Thursday, April 30, 2015

Before 'Age of Ultron': Dahmer (2002)

Am I doing this as an excuse to get attention?  Yes.  Is this leading me to watch Films that I should have already done though?  Yes.  Besides, why are you going to complain- you don't pay me!  So...anyways, today's Film is Dahmer, a 2002 Film that helped put Jeremy Renner on the map.  For once, it paid off to kind of look like a Serial Killer.  Sorry, Scott Thompson.  While this was by no means his first work, Renner's early work is not all that well-known.  Monkey Love?  Fish in a Barrel?  A guest-spot on The Net TV Series?  All good, notable stuff.  Incidentally, Renner was also in 2003's S.W.A.T., which got a Direct-to-DVD Sequel later with Gabriel Macht.  Macht was infamously in The Spirit and that kind of killed his big-screen career.  His Co-Stars in that Film- Scarlet Johansen and Samuel L. Jackson.  Sorry, but Renner's Super-Hero Film with them made like a billion dollars.  Where was I?  Oh, right.  In this Arty and Indy Film, he plays famous killer Jeffrey Dahmer.  This is not so much of a Biopic as it is a series of random 'snapshots' of his life.  In contrast to other Films, they leave you to fill in the rest.  While this Film made Renner, will it also make for a good Film?  To find out, read on...
Jeffrey Dahmer is just a nice, normal guy who works in a Chocolate Factory.
...but then why does he convince this guy to go home with him and drug him on his couch?
Yeah, he's a psycho.  He drills a hole in the guy's head, but he lives and actually wanders away the next night.

The Film briefly touches upon the racial issues in the City that lead the Police to trust a suspicious Dahmer over the black ladies in the Streets...but only briefly.
To be 'arty,' this one plays fast and loose with the time-line.  In one bit, we see him not enter a Bar.  After that, it segues into a montage of him going there, drugging and raping guys until he's kicked out.

Yes, 'Hawkeye' just raped like 10 guys.
The two key Scenes involve Dahmer as a youth in 1978 (with his anachronistic Car) finding, seducing and finally killing his first victim.
...while the other involves what may be his last potential victim.

Interesting post-script: the person this is based on (Tracey Edwards) became homeless and is now in Jail for beating another man to death.  Okay...maybe that's more creepy than interesting.
As part of the film's 'Arty' nature, it doesn't end with an arrest or a conviction.  Instead, it ends with a younger Dahmer walking into the Woods.  Alright.  The End.
Good, but definitely not for everyone.  First off, it was great to see that this wasn't an Ulli Lommel Film.  Most of the Films about Serial Killers you see out there are his.  BTK Killer.  Son of Sam.  D.C. Sniper.  Thankfully, the only connection this Film has to that crap is appearing as background footage in Gacy- a Film surprisingly not made by Lommel.  The big catch here is that this Film is very 'Arty' and stylized.  It doesn't go in Chronological Order, jumping around in Flashbacks constantly.  They only cover about a 14-year period, so they don't have to do too much make-up work for Renner.  Instead, they just change his clothes, hair and glasses.  He even has a 'porn stache' for one Scene!  If you come in looking for the salacious stuff, there's not much of it.  If you are looking for an Arty take on the case, you don't see alot of the real case.  That said, you get alot of insight into Dahmer and the reason that he became what he was.  There are alot of details not included- including a time when he masturbated in public (in front of kids!) and his alleged cannibalism- for whatever reason.  Renner is damn good here.  He's so good that this apparently got him the gig in The Hurt Locker years later.  If you can deal with the dark subject matter and want to see Renner in a dark role like this, it is a must see.  Another moment not in the Film- the time that he fought a Ninja!
Next up, a step in an entirely-different direction for a Robert Downey Jr Biopic.  Before its Director was in Jurassic Park, he made this.  Stay tuned...

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

TV on the TV: Daredevil (2015)- Part 2

Alright, Internet- I finally finished it!

I kind of didn't want to finish this one, if for no other reason that I won't get another one for awhile.  I did though, so let's take a look at the second half (Episodes 8-13).  I'll try not to SPOIL anything for you late-comers...
I won't cover everything in the remaining Episodes, but I will cover some key points.

