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Jonah Hex reviews

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Re: Jonah Hex reviews

Post by Admin on Tue Feb 08, 2011 10:05 pm

http://ahauntinginsd.blogspot.com/2011/02/horror-movie-review_06.html

Sunday, February 6, 2011
Horror Movie Review

Jonah Hex (2010): Now, I realize that this isn't technically a horror movie, but it has enough horror elements to earn a spot in my blog (he can talk to dead people). You should know up front that I'm a Marvel man and this movie is based on the DC comic. I shall strive to be objective.

It reminded me of Wild Wild West. There's a diabolical madman, Quentin Turnbull (John Malkovich), armed with a "nation killing" weapon, there's a hero, Hex (Josh Brolin) with some James Bond-esque gadgets, and President Ulysses S. Grant (Aiden Quinn) desperately needing help. But whereas the Will Smith film was a bloated, overwrought mess, Jonah Hex is a lean, mean, action machine. At just a little over 80 minutes, though, I have to wonder if the editor went a bit crazy with the scissors.

Hex was a Confederate soldier under Turnbull who disobeyed an order to burn down a civilian hospital. He ended up fighting and killing his best friend Jeb Turnbull, Quentin's son. Quentin gets revenge by forcing Hex to watch his wife and son burn alive. Left for dead, Hex is rescued and brought back from the brink of death by a tribe of Native Americans. This somehow leaves him with the ability to speak to the dead (he has to touch them to do it, though). After learning Quentin died, Hex becomes a bounty hunter. He has a girlfriend/prostitute named Lilah (Megan Fox) to whom he won't commit because, he says, people who get close to him die. Fair enough. Now, President Grant learns Turnbull's alive and has stolen components from the U.S. Army to construct a massive revolving cannon thing (designed by Eli Whitney of cotton gin fame). This cannon shoots a series of what appear to be normal cannonballs. Once strewn around the target area, a final ball is fired, but this one glows orange and went it lands amidst the others, a chain reaction sets them all off resulting in an explosion reminiscent of the bunker-busters used in the Iraq war. What's in the orange ball and how does the whole thing work? I have no idea. It wasn't explained. And that is the movie's weak point.

We get about five minutes of backstory on Hex, a few random flashbacks about his time with Turnbull, but otherwise, we know nothing of the film's characters' backgrounds or motivations. Why is Turnbull such an evil prick? How did Lilah end up whoring in a dusty town in the middle of nowhere and how did she and Hex hook up? What's the story with Turnbull's right-hand man, Burke (Michael Fassbender)? He's British and so should have a interesting reason for buddying up to an evil prick. We never discover the answers to any of these and many, many more questions. Funny thing is, you really won't care.

Anyway, President Grant knows about their history and recruits Hex to stop whatever Turnbull's planning (blowing up Washington, D.C. it turns out). Turnbull kidnaps Lilah for insurance, takes her aboard the ship from which he's going to launch the attack on the capital. From there on out, it's about what you'd expect. It is a Hollywood movie, you know.

The Breakdown.
Acting: You'd think that being around Josh Brolin for weeks and weeks, Megan Fox would have picked up a thing or two about acting. Alas, no. She's virtually a robot. A sexy babe of a robot, but still a robot. Malkovich chews on the scenery while Aiden Quinn is incredibly believable as our 18th president. Story: Unique take on an old idea. I was a huge fan of the original Wild Wild West TV show (not the film) so I was immediately taken in. Direction: Not what you'd called lethargic. You barely have time to catch your breath and process each scene. This is a good thing. Production Values: Excellent. Look at the cast...you know they had plenty of money to throw around. Gore/FX: No blood outside the western shoot-'em-up variety. The FX are great. Seamless CGI along with real explosions. Cool. The Ending: Pure Hollywood.

Should you watch it and does it pass the PALE test? Yes on both counts. Jonah Hex is nothing more than a breezy, popcorn flick chock-full of action and some really funny one-liners. If you don't take it seriously and turn your brain off, it's a blast.
Posted by Nate Dean at 2:34 PM

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Re: Jonah Hex reviews

Post by Admin on Fri Mar 04, 2011 8:32 pm

http://deviouscreation.livejournal.com/141060.html

Jonah Hex-ed
04 Mar

Sticking with the Anti-Hero revenge theme, but moving from Sword & Sorcery to Steampunk Western, Jonah Hex is a film which originally caught my eye not long after Solomon Kane was released. The setting might be a hundred years or so later, (post American Civil War), but the mood of the film is certainly similar.

