Tuesday, 31 July 2007

Mild Hogs ... and ... Craptivity...

Okay, I didn't wanna get too gimmicky in the title but I couldn't resist it.

I had a vague change of direction with my newest viewings (despite what I said a yesterday), but here goes:

Wild Hogs:

Having heard mainly bad things about it (okay, all bad things) from America (despite lapping up the box office cream), I was expecting a shedload of shite, but was confronted with a more modest shovel of shite instead. *curses that "had a bad day" crappy song on TV in the background, ARGH!!!*

Anyway, it had some moments that did make me chuckle...but they were few and far between, and they took a while to crop up as the first chunk of the movie is all rather "seen this before a million times", and seeing William H. Macy fall off his bike several times in a row just isn't funny.

Now, it was inevitable (considering the slew of bad reviews dropping comments about it), but here's what I thought about the apparently "homophobic" jokes - to be honest, how are they homophobic? I mean really, nobody drops the "F bomb", viciously or otherwise, and in the end of the day, the jokes come down to a crude comedy of errors, the characters (who are all straight) getting into situations (daubed with crass dialogue) that would suggest they've been re-enacting Brokeback Mountain. But surely it's just a bit of fun, after all, don't some gay people refer to straight people as "breeders" ironically, jokingly and even angrily?

This makes me think - I'd be all for a reversal of the situation, gay blokes all together getting into a comedy of errors where they're incorrectly thought to be straight. Surely there's funny dialogue and japes a-plenty to be sought from this well?

Surely, when it comes to comedy, anything is up for a poking...and if something is said - in a comedy as well - without vicious intent, nor any hint of violence or disgust, then how can it really be homophobic? That psycho cult somewhere in America (forget their family name) - THEY are homophobic. Wild Hogs is just silly.

Over all, it was a real missed opportunity, preferring to rest on mediocrity and throughly worn out dead-horse jokes rather than anything really new or even semi-fresh. Still, watching Ray Liotta is always a joy.

Captivity:

As a big "24" fan, and having rather enjoyed The Girl Next Door (despite it being a sizeable rip-off of Risky Business), I was looking forward to this flick...but alas, the controversy over the advertising campaign was about the best thing to do with this movie, aside from the credit sequences (even though they were blatant rip-offs of those in Se7en - which were done properly, by the way).

We're rushed straight into the "horror" and have no idea who Cuthbert's character is beyond a celebrity of some sort, she briefly mentions her fears - the biggest being of the dark. Mind you, she doesn't give *much* of a stuff about the dark whenever the killer turns the lights out (which is frequently for bizarrely short lengths of time). We sit around as she sleeps and asks what is going on, changing into different clothes from a series of numbered cupboards, then there's another bloke in the room next door but we couldn't give a stuff, there's some cops apparently investigating, but they really don't seem to have a clue, nor motivation to really get their arses in gear - Se7en this most definitely, is not.

As for the rest of the film, boring, lame, seen it all before and ONCE AGAIN a damsel in distress gets one over on her captor, but doesn't finish the job, instead she runs off allowing him to recover - THIS is absolutely not acceptable in modern horror films, in the 1980s perhaps, but - as is par for Captivity's course - we've seen it all before. Rather disappointing.

...

Hopefully "The Host" and "Black Snake Moan" will be better...

Monday, 30 July 2007

A recent spot of weird dreaming...

I've been known to have some really weird-arse dreams, and bearing in mind I once had a dream where I attended a news conferance held by my barber, in my high school hall (facing the opposite way to normal), about her going on holiday ... can women be classed as "barbers" or is that more a male label, like "actor" versus "actress" ... then all of a sudden we're in a sewer system just underneath the main hall with gerbil assassins trying to kill me as I surf a pepperoni pizza atop green, gooey water gloop which rushes through a system of toy fire stations from Ghostbusters (anyone remember those brilliant toys from the 1980s, swivelling fire pole and everything...brilliant)...so aye, I've had some corkingly odd dreams before...where the following two fit, by comparison, I certainly don't know.
Nature must have been calling because not being able to get into a toilet was a key theme...basically, I was some kind of agent - along the lines of Agent Mulder - so it's a bit X-Files, but less stoic...anyway, myself and my fellow agent are staying with some Indian family - because for some reason we're in India.

