Wednesday, March 31, 2010
Yes, that's right. You cant watch another dance-tastic coming of age movie now with eye-popping 3D moves.
Warning: the makers of this film are not responsible for headaches, self-inflicted eye gouging, vomiting, explosive diarrhea, any sudden violent or suicidal urges, or making you think you think any of the actors have any real talent.
Tuesday, March 30, 2010
Saturday, March 27, 2010
That being said, it must also be stated that Repo Men is not for everyone. If you gag at the sight of blood, have issues with watching someone have their liver sliced out, can’t stand the idea of Jude Law being anything other than a pretty boy, or are against healthcare reform then this movie is not for you. For you few action and gore geeks who like seeing someone get cut open without the protagonist singing about his love for a scalpel, check out Repo Men.
Jude Law and Forest Whitaker star in this gritty dystopian movie about a future where your shiny new spleen can be reposed if you don’t pay up in time. They shine, equal parts dysfunctional relationship, best friends, and gravedigger’s wit. They aren’t two guys I’d want on my tail if my pancreas payments were overdue. Their brilliant performances and hard edge fight scenes help plaster over the few plot holes and head scratcher moments. Like most sci-fi movies, there are a few things that make you scoff in disbelief and let you bask in your egotistical satisfaction that you know better than the scriptwriters.
The screenplay was, weirdly, based on a book that hadn’t been published yet. Repossession Mambo written by Eric Garcia, who also worked on the screenplay, hit bookstores in March of 2009. The book, as proven by Spooky Dan, takes more than a little from Repo! The Genetic Opera. This fact cannot be ignored but it’s up to you whether or not you’ll let it detract from Repo Men.
For me, this film will be going in my chest next to Doomsday and Slither as another blockbuster flop that I really liked.For Spooky Dan's comparison of the two go here.
From the kid that gave you every awkward teen romance of the last few years comes this. A love story that Geeks can finally relate to.
Go check out the comic book series it was based on, written by Bryan Lee O'Malley and published by Oni Press.
Friday, March 19, 2010
This is entirely to true. I pay very little attention to the Oscars when it comes Best Actor, Best Director, Best Movie and so on. I'm more interested in who won for the technical aspects (because I'm a Geek) and the movies I like never get chosen for anything. One day though, one day "Jesus Christ Vampire Hunter," will get the recognition it deserves and I will be there with a Jeep full of Atheists.
Thursday, March 18, 2010
Monday, March 15, 2010
We all remember The Ring and the irrational fear it gave us of soggy little girls crawling through our television screens. Based on the Japanese horror film Ringu, and made on a paltry $48 million budget, it raked in a tidy $249 million in revenue. With The Ring’s success, Hollywood realized they had a formula for success that they promptly began to squeeze for every last penny. What Hollywood forgot was that The Ring was successful due to its superb acting and its ability to creep us out with a nearly nil gore factor. The Asian horror market knows a thing or two about subtlety, patience, and good story telling. All things Hollywood lacks in buckets.
Let’s also define a “Flop,” here. “Flop,” being a word, and words being symbols for which we assign meanings, I’m defining a “Flop” as, “a movie making less than $50 million in profit and receiving a majority of negative over positive reviews.” For this reason, the Grudge (based on the Japanese Ju-on) will not be on this list. For, while it was negatively received, it also raked in $187 million in revenue, spawned a horrible sequel, and failed at making us afraid of half naked, meowing kids.
So, here are five Hollywood Flops as rated by Rotten Tomatoes and the Asian Horror movies they ripped off.
Budget: $30 million
Gross Revenue: $49 million
The original is directed by Hideo Nakata who also directed Ringu and its sequel. It again tries to make us afraid of a damp little girl, this time in a rain coat that dies in an apartment’s water tower. This is a movie that relies less on the terror of small children and more on the ineptitude of apartment maintenance.
The American remake follows closely its Japanese counterpart in plot about a troubled divorced mother moving into a rundown apartment building with her daughter. Creepy things happen making you wonder why they don’t just move like any sensible human being. The Japanese version is considered the scarier of the two though both are pretty tame. Dark Water doesn’t leave you with a lingering fear of baths and dripping ceilings, just mild irritation at handymen.
Gross Revenue: $40 million
A Tale of Two Sisters is easily one of the creepiest movies you will ever watch. The story is based on a popular South Korean folktale and follows two sisters, Su-Mi and Su-Yeong returning home after the mysterious death of their mother. You feel every ounce of tension in the house, every drop of malice between the sisters and step-mother, and the movie leave you with a lasting trepidation about furniture. Here is a ghost story at its very best, with a twist ending that will have you resetting your jaw after it drops to the floor.
