Monday, May 28, 2012

Captain Kronos: Vampire Hunter

***DISCLAIMER*** The following review is entirely my opinion. If you comment (which I encourage you to do) be respectful. If you don't agree with my opinion, that's fine. To each their own. I am just sharing my opinions and perspective. Finally, the reviews are given on a scale of 1-5. 1, of course, being terrible. 2, being not great. 3, being okay. 4, being good and 5, being epic!

Captain Kronos:  Vampire Hunter - 1 out of 5

Vampire hunter?  More like vampire...um...what's synonymous with "boring" and rhymes with "hunter?" 

Captain Kronos:  Vampire Hunter is a 1974 film about a expert swordsman (according to all online synopsizes) who--you guessed it, hunts vampires.  The film follows the hunter and his hunchbacked assistant who arrives in a small village that is under attack.  Young women are having their youth taken from them by the unholy beasts of the night...or, in this case, the day because these aren't your Hollywood vampires in classy capes and pale faces.  No, these vampires are your really old school types that existed in myths before Bram Stoker came along.  These vampires aren't out for blood and don't suck on the necks, they are out for the youth in order to keep themselves young and pretty.  So, these vamps can move around in the daylight...and thankfully, DON'T sparkle in the sun.

Meet Captain Kronos...at least he has great hair.

With all these young girls growing old from the devil's kiss from the vamps, it's up to Kronos to stop them and find out where the vamps are coming from.  What follows is...well...just boring.  Reading the forums on IMDb.com, it seems this movie has a cult following and some people really dig the adventure of Kronos in this film but I was bored silly.  This would be the part where those who post on IMDb say I don't know anything about what it takes to make a good story and that I need explosions to be entertained but that's not really the case.

Is that a young Tom Waits?

Why didn't this movie work for me?  Several reasons.  Number one being the film does very little to make the vampires threatening.  For a majority of the film, in order to keep the mystery of who the vamps are, you only see the vamps from behind and they are always wearing dark cloaks to conceal their identities.  Okay, that's fine but there's was nothing threatening about them as you never actually see a true attack on one of the young girls, it's all hinted to.  That's fine too because some movies create drama that way but when the attacks have no lead up to build tension, these scenes come off as sloppy and silly.

I'm pretty sure that man's face is made of Silly Putty.

Next, the film moves along at a snail's pace with no real character development.  The only thing we really learn about Kronos (other than a small, post-coital pillow talk with a girl he saves early in the film that offers a small glimpse of backstory) is what we read on the film's synopsis.  We learn he's this great swordsman but you never really see it...until the final moments of the film where the supposed "epic battle" comes raging on the screen.  And by "raging on the screen," I mean lackadaisically wanders onto set and by "epic battle," I mean two dudes who don't look very comfortable holding swords flopping around who seem that, at any second, are going to drop the swords and begin a slapping fight.

And this is Kronos' hunchback assistant...I have no joke to accompany this caption.

The only thing I found comforting about Captain Kronos:  Vampire Hunter is that the movie proves that bad films about vampires isn't a new thing and we can stop blaming Stephanie Myers for destroying the genre.  This movie proves that vampire fiction has (preemptive apology for the unintentional pun) always sucked.  Stephanie Myers just took a weak genre and made it sparkle.

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Henry's Crime

***DISCLAIMER*** The following review is entirely my opinion. If you comment (which I encourage you to do) be respectful. If you don't agree with my opinion, that's fine. To each their own. I am just sharing my opinions and perspective. Finally, the reviews are given on a scale of 1-5. 1, of course, being terrible. 2, being not great. 3, being okay. 4, being good and 5, being epic!

Henry's Crime - 3 out of 5

Henry's Crime is a romantic comedy heist film about a guy (Henry) who is framed in a bank robbery and ends up paying the price by serving hard time.  After he is released, he decides he going to actually go through with the crime he paid for and rob the bank.  Along the way, he falls in love with an actress trying to make it big (that's where the romantic comes into in this comedy heist).  And did I mention that Keanu Reeves plays Henry?  That's right...this is a romcom that stars Neo from The Matrix.

"Whoa."

