Monday, May 30, 2011

Pirates of the Caribbean on Stranger Tides-review

Jack gets dragged into a new sequel.

            The biggest flaw to the “Pirates of the Caribbean” movie was following the romance of Orlando Bloom.  He wandered the screen like a wet blanket and just made the movies seem to drag on and on when you wanted more Jack swashbuckling.  This movie makes up for it. But it’s still not very good.

            In this story we find Jack trying to find the Fountain of Youth. Or he gave up on it? Either way you will be given a ton of exposition in a short amount of time so try to keep up. There will be a quiz on this later.  All you need to know is everyone wants the Fountain and need location which he and Gibbs (the mutton chopped fellow from the other movies) know. Everyone is screwing over everyone trying to get there first.        

First off it’s really strange to have supernatural threats in all the other movies that are really cool. Then when Blackbeard shows up; (“The Pirate pirate’s fear”) he is not all that threatening.  In the movie he kills a single guy killed with by a flamethrower attached to his boat.  That of course makes him a genius since flame throwers weren’t really used until World War 1.

Where is the eyeliner?
            But besides that his sword lets him control his ship via telepathy.  He also can raise crew members as zombies to keep them compliant. So why doesn’t he do that more often?  It raises more plot holes then it should.  His magic only is useful for the plot.  He has a voodoo doll of Jack which he gives a good once over.  This is only the first of the Indiana Jones rip offs in this movie.  The second is drinking out of a goblet “One which gives live and one which takes it away.”  Are you serious?  That is almost line for line out of “The Last Crusade”.

            The worse part is the most insultingly forced romance between a priest character that has NO REASON to be on Blackbeard’s ship and a mermaid.  Granted the mermaids are kind of neat in a lot of ways. They are beautiful, they tempt you then they grow vampire fangs and try to tear you apart.  They even have seaweed bullwhips.  I like approach.  But the forced romance just got nothing but eye-rolls from the audience. 

Thanks so much for this forced romance!
            The ending is baffling.  Penelope Cruise really does not deserve what she gets.  I won’t spoil anymore than I probably already have.  But stay after the credits it gives a little more to the end but not much.  I hate to be the one to say this; but where the hell does a pirate get eyeliner.  It’s obvious Jack is wearing gobs of the stuff.  I’d just love to see him cry.  That would be funny to see him with runny eyeliner.

            The one thing that is always great about the series is Geoffrey Rush as Barbossa.  He returns as a privateer for the king of England.  I always loved him as a character because it’s as if he stepped right off the Disneyland ride.  He is the one character whose motivations are always crystal clear and he does as he pleases.

            As one final nitpick to the swashbuckling genre.  I know it looks awesome to see a guy jump around like a gymnast.  But usually it’s better when it’s real.  Not CGI doing ridiculous physics that no stunt man could do.  Also if there are any pirates around reading this.  If someone is attempting to engage you in a fair sword fight that requires fancy footwork.  Just shoot the bastard.  You are a pirate. Don’t fight fair and keep a gun handy.  

Friday, May 27, 2011

Sting of Death-review with spoilers

I like the Freddy Krueger sweater Egon.
           Let’s go back to 1965.  It’s a turbulent time. “The Sound of Music”, “Thunderball”, “Repulsion” and a wee movie that few know about called “Sting of Death” came out.  Now it was nothing new to have monsters attack women while wearing stupid costumes in movies.  They have been doing that since the 1950s when movies like “The Creature from the Black Lagoon” was popular.  But this movie takes the monster movie in a very strange and cheap twist.

            First off we see a sunbathing beauty who is listening to the radio as it tells her of a couple of fisher men that recently were killed in the Florida Everglades where she is.  She is immediately grabbed by gloved hand of a man in a suit covered in tentacles.  She struggles lamely but dies.  Or so it would seem since as the monster drags the body away the body is obviously still breathing. 

            A boat arrives at the island of the dead sunbather with some girls a young man named John, a Professor and his daughter Karen.  They are talking about how their research is important but first…cocktails.  The Professor can’t be that good a man. He has a hunched back assistant with a scarred up face named Egon.  I want that to sink in there.  This is the only other movie outside of “Ghostbusters” I’ve ever heard that named used. 

            A Sheriff comes to the island saying he found one of the fishermen and is confused. It the medical examiner looked at him and he looks to be stung. The Professor determines that it was a Jellyfish but it would have to be a giant one. They send the Sheriff on his way saying they will assist if they can.

