Chronologically. You will see 2001: A Space Odyssey below Highlander.
Fuck the catchy catchphrase, the redundant redundancy, and the trailer. We're diving in straight off the bat, against the grain man! I mean, what am I supposed to talk about here? You know what, fuck the review. FUCK THE REVIEW. We're doing something different here. Let me tell ya a lil' story boys and gals, grab your beef jerky and bacon strips because this one is going to be a nail biter! Now, I think it's very well known my credentials. It says it on my resume. I'm on a Boat, I have a Spaceship, I am a Man, I'm Batman, etc, etc., I forget some of my catchphrase from a year ago, I, Da Ca$hman, and I'M....AAAAWWWEEESOOOMMEE.
Well, recently added to my resume was the fact that I have a Time Machine. It's our garage. Yeah, take that Marty McFuck and you Einstein Wanna-Be. Your CAR might be a time machine, but my entire GARAGE IS A TIME MACHINE. Using this Time Machine, I went backwards in time to my birth time, 1995. I wanted to see my birth, ya know? Now, the story of my birth is funny in it's own right, but I had seen it before. I did notice a lot of differences in 1995. So I decided to go around and explore. Now, I was born in a certain place Stephen King used to live in. Being that, I went over to C.U. and decided to socialize.
I hung around the Museum, which seemed even more pathetically barren than it is today, and came across one of the students. He noticed I was only 16. He inquired what I was doing here. "Well, my mo-m-mmmootorcyle is being repaired in town and I decided to stop by." (I realized then I had no idea how Boulder, Colorado actually looked on a map.) We talked a little more. I found out his name was Drew Goddard. He was earning a major in film studies. We talked a little more about what we liked in movies. "One of my favorite movies is C-c-c-Casablanca." This was rather embarrassing considering A. I was about to say Cloverfield; and B. I still haven't seen White House.
Regardless, he was impressed with my choice and we didn't need to discuss it further. By the end of the day Drew had some sort of idea what kind of movies I loved. Actually, "sort sort" is an understatement. By the time I re-enterd 2012 he had the exact depiction. You wanna know which TWO movies he's made?! TWO, AND ONLY TWO. BUT TWO.
*Drum Roll please.*
CLOVERFIELD, AND THE CABIN IN THE WOODS
MAN, FUCK IT. FUCK HUNGER GAMES, FUCK CITIZEN KANE, FUCK AVATAR, CABIN IN THE WOODS IS WHERE IT'S AT.
Don't look up any plot points. See the movie only knowing the poster and the title.
Where the fuck did the Medusa head go?
Vanishing Titan heads fuck the world. Anyways. Today is the final entry in the Titanthon, at least for now. According to The Ultimate Source of Information: WIKIPEDIA, that the writers of this movie have been signed on for a third installment. Which makes sense, but that has to do with spoilers so I'll save that for the end. This film takes place at least a decade after the original film. Which kinda bugs me but it's not a bid deal. Perseus now has a kid, an awesomely Jewish mullet, and lives on the shores of Greece. I would enjoy that life myself. Still there's no mention that Perseus is actually Poseidon's son but...whatever. I guess this is their story, not the original story.
Sam Worthington revives the character of Perseus. Now of course, since he's a Family Guy (ya know what, pun intended), he has to be humble. But remember my consensus of his acting before? Yeah. He can only play one actor, that mix of Batman, the Alligator Hunter and "fuck you, I'm eating." Now director Jonathon Liebesman is - apparently - telling the dude to be more humble and more emotional, less like a teenager like in the movie. This makes complete script sense, it's just you got the wrong guy. Sam has gotten a major facelift and new hairdo anyways, why the hell not replace him? Nobody would care really, it's not like he was any good in the first one.
And that's coming from a guy who actually likes the first one. Jonathon is obviously not the greatest director, and I blame him for the biggest mistake in this film. His filmography includes The Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Beginning, Battle: Los Angeles, and the upcoming Ninja Turtles (or as some are calling it Teenage Alien Ninja Turtles. My question is will they even be teenage?) In a movie like this is which is supposed to be just a fun monster clash, there is a very hard to balance amount of plot to action ratio. It's supposed to be more plot, but be careful.
The first movie might have had a little too much plot, but not so much to really be worth mentioning. This film, is a different story. There's really not enough plot at all. It is the equivalent of watching a PlayStation 3 game. (The 360 shall not be acknowledged in existence.) Literally. We're not even talking Metal Gear Solid or anything like that where the cutscenes are huge, we're talking like inFAMOUS or something. I'm gonna go for something. The plot points are no more than a dozen and more than likely much less, maybe 7 or 8, spanning no more than 10 minutes. Maybe the very beginning has much more talk, but ain't that the way we start off every story-based game? Lots of talking?
The movie is nonstop action. The problem is not the action itself, though I'll get to that later. The real problem is the repetitiveness. Where we get tired of seeing the same thing over and over. I love action, that's why I don't want it to be exploited, because exploitation causes spoiling. I mean, I don't know how much more to drive this point home, you guys can think right? Anyways. How are the fighting sequences granted their repetition is subtracted. Well, remember how I described the action scenes from it's predecessor? The best of a Greek sword fight, a WCW Nitro Brawl and a well designed Montage? Well, the good news, is that this is intensified.
The bad news. The camera man didn't take his medication. Seriously, I dunno what was going on with Ben Davis (Hannibal Rising, Stardust, Kick-Ass, The Rite, The Debt), but apparently he doesn't know how to handle a camera. First off, there can be shots where you're not moving all over the fucking place. But that's not a good illustration. Here's a good illustration. Jonathon told Ben that "we're going to film a giant video game, like all my other films." So Ben took this too literally, and put himself in the position of filming a video game he didn't have the script for from the point of view inside the game map, no TriPod granted. This. Camera. Sucks.
Remember how Hades made a surprise debut in Clash 2 years ago? Yeah, the Final of the Trilogy, Poseidon makes his debut in this movie. But don't worry, he DIES before my spoiler cut-off. How the fuck does that work? Poseidon? Dies? Yes, they do introduce the prospect of Gods dying in this movie, but don't really explain anything. Granted they never explained any God Damn thing to begin with, it is a Fantasy movie...but still, be nice if I understood what the hell is going on 'round here.
Overall, WOT2 is an okay film. It goes Michael Bay on us in comparison to the previous installment, degenerates the camera, has a plot that makes even less sense, and does nothing to improve any problems in the acting department. 3/5. Now for some discussion on a possible trilogy, SPOILERS AHEAD.
In COT2-V.2, we saw Humans separating themselves from the Gods. In this film, there was exhibition of the result, that being that their power was being lost. Several Gods actually died. In the next film, I speculate that we will see the end of the Gods as we know it. It will attempt to explain a Godless Universe with a reality of Gods at the same time. But we'll have to wait a couple years for that movie to show up.
I, Da Ca$hman, singing off.
Fuck The Rock, we have Captain Nemo BITCHES!
SyFy Channel and The Asylum Productions flows our way once again! For those who don't know of The Asylum Productions, let me give a quick lesson. They make a lot of money off of ripping off other movies, for the sake of ca$h (or c. for short). They've done King of the Lost World c. King Kong; War of the Worlds c. War of the Worlds c. War of the Worlds c., Battle of Los Angeles c. Battle: Los Angeles, Snakes on a Train c. Snakes on a Plane, Street Racer c. Speed Racer, Vampires vs. Zombies c. Freddy vs. Jason, Alien vs. Hunter c. Alien vs. Predator: R, THREE different 2012 films; it's insane. This is their latest creation, Jules Verne's The Mysterious Island c. Journey 2: The Mysterious Island.
And would you fucking believe it, SyFy actually did something right, outside of pure cheesy awesomeness? I'll get to that later, but there's one thing that they did very honorably. This is actually pretty damn close to the Jules Verne story. I don't know how much since I haven't read it, but I can tell you several details that are kept from the book that Journey 2, another thing I have not witnessed, would not have kept in. First off, the main characters are people escaping from The Civil War, fighting for The Union. They name the island Lincoln Island, of course after Abe Lincoln who they were fighting for.
Then comes the out of place house, that just so happens to be Captain Nemo's house! (It's telegraphed the whole way through, it's not a spoiler.) And fuck yes, Captain Nemo. This detail is also from the novel. Also, the Pirates from the novel, while they are talked about sparingly and only seen once, are present....then things start to differ from the novel. First off, an airplane from July 4th, 2012 (I am so getting on that plane), arrives at the island, with two modern like women....eh, it's a SyFy Movie, it's okay to call 'em chicks or even bitches. That's how they portray them.
And when they get there, as they describe the future (is that really a good idea) they basically slap the face of the one confederate soldier. Awesome. Captain Nemo is where things really start to get odd. I wasn't writing what he said down, so this isn't exact. But he essentially says "Time works differently on the Ocean, so if I could find enough energy in a concerted area I could change the gravitational pull of time in order to travel through time, so I invented a nuclear-hydrogen engine to time travel, and lost my clue being attacked my giant squids, so I used the engine and instead of traveling I created this accursed island which is Lost in Time." If you're confused as fuck, you're not alone.
Our leading lady then sums it up for us, saying "So you created the Bermuda Triangle with a Hydrogen Bomb?" If this doesn't put a mile wide grin on your face for this movie, I hope adding a Giant Octopus, a Volcano as large as the view of The Rocky Mountains from Boulder, and Cannibalistic Insane Pirates dressed up as Grassy Bigfoots will help. So uuuuughh....what? Oh, and check out Triassic Attack too, it was the thing that played before this movie and features a Tyrannosaurus Rex-Pterodactyl-Skeleton hybrid! Honestly those things, and the plot holes, are the reasons why SyFy+Asylum is so fun.
But otherwise, of course it's a bad movie. I kind of wish there were more creatures, but I get the emphasis is on their suffering, so that's easily forgivable. The acting of course is stale as fuck, everybody is just their little stereotypical selves and doesn't care about anything. Captain Nemo was pretty cool, but I might just be saying that BECAUSE HE'S CAPTAIN NEMO GOD FUCKING DAMMIT. The CGI and...actual practical effects (HUH?!)...were pretty horrible. The Grassy Bigfoots look like Halloween Costumes. Guys, if you're going to do practical effects like you should, make sure it actually looks good like the effects of the day of the past.
The pacing is really off, of course. The entire movie is spent on getting off the island, which I understand. But in between that there is one threat. I don't like side stories, but the progress they make within the time this movie runs (not helped by commercials) is just so tedious. It's like they had a 20 minute movie idea and made it 2 hours. Cinematography and Atmosphere? What you come to expect of SyFy. Very stale, angles don't vary, and the lighting is always the same except for day-to-night. Editing is really bad, the cuts are the work of a college student most of the time. I wouldn't be surprised if this was a college student shooting this!
All in all, it's a SyFy movie. If you're in the mood for something weird and so-bad-it's-good, but can accept it's not gonna be that exciting, check this movie out. Otherwise, you can actually make yourself smarter and read the book! 3/5
I, Da Ca$hman, singing off.
(The Next Day)
....WHAT DO YOU MEAN IT'S NOT AN ASYLUM MOVIE!??!
It's called telling physics to go fuck itself!
So on Facebook, I asked all 362 of you fine machine accounts what movie I should see this weekend. And I actually got 7 of you to answer. While Blaze The Movie Fan and RhinoKlox answered Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance, a clear winner of 5 won with the support of Arm Leg Gamer, The Trax Productions, and 3 other guys my memory cannot come up with right now, was Chronicle. And you guys did not let me down. Before entering this movie, I was kind of wondering "how in all of holy hell are they going to do a Cloverfield style movie about kids with super powers?
Well they...actually kind of cop-out with the whole found footage thing. The main character Andrew, who I will get to you can betchyur ass, is carrying a camera around the whole movie. Then, there's also this chick who's recording everything for her bolg. Not her blog, her bolg, as far as I'm concerned. She does not fight hard style. It's never really explained what her bolg is about, something involving charity I guess? Then they use security cameras in buildings, helicopter cameras, other people recording what's going on for no reason whatsoever, and sometimes it is just flat out normal film style cinematography.
Yeah, for as much as people like to complain about how found footage movies have some sort of contrived way to make it so the guy is recording everything, this movie can't even keep it's own contrived explanation straight! Which, I will get onto now. Dane DeHaan, who's two highlights are True Blood and Law & Order, plays Andrew. And here is where both the film's highlight and only true downfall come into play. Andrew is a kid who's in horrible living conditions. His father is abusive and drunk all the time, and his mother is dying. So he starts filming the movie, because, I quote "I want a barrier between me and everything else."
The Book. It's a very good book. Very interesting section on film. Has a lot of old tricks. One of those old tricks goes "show, don't tell." MOVIE. Or should I say inexperience director Josh Trank. Have you watched good movies before? There are so many possibilities to have shown this artistically. Even if it was just Andrew saying "I don't wanna be around you...I don't want to be around anyone. But you're always coming to me." Later in the movie we get some stuff like that, but it's too late, Josh has already done the obvious. The other thing that's really bad kind of contradicts what I said before.
Where's my back story? I agree on show don't tell. But do remember to SHOW. I could easily snap in a scene where Steve (who I'll get to later) visits Andrew's house, and goes through his journal or something like that. Maybe even Andrew shows that journal to the camera in the very beginning because of his obsession to document everything, as if it's "serving a purpose." But instead we're just thrown into the fray without getting to know this person at all. It pains me to say this even more, considering this character will possibly be my favorite character of 2012.
Or at least so I would hope. I already told you he basically likes nobody and has a shitty life where nobody likes him. Well, basically, I won't spoil anything, but he never lets go of that. And he takes it to every level imaginable. To the point where...well, that would be a spoiler, wouldn't it? I did feel like sometimes Andrew was too much like that, like they were trying to drive the point past home and into the living room. Andrew is a human being right, he likes social contact? I can understand he doesn't like people, and that's all fine and dandy. But he does like to be around things, like actual human beings, right?...RIGHT?
Yeah, the script writer Max Landis - who has had experience only with short films before - tries way too hard at times to TELL US things. But despite his many flaws, he's a very interesting character. Out of all the characters, I think Steve is the most well put together despite maybe not being my favorite. He's a kid who's both extremely smart - going to be president one day - and he's also really able to have fun. My type of guy. Oh if only....well, can't spoil that, can I? He's played by Michael Jordon. Yes, you read that right. Only not Michael Jeffrey Jordon, the basketball player; his name is Michael Bakari Jordon.
He has pretty much one movie under his belt, Red Tails, which I've heard is not all that great. Well...yes and no. But that's for a later day. He was also on Law & Order, but at this point everybody has been! 20 Seasons man! Anyways, I like his character a lot. Andrew and Matt - the third of the trio - are on polar opposite sides of the spectrum, while Steve is a balance. I like that. I like that a lot. Speaking of Matt, he's kind of a thing. He's played by Alex Russel, again another guy with absolutely no experience! What the fuck! He's the completely social, very fun loving, and I like that. But he doesn't really get enough screen time and sometimes he is serious, so...I don't know. I felt like he needs more tightening.
Otherwise, I'm not 100% sure what to talk about. I can't talk about the cinematography or soundtrack, since it is a found footage movie. The editing, well...that's kind of odd to talk about too. I'll say the camera fucking up was kind of overkill, but nothing horrible. I think in the end, we all have "our" found footage movies. The gimmick works like utter genius, but only once. So the first one you like will probably be one of your favorites. Some people, let's say James Rolfe, have The Last Broadcast as their own. Some, like me and Chris Stuckmann, have Cloverfield as their own. There was several people who have Blair Witch Project and Paranormal Activity as their own. I wonder if this will be anybody's own. It sure looks that way from the comments on the trailer. For what it's worth, I give it a 4.5/5.
I, Da Ca$hman, singing off.
The question is not whether or not they made this movie especially for me, the question is why was there no mention of Lon Chaney Sr.?
So The Oscar NOMZ finally came out and, like King’s Speech last year, I decided to lend my hand to the bribed snobs. Fortunately, this year I decided to deck myself upon FAR better results than last year’s choice. Both in this film and Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close. The film opens up with the background from the credits of King Kong. And I was already extremely giddy. They continue to list the credits in the exact way a classic films from the 20’s and 30’s with pizzas would introduce the film’s workers. And for every classic style that didn’t have pizzas, well that comes at a later point in the film.
Seeing the phrase “The Players” on the screen in the theatre was a real treat for me. The movie opens up in 1927 and follows strictly silent filmmaker George Valentin throughout the 5 year timespan into 1932. Strictly four select years, 1927, 1929, 1931 and 1932. Those were definitely the right years too. 1927 was when the first full length Talkie film, The Jazz Singer, came into fruition. In 1929 was when Lon Chaney Sr. was filming a film called Thunder, where he breathed artificial snow made into his lungs, thus causing a severe infection which led to his death in 1930.
1931 was the best choice. First off, the first sound Horror film, Dracula, was debuted during this year. Also in that year was Charlie Chaplin’s last fully-planned for silent film, City Lights. His next movie would be silent but planned as sound. It was also the year after Chaney Sr.’s death, and the year after the now known time when sound took over silent film. 1932 isn’t as huge of a deal, but it is notable that Santa, Mexico’s first homemade talkie, was released that year. Now that we’ve covered the simple trivia, let’s actually cover the fucking movie!
This film is mostly done in silent format, with a few exceptions. When I watch silent films normally, maybe due to my lack of patience, I typically wonder why there weren’t a few more interstitials. Maybe the audiences just wanted to be thrilled back in the day, but whatever. I still think that more dialogue should be implemented. So of course the right thing to do is to have as few interstitials as possible, RIGHT?!?!?...The pain of recognizing the faults of a movie I wish to call my favorite. I suspect this choice was done for flow, and believe me this movie flows, but if there was a little more emphasis on dialogue maybe it would have actually flowed better.
Let me also state that the interstitials, when they appear, are used extremely cleverly. Let’s just say, watch out for Mick Foley’s catchphrase. So the actors don’t get to use their voice much per say. And you can tell these are guys who are not used to expressing themselves through facial expressions as much as the great Chaney Sr., Charlie Chaplin and John Barrymore. But they had a good director with them. The characters in this film are all oldie characters we recognize and love with their charm, but cleaned of any undesired arcane. Except for Jack. Jack is George’s dog. And he is the opposite. He is a stereotype which I take no liking to or charm and is filled with undesired arcane.
He is the typical dog who is always there for laughs and cutes, and the one “dog saves the day” completely unrealistic, overtly emotional and asinine moment that saves the director from having to take an actual risk and portray an overly depressing ending that could have the audience feeling dismally sympathetic for our main protagonist. Now that I’m done being a total stuck-up, let’s move on! The soundtrack is decent. It borrows from a few films (I’m looking at you Alfred Hitchcock) but is mostly original; however while is the charming sculpture of the silent era is not cleaned up of undesired arcane.
The camera work is clever in that it never is dull, but is the typical camera angles you would see from a film of that era. Although maybe closer to the actor/actress’ face, why that didn’t happen much in older films is strictly beyond me. Not to give too much away, but the way that they do use sound very rarely in the film is also extremely clever. In the silent movies, occasionally when there is no soundtrack playing on the same track as the soundtrack will have slight sounds such as a glass being placed on a table. In The Great Train Robbery, they replaced any musical score with an actual human voice narration. Let’s just say, if you’re used to that kind of thing…they have you fooled.
As much as I hate to say it, I think I better wrap this thing up. An extremely clever love letter to silent cinema with a compelling dramatic narrative that would entertain any modern audience member in addition; though it is a film with a couple glaring flaws. I give it 5.27/5 (can’t give it a 5.30…)
I, Da Ca$hman, singing off.
The 10th entry in The Request-A-Thon, requested by RhinoKlox
So a movie Rated R for brutal violence, taking place a long time ago in a land not so far away, directed by the guy who did Minotaur, and the film was based on a script that never turned into a film. Yeah, this doesn’t sound like Caligula at all, does it? Oh well, maybe it won’t have as many instances of incest or penis euphemisms and appearances. Only brief nudity, according to the MPAA. Originally beginning promotion at the 2008 Cannes Film Festival, Ironclad originally had a very large budget, with starts like Paul Giamauti and Meghan Fox attached to it, it was planned as a Robin Hood type big budget historical action movie.
