains why superfluous figures like Megan Fox’s hooker with a heart of gold or Will Arnett’s painfully earnest Union officer seem shunted off into their own separate movie. Other characters arrive and depart with little rhyme or reason, including a yellow dog who serves no purpose besides following Hex around for a little atmosphere.

Whether the excised elements were any good or not is beside the point; their absence leaves great chunks of exposition papered over by Brolin’s thuddingly obvious voice-over narration and similar storytelling shortcuts. The shutter-stop editing and monotonously thunderous musical score defeat any effort to get into the story, reducing every scene to the same basic proposition. Malkovich gives Ben Kingsley a run for his money in the Which Slumming Actor Can Cash His Check Fastest department, as do other performers like Aidan Quinn, Michael Shannon and Michael Fassbender (all far too strong to be stuck in this drek).

As for Brolin, he constitutes the film’s sole saving grace, with a properly grim tone highlighted by just enough of a twinkle in his eye. He deserved better, as did the character: a minor addition to the DC canon who nonetheless demonstrates that comic books are more than just capes and superheroes. There might have been good movie here at one point, but when things go this far off the rails, searching for anything positive becomes an exercise in futility. Jonah Hex lost its way long before it hit the screen, laboring mightily to deliver a threadbare collection of postmortem detritus. Don’t waste your time sifting through it; the process is just too depressing for words.
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Re: Previews, reviews and spoilers

Post by Admin on Sat Jun 19, 2010 3:07 am

http://www.hitfix.com/blogs/2008-12-6-motion-captured/posts/the-m-c-review-jonah-hex?m=k

Josh Brolin and Megan Fox fall flat in embarrassing 'Jonah Hex'
Posted on Thursday, Jun 17, 2010 By Drew McWeeny

The M/C Review: 'Jonah Hex' is a total ambush

Just one of the many moments that aim for 'cool' but land on 'ridiculous' in the strange misfire 'Jonah Hex,' opening the theaters today.
Credit: Warner Bros.

How much can you really say about a film like "Jonah Hex"?

"Jonah Hex" is a total failure as a movie. It seems to have all of the ingredients that would be in a good film... things like costumes and actors and sets and color and sound and scenes and dialogue... but every single one of those things lays there separately, never coming together into a coherent whole. It is inert as a movie from the beginning to the end. It features terrible performances, a script that doesn't manage even the most basic tasks of storytelling, and it is directed with a near-complete lack of understanding for how a scene works. It is about 80 minutes long, and it feels like four hours. It's a collection of random incident, and completely tone deaf.

And beyond that... what is there to say?

I visited the set for the film. I went to the press conference with the filmmakers. I interviewed Josh Brolin. I can tell that Brolin, at the very least, was sincere in his desire to make an unconventional and entertaining film, and that he really wanted to figure out how to make Hex into an iconic Western character. For Jimmy Hayward, this was an important film because he was moving from animation into live-action, and based on the evidence of this, I'm not sure I believe he's got the skill set for live-action. It's not enough just to stage a scene on a set and capture it on camera. Hayward's movie never feels like it's alive. There's no sense from moment to moment that what you're watching is all connected. You can practically see the Teamsters standing around off-camera, waiting for the take to be over. It's perfunctory.

The best example of this is John Malkovich, who offers absolutely nothing in his role as Colonel The Bad Guy. I know he's got a name, but it might as well just be "The Bad Guy," because there's nothing about his performance aside from a fake nose that is memorable. He is hopelessly outclassed by Michael Fassbender, who plays his second-in-command, and that's because Fassbender seems like he really wants to make a mark as a villain. He's basically acting in a totally different movie than everyone else, and a much better movie, and it's a shame the entire movie couldn't strike the same tone that Fassbender's peformance does. Seeing someone as good as Malkovich just fold up and quit is dispiriting, but at least watching this film gives me hope that Fassbender will make a great Magneto in "X-Men: First Class."

The much-discussed score by Mastadon is poorly used and doesn't really fit the film. I'd have to listen to it separately to be able to fairly discuss it as a piece of music, but as a score? It doesn't work. It's another tonal issue. There is a version of "Jonah Hex" where that sort of score might work, but this is not that version. I'm not sure any score could have really helped the film, but it's certainly not this one that it needs.

