Saturday, December 23, 2006

Tis the Season

Season's greetings, loyal readers.

As we are now in the very center of merchandise holiday season, I figured I should be all sorts of generous and giving and try to spice up this blog.

Thus, for the next week, I shall take any request for any film, B-movie or not, and give it a wholesome review.

Will this be detrimental to my health? Absolutely, but I'm not in this for longetivity.

So enjoy your holidays, whatever they may be, and send in your requests via a comment on this post.

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Personal Therapy: Pulse

This is something new.

I'm lying in bed, three in the morning, and I can't sleep.

It's not that I'm not tired. Believe me, 13 hours of traveling to move a thousand miles is exhausting, especially when this was somehow accomplished using planes.

I should, by all rites, be out cold and enjoying sweet dreams of Buffy the Vampire Slayer fighting the Jessica Alba, but instead I'm up writing a sequel to a review.

What can I say to explain this?

I'm afraid to go to bed.

I'm a grown adult, at least physically. Sure, I play my share of video games and read dumb airport novels, but who doesn't?

But being afraid of the dark? That's something new to me.

I gave up night lights when I was five. So what's going on?

I'll tell you: My house is haunted.


There is a ghost named Cosmo who has lived in this house since before I was born. He's a prankster, mainly doing the fun and easy stuff like moving doors and objects when you're only sorta looking so you freak out.

But now he's moved up to something a bit more exotic.

Sound effects and toying with electric things...

Anyways, let me get on topic. I was all set for sleepy times when all of the sudden my electric razor started freaking out.

It was in its cleaner, untouched, and then started CLEANING ITSELF!

I was laying in the dark when this happened, and I nearly gasped aloud.

But, being a semi-athletic-type with a background in violent videogames, I decided I could handle whatever lay ahead. I went into the bathroom and the damned thing was RISING UP AND DOWN ON ITS OWN!

I unplugged the chord and it quieted down, but I was sufficiently rattled.

I asked the ghost, in polite terms, to let me get some rest. I turned out the lights, assured myself of my place on the food chain, and went to bed.

Then the sounds started.

Rattling, scratching, and some whispering. The usual gamut for the incorporeal entertainment artists.

I am not too proud to say I did what any human being would do under these circumstances: I hid under my covers and tempted asphyxiation.

Then, feeling quite the tool, I puffed out my chest and wandered the upstairs of my house looking for the source of the disturbance.

Nothing. No rats, no squirrels, no undead minions of the BEAST (read: Uwe Boll)

So what was I left to do? I got online to write on my blog about this experience.

What does this have to do with "Pulse", you ask?

I think the movie actually had an effect on me. I'm not proud of this, as I often boast I can't be scared by the jump tactics used in movies these days.

But I am scared by the macabre.

This is why zombies really get to me, and why wolfman does not. "Pulse" had some seriously disturbing images, and I'm not talking "Hostel" oh-my-that-was-eye-juice-she-just-leaked disturbing. I mean oh-that's-a-ghost-with-a-MOUTH-FOR-A-FACE!

I can't escape such visuals. They stick with me and pop up at the most inopportune times, like now for instance.

So I figure, if I resume the review that (let's be honest) was only half-done, perhaps I can find closure and thus rest.

Let's take a good look at the movie with a critical eye.

The plot centers around a digital-virus-ghost (it's never explained if the ghosts are in fact dead souls or just electronic signals that look like people but really just want some lovin'.

It's hinted at, but much like an episode of "Lost" there are more questions raised than answered.

A lot of people commit suicide in this movie. The reason given is that, when a ghost soul-sucks you, all your will to live is taken away. You search for release, usually in the form of the nearest ledge or hammer you can drive into your face.

But I think the real reason is the fact that the entire world is a horrific shade of gray.

Seriously, the whole movie was shot through a BAWLS glass (if you don't what BAWLS is, go find out NOW and enjoy life in a new way).

Everyone is depressed, even the happy-slutty friend. The ghosts are the happiest things in the film, and their idea of fun is finding new and surprising places to pop out of.

Since we are on the subject of popping out, why is it that, no matter how much a person knows about the foe they are up against, they will search EVERY nook and cranny in EVERY creepy locations they are in?


And they love to be alone during these assaults on humanity, or at most with one other person just to make sure there is no chance of safety in numbers (the ghosts, on the other hand, travel in super packs near the end of the film, making them the smarter of the species).

The manner in which the creatures take their victims also begs a certain bit of introspection.

If your will is forcebly removed from your face (via the swell soul-sucking method taught in every ghost univerity) you have a few ways you can die.

- You can kill yourself (the most popular method of the film, and for heaven's sake try to come up with something more creative than hanging yourself with your computer's power chord).

- You can burst into ash at the drop of a hat (also a nice choice, though try to do this in front of your emotionally fragile friend to increase the chance of her doing something incredibly dim witted like STANDING THERE AND WATCHING THE ASH SWIRL IN THE MIDDLE OF AN ALL-OUT ASSAULT ON HUMANITY.

- Finally, and this is really the way to go, lean against a wall and get sucked in.

Wait.......let's go back a sec.

If you have the black death mark growing on you, and you lean against a wall, you get SUCKED IN and leave a greasy shmear on the stucco.

It's also done best if your friend has your free arm and tries to pull you away from this awful fate.

This movie has some seriously ridiculous holes in the story and universe, but that's not why I'm pointing them out.

Despite these obviously far-fetched plot points, this movie still scared me.

I know it shouldn't, because it's a remake of an Asian horror film and thus a POS, but here we are.

I still recommend this, because it's still a nice piece of filmage. I might even watch it again to try and face this new anxiety.

I know this post was not the usual fair you all look for on this site.

But if you look up in the corner of the page, you'll notice there is a name written there.

That's mine.

It's my site.

So I can write whatever the hell I want.


Now go watch the new Bond movie until you get your fix of raw manliness for the month.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Is Stephen King Ghostwriting: The Pulse

Some of you out there are lucky enough to have read Stephen King's latest novel, "Cell".

It was an homage to George Romero's epic storyline of the Dead, and his own personal twist on the zombie genre.

And it was.....ok.

Honestly, the dialogue was hackneyed, the plot was cumbersome, and he decided early on that he wouldn't so much have closure as a crappy ending to the novel.

You may ask why I mention this. Well, I have just watched a movie that may be a better version of King than the man himself can write.

Let's take a look at "The Pulse."

The guest list for this outing is rather slumbersome, though there are some names worth mentioning:

Mattie, the college-girl-with-too-much-head-on-her-shoulders (played delectably by the swelteringly hot Kristen Bell of "Veronica Mars")

Dexter, the too-cool-for-school-technophile (Ian Somerhalder from "Lost")

Stone, the....well, the stoner (Rick Gonzalez doing the role he has played in every other movie with college kids)

Dr. Waterson, the psych-who-thinks-he-knows-everything-until-the-unknown-drops-in-his-lap (Ron Rifkin from "Alias")

These actors do a fine job of acting freaked out for an hour and forty minutes, which is surprising given the state of this plotline.

Allow me to summarize without giving too much away.

Someone, perhaps a techie-lab with too much power and too little control, has unraveled the space-time continuum, unleashing hords of ghost-like-aparitions upon Earth.

Though they look and move like the creepshow from "The Ring", they don't take true control of their technical prowess by making obscene phone calls to their victims.

They move through anything electric (computers, cell phones, radios), they can only really hurt you if you look them straight in the eye.

This is where I posed the question: "What if you are wearing a blindfold? For the rest of your life?"

Anyway, these spectors fly around sucking the life out of people and consuming them from the inside.

Now this is the trippy part: It's all pretty freakin' scary.

I went into this film with pretty low expectations, and I suggest you do as well, but it really did scare me at times.

The jump scares were done exceedingly well, and the ambience remained eerie throughout the film; not a small task.

What really blew me away about this movie is a small but significant fact: This is a remake of a Japanese horror film.

Now I know what you're all thinking:

Has Adam sold out and started LIKING these attrocious wastes of cinema space?

I haven't turned in my colors just yet, loyal readers. I still hate those movies with the passion of Sly Stallone pounding a slab of meat.

But this was really something else. This movie changed the ugly, white and pasty face of asian horror remakes forever.

It wasn't great. I don't want to lead you all into thinking this was some seminal piece of filmmaking. But it was good, and that's something.

There was a scene in the movie, let's call it "that diner scene", which borrowed heavily from the cheese section of the scriptwriting grocery store. It doesn't so much take away from the movie as provide a sense of relief.

The whole film you keep expecting this bag of suck to happen, and this scene helps ease you through the rest. It's just so damned campy.

But that's the only really predictable moment. This film does an excellent job of flying against the grain on other counts.

Was this a perfect movie? No. But is it better than nine-tenths of the other remakes out there?


This movie gets a hanging-with-Kristen Bell-during-a-blizzard-and-sipping-on-hot-cocoa-whilst-playing-a-PS2.

It's not top of the line, but you don't care.

Watch carefully.

Sunday, December 10, 2006

Who's Hungry: Feast

Ben Afleck is the cancer that eats away at the film industry.

I've seen his movies, and to a one they are depraved and hollow shells of what make that industry great.

His taint upon any flick instantly sends it into a nose dive from which there is no recovery.

So when his moniker is writ atop the poster of a movie, I tend to shy away.

Alas, I was drawn to this one like carrion to a fresh piece of roadkill.

The analogy is fitting, as you will soon see.

"Feast" is a culmination of many disgusting events that ends better than you'd think.

Let's start with a roll call. You won't recognize many.