Oh that’s another good sign…*sighs.* But the next year, Fox decided she had to do whore out and be in Transformers 2. So Warner Bros. was like, “you ain’t got no bread, you don’t get no bread.” So the budget went from the usual $XYZ.Q Million used to make a movie to $25 Million. So then Jonathon English, our writer and director, said “well fuck you! We’re taking our asses to Wales if that’s the way you want it. And we will make the biggest independent production in that country in HISTORY! We’ll be heroes while you get a few more Netflix rentals and a few theatre tickets.” And then, there was beer. And then, there was this movie. And then, there was my review. Let’s doet.
I don’t know if I’m feeling extra geeky today, but instead of talking about something a little more substance based like acting or dialogue per usual; today we’re gonna start with some more technical stuff. First, the camera work. David Eggby is our camera man, and has a very underwhelming filmography. The first two on his list are acceptable, Pitch Black (a Chronicles of Riddick entry, sort of a love it or hate it thing), Mad Max (oh we all know my history with that movie, despite a 95% on RT.) Then he’s done a lot of throw-away horror and sci-fi flicks you’ve never heard of, such as Virus, The Blood of Heroes, Fortress and Warlock.
I still think that’s acceptable, but that’s MY standards. I’m a 16 year old who’s favorite movie is Cloverfield. Then the list takes a really big swerve downwards. Scooby-Doo, The Marine, and Racing Stripes. Yeah, okay, this guy’s a shit camera man clearly by his filmography. His background aside, miracles do happen, so how is it in this movie? It’s awful. The camera never actually stops. During scenes of fighting, the shaky cam is literally the product of the movie I just called my favorite, Cloverfield. It makes the action scenes from The A-Team look stable. It gave me a headache every time there was a fighting scene.
I’m not just talking about the climatic army fights either, which they are prominent in this film. Every time there is physical action with malicious or friendly-malicious intent, the picture is no longer clear and is instead a giant frame of wipes and pixels. When there is a lack of physical action, the camera still obnoxiously pans and scans and zooms. And I’m watching this in widescreen so clearly it was the product of Eggby. Yeah, David has no freaking idea how to handle a camera. Now let’s talk about something else. The editing. This time, we actually have somebody with talent on our hands.
Peter Amundson has worked on either editing or SFX for people such as George Lucas, Steven Spielberg and Roland Emmerich, on products such as The Empire Strikes Back, Raiders of the Lost Ark, Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan, Poltergeist, Return of the Jedi, Mortal Kombat, Dragon: The Bruce Lee Story, Godzilla, Blade II, The Butterfly Effect, Hellboy, Underworld: Rise of the Lycans, and Gamer. Yeah, that’s a REALLY nice resume if I do say so myself. And now I shall draw you out of the good, happiness of talent and bring us back to our severely procrastinated and bloated doom, which is the fact that the editing sucks pretty bad.
There’s nothing of artistic integrity, but like I said in my review of House of Wax, sometimes just the subtleties can make the difference. In addition to no artistic integrity, Peter shows us a lack of understanding of this even after working on these previously mentioned films and hopefully observing their techniques. To illustrate, there’s a small conversation where somebody asks “And what does that make you…worthless.” The pause represented by … that audiences are pretty used to seeing that was created for the sake of dramatic effect, is cut in half in that sentence. And those are the anomalies that occur at the very least every 5 minutes in this movie that make it look very unprofessional. Or, to shorten this whole ramble into one sentence: the editor is too quick to cut. Wonder if Ray Johnson was holding Peter hostage while he wrecked the cutting of this movie. Possibility?
So, let’s talk about some more of the substantial things. For instance, how’s the narrative? The way the movie is told….let me reenact the basic outline of the first 47 minutes of the film, which scene changing marked with slashes. Cliché narration with the lines “nobody remembers what happened next” automatically making the movie fell unimportant and giving us no reason to care/”We got our Kingdom back. Let us look epic aside a beach.”/Gory action scene/”John might want his Kingdom back.”/Gory action scene/”John REALLY wants his Kingdom back.”/Gory action scene./”We are assassins and we are here to tell you John wants his Kingdom back before we kill you.”/Gory actions scene./”I am King John and I want my Kingdom back!”/Gory action scene.
This right here will pass with a pretty nice grade for a narrative structure that is intended to make the audience not care. But now, we FINALLY get to something positive! RhinoKlox during Biology Class, when we were discussing which movies he wanted me to review, when we got to Ironclad he said “I mean, this doesn’t have a lot in the way of story, but in terms of action this stuff is REALLY good.” And while he forgot to mention any technical aspect of this movie is also to be thrown away (how does the guy who worked on The Empire Strikes Back fuck up that bad?)
Not a single word of his sentence was false…truly. I think the action scenes are some really good stuff. It helps by the fact there are a lot of army vs. army battles, and all of them making sense (as opposed to Highlander which had army vs. army battles halfway for the helluvet.) I don’t know much about close choreography in physical arts (dancing, boxing, wrestling, karate, MMA, etc.) but I can tell you nobody’s boring. Lots of high power moves, lots of weapons such as spears and arrows, even huge logs, everything in the fights just screams POWER. It screams power, aggression, ruthlessness, malicious intent!. And I would think that’s good, since it is FIGHTING! Fight hard style! Don’t take a shit if you don’t have to, see the futures in balls, and live like a windrammar as you fuck! That’s the philosophy this movie’s choreographer lives by!
I’d also like to mention that the atmosphere in this film is probably the best thing here and is a showstopper. The film is a mix of very light, faded, cold blues, that seem to resemble ice, which would symbolize the coldness of the Dark Ages; however again a very light form of faded cold blue, that shows that this movie is exhibiting one of the turning points from The Dark Ages to The Renaissance; lots of reds which are not used directly in the atmosphere, but most objects are either painted or stained red, hoping to resemble the bloodshed in those wars; lastly note the abundance of darker, thicker, may I even say slimier reds and browns as opposed to brighter and happier forms of those colors, to represent the conditions in which it was to live in in The Dark Ages, tedious, exhausting, and deadly.
Another awesome thing in this movie is the villain, King John, played by the one cast member I actually recognized, Paul Giamatti. Odd to choose a man well versed in comedic entertainment to play a villain in quite the dark film, but lezdoet! King John is basically a bomb. At first, he attempts to conserve his energy in order to win the battle, even as every single one of his people is insulting him every chance they get and hoping to hang him. Eventually it comes down to the explosion. If his rage was to be measured in earthquake magnitude, the number would be around Sumatra 2004.
And even if I cannot agree with him, his point of view is something relatable. This is the truth as to how he sees it, he believes himself higher than every other troglodyte in his Kingdom. Another way I could put it, is if Rowdy Roddy Piper had a rivalry with Hulk Hogan, and didn’t get on the microphone once, until WrestleMania, where he completely unloaded on him about backstage politics, and how he kissed up to McMahon, and how he’s the stereotypical American Hero and how American sucks, all with the Roddy Piper style mic-work. That’s King John in a nutshell for ya!
Well, time to wrap things up. This movie balances itself out. It has an incoherent and shit narrative, beyond amateur editing, actors that are literally nothing to talk about, and overtly ugly cinematography; but on the other hand has a great villain, spectacular atmosphere, and much hard fights tells! I don’t know in what situation I would recommend this film, but it won’t be hard. 3.4/5
I, Da Ca$hman, singing off. Next time on The Request-A-Thon: Hopefully what I promised the last time!
It’s time to review my movie.
I congratulate you if you stuck through all of that. Seriously, you are one resilient person.
So essentially here’s what happened. Back in Freshman L.A., we were originally slated to read The Odyssey by Homer [Simpson] in its entirety. But then we were a horrible class. So, instead, because we’re SO GOOD about getting our work in on time, she decided to give us a couple of weeks to make a movie out of one of the chapters. The thing was supposed to be, say, 3 minutes long? With crappy props and maybe even puppets? Ya know, typical school projects? Yeah, here’s what happened with MY movie: First, I decide to translate the thing to, yes maybe modern speech, but still at a higher level of modern speech.
The entire script comes out at 19 pages, and both dialogue and action spread across the page. I wait until the last couple of days until it’s due to start FILMING. So I rush to film it, and I film it in front of a greenscreen. Cast member Amazingly Powerful was SUPPOSED to let me use his Sony Vegas to convert it, but instead we wound up with just a greenscreen in the back. And occasionally my arm….yeah. Oh, and as far as costumes go, Amazingly Powerful and Banana Monkey King V don’t have any. But I do, and it’s a torn up Barack H. Obama shirt backwards and the fucking green eye patch that’s supposed to go with my Ca$hman outfit.
After this, nobody wanted me to wear another eye patch. Ever. Again. No retakes either, so we end up with me in shots where I’m not supposed to be; CARS in the background…although honestly if Peter Jackson can make a mistake like that who’s to blame me?...and some awful, AWFUL line reading. I love you guys, but seriously, look at this! Banana Monkey King V, you look like you’ve had too many mixed drinks. And what is in those mixed drinks? Vodka and…well, wine! Amazingly Powerful, you seem like you’re not even awake! And I…Excuse me, I’m going to break Straight Edge for this one.
*Gulps down some Rolling Rock.* Better. No, but there’s no excuse, look at the material these kids have to work with! “The unbearable torture that reigns over The Underworld and Olympus?” Yes, yes, Odysseus, your story of The Cyclops is UNBERABLE TORTURE THAN REIGNS OVER THE UNDERWORLD AND OLYMPUS. Hey, and, ya know, at least I ripped off Dracula for the sixtontionteenth time by using Swan Lake. Ya know. No proper lighting or anything, just regular Noon light with SWAN LAKE. And the…oh my God, the fucking editing in this movie. It’s just…oh my God. Dude, if you guys thought The Room was bad, you ain’t seen NUTTIN. And my acting…God Damn, I’m like something between a raging bull and a porn star. You DON’T wanna see a porn star/raging bull mixup.
Well then. You know, there is something to be said for the production value. Just a fucking greenscreen in the background, a toy claw is being used as a sword. Yeah, a budget exists. Windows Movie Maker. The budget is in the tens of cents. Ya know, we would have had SOME money, if Coca-Cola didn’t rip us off. I mean, wasn’t that an excellent commercial spot for Coca-Cola??!? WASN’T IT?!?! Oh, and DAT EDITING. Look at that! There’s one point where Banana Monkey King V is just smiling with his sword, WYNAUT?!?! You have a fantastic grin, Ricky. In fact…you have such fantastic hair.
Your air, falling down your back, I can see every single one littered with dandruff. And…that shirt, hot as…OH MY GOD. YOU’RE EATING. YOU’RE EATING DAMN YOU YOU’RE EATING. OH EAT THAT ORANGE, EAT THAT ORANGE WITH YOUR MOUTH! WITH YOUR MOUTH DAMN YOU! WITH YOUR MOUTH! AND YES, YOU AMAZINGLY POWERFUL! I WANT YOU TO BE AMAZINGLY POWERFUL ON MY ASSHOLE! YES! YES, I WILL RAPE ALL OF YOUR ASSHOLES! RICKY, I’M COMING FOR YOU SEXY BEAST! I’M COOOOOOOMING FOR YOU! LOOK AT YOU, JESS, LOOK AT YOU AND YOUR LONG, BLOND HAIR! LOOK AT YOUR SIP THAT WHITE GOAT CHEESE INTO YOUR PINK OPENING! YOUR PINK OPENING MIGHT BE YOUR MOUTH, BUT IT LOOKS LIKE SOMETHING DIFFERENT TO ME! I WANT TO SEE YOU GUYS EAT YOUR BREAD! YOUR BREAD! SLIP THOSE FRUITY PEBBLES INTO PLACES WHERE THEY SHOULDN’T GO! BE FRENCH DAMMIT!
Happy April Fool’s Day Everybody.
I, Da Ca$hman, singing off.
The final entry in The Request-A-Thon, requested by Blaze The Movie Fan.
It’s been a great 3 months of movies you guys think would be fun for me. 3 people, including Arm Leg Gamer and The Trax Productions Founder told me to go see Chronicle, a fantastic movie totally fun. RhinoKlox told me about Iron Clad, something that has action…and that’s it. Before, he had told me about Fire in the Sky. An okay Alien movie, not regrettable but still. He also told me about Dr. Horrible, a superhero (villain?) movie made for Internet users that also analyses society’s view of icons and impulse-buying in terms of romance. MNM told me about Zombieland, a hilarious zombie spoof that is completely enjoyable.
MBM told me about Pontypool, one of the smartest and best horror movies of the 21st Century. DoogJMusic told me about Seven Pounds, a good movie that analyses human remorse. He also told me about The Prestige, a Christopher Nolan film about magicians. Fuck yeah. He also told me about The Taking of Pelham 1 2 3, a fantastic movie from one of my least favorite genres. That’s new. Him and RhinoKlox both told me about Pulp Fiction, one of the most influential and iconic action movies ever made. The Son of Freddy Krueger told me about Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, a movie so good it actually got me to like Jim Carrey.
He also told me about The Room, a movie that takes out your brain and replaces it with stupid. And in this case only, I fucking love stupid. He also told me About…..Schmidt, a movie that analyses retirement, and how the loneliness of this era of life can cause unnecessary interruptions into other’s lives. Then the big one, 2001: A Space Odssey. God DAMN that movie’s awesome. And of course, every single one of you told me about Highlander. A…movie. Anyways. My point is that this whole thing has been fucking fantastic, I found so many new favorites and a couple I debate over; in one way or another I gained something extremely substantial from each request.
And in general, it’s gotten a lot of new eyes. Facebook Friends saw me doing requests, and have given their own requests. Now something that was meant to satisfy a lot of your appetite for me to review your favorites, has caused me to at least 5x more movies you guys want me to review. RhinoKlox, Blaze The Movie Fan, The Son of Freddy Krueger, DoogJMusic, Sean Rightwizard, Ian I Need To Give You A Name, The Midnite Slammer, Nick Zip, MNM-V.2 and Mr. Lead Butterfly have given me a ton of new movies they want me to review. And so we come to the finale…Season of the Witch. It’s one of those movies Blaze The Movie Fan has been telling me about constantly, and I’m not gonna give him a hard time about it. I’m excited now. Thank you guys all so much. So, let’s begin.
We’re gonna start this movie by the main attraction somebody might have bought a ticket for this movie a year ago. Nicolas Cage; or, in true Ca$hman Fa$hion; Nicotine Cage. Most people who enjoy Nicolas Cage tend to not enjoy his movies. Now, I’m more merciful on his movies, but honestly I can’t blame them. Nicotine has been in movies like The Rock, Con Air, Face/Off, Gone in Sixty Seconds, Christmas Carol (2000), Adaptation, National Treasure, Lord of War, The Wicker Man, Ghost Rider, Grindhouse, National Treasure: Book of Secrets, G-Force, Ant Bully, Astro Boy, Kick-Ass, The Sorcerer’s Apprentice, Drive Angry, and Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance.
Looking over this list, I can safely say this is one of my favorite Cage roles. You guys know how much I didn’t like Sorcerer’s Apprentice, for instance. Anyways. Nicolas Cage plays a guy who once fought for JEZUZ but now fights for GAWD. But jokes aside, he’s a refreshing protagonist. Sometimes I feel like too many movies have protagonists that are blind but are put in positions of power, and the antagonist is the voice of reason but are for a cause maybe a little misguided or against the grain. Especially when it comes to Religion. I mean, look at Christianity itself. Satan killed like, 3 people? And as jealous of God. That’s it.
But God has killed millions, AAAAND MILLIOOOOOONNSS (yes it’s relevant) of people. Nicolas plays a character who is smart, and against the grain, which is normally what the antagonist would be in this kind of a story. He maintains his usual Nicolas charm but is able to adjust to the script as naturally as if he actually was in this story. This is a great example of putting yourself in the role here. Not to mention, the language he uses is very…well…TO THE THESAURUS!....Mmmhmm…..Mmmmmmmhmmm…..Ah. His language is creative, bright and clever. He uses a higher version of English, though within the confines of contemporary speech. I just really like the guy. He’s perfect as a protagonist.
Ron Pearlman, or as I like to call him Kevin Nash living in his mom’s basement, not the matzah. This guy is well known for television shows (and mostly cartoons, for that) like Miami Vice, Beauty and the Beast, Batman, Aladdin, The Little Mermaid, Fantastic 4, Highlander, Hey Arnold, Superman, Buzz Light-year of Star Command, The Legend of Tarzan, The Tick, Static Shock, Teen Titans, Justice League What’s New Scooby Doo, Danny Phantom, Afro Samurai, Kim Possible, Avatar: The Last Airbender, The Batman, Star Wars: The Clone Wars, Robot Chicken, Batman: The Brave and the Bold, Chower, Adventure Time, American Dad and movies such as The Hellboy Flicks, Tangled, Drive, The Island of Dr. Muneau, Alien: Resurrection, Titan A.E., Blade II, Star Trek: Nemesis and Tarzan II.
Tell me. Tell me holy God whoever the fuck is reading this tell me you can see that is such a crappier filmography than Cage. Tell me you can see that. Now, is there any possibility that things like Batman, Blade II and Drive are pulling through? Fuck no. His cartoons are pulling through in this movie. The guy is basically a dopey sidekick. Except since Nicolas Cage is a fucking genius in this movie, Kevin Nash in his Mom’s Basement is just normal brained. All the guy does is follow Cage around, do whatever he does, and show no signs he is making his own decisions. Nicolas Cage feels like a guy who would work on his own, he is the only protagonist. But instead they bring this guy into the mix too. Ron is a piece of crap.
Claire Foy plays somebody who is just credited as The Girl. She has…a….aa….well, she was in an episode of Being Human. I guess that might be…I dunno. She has no filmography. She has less of a filmography than Tommy Wiseau. I suspect her reduced filmography has something to do with her reduced breast size, because she’s one of the better stars in this movie. She plays everything on the down low but does everything very drastically. Is she emotionally secretive, or emotionally cautious? Or is it that she’s just a bad actor with no emotion? Personally, since her character calls for either secrecy or cautiousness, I’m gonna go for one of the two former.
She’s impossible to figure out and that’s exactly how the script calls for her, and that keeps the movie in suspense. One moment you think she’s guilty, one moment you think she’s innocent, guilty, innocent, and she never lets it be obvious. That’s good acting. The atmosphere, on the other hand, is a mixed bag. To describe it without comparison, it is a bleak, gray, sick and burned feeling. This is completely appropriate as the film surrounds the Salem Witch Trials, and much more importantly, The Black Plague. Interesting how it is able to talk about two historical events two centuries apart in a singular fictional narrative, but I guess that’s not that important.
But on the flip side of that coin, it doesn’t match up with the soundtrack. It’s basically something that could be called a rip-off of a Peter Jackson 21st century film. You know, Lord of the Rings, anybody? Like something you would want to hear while climbing a mountain. It’s done by Atli Örvarsson. He hasn’t done much, but most of his stuff is at least worth some mention. This includes Babylon A.D., The Fourth Kind, Law and Order: Los Angeles and The Eagle. Both the atmosphere and soundtrack in this movie are really good and both match a theme of the movie, they just clash in an unsavory way.
I’m not gonna bother listing off the rest of the actors, but, to put it simply, there really shouldn’t have been too many extra actors. This movie should have been mostly Cage and “The Girl.” The extra side characters are there because scriptwriter Bragi F. Schut, a man with another severely lacking filmography, probably couldn’t write dialogue for just two characters. DIAlogue for TWO characters. He couldn’t write that. Probably because he didn’t have enough material, due to a lack of creativity. So he had to waste a perfectly good opportunity to do a study of loneliness, forced trust and uncertainty among other things, because he couldn’t think of enough things to talk about between the two.
But hey, maybe it’s a big assumption. But at least I can say that the core things in this script are good, including the pacing. Sometimes the film gets kinda slow, but it picks itself back up soon enough. It’s just the added things that kinda bog me this movie down. Anyways…Oh hi, bad CGI! You look like you just got done with a SyFy flick. Yeah…yeah this movie’s CGI is…it’s bad. Textures look like inflatable plastic, things move at speeds that make cheetahs look slow, for God’s sakes they can’t get wolves down right besides the basics. It’s pretty bad in the computer department.
