Friday, August 21, 2009

Everything in life can be summed up in Venn Diagrams

You can probably infer how I feel about Inglorious Basterds

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

You may have seen this already, but I was entertained.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Soylent green is my kind of people*

 It kind of feels like I'm the only person you know who didn't go see District 9 this weekend. That should come as no surprise though considering the rarity with which I actually go see a new movie. It should also come as no surprise that I would instead watch something that one might consider 'dated' or 'cheesy'. Something like Soylent Green. In fact, it was EXACTLY like Soylent Green because it WAS Soylent Green..

Soylent Green, of course, came out in 1973, so if I say ANYTHING that ruins the movie for you...I'm sorry, but you've had time to see it. Besides, the twist ending is probably one of the best known in sceince fiction.

Soylent Green takes place in New York in 2022. A futuristic world with cars from the 1970's littering every road, no televisions, and 40,000,000 people just in New York City. A horrifying future for sure. Food is in short supply and thus very expensive. Wilted celery is a treat for the rich and meat is all but unavailable. Most of the people eat rations created by the Soylent Corporation. Soylent Yellow and Red are "high-energy vegetable concentrates", but there's a new flavor in town, Soylent Green, which we're told is made of "high-energy plankton". It's quite popular.

Robert Thorn is a police officer. One of the minority in New York who have jobs. He is sent to investigate the murder of William R. Simonson, a wealthy man who gets his head bashed in. Thorn robs the place instead. He takes food and booze and soap and books. This is kind of just what he does. He even jokes about it with his commanding officer.

I liked Soylent Green, quite a bit actually. Which isn't to say that I didn't have a problem with the movie. It kind of meanders, or moseys on over to the big ending. It's a sort of slow moving slice of life in this dystopian future and suddenly, Soylent Green is people. It's an answer to a question that no one was really asking. There's vague mention of a conspiracy of some sort involving the govenor, and they try to get Thorn to stop investigating this murder, but for the first 90 minutes, the story gives you no reason to even wonder if Soylent Green is anything other than plankton. On the one hand, you don't see the twist coming, but on the other hand, it feels a bit sudden, a bit out of the blue.

 *Blatant Futurama reference.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Do you know what I'm excited about?

Season 3 of the internet series The Guild, that's what I'm excited about (btw, this sentence makes NO SENSE if you haven't read the title of the post. it's intentional.)

They just released a song called Do You Want To Date My Avatar? Which is simply awesome. Felicia Day looks amazing and Jeff Lewis as Vork is one of the funniest things in the video.

The Guild's website is down at the moment for maintenance or something, but according to their facebook:

Season 3 launches August 25th on Xbox Live, September 1st on MSN!

Friday, August 07, 2009

Shark Week Day 5: The Return of Lorenzo Lamas

Some movies slip under the radar. They go unnoticed at first. Then, you see it and wonder why. It was such an endearing and enjoyable movie you wonder how no one payed much attention to it. It's a travesty. On the other hand, there comes a movie like Mega Shark vs Giant Octopus. Under the radar? Hardly. I've mentioned it here at least once. I thought it was more than that. I guess not.

By now, if you're on the internet (and you being here tells me you might be) and you're a fan of monster or low budget movies, you've probably heard about this recent opus from The Asylum. This time, they didn't really just try to make a rip off of some new release. No. This time they went ahead and just made a nice little creature feature. The premise is's a movie about a big shark and a big octopus...and the fight. Everything else is superfluous.

The basic gist of it is that due to some...unspecified...experiment (or something) a helicopter doing a sonar test unleashes a big fucking shark and a big fucking octopus from the glacier that they'd managed to get trapped in millions of years ago. They go their separate ways, spreading terror and destruction every where they go, destroying oil rigs, military vessels and at least one 747. Yes, a 747. Ripped from the skies as though it were a big 'fuck you' at Jaws 2 and the destruction of a measly little helicopter.

In the face of such eminent danger, who would you call? If you said 'Former teen pop star/Playboy pictorial star, Debbie Gibson' you win the grand prize of searching Google Images for 'Debbie Gibson Playboy' with safe search turned off. Congratulations.

So Deb gets a chemistry set, mixes up some 'science' with her friends and figures out a way to kill the creatures. Basically, get them together and get out of the way. Thank god for chemistry sets.

The best I can tell you is to just sit back and enjoy the movie. Don't spend your time looking for flaws (you won't have to work hard for that). If you can just sort of sit back and relax and try to just enjoy the sheer ridiculousness of it all, you might just enjoy the movie as much as I did. It's silly, the science makes no sense at all, but it's all kind of fun.

Thursday, August 06, 2009

Shark Week Day 4: Laziness and reruns

I'm going to be completely honest with you. Last night, while I should have been watching some totally awesome shark movie to write about, I went to a baseball game. The good news is that the Tigers won! 4-2 over the Orioles. It was a mostly boring game up until the 8th inning, but Magglio Ordonez had a home run, and like I said, they won. So, it was a lot of fun in the end. After the game I went to the casino and *I* won! So, there was a lot of winning going on last night. Except on the Shark Week front. Which leads me to the bad news.