            Egon has a lot of issues about people making fun of him.  But he has a thing for the Professor’s daughter, Karen.  She of course is going for John.  John has invited a group of college folks to join the girls for some fun, drinks and dancing.   Sure enough a boat arrives and the college jackasses get off and in no time flat surround Egon in mockery like the townsfolk did Quasimodo.  Egon retreats on his boat muttering about his stapler and burning down the building.

This will put the brakes on the orgy they had planned.
            The frivolity carries into the evening while the kids do a dance called the Jellyfish. It’s absolute chaos since it looks like a swim/mashed potato/ twist sort of thing that involves arms swaying and no actual choreography was actually used it seems to develop a dance.  A woman decides to leap into the pool and doesn’t see the asshole in a wetsuit with tentacles sewn on.  She is killed and when the monster gets out of the pool another guy is struck down. 

               The Professor takes the poisoned girl into the house and the college kids put the boy on the boat.  They start to take him off the island.  What follows is the most idiotic monster attack I have ever seen on film.  The monster whacks the bottom of the boat with an axe.  Soon the boatful of people realize they are taking on water.  Then the monster uses powers like Aquaman to summon Man o’ war jelly fish to appear and surround them. They look more like plastic grocery bags floating in the swamp water.  The kids panic and abandon ship for some reason and are killed by the Jellyfish and the monster.  Wow!

How the hell do you breath in that?
            Pretty soon we see that the monster is Egon. Way to spoil the obvious ending, movie.  To bad you can see his feet peeking through the wetsuit.  A couple of the girls join the Professor and John to search for Egon at his place.  They can’t find him so one of the girls goes to get some smokes by herself. While she is cornered and killed we are revealed to the killer Jellyfish man’s face finally and it’s awful.  It’s like they just took a dry-cleaning bag and put it over his head with a wetsuit underneath. 

            Now that one of the girls have vanished the other nameless girl, John and the Professor go diving for her in the surprisingly clear swamp. While down there the other nameless girl is killed.  Back at the house where Karen is watching the poisoned girl another nameless girl goes to take a shower only to be killed by the Jellyfish man. 

Remember, the bane of the Jellyfish is the road flare.
            John and Professor show up and see Egon. They tell him to protect Karen while they try to fix the sabotaged radio.  He takes his time alone with Karen to explain that he had to kill those people because they were bad.  She takes this news like a true damsel and faints.  So he kidnaps her and we get a boat chase scene while he takes her to his secret underwater lair. 
            There he huffs some fumes from a tank filled with a Jellyfish specimen to become the Jellyfish man.  John arrives brandishing a flare.  They fight in a very non-dramatic way until John tosses the flare in the tank. I guess this kills him because he falls to the ground and his lair is going to explode.  He tells John and Karen to leave him. They do and he dies with his specimen and we get a big “The End.”

            Wow.  Just wow. It’s not awful but it’s not good by any means. It’s definitely one a person should enjoy by making fun of.  Not taken seriously it can be enjoyed.  The dialogue and the costumes are a joke though so take it for what it’s worth.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Bitten- review with spoilers

This is gonna suck.

            Imagine if for an hour an a half you were a male director and you were given a budget to basically piss and moan about women.  It’d be pretty fucking boring right?  Unless it came up with some great universal truth that hadn’t been discovered in all the other media that covers the subject of relationships it’s been done to death.  So what do you do?  You mask it in a lame story about a vampire woman so that the idea of her sucking the life out of her boyfriend is literal now and not just the sexist metaphor.  And what is the star power for a gem like this?  None other than Jason Mewes, of Jay and Silent Bob fame.

            Yeah this movie is all sorts of shit.  From the cast of nobodies to the script that has stereotypes and sexist generalizations. It’s a movie made by idiots for idiots.  Jason Mewes plays Jack who is a paramedic (ya rly). That works with an old asshole partner named Roger who talks more about shit than most elderly people or people with infants I know.  Jack spends most of his time whining about how his relationships fail and how he is a loser with women.

Tell me of your home world Usul.
            On his way home we see a crude Hindu stereotype manning the convenience store and his land lady is a Chinese stereotype.  It’s so over the top and offensive that they actually put in a GONG sound.  Oh yeah. They went there.  Jack also gets accosted by Bulk and Skull (not their real names, but who gives a fuck.) outside his apartment. Two meth dealing bullies that bumble about like asses, as if that is going to be the best thing this movie will give us. 

