dirs: Matt Bettinelli-Olpin, David Bruckner, Tyler Gillett, Justin Martinez, Glenn McQuaid, Joe Swanberg, Chad Villella, Ti West, Adam Wingard
Blah. Terrible. An anthology of horror flicks as horrible as the media storage format they replaced.
There is something creepy about video footage, yes, granted. None of that, none of it improves any of the flicks or the framing device used to situate these short, mostly pointless flicks. The graininess of the footage doesn’t add to the atmosphere at all, it doesn’t improve the terrible framing device, and it also doesn’t make that much sense, honestly.
As this ‘movie’ starts, a bunch of creepy frat boy criminal types commit various crimes and film themselves as they’re committing them. They’re real scumbags, which, in the context of the horror genre, is not a bad thing, because we know that they’ll get theirs in hell, so to speak. These shitbirds are hired by someone to break into a house and steal a video tape, in order to give context and meaning to their constant filming of everything they do.
When they get into the house and start creeping around, they find an old guy dead in front of a bunch of televisions, and stacks of tapes around the house. One moron at a time pops a tape into the VCR and starts watching.
The further conceit is that the movies on the tapes that the shmendricks watch, when we’re the ones really watching the short movies, are ‘real’, as in, found footage. Oh look, I’m not saying these things actually happened; these individual short flicks were ‘directed’ by most of the guys pretending to be scumbags at the beginning of the flick. But the conceit is that the movies were ‘filmed’ by the people to whom these awful things happened.
dir: Bradley Parker
What a waste.
It’s one thing to make a flick set around Chernobyl, yes, THAT Chernobyl, being the site of the worst nuclear accident (publicly known) to occur thus far. Let’s just ignore the one that happened at Fukushima just recently, I guess, at least until the Japanese start making monster movies about it.
It’s another thing entirely to film such a film in the actual location you’re setting it in. I mean, that just blows my mind. That’s a great idea. Even allowing for the greatness of the idea, I can see that, necessarily, there are only two kinds of films you could set at such a location: documentary or horror movie. Comedy, well, not even Adam Sandler or Roberto Benigni would be able to get away with it. Romance, hm? Love in the Time of Lethal Radiation?
I am somewhat obsessed with the place. Perversely, the best realisation of something set there thus far have been the Ukrainian-produced S.T.A.L.K.E.R games, which used the location very effectively, but I’m not pretending it did so in a deep or meaningful way. It’s an excuse for some very creepy, very effective first person shooters where you get to blow away a whole bunch of horrifying (but poorly animated) mutants, tracksuit-wearing hoods and some very hardcore mercenaries, on your way either to death, escape, or a basket of puppies wearing cute scarves.
So I went into this thinking Chernobyl Diaries was actually filmed at Pripyat and Chernobyl, at least in some of the least irradiated areas. Turns out I am a complete idiot, because the closest they got, the filmmakers, to the Ukraine, was Serbia and Hungary. They didn’t get anywhere near the fucking place, the cads.
They didn’t have the balls or the ovaries to go there. It’s not impossible to get in to, either. Plenty of people go there every year, mutants notwithstanding. Other films and docos have been filmed there, and those filmmakers haven’t cried about it yet like little girls whose faces have dropped off.
dir: Glenn Ficara & John Requa
There’s two things wrong with that title, and I’m not referring to the grammar or punctuation.
It’s certainly Stupid, but there’s no real craziness or love to speak of.
This flick manages to achieve something that I never considered possible: it manages to be both bland AND offensive, which I thought was a combination that was oxymoronic.
I can’t even begin to describe how wrong this flick is, on how many levels, yet I can start up on how unentertaining I found it to be.
Yeah, I could start on that stuff, but instead I’ll indulge myself, as if I do anything else whenever I write about flicks. A person would never suspect it from looking at me, or from reading my reviews, or from using public transport in close proximity to me, but I am, or at least consider myself to be, something of a romantic. I’m not going to quibble about whether that’s a small ‘r’ romantic or a big ‘R’ Romantic, because that’s a pretentious bridge too far even for me. Clearly I wasn’t palling around and doing drugs with the actual Romantics like Byron, Wordsworth, Coleridge or Benny Hill, but I do still have the capacity to swoon in the presence - and at the thought of - heartbreaking beauty, overwhelming passion, and love, careless love.
