Friday, December 21, 2007

On Fire

I must apologize for the lack of new content on this site for the past few months.

I have been involved in the running of a marathon, the moving of a house, and, most recently, the passing of the stones of kidneys.

Anyway, I shall be returning to you all very shortly.

In the meanwhiles, please remain patient and ever vigilant of bad movies. There are a few gems coming soon, so keep your eyes peeled.

And for those of you in need of a summer flick, I recommend "I am Legend." A fine balance of old and new, with an Oscar nod for the dog as Best Supporting.

Watch Carefully.

Friday, November 02, 2007

Strike Out

So the TV and Film writers of Hollywood have decided to go on strike.

What does this mean for we, the consumers?

Not a lot.

In fact, this may be a good thing. Perhaps, with all the pretendous (Homestar Copyright 07) writers who've laid waste to what was once great filmage taking a short nap, there could be a gem or two slipping by into the laps of producers.

Maybe we'll actually get a good movie out of this whole event, instead of the torture-porn orgy we've received over the last few weeks.

Allow me to rip on some movies.

"Saw IV" might be one of the worst ideas in a long, sad line of bad ideas for movies. I hate--and I use the word with full meaning--this sudden surge of violent, anti-plot movies that has risen over the last few years.

How many times can I watch someone listen to that stupid voice say, "You have a choice. Die because of the poison gas/pointless deathtrap/high cholesterol, or murder this family member/stranger/child/care bear"?

And the guy is dead, or so we are lead to beleive. How did he manage to kidnap people and set up this elaborate death trap?

You know what? I DON'T CARE!

Why is this the number 1 movie in America? Because people are stupid.

I'm not saying ya'll are, because just by reading this blog you've gained 45 IQ points. I'm saying everyone else is stupid.

Anyway, let's move on.

"I Am Legend" appears to be, with all evidence supporting, a remake of "The Last Man on Earth."

I'll make a prediction here: It's not gonna be as good as the original.

"P2." I'm not even gonna dignify this movie with a response. It's just the worst concept of a movie anyone could write.

In fact, looking at the lineup for the next few weeks, I'm depressed that I've chosen a career in support of these people. I could have been a farmer. At least then I'd get paid good money and be expected to produce shit.

Anyway, I'll be coming at ya'll soon with a review, so get ready. It's gonna be bad.

Like always.

Watch carefully.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Way to Not Suck: 30 Days of Night


WARNING
Spoilers Ahead


Back when Saturday Night Live was funny, they had a great sketch called "Lowered Expectations."

It was a segment on dating videos where the client was a sack of crap, but figured you couldn't do any better.

Hilarity ensued.

In the same vein, by lowering MY expectations for 30 Days of Night, I was able to enjoy the film to a greater extent than those of you who thought it might be good.

You see, there is a simple fact you need to accept.

Modern films aren't good.

They haven't been good in a long time.

Modern directors think audiences are stupid, so they make sure the plot points are hammered in until you can't stand to hear them anymore. They plant images so obviously in the scenery that your eyes are violated by forced beauty. The music cues your emotions so you don't even have to be involved to emote.

All in all, it makes modern film a pornographic experience rather than a work of love.

When I first heard of "30 DoN," I was very excited. I'm an old school vampire man; I like my undead to be freaky and violent.

Anne Rice is amazing, don't get me wrong, and Interview With a Vampire remains an incredible film, but I want creatures without souls to scare the shit out of me.

Some of you may be confused by the term "undead." Allow me to explain.

Vampires, as they cease to function in the sense of living humans, are clinically dead. Their reanimation is the source of the Devil/a virus/the moon/ the Rolling Stones. The term "undead" refers to the fact that they were dead, but are now the opposite.

The term "living dead" refers to zombies, another one of my horror staples. Zombies (not Xombie, the voodoo variant) are rotting corpses that eat the flesh of the living. Not much is known about Zombies, and I fear that speaking their name too often will result in an early uprising of the dead.

Carrying on, our journey of "30 DoN" begins with the introduction of Alaska as Earth's second asshole (the first being Antarctica, as proven in The Thing). The sun, ashamed of even being associated with such a place, leaves for a month.

At this time, vampires (being crafty and butt-ugly at the same time) decide to have an orgy of blood and violence.

All this is great as far as horror movies go. I've heard worse.

Seriously. How many ways can teenagers find to get into cabins, hotels and other out-of-the-way places so they can be easily butchered? Or tortured by rich Europeans?

The monsters use stealth and ridiculous speed and strength, as well as a screech that haunts my ears. They drench themselves in blood and never once take a shower.

This detail I approve of heartily. In fact, I would say the make-up and movement of the vampires is one of the best in the film genre for the past few years. The effects artists really put some effort in.

Another kudos goes to the cinematographer. I don't know any cool terms to use here, so just trust me. This was a well shot film.

As for the acting, writing, story and characters...well, let's just say I muttered "cliche" once or twice.

"30 DoN" is based off a graphic novel of the same name, and like "Sin City" before it, the movie does a reasonable job of sticking to the source material. I happened to watch the film with an expert, and he only pointed out some flaws at the end.

Now, since I've mentioned flaws, I should say one thing.

This is a bad film.

It's not awful. It does not deserve such a title, but I cannot recommend it.

In fact, I would warn against seeing it.

Hopefully, given that, your expectations will be very low if you do ever find it before you. In that case, you might enjoy it for the buckets of blood it piles on.

And I mean buckets. There is more blood here than in "Saving Private Ryan." The director had a fire hose hooked up to a blood machine and forgot to turn it off.

Josh Hartnett, a fine actor for romantic comedies and--well that's all I'll trust him with--was the wrong choice. Does he try? Yes, and he deserves a medal for really twisting his "I miss my girlfriend" face into something resembling fear.

The other characters are stock and don't apply to logical debate.

The cliches are worth noting: You have the "guy who panics and gets people killed", "the whore", "the separated couple", "the kid brother"...I could go on forever.

As for the vampires, you get the "lithe and psychotic female" who is obviously the love interest of "the leader". If not for the fact that she looked fuglier than Linda Tripp, you could imagine liking her.

And I mean fugly. As previously mentioned, the make-up is incredible. It looks as though they took the face-distortion from "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" (TV) and hit it with a bat.

Are there holes in the plot? Of course, it's a horror movie and you can't expect people to think these things through. The characters make RIDICULOUSLY stupid decisions in the name of furthering the story, but you forgive them because something explodes bloodily later.

I warn all those who are feint of heart not to watch, as this is one of the goriest movies I've seen in some time.

That said, if you like vampires and must know if someone can survive for 30 days, go ahead and watch.

Don't say I didn't warn you.

Watch carefully.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

The Apple Has Fallen Very Far: Children of the Living Dead


Romero is a genius.

He took the Haitian concept of the Zombie--originally a man or woman whose soul was on layaway due to voodoo--and added a very human sense of mortality to create the shuffling face-biters we all know and love.

Night of the Living Dead was a seminal piece of filmmaking, and set the standard for zombie horror.

Everything that has come since then has tried...and failed.

The only exception to this has been Shaun of the Dead which was just another example of the Brits beating America at good movies.

So now we come to this, the ultimate statement of how NOT to make a zombie movie.

"Children of the Living Dead"

The movie begins with a posse of the uninfected taking on waves of slow moving, poorly made-up zombies. A helicopter flies overhead, providing solid air support.

This was a huge mistake by the filmmakers for two reasons.

One: When taking on the slow variant of zombie, firing from a helicopter leads to wasted shots and fewer killed zombies.

Two: When you waste your budget on a helicopter, you're left with a shitty movie that has no blood, brains, squibs, actors, scripts or point of existence.

Basically, it's awful.

Let's start off with the basic premise.

There are zombies. This has nothing to do with the rest of the movie, but if you don't assume it from the beginning you'll be lost by the second scene.

You see, the rest of the film doesn't really involve zombies so much as a demonically possessed abbot named Abbot Hayes.

Hayes was dressed like a girl by his mother and developed a case of the crazies. He killed a few women and went to jail. In jail, he died.

Somehow he then became possessed by demonic spirits, but the how or why was not important enough to be explained by the writer.

Zombie Hayes captured a group of kids who were in turn rescued by a fat and bumbling policeman. Another man, who's name and purpose mean nothing, dies in the rescue.

Skip ahead many years.

A construction group is building a car dealership where the old Hayes place used to be. In order to do this, they dig up graves.

Why?

Are you seriously asking questions at this point?

So, for no apparent reason, Hayes decides to attack the town. He scares a van full of teenagers into falling off a cliff, bites their corpses to reanimate them, and then procedes to attack a diner.

Yup, only the diner.

And then, just to be safe, he makes sure they don't wander anywhere except that diner. Because when zombies wander, they hurt people. And we aren't here to hurt people.

Inside the diner is a fashionable young lad who is the son of the evil man building the car park and the last surviving girl from the original kid rescue.

A little bad acting later, with some of the worst action sequences ever recorded on film, the movie ends.

Hayes is still alive, the fat cop is dead, and the boy and girl look poised to get it on.

And you've died a little inside.

Honestly, there is no way to describe how bad this film is.

The director must have only heard of films through loosely translated exerpts from radio broadcasts received from an old soup can that were beamed from towers deep underground and run by mole people.

The writer was obviously illiterate.

The actors were dead themselves and hooked to strings.

After the movie was shot, rather than take it to an editor, the filmmakers chose to bury it in a pile of rotting roadkill for seventeen years.

I can't make sense of the choices made in this movie, specifically the choice to be made.

Don't see it. For the love of all that is holy, do NOT see this movie.

That's all for now.

Watch carefully.

Sunday, September 09, 2007

Where Am I?

