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8 Things from Movies that just “don’t make sense”… Southpaw, Human Centipede 3, The Martian, Annabelle, Poltergeist, A Most Violent Year, It Follows, Fifty Shades of Grey

October 15, 2015

1. Why even call the movie Southpaw (2015)?

Given the title, I expected I was going to see the struggling story of a southpaw (i.e., left-handed) boxer.  Instead, I saw a boxer who was already at the top crumble into the shambles of his family life after the death of his wife and separation from his child.  Now that’s fine.  I’d still go see that film, especially with Jake Gyllenhaal (Prisoners, Nightcrawler) playing the tortured boxer.  But I have to ask this…why call it Southpaw if the boxer is right-handed?

Here the filmmakers/writers thought they were being clever as our boxer’s trainer (Forest Whitaker) teaches him to switch to a right jab left hook combination (opposite of that typically thrown by a righty).  This occupies about 90 seconds of a training scene, Whitaker yelling from outside the right “go southpaw” a few times in the final round of the finale fight, and a single punch that we could barely see and would never realize was significant (being thrown lefty) without all the yelling.  We talk about this in The MFF Podcast #25: The MFF Random Awards of Summer 2015, for which it won “Most Misleading Title.”

Did I like Southpaw?  Yes.  Was it as great as I had hoped.  Far from it.  After the opening fight and VERY POWERFUL emotional scene following the fight, things were really just “good” if that.

2. Did we really need another Human Centipede movie?

No. The answer is a hard no. Was there once a “need” for an ass-to-mouth horror movie?  I guess.  Did Tom Sixx fill that niche? Absolutely. Was there a need for a second? Nope. But Tom Sixx did it anyway. At this point I feel the need to identify that there should be a limit to the number of ass-to-mouth films that any one person is allowed to make.  I have set that limit to TWO!  Tom Sixx, you are in violation of this rule.  When filmmakers push the envelope, test limits and do that which no one before them has done, we often call it art.  But when filmmakers push the envelope and then shove the contents of the envelope down your throat, it often loses its luster and shifts to an altogether different genre.  In horror, disturbing art joins the likes of Martyrs (2008), whereas the overkill gets sorted into a pile of shocky-schlocky exploitation movies.  In a recent podcast episode (The MFF Podcast #11: Sexually Transmitted Demons and Human Centipedes) we had a discussion about the line between such “art” and crap.


Yeah….I’m somewhat hesitant to call it art.  To quote my podcasting comrade, John Lasavath: “There’s a good chance this movie wasn’t made for you.”

3. Why is it that A Most Violent Year (2015) wasn’t very violent at all?

There was some violence, but nothing special and certainly nothing that made me wince.  Now Goodfellas (1990) had some violence; more than A Most Violent Year.  Perhaps we should name 1990 as a most violent year.  What about Eastern Promises (2007) or a History of Violence (2005)?  Both more violent.  Loads of movies were more violent than the one film with “most violent” in the title!  SMH

If we were to pick a single actor, say Arnold Schwarzenegger, we could find a more violent year than a Most Violent Year.  In 1984 Arnie did Conan the Destroyer and The Terminator.  Definitely a “more violent year.”  In 1987 he did The Running Man and Predator.  Also a more violent year; and with the violence taking place in the timeframe/setting of either movie clearly exceeding that of A Most Violent Year.  In fact, any year with an Arnold movie is indicative of more violence than the violence of A Most Violent Year.

Look, it was a good film.  I just strongly feel it should have had a very different title.

4. Is The Martian (2015) Matt Damon’s redemption for Interstellar (2014)?

I remember seeing Interstellar (2014) and thinking “Oh my God, that’s Matt Damon in that sleeping pod!?!”  I was wondering why oh why they wouldn’t put a glimmer of him in the trailer and why this was basically kept a secret from the everyday moviegoer.  But as I continued to watch and his character’s space madness and isolation-induced desperation was revealed, I was disgusted.  Make no mistake, Damon did a GREAT JOB with his Interstellar role.  It’s just that we were meant to hate his character, and he played his character well–so I hated him a lot.  After so often seeing him as the hero this was very clever from a filmmaking perspective.

But now Damon is getting another shot at being all alone on a planet for an extended period of time.  He better not get space madness again!  I hope he keeps a good attitude as he “sciences the shit” out of Mars and brings me the feel-good inspiration I felt with Apollo 13 (1995).  But, now having seen it, I can comfortably say that everything about the Martian was AMAZING!  The acting, script, effects, characters, story….everything.