Bozo - Balthazar Getty ("Ladder 49" and the third prize for the Charley Sheen look-a-like contest on E)

Hot Wheels - Josh Zuckerman (TV extra #1497538993264)

Drunk Girl - Chauntae Davies (Maybe some softcore, but we can't be sure)

Boss Man - Duane Whitaker ("The Devil's Rejects" and that should be a BIG clue)

Harley Mom - Diane Goldner (She's the director's wife)

Coach - Henry Rollins (The right, Henry F'N Rollins)

Jason Mewes - Jason Mewes (No....seriously...Jason in Jay and Silent he needed the work.....)

And then Tuffy, Honey Pie, Beer Guy, Bartender and the rest of the disposables.

These aren't cute names I'm coming up with (though I fancy myself a quick thinker). These are the ACTUAL names the writer chose.

And he had all day to come up with them.

The way to film starts is pretty standard. A car crashes and we don't know why, nor do we care. Then we get a quick burst of Monster Vision (tm) and are introduced to the bar, which is the ONLY SET USED.

Thankfully the bar is damned interesting, otherwise this would feel a lot like "Phonebooth".

A man gets out of his own crappy car and walks into the bar, bumping into two drunk ladies. One harlett shouts "Watch it BOZO!" As our man turns, mainly to check out some drunken ass, the scene FREEZES and we get a WWF style readout of the specs, complete with his occupation and life expectancy.

This technique is shocking at first, and rightly so. It's more in line with a cheesy made-for-tv film than the brain-child of "Project Greenlight 3."

What's really amazing is that, after a few tries, it's actually funny. The writers hit a few spots really well, and that's saying something for a horror movie of this particular type.

You see, this is a monster movie.

Now I know you all think horror movies are generally the same and can easily be lumped into one genre for ease of use. I can't impart how wrong you are.

There are ghost movies, where some horrible specter haunts people for no good reason.

There are slasher films, where crazed lunatics cut people into pieces for no good reason (these movies are often called "Texas Chainsaw Massacre", "Hostel", and "Turistas," and come out in sets, regardless of how recently a movie of the EXACT SAME STYLE came out).

Then there are monster movies, where a beasty/undead creature/man haunting children in their dreams comes out to eat and pummel drunk college kids, who usually have some pointless sex around minute three.

Another genre, re-make of a bad Asian movie, is also known, but I tend to vomit upon these movies as though they carried too much MSG.

Continuing on, this monster movie brings a whole new meaning to the term "creatures that chop characters to bits during the movie."

Actually, I don't know if that's so much a phrase as a proper representation of what happens.

After the disposables are introduced, a man bursts into the bar covered in blood and gripping a shotgun. Cue freeze frame.

"Name: Hero
Occupation: Kicking Ass
Life Expectancy: Pretty F'N Good"

He introduces the concept of the creatures and scares the begeezus out of people, then tries to secure the building. The Bartender (whose name is "bartender" by the way) asks "Who the hell are you."

Our hero replies: "I'm the guy who's gonna save your ass."

Then he gets pulled through a window and his head is eaten.

You can't buy that kind of awesome.

The movie follows the survivors of the opening attack as they slowly, person-by-person and piece-by-piece, get turned into alien lunch.

Some of the scenes are downright fantastic. Henry Rollins is given some great one-liners and he pulls them off perfectly. Even the Charley Sheen look-a-like is pretty decent.

The monsters themselves are nothing new, but they get the job done. The dead-cow-skull creatures are creepy looking and seen rarely enough to instill some sense of mystery.

The adults only come at the end, so the fact that they look like the artistic prerenderings of "Alien" can be forgiven.

The creepiest puppets are the baby aliens, who like to hump things if they aren't eating them.

I'm serious. There is a scene where a woman becomes the first-ever multi-terrestrial porn star. It's graphic.

This movie gets very predictable toward the end, but what can you expect from a monster movie? What matters is that the opening forty minutes is something you've never seen before.

I won't in good conscience tell you this film is groundbreaking and really sets itself apart from the genre.

What I will say is that, in the past few years, a LOT worse have come out. This movie is great because it doesn't try to be any of that.

I'm not going to own this movie, nor will I really ever want to see it again, but I will recommend it to likeminded (ie - sick and twisted) individuals.

This movie is like watching-the-snuff-film-of-Ben-Afleck. Gross yet creepily satisfying.

Give this a shot if you enjoyed the last few Freddy movies, or if you are on a diet and need some way to kill those midnight cravings.

Watch carefully.

Sunday, December 03, 2006

Twice the Houses, Twice the Dead, Half the Crap: House of the Dead 2: Dead Aim

I generally don't like sequels, as a rule.

More often than not, they fail to live up to the benchmark set by their predecessor.

Most barely entertain, and never really try to be original.

Some obvious exceptions come to mind quickly:

"Terminator 2"

"The Bourne Supremacy"

"Indiana Jones"

The sad fact is sequels are bad ideas written down and filmed.

But sometimes they have to be made to create a balance.

As those of of you who follow my blog know, I hate Uwe Boll. It's not that I don't like his films, or that he personally erks me, it's that I think he is a bane on humanity.

His film "House of the Dead" hurt me to watch. I developed a severe blood condition for a few weeks while it worked its way through my system. It was a burden upon my soul to watch it.

So when, whilst Netflixing (new verb, all me baby) this pile of retch for my friend Warren--one of my not-quite-voluntary assistants in this job--I noticed the sequel listed as well, I was quite bemused.

And by "bemused" I mean "scared for the children."

What struck me about this movie, aside from that the fact that it is of the made-for-TV variety, is that it is LEAPS AND BOUNDS beyond the visual ebola outbreak Uwe Boll made.

And it stars Sticky Fingaz, that Oscar-Awards-watching actor/rapper/FBI profling case #447-3809.

I'll get to the rest of the players in this drama later, but first I have to tell you the premise.

I'm that excited, I'm skipping around the steps.

Let's take the first movie. Now forget it.

Wasn't easy was it? Kind of sticks in there, like clothing with third degree burns.

This movie has one small, miniscule, barely visible connection: The dude from the first movie (let's call him Doucheman) brought his girlfriend (Skankatron-of-the-Dead) back to the mainland and dumped her in his father's lab at a local college.

This is because community colleges of the midwest have the latest, state-of-the-art technological storage rooms and laboratories needed to discover how to re-reanimate a corpse.

Needless to say, things don't go exactly as planned. Doucheman gets eaten and his father tries to bring HIM back, thus creating a zombie situation on par with the latest Rolling Stones concert (only slightly less people are eaten).

What makes this movie really different from its predecessor is the genre of zombie-killers it brings to the table.

In the first movie, you had the dumb-college kids turned zombie hunters, with all the stereotypes:

Dumb kid.

Smart kid,

Pretty boy.

Tom girl.

So on and so forth.

In this movie, you have the commando-assault team, complete with:

The rookie, who goes crazy and gets killed.

The sleazy guy, who does something gross and gets killed.

The woman...who discovers how hard it is to be a woman and yet a manly warrior...and then gets killed.

And the commander, who leads bravely and kills many...and then gets killed.

But this movie goes one step further. It adds the government agent with a history, and his girlfriend, and her dog, and the neighboors from across the way.

Oh yeah, and a couple of them get killed.

It actually gets kind of ridiculous, but then again, this is "House of the Dead 2: Dead Aim."

The story progresses much in the same way a virus does, and eventually a quarantine is necessary for the campus. The army-types do their thing and add, rather than subtract, from the zombie horde. The government-type-person discovers a "cure" for the disease, but everyone wants a piece.

And of course, disposable characters run around trying to get eaten.

I can't help but think this movie is a joke. Everything about it, from the crazy-ugly gore to the oatmeal-faced zombies to the plot-twists taken out of cracker-jack boxes.

And again, let's refresh, Sticky Fingaz is a LEAD ROLE!

Now let's give Fingaz his due. He did a fine job in "Over There." He even does a passable Blade.

But he isn't so much an "actor" as a "human being, in some light".

The only reason this movie isn't a brown streak on the side of the proverbial cinema underwear is because I watched it directly after "House of the Dead."

I'll give this movie a hooking-up-with-your-college-roomate's-best-friend's-sister's-foreign-exchange-student's-mother-while-drunk-on-three-and-a-half-bottles-of-Listerine.

With Finals coming up, I might not be able to post as often as usual. Be patient, and I shall return.

Watch carefully.

Sunday, November 26, 2006

You Have Nothing to Fear But : The Thing

John Carpenter has made some terrible movies.

"Ghosts of Mars" springs to mind. And then it eats you from the inside.

Yet this filmmaker has also brought true greatness to the silver screen.

"Big Trouble in Little China" (review coming soon) is still in my top ten.

So when, back in the 80s, this buck-wild director took on a remake, suspicions were high.

Could Johnny Boy, taking an old Black and White crapfest loosely based on a kick-awesome short story, come up with gold?

Yes. Yes he could.


"The Thing" is a crowning achievement in the ingenuity of robotics and old timey special effects.

The story is simple: A group of Americans in an Antarctic outpost stumble upon the grisley remains of a Norwegian expedition. Inside the Norse camp they discover remains, something enormous...and not human.

What I love about this film's premise is that, up until fairly deep into the movie, you don't see any aliens. The true horror is that the creature--the Thing--can look like anyone.

It could be the guy next to you.

It could be your dog.

The psychological aspects of this flick raise it above other alien films of the era.

"Alien" was a great movie, and certainly deserves the accolades it recieves, but "The Thing" took a smaller budget and made a film that is on par if not better than Cameron's little scare-em-up.

I first saw this movie on the Sci-Fi channel at about 3 in the AM.

It was dark.

I was young.

You can't imagine how freaked out I was...actually, I need to start a little earlier.

I am afraid of spiders. This is a perfectly reasonable fear. Spiders are the bane of human existence.

They eat babies. I've seen it done.

Spiders are the anti-Chris. Yes, that's Chris, a friend of mine who was devoured by spiders at a young age.