This family literally has about 100 kids - but oddly of all colours - and I just wanna use their bog, but there's a constant stream of kids flocking in and out constantly (as there's so many of them) trying to use it, there's no lock and the curtains for the windows have one of those pulley thingies you yank on, although you have to pull it for AGES to make it move a mere distance.

Ultimately I give up when a swarm of these various kids of this family swarm into the bathroom and scare me out so I suddenly end up on the outskirts of this town at the side of some dirt road with my agent partner investigating some sort of mass murder case - turns out the family we'd been staying with/are staying with are the murderers. So we freak out about that...but then all of a sudden we're sifting through various decomposing - and REALLY F*CKING GROSS - remains (severed hands mainly). Anyway, they're absolutely disgusting, they absolutely stink and they're all slimey and falling apart as I pick at them with tweezers until eventually I'm confronted with a picture list of all the body parts found and there's this one of a severed head with the face all mashed up like a rotten piece of fruit and at that point I start gagging in my dream and then snap awake where I'm also actually gagging, seriously just about to chuck up all over my bedroom wall, hahaha...fortunately I didn't, but how bloody weird.

Then I went back to sleep, concentrating hard on *NOT* thinking of that picture list of rotting body parts found in the town's outskirts, and end up having a new dream where I end up going to some hotel type building which I vaguely remember living at - but due to a car accident I don't even remember, it f*cked up my memory...I know I lived at this place, but have no recollection of it...so I'm there to see if they remember me or not and they seem to, but they're about ready to call up the psychiatric ward and get me thrown away...and this is where it gets really bizarre.

Now, this dream is set in a Miami type place, but in England - just as a side note of information. Anyway, the weird bit, I'm there at the reception with ... dun-dun-dun ... both an Alien and a Predator, but they aren't enemies, mainly because the Alien doesn't know the Predator also hunts his kind. We end up scarpering up the elevator shaft (me being pulled up by the Alien and the Predator) and we end up at this apartment that was apparently mine before this mystery accident...anyway, inside it's actually the Predator's apartment and having seen Predator 2 I know there's gonna be an Alien skull somewhere, so I'm running around trying to find it so I can cover it up, lest the Alien see it and go mental. There's a load of really bizarre skulls all over the walls and it looks like the Predator ship at the end of Predator 2...

And then I woke up...there was a bit more at the start of that second dream, but I forgot it...anyway, bloody weird dreams, eh?

THIS ... IS ... SPAR ...er... MY ... REVIEW!!!!!!!!!! (300)

Okay, so I finally got around to watching "300" this afternoon, and here's what I thought:

Pretty much 300 Yawns for the first 45 minutes, dodgy narration (what a weird voice), generally a bit blah, there didn't feel like there was much bite to the Spartan training from childhood...then of course - King & Queen - they're deep characters because they shag each other and she gets her norks out...wow.

Weird crap with those mountain-top nutters who perv on young girls, that's all rather daft, so from here I was feeling confirmed in that this must be about 3% history, 97% bollocks.

Then the fighting starts and it gets entertaining, it's completely unashamed in how it goes about all the strutting around making rousing speeches before the slow motion takes over the entire universe (seriously, this flick must be about 30 minutes without all the slow mo - the South Park parody was superb).

Visually impressive, but pretty pictures doesn't make a great film, and therein lies the problem, bugger all plot and you don't give a bollocks about anyone but Gerrard Butler's shouty King with that pointy beard and odd 6-or-8-pack. So yeah, visually impressive - but it gets tiring, all that yellow grading...and to be honest, some shots looked really daft, it looked like it was anime in the background and real life up front, other shots looked really obviously in front of green screen, which takes you out of things.

