Saturday, April 30, 2011

A Review in Pictures : Sharkotpus

Why the hell not?!?  That was pretty much the logic behind this movie, I think.  Only Roger Corman could go 'a half-shark, half-octopus creature- green-light that!'  Need I remind you that the last film that he directed was 1990's Frankenstein Unbound.  In that film, a bored guy from the future goes back in time using his time-machine/car to meet Mary Shelly, Dr. Frankenstein and Lord Byron.  If you think that I'm kidding, check out the streaming version of it here.  So yeah, this movie is about a shark-octopus hybrid running amok at a coastal resort in Mexico.  There's more to the film, but it's mostly just window-dressing.  Since this is a recent film and I kind of want you to see it, I bring you another review in pictures.  Enjoy the CG-silliness that is...
* The hybrid creature escapes its masters- a mere 8 minutes into the film- and shows off it's superiority quickly.
* Sharktopus takes out a bungee-jumping tourist.  Oddly, this is played by Roger Corman's daughter!
* In a somewhat wasted idea, the Sharktopus briefly walks on land (the beach) using his tentacles, but doesn't really do it again.  Breaking the laws of physics- yes.  Awesome- yes.
* 'Get off my...boat....err, I mean, that boat!"
* Odd perspective shots aren't always a good idea when your special effects are made in Adobe Average.
 * You'd better run- this Sharktopus is pissed!  How dare you mock my silly and frivolous existence!
Corman is one silly, silly man!  The plot of this movie is very basic, but it kind of works.  This movie doesn't claim to be Citizen Kane or anything!  I would say that it's a bit silly to introduce the 'government weapon' idea when it escapes captivity on the very first mission!  I was kind of hoping for a throwaway line about this being 'one last test' or something.  I'm being picky, I know.  The film is just an excuse to string together a bunch of Sharktopus kills.  The rest of the film is just window-dressing.  If you like pulp films like this, you'll have a good time.  It's also nice to see that Corman has gotten over his fear of mixed-genre films (i.e. horror comedies) & embracing it here.  Take us away, Corman cameo...
Next up, May begins with Super-Old-School Week.  We look at a movie serial from the early 20th Century...starring Harry Houdini.  Stay tuned...

Friday, April 29, 2011

Impossibly-Cool Cover Art: Nude Nuns with Big Guns

After a long absence (it's officially been about six months), this segment is back- at least for now.  How else to do it than with this movie...
I'm sold!  Even if the poster doesn't feature a nude nun (or multiple ones), the concept and title alone sell me.
To be fair, how could they put a bunch of topless nuns on a poster...that's not in Japan?

Let's see how the actual film turns out...if I ever get to see it.

Next up, we return to the kind of film that made this segment work.  That's right- I've got a shit ton of more shark film posters for you!  Stay tuned...

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Project Terrible: We Are the Strange

Japan- I guess this was bound to happen.  My love affair with Japan is mostly due to their penchant for making crazy films.  Films like Battlefield Baseball, in which characters die and come back as cyborgs to fight a team of zombie baseball players, or Tokyo Gore Police, in which an elaborate conspiracy unravels when people start forming phallic guns on their body and shooting acid from their nipples.  Of course, they have made films that are extremely-strange and just this side of enjoyable- i.e. Stacy.  This day was bound to come- this movie is too weird for even me.  It is an animated film called We Are the Strange.  It was offered to me as a film that 'may give your eyes cancer.'  Well, my optic nerves appear to be cancer-free, but I can't say that I liked this film too much.  More accurately, I couldn't figure out what the hell was going on in this movie. just odd.  Let's just all agree that...
* Our hero is a thing named M.  He talks in random noises.  Yes, it is annoying.
* This lady is cursed with her skin turning blue when she smiles or talks.  The point of this is what exactly?
* A random computer virus thing is flying around and attacking other programs.  Unlike ReBoot, I'm still not sure what's going on.  That thing on his chest is a towel that absorbs lasers, by the way.
* The creature is attacking more of the system.  I still don't know why or how this matters.
* Yeah, I got nothing here.  It's like The Number 23, but more silly.
* ...nope, still nothing.  The End.
What the hell was that?  The plot of this movie is...well, obtuse.  They don't tell it in a logical manner or even try to allow you to follow it.  It's like a David Lynch film, only with animation and without a lesbian scene involving Naomi Watts.  You can't everything, I suppose.  Honestly, I made it about forty minutes into this film before determining that no more watching on my part would allow it to make sense.  Judge me if you want, but I doubt that many of you could go much further- if even that far.  It's an odd mix of regular animation, claymation and 8-bit video graphics.  I could forgive that if it had any rhyme or reason.  It doesn't.  The character don't talk normally and nothing makes sense.  If you want to watch it, be my guess.  I can't deny that it's creative and/or unique.  I can't deny that it's good and/or watchable.
Next up, I cover the film that was pretty much made for me.  Will the hybrid shark-octopus deliver the fun or just...well, wash up on the shore?  Stay tuned...