Good Question.

I just moved to a new apartment at the beginning of a school year that seems destined to end my streak of fun and happiness.

Or, more accurately, my senior year of college.

I'm taking a small break so I can get a handle on my classes, and then I will be back.

To keep you all happy, here are some mini-reviews.

I Need Bug Spray: Insecticidal



Imagine if a horny teenager got ahold of Final Draft and, whilst watching a Discovery Channel investigation of the insect world, fell asleep on his laptop.

That's basically how you would get the script for "Insecticidal."

This movie was worse than any B-Insect movie I've ever seen. I can't go into too much detail (what about "mini-review" don't you get) but I'll the main points.

The "hot" mean girl was actually a rather ugly (sorry if I seem shallow, but eye candy is an integral part of B-movie villainesses) whore of a woman.

The cliches were so intense I actually was blinded by the obvious.

The effects cost $14.95, to include the labor of designing and animating the bugs, the program to create said animations, and the computer to run them. Yes, this movie's special effects were created by a generation one Gameboy.

The plot notwithstanding, this was the dumbest storyline I've seen in quite some time.

The characters (not the actors, but the F students they portray) were actually unaware of their environment to the degree they didn't notice a SIX FOOT SCORPION banging around their house, or a trail of slime so thick is painted the walls green.

The characters are cliched, which was the only good thing about the movie. I said the lines before they came out of the actors' mouths.

Finally, and this is just awful, there is a scene where, for a good two minutes, you watch a guy pee.

Seriously.

This movie sucked like a giant mosquito, only without the merciful death that accompanies.

Just Shut Up: Dead Silence



You knew this was going to be a bad movie when you saw the previews.

Why?

There was a nursery rhyme attached.

"Beware the stare of Mary Shaw
She had no children, only dolls
and if you see her, do not scream
or she'll rip your tongue out, at the seam"

Drink that one in, because you'll hear it five times before the end of the film.

Not since the glory days of Freddy Krueger has anyone been bold enough to try the ol' nursery rhyme trick. You know why? BECAUSE IT NEVER WORKS!

Seriously, Freddy got lucky with that one.

So let's start with a young man finding his wife murdered, her tongue ripped out (at the seam?) He goes off on a quest to learn more, all while being the prime suspect in the slaying.

The lead detective (Donnie Wahlberg, who should know better) is the only good character in the movie. He makes jokes, shaves (though always has a 6 o'clock shadow) and talks to the dead (not in a John Edwards sense, more of a creepy cop sense).

So along the way you learn that our lead man (Ryan Kwanted from nothing ever again) is descended from a line of folk who have been killed by the ghost of Mary Shaw, a famous ventriliquist who, by the way, was INSANE.

She killed a boy and tried to make him a puppet, so the townsfolk (rightfully) cut out her tongue and killed her.

So now she haunts the town to take revenge for...the revenge they took.

In most monster movies, the ghost was wrongfully killed and now haunts to get revenge. In this movie, the ghost is a whore who lost fair and square and is now being even meaner.

So how does she kill you?

Well, unless you scream, she doesn't.

I'm serious. If you see her, she smiles and slowly floats toward you. And then, inevitably, you scream.

Then she smiles even wider (she was made to look like a dummy herself) and flies into your mouth. She rips out your tongue and adds it on to her own ever growing stamp licker.

And that's the crux of the story.

I can't explain how disappointed I was with this piece of trash. It had no potential and lived up to that sense of lacking.

If you have a choice between "Dead Silence" and biting into a burning coal, you may need to really think about the consequences of either action.

I'm off to watch more bad films.

Watch carefully.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Dear Joss, It's Me, Adam


And lo, Joss said unto his followers "there will be only one edition."

Much fear and sadness gripped the Whedon-Nation, and many chose to end their lives (in the WoW sense) rather than face a world without Serenity.

And yet today, as we speak, new light sheds down from above.

Joss Whedon has (apparently) recanted his earlier wishes and forgiven the impudence of his followers.

A Collectors Edition of "Serenity" has finally emerged.

I don't have much to say, except that you should all go BUY THIS right now.

Seriously, right the hell now.

Can't stop the signal.

Monday, August 13, 2007

Don't Judge a Book: Stardust


This can't be happening. I can't believe what I just saw.

Seriously.

I have spent most of my adult life trying to prevent books from becoming movies, mainly out of a steadfast sense of humanity.

Yet here, with one of my favorite author's novellas on the line, I was asleep at the watch.

And the world will reap the benefits.

Let's start at the beginning...

Neil Gaiman, a British writer of much renoun, decided to be a great man of the pen. In fact, I would say he is one of the best novelists out there today, one top of the heap with Chuck Palhanuik and Stephen-Freaking-King.

His works include American Gods and Anansi Boys, both epic tales of theology and magic in our modern world.

His wry humor and graphic visuals paint a vivid picture that stays in the mind long after the words are forgotten. I often quote his witticisms to my friends and claim to have been brilliant enought to conjour them on my own.

I'll admit to the lies later. I want my damn fifteen minutes.

Anyway, let's drag this conversation in a different direction for a moment.

Most books that become movies suck. This is common knowledge.

Look no further than "The Lost World," or "Dreamcatcher" for prime examples of how NOT to make a book into a movie.

I especially loathe what happens to Stephen King novels when they reach the silver screen. It's as though all the good is removied surgically, replaced by a boat-load of suck and bad dialogue.

Some movies do break the mold from time to time. "Never Ending Story" actually stuck to the original plot quite fairly, and both the novel and film can be considered quite magical and awesome. But examples like this are the exeption, not the rule.

But something very special has occured at theaters near you. A movie of unmatched potential arrived and you probably didn't even know.

Neil Gaiman, as I previously mentioned, is quite the writer. His mezmerizing film Mirror Mask was a familiar story wrapped in a completely original and beautiful package. His books border on the macabre and in the most brilliant sense of the word.

So you can imagine my sense of anxiety when I learned they were making a movie based on one of his novels, and my relief when I learned he would be penning the screenplay.

And with Michelle Pfieffer and Robert DeNiro in on the action as well, I had high hopes.

And this movie exceeded them.

Let's talk visuals, because that's what draws many to fantasy films. This movie has both the mundane (little villages that don't quite impress the eye) to extreme (castles that stretch the imagination to its limit. The effects are gorgeous without being overwhelming, so don't expect "Lord of the Rings" style CGI.

The dialogue was excellent, full of Gaiman's trademark humor, which translates very well from page to screen. Each character has a unique voice and a well defined role. There don't appear to be many superfluous players or scenes. In fact, the flow of the whole film is smoother than one could imagine, given the fantasy fair we've been given as of late.

The acting was, on the whole, good. You could honestly beleive most of the actors fit in their respective roles. The only exception was Ricky Gervais (From "Extras"). He basically played himself, but he was funny enough that you didn't care.

Finally let's take a look at the story.

Overall? Excellent.

This is Neil Gaiman we're talking about.

You start with a simple tale of a boy going on a quest for the girl he loves. Sure, she's kinda mean and doesn't respect him at all, but this is puppy love.

In the subplot arena, we have a kingdom where the heirs are chosen for brutality rather than compassion, three witch sisters who've let the years sneak up on them, and a fallen star with a bad attitude.

I honestly can't recommend this movie enough. I'll let it speak for itself.

I give this movie nine enthusiastically shaken ferrets out of ten.

Go on, watch carefully.

Sunday, August 12, 2007

The Return

Well, I am feeling pretty good.

I just spent a month training in Fort Lewis, Washington, having my ass handed to me time and again by NCOs and disgruntled officers.

Thus you may ask why I feel good.

After not sleeping for a month, having even a small moment to relax on my own does wonders. I spent most of today just relaxing and not moving and I feel great.

Now, on to business. I shall begin reviewing the scrap of moviedome rather soon. I have a little work to catch up on before then, but with any luck a new tale of woe shall be posted within the next two days.

Until then, go see "The Bourne Ultimatum."

Sunday, July 01, 2007

Happy Independence Day: Live Free, or Die Hard


Let me tell ya'll a story.

I went with my family to see the sequel I've been waiting for all summer.

As it is not yet July, I can't be referring to "Harry Potter". No, this was a manly, patriotic romp to be remembered for all times: the return of the legendary John McClane.

At first, we were delayed trying to get to the theater. It seemed that the heavens opened and decided to dump a few floods on top of my area of Texas.

Whilst inside the theater, the power gave way a few times--which was a great way to pay tribute to the show...but things didn't follow suit.

About five minutes into the film, right before the awesome started, the power gave out again. It appeared that a tornado--a spinning vortex of wind and debris that can be easily described as the vengeful finger of an angry god--dropped down a few blocks away and trashed the power grid.

No manager came in to warn us theater goers. In fact, when the whole building went black, not a single agent of the cinemaplex seemed to give the ass of a rat about us patrons.

At the same time, this torrent of rain prevented me from making my flight back to Beantown, keeping me in Texas just long enough to make another go of seeing the film with family.

This time, victory was mine.

And thus I saw Live Free or Die Hard

And wow. Where do I begin?

Firstly, let's just get the elephant out of the room and address the rest of the summer's film offerings. They were awful.

I mean Bubonic Plague, sores spreading across your torso, infested thromboembolisms of the liver and spleen.

Basically the worst parts of the Bible.

Ocean's Thirteen wasn't bad. Pirates 3 was better than the second, if still inferior to the original. And I'm not even going to mention the rest of the shlock that I saw on the silver screen.

What I'm gonna say right now is going to sound a little bit like gushing, but bare with me.

This movie is perhaps on par with Rocky Balboa.

Firstly, let's address the main attraction: Bruce Willis back in his best role.

