Monday, February 25, 2013
I am not going to tell you what the story is about. All I can say is that it is about a bunch of bad guys sitting around a table eating sushi off some naked chick and then a bunch of stuff happens. I will say this. SUSHI GIRL is wonderfully directed and never ever gets boring. Every single person on screen is interesting and unpredictable and given a moment to shine. Most of the characters are villains and you never know with villains how they are going to react. That is why I love gangster films so much. A gangster can be funny and charming and then all of a sudden without a moments notice they go off and kill somebody like it was nothing at all. This movie is full of people like that. Mark Hamil has been transformed into the dandy but vicious and sly Crowe. He is really the star of this show. You can't take your eyes off of him. Hopefully a role like this that expresses his acting range will open more doors to his career. No longer will he be known as just Luke Skywalker. The use of blood and gore is excellent as well. The blood is dark and thick and it looks real and not C.G.I. It perfectly amplifies the brutality and ugliness of these men and their actions. The violence in this movie is heavy stuff. It is not taken lightly.
I have only two complaints. The first is that the story's twists and turns are a little too predictable and I was hoping for a little bit more with the ending in terms of bringing a new element to the story. There is a flashback to a robbery that the main characters did and they steal diamonds from Jeff Fahey's character and before they do he warns that they "don't know who they are stealing from". Now usually when they say that the people that were stolen from show up and cause all kinds of shenanigans but in this movie they don't so I was a little disappointed with that. Also I didn't like how little screen time Michael Biehn has in this movie. Basically he shows up and says "Hi, my name is Michael Biehn BANG BANG! Oh, shoot I'm dead". Same thing with Danny Trejo but he says something a little different. "Hello, I am Danny Trejo. Oh, crap I am being strangled to death and now I am dead. Did you notice I pulled out a machete before I died to make reference to the movie I am in MACHETE?". It is like the whole movie is like RESERVOIR DOGS meets PLANET TERROR with a dash of KILL BILL. I am not sure how I feel about a movie that makes references to other movies that make references to other movies.
SUSHI GIRL starts off like one kind of movie and ends as another. I thought that was really cool even though you can see it coming. Still SUSHI GIRL was excellent and I did appreciate the inspired casting and the reference on the van to THE NEVERENDING STORY.
You know what they should do? They should make a fourth BATMAN movie that takes place a decade into the future in the Nolan universe and have Mark Hamil play Joker. I think it would work. He is probably the only guy who could come close to matching Heathe Ledger's devious and demented performance. In fact I think Hamil would do better and be even more memorable. I guess that can't happen though. He has to go out and make more crappy THE STAR WARS movies. Sigh...
Thursday, February 14, 2013
There is no plot or story to SLASHERS GONE WILD. Yes, it does try to tell a story but it is kind of hard to do so when you have no script and it is painfully obvious that there was no script. Almost every scene is just some guy who is suppose to be a slasher stabbing, cutting, mutilating or whatever some person tied down to a chair, table or couch. This collection of scenes become more and more irritating as the film goes on because you realize that THIS is how the whole "movie: is going to be and none of it makes sense. Here is the premise. A reporter is in a room and starts investigating a website where slashers compete (by sending videos of themselves killing people I presume) to join a business of some sort that is nothing but slashers who kill people who pollute the environment. The winner gets to join the club and receives pills that make them a super unstoppable Jason Vorhees like killer. Problem is you don't see the slashers compete on some show where they are running around killing hapless victims which would be a great idea. No, instead we just see guys with victims tied to objects cutting on their victims while ad libbing mostly audible lines and laughing after every word they say. It is really annoying.
You can see that the makers of SLASHERS GONE WILD missed the point as to what a slasher is. They only understand recognizable cliched iconic visual trademarks like hockey masks, chainsaws, blood and intestines. They only grasp the lower common denominator of what a slasher is. A slasher has a reason for what they do. They stalk and chase. The really good slasher films of the past had likable characters that you root for or if you hated them root against. Those films mixed cheap thrills with often spooky moods and haunting atmosphere. I guess SLASHERS GONE WILD didn't have the budget for atmosphere. Remember how awesome the original BLACK CHRISTMAS was? The killer in that didn't even wear a mask AND it wasn't that bloody compared to most.