This flick possesses nothing even remotely like that, but nor did I have that expectation based solely on a title. All this movie has to contribute is a couple of hours of feeble material interspersed with a painful level of farce, and some very, very creepy messages.
dir: Martin Campbell
Well, this was a bad idea.
I know the people at DC Comics must be deeply envious of all the tainted money Marvel is earning through the morass of movies it’s been putting out lately (Iron Men, Thor, Captain America, et bloody cetera), but that’s no reason to try and convert every hero on its roster into a Hollywood product. This was, just… fuck… bad all the way through.
Imagine peering off a ledge into an abyss, and feeling the fear it naturally engenders. Step back, but then realise that it’s not an abyss, because it’s filled with shit, shit all the way down.
That’s kind of how I felt watching most of this flick. In a year which has already seen the release of a terrible flick with Green Something as the title, this terrible property wasn’t going to get an easy run. It doesn’t help that it’s such a dumb premise.
I will admit that I’ve never read word one of a Lantern comic, nor am I ever likely to. I don’t doubt that there’s possibly abundant wonderfulness to be found therein, but I’ve just got no goddamn interest. You could rightly wonder why, in that case, I would go out of my way to watch a film about a character and a storyline I have no interest in. Also, considering the poor reviews, I should have known that there wasn’t going to be much of worth to latch onto.
Well, good point. I can’t argue against it. I went in expecting something substandard, and found it was even worse than I could possibly have imagined.
The reasons why aren’t really due to the silliness of the premise (bunch of people with magic rings) or the Big Bad (an angry cloud), it’s just the array and the sequence of bad decisions made along the way that deliver this abortion as an end result.
It doesn’t help that Ryan Reynolds is terrible as the lead character, either. I have, no shit, seen him deliver a good performance as an actor. I’m sure he’s capable of great acting, since, after all, he did convince Scarlett Johansson to marry him, and that’s pretty good work, for a Canadian. Mostly, though, his performances and his voice make me feel like someone is yanking a nerve out of my neck with some pliers.
dir: Michel Gondry
Terrible, utterly terrible. A crime against humanity and basic decency. An abomination unto future generations and an affront to God.
Well., that’s enough about my weekend in thrall to the demon drink. Jeez, was that messy. What… what was I thinking?
No, instead I’m here to warn you, and to warn future generations not to bother with this flick. The Green Hornet is a superhero crimefighter action flick so badly thought out in its premise and so poorly executed (and poorly cast), that I’m amazed it was ever released. Really, this is something that shouldn’t even be illegally downloaded.
Honestly, I can’t act for shit, and I’m nowhere near as funny as Seth Rogen might be, but I would have made a better lead in this flick.
And I’m definitely not Hollywood material. I’m not even Cleveland material.
Hell, I’m not even Mt Isa, Dubbo or even Newcastle material.
It’s very hard for me to entirely encapsulate just how terrible Seth Rogen is here. It’s even harder for me to figure out how it could be so bad, since he’s delivering dialogue that he and screenwriting partner Evan Goldberg wrote. If you write the screenplay, and you deliver awful dialogue in a sphincter-clenching way, who else could you possibly blame? The Jews? Aliens? A global conspiracy of Communists and Freemasons?
dir: Scott Stewart
Legion is, and this probably is not going to surprise any of you, a deeply stupid goddamn flick. There’s never been a flick with angels in it that has ever worked worth a damn except for two profound exceptions: It’s a Wonderful Life, and Wings of Desire.
But those are dramas, albeit romantic ones, with a bit of darkness in them.
This angel-filled fiasco belongs to the sub-genre of fantasy films whereby angels, either enacting or contradicting the will of God, decide to either eliminate humanity or at least battle it out on our planet’s surface.