So back to the fighting - all those giant elephants and such were ridiculous, I thought that was pointless, a few shots and they're falling off a cliff. Then that Rhino thing, gets poked in the eye and it's dead...and now, my thoughts on the ending:

*BIG FAT SPOILER FOR ALL 3 OF YOUZE WHO HAVEN'T SEEN THIS FLICK, HA!*



They're supposed to be rock hard soldiers who defend each other and all this, yet they seem to get slain ever-so bleeding fast - no doubt all the slow motion used up so much damn time they had to rush the ending. They take on shedloads of people, even a monsoon of arrows, and yet the second time around they don't do the ball-of-shields trick?! They seem to just give up at the end ... wait ... what about all that "this is sparrrrtaaaaaaaaaaaa" stuff? Fight to the death ... but a pretty piss easy death compared to their fighting earlier on in the film.

Then a year later and all of a sudden they've got 30,000 f*cking soldiers now?! WTF?!



*SPOILER-A-MUNDO IS DUNZO!*

The ending was a big pile of what?

Finally - oh blimey - that must be the gayest film ever committed to film. 300 bronzed and sweaty, muscle-bound men in sandals, tight leather pants, red capes and foofy-topped helmets all huddling together...bloody nora, I mean that's really ... REALLY gay. Not denouncing gays, it's just that ... damn ... this movie is MASSIVELY GAY. It's just funny to watch really...but hey, I guess there's many films out there with loads of girls getting their norks out, so gay men probably don't have as much eye candy to look at in the cinema as the average straight bloke, so that's fine by me.

Also - I can completely understand why this movie killed in America. But thinking of the gay angle, I wonder how many Americans from gay-hatin' areas went to this flick and loved it?

Finally, did anyone else get a "the Persians are the Iraqi terrorists and the Greeks are the Americans" vibe from the film? I totally did throughout, it was unashamedly so.

So ... if you're looking specifically for rousing pre-battle speeches, oodles of slow motion and loads of muscly, sweaty blokes stabbing each other then you can't go far wrong to be honest, but if you want depth ... or an ending that makes any shred of sense ... or not so much CGI, then you're f*cked.

Gerrard Butler was brilliant in it though, he did the whole shouty King warrior thing really well. Over all, hmmm ... 5 or 6 out of 10 ... probably 5 due to the over-all inconsistencies and vapid lack of substance. But the battles are pretty good guilty pleasures.

Die Hard (as long as there isn't too much blood) 4.0...

(as posted on HPOTD 3 weeks ago)

Okay folks, I sat my arse down tonight to watch Die Hard 4 and here's what I thought put as simply as possible as I'm too lazy for a big old jibber jabber like I did in my review of 300.

* The major set pieces are too flashy OTT even for Die Hard, for instance - the bit with the freeway (you'll understand when you see it).

* Bruce Willis still kicks ass.

* Justin Long is surprisingly up to the task in this flick, he was enjoyable, nowhere near as annoying as I was expecting. I was expecting more muggy/witty flash back dialogue from McClane with Long's character asking him a constant stream of similar questions like "have you done this before" (we get it once, that's enough).

* Kevin Smith rocks in this flick, loved his entire involvement, loved it. Big kudos to Smitty, he was hilarious without pulling you out of the flick, really acted "within" the movie ... if that makes sense to you guys? Bravo!

* Olyphant is also rather good in this flick, I've been a fan of his for a few years now, so it's cool to see him out and about in more mainstream fare these days.

* While the action was too OTT for Die Hard, it was still a bloody good ride.

* CCR music used - noiiice.

* McClane's last word in the movie shouldn't have been "hospital", the previous few words were ideal for finishing ... just a little loose edge that bugged me personally.

* Perhaps a tad too long at times.

