Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Mission Impossible 3

Mission: Impossible III (2006)

Directed by: J.J. Abrams
Written by: J.J. Abrams, Alex Kurtzman, Roberto Orci, based on the television series created by Bruce Gellar
Starring: Tom Cruise, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Ving Rhames, Billy Crudup, Michelle Monaghan, Jonathan Rhys Meyers, Maggie Q, Laurence Fishburne, Simon Pegg, Eddie Marsan, Kerri Russell, Bahar Soomekh

Okay, well, I finished watching this last night (another sequel!), and was relatively entertained. I managed to keep awake this time, which is always good.

In this movie, Tom Cruise is called out of retirement to steal something and give it to Philip Hoffman so he can save his wife. Or rather, his character is.

Not that that really means anything, I mean to say, Tom Cruise is Tom Cruise, no matter how you look at him. He's a fairly good actor, although in this he had those disgustingly moist eyes and reminded me nauseatingly of Matthew Fox on Lost.

This whole fucking movie reminded me of an episode of Lost. It looked like it could have been made for television. I'm sure it probably looks like Alias, too, but I've never really watched Alias - I can't stand Jennifer Garner (I can't stand Matthew Fox anymore, either - I started watching that show because it had Dom Monaghan on it but seeing as he's now dead, it's probably safe to stop).

And Philip Hoffman bothers me a little bit, but that's on the most intangible psychological level which I won't get into right now.

Anyway, despite the fact that it looked like Lost and Phil makes my skin crawl, it's actually probably the best of the Mission: Impossible movies (it was called "the most impossible mission yet", a sentence which I believe is grammatically questionable).

It didn't seem all that impossible to me, but it was more... frenetic. There was so much crap jammed in there, that I was rarely bored. It had more of what people sometimes call 'fun'. And it had Simon Pegg in it! I love him! He's my hero!

Yes, he looks bizarre without Nick Frost there with him, kind of like one conjoined twin without the other, but he still made me happy, if only temporarily.

Yep. That was the highlight of the movie, I must say. Although that really famous shot with the thing exploding and Tom flying around like a... I dunno... thing, what pretty cool.

I don't know. It had a good cast. Even counting Tom Cruise. Even though he makes me want to puke. He's so short, and not in a good way. I like short people - I'm not especially tall myself - just not angry short men.


Monday, May 28, 2007

Pirates of the Caribbean 3

Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End (2007)

Directed by: Gore Verbinski

Written by: Ted Elliott and Terry Rossio, based on the theme park in Disney Land (or World or Park or whatever that fucking place is called)

Starring: Johnny Depp, Geoffrey Rush, Keira Knightley, Orlando Bloom, Lee Arenberg, Mackenzie Crook, Naomie Harris, Tom Hollander, Jack Davenport, Chow Yun-Fat, Bill Nighy, Kevin R. McNally, Stellan Skarsgård, David Bailie, Jonathan Pryce, Keith Richards

Okay, okay, yes this movie sucked like a MoFu, but it was strangely satisfying. I don't know why. Maybe it because it was so fucking long (or maybe it was because I got to see Orlando Bloom get killed), but I felt like I got my $9.25's worth (thank God it was sold out at Dartmouth Saturday night - they charge $10.95. I'm not sure it was worth all that).

Anyway, I can't really remember too much of the plot of this movie. I forgot it pretty much as I was watching it. I'm not entirely sure there was a plot. I think what happened was that The Posse (Elizabeth, Will, Geoffrey Rush, Naomie Harris, the monkey, and their motley crew of pirates) go off looking for Jack (who died at the end of the last movie), and find him in the Land of the Dead or something. And then they bring him back and they have to fight the bad guys (Tentacleface and the dastardly... British Navy? Oh, wait, no. It was the East India Trading Company, wasn't it? I have no fucking idea anymore) and then spend the remaining two and a half hours betraying one another.

Keira Knightley betrays Orlando Bloom (or vice versa); Orlando and Captain Jack betray the pirates (separately); the pirates betray one another endlessly; the bad guys betray Captain Jack; Bill Nighy betrays Naomie Harris (I guess); Stellan Skarsgård betrays Orlando Bloom; and all the while Johnny Depp and Geoffrey Rush one-up each other (both in the context of the movie and outside of it).

Who wins? Well, Johnny gets numerous replicas of himself. Geoff has a pet monkey. I, personally, would go for the monkey rather than the Johnny Depps (one is quite enough), but some people would surely prefer extra Depp.