If you’re of a certain age, and inclination, like me you might remember such 90s movies as The Prophecy trilogy, which had Christopher Walken trying to kill us all while playing the Archangel Gabriel (I don’t think he knew the cameras were on). If you’re even older, you might be boring enough, like me, to have read Milton’s Paradise Lost, and have heard it badly quoted a million times by pretentious shmucks in movies for the last 100 years.
And if you’ve ever been a godbotherer, or been bothered by godbotherers, you might know that the secret surprise at the end of the Bible is that we’re all going to die only after the torments of the time of tribulation, except for a select few bunch of goodie-two-shoeses.
So the idea of angels raining down fire and destruction upon us is nothing new. What this here film manages to do is render all of that crap in the most incompetent fashion imaginable.
dir: The Pang Brothers
This either is or isn’t a sequel to a Hong Kong flick called The Storm Riders that I remember from the late 90s. I remember it well, and fondly. It was probably one of the last flicks I ever bought on VHS video tape.
Ah, video tape, how quaint and retro you seem now, which juxtaposes nicely with the fact that what made The Storm Riders stand out way back then was that it was the first of the martial arts flicks to use the new CGI effects well in the scope of telling one of their usual, incomprehensible sword based melodramas.
Whether Storm Warriors is actually the sequel, or whether its title is supposed to be Storm Riders II, or whether it’s Storm Warriors II, I can’t figure out. In fact, there’s very little I can figure about after watching this flick twice. Admittedly, Storm Riders was hard to follow as well, because of a multiplicity of characters and bad subtitles. But it was fun, and I still basically understood what was going on, and I very much enjoyed it, regardless of whether a Mud Buddha was chasing a fire monkey or when someone steals the power to freeze a body in order to ensure that his dead beloved’s body doesn’t ever decompose.
I can relate to you ever single thing that happens in Storm Warriors, but I can't explain how or why any of it happens or what any of it could possibly mean. It’s not just because of a virtually indecipherable script. It has some of the worst editing of any expensive movie I’ve ever seen since the last time Guy Ritchie or Tony Scott made movies.
On top of that there are lousy performances and an incredible abundance of effects and techniques meant to ape such blockbusters as 300, Lord of the Rings and Spider-Man, with none of the attendant ability required to put any of it together in a coherent way.
Look, I’ll be the first to admit that I can’t pretend to be an authority on any of the things that seem to occur in terms of the plot, because the plot is borderline insane and it’s been poorly filtered through into subtitles that read like they were written by an acid-tripping fortune cookie writer, but when you can’t ever figure out what the fuck is supposed to be happening when there’s no dialogue involved, then it’s simply the most incompetent storytelling you’ll see all year that Michael Bay has had nothing to do with.
dir: Alex Proyas
I’m not usually in two minds about any movie I’ve watched. And, truth be told, I’m not in two minds about this flick either. This is, in a lot of ways, a terrible film. The plot is terrible, the stupid things that happen are the opposite of good, and having a ham of Nicolas Cage’s magnitude in it doesn’t help either. For once, though, he is not to blame. At least, not the primary blame.
And it having been filmed in Melbourne doesn’t help either. I feel so biased and conflicted.
There is, still, something compelling not about why something big happens in this film, but what ultimately happens. I’m going to try to avoid saying what ultimately happens, because it’s a pretty big spoiler, as big as spoilers get, really.
Back in 1959, a little girl hears these mysterious whispers. They compel her to scrawl maniacally a sequence of numbers that don’t mean anything, and then the sheet of paper is coincidentally locked up inside a time capsule that is to be opened 50 years hence.
Now in 2009, a drunken astronomer (Cage) speaks to a class about whether determinism governs the universe, or whether it’s all random chaos that exemplifies what happens, down to the death of the drunken astronomer’s wife. The drunken astronomer has a depressed son (Chandler Canterbury) who hears whispering too.
dir: Ron Howard
They must be taking the piss, right?