This the biggest doobie ever!
            Eventually Jack finds a girl who was obviously bitten lying in a pile of trash. Rather than calling an ambulance like a real paramedic. He takes her home.  Wonder who the fuck bit her?  Hope you enjoy disappointment because it is never brought up at all in this movie. Jack discovers she has some sort of sickness.  Once again instead of immediately calling someone when she is burned horribly when the sun burns her he stares and gets ready for another day of work.

            Then his ex comes over to pick up some things she left.  This is just a reason so that vampire girl can kill and eat her.  Jack comes home and we get a GOOFY cleaning up montage while he wraps her in bubble wrap while clown music plays.  HI-LARIOUS!
This happens to Bulk and Skull as well on separate instances and Jack is more than willing to play body fetcher for his new fling.  Apparently she can’t eat animal blood and packaged blood he steals is no good to her. 

This is for Clerks 2!
            She also brings home a girl from a club one night and this really sets Jack off because everyone else deserved it. I guess he figures that a club-goer is so much more innocent compared to drug dealer or cheating girlfriend. He goes off to walk and think for a while.  HE locks up the vampire girl. He has a heart to heart with his paramedic partner and he comes to realize that women he is with always try to suck the life out of him so he needs to break it off.

            So he does it through a door.  The girl is in tears.  Jack then attempts to kill her, which pisses her off plenty.  She fights hard and his partner, Roger shows up in time to see Jack get bitten.  Roger delivers the killing blows to the girl and agrees to take care of Jack.  In the final credits we see him with a dog collar on licking blood out of a dog bowl and Roger watching.

Some truths can't be hidden.
            Bitter, oh a tad.  Some one was pissed at a girlfriend.  This movie is just a whining attempt to piss and moan about how women are horrible harpies that will kill you.  It’s a really weak movie and it comes off like a cry for help more than a dark comedy.  Jason Mewes should just stick to what he does best, Kevin Smith movies.

Monday, May 16, 2011

My Top 5 Anime shows

     I have a lot of geeky tendencies.  One of which I never really developed was love of anime.  Not being a crazed Otaku never really hindered me but I did have a handful of shows that impressed me when I watched them and followed them pretty regularly.  With that in mind I wanted to share my Top 5 anime shows I enjoyed and recommend them to you if you are looking to expand your horizons.

 5. Trigun- A distant planet is a desert wasteland with a western theme. A young man named Vash the Stampede has a huge bounty placed on his head and is declared a human natural disaster by an insurance agency.  His mysterious past brings trouble wherever he goes but he still brings a message of peace and love despite being the best gunslinger on the planet.
Why you should watch it-It’s pretty silly.  It’s got a real tongue-in-cheek feel to it and yet it still keeps up its moral of pacifism, peace and love despite the constant attacks on Vash’s life.  

 4. Fullmetal Alchemist- Edward Elric and his brother Alphonse made a mistake years ago.  Using alchemy to attempt to bring their mother back to life Alphonse lost his body and his soul is attached to a suit of armor.  Edward lost his arm and leg in the process.  The world they live in is like ours but without the science and instead alchemy is used to get by in day to day life.  Edward and Al now try to learn new ways to develop their skills in order to get their bodies back. 
Why you should watch it- The entire theme is that you can’t get something without giving something of equal value.  The relationship between the Elric brothers is very touching and despite the amount of horrible things that they face they are always together.

3. Death Note- Light Yagami is a teen age genius who comes across a death note, a notebook belonging to a Shinigami (Death god). Whenever he writes a person’s name in the notebook they will die.  The power goes to his head and he uses it to kill criminals.  A genius detective that goes by the name of L goes after him and they begin a dangerous game of cat and mouse.
Why you should watch it- The entire story plays like a wild chess game.  Everyone plays off everyone else really well and in the end it makes for a really well weaved together story.  Three feature films were made in Japan that were based off it. They were okay but the show had a lot more depth to it and lasted a good long while before the exciting conclusion. 

 2. Samurai Champloo- During the Edo period of Japan a young waitress, Fuu, hires two ronin, Mugen and Jin as bodyguards as she goes out in search of a samurai that smells of sunflowers.  Their journeys take them throughout Japan and they face many obstacles including their past. 
Why you should watch it- It’s like taking the stylization of a Kurosawa movie with hip hop art at times. These mixes of modern and Edo stylization really make it a wild and crazy ride.  The character’s interactions with people make it a really worthwhile tale that you really want to last. The soundtrack is also fantastic.

