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Abbas Kobeissi

Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2

Full review.

Let’s get this out of the way: Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2 is nauseatingly awful. In fact, despite its big budget glean, Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2 is downright repugnant; to such a sensational extent that if aliens invaded our planet and found out that mankind had spent $30 million on such a colossal waste of time and resources, they’d have every right to immediately enslave us all without complaint. It’s the sort of film where you start to wonder if we peaked as a species back in the 1950s, and have now started our rapid decline that will ultimately end with cats, dogs and probably cheetahs joining together to take over the planet. The fact that I’ve already made two references to the end of civilization probably tells you a lot about my mind-set upon leaving Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2. Can you blame me though? This is what watching an elderly woman being killed by a milk truck for comedy can do to a man. 

Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2 is set 6 years after it’s original. And to put it mildly, Paul Blart has had a bad couple of years. Not only did his wife Amy (Jayma Mays) leave him six days into their marriage, but his mother was struck by the aforementioned milk truck and died in front of their house. This leaves Paul in New Jersey with his daughter Maya Blart (Raini Rodriguez), who, unbeknownst to him, has been accepted into UCLA and is planning on moving across the country to study there.

Paul Blart thinks that his luck is about to change, though, as he’s just been invited to a security officers’ convention in Las Vegas, where he confidently predicts he will give the keynote speech. Not only is he wrong with that assumption, but after a huge fight, Maya reveals that she plans on moving to Los Angeles. To compound matters, Paul embarrasses himself in front of the head of security, and is then randomly attacked and mauled by a bird. Thank God, then, that Maya and her new pal Lane (David Henrie) are kidnapped by the dastardly villain Vincent (Neal McDonough), who is trying to steal a vast collection of hotel art, which gives Paul Blart a shot at redemption.

Well, its final action scene boils down to two opposing women duking it out, both of which use two distinctively different styles to battle. Plus, Maya excels while captured, in comparison to Lane who pathetically fails. One character, Divina (Daniella Alonso), develops a crush on Paul because she is able to look past his repulsive qualities and see his heroic ones. Plus Amy left Paul at the start of the movie (the most sensible decision any girl can make), and I’m going to assume that Paul Blart’s mother jumped in front of the milk truck because she was thoroughly ashamed to even be associated with the character.

Other than that, everything else about Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2 is hideous. But you already knew that, though. In fact, you’ve probably either already dismissed Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2, or had fun at the wave of amusing reviews that have been written at its expense. So if you find yourself in front of a screen where Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2 is playing you really only have yourself to blame.

Mad Max: Fury Road

A full review

With so many remakes and sequels these days, I didn’t really think a fourth Mad Max movie was needed but this one is a hypnotizing ride of non-stop action and imaginative weirdness from the beginning to the end. This is a movie that doesn’t try to be anything more than it is, an action movie. It is a celebration of action films of the bizarre post-apocalyptic kind. This vision of a tribal desert society that worships a severe god-like ruler is similar to the earlier Mad Max films.

In the earlier films which all are directed by George Miller, the desert marauders were basically scavengers looking for gasoline. In this film, they seem to have developed a self-sustaining society in the desert, complete with water pumped from wells and a kind of hydroponic garden for food, although it doesn’t look like it could possibly sustain the population density shown.

There are indications that the society is sick. One character seems to exist on blood transfusions from Max, played by Tom Hardy of “The Dark Knight Rises”. Another character is deformed. The ruler of “The Citadel” wears some sort of breathing device featuring a terrifying face mask.

As in all the Mad Max films, the vehicles are an important part of the story. In this film, the vehicles are even weirder, from big trucks to motorcycles, most driven by people who think they are going to Valhalla if they die in battle, and they do love to battle, especially after huffing chrome spray paint. These cats are crazy, man.

On one big truck, there is a guy standing on a platform in front with a double-necked guitar that also shoots flame, playing rock and roll while the truck goes into battle. In the back of the same truck are a bunch of Taiko drummers banging away. Some vehicles have long poles attached with men hanging on to the ends of the pole, swinging way back and forth to attack other vehicles.

In some of the road warrior scenes, spears with explosives are used to kill people and disable vehicles. In one scene, guys on motorcycles jump like Evel Knievel over cars and trucks, while hurling hand grenades downward. Max and Furiosa and others shoot the flying motorcyclists out of the air.

The people of The Citadel look strange in the film, many of them appear to be painted a ghostly white. The vehicles are also very strange, as if someone had turned a madman with a wild imagination loose in a junk yard with welding equipment. Reportedly, a lot of this stuff was made with parts from junkyards. In one scene, a big guy pulls a supercharger, and a big hunk of the engine, apart from the rest of the engine with his bare hands.

The movie is like a continuous chase scene, with lots of gunfire, explosions and fist fights. It isn’t really believable and it doesn’t really make a lot of sense, either, but it is fascinating to watch. It is a real spectacle. I couldn’t take my eyes off the screen.

While the story makes no sense on many levels, it does make sense in terms of interpersonal relationships. The main characters make sense, and they do develop relationships with each other that change over the course of the film. It is these dynamic, striving characters that kept me glued to the screen. The action is amazing, but the characters, and their emotional journey, that’s the heart of the movie. 

Famafox: Social Media Site

Complete Review.

Dayton Tech and founder Charlie Carroll launches the new app and website, Famafox. Famafox is an anonymous social media app were people can ask questions and random people around the country can answer or comment. Famafox and similar apps are popular because they allow members to share their opinions on any topic. Famafox separates itself because it uses a new process called qualified anonymity. To get an account started, users need to get a minimum of 10 friends to rate them on a group of positive statements. The rating system Famafox uses, qualified anonymity, shows other users how well a commenter is favorited by other users. This reputation goes on as it is continually updated as users are rated after every comment.