There was a lot of shit in there which I just sort of tuned out. It was boring and I have little to no recollection of it. There was an awful lot of ACTING on Keira and Orlando's parts, and a lot of unfunny jokes ("I once sailed with a man who lost both of his arms and one of his eyes" "What did you call him?" "Larry"). However, most of the cast (with the exclusion of Keira and Orlando) I am rather fond of. I like Keira sometimes, but not now I'm afraid.

A problem with this movie: There weren't enough monsters in it (I miss Kraken). Yes, there was a 50 foot woman who turns into a pile of crabs, but that made so little sense it can hardly count.

And it didn't really have an ending. It had more of an ending than the second one, true, but it still was particularly conclusive. They could surely make another one. Most of the characters are alive, and their stories could potentially go on. Pirates of the Caribbean and the Fountain of Youth, say.

Not everyone's story is wrapped up. Captain Jack and Geoffrey Rush could, potentially, continue one-upping each other indefinitely. Orlando Bloom could, potentially, sail the seas as Captain of the Flying Dutchman indefinitely. Keira Knightley, King of the Pirates, could go on pillaging and murdering people indefinitely (not really her style, I know, but hey, why not?). And I don't think that the Keith Richards/Johnny Depp relationship was taken as far as it could have been. Besides, Calypso is still out there (that was the 50 foot woman thing. I wasn't convinced that Calypso had that power - mind you, I'm always getting her and Circe confused, so I'm not entirely sure what she's capable of. What about Calisto? She was a character on Xena... I'm confused).

But anyway, if they do make a sequel to this movie, I doubt I'll actually go to see it unless they add someone totally irresistible to the cast. I don't know who that would be, but I'm sure they could think of someone. (EDIT: They did make another one and I did go to see it. Fuckers)


Special Bonus Who Ends Up Dead: James Norrington, Davy Jones, Elizabeth's Dad, Lord Beckett, Sao Feng, Singing Gallows

Pirates #1-9, Will Turner (temporarily).

For those of you who did not want this information, I have ruined your lives forever.

Mission Impossible 2

Mission: Impossible II (2000)

Directed by: John Woo
Written by: Robert Towne based on the television series created by Bruce Gellar
Starring: Tom Cruise, Dougray Scott, Thandie Newton, Ving Rhames, Richard Roxburgh, John Polson, Brendan Gleeson, Radé Sherbedgia, William Mapother, Dominic Purcell, Anthony Hopkins

Okay, well, this is another sequel... as it would seem.

This time around, I wasn't really paying attention, but as far as I can tell, it's about a killer virus which is stolen by an evil Scottish guy and Tom Cruise has to get it back, with a little help from a super thief who was formerly Scottish guy's girlfriend, and Ving Rhames (naturally).

It's not really as good as the first one, I must say. It's got lots of action and fighting and crap like that - it certainly outdoes the first one in that respect - but it was just sort of... lacking. I don't know.

And I object to the title Mission: Impossible. If it was really impossible he wouldn't be able to do it, and when he does get down to trying to solve the problem, it doesn't seem that impossible at all. It's actually surprisingly do-able.

But I'm actually rather fond of the people in it - Tom Cruise aside. He's starting to get on my nerves now. But Ving Rhames and Thandie Newton and Tony Hopkins and Brendan Gleeson are all kind of likeable - I'm not really familiar with Dougray Scott, but he doesn't offend my brain or anything. Richard Roxburgh does a terrible South African accent (a notch up from his terrible Romanian accent in Van Helsing) - or maybe that was Australian (his real one) and I'm just confused, but anyway, I don't have a problem with him. I even kind of like William Mapother (who is actually Tom Cruise's cousin - I always knew they were related. They look the frigging same and his name is Mapother).

Not that that really matters much. It's all just a big James Bond rip off anyway - except that Bond has a lick of charisma and Tom Cruise doesn't. But I suppose that's only natural.

Anyway, those face-mask thingies are starting to bother me. First of all, that wouldn't work. Second of all, how the hell is anybody supposed to trust anybody else when everybody had access to those frigging things? And why the hell do they have to go to all that fuss and bother breaking into places if they can just make a mask that looks like somebody and... urg. It irritates me so.

So I ended up just feeling mildly irritated. Nonetheless (masochist as I am) I started watched the third one. I was actually kind of enjoying it until I fell asleep, so I'm going to try again tonight.

But that's all in the future, and we shan't go there (well, actually, we shall, but not now). I'm so confused.