I really have nothing to write about today. I could have come up with a list of some sort, but I think I've made it pretty clear over the years that I'm not very good at that. I could do a comparison between two sharks, but lets be honest, it's already been done (and a lot better than I could do).

So, I've decided to re-run a review from the original Shark Week. Enjoy.

Let me start by warning you that Spring Break Shark Attack was a CBS made for TV movie. Knowing this myself, I watched it without very high hopes. Obviously the potential for lots of blood and gore and the like would be low. I mean, CBS, right? It's not like it's Fox or something.

And besides, theres a five fin-to-one person shark ratio on the cover! Hello, McFly!! That means carnage!

Danielle is a college student, still living at home with her parents. It's spring break and her friends went down to Florida. Danielle, like, totally wants to go, but her dad is totally harshing her mellow and not letting her go. So, Danielle is all like, 'Well, I go to Habitat for Humanity' and dad is like 'Coo' and Danielle is all like 'Haha, I so lied' and goes to Florida anyways.

Once there, she meets up with her friends. They try on hats, and then go to the beach. I don't get it either, but, hey, whatever. Once at the beach, it's all about pretty people without much clothes on. It's all...very exciting.

Danielle's brother, who looks like a poor man's Luke Wilson, goes to school in the area, or something. Maybe he's a grad student. I wasn't really paying much attention. Whatever he is, he's doing research. On sharks. His research however has left him oblivious to the big fucking sharks swimming around his boat!

How do you miss that?

Come on! It's right fucking there, dude! It almost bit your fucking foot off!

Danielle, while trying to find out where her brother is, meets a dude named Shane. He's a righteous dude. Seriously. Working to save up money for college. Not like these rich kids partying. Nope. He's working.

Danielle kind of digs this dude, but earlier, she met a guy named JT who is a massive douche bag. He seems like the kind of guy who would try to give a girl the roofies to get some, you know?

Well, that confirms THOSE suspicions.

Basically, the non-shark story is that Danielle is a virgin, and JT wants to get some. But Danielle likes Shane because he looks like a poor man's Jason Mewes. I guess. Or maybe it's because he's not some pretty boy like the others. He's 'deep'. He reads books without half naked ladies on the cover. JT, however, doesn't seem to like Shane. But, it's not like an antagonistic hatred, it's like an ambivalence. I don't get it. But, whatever.

They rent a boat from Shane's mom's company, so Shane, reluctantly, takes the gang out to sea. JT wants to go swimming and drags Danielle in, and then the rest of the gang jumps in, but suddenly...blood comes from under the boat, and then...the sharks arrive!! Woohoo!

However, sharks apparently are much like t-rexes in that they don't attack things that don't move, so by staying very still, Danielle survives long enough to get to the boat. That's not good enough though! The boat won't start! And the sharks aren't really leaving! OMG! What ever will they do!

Shane, luckily, gets the boat started, but it's broke and they'll never make it back to shore. There's an island nearby, though, so they head there for the night.
The sharks follow.

Meanwhile, elsewhere on the ocean, Danielle's brother is finding a lot of half-eaten sea turtles. And the kids find themselves a half eaten human!

He used to be JT's friend. Aw. Now he's leftovers.

Shane manages to get the boat going again and get them back to shore, but he also brought...some friends.

By friends I, naturally mean a metric shit ton of sharks.

And look! Lunch is ready! It's up to our three young adults to save the day now. Because, god forbid the authorities get involved or anything. Nope. 3 kids without a clue are going to save the beach!

But, not one will save JT. He's lunchmeat.

The kids manage a pied piper type strategy with a trail of fish guts to lead the sharks back out to sea, where they'll have to find a way to stop them from coming back to the beach!

This wasn't what I would call a great movie, by any means. But, it was fun. It could have been a hell of a lot worse. The story isn't very good, but you get to watch a bunch of kids who are better looking than you get killed by sharks. And while, as I said earlier, it's not very gory, there is a fair amount of blood around. Think about it though, Jaws wasn't exactly gory. It's kind of a goofy movie, made primarily to cash in on some vaguely familiar faces and a string of shark attacks a couple years ago. I'm okay with that though. And while the kids are playing archetypes as opposed to people, again, I'm okay with that. You have your virgin/heroine, the outsider/hero, the asshole/jerk. These are the characters that have been in every teen movie ever. You know what's going to happen before it begins, but it's still not bad. It's mindless, but not offensively so. It's worth a watch with a couple beers on a Friday night, that's for fucking sure.

Wednesday, August 05, 2009

Shark Week Day 3: Nothing says quality like Lorenzo Lamas

Years ago, prior to it's US remake, I'd heard about a Japanese horror movie called Dark Water. I looked everywhere I could for a copy of it. Eventually, I asked a relative to try to find it for a Christmas gift. And, in the ultimate case of 'close but not close at all', I received a copy of the Lorenzo Lamas shark-fest Dark Waters. There are some subtle differences between the two.

For example, Dark Waters is about genetic engineering and better living (and by living I mean warfare) through science. A boy's search for his father. And a rag tag couple of con artists searching for Atlantis.