The makeup department is meh. It gets the point across, but maybe too far. The makeup is too over the top. You see guys who have the black plague, and I know it was pretty damn bad but…there’s a point where even that can be depicted beyond originality. There is a dude who literally has a giant turd replacing his forehead. That has to be above the Plague. And even if it wasn’t, don’t you think a little less would get the point across and feel more balanced? I don’t know, it just feels like too much. Pure shock value? Maybe.
And this will wrap up my review of Season of the Witch. The film has a very good core, but every other outer layer is mediocre. Cage and Foy are the stars of this movie, but they are interrupted by most other characters surrounding them for the sake of assisting the amateur screenwriter. The atmosphere and soundtrack are great, but clash in an unsavory fashion and are met with a rushed makeup and CGI department. All in all, it’s a niche film, but for a niche film it’s worth a watch. I enjoyed it about as much as films like The Last Starfighter. 3.24/5
And this ends the Request-A-Thon. Thanks again to everybody who requested, and thanks to all who enjoy my website. I promise next year is going to have a much bigger Request-A-Thon. And in the meantime, I can already feel Summer calling. Maybe I should visit a certain Sylvestor…mwuhahaha. G’Night Everybody, and,
I, Da Ca$hman, singing off.
Per usual, I’m one step ahead of everybody.
Since James “Racist” Cameroon just re-released his cheesypiece Titanic in 3D, I’m going to review the SEQUEL. Yes, Ladies and Gentlemen. We revisit The Asylum. You’d expect these guys to release their own version of the original S.S. Titanic story around the time it gets re-released, but instead they decided to release it 2 years too early and with one number 2 too much. Or so from a business stamp. It even takes place in 2012! Whoever works the booking of release dates at The Asylum is freaking idiot! Well, there isn’t much more to introduce this. You’ll get the gist of what you need to know in the review. Let’s get started!
Well this explains a lot. I just found the reason why The Asylum sucks. Look at one of their top stars! The guy who acted in this movie, Super Shark, 6 Guns, Paranormal Entity, Transmorphers: Fall of Man and Shark Swarm. He also just so happens to be the guy who directed this movie, A Haunting in Salem, 6 Guns and Paranormal Entity. He also just so happens to be the guy who wrote Street Racer, The Day The Earth Stopped, Transmorphers: Fall of Man, Paranormal Entity and THIS MOVIE. I think we know one of the big brains behind The Asylum! That man is….Drum roll please………DOLPH ZIGGLER!
Don’t let anybody tell you this guy’s named Shane Van Dyke. This is Dolph Ziggler. Now, for you to understand how I know this, let me explain to you that Da Ca$hman has multiple personality disturbia. The one you’re visiting right now is the one you probably have interacted with if you are a resident of the U.S.A. or somebody I know over the webs. In Canada, I live in Ca$hland. There I spend my time fighting against the money hungry politicians of the U.$.A. During this time while I was sneaking into WWE, In¢. Attempting to find Vin¢e M¢Mahon, by some stroke of luck I found the very homo$exual Dolph Ziggler.
I observed him re-applying blonde hair bleach after an episode of RAW. This confused me. Then I saw it was a much darker shade of blonde hair bleech. He also took off his face mask, revealing his face to be much more bony, skinny and wrinkled. I put Q and Z together, and figured out that Dolph Ziggler was Shane Van Dyke. This is, of course, a week before I would find the truth about Stephen [Haw]King….oh, wait, you wanted to know how I thought of him as an actor? But surely you jest, I mean, didn’t you come here for crazy ass Fan Fiction?....no? DAMMIT.
M’Kay. He’s really bad. The most apparent hindrance to his acting is that he is really stiff. You could suspect Ziggler is constipated, but I doubt it since he’d probably be more pissed if it was like that. It’s almost like they got Sholph Dykler (which is how I shall refer to both parties from now on) right out of bed at 8 in the morning on a Saturday. He woke up angry and bladder full, but Ben Hayflick told him “yo, bud, we don’t have time. We gotta get this movie out and the completely wrong time, no time to eat cereal or piss.” And we just started acting. Doesn’t all this seem so very similar to Tommy Wiseau?
Some f@ggot who directs, writes and acts all of his own movies, has his own company and all of his movies are abhorrent trash? And aside from being stiff in his talking, he has no range of facial expressions. The only emotion he ever shows on his face is “Yeah. I have a big dick. And you want this big dick. Yeah.” And cycle that line throughout his entire performance. A humorous parallel to Leo DiCaprio’s “I have a small dick…but I have nice hair. You have nice hair.” And THAT was cycled through Cameroon’s version. No, Sholph Dykler is a piece of crap in this movie, but what do you expect from an American pseudo-Wiseau?
Our female protagonist, the equivalent of Kate Winslet from James “Racist” Cameroon’s version, is played by Marie Westbrook. She’s not exactly member of The Asylum, but she has served a few terms in the prison. She’s been in Hillside Cannibals, Dracula’s Curse, Evil Angel, 100 Million B.C., this movie, and Star Wars: The Old Republic. I assume the reason why she’s in all of those movies is because she couldn’t find any other jobs in film. Because she is also really bad. She’s not AS bad as Sholph Dykler, but she’s in the same Baseball field. It’s not that’ she’s hungry and has to piss, more that she has a giant stick so far up her ass she can’t even find it.
She has some flow in her conversations, but as much flow as your annoying co-worker. Her emotions are totally forced, both visual and audibly, and she’s just so dry. She has no enthusiasm in anything. Hell, even give us enthusiasm’s older cousin’s youngest brother, energy! Wynaut!!?! Now then, we're gonna steer starboard a little bit and talk about the narrative for a little bit. This all happens within the first half an hour, however the events I’m about to detail do play into the entire film. Let’s see…how about not establishing a relationship prior to the leaving of the ship, telling us that an iceberg is the antagonist of this disaster flick during the opening credits, establishing a romance by love at first sight, having the ICE BERG BREAK BY COFFEE CUP, and this is the best, using a Tsunami originating from Greenland to carry a giant ass chunk of iceberg to The Titanic II.
Does that sound like a good script? No. It sounds amateur, it sounds convoluted, it sounds cliché, it sounds flat out stupid! Thank you Sholph Dykler! Thank you very much! There shouldn’t have even been HINT at the possibility of disaster until 45 minutes, and focus on a pre-established, INTERESTING relationship for that first 45 minutes with the success of The Titanic II as a backdrop! A repeat of Lil’ Jimmy’s version of the tale would have been better than this hacked together mesh of the original concept! But, really, this should have been something entirely different. This should have been a crossover with Mega Shark vs. Giant Octopus.
Those creatures came from an Iceberg. That was made by The Asylum. This was made by The Asylum. The Asylum knows their best stuff is the ridiculous monster movies! Why would they pass up such an opportunity! There are a lot of effects and sound clips that suggest a monster flick this was supposed to be. But alas, ‘tis it not. Now we’ll start to swim into deep waters of this sewer. The CGI. You guys know how bad Asylum CGI is. But this is probably the Top of the Mountain. Funny thing is, they so didn’t need it! It’s like they could only rent a few hotel rooms! They couldn’t even rent a boat! THEY COULDN’T EVEN RENT A BOAT!
The Titanic II is CGI, the submarines are CGI, the ICEBERG IS CGI! THE FRAKING ICEBERG IS COMPUTER-GENERATED IMAGERY! And it’s not good either! Depth? Pshaw, don’t you know any better! We’re obviously going to make the CGI only a few steps from flat! It looks worse than Donkey Kong Country! SUPER NINTENDO PEOPLE! IT LOOKS WORSE THAN SOMETHING THAT WAS BUILT FOR THE SUPER NINTENDO! Texture? Nah, don’t you know! We’re just gonna have solid colors that look like condiments and soft drinks! You know, for kicks! Anybody who thought any movie ever made had bad CGI, welcome to The Proving You’re Wrong Pub. For our second to final destination, let’s take a breather on the shore before we go diving into the deepest depths of the Pashitic Ocean. Let’s talk about the music.
The first guy who worked on this was Chris Ridenhour. He is one of THE inmates at The Asylum. He worked on Komodo, Transmorphers, Journey to the Center of the Earth, Dracula’s Curse, Merlin and the War of the Dragons, Dragonquest, The Terminators, Mega Shark vs. Giant Octopus, Transmorphers: Fall of Man, The Land That Time Forgot, Haunting of Winchester House, 2012: Supernova, Princess of Mars, Sherlock Holmes, 6 Guns, Mega Piranha, The 7 Adventures of Sinbad, Airline Disastor, #1 Cheerleader Camp, 2010: Moby Dick, Mega Shark vs. Crocosaurus, Mega Python vs. Gatoroid, 200 M.P.H., Almighty Thor, 2012: Ice Age, Born Bad, A Haunting in Salem, Dragon Crusaders, 3 Musketeers, Zombie Apocalypse, 11/11/11, 2 Headed Shark Attack, Grimm’s Snow White, Air Collision, The American Battleship, Bigfoot, and…holy fuck.
Nazis at the Center of the Earth.
Sweet Jesus Christ! Anyways. Apparently he has a friend, named Chris Cano. He helped Mr. Ridenhour work on The Land That Time Forgot, Transmorphers, The 7 Adventures of Sinbad, The Terminators, Mega Shark vs. Crocosaurus, and Dracula’s Curse. Now that I’m done unnecessarily buffing up this flick by listing films, let’s actually talk about the soundtrack. It’s obviously the best part of this movie. It’s not distinct by any means, but it’s a successful collection of clichés. When it calls for suspense, it either brings up some stereotypical “epic” music or a stereotypical spy type piece. When it’s time for romance, it brings on the stuff. And at least it’s interesting. It’s stuff you’ve heard a million times over, but it’s good stuff you’ve heard a million times, and at least it changes by plot.
I think it’s time to talk about what is the most apparent issue with this production. The editing. First off, this editor has no sense of dramatic timing. You don’t need any more than the first 10 seconds, or even the first scene, to tell you he can’t structure a film without somebody holding his hand. He can’t even adjust falty lighting that really should have been better in the first place! Dialogue even ends up out of line, and really, I’d like to just grab them and tell them how to edit a movie. Even funnier is that there was two guys! One is an Asylum mainstay.
He’s more of a cinematographer than an editor (NO SHIT RIGHT) but he has edited his share of films for The Asylum, including Dragon Crusaders, Battle of Los Angeles, Airline Disaster, 6 Guns, Princess of Mars, Merlin and the War of the Dragons, 100 Million B.C., and Allan Quatermain and The Temple of Skulls. His friend he must have dragged into the movie with, is Austin Harvey Stock, who has done NOTHING BUT THIS! Oh, I guess I know which of these two to blame now! Listen guys. I’m telling you this editing is bad. I’m telling you to see it for yourself, you can trust me! I think everyone would agree with me, it’s that bad! One of the guys was such a disappointment that he will never find a job AT THE ASYLUM.
Here endeth the lesson. I dost hope thou hast not turned fish-wise. In any case, Titanic II is a film with stiff, stereotyping acting, overdramatic soundtrack as cool as it is, atrocious editing, even worse and surprisingly abundant SFX, a narrative used to draw in impatient suckers, a release date two years too soon, and a recommendation for all fans of The Asylum. On a cheesy level, it earns about a 2/5. It’s no Asylum’s Sherlock Holmes, which would have earned the grand 3/5 cheese rating. However, as a film in it’s own right, it makes a .5/5 rating. Which leaves us at an average of 1.25/5
I, Da Ca$hman, singing off.
IMMA RELEASIN’ MAH KRAKEN BLAAUGH!
29 years later, the Clash Franchise continues, and a day later, the Titanthon continues with the 2010 remake of the final Harryhausen flick. This film originally started as a mixing of Greek, Norse and Hindu mythology in 2002, but most of that was abandoned. Maybe sad too, because I love crossovers, but I understand the production difficulty of THREE hyper-awesome religions. Eventually, this idea was dropped, and was reconsidered in 2006. They decided to be much closer to the original version, but attempt to be “dark and adult.” (See Shadow the Hedgehog for trying to make something aimed at kids and teens with a bunch of fun creatures “adult.”)
It’s also interesting to note they attempted to grab Harryhausen for writing, and maybe production or SFX, but eventually they decided not to because well….the dude’s one of his own dinosaurs by now. Sam Worthington had a lot of problems with filming, mostly artistic differences, but eventually stayed because “he wanted a Clash of the Titans for [our] generation.” The film has gotten a lot of bad heat from hardcore fans of the original, and those upset that they took literally a week to do post-conversion 3D. When I first saw the movie, I was in my very early days. I was only looking for giant monsters and action. (Jesus Christ glad I’m here now.) When I saw it, I thought it felt short but it also felt long at the same time. And that’s why I suspect I’m gonna rip apart this one. So, I guess, are you ready?
Well, let’s start with something that could have been improved the easiest from the first one, the story execution. So we’re gonna begin by endlessly nitpicking the first ten minutes. This new films starts off where the previous incarnation of the story ended, in the stars and constellations. Showing “hey, guys, we ARE making this out of some sort of affection for the original.” Right away they tell the original story of how Zeus, Hades and Poseidon came about, which not only bastardizes the original story but also feels completely unnecessary. Like they’re pandering to people who don’t know anything about Greek mythology.
I didn’t go to school for it or anything, but I do know some stuff. Like a certain story that has a certain connection to a certain opening to another certain religion…cough cough. God Damn, I thought anybody who’d be interested in this movie would know Zeus/Hades/Poseidon’s origin story! Also, it tells us that Hades will be in this movie, whom was absent in the original. This could have been done a lot better by having a surprise introduction of Hades. After all, he is THE DEVIL (Question Mark) of Greek Mythology, it’d be nice if he had a more climatic debut. But whatever.
We then view an Eagle soaring into Olympus, a hint towards the seagull in the original movie. Kinda like saying “we are an eagle, the original was just a wimpy seagull.” Wonder if that means anything? Perseus’ origin story is skipped at first, showing bare minimum and maybe below minimum details about his youth. He ends up growing as a fisherman, which leads to a logical way to put Perseus in Argos. You know, since he travels a lot and all. Much later in the film we get Perseus’ origin story highly summarized and redefined for a much more engaging, interesting and flowing version of the beginning.
And besides, if you think it’s too fast and too tell, just consider that none of this actually relates to the main story and you’ll be fine. Through a series of events I find no need to spoil, we see Hades for the first time. This is a, not awesome but still satisfying introduction to άδης that probably should have served as his first mention but of course they had to ruin that in the first 2 minutes, didn’t they? And of course this leads to something that saves A. Me from having to go into crazy deep detail anymore and B. The entire movie’s pacing. This is that the plot that took FIFTY FIVE FREAKING MINUTES to get into back in ’81 takes only 19.5 minutes to get into in ’10.
Then we already get into the Witches before my spoiler cut-off. This is all fine and good as far as enjoyment in pacing, I just feel like maybe they’re cutting out too much. Like they’re trying to cut out the massive fats from the first movie, but ended up taking too large swings and actually cut out some meat. Like that they automatically know to go to the three witches (That Scottish Play anybody?) without anybody telling them. Or that Zeus, a man lover (take that the wrong and right way) is convinced by Hades to go anti-human instantly. It feels too rushed, but to be honest that’s a whole lot better than the snail’s pace that was Ray Hair Ray How Zen’s version.
The dialogue is majorly improved from the first incarnation. Characters still speak at more poetic sentence structures and grammar, giving affection to the original material and the material the original was giving affection to. And of course they keep it at elementary understanding levels. However, characters no longer have certain traits of those old plays. For instance, they no longer speak in long ass paragraphs, they now speak in bouncing 1-3 sentence lines or maybe even shorter, which feels natural in a movie. Not to mention, keeps the movie flowing. Action is no longer sacrificed for dialogue; more showing is done than telling. Although not a sufficient amount as I have already illustrated a couple times. And that’s all you need to know about the dialogue in this movie. Aiight, what’s/who’s next?
Sam Worthington is our Perseus this time around. He’s a very well-known actor, though one that changes his name around I’m aware. He’s known for films such as That Scottish Play (’06,) Terminator Salvation, Call of Duty: Black Ops (game), Man on a Ledge and of course Avatar! Yes! Now we get to connect two films that have nothing going for them but SFX. Avatar and ’81 COT2. And I fixed that rating up for ya, by the way. You can lookey down. 100 Ways to go off topic, let’s get back on the highly dynamited tracks. His acting in this film is…well, it’s passable. He only shows one emotion, and that emotion is “I am a badass. ---- With an accent nonetheless.” Need I say more? If he was good I’d like to say he’d be perfect for Cole in Infamous, he looks JUST like him, he’s got the accent and he is a badass…but I’ll be damned if I’ll let Cole be played by somebody who can only do ONE emotion, and that’s “fuck you I’m eating.”
Alright, now time to talk about sommuah dat C. G. I. I know everyone’s gonna be pissed off because they appreciate R.H.R.H.Z.’s work, but c’mon. We all know that stop motion is a technique that has maximum input and minimum output. CGI, however, is the reverse. Minimum input, maximum output, seems like the only smart thing to do. A movie is not measured by how much work was put it, a movie is measured by how much entertainment is put out. And seriously, this is some of the best CGI but to film ever. Even today when CGI is seventy-seven ways to reality,
COT2-V.2 is in a group with a lucky few as Jurassic Park and Avatar. The scorpions are a prime example. Every last detail, even the bumps on the skin are perfectly shaped and visible. Colors are deep and interactions with actors are pitch-perfect. There is not a single thing that is telling me these creatures are not real other than that these are not physically possible. This is the same with Pegasus, who looks absolutely nothing short of real, not even to the film grain. The Kraken is a little more false looking but mostly because he’s a fictional character whereas scorpions actually exist, therefore it is easier for us to believe he is false and it is also easier for the CGI artists to screw up.
Medusa is probably the worst of the bunch, moving way too fast for her weight and looking too shiny. Not to mention, isn’t she supposed to be the ugliest thing in the world? Why is she kinda attractive? Do these movie studios get money from Rule 34’s? Or is it that they suspect people might not stay if all the women aren’t hot? Anyways. Makeup work for different creatures is also spectacular. Even the sets are great. The deserts are maddeningly dry, the underworld is maddeningly cold. Colors are intense but very far from warm or comforting. If nothing else, COT2-V.2 is a visual spectacle to rival the works of Spielberg and Cameroon.
“For somebody who created man, you sure don’t know a lot about us. We live, fight, and die for each other.” – Perseus.
Liam Neeson ladies and gentlemen. He played God in Greece in this movie. In the Chronicles of Narnia flicks, he plays God in metaphor. In Taken, he plays God in name. In Batman Begins, he plays an immortal. In Pilgrim’s Progress, he plays The Son of God. Understand this, Ladies and Gentlemen, Liam Neeson is one of the [currently] Four Gods in Camololism. Liam rules over the Sky, Morgan rules over The Earth, George rules over Man, and Hunter rules over The Underworld. Now I need a guy to rule over The Sea, so if there’s anybody out there you’re aware of who is God, let me know.
And of course he’s also notable for roles in Schindler’s List, The Gray, Star Wars: Episode I: The Phantom Meance: It Never Happened, The A-Team, Battleship, The Simpsons, Gangs of New York, Krull and Miami Vice. He plays Zeus in this movie if that’s not already obvious enough. He doesn’t get a ton of time, I mean, he is God, but hell his screentime is satisfactory. And he is perfect for this role, he is powerful, overbearing and slightly unsure of himself, he is every detail of his written character and of all good ways. The action scenes are also really good in this movie.
