Friday, May 11, 2012


Wreckage (2010)

So I'm kinda getting tired of the selection of rentable movies they have at the Irving in Gagetown so the other night it was a toss up between this movie and Apollo 18, which will probably be my next endeavour, this one only got picked because I figured it'd have some neat cars in it, as well as a dude named "Scoot McNairy".

Once you get through the two opening scenes, one of which might as well have been the first twenty minutes of the Halloween remake, the story concerns four young persons who are going somewhere - I'm not sure where they were going, but they were driving some great distance in a really nice lookin car. If I had a car like that, I'd never drive it, I'd just rub it with a diaper. So anyway, they're drag racing some other dude and the car blows up forcing them to go to the junk yard down the road to salvage parts where they get picked off one at a time by a crazed killer.

This is one of those movies which, though bad, is morbidly watchable. Sure, it's completely fucking retarded. The video quality looks about one step up from being shot on a cellphone; the editing is, for want of a better term, baffling; the lighting was stupid for fuck sake and the acting was painful.

But you know I think the whole thing was supposed to be sort of comical. Fuck, it had to be. Otherwise there's no explaining the retarded hillbilly (played by the Scoot McNairy dude. That is seriously the most awesome name I have ever read off a DVD case) who showed up and ran around the junk yard for the better part of the movie. That character had no point except comic relief.

hey y'all
A lot of the dialogue was amusingly terrible, and the characters' ridiculously erratic behaviour was entertaining. Really, though, the most fun was trying to figure out who would be the next victim. All of the characters were obnoxious and rude enough that any one of them could have died at any time! It was pretty exciting.

Despite that, almost nobody got killed in the movie. Seriously, only three people died in the junkyard, which is about the lamest killing spree ever. Jason Voorhees routinely would bag twenty people per movie when the series was in full swing. Three is pitiful. You'd think there would be more than three ways to kill a person in a fuckin junkyard, and yet one of those three people was actually just shot to death. With a gun. Fuck. Also, despite the fact that there was a sort of skanky girl (one of the three to die), I did not see one breast in this movie. So if you're looking for one of those breast movies, don't rent this puppy.

Mostly what happened was this:
SHERIFF: Everybody back to the ambulance, we're going to wait for back up
CAPT. WOW: My finace is still out there, I've got to find her!
SHERIFF: I can't stop you but I recommend you don't do that.
CAPT. WOW: Don't get in my way.
Variations of that snippet of dialogue happened at least three times throughout, if not more, wasting valuable slashing time.

Furthermore, if you like it when movies mostly make sense, this is not the flick for you. There is... so so much in this movie that made my brain sore, ranging from small details to major logic problems. For example, they wouldn't sentence a twelve year old to life in prison for killing his crack head parents. How come the lights had no power but the car compactor did? And if there was no power to the lights, how come the junkyard was so brightly illuminated?

Why didn't the group of young persons go to the house of the people who owned the junk yard and ask to be towed into town? Why would the road be so pristine if nobody travelled it? If the junkyard was less than a few miles away from where the car broke down, why did it take them until well after dark to get there?

What happened to the girl who nearly got raped by the guy in the second opening scene? How could crazy guy be the killed if he was killing people in the area long before he was in the area? What was all that talk about a serial killer anyway? When the decoy killed escaped, why didn't captain wow and the sheriff just radio his location in and get the wounded girl to the hospital? Was the decoy killer supposed to be the real killer's brother, because if so that needed to be elaborated on a little more.

Although the fact that they needed two explanatory closing scenes to make sense of what the fuck just happened in the movie just goes to show that the plot was too convoluted.

But yeah, despite all that, if you're really bored and want a chuckle, roll up a doob and give this a watch, you may be amused. One word of recommendation, though I don't condone illegally downloading movies because that's stealing you guys, the price of rental is a little more than I think anybody'd want to spend on this, just sayin.


Directed by: John Mallory Asher.  Written by: David Frigerio.  Starring: Mike Erwin, Aaron Paul, Cameron Richardson, Roger Perry, Scoot McNairy, Kelly Kruger.