We all love Keanu Reeves...it's okay, you can admit it.  We don't love him because of his acting abilities because, let's face it, he's not an amazing actor but he seems like a decent dude.  Other than fact it appears he can't age, he seems like the kind of guy who would help you move and genuinely seemed excited to do so.  He seems like the guy who would be more than welcome to lend you 20 bucks when you needed it and would call you up out of the blue to go and have lunch for no other reason than to hang out with you.  Also, despite all his years of acting, he still hasn't let his surfer voice go the way of the dodo and, believe it or not, I don't want it to go away.  Maybe it's just me and there's the very real possibility that I could be wrong, but Keanu seems like he'd be a nice guy and this movie plays well off that preconcieved notion.

"I'm smiling...also...Whoa."

Henry is your stereotypical nice guy--He goes to jail for a crime he didn't commit and didn't bother selling out his friends who left him to get raped in the slammer, for crying out loud.  After going to prison, he befriends his cellmate (Max Saltzman) who is a "lifer" in the prison game--a guy who has settled into the life in the iron cage and doesn't want to leave, he even blows his parole hearings in order to remain under lock and key.  James Caan plays this lifer and in comes the strongest part of the film:  The pairing of Reeves and Caan.  These two show actual chemistry on screen and come off well as the unlikely pair of friends.

Even Caan looks skeptical of how well the pairing of him and Reeves worked.

After Henry is released from prison, he discovers that one can access the vault of the bank he didn't actually rob from the theater next door and decides he going to go through with the crime he was convicted of but didn't actually do.  He convinces Max to ace his parole and get out of jail to help him and the two enter into a caper...with Henry falling in love with one of the eccentric actresses in the theater; Julie (played by Vera Farmiga).

"Whoa."  (This time with goatee)

Henry's Crime isn't perfect but it isn't terrible.  The film's heist isn't too complicated but it works.  The comedy isn't of the laugh out loud variety but it's never painful to sit through.  And seeing Keanu and Vera playing playful lovers smitten with each other doesn't work the best but it's still passable.  Overall, the movie itself is just that:  passable.  It's never amazing but never terrible at the same time.  It works as a movie to help pass the time when the voices in your head are arguing, waiting to save up enough cash to finally pay off your loan sharks and it helps to kill the time between the times you are rejected by the ladies (or maybe all three of those examples if you're me).

Henry's Crime isn't a movie that you'll come back to but if you want to give it a shot, there's literally thousands of worse films you can choose.  Keanu and James Caan work well together (something I never thought I would say) and the story is just good enough to be fun without dragging and becoming a film you wished would walk into traffic.  The premise offers promises of hilarity that it doesn't fully live up to but doesn't completely disappoint either.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

The Amityville Haunting

***DISCLAIMER*** The following review is entirely my opinion. If you comment (which I encourage you to do) be respectful. If you don't agree with my opinion, that's fine. To each their own. I am just sharing my opinions and perspective. Finally, the reviews are given on a scale of 1-5. 1, of course, being terrible. 2, being not great. 3, being okay. 4, being good and 5, being epic!

The Amityville Haunting - 1 out of 5

Imagine if The Amityville Horror and Paranormal Activity made disgusting love and had a baby...now image that baby is filled with no effort, no story, no plot and no semblance of acting and you have yourself The Amityville Haunting!  A movie that sets the bar even lower for the "found footage" genre...and let's face it, that bar was already set pretty low.

Get used to this scene...it's 90% of the film.

Produced and released The Asylum, a company known for making direct-to-DVD films that are, basically, B-movie versions of bigger budget films--although since this movie is an unholy mash-up of The Amityville Horror and Paranormal Activity, there wasn't much budget in the "bigger budget" part of their ripoffs.  Knowing this going in and knowing that it was a "found footage" film, my expectations were very low, nearly nonexistent.  The only think I can say walking away from this one is the fact it keeps the track record for the "found footage" genre being the shittiest genre to ever be created.

The kid by the patio doors is suppose to be a ghost but, let's face it, ghost
effects are expensive.  It's just cheaper to put the kid in a white shirt...
because white sheets also cost money.

Remember The Amityville Horror (drink every time I saw Amityville)?  Supposedly based on true events, the book told a tale of a some paranormal activities surround the Lutz family.  The book sold like wildfire because of smart marketing with the claim it was real (I say it was a claim because too much evidence has come out to prove otherwise).  The book went on to inspire a movie franchise and a remake starring the Green Lantern himself; Ryan Reynolds.  This film is the tenth to be inspired by the book but to say this movie was inspired is just plain bullshit.  It's a movie from The Asylum...the correct expression would have to be this movie is just trying to capitalize on an already established work without offering any real creativity in the process.