Based on the DC comic line, Josh Brollin's lead is a former confederate soldier who refuses to burn down a hospital at the order of his CO Quentin Turnbull (John Malkovich), and ends up killing the CO's son, a fellow soldier whilst trying to prevent the act. This is followed by Turnbull acting revenge and killing Hex's family, forcing him to watch as they burn. A final insult is a branding to the face, which results in the trademark scarring.

Left for dead, Hex is found barely alive by Native Americans, who manage to revive him using mystical healing. A side effect of this give Hex the ability to talk to the dead by touching them. He goes after Turnbull, tracking him down only to learn that he had later died in a Hotel fire. With no-one to get retribution from, his anger fuels him to become a bounty hunter.

Leap forward, and it turns out that not only is Turnbull still alive, but he has become somewhat of a terrorist, and has stolen a classified super-weapon from the military to cause havoc on the 4th July American Centennial. A weapon that apparently they had never used, as they realised it was "too deadly". (Hmm... ok but they took it apart and hid it.. poorly, rather than destroying it?).

It seems that now, Hex is the only man who can stop him, and is enlisted by the government to take him out. A man the government themselves were attempting to get rid of.

All of this, could potentially work well as a film.

Here though, it falters. With a mix of fictional turn-of-the-century machination and a vendetta to end all others, the ingredients are all there for an awesome showdown. Unfortunately, the result is Wild Wild West meets Punisher. Yes, you read that correctly.

Some of the main issues of this release is that so many things are left unexplained. How on Earth does the super weapon actually work? What the hell is that glowing orb, and how does it cause such a terrific detonation? The film is also relatively short, and as such you are sped through the plot, gun fights and explosions going off over your head, and before you know it, the final showdown is apon you, without any kind of Substance.

Trapped in the middle of this is Megan Fox, assuming the role of a "dont mess with me" whore at a brothel that immediately becomes Hex's love interest (you have to assume they have met a number of times before). An old west hooker with a thing for a disfigured man. Can't say its the most glamorous or rewarding role can you? Her lines arent great, and the performance isn't that much better either.

It's a bit of a shame. It tries, it really does. The technology fantasy is there, and so is the gritty western aura. Its the glue, otherwise known as plot and dialogue which fails to hold the two together, and as such the holes soon appear.

Both Malkovich and Brollin (Great actors in their own right) make valliant efforts to carry the film, another notable performance is Michael Fassbender as Burke, Turnbull's somewhat psychotic right hand man. But it just isn't enough.


Couch film at best, Rental for sure.

In this case, Jonah truly is Hexed.

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Re: Jonah Hex reviews

Post by Admin on Mon Apr 25, 2011 9:58 pm

http://foxessa-foxhome.blogspot.com/2011/04/another-ex-con-jonah-hex-2010.html


Monday, April 25, 2011
Another ex-Con: *Jonah Hex* (2010)
Friend Felipe informed me that Jonah’s an ex-confed too. Thus, I watched.
More than loosely adapted from the DC comic.

A cross of western occult steampunk, alternate Civil War History, and the Sergio Leone good, bad and ugly westerns. Also a bit reminiscent of Scorsese's Civil War film, The Gangs of New York because of Turnbull's psychopathic Irish sidekick (Michael Fassbender).

For the occult, we have magical Indians’ magic (the one and only black person in the film is not magical this time) to return JH (Josh Brolin) from the deathly realms, but not all his parts returned, so he if he touches a dead person he can speak with him, and learn what the dead know (how very Kongo!). He’s accompanied by crow/s, who do, what? for him. Horse, his horse, is loyal and communicative. The second time he nearly dies he acquires a magical dog (from where? why?) who brings the magical Indians to resurrect him again.

The steampunk comes in as the big ass Rube Goldberg weapon which is a giant six shooter revolver, crossed with a bowling ball alley (designed by Eli Whitney!), with which Turnbull (John Malkovich) plans to destroy D.C. on the centennial of Independence. Therefore we know this is 1876.