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Project Terrible: Twilight Saga- Eclipse

Freaking finally!  I'm on the last Twilight film (again- so far), so let's get through this as quickly as possible.  This film wraps up most of the plot points from the last two films.  You may wonder why Meyer wrote four books as a series and choose to write in the trilogy format.  That's a good question.  The film version seems like it's going to be more awkward if they really plan to make it into a two-part finale.  We're going to have a five-part film series?  Weird.  This film finally has the climax of the two-film build-up of that red-headed vampire lady running around the woods, as well as the rash of vampire serial murders.  They still leave something for the last film/two films, but it's just the romance stuff.  Yeah, I totally care about this.  We finally get a major vampire-on-vampire battle here, so I'm sure that it won't be a huge disappointment after over five hours of on-screen build-up.  Open your eyes before you close them again, because we have an...
* After an opening scene involving a guy being attacked...somewhere that's not Forks, we get this shot.  No, really.
* A weird sub-plot involves Edward paying to fly Bella away to see her mother for a weekend in order to hide her.  Don't worry- he still stays and stalks her.  Creepy!
* These guys are back.  Before you laugh at their appearance, take note of how only a couple of them are actually in good shape.  I mean, if you're going to be shirtless on camera, wouldn't you hit the gym a bit more?
* The big problem with this movie's plot is that it introduces three other sub-plots via flashback...and these are more interesting.

First- a flashback showing Indian 'werewolves' fighting a pair of Victorian vampires.   Why are we not watching this movie?
* Second- we learn that one of the ancillary vampire characters was gang-raped, turned into a vampire before  death and getting her revenge.  Why aren't we watching this movie?
* Third- 'Harpo' gives his back-story about being converted to a vampire during The Civil War and serving under an evil vampire lady.  Why aren't we watching this movie?
* After 90 minutes, we get the battle involving that red-headed lady, her group of 'newborn' vampires vs. the good vampires and the 'werewolves.'  Awesome!

* This fight is over in five minutes (counting the fight involving Edward and the red-headed lady separately).  Lame!
* Wait a second- did that guy's head just crack off like a statue?  Are vampires made out of plaster?  That's got to be a mistake.
 * Okay- are vampire supposed to be made out of plaster?  How come nobody seems to talk about this weird idea?  How do you gloss over this?!?!?