Josh Brolin is hampered by the physical requirements of the scar he wears as Jonah Hex, and I like what he had to say about the make-up giving him the right edge to play the curmudgeonly side of Jonah. It's just not something I see onscreen. It's great in theory, but in practice, Brolin just seems uncomfortable as he mumbles and drools his lines. Megan Fox, who I don't hate in theory, is given nothing to do. I'm sure you'll read critics unload on her, but it's ridiculous to criticize her performance, since there's nothing there on the page. She's a hooker and she likes Jonah Hex. That's it. No one's written with any more depth than that, so she's not the only one who looks stranded here. You'll see familiar faces like Will Arnett and Michael Shannon flash by, suggesting just how much work has been done on this film and how much recutting and reshooting happened. You'll see the President of the United States offer Jonah this non-existent job of "Sheriff Of America." You'll see magic cannonballs that do... magic stuff. You'll see Jonah talk to dead people for no particular reason. You'll see a fight sequence cut so incomprehensibly that I'm not exactly sure what I watched for the last ten minutes of the film.

Of course, all of that assumes you'll actually see "Jonah Hex," and I'm hoping that's not the case. Don't waste your time. It's a bad summer, but this pushes "bad" even further than what we've already seen this year. It's not a fun 80 minutes you can laugh at, either. It's just a drag, a big pile of failed ambition, and I suspect this is the last time we'll see Warner Bros. try to foist this particular character on the mainstream. It really just boils down to two words with this one, two sad, undeniable words. Yes, it's true... "Jonah" sux.
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Re: Previews, reviews and spoilers

Post by Admin on Sat Jun 19, 2010 4:40 am

http://www.movieretriever.com/blog/723/movie-review-jonah-hex/1704566

June 18, 2010
Movie Review: Jonah Hex
Posted by Turk182

Filmmakers just can’t get away with junk like Jonah Hex any more. Despite the success of the Transformers films, audiences are generally too smart now for productions that are so sloppily thrown together that they remind them of what they didn’t like about crappy movies that came before. If you had problems with Wild Wild West, Ghost Rider, or Constantine, wait for said problems to be amplified by a movie that distills elements of all three and more into a horribly miscast, painfully edited train wreck of a summer action flick that’s notable only for the fact that it may enter and exit the public consciousness faster than anything else this year. Coming in at under 80 minutes without credits, the nicest thing that anyone can say about Jonah Hex is that it’s too short and stupid to be memorably horrible.

The great Josh Brolin (who makes it out relatively unscathed by virtue of being the only actor who’s actually well-cast in the film) plays the title character, a Civil War soldier who has been horribly scarred and left for dead by the evil Quentin Turnbull (John Malkovich). In fact, Hex came so close to the other side that he can still communicate with the dead whenever he needs crucial information (not unlike Pushing Daisies or even The Sixth Sense). Believing that Turnbull is dead, Hex gives up his quest for vengeance and becomes a bounty hunter, scouring the countryside looking for bad men to bring to the justice end of his Gatling guns. He has one friend in a prostitute named Lilah (Megan Fox) but their relationship is so woefully underdeveloped that she never comes off as anything more than a boring plot device. While Hex is hunting bounties, Turnbull and his men (including Michael Fassbender) are trying to create chaos in the newly reconstituted United States. President Grant (Aidan Quinn) brings in Hex, tells him Turnbull is still alive, and sets him loose to stop the mad man from destroying the country.

Rarely have you seen a supporting cast more horribly chosen than that of Jonah Hex. Who on Earth thought Wes Bentley and Will Arnett looked like believable Civil War characters? Quinn, Tom Wopat, a bizarrely truncated appearance by Michael Shannon (so short that even though he is credited most critics at my screening couldn’t even spot him) – the ensemble of Jonah Hex almost seems designed to provoke laughter. Fassbender makes it out okay but Malkovich is truly lazy here and Fox is practically half-asleep. She’s absolutely horrible.

The fact is that it’s hard to gauge the performances of Jonah Hex through the haze of some of the worst editing you will ever see. With rumored reshoots and massive cuts to get a PG-13 rating, Jonah Hex looks like it was edited on a DVD player with the chapters on shuffle. It never builds, it is downright incoherent at times, and entire characters (like Shannon’s) are clearly on the cutting room floor. It’s hard to tell if there’s any version that would have worked (although an R-rated DVD seems inevitable), but whoever thought this version was ready for release was out of their minds. It plays like a film that’s not done yet, as if the editor hated watching it repeatedly and simply refused to finish.

But would it work even if it was done? Probably not. The fact is that the script for Jonah Hex covers so much well-worn ground that it needed to do something unique to stand out and it doesn’t seem like any version would have done that. Rookie director Jimmy Hayward is so inept at shooting action scenes that there aren’t even any memorable set pieces and the plot is so routine that it provides not one genuinely surprising twist or turn. It’s a by-the-numbers comic book movie that has been so poorly edited that they skip a digit or two. There’s a new challenger when the discussion turns to the worst comic book films of all time. That is if you even remember having seen Jonah Hex by the next time you have that conversation.