* There's plenty of runny/shooty/punchy stuff going on, but you can totally tell the bite has been taken out of the bark due to that really annoying PG-13 rating..."ass" and "sh*t" ... oooh, I'm shaking in my boots. I wanted his damn catchphrase uncut damn youze!! Also - I want blood with the violence, it's Die Hard after all. Hell, the first movie has great big gloopy, splodgy blood sploshes flying out after a gunshot hit - that's what I want.

* Hopefully there'll be an unrated version on DVD which will return the bite to McClane's bark, and that'll be a guaranteed purchase from me, Fox can count on that.

Over all - nowhere near the first film's league, but it's a solid flick, quite enjoyable. As for Len Wiseman, he certainly did a better job than he did on Underworld Evolution - what a pile of sh*t that flick was! (Yet I totally dug the first Underworld).

7/10

Oceans 13/Disturbia/Dead Silence...

I recently posted these short reviews on the forum over at the excellent Homepage of the Dead (my online hang out/speak easy/place where everybody knows your (online) name, if you will), but I plan to post up my movie musings here as well as a more organised record of them.

First off, as the title suggests...

Ocean's 12:

Generally cack, the style of the film has that effortless sense of cool, like the main characters, but beyond that the plot was daft flitting around all over the place getting in and out of trouble, the first (of the new breed) was better, just concentrate on one bank job thank you...also, many characters seemed to have piss all to do because Clooney and Pitt were hogging all the scenes.

Disturbia:

Was skeptical at first because I'd heard it was PG-13 and had been successful in America, so I figured teeny-bopping mug-fest, but actually it was really good. Even though it'd be nothing without "Rear Window", it's a smart new take on the themes without being a remake and brings it into our age. Parts were all well played, the lead in particular was convincing and his next door neighbour girlfriend person was smoking hot, yes please! Also quite funny in places, so over all a really enjoyable flick.

Dead Silence:

Again, I was skeptical - PG-13 horror about a doll...which isn't that an enticing summary to be honest, but I sat down and gave it a chance - as it was made by the guys behind SAW (Leigh Whannell and James Wan) - and I, again to my surprise, totally dug this flick. It's styled like a classic ghost story and feels like one of the classic horrors of the 1930s, just filmed today. It was genuinely creepy with a few moments that really dig give me the willies, and all from a PG-13...just goes to show that if you fashion a film to a particular rating to begin with, you're more likely to come up trumps ... unlike cutting down to a rating *cough* Die Hard 4 *cough* when the film comes out worse off as a result, fortunately though Dead Silence was enjoyable, creepy and felt smart, all down to it feeling - as I said before - very much like a Universal horror movie from the 1930s, just filmed today.

So 2 out of 3 ain't bad, for my next mini-bender will be:

The Host (should hopefully be fun)
Wild Hogs (expecting relative cack)
Black Snake Moan (expecting to see Christina Ricci getting shagged a lot)

I will say, that just a couple of hours ago I checked out Wild Hogs, but I'll comment on that in due course.

Introduction...

Well, I've held out long enough from becoming a "blogger", but like a protagonist from a Body Snatchers movie I've succumbed to the lure of pimping my random thoughts and musings, splattering it all over your "internets" like John Holmes...

Okay, slightly gross way to get balls rolling...and the tone remains low, so you're gonna have to get used to that sort of humour from me, it's a guilty pleasure...or heck, just a pleasure, much like using these "..." all the time.

Alright so I'd better cut to the chase, I'm Nick, a twenty-something zombie movie fan (as well as general movie nerd) and I mainly set up this blog to better organise my news updates for my website, but also as a place to collect my movie review musings and fuming rants all nice and tidy.

What's my current status in life? Beginning to climb the ladder into the film industry, so expect trials, tribulations and hopefully many "happy happy joy joy" dances...ah geez this is sounding far more official and uptight than I was planning ... which is an irony in itself ... but first introductions always are a bit shirt & tie aren't they?