On the other hand, Dark Water is about...i don't remember. A haunted apartment with a leaky roof or something. It's been a while since I watched it.

We aren't here to talk about that, though. No. We're here because I actually watched Dark Waters so many years after receiving it as a thoughtful gift. And you know what? It was a fairly enjoyable flick.

Sure, on it's surface, genetic research, long lost relatives, con artists, sharks and Lorenzo Lamas seems to be a lot to take in. How could the director possibly pull off such a tour de force? Poorly it turns out. The movie borders somewhere between Completely Unbelievable Land and the Predictabilityville.

Somehow though, in the end, it's still kind of enjoyable in a 'hey this isn't nearly as bad as you'd think' kind of way. It's no Raging Sharks (which I apparently like a lot more now than I did then. I guess that's what repeat viewing does for a person) or Raptor Island, sure. Really though, how could anything else reach for those kind of heights?

Tuesday, August 04, 2009

Shark Week Day 2: Sharkidiles

So here's the deal dude. We're gonna totally go out to this tropical island and surf. I know, I'm stoked. There's more though. Get this, this island. Surrounded by sharks. Sweet, right? We're gonna chum the water and rile 'em up. And, bro, we're gonna film it. Blood surfing, dude. So sweet.

Admitedly, I have no idea how to talk like a surfer. I grew up in the Midwest. What do you want?

With a premise like that, though, Blood Surf seems like it'd be an awesome shark movie. Until you find out more.  The surfers and a photog and a douche bag go to this island and start filming. And things go mostly well. Everyone is all excited. Until people start to die.

People like the kind boat captain and his wife, and his daughter. No one really cares. 

Imagine this. You got to the island on a boat. It's been sunk. There are 'remains' in the water. Your amazing footage was on the boat, it's at the bottom of the bay. You're stranded. What do you do? If you said 'Dive in and search for the tape'. You win today's prize of having your ass chewed off by a crocodile. Congratulations. You deserve it.

Yeah, you see, there's not just sharks in there water. There's a giant croc. A croc so big Steve Irwin would've pissed his khaki shorts. And it at the boat. And the captain. And his wife. And their daughter. And then the pirates who tried to capture the surfers.

Luckily, there's one man who can save them...Captain Goddamn Ahab, or Dirks as he was called in the movie. Dude's hell bent on revenge after the croc ate his passengers some time back (show in dramatic fuzzy flashback). He's going to kill that croc or die trying. Along with him is his strangely antisocial girlfriend. She's a little tough to's kinda bitchy to everyone and it's not really explained.

So...Ahab's revenge brings them back to the island. In a dead boat. And short one surfer. No one is too upset though. In all honesty. no one gets too upset when ANYONE dies. They have a pretty cavalier attitude about it all. Hell, when Mr Douche Bag dies, right in front of their eyes, no one gets upset...they just have quips ready to go.

Once ashore, they have to make for the ruins, with the croc giving chase.They make it though, and what happens then, you ask? The girls taunt the croc with their tits. know...crocs care. THEY AREN'T EVEN MAMMALIAN! Crocodiles don't see any appeal in your breasts. None. At all!

People died throughout the movie, and no one is ever that bothered. It's weird. All of these characters...and none of them have anything resembling human emotions.

You know what though? It's a fun movie.

It's cheesy and the acting is awful. The characters choices are unlikely to make any sense. You know what though, that's kind of why it's fun. You're almost just rooting against everyone. The entire time. My biggest complaint about the movie is the running time. Cut out the pirates (who add nothing to the story) and some of the shark stuff in the could tell this story in a well paced hour. It's biggest problem is that it just takes too long to build up to anything.

Monday, August 03, 2009

Shark Week: Day 1 of Terror

Without knowing much about it, 12 Days of Terror. Feels remarkably like Jaws. It's a simialr formula. Shark attacks swimmer. Officials down believe it's a shark, so the beaches stay open and another person dies, thereby redeeming the Brody-type character. Next, the town goes shark crazy and an attempt is made to capture the shark. There's a crazy hunter, a boat captain, your Brody and a scientist involved in all of this.

There's a lot of similarites. And, it makes it feel very formulaic.

Here's the thing though, 12 Days of Terror is based on actual events. Back in 1916, when men were men and swimmers all wore onsies, there was a series of attacks along the Jersey shore.  These attacks laid the groundwork for what became Peter Benchley's novel, Jaws. Of course the movie of the same name was based on the book. So, the story of 12 Days of Terror feels so Jaws-like because it was the basis for Jaws. Of Course, movie-wise,  Jaws came first, so 12 Days of Terror feels incredibly derivative. It's all very circular.

The movie was a made for TV movie, for The Discovery Channel no less. Strangely, that seems to mean that the budget is a bit higher than many of the other shark movies I've watched over the years. Not to mention, easy access to shark stock footage!

John Rhys-Davies is the best known of the cast. I don't get him though, as an actor. He's done movies like Raiders of the Lost Ark, and  Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade and all 3 Lord of the Rings movies! And yet, he keeps slumming it in movies like this and Chupacabra Terror. It makes you think that someone has some good blackmail on him somewhere. He should be above this kind of fare.