Rating: ONE BONE
Reviewed by Brian Tallerico (MovieRetriever.com Film Critic)

Release Date: June 18th, 2010
Rating: PG-13

Starring: Josh Brolin, Megan Fox, John Malkovich, Michael Fassbender, Will Arnett, Tom Wopat, Wes Bentley, Aidan Quinn, and Michael Shannon
Director: Jimmy Hayward
Writers: Mark Neveldine & Brian Taylor
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Re: Previews, reviews and spoilers

Post by Admin on Sat Jun 19, 2010 2:40 pm

http://www.theatlanticwire.com/opinions/view/opinion/Jonah-Hex-A-Hot-Jumbled-Mess-4049

'Jonah Hex' A Hot, Jumbled Mess
More
By Jared Keller on June 19, 2010 9:00am
Another summer, another comic book move. Jonah Hex, director Jimmy Hayward's adaptation of the DC Comics series about a disfigured, vengeful gunslinger, premieres this weekend. Movie-goers are already skeptical: despite a star-studded cast (including sometime lout Josh Brolin and perpetual dreamgirl Megan Fox), the jumbled plot and unusually short running-time of 80 minutes have left some wondering if Hollywood's comic-book mania has produced yet another train wreck. Unfortunately for Hayward and Warner Bros, the critics are affirming the worst fears of comic buffs nationwide.

* A Mish Mash of Awful "It's based on some DC Comics characters, which may explain the way the plot jumps around," writes Roger Ebert, alluding to 2009's Watchmen. "We hear a lot about graphic novels, but this is more of a graphic anthology of strange occult ideas." Ebert scoffs at the other haphazard features of the film, from the constantly shifting landscape of the film ("Jonah Hex" is a Western set around the town of Stunk Crick, although that doesn't entirely explain why the climactic scene involves an attack on the U. S. Capitol Building in Washington....Using my powers of logic, I deduce that the characters traveled there from Stunk Crick. The movie is not precise in its geography") to the extraneous role Lilah, a hooker and Jonah's love interest. "The presence of Lilah in the film is easily explained: She is played by Megan Fox" giggles Ebert. "If you want a woman in an old western town, there are only three occupations open to her, hooking, schoolmarming, and anyone called Ma."

* Bad, Even For Bad Movies The AV Club's Keith Phipps laments the days when bad movies were somewhat good: "Bad movies aren’t what they used to be. More specifically, bad movies that make it into theaters these days usually have a base level of competence that sets them apart from the bad movies of yesteryear. Dullness dwells where incompetence used to call home. The Raja Gosnells far outnumber the Ed Woods. But every once in a while, a film limps into theaters so stitched together, it’s a wonder it doesn’t rip apart in the projector. Jonah Hex is such a film." Like Ebert, Phipps traces some of the film's morass to its overly hurried production. Among Phipps's complaints: "A fight scene with no dreamlike elements, apart from a sky tinted red in post-production, repeatedly appears as a dream sequence. A chunk of Hex’s origin is told by way of animation for no apparent reason. Narration comes and goes. Whole elements, like Hex’s supernatural powers and Megan Fox’s prostitute-in-distress, could disappear without anyone noticing." You can almost hear Phipps sigh with exasperation. "And that’s without even mentioning the Native American village that shows up at random."

* A Hot Mess The Los Angeles Times' Betsy Sharkey gives no quarter in tearing apart Hayward's baby, dubbing the film everything from "a smoldering ash heap " to "the latest DC Comics transmogrification into mega-action mess." While Sharkey concedes that the story effectively conveys the comic book theme of mixing the real and mythical--with fairly decent visual effects to boot--she lays into the writers. "Writers Neveldine & Taylor, who I gather aren't using their first names to protect the family's rep, have found a way to turn biblical references into bad dialogue at head-turning speed while making 83 minutes feel like a lifetime."

* Without Substance "When the biggest buzz online about your movie concerns whether its running time is 72 or 73 minutes, you know your film is trouble," write the Wall Street Journal's staff. "Jonah Hex also boasts a fair number of good actors, including John Malkovich, Will Arnett, Michael Fassbender, Wes Bentley and Michael Shannon — too bad each isn’t given that much to do"

* And I Care...Why? The Washington Post's Michael O'Sullivan is thoroughly unimpressed. "'Jonah Hex' may not be the longest 81 minutes you ever spend, but it might well be the most tedious," seethes the film critic, decrying the inability of the film to draw the audience in. "Will Hex catch Turnbull? And will he be able to stop him in his fiendish plan to attack Washington with a secret, and wildly implausible, super-weapon? Who cares....Like Hex himself, the movie may not exactly be dead, but it sure as heck ain't living."

