Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Project Terrible (Second Opinions): D.C. Sniper

Since there is going to be a bit of a delay until the next official Round, Bob and myself are giving you guys out there a bonus.  We picked two Films each that had been previous fodder and swapped them out.  To begin, let me take a look at one of his favorites- D.C. Sniper.  For those who don't recall/never read the Review, it is a 2010 Film by Ulli Lommel, who has his hands all over this one.  He's a Writer, Director, Producer and Actor!  Joy.  The Film is based (kind of) on the real case in 2002 in (naturally) Washington D.C.  Two people went on a random shooting spree for a while and then were caught.  That's no SPOILER, since it was a pretty famous case AND the Film tells you that pretty much right away.  More on that later though.  Weirdly, the movie was released about a year after the lead guy- John Allen Muhammad- was executed for his crimes.  Did Ulli hear about this and decide to make the Film (likely) or is this just a coincidence?  Dunno.  The Film's big Star is Ken Foree, who also has a Co-Writing Credit.  My theory: he just made up a bunch of crazy monologues (which make up about 1/3 of the Film), so he got a Co-Writing Credit.  Hey, if Ben Stiller can 'Co-Write' Tropic Thunder by taking a completed Script and changing the Role made for Owen Wilson to fit Jack Black, anything is possible.  There are many, MANY problems with this Film, which will keep me busy for a bit.  If you like silly Editing, goofy Writing and an overabundance of Narration, you're in luck!  If you're a sane person, then you can at least enjoy my suffering.  Let's drive right in...
Before we even get real action, we get a ton of (later re-used) B-Roll of D.C.  Overlaid are the Credits, which provide you an overdose of Ulli Lommel!
After that, we get the first of what feels like 1,004 Scenes of the kid shooting someone at John Allen's behest.  Foree plays these Scenes by sitting casually in a chair and repeating the same 4 lines.

The same 4 lines every time!  This Film is like a vicious loop of mediocrity.
After that, we get the first of 1,337 Scenes of John Allen being interviewed in 'Prison.'  I used quotes, since it is clearly just a blank room with black drapes.

Real Sets- those are for pussies!
You also get about 744 Scenes of the two in their Car talking about random stuff/nonsense.  They also add nothing, but do push the film to its 75 (not 92, like the Disc Sleeve says) minute run-time.
Another big chunk of the Film is taken up by our two Heroes- an FBI Agent and a Cop.  One of them just wanders around and Narrates (since you can just add that in Post), while the other is...Ulli Lommel in a Cowboy Hat...for some reason.

I'm not going to tell you how to make Movies, Ulli (that's a lie!), but maybe don't cast YOURSELF as a Texan- since you're not even close.
Speaking of not even close, they introduce a sub-plot for the Lead Cop involving his missing daughter.  They never get close to solving/resolving it.  The point was....
Speaking of pointless, the Cop from The Amazing Bulk shows up for a few minutes, spouts some conspiratorial nonsense and then never appears again.  The point of that was...
Just for fun- here's a glimpse at how goofy and low-budget the so-called gore in the film is.  Don't you love how the blood on the glass is orange, but the blood on him is red?  That can't be natural.
After mixing and splicing any of the aforementioned elements together (plus the kid's one-scene Lawyer), we get the biggest anti-climax humanly-possible...

Lommel and the Cop are eating lunch and spot the car in the adjacent Parking Lot.  The two are literally just sleeping there and get caught.

As a bonus, the rear light they remove to do the shooting is also off (even though they are not about to shoot someone).  Lazy bonus!  The End.
Eegad, this is bad!  My last experience with an Ulli Lommel film (in 2011) was bad.  This one wasn't really any better.  I will say that the other Film was made up of about 3 things, while this was made up of about 5.  Yea?  This Film finds different ways to be terrible- don't worry.  The stupid monologues (in Color or in nWo Black and White) are annoying.  The repeated 'gore' shots are laughable.  The repeated shots of Foree doing all the prep work and wrap-up work for the shootings was annoying.  Would nobody question him if he was a black man wearing glasses and a tie?  Huh?  The Film is padded to the brim with cheap B-Roll or footage that looks like someone's Vacation footage.  Lommel and company just filmed the Cop (and himself) walking around landmarks in D.C. with no Sound or Dialogue.  Back in the Editing Room, they would splice in Narration to make them have a point.  That is lazy.  Here's another thing: their B-Roll is reused multiple times.  At one point, they play their 'Driving up the Road' B-Roll in reverse to get more use out of it!  As for the Narration, it is pretentious and laughable.  I watched an actual Mike Hammer Film (Starring the Author!) with less over-the-top Narration.  There is also his famous bit explaining how George Washington crossed the Potomac and acted like a terrorist (by killing all prisoners).  This is followed by him then saying that Washington was a hero and that he would act like him as a Cop.  My brain- it hurts!!!  As a Film, it sucks.  It sucks bad.  As a bizarre exercise in how to randomly cut your footage together with no rhyme or reason, it succeeds.  That wasn't his goal, was it?  In summary, don't bother or give a shit.  Kind of like how lazily they shot this guy 'being shot' (and pre-bleeding, it seems)....
Next up, we step back to proper Reviews (for now).  Famous rat Ben is now in his own picture and he brought the rat army with him!  Stay tuned...

1 comment:

  1. This was such a turd. I found it a little better than his Black Dahlia film just because it didn't make me want to throw up, but otherwise it has the same pattern--just endless scenes of the killer doing exactly the same thing over and over, interspersed with scenes of a law enforcement officer doing absolutely nothing of consequence.

    And of course perhaps the most incredibly convoluted utter misstatement of a part of American history I've ever heard. That scene at the Potomac was amazing. I still don't know what he was actually trying to support with his argument.

    For the original review: http://gamingcreatively.blogspot.com/2012/12/project-terrible-dc-sniper.html