Archive for the ‘Movies 0-9’ Category

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Because 20,000 is for pussies: “30,000 Leagues Under the Sea”

June 21, 2010

Well, once again The Asylum–that movie production house dedicated to churning out derivative crap and maintaining the careers of C. Thomas Howell and Lorenzo Lamas–seems to have stumbled across yet another work they can shamelessly rip off without fear of lawsuit. Thus, Jules Verne’s 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea joins such unlikely companions as Sherlock Holmes, The Terminator, The Land That Time Forgot, and Transformers in being similarly bastardized into an 86-minute direct-to-DVD offering stuffed with bad performances and even worse CGI. Basically, The Asylum does to pop culture what junkies do to an unlocked townhouse.
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It’s the end of the world…and I feel fine: “2012”

November 23, 2009

No one blows up the world with quite the same aplomb as Roland Emmerich. Whether it’s aliens decimating our major cities in Independence Day or global warming burying the statue of liberty nipple-deep in snow, it’s hard to shake the feeling that Emmerich regards being filmmaker as something akin to a six year-old with a massive set of LEGOS. Sure you can build stuff, but the real fun is smashing it. His unique talent is melding this sensibility with storytelling talent just mediocre enough to keep the audience from emotionally-connecting with the world he presents onscreen. If he were a better filmmaker, we might feel a moment of dread at watching the wanton devastation unfold before us. Thankfully for us all, he’s not. This was a liability in his last film, 10,000 BC, in which he was called upon to, you know, tell a story. Instead he ended up meandering through a bunch of half-baked ideas, while expecting us to care about his characters (never a strong point in a Roland Emmerich movie),  and in the process did to history what Roman Polanski did to that 13 year-old girl in Jack Nicholson’s hot tub. With 2012, he is back where he belongs: using the spectacle of destroying everything in sight to distract us from the annoying characters that populate the movie.

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The Bangkok International Film Festival Concludes: Fiveplay…”Phobia 2″

October 4, 2009

phobia2So, the last installment in our roundup of the Bangkok International Film Festival, comes from the host country of Thailand. No, it’s not Sawasdee Bangkok! the country’s official entry (fer chrissakes, that movie is 247 minutes long–I couldn’t watch Freema Agyeman bathe for 247 minutes…well, maybe…probably not…possibly…), no, instead we’re going to look at a scary little installment called Phobia 2 (or Haa Phrang in Thai—Five Crossroads). Phobia 2 is a series of five horror vignettes, directed by some of Thailand’s most successful commercial directors. As a general rule, I’m not a huge fan of vignettes—movies or TV shows—since by design they can’t delve too deeply into the worlds they present. In this case, as a horror-injection system, they work pretty well. It kept the girlfriend huddling against me in fright, and what more can you really ask of a horror film?
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Splendid confusion: “88 Minutes”

December 7, 2008

200px-eighty_eight_minutes_ver3Sometimes you come across a movie so stupid, pretentious, incompetent, hackneyed, and best of all totally oblivious to how stupid, pretentious, incompetent and hackneyed it is, that the weight—the cosmic mass—of its sheer badness simply causes it to implode and compress until it becomes a bright and shining jewel of cinematic failure. Oh sure, there are bad movies that are a struggle to watch all the way through. There are bad movies that unfold like a 110-minute train wreck. There are even bad movies that you watch with sheer incredulity. But then there are the rare and precious bad movies which are so sublime in their badness that they elevate it to a type of art. Movies that you simply surrender yourself to and exclaim, “Yes! Yes, I will follow you wherever your addle-minded creators choose to take us, oh celluloid apocalypse, for the sheer joy of witnessing your unprecedented suckitude!” Reader, Jon Avnet’s 88 Minutes is just such a movie!
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Correcting History “10,000 B.C.”

April 6, 2008

The world we experience everyday is built on a foundation of lies, myths, and half-truths that we accept without a second thought while going on our merry way. Read the rest of this entry ?

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This Week’s Movies: “1408”

January 29, 2008

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Ah Jesus, this movie…

You may recall from my review of The Mist that movie adaptations of Stephen King’s works have a long, inglorious history. For every Shining there are about a dozen Graveyard Shifts. And now we have 1408 to add to that latter list. I haven’t read the short story, but that’s irrelevant when the movie is this bad. When a movie is this bad, it gains a certain type of independence—a sentience—and it needs to be hunted across the countryside with pitchforks and torches.

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Criminally Overlooked: “10 Items or Less”

January 9, 2008

Twenty years later it’s hard to remember that Morgan Freeman burst onto the cinematic scene by playing a brutal pimp in the movie Street Smarts. In an otherwise-unremarkable movie, Freeman was electrifying—gleefully malevolent with only a half-hidden streak of cruelty—and he handily stole the movie from erstwhile star Christopher Reeve (not a Herculean task, to be sure, but we can’t hold this against Freeman).

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