The Uninvited in comparison attempts to fill in the massive plot holes and shoddy acting with pretty girls running around in their panties or bikinis. The ghost encounters are dry and the plot convoluted to the point of absurdity. While in the original the true horror laid in the warped family dynamics, in this movie the true horror lies in the fact they think you won’t see the twist ending a mile away.
Budget: $35 million
Gross Revenue: $72 million
Mirrors made us question Kiefer Sutherland’s mental state. Not his character’s, his, for agreeing to be in this film. This movie relied heavily on the gore and the fact that mirrors just scare the crap out of us at night. Into the Mirrors, on the other hand, is an interesting psychological thriller that is slickly made with high creep factor. It stars Oldboy’s Yu Ji-Tae who makes for a more complex character than Sutherland. Sutherland’s character has a drinking problem, just like every other cop in Hollywood.
Into the Mirror works on vengeful ghost and the idea of mirror worlds. It’s the debut work of director Kim Sung-ho whose cinematic technique keeps you guessing and on your toes throughout the movie. Meanwhile, Mirrors goes the demonic route that is both bizarre and slightly insulting. Sutherland actually kidnaps and kills a Nun in this movie. I feel stupid just writing that, how do you put that in a script let alone film it? This movie lacks the substance for you to really care about the characters and their plight so you end up cataloging Sutherland’s increasingly weird facial expressions instead.
Budget: $8 million (it shows)
Gross Revenue: $43 million
This movie is all about the wrong way to get out of a dysfunctional relationship. The American rendition takes the rough plot of the original and sets it in Japan. I don’t know why they did this as it seems a little insulting to the original Thai film. It makes you think the Hollywood producers don’t own a globe or any sense of cultural differences.
The film is thinly based on Ghost Photography, the idea of capturing spirits on film. The rest of the movie is predictable frights with bad gore and a wholly unnecessary ghost make out scene. In the end we find out this isn’t even a proper revenge tale but about a ghost with serious dependency issues. Then the dirty feeling sets in. So not are you cheated out of a good ghost story but you leave the theater looking at your significant other in a very wrong way.
Budget: $20 million
Gross Revenue: $45 million
Look at that again. One Missed Call didn’t receive a single Fresh review. It in fact takes Second on Rotten Tomatoes Worst of the Worst, rating just below 2002’s Ballistic: Ecks vs. Sever. It beats out both of the Larry the Cable Guy movies, that is how horrible this film is.
For starters, the entire movie looks like it was merchandized by Hot Topic. Everyone in this movie sleepwalks through their roles before getting in unimaginative and gore-tastic ways. Even the original Japanese version fails at making mobile phones scary because, well, it’s a mobile phone. The scariest thing you should get on those things is a heavy breather or a call for the IRS. So, for its ridiculous premise and one very boring ghost this movie goes down as the worse of the Asian remakes. Well, that and the zombie cuddle scene. Seriously, a zombie cuddle scene. Why, I ask you? WHY?!?
Saturday, March 13, 2010
Let’s make this quick.
Percy Jackson (Logan Lerman): Looks like he belongs in a High School Musical sequel.
Annabeth (Alexandra Daddario): Should age well.
Grover (Brandon T. Jackson): A satyr, meaning he’s half goat, which is creepy enough but he makes it more so.
Zeus (Sean Bean): Looks uncomfortable in a toga.
Poseidon (Kevin McKidd): Looks uncomfortable.
Hades (Steve Coogan): Can we have the whole movie about him?
Medusa (Uma Thurman): Runs an antique shop, I cannot tell you how weird this is.
Persephone (Rosario Dawson): Is not on screen nearly long enough.
Chiron (Pierce Brosnan): Is a centaur, enough said.
Plot: Thin, at best.
Dialogue: Insulting to the audience.
Moral: Gods make bad parents.
My opinion: Dear Hollywood, please stop. Seriously, please stop.
Friday, March 12, 2010
Yes, Adrien Brody and Laurence Fishburne star in the new Predators movie. Two names you totally don't relate to fighting a violent alien species are fighting a violent alien species. First reaction: WWWWWHHHHHHYYYYYYY??????
