Friday, 11 February 2011

Quadruple Bill Mini Musings: February 2011...

Didn't fancy it last year in the cinema, but it was a decent watch on Sky Movies. The most impressive thing about the movie was the ideas proposed by the script - a society in which humans are an endangered species after vampires have taken over the world. The issues of blood supply running low, of capturing and harvesting humans for blood, of blood rationing, of vampire canibalism, and a near-future world that runs exclusively in a nocturnal fashion.

That was all very impressive and interesting, but it's somewhat skimped on in a 90 minute movie that has to hit certain basic plot points along the way to bash through the action. If it didn't have any thought put into it, it would have been a rather dull and generic action movie, but with the inclusion of a relatively complex society it was elevated to much better fare. It's just a shame it wasn't a much more thoughtful two hour movie that really explored the socio-political themes in far greater depth.

Having recently seen Meatballs, I understood certain references in shows like Family Guy - and once again with Stripes it's the same deal. It's not amazingly funny, and I'm not of the generation that would have been teenagers when this flick came out, however Bill Murray's comedy is timeless - and it's worth seeing just for that alone - plus you get earlier work from the likes of Ramis, Candy, and Reitman.

Coogan's Bluff:
It's an "offbeat police drama" - according to the Electronic Programme Guide - and I only watched it because of Clint Eastwood. I didn't much care for it, to be honest. There are some nice dialogue moments (such as Clint's Arizona Sheriff Coogan dealing with a New York cab driver), but it's not particularly dramatic, or exciting, or all that interesting. Plus the sexual politics are very out-of-date by today's standards ... so it hasn't aged especially well in that respect.

Piranha 3D (Blu-Ray):
I wasn't particularly interested in seeing this in the cinema - not least because of the jacked-up price of a 3D cinema ticket - and for the same amount of cash I was able to get the Blu-Ray, which features the movie in 2D as well as both Stereoscopic and Anaglyph 3D. I don't have a 3D telly, but if I knew someone who had one sometime in the future I could watch it over at their place.

As it is though I watched the flick in good old 2D - with a skim-through afterwards in Anaglyph 3D, which, let's be honest, hasn't improved as a technology in the slightest. Even in a darkened room the 3D effect was minimal at best, and just gave me sore eyes with the red/blue glasses. Perhaps the Stereoscopic version works better, but Anaglyph 3D - for sure - is still rubbish. In fact you can practically watch the Anaglyph 3D version without the glasses on as most of the time the layers are so close together there's barely any noticeable difference.

In 2D however it was an enjoyable, 1980s throwback-style romp. It's the sort of flick in which a CGI piranha regurgitates a bitten-off and half-eaten male member into the camera lens ... which pretty much sums up the approach this flick has to the subject matter at hand. It's not meant to be taken seriously by any stretch of the imagination, it's not supposed to be scary either - it's supposed to be lurid, funny, gross-out, and just a bloody good chuckle.

Richard Dreyfuss cameos as "a version of his Matt Hooper character from Jaws" at the very beginning, and indeed Christopher Lloyd resurrects his crowd-pleasing wild scientist schtick as a fish-fascinated pet shop owner. From the outset the flick is drenched in gore, nudity, and silliness - this is a movie custom made for six-pack home viewing with some buddies.

It licks along at a fair old pace too (the deleted scenes clearly being cut to keep the flick under 90 minutes, as they're mostly pretty good scenes in themselves), so it never outstays its welcome, and it all builds towards an end-of-second-act orgy of boobs, blood and gruesome gore at a marina party. It's an audacious, over-the-top, gag-a-second drag race through as many naked bodies and half-devoured limbs, torsos, and faces as possible - in no uncertain terms, KNB FX have royally out-done themselves on this flick. The gore is copious, entertaining, and endlessly creative - so you gore hounds are most definitely catered for here. In fact, it's the ideal teenage movie - chock full of sex, violence, and general daftness - I really enjoyed it as a 20-something, and I would have likewise enjoyed the hell out of it as a teenager.

Apparently a sequel is in the works, and if it's as good as this flick - one of the handful of worthwhile horror remakes out there (including The Hills Have Eyes, also directed by Alexandre Aja) - then I'll be there with bells on.

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