Nightmare on Elm Street 3

A Nightmare on Elm Street 3: The Dream Warriors (1987)

Directed by: Chuck Russell
Written by: Wes Craven, Chuck Russell, Frank Darabont, Bruce Wager
Starring: Heather Langenkamp, Craig Wasson, Patricia Arquette, Robert Englund, Ken Sagoes, Rodney Eastman, Jennifer Rubin, Bradley Gregg, Ira Heiden, Laurence "Larry" Fishburne, Penelope Sudrow, Priscilla Pointer, John Saxon

And despite all that, I went back for more and watched this movie. It was actually kind of worth it. Considering how crappy the second one was, this one seemed pretty good. Mind you, it had Wes Craven back on the creative team, as it were.

In this third installment, Freddy attempts to kill the surviving kiddies who are all locked up in a crazy house because they're afraid to go to sleep, except for Heather Langenkamp who is now some kind of psychiatrist or something and trains them to become the dream warriors of the title (and what a stupid title - I thought Freddy's Revenge was a little lame, but...). In the mean time, dude's family history is revealed when his GhostMom shows up and starts talking about that.

So this one has some more interesting modes of death than the last one - a kid has the veins in his arms and legs ripped out and is then manipulated like a marionette. Pretty cool.

And the dreams are more dreamlike - some of the people look different in their dreams, and have different powers, like people do (in my dreams, for example, I'm a horrible creature with the body of a lion, the tail of a scorpion and the head of a person. Actually, that's what I look like in real life).

And the casting was marginally better - I hadn't really noticed how much I'd missed Heather Langenkaamp (of course, she dies in this one, so I'll just have to get over it). Typically, I'm rather fond of Pat Arquette, but I didn't care for her too much in this one. All she did was scream and cry (in fine horror tradition).

And hey, Little Larry Fishburne. I'm not crazy about Larry, but I can't get over how young he looked. A little bit older than he was in Apocalypse Now, but still fairly little.

And none of the other people I've ever heard of (well, John Saxon, Priscilla Pointer, Craig Wasson I am relatively familiar with...).

Anyway, this was fairly entertaining and had some of the spirit of the first one. Yay.


Nightmare on Elm Street 2

A Nightmare on Elm Street Part 2: Freddy's Revenge (1985)

Directed by: Jack Sholder

Written by: David Chaskin

Starring: Mark Patton, Kim Myers, Robert Rusler, Robert Englund, Clu Gulager, Hope Lange, Sydney Walsh, Marshall Bell, Melinda O. Fee, Thom McFadden, Lyman Ward

In this, the sequel (duh) to Nightmare on Elm Street Freddy returns to get his revenge. Or you could just look at the title. Anyway, this time around, he decides to posses this other guy so that he can have a body and kill people who are awake.

That sort of defeats the purpose, doesn't it? And if he can kill people in their dreams, why does he need to posses a guy? It's so much easier the other way. Or maybe he's in love with the guy's girlfriend, I don't know.

It makes no sense at all. The other one hardly made any kind of sense either, but at least that one had dreamin' action.

This one didn't, really. It could have been a sequel to anything else in the genre, really. Say Michael Myers (and/or Jason Voorhees) decides to posses somebody. Then you've got the same movie.

And to be quite honest, the acting in the first one, however hokey, was quite a bit better than the acting in this.

But the biggest problem was that the whole thing didn't have the tiniest smattering of imagination, which was what made the first one so much more interesting than the cookie cutter slasher film. Besides, they didn't get into the death and killing until almost half way through the movie, really. Not in a big way. And most of the casualties were birds. And fish.

Most of the kids survived, even the fornicating ones. In fact, the only killing I remember was the SM Gym Teacher (a little disturbing, I must say. That didn't seem very... real to me). Strange, strange, strange.

It didn't have much of a sense of humour, either. And it seems to me that Fred gets a hell of a lot more dialogue in this one. I wonder.


Saturday, May 19, 2007

The Mothman Prophecies

The Mothman Prophecies (2002)

Directed by: Mark Pellington
Written by: Richard Hatem "based" on the book by John A. Keel
Starring: Richard Gere, Laura Linney, Will Patton, David Eigenberg, Debra Messing, Tom Stoviak, Lucinda Jenney, Dan Callahan, Christin Frame, Alan Bates, Betsy Zajko, Mark Pellington

So this is allegedly based on a true story - or on a book about something that actually happened, which, as far as I can tell, has little to do with this movie. I know a lot of people were really pissed off about that, but hey, I don't care. Maybe there was a Mothman talking about impending disaster in Point Pleasant, I don't know. Why not?

The movie doesn't really have anything to do with anything. It's pretty much just a bunch of really freaky stuff that happens, okay, it builds up to the 'tragedy on the river Ohio', but it's pretty well done.