So when, during one infamous scene, a man's head becomes a SPIDER-DEMON, I was appropriately wet in ye-old-pants.

This movie rocks.

Science fiction is pretty standardizing. All you need is a spaceship, an alien, and a group of people to die and fight back, though not always in that order.

This band of brothers is no different, though the concept that anyone could be an alien adds a new layer to the tension.

The hero of the tale, as it stands, is a man named R.J. MacReady (Kurt Russell, that bad ass of bad asses). He figures out the alien's plan and sets out to disrupt it. With flame throwers.

This is the first movie I ever saw with flame throwers. I hadn't yet seen "Aliens" and was too young for WW II films.

My first impression of the fire dealer?


This movie really owns the screen, and you feel quite shaken by the end. The credits are bittersweet, as the story doesn't really end with the last line of dialogue.

If you care to follow the yarn, there is a game that takes place after the film ends. It's not too great, but the storyline is solid. When I finally get some capital (Hannuka 2045) I plan to make the sequel.

Seriously, it'll kick ass. You have to trust me on this. Would I ever lead you astray?

OK, bad question.

Would I ever let you watch a movie I myself hadn't personally screened? It says I wouldn't right up there at the top of the page.

I give this movie the-sensation-you-get-whilst-using-a-flame-thrower-to-barbeque-a-group-of-Nazi-aliens-as-an-elite-team-of-Swedish-Bikini-Models-rub-you-down-with-oil (non-flammable of course).

Netflix this sucker right now. And then Gamefly the "sequel."

Watch carefully.

Thursday, November 23, 2006

When Feet Meet Face: Ong-Bak: The Thai Warrior

I love kung-fu movies.


I can watch Jackie Chan jump from building to building any old day. When Jet Li puts his fist through someone's head, I get giddy.

I've even watched a few Stephen Segal films, though I'd rather not admit that ever again.

So when a new player enters the scene talking all sorts of smack about "no strings" and all that jazz, I get a little excited.

"Ong-Bak: The Thai Warrior" does not disappoint.

Now, I should preface this review with a simple qualifier: I enjoy dumb action movies (let's not forget Mr. Segal....actually, let's go ahead and forget him).

I've seen Jean Claude Van Dam in every dude-on-a-quest movie he's made (about 5,793 so far).

I've watched Jackie Chan's "First Strike" about twenty times just for that ladder scene.

So I don't mind when an action film has no plot.

I mean none.

And "Ong-Bak" is sans plot.

If you want to get technical, there is this small story about a small-time gang member stealing the head of a village's idol prompting a super kung-fu master (mu-thai-boxing to be precise) to go and take on every bag of scum the nearby city can throw at him.

Oh yeah, it's that good.

Tony Jaa, the flying sensation of Thailand, brings something new to the martial arts table that I had only heard of: Thai boxing.

The Thai people, for those of you who don't know, were once a humble and peaceful nation. When a Chinese man came to their country bearing the cracking limbs of Karate, they smiled, gave him fruit, and let him go on his way.

Then they took fifteen minutes and created the messiest martial art ever.

Thai kick boxing looks like it hurts, and it does. It hurts your EVERYTHING.

Knees go into places where knees have never been, bones are snapped, feet meet chins in a most unpoetic's basically the worst parts of the bible.

Let's carry on, shall we?

Ting (Tony Jaa) heads into town following the diabolical theft of his beloved Buddha head. He meets up with Humlae (Petchtai Wongkamlao...don't worry about IMDB on this one, you won't recognize him at all) and his...girlfriend? Sister? It's never really explained, but this girl (Pumwaree Yodkamol) has the most annoying voice I have ever heard.

It's not long before Ting is put into a situation where he has to use his village's chief export--pain--to stay alive.

Humlae steals Ting's money, money that was going to be used to by back the Lord's noggin', and bets it on a fight. When he loses, Ting sets out to get his money back by asking politely.

The MC obliges....but only if Ting can survive some FISTICUFFS!

What follows is the shortest bout of awesome you can imagine. Tony Jaa uses his leg as a sledgehammer and drops the other man like a sack of potatoes.

And then the movie happens.

Stunt men, it is said, are a dime a dozen. I feel the director of this movie understood that concept and exploited it. At least 412 people died as a direct result of the fighting in this film.

At least.

In one scene, Ting grabs two thick, metal rods and proceeds to beat the ever-loving piss out of every bad person left in Thailand. The impacts are so visceral that it hurts in your gut to watch.

Not that you'd ever turn it off, because it's awesome.

The main villain is a chain-smoking, wheelchair-bound gangster with a voice-box and a bad-luck streak. You hate this man the moment you see him. I recommend watching the movie in its original Thai, not just because that language is pretty awesome sounding, but because this guy is ten times worse in his primary form. The dubbing just doesn't cut it.

By the end of this movie, which arrives much sooner than you'd expect, you'll feel pretty spent. Since there really is no story to speak of, the ending is sort of bittersweet. You don't care for any of the characters any further than you don't want to see people in pain anymore.

Still, it has been a fun ride.

I hope that this movie launches a bountiful career for young Tony Jaa, as his antics are quite amusing to watch.

"The Protector", his latest endeavor, is supposed to be rather enjoyable. I'll have to check it out soon.

I'd give this movie a different kind of review than others. This movie is an embodiment of the old-timey saying:

"People have faces, and Tony Jaa has to kick them."

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone.

I have to go eat myself into a coma.

Monday, November 20, 2006

Apparently You Can Go Home: The Return

I believe Sarah Michelle Gellar epitomizes the Texas gal:

She's drop dead gorgeous.

She's not too tall.

And she can usually kick the ass of anything in her path.

So you can imagine what is has been like for me to watch her lower herself in crappy horror movies that make little-to-no sense.

Now, I'm optimistic about most movies, as you've probably inferred given the titles I sometimes select to view. Despite this predeliction for poison, I did not intent on seeing "The Return", which looked to be horrible in ways horror does not purposefully endeavor.

Allow me to break it down thusly:

The promo for "The Grudge", starring one SMG, was this: "When a murder occurs in a house, the emotion of the murder remains behind and creates a curse. Anyone who touches this curse is consumed by it."

The promo for "The Return" which had an eerily similar poster to that of "The Grudge" and starred one SMG was this: "When a murder is commited, a curse is born. Anyone touched by the curse is consumed by it."

You see where I'm coming from?

Now I don't want to go out of my way to make fun of this movie. It does a good enough job of that itself. I just want to get this out of the way before I go too far.

Don't see this movie.

"The Return" is an attempt to take a great actress--one who already has a solid fanbase--and suck the life out of her until there is nothing left.

One thing this movie has going for it is artistic direction. The movie has some honestly attractive shots.

And I'm not just saying this because it was shot in Texas and SMG is a Texan and, in general things associated with the Lone Star State have a certain appeal to me.

Though all that is true as well.

The director, Asif Kapadia, knows his cinematography.

But one thing he doesn't know is plotlines.

This movie has one-and-a-half plotlines.

First is the main idea of the movie: A young woman seems to be restless due to some unknown crazy trauma in the psychological/supernatural sense. She discovers, through no means of storytelling, what happened to cause her discourse. By the end of the movie, things have happened for apparently no reason and you are glad to leave the theater.

A one-third-plotline involves her distant father who never really connected with his daughter after a car accident almost took her life.

One-third more is the random colleage, Adam Scott from "Art School Confidential", who for no reason whatsoever tries to get a little rape on.

The final third is the worst told love story I've ever seen.

You may not believe that I can make such a statement. Allow me to qualify.

I've seen "The English Patient." I've seen "Riddick." I know bad love stories when they waltz across my TV.

This was B-A-D!

Sarah and this crazy, old-as-her-father cowboy (Peter O'Brien from a bunch of Aussie TV shows) seem to have some gettin'-it-on action.

Not that you can tell what happens due to the worst editing since "Wild Wild West."

Actually, I take that back. "Wild Wild West" had much worse editing. Honestly, it was shameful to even say an editor was present in the country when the film was made.

"The Return" employs a common horror technique where the visual cuts a step after the sound. This makes the transitions as smooth as a flock of seagulls going into a jet engine.

Suffice to say, I spent the entire movie wondering if anything I saw actually happened, or if it was part of some elaborate dream sequence.

Sarah falls into dreams so many times that it's hard to tell when she's imagining and awake or reliving an event from the past.

One particular scene--which involves a little sex, I won't lie to you--may or may not have happened. THIS IS A PIVOTAL EVENT, ASIF! WHAT IS GOING ON?

The dialogue is horrendous. It's not that people say anything absurd, as with other B movies, it's just that their lines are delivered deadpan and without the proper cushion.

For example:

SMG: Hey dad, what happened when I was 11?

POP: Well, you kinda went crazy. I couldn't control you.

SMG: Control me? I was crying for help.

POP: Why don't you stay the night?

SMG: What's in LeSalle?


This isn't a terrible movie in the strictest sense. It's a forgettable thriller that doesn't do anything. All the effects have been done before, and by better directors. I feel that in the hands of someone more daring this could have been a sleeper hit. SMG certainly can pull on a few heartstrings, and Sam Fisher as Pa Gellar worked fine.

I walked away not really knowing what the movie had done to me, and that's generally a good thing from where I come from. I can't stand the idea of the cancerous legions movies such as "Stay Alive" and "Alone in the Dark" have left inside me.

I guess I'd give this movie a seeing-Sarah Michelle Gellar-in-the-mall-from-a-distance-but-when-you-get-close-it's-actually-a-man-dressed-as-Buffy.

Instead of seeing this movie, go online and watch the Ninja Review of "Pirates of the Carribean". Seriously. Funny man, that ninja.