So, the story goes as follows, the events in the book were real and now ghosts are haunting the house and no one is willing to stay there for more than a month or two.  Along comes the Bensons, a military family, who gets the house at a steal (you gotta move those haunted homes in this economy).  Weird things start right off the bat including the realtor dying of an aneurism and a mover falling down the steps and breaking his neck but these events don't really bother the family very much--in fact, they are barely a hiccup in the moving process.  As the days start to go by, doors open by themselves and...well, actually that's about all the ghost does.  It was like the filmmakers behind this one saw the three times the demon closed doors in Paranormal Activity and said, "Yeah, we can do more!"

The Dad went all out on this security system.  In case they're robbed, they won't
be able to tell who robbed him.  BRILLIANT!!!

The youngest daughter of the family starts to form an imaginary friend which is, not surprisingly, one of the ghosts and all the while the father becomes more and more paranoid and the mother more and more oblivious.  The father puts in a security system, including cameras (but forgets to get the kind that have night-vision) and the hauntings start to escalate to levels of door closing the likes of which no film has ever seen.  Now, at this point you are probably asking where the "found footage" part of this film takes place.  As if the contrived plot devices to get the documentation in the other gimmick films out there was too complicated for the filmmakers of this one, they decide to just have a son in the family be obsessed with using a camcorder...and that's it--way to think beyond Thunderdome there, filmmakers!

The fact the screen of my TV didn't shatter from a meeting with my fist every time this
kid talked is a testament to the anger management classes I am taking.

All the usual "found footage" cliches fill up every second of the film...like the filmmakers were playing "found footage" bingo or something.  There's literally no scares in the movie--at least not ones that someone could actually find scary because the "scares" are so predictable that you are bored with them a full minute before they arrive.  Also, as if trying to outdo Paranormal Activity on a front that doesn't include demons closing and/or opening doors, they took the terrible acting seen in that entire franchise and said, "We can do worse."  And boy did they!  To even call the cast actors is an insult to even the worst actor (Sam Worthington).   "Ron, is it really that bad?"  Yes, quoted line of dialogue meant to imply a one-on-one with whoever is reading this, it is that bad.  Hell, try and control your laughter when the Dad goes off the deep end in the last ten minutes and try to convince yourself you are not watching a guy trying to audition for a Monty Python reunion.

And apparently the son is a pervert trying to get naked video of his sister.

The only truly remarkable things about The Amityville (drink) Haunting is the fact that two constants are seen:  Number 1)  The Asylum continues it's record of making the worst ripoff films in the world and Number 2) the lack of creativity in an American "found footage" film continues it's streak of one-dimensional, gimmicky crap.

Eaten Alive

***DISCLAIMER*** The following review is entirely my opinion. If you comment (which I encourage you to do) be respectful. If you don't agree with my opinion, that's fine. To each their own. I am just sharing my opinions and perspective. Finally, the reviews are given on a scale of 1-5. 1, of course, being terrible. 2, being not great. 3, being okay. 4, being good and 5, being epic!

Eaten Alive - 2 out of 5

Fresh off the success of the groundbreaking horror film The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, Tobe Hooper brought nearly the same formula of gore and screaming to a little film called Eaten Alive.  The story is about a homicidal man named Judd who owns a dilapidated hotel...and a crocodile.  Well, this crazy man likes to kill people and feed them to his little pet.

Is Judd's hotel on Mars?

There's really not much story going on here but most slasher horror films don't offer much meat (no pun intended) in their stories.  Basically people come in to Judd's hotel, he kills them and his croc gets dinner.  Sure there's a glimmer of story as the movie opens with Judd killing a runaway turned prostitute and her family is trying to locate her but, for the most part, people just seem to wander into Judd's place like they just escaped a mental institution.  Why a mental institution?  Because most of the people that arrive at the croc's feeding ground are about as mentally stable as Judd himself.  That's right, this movie has victims that are just as bat shit crazy as the killer...and Neville Brand (Judd) plays this role wildly crazy!

"You can't find my daughter?  My mustache is concerned with this."
"I'm sorry, sir...I can't hear you over my eyebrows."