Some of us (myself included) remember the great days of the original "Die Hard" Trilogy. Alan Rickman took a break from kicking the face off of stage theater to portray one of the greatest villains of all time. William Sadler ("The Green Mile") did an OK job in the slightly lacking sequel.

And who can forget Samuel L. Jackson (A twelfth degree BAMF) who joined in as Zues in "Die Hard: With a Vengeance", this time with Jeremy Irons as an equally amazing badguy.

I mean, what a freakin' line to follow.

Let's start with the basic premise.

WARNING: SPOILERS AHEAD
Deal with it.

America is under attack from within. Techno-terrorists are taking down our power grids one leg at a time, and they can't be traced or stopped.

Their plan is perfect, except for one small flaw: They didn't factor in John McClane.

Start with a fairly hot asian woman tricking several hackers into opening back doors into every system we rely on. (Maggie Q from "Mission: Impossible III")

Throw in a beaten and war weary John McClane on a rookie's errand picking up a wanted suspect, Matt Ferrell (Justin Long, the Apple guy).

Now add the most devious mind of all time, a super-techno-home-grown-terrorist (Timothy Olyphant, the sherriff from "Deadwood")

What you get is a damn fine movie, probably the best action movie of the summer.

Let's go through some of my favorite moments:

-Basically anytime John taunts the badguys

-Kevin Smith as, well, Kevin Smith

-The amazing fighting from Maggie Q vs the balls-to-the-wall knucklings of Detective McClane

-Probably the most visceral chases ever

I can't go into too much detail because this is honestly the kind of action movie you need to be a part of. Sure, there are the "don't forget the G-men are stupid" moments and a few political pokes at both sides of the aisle, but for the most part this movie is about the original American Badass and his quest to right the wrongs of society.

And believe me, John McClane rights his wrongs with a passion not seen since George Washington dropped a train on some unscrupulous British folk.

If you have never seen a single "Die Hard" movie, you still owe it to yourself to see this film based on its power as an action staple.

I give this nine stars, though this is adrenaline talking right now. As I see it over and over, flaws will no doubt reveal themselves, such as plot holes that are inevitable with an endeavor such as this, but who cares.

This was an enjoyable experience and I'm not gonna take back my recommendation.

Go on, indulge in a little patriotic bad-assery this Fourth of July. Live Free, or Die Hard. Your choice.

And then go see "Transformers".

Watch carefully.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Sounds Fancy: Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer


Sometimes I wish I were a comic book nerd.

No, scratch that.

I'm a nerd of many things, but I often wonder what I would be like if I added comic books to my repertoire.

For the most part, my nerdism factors around my movie knowledge, videogame prowess, and DVD collection, as well as my predilection toward expensive gadgetry.

My interests in movies (and the review of said items) sometimes means that I see this new craze of turning old comic-book heroes into silver screen saviors as something of a fad.

And when have fads ever been a good thing? I mean seriously, do you remember Tamagotchi?

But some movies have really stood out in this genre. Spider-Man, X-Men, and even some sleepers like The Punisher really changed the way we think of comic book superheroes.

Batman Begins revived a nearly dead series, recasting it in a new, darker image into which fans eagerly sunk their braces-covered teeth.

But sometimes things don't really work out that well. Sometimes, directors don't quite bring the source material to life.

In the original "Fantastic Four", director Tim Story decided on a faster pace for the characters and a generally cartoonish style of action. This made the movie fit in better with the old animated series than the original comics.

For those of you who don't know much about comics (I'm looking at you, Wyoming), allow me to put in my two cents.

Stan Lee is a genius.

This man created so many of the seminal characters of comic fandom that he has been proclaimed by many to be a god.

Not THE G-d, but a lesser diety.

He had his own TV show where people made asses of themselves in order to please the great Stan Lee.

Granted, it all fit in so well that the show is heading on to its second season. I guess when you have people doing super things instead of eating bugs or dating prostitutes, you get good television.

The Fantastic Four, and really all the Marvel comics, were dark and humerous at the same time. They had super villains but mundane troubles in the same bubblegum-smelling pages.

In the original movie, writer Mark Frost brought the original BAMF of villainy, Dr. Doom.

Let's just say that together, class.

Dr. (as in man who possesses a PHD in some subject) Doom (the end of all things).

Played by Julian McMahon of "Nip/Tuck", Dr. Doom kicked much in the way of Fantastic ass on the screen. His lines were cornier than a Sylvester Stallone "dramatic moment", but you still loved to hate the guy.

The characters weren't very interesting, though you did care a little for Michael Chiklis as the Thing. The Human Torch (Chris Evans from "Cellular") was a fine comic relief, and Jessica Alba was really hot.

I didn't think the original movie was that great. I think the effects were too cartoony to be taken seriously with the rest of the film. I thought the dialogue was about as bad as could be managed with actors speaking their own language.

Still, I was willing to give the sequel a shot.

Enter Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer

Again, the special effects seem a little too cartoonish, though the magic wizards at Spectral Motion certainly aimed a little higher than the last film. Though Mr. Fantastic still looks pretty bland stretching to and fro, the rest of the film has a darker mentality.

The story focuses on a few small details all coming together.

Mr. Fantastic and the Invisible Woman are trying to tie the knot, but things keep getting in the way. Being celebrity superheroes isn't easy on matrimonial life.

The Human Torch is starting to recognize his position as a loner. The Thing is...well, he's a giant rock. What do you want him to do?

Meanwhile, a silver man on a surfboard arrives to herald the end of Earth via the super-galactic being of Death, Galactus.

So basically it's same old same old for the Fantastic Four.

While I did enjoy the humor of the movie, the serious moments never pan out. In fact, I often wonder why they tried to put them in here in the first place.

The wedding is a fiasco, and the future Mrs. Fantastic can't stop those tears from welling. Torch boy has his moments of pondering whistfully while staring at the moon. People make faces that are meant to convey sorrow but really only border on bad sushi.

The humor, on the other hand, works more often than not. Chris Evans has great timing when delivering his lines. My favorite was his question to The Thing about his relationship with Alicia Masters. "I'm just worried I'll wake up and she'll have died in a land slide."

While the main players haven't changed much, the new arrival is quite something. Doug Jones, the rubbber man from such suits as Pan's Labyrinth performs the body works while Lawrence Fishburn (you know where he's from, don't mock me) voices the mercurial menace.

The Silver Surfer is awesome, with his stony face and structurally questionable physique. His movements are smooth and fit well with the characters around him, while at the same time making him appear otherworldly.

Now, I don't really want to spoil much for you here. This film has flaws, and in fact is about as average and underwhelming as I expected, but in a world where Jessica Alba is willing to put on spandex and prance around for us all, why are we asking such questions as "did they really just charge me $10 for popcorn?"

This movie won't win any awards. And I mean any. But give it a try and see if you can look past the poor dialogue and corny acting.

And cartoonish special effects.

And lackluster ending.

And lack of more Jessica Alba.

And...oh hell, just see it and judge for yourself.

For myself, I give this movie a solid five stars.

Now, if you'll excuse me, I have to watch "House."

It's simply a marvelous show.

Watch carefully.

Monday, June 11, 2007

Small Parts May Choke Everyone: Dollman vs the Demonic Toys


This review is dedicated to my sister, who is a witch and eats young children.

Sometimes people make really terrible movies. This is a fact you loyal readers should already be aware of.

But once in a blue moon, producers do something really awful.

I mean, it's Biblical.

"Voodoo Moon" comes to mind.

Let me tell you a story, because I know you're interested.

When I was a young lad (bucking, one could say) around the same time that me and my sister discovered "Killer Klowns from Outer Space," we found a little movie.

It was called "Dollman vs the Demonic Toys".

Now, I thought that this was just a bad idea complementing other bad ideas, but I was very wrong.

This was, in fact, three movies combining to make one awful sequel.

"Dollman", as best I remember, is about a futuristic cop (or maybe transdimensional) who shrinks and fights...robots?

I won't lie, I only made it through the first few scenes before my brain shutdown--that's a safety mechanism to keep me from getting brain damage.

"Demonic Toys" is basically a huge rip-off of "Puppet Master". Toys, made by the Devil, come to life to kill a bunch of--you guessed it--oversexed teens.

The last of the trilogy of tripe is "Bad Channels."

Let's see. Aliens...music videos...nurses in skimpy outfits...zombies?

Somehow, all of this leads to a woman shrunk in a jar. Really, it's all that simple.

The film was nuts, but did have some of the most randomly entertaining songs you'll never hear anywhere else. It may have been the first truly awful film prequel I'd seen.

Combine these elements and you have something beyond words.

"Dollman vs the Demonic Toys"

So I can't recall much about this movie because, for the life of me, I can't find a copy to watch.

It appears the FDA and CDC removed all copies from Blockbuster and Netflix in order to prevent a catastrophic outbreak of herpes--herpes of the brain.

Thus I will attempt to remember as much as I can.

Dollman takes on these toys, demonic as they are, in some sort of shopping center/mall. As every single character in this film is shrunken or manufactured by the Morning Star, every set is a mock-enlarged world.

Desktops and notebooks stand as mountains over the actors. Pencils become lethal weapons, and a Barbie (R) mansion is...well, a mansion.

Tim Thomerson plays Dollman, firing his laser pistol from the hip at the Jack in the Box demon as he dodges from Playschool (R) playset to Tinkertoys (R). If he made any hilarious one-liners, I can't recall them at this time. Needless to say, Jack Bauer he is NOT.

His girlfriend (read: the only girl on the planet who beleives "size doesn't matter" when the man is a half a foo tall) is Judith Gray from "Bad Channels". She plays the role of damsel in distress, getting picked up by demonic toy after demonic toy all in the pursuit of giving this movie a plot.

