Saturday, March 14, 2009

Burn After Reading



Cast: Everyone

Synopsis: I'm really not sure what happens in this film in spite of watching it in it's entirity only a few short hours ago...

Review: George Clooney's nuts and takes his shirt off, Brad Pitt's a crazy guy who, in spite of looking like a total douch-bag and dork-face, still looks hot, Frances MacDormand is quirky and says things like "Oh for Pete's sake!", John Malkovich gets all frustrated and swears at people (While in a floral dressing gown, holding a gun in one hand and a shot of liquor in the other), Tilda Swinton plays a stuck up bitch and J.K. Simmons once again plays an angry guy with a desk job.

What more could you need in a movie?

An automated sex dildo swing chair?

Done!

The perfect movie...

In Short: This review was already short...

Biggest Positive: Doesn't stop to let you cease being entertained from start to finish

Biggest Negative: I'll probably forget it existed and confuse it with a bunch of Wes Anderson and Spike Jonez films after a couple of months

Burn After Reading's Website

Trivia: I was going to see this at the cinema when it came out but when I read my ticket stub I burned it afterwards (obviously), and so was refused entry.
I set fire to the DVD Sleeve when it arrived in the mail today but fortunately my wife wrestled the DVD itself into the player before I had a chance to read the cover.
My attempts at setting fire to my TV screen were fruitless.

Friday, March 13, 2009

The Last House On The Left (2009)


Cast: Garret Dillahunt, Sara Paxton, Monica Potter, Tony Goldwyn

Synopsis: When the recently crumbled and bought-over movie studio New Line ended up cold and alone and without a hope for a future, Hollywood decided to ambush it in the woods! First they turned to something they owned but didn't create - Friday the 13th. They took Jason and they destroyed him utterly. Then they turned their sites on destroying one of New Line's shining stars, Wes Craven's babies - The Last House On The Left. They took The Last House On The Left and savagely raped it repeatadly in the woods and told it to fondle A Nightmare On Elm Street's breasts and piss it's pants. It promptly did so and once it was at it's lowest point, Hollywood remade Last House On The Left and turned it into a pile of excrement...

In it's dying breath, Last House On The Left fell to the ground, clawing at the dirt and croakily screamed to Nightmare On Elm Street - "Run! Don't... let... them... remake... you... too!".

A
nd with that - The Last House On the Left was destroyed...

Review: I don't know why we feel compelled to go to the cinema to see movies like this when there were perfectly good movies like... well, I guess Watchmen is the best one out just now but hell, I bet Miss March would be in many ways a superior film to this.

It wasn't a bad film really but you have to remember that it's basically starting from a very low point given that it's a god-damned unnecessary remake (again!) so that automatically sets it at a negative score right now...

It wasn't nearly (even remotely close) as gritty and almost snuff-like as the original but that was to be expected... perhaps though it was expected too much by some members of the audience who seemed to be appalled when the rape sequence began. I mean, did they think it was just going to be left out altogether? Perhaps they were (more likely) too young to have even seen the original and have parents too dumb to realize they shouldn't even be seeing a watered down remake of Last House On the Left.

Anyway, the rape scene began and so many people left the theater that it made me want to spin round in circles and laugh! My wife pointed out all the "evacuees"; but I surmised eventually that they probably just had to pee or get snacks and chose the awkward scene to do it in.

But then out of the ten or thereabouts that left only a couple seemed to return to the theater...

I guess people generally don't want to sit and watch a girl get forcibly fucked in the ass.
At least not in a room full of strangers anyway, that's awkward!

The film has promise but falls way short of being either as gritty as the original or able to be a mainstream "re-imagining" and popularized version of the it. Instead it is some sort of middle ground for lazy people who can't be bothered to locate a copy of the original.

There's too much cutting between "shaky-cam" and regular camera work too and the shaky-cam is extremely forced, you can tell someone's trying to make it seem cheap and nasty but failing, since you can tell they're trying.

In Short: A decent enough, watchable film but a few too many attempts at arty shots and close ups of girls panties - done in a way that makes you feel like the director thought that's all you had to do to make a film dirty and raw.

Biggest Positive: It stayed fairly true to the original film, a lot more than it could have and a lot more than many remakes do.

Biggest Negative: The original wasn't that good to begin with so they were pretty much fucked from the get-go.



Trivia: In order to fully experience this film in the best possible way pick up a pair of the super-special dark 3D glasses on the way in and put them on right away so no-one can tell you're taking a nap!

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Eden Lake


Cast: Kelly Reilly, Michael Fassbenger

Synopsis: A couple makes plans to spend a romantic weekend away but have it turned into a blood filled horror-fest when a bunch of Neds (Chavs, Townies, whatever) start stalking and attacking them.