Was there ever a point in Robert Englund's life where
he didn't look like a creepy rapist?
This movie has all the makings of being an absolutely terrible film...and it is.  But it is such a wild ride in its terrible presentation that makes it something unique to watch.  Brand's portrayal of Judd is fun to take in but to see potential victims attempt to out-crazy him seems so out-of-place that it makes the film feel like it's from another world.  In typical Hooper fashion, the film is filled with almost nothing but screams (seriously, I don't remember any dialogue in The Texas Chainsaw Massacre) only taking breaks for breath before the screams of murder start again.  However, this is expected because of who was at the helm and the subject matter of this movie.  What makes this movie truly something capable of creating a drug trip without the actual ingestion of drugs is the mixing of screams to some of the strangest sound-effects I've ever heard put on an audio track.  Sounds will bombard you that can only be described as people farting into a microphone and people smashing guitars into industrial fans.  And when all this is combined together into one film, you have something that is either amazing or too horrifying for words.

Great creature effects.  That croc looks so real.

Believe it or not, the film isn't that violent--at least not by today's standards.  However, it's the strange presentation that Hooper delivers that makes this movie something to take in.  It's nothing like his other work, both past and present.  The movie has the makings to give the viewer a headache but if you can push past the aneurism forming in your brain, you might find the film entertaining in that it is something so different despite the straight forward story the movie promises.   In fact, it's is so wild with it's strange audio and performances that one can easily overlook that bad puppet that is suppose to be the crocodile.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Ken Park

***DISCLAIMER*** The following review is entirely my opinion. If you comment (which I encourage you to do) be respectful. If you don't agree with my opinion, that's fine. To each their own. I am just sharing my opinions and perspective. Finally, the reviews are given on a scale of 1-5. 1, of course, being terrible. 2, being not great. 3, being okay. 4, being good and 5, being epic!

Ken Park - 1 out of 5

In the United States, the only time this movie got to see any form of release (and that doesn't include illegal DVD rips floating around the internet) was in 2002 at the Telluride Film Festival.  Since then, according to the one of the film's directors Larry Clark, they were unable to get the musical releases needed to release the film.  That sounds like a good excuse.

This movie starts with a bang...and my review starts with a bad pun.

Ken Park isn't much different from Larry Clark's other familiar work; Kids.  Written by Harmony Korine (who based it off of Clark's journals and stories), the film is centered around the sudden and unexpected suicide of a high school kid named Ken Park.  Ken really has no part to play in the film other than a way to start the movie and a poorly developed construct used to introduce the story's main players; a group of four kids who all knew Park.  Each kid is royally messed up in the head as one is sleeping with his girlfriend's mother, another is a sexually promiscuous girl stuck with a overly protective and extremely religious father, another is a sexual deviant (I'm sensing a pattern here) who is extremely disrespectful to his grandparents who are raising him and the final one lives with a father who believes he is gay and is mentally abusive to him.

Wait...is this a biopic on Michael Hutchence?

If you've seen any of the works by Harmony Korine--works like Kids, Gummo and Mister Lonely--this movie isn't going to look much different.  All his usual themes of impoverished teens who seek refuge in sex and drugs is here.  In fact, the only real difference between this movie and Kids is the fact it doesn't take place in the streets of New York.  Now this is going to upset the film student crowds who worship Clark and Korine as gods in the movie world but this film isn't worth it.  It tries to be artistic and deep but when it feels more like a weak sequel or even a reboot of another film that saw these two work together, how creative can it be?

With all the weird nudity in this film, it was hard to find stills to use in this review.

The movie, with it's obvious weak story and plot, decides to shock you with extremely (and extremely isn't a strong enough word) vivid sex scenes that stop short of showing actual penetration.  I'm no prude but this emphasis on sex and male nudity seemed less about art and more about trying to distract the audience to it's lack of characters and story so that the most pretentious of all student filmmakers can say they loved the film so that they don't feel like they didn't "get it."

That's Bill Fagerbakke, the voice of Patrick Star in SpongeBob SquarePants.
Even he looks shocked he's in this movie.

But the reality is, there's nothing to get with Ken Park.  The film is flat on all sides and cliches are all abound--despite Clark's attempts to hide them with lots of shots of penises.  The actors all involved come off as if there were uninterested--that is until the younger members of the cast have their sex scenes and even then, their interest level only seemed to go up by a small percentile.  In the end, Ken Park is one of those films that movie snobs love and will say that I hated it because I don't "understand it" but when your film comes off as a lack of effort with every second that passes, what I don't get is why did the production bother to continue to make it.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Basket Case 2

***DISCLAIMER*** The following review is entirely my opinion. If you comment (which I encourage you to do) be respectful. If you don't agree with my opinion, that's fine. To each their own. I am just sharing my opinions and perspective. Finally, the reviews are given on a scale of 1-5. 1, of course, being terrible. 2, being not great. 3, being okay. 4, being good and 5, being epic!