I know, I know, action scenes. Seriously though. As far as shaky cam goes, it’s present but it’s not anywhere near as bad as say maybe an A-Team. Which came out the same year as a matter of fact. As for how characters fight, well…it’s awesome. Take the best of a classic Greek Mythology Battle, a WCW Nitro Crash TV Ending, and a very well done montage, and you’ve got the action scenes in this flick. Very fun to watch indeed. The soundtrack is done by Ramin Djawadi. The guy is known for films like Iron Man…and….and Iron Man, apparently. The soundtrack is actually really good here. It’s cliché but it’s not so cliché as to be dry. It’s not very distinguished but it is to a degree to be it’s own. The film captures a sweeping sense of, oh I hate myself for using these terms, fantasy, adventure, quest, destiny, so on and so forth. It is something you most definitely would call, Epic.
Ralph Fiennes plays Hades in this movie. This guy’s known for films like The Deathly Hallows, Schindler’s List, The Hurt Locker, The Order of the Phoenix, The Goblet of Fire, The Prince of Egypt, and the upcoming titles of The Invisible Woman, Skyfall and Great Expectations. He’s not fantastic. First off, yes, he can only show one emotion. Evil gasconade. But it’s okay, I guess, he’s not that major of a character. Oddly. He just isn’t that intimidating. He is the main antagonist but he seems wretched and old, he doesn’t serve a good villain. And dammit, the antagonist is the driving force of the protagonist, there just isn’t a movie without a villain. That is this movie’s biggest problem, a lack of a good villain.
And that’s COT2-V.2 in a nutshell. Is it worth it? Well, I dunno. The film has it’s share of cheesy lines and quite the lackluster cast; but a fantastic visual style, great action scenes and much more organized script both in terms of narrative and dialogue than COT2-V.1. If you’re looking for a fun Monster Brawl, this movie is for you. But expect something to do justice to Greek Mythology and you’re pretty much screwed. 3.5/5.
I, Da Ca$hman, singing off. Next time: THE SEQUEL.
“Oh America. I wish I could still call you America. But I realize that a Country needs people. And there are no people here.”
Alright, time for the fourth entry in the Request-A-Thon, requested by M.N.M. And ya know what? Fuck the background. If you’re reading this review, you know what Zombieland is and have probably already seen it. Let’s get into the review.
Well let’s start with the goods. First off is the gore. If you’re a gorehound, this film won’t disappoint. Almost all the time you got blood and the blood vessels and some other organs being eaten off humans by creatures with disgusting, black/red holes in their heads and stomachs. Pure Zombie material. Jesse Eisenberg plays Columbus. He’s that loner nerd who spends his time drinking Mtn. Dew, playing WOW and has a leaning tower of pizza boxes on his desk. And let me tell you, this kid plays the role spot on. I don’t even need to elaborate, however awesome of a performance you just pictured in your head is exactly what you need. It’s a completely natural performance, and he portrays all the qualities of the written character. I mean…you CAN tell it is Jesse Eisenberg behind the microphone, but it’s not too much of a disturbance.
The comedy here is fucking fantastic. Or, as far as dialogue goes. There’s some visual comedy here which sucks, and feels like it came out of a very bad cartoon. Showing specific portions of dialogue on the screen in big bold letters isn’t funny, it’s stupid. It’s not subtle, and it insults the audiences intelligence. “derpy derp I cahnt remember dat funny little thing for more than 2 seconds if I can’t read it.” Fuck that shit. But the spoken comedy is extremely good. The timing is near perfect, it’s appropriately subtle, and is also all comedy that the average moviegoer would understand without being derpy.
It pokes fun at stuff everybody knows about, rather than go for the George A. Romero and Lucio Fulci. That humor can always be great, refer to Young Frankenstein. But it does tend to narrow your audience. This is an extremely good example of humor that everyone can understand and at the same time is wonderfully funny. Something that doesn’t come around all the time. Woody Harrelson plays Tallahassee….are we noticing a pattern with the names here? Woody has not been in too many notable titles. Some that might be familiar are the TV Series Cheers, and the movies Wag the Dog, Austin Powers 2, No Country for Old Men, 2012, and what just so happens to be another entry into the Request-A-Thon that will show up near the end of January.
He’ll also be in the upcoming Hunger Games film. In this film, he plays a very much used character in film. That badass redneck who doesn’t give a damn, isn’t very smart, but can whoop some ass. Basically, Stone Cold Steve Austin light. And he also has that one really odd addiction, and despite it being early in the film I will not spoil it because it is hilarious. Despite his spot on performance, I don’t know I just don’t feel like I love this performance. I guess I just don’t understand that type of personality as much as Columbus’ since…well, you know. Now I think it’s time we talked about some of the bad.
I think it’s safe to say I have two major pet peeves when it comes to movies. A. Fuck side stories and B. Don’t move too fast. Fortunately, no side stories here. Not really enough characters to do that with. But this movie cannot breathe. First off, you do not get to know the character of Columbus. I mean, yeah I understand him but I want to see so much more. We get one instance of his previous life. That’s it. Really? It’s pretty hard for us to believe that this guy even had a real life when you don’t show it. I mean, Duh he did but, why don’t you show it? He keeps babbling on about how “I wazza nerd, no sex, W.O.W.” So why don’t you show us that?
Why don’t you show us some more of his bad habits, or how it was to be at school? We don’t really get to see much of him being alone in the zombie wasteland either. Very quickly he gets companionship with Tally, and that wrecks the feeling of loneliness in a zombie world. There have been ways where characters are introduced fast and it works, like in Night of the Living Dead. But that was mainly because they all got there at the same time. Here, with how Columbus meets Tallahasse, you might as well say a new character will pop up every 10 minutes. In fact, it almost feels that way for the first act of the film.
That’s not a zombie apocalypse guys. And we get only a little glimpse at Tally’s backstory. He had a dog, and he loved a certain something. That’s it. They don’t even show the certain something from the past. That’s the worst part; this movie is lost on the most important part of filmmaking. Show, don’t tell. Literally, during any moment that could have been quiet and let the audience digest the situation themselves; we get Jesse narrating the thing like it’s off of some fucking diary. NO! Hey, who directed this thing? Ruben Fleischer? I haven’t even gone to fucking film school yet and I know the fundamentals of film better than you, you dumb piece of shit!...
Furious Bheema IS Furious Bheema. Okay, anyways, now that I’ve gone off the deep end, it’s an error that’s really annoying and very detrimental but is not crippling by any means of the word. Emma Stone and Abigail Breslin play the sisters of Wichita and Little Rock. More of a trend here! Aaaaand I don’t know. Now, they play their role perfectly; let’s get that out of the way. I’m just not a huge fan of their character. And they are pretty much one character. They’re those fucking brats that cheat their way through life and get everything they want. They break all the rules and yet win the game. Don’t you just hate those fucking people?
You don’t want to hang out with them. And they’re half of our protagonists! What the fuck? Since when do bad people make good protagonists? I can understand if maybe it was just Emma Stone and she didn’t always get what she wanted but there was still hints of that character. Then the basic idea would work. But I just cannot stand these two bitches, and you know it’s not they’re going to get eaten by the end of the movie. No, you can tell they’re just gonna be in the same spot as the protagonists. Fuck that. Alright, let’s bring this baby home. While two really major things, those being two of the protagonists and the script’s pacing, really fucking bug me; the comedy, gore, other two protagonists, and not previously mentioned the soundtrack; gave me a smile at the end of this picture. It’s a definite recommendation, but not without it’s flaws. 3.8/5
I, Da Ca$hman, singing off.
Let us take this time to thank Canada for their wonderful cinema; Let us take this time to thank Netflix for putting this on Instant Play; and let us take this time to thank M.B.M. for requesting this film.
So first off let me explain my plans. Through January-March, as I continue The Drankenstein Manathon II, I will also be doing another marathon. The Request-A-Thon. Yes, a lot [5 or 6] of you have requested different movies and it’s about time I got off my fat ass and started to review some of them. This first film is called Pontypool, and was requested by Codename M.B.M. I’ll be using codenames for all of these to protect privacy, even though I’m sure that’s not necessary. This film is inspired by the novel Pontypool Changes Everything and Orson Welles’ War of the Worlds radio show as PTP was done as a movie and radioshow at the exact same time. The tagline to this film is…SHUT UP OR DIE. That’s already givin’ me a good, creepyass vibe. So, what are we waiting for, April Fool’s Day?...New Shoes?...ME, IN A THONG? Sick bastards. Let’s get started.
This film is one of those films that is “single location.” You know how 12 Angry Men took place in a single room? Well this film almost goes that way. 98% of the film takes place in a house that has a built-on radio station that serves as Pontypool, Ontario’s local radio station. And Pontypool is a real town folks. The film was actually shot there a little bit, but mostly in Toronto. Anyways, the scenes that aren’t in this house are mainly quick cuts to give an illustration of events; but not to hinder on the practice of verbal imagery which is practiced constantly throughout the motion picture. I HAV VOCABULY GOOD.
And there’s something that’s awesome about this movie right off the bad. Constantly throughout the film, events are not shown. Most movies show every little bit of what happens. This film goes from one point of view, getting information on the bigger picture from one source. For example, a scene may be described from the point of a reporter for the radio station, but we never actually see the scene, we just hear his broadcast. This adds a lot of tension as you constantly want to find out what is going on. You get teaspoons of really vital information here and there, but you really never get to see the entirety of what is going on. It is a gradual influx of information, and you must pay attention clearly to what is going on even if there are distractions purposely put in by the director Bruce McDonald…is this starting to sound like Night of the Living Dead to you? Good.
Continuing on, the three people who live in the house and work in the radio station are Grant Mazzy, Sydney Briar and Laurel-Ann Drummond. Grant is the star of the radio show, and is the main voice you would hear on a normal day in PTP. Sydney Briar is essentially the director of the show, giving instructions but not in full control as the radio show doesn’t turn up too much profit. Laurel handles everything else; gathering reports both written and spoken, and then airing pre-tapes on the show. It’s never clearly specified what their relationship is. Whether they’re just friends, or if they’re close family.
There’s arguments to both sides, but Bruce had the good idea of letting it be a mystery. And if you’re wondering, unfortunately Dir. Bruce McDonald has not had any really successful work, including this film. Grant Mazzy is played by Stephen McHattie, who’s work includes 300, KAW, Watchmen, 2012 and Immortals. And a bunch of movies that sound like stuff you’ve heard of when really you haven’t, such as The Ultimate Warrior and Secretary. Anyways, I love this character. He’s the kind of guy who is confused by everything around him, thinking he’s smarter than everyone else and can’t catch a break.
At least in the beginning. Every time he thinks it’s time to make a joke, everyone else thinks it’s a serious situation, and vice versa. And often it’s a boy-who-cried-wolf situation. First, he laughs at something serious; then when something serious actually happens it’s hard for people to believe him. But he’s also rational as he is able to cooperate with people when the situation requires it; and that’s what goes on most of the movie. So he’s usually a calm guy, even though the situation isn’t under control. Stephan plays the role very macho like, and when Mazzy does finally break down it’s a huge shock and that’s when you know “something fucked up is really happening.”
Lisa Houle plays as Sydney Briar. And what is notable in her previous work?...Senfield. See, I’m telling you guys, this is pure proof that Canadian cinema just gets buried by Hollywood! Anyways, Sydney Briar is much more of a normal person that anybody else in this movie, and that’s saying something. She’s that person who’s very strict, it’s either taking care of business financially or taking care of business emotionally. The kind of person you can’t catch a break with, unless under dire circumstances. Again, such a person who you see as intact and secure, when she finally breaks down it’s a huge shock and “makes us think that something fucked up is really happening.”
Georgina Reilly plays Laurel-Ann Drummond. And again, she seems relatively normal. Her age is kind of elusive, but I would guess between 13-17. I’m saying her age is elusive because even though that’s the most likely guess, she was 23 when filming this. She’s the shy girl, the kind of girl who won’t get in your beeswax and just does what she is told. We all know this person. And you know, that’s exactly what I love about this film’s character writings. They’re all normal people. We know this person, we know this person, we can relate to them. We understand them.
So when they get in trouble, we feel sympathy for them, we feel afraid because we’re just as likely to be in that situation. In throw away slasher flicks (which I still love don’t get me wrong) we get sluts and druggies and people that have very specific stereotypes. So it’s just like “alrighty, in this situation, you don’t do these things. These kids are idiots and I wouldn’t do something that stupid.” Where’s the tension in that? Here, we could easily be stuck in this situation, no preventing it, and very little chance of us getting out of it. That is how you make a horror movie scary! Just like fucking Cloverfield, this movie has us understanding these people.
The visuals in this film are subtle but effective in several ways. First off, you don’t see blood for most of the movie, but when you see it, it hits you hard. That creates a real sense of disgust because you’re not desensitized by that shit 10 minutes into the movie. I could puke at those scenes. The film uses the common sound visualizer. You know, the thing that looks like a lightning bolt that grows bigger when whoever is talking grows louder? Often times it uses this, and it helps create a dark, quiet, isolated, cold, and feel to the film. In certain places it’s also used to illustrate distance in time and space, or to illustrate closure.
Very effective. The house itself is dimly lit, it’s warm but it’s dark. A guy would go crazy if left in there, not even under any dire circumstances. So when you have this shit going on, the house really starts to take on its own character. Not to mention, a certain scene has a lot of writing on the wall that illustrate Sydney Briar’s character to great depths in ways other than dialogue that feel maybe a little more subtle. Unfortunately, there are two problems I have with this film. The first is Dr. Mendez. Let’s just say he’s an excuse character. He’s put into the film well into Act II, and serves the purpose of delivering the scientific explanation.
Of course, I understand that the three people in the house could not get a scientific explanation of what the fuck is going on, on their own. However, couldn’t we do it another, more subtle way? Have it done in the form of a BBC Broadcast that’s picked up by the local station, and trust me that would make sense in this film. Just not with some random character who appears than disappears in a matter of twenty minutes and is annoying. The other problem I have with this film is minor. There’s a scene where apparently pre-disaster the radio station had planned to do a song segment.
It features quite offensive Arabic stereotypes, provides no use to the film’s narrative, and makes Sydney look a lot dumber than the film should. It only goes for about 2 minutes, but I’ll be damned if it isn’t the longest 2 minutes I ever saw. I was trying to find some reason to put this in the movie, but I just couldn’t. Ladies and Gentlementlemen, Children of all Ages 17+, Friends and Neighbors, and that guy smoking pot in the background as advised by Mazzy; …..A BIG LIPPED ALLIGATOR MOMENT. Well, I’m sorry to say I don’t know if there is much to talk about. It’s a film so tense that you will be glued to the screen, evokes many questions about language, human relationships and governments, is impressively relatable in its characters, and has an extremely effective directorial style. Highly recommended. 5.5/5 + The Kickass Seal of Approval
The #? Entry in The Request-A-Thon, requested by DoogJMusic!
"Usually with the films that I make there are ideas that I connect to, but lately I've been dealing with the bittersweet in life because it feels more natural. You don't ever get it really the way you want in life. That really fascinates me. As an actor, there are certain parts of a character that you create, and you train yourself to have those reactions and then it becomes hard to stop them when the role is over. You have to retrain yourself. My character in this film is like hot grits. You know you can't shake them off and when you do, it hurts". – Will Smith. This is a film that Will Smith saw as a modern version of a Shakespearian love story, despite it being a drama that gained rather negative reviews.
The film did not do well. Although it grossed approximately 3 times its original budget, most of that was during a 5-city tour (Cleveland, St. Loius, Denver, Miami and Dallas) that all went to food banks in those regions. It didn’t make much in the way of a real theatre release or home video. And ugh…CHEESY TRANSITION!
Well, let’s start off with the big guy, Will Smith. He plays a character who is the nicest dude on the planet while firm. If you are a deserving human being he’ll treat you with the greatest of hospitalities. If he deems you a bastard (or some other term) he will shove your head into a glass window. And of course, with his typical Will Smith touch. While it’s not a 5 star performance he’s easily a standout piece of the picture. Rosario Dawson plays Emily Posa. She’s kind of a generic 21st Century female role. Not a stereotype but an archetype. She’s alright, she doesn’t drag down the movie but the energy she could have given is different from the amount of energy she did give.
Woody Harrelson plays Ezra. A very nervous, confined, antisocial person who hasn’t done with his life what he wanted to. He plays that role pretty much perfectly, but he doesn’t show up a lot of the time. Honestly, I wonder if a movie about him would have been more interesting. Aside from that, a few cynical assholes, a few people that need help badly, all play their roles competently but without excellence. Enough on the cast. The soundtrack to this film is pretty good. Though nothing we haven’t heard before, it’s all still pretty strong and works in the film’s favor.
The dialogue, from a written standpoint, is pretty good. Nobody ever really acts out of character, and if they do it works in favor of the scene. It’s all clever but far from genius. In terms of how the director took a hold of it, well, that’s a different story. The dialogue is extremely spaced out, the time it takes between people talking drags the film heavily and by heavily I mean more than the next factor by a lot. People do not talk like this, people interrupt each other, they’re rude not polite. Thoughts flow in ways that we aren’t used to receiving. Apparently the director did not understand that.
Odd that I talk about the concept, huh? But, yeah, I think the idea for this movie is really good. A guy who is going out to save the lives of seven people for the seven he ended sounds like a really good opportunity for some artistic magic. I feel like it takes a true artist to come up with something like this, and it definitely got me interested and anticipated to watching it. Alright, well, sorry if this one is a bit smaller than normal. With a decent cast and a great main star, a pretty good soundtrack and a very interesting concept; I don’t think I’d be recommending this movie but I still think if you do stumble upon it you’ll be pleased with the results. 3.5/5
I, Da Ca$hman, singing off.
One of the nominees for greatest title in history, requested by The Great God of Bacon!
Okay, so RhinoKlox is the only guy who’s actually requested that I do this movie. Regardless, it is possibly the most under talked about movies that I think everybody knows about. Why? Maybe because it’s a three-part miniseries. Maybe because it was released exclusively on the Internet. Maybe because it’s only 42 minutes long. Maybe because Neil Patrick Harris stars in it. Maybe because it’s a musical tragicomedy. Maybe because it’s a 42 minute long three-part Internet exclusive musical tragicomedy miniseries starring Neil Patrick Harris! You know, this actually starts to make a whole lot of fucking sense!.......Actually, no it’s not!
Well, I can at least explain some of the stuff. Basically, there was this thing called The Screenwriter’s Guild of America Strike of ’07-’08. What was happening was that screenwriters were getting shitty salaries compared to actors and directors. After all, they fucking made the story! They were the pioneers of the movie. An actor, hell a director, is replicable. You can’t replace the fucking writer, and if you try you’ll end up with a Dracula vs. The Wolf Man situation where it’s too fucking late bitches! So 12,000 American Screenwriters decided to strike their jobs. You can imagine that this would not bode well for anybody working in Hollywood during that present, and especially in financial terms.
The purpose of strikes are always long-term. In the meantime, the team of Joss and Zack Whedon didn’t really care about this whole fiasco. They just wanted to write a movie. But of course, Hollywood didn’t really take much love to these guys. So they needed to do something low-budget that was looking professional. The idea was to cut out the costs of: Half of the production, half of the script, half of the editing – basically half of anything that was dependent on how long the movie was – and of course, the cost of distributing the film prints to theaters. As a result, instead of the high 8 figures I’d estimate they’d need to make this movie; the budget was only above $200,000.
And now, we have our movie.
Well of course when a big name such as Neil Patrick Harris is in a movie, the first thing to critique is the Neil Patrick Harris in the movie. He plays Dr. Billy Horrible, or just Billy, or just Horrible, or just Bill, or just William, actually it’s pretty much just Billy and Dr. Horrible. Dr. Horrible is a totally pretentious douchebag who sees the world as a rotting fish that needs its head chopped off. Well how did they know how I would be as a person four years later? His writing is really entertaining. The guy spits lines like “it’s not about making money, it’s about taking money.”
But for some reason I just can’t get behind him on the screen. I see it as a combination of things. First off Neil Patrick Harris never gets excited. He doesn’t look bored or winded, he just lacks any ability to get energetic and enthusiastic. For God’s Sake’s man did you see the description of this movie? It’s a 42 minute long three-part Internet exclusive musical tragicomedy miniseries starring Neil Patrick Harris! GET CHEESY! The other possibility is that he is the main focus. Note why The Riddler in the Batman franchise is so awesome, is because he’s not a main villain.