Episode 8 gives us the background on Wilson Fisk.  I won't SPOIL it for you.  It is quite something.
Episode 9 has Daredevil fight a Ninja.  Need I say more?
As things escalate, Episode 10 gives us some nice Flashbacks to Matt and Foggy's beginnings.  They love parallel structure here.
The last 3 Episodes feature alot of Action and some surprises, so I'll just give you this only-somewhat-revealing shot of Daredevil preparing to act.  The Finale is great, so don't let me ruin it for you!
A good Show- plain and simple.  Like the first half, they do alot to set-up things and give you the pay-off.  Obviously being the Finale, you get more pay-off here than in the other half.  That's just how Stories work, folks!  They do a great job of taking little things involving Side Characters and letting them pay off in a big way.  I can't think of a dangling Plot Thread that wasn't picked up.  The only thing that seems to be set up a little and goes nowhere is the Love Triangle involving Matt, Karen and Foggy.  It is kind of cliche, so I don't really miss it.  That said, they seem like they were setting up at first, so what's the deal?  Regardless, this is a good- if dark and violent at times- Show that doesn't disappoint.
Oh and for anyone that complains about the Black Suit or the final one, remember this one...
Damn good Show!  Of course, alot of you already know that.

Got Netflix and haven't check it out yet?  Get to it!

Sons of Kong?: The White Gorilla (1945)

Oh boy- this one is a doozy!  Today's Film is The White Gorilla, a 1945 Ape Film.  This is not to be confused with White Pongo, which is also a 1945 Ape Film.  Yes, there are (at least) two.  Yes, they are both in this Set.  Yes, they were both made the same year.  Well, sort of.  To help explain this one, I need to tell you who Ray 'Crash' Corrigan is.  Basically, if you have ever seen a Film where a guy is in an Ape Suit (like I have- alot!), it is often him.  He is most known as a Stunt/Suit Performer, but also did Act as well.  He's basically the Old-School version of Doug Jones.  He's the Star here, which should tell you something.  So...there's no sugar-coating this one.  This is a big, ugly mess- terrible Alpha Video Release quality aside.  The Plot involves a man retelling his harrowing Tale...but there's a catch.  Since I'm a giant tease, you are going to have to wait.  Read fast, but don't cheat!  To find out this Film's deep, dark secret, read on...
A man (Corrigan) arrives at a Depot and has a harrowing tale to tell of his survival.  Cut to...
Stock Footage!  Seriously, this one is 80-85% Stock Footage from a Film made by the same Director- in 1927!

They put a Silent Film, added in Audio and mixed it in with barely-good Footage to make this crap.  Can you imagine?!?
For once we agree, Mantan.

In this Film's defense (this one time!), they have some new Footage involving the White Ape.  He doesn't fit in with the others.  Oh and he's also played by Corrigan- double duty for 'Crash!'
Three major problems here...

1) The Footage is obviously of lower-quality (since it is a 1927 Silent Serial Film).
2) The Films were Shot at different Speeds!  As such, they speed up the Silent Film- absurdly-so!
3) Even if you bought this, the people are made-up and act like they're from a Silent Film!
I should also mention that since 'Crash' wasn't in that Silent Serial Film, his role in the 'Story' is to be just outside of the events and explain why he didn't act.  Our so-called-Hero!
The Climax involves the two Apes fighting and one winning.  Do you really care who?  The End.
Even with my low standards by now, this one...dear god!  It is just so bad.  So, so bad.  It makes you yearn for some stock Jungle Peril to watch that is at least the right Film Speed!  Did they really think that this would fool anyone?  Did it?  Would anyone admit to seeing this and NOT figuring out the trick?  It is just awful.  It is also lazy.  It is also insulting.  It is also terrible.  On the plus side, I breezed through this one and barely had to stop.  Could I have watched all 60 minutes?  Yes.  Did I?  No.  It took me five minutes (TOPS) to see that something was weird and use IMDB to explain it.  Just...just damn!  This could make for some mild amusement to real Bad Movie Buffs- provided they know what they are getting.  The Story itself involves a Jungle Boy, a White Ape and some terribly-silly Peril, so there is something there.  Going into this without knowing the truth is a rude awakening.  Watch it if you want- just know what you are getting.  As a bonus, watch the Director not Credit the Original Cast by lumping them together as...
Next up, I prepare to watch The Avengers 2 this weekend by looking at work by the Actors.  First up, let's see 'Hawkeye' straight up kill and rape folks!  Stay tuned...