Basket Case 2 - 1 out of 5

A long while back, I reviewed an old comedy/horror film called Basket Case.  The film was about a boy who had a conjoined twin that was...kinda deformed and evil, so his father decided to separate them and toss the deformed half into the garbage.  Despite all logic, the little guy survived and the two brothers sought retribution on those who separated them.  Why's it called Basket Case?  Because the non-deformed brother kept the deformed one in a basket...duh.

This handsome man is the deformed brother!

The man behind the film made the claim that the movie was suppose to be a dark comedy but after watching it, I cried shenanigans because it felt like he was trying to make something serious but a lack of a budget and poor production value made him turn around and say, "um...yeah, I meant it to be a comedy all along."  Kind of like when Tommy Wiseau retconned the movie The Room and tried to claim he was making a comedy the whole time and not the worst film ever made (although it is pretty awesome bad movie).

And this is the non-deformed one...who has a look on his face like he just watched
the movie he was in.

Unbeknownst to me, there was two sequels to this annoying, but entertainingly bad, movie.  This time around, the two brothers are saved by a woman who has a avid interest in freaks and seeks to make an environment where they can be safe from the ridicule of the world.  Duane, the non-deformed brother, decides he wants to have a normal life while Belial, the deformed one if you're not good at the process of elimination, is starting to feel at home with the other freaks that lives in the house and even falls in love with a creature that is much like him...director Frank Henenlotter even treats us to a sex scene of these two lovelies.  However, Duane is quick to find out that a normal life might not be something within his grasp.

Did I just accidentally put The Garbage Pail Kids Movie into my DVD player and not know it?

Unlike the first film, this movie is leaps and bounds better on the production scale as there is some money behind it.  The awful audio, bad acting and horrible editing and special effects are replaced with decent editing, good audio and better practical effects...the bad acting still remains.  However, there's not much of a story going on here--well, there is one but it's sloppy as B-stories are added in of the matriarch of the freak house getting revenge on sideshow freak attractions and the freaks getting their own revenge on some people trying to find and harm Duane and Belial.  There's no real balance of what is going on in the story but that might have to do with the fact that the studio and Henelotter wanted different films and ended up compromising on what was put out.

Wait a second...is that a freak version of the Mythbusters' Jamie Hyneman in the
right corner there?


The film is qualified as a comedy/horror but nothing about it is really funny and it's certainly not scary.  The first one has some redeeming qualities because it was really poorly made and, because of that, makes it entertaining to watch and laugh at but this movie doesn't even have that.  The movie just seems to be lazily put together and doesn't even offer much of an ending.  Instead, this movie just gives you an hour and a half WTF feeling.

The Pixar Story

***DISCLAIMER*** The following review is entirely my opinion. If you comment (which I encourage you to do) be respectful. If you don't agree with my opinion, that's fine. To each their own. I am just sharing my opinions and perspective. Finally, the reviews are given on a scale of 1-5. 1, of course, being terrible. 2, being not great. 3, being okay. 4, being good and 5, being epic!

The Pixar Story - 5 out of 5

Mine?
I'm a big fan of Pixar's work.  Ever since they burst onto the scene with Toy Story, I've been a fan of what they've accomplished.  Not only have they constantly, and consistently, proven to be one the most technologically wondrous animation organizations but they've also shown a deeper level of emotional content, story and character that has never been seen in the world of animated films.  Every movie they make keeps breaking records and continues their performance marker of outdoing themselves.  Each movie from Monsters, Inc. to Wall-E to Finding Nemo has shown that Pixar isn't like their parent company Disney.  They don't seek to rehash fairy tales that were old when the Brothers Grimm first wrote them down.  Instead, Pixar sought (and continues to seek) original tales that defy the imagination and become an experience that the entire family can enjoy.

Seeing how Pixar convinced Tom Hanks to do the voice of Woody for Toy Story is one
of the best moments of the doc as the Pixar team animated the Cowboy Toy to a scene
from Turner & Hooch and instantly convinced Hanks to get involved in the project.