It’s impossible to believe that intelligent people, which includes all the people involved in this production except for Dan Brown (let’s give them the benefit of the doubt but not him), could make this film and be treating it as a serious endeavour. It is one of the only films I can think of in recent memory that would benefit greatly from the inclusion of a rabid, nitrous oxide suffused laugh track. Taken on face value, that this wasn’t intended as some kind of parody or black comedy, is almost incomprehensible.
The two words that come most readily to mind about anything to do with Dan Brown in general and this film specifically are ‘absurd’ and ‘unconvincing’. I’m sure there are plenty of other words, but these are the cleanest and most accurate I can think of right now. I’m not going to ramble on about The DaVinci Code, because I reviewed it when that stinking, lumbering turd of a film first stank up the cinemas a few year’s ago.
dir: Barry Luhrmann
Moulin Rouge, the fourth in the Three Colours series, is the first to depart from the tried and true formula of having silly French people overact at the drop of a croissant. Instead, in another of his long list of genre bursting endeavours, Barry Luhrmann decided to shift the focus of his vision to the future. In this science fiction / horror crossover, Luhrmann paints a bleak yet colourful canvas of his chilling view of a post apocalyptic alternate future where the fabric of society has been discarded like a drunken bridesmaid's undies and people speak in a post literate language called "ham", obscuring all meaningful communication and leading to sorrow, loneliness and death.
The film begins at a time referred to as "1899", but astute viewers will note that this has nothing to do with actual earth history. On some newly colonised planet, a city called "Paris" cradles both our protagonists and the venue that the film takes its name from, the Moulin Rouge, or "Red Snapper", cunningly referring to the legendary Led Zeppelin groupie anecdote of the same name.
Ewan MacGregor reprises his role of Obi Wan Kenobi without raising the ire of Lucasfilm's platoons of lawyers, and neglects to display his well-abused fleshy lightsabre, to the disappointed groans of audiences everywhere. Hired by an opium addicted Yoda (played by John Leguizamo, in the second most terrifying role of the film), he is asked to kill an evil cannibalistic cyborg played astoundingly well by Nicole Kidman, who doesn't break character once. Reluctantly, he agrees, against his better judgement, but cannot see that he is being set up for a fall.
Nicole Kidman is truly chilling as the cyborg cannibal, often seen wiping the blood of her victims from her mouth. In her cover role as the most famous and highly paid "courtesan" (ie. working girl) in all of the Paris moon colony, her credibility ranks second only to Julia Roberts in Pretty Woman for portraying such a convincing, risky, edgy role. Utterly convincing as a mercenary prostitute that never actually has to "put out", so to speak, her acting talents are barely stretched, especially since her simultaneous portrayal of the cannibal cyborg and wily courtesan is flawless, in that it couldn't be more static or inanimate.
She truly is the most terrifying presence I've seen in a film since Divine in Pink Flamingoes.
dir: Jody Hill
Damn, this is one ugly movie. I’m usually comfortable with the kinds of flicks about which people say “I felt like taking a shower after watching it”, but in this case, I want to lift my brain and eyes out of my skull, and scrub them clean with something caustic and abrasive.
As if I didn’t currently already dislike Seth Rogen enough, here he is in a ‘starring’ role as a mentally ill, possibly retarded security guard who holds onto his job for no reason I can glean. He is a stupid and violent prick, and yet he is the hero of this incomprehensibly bad film. At first I thought it was a drama. Then, a comedy. Then, a black comedy. Then a drama again. Then maybe a horror flick, then maybe a romance. A character study? Slice of life? Social satire? By the end I’d given up trying to figure out what genre the flick resides in, because I figured the people making it couldn’t figure it out either. I haven’t seen such an ending with so little credible believability in a long fucking time. That this character gets the ending this flick doles out is a travesty of injustice alongside the fact that it’s taken over thirty years to bring that scumbag Roman Polanski to justice.