1. Cowboy Bebob- A space western of sorts where an eclectic group of space bounty hunters try to make ends meet in a galaxy that is full of swindlers and criminals.  They face their pasts and the dangers of space in episodes that run the gamut of themes.  
Why you should watch it- Spike Spiegel, Faye Valentine, Jet Black, Edward, and Einstein all are amazing characters. The climax of the series is possibly the loveliest way to end a show.  It’s got tragedy, romance, comedy, and thriller.  They soundtrack is by Yoko Kano and is super memorable.  If you don’t believe me look up the intro on Youtube sometime and it listen to how the mood of a show can blow you out of the water before even starting.  The show had a theatrical movie release as well.  Some folks believe that “Firefly” ripped off the show idea from this source since it’s essentially the same concept.  I tend to think that while it’s a close idea it’s not a total rip off. 

So that is my list of anime shows I enjoy.  There are others outside of this list that is pretty decent.  If you have a chance to watch any of these let me know what you think in the comments.  If you have your own anime shows that you enjoyed let me know what you like.  In the meantime enjoy the shows. 

Sunday, May 15, 2011


            Good god this is a terrible movie.  It’s not as bad as “Legion”.  But it’s still a very stupid movie.  It rips off a ton of movies; mostly, “Blade Runner” and “Star Wars”.  The main characters are terrible in it. However, the side characters, which happen to be decent in other things, Christopher Plummer, Karl Urban, and Brad Dourif should have read this script and knew it was not going to be worth a damn.

I guess when they look like this Team Jacob is the winning team.
            The vampires are a total joke.  They are not human looking at all.  They act like alien monkeys with a hive mentality. They have no eyes and they really poorly computer animated.  Plus, for whatever reason they decided to make them cocoon themselves in the daytime.  It makes them more and more like larger versions of the hell spawn of Dracula in “Van Helsing”.

Made you look!
            I am also amused to no end to see Stephen Moyer as a human that gets killed by vampires in this movie. The irony doesn’t escape me since he spends so much time as the vampire Bill Compton in “True Blood”.  The physics in this movie are insane.  People can leap dozens of feet in the air as if this were “The Matrix”.  They also introduce a lot of items into the story that don’t get any real resolution. 

            On another note I’d like to say whoever taught the film crew that it is a good idea to have the cast shine their flashlights directly into the camera during scenes is an idiot.  Anyone who feels the need to actually blind their audience like that is probably stupid enough to intentionally film with the lens cap on.  Either way, we can’t see shit.

Stop flashing the light on the camera, dingus.
Bottom line is that this movie is a cash-in for a Korean comic book.  It shows very little originality. The dialogue is below par and the characters are forgettable at best.   It’s a pathetic movie that is on par with watching a comedian bomb on stage.  It’s awkward and you want to look away but you paid the money and by god you’ll sit through it even at the expense of your dignity.

Friday, May 13, 2011

Zombie Women of Satan- review with spoilers

Wanna see a magic trick?
           If you enjoy “Shaun of the Dead” or “Fido” this movie will make you want to claw your eyes out.  I have no problem with people who try to making their visions a reality. That is what makes movies great.  But when you have no comic timing and you just want to toss in tits because it’s your burlesque crowd, then we are in Ed Wood territory.  Even though this is a movie from the UK, don’t count on that to class it up one iota.

 You're obviously confused and aroused.
            This movie starts with a clown dancing with topless zombies.  Suddenly we are given scenes of fan dances and intros of our protagonists. None of which are likeable.  The main character is the clown, a rapscallion named Pervo the clown.  So the burlesque freak show gets invited to an internet show for an interview. Mostly, because one of the members of the group is a singer named Skye Brannigan.  Looking at her and hearing her sing I can’t see why in this movie she is famous.  I’d rather have Zap Brannigan around frankly.

            The place for the interview is being held is actually home of a cult of people and a family of oddballs who inject girls with what looks like melted butter to create zombies. Sure that sounds stupid.  I actually took two pages of notes on this piece of cat shit while I tried to figure out why someone would do that.  The family themselves keep girls in states of undress with collars around their necks with letters to identify them.

            As for the family themselves, well the mother is chained up in the basement horny and crazy. The father does the actual experiments and injects the girls and asks them questions.  He believes this will somehow get him a Nobel Prize.  Not sure in what field this benefits humanity though.  His son, Tycho, is busy raping girls, and fucking zombies during this movie.  And the two daughters named Red and Blue are really just there for the body count.

This is what Sarah Palin had in mind when she thought of "death panels"
            Eventually the girls of the cult drink bad punch and go zombie.  So they start bleeding everywhere and touching themselves.  The zombies go nuts and then the killings begin.  The burlesque show’s token little person takes a shit that lasts roughly 20 scenes. Way to class up the movie with highbrow humor.   Pervo the clown never takes off his make up because he is a dipshit and to add to the quality of his character he shows the audience his ass several times as he runs to the woods to jack off. He is, however, able to take several zombies by punching them in the face, which really doesn’t seem bright unless you “kick ass for the lord” (that was a “Dead Alive” reference).
Just run upstairs asshole.

