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?


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.


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.