Friday, November 17, 2006


I would like to take this time to apologize to you, the loyal reader. I have been remiss of my duties as reviewer of bad movies.

I assure you, this site has not reached its end yet.

The last few weeks have been a bit hectic, what with classes and drills and theatrical activities and all the other things that go into my life like the ingredients to a Mulligan Stew.

But it's all coming together now, and I guarantee a new post within the next three days. Though I haven't seen any new movies of unnacceptable caliber, I have a wide range stored deep in my subconcious.

So stay tuned. The best is yet to come.

Er, I mean the worst.


Monday, November 06, 2006

The Dangers of Progress: The Beast of Yucca Flats

If there is one thing you take away from this movie, let it be this:

Progress is bad.

I have reviewed many movies, but never has one been so...patently retarded.

Imagine that the year is 1961. The world is aglow with nuclear tests. The cold war is mighty close to heating up.

What better film to make than a doesn't-make-a-lick-of-sense horror film?

You can't actually understand the power of this film without witnessing it--or perhaps hearing it.

The whole movie has a Rod Sterling mimic reading an incredibly poorly written voice over the whole time.

Seriously, the only thing the guy can come up with are obscure cliches and folky one-liners.

"Once a Russian scientist, now a muderous monster. Another man caught progress."

"Touch a button. Things happen. A scientist becomes a beast."

"Nothing bothers some people. Not even flying saucers."

I wish I had made that last one up.

The whole movie is filled with these inane sayings that never really tie into the story as a whole.

Oh, the story? Well, that's another bag of chips entirely. I shall do my best not to commit hara kiri as I relay the tale.

Tor Johnson (the horrorible beast from every movie in the 60s) is a Russian scientist defecting to the US. He is intercepted by two KGB assassins because he as a briefcase full of secret documents. The agents track him down, kill his guards, and then...inexplicably leave because the 400 lbs man has too much of a headstart to POSSIBLY catch up to.

I'm serious. They walk about fifteen feet from their cars, get fed up, and go back to the Motherland.

Not too worry, because Tor is in for a surprise. He absent mindedly wanders onto an A-Bomb test site. know...NO ONE would care to guard that sort of thing, or perhaps put up a fence.

Tor is changed forever into the oatmeal faced villain known only as "the beast."

You watch this entire scene happen while Jimmy Sterling tells you about "the turning wheels of progress" and how "progress is dangerous."

Now, on to the meat of this tale.

A woman and her husband are assaulted by the beast and the local law enforcement, Jim and Joe the homicidal deputies, go to investigate. Their motto?

"Shoot first and ask questions later."

Seriously. They say that. And they stick by it, damnit!

The cops find the womans body and drag her about halfway back to their car. Then they get tired and decide "doctors can't help her. Maybe angels. Not doctors." They LEAVE HER BODY ON THE ROCKS and head back to town.

They get in a plane (did I mention both Jim and Joe are paratroopers? No? Well, the movie does about 500 times) and fly over the region, shooting at everything that moves.

You think I'm joking.

A man and his family also find themselves in the area. The boys love to wander (a pasttime I share) and they somehow end up in the middle of the desert. The father, being a good old boy, goes after them in A MISSILE TESTING AREA MARKED CLEARLY WITH A F%)(&^ SIGN.

Since Joe sees that the man is clearly in the area, and since he has that "shoot first" policy, he SHOOTS AT HIM.

Now, I don't know about you, but if someone from a plane was shooting at me, I would seek cover. Or maybe try and signal the pilot. Or DO SOMETHING OTHER THAN RUN IN A STRAIGHT GORRAM LINE!

When Joe finally nails his target (or so we think) the narrator helps clarify the situation:

"A man runs, someone shoots at him."

No pun intended, but things we a lot more black and white back in the 60s.

Today, I can go for a run without the fear of being shot for no apparent reason. Fathers chasing down wayward sons sometimes escape without a round fired.

Basically what I'm saying is: WTF!

Now, the boys are chased by the Beast (who carries a walking stick...not to beat people, just to walk). They hide in his cave, which he apparently doesn't notice even though they often are within several feet of him when he returns.

The beast notices his dead woman is missing. I'm sure if he checked the ravine a few yards away he'd see where Ernie and Gomer left her. Instead of taking it like a leperous-looking man, the beast "unleashes his fury!"

He picks up a medium-sized rock...and throws it at absolutely no one.

What say you, narrator?

"Flag on the moon. How did it get there?"


The father of the two trapped boys returns to his wife after being quite rattled by the friendly-fire. He runs past his wife and jumps into the car. He tells her to wait while he gets help and drives off.


Wow, this movie has layers, don't you think?

Jim and Joe decide to take action against the beast, seeing as it is their job.

Narrator, please translate into FUBAR.

"Twenty hours without rest and still no enemy. In the blistering desert heat, Jim and Joe plan their next attack. Find the Beast and kill him. Kill, or be killed. Man's inhumanity to man."

I hate you, Sterling. I really do.

The boys rush from the cave while the beast takes an impromptu nap. He rushes at them, swinging his walking stick with fury. Jim and Joe lay down some suppresing fire while the boys' father flanks from the right with a BAR.

Actually, it's not nearly so interesting. Jim shoots the beast and it's over.


Nothing left.


I scoffed at this movie. Scoffed. I never scoff, and yet here it was my only recourse.

This film was awful in a way I can't explain in words. I felt so unclean and stupid for watching it.

The only thing that kept me going was a healthy dose of "Borat" the next day.

I really can't give this movie a review. Well, actually, I can.

It was like getting hit in the head with a hammer. Repeatedely. And then being served my brain by Tor Johnson.

What say you, oh great narrator?

"Boys from the city. Not yet caught by the whirlwind of Progress. Feed soda pop to the thirsty pigs."

Die already.

Monday, October 30, 2006

Wishing I Were Blind: Ultraviolet

Bad movies are a lot like cancer.

When one is sorta ok, it's over quick and makes a fun story to tell your friends while drinking.

When its terminal....well, its long and painful and you lose some hair in the process. Except cancer lets you die with loved ones around. Bad movies aren't so giving.

"Ultraviolet" is cancer of the head.

Now, I love Milla Jovovich. She is a part of the reason "The Fifth Element" is a seminal part of my film collection. She made "Resident Evil" only sorta bad.

But NO ONE can make this movie good. Not Milla, not William Fichtner ("Prison Break" anyone?), not anyone. This pile of filth is the worst thing to happen to cinema I've seen in quite some time.

On a side note, I'd like to say how hard it is to judge a bad movie after seeing "Alone in the Dark", "Stay Alive", and countless other horrid stains on the fabric of time and space.

Back to the pain.

I am going to try, in as few expletives as possible, to explain this movie.

Let's start with the premise: A disease, man-made in America, turns people into Vampires. The rest of the world grows fearful of this hyper-AIDS and pulls a little Nazi-Germany style "cleansing" on the population.

Many things can be said about this plotline. Derivitive, overdone and boring are a few. I like to keep things simple, so let's just say "bad."

All good movies (or in this case, bad movies) need heroes. The heroine in this case is a sultry young vampiress named Violet (Milla Jovovich of the "Fifth Element"). Violet is sent to retrieve a super secret weapon from a super secret weapons facility in the middle of the heavily guarded sanctum of bad people who do bad things.

Easy money, right?

Not to rag on the movie--wait, no, that's exactly what I plan to do--this sequence only serves to warn the viewer of the horrors to come. There is no coherent stream of events leading the characters to do what they do; no acting to get in the way of the "action"; and no chance of you, the viewer, having a single clue as to what the F is going on.

The movie revolves around the contents of the super secret weapon Milla steals: It's a little boy named Six (Cameron Bright from "X-Men 3"). Now before you jump to the conclusion that this is the worst name for a character EVER, let me get to the bad guy.

Yes, there is a villain in this film played by the venerable Nick Chinlund (The sleazy cowboy in "Zorro"). This bad seed of a man kills without mercy and dreams up diabolical schemes while rubbing his hands together and laughing like a weasel. His name speaks of terrors unspoken of since the days of yore.

His name is Vicecardinum Ferdinand Daxus.

I know. That's the worst name ever thought of.


It hurts to hear it.

Makes the ears bleed.

If the names and opening sequence haven't already caused your DVD player to combust, the rest of the movie will make a sincere effort.

Now, I'm all for cameras getting jiggly with it. I like the spinning, mind-warping acrobatics of the "Matrix". What I don't like is when the camera becomes a ping pong ball during the championship match between Yin Hu Wong and Forrest Gump.

In one sequence (which, for all rights, was pretty nice) the camera flies alongside a bullet into a person's sunglasses. When the reflection fills the entire screen, the camera suddenly BECOMES that perspective and flies the other way. This ricochette happens several times, until the motion sickness level reaches "Blair Witch" proportions.

The other effects in the film seem to mimic the stylized look of "Sin City", or some other, better done, comic book movie. Except the rest of the film does not look like a comic book. Despite the flashy colors, the film appears to be grounded in a more realistic image, which makes the explosions and CGI all the more cheesy.

And why is it so hard to use a green screen? Did this ability skip a generation of effects managers? Do they not know how to cover up the fact that it's people in front of a screen? IT'S THE YEAR 2006, PEOPLE, LET'S GET ON THE FRIGGIN' BALL!

I didn't want to talk about the script. It's not that I have any qualms about tearing this screenwriter a new one, that's not the problem at all.

I just don't want to relive it in my head.

The person who wrote the final draft of this film was obviously very special. They had been living in cave for their entire lives. A cave on Mars. And they kept their fingers in their ears and their eyes squeezed shut.

The script was written as though the writer had never heard of the English language. More over, he had never spoken his native language (gibberish, or some dialect akin to it) to anyone else, thus denying him the experience of how ACTUAL DIALOGUE works.