The Debate

* Jonah Hex Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times
* Jonah Hex Keith Phipps, The A.V. Club
* Movie Review: 'Jonah Hex' Betsy Sharkey, The Los Angeles Times
* 'Jonah Hex': Review Revue WSJ Staff, The Wall Street Journal
* Jonah Hex Michael O'Sullivan, The Washington Post
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Re: Previews, reviews and spoilers

Post by Admin on Sat Jun 19, 2010 2:41 pm

http://calitreview.com/9762

Movie Review: Jonah Hex
by William Bibbiani
June 19th, 2010 at 10:49 am

Directed by Jimmy Hayward
Screenplay by Mark Neveldine, William Farmer and Brian Taylor

Josh Brolin as Jonah Hex
John Malkovich as Quentin Turnbull
Megan Fox as Lilah
Michael Fassbender as Burke
Will Arnett as Lieutenant Grass
CLR Rating: ½☆☆☆☆

Movie Still: Jonah Hex

Michael Fassbender as Burke and Josh Brolin as Jonah Hex in Jonah Hex
TM & ©️ DC Comics, Photo courtesy of Warner Bros. Pictures

Before You See ‘Jonah Hex,’ Dig Two Graves:
One for the Film, and the Other for Your Standards

Jonah Hex is a bad, bad movie. It shouldn’t have been, of course. No movie should be bad, I’ll grant you, but in the case of Jonah Hex it’s a particularly troubling observation. Director Jimmy Hayward (Horton Hears a Who… no, really), and credited screenwriters Mark Neveldine, Brian Taylor and William Farmer have in this case taken a grounded, compelling character with a rich storytelling history, thrown him into a fireplace and then tried to reassemble him from the charred ashes into a sci-fi/fantasy hero that would have been laughed out of even the wackiest penny dreadful. The result is Jonah Hex, a film with no respect for the character and even less respect for the audience, who are expected to be entertained by this defective mishmash of lazy plotting, haphazard filmmaking and wasted opportunities. They won’t be.

Academy Award-nominee Josh Brolin stars as Jonah Hex, a former Confederate soldier whose family was murdered by his former commanding officer Quentin Turnbull, played by Academy Award-nominee John Malkovich. Although the Civil War is technically over, Turnbull and his Irish crony Burke (Michael Fassbender, his talent completely wasted here) are seeking to destroy Washington D.C. with a crazy superweapon designed by Eli Whitney. Hex is hired by President Ulysses S. Grant (Aiden Quinn) to stop Turnbull, whose ‘Mexican Slaves’ call him “El Terrorista” (no, really), before he can destroy America on the night of its first centennial. Megan Fox, who has probably watched the Academy Awards, co-stars as a prostitute who gets kidnapped at some point. The less said about her the better.

So let’s talk about Megan Fox, since the problems with her character permeate into every facet of this adaptation of the Jonah Hex comic book series. There’s just no reason for her to be in the film whatsoever, except fill the role of arbitrary love interest. She has no character to speak of, besides being ‘tough’ (but not tough enough to keep from getting kidnapped), and the only contribution she makes to the plot is as potential cannon fodder in the big climax. Practically every other character in the film could be reduced to an index card on a development executive’s wall. Lance Reddick (so wonderful in ‘The Wire’) exists only to give Jonah Hex ridiculous weapons, and have his kids around at an inopportune moment. Wes Bentley (American Beauty) appears in a glorified, yet ironically humiliating cameo as some kind of humanoid plothole spackle, resolving a few of the unanswered questions that nobody was asking. All of these characters and more do not exist outside of their functions to the plot, making all of their scenes absolutely interminable. At 80 minutes, it’s ridiculous to find Jonah Hex suffering from this much padding. It’s probably the longest 80 minute movie ever made.

It’s tempting to cut director Jimmy Hayward some slack, what with Jonah Hex being his first live-action production (not to mention all of those pesky rumors of studio interference). But regardless of blame, Jonah Hex is an extremely poorly made film in all respects (except for Josh Brolin of course). The film begins with a clearly slapped-together prologue illustrating Hex’s involvement in the Civil War as quickly and cheaply as possible, before cutting to Turnbull forcing Hex to watch as his own wife and daughter are murdered. But Turnbull keeps talking about all these important moments in their lives, like Hex’s supposed betrayal of his best friend and Turnbull’s son, which are much more interesting than anything we get to see. Finally it would seem that everyone ran out of time and money and just threw together some really crappy comic book-styled images (because Hollywood apparently hasn’t realized how stupid that looks) in an effort to extend the running time and offhandedly mention that Jonah Hex has superpowers now for some reason.