I know everyone hates Lucas but how can you hate the
guy who gave us Star Wars and helped give us Pixar?
 The Pixar Story is a documentary that came out in 2007 and shows the evolution of the animation giants from their humble beginnings to their incredible gambles on making animated movies to their rise as the savior's of Disney.  Narrated by Stacy Keach, the film shows how a couple of young and hungry animators disillusioned with Disney as the company hit one of its many animation droughts (and Disney has had a lot of them) began to look into the world of computers for the future of animation.  A familiar filmmaker you may have heard of--a man named George Lucas (he made a little independent film that went on to become a pop culture empire and my drug of choice; Star Wars) ended up teaming with these young animators and engineers to create a software division to his movie empire when Lucas realized that the digital medium was the future of movie making.  With the help of this young Pixar, digital editing became possible and new software was created to assist in new, sparkly digital computer effects for films and the wide-eyed, bushy tail Pixar got to show its skills in the iconic scene that left filmmakers scratching their heads as they made a stained glass figure come to life in Young Sherlock Holmes.


The documentary continues to show how George Lucas went on to sell the company to a young Steve Jobs who saw the potential for Pixar's future and invested an unprecedented amount of cash to get the company up and running and how it eventually went on to be saved by Disney, only to have it, ironically, end up saving the House Built by a Mouse.

John Lasseter...one of the men who was there since the beginning.


Steve Jobs when he was chubbier...and still alive.
Documentaries are always difficult to review because they're not your typical film.  I can't say that John Lasseter (animator and director of Toy Story) is a bad actor because he's a real guy telling the real story of his journey.  I can't say that the special effects are unconvincing because there are none.  Sure a documentary can have bad technical elements like editing, sound, etc. but, at the heart of it, what makes a documentary is the content.  I've seen my fair share of poorly made documentaries that, despite the lack of decent equipment, showed a good story and became very entertaining.  However, The Pixar Story doesn't lack in any department.  The doc is put together quite well as it shows the interesting rise of a company that is all but Gods in the world of animation as it integrates clips of their films, interviews with all who participated in the inception of it all and old home camera clips, behind the scene footage and old photographs.  With Stacy Keach's eloquent narration steering the helm of this ship, The Pixar Story is an informative and fun documentary that shows us how we, the audiences of the world, were given the gift of awesomeness from a company that revolutionized the way we see animated films.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Battleship

***DISCLAIMER*** The following review is entirely my opinion. If you comment (which I encourage you to do) be respectful. If you don't agree with my opinion, that's fine. To each their own. I am just sharing my opinions and perspective. Finally, the reviews are given on a scale of 1-5. 1, of course, being terrible. 2, being not great. 3, being okay. 4, being good and 5, being epic!

Battleship - 1 out of 5

You sunk my battleship...and faith in humanity alongside it.

Battleship.  A popular board game that entertained me as a child but never screamed out the potential to be a phoned-in generic popcorn action film.  But the elites in Hollywood's golden towers, under the belief that all people are stupid and will swallow the shitty entertainment that is shoved down our throats (and before you point it out that I actually shelled out cash to see it, let me remind you that someone has to take the bullet), hired two dudes to write the weakest script that the product placement money from Coke Zero could buy and made a story to a game that never actually had a story.  At least Clue had some backstory to its characters!

As if on a dare, Battleship brings in every action film cliche and it starts off with a bang on its story...an alien invasion--my favorite part of the game that never actually existed in the game.  Our world builds a big satellite to send a message to a planet much like our own and they respond...by invading and closing off Hawaii in a energy shield.  Navy ships trapped within the dome are forced to fight for their lives against an alien invader that looks suspiciously like Master Chief and the Orbital Drop Shock Troopers from the Halo franchise...and then you know the rest...and that's the last time the film makes any real sense.

Rihanna, please do me a favor:  NEVER ACT AGAIN!!!

When I walked into the theater to this one, I expected it to be bad--in fact, I kinda hoped it would be at least a decent, mediocre popcorn action film--but I wasn't prepared for how bad this film would get.  The film never truly explains (but hinted to) the motivation behind what the aliens are doing and, admittedly, isn't a bad thing but the problem is, the aliens seem to be mentally challenged as they flip-flop from being gentle to needlessly violent.  Okay, I get it movie, you want me to cheer for the humans and for mankind to win--oops, but therein lies the film's next mistake...not a single human character is worthy of being living as they are either completely lifeless (not surprising when the script is taken into consideration) or downright annoying to the point you actually hope that the aliens take out the entire planet.

What the hell are these things?  I don't know and the movie never tells you.
But when your movie is based on a board game, you can pretty much make
it up as you go along.