5. What possessed the doll in Annabelle (2014)?

The story is very simple. A young soon-to-be doctor gets his pregnant wife a gift, an antique style doll for her collection.  She adores it.  After some random cultists randomly choose their home to invade the police dispatch the murderous satanic cultist assailants, the blood of a dying cultist coming in contact with the Annabelle doll and presumably completing some ritual opening a gateway for some other-worldly demonic spirit to possess the doll and use it as a conduit on its soul-procuring mission.  Later in the movie we see the ghost of the dead cultist lady haunting our protagonists.  But we also learn that the doll wants only what it “never had” and can only be given of free will: a soul.  But if it never had a soul, then Annabelle is possessed by an other-worldly demon and not the ghost of a cultist.  So WTF is going on in this movie!?!?!?!?!?!


6. How many times are we going to recreate the exact same scene?  The Poltergeist (2015) remake suggests at least 3.

Jenga!  The original Poltergeist boasted a startling scene in which the haunters stack things in the kitchen.  It sounds overly simple, but it was very effective and was delivered cleverly masked beneath Carol Ann’s playful connection to the spirits early in the story.  Rather than reproduce this, the 2015 remake decided to impossibly stack comic books to barricade the young boy from escape.  I can offer no more elaborate opinion than to simply say: it was dumb.


2015 tried to get needlessly clever with this scene.  I’d say it backfired.  This image has no place in this or any movie.

1982…perfect.  It made an unscary scene startling while demonstrating Carol Ann’s sensitivity to the spirits.

It was copycatted much better by Dark Skies (2013).

If you want to hear more about the remake, check out The MFF Podcast #16: Mad Max Fury Road and Poltergeist 1982 vs. 2015. We discuss the faults of the remake to no end!

7. When they shoot the It Follows (2015) ghost in the head and temporarily “kill it” why does it come back and why on Earth were they able to “kill it” temporarily in the first place?

Nope.  Nope.  Nope.  There is no good reason.  None.

Some questions in this world will never go answered.  That little story nugget did nothing for the plot but make us question its legitimacy.  That said, the film was overall GREAT and we praise it across the board in The MFF Podcast #11: Sexually Transmitted Demons and Human Centipedes.


8. How is it that Fifty Shades of Grey (2015) was not the sexiest or even BDSM-est movie of the year?


Don’t be curious.  The movie isn’t worth it.

I went in expecting something fun and walked out having endured an utter cinematic failure.  The romantic comedy (slash sex thriller) Exit to Eden (1994) had better nudity, BDSM attire, toys and even better dirty talk than Grey!  Considering that Exit to Eden (1994) starred Rosie O’Donnell and Dan Aykroyd, I’m gonna’ go ahead and say that’s pretty damning for Grey.


But then it occurred to me.  The dialogue, as inanely unrealistic as it is, fits perfectly to what I have realized to be the target demographic for this film: young adults.  And I’m stressing the word young here because the ins and outs of BDSM are explained as one would to a child…as if Dora the Explorer had stumbled across a “flogger” and a ballgag and then engaged in an educational repartee with stubby infant Grey.  It all seemed very UNcomplex, UNintense, UNnaughty, and one-dimensional; more like Three Shades of Grey.  The other Forty-Seven Shades, and many more in your 264 count Crayola pack, can be found in Lars von Trier’s Nymphomaniac (2013) films.  Now THAT film tested limits.  Whereas Grey’s almost saccharinely sensitive sex scenes were about as intense as Leo DiCaprio’s lovemaking in Romeo & Juliet (1996), Nymphomaniac truly tested limits.  They claimed that they toned down Grey’s the sex scenes to appease the MPAA rating board.  But I’m calling bullshit on that one.  In terms of ratings-testing sex, this film was a step above Pixar films.  Any drinking, drug-using teen having premarital sex in a horror movie is having raunchier sex than anything you’ll find here.  We get deep into this in our MFF Podcast Episode #8.


A line in the theme song “Love Me Like You Do” includes a common line “what are you waiting foooooor….?”  I was thinking this every time Grey was talking about his dungeon–or, as they called it in this dumbed down Saturday Cartoon of a bondage story, his “play room.”


Sex in the woods while in the middle of investigating some weird noises in the middle of the night?  Yes.  Steamier than anything in Fifty Shades of Grey.

Dorian and Anastasia’s romance were no more risqué than any sex scene between Jean-Claude Van Damme or Sly Stallone and their action movie love interest, and it tested fewer awkward sexual limits than an episode of SpongeBob Squarepants.


If you came for “sexy” then you’re in the wrong theater and I’d redirect you to almost any episode of Game of Thrones.


jabba shades of grey


3 Comments leave one →
  1. theipc permalink
    October 15, 2015 5:05 pm


    • John Leavengood permalink
      October 15, 2015 5:17 pm

      Thanks. What random stuff bugged you in the last year?

      • theipc permalink
        October 15, 2015 5:23 pm

        Well – the first thing that comes to mind is that a very feeble, feeble, English boy knows EXACTLY where to find the girl he loves – who doesn’t love him back – in the foreign frontier of the American Far West without even a letter and no telephones or telegraphs in Slow West (but I did love the movie).

        Also – True Detective Season 2.

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