She fails at that goal, but looks good in torn clothing so it's all forgivable.

The leader of the demonic toys is Baby Oopsie-Daisy.

Take a minute with that one. In fact, take a break from this blog, go for a run, eat some sushi, and come back with a fresh perspective.

This is literally a doll that pees turned evil by demonic possession. It's definitely one of the seven signs of the coming End of Days.

The plot centers around the return of the evil seed, Lucifer, via Judith Gray's microscopic womb. The father of the bastardly abomination is the baby-faced doll.

But, alas, though he can pee, he isn't exactly...ahem..."equipped" for this mission.

Thankfully the Lord of Darkness has a magical spell that converts plastic parts into...well, let's just say a choking hazard label doesn't cover this particular item.

From what little I remember of this movie, the scene where Baby OD get's his l'l Louisville slugger is priceless. Thunder and lightning and a tiny smiling baby shouting "I'm changing! I'm changing!"

And then the love scene.

I'm kidding, there isn't any puppet porn in this particular film experience. Instead, you get to watch a shrunken woman kick a baby doll in the nuts.

As MasterCard would say, "priceless."

This movie was basically the worst idea out of three terrible ideas. It was a bowl obstruction in a seventy-year-old man during his bimonthly enema. It was the most powerful form of failure in democracy since William Taft's bill on pork barreling.

Basically it was as bad as anything that has ever seen the light of day.

This was worse than Casper Van Deen as Tarzan.

Some people like to equate this movie to any other cult classic. That is a falicy.

Cult classics tend to, oh I don't know, have redeeming qualities. "Army of Darkness" is a cult classic because it is, without a doubt, the manliest zombie-fest in our history.

But this...tripe, this filth can't be called anything but a vicious joke on the movie-going public.

Watching this film should only be attempted in a controlled environment, with medical personnel on standby.

Still, I can't help but wonder what it would be like to sit down and attempt viewage one more time. As I mentioned before, Netflix is woefully unable to provide me with this arsenic, so I ask for anyone out there to find a copy.

Don't watch it, I wouldn't wish that on anyone, but tell me where to find it and I will do a proper review, rather than this nostalgic rumination.

I have some more material coming up as the summer movie crapfest continues with trilogy after trilogy.

Keep safe, and, as always,

Watch carefully.

Sunday, June 10, 2007

Summer Movie Fun Times

It's summer time.

That last sentence was for those of you who live inside caves somewhere in the middle of Antarctica and, though you have the use of the internet, sometimes you need a reminder of the seasons as you always appear to be in the middle of Winter's colon.

As I have not seen anything new and awful in quite some time (barring the most recent episode of "Who Wants to Date My Dead Goldfish") so I've decided to give you all (my fifteen person audience) a chance to change the course of Blog history.

Again.

That's right, I'm taking suggestions. And no, this isn't just a ploy to force me into less work. This is a chance for all of you to pick your favorite worst movie and have me give it a whirl.

I will still review anything bad I happen across, but this is a treat for all of you out there, so go ahead and let fly.

And, as always,

Watch carefully.

--AK

Sunday, June 03, 2007

From the Makers of 24--2: The Sentinel


>>WARNING<<
Some spoilers ahead

I am a huge fan of "24."

I say this in order to set the tone for the rest of this review.

Most people view the show as more crazy conservative programming from FOX. And that's all well and good, but it's much more than that.

"24" is a statement of machismo and glory that surpasses all other television programs, including other staples of mine such as "Battlestar Galactica", "Prison Break" and "Firefly." In each hour of the action-packed day, Jack Bauer (Keifer Sutherland of all that is badass) draws in attention like a magnet.

It's honestly amazing what the writers pack into each day (though, I will concede that this last day did suck just a wee bit).

So when a movie comes out starring Mister Sutherland as a big time Secret Service man, with Michael Douglas in for the ride no less, I couldn't say no.

Actually, I said "no" for a long time, mainly because the ratings were as poor as can be.

But now, given the new freedom summertime has alotted me, I dove into the movie with a mind set toward darkness and bags of awful dialogue.

And I wasn't entirely disappointed.

"The Sentinel" is a below-average political thriller wrapped in a below-average action movie.

It's very hard to make a political thriller nowadays without pissing off half the country. "24" consistently touches on hot-button issues such as Islamic fanatics, torture of terrorists and the ability of a sitting president to sleep with or without his wife.

But "The Sentinel" plays it safe and dredges up a bad guy from beyond the grave, namely the KGB.

For those of you who never watched a James Bond film before "Tomorrow Never Dies" (and shame on all of you), the KGB stands for Komitet Gosudarstvennoy Bezopasnosti, which is Russian for "Super Secret Spy and Torture of Dissidents Agency Which May or May Not Kill Everyone in a Vain Attempt at Covering Our Failing Country's Great Flaws and Failures."

The KGB squared off against our own CIA for the many years of the Cold War (if you still don't know what's going on, punch yourself until I stop laughing). In this film, for some reason, some guy with some connection to the KGB (no, that's never explained) wants the president dead (again, for reasons we don't fully comprehend.

Somehow he has a man inside the Secret Service, those sunglasses-wearing, square-jawed BAMFs we always see around the president. The idea of getting a man on the inside the Secret-F-ing-Service is a pretty big stretch, but you haven't even seen the movie yet, so you have no idea how far it goes.

The star of the film is Michael Douglas, who plays the role of Agent Pete Garrison, the head of the First Lady's detail, and her man on the side. His long career was punctuated by a few rounds taken in the service of President Reagen. Now he spends his time joking around with old friends and diddling the most powerful woman in office.

Now the Secret Service is not only a security team for the president, they also have an incredible team of investigators working out of the Treasury. In this case, the head investigator is a hotshot agent named David Breckenridge, but you can call him Jack.

That's right. Jack Bauer is the co-star of this movie.

Don't let the name they've given him fool you. Jackie's been known to take on aliases in order to penetrate the highest levels of governments. In this case, he's on the inside of our own Secret Service, looking for dirt and coming up with both hands full.

His mannerisms, his looks, even the way he draws his weapon and fires at the baddies is all signature Jack B. They stop having his character addressed by any name just you don't have to remind yourself that this is in fact Jack Bauer and not some stupid David person.

So here's how it all goes down.

An informant drops some information on Pete's lap that intimates an imminent assassination attempt on the president. Pete begins the investigation, but all the evidence soon points to him.

What happens next is a high-octane chase remenicient of "The Fugitive" only with less acting. Pete is one of the best trained agents the Secret Service has ever had, and now he has to use all of his skills against his own in order to survive.

Jack is always one step behind, sometimes even arriving at the same building only seconds after Pete leaves. They have some sordid personal history that serves to instigate a few shoving matches and is politely forgotten when the audience realizes they never gave a crap.

The action, for the most part, is pretty dry. The "shoot-outs" last slightly longer than they would in reality, but too short to really grab the adrenal glands and squeeze. The director didn't know whether to go for realism or punchy action, and the mix doesn't really work.

In fact, a lot doesn't work. There are moments when the writers didn't know how to segue to another scene, so they opted not to. Scenes just follow each other the viewer is meant to figure it out.

News flash, writers. THIS DOESN'T WORK!

People don't go to movies in order to put together intricate puzzles. And even if we did, we don't want a three thousand piece puzzle with half the picture missing.

One of the highlights of this movie (aside from the startling fact that Kim Basinger is still a striking and gorgeous woman of 80) is Eva Longoria. Honestly, I don't know why she's in this movie.

True, she's absolutely the most beautiful woman in a Secret Service movie this summer, but her character doesn't add anything to the plot. She acts mainyl as a bridge character, constantly forgoing her own investigation to chat with fugitive Pete about how he needs to turn himself in.

She also tries to get to know Jack B., but he's too jaded from years of pain to be interested.

I don't know what to tell you guys, this film lacked a lot. I liked the fact that it paid a little homage to the shadows behind all great men, the Secret Service. There are few movies that even acknowledge these heroic people, and it's high time someone took notice.

Granted, they do it poorly, but I give an A for effort.

This movie really needed a better action director and a few more writers, but it does a passable job of retelling a story Tom Clancy probably wrote in his sleep, then forgot because it was so below his usual standards of excellence.

I give this film four stars for Eva Longoria, Kim Basinger, Michael Douglas and Jack B--I mean Keifer Sutherland.

Watch carefully.

Sunday, May 27, 2007

Cross Country Corpses: 28 Weeks Later


>>WARNING<<
Spoilers to follow

I'm gonna be perfectly honest with all of you. I didn't much care for "28 Days Later."

I've never been a fan of sprinting zombies. "Dawn of the Dead", at least the remake, scared both legs of my pants off.

In the case of "28 Days Later," I was left with a few unanswered questions:

- Why would a group of scientists have a super-dangerous virus with NO SECURITY WHATSOEVER?
(This is actually a common problem, wherein the most deadly toxins/weapons seem to have little to no guards or cameras)

- Why infect monkeys with "rage"? How can you write that line of dialogue and not laugh yourself stupid?

- Why market your film as a zombie movie when the "infected" DON'T QUALIFY AS ZOMBIES??!??

Now, before you start chucking your computers at me, let me explain myself, and the directors as well.

I'm not that fast. It's a problem that the Army is trying to knock out of me. So when I see blood-vomiting, 400 meter-dashing, eye-gouging people chasing someone through the bedraggled streets of London, I get a little panicky.

And I prefer my zombies to be DEAD, not just "infected."

And slow...but I guess you could figure that from the above statement.

Now the directors of this film had other things in mind, namely money.

And their lack of it.

