Saturday, January 8, 2011

Blockbuster Asylum Trash: (2010) Moby Dick

This speaks for itself, doesn't it?  The Asylum makes an 'updated' version of 'Moby Dick.'  I guess 'The Old Man and the Sea' was too dull.  Will this film be faithful to the source material?  Well, there is a whale, there is Ahab and there's even a Queequeg.  On the other hand, the narrator character is female here (and does almost no narration), the boat is a nuclear submarine and the world has no physics whatsoever.  The Asylum has a love/hate relationship with physics.  They love it so much that they have to constantly hit it in the face!  The Asylum and physics are the modern-day Ike and Tina Turner.  What 'stars' get embarrassed in this debacle?  Well, you get to see Renee O'Connor of Xena: Warrior Princess fame and Barry Bostwick of The Rocky Horror Picture Show fame.  I was really hoping for Lorenzo Lamas!  I should note that the last two films with O'Connor I've covered on the site are Darkman II: The Return of Durant and Boogeyman II.  Sufficed to say, my expectations have not gotten any higher.  Just to note: this is a fairly-new release, so SPOILERS abound.  Since audio cassettes work after forty-years of storage, we can go out to hunt... 

Our story begins in 1969 as a submarine travels near the edge of Russian waters.  The young man on the crew (Ahab) hears the sound of a whale.  Actually, what he hears is an absence of sound.  Yeah, I gotta cry 'bullshit' on that one.  After about five minutes of people staring at screens or bad CG shots of a submarine, Moby Dick finally attacks and...puts the submarine out on the ice.  What was the point of attacking it and placing it somewhere else?!?  He stops to look at Ahab- which is silly when you consider the size disparity- before taking the back half of the submarine with him, tearing off the man's leg in the process.  Incidentally, Ahab doesn't die from exposure with a giant, gaping leg wound- I'm just saying!  We jump to 2010 where our heroine (O'Connor) is out playing whale songs with her black friend.  No, movie- I don't care if she's wearing a bikini top.  A submarine shows up to take her on the hunt for Moby Dick, since they think her skills will help them.  Speaking of Dick, a boat goes out near San Francisco to do some whale-watching.  While a whale breaches, the creature shoots up after it, swallowing it whole!  No, really.

Not content with just one plot, the movie has to bring in another!  This involves the government being afraid of Ahab and sending someone to get him.  Why?  Because they think that he's behind all the attacks by Moby Dick.  One- that's just silly.  Two- how would tactical submarine attacks look like something hit by a whale.  Three- the timing does not sync up here, as the whale attacks are reported as past events by Ahab's crew.  Four- this would be a good plot point to build suspense, except for the fact that we know that there is a killer whale.  Aside from all that though, I have no complaints.  Ahab provides our heroine with some audio of the whale via the tape recording from the submarine made 41 years earlier.  Yeah, that would totally work.  As a side-note, he never bothered to transfer this to a different medium in the last few decades?  Weird, right?  'Gabrielle' and her black friend use the recording to help track the beast.  This comes in handy when they are convinced that the 600-foot mass is not actually Moby.  The guy sent to find Ahab tries to catch is closing in and a military chopper is closer.  They fire a nuke (!!!) and blow up...a mass of squid.  However, Moby shows up about ten seconds later to take out the chopper.  Nobody noticed him that time, huh?

The movie drags its feet for a bit after this, content to give us silly character bits and more scenes of people just staring at monitors- joy.  Eventually, our heroes are joined by the guy sent by the government as he helps them lure Moby Dick into an atoll.  By the way, it's the same location from King of the Lost World.  The sub stays outside while a trio of boats go in.  They wander around the island before the 500-foot whale sneaks up on them by wading in the water!  Bull and shit, movie!  It swings back and forth, attacking via a bad green screen effect.  While our heroine is saved, others are not so lucky.  The whale somehow gets on a small bit of rock and drags it's body away.  How much does this fella weigh again?  Oh wait- it gets worse.  After a moment of tension, the whale jumps over the mountain-like structure!!!  I...I...can't top that.  After killing Queeqeg (after about three lines in the film BTW), the thing swims away.  Ahab goes after it in his boat and shoots the thing with a harpoon...before it just drags him underwater.  You have nukes on that thing, but died doing that?!?  Speaking of the sub, Moby smashes down on top of it (killing the black guy) and evades some missiles fired at it.  Left with the military man and another sailor, our heroine flees for safety, while the men accept death.  In a matter of minutes, the woman is miles away and is rescued, while Moby Dick swims away with an Ahab earring.  The End.

Thank God Herman Mellville is already dead!  The plot of this movie is kind of like the book, but obviously changes a lot.  Mind you, I haven't read the book in a while, so I make no claims to be an expert.  Even so, Ishmael should have male genitalia and not be an actress who's career peaked in the '90s.  Queeqeg is actually a major character and not just there as a 'token.'  The only aspect that's really retained well is Ahab, who's played with no reservations by Bostwick.  He's certainly the most interesting part of the movie, even if everyone else is as dry as Oscar Wilde in the Serengeti!  Let's talk about the special effects too.  They suck.  They're terrible.  This movie is not grounded in reality for reasons that I could spend all day explaining.  Of course, you already know this.  It's an Asylum film.  Is it funny?  There certainly are moments.  While it's still a bit too dull at times, I can recommend this for people seeking a good laugh.  If you actually like the book though, you may not be smiling.

Up next, Project Terrible begins at Mondo Bizarro with a crazy French movie.  Will it be less dull than the movie that it implies itself to be a sequel to?  Stay tuned...

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