The style of filmmaking, which gets used a lot these days, it nifty, the music is good, and hey, it's creepy as hell.

I couldn't help but compare it to the movies of today, though. The ones I've been to see recently, anyway. It just struck me that this movie had a bunch of those shots that aren't really of anything, but at least this one lingered on them for long enough for you to really contemplate them thoroughly, whereas in other, more modern, movies, they cut between them so fast your brain hurts.

And the Mothman itself - Indrid Cold or whatever - is kind of spooky. I didn't get it exactly, but it was spooky. Weird phone calls freak me out, I'm sorry (like the obscene calls in Black Christmas - freaky shit, man). Maybe that's why I never answer the phone...

Anyway (enough about my weird paranoid fears), I'm not crazy about Richard Gere. He's alright and everything, he just bothers me for some reason. Maybe it's because he's a Buddhist, I don't know. I'm sure my Buddhist allies will get me back for that. I'll deal with it when I get to it.

But yeah, this movie was mostly just atmosphere. Atmosphere to the max. There's very little pay off really. I guess there is, but it wasn't really scary.

I rather enjoyed it though. It was distressing enough without being totally terrifying.


Tuesday, May 15, 2007


Mimic (1997)

Directed by: Guillermo del Toro
Written by: Guillermo del Toro and Matthew Robbins, based on a short story by Donald A. Wollheim
Starring: Mira Sorvino, Jeremy Northam, Alexander Goodwin, Giancarlo Giannini, Charles S. Dutton, Alix Koromzay, F. Murray Abraham, Josh Brolin, Norman Reedus

Another step in the magical journey which leads inevitably to me digging Guillermo. I didn't want to like him particularly (God knows why - something to do with Hellboy) but I find myself unable to resist.

Anyway, this is his big bug movie (kind of a combination of those bug movies from the '50s, Aliens and Frankenstein - what could possibly go wrong?), about a scientist who creates an insect by combining the DNA of a termite and a praying mantis. It's purpose is to kill the disease carrying cockroaches of New York and then quietly die off as it only live 120 days and all of the females are sterile. However, much like in Jurassic Park, something goes wrong and instead of dying out, the insects mutate into huge monsters living in the abandoned parts of the subway system.

Nifty stuff. It was interesting, now that I've seen enough of Guillermo's movies, noticing the themes he seems to go back to a lot. For example, he seems to really like weird, clicking bugs.

And of course, there's the look of his movies. Very dark - like Terry Gilliam.

Anyway, I dug this movie. It was pretty good. The bugs were spiffy, I must say, and actually they didn't look too bad for '97. And bugs are just kind of cool. Being an etymologist (or whatever those bug people are called) would be kind of neat. I wouldn't do it of course, but the chick in this movie was pretty groovy.

She didn't look too much like a bug lady, of course. Too pretty (in that special Hollywood actress way. I have no doubt that there are some very lovely bug people, but they probably don't care about their hair as much). I find it rather disturbing that Mira Sorvino dated Quentin Tarantino, but that's irrelevant.

And this movie had FMurray in it. Yay.

So obviously I liked this movie - okay, it was moronic (I mean, if you call something a Judas Beetle, what do you think it's going to do? Help you out?), but it was good moronic. Entertaining moronic. And it has that nice, environmentalist message mixed in there somewhere. I don't see what Guillermo has against it. Something to do with the producers, probably. Fuckin producers.


Sunday, May 13, 2007

Queen of the Damned

Queen of the Damned (2002)

Directed by: Michael Rymer
Written by: Scott Abbott and Michael Petroni, based on The Vampire Chronicles by Anne Rice
Starring: Stuart Townsend, Marguerite Moreau, Aaliyah, Vincent Perez, Lena Olin, Paul McGann, Christian Manon, Claudia Black, Bruce Spence, Matthew Newton, Conrad Standish

Okay, so this is sort of a sequel to Interview with the Vampire, though the casting is, mercifully, different. I'm sorry, but Tom Cruise as Lestat made me nauseous. Stuart Townsend is much, much better.

This covers the first three of Anne Rice's vampire novels (Interview, The Vampire Lestat and Queen of the Damned, two of which I have read). Our hero awakens after a hundred year sleep, joins a rock band and awakens Akasha, the Queen of the Damned.

The movie really is just a bunch of stuff thrown together, but it's actually surprisingly good. So much better than Interview. God, that movie sucked.

Anyway, this one is a pretty good vampire movie, I must say. I'm not particularly fond of Anne Rice - she's so... disgustingly... adjective... and I'm sorry but I don't find homo erotica that exciting. Probably because I'm a woman (that should be a valid argument, but a lot of women do like that stuff. I find it kind of tiresome. I find erotica tiresome in general). Most of that stuff is taken out, though.