* Oh yeah, Bella is going to get married.  Yea.
Please end this!  The plot of this movie leave a lot to be desired.  This whole film series (again- so far) does!  The movie spends about six hours building up Bella getting married (but not in this film) and a five-minute fight between a bunch of vampires and giant, wolf creatures.  Couldn't you spend six hours of fighting for five minutes of Bella's romance instead?  I know- I'm asking a lot.  This movie takes the romance film and the horror film, throws them in a blender and this fishes out as much of the horror stuff that it can.  Your film series is about a war between two tribes of vampires, but chooses to focus more on some bitch who has the hots for a scrawny jerk.  Incidentally, this movie also does a great job of taking decent characters and making them awful.  Edward realizes that 'bitch be tripping' and leaves, but eventually relents and marries her.  Jacob is a nice and giving character, but ultimately turns into a date-rapist due to her constant 'yes-no-yes-no' routine.  You're a horrible person and make everyone around you horrible!  I'm afraid to watch the next one/two film/films.  If I do, will I become a child molester like Edward's face?
Next up, I finish off my selection of Project Terrible films with a film that didn't make the cut last time.  It's an anime film so weird that even I couldn't make sense of it!  Stay tuned...


Poor Bastards of Cinema: Lake Placid 2

In a random, unrelated scene from Lake Placid 2, some guy goes to the lake with two random chicks.  It's a photo-shoot, I guess...but there's no camera...
Both women proceed to take their tops off and climb into the lake.  This is getting better.
Wow, they even throw in the glossy filter.  This is a dream come true!
...oops, the crocodile eats them.  It happens while the guy is rushing to get undressed.
'Ladies- I'm ready for the three...dammit!'
Oh yeah, the crocodile eats him too.  On the grand scale of things, it's a pretty minor thing.

Next up, a man learns that there is something worse than having to work in an unsafe, African mine.  On top of that, he's appearing in an Asylum film!  Stay tuned...

Project Terrible: Twilight Saga- New Moon

Here we go again!  The second film in the Twilight series is the first one to get the pretentious 'Twilight Saga' tag thrown on it.  What was the reason for that?  Did they think that people who were fans of the book series had forgotten the name of the second book?  Were they afraid that the casual market wouldn't recognize the film made a year earlier and featuring the same cast?  I'm sorry, America, but I think the makers of Twilight think that you are stupid!  Aside from that, what is there to say for this lead-in?  The second film features Jacob in a much more prominent role, as opposed to just having him appear in four scenes in the last one and basically do nothing.  This is also the film famous for him not wearing a shirt ever, a fact joked about in Eclipse (which may or may not have been an ad-lib on Robert Pattinson's part).  We also meet a whole slew of new characters, almost all played by actors who are too good for this film (i.e. Michael Sheen, Dakota Fanning).  On the plus side, more happens in this movie.  Get out your new tide out as we await the...
* These two are still the focus.  I still don't care.
* You still kind of look creepy.  Not in that 'you look like a vampire' way, but in a 'hide your children from this child molester' way.  You're a tween sex symbol too.  Eww...
* Jacob is actually important here.  Unfortunately, he's only important because he's involved in a love-triangle.  On the plus side, he's not a date-rapist...yet.

* Seriously, put on a shirt.  It's freaking cold in Washington state!
* A major plot point involves Robert Pattinson flashing a crowd.  That's fan-service if I ever saw it.

* The big point that everyone makes really stands out to me- if the vampires are psychic, why don't they just tell Edward that Bella is alive?  They never explain this!
* We meet the vampire elders that live in, of all places, a sunny country.  How do they explain them not shining all the time?  Oh right- they wear long, red robes all the time.  That's not suspicious!

* Michael Sheen is a famous werewolf from Underworld and now he's a vampire here?  That's a bigger get than the white guy from Fastlane, I suppose.
* The film's finale involves trying to close up the love triangle.  Yes, don't focus on the vampire serial killer, the upcoming war or any other thing.  I want to know who Bella loves!
More plot equals a slightly-more interesting film.  The plot here is still not that good.  The problem is that this movie is built around being the middle part of a trilogy.  What happens in the middle part?  Pretty much nothing.  Even in the hands of a good writer (i.e. Tolkien), this is pretty apparent.  In the hands of Stephenie Meyer, well, you get the picture.  A lot of people like to point out that the Director of this movie also made The Golden Compass, another film built around giant, CG animals fighting each other.  I guess they're lucky that they didn't have to go with their second choice- Jim Wynorski!  One thing that really stands out to me in this movie, however, is something that nobody seems to mention.  These are werewolves!  By definition, you'd have to be part-wolf and part-man.  These are men that turn into wolves (albeit oddly-giant ones).  When you can't even get the concept of a vampire (ones who all have different super-powers and glow) or a werewolf (not Indian models in short-shorts) right, what hope is there?  The bottom line- this is a better film, but it's still not good.  Again, if you're a fourteen year-old girl, you will ignore all of this.  Look- men without shirts!
Next up, the final film (for now) in the series.  Will this film actually be good when it wraps up the overly-long plot?  Stay tuned...