However, the worst aspect of this film is the fact that it is filled with plotholes and a lack of established rules.  For example, when the aliens invade, our man-made weapons seem to be no match for them but by the time the third act comes around, a single 50 caliber gun can take out an entire ship.  Even more annoying is the fact that these aliens are capable of creating a giant force-field that can encapsulate all the islands of Hawaii but are incapable of giving their ships (which also seem the lack the ability to fly and "hop" around the ocean) simple shields.  Hell the aliens in Independence Day had shields and it became a major plot point for the heroes to overcome--but detail such as that would be too much intelligence for a movie like Battleship to put out.

Calling your agent now isn't going to get you out of this one.

This movie is just a sloppy mess.  B-stories are added as the aliens send their death-machines (that look like the unholy offspring of a Decepticon and Sonic the Hedgehog) to the islands to wreak havoc and destruction but are completely forgotten about.  Even the only viable name attached to this film (Liam Neeson) gets forgotten about a lot and the movie will haphazardly return to him as if the director said, "FUCK, I forgot about Neeson."  There there's apparently the fact that it only requires the same five people to do every single thing inside a Destroyer.  Oh, there are other people on that ship but when the shit hits the fan, we apparently need Rihanna to be both the gunner and a member of a strike team to take out Master Chief who was able to get onboard. 

Liam is trying to figure why he's in this movie.  That makes two of us.

Then there's the acting...if you ever want to see a collection of actors all phoning in their roles, this is the movie to see it.  Either there was a slow gas leak on every set or every single actor took this role for a paycheck because the acting is just unbearable.  Even Neeson, a man known for his acting chops, decided to say fuck all to trying and, seemingly, just read his lines and walked off set to get his paycheck.

This is the most life you'll see out of any of the actors in this one.

But is any of this surprising?  Not really but kinda.  I knew it was going to be bad but not on the level that keeps me from accurately being able to bring it into words.  This movie was so bad that it actually was offensive.  The lack of any seeming attempt at making a comprehensible story or a plot that didn't have dozens of threads hanging off the side or parts missing is enough to make a person mad because someone actually got paid to write this!!!  Or how about this for offensive:  The Pentagon pulled itself out of The Avengers because they felt the movie was "too far fetch" but they openly admit and pride themselves on actually using the real Navy in this piece of shit.  That's right, superheroes saving the world in what is the best movie of the summer is way too out there but aliens invading Hawaii with no real motivation to do so is real down to Earth.

When the credits rolled, I was appalled by the idea that some producers and Hollywood fat cats watched the end product and said, "yeah, it's a piece of crap but people are too stupid to notice."  Then, imagine my disgust as I walked out of the theater hearing people say it was great.  I began to question our specie's survival if an alien force actually invaded because if we're not smart enough to see the shortcomings of a bad, cliche summer action film, how can we hope to stop a race that is smart enough to travel the cosmos?  I also started to wonder if my body could handle the amount of illegal narcotics needed to be able to find some sort of enjoyed in this awful film.  This summer will be hard pressed to put out a movie that can top how bad Battleship was.  The only good thing about this film is the fact that it gives me hope I can finally sell my script that turns the body-rubbing, inappropriate-touching game of Twister into a romantic comedy.  "Right hand blue, left hand love!"

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Apocalypse: Caught in the Eye of the Storm

***DISCLAIMER*** The following review is entirely my opinion. If you comment (which I encourage you to do) be respectful. If you don't agree with my opinion, that's fine. To each their own. I am just sharing my opinions and perspective. Finally, the reviews are given on a scale of 1-5. 1, of course, being terrible. 2, being not great. 3, being okay. 4, being good and 5, being epic!

Apocalypse:  Caught in the Eye of the Storm - 1 out of 5

A friend of mine sent me this video this last week and asked me to review this gem because he doubted his strength to sit through it.  Take a look at this trailer and pay close attention to the lyrics of the annoying rambling song that is played the entire time...especially pay close attention at around the :28 second mark...
 

First off...WOW...second...did you hear the use of the word retarded?  "The retarded will run for their shelters..." is what the song says and right off the bat, you know you are dealing with bat-shit crazy people who made this movie.  This fact is cemented when you realize that the producers of this film also made the Left Behind series.  There's no speculation that this is a piece of Christian propaganda and not actually a film but that doesn't mean it will be bad.  Hell Reefer Madness was produced by a church group and was a Christian propaganda film to stop the use of that sweet evil cannabis.  If anything, Apocalypse:  Caught in the Eye of the Storm has two things going for it:  It has a needlessly long and grandiose title for a film so short on talent and technical wonder and since it's a Christian Bible-humping movie you know it's going to be hilarious!