Conan the Barbarian

Conan the Barbarian (2011)

In this new interpretation of the Conan myth - directed by that guy who did the Texas Chainsaw Massacre and Friday the 13th remakes - Conan (Jason Momoa) watches an evil warlord (Stephen Lang) kill his father (Ron Perlman) over a magical mask fragment, and swears vengeance. Twenty some years later he some how manages to grab this lady-monk (Rachel Nichols) whose blood is needed to activate the mask's power. Apparently Big Bad spent two decades trying to find this chick despite having a clairvoyant daughter because he's a fuckin idiot.

I'm not going to lie, at about the four minute mark I decided that this was one of the stupidest movies I've ever seen and had to get drunk to even continue watching it. How stupid is it? Let me count the ways...

The whole movie was borderline incomprehensible with most of the scenes being ineptly shot and edited, particularly the fight scenes. I don't know what the fuck is the problem but it seems like every movie I watch these days has shitty, convoluted and generally poorly executed fight scenes - some examples off the top of my head include Thor, Priest and Cowboys vs. Aliens - I dunno why nobody can shoot a competant fight scene anymore. I suppose it's possible that Lord of the Rings pretty much set the bar and I have yet to get over it. Either way, it incites me to rage.

Furthermore the one sex scene in the movie was maddeningly brief and vague and left me feeling sort of disappointed and unsatisfied. I don't ask for much from movies, really I don't. All I want is a coherant story, halfway decent editing, piles of blood and organs and gratuitous sex. Is that too much to ask? Apparently so.

Moving on, the art direction was less than impressive, the CG was passable I guess and there was a suitable amount of blood which is really the only positive thing I can say about the movie.

The acting was terrible although I got the impression every now and then that these were not terrible actors, just not good enough to overcome how fucking stupid the script was. There were all these cute little quips which I don't remember and evidently were not even worthy of IMDb's Memorable Quotes, but overall there was way too much talking in this movie. One of the strengths of the 1982 Conan was that there really wasn't much more than six lines of dialogue in the whole movie - that worked. The violence said it all, man, there was no need for words.

Also on that note, though Jason Momoa kind of looks like a young Arnold Schwarzenegger, he lacks the charisma or whatever it is that made Arnold more than just a big pair of biceps with a sword.

He just looks so friendly
I'm not particularly familiar with the Conan stories, but I am totally a fan of that movie, it's the shit. Sure, it was completely retarded, but it was so unassuming. It wasn't trying to be awesome, that just happened. This movie tried to capture some of the elements of the old movie such as the meandering storyline and the monsters (there was a scene with a tentacle beast being fed hot chicks which was vaguely reminiscent of the giant snake scene in the older movie) but it shoved everything together haphazardly, added some weird goth chick and wasted a whole lot of time trying to be epic. A thing is epic or it isn't, there's no sense in trying. And if you are going to try don't rip off every other successfully epic movie ever. For fuck sake.

The most infuriating thing, however, about this movie was the lady monk character. There was nothing wrong with her per se, but... well, she was kind of a wuss. The only person she could even hold her own against was the other girl (Rose McGowan) and even then, Conan had to come rescue her. The evil girl wasn't too impressive either, she was slightly more badass but despite being way more powerful than her father she was just his tool. I got the impression that she was after his dink too which is gross.

See what I mean?
But really, the lady monk is just the MacGuffin - the bad guy only wants her because her blood is gonna do something magical, Conan only wants her to keep her away from said bad guy (and says three times that she's his property), there's even a scene in which she's caught in this big old wagon wheel, screaming her ass off, and Conan and the bad guy fight literally on top of her. She's an object in every sense of the word. Compare this to Sandahl Bergman's character in the '82 flick. She's a badass.

Seriously, though, she was Conan's equal, and though she gave her life to save his she continued to kick ass from beyond the grave. Fucking. Hardcore.

And for that reason, this is the first movie to genuinely offend me in a long time. To summarize, it wasn't worth the $4.51 is cost to rent, I would recommend avoiding if at all possible.


Directed by: Marcus Nispel.  Written by: Thomas Dean Donnelly, Joshua Oppenheimer and Sean Hood based on the character created by Robert E. Howard.  Starring: Jason Momoa, Stephen Lang, Rachel Nichols, Rose McGowan, Nonso Anozie, Ron Perlman