Carry-over qualities from The Virginian: the whore with heart of gold (Lilah, played by Megan Fox), who loves the protag, and the horse (Horse), that loves him too.

“You were no real Confederate. You wasn’t no sesech. You didn’t believe in slavery either. You just didn’t like the government tellin’ you what to do.” So says the one and only black character in the movie, to Jonah Hex, in order we understand that Josh Brolin is a hero, not a villain. However, it is never said what it was that the government was telling Jonah Hex to do that he didn’t like being told. (Government forces him later to be conscripted back into military service at the command of President Grant, to find Turnbull. But the war is over, and JH wants to find Turnbull for his vengeance, his only reason for living, which is why wise President Grant gives the command (at least the flick presents Grant as a competent, sober, effective POTUS). Wait, JH isn't really living, is he?)

Felipe responded "The black storekeeper who certifies Jonah as "not a racist" but a man philosophically dedicated to "freedom" is the icing on the cake. Just in time for the 150th anniversary! Such an amazing coincidence."

Only good lines:
“He’s dead, Hex."
"I’ll have a word with him all the same."
Posted by Foxessa at 10:02 AM

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Re: Jonah Hex reviews

Post by Admin on Mon Jul 18, 2011 5:13 pm

http://cymbalism219.livejournal.com/108338.html

then we will fight in the shade
July 17th, 2011 (01:41 am)

I come bearing a lot of babble about two comic-book-based movies featuring Michael Fassbender and one Shakespeare reinterpretation starring James McAvoy. Ready your shields for the onslaught.

Jonah Hex
I was warned, strongly and repeatedly, not to see this movie. Maybe that set my expectations sufficiently low, because I didn't hate it. Mostly I'm apathetic. I mean, don't get me wrong: it was pretty bad (so bad that Michael Fassbender himself hasn't seen it, I hear). But it wasn't angry-making bad. These things are highly subjective, of course, but for me Jonah Hex was just average bad-comic-book-movie bad -- over-reliance on knowledge of a canon that's likely being slaughtered, cheesy effects, nonsensical narrative supplemented by uninteresting voice overs and expositional dialogue. *shrug* I think it was maybe on par with that comic-book movie where Ben Affleck wore purple, and it was at least less boring than Centurion. The hardest part for me was trying to understand a blessed word coming out of James Brolin's mouth (so thank goodness for all that expositional dialogue, I guess). One thing about this movie that surprised me was the number of recognizable faces in the supporting cast. We get a very surprise appearance by Jeffrey Dean Morgan (!), for example, but also Aidan Quinn, Wes Bentley, and Will Arnett. JDM was pretty great, btw. Or maybe I just appreciated that I could understand what he was saying and that he filled in like fifteen plot holes in the five minutes he was on screen. Hard to tell.

The good news is Michael Fassbender plays a charming criminal psychopath as Burke. He merrily sets a woman and child on fire and prepares to blow up trains with a smile on his face. It should be terribly disturbing, but mostly it inspired a lot of fangirlish giggling and glee. And he sings! He sings a little Irish ditty as he wanders menacingly down an alley. (This seems to be a thing in Fassbender movies, the singing. I'm very okay with that.) Admittedly, Fassbender isn't on screen very often, and he's mostly in the background doing his nefarious duties, but really, the whole movie is less than 80 minutes long, so proportionately he does well for himself; I think he's got more screen time than Megan Fox, for example, and she's the romantic lead. And does anyone else want to know how much of him those tattoos cover? Unfortunately, we never find out, as this movie only has a how-naked-is-he? rating of 1% (1% for his rolled sleeves -- I'm a sucker for rolled sleeves). So, not exactly recommended, but also not the absolute worst 75 minutes of background noise you could put on.