            Pervo accidentally decapitates one of his own team and even fights off a zombie in a wheelchair whose breasts squirt acid.  This is idiotic.  Oh, and there is a subplot about finding Skye’s sister who apparently is a member of the cult.  Enjoy having that bit of exposition pounded down your throat.

There is an interesting choice of having Tycho get it on with a Zombie. Then there’s a shoot out between the family and what’s left of the surviving burlesque troop. The effects are bad and the climax is cliché. The troop leaves and the insane mother runs off gibbering into the woods.

Why the hell is this around? It’s not even campy or clever. It’s not even erotic. It’s a bad movie. Not the worst I’ve seen but it’s really up there. It’s not even so bad it’s good. It’s a movie that is about as cool as a freshly laid turd. Plus, as interesting as the title sounded Satan had NOTHING to do with this movie. This movie is total bollocks.

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Thor- review

Alright Stop!...HAMMER TIME!
Summer movies are kicking off with a big bang. I am at least glad to say “Thor” was actually really good.  The characters are well developed. The action is really done well and the dialogue is fun.  Plus, I can see how this will fit with the canon of the “Avengers” movie as well as tie into the “Iron Man 2” part that most of us caught staying after the credits.

The story is about a hot headed Norse God named Thor, played by Chris Hemsworth.  Who the hell is that? Remember the latest “Star Trek” movie? He was Kirk’s ill fated father.  He is next in line for the throne of Asgard.  But because he is an impetuous youth who really knows only battle his father sees he has a lot to learn.  His brother Loki, played expertly by Tom Hiddleston, is at his side until their father gets them out of a jam with some frost giants. This causes Odin, played by Anthony Hopkin’s to banish Thor to the mortal world and strip him of his powers until he becomes worthy of them again. 

Can you hear the lambs screaming Thor?
This story is would only be so-so if not for the very King Lear relationship Odin has with Loki and the other relationships developed throughout the film.  It really fleshes him out as a villain and makes him understandable.

As for the other relationships, Thor is written really well as a fish-out-of-water character. His relationship with people, as well as relationships to his fellow gods as a man, compared to when he was a mighty god- is amusing throughout the movie.  The way all the relationships of the characters tie in together with the central plot you actually gain a really solid movie that is wildly entertaining.
No shit? You won an Oscar?

            The cast is great in their roles. Though, after seeing “Black Swan,” this performance seems a bit phoned in for Natalie Portman. I guess a girl has got to eat. Kenneth Branagh directs and does a really good job making this story of comic gods seem epic and fun.  If you haven’t seen a decent superhero movie for a while, give this one a try. It’s a really fun ride and a great way to kick off the summer blockbuster season.

Friday, May 6, 2011

Secretary- review

Looks like someone got her Hallmark card for Administrative Professionals Day.
This movie is okay.  The acting is actually pretty damn good.  I think though with fine tuning this movie would have made either one awesome sexploitation movie or one of the coolest scary movies ever.  First off, tip of the hat to James Spader for his portrayal of Edward Grey, who sees his sexual habits and fetishes to be shameful yet can’t seem to escape them.

It sort of reminds me of every inner-monologue you hear from a “Dexter” episode.  He thinks he is doing wrong because of the social taboo so because he can’t control himself he is tormented.  Meanwhile the protagonist Lee, played very well by Maggie Gyllenhaal, is socially awkward and self destructive until they meet and begin their BDSM relationship.

Now without revealing way too much about this movie I will say that there are some plot aspects I was not a fan of.  The ending is almost a storybook style “and she lived happily ever after.”  Which I guess makes the theme “if it makes you happy it can’t be that bad”.  But that is such a trite and shitty theme and audiences DO deserve more from their movies. 

Spader's acting is so sweet. Even the flowers are diabetic
That is sort of why I think the writer should have gone one of two extremes.  One option would be to add scene after scene of sex to it as well and making it a sexploitation flick.  The other would be to make Spader’s character a murdering psychopath which if you watch this performance is pretty spot on. 
            All in all it’s worth a rental.  It’s incredibly dark in its subject material. It covers things like BDSM and cutting so if you are a sensitive movie viewer then it’s likely not your style.  But the acting is solid and if you are open to it you will at least be entertained for the time spent.