Ronnie Barnhardt (Rogen) is the head of security at a suburban mall. Very quickly, our first question becomes: how can such a clearly stupid, deranged and violent lunatic continue to be employed? How is it that they are completely oblivious to the range and vitality of the abundant lawsuits his daily actions would result in?
It’s never explained, not to my satisfaction. For the longest time, no-one else points out this obvious fact either, until his frustrated employer bellows at him, “Ronnie, are you fucking retarded?”
It’s an interesting question. Though clearly Ronnie takes medication every four to six hours for his bipolar disorder, he seems to be, as well, just very stupid, as opposed to intellectually handicapped. His every interaction with every person who crosses his path drips such incredible moments of idiocy that you wonder how it is that he exists in this universe other than having been deposited here by alien intellects, vast and cold, who’ve brought him here from an alternate dimension as an experiment to test out our species’ tolerance for putting up with excruciating bullshit.
dir: Marcus Nispel
There are remakes that are pointless. Remakes that are insults to human dignity. Remakes that just make you wish a nuclear war would wipe out the world so that you wouldn’t have to watch any more crappy flicks ever again. It would be a small price to pay.
And then there are remakes of crap horror flicks, which are just as crap as their origins, which it’s hard to get angry at.
Shit repackaged as another form of shit, when you know it’s shit, can’t really surprise you. It doesn’t have that power.
I don’t care what classic horror buffs think about the original Friday the 13th series: they were crap, whether the first or the four hundredth movie in the franchise. They achieved then and have maintained since a cheap notoriety far in excess of the actual artistic or frightful merits of the actual productions. Most film critics and social pop cultural commentator-types point to them as a barometer of the political and ideological landscape of their era: that being the Reagan era of conservatism for which the protagonists, being generally teenagers, are punished for drug and alcohol use and for having sex by the wordless and faceless Jason. Clad generally in his tasteful but elegant rags and hockey-mask, the unstoppable killing machine mows his way through swathes of people whose purpose is solely to die, until an ending where he looks like he’s finally bought the farm, only to come back again and again.
I find it fucking tiresome, and pointless, generally to watch a movie whose sequences I can predict just by hearing the franchise title. I don’t get off on watching people being killed, so when I know it’s just going to be nearly two hours of the same crap, done so mechanically, I have little to be interested in.
dir: Bernardo Bertolucci
Oh, my good gods do I loathe this film.
I find myself truly amazed that this film has such a vaunted reputation. Famous film critic Pauline Kael wrote a 6,000 word review practically calling it the death and rebirth of cinema. Other critics fell over themselves to praise Brando’s performance beyond the high heavens and to heap the shiniest and gaudiest superlatives that they could upon this film and its lead actor.
What the fuck were they snorting?
Brando may have been the greatest actor of his generation, but I find his entire performance, most of which is improvised, excruciating to listen to and behold. This is not acting, it's actoring: this is an actor doing whatever the hell he wants because he thinks he’s beyond being directed. Whether he’s saying whatever pops into his head, or smacking Maria Schneider in the head with a hair brush, he’s less of an actor than Jim Carrey is.
I mean that seriously. There’s only one genuine scene in the whole film. The most famous scene, from an acting point of view, is the one whether Brando’s alleged character Paul rails against his dead wife as she lies in state. He begins by cursing her out for the whore that she was, railing against her before he breaks down. It’s a powerful scene. I guess.
dir: Roger Christian
Amazing. Brilliant. Incandescent. Visionary.
But enough about me. This film is considered to be one of the worst films ever made, setting a new standard of shiteness for others to emulate or run screaming from. It’s the benchmark and the reference point for every film that has come out since this wretched new millennium began. Too often I’ve read the phrase “Almost as bad as Battlefield Earth”, or “Battlefield Earth - quality” used as the most scathing of insults aimed at nearly every mediocrity with the temerity to be foisted upon the silver or television screen.