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Mondo Bizarro Reviews Anime (Too!): The Devil is a Part-Timer

While Bob is doing Anime Reviews, don't forget that I started it here!  Of course, I also started the Site, so...I guess that makes sense.

After doing a long series like Death Note, I wanted something shorter.  With the mildly-limited selection from Netflix, I chose a weird one called The Devil is a Part-Timer.  It helps that it is only 13 Episodes too.  So let's see what this is all about...
This nice, young man at a Restaurant name-changed-to-avoid-litigation can't be bad, can he?
Wrong- he's The Devil!

He fled his home- Enta Isla- after a big battle went awry.  He was followed to Earth by a Hero.  She...holds a grudge.
Alongside his Butler/Assistant and some others, he works to get enough magic to make a Portal back home.  Other people think that he's up to no good though.

Oh and he has to keep his Perfect Attendance Record at work too.  Very important!
Without SPOILING anything, I can say that the 13 Episode Show basically breaks down into two 6-Episode Stories and kind-of-pointless final Episode.  All I can figure is that they want/wanted more.

I should also note that one of the two Arcs involves a battle between MgRonalds and...Sentucky Fried Chicken.  Yes, I just wrote that.
Oh and Google Image Search brings up some weird, food-related Pictures related to this Show.  Thoughts?
Yeah, that's about right.
Regardless, this short-lived Show from 2013 has a vocal fan-base.  Will we get Season 2?
Not that great of a Show, but decent enough.  The catch with this Show is that it is a Comedy Anime.  As such, they make jokes about the Genre and things that tend to happen.  Sometimes it is subtle and sometimes it isn't.  For example, one Character complains about being relegated to saving people from a falling bridge instead of fighting the bad guy since 'they are a Main Character.'  Another one of the Character is identified as not being from this Dimension by the fact that they dress like a lady from the 17th Century.  Why?  Well, they watched 'Educational Films' like Kagemusha and Hidden Fortress.  I guess the equivalent would be a person in an American Show dressing like John Wayne or Robin Hood.  So here's the thing- they do stuff like that...but still partake in many of the Genre/Style Conventions still.  So are you a Parody or not?  It is a fine line, I admit.  The moments where the Show felt like it was trying to be different really worked for me.  When it just settled on doing mostly the same thing you'd expect, it was less so.  It definitely increases the Parody quotient as it goes on (in contrast to Nyarko-san), but it still felt off.  Ending the Show (for now?) the way they do is kind of odd too.  Everything is pretty much wrapped up in Episode 12, so most of Episode 13 is a B-Plot that is introduced and then settled within 15 minutes.  I'm confused.  In closing, Devil is a good enough Show if you like some fun in your Anime, but it is not the perfect mix of loving and Parody that I think it was aiming for.  Although it did become popular enough to qualify for some (ew) Japanese Body Pillows...
For my next Anime Review, I'll cover....hmm.  Dunno- Mystery Review!  See you then.