The whole thing looks like a music video - it actually kind of is a musical, though, in the most rudimentary sense. But it had good music, so what am I complaining about. Loud and obnoxious.

Surprisingly, Aaliyah doesn't get to sing. That's probably a good thing. She made a pretty good vampire, I must say. Her accent (Egyptian, I guess) kind of sucked, but she wasn't bad. Unfortunately, she was killed before the movie was completed, as most of you know. Poor girl.

Stuart Townsend was also rather good. Very vampiric. I quite like him, though I've only seen him in one other movie (The League of Extraordinary Gentleman, in which he played Dorian Gray, pretty much the same way).

And according to my favourtie website, there were a number of other people asked to play Lestat (including his ugliness, Tom Cruise) before they cast him. Thank God they turned the role down.


(Pretty sloppy, I know, but it was my fourth rant today. I'm running out of juice)

Darkness Falls

Darkness Falls (2003)

Directed by: Jonathan Liebesman
Written by: John Fasano, James Vanderbilt, Joe Harris
Chaney Kley, Emma Caulfield, Lee Cormie, Sullivan Stapleton, Grant Piro, Steve Mouzakis, Peter Curtin, Kestie Morassi, Jenny Lovell, John Stanton, Andrew Bayly, Emily Browning, Gary Hecker, Antony Burrows

This movie is about a nice old lady who collected kids teeth who was hideously burned in a fire so that her skin couldn't tolerate sunlight, and later falsely accused of murder and hung. Then she comes back as a ghost and kills the shit out of a bunch of people.

The movie reminded me a lot of that one, The Boogeyman they made a few years back - it was basically a rip off of this movie, but it was kind of better.

This one is alright for a while, but descends into total ridiculousness when the people start having to jump over huge patches of dark because if they are touching the dark for a fraction of a second they'll get killed by the Toothfairy. Right...

Yep, that was pretty dumb. And I'm sorry but I didn't find that monster very frightening. She was just kind of lame. I dunno. I thought she should have been slimier. Then she would have been too much like Samara, I guess.

It was already too much like The Ring or something. It felt like a less freaky version of one of those pseudo Japanese movies. Right down to the lighthouse and the weird-ass noises the ghost made.

The sound people really did go nuts with this one. The ghost made all sorts of weird squeaking and groaning sounds. It was kind of funny.

Anyway, I had a hard time getting over Emma Caulfield as Anya. I kept thinking, come on, she's a frigging vengeance demon, but of course she wasn't. Which was confusing.

Also, I didn't like that guy, whoever he was, very much. There must have been some other guy who they could have put in there, one of those TV people who do weirdo horror movies all the time. I can't think of any examples right now, but there are lots of them, I assure you.

Yep, this movie was pretty silly. Unintentionally, and unfortunately. Jonathan Liebesman also directed Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Beginning, though, so there you go.


28 Weeks Later

28 Weeks Later (2007)

Directed by: Juan Carlos Fresnadillo
Written by: Juan Carlos Fresnadillo, Rowan Joffe, Jesús Olmo, E.L. Lavigne
Imogen Poots, Mackintosh Muggleton, Rose Byrne, Harold Perrineau, Jeremy Renner, Robert Carlyle, Catherine McCormack

I went to see this movie the other day, tickets courtesy of Cinema Clock (www.cinemaclock.com), as I was unable to resist it. It is, obviously, the sequel to my beloved 28 Days Later.

It takes place 28 weeks after the virus is initially released. England has been quarantined. The virus has been wiped out. The Americans have come in and set up a Green Zone and are beginning to allow people back into the country. They are instructed not to leave the safety of the Green Zone, because all the bad shit is outside the Green Zone (Iraq much?). As is turns out, the virus was not quite eliminated. There's this woman, a carrier, who manifests no symptoms but is still capable of infecting people. Thus, the bad shit gets into the Green Zone, and the Americans have to fire bomb the Green Zone and everybody in it.

I don't really need to say this, but it isn't as good at the first one. That's a given. Were it superior to the first one, I would have been very, very surprised.

28 Days Later was a brilliant, and very innovative film. This movie takes everything that was really good about the first one and abuses it. The characters aren't as well established, or appealing (the character I liked, who I thought was the main character, gets his Rage on twenty minutes into the movie. That's very shocking, of course), a lot of the situations are a little ridiculous (there were some pretty silly things in the first one, too, but this one goes a bit far), the music is the same, the sound effects are a little overused, the editing is frustratingly hard to watch (like that of a music video), the cinematography isn't as beautiful or imaginative, and they use the jump out and grab you variety of scares a little often.