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Lost in Translation: Futureworld (Part 2)

Another Futureworld poster?  Oh yeah- there's another one.  This one comes to us from a Spanish speaking region.  I won't offend anyone by guessing...
I don't blame you for promoting Brenner's appearance, although it's a blatant lie.  His role is about three minutes in a dream sequence.  Way to put the actual stars in the background!

Up next, I cover the foreign poster to one of the most iconic science-fiction films of all time.  It's time to Run those Asia.  Stay tuned...

Project Terrible: Twilight

It's come to this, hasn't it?  Thanks to Carl over at I Like Horror Movies (who's totally spacing on his part due to moving or some crap), I watched the entire (so far) Twilight series.  It's time to share the pain with you all!  The plot of Twilight, who am I kidding?  If you care, you already know.  If you don't care, you probably still know it.  The film is based on a popular book series which...again, I'm sure that you know.  What you may not know is that this is a series that I was trying to avoid.  As you can see, my luck ran out.  As opposed to doing a straight review,- what's the point really?- I'll do it like my Ringu review and just present my thoughts and some questions raised by it.  No, the first question is not going to be 'why do they glow?'  It's stupid, but they just do!  In actuality, a related question will be raised when I cover the third film...but we'll get to that when it comes up.  Let's break dawn in reverse to check out the...
* Did you have to begin the film with pretentious narration?  Do all teenagers these days self-narrate?  Do I sound like an old man right now when I ask that?

* Get used to the sight of long, far-off stares...
* That can't possibly be the sex symbol for this modern era, can it?  He looks ridiculous with his reddish hair and pale skin.  Is this for real?!?
* It's notable that their 'romance for the ages' begins with her oggling him and him appearing to be sick at his stomach.

* I love how he saves her in broad daylight and in front of everyone.  What happened to being discreet?  Does nobody investigate the hand-shaped dent in the truck's door?
* Your vampire friends look nice.  I'm sure that they won't try to suck your blood in the next movie.
* Okay, seriously, stop staring like that!  You're beginning to look like a child molester!
* Vampire baseball- it's as silly as it sounds.  Take note of how much male-to-male contact is made in an attempt to impress Bella.  Mixed messages?
* I'm not sure if they made this ending 'romantic' enough?  Judge for yourself...
What can I say?  This movie is clearly not aimed at me.  This movie is aimed at girls who don't care about the plot as long as people act angsty and guys take off their shirts.  This just makes me sad though.  How far has the vampire sub-genre gone?  It began with Nosferatu, became scarier with Hammer films and is now...this?  The biggest problem is this: the movie is not really about vampires all that much.  The film begins with long narration and moody character development.  It eventually gets to the vampire stuff, but that's barely there.  I bet you could make a 'Vampire-Free' version of the film with very little editing!  All of the stuff you know about- the glowing vampires, the angst-filled dialog and the lack of focus on horror- is all there.  Aside from that, the movie is just kind of dull.  It's a problem that all three of the films face really, although the second and third films make attempts to cover it a little.  As you'll see, that presents problems of its own too.  This film takes no risks and gets very little reward.  Of course, if you're a fourteen year-old girl, you will ignore everything I just said...
Up next, the second film in the series.  Out with the old and in with the shirtless werewolves.  Stay tuned...