Monday, April 27, 2015

New Crap: Jurassic City

Some silly, silly crap.  Today's Film is Jurassic City, a piece of 2014 Sci-Fi Monster drivel.  This is the kind of crap that you see on Syfy or in a Redbox Kiosk.  I got it from Netflix, another good option.  It would be nice if all my Films arrived on time...but I'm sure that they are working on that.  I can't fault them for 10 years of good service and like one month of iffy shit.  Speaking of iffy shit, there's some notable people in this one.  Remember Vernon Wells?  He works all the time, you know.  To most of you, he's that guy with the Mohawk from The Road Warrior.  To some of you, he was the bad guy in an Animated Film (which I will cover shortly).  To one of you (Linkara), he was a bad guy on Power Rangers: Time Force.  How about Ray Wise?  I'm seeing alot of him these days, even if it is from a Show from 1991.  Lastly, there's 'That Guy Who Always Plays Hispanic Criminals, Save For the one Time He Played Mr. Zsasz in ''Batman Begins'' playing a minor role here.  Good for him- he's a Soldier in this one.  This Story involves Dinosaurs, a Prison and a Title that seems to belong to a Sequel (that might happen?).  It is silly, stupid and kind of fun at times.  To find out more (with minor SPOILERS), read on...
In a Los Angeles Facility, some guy made some Dinosaurs.  One nearly escapes.
The man: Vernon Wells, dressed like his character from The Drawn Together Movie: The Movie.
Nearby, a Prison run by Wise gets Wells' men and three Raptors in the basement, plus...
An escaped killer and our female leads- plus this redheaded lady that has done alot of Porn (IRL).
So now we have Raptors loose in the Prison (shocking!) and they make sure to rip off Jurassic Park.
On top of that, they steal a bit from Cemetery Gates in which this drugged-out chick thinks that the monster is a glowing bunny.  Random!
Can Wise and 'Yea- I'm Not Playing a Gang Leader For Once' Guy save the day?
Can the Film explain how a guy secretly made Raptors and a T-Rex in the middle of the City?  To find out, watch the movie!  The End.
This is...exactly what you expect.  Raptors in a Prison.  Soldiers fighting Raptors.  Ray Wise!  This is silly, stupid stuff.  The Plot involves an evil Industrialist, some Soldiers, a killer, some Pledges for a Fraternity in lock-up for a minor traffic violation and a Soldier who is apparently good (despite working for the bad guy).  There's nothing unique here.  There's nothing great here.  It can be fun if you watch stupid crap like this (guilty) and know what you're getting into.  It is what it is.  I do have to say this: why is this called Jurassic City when it is almost entirely set in a closed-off location.  Without SPOILING too much, the Film sets up stuff that would make the title more fitting...for a Sequel.  Will that happen?  Who knows?  I do know this.  You get to see a former Horror Lead and an embarrassing Typo together in one shot...
Next up, another Sons of Kong Film.  Even by the continually-lowering standard, this one is a mess!  Stay tuned...

Saturday, April 25, 2015

Twin Piqued: Coma

As we go on in Season 2, prepare for things to get weirder and weirder in...
This week, weird shit continues to happen as people in Town still reel from that big night...
Important Stuff
- Cooper finds out that his crazy ex-Partner is on the loose.  That is sure to pay off later.

- Leo is alive, but in a Coma.  His unhappy wife and her boyfriend plan to keep him around for the money.
-The other victim is awake, but not talking.  When shown a picture of Bob, she freaks out and possibly tries to say 'train.'  Not good.
- The Horne Brother make plans, while Audrey is up to more trouble at One-Eyed Jacks.

- Finally, Cooper learns for Don S. Davis about messages from Space that say his name (just go with it) and Laura's Cousin has a vision of Bob.  Cooper does as well, seeing an Owl now.  Alright.
With so much going on, it is harder to nail one down.  I could always go with Messages though.  There is a whole part with Log Lady and Don S. Davis leading into the bit with Cooper.  There is also the Horne Brothers locked on what message to deliver with the Log Book they would NOT burn.

In addition, there is the vision of Bob, which must be some sort of message.  Lastly, you have Cooper and Truman trying to get one out of the only living victim from the infamous night.
Weird Moment(s)
This is the last Lynch-Directed Episode for a while, so they squeezed some crazy in.

First and foremost, Cooper's name appearing in random communication from Space!  It may be explained (as much as anything here is) later, but it is still just weird for now.
Secondly, we have more of Lynch's Food Fetish.  This time, it is the younger Horne brother...
This is definitely a strange one.  I will say that there is less overall that happens this time.  This one seems to be about building and building more stuff to come up later.  The stuff like Leo possibly living comatose at home, the message from Space and the idea of Cooper's crazy ex-partner are definitely here for the long-term growth.  Alot of this one is about teasing you.  We don't get any new information about Bob, but we do see him more.  We don't get clear information on what is going on with Joan Chen's Character (who is 0 for 2 this Season so far).  We are told that the other Owner of the Mill is dead, but it is not confirmed.  I can't imagine that they'd write her out that way.  Given how little happens as far as major events goes, some might suggest that it is skippable.  If you did that, you'd miss out on fun stuff like Log Lady meeting Don S. Davis.  Speaking of her, her 'sister' appears in Alan Wake...
Next week, will we get an explanation for the new craziness?  Maybe, maybe not.  See you then...