I am here not to praise Battlefield Earth, but to bury it, but as well to bury it in its rightful place in the cemetery, the shallow grave, the unvisited plot or more appropriately, the potter’s field that it belongs in. Long after DVDs and stray videotapes of BE, as I shall refer to it henceforth, have biodegraded into lethal toxins in landfills the world over, its legacy will still be trotted out every time someone makes a crappy sci fi movie, and so it warrants scrutiny, analysis and final judgement even now, nearly a decade on.
dir: Stephen Sommers
Not that anyone asked, or that anyone wants to know, but I can honestly say that I’ve never paid to have sex with a prostitute, a working girl, a ‘lady of the night’. Don’t get me wrong, it’s not a comment on the ladies, I know they do a hard job and they earn their money bringing to fruition the old business success mantra about the customer always coming first. I joke about hookers and cocaine all the time, but it’s just that: a joke. Who can afford that kind of crap when a bottle of decent single malt whisky costs between $60 and $80?
The reason I hold this particular credo, which has nothing to do with morality or personal ethics or anything of the sort, is that I can imagine after money changed hands and business was taken care of, the deed being done, I’d be filled with a profound emptiness inside. It would come from the fact that I had to pay money to get someone to have sex with me, a person who couldn’t possibly even remotely have any tender feelings towards me. Sure, live long enough and you end up having sex with a bunch of people that can’t stand you and whom you can’t stand, for a multitude of different reasons. But at the very least you shouldn’t have to pay cash for it.
dir: Alexander Witt
For a director with the surname Witt, there's a fundamental lack of it
in this movie, even by the meagre standards one might apply to the
zombie / horror / computer game adaptation genre. The presence of a
few vaguely entertaining action set pieces can't really elevate this
material from the cesspool from which most of this kind of crap oozes
out from. Of the recent plethora of zombie films this is both the most
recent and the least of them. Absolutely the least.
Bizarrely enough it even makes the original look good in comparison.
Those familiar with the work of the first one's director, Paul W.S.
Anderson, know what a criminal indictment such a claim must be. Anyone
who makes Anderson look good (apart from Milla Jovovich) must be in
league with powers darker than the ones at the beck and call of the
But enough about evil in the real world. This crappy movie occurs in
an alternate reality world constructed from cheap straight-to-video
production values where a place called Raccoon City exists and evil
corporations kill people for fun and profit. You know, just like in
our world. None of the cardboard cut-outs that run around this city
can be called characters. It would be a criminal abuse of the word and
any thesaurus to use it in such a context. Grammar teachers the world
over will be twitching and seizuring like there's no tomorrow if you
were to do so.
Think about the skill, the qualities it takes in producers and
directors to actively make a movie dumber and worse than an ordinarily
dumb movie. Think about the optimism it requires to think that anyone
really wanted a sequel to such a movie, or that the unwashed masses
would attend in unwashed abundance a movie just because it stars Milla
Jovovich. To think that these people haven't heard of the practice of
looking up celebrity skin on the internet…
dir: Ron Howard
I’m not of the inclination or the right mood to criticise the at least forty million people that bought copies of Dan Brown’s Da Vinci Code. Riding on public transport requires reading material, so whether it’s the latest Harry Potter trotter, geisha memoirs or some highbrow crap by Martin Amis or Camille Paglia is irrelevant to me. It’s up to the individual to decide what’s going to distract them adequately from the knowledge that soon they’ll be at the unsatisfying job that daily brings them so much closer to suicide.
Anything else is just sneering snobbery. Which is, nonetheless, quite enjoyable as a hobby.
Brown’s books have sold like cocaine, so by default movie versions become mandatory. And, for such a popular novel, it dictates (according to some commentary I’ve read) that the film plot adhere strictly to the novel, because variation or divergence would be seen (ironically enough) as heresy.
dir: George Miller
Enough, already. The success of Pixar’s movies and the Shrek monstrosities has led to an incredible and totally fathomable explosion in the amount of computer animated movies stinking up the cinemas. A bunch of years ago there’d be one or two over the course of the year. In 2006, there were about twenty of them.