Yes, let us take a minute to focus on the fact that Jonah Hex has superpowers. To those unfamiliar with the character, it might not seem like much of a complaint. “He’s a comic book character, right?” Right… A comic book character without superpowers. Would it be “okay” if Batman suddenly started reviving the dead with his touch? Hex also mentions that crows follow him around wherever he goes, which they don’t. They don’t do anything except once calling his attention to a sniper far above him, but really that could have just been a normal crow upset by a gunfight. There was no need to justify it as a superpower, and even Hex’s communions with the dead don’t contribute much to the plot either. Hex only uses this ability to extract information to further along the story… information that could just as easily have been gathered from real, living characters rather than poorly established magical stoolpigeons.

Even the superpowers would have been okay if Hayward, or anyone else for that matter, had made some kind of concrete decision about the world Jonah Hex inhabits. The mildly wild west of Jonah Hex is home to crazy sci-fi weapons like Eli Whitney’s Magical Nonsense Gun and Hex’s own dynamite crossbow, but also magical snakemen and heroes who can raise the dead with their touch. Jonah Hex could have been a frantic magical sci-fi feverdream of a western, envisioning an unrealistic but at least entertaining steampunkish world, and that would have been all right. But these fanciful elements never feel like they belong in the film, which otherwise comes across as straightforward historical fiction, nor are they remarked upon with surprise or concern. What, is everyone afraid to make the snakeman feel socially awkward by being freaking out when he spews poison at them? Are they too badass to admit that the dynamite crossbow has never existed before (or since)? And given that it is apparently the most effective weapon ever created by a human being, why would Jonah Hex just drop it when it ran out of ammunition? You’ve got a big honking trenchcoat on you, Jonah. Try the pockets!

That crossbow is just another frustrating thing about Jonah Hex, a film that’s trying to be dumb, action-packed fun but never gets around to the ‘action-packed’ or ‘fun’ parts. All the action-sequences are jumbled together, when they’re not ignored completely in favor of trying to sell dynamite crossbow toys. Once Hex whips that sucker out, all concern for his well-being goes out the window as he handily blows up everyone in sight, often from just a few yards away (which probably isn’t recommended by the instruction manual). Watching Josh Brolin kick John Malkovich’s ass isn’t much of a spectacle, either, since Hayward feels the need to make them fight in a dream sequence, negating any possible suspense the audience might have experienced. Hell, Hayward can’t even seem to make Megan Fox look attractive without whipping out the most obvious glamorizing filter since Cybill Shepherd’s final season of ‘Moonlighting.’ Megan Fox is barely 24 years old… That filter doesn’t make her look good, it just makes us wonder how bad she most look in real life to need that much of a touch-up.

But again, Josh Brolin is great in Jonah Hex, which is particularly amazing given how little he has to work with. His deadpan bemusement at life’s little inconveniences provides a nice counterpoint to how bloody seriously he has to take all of the ludicrous machinations of this embarrassing plot. One gets the feeling that by the time the studio slapped together this 80 minute throwaway summer movie tripe and tacked on moment after ill-conceived moment to beef up the running time, making it feel more like a bad pilot episode for a Sci-Fi Channel Original Series than an actual film, everyone just wanted to release it against Toy Story 3 (where no one will blame them for tanking miserably) and forget it ever happened. Any audience member unlucky enough to find themselves in a theater showing Jonah Hex will soon feel the same way. For the sake of the filmmakers’ careers, the audience’s sanity, and the character of Jonah Hex himself (who deserves better than this), let’s all just close our eyes and pretend none of this ever happened. Agreed? Agreed.
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Re: Previews, reviews and spoilers

Post by Admin on Sat Jun 19, 2010 2:43 pm

http://www.omaha.com/article/20100619/ENTERTAINMENT/706199909

WARNER BROS. PICTURES
Published Saturday June 19, 2010
Review: Logic is a casualty in 'Jonah Hex'

By Bob Fischbach
WORLD-HERALD STAFF WRITER

There's no hiding it, Jonah Hex. Your comic-book roots are as obvious as that nasty scar on your face.

Paper-thin characters, cartoonlike plotting and colorfully shot violence are the order of the day in this post-Civil War western based on a DC Comics series. “Jonah Hex” feels like a movie that's been cut and recut, with large holes left where footage used to be. That might explain its 82-minute length.