You see, movies cost a crap-load of money (an amount equal or greater than the tonnage of food horded by a constipated elephant) Directors without the clout of Spielberg or Cameron have to earn their keep making low-to-no-budget indies or horror movies.

This was an admirable attempt, and I liked a lot about it. The army men, for instance, provided a much needed twist. Granted, it all seemed to have colors of "Day of the Dead," but so did "The Last Kiss."

Now we have a sequel, one of the most dangerous moves in all of moviedom. Many mistakes were made before the credits finished rolling.

As this is a film I can still imagine recommending, I'm going to try and avoid too many spoilers, but be warned.

At the end of the first film, Jimmy, Selena and Hannah are in position to be rescued. The infected are starving off and all appears to end with an air of hope.

Now forget them. Those people are gone. In fact, all the emotion you invested in the first film is basically useless, as the beginning of the second is a sterile introduction to the facts of the timeline.

After, of course, the introduction of violence and gore. But that's the way good horror works.

I liked the introduction. Robert Carlyle ("The Full Monty") lives in a small cottage, riding out the infection with a group of friends. It all quickly comes crashing down, as the "infected" possess superhuman strength along with their commendable running talents.

The tension was well-played, and the acting was fine. I just...missed the old characters.

A standard trick with sequels is starting without your main characters. Think the beginning of "Terminator 2" or "Rush Hour 2". You get invested in the action, but you still wonder when the stars are gonna show up.

Without the stars, all you have is a sequel set in the same universe. It's like making "Lord of the Rings" but changing the Fellowship in each movie.

When "28 Weeks Later" begins, you already don't care about anyone in the film. If they die, fine. You've already lost three great friends, why waste time getting emotional again?

Next we have the setting of the film. America (being the big brother to England) arrives to save the day and rebuild the British country. They do this by hiring an inept one-star general and giving him an incompetent staff of officers. They throw in Delta Force (as portrayed by people who would never make it into Delta Force) to pull security.

When preparing to write this movie, the screenwriter wanted to learn about the American Army so he could create a realistic set of characters and events.

Unfortunately, after learning we had changed our uniforms, he forgot to ask any other questions and thus blew the chance at creating realistic characters, at least as far as this soldier is concerned.

The Delta operators are the most fun characters in the film, as they joke around and really act as though this were the worst possible situation to be in (both before and after the infection arrives). The lead operator (Jeremy Renner from "SWAT") leads with charisma that is restrained by common sense, almost like a real Special Forces soldier.

What doesn't make sense is the security set up by the inept one-star. This guy knows that the infection takes twenty seconds to spread to someone else, yet doesn't put security on any possible patient-zeroes.

When a woman appears who may or may not be infected, there isn't a SINGLE soldier waiting outside her door. It's just like they were asking to be infected.

I don't like the view that Hollywood has on the American military. In fact, most people who know someone in the Army, the Corps or any of the other branches don't like the way soldiers are oft portrayed in film.

This movie really annoyed me because of the gross mistakes the writer made with Army logic. I understand that most people haven't read the FM 121-88 (the Army Field Manual on a Zombie Invasion [sprinter variety]) but COME ON! Give us a little common sense here.

These "infected" can sprint like the Flash, jump like Superman and vomit like Ozzy Ozbourne.

Oh yeah, quick question to the writers. Why do they vomit? And why, if they vomit, does this not affect them?

I'm not dissing the idea. In fact, the bloody vomit was one of my favorite parts of the films. I mean, it's gross and awful and it makes you hate the fact that they exist, exactly the sentiment you need when zombies come to town.

This is not an awful film. It's not going to win any awards, but it can certainly entertain. But I met a woman who taught me a valuable lesson about fiction.

If you do something so unbeleivable that you lose the audience--even momentarily--you've lost them for good.

When you make Army officers as dumb as the ones in this film, I just lose interest. The characters were bland and not from the original film.

That said (and it was quite a bit) if you enjoyed the first film, I'm pretty sure you'll like this one.

This blog is my opinion on movies, and you may disagree.

You'll be wrong, but it's a free country, so go ahead and be happy.

I'll give this movie six gouged-out eyes out of ten.

Watch carefully.

Saturday, May 26, 2007

A Frightening Beauty: Children of Men


>>WARNING<<
Possible spoilers ahead. You've been warned.

There is a feeling that comes with watching a great movie.

I liken it finishing a good book, or completing a challenging endeavor. There is a peace, and a sense of fulfillment that comes with the expected fatigue.

You take a moment to look around and really see the room you're in. You savor the feeling, because you don't know when it will come again.

I have just completed a great film.

This saddens me for two basic reasons.

The first is obvious. I have watched a movie that was made to near-perfection. It's flaws are negligable and don't detract from what could be the most important sci-fi movie of the decade. I won't see anything near this quality for a long time, unless "Transformers" carries with it more beauty than Michael Bay normally manages.

The second is that the title of my site is not "The Movie Review." Had that been the case, I could easily take my time digesting this film and producing a criticism of equal valor. But I have not yet made the leap to that cause.

Instead, I will take my right as blogger to give you my impressions of the film in a different color: that of film viewer, not reviewer.

First there is the simple matter of casting.

Clive Owen, a man whom I've come to respect in his craft, plays Theo. This man is down on his luck and living in a depressing state, regardless of the fact that humanity has become infertile and isn't long for this world. His wife/ex-wife is Julianne Moore, who asks him to take on a dangerous and illegal action for the simple reason that she trusts him.

Throw in Michael Kane, who's forgotten how to act in any way that won't win him an Oscar, as Jasper. This old political cartoonist lives with his catatonic wife in seclusion in the woods, smoking weed and waiting for the end.

In fact, the whole world is waiting for the end. Women no longer have children, and everyone understands the meaning of that simple fact. Streets are no longer cared for, garbage is no longer picked up, and no one washes their cars. It's a painfully realistic look at human depression.

Most people just quietly wait for death, or take government issued suicide drinks. Many have become criminals and terrorists, just because there is a sense of purpose in destruction and pain that makes them feel alive, if only briefly. A few turn to religion, but with anger, not hope. This is truly a world of sadness, as made very obvious by the somber color palette chosen by director Alfonso CuarĂ³n.

But something miraculous has happened. A young girl, Kee (Claire-Hope Ashitey in her first film) is pregnant. Rather than take her to the government, who might use the easy propaganda to continue their own rule, the terrorist group known as the Fishes (with Julianne as the leader) want to bring Kee to the Human Project, a group with the ultimate goal of saving humanity.

The side-plots notwithstanding, this is a quest movie to end-all quest movies. "Lord of the Rings" had a definitive good/bad ending, where either the ring ends up back on Sauron's finger or melted in the fires of Mount Doom.

Here it isn't nearly as simple. Even if Kee and her child make it to the Human Project, there is no guarantee that they can do much more than celebrate the birth of the last human again. It's that hope, the idea that something good can come of this miracle, that makes this movie so mezmerizing.

In terms of visual style, I was floored. This is the anti-Bladerunner, as the director puts it. The technology is slightly advanced, but dirty. Gray mud covers most cars, taking that possible "ooh that's pretty" moment away from this future. There are shiny things, but they are few and far between. For the most part, this movie is about reality, and the grim state of it.

In terms of realism (a term rarely applied to science-fiction) this movie is painfully realistic. Bullet kill you, and quickly. Like "Band of Brothers" or "Black Hawk Down", war and violence is presented as sudden and terrifying. People die with that snap that traumatizes you. When an uprising brings in the army against a group of fanatics, you feel like a bystander on the corner of a market in Baghdad.

The gritty and often bloody outcomes of these battles is shown in a documentary style, with long shots and very few cuts. Clive Owen runs past bodies and grieving family members. In the background of many scenes, a man might take a round and slump against a wall. The sound design is also as gruesome.

As someone who has, unfortunately, seen the bloody and awful side of war (as of yet only in video and in a hospital, b''H) I can say that the director and effects supervisor put together a very, very realistic portrayal of carnage and death. It's so much that I almost recommend watching this under supervisement. Some people can't handle reality.

But that's not what breaks you with this movie. In the few hours of film, you grow attached to the idea of babies being gone. You think about what it would mean not to ever hear a child laugh. Your heart aches with the idea of it, and then--poof. Well, a more liquid sound would be appropriate. The child is born, and it's as though hope floods the scene. No one is safe yet, and in fact most are in more danger, but that child is so perfect and fits the hole that life bleeds from.

Chiwetel Ejiofor (The Operative from "Serenity") plays the newly elected terrorist leader who wants Kee's child for his own purpose of starting an uprising. This man is one of the best actors I've seen in a long time. In his final scene, as he fires from a window at soldiers, he looks at Clive Owen, lost.

"I was taking her up the stairs and I just started crying. I forgot how beautiful they are." When people see the child, they just break down. They hear its cry and weep, so greatful to be near it. I honestly felt moved by the scenes where everyone stopped, just stopped dead in their tracks, and watched this miracle go past.

This was a great film, and visually stunning. I can't recommend it enough. I hope you've already seen it, otherwise I've revealed quite a bit, but that's what the warning up top is for.

Don't worry about being careful with this one.

Just watch.

Thursday, May 24, 2007

My Favorite Oriental Dish: Big Trouble in Little China


Kurt Russell is the man.

Seriously, his gritty and one-eyed persona Snake Plissken in "Escape from New York" created the blueprints for the videogame legend Solid Snake.

He rocked Antarctica in "The Thing" and even showed a little emotion in "Breakdown."

So when I was a lad (a measurement equal to ten or eleven years of age) I was enthralled with a movie that had no name.

I mean this literally. We had a VHS tape with no title that played an amazing film. I realize, looking back, that some bootlegging went on in my household (one of many reasons for the anonimity of this blog) but I won't spend this post revealing the nefarious criminal enterprise of my family.