Most guys are straight evil or psychotic or hyper sexual or some type in the context of The God Damn Batman. But he’s just one guy who doesn’t get spotlighted as much as Joker, Two-Face, Bane, Catwoman, Penguin, Scarecrow, etc. And so his arrogant persona comes off as much more fresh. Ooor maybe I’ve just played too many of the Arkham games. It’s also notable that Dr. Horrible also hates one guy specifically and the rest of the world generally, while a character like The Riddler hates EVERYBODY specifically. Or maybe I’m just biased towards The God Damn Batman! AND THE WHOLE POINT OF THIS SCHPEEL WAS THAT NEIL PATRICK HARRIS DOES A DECENT JOB SHUT THE FUCK UP BHEEMA!
Well okay, let’s talk about something different. Going into this movie I attempted to ignore it was a Musical, after all that’s a genre anybody with any testosterone – including women – are going to hate with an unrivaled hatred. (Yes, they’re going to hate with a hatred; brought to you by The Redundancy Department of Redundancy Department) (Ooo how original it’s just like an Irishman walking out of a Bar.) But every once in a while there comes good musicals, such as any musical done by Tim Burton that doesn’t have The Jabberwocky. So how are the songs in this motion picture?
Well, they’re cheesy as fuck, which bugs me a little. But as I said, this is a motherfucking 42 minute long three-part Internet exclusive musical tragicomedy miniseries starring Neil Patrick Harris! I think we can excuse that! It’s also very clichéd, the tactics of having opposite mirror images in character sing at the same time with opposite mirror image lines, while clever, has been done several millions of times over. And so has adding unnecessary s’s and n’s to perfectly fine words such as vegentable. But on the bright side, they’re plentiful, pleasant, and all serve a purpose, so it’s all good.
Alright, one of the other things that I was not looking extremely forward to is the comedy aspect. I’ve never been a huge comedy fan when it comes to movies. After all, I’m an Autistic Jewish Psychopath. Although the psychopath part is not official and probably never will after a visit with m psychiatrist why do you give a flat flying million-legged dildo? So…what was I talking about? Anyways, this movie is REALLY funny unexpectedly. There’s a lot of subtle comedy…or, not really subtle. Not the right word. I don’t know if there’s a word for this. It’s just the kind of comedy you have to pay attention to.
For instance, somebody might say the biggest belly laugh of a joke under their breath in the instant, and the notion they bring up is never brought up again. It’s also the same kind of comedic effect you get when the movie makes fun of itself in addition to what it already was making fun of. It’s extremely effective comedy is what I’m saying. And of course, like a good Mel Brooks film, it doesn’t sacrifice story in place of comedy. If you took out all the jokes and cheesy acting (although how are we going to do that in a Superhero movie) this could be a legitimate movie about a guy who’s trying to impress the girl of his dreams yet is put up with competition that is the most difficult of competition; all this in Superhero form.
Speaking of superheroes, Captain Hammer is a motherfucking jerk! He’s played by Nathan Fillion. You might recognize him for movies as, I dunno…Saving Private Ryan, Dracula 2000, and SUPER! Yeah, he sounds credible. As Captain Hammer, he’s the kind of super cheesy hero on the outside, which already helps the surroundings. After all, as a cynical asshole myself, I FUCKING HATE PEOPLE WHO ACT CHEESY IN REAL LIFE, ESPECIALLY THIS FOOLISH! So I already hate this guy, as he is the antagonist...even though everybody loves him. Kind of reminds me of Captain Amazing from Mystery Men but done better.
But to add to that, he’s a fucking jerk! I don’t really want to spoil anything since where we really find this out (adjusted for twice the length) would be more like 50 minutes in…but trust me, he makes a great villain in that you just want to rip this guy’s heart out and show him how black it is before shoving it down his fucking throat!!! Felicia Day plays Penny, both the main hero’s (villain’s?) and main villain’s (hero’s?) love interest. And well, she does a pretty good job, but her character really doesn’t get a whole lot of focus. But hell, this IS 42 minutes and the main conflict is the most important so, I can forgive that. The rest of the cast essentially play cameos, and most of them are pretty damn funny…but they’re still cameos.
Well, I guess we better wrap things up. Overall, the movie lives up to all the potential a 42 minute long three-part Internet exclusive musical tragicomedy miniseries starring Neil Patrick Harris centering around a super-villain and a love triangle could possibly live up to! Maybe aside from not enough cheesiness coming from Neil Patrick Harris. 5.5/5, for sure. And to anybody who's questioning that - C'mon, this movie's fucking awesome.
I, Da Ca$hman, singing off.
Christopher Nolan…MMM DOOGJMUSIC THANK YOU!!!
Lies. They're here.
Now it’s time for the 9th entry in the Request-A-Thon (got the number down thankfully.) I was originally gonna review The Wind That Shakes The Barley for RhinoKlox but since this marathon is partially dictated by Netflix plans changed. Now onto how summah dat bat round. But, more to the point, The God Damn Batman. This film is based off a novel written by Christopher Priest (isn’t it interesting there are so many people named Chris either famous or awesome?) He is a huge fan of H.G. Wells, and is V.P. of the H.G. Wells society. He was impressed with Nolan’s previous works Following and Momento.
Hmm…wonder if he’ll ever do anything with wizards and witches? (hint hint). At the same time, Valerie Dean brought the book to Nolan’s attention. So while Nolan was in the U.K. publicizing Momento, he decided to read up on the book, and then he was like “*Snap Snap* It’s movie time!...Oh shit, I still gotta work on Insomnia, don’t I?” So there he worked on post-production of Insomnia, asking his brother Jonathon Nolan to help write the script for The Prestige. So then when they finished the script, Chris was all like “*Snap Snap* It’s movie time!...Wait, you want me to do a Batman movie? Umm…hey, John, can we put this off a little bit?” And so then Batman Begins was created. And by all the other stuff here on the Page that I’m careful to avoid spoilers about…this looks like one helluva ride. “Snap Snap!” IT’S MOVIE TIME BABY!!!
Plot time. The film takes place in Londan and Colorado Springs for a timespan after 1880. Here, I will describe a basic overview what happens in the first 30 minutes. I don’t consider it a spoiler if it’s within that timeframe. Also note that this film works in layers, like another of Nolan’s works as Inception, so I’m betting at least ½ of its viewers will not fully comprehend without background. But it is important to note that the scriptwriting is not linear, so important details are shown in the first ½ hour. Basically, Angier AKA “The Great Danton,” and Borden “The Professor” are rivaling young magicians trying to get on top of another. (Great word choice Ca$hman.)
Eventually it comes down to Borden committing Manslaughter on Angier’s wife Julia by being cocky about the Chinese Water Torture Chamber Trick (or CWTCT). He “wasn’t even sure which knot he tied.” Whether due to response or preventative purpose, or maybe he’s just a malicious boar-pig; Borden kills Angier by setting the same CWTC under the main stage while Angier is performing The Transport Man Trick (or T2MT). He replaces the fake lock with a real lock, and whallah! You now have a dead main character in the beginning of the movie! Thank you Alfred Hitco-I-I mean Christopher Nolan. Or Jonathon Nolan?
Again, Borden killed Angier for killing his own wife. Maybe Borden just doesn’t let the guilty free but, seems a little over the top for me. So Borden gets sent to an Insane Asylum. On initiation, he receives Angier’s journal from a man trying to be the T2MT – and how I will at least keep that secret. He reads it, and the journal picks up on Angier’s trip to Colorado Springs. There, he reads Borden’s journal, how he found I will not spoil. With Borden’s journal as the cap of the supply, Angier writes about all the events that happened with both of them leading up to, afterwards and surrounding The First Accident.
And now, you can go in confusion free…hopefully. It’s an extremely well written script that, from where I’m standing, ties in all knots in a non-linear and gradual manner that literally keeps you guessing until the last second before the credits sequence. If Nolan’s best at anything, it’s scriptwriting….and… Atmosphere! The movie is very calm in its atmosphere. Lots of blues and blacks, sometimes deeper reds but nothing intense. Very much how magicians need to be if they can pull of their tricks. Calm and precise. Can’t be green, can we gentlemen? Going with this clever atmospheric choice by Christopher, the A-List class of Hugh Jackman, Christian Bale, Michael Caine, Scarlet Johansson and more (several of these Christopher loves to work with,) plays the movie relatively calm, not putting in the most whelming of performances.
Typically, I’m not that fond of this. But it makes sense here. Getting excited as a magician is not a very good idea. While we’re at this, let’s talk about the camera work. While nothing of genius cinematography – where the camera becomes a character – there is something to be said for the camera very well working as an illustration of motion. Basically what I mean is when a scene is cut, the scene starts out at a distant location from its subject within the confines of logic. Then, depending on the motion standpoint, the camera draws in. If it’s a transition between a guy living in reality and reading a book (if you’re ill on that concept, pick up a book right now and you’ll know what I mean), it’s a bit of a longer transition between distance and close-up.
If it’s sudden, like a person breaking out of reading, it’s a simple cut and nothing more. The use of camera angles is also varied and typically explains what angles are meant to explain; but seriously; we don’t have a Gregg Toland in Wally Pfister folks. The soundtrack, like any Nolan film, is great. Nothing to fantastic, but again this makes sense. The mood of a magic show cannot be fantastic, it must be subtle, otherwise the audience is not as surprised when something instantaneous and over-the-top occurs. For what It is, it’s a really good piece of work. It’s done by David Julyan, who did the scores for Nolan’s Insomnia, Momento and Following.
So while it’s calm, it is not boring, it’s a moving score that assists in letting the audience know “yeah, there’s still more shit that’s gonna hit this already very brown fan.” Wow…does this seem like a little Nolan fanboy masturbation circle of a review or what? Well, let’s talk about something I didn’t find fantastic in this movie to kind of add some variety. The dialogue. Though I was invested in everything people were saying, my investment was not paid off. I granted my initial investment due to the film’s well written nonlinear story, and thus catching important parts is…well, important.
That said, people don’t really talk that well in this movie. While I can say I enjoyed the discussion of the magic tricks and their mechanics; such as I enjoy the discussion in a H2F or UMM; I more enjoyed the concepts than how they were presented. Everybody is too focused on sounding like they’re from the 19th/20th Century, which already shows some error because there’s a sense of trying too hard. Also, people talk in that over-dramatic, under-whelming, form of dialogue where every line is taken with a large breath of air and there’s at least 1-2 seconds between each sentence.
Longer still if sentences go between characters. And then it gets even worse when people stutter. Kind of reminds me of films like The Dark Knight and Inception. Are we noticing a pattern here? Christopher Nolan movies are Christopher Nolan movies. Well I hate to end now, but I must end it here. I would like to plead for innocence, because usually I talk about every single character where here all of them could be wrapped up into a single summarization. Some are different than others but it would seem rather redundant if I devoted an individual discussion on them. So, I close. A fucking fantastic script, good actors, a good soundtrack, good cinematography and rather under-whelming dialogue… The Rating? 5/5, why otherwise!
I, Da Ca$hman, singing off. Next Requested Review: You see, a pimp’s love is very different than that of a square.
(The Next Day)
...Wait. Christopher Nolan. Christian Bale. Michael Cane. Hugh Jackman...Batman vs. Wolverine?
The 11th entry in The Request-A-Thon, requested by The Son of Freddy Krueger.
Huuuh...I just know I'm not gonna sell this well. But it's okay! Let's start anyways!
This film has quite the ensemble cast. To start off, we have Jim Carrey playing our lead role of Joel. You guys all know who Jim Carrey is so I’ll spare you the details of the filmography that is typically used to bloat the reviews up…Ace Ventura: Pet Detective, The Mask, Dumb and Dumber, Batman Forever, Ace Ventura: When Nature Calls, The Cable Guy, The Truman Show, Man on the Moon, Me Myself & Irene, How the Grinch Stole Christmas, Bruce Almighty, A Series of Unfortunate Events, Fun with Dick and Jane, Horton Hears a Who, Yes Man, I Love You Philip Morris, A Christmas Carol, Under the Sea, Mr. Poppers Penguins. Liar Liar.
Now I get an entire paragraph to brag about for free! Anyways, let’s get back to the topic at hand. The box of spiders…In Living Color, Space Ghost Coast to Coast, The Office. There, bought myself another whole sentence. Now for what I should be talking about, how Jim Carrey does as Joel. Well, I really like his performance here. Joel is a very relatable tragic hero in this film. Key word is relatable. Think of some of the most famous tragic heroes. Typically of noble birth. This guy is just regular and happens to be our protagonist. So when the tragedy; of which was caused by every outside force but him yet prompted 100% by him – best, multi-layered emotional scriptwriting; befalls him, we understand him more.
Jim Carrey understands his role, so he plays very modestly and very realistic like. It’s not that he doesn’t show emotion, oh he does, believe me. But he’s never eccentric or flipping the hell out, he’s not a show-stealer or a stereotype, he just is a regular person and a thinking, emotional person. Jim Carrey hits it out of the ball park with his role. Our next performance is Clementine by Kate Winslet. And since I’m a hypocritical bastard I’m gonna give you the bloat filmography even if ya know perfectly well who this woman is. A Kid in King Arthur’s Court, Jude, Hamlet, Titanic, Christmas Carol: The Movie, Iris, The Life of David Gale, Finding Neverland, All the King’s Men, Flushed Away, Deep Sea, Contagion, and the upcoming Movie 43.
Clementine is…a character, to say the least. Her emotions change drastically with the snap of a finger, but she’s nothing sort of fun. Very upbeat, fun, if it is a verb springy personality is Clementine. But she’ll always have you offguard when she springs into slight spots of anxious frustration every so often. An engaging persona. And yes…she’s quite attractive indeed. Especially that spicy cold blue hair, AOW. Let’s go away from the star power of this film and talk about the narrative structure. This film has a story that’s, like many other great films, quite nonlinear. But it’s not as jarring and back and forth as say The Prestige.
(Which is a great movie if you happened not to read that review.) So I’m going to give some plot away right here, but again it fits in with my 30 minutes it’s-not-a-spoiler rule. What the film lets us see in that 30 minutes, Joel randomly takes a train to a place with a really shitty beach, meets up with Clementine on the train, has quite the entertaining conversation with her, stays at her place for the night, and they’re pretty much martially engaged from that point on. The film skips over X amount of time, to the point where he is dropping her off at her house. A guy comes up and appears to be confused.
Then he comes home and appears broken hearted. From there, skip a few details, it becomes more and more clear that she was cheating on him and is acting as if she never knew him. She finds that she actually had her memory erased, and opts to do the same thing. I assume that memories are easier to find and erase when active, so following this intuition the doctors ask for a roadmap of Joel’s Clementine related memories. From there, we get to see a distorted image of what happened during that X amount of time, while other things are going on.
The scenes in memory are really quite unique, in that they attempt to put not only memories, but their nature, onto screen. How our memories mix with outside sounds, how erasing a memory would look to an over-viewer, and how we simulate different situations within those memories. The irony of the depictions is quite queer and may I even say shocking. Just to think of how butchering and bastardizing our own memories is such a simple and usual activity provokes several different emotions. I’m not really selling it well, the depictions of memories and dreams are probably among if not the most realistic, interesting and thought-provoking depictions of dreams I’ve seen. Of course it’s impossible to get that kind of stuff on screen but this is pretty damn close.
And you know…that’s what this movie’s about. I could go on longer, surely other characters, the soundtrack, and all those other things are worth talking about, and that’s because they’re awesome. But the two people and their memories, that’s what this movie is about. So I’m gonna cut this short and leave the focus here. The Rating? Well, considering absolutely everything in this movie is great, and the fact that the depiction of dreams and memories is closer to anything then I’ve ever seen, I’m going to give this what I think it deserves. 6/5
I promise, one day, I will revisit this movie, and give it the review it deserves.
I, Da Ca$hman, singing off.
YOU ARE TEARING ME APART REQUEST-A-THON!
This movie was requested by The Son of Freddy Krueger. Who gave us such awesomes as About Schmidt, 2001: A Space Odyssey, and Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind. Of course, THIS of all movies has to be the last movie I do he originally requested. For the few on the Internet who aren’t aware, The Room was directed, produced, produced, written and distributed by and starring Tommy Wiseau, a name who has become infamous throughout the internet. Aaand the two produceds ain’t no typo. Most reviews that have been made of this movie result in an infringement on copyright claim by Wiseau films.
All of these reviews have shown footage of the movie. That’s why, just to be safe, I’m not showing the trailer or any clips in this specific review. Some reviews (Doug Walker, Allison Pregler), have been re-instated, but those cases involved taking action; and I’m just a high scholar who in addition to pure laziness has a bunch on his plate, half of which I shouldn’t. So, I’m going safe. Anyways. Isn’t this supposed to be where I put production notes in? Not lately I guess! But, lettuce see if we can get back on ze tracks. This film is often called “The Citizen Kane of Bad Movies.”
It originally only saw a limited release in a few Californian theaters, but it’s blossomed to the point where every film festival with little to no self-respect is essentially required to show the film. People get a laugh at absurdly bad films, and I’ll admit I do too. But overkill is overkill. After seeing Frankenstein Meets the Space Monster; which was overkill for me in terms of ridiculous atrociousness; which isn’t even “the worst movie ever made,” I really don’t know about this. What I’ve seen has made me laugh. The best part I’ve seen so far is a scene that probably was written “backwards.”
Besides, DAT POSTER.
The more you look into this, the more ludicrous it gets. It originated as a play, adapted into a 500 page book, and then adapted into a movie by importing leather jackets to Korea. Wiseau then went on to spend the blasted chunk on commercials and just get some friends into his project. He somehow was allowed to have a “Beginner’s Package” at a lot in Hollywood, and was given both a 35mm camera and a HD camera. Note that 35mm is 4K Pixels while HD is 1080p. And he shot with both. DaFuq? Apparently the script used to be much longer, but most of the dialogue was in monologue and it was “incomprehensible.”
Apparently the shit that made it in this movie was okay, but the stuff they cut out? Incomprehensible. But then of course, Wisaeu took a lot of shots and re-dubbed them himself; even if they weren’t his character; to re-instate his “vision of dialogue.” You know…just start the fucking picture, if we continue to talk about how weird this thing is, we’ll be here forever.
Our resident multitasking, Wiseau, plays Johnny. A…A…what I can only describe as a really funny foreign dude who’s trying to be tolerant of an abrasive and egocentric environment. I…I don’t even know! I mean, FUGAH! Fugah. That’s my word. I mean…okay. You know how average High Schoolers perform in terms of acting? They sometimes do express emotion, but when they do it’s super-forced and unreal. Most of the time they have absolutely no expression in voice, and a stupid smile that telegraphs they don’t view their collection of syllables with dramatic context but rather with empty requirements. Yeah, that’s pretty much Tommy.
Sometimes he speaks lines that make no fucking sense. The flower shop scene is an unequivocal showcase of his talking skills. And as for physical acting skills…who do you know who fucks a girl’s belly button?!?! You know, the funny thing, I bet Wiseau is one of those directors who’d come up with some sort of convoluted excuse for abhorrent acting. He’d probably say Johnny/Tommy acts this way because he doesn’t care much about the people surrounding him, because they all don’t care for him. But…that would only make sense if his acting got progressively worse.
Juliette Daniel stars as Johnny’s…”fiancé.” Interesting to note she will be in the future release Ghost Shark 2: Urban Jaws. Now won’t that be a tour de force! Where’s my rifle!??! Is it possible to be worse at acting than Tommy? Tommy has a lot more problems than dull acting, but regarding dull acting Tommy is at least trying. Juliette seems like she just wants to get done with this so she can get her daily paycheck and order her grand brand spankin’ new purple dildo…Huh, I guess that makes sense in Wiseau-Logic. No, no, no, she’s total fucking crap.
So Philip Haldiman plays Denny, the orphan that Johnny “adopted.” And he was…actually…in an acclaimed movie. Huh. Murder Inside of Me. Doesn’t matter. He’s also fucking horrible. Is he boring? Maybe. Does he make no sense? DING DING DING! One more answer to go. Is he a child actor? BINGO! This kid is really…weird. It’s not really an overarching issue, it tends to appear in moments. Like he tries to get in when Johnny and Lisa try to have belly-button sex…okay, get that image out of your mind right now! That’s the maximum of his nonsensicalness, howbeit the minimum radiates bewilderment.