It reminded me of 1970s spaghetti westerns with its sneering villains and antihero, until it dipped into fantasy. Jonah, you see, can talk to the dead. He just grabs the corpse, and it comes to life and talks back.

No real explanation of how he does this, but it's a handy skill when you're trying to hunt down an old nemesis. Mostly, though, he talks to us in droning voice-overs that provide back story or explain his strange dreams.

JONAH HEX
Quality: ** (out of four)

Director: Jimmy Hayward

Stars: Josh Brolin, John Malkovich, Megan Fox, Will Arnett, Aidan Quinn

Rating: PG-13 for scary images, violence

Running time: 1 hour, 22 minutes

Josh Brolin looks uncomfortable in makeup that turns his mouth and cheek into a pitted wound. But he must have also had fun playing such a dark, scary dude as Jonah Hex.

Jonah, an ex-Confederate soldier, killed the son of his commanding officer, Quentin Turnbull (John Malkovich in the same wild-eyed crazy mode you've seen lots of times), to prevent a massacre of innocents. Quentin, in turn, slew Jonah's wife and son before Jonah's eyes, then branded Jonah's cheek. Then Quentin staged his own death.

To get the vengeance out of his system, Jonah has become a bounty hunter. His new main squeeze is a prostitute named Lilah (Megan Fox), tough as nails and handy with weapons but kinda sweet on Jonah.

The body count is already quite high when Jonah learns Turnbull is alive. President Grant (Aidan Quinn), a former Union general, recruits Jonah, a disgraced ex-Confederate (suspend all logic), to stop Turnbull, who is assembling “the ultimate nation-destroying weapon” to commit a terrorist act.

Because this movie is what it is, we get no real explanation of the science behind the weapon. It shoots cannonballs incredibly long distances, then some kind of glowing orange ball detonates all the cannonballs to make one great big fireball.

Whatever. The point is, you get to watch Jonah go after Turnbull and his henchmen, leaving death and destruction in his wake and occasionally bother a slumbering corpse to pick up a few clues.

You also get to watch Lilah fend off unwanted advances while dressed in Scarlett O'Hara-style undergarments with tiny waists and heaving bosoms.

Since Jonah's only known weakness is Lilah, it's predestined she will fall into the hands of Turnbull just as that ultimate weapon bears down on the nation's Capitol in time for the centennial Fourth of July celebration.

Fans of mayhem and digital effects will get their fix as they watch Malkovich and Brolin chew a little scenery. Fine actors like Michael Fassbender, Will Arnett, Tom Wopat, Michael Shannon and Wes Bentley collect paychecks in supporting tough-guy or traitor roles.
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Re: Previews, reviews and spoilers

Post by Admin on Sat Jun 19, 2010 2:48 pm

http://thephantomcountry.blogspot.com/2010/06/dead-on-arrival-jonah-hex.html

Saturday, June 19, 2010
Dead on arrival: Jonah Hex

A long time ago, in the days before plastic surgery, confederate super-solider Jonah Hex (Josh Brolin) sees his family roasted alive at the hands of the super-evil Quentin Turnbull (John Malkovich) before being left dangling from a cross with a nasty facial disfigurement that will make the consumption of beverages forever cumbersome. As the days pass Hex gets so close to expiry that even when the noble Crow Indians revive him he retains the ability to converse with the dead, a gruesome parlor trick that comes in handy in his new vocation as half-zombie bounty hunter. So Johan Hex is a supernatural western of sorts, based on the DC comic that I only remember because my uncle Ricky used to give me his copies after he’d read them, along with his old Sgt. Rocks. (Is it just me, or did only middle-aged bachelors buy all those war and western comics back in the 1980s?)


Jonah Hex was directed by the guy who brought us Horton Hears a Who. It was written by William Farmer and the guys behind the Crank franchise, which is only slightly more indicative as to what’s in store. Jonah Hex is about as dumb as the Crank movies, and it shares the Crank movies’ particular brand of exaggerated, cartoonish violence, yet it has nothing of the go-for-broke audacity or absurd digressions that arguably distinguish the Cranks somewhat from the rest of your sub-Guy Ritchie actioners. There’s not much going on in Jonah Hex, which results in its merciful brevity—it runs about an hour-twenty—yet also results in a paucity of characterization that renders the potentially colourful leads one-dimensional and shuttles those handy Crow Indians so far into the background as to make them crude functionaries, yet another variation on the “magical negro,” merely happy to help the white hero along his journey before dissolving back into the woods.