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Re: Jonah Hex reviews

Post by Admin on Sat Aug 13, 2011 6:59 pm

http://thomasericmovies.blogspot.com/2011/08/jonah-hex-2010.html

JONAH HEX (2010)
In honor of this year's failed attempt to mash-up the Western with another genre I thought I would watch last year's failed attempt to mash-up the Western with another genre. At least that's what I think this is supposed to be; a horror-western of some sort, but the supernatural elements are surprisingly minimal, especially compared to the bevy of steampunk gadgets, guns, and doomsday weapons. If you cut out a few ghosts/ghostly crows, this would almost feel like it took place in the same universe as the Wild Wild West movie, except viewed through a haze of Neveldine/Taylor testosterone, thrashing electric guitars courtesy of Mastodon, and judicious if not vicious editing thanks to panicked studio execs or a just and wise god. Its only 82 minutes long and that's with opening and closing credits. Holy s$#!. Are you sure you cut enough out of it?

This feels like more of a Western than the other failed hybrids of the genre. The Director Jimmy Hayward uses classic static wide shots for the locations, holding a little too long and a little too still to make the landscape seem a little uncomfortable. The frenetic directing style of writers Neveldine/Taylor, who were originally slated to direct, would have felt out of place; this movie is already at capacity for out of place elements. For example: the opening shootout plays mostly like a typical Western, except for the humongous magical guns. But then when Hex rides out of town, he shoots a lantern that within a few seconds has the entire town consumed by fireballs. Maybe they cut the scene where they explained this particular town was the dynamite capital of the Southwest, or maybe this is the kind of movie where towns explode when you shoot a lantern. Who knows?

Josh Brolin stars at the titular, deformed former-confederate bounty hunter, and he's probably the only actor in this who couldn't bribe the editor into excising more of his scenes. Will Arnett, Aidan Quinn, Lance Reddick, Tom Wopat, Wes Bentley, Jeffrey Dean Morgan and Michael Shannon all have a scant few minutes of screen time, but the abandoned subplots and condensed narrative don't really cause any more plot-holes than a typical summer explosion fest; sure, they try to pass off some footage from an extra scene as the 'spirit world' by messing with the colors of the sky, but they obviously did so because the scene was too cool to not be included in the movie even if they didn't use the entire lead-up and explanation for it.

Right from his first line reading, John Malkovich would like to make it clear to you the viewer that this is not a film where John Malkovich will be giving a s$#!; you would think that an insane former Civil War General who wants to topple the US Government would be a good excuse for an actor to just cut loose and go nuts, maybe even adopt a wacky if not consistent accent, which we know Malkovich is found of, but in this film the audience's expectations are Malkoviched, and instead he underacts so powerfully that most of the time its amazing he's even speaking outloud.

Megan Fox is on hand to do, I dunno, stuff. But more importantly, here name is Lilah. They don't overuse the joke, or even seem to know its a joke, but just imagine how somebody with a shitted out mouth like Jonah Hex pronounces a name like Lilah. Hint: poorly. Trying fish-hooking your cheek whilst gritting your teeth and then, in your most gravelly tough guy voice, say that name. When she opens her door and sees him standing there and he says "Ra-rah" it was the only moment that I rewound to watch again. She has a tiny Derringer pistol which is strange because nobody else seems to have remotely realistic guns; for comparison Hex uses a crossbow that shoots sticks of dynamite and twin Gatling guns mounted on his horse.

Michael Fassbender really cuts loose and goes nuts as lead henchman Burke, a psychopathic Irishman with grotesque tattoos and a sunny disposition. Even in a hackneyed exposition scene where he helps Malkovich explain the origins of an Eli Whitney designed nation-killer super cannon, Fassbender exudes a joyfully maniacal presence that captured your otherwise divided attention. They should have let him play all the roles. Everybody else seems slightly embarrassed, which is a self-fulfilling prophecy, because it shows up onscreen and leads to a crappier movie, which the actors can then feel embarrassed about.

Most of the things in the movie that don't make any sense are the best parts. Hex visits some sort of gladiatorial arena, with pit fighting tournaments between gigantic barbarians and mutant rattlesnake men. The President of the United States, Ulysses S. Grant, hands Hex a wad of money at one point in the film. Hex kills many people for no good reason, like for asking why his face is all messed up. Lots of narration is used to cover over big patches of the movie that vanished; Hex tells us bluntly that he chased Malkovich for years but then he died in a hotel fire. Uhh... What? Speaking of confusion, Hex has to explain a whole bunch of rules to a dead guy when he revives him, but its almost totally unnecessary because we can see whats happening right in front of us: he touches them, they talk about s$#!, he lets go, they die again.