Big words bitch. I’m important. Now then. Also, the fact he’s a child actor with no experience puts him at a horrible predisposition. The fact he has dialogue written by WISEAU elevates his predisposition from horrible to immensely disheartening. Considering the former, Haldiman is tolerable. He makes that typical high scholar look like dead meat. The latter is where problems materialize. He makes no attempt to race-around his dialogue; aka improvise; and allows himself to transform into One Hundred Percent Wiseau Product. Guaranteed Stale (Until Printed Date.)
One more actor and then I’m going for some other stuff….*sighs*….Oh, hi Mark! Greg Sestero plays the man who lands in that famous/infamous (is the choice solid any longer?) quote. Some works of his proving his lack of experience and ability are Patch Adams and Retro Puppet Master. Yeah. Everybody needs to shut up. The English Language is closed; we’ll be open at 9:00 in the morning. Do I have to tell you this dude is a piece of shit? Yeah. He’s a fucking cumbag – yeah, that’s right, fuck douchebags, we got cumbags – of an actor. You wanna talk about stale?
You wanna talk about uninteresting? You wanna talk about boring? You wanna talk about your Psalms and John 3:16’s? Well, fuck you, we ain’t talkin’ about the Bible and it ain’t March 16th. You guys missed out on that, idiots. You wanna talk about reminding you of every boring person in your life, you wanna talk about forced? This is the essence of when people are trying to be P.C.! Not being blunt. This character, he just doesn’t fucking think! Scratch that, he doesn’t think, but he blocks out his thoughts before they can prove hazardous. THAT’S NOT INTERESTING! IT DOESN’T HELP THE GUY YOU GOT TO PLAY HIM MAKES A ROCK LOOK FLUID!
…Huff. Puff. Fushing Fifft. So I think we’ll leave the acting at that. Ya know, this movie ain’t all stupendously abominable. The soundtrack is actually good. The composer is Mladen Milicevic, who has not a good flick to his name. I think the main problem with this soundtrack is that it doesn’t play for a majority of the movie. I mean in the hour and 39 min. that the film runs, it plays at the most 7 times of varying duration. Those durations are small, excluding the opening titles. When a movie is music less, it can be good or bad, but it’s typically for the sake of good in absolute solitude.
No soundtrack is done in cases of found footage films or very realistic dramas, attempting to illustrate that life doesn’t have an orchestra in the background. It tends to be much less entertaining than a film. Unfortunately, this flick isn’t like that. This is the kind of movie that not only relies, it feeds off of soundtrack. And the editor, Eric Chase, didn’t get that. But Mr. Eric wasn’t trusted to begin with, considering the dialogue and the music make synching look nonexistent. But oooh we’ll get to the dialogue. Despite these fatal problems, the soundtrack is a bitter-sweet expression of light, wandering confusion that; not being attached to such a mess; would actually be praised.
Now. Fine. Right here and now. Fine. We’re gonna do it. We’re gonna talk about the dialogue.
OH MY GOD! How was Wiseau what? Okay, I…fuck man! You don’t fucking write this! You don’t fucking write this unless you’re trying to be ridiculed! I don’t know man, are you from another planet? Is Earth’s retardation not enough for God? Was Tommy Wiseau meant to be such a fucking stupid person that you had to move Wiseau to planet Block Blcok to inhale their black, twisted version of carbon dioxide so that his retardation withma a a keee cerebfthra pasl clear? Was Michael Bay just too smart? Did you need somebody to make Ed Wood look decent? Or were you just playing some sort of sick fucking April Fool’s Game?
Because…FUCKING SHIT. TO THE THESAURUS! This dialogue is separated to the point of oblivion; each line makes all surrounding thoughts appear worthless. Space separating verbal thoughts is grotesquely large, a “Big Show” of “Room” if you will. Ideas are previously cliché and feed the abhorrent nature of Wiseau’s ability with apparent tunnel vision! You’ll fucking get one fucking fuck fuck fuck! FUCKING SUCKS, DUCKING TRUCKS, THE DIALOGUE RAPES SMALL BIRDS! THE DIALOGUE RAPES SMALL BIRDS GOD DAMMIT! THROW YOUR TVS INTO THE TRAHS CAN AND LET IT FLAME A FIRE, FUCKING THIS DIALOGUE GOD DAMMIT SNEEZE WHY DOES IT SNEEZE HOW THE FUCK DOES DIALOGUE MAKE SENSE SNEEZE I MEANT FUCKING SNEEZE FUCKING FUCK LOOK AT THIS COW-EATING MIDGET MUNCHING SHIT I MEAN C’MON GOD DAMMIT I’M GONNA FFUUCK OH HI MARK YOU WERE JUST FUCKING FURIOUS A MINUTE AGO WOW PETER YOU’RE CLUMSY DOES THIS KID HAVE FUCKING MANNERS WHAT THE FUCK DOESTHIS MAKE SENSE I CAN’T FUCKING DO IT MAN I CAN’T FUCKING GOD DAMN CUNT PISSING CRAP GATHERIPNG HELLBOUND MANIFESTATION OF ALL OF GOD’S MISTAKES I HATE EVERYTHING I HATE EVERYTHING
I HATE EVERYTHING
YOU ARE TEARING ME APPART TOMMY!
Give me a fucking Mtn. Dew, I’m sick of this shit. The DVD won’t even play the suicide OH DID I SPOIL SOMETHING? *A few Mtn. Dews later* Ugh. Make sure to slam the empty soda bottle for punctuation. Wonder if, even in text, that thing can compare to “A Bat Credit Card.” Or if it will just be some wannabe by a former fan of Doug Walker. What a freaking shitty movie. The acting is not wooden, tree does not deserve such embarrassment. The acting is as boring as watching cinderblock materialize at a rate of an atom per second, yet is strangely relatable in familiarity.
Most people isn’t great actor, most are of this caliber. The film has an editor who bastardizes any possible positive qualities of the film, and a fucking retarded director who I’m sure would be fun to have a drink with. The film has an unsynchronized yet beautiful soundtrack. The film has an embarrassingly boring look…like real life? No, Wiseau, I will not allow your hypnosis! I will not believe I mean I believe no don’t believe this movie is good isn’t good what is going on stop imitating Stephen King you freaking fool! It’s an absolute tragedy to be smirched on the arts of film that I recommend for everybody. Americans should see it twice. The Rating? Two Texas Toasters Which Toast Toast out of a possible handcuffed Gregory Peck in a bathing suit. G’Night.
If you gained anything out of this review, it’s that you should always be weary when a suspiciously African man comes to masturbate in your bedroom. The King especially.
I, Da Ca$hman, singing off.
“YOU DON’T WANNA SIT THROUGH THE ROOM! IT SUCKS OUT YOUR MIND AND REPLACES IT WITH STUPID!” – Linkara.
Part II of the 2-Year Anniversary of I, Da Ca$hman’$ Movie Review$.
March 13th was the day I created this site, and in 2010 was the year that is right. No Dr. Seuss am I so I will stop. It was a Saturday I think, though maybe I’ve got the date wrong. I remember it was at school when I founded it, but that would have been the 12th. Ah well. You remember that 8th grade class I was talking about? That’s where a lot of my first stuff came from. Speak The Book was the first thing I ever reviewed here, Speak The Movie was the third thing, and of course you guys remember the TKAM reviews. However, this is a movie reviewing site.
And the first movie I reviewed was also seen in that 8th grade class, Finding Nemo. First. Movie. Review. So instead of trying to re-create my reputation (trust me, that’s coming up later), I guess for now let’s just look back at memory lane. My review of it isn’t bad per say, surely it blows my original review of To Kill a Mockingbird out of the water. (Get it? I’m Jewish.) But I could do a lot more with it. So allow me to begin the 3rd year the way I began the 1st year, with “arguably Pixar’s most famous film,” Finding Nemo
Like the review of TKAM I just did, let’s start off with something relatively simple. Relatively but not completely. The visuals. Pixar has had a really good history with their visual style. Toy Story came out in 1995, when not even 10 films that utilized CGI were in existence. Not even a single film was released that was entirely CGI. If that film was released today nobody would complain that the thing looks fake. Back then, it was the game-changer that everybody says it is. Fast forward 8 years, Pixar has done Toy Story 2, Bug’s Life, Monsters Inc. and this movie. They had already set themselves up really high on the bar, and the bar was raised a lot of levels higher when you wanna talk about THE OCEAN.
So, how’d they do? Well…really damn good. Finding Nemo gives The Ocean a run for its money in terms of how deep the colors are. The detail in this movie is also exquisite, I mean I know with Avatar we are expected to be able to see the molecules in each strand of hair, but this is really up there. In true Pixar fashion, none of the characters look very realistic and there is that clever reminder that we’re watching a cartoon. Things like eyes buldging out of the sockets, unnaturally bright colors and very smooth skin texture are present on major characters. On the other hand, we still have extremely good picture quality. I guess I don’t really need to talk about how awesome Pixar looks but, “you get the jist.”
Now it’s time to talk about some of the actors. First is Marlin’s actor, Albert Brooks. This guy has an…interesting filmography. The Dick Van Dike Show, SNL, Taxi Driver, The Twilight Zone Movie, The Simpsons Movie, The Simpsons, Weeds and Drive are highlights on his filmography. That’s umm…different. Good, but different. And he’s really good in this movie. Before I talk about that, let me go on a completely somewhat random tangent. I remember on The Jungle Book’s VHS release, after the flick there was a documentary on the making of the movie. And I watched it. As a small child.
Born a Nerd b1tches.
One of the things they talked about was at the time, the actors for that movie were very famous. So famous that the kids of that generation knew who they were. And we’re talking George Sanders and Phil Harris here. But now that it’s 30 (now 43) years later, kids…most people even…don’t recognize their voice and the characters really take on their own voice. I wonder if this movie will be like that in the future, and it won’t carry the likeness of people like Ellen DeGeneres. Now back on topic about people like Albert Brooks, he’s good in this movie in that way I was talking about.
When I first saw this as a kid, who the h311 is Albert Brooks? Therefore, Marlin was Marlin was Marlin was Marlin. And today, it’s still that way. Sure, I know there’s a guy behind the mic. But let’s take another example. I thought about this about the Shrek series as a kid, but today’s different. Today, even if I don’t know who the guys in Shrek are (which I DO) that’s a celebrity’s voice. That’s not a character’s voice. In the case of Marlin, this is a character’s voice. To talk about him at full detail would also require that I talk about Ellen DeGeneres. She plays Dory.
The fish with short-term memory loss. She talks about it running in the family, but we have no introduction to her family. Maybe it’s just because too much backstory would slow down the movie, but I have another theory. As I pointed out in the original review, it’s possible that when Marlin and Dory collide in meeting for the first time, that’s when her sporadic amnesia takes place. I dunno. Dory does kind of have that DreamWorks feel. You KNOW that’s Ellen behind the mic. You know that’s a celebrity. Her sarcastic tone of voice, her sense of humor, the fact they casted a blonde chick to play a fish with brain damage…
Oh shit, I just realized a lot of my audience is blonde. I probably shouldn’t have said that! Well, anyways, sorry RhinoKlox, TraxProductions, and whoever cares to read this who happens to be blonde. Or used to be blonde but then dyed hairs. Probably most of them. But she still works. Marlin and Dory play as an A&C pair. Marlin is the serious, smart one and Dory is the dopey, ridiculous one. Obviously, the slapstick and utter stupidity can be capitalized on in a number of ways. Thankfully this is a Disney picture so off the bat they’ve prevented all the middle school maturity level jokes that could have been made.
They don’t resort to slapstick either, which would have worked, but it’s not as clever as how they’ve structured it. Accidentally smartassness. That’s my term for it. Where her subjective amnesia works in comedic ways, and it’s all pulled off pretty much perfectly. Marlin, on the other hand, is harder to make funny. The serious guy needs to be stiff and intolerant, but that can bring the film down when it’s done to the extreme. Pixar knew exactly what to do. First off, he’s got to be a good person underneath. I mean, he’s the main protagonist, that make sense! Second, he’s got to be very sarcastic. He’s got to make jokes too, or else he becomes stale and blends in with everything else. Pixar has that down to the timing and irony like the experts they are. They’re a great pair and their chemistry is genius. That’s why this stuff stands out.
The third of the three “main” characters is Nemo, played by Alexander Gould. I mentioned it in the past so I will mention it again. There’s a couple ways you could look at his name. It could be in homage to 20,000 Leagues under the Sea, you know. Captain Nemo? An underwater adventure, where the 1916 version was the first to exhibit underwater photography? Not to mention, a huge hit for Disney in 1954? Yeah, that’s extremely possible. The 1916 version not only pioneered underwater filming, but also got filmmakers and moviegoers interested in the ocean. Thus, this movie would have never existed.
Another common theory is that it’s a pun with Anemone. A Nemo Ne. Or, play with the puns, A Nemo Knee. You know, how Nemo has that bad fin? Gosh memories are coming back to me. Anyways. Who and how is Alexander? Well, nothing very notable is in his resume. But you do have Bambi II, Curious George, Law & Order, The Day The World Ended, They, and 7th Heaven. Don’t know if that amounts to anything at all but it’s aiight. In terms of iconography, he’s in the middle between Marlin and Dory. You can’t say “yeah, that’s a person everybody knows and they hired him for the bucks” with his acting.
But he’s not entirely natural. Well, wrong word. He’s a lot like how a kid his age would act in this situation; in fact he’s exactly like that. But umm…that’s not how movies work. They’re not supposed to be structured to reflect real life. Sure, don’t go too far off but don’t stay in. Balance guys, balance. And Nemo is just too close to real life. As a result, you can say you know exactly who is behind the camera by personality, even if not by name or face. In the end, he pulls his job off okay but he’s not the performance you’ll remember. Adults will remember Marlin and kids will remember Dory, but I don’t think anybody is gonna say “Nemo is my favorite character from that movie.”
Now lettuce talk about the story structure. You know my pet peeve for side stories is pretty strict, as I said in my original review, it’s “’cause they’re side stories.” They are side stories therefore they are side stories therefore they are side stories. But it’s really good how they structure the movie here. First off, everything that happens has to do with the main conclusion. Usually films resolve two stories with two conclusions, usually that’s all done to fill up time. Here, everything is pretty much resolved in one conclusion, because everything arises from the same conflict.
They are both enjoyable in their own right, with unique characters whereas side stories typically get the stereotypical annoyance. Here, you have great characters throughout the board. The way they switch between stories is also clever. Typically side stories are used to fill in 20 or 30 minutes, here each story gets pretty much equal time. And they transfer between each other at intervals that are correctly balanced, instead of one story getting too much attention and us begging to see the other part of the movie. It’s a well written film and mostly balanced with a few exceptions
“Marlin: How do you know that nothing bad won't happen?
Well, that was Finding Nemo. A great movie for sure. Excellent visual style, great comic timing, a very well balanced cast that bounce off of each other, holy $#!T how are they able to make a side story good, and did I mention the soundtrack was AAAAWWWEEESSOOOMMEE!!!?!?!!!...No, I didn’t? Ah well, it is. And like the original review, I’m going to give it 4.5/5
I, Da Ca$hman, singing off. The Third Part of the Two-Year Anniversary is waiting in the Index.
Jack Nicholson filmed in Denver, Colorado? Sign me up!
Time for the fifth entry in the Request-A-Thon, requested again by The Son [of Freddy Krueger]. You guys might [don’t] remember him for requesting 2001: A Space Odyssey. That was a REALLY good choice, so I do have some high hopes. I don’t really know about this movie going in, so let’s just…go in!
Well, honestly, you wanna know what I noticed first? The visual…symbolism? Foreshadowing? Whatever you wanna call it. There’s a lot in this movie where I just stopped and said “you know what, that looks very ‘extra,’ what’s going on there?” And I looked more deeply into it. I don’t think there was a single decision made about scenery without the plot or moral issues kept in mind. The soundtrack is also notable right off the bat. It fits the mood of the movie perfectly, which is not very light, per say. Basically, almost all woodwind instruments that I could detect; you know like flutes and such.
The notes are also very exaggerated, representing kind of a slow, muddy mood. I definitely love how this is how they decided to go with on the subject of retirement, and not that sunshine and beaches or epic bike travels image that so many people; even the smartest; often predict. Later in the film the piano starts to become much more primary, maybe expressing relief with gain. I think now I’ll talk about the big star, Jack Nicholson. Let me just lay out why this role would be a burden on somebody. The dialogue, I’ll just say is not exceptional. It’s very separated in between sentences and not very realistic; nor is it really anything more than general terms.
Half the stuff I swear I hear every other day. Making this dialogue work is already a bit of a hardship, but realizing that the only way to do it would be in a lively way makes the task a little more daunting. Now realize that you’re playing a 66 year old man who just retired. This sounds hard doesn’t it? Well, I’m very happy to say that Jack Nicholson perfectly meets those requirements not just in efficiency individually but also in a balance. A perfectly normal conversation at a Dairy Queen is made interesting in the instant by the Jack of Nichol Son, (a nickname I will use from here on out---oooh boy will that be fun in The Shining---); even more efficiently than the interest raised by the consequences of the action presented by the script.
Alright, I did kinda bash on the dialogue – how it’s only made interesting by Nicholson and what not. (Is that an old person saying, what not?)…(hell, I am the guy who has said Anywhosen since the age of 6). But the pacing of the script is really good here. In the film, either something is always at steak, or typically it is recovering from an event that just happened. There’s never a moment where nothing is happening; it can be as catastrophic as a passing away, but it can also be as simple as a “journal” entry. Even if they are “simple,” they also always leave an impact.
That’s very good scriptwriting. Every single minute of screen time is used proficiently for emotion. Which I’m sure is also a product of the editor or director’s chair, but the scriptwriter is probably the most responsible. Quickly, I’d also like to mention that the scriptwriter obviously had an appropriately subtle and controllable but yet effective sense of humor. Well, it’s been a long time since I’ve talked about editing, haven’t I? Well, I will. This film tends to cover larger spans of time than the standard of film portrayal through the uses of fades. A lot. Of fades. Now I can’t decide whether this is good or bad.
On the one hand, this is probably the opposite of an “epic,” therefore all details are important and should be elaborated upon. On the other hand, this is the opposite of an “epic story” yet it already runs at a very considerable duration of a little over 2 hours, so maybe for pacing’s sake this works. Make of it what you will. Most of the other actors do an adequate job. They act like normal people, which adds a sense of realism and helps you believe and connect with the story. However, they do act like normal people, and not the kind of people you would want to hang out with.
Just regular, average folk. That does get a little dry. Sometimes it works in unexpected ways. When the script calls for a character to be eccentric and shocking, the actors still remain relatively average; therefore adding a stark and varied contrast of character. Well, I think it’s time I wrapped this baby up. Bottom line, a very well put together film. By a mile high city, it’s the ideal film you could make out of genres like coming of age, road trip and family relationships. It’s a clever mix of humor, tragedy, hopefulness and observation. It’s a very artistic piece, or “artsy” as some might call it. Definitely a recommendation. 4.9/5
I, Da Ca$hman, singing off.
You didn’t think I actually forgot, did ya?
It’s St. Patrick’s Day Everybody! What are the great things about it? The corny bagpipe music that should be coming from Scotland? All the green when the colors of St. Patrick’s Day are blue and orange? BEER? BEER? BEER? BEER? BEER? Or is it…offending Irishmen. Aw yeah baby! You know dat’s where Da Ca$hman is at! Ever since St. Patrick’s Day 2010, I’ve been reviewing the Leprechaun movies in sequence, one of St. Patrick’s Day every year. But have I done them in true order? Get this. Believe it or not, this franchise happens to be one of those franchises that takes the chronology and plays around with it.