The score could be described as Metallica meets Morricone, though once having met they apparently have to say to one another. Even under rubber Brolin maintains charisma, yet he really has little to do other than grunt and take heaps of punishment. Malkovich has a new funny wig to add to his collection but otherwise is unremarkable in another payday villain role. Megan Fox plays the prostitute who apparently spends her free time at the rifle range and it’s true she has very nice legs. Her close-ups however are only one of many shots in the movie that seem digitally enhanced for absolutely no reason at all. At least Michael Fassbender has some fun as an inventively tattooed thug.

Posted by JB at 2:34 PM
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Re: Previews, reviews and spoilers

Post by Admin on Sat Jun 19, 2010 3:05 pm

http://www.pajiba.com/film_reviews/jonah-hex-review-look-away-look-away-look-away-dixie-land-.php


Look Away, Look Away, Look Away, Dixie Land

Jonah Hex / Brian Prisco

Film Reviews | June 19, 2010

Yippie-kai-lame, motherf@#$%!. I’m not sure what the f&#! Jonah Hex was supposed to be. Rather than a tight-fisted western popcorn flick about a vigilante bounty hunter trying to track down the outlaw who murdered his family and scarred his face, we’re left with a cowboyed-up mash-up of pseudo-westerns, as gazed through a heady dose of peyote. Not a single frame doesn’t feel derived from something else, whether it’s Wild Wild West, Sherlock Holmes, Back to the Future III, or Chitty Chitty Bang Bang. The titular character growls and snarls his way through a rammy, stilted Ramboner, gunning through the flimsiest sketches of characters until the film abruptly skids to a whinnying cliff-edged halt. At a paltry 81-minute run time, you don’t have time to enjoy yourself. It’s like the studio gave up halfway through, which was about a half-hour past when the cast stopped caring. It’s a terrible cowpat minefield of a film, but what do you really expect when you get a flick scribbled haphazardly by the verbal equivalent of 5-hour Energy Drink, Neveldine and Taylor. The script reads like someone tried to make a movie out of the lyrics to Kid Rock and Big & Rich songs. If this were a horse, you’d shoot it.

If you’re familiar with the mythology of Jonah Hex, you’ll wish you weren’t, as the film somehow manages to both acknowledge and then completely disregard the story. They manage to cram exposition into about the first twelve seconds of the film, and then pepper the rest of the film with strange and confusing flashbacks that exist to remind the five or six stoners who permanently lost their short term memory. In the film, Jonah Hex (Josh Brolin) is a Confederate soldier who gets captured by the Union which leads to the murder of his entire old battalion. One of these soldiers was Jeb, the son of General Quentin Turnbull (John Malkovich), who crucifies Jonah while he burns Hex’s wife and son alive and then brands Hex’s face with a big QT so he’ll remember. Jeb then takes a red hot tomahawk and burns Jonah’s cheek, leaving him with half a Krueger. We get a bunch of comic-book illustrations depicting Jonah getting healed by the Crow Indians and another one of Turnbull burning alive in a house. And that’s your story. For those of you familiar with the comics, you might find yourself thinking “What the sunbleached f&#!?” And that’s bound to be your feeling for the rest of the film.

Flash forward to 1876, which would have been a better place to start the f#%@#&! film instead of with the confusing and half-baked origins story. Hex is a bounty hunter with a bounty on his head. He trots into town dragging three corpses behind him. He faces down the shittown’s elders to claim his bounty, but of course, there’s a double cross, so Hex rips off his saddle blanket to expose the twin Gatling guns on his horse. Knowing the Neveldine/Taylor braintrust’s penchant for bloodsausage, the action in the film goes hyper cartoony but feels completely gelded by its PG-13 rating. So they trade cool stylistic action for lots of random explosions. I think this was mostly not to spook Megan Fox so she wouldn’t rear up and kick a PA in the head with her horseshoes.

The general premise of the film is that Turnbull’s actually alive and he’s gathering supplies because that sumbitch Eli Whitney cobbled together a superweapon that apparently runs on f#%@#&! Dragonballs and Turnbull stole it. So President Ulysses S. Grant (Aidan Quinn) sends his best lieutenant (Will Arnett) out to track down Jonah Hex and set him on the trail of Turnbull. Hex hunts down Turnbull using his magic power of being able to raise the dead. Well, what he really does is touch corpses and interrogate them while they magically turn to ash depending on how long they…do you really care? You don’t. You don’t have f#%@#&! time to care. Director Jimmy Hayward, an animator whose directorial debut was Horton Hears a Who?, doesn’t give you any time to give a g*&^%$#. Instead of focusing on one or two interesting scenes, he cannonballs through the action like someone firing off Eli Whitney’s big bad Bertha mega-weapon. If a single scene in the film lasts longer than five minutes, it’s because someone’s struggling through one of the atrocious speeches Neveldine and Taylor found online in abandoned copies of Rambo sequels that were never made. There’s no sense of style or substance anywhere to be found. And the cinematography made the film look like it was shot entirely in front of a big screen TV broadcasting someone playing Red Dead Redemption. If you look closely at the eyes of the actors, you can actually see their scene partner counting their paychecks in the reflections of their pupils.