The lavish set design truly makes this movie.  This is suppose to be the Pentagon...
the floral drapes to the left really sell the attention to detail.

The film centers around two reporters who seem to be seeing the end of times come as war comes to Israel before ultimately morphing into a world nuclear war.  Just as the bombs are dropping and all seems lost, a man claiming to be the true messiah takes away the nukes and people start disappearing as the rapture hits...and the reporters find themselves...sigh...left behind (come on producers, is the rapture the only thing you know how to make?).  The world starts worshiping this man as the new prophet and the reporters start doing some research and discover, thanks to that handy dandy Bible, that he's actually the *sarcastic shock* the Anti-Christ!  They try to warn the world but everyone loves the new messiah and won't listen to what passes for reason to a Christian (that reason being an ancient book of fairy-tales) but, of course, in the end the entire world sees God's light.

So...when the rapture hits, your clothes will be left not in a heap, but a nicely folded pile.

No doubt you've sensed my heavy (and obvious) sarcasm through my summary of the film and that has to do with the fact I'm an atheist.  I don't buy into the idea of an invisible wizard in the sky who lives in an alternate dimension and will send you to a burning place of fire and smoke if you don't obey his every command...but he loves you!  But the sarcasm not only comes from my set of ideas but also from the ideas that this movie sets forth.  Mainly the idea that all people are completely incapable of thinking for themselves and are so desperate to believe in anything that they'll fall for everything.  That's right, every single solitary person (except the reporters) are mindless drones incapable of thinking for themselves and can easily be persuaded to follow whatever they are told to follow.  During the film's "climax" (I put it in quotes because this movie fails at making anything gripping or suspenseful in any way) the entire world is convinced of how they were wrong by a video of a guy reading the Bible.  That's right, a guy reading the Bible convinces the entire world they were wrong about worshiping this false messiah and even convinces those of other religions that they were wrong.  So, the idea that the filmmakers believe that the entire world is filled with brainless morons is something I found offensive--but simultaneously funny.  I would like to believe that Christians watching this film would also be offended by the filmmaker's belief that all people are stupid.  I mean, there were some Christians saying that Harold Camping was crazy when he wrongly predicted the rapture for the third (or fifth, who knows how many times that guy was wrong) time and there are those who scoff every time someone says he's the reincarnated form of Jesus.

The filmmakers claimed that they filmed on several continents...
I guess using a green screen in your basement counts.

And speaking of funny...the acting is hysterical.  Especially the performance of the male reporter Bronson Pearl (come on, that's a porn star's name) by Richard Nester.  He's suppose to play a field investigator but as you watch him deliver the goings-on of the war to end all wars, you would start to wonder why on Earth he got the job in the first place because he actually seems excited to report on death and destruction.  But to attack this single actor for his bad acting is unfair since everyone in this film is just awful...and awfully funny with their attempts at acting.

Nester just gave up and started to just read the script as the cameras rolled.

However, predictably bad acting aside, there was one thing that trumped all with the amusing factors of this film above all else and that is the overuse of stock footage.  In fact, this movie is 90% stock footage with narration over the top.  I believe that the ministry who made this film hit the library and started pulling random footage and built the movie around that.  There was so much stock footage in this film that Ed Wood's corpse reanimated itself, busted into my place, took a seat next to me as I watched it and said, "Whoa movie, pull back on the use of stock footage."  (For those of you unaware of Ed Wood, the celebrated worst director of all time, he was known for using a lot of stock footage but this movie has used more stock footage per second in this single film than Wood used in his entire career.)

One of the uses of stock footage...the man narrating this clip says that the helicopter crashed
after the pilot inside disappeared.  If you look closely (actually, if you just look normal) you can
clearly see he's still in it.  Oops.

Going into this movie, there were a lot of variables I was expecting...Mainly the bad acting, lame story, bad technical aspects like editing, awful Christian rock filling every second of the film mixed along with an air of superiority.  But it is in all these things that makes the film amusing to watch.  It's easy to sit and make fun of it but this movie is so bad and so full of itself that you don't even need to...you can just laugh at it as is!  Apocalypse:  Caught in the Eye of the Storm is awful but funny.  It's terrible but entertaining for all the reasons that were not intended by the filmmakers.  Sure the Bible belt probably loves this movie and this is probably one of Kirk Cameron's few movies he jerks off to but for the rest of us...this movie is just hilarious!