The film in question was John Carpenter's sleeper/cult film "Big Trouble in Little China." If the length of the title throws you for a loop, just give it a minute. The film is full of 80's glory and macho attitude. Quite honestly, this is one of my favorite films.

It all starts with big-rig driver Jack Burton (Russell) coming into China Town, San Fransisco. He meets up with an old friend Wang (Dennis Dun from a few episodes of "JAG") and wins a bundle of cash. Wang can't front the bill, so Jack insists on taking him to wherever he keeps his cash.

But first, a trip to the airport.

Wang's girlfriend/fiance is arriving from China. Before he can sweep her up in a beautiful kodak way, three crazed Chinese gang members kidnap her and flee the scene. Jack and Wang give chase, only to end up in the middle of a huge brawl between rival Chinese gangs.

In the middle of a very finely choreographed ballet of death, three mystical figures appear from clouds of smoke. They are the "Three Storms," gods of Old China.

Why they've come to San Fransisco is another story.

Jack and Wang try to flee the scene, but another demon, Lo Pan, stops them in their tracks. They manage to escape, but lose the truck.

That's basically the crux of the story. First they steal a girl, then Jack's truck.

And you don't mess with Jack's truck.

Now plunged into a world of Chinese mysticism and magic, Jack has to lead a group of ridiculous Americans and a few capable Chinamen to take on a terrifying mob of demons and monsters.

Intrigued yet?

What makes this film stand out from among other 80's fantasy titles is the level of character development, namely zip.

Jack Burton doesn't need to change, from beginning to end. He is a BAMF and lives the lifestyle. At no point in the film does he act in any way distressed that his system of beliefs have gone out the window. Even when he's fighting an animated suit of armor, he soldiers on with American stubborness.

His cohorts in the movie act in the same manner. Gracie Law (Kim Cattrall from "Sex and the City") is kidnapped by a monster and has the same reaction as though an uncle were behaving crudely at dinner.

In fact, the only character who seems to realize the stakes is Lo Pan (James Hong from "Waynes World II"). His mortality is at stake, even if he is the villain of the movie. Egg Shen (Victor Wong from "3 Ninjas") also seems to realize the gravity of the whole affair, though he is more worried about his thriving tourist-trap business.

A lot of the film follows no real direction. Jack goes from place to place, trying to find Wang's girlfriend and never really questioning the tactics his friend's employ. Wang, for his part, is willing to beat the ever-loving hell out of men, women and animals to find his Miao Yin (You don't know her, just let it go).

Granted, none of this matters. The plot is solid enough to carry over until the action arrives, and Kurt Russell has the ability to make any action sequence a religious experience.

You honestly can't not like this movie.

It's cinematic gold. It's Carpenter's unicorn to the world. It's the best thing to come out of the 80's since Aha.

If I had to pick a seminal scene, one which really captures the feel of the flick, it's when Jack and a group of good ninja soldiers, led by Egg, traverse a deadly marsh underneath the city. When they round a corner, a crazy dragon worm thing jumps out and eats one of the disposables. Egg tosses something into the worm's hole and it explodes.

"It shall come out no more!" Egg shouts to absolutely no one.

"What?" Burton cries back. "What will come out no more?"

And no one answers. They just continue on, because no one really knew that guy's name, so no one has to mourn. In fact, no one liked that guy anyway. He wore his ninja costume wrong.

I can't say enough good about this film. And I don't have to. Just go watch it for yourself.

Thank me later.

I give this film ten floating heads-full-of-eyes out of ten.

Watch carefully.

Monday, May 07, 2007

Why Can't I Shoot Web From My Wrists: An Homage to the Spider-Man Trilogy




Ladies and gentleman, it's here.

Spider-Man 3 has arrived and the world may not be ready.

Or maybe Hollywood wasn't ready, but needed some money. Only time will tell.

Actually, time has already told us plenty. And the word isn't good.

Spider-Man 3 was the most disappointing thing to happen in theaters since they reenforced the bottom of popcorn boxes, ruining the lives of many perverted fifteen-year-olds.

(If you don't get that joke, have a smart friend draw you a diagram)

Before we begin, let me explain my love of your friendly neighborhood so and so.

I met Peter Parker in a simple comic in my brother's room one sad and rainy day, back when being a little brother meant keeping out of your sibling's rooms lest they beat the ever-loving piss out of you.

I read the detailed and beautifully drawn comic for hours (I was young, and words weren't my specialty in the brain section) before hearing those footfalls that stood as my cue to exit.

But I wasn't hooked yet.

A few years (and many solid whuppings) later, I was at my friend Tony's house when I saw an action figure. Now, comics only slightly interested me, but action figures? Those were my bread and butter.

And then came the video games.

And TV Series.

And cameos on lunchboxes.

After a few years of severe inundation, I couldn't say no to Spidy.

I read more comics, trying to discover how anyone touched by a spider could be popular. (I believe that spiders are in fact the creations of the Devil and will one day reveal their true purpose in trying to bring about a thousand years of evil domination on Earth)

Skip ahead a few years and you get senior year of high school, the most tumultuous time for any teenager. Girls have gone from scary to hot to scary again in the span of a few years, friends have come and gone with the frequency of an eighty-year-old man's twilight bathroom trips, and "Spider-Man: The Movie" entered theaters.

And it was awesome. Toby Maguire ("Cider House Rules") was not my first choice to play the destiny-fulfilling Peter Parker, but once I saw his performance as a whole I was quite impressed.

The effects took my pants, ripped them from my legs, wrapped around a length of pipe and beat my head in with awesomeness.

And Willem Dafoe as the villain? GENIUS!

I left the theater dancing, and for those of you who don't know me, dancing is not my specialty.

In fact, the last time I legitimately tried to dance, I nearly killed fourteen people and gave a young girl a seizure.

Skip ahead again and you reach the launch of "Spider-Man 2."

This time, the audience is geared up for the movie. "X-Men" and "X-Men II" already proved the validity of comic-book movies, and the first film rocked my face (as previously mentioned).

Alfred Molina (the bad politician from "Chocolate") starred as the nefarious Doctor Octopus, and by George he stole the damned show.

Again, the effects were out of this world. Again Toby showed off his acting prowress (though he sometimes makes this bird face which cracks me the hell up.)

My only doubts came at the end of the film, when Doc Ock dies in a heroic manner.

This was the beginning, and I should have seen it then.

The Batman series, arguably the best superhero series of all time (with some GLARING exceptions) suffered greatly when the creators chose death over imprisonment of famous villains.

The Joker (Jack Nicholson at his creepiest) stomped all over other bad guys, even the best of Bond, and scared the begeezus out of children. But then he died at the end of the film.

With "Batman Returns", Danny Devito stepped in as the Penguin (an uber creepy Penguin) but as he was only half a villain they had to bring in Michelle Pfeiffer as Catwoman (which could bring us to an amazingly awful Halle Berry film, but we'll skip that for now).

At least with "BR" they kept Michael Keaton as the Dark Knight. In "Batman Forever" Mike left and Val Kilmer (a fine actor who I shall not slander) came in to play. Val was a different style of Bruce Wayne, but his Caped Crusader stayed true to Keaton and the audience couldn't tell the difference.

However, the use of Jim Carrey as The Riddler and Tommy Lee Jones as Two-Face (which, by the way, is a REALLY CLEVER NAME--sorry, the writer in me weeps for the comic) brought the seriousness of the series down a peg or FIVE.

Also, given the fact that Val was a little distracting as a hero, they thew in Chris O'Donnel as Robin, and boy did his career soar after this.

Finally, we come to "Batman and Robin," decidedly the worst Batman movie to ever be made (yes, that includes the orignial "Batman: the TV Show: The Movie" with Adam West).

The quick rundown of bad decisions include:

- George Clooney as Batman
- Alicia Silverstone as Batgirl
- Governor Ahnuld as Mr. Freeze
- Uma Thurman as Poison Ivy
- A love triangle with B, R and PI
- Some of the worst dialogue since the silent film era.

The list goes on, but this diatribe isn't called "Why Batman Almost Died." Needless to say (needless because I just said it) I was very disappointed with the addition to the series.

Which brings me back to "Spider-Man 3."

Willem Dafoe bites it in the first movie, and Alfred Molina in the next. In the third, director Sam Raimi made a wee little mistake.

Three villains.

Yes, three: The Green Goblin (the Harry variant); the Sandman and Venom.

And none of them get nearly enough screentime. In nearly three hours of film, you find out so little about these characters as to render them pointless.

What you do find out about is how EMO they can make Toby Maguire look. And how he likes to dance in the street.

Sure the effects are great, sure they even managed to work in the Spidy-Gals, but WHAT WERE THEY THINKING?

Wait, I apologize. I can't really use that line. It belongs to the Angry Video Game Nerd, a man who needs no introduction.

Instead, I shall use this phrase: WHAT A TERRIBLE MOVIE!

I can't go into too much detail, as this has already gone on longer than intended, but look for a review to come soon.

In summary, why can't I shoot web from my wrists?

Watch Carefully.

Monday, April 30, 2007

Muscles And Rifles, Intelligence Not Essential: The Marine


Why do wrestlers make movies? Who started this ugly trend?

Looking back at such films as "Mr. Nanny" and "Santa With Muscles," I can't see where the alure was.

Nowadays it seems fair game for any juggernaut of the padded square to enter the silver screen with little more than a raised eyebrow to his name.

Granted Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson did an admirable performance as a gay man in "Be Cool," but such feats of acting prowess are few and far between in the wrestling world.

Now the WWE has thrown its bedazzled hat into the ring and started financing its own movies.

Lord have mercy on us all.