Review: This is one of few horror films that genuinely scared me somewhat in recent years, especially since it didn't involve the things which usually scare me: Rape sequences, killing animals or German people. But this managed to do it!

Probably because I know that somewhere out there, there are little fucker Ned shitheads who might pull this shit off if you spilled their White Lightning on their bright white kappas. So I knew what the poor bastards in the film were going through...

Highly recommended film for all the family!

In Short: I have never been so glad to be now living in a country without Neds in my life!

Biggest Positive: Genuinely fearful! Managing to scared of something that could happen and not something that only maybe possibly, but probably wouldn't ever, happen.

Biggest Negative: Neds are really fucking annoying and since the film's about them they're quite prevalant.

Eden Lake's Website - this site is pretty nifty, you should go!

Trivia: Eden Lake is currently being used by the British tourist board to show a better side of British youth!

Friday, March 6, 2009

Quarantine


Cast:
Jennifer Carpenter, Steve Harris, Jay Hernandez, That guy from Ally McBeal

Synopsis: What happens when you trap a group of people in an inner-city building without explanation and let wild zombie folks tear them to pieces? You get the intro to Dawn Of The Dead, I guess... but what if those folks aren't zombies and are actually rabid crazies? I guess that's 28 Days Later... yeah well, what if the rabies is fast acting and randomly makes people want to bite and eat each other? That's still 28 Days Later I guess... well okay, but what if there was a trendy "nightvision" shot where the viewer is the only one that knows what's going on? That's just 28 Weeks Later now, huh? Well fuck, what if the whole thing was shot on amazing(ly annoying) SHAKY-CAM-VISION! Now you've got Quarantine!

Review: Blah blah blah stuck in building, blah blah blah rabies, blah blah zombie film without the zombies.
That's pretty much the gist of this film. That may sound like a derogatory review but believe me that leads to a pretty half-way decent flick! A lot of blood, a bunch of death (some particularly nasty falls and smashes actually) and some decent action sequences. The shaky-cam isn't too bad, since this film establishes the professionalism of the man behind the camera and thereby giving the film-maker a way to not make it suck to be "authentic" although it is wholly unnecessary and doesn't really achieve anything that couldn't have been achieved by just filming the movie like they weren't pretentious fuckers.
Some slight problems with consistencies though in that the, for example, the virus spreads to it's victims in a matter of minutes. In minutes or less the victim is a foaming maniac, hell-bent on biting other people's faces suddenly... except for one character who is infected for hours before any symptoms kick in (Just at the right moment!) because it worked better for the "plot".

Another example, the victims seem to attack on site (Though not each other, go figure!) all through the movie until at one point it makes for a more "tense" moment if the victim waits until the person slo-o-o-o-o-owly turns around checking all their surroundings before finally facing them to attack... I guess these rabid brainless fucktards have a sense of dynamic tension! Must be part of the lesser prevalent side-effects...

Also a word of advice to anyone caught in the situation the characters find themselves in the end of the film (Stuck in a dark room with a rabid half-naked granny-looking thing chucking pots and pans everywhere while you are armed with a camera with night vision - happens all the time to me), don't just sit there and film the cowering girl next to you ignoring where the crazy rabid bitch is! Instead, maybe try using your advantage (seeing in the pitch black) to beat the un-living shit out of the foaming cunt!
And instead of just hoping that for some reason while the bitch is tearing everything in the room apart without exception because she's a few olives short of a greek salad she'll somehow just coincidentally pass over the corner of the room where the two of you are shivering to yourselves if you "just keep quiet", why not try moving your stupid asses out of there?
Hey, you know what else was "just keeping quiet"? THE WHOLE FUCKING ROOM FULL OF INANIMATE OBJECTS THAT SOME MENTAL PATIENT IS CURRENTLY TEARING APART WITH NO SENSE OF LOGIC OR THOUGHT! So maybe, just maybe, sitting quietly with your fucking camera on (I'm sure that thing has a little red light like every other one on the planet) you should get off your stupid asses and do something? Just a thought...

Besides annoyingly convenient plot devices, pointless shaky-cam-o-vision and the fact that it's a remake (Hiss!) this film is probably worth watching though.
If you have an unlimited rental service like NetFlix (Or Shareaza, pow!).
And if you don't have anything else in your queue you could be watching.
And if nothing good's on TV.
And if you don't mind unoriginal films.
And if you suck.