The strange thing about this "film" was that it wasn't the big problems like the nonexistent story, horrible VHS quality video, out of sync sound or even the annoying characters and monotonous pace that bothered me the most. It was the small things. I got the impression that this whole fiasco was super rushed with no thought to anything that they were doing. It is like they filmed a bunch of horror themed skits, slapped them together when they realized that together there was a long enough run time to qualify as a movie and put them on a sleek looking DVD trying to trick people into thinking this was a genuine movie. For instance there is a character named Loonitic. See how they purposefully changed the 'U' in 'Lunatic' to 'OO' in an attempt to be clever? Do you think they meant to change the 'A' into an 'I' as well? I don't think so. Loonitic likes to tie people up and play Truth or Dare and if they don't get the question right he kills them and if they do answer correctly he kills them anyway. Wait a minute. How do you get a question wrong in Truth or Dare? Last time I checked Truth or Dare is when you ask someone to tell a truth about them not some random impossible math question that nobody would ever get the right answer to. It's not suppose to be 20 Questions. Also the motto or whatever to the slashers club is POLLUTE OR DEATH? I am not asking a question. There is a question mark at the end of their motto. Shouldn't it be POLLUTE OR DIE with no question mark? It is little annoyances that indicate that there was no effort put into anything in this "movie".
At the end of SLASHERS GONE WILD words appear threatening a sequel. I looked it up and found that they have a Indieagogo or Kickstarter campaign going. I honestly wish them success even though it seemed like they were intentionally trying to kill me with this "film". I know that sounds strange coming from some jerk on the Internet who just trashed the "film" but I don't like wishing ill will on any film maker. Uwe Boll being the exception of course. I just hope they grow as film makers and realize that TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE isn't the only horror movie around. Everybody rips off TCM and that isn't even that gory of a film either. Gore isn't horror. Gore is just gross.
Oh, and the special effects belong in the 'Not So Special' effects category. Just sayin...
Tuesday, February 5, 2013
There is a reason why WARM BODIES was previewed in front of BREAKING DAWN part 2 and that is because there really isn't a whole lot that happens in this movie. That is not to say that WARM BODIES is a bad film. Quite the contrary. It is just that this is a romantic comedy, so a good portion of this film is solely focused on the relationship building between R and Julie. That is the whole reason to watch a film like this in the first place. And while Nicholas is a very likable zombie he is still a zombie. The whole plot about R having a hard time trying to get this girl to like him because he is dead kind of gets old. The film can't help but drag a bit. WARM BODIES doesn't give you the high energy the trailer promises. Some of that I believe is due to not using the music more effectively in the film and the writing overall could have been smarter. Still WARM BODIES is a good film. It just isn't a great film.
It is nice to see that this isn't a typical boring zombie movie that is bleak and depressing and comes to the same 'zombies take over everything' conclusion that most movies in this category subscribe to. WARM BODIES gets better and better as the story develops. We are introduced to neat concepts like eating brains gives zombies the memories of their victims which helps R feel and relate to Julie. Zombies don't dream because they don't fall asleep so it is exciting to see R have his first dream. I like how R's love for Julie reminds other zombies on how to live again and that spreads to other zombies bringing them back to life and such. In the end it is nice to see everything ending on a positive rather than a negative. WARM BODIES tells a story and ends a story. It doesn't do that whole leaving it open for a sequel crap.