Don't get me wrong, I actually rather enjoyed it, as much as that sort of movie is to be enjoyed. It had that same sense of visceral realism that the first one had, and some of the scenes are a little painful to watch - the guy abandoning his wife to be ripped apart by the infected and the army making the decision to machine gun a crowd of people, human or not being two of the worst.

Okay, so in a world full of violence and horrible depravity, that shouldn't really get to me the way it does, but there's nothing I can do about it. It makes me feel like I'm being squeezed.

Anyway, in this one, the select group of characters not only has to worry about the Infected, but also the U.S. Armed Forces (who are much better equipped though no more competent than Chris Eccleston's boys in the first one).

Speaking of which, you never really find out what happened to the people in the first one. Pretty much everybody who survived the first epidemic gets killed in this, which doesn't bode to well for Jim & Selene & Hannah. I was disappointed that one of them didn't have like a cameo or something. Even just seeing the "Hello" sign would have brought me tremendous glee.

But no, this is to 28 Days Later what Dawn of the Dead is to Night - a bigger budget remake disguised as a sequel.

And as for 28 Months Later? The final shot of the Infected running towards the Eiffel Tower (I couldn't help but laugh) would suggest as much.



Thinner (1996)

Directed by: Tom Holland
Written by: Michael McDowell and Tom Holland, based on the novel by Stephen King
Starring: Robert John Burke, Joe Mantegna, Lucinda Jenney, Michael Constantine, Kari Wuhrer, Joie Lenz, Jeff Ware, John Horton, Daniel von Bargen, Elizabeth Franz, Irma St. Paule, Stephen King

Another adaptation of a Stephen King novel, this one released theatrically, and marginally better than The Tommyknockers, but still not particularly inspiring.

This is the one about the fat guy who accidentally runs over a little old gypsy lady while getting a blow job from his wife and is cursed by the lady's father, who happens to be King of the Gypsies. The curse is that the guy becomes thinner, losing weight no matter how much he eats.

And then he tries to get the curse off of himself for the rest of the movie, with a little help from Fat Tony.

The most irksome thing about this movie is that the fat effects aren't very good. I live in Dartmouth so I see a lot of fat people, and I know very well what they look like. The guy in this movie was very obviously a regular guy dressed up to look like a fat guy - he didn't walk right. He also didn't have manboobs, which fat men tend to have.

Actually, that wasn't the most irksome thing. Even more irksome was the racism towards gypsies. I mean, a gypsy curse? Grow up. It's almost as bad as there being an Indian Curse on something. Okay, had this movie been made sixty years ago, I probably would have let them alone, but this was the 90s. The least they could do would be to make them realistic.

Anyway, enough about my weird gypsy thing (give me your tears, gypsy). I didn't really believe a lot about this movie. I haven't read the book (surprise surprise), but I hear it's pretty good. I dunno.

Yeah, so Steve's in this one. He's terrible. Actually, on large, the acting wasn't great. I like Joe Mantegna, but the rest of the people I wasn't too crazy about.

Um, the skinny effects weren't great either, come to think of it. Ah well.


Saturday, May 12, 2007

The Tommyknockers

The Tommyknockers (1993)

Directed by: John Power
Written by: Lawrence D. Cohen based on the novel by Stephen King
Starring: Jimmy Smits, Marg Helgenberger, Allyce Beasley, Robert Carradine, Traci Lords, Annie Corley, Cliff De Young, Joanna Cassidy, John Ashton, E.G. Marshall, Leon Woods, Paul McIver

Okay, so a little town in New England is besieged by an ancient evil inhabiting the old Indian woods. Said ancient evil turns the people of the town into zombies and makes them invent all kinds of nifty little devices including a typewriter which types on it's own, and the only person who can defeat the dreaded Tommyknockers (by making the ultimate sacrifice) is a writer who hasn't written anything good for years.

Needless to say, I have seen this movie before. It was called It the first time. Okay, so in this one the ancient evil isn't a weird spider thing that likes to dress up as a clown, it was some slightly vampiric aliens (Salem's Lot), but it had basically the same plot.

It was better. Much, much longer, but better. It at least took the time to do everything right. I mean to say, the characters were done better and everything was there.

This movie just kind of sucked. It was made for television, of course, which doesn't help too much, but some things can get around that.

And I dunno, but the Tommyknockers themselves didn't impress me very much. Sure, they went around making people kill one another, I guess, but they didn't seem too bad. And those aliens were kind of sad looking. I (not having read the novel) assumed that the Tommyknockers were goblins or kobolds or something. They sound like a particularly irksome variety of the wee folk.