It was inevitable that computer animation would replace traditional hand drawn animation and that it would start garnering a greater share of studio and audience attention. And that’s not because it’s any cheaper or quicker to produce, because these flicks cost multi-millions to make and take many years to complete. But being able to point to the advances in animation techniques is the selling point itself. The stories certainly aren’t improving along with the programming. So much money is being invested in these things, so much money is at stake, so the stories are getting more and more bland and safe as their producers become even more risk-averse than previous.
Most of my instincts, upon first watching the trailer for Happy Feet a few weeks ago, told me that I would hate this film. People who’d seen it tried to soothe the savage beast, in this case me, by pointing out that the hokiest and cheesiest bits were in the trailers, but the rest of the flick was worthy of watching and actually enjoyable. Get past the first fifteen minutes, and the rest would be gravy.
I should have listened to my instincts. Gods know they’ve got me where I am today: four steps from the gutter, but hey, at least it’s not the gutter
dir: Joe Roth
As the old phrase goes, the road to hell is paved with good intentions. It’s also drenched in an oil slick of egotism, smug righteousness and self-delusion.
Freedomland is a terrible mess of a film made by a director who hasn’t made a semi-decent movie in his entire career, unless you count Revenge of the Nerds II.
The plot isn’t the worst thing about this film, nor are (all) the acting performances, or its pacing or length, width or girth. The biggest problem is Julianne Moore’s performance as one of the main characters. For someone who’s considered to be so good, goddamn does she stink up the joint with her surreal attempts to act ‘down’. She is completely and fundamentally unbelievable in the role.
She plays Brenda, a recovering junkie whose son has gone missing. She works at a community outreach centre near some New Jersey projects, and tells police that she was carjacked with her son in the back seat on the way home.
Because her brother is a policeman in an adjoining borough, and because she’s white, the police go berserk on the projects, locking them down in order to find the kid.
Samuel L. Jackson’s job as policeman Lorenzo Council is to not sound and act like he does in everything else, whether it be Pulp Fiction or Snakes on a Plane, and he does an okay job by not screaming constantly and by being the voice of conciliation at all times. He wants to find the annoying white woman’s son, but he also wants to help out the erstwhile citizens of the projects, which he feels protective of. He has built up a rapport with the residents and their community, and feels like he’s a part of it despite not living there.
Of course, at the first sign of trouble, the police will accuse him of protecting the residents, and the residents will blame him for all the police activities that start off heavy-handed and degenerate into the kind of jackboot fascism that we all dread but secretly crave.
dir: Dito Montiel
This is a film by Dito Montiel, about the life of Dito Montiel, based on the book written by Dito Montiel. Wow, this Dito Montiel is some kind of wonderful guy to want to bring Dito Montiel to the attention of millions, isn’t he?
After all, Dito Montiel won the Nobel Peace prize for solving the Sonny and Cher crisis back in the 70s, and also won the Nobel Physics prize for inventing the tubes that power the internet. He cured all cancer, discovered the clitoris and came up with a tasty breakfast cereal high in fibre but low in sugar to boot.
If it wasn’t for those obviously fabricated highlights of Dito Montiel’s life that I just made up, we wouldn’t have any clue why we’re watching a film about Dito Montiel’s life. Having watched the film, I still have to ask myself why anyone is supposed to give a good goddamn about the fucker.
Dito, played by Shia LaBeouf in the 80s, and Robert Downey Jr in the 2000s, hasn’t really done anything worthy of note that I can figure out apart from write a book about himself and having directed a film about himself. These are achievements, don’t get me wrong, I just can’t for the life of me see what in his life justified such endeavours or why we should be interested.
Dito grows up in Astoria, Queens, surrounded by a lot of morons, Italian-American and otherwise. We know from the start that he eventually escapes his life, because now, in the present, he is being called back due to his father’s illness. We sense his reluctance in returning. This process of returning means telling a lot of the story leading up to his departure in flashback.