Which is a shame because they assembled a f#%@#&! amazing cast and then wasted them like showgirls pre-pretty button pushing at casino buffet salad bars. One of the Dukes of Hazzard, Tom Wopat, plays a guy who hangs out at a pit fighting arena because wasn’t Sherlock Holmes awesome, brah? He’s in it for about five unnecessary minutes until he gets eaten by Baraka, who seemed to be auditioning for Ryan Reynolds’s version of Deadpool in that sh*#&% f#%@#&! Wolverine movie. Lance Reddick, Daniels for “The Wire” fans (which should be ALL of you hombres), plays the general store equivalent of Q, keeping a stockpile of super-wagonpunk weaponry like the portable gatling guns and exploding crossbow pistols. Because of course a Confederate soldier would befriend a recently-freed slave who would immediately have access to an arsenal of awesome equipment. Jeffrey Dean Morgan doesn’t even go credited as Jeb Turnbull, which makes him the smartest actor in the batch. Remember Wes Bentley and Aidan Quinn? Well, you won’t have time to, because they barely have parts. Michael Shannon was in the movie, but I’m not even sure which f#%@#&! part he was because nobody aside from Josh Brolin and John Malkovich have more than five minutes of screen time. I’m pretty sure he’s the creepy guy who wants to buy Megan Fox (I know, right? Shannon plays a creep. It’s a stretch.) After his performance as Kim Fowley in The Runaways, you’d have to be retarded to waste Shannon. But then again, these are the same folks who got Will Arnett to play an officious Union soldier for all of ten seconds. It’d be like hiring Ray Park to tend bar.

Michael Fassbender plays Malkovich’s main henchman, an Irish guy with an inexplicable chin and neck Maori looking tattoo. He’s the only one in the entire film having even the remotest amount of fun, so they give him about ten minutes of screen time. Megan Fox’s rooty-tooty-fresh-n-fruity prostitooty Lilah could have been played by a pair of tits on a stick, as you see pretty much every moment of her character in the trailer. The Baynis was right, Tits McGee emotes like a wooden cigar store Indian. I apologize, that’s insensitive, I meant to say a cigar store display rack, as the cigar store Indian would actually have at least one facial expression. You can tell how bad Malkovich’s villainous performance is going to be by the ridiculousness of his accent. He’s not even allowed to chew scenery. His character kills a lot of people out of frame, so you assume he’s a brutal killer. He does nothing but wait until the camera pans up into a close up and then orders people to be killed or kills them himself. And as much as I love Josh Brolin, he’s essentially using the Bale method of comic book heroing. He winces and grunts through the entire film, like a less thoughtful version of Carl from Sling Blade. Aside from Fassbender, Brolin puts in the strongest performance by virtue of the fact he’s on screen most of the time and manages to half-ass an effort.

Jonah Hex couldn’t have been a more ridiculous film if a giant mechanical spider did the f#%@#&! Lindy hop on the White House lawn. Wild Wild West is a terrible film, but at least it’s kind of fun. If you’re some kind of asshole, you might want to draw comparison to The Quick and the Dead, but Jimmy Hayward couldn’t hold Sam Raimi’s spittoon. When things aren’t randomly exploding, Jonah Hex spends his time riding a horse, followed by a sidekick dog. He picks up a corpse, yells at it until it starts to use up the leftover vampire ashing effects from “Buffy the Vampire Slayer,” and then goes and makes more stuff blow up. Which for all intents and purposes should have made it a more enjoyable flick. I can only imagine that they’ll be releasing an unrated cut that’s actually two hours long, because that’s the only explanation for how parsed and bland and erratic this film looked. It was like it came pre-cut for multiple broadcast on TBS. I refuse to buy the bullshit “underappreciated comic property” argument. This could have been a killer project, and instead it feels like watching a rehearsal for a Frontiertown Disney stunt show. I’d sooner watch Val Kilmer karaoke the soundtrack to Young Guns II while the cast of Glee mug in little plastic cowboy hats than relive this utter failure.
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