The newest "champion" of professional beating-the-crap-out-people is John Cena, a 300 pound mammoth of muscle and hate.

I bet he's got a big ol' brain banging around in there too, but you can be skeptical if you'd like.

Cena's fame landed him a sweet deal as the newest muscle-bound hero in "The Marine."

John Cena plays John Triton (these clever writers with their clever names) a marine who disobeys orders and ends up leaving the Corps. His much-too-hot wife (who gives "dumb blonde" new meaning) encourages him to settle down and relax.

So he takes a job as a security guard.

Here we meet the first of many characters without any purpose: The fat friend, aka, the comic relief. This guy does such a poor job of conveying any feeling that he's ditched after only a few scenes.

In fact, the whole security guard sequence has absolutely no purpose, except to show "how hard it is for a trained killer to adjust to society."

But really, the point of this movie isn't the emotional journey Triton must embark upon. It's about explosions.

Hot, nasty explosions that defy the laws of physics.

In fact, this movie is really just about defying physics (which I shall hence refer to as "magic", seeing as I have no idea how they work).

In "The Marine" wind doesn't blow, fire doesn't burn, glass doesn't cut, bullets are just about useless, and no physical harm comes from falling or being hit.

It's amazing people end up dying in this film.

In fact, the only people who are ever injured by bullets are the jihadists in the first scene and the odd bad guy who pisses off the big boss.

In one dazzling sequence, Triton sees his wife being pulled into his van by baddies. He charges at her, only to take a face full of fire extinguisher. Then, as he gets up, the gas station he's fifteen feet away from EXPLODES, throwing him through the convenience store.

When the dust clears, not only is he still sporting an unbroken face, his clothes aren't even singed.

There's not even a dark smudge where the smoke MAY have passed along him.

The entire film continues in this vein. It's not hard to see how folk can get a bad impression of action movies when this is what is being offered.

Another interesting little note is the severe lack of emotion from ANYONE.

Robert Patrick (the T-1000, and I shouldn't have to say what movie) is about the most believable character in the entire film, and he's a cliche spewing bad guy.

The token black man (and yes, he is token and plays his stereotype so humiliatingly that I was embarrassed) has absolutely no point in the film but to say things like "Oh right, blame the black man," or "I hate cops....and rock candy."

WHAT DOES IT MEAN? I DON"T KNOW!

In another touching scene, Triton jokingly tells his wife that his father molested him and his brother...and they both LAUGH!

This film is bad. It's cottage cheese five weeks past the expiration date bad. I can't say I'd recommend it to anyone other than die-hard WWE fans who really need the boost.

I have a question I'd like to pose to the writers: Why doesn't Mrs. Triton seem to give a rats ass that her husband DIES about four times in the film?

I mean, a few tears would have been nice. Or some form of emotional expression. Maybe even complaints because SHE'S A HOSTAGE!!!!!!!!!

This film gets a four choke-slams out of twenty seven.

Watch carefully.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

I Wanna Go Fast: Death Proof (amongst others)



))SPOILER ALERT((
This review contains plot elements and offensive letters. You've been warned.

Kurt Russell is the man.

Watch "Escape From New York," "Big Trouble in Little China" and "Tombstone" to get my drift.

So when Quentin Tarantino made him the villain in this psuedo slasher, I was pumped beyong belief.

I had no idea how much better it would get.

"Death Proof" is the ending title of the epic drive-thru homage known as "Grindhouse." Taking a que from such classics as "The Dukes of Hazard" and any movie with a muscle car, DP rocks over the screen with meaty sounds and gruesome crashes.

"Planet Terror", according to Tarantino, is a horror movie, while "Death Proof" is a terror movie. Until now, I honestly didn't think of the differences.

Horror usually means there will be scantily clad women having outrageous sex with muscular men before being devoured by some form of monster.

Terror means scantily clad teenagers making sweet backseat romance with football captains before a crazy man stabs them with a letter opener.

In this case, its the latter.

Kurt Russell stars as Stuntman Mike, an ex-stuntman whose fame never actually came. He sits in bars, not actually drinking, but stalks women he considers attractive/annoying/pretentious.

And then he kills them.

What's awesome is the medium through which he accomplishes this.

His car. His nasty, manly car.

The title of the film comes from the fact that, as a stuntman, Russell made his car "death proof." But to quote, "to get the full benefits, you've really gotta be sitting in [his] seat."

After killing a few women, Russell picks a fight with the wrong group. Rosario Dawson, Tracie Thorns and Zoe Bell take a joy ride in a muscle car, performing an insane stunt where Zoe lies on top of the hood at high speeds.

Russell tries to have some fun.

The following chase is gritty and intense, with some stuntwork that will blow out the back of your anus. What's even better is how funny it all comes off. Tarantino really has a knack for keeping action, suspense and comedy in one package.

I won't ruin the movie for you, as the ending is pretty satisfying, so we'll just move on to a few of the previews.

"Thanksgiving" is a complete parody of the first "Halloween", complete with ridiculous scenes of cheerleaders making out with boys, turning, and looking back at a suddenly headless torso.

It has the most disturbingly funny ending to any preview in the whole show. I can't say any more than it seems to parody an old "South Park" episode.

Finally there is "Don't."

There's really nothing special about the preview, but it's funny for some strange reason. Honestly, you really can't describe the attraction, it's just there. Watch and you shall see.

Well, we've reached the end of this double-parter. I hope you liked it as much as I did. Coming soon, another bad movie.

Watch carefully.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Now That's Just Gross: Planet Terror (and friends)



))SPOILER ALERT((
The following review is in depth and contains plot points and funny moments. You've been warned

I don't get grossed out at movies. It just doesn't happen to me.

I mean, I've seen so many heads severed and intestine removed via fist through stomach that I simply can't find conventional gore disgusting anymore.

All that changed at the onset of "Planet Terror", Robert Rodriguez's addition to "Grindhouse."

But before we begin, let me tell you about "Machete."

In order to give the film a complete "this is a drive-in" feel, Tarantino and Rodriguez got some of the best B-movie directors to come up with fake trailers to fake movies, all parodies of other films.

"Machete" is the tale of a Mexican immigrant who'll do anything for money...even kill a senator.

But when he's betrayed by the mob, he becomes their worst nightmare.

They just messed with the wrong Mexican.

It's honestly the funniest trailer I've seen in a while, save the oh-so-crappy Tooth Fairy thing I saw when I watched "Voodoo Moon." But that wasn't intentionally funny, so I don't think it counts.

"Planet Terror" is a fantastic film, and an homage to zombie movies from time immemorial.

It begins with the introduction of the monster, in this case a diseased soldier trying to find a cure (Bruce Willis, who is in every freakin' movie coming out this summer).

A crazy scientist (Naveen Andrews from "LOST") is willing to sell the deadly poison needed for the officer's devious purposes, but all goes awry. The gas is released and spreads everywhere, and it has a nasty side-effect of melting skin and causing spontaneous zombitus.

Oh, and the mad scientists collects balls.

I'm serious, he collects two out of three of a man's holy trinity when he's angry (or when the mood strikes), and he keeps them in a jar. Now that's the kind of detail you just don't get anywhere else.

This movie has all kinds of sick and twisted moments. Fergie of BEP gets brain eaten, a dog is run over, spraying hot latina twins with blood, and a man pulls a boil off of his cheek and pops it in another man's face. And those are the tame moments.

What makes PT amazing are the characters. Freddy Rodriguez plays Wray, a possible-ex-soldier-super-spy who's turned junkyard worker. He flies around the screen, killing zombies with flare and landing every scene with a witty one-liner.

His love interest is the one-legged vixen Cherry (Rose McGowan from "Phantoms"...come on, you saw that movie and loved it). Her line comes after performing some pointless acrobatic act: "That's useless talent number four" etc. Once Wray straps an M-203 grenade launcher to her leg, she becomes something more.

Wray's line is "I never miss." This will mean more in a bit.

The whole film is hilarious, with cameos every other scene and a running gaggle of disfunctional players, including a mother who lets her son blow his head off.

I can't go into every scene, as there's too much to cover, but there is something I should mention.

Aside from the previously stated fact that a scientist collects johnny's bowling partners, there are a lot of low blows in this film, if you take my meaning. Quentin Tarantino performs his usual "I'm gonna die soon" cameo and, well, partsparts of him melt off.

It's kinda graphic.

The movie ends on a somber note, with humanity running away from the viscious zombie-face-melter virus, and Cherry as the leader of the survivors. Along with her is a beautiful baby girl, Wray's daughter (like he said, he never misses).

I fell in love with this film, and it disgusted me at the same time. Well played, Rodriguez.

Well played.

Before signing off I'd like to talk about another preview.

"Werewolf Women of the SS."

I really don't have to say much about this film. You get the general point.

One thing I need to mention is the cameo by Nicholas Cage...

As Fu Manchu.

Utter genius.

That's all for now, folks. Come back soon for "Death Proof."

Watch carefully.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Now Ain't That Something: Grindhouse


It's rare that a movie breaks away from the tried and true methods of filmmaking.

Most directors are too comfortable with their jobs to attempt anything out of the ordinary, and few writers wish to risk their necks for the sake of something new.

Quentin Tarantino is niether of those people. His films often border on the satirical while still retaining a gritty and lifelike tone. Though not all of his movies hit the nail on the head, they are enjoyable and violent and full of witty banter.

Rent "Reservoir Dogs" if you don't believe me. Or "Pulp Fiction."

Anyway, let's take a quick look at what a Grindhouse film really is before we dive into this review.

Imagine every dirty and disgusting scene you've ever seen in a horror movie. Imagine all the guts and blood and severed limbs and dripping flesh that you can handle, and now add a few gallons of blood and intestine.