This movie answers the question of, “What’s better than Zombies? Nazi Zombies,!” This is the Zombie movie all us fans of the shuffling undead have been waiting for. It has everything you love and hate in a horror movie: A cast of off beat college students in a secluded wood cabin with no cell service; people calling out, “Hello, is anyone there?” before wandering off into the dark to be gruesomely killed; the classic “we have to split-up,” tactic that has proven so successful in past horror movies; sex followed by horrible death. Everything.
This movie lands another notch in the Zombie Comedy genre which has been so cult loved. It follows the trend setter Simon Pegg’s 2004 hit, “Shaun of the Dead,” and the James Gunn’s slimy underground classic, “Slither.” What these movies set in motion this movie has followed through with. The kills are more bloody, the situation more unbelievable, and everything just so awesome. The Zombies themselves are excellently executed. They don’t look like the painfully obvious makeup jobs of past movies. The blood is real looking and the things they do with intestines in this movie goes beyond anything I’ve seen. That includes the superglue evisceration fix up in “Dog Soldiers.”
Since this is a foreign film don’t expect it to hit any big theaters. If your town has some under funded art theater hidden behind a taco stand encourage them to pick this up. You will not want to miss the epic battle between an army of undead Nazi’s and one angry man with a chainsaw.
Sherlock Holmes returns with a big-budget makeover. While Holmes purists may find fault in this new grittier Holmes, I found it enjoyable. No, not enjoyable. What’s that other word? Oh yes, superbly awesome. Robert Downey Jr. takes off the Ironman suit to play a rougher, drunker Holmes. His portrayal of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s infamous detective gives the character a depth it’s not seen since he was treated for his cocaine addiction by Sigmund Freud in the 1976 movie, A Seven-Per-Cent Solution. Let’s be honest here. I’m a fan of Sherlock Holmes, it that little bit of random movie trivia didn’t tell you, but he’s become almost an archetype over the years. When you think of Holmes you think of a dourer, snuff sniffing, long faced man in black. He’s the prototype detective. Add severe OCD, you have Adrian Monk. Add two hundred pounds and a love of orchids, you have Nero Wolfe. You look at any lone private eye story and at the base of the character you have Sherlock Holmes. So, it was nice to see Holmes have flaws and a personality.
Likewise, Jude Law as Dr. Watson was refreshing and kick-ass. Long gone is the round, bumbling tagalong. This Watson holds his own against Holmes and his background as an army doctor finally comes to the forefront. This Watson doesn’t hang back making odd remarks but kicks down doors and handles a revolver like a true man of the military.
Holmes and Watson are at a rough time in their relationship. They have just finished the caper of Lord Blackwood (Mark Strong) and Watson is preparing to move out of the house on Baker Street and marry his sweetheart, Mary Morstan (Kelly Reilly). Holmes is taking this change in his life well, by drinking heavily and shooting holes in his wall. Don’t do cocaine kids. When he’s not revoking his security deposit on his apartment he’s ostracizing Watson’s fiancé and getting into underground boxing matches. Another little known fact that among Holmes repertoire of skills, is boxing. This is only one of the many small notes of authenticity to Sir Conan Doyle’s original work throughout the film.
The slump Holmes finds himself in is soon broken by the arrival of Irene Adler (Rachel McAdams), his potential love interest for the movie. She’s here to hire him for a new case, and that is the extent of her purpose in the movie. I thought her presence was unnecessary and her role could have easily been absorbed by others. She’s really there to abide the Hollywood rule that there must be a love interest in every movie. The plot progresses on with the rising of the presumed dead Lord Blackwood, and there is little else I can say without ruining the movie.
This is one of those films where you can’t trust the trailer. The trailer, for this particular movie, makes it look like Holmes is fighting against Cthulhu. This, thankfully (or sadly, depending on your views), is not the case. The movie stacks up to be a well crafted action mystery that won’t disappoint. Holmes does his classic deductions we’re all so fond of and at one point fights a man that looks like he could be a stand in for the Jolly Green Giant; a giant hammer wielding Jolly Green Giant.
Guy Ritchie I thought was an interesting choice as director. You may know him for his complex crime mysteries such as Snatch and Lock, Stock, and Two Smoking Barrels which require subtitles for you to understand all the Cockney slang. You see a little bit of those two movies in Sherlock Holmes. Richie knows how to direct a good action scene and doesn’t have the spastic editing sytle that Hollywood is so hard for these days.
The movie is worth the price of a ticket and a tub of popcorn, which with prices these days is saying a lot. As for you Baker Street Regulars, think of it this way: Sherlock Holmes is being introduced to a whole new generation of kids who might actually put down the game controller and pick up a book now. Which, considering my generation, is saying a lot to.