In the end, its half as long as a Transformers movie and makes twice as much sense, so its alright in my book.
Written by Thomas Eric at 9:00 AM

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Re: Jonah Hex reviews

Post by Admin on Sun Sep 04, 2011 10:44 pm

http://www.comicbookmovie.com/fansites/PaulRomReviews/news/?a=45813

PaulRom Reviews: Jonah Hex
Better late than never (or in this case, VERY late). Is Jimmy Hayward's live action debut as bad as everyone says, or is it a severely underrated gem? Hit the jump for my take...
Sorry for being about a year late with this review. I was initially turned off by the critical bashing of DC/Warner Bros' offering last year, Jonah Hex, but I eventually decided to watch it to see just how bad it really was. And for those who haven't noticed, I'm usually generous in my reviewing films (just read my reviews for Green Lantern and X-Men Origins: Wolverine and you'll understand), but I can't say I'll be very generous with this film.



Jonah Hex picks up a few years after the end of the US Civil War. The family of the title character (Josh Brolin) being burned to death by Quentin Turnball (John Malkovich) to avenge the death of his son (slain by Hex sometime prior to the film's beginning). He then places a permanent mark on Hex's face as a reminder of the events. Hex, having a heart full of vengeance, is determined to avenge the death of his family, and goes on a journey to locate Turnball and kill him. He's accompanied by gun-wielding prostitute Lilah (Megan Fox), and battles enemies such as Burke (Michael Fassbender).

Overall, the biggest problem with Jonah Hex is its atrocious script. So much dialogue felt out of place and unnecessary (such as when Lilah started naming Hex's gun wounds, Hex naming his horse "Horse", etc), it only piles into the empty spots of substance in the film overall (there isn't much substance to begin with). Another problem was the overall scoring of the project. Don't get me wrong - I love rock music, it's probably my favorite genre - but the way it was used in Hex made it seem VERY out of place (the opening title made me feel like I was watching a TV show). It does offer some solid Western scoring, however, but all the rock n' roll that was used didn't offer anything other than making the film feel like I was watching an extended trailer or something.

Another big problem with Jonah Hex is its hit-and-miss acting. Josh Brolin did his best with what he was given, at least bringing a solid appearance of Hex to life on screen. Megan Fox was hot as Lilah, but that's probably the only good thing I can say about her performance. Heck, I wonder why they even included the character in the story to begin with. She doesn't do much other than sling guns, shoot, have sex, sling guns, etc. - not needed in the story at all. I always found John Malkovich to be a respectable actor, but he doesn't do a very good job here, needless to say. His character is a bit too predictable. Not even Michael Fassbender could save the day as perhaps the strongest performance in the film next to Brolin's as Hex. To round out the main cast, Aidan Quinn is decent as President Ulysses S. Grant, and Will Arnett is okay as Lieutenant Grass.

Yet another problem with the film is its (very) short pace. At around 81 minutes, Jonah Hex feels too rushed, with little to no character development and some characters appearing before they're gone in a flash (I even missed Michael Shannon's appearance in the film, his role was that small). For example, it seems like Hex did know Lilah at some point before the film's events, but it doesn't go any farther than that. Why? I don't know, but it only made Lilah's being in the film less acceptable. Also, they should have depicted some of Hex's work in the Civil War before his face was disfigured (about three minutes of random shots in the opening credits weren't enough), because I think it would help Hex seem more likable to the general audience than otherwise.

With all this tearing the film apart, you may wonder if there was anything that I liked about it. Well, the action is undeniably entertaining. Granted, I enjoyed films such as G.I. Joe and Transformers (the first and third one anyways), but none of those seemed to lack as much substance as Jonah Hex. But to be fair, Hex has plenty of edge-of-the-seat action and explosions, but that's probably the only thing that the film really succeeds in.

In the end, I don't think Jonah Hex is quite as bad as people make it out to be, but it isn't saying much. If you've disliked many of DC/WB's films before, this won't change your mind at all. In fact, it'll only strengthen your belief that DC has yet to put out a truly great film other than Superman or Batman.

A handful of solid performances and non-stop action can't excuse Jonah Hex's terrible script, mediocre dialogue, and very short running time/pace.

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