I could give you gems (because they are rampant in this film) but I think one exchange sums it right up.

The bad man, Vicecardinum Ferdinand Daxus, points some crappy looking water pistol at Violet. She flicks blood at him, which incenses him so much he decides to DROP his GUN and pull out a SWORD. In order to put fear in the vampiress's heart, he utters this curse upon her soul:

"It's on."

Wait, don't move yet.

Violet, obviously taken aback by such strong, monosyllabic terms, retorts with a cutting remark:

"You bet it is."

OK, let your brain melt. I know it wants to.

What really strikes me about this scene (besides my hand, which repeatedly hit me in the face for watching this movie) is the fact that Daxus decides to have a little sword fight instead of just shooting Violet. His gun was still working. Violet uses it in the end to kill him. WHY DIDN'T HE JUST SHOOT HER WHERE SHE STOOD?

There's a lot of moments in the film where your jaw will drop due to the level of stupidity on screen. Guards in the inner most sanctums of the most secure buildings wield swords instead of guns. No one, and I mean no one, except for Violet can hit a damn thing, even from point blank range. The biggest threat to the government is a group of vampires that live in a BIG BUILDING not FIFTEEN MINUTES from the main lab.

My "favorite" is when Violet and Six go to the main citadel to challenge the baddies to a duel. There's one of her and 700 of them. When the duo arrive, the little boy convinces V not to go.

So they go play on a merry-go-round.

At this point, I stood from my chair and screamed at the TV for a solid hour.

This movie is horrendous. It's bad on a scale rivalling "Stay Alive." It burns the retinas. I can't enjoy food as much now, as I chewed half my tongue of to keep from cursing in the tongues of the demons.

There is no rating I can give to really do this film justice, but I will try.

This movie is like working-at-the-YMCA-in-Hong Kong-and-having-the-Sumo-wrestling-team-dump-all-their-jockstraps-on-you-after-a-six-hour-session-and-then-having-the-fattest-eat-you-feet-first-with-a-pair-of-chopsticks. And all this happens while wasps sting your sensitive spots.

I don't use this term often, but I hate what this movie did to me. If you only take one thing away from this message, let it be this:


Good day, and good viewing.

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Pie to a Thousand Faces: Killer Klowns from Outer Space

Sometimes, when a mommy movie loves a daddy movie, they make sweet love.

It's very awkward to think about a film strip engaging in coitus, but stay with me for a sec.

Nine months after the little romp in the dark room, a baby movie is born, and it carries all the potential to be a blockbuster.

However, sometimes the mommy film is on the sauce, and the daddy film can't lay off the crack.

That's when you get "Killer Klowns from Outer Space."

I should start this review by talking about the plot, or the effects, or really anything, but I have to mention this now.

John Allen Nelson, of "24" and "Vanished", is in this movie. Of all the actors who could have risked their careers, why John? He has so much going for him. Not in 1988, but now. Thank the gods of movies he made it out alive.

So let's see, clowns who kill, are from outer space, and spell their names with "K".

The movie begins on the same premise as "The Faculty." In that sci-fi extravaganza, famous authors (who were aliens or influenced by aliens) wrote books like "War of the Worlds" and "Tommyknockers" in order to insulate the mainstream from the idea that creatures from beyond actually exist, so that the inevitable invasion would go unnoticed.

In "KKFOS", the circus was made to remind the forgetful public about the horrors of the make-up wearing, tiny car driving menace. From space.

And all the essentials of a carnival--the cotton candy, the popcorn, even the pies--all exist as part of the worst history lesson ever.

So what exactly do these klowns do?

They throw popcorn at you either by hand or with a handy "popcorn gun" (which is a POS Super Soaker with the label removed). The corn then turns into tiny, slinky-necked creatures that eat you or, more likely, harrass you as you get out of the shower.

The protagonist of this unending crapfest is Mike Tobacco (yup, that's the best they could come up with. He's played by Grant Cramer, someone you'll hopefully never give change to whilst using the subway). Mike is in love with Debbie (Suzanne, you'll never hear of her either), but so is county deputy Dave (John Nelson).

If you think this love triangle will be resolved somehow through the medium of an alien're wrong. It's just one of the plot lines that dissolve once the crazy begins.

Whilst making out on a lookout point in the back of a crappy car, Mike and Debbie spot a shooting star (read: alien craft entering our atmosphere). Thankfully, no one in this half-a-horse town can hear, so the sonic boom this sucker must have made goes unchecked.

The two lovebirds decide to investigate, and what should they find? A circus tent.

Let that sink in. The spaceship looks like a circus tent. Still with me, or do I need the smelling salts?

They go inside--INSIDE THE CREEPY TENT IN THE MIDDLE OF THE DAMN FOREST--to check it out, and discover giant, klowns.

Now, I don't know about you, but my crazy meter was about full at this time, and the movie had only run for about fifteen minutes. I thought it couldn't really get any stranger.

I'd chock that idea up to one of my lowest moments on the smarts pole.

Mike and Debbie go to tell Sheriff Mooney (John know him from somewhere, but for the life of you can't place it) Now it's pretty obvious that the last thing any sheriff wants to hear is that giant alien klowns are coming to take over the world and eat the population, but Mooney also happens to be a sack-o'-crap. He threatens to arrest the youngins and sends them on their way.

As the standard sci-fi cliche goes, it's up to these star-crossed lovers to save the day. But they aren't alone. They have two easily forgettable comic-reliefs to help out (Michael Siegal and Peter Licassi--nothing on them either. Apparently this movie is akin to the HIV: Once it's in you, it's all over)

I'd like to take a moment to give a public service announcement: If your town is ever overrun with ugly, large-lipped klowns (who have been known to kill) which reside in outer space, here is a helpful tip to bring the suckers down.

Aim for the big nose. Apparently, whenever Chuckles the Dancing Clown honked his shnozz at your birthday party, he was reminding you of an ancient knowledge from the bowels of human history, when Klowns freely picked at the flesh of mankind.

By placing a bullet or sharp object into the offending snosage, you will be treated to a shower of glitter, turn the klown into a spinning top, and then really crappy special effects take over and disperse the evil klownness.

Now, I know you people out there are wondering how in the hell a killer klown, even one from outer space, can maim, murder, and mistreat the sex-crazed teenagers of Middle America.

Well, there's the aformentioned popcorn gun.

Then there's the cotton-candy-death-ray, which puts people in big pink cocoons that slowly liquify the crunchy humans into a nice slurpy.

There's the big balloons...which really only serve as a way to capture a human so other humans can then rescue them.

There's the fact that they make shadow puppets. And then the shadow EATS YOUR SOUL!

And, of course, pies. Sweet, delicious pies. That melt your face off.

I won't lie to you: This movie knew enough not to take itself seriously. It has a tiny clown car, for crying out loud. It has a baby clown who don't get no respect. It has JOHN F'N NELSON!

Now, you might be wondering how I came across this little carpet stain. Allow me to share some deep, personal memories.

My sister and I used to peruse Blockbuster ("The BB" until Best Buy took that title by force) in search of bad horror movies. Having grown up with Freddy Kruger and Jason Vorhees, I was no stranger to guts and whatnot.

I cannot, with a good conscience, tell you that movies like "Dolls", "Pumpkinhead", and "Dollman VS The Demonic Toys" did not leave some invisible scars in my soul, but I watched them nonetheless. For you people. I burned in the red flame of bad cinema to save you all.

In a way, I'm like some other man who took on the pain and suffering of humanity so that others would live happily. I believe his name was Andy Kaufman.

I don't want to give this movie any credence with a review, nor can I act as though some part of me wasn't attracted to its campy, awful crapulence.

This movie is the spawn of every clown nightmare you've ever had, only made funny and not at all scary. If you have a fear of the clownish pursuasion, watch this movie.

The only way to defeat a phobia is to confront it. And you had too many braincells to begin with.

Watch carefully.

Monday, October 23, 2006

I'd Rather Die: Stay Alive

Horror movies tend to suck.

The plot lines are cliches of cliches, the acting is teletubby-esque, and the effects are either puke-your-pants disgusting or downright laughable.

Having been reared on "Nightmare on Elmstreet" and "Child's Play" movies, I cannot genuinely find modern horror films scary. This mournful state leaves me questioning the horror scene entirely.

So I would like to be able to say that "Stay Alive" has refreshed my take on the genre.

I would like to, but a lie of that magnitude would cause the great god Maquba (He who resides on High eating 7-layer burritos) to rend my flesh using only a dull spork and digest me for a thousand years in one of his seven great stomachs.

Needless to say, this may be one of the worst movies ever made, and Uwe Boll wasn't even in the same country when it was filmed.

This movie starts with a strike against it before the opening credits roll: It's a movie about a videogame.

Do not confuse this idea with the Videogame turned movie. Though "Resident Evil" was a flawed flick, it at least had the opportunity to appease loyal fans. (It never did, but it had the opportunity)

"Stay Alive" is a movie about a videogame. The game is a central plot element, like the VHS tape in "The Ring" or the chainsaw in "Texas Chainsaw Massacre." The idea of this is so stupid that it can't be original.

Indeed, it is not.

This movie draws from other crappy sci-fi films like "Arcade" and Japanese shorts that never should have seen the light of day. Though not based on another, better Asian film (like every other horror movie made in the last three years), "Stay Alive" does fall just as flat.

For starters, let's look at the characters.

Wait, sorry, can't find any.

OK, let's try looking at the charicatures. There we go. Every person in this movie plays a version of the modern gamer in the worst form of stereotyping I've seen since "The Protocols of the Elders of Zion" played on Al-Jazeera.

You have Hutch (Jon extra from "Terminator 3") as the broding, wants a real-life-but-can't-get-it-yet gamer who is loyal and friendly and oh-so-shy around the lady-types.

