Tuesday 29 Jul

Power Pyramid - The God Drums

Power Pyramid doesn’t have much patience for nonsense. That appears to be the takeaway from the Oklahoma City quintet’s last 10 months, which brought The God Drums in September, the Insomnia EP in January and its latest, self-titled effort in July.

07/29/2014 | Comments 0

TJ Mayes - "When Love Comes Down"

’50s era rock ’n’ roll had been long overdue for a rebirth. Thankfully, the stockpile of capable luminaries has not been in short supply over the past few years. 

07/23/2014 | Comments 0

Boare - "playdatshit"

The world is in the midst of an electronic music renaissance, and you find most of this boon of producers laying claim to the club-friendly, bass-dropping variety, holing up in the the free-flowing world of hip-hop beatmaking or pitching their tent on the out-there, boundary-pushing EDM camp.
07/23/2014 | Comments 0

Broncho - "Class Historian"

Broncho has never been hurting in the hook department. The success of the trio’s 2011 debut, Can’t Get Past the Lips, was predicated mostly on its ability to marry melodies with kinetic guitar riffs and anarchic energy. Yet we’ve heard nothing to the degree of pure pop catchiness on display in “Class Historian,” the new single from Broncho’s upcoming sophomore album, Just Enough Hip to Be Woman.
07/23/2014 | Comments 0

Manmade Objects - Monuments

No one wants to be forgotten; everyone wants some sort of legacy, a mark they leave behind as they exit this life for whatever lies beyond.

And for as long as there has been death, there have been monuments — whether austere or understated, abstract or concrete, prominent or tucked away in private — erected by the ones they loved to assure that remembrance, at least for a time.
07/15/2014 | Comments 0
Home · Articles · Music · Music · Despite its A-list cast and...

Despite its A-list cast and awesome comic potential, 'Jonah Hex' is vexingly bad

Mike Robertson June 24th, 2010

It's difficult, if not impossible, to predict whether a movie will be good or bad. Sometimes you hear about a movie that just sounds stupid ("Avatar" comes to mind), and then it makes a billion dollar...

It's difficult, if not impossible, to predict whether a movie will be good or bad. Sometimes you hear about a movie that just sounds stupid ("Avatar" comes to mind), and then it makes a billion dollars.

And then sometimes a movie has an OK premise and reputable actors, but turns out to be the equivalent of a bloated possum corpse wedged in a storm drain.

"Jonah Hex" actually sounded kind of interesting. It probably was never going to be great, but it could've been entertaining in a goofy sort of way. Instead, it turned out like " well, like a bloated possum corpse wedged in a storm drain.

Set in 1876, "Jonah Hex" is based on a DC Comics character from the early 1970s. In his original incarnation, Hex was just a typical Western gun for hire with a horrific facial scar he got after being banished from his adopted Apache tribe.

In the movie, Hex (Josh Brolin, "Milk") has a facial scar, but its origins are Quentin Turnbull (John Malkovich, "Burn After Reading"), Hex's former confederate commander in the Civil War. During the war, Turnbull took to murdering civilians, a practice Hex couldn't stomach. For his "treason," Turnbull makes Hex watch while he murders his family, and then brands his face.

Close to death, Hex is nursed back to life by a tribe of magical American Indians. They use their powerful "medicine" to heal him, which has unintended consequences. Hex comes away with the ability to animate the dead by touching them, which gives him an information-gathering edge. Hex didn't originally have any supernatural superpowers, so one can only assume the writers stole this idea from the now-defunct "Pushing Daisies." While that wouldn't have been so bad in itself, the device is underused, and barely serves the plot.

After a number of years, Hex is informed by Lt. Grass (the improbably cast and totally misused Will Arnett, "When In Rome") that Turnbull is planning to use a super-weapon for some kind of terrorist operation. Joined by Lilah (Megan Fox, "Jennifer's Body"), his Whore with the Heart of Gold, Hex sets out to stop Turnbull and revenge his family.

It's difficult to pinpoint exactly what went wrong with this movie. It has Brolin and Malkovich, a pair that should have been able to anchor even the most unhinged script. There are better leading ladies than Fox, but she's far from the worst.

The most likely culprit is director Jimmy Hayward, whose only other credit is "Horton Hears a Who!," which isn't the greatest example of storytelling prowess, either. Whoever is at fault, "Jonah Hex" suffers from a bad case of narrative randomness. It's as if the movie was much longer, but was chopped down to a spare 80 minutes by what could only be a coked-out studio executive.

Whatever. It's really just so half-assed that it doesn't even bear much scrutiny. Not to mention the whole "magic Indian" thing is offensive, clichéd, pointless and lazy. As a punishment, the writers and Hayward should be donkey punched by Sergio Leone's ghost. "Mike Robertson
  • Currently 3.5/5 Stars.
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