The story order goes Leprechaun: In Tha Hood, Leprechaun: Back 2 Tha Hood, Leprechaun 3, Leprechaun, Leprechaun 2 and Leprechaun 4: In Space. But we’re not doing it that way. Why? Because we’re not, SHUT THE FUCK UP YOU VEGETARIAN IDIOTS! MAKE ONE WRONG MOVE AND WE’LL EAT YOU!! The first year, we were in a village 1000 years ago. The next year, we were in a suburban neighborhood or unknown little victims. But we ain’t fuckin’ playin’ around, this year, we’re wining and dining, smoking, fucking, gambling, and about every other thing that you can only do when you’re 21! We’re taking The Leprechaun to Los Vegas! And what else is important about this movie? That’s it’s Warwick Davis as The Leprechaun in LAS. VEGAS. All hail The King, let’s start this fucker!
Warwick Davis returns, as expected, as The Leprechaun. He’s awesome per usual, and it seems he gets better and better with the role each entry. In here, he’s dropping effortlessly quotable lines and is even better at his athletic hunchback movements than before. I don’t think I need to say this, I mean he’s the reason we watch this flicks! But, unlike my first two reviews, I haven’t really given much background to Davey. This guy actually has an exceedingly heterogeneous filmography, and he’s widely known as a great actor even to non-fans of Leprechaun. He was in Return of the Jedi, Willow, Zorro (TV), The Silver Chair (TV), Gulliver’s Travels (86), The Phantom Menace, Snow White: The Fairest of Them All, The New Adventures of Pinocchio, The Sorcerer’s Stone, The Prisoner of Azkaban, The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, The Goblet of Fire, The Order of the Phoenix, Prince Capstan, The Half-Blood Prince, The Deathly Hallows, and the upcoming Jack The Giant Killer.
And uugh…yeah, that’s that for that.
With every villain typically comes a leading man and lady. Our top dude is John Gatins playing Scott McCoy. He’s been in a couple of movies you’re probably familiar with, the only one that aren’t considered complete dogshit is Reel Steel. And hey, wahddya know, he’s total dogshit in this movie! I mean, you can’t parody this fucking shit. This is a parody of all parodies of bad acting! This guy’s fucking awful, and is the dumbest freaking character I have ever seen in all of MAHFAAKINLAAAFE. He better have a few Razzies by his Bathtub because this guy is the most wooden, stale, idiotic, unrealistic, cliché piece of unadulterated dogshit that has been fetched out of the sewers and fed to a bulldog while it plays tennis with an orangutan and the shit spreads all over the….I’m gonna stop now.
John DeMita plays a simple side character, but he’s probably the best actor in the movie asdie from Davis. He plays Fazio, a “mediocre magician that couldn’t pull a rabbit out of a pet store.” Lil’ Johnny has also been in Lilo & Stitch, Princess Mononoke, The Twilight Zone (TV), Castle in the Sky, 21 Jump Street (TV), Freddy’s Nightmares (TV), Universal Soldier, Days of Our Lives (TV), Star Trek: The Next Generation (TV), Final Fantasy, The Pursuit of Happiness (TV), Conan (TV), Spawn (TV), Final Fantasy X (Game), Final Fantasy X-2 (Game), The Animatrix, CSI (TV), Naruto (TV), Final Fantasy XII (Game), Halloween (2007), 12 Rounds, Infamous (Game), Final Fantasy XIII-2 (Game).
In this movie, he is a cocky bastard and only pretends to care about people. He keeps relationships for the sake of getting ahead, but he’ll say whatever cruel insult he can slip while still keeping his occupation. He’s of course not anywhere near even good, but in the environment of actors he is in, he’s entertaining. Now, considering this a horror film, I bet you’re wondering how bloody are the kills? Warick Davis’ makeup is enough to make one gag, but that ain’t all the tricks pulled out of the blood effects bag. Warwick bites a man’s ear, he’s everything to fear, and he bite is so disgusting all the gore hounds are loving! There’s green blood, there’s red blood, and even naked breast! There’s gun shots, and violence, and they’ve even got the rest! It’s no Freddy vs. Jason or Brain Dead, but you’re sure to see, flying in the sky, some innocent victim’s heads!
The other actors are not notable, they’re as stale as rotten cheese! They’re as wooden as chopped logs, or still growing trees! Not a thing worth of talking, bitch please! The camera work is not noticeable, but better than Dos. Out of the other Lerpre movies, it’s scores at the most! The pacing would be crap, if not for The Star. Dave keeps the movie from flowing like a big black barrel of tar. In the end, Leprechaun 3 is a fun and enjoyable ride. So warm up your DVD Player, pour a bowl of Lucky Charms, and GET READY TO DIE!
I, Da Ca$hman, singing off.
The 12th entry in the Request-A-Thon, Requested by BOTH DoogJMusic and The Great God of Bacon!
This is a…this is a….question mark….but if you appreciate my lunacy you might enjoy yourself.
So, before we start, I’d just like to get a few things clear. Sean Rightwizard, let this be a lesson that if you want a free shootout in a review, make sure to list ALL movies you want me to see. Also, I was about to review Momento last Tuesday, but school exists so that didn’t work. So, many apologies to our local Magic Man. Now, onto the introduction to Pulp Fiction. We travel back to 1990, when Quentin Tarantino is virtually if not entirely unknown. He wants to make a short movie to attach to a big budget Hollywood flick, and gets Roger Avary to help him write it.
But Roger reminds him that nobody produces short films, and that he wouldn’t get much farther than a BIFF. So he sends Roger out to write his own story, and Quentin gets to work on his. Quentin adapts his story into Reservoir Dogs, his first major hit. Avary comes back after the success of Dogs with his story, which would become his next great hit, Pulp Fiction. And he also handed another idea to some other dude but we might as well call that dude my imaginary panda. Trying to finance it was the next step. Even though Reservoir Dogs’ revenue – not gross, revenue – was larger than Pulp Fiction’s budget, Quentin couldn’t find a way to finance the movie himself.
So he got Lawrence Bender a prostitute, and in return got Jersey Co. to help produce the movie. After marrying that prostitute, Larry tried to get Columbia-Tristar to distribute the movie. It was a set deal for a while, but then they actually read the script and found it too demented to be palatable for audiences. So, Ladies and Gentlemen, if your movie has been turned down because it’s “too demented” by a company that released Stephen King’s Sleepwalkers, Francis Ford Copola’s Dracula and Robert Rodriguez’ El Mariachi within the same year you approach them, where to go next?
Why DISNEY of course!
Yep, believe it or not, their second, final and successful stop was Miramax, one of three labels of Walt Disney Pictures (the others being straight up Disney and their Teenage-oriented label Touchstone.) To be fair, Miramax is Disney’s label for R-Rated and X-Rated movies – whereas respectively Touchstone focuses on PG-13 and PG-heavy; while Disney focuses on G and PG-light. Still, you gotta laugh at that decision. So I guess a company as self-aware as Disney was enthralled with this script, and decided to give them $8.5M to work with. After walking out, Avary asked Tarantino “so where do you think we’re going with all this ca$holah?”
And Tarantino so responded, “Oh, dude, that’s being taken care of with the revenue of my last movie. This is going towards getting Bruce Willis, Uma Thurman and Samuel L. Jackson.” “Well just go ahead and fuck y---what about John Travolta?” “Fuck, shoulda asked for another half a mill.” And now…we have our movie.
Uuuugh….uuuugh…..uuuugh….I umm…See, the thing is umm…crap, where do I begin? Well, you know…the thing…with…the thing…and the umm…I…I think aaahhh…John Travolta? Should I…I talk about John Travolta? I…yes, I think I should. All good movie reviews start out talking about John Travolta, am I wrong? He’s top billed and plays Vincent Vega. Who is a….aaa….aaaaaaaaaa….Well, he does things. And he’s aaa….aaaaaa…..actually, there is a way to descry…aaaaa…..There is a way to describe this character, believe me or Knox. Vinnie is the kind of guy who’s mostly business, very serious, probably would stop to fix a crooked painting in a hotel room. But when he wants to, he can be one funny sonuva bitch, and his range of emotions is varied and eccentric. All transitions fell very natural, he always feels like “yeah, this is Vincent Vega.” Not “Here’s Vincent Vega Version:Angry; or; Here’s Vincent Vega Version:Calm.” He’s just Vincent Vega. And he’s awesome.
Now, I don’t know about you, but I never heard of no country called What. And I don’t know what language they speak in What. I wonder, do they speak English? ENGLISH MOTHERFUCKER DO YOU SPEAK IT?!?! Samuel L. Jackson is next billed, and he’s one crazy ass motherfucker. His character’s name is Jules Winnfield, and Jules is the type of guy who’s plenty intelligent but not patient. The important part is why he is not patient. Because he wants to get angry and leave an impression. And he does that in one of the most iconic ways in film history. And that’s really all I gotta say. In English. ENGLISH MOTHERFUCKER DO YOU SPEAK IT?!?!
Now then. Uum…. Uuuuuum………. Uuuuuum………………. UUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUU UUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUU UUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUU UUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUU UUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH………………………………………………………………………………You know what, this review is going nowhere fast. So let me just bloat this up with some talk about The Briefcase & The Band-Aid and some quotes from the movie.
“Honey, we’re Americans, our names don’t mean shit.” – Fabienne.
As I stated before, this film and Reservoir Dogs were conceived as a three-part script, with RD being the first portion and PF being the second portion. As part of that three-part script, the original reveal for the briefcase was the diamonds from Reservoir Dogs. But Quentin supposed scrapped this idea. A common theory is that it still is the diamonds; however left up to interpretation for extra hype.
“No, No, No, No, let me ask you a question. When you came pulling in here, did you notice a sign out in front of my house that said ‘Dead Nigger Storage’?” – Jimmy
Another theory that is meant to keep things simple is gold bars. Simple. Gold bars, they have a gold reflection. And then the idea is that Marselleus has a very bad scar on the back of his neck. I figure band-aids are harder to spot in an instant than a scar, and a scar would be an easy weak point. So as a rational explanation, this makes sense. But let me ask you something. Is this movie fucking rational?
“You see, this profession is filled to the brim with unrealistic motherfuckers. Motherfuckers who thought their ass would age like wine. If you mean it turns to vinegar, it does. If you mean it gets better with age, it don't.” – Marselleus
The other very common theory is Marselleus’ soul. When I first saw that the unlock code was “666” I was surprised. But I figured it was just Tarantino’s sense of humor. Then we start to see more religious stuff in the last act. And that confused me, because nothing else seemed remotely religious in the other stories; especially the ones connected. Bible Quotes, the “Miracle,” etc. The briefcase is often referred to how Marselleus covers up his dirty laundry. There are cultures in Chinese areas that suggest one’s soul can be removed through the back of their neck. Oh hey, Marselleus has a band-aid on the back of his neck. So I would guess he kills when he has no soul, and then regains his soul in the briefcase, so that he doesn’t feel morally responsible.
"Well, I'm a mushroom-cloud-layin' motherfucker, motherfucker! Every time my fingers touch brain, I'm Superfly T.N.T., I'm the Guns of the Navarone! IN FACT, WHAT THE FUCK AM I DOIN' IN THE BACK? YOU'RE THE MOTHERFUCKER WHO SHOULD BE ON BRAIN DETAIL! We're fuckin' switchin'! I'm washin' the windows, and you're pickin' up this nigger's skull!” – Jules.
I have one last question. We can guess all we want at the briefcase. But what I want to know…what did that man do to Marselleus’ Wife?
I, Da Ca$hman, singing off.
So they DID exist before Blair Witch Project!
Based on a true story, LOLZ. Anyways. This is the second entry in the Request-A-Thon, requested by Codename: The Great God of Bacon. And that comes from this guy’s YouTube account…(don’t trust me about anything.) Yeah, so as far as title goes this is pretty much Moneyball + Blair Witch Project. It’s not a true story, it’s based on The Walton Experience which is his personal accounts of “a UFO abduction.” I didn’t really have much knowledge before going in, so I think it’s about time we just died right in. This, is Fire in the Sky: Based on a True Story.
Well, let’s talk about the characters. From the ground up, they’re not that interesting. They’re a bunch of immature hillbilly stereotypes that also act as a bunch of immature teenager stereotypes. As they develop, they definitely change. They very gradually change from that type of character and become more of a character like, “I’m telling the truth, and if you’re not able to accept that, I CAN’T COOPARTE! You hear me fuckin’ inspector?” So, while the foundation is a pile of shit, everything above the foundation is awesome. But I mean, think of it physically. If you have this ultra-billionaire house but forgot the literal foundation, the house is gonna fall apart, see what I mean? I give a lot of props for trying.
The visual style for this film is pretty generic, for the most part. It’s just earth, it’s not unique in directorial style, it’s just a bland looking film. That is until the Alien ship. I won’t spoil anything for you – hopefully – just trust me that this place has a fuckin’ great design and there’s definitely a desire from me for moar. I was just thinking this would be a great place to explore in an open world environment. The concept for this movie isn’t that special. A guy in a group is stupid and gets abducted by aliens, he comes back traumatized and nobody believes their story.
That’s already a clichéd concept but any cliché can be transformed into a fresh new work. And it almost was in this film, but again I must stress that the foundation isn’t very well. First off, it’s so stupid that they gave away what actually happened that night in the first 30 minutes of the movie. If you’re trying to build suspense – WHICH THIS MOVIE IS in a lot of places – you don’t give away the fucking truth in the beginning. You leave us questioning what’s gonna happen. You know, thinking? I just think it’s an obvious filmmaking technique. I don’t even know if it panders to the idiots out there, you have to be an idiot to completely get rid of the conclusion of a possibly great suspense mystery in the beginning in favor of…well, ya know.
The side stories. The foundation of the characters. We see these people as generic movie/TV everyday people. The perfect, “Good Morning California” people that you think are your neighbors when really they’re not. They’re the most bland people because they’re fucking boring because they’re supposed to be normal, but if they were normal I dunno they’d actually be interesting. They’re just too perfect. When they start to experience things, they become more interesting characters, but a foundation missing is a foundation missing. And yeah, I guess the characters in the beginning are just a bunch of stereotypes thrown together.
That is realistic, but again it’s not as precise as we see it in flim. If you’re an Irish stereotype in film, you’re 2 feet tall, white as a ghost, brutal, drunk and wears green all the time. NO Irishman in real life comes close to that, not even the most stereotypical. But a certain person who requested this video is what I’d call a “real life” “Irish stereotype.” And not all Jews have that sense of humor, are totally fat, wear glasses, are super greedy, nobody comes close to that image. Sure, there are people who have that list but it’s nowhere near as intense. My point is – FILM IS FANATICAL.
And it’s refreshing when a movie tries to be a little less fanatical in its portrayal of HUMAN BEGINS, the things we come in contact with around 100 times a day on a lonely day. And it makes me so sad because later in the movie it becomes so good, but I just can’t care that much if I didn’t care in the beginning. I can care a little bit more, but it’s nothing to praise. Remember what I was talking about in my lunatic rage? Stereotypes being not that intense? Well, you got one guy who’s like that. Lieutenant Frank Watters played by James Garner. James has been in a ton of movies, probably only a couple you’ve seen!
After this, there was Maverick, Twilight (1998 Noir film people), Space Cowboys, Land Before Time X, Atlantis: The Lost Empire, Battle for Terra, and Superman/Shazzam. So basically mediocrity throughout his career. Except I’ve heard S/S is actually pretty good. (James): “Ughh…Ca$hman, you’re not actually forgetting….” Well then, now I feel like a doofus. He was also in the 1963 masterpiece The Great Escape. But that’s enough about his career now. He plays the stereotypical, ignorant, billionaire, villain cowboy that everybody knows from somewhere. And honestly, considering where this type of character has gone (John Bradshaw Layfield, need I saw more), this is pretty subtle and I enjoyed watching him, but again, nothing that told me “HOLY COW I like this guy!”
Well, I dunno, that’s all I gotta say about this movie. What’s the final opinion? Despite the fact that it lacks in foundation of story, has an overused concept, and a nonexistent directorial style; this film gets a lot of credit for trying. These guys just found this account of a UFO story that they thought would be interesting to turn into a movie, and nobody had given it any attention. So they went in and made their movie. I give them props, but it’s not enough to reach its full potential, which disappoints me. 3.3/5. I wouldn’t really recommend it, but you won’t regret watching it. It deserves to be in the free pile OnDemand or something.
I, Da Ca$hman, singing off.
The next entry in The Request-A-Thon! Requested By: …EVERYBODY.
At Fairview High School at least. Yeah, I’ve gotten it from everybody. When I asked RhinoKlox why this was going on, he replied “Oh, that’s because this is THE movie.” It’s interesting how even when the majority of the High School population takes most of their entertainment in the Eragon series, South Park, the Harry Potter books, Family Guy, or something else really predictable (not necessarily good or bad) you get things like Napoleon Dynamite, Young Frankenstein, and Highlander which you would think they wouldn’t all have seen. But they have! This film was originally conceded when scriptwriter Gregory Widen was in film school. He was on a trip in Scotland and looked at a suit of armor. The idea for this film sparked, basically “what if Immortals existed today and were in constant battle among us unaware?”
Let me paint a picture in your head. Gonna need a paintbrush, a canvas, and an axe. Within the first 18 minutes, we get 3 different transitions between time – or 1986, then 1536, then back again then back again – and 2 huge fights worthy of a climax. And this reminds me of something that only a few of my close friends will remember. Remember that time in J.S.’s class, he presented us with some critic’s review of The Jungle Book 2? Do you remember what was on it? That critic was talking about how instant action in films is a spoiling tactic. You instantly get what is supposed to come at the end.
Not to mention, since humans hate waiting, if we get used to having the climax come early we cannot wait through films that deliver a climax later in the film. Or at least, that’s how one grows typically, not always. He compared it to Fast Food. Waiting 30 minutes for a legitimately good meal is going to seem unappealing to anybody who is used to getting McDonalds Drive-Thru. And if all this wasn’t enough to get my point across, then let me also bring up that if you deliver high paced fights in the beginning; ESPECIALLY in a 80’s Fantasy Action flick; then the calmer moments in a film tend to be underwhelming. But now, to transition to another topic.
The soundtrack. It features some songs by the band Queen. On one hand, having Queen do some of your soundtrack will make you feel more like a product of the time. You know, that typical 80’s sound. Queen or M.J. or somebody like that. But, on the second hand, it’s fucking Queen. So, not a bad choice in my opinion. For the rest of the soundtrack, it changes between scenes, and pretty much as between scenes as mentally possible. It changes scenes to suit the mood, and they pretty much suit the mood perfectly. It’s not a score that everybody will remember forever like 2001, Wizard of Oz, Star Wars, you get the idea.
But for the score in this movie alone, I still give it a 8/10 without Queen 7.3/10 with Queen. P.S. the climax piece was the stupidest decision in this whole movie. Christopher Lambert plays Connord McLeod. He’s not famous for too much, but those being: the material spun off this film, Mortal Kombat, Nirvana, Resurrection, Beowulf (not the popular version), Metamorphosis, and the upcoming Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance. Basically a bunch of schlock flicks that easily fall to the wayside of anybody but action buffs. Here, he’s not bad. Unlike most actors…ever….he’s able to expand his emotions.
When the script calls for him being a young, amateurish kid, he does this well, and same when he is a well-trained Chuck Norris mirror image. And it’s written in a way that’s very believable. It’s not realistic that over the course of 20 years that somebody would be able to transform from a brat to Chuck Norris, but over the course of ½ a century that’s a different case entirely. I feel like with most American actors, again would it kill him to use some more of his energy and act like he really cares? But it’s still a passable performance. The dialogue is the cliché 80’s dialogue. Period. THE cliché 80’s dialogue. ‘Nuff. Said.
James Bond plays Juan Sanchez Villa-Lobos Ramirez, the most Spanish name I have yet to hear in film. And even though he’s a Spanish Conquistador, wears very Spanish attire, has a Spanish Accent and a Spanish Name…he’s supposedly Egyptian. Somebody new what they wer doing when righting his character. And, yeah, he’s as stereotypically Spanish as you could ever hope for. And he’s a nicely humorous archetype of an older teacher, Naruto-esq. An enjoyable performance. Now let’s talk about the character development. As for main villains, they are the completely opposite of how to develop antagonists; yet this tactic is used so much in the past it is a cliché.