Seriously, the film wasn't that bad. Here's a trailer for [REC] though (The film this was a remake of)



Biggest Positive: Well devised (I feel [rec] gets that credit though) and, towards the end starts to actually build up the tension you waited through the rest of the movie expecting to get in abundance.

Biggest Negative: The unnecessary Shaky Cam... it's been overused lately and unlike this, Cloverfield and Diary Of The Dead both had reasons to be using that effect...

Quarantine the DVD Website - inl. Trailer

Trivia: Unlike Cloverfield and the Blair Witch Project - Quarantine has the "shaky-cam" effect because all that shit really happened!


Sunday, March 1, 2009

Midnight Meat Train


Cast: Vinnie Jones, Bradley Cooper, Leslie Bibb

Synopsis: A freelance photographer who's career is going nowhere (Probably because the camera he owns is a piece of shit) discovers that the subway holds more secrets than just great tasting subs and low-cal flatbreads - they are also home to a grizzly underground world in which Vinnie Jones butchers victims of late night trains and unloads them at an unknown destination...

Review: The film starts out pretty well, setting the scene for a good horror flick by entering us straight into the action rather than trying to build up to it. Trailers to the film made promises of a lot of gore and it becomes apparent in the first few scenes that the film is going to deliver that at least. Some of the gore is far too obviously CGI effects but for the kind of visuals the film seemed to be going for, "real" gore might not have worked - a bit of a let down but it isn't overly done so it doesn't take away from the film too much.

The film has some pretty stunning visuals, nice camera angles and camera effects and they're all pretty well placed and used but at times it seems very forced, as if the director and editing crew wanted to practice a bunch of techniques they learned about while watching the DVD Extras to some Eli Roth movie so sometimes you find yourself sort of thinking "Yeah, very nice but can I see what's actually going on here?" but overall the film meets its goals.

The acting is reasonable, perhaps even above par for a movie of this caliber, and Vinnie Jones once again proves he can play a lumbering speechless barbarian very well. So, overall an above-par horror film... pretty much until the last 20 minutes or so when things start to go a little weird... Spoilers do follow, major ones that might make you not want to see the film, so I've put them in black so they're disguised - just click and hold to reveal my awesome secrets:

SPOILERS:
So the film is progressing along and, much like many horror films - especially small time ones, you find yourself wondering how will this end! Smaller horror films (and some big ones) still occasionally end with miserable endings which is great because then you don't know who's going to live and who's going to die or what's going to happen at all! So it gets to the final scenes - wimpy photographer is following the Butcher into the subway and brandishing all sorts of ridiculous weaponry in order to make the final scenes as cheesye as possible and I find myself thinking that - given the cheese-factor already apparent - the filmmakers are having a hard time coming up with a good and reasonable way to end this film and given that the film is based on a book it might be that the book has a pretty silly ending and they don't know how to deal with it, so what's going to happen? These are pretty much the options I had in my mind...

Wimpy Photographer kills Butcher. Butcher is forced under train thus no remains are found. Police find Photographer guilty of all crimes. Girlfriend cries a lot. The End!

Turns out the Photographer is the Butcher and has been all along and he invented this other world to escape from his life. In the end, confronted with his girlfriend knowing the truth he ends up shot by her. Girlfriend cries a lot. The End!

Turns out the girlfriend is the Butcher and has been all along. In the end, she kills him and moves on with her underground slaughtering life. Photographer dies a lot. The End!

Photographer kills butcher only to have train pull up underneath the slaughterhouse and be confronted with about a hundred other butchers all with the same idea. Butchers kill the photographer. Girlfriend cires a lot. Butchers kill her too. The End!

or

Turns out there's an underground network of weird demonic vampiric space monkeys living underneath New York City unbeknownst to everyone who Vinnie Jones, instead of feeding them left over meat from his butchering job, feeds them skinny white people (mostly). None of the Demonic Space Monkey plot would be hinted at at all during the movie though of course, so that it's a "surprise". Girlfriend stands there with a "What the fuck kind of fuckery is this?" look on her face a lot. The End!

At some point in the filmmaking process someone thought "Hey, let's not do any of those regular endings! Let's go for the Space Monkey ending!"

Seriously! That's how this movie ended!

80 minutes of tension packed thriller ("packed" might be exaggerating a little) with blood, cool visuals and a little mystique to it followed by 20 minutes of Demonic Space Monkeys turning the audience retarded.

In Short:
I should have known! Why didn't I think about who made this story?

Biggest Positive: Vinnie Jones beating people about the head constantly.

Biggest Negative: Yeah... I already went over that I think...

Film Website: Midnight Meat Train The Movie

Trivia: Vinnie Jones was actually supposed to speak through the whole film but after reading the script he refused.