Even though it could have been better WARM BODIES is still a stand out film for this year due to some creative concepts and positive vibe. Maybe it is a little to 'TWILIGHT-ish" in a couple of places but it isn't too noticeable. At one point I did think that Teresa Palmer looked a little too much like Kristen Stewart. There is just something about her face that is all. It was just one moment though that quickly passed. There is also a scene where Julie and her ex-boyfriend are lying in a field looking up at clouds and stuff. It wouldn't be a romantic movie without that scene, I guess. I wouldn't really know. I don't watch too many romance movies. But if you like romantic comedies and looking for something different then I recommend WARM BODIES. If you are looking for blood and guts and depressing visions of the future and mankind watch this movie anyways. It will help your outlook on life. The characters in WARM BODIES can be looked upon as the various emotional states people get into when dealing with their feelings and love. But I am a guy and I don't like to get all mushy-gooshy with that stuff. See it for yourselves and come up with your own conclusions. Don't take my word for it. I am just some guy with nothing better to do than write about a rather unique 'chick flick'. Enjoy.
Monday, February 4, 2013
The awesome Scott Adkins stars as John whose family was murdered by Luc played by Jean-Claude Van Damme. Since REGENERATION JCVD has escaped the government and has become Marlon Brando in APOCALYPSE NOW. He has gone up river into hiding converting other Universal Soldiers who are hunting him down. He has a mind freeing injection he gives soldiers who are programmed as sleeper agents for the government. When given the injection their vision strobes to white flashes causing the soldier to see the truth and the audience member watching too long at the screen to convulse on the floor uncontrollably and evacuate their bowels into their pants in front of their friends. At least that is what happened to me. Word of warning. Don't stare at the screen too long when the strobing happens. It will hurt your head. The piercing sound effects don't help either. Can't imagine what that would have looked like in 3D. Absolute hell, I imagine. JCVD plans on creating his own clone army to fight the government that created the Universal Soldier program. Fight fire with fire. That sort of thing. John is given the injection but it does not work. His memories help him resist which lead to occasional bizarre episodes of John seeing Luc in mirrors and such messing with his mind. John has to take the journey up river to find Luc and ultimately himself. How deep.
Scott Adkins is the new JCVD. The best way you can tell is that you don't even realize until the end that both JCVD and Dolph Lundgren are not in this film very much. We haven't had a solid reliable star in the eighties style action film for awhile. Scott fills their shoes perfectly. In a way at the end there is sort of this passing of the torch so to speak with Scott defeating JCVD. The two fights between Adkins and JCVD (who turns into a bloody looking clown from hell) and Dolph are the film's highlight. All the action scenes are fluid and brutal with blood all over the place and a high body count. It is exactly what you want to see. You can tell what is going on and there isn't an abundance of quick stylish cuts and camera shakes. I also appreciate that the car chase scene was more like two cars battling rather than a boring chase to see which vehicle can drive faster and turn corners better.
One of the best things about this DAY OF RECKONING is how it wasn't filmed in Bulgaria or Yugoslavia like so many other lower budgeted action films including REGENERATION. They all look too similar with few standing out from the crowd. DOR was filmed in Louisiana with a nice swamp setting which adds to the whole APOCALYPSE NOW vibe. The movie takes a big risk focusing a big part of its run time to the psychological element of brain washing, cloning and the whole what-is-real and who-can-you-trust type of shenanigans that usually happen in thrillers and not action movies. It does work well without being too convoluted. Even though maybe the film doesn't fully explain itself I did feel satisfied with the whole story by the end.
DAY OF RECKONING is a better film than REGENERATION. In REGENERATION the film's main character was Luc but he was barely in it with the film depending on the supporting cast to drive the story. They did a great job but I want to see my action star throughout the film. I watch a JCVD film to see JCVD. Scott Adkins is in DAY OF RECKONING throughout the story. This is a Scott Adkins action movie. The film rests on his badass appeal. DOR is better because Adkins is the star. He is better as the lead than a supporting character. Every movie he is in from now on should have his face bigger than everyone else on the poster. Make it so. Besides the painful strobing scenes for which there are two of I think the only thing that kind of sucks is that there is not enough Dolph. He really is fantastic in this film. But what can I say. I love the big guy. Like Adkins he is way too under appreciated. I would love to see a film where the two team up and take down some bad guy played by a former wrestler or something. You can throw in Segal for good measure too. Make it so too.