He is friends with October (Sophia Bush, a random hottie from "Van Wilder") and her brother Phineas (Jimmi Simpson from "Herbie Fully Loaded") October is the goth-wannabe who sort-of pines for Hutch but is constantly defending her brother, who can't say a line without offending some race or gender.

For example:"I beta tested once. It was a lot like eating *#(&$%: It's awesome at first, then it just gets (*&$)(% monotonous."

I can't stress to you how sleezy this character is. He's akin to a vat of grease being dumped on a car salesman. I don't know if that conjured up the right mental image, but it sure would be fun to see.

The headliner of this little story is Swink (Frankie Muniz, little Malcolm all grown up). Swink it the younger gamer, smarter and wanting much more to be a tough black kid over a wussy little nerd. His dialogue is generally the dumbest of any of the characters; ironic because he's supposed to be the smart one.

I guess the premise of this tale really sets it apart from the rest of the garbage out there today: If you die in a videogame, you die for real.

Let's say that one again, just in case it didn't sink in the first time: If you die in a VIDEOGAME, you DIE for REAL.

Lose enough brain cells yet?

The game is based off the legend of Count Bathory, the Blood Countess. Had the movie done away with the game and just been a story about Bathory's sick fetish for bathing in blood, this could have been genuinely creepifying and awesome.

Instead, it is lamer than a one-legged race horse.

What bothered me the most was the fact that everyone in the movie was clinically retarded. I'll give some evidence to support this claim.

In one scene, well into the movie, October is out smoking a cigarette. She sees a demon in a window of a half-built house. She throws the butt down in anger and, in a huff, GOES INSIDE TO INVESTIGATE ON HER OWN. Obviously she has a little trouble inside, what with the demonic videogame-graphic-looking Countess attacking her, so she ARMS HERSELF WITH A #(*&$*^%(*^ HAMMER AND NAILS.

For some reason, the writer didn't think the audience was smart enough to remember the title, so the characters mention it EVERY SCENE.

Swink: I'll play the game so we can all STAY ALIVE.
Phineas: The name of the game is STAY ALIVE.
Disembodied Voice: Your only way out is to STAY ALIVE.

I realized about halfway through that the title was really a warning for viewers. It was advice I found hard to follow, but I managed to STAY ALIVE until the end of the film.

I really really hated watching this movie, but not as much as I hate remembering it for this review. I'd like to spend hours telling you all about the hackneyed acting, the unbelievably bad gore, or the random "love story" that crops up like a case of herpes, but I would much rather stick my face into a lawnmower and try to whistle.

This movie gets no rating, as I cannot invent pain suitable for what it did to me.

If I hadn't watched a little "Shaun of the Dead" before now, I doubt I would have been able to STAY ALIVE.

Monday, October 16, 2006

Dead Man Jogging: Dawn of the Dead

I fear only a few things in this world:

I am afraid of heights. Actually, I'm afraid of falling from heights, or landing after said fall.

I am afraid of spiders, but that's OK because they are the spawn of all that is evil. I mean, they have 8 legs. EIGHT! I get by just fine with two, so what the hell are they using those other six for? Murder, that's what.

I am also, to a lesser extent, fearful of zombies.

Now, I know what you're thinking: Adam, zombies aren't real.

Well, you are a stupid person. Zombies are very real, and are the bane of our living civilization. Just read Max Brook's series "The Zombie Survival Guide" and "World War Z" to understand the ghoulish threat.

As we all know (all of us IN the know) zombies are slow and dumb. This has always been our only real advantage over the horde: We can run and outthink the walking dead.

Unfortunately for everyone, filmmaker Zach Snyder wasn't satisfied with George Romero's trilogy o' perfection, and he had to dream up something awful: A long distance sprint champion zombie.

Now, I don't know about the rest of you, but I'm not that fast. I can move when the time calls for it (alien invasion; clearance sale at Best Buy) but for the most part all I can manage is a high speed saunter.

The idea of a zombie on amphetamines scares the bejeezus out of me.

Enter "Dawn of the Dead" 2004.

The story line of this film is similar to the Romero classic: A group of survivors band together in a shopping mall during the inevitable zombie invasion.

Why a shopping mall? It's never really explained why anyone with a brain would try to fortify a building whose sole purpose is to let people in at every orifice. After a few minutes of the movie it becomes a little clearer, as no character is really playing with a full deck.

The main players in this Homeric drama are Ana (Sarah Polley from...a bunch of random crap...and "ExIsTenZe"), Kenneth (Ving F^@%#N Rhames from all that is awesome) and Michael (Jake Weber from "Meet Joe Black").

Michael is undoubtedly the hero, as he works at Best Buy and anyone who works there is a hero in my book. Kenneth is the moping cop who holds out against all odds that he will be reunited with his brother again.

Ana is...well, she's the female lead. Her role involves being put in those precarious situations women like to get into during horror movies. She is attacked in a shower, falls in love with a doomed hero, and is predated upon.

Most people who see the movie say it isn't as good as the original. This is very true, but that is not to say that this film is all bad.

The script is, though. All bad, I mean. It's just not a believable peice of work. The whole "zombies can run for weeks on end, never tiring or tearing the non-breathing muscles" thing really threw me for a loop. The dialogue can also be...sad. But really, for a zombie movie, it ain't half bad.

The acting is nice, even if it is over done. I personally like a little melodrama with my bucket o' gore, so it worked out fine for me.

Which brings me to the gore. The effects team went to the grinder to pull out the best looking headshots I've seen in years. You can really feel the bits of brain and skull when a dead-head gets it. Bravo, creepy tech guys.

As with all horror movies, there needs to be a steady supply of bodies. Now, monster movies and slasher films usually provide a variety of teenagers and old men to rip up, but zombie movies come in a different form.

Since there are already thousands of "bodies" stumbling around, the deaths have to be over-the-top of over-the-top. Heads must be severed, limbs must fly, and at least one person must die in a hideously painful way. Again, the tech guys (creepy though they may be) do not drop the ball.

One issue people had with the film was the ending, and rather than be a complete backbirth and spoil it for you, I will just say this: GET A FREAKIN' LIFE!

We zombie fans get so few movies nowadays, we should be thanking mister Snyder for even gracing the silver screens with his work. Romero only comes out with his golden epics once in a blue moon, so we need to take what we can get. (Not that we enjoy films like "Undead," but you see what I'm getting at)

This film is not perfect. In fact, it's not really up to snuff. But what it does right, it does amazingly. Despite the fact that this movie added a new dimension to my fear of zombies, I enjoyed it.

This movie gets an evening-with-George Romero-and-Kera Knightly-spoiled-by-impromptu-zombie-attack-only-to-see-George-whip-out-a-12-gauge-and-go-to-town-on-the-bastards.

On a personal note, this movie is recommended for dates where one member of the party is either squeamish or easily scared by shock-scenes.

Also, my review of "The Core" somehow ended up below "JC: Vampire Hunter." I attribute this to the fact that Jesus was said to have walked on water, so a puddle of crap like "The Core" should be no problem.

Watch on.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Do I Smell Sulfur? Jesus Christ, Vampire Hunter

Most of you read the title of this film and laughed. You probably think this is a joke.

Well, is AIDS a joke?

How about dead puppies?

Yeah, thought not.

I walked into this little bag of tricks whilst visiting my friend Warren. He of course filled me in on the title, but I thought little of that.

I was overconfident. I had seen "Manos: Hands of Fate?" and lived. How much worse could this be?

Well, let's begin. From the beginning. Where things tend to start.

I watched a trailer from this DVD, something I do to gauge the quality of the film by its peers.

The one trailer was, for lack of a better word, a rape of film. It was called "Harry Knuckles."

The main character had knuckle hair that would make His Majesty Kong jealous. And he pretended to fight. A lot.

After having my cerebrum doused in this flamboyant spectacle, we decided to move on to the feature presentation. I actually had a moment of dread, where my stomach kind of pinched up. It passed, but looking back it was my only warning.

The first thing you notice about this film is a man. No, not THAT man, I'm talking about the evangelical bearded menace who springs from behind his mother's garden with a bible in one hand and...well, that's all he's carrying.

Cause that's all he needs.

This man, let's call him "the Bard", introduces you to his mother's house, which is in fact a mirror to our souls. "It's musty," he says, "and neglected."

After watching this film, I wish I'd stuck with neglect.

The first scene is a good taste of what's to come. A woman tries to get into her car. She is a vampire.

We watch said vampire (read: woman with obviously plastic teeth she bought at the 99 cent store) attack a woman, suck her blood, for a spell, kick the door to the car closed so she can slam the corpse into it, then proceed to REOPEN THE DOOR SO SHE CAN GO FOR A DRIVE.

I had a flashback here. "Manos" had just begun, and there were long stretches of footage with no dialogue and no point.

Back to "reality," we meet two priests who are concerned with the Lesbian Shortage (Go ahead. Read it again. It's not gonna change) in Ottowa.

In order to save the diminishing Sapphite population, the priests (one of whom bears an outrageous pink mohawk) enlist the help of one Jesus H. Christ.

They find the son of Man performing a baptism. After informing him of the situation--which he already knew, being JC--the group is assaulted by a group of fanged fiends.

Jesus survives, though the ringleader of the lesbian-leeching-legions escapes. Christ vows to avenge his disciples' deaths and rid the world of these homophobic nosferatu.

In order to do that properly, he shaves his beard, gets a haircut, and puts sizable rings in his ears.

Yup, it's AWESOME CHRIST to the rescue.

After a musical number (yes an honest to G-d musical number, though you'll be pressed to find a handful of talent during the lengthy parade of WTF and ???) Jesus goes off to meet another priest who gives him a place to stay.

This held the title of "most random thing to happen in the movie" for about thirty-eight seconds.