Another thing that got on my nerves was who's Tommy and why are they knocking him? But that's sort of irrelevant.

Anyway, there's really nothing more to say about this movie except that it was full of green shit (aliens just love that green shit. In reality, the aliens, or at least the ones I travel with, are rather fond of pastel orange, but I doubt Mr. King would know that).


Tuesday, May 8, 2007

The Serpent and the Rainbow

The Serpent and the Rainbow (1988)

Directed by: Wes Craven
Written by: Richard Maxwell and Adam Rodman based on the book by Wade Davis
Starring: Bill Pullman, Cathy Tyson, Zake Mokae, Paul Winfield, Brent Jennings, Conrad Roberts, Badja Djola, Theresa Merritt, Michael Gough, Paul Guilfoyle

My pa taped this off of the History Network for me a while ago (aw, how sweet, and yes, I do have a pa) and I just got around to watching it. It's one of those fiction movies based upon a non-fiction book, and we all know how that goes...

Anyway, it's about this anthropologist who goes to Haiti in 1982 to find out about voodoo zombies because apparently black magic will be really useful for the company he works for and locate a man who has apparently been dead for seven years. While in Haiti, he gets drugged, abducted, tortured and eventually turned into a zombie, but he keeps on going back to get his girlfriend. Stupid boy.

So. Voodoo zombies. I think so far I'll opt for Romero's ghouls, if you don't mind (if you do, in fact, mind, than your life is sad). The fact that these voodoo zombies exist (which I guess they do) is rather unsettling, and the idea that somebody would do something like that to another human being equally so, but in terms of sheer fear/repulsion factor, legions of the flesh eating dead come out on top so far. Not to say that nobody will ever make a scary movie about voodoo zombies, or that nobody has yet. I just haven't seen it.

But enough the scariness (or lack thereof) of these specific zombies and/or their evil masters. There are some pretty nifty scenes in there, as the main character is frequently on drugs and bewitched by a voodoo priest and therefore tends to hallucinate a lot, giving the film a very nightmarish quality.

Funny that the last Craven movie I watched was Nightmare on Elm Street - there are a lot of images that seem to have carried over from that into this. People getting dragged down into holes and attacked by things with really long arms, for example.

So that was cool. I can't say that the plot of the movie was really that apparent (based off of non-fiction!), or that it was at any point scary - not even the actual walking corpses really got to me that much - but hey, it was funky.

And I can't help but like Bill Pullman. He's not the greatest actor in the world, but I do like him (ever since I saw him play the dad in Igby, God knows why). And he does make a pretty good zombie.


Monday, May 7, 2007

Mission Impossible

Mission: Impossible (1996)

Directed by:
Brian de Palma
Written by: David Koepp and Robert Towne, based on the television series created by Bruce Gellar
Starring: Tom Cruise, Jon Voight, Emmanuelle Beart, Henry Czerny, Jean Reno, Ving Rhames, Vanessa Redgrave, Dale Dye, Kristin Scott-Thomas, Marcel Iures, Ion Caramitru, Ingeborga Dapkunaite, Valentina Yakunina, Marek Vasut

The first of many impossible missions, this was criticized for having a ridiculously incomprehensible plot. Allow me to simplify it:

This team of secret agents is sent to stop this dude from stealing this list (okay, I can't remember the significance of the list. I think it had all the real names of all the spies or something). But anyway, they all get killed except for little Tommy and the leader's sexy wife. Because they are the only survivors, the governments assumes that they killed the rest of the team. SO Tom meets up with this arms dealer (or something) who wants the list and knows the identity of the mole who killed Tom's team and set him up and decides to make a trade. With the help of Jean Reno and Ving Rhames (and said sexy wife) he breaks into C.I.A. headquarters and hangs from the ceiling for a while so that he can foil the many security devices and steal the list. The NOC List (I thought they were saying Nautilus and that it was a submarine. I was pretty confused there). Only then does it turn out that the leader of the team was the real mole and that he survived and that he's working with Jean Reno and that together they killed all the other people in the team and that he's going to kill Tom. Gasp. Spoilers. And then some more stuff happens. Action and crap like that.

Wow, that was clarifying, wasn't it? Anyway, it was basically just a rip off of James Bond, but without any real sense of humour. I prefer Bond for the most part, but this was okay. I didn't mind Mr. Cruise too very much, which is impressive.

I just didn't care. I don't care about Bond either, but Bond is fluff and it knows it. But it had lots of action to keep me amused and/or entertained.