Dito has a saintly mother (Dianne Wiest) and a pig-headed father (Chazz Palminteri) who listens to not a word anyone says and babbles constantly. Every time the father opens his mouth, the first word that comes out of his mouth is usually “Antonio”. It’s never explained why the father has such a fixation on this chap, but we sense at least that in Dito’s eyes, maybe Daddy wishes Antonio was his son instead of Dito.
dir: Irwin Winkler
It’s hard to know why exactly they made this particular film. I don’t mean films about soldiers coming home from wars, or films about the current Adventure in the Middle East. I mean, I can’t fathom why they made this particularly crappy film.
If they wanted to honour the nobility and sacrifice of US service men and women, then they should have crafted a story where the characters weren’t just the embodiments of singular clichés. If they wanted to portray the impact of post-traumatic stress disorder, maybe they should have spent some time actually finding out what it was. If they wanted to make a statement about the war, as in whether it should be ongoing or not, and whether the ungrateful Iraqis should be more worshipful of their masters’ gentle attempts at nation building, then perhaps they could spent some time with them.
dir: George Hickenlooper
With no intended slight against the girl herself, I can’t think of a figure less worthy of cinematic biographical treatment than Edie Sedgwick, solely based on this flick here.
The only reason I ever knew anything about her was because of a song by The Cult back in the late 80s that was presumably about her called Edie(Ciao Baby), which featured a video where long-haired hair bear lead singer Ian Astbury was smashing a pool cue on a table for no discernable reason. And then there’s all those Warhol films and Chelsea bloody Hotel references.
In other words, she was a person who was famous for being famous for knowing famous people. This flick goes no way towards disabusing viewers of such a notion, nor does it presume to give her even any basic semblance of humanity or interest.
Who’d have thought that being the alleged most notorious party girl of her day, and being a hanger-on to the likes of Andy Warhol and Bob Dylan could be so dull?
dir: Gore Verbinski
I generally avoid using text speak or any of the other variations on txting, l33t speak or online abbreviations that are so popular with ‘the kids’ these. I can type fairly fast, and I find that kind of “c u l8r qt slt:)~” crap offensive to the eye and brain.
If I could allow myself to use this inelegant and conceptually ugly form of expression, and were I to write a very short review of Pirates of the Caribbean 3: At World’s End in this fashion, it would simply be thus:
WTF? I mean seriously, WTF?
dir: Russell Mulcahy
The first flick in this franchise, based on the popular survival horror game, achieved the remarkable by not being an absolute piece of shit. The basic premise involved a poster child for genetic engineering, Alice (Milla Jovovich), squaring off against legions of zombies and the machinations of the evil Umbrella Corporation that created her.
Had a few stunts, few gory parts, the requisite rip-offs from better flicks like Aliens, plenty of references and in-jokes for the alleged gamer fans, and all in all didn’t represent a completely excruciating experience, despite being directed by Paul W.S. Anderson.
The second flick, RE: Apocalypse, achieved the unremarkable by being a complete piece of shit that made no fucking sense and defied all laws of knowledge, gravity and common decency by being an aggressively, relentlessly stupid experience for all concerned. I’m sure it made audiences dumber just with partial viewings.
dir: Stephen Brill
Soon after making this here particularly worthless flick, Owen Wilson tried to commit suicide. Coincidence?
Director Stephen Brill is responsible for two of the dumbest Adam Sandler comedies (if that isn't a tautology), being Little Nicky and Mr Deeds. Is it possible for a movie directed by such a lowlife to be anywhere near worth watching, especially considering the fact that one of its main stars tried to kill himself soon after the production wrapped up?
The premise revolves around nerds so nerdy the nerds from Revenge of the Nerds would beat them up, being terrorised by an evil bully. So desperate and afraid are they, and so blind is the school to the campaign of terror waged against them, that they decide to hire a bodyguard, who turns out to be a homeless bum. Are the people involved in this production likely to receive Nobel nominations some time next year for their services in highlighting the plight of the homeless?
It’s unlikely. Perhaps I’m making too much of Wilson’s attempted suicide, but the fact is, you know, for a few moments, I was contemplating embracing the emptiness of eternal oblivion just minutes into this misbegotten 80s throwback idiocy.