As Jesus plods along the road carrying wood to make stakes, he is attacked by a clown-car full of (dramatic music) ATHEISTS.

I cannot explain how bad the following fight scene is. Needless to say, it is an action sequence with neither action nor...sequences.

Imagine if the baby J (grown up of course) used a mixture of kung-fu poses and epileptic fits to fend off overweight comic store-owning gentry (with the occasional hideous woman thrown in for balance).

Now take a moment of silence for the pain.

The rest of the movie follows suit, with random characters--many speaking in rhyme or scat--appearing to either kill a lesbian or save Jesus.

In one particularly visceral episode, we watch the J-man plead for help from passers-by. The only person to lend aid is...a transvestite. Who sings him a song. And says "goodnight, sweet prince."

I can't make this up.

In order to take on the minions of Satan, Jesus finally enlists the help of a Luchadore, Santo. Next to the freaky doctor who uses lesbian skin to make vampires immune to sunlight (yeah, I didn't quite follow it either), Santo is the oddest character in the movie.

That's not really saying much though. Everyone in this film has that "just escaped from an insane asylum for marrying a gummy-bear" look to them.

Jesus gets to the end of his quest, and the "climax" of this cinematic abortion is a fight scene that stretches the definition.

When the bearded Bard returns to close the film, I applauded. It wasn't just that the crazed man was a much better actor than anyone else in the film, it's just I was so happy for it to be over.

How happy?

Let me give you some insight into what watching this movie is all about.

The production quality made me think it was shot in the 70's. The 1870's. It was made in 2001.

Unlike most bad films, "Jesus Christ: Vampire Hunter" didn't suffer from boom mic's jumping into shots. That's because they didn't use booms. Instead, they dubbed in all the audio (poorly) about a year after filming, so any emotion they might have found during the scene is long gone.

The effects....well, let's just shy away from that one. In one scene, a mad scientist rubs his face with what appears to be a sheet of cookie dough. It supposed to be human flesh.

In another, G-d speaks to his son..........through a cherry covered bowl of ice-cream.

In yet another, Mother Mary speaks to Jesus.....through a Christmas ornament that flashes when she speaks.

The music is sub-par for the 70's retro the directors were going for (assuming they had a plan, and this wasn't all just the outcome of LSD and cameras being introduced to the same environment).

During the brief intermission (self imposed. I couldn't take anymore) my friend Yoni tried to burrow out of the room. He was, sad to say, unsuccessful in his endeavors.

If I had to rate this movie, I would take a large and very unpleasant duece on the Holy Bible, mail it to the Pope, and then dunk myself in a vat of acid.

Now, if you'll excuse me, I need to wash out my brain.

And I have a friend named Jack who is going to assist.

Sunday, October 08, 2006

The Worst Part of a Movie: The Core

I want to begin this review with an anecdote.

I spent a year in Israel before college, mainly goofing off. I did volunteer at a fire department in the town of Nitzrat Ilit, or Upper Nazareth.

One thing I learned early on about firefighting is this: There is a LOT of down time.

Since my Hebrew was, at the time, a little bleh, I decided to watch TV in order to dull my brain until the coveted bell rang.

I also learned something about Israeli movie channels.

They show the same movie over....and over.....and over......and OVER!

Thus I ended up watching "The Core" about 57 times.

Give or take.

Even compared to such scientific wonderments as "The Day After Tomorrow" or "Flubber," this movie pushes the boundaries for suspension of disbelief.

The premise is simple: The core of the Earth has stopped spinning. Since the core is iron, it creates our illustrious magnetic field and keeps the Earth in tip-top shape. With it all sorts of jacked up, the Earth "will experience slight turbulence and then ...explode."

Enter professor, Dr. Josh Keyes (Aaron Eckhart of "Thank You For Smoking"). Dr. Keyes realizes what is going on after watching a thrilling reenactment of Hitchcock's "The Birds." He promptly turns to drink.

The good doc is dragged before the eyes of the government to outline a plan. His first option: Drink and be merry, for tomorrow we die.

This does not go over well with the politicians, who had plans to hit on the summer pages. So another "scientist," Dr. Zimsky (Stanley Tucci of "The Devil Wears Prada". Yeah, I saw that one too. And I liked it. I AM WHO I AM. DEAL WITH IT) proposes another solution.

Bore into the center of the Earth, drop off 150 megatons of nuclear arms, then "ride the world's biggest shockwave back to the surface."

Can you smell the intense thrill ride waiting to happen?

Now, this movie needed some human conflict, so the writers decided to throw in a genius (mad) scientist (Delroy Lindo of "Romeo Must Die") who has the technology and know-how to build a machine that can tunnel to the Earth's core in under a few days, withstand the intense pressure and heat, and carry several people both comfortably and precariously, ensuring some will die in painful ways.

He hates the Zimsky fella. So does the rest of the crew. So will you. This is why, by the end of the movie, Zimsky does something stupid and brave that saves lives and the world too. Don't you just love predictable theater?

All crazy, untested craft need crazy, maladjusted pilots. Enter Rebecca Childs (Hillary Swank. Come on, you know what she's been in. Don't even lie). Childs is.....awkward. She does her job well, but is unable to really command anyone, which is why she is overlooked by her peers, employers, and father.

Taste the drama. A little tart? Yeah, my thoughts too.

Keyes brings his own baggage aboard in the form of Serge Leveque (Tcheky Karyo from "The Patriot"). Serge is a weapons tech, and he is pretty much the only character who you would honestly miss if he were gone. Karyo plays him off the cuff, a little absent-minded, and ever the father figure.

Sadly, that is where the acting stopped.

You see, the acting in this movie is bad. Bad in a way that only "Sound of Thunder" or "Mary Kate and Ashley go to Sing Sing" could top. The writing is....well, atrocious is a big word. In fact, it's bigger than the words used in this SCIENCE FICTION MOVIE.

The characters have no memory. As soon as the disposable commander (Bruce Greenwood) takes a lava shower, the crew forgets him and smiles their way on to the next death scene.

The special effects are hit or miss.

Scratch that. They all pretty much foul out. The lightning storm is too over-the-top; the super Global Warming is...well, just kinda bad; and a lot of the stuff aboard the ship is just disappointing. On the plus side, the shuttle crash early on is...ok. Kind of heart... thumping.

The main draw of this movie is..................


No, I'm lost again. This movie shouldn't have been made. The actors deserve better. "Thank You For Smoking" was a hilarious movie, and Ekhart rocked the socks off every scene. Hillary Swank won an Oscar, for crise sakes.

This movie is akin to waking-up-next-to-a-platypus-after-a-long-night-of-binge-drinking-wine-boxes.

I'm actually feeling quite clean (in the movie going sense) as I have seen "The Departed."

I can't review it, as it is an A+++ movie, but I will tell you that it is quite a chaser when drinking down this type of drivel.

Good viewing.

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Every Journey Begins With a Flying Scissor Kick: Transporter 2

Action movies can be ridiculous. That's why we love them.

Governor Arnold (pronounced Ah-Null-d) made the best films before his move to politics. When he eventually steps down after his second term as president, we will all be waiting for "Terminator 4."

I recall with no small amount of pleasure the one-liners of "Total Recall" and "True Lies."

Heck, Sly Stallone had some great moments before he went all sorts of crazy and started making artsy films and bad psychological thrillers ("I See You?" What the hell was that? It felt like the diabetes of film).

Seeing as I am a fan of these films, you can understand my compulsion to flock toward them.

Jason Statham (of "Snatch" fame) returns to the driver's seat in the high-octane, low emission sequel to the sleeper hit "The Transporter" with the aptly named "Transporter 2."

If you recall my review of the first film, I said that "The Transporter" reminded me of a videogame. In the same sense, the sequel reminds me of a comic book.

The hero is deep and brooding, though more than capable of wooing small children and attractive-billionaire wives.

His skills could land him a high paying job anywhere in the world, but he's chosen the life of solitude.

He is basically invincible.

He can fly.

Now, for those of you who haven't seen the movie--and I'm sure there are quite a few of you out there--those last two might not make a whole lotta sense. Allow me to explain.

Anyone who has seen Jason's latest works knows that he is fond of launching himself in the air and delivering a crushing kick via the splits. Gravity, it would seem, is at a loss as to how this all happens, but it is going to get back to me as soon as the numbers are crunched.

In "Transporter 2," Jason's high-wire antics are as insane as possible, rivaling "The Matrix" for implausible stunts.

One scene in particular stands out. My memory is a little hazy (damn you, Mr. Pibb, and all your sugary goodness) so if the images are off from the real thing, forgive me:

Jason breaks into a top-secret biochemical lab,
uncovers the secret plot of the nefarious boss-man,
has the two vials of insanely toxic chemical thrown from a few story window,
catches the vials (which are in super-sensitive glass, by the way),
lands shoulder first on a car,
performs a split-second, leap-in-the-air-and-do-the-splits to avoid two crashing cars,
and still catches the tumbling plague jars.


The gunplay is over-the-top, which is to say "awesome."

Kate Nauta (from...nothing you'll ever see) plays the henchwoman Lola (with whom there is an awesome boss-fight near the end). She likes to fight crime in the old-fashioned sense. IE, she wears next-to-nothing and wields highly powerful sub-machine guns that no one with spaghetti arms should be able to handle.

The plot is...ok, let's be fair. You aren't here about the plot. You care for it almost as much as you do for mosquito larvae.

A movie such as "The Transporter" is not made to win over Oscar judges; it is made to kick ass and chew bubble gum.

Well guess what, kids?

Jason Statham doesn't chew bubble gum.

The action is, like Native Americans, intense (think about it, get it, groan, get over it). This is the kind of movie that starts up and never stops, leaving you reeling from scene to scene, but in a good way. It's probably a safety feature, the lack-of-plot. Otherwise you might overload and die.