Now make that the staple of EVERY SCENE in the movie.

That was the original Grindhouse theater. Two awful movies shown back to back in dark and unsanitary places while high schoolers smoked weed and had illicit sex in the back.

Tarantino heard all of this and said, "I'm in."

So enters "Grindhouse" a double-feature from the dark minds of Tarantino and Robert Rodriguez.

Rodriguez is the man behind "Sin City." And "Spy Kids," but don't hold that against him.

These two directors, along with a host of other B-Movie veterans such as Rob Zombie and Eli Roth, put together a sick and twisted bit of movie magic that dances across the screen and shoves an M-80 down your throat.

I don't know what that meant, but it's the truth.

This film is raw and unsavory and not reccomended for people who like to eat food during movies. Some of the visuals are so dirty and awful you may want to look away.

If you're a wuss.

At no point during the two-and-half hours of madness does the film try to be serious. Everything is tongue in cheek, from the cameos to the costumes to the one-liners and reaction shots. This is Cheese done absolutely right.

This isn't to say the film is perfect. There are times when the pacing drags, or the dialogue starts to get too witty for its own good. But these moments are usually broken up by something disgusting, violent or deprave.

Now, I know this is a little bit of a cop-out, but I'm going to have to do it.

As this film is in fact several films and previews, I am going to break this review up accordingly. In fact, you'll have to wait until the next post for the first film: "Planet Terror" and two of the previews.

Don't worry, I won't make you wait as long for this post. With luck, it will be out in a day or two. School is finally winding down and free time is returning to me. Then I will be able to post once a week (with luck).

Until then, watch carefully.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Glory, Thy Name Is: 300



I won't review this movie, as I am not worthy to do so.

Instead, I will say this:

The dialogue is brilliant.

The lighting is brilliant.

The casting is brilliant.

The effects are brilliant.

The pacing is brilliant.

The art design is brilliant.

The acting is brilliant.

And the action, above all else, is balls-out brilliant.

This is one of the best movies I have ever seen.




Watch carefully.

Thursday, March 08, 2007

A New Champion Emerges: Voodoo Moon



For those of you who follow my blog, you'll recall I have granted the title "Worst Movie Ever" to one of Uwe Boll's epic wastes of my life:

"Alone in the Dark"

It was my thought that no movie, not ever, could come to topple this film from its filth infested throne.

Last night, my dreams were shattered, and a new monarch rose from the ashes of Charisma Carpenters now-worthless career.

This tyrant of terrible films went by many names, but the one written across its blood-stained forehead was...

Voodoo Moon

I cannot accurately explain how terrible this film is. I will try, oh yes I will endeavor to bring you with me on a journey that nearly consumed my sanity, but I doubt the truly awful nature of this movie can be revealed in words.

Let's begin with the opening titles...no, let's go ahead and start with the first visual statement. The movie starts, and the first thing you get is a line of text saying "Haiti, one year ago."

Why is this important? Why not start in the present and then go to a "year later"? Was that too trippy a concept for the people writing this epic waste of time? Did the audience get confused during the prescreening?

Was there even a moment when other people--and by "people" I mean human beings with the ability to comprehend light and sound--viewed this crap and decided to let other people experience it? WHY?

But I digress.

The film begins with a group of Hatian men scattering at the appearance of a white man in a terrible leather jacket.

Let me take a moment to describe this jacket. In "The Matrix", America saw the best that leather had to offer in the jacket region. Lawrence Fishburn and Keanu Reeves walked about it some of the most BA jackets ever made. In "Voodoo Moon", the main character wears something akin to a skinned rabbit covered in black duct tape.

So this crappy-jacket-wearing man walks into the scene with an incense stick and begins tapping on the aluminium siding of a few houses. We see a wiry man squatting nearby in the worst "zombie" make-up ever conceived, except for what comes later in the movie. Our "hero" doesn't see this, but continues his worthless smoking-stick routine.

Suddenly he pulls out a bible. Now, you're probably thinking that he did this in some suave manner. No, sir. He reaches into his coat as though scratching his armpit, pauses, and then pulls out a bible. It's about the most awkward movement I've ever seen.

Then, with a few words of some sort of spell (with the camera RIGHT ON HIS MOUTH IN SUPER CLOSE-UP) he spins around and fires fire-lightning into the wiry demon's chest.

And that's it. That's how it all begins. If you were hoping for anything worth watching, you came to the wrong place.

Let's take a look at the cast, because that's really what this movie boils down to. With nothing else to enjoy in the film, the actors offer at least some form of interest. Not nearly enough, thouhg.

The "hero" is Cole (Eric Mabius from "Resident Evil") who, for no real reason, has a huge scar over his right eye. In the deleted scenes, he sort of mentions that someone tried to carve out his eye, but since no one sees this scene unless possessed by some demon into watching the cut portions, they have no idea why Cole should look so creepy.

Cole's sister Heather is played by Charisma Carpenter, proving once again that pretty girls shouldn't choose their own films.

"The Gang" is comprised of no-name actors and people who honestly should have known better, like John Amos (you'd recognize him if you saw him).

Finally we have the bad guy, Satan himself, protrayed in the most metrosexual sense by Rik Young (He was in "Children of Dune" but I don't think it matters. He'll never act again).

Now this movie doesn't follow any sort of "plot" or "cohesive story", rather it flows like lava over the standards of filmmaking.

At one point, Cole simply shows up at his sister's house for a gala opening of her new art. This, of course, never comes back to prove any point in the story. It's just for fun. Wait...no, there's no fun in this to be had at all.

Cole and Heather go to visit their dead aunt.

Why? You shouldn't be asking such questions at this point. This is "Voodoo Moon." It need not answer you.

During this ordeal, Cole wanders about because, in his words, it would be "hypocritical of him" to visit a dead relative.

Hypocritical? WTF!!!!!!! That makes no sense. Why is that a line of dialogue?

WHY WAS THIS MOVIE MADE?

At the cemetary, Cole sees a little girl. He chases her for a little bit. Then we see a gardener go into his shed, little girl hands grab his pinking shears, and then Cole and Heather drive away. The camera pans up to reveal the gardener's head, now severed, up on a stone angel.

Yup...that was some fine cinematic logic right there. No, the little girl and the gardener are never mentioned again. In fact, if neither had existed in the movie, it wouldn't have made a difference.

In the deleted scenes, it is revealed that the devil went into the little girl in an attempt to kill Cole. Why she ended up killing the gardener is never explained.

Ever.

It's about this time that Heather's "special gift" is revealed. She draws (literally, pen on paper) the future. Some would even say that what she draws becomes the future. In this case, she draws Cole's Hatian friend getting eaten by a murder of crows.

And yes, this is one of the lamest scenes ever done. But when you take ever "lamest-scene-ever" and make a movie out of them, it's hard to say one stands out over the others.

I can't go into detail about every scene in the movie. Needless to say, the cast of characters doesn't improve from here on out. Cole communicates telepathically with his gang of miscreants, bringing them to some dinky inn in the middle of G-d's country.

Each one of them takes a moment from your life...a moment you'll never get back. The biker, Dutch, is about as stereotypical a black man as has ever been written. Frank Taggert, the "detective" (I say this with quotations because he may be the most inept investigator ever to walk the Earth) is used as comic relief that relieves nothing. Lola, the incredibly unattractive mother, is supposedly the "sex symbol" of the movie.

A note for the director: If you have CHARISMA CARPENTER in your movie, THAT is your sex symbol.

I also want to know how the special effects department had such a small budget that squibs (small devices that create gunshot wounds) were unaffordable. They couldn't even get those little paintball-like things that make bullet holes in walls. Or fake blood. COME ON, PEOPLE!

I can't go into every scene in this movie, mainly because I'll have a seizure and die, but I'll give you some of the gems.

Cole suffers physical wounds for every time one of his friends dies. After his mentor, Jean-Pierre (no, there is no need for the hyphen, they just chose to have one) dies from the aformentioned murder of crows, Cole suffers from headaches. At the inn (again, the pointless inn where he chooses to rally his "troops") lives a woman Cole saved from some unspoken evil. She has the ability to heal those ""touched by G-d."

When Cole complains about his headaches, she says, "no, this is a tumor." She holds her hand on his head for a second, smiles, and says "all better."

Take a moment now to deal with the headaches this line of logic delivers.

Another fine moment is the explanation of another character's devotion to Cole. Diana (Kimberly Hawthorne from some TV stuff and "Chronicles of Riddick") apparently had a loved one (might be her mother) posessed by the Devil. Cole did his magic stuff and it all went away...including the physical form of the woman herself. Diana expresses her grief by opening her gaping maw and howling.

Not crying, no, no human emotion ever enters this singular vision of suck. Diana merely opens her mouth as wide as possible and grunts out loud.

It's awful.

Finally, there is the fantastically awful "sex" scene with Lola. When the director was asked which actress should be seen in a thong, he chose POORLY!

But unlike in the magical world of film, he will not burst into flames and become a wretched husk of a man. Instead, he'll probably make another movie with saggy-assed actors who couldn't find a grain of sand in the Sahara desert WITH A MAP, NATIVE GUIDE AND ENCYCLOPEDIA ON SAND. Basically I'm saying they are all fat and dumb.

This was the worst movie I have yet to see. That is something, coming from my well of video knowledge. If you hope to have children some day, children with 10 fingers rather than 48, don't see this movie.

Don't go on IMDB and look at it. Don't even mention it in unpleasant conversation.

On a scale of 1-10, this movie gets a negative infinity.

The only reason I'm alive now is due to the fact that one hour ago, to the minute, I finished viewing "300"...and it was glorious.

Watch carefully.