Literally, they fucking don’t show any of the antagonists – of which there is an abundance – until the scene in where they have a big climatic fight (again, waaay too many of those too soon) and they die. That, Ladies and Gentlemen, is NOT how we got to know our villains. And frankly, I don’t care about an action scene if I don’t fucking know even one of the guys in the fight. It’s always that way with me. The main narrative regarding the protagonists switches between modern day and the origins of the character, which is a hit or miss film technique. It can be used to make the viewer think through the film like a puzzle, making the impact of the final resolution richer in investment.
But since this movie refuses to develop it’s antagonists, that tactic only makes the film harder to follow, and thus, having us loose our investment in the characters. Are we supposed to get attached to this guy or this guy? In a straightforward film, you would get attached to this guy THEN to this guy, but instead it goes from this guy than that guy than this guy than that guy and eventually it just gets to the point where you wish the film was split in two instead of having the two split in between each other. You know, a real Beginning, Middle and End narrative? Breaking it, yes it makes you different filmmakers, but that doesn’t mean it makes you better for it.
Plot holes! Can’t say this is a script that’s easily avoiding plot holes, but they exist and they’re worth mentioning. First off, how does Immortality work? Are you conceived in a certain state and never age? Well…apparently you do age, so that can’t be it. Are you not prone to death by cause? Well…no, since we see several immortals get stricken down with swords by other immortals. But then when they get shot…they don’t die. So uuughh…you know, this is important shit. When you lay down a story this epic in scale, we need to know specifics because then we have an idea of how they fight.
The reasons why the Predators, Xenomorphs, and every single fucking Comic Book villain works is because we know how they work. It should be the same with any supernatural character. Now, we’re not really certain what is at stake, and that makes the movie way less interesting. Am I complaining about a little thing? Yes. But just imagine if your computer took 3x longer to load up, yet ran just as fast once you booted it up. You’d complain about that, wouldn’t you? Well, that was Highlander. And it was…pretty mediocre. NOTE TO SELF: Fairview is a sports based High School, not an arts based one. It has a mixed soundtrack; sometimes solid sometimes crap; a crappy narrative that just screams college film student, cliché dialogue, characters that are halfway existent, and is overall just a film that falls apart because it has no foundation. It’s fun…if you’re drunk. I’ll give it a 3/5.
I, Da Ca$hman, singing off.
This is what happens when the general audience misses the point: studios re-locate the bulls-eye.
So if you saw my last review of First Blood you know I agree with the majority that the first in the Rambo franchise was fucking fantastic. When Burst Flood was first released, it became a major success, profiting in $111,212,904 U.S. Male Deer on a budget of $14 Million. (Do the math for the overall gross.) It currently garners a 86% on R.T. from critics, and 81% from the viewers. Unfortunately a huge chunk of people seem to miss the point. While diehard fans (no pun intended but accepted) and good film critics saw the meaning, sloppy critics and general audiences typically viewed it as a tame shoot-‘em-up survival movie and not a statement about how America treats its veterans. Considering the typical of the general audiences is going to give you more money than a select group of critics and diehard fans, Tri-Star Pictures decided to go in that direction. The result? A profit of $256,400,432, and a 29% on R.T. ‘Nuff said.
Now it is a few days later and I’ve watched the movie. And I’m not impressed. This film has several problems but let’s try to get the good things in now because frankly I’m not gonna be talkin’ about it if we start off with the bad stuff. First is Stallone (yeah Silly Stally did not go well with me after a night’s sleep) who plays J.J. Rambo. Now, when I say good things, I mean good things. I don’t necessarily mean great things. Sylvester apparently is one of those guys who, if you give him good material he’ll be the most iconic figure of the last 5 years. If you give him shitty material well you get the performance of “Well, I’m kinda drunk but I can still aim my gun well.”
Stallone is the kind of guy who’s a trained actor, not the kind of guy who can act naturally. He just really doesn’t know what to do with himself in this mess. He’s not trying to undersell the movie, he wants to sell the movie, he just doesn’t know how to. But given Stallone’s iconic pseudo-slur, look, charisma and the ability to deliver lines WHEN THEY’RE GOOD, he’s probably the most entertaining character in this flick. Now, moving onto the other good part of this movie is the sets. There are two main shooting locations, both in Guerrero, Mexico. The first is Acapulco, and the second is Tecoanapa. God this movie’s gorgeous.
Rainforests and oceans man, that’s where it’s fucking at. I love the feel of the rainforest especially in terms of exploration, hunting and evasion. On the one hand, you got an extravagant assembly of exotic plants, all with fresh moisture from last night’s rainstorm in the perfect positions. But you wanna get down and dirty, there is no ground, there is no dirt, there is only mud. Not to mention, due to the foliage, size, scope and mush y surroundings, there are a million places to hide and seven thousand ways to get lost, I mean there’s a reason the phrase “it’s a jungle out there” exists.
They chose some of the best places to shoot and they got some really nice shots. Granted I have the Blu-Ray but…damn, I think this movie just looks fucking great. As for the oceans…well, I just got a soft spot for water. They did make sure to have the water be muddy for the sake of a gritty feel, though. Now that we’ve covered the god and the great, let’s talk about the average. The action. This movie relies on three key things: the sets, Stallone and the action. Now considering Stallone and the action rely on dialogue, script, plot and pseudo-reality in story, you’ve already set yourself up for disaster.
But it gets worse when the action is far between. Thankfully it’s not few, my Lord it’s not few. You know all that shit Rambo is famous for? Blowing people away with rocket launchers and machine guns and explosive arrows and throwing knives? Yeah, that’s from this movie. And if you’re looking for longevity in your gunfights, you’ve also got it. But that’s all it is. A massive shooting fest. First off, it’d be nice if they spruced up variety. A fist fight and a chase scene here and there. Second, there may be only half a dozen scenes of action in this movie and where that’s the thing that’s supposed to carry this movie that means for a large chunk you’ve got just nothing going on!
Seriously! You’ll get clips up to ten minutes where Rambo is walking, and walking, and walking, and walking. I think the biggest problem we gotta look at here is why this action can’t carry the movie. The purpose of the whole mission is kind of a lost piece. There is a message about life over money here but it’s kinda shoe-horned in. Rambo basically gets in the wrong place at the wrong time and accepts the wrong mission from the wrong person. I’m sorry, I’m not calling the Rambo character dumb by any means, but if Rambo would have thought out his course of actions a little more maybe he’d seem more Badass and maybe it’d seem more important things were at stake. Instead, due to Rambo not fully thinking his actions and just trying to get through things before fully understanding his current situation; all risks fall flat and go right over the viewer’s heads.
Now it’s time to move from the mediocre and bad to just going straight bad. Dialogue? Completely forgettable. Lines are delivered with bulky brick-lick fluidity, and represent an inability to translate meaning to English. There’s one or two memorable lines or dialogue whereas the predecessor had every other line contain major impact. Actors/Characters? Well, there’s a returning cast of two. Of course they’re cool. Otherwise, they make no impact whatsoever. I barely remember any of the American cast members. The only reason I remember any of the Asian cast members is because James “Racist” Cameroon co-wrote this movie, writing broken English for one chick and the rest of the Asian cast receives un-captioned Lao.
Or Vietnamese. I couldn’t tell because I’m an ignorant American. But I’m pretty sure it’s Lao considering they are in LAOS. AND NOT VIETNAM. WHICH THE AMERICAN ANTAGONIST SEEMS TO THINK IS THE EXACT SAME THING. I WONDER IF THIS WAS WRITTEN BY JAMES “RACIST” CAMEROON. God Damn, you imagine the pain if Lil’ Jimmy was working in the 50’s and not born in the 50’s. And from here, it feels like there’s not much to talk about. It feels as if a Time Traveler took a script for a Call of Duty campaign, cut it in half and said, “Here’s your next Rambo flick, take it or leave it.” The film is disorganized with it’s action, unfulfilling with its script, horribly amateur with it’s dialogue, racist, uncoordinated in its cast, and completely unnecessary. It’s pretty damn beautiful though. 2.95/5
I, Da ₡₳$h₥₳₦, singing off.
30 years later, it still accurately shows the tragedy of asking a cop to stop for a cheeseburger and fries.
In 1972 David Morell published his first novel, entitled First Blood. It was very successful to put into shorter terms. Most people who read it loved it. After that he went on to write 29 novels, 3 non-fiction titles and 2 years of the Captain America comic book franchise. Out of his 30 novels, eight have Wikipedia pages. 3 are involved in the Rambo series, and one of those entries; Brotherhood of the Rose; was made into a TV movie. So despite the fact he’s gotten massive praise from King Stephen VI of Modern Literature and every goddamn literary critic, not to mention jumpstarting one of the most iconic action franchises, he’s not that well known.
Like most popular novels, if it appears feasible (good luck ever trying to adapt King Stephen’s The Talisman) some movie or miniseries production company will get the rights to that piece of fiction. And they stretch their resources as much as possible. Take for example; a 3-Hour adaptation of King Stephen’s IT, when the original book went 1138 pages. Logic? Nah. But then you get the times it works, like when Universal licensed To Kill a Mockingbird, or this example, when Columbia licensed First Blood. Well to be more specific, when Columbia bought the rights and started a strange chain of events.
Warner Bros. sent Ted Kotcheff to the black market to find screenplays of an adaptation of Davey Boy’s novel. Eventually they found one by two guys, Michael Kozoll and William Seckheim. When everybody decided they were completely ready, Warner Bros. pulled the rug from under them and said “sorry, considering Vietnam JUST ENDED we’re really not sure if we can get away with this…” Yet they’ve already made a movie surrounding 9/11 long before we draw our troops out of the Middle East. Change in culture, I guess. They started to work on the film again in the late 70’s and early 80’s with the newly found producer Mario Kassar.
The guy hadn’t worked on much at the time but from here he went to work on the rest of the Rambo movies, Terminator 2, Total Recall, Universal Soldier, Chaplin, Cliffhanger, Stargate, Cutthroat Island, Terminator 3, Basic Instinct 2, Terminator: Salvation and the TV spin-off of Terminator; Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles. Mow let me ask you something. Aside from Chaplin, don’t you see a running theme between all these movies? The next job, since they had gotten a director, a producer, and two writers, was to get a star player. They looked at Clint Eastwood, Al Pacino, Robert De Niro, Steve McQueen, Paul Newman, Nick Nolte, John Travolta (isn’t this starting to look like a good cast for The Expendables 3?) Dustin Hoffman, James Garner, Kris Kristofferson, Terrence Hill and Michael Douglas.
Eventually Sylvester Stallone accepted the role after reading the script over a weekend…..............actually this is the perfect cast for The Expendables 3. Just bring in Harrison Ford and you’re good to go. Anyways, back to topic. Most people turned it down because they thought Rambo was a madman or the movie was too violent……well no shit Sherlock Holmes. Stallone thought this was the case too, but since he had Rocky star-power they allowed him to make some edits to the script. Johnny became more of a sympathetic character with Stallone’s touches. They went over to British Columbia during the Winter to do some filming, and now we have our movie. Let’s see just how this Legendary, Iconic action flick works in today’s day as a finished product.
Well I wrote that introduction a few days before I saw the movie. Now that we’re into the critiquing part I have actually seen the film. I’m also going to do with after an uninterrupted viewing, to make it feel more legit.
Well, where should I begin? I guess I’ll start with the biggest draw, Sylvester Stallone as John Rambo. I don’t know where Silly Stally (yes I will call him this from now on, sucking all manliness out of him) became what he is today. Some sort of “I’m Sylvestor Stallone smokes a cigar and I’ll shot the fuck out of you.” Because it definitely wasn’t this movie. John Rambo in First Blood is an intelligent, hardcore, and did I mention intelligent, and did I mention hardcore, character. He’s not like most action heroes where he sees violence as the first and only course of action by default.
However, he doesn’t consider it a last resort either. He’s not some robotic bipolar decision maker like most characters in film, and frankly, most people. He only resorts to the violence which is sure to ensue when it appears the only option for him and his human obstacles. Throughout the movie we observe John Rambo has what is probably the most prominent sense of human sympathy. While the main “antagonist” (it’s not 100% clear in this movie, which is a good thing) just wants to shoot the damned man, John just wants to put an end to it all. He doesn’t want to kill people, but he knows he has to, and he knows how to.
In fact, I won’t tell the exact number, but the body count is very, very low. Most of the movie is about him trying to escape and…well, get a fucking cheeseburger I guess. (Yeah watch the movie and you’ll see what I mean.) Did I mention Rambo knows what he’s doing? You know in most fiction of any media, the characters are usually dumbed down for the purpose of the narrative? And in some cases – such as several Stephen King novels – the characters are two smart to be realistic? Yeah, you can kiss that concept goodbye. Rambo is extremely intelligent and has all the background for it, he is probably as realistic as I could imagine.
I mean, it’s not an auto-biography, but they did a damn good job of crafting this character. Silly Stally portrays this pretty much expertly. Stallone wears the character like an emotional hide; he is John Rambo, not Sylvester Stallone playing John Rambo. This goes for his facial expressions too. The only real problem is his voice tone. His voice is too deep for the character. For a guy who’s trying to break the stereotypes of the manly gunman, he sure has the voice for such counter-argument. But this is such a minor point; it might count for 5% of S.S.’s performance.
Most of the actors other than Stallone are very much unsatisfactory. There are two major problems running through the actors as themes. One: They appear to be tonight down their acting. They see this movie as a very serious picture, and don’t want to be to appear to glamorized in their character personalities. This is perfectly understandable; I mean most people in real life aren’t as entertaining personalities as you might want to cast in a film. And it was a necessary move to tone the characters down a little bit to keep the realism factor in there. (Wait until the last half hour and you’ll be yelling bullshit at your computer screen while reading this.)
But I feel like if they would have put a little more energy into their character or something they might have pulled off something more of an engaging performance. At least they’re beyond perfect when they’re screaming in agony. I don’t know though, there appears to be something missing in the performances here. I have a feeling that this problem might not have occurred if their characters were written to be les stereotyped. There’s your nerd – who’s really the smartest person there – there’s your corrupt businessman who’s in charge of everything. They just match their stock character a little too much. I suspect that maybe if they didn’t match their stock characters as much, their actors might not have pulled as many punches.
So, now I kinda wanna talk about the dialogue but…well there’s not a lot of it. About a half – two thirds of it coincides with action sequences, and the other third is taken up by John Rambo and Trautman (the best of the non-Rambo characters.) Trautman typically has good things to say and is probably the most sane and honorable non-Rambo character. But Lil’ Johnny is a different story. I’m gonna keep the dialogue section short, and say his lines are fucking fantastic. If you don’t believe me, THE FINAL SPEECH.
Moving on now. On the one hand, I’m gonna be missing something essential if I don’t talk about the action in this motion picture. I mean it’s fucking Rambo. But on the other hand, it’s not that kind of movie. Most people see it as a survivalist shoot-em-up…and it’s just not that type of thing. I’ll attempt to portray both at the same time. For action scene, I can tell you it’s not choreographed dance like we have in…well, most movies in the last decade and a half. But it doesn’t go extremely realistic either. It’s far below unbelievable, but still has a lot of thrills and frankly Sylvester knows how to make a fight scene.
His body movements are pretty much exact and well timed. Shoot, how am I not doing a good job about talking about this? And then yes, you got some pretty damn crazy ass car chases, and your fist fights, and your gun wars, blah blah motherfucking BLAH. But this movie doesn’t get it’s tension from how many suplexes and uppercuts Meatball can pull on Thunder Lips and Mr. T. It gets it because this is one fucking chase. As General Trautman states, “this [is a] private war.” There’s also a line in the ending theme that goes “it’s a real war, right outside your front door.” Since you’re invested in the character because he’s damn cool, when people start chasing him you want to see how it turns out and hope to see John make it out with all his honor and vengeance. And then Rambo realizes he’s just a human.
First Blood is an extremely well made film. It has beautiful sets, a great lead actor, excellent action scenes, and a moral message that goes over the heads of even the most intelligent of thinkers; that frankly these veterans went through a fucking lot and they shouldn’t be put to guilt for their killing just because they were drafted or didn’t know what they were getting into. And I gotta say, this movie had a personal effect on me myself. With the only possible fault being a slightly challenged majority of actors, First Blood gets the golden medal of 5/5
I, Da ₡₳$h₥₳₦, singing off.
“Call no man happy who is not dead!” – Ammon
This Friday sees the release of Wrath of the Titians, the sequel to Clash of the Titians, the remake of Clash of the Titans, which is Clash of the Titans. Oh, by the way guys, I just signed a new deal with The Redundancy Department of Redundancy Department, so they may want me to do a few things for them. But anyways, since that movie is going to be awesome, I figured I outtah do something for this website in preparation. I’ve already reviewed both COTT films…oh yeah, in SPRING. 2010. We remember that Season, don’t we? So this week we’re going to begin the Summer early. We’re going to start off the “Blockbusterthon” with a “Titanthon” featuring the 1981 Clash of the Titans everybody loves and its 3D remake everybody hates. Now, time for some production notes.
Well, honestly, there’s not a lot. While this film had a huge budget, it didn’t really have a great production. Most people did not trust this film would be successful. They could only get their hands on film stock maybe a step above Super 8. (Super 9?) They knew that without a lot of advertising, A. Big Stars and B. A Low Rating would do the trick. Since the film was partially British in production, they sent the script in 1978 for testing at the BBFC. Their intent was to receive a U (G/PG) or A (PG-13) Rating, as opposed to an AA (PG-13 Classic) or X (R) Rating. Apparently two cuts were that Andromeda was naked during the final battle, and Pegasus was to be torn to pieces by The Kraken.
As for the former, they were able to secure some really heavy hitting names for the flick. Ray Harryhausen, of course, was their producer and FX animator. Their lead was Laurence Oliver (Spartacus), but he was very sick during the filming. Once they got great gross, they wanted to make a sequel, called Forge of the Trojans. But Harry wouldn’t be on board, so it was decided the project wasn’t worth it. Which leads me to wonder….why wasn’t this new sequel called Forge of the Trojans? Maybe we’ll get to that later. For now, let’s start off the review part of the review.
Well, let’s start off with the dialogue. The dialogue is something I did not expect but now that I think about it I probably should have expected. The dialogue resembles something of a dialogue-focused play. The Greeks are very famous for many early stage-plays, most notably Oedipus Rex. Since this movie does take place in Greece and is focused on Greek Mythology, then a tribute to their stage-plays in the form of dialogue format is understandable. However, note that in these plays, resources were limited and focus was put on dialogue instead of action.
Dialogue became the staple focus of stage from then on, showing up very prominently in Shakespearian works. While action is prevalent, a lot of action is told rather than shown, even to the smallest detail. In addition, speaking is closer to Shakespearian times, though not to a degree your average idiot couldn’t understand what they were talking about. However. This is not a play with no budget, this is a Harryhausen film. This is not a Shakespearian Drama, this is a [hopefully] fun 80’s fantasy adventure. This is the wrong type of film to make this tribute with.
People paid tickets for two things: Action and Mythology. This is not of the caliber of Sophocles or Shakespeare from the ground up and quite frankly could not be. This is a fun movie and when a large chunk of action is told and not shown, well frankly that takes away from the main attraction. In addition, film is the mirror image of stage plays in that action is typically focus. Noteworthy in addition to mention is that most modern stage plays not of the dramatic or comedic light; if adventure or horror or some other more contemporary format; have abandoned this idea that action should be told and not shown. Of course on stages this is not always possible, but you get the picture. In that respect, the dialogue, one of the most obvious portions of a film, fails.
Now it is time to discuss the most obvious portion of the film, the visual style. I cannot and will not speak of colors, for my HD monitor at my step-aunt’s vacation home (yeah wrap your head around that one) is on Sports mode and I have no instructions on how to cure this. I will talk of other things however. The obvious ones are Harryhausen’s effects. My personal favorite creature was the Giant Vulture serving Calibos. It looks very close to a turkey vulture, which in my oh so humble opinion are some of the best looking vultures. However close to a turkey vulture it may appear, it is blown up twenty fold and is created with charming stop motion figures.
The Kraken, while being something of too odd (even for my taste) imagination, is also a very “cool” sight to