Seriously. I heard it happened to some kid whilst performing a "Die Hard" marathon. Too much awesome. Not enough suck.

If you have yet to put this movie in your Netflix queue, go on ahead. It's very dumb, as you probably figured by watching the previews, but it's very worth it. You'll laugh at yourself for watching, but walk away happy.

I'd rate this movie a night-of-watching-"LOST"-reruns-whilst-cuddled-up-with-Famke Jansen who, while not in this movie, is smokin' in ways you can only dream of.

Now I've got to get some sleep.

I still have to watch "Crank", and I hear it's "an adrenaline rush unlike any you've ever experienced."

Pray for me.

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Hail to the King: Army of Darkness

Let's face it: Anyone who knows B-movies has seen "Evil Dead."

This symbolic franchise from legendary filmmaker Sam Raimi launched his career.

The story is simple: Take on group of horny teenagers, add a spooky cabin, sprinkle in some voodoo and black magic and...voila! Cult classic.

The blood is over the top, the creatures are sadistic and witty, and the camera is all over the place.

It's B movie at its best.

So what happens when the same movie gets a sizable budget to work with?

"Army of Darkness"

Bruce Cambell--aka the biggest B-movie star in history--stars as Ash, a rough-around-the-edges clerk from S-Mart (sporting-goods dep.). He's just been dumped in the Dark Ages in the middle of two angry kingdoms duking it out.

Like any good time traveling hero, he is immediately siezed and thrown "into the pit". After one of the funniest monster fights in the history of film, Ash earns the reverence of the "primates" and starts his adventure to get home.

Now I could go on and on about the Book of the Dead, the damsel in distress, the deadite army, and of course, the twin Ash, but I don't want to ruin what is one of my all time favorites.

From a purely objective point, this movie is bad. And it knows it. And it loves it.

The camera work is brilliant, because you can do anything when you don't have money for big rigs.

The special effects are in the "Jason and the Argonauts" range, though the multi-layered images tend to get fuzzy after the third or fourth plane.

The action sequences are, for lack of a better term, KICK-AWESOME (it's my own terminology. Take it, chew it, love it) Bruce Cambell, sans one hand, uses a chainsaw and his trusty boomstick (12 gauge Remington with a hair trigger) to mow down the dissidents of the dark realm.

"Army of Darkness" brought me into the world of B-movies and kept me there despite all the pain and misery such films can cause. The outright humor and over-the-top attitude make this flick a classic in every sense of the word.

Like all good B-movies, "Army of Darkness" is about a character with a square jaw. Namely: Ash.

Ash is the epitome of B-movie action hero. he spouts off one liners (Hail to the king, baby; Groovy) while fearlessly taking on demons and skeletons. He is so BA that he sawed off his own hand when it "went bad".

For those of you not in the know, Ash is a carryover from Bruce and Sam's earlier films "Evil Dead" and "Evil Dead 2". These were essentially the same movie with different characters. That isn't so much a bad thing, as both were attrociously amazing and earned their place at the top of the B-movie food chain.

What makes me sad is the fact that, while Sam went on to direct "Spider-Man" and "The Grudge" (shudder), Bruce has only gone as far as "Hercules," "Brisco County Jr," and "Man With the Screaming Brain." Sometimes there's just no justice in tinsel town.

If you haven't seen "Army of Darkness" or the "Evil Dead" movies, go do it now. If you are reading this blog and enjoying yourself, you'll get a kick out of these items.

I'd rate them being-named-king-of-a-small-island-nation-and-having-a-thousand-Kate Beckinsales-as-your-harem.

Yeah, it's good to be the king.

"Hail to the king, baby."

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Quietly Elevating: Silent Hill

Videogames that transcend the small screens of our televisions to the large, silver panels often lack a connection to their roots.

"Super Mario Brothers" had goombas, but they were fat with small heads, not small with big heads as in the game.

"Resident Evil" had bad actors in make-up, not scary-ass zombies with a severe lack of face happening.

So it's often expected that any movie with a videogame tie-in will reflect mainly the idea, if not the actual image, of the franchise.

"Silent Hill", however, is an exception.

It captures the essence of the game in a very real way.

Unfortunately, that's not a good thing.

"Silent Hill" the game is about a cursed town full of disturbing images, bad voice-acting, cutting edge CGI, fog, and demons that make you long for the peaceful halls of "DOOM".

While playing the first game, I was overwhelmed by the atmosphere. The developers, working with the orignal Playstation, had opted for high visuals and low visibility--the infamous "fog"--but the effect was mind blowing.

The movie keeps the fog, and the darkness of the dungeons, and even keeps most of the standard enemies and bosses (such as Pyramid Head, the oddest and most perverted nemesis I've seen in years).

What doesn't work is the outcome. The game was disturbing and confusing at times. So is the movie.

But when I finished the game I felt the satisfaction of having completed a challenge.

When the movie ended, it had been a challenge to finish, but I was not satisfied.

The acting is standard for any videogame, ie poor. Radha Mitchell ("Finding Neverland") is hit or miss for some of her scenes, which can only be attributed to the director not knowing whether his character is freaked out or driven to find their daughter. She could have demons biting her feet one moment, and the next she'd say, deadpan, that she wasn't leaving until she found her adopted daughter.

NEWS FLASH: You can adopt other daughters! They're practically giving them away. And if you're real lucky, she'll be possessed in some form or another too, or perhaps she'll go into film and make an indie-flick that kills people in a week.

But I digress.

The script is passable, for a game, though it lacks any defining path from plot point to plot point. there a plot in this movie? I mean, the whole mom-and-little girl thing is cute, but I'm reasonably sure that take-your-child-to-a-creepy-haunted-town day was a month ago.

The CGI is good, and I mean good, making the creatures pop out at you. Apparently they had contortionists play many of the demons to give them a creepy figure. It worked. I hadn't been so disturbed since "Se7en" showed us the fun of turning strap-ons into weapons.

Gore is abound, but not overdone--at least for the first half of the movie. There are later scenes where barbed wire is used innappropriately and in ways I can't describe on a public forum.

Let's just say that Mr. Pyramid Head has a little fun with the saying "beauty is only skin deep."

All in all, the film let me down. I was rooting for it the whole time, even through some terrible scenes and worse acting. I stuck with it, cheering on the director and scriptwriter. But then, suddenly, the credits popped up and I was left alone.

I really wanted this to be the movie that brought videogames to the next level, but alas, it is not so. "Silent Hill" is just another reason why people don't take gamers seriously.

This movie rates taking-Natalie Portman-out-for-a-romantic-evening-at-her-behest-only-to-have-her-say-she-just-wants-to-be-friends.

I, however, remain optimistic that the next movie based on a game will breach the surface of the Box Office. I see that day is far off, but it will come.

Unless no one has run down Uwe Boll in a Sears parking lot yet.

Speaking of which, can I borrow someone's car?

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Plug Your Ears: A Sound of Thunder

Science fiction is a dangerous genre.

Aliens can attack from within; robots can (and will) turn on their makers; and just about anything that can go wrong will, in the course of the film, go FUBAR.

However, if the film itself is monumentally flawed, none of this matters.

So how do I describe "A Sound of Thunder"?

Imagine the movie is like the sun, and staring into it directly hurts your eyes.

Now stab yourself in the eyes at the same time.

I am an advocate for the use of CGI in films. I think that, in copious amounts, CGI can drown a film. When used productively, computer effects bring you into a new world of flavor.

But when, in 2005, your images look like rejects from some 1960's claymation epic, you might as well use puppets.

The movie opens with a group of time-traveling hunters stalking an allosaurus. I could have shot the introduction with plastic dinosaurs and a cell phone.

Edward Burns is about the only thing close to a lead in this flick. He plays a scientist, Travis Ryer, who helps keep a corrupt businessman (played by Ben Kingsley of "Bloodrayne" fame) in action.

Obviously the conflict comes from playing with the past. According to the HollyWood BS Theorem, anything is possible. Apparently, when you step on a butterfly in the past, crazy things happen in the future.

In chronological order of the evolution of the species.

And nothing is what it seems.

I'm not going to say this film was bad. I leave that judgment to you.

Firstly, the effects suck, but we've been through that. Scenes involving green screens often make you long for the good old days of puppets and superimposition. I often found myself recalling video games with fuzzy FMV sequences. Only they had better production values.

The script isn't terrible, but it is very poor. Most of the time you'll feel as though the writer just got lazy and gave up, outsourcing the scriptwriting duties to a trained lemur.

The characters are...flat? One-dimensional? Not able to express emotions?

I found the movie uninspiring, with most of the scenes carrying that "it's been done before and better" mentality.

Things jump out from behind boxes and dark windows; creatures are everywhere and hunt in packs; the one easy way to do something is destroyed, leaving only the really, really, ridiculously hard way.

I've seen this movie a dozen times before, only it has never been so poorly implemented.

Something that really irked me throughout the film was the lack of a beautiful woman. Both of the female leads are....OK. Catherine McCormack ("Shadow of the Vampire") is the love interest, at least as far as I could tell, and is decidedly uninteresting for two hours.

Jemima Rooper (The Black Dahlia) is the other gal in this flick, but all she does is act foolish and brave until her "death".

I'd like to tell you the disposable characters in the film make a dent on you as you watch, but in reality they don't. They just exist to die.

Finally, and really my final dissappointment with the film, was the main monster throughout the last act: Baboonasaurus. It was, perhaps, the worst animated creature of the 21st century.

I can't explain it any better than that.

This movie was "a soul-sucking waste" that made me ashamed of cinema.

That'll satisfy as a rating for now.

I'm gonna watch something else.

Something bad.

And then I'll be right back here again.