And I just can't get enough of that Jean Reno. He's so cool. I love him. He's my hero. Okay, so he was evil in this (a little unusual, isn't it?), but he's still my hero.

Anyway, as action movies go, it's pretty good, I should say.


Sunday, May 6, 2007

The Illusionist

The Illusionist (2006)

Written and Directed by: Neil Burger based on the story Eisenheim the Illusionist by Steven Millhauser
Starring: Edward Norton, Paul Giamatti, Rufus Sewell, Jessica Biel, Edward Marsan, Jake Wood, Tom Fisher, Aaron Johnson, Eleanor Tomlinson, Karl Johnson

This movie wasn't particularly inspiring to me. I didn't like it a whole lot. There wasn't really anything not to like, but there wasn't anything to like, either, so there you go.

It's about a guy who does magic tricks as a living who meets the duchess he fell in love with as a child. Unfortunately, she's engaged to the Crown Prince, who is a nasty man who likes to beat the shit out of his girlfriends (guess who plays him, har har). When she decides to run off with the illusionist he kills her. Or so we're meant to think.

The number one problem I had with this movie had nothing to do with the kind of lame plot, or the lame pseudo twist, or the lack of characters I could like, or the funny accents everybody had, or the fact that Rufus Sewell was playing the same character he always plays. It had nothing to do with any of that. It had to do with the illusions.

THE ILLUSIONS were so obviously spawned by computers that I couldn't stand to see them. Okay, if they were supposed to be magic created by the unholy forces of Satan or some bullshit like that, I would have been able to deal with it. But they were supposed to be actual illusions, and if they were supposed to be actual illusions which a human being could actually do, why didn't they actually do them?

It drove me mad, shrieking obscenities through the streets, all the way to the hospital where I commenced to bother patients and doctors alike. That was fun, let me tell you.

Anyway, that bothered me a lot. I did like the costumes. They were just regular Edwardian type costumes, but I like Edwardian costumes. I'd like to go somewhere where they wear them.

And I liked Paul Giamatti, as usual, but his accent was a little... weird. And I liked Rufus Sewell, I guess, except that he was playing a total jerk, so I really didn't.

The whole damn movie bothered me, actually. It didn't bother me immensely, just a little bit, which is even more bothersome. Anyway, it was obviously not very inspiring because I couldn't think of anything to write about it. That's why I filled this up with nothingness! Whee!


Nightmare on Elm Street

A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984)

Written and Directed by: Wes Craven
Starring: Heather Langenkamp, John Saxon, Ronee Blakley, Robert Englund, Johnny Depp, Nick Corri, Amanda Wyss, Charles Fleischer, Ed Call, Sandy Lipton, Lin Shaye, Jack Shea, Mimi Meyer-Craven

It's true, I've never seen this movie before. And I'm sure there's sufficient literature on it out there already, but... well, you know. Bear with me.

A bunch of teens get killed in their dreams by the child murderer their parents burned alive many years before. (The ones who have sex die first, but that goes without saying.) So they try not to sleep. Good luck with that. Sleep is inevitable. Stupid sleep. I learned that from Body Snatchers, of course (yeah, because before that I thought that you didn't have to. My life is sad, no?).

Anyway, the plot is predictable enough, but I can hardly complain about that. I knew the plot was going to be predictable (thus is the nature of predictability). It's just really cool.

And about half of it is set in people's dreams, allowing for some pretty imaginative art direction and modes of death. Johnny Depp's death was pretty impressive, I must say. I don't think there's actually that much blood in one person, but okay.

I laughed at him all through the movie. He was so cute and young and full of juice. He was 21 (a little older than his character, I should think), but still. He had hair problems even back then. Stranger still, he was playing a normal person. Not a gay pirate. Not a pedophile with a chocolate factory. Not even a schizophrenic writer, or, you know, J.M. Barrie. It was freaky.

He was better than the other kids, too, I'm sorry. The acting wasn't particularly spectacular. The grups were better, but they weren't in it as much. Of course, it wasn't particularly well written either. Parts of it were quite amusing, but a lot was... well... not good. There were a few believability issues, too. I don't care about a ghost killing people in their dreams, I buy that, but, for example, if a guy killed 20 children I don't think he would have gotten out of prison on a technicality. They would have crucified him.

That didn't bug me very much though. Generally, I liked it. Freddy's pretty nifty. I kinda felt bad for him, too. I mean, the poor guy had a pretty bad time. He got hit in the chest with a sledgehammer. It's so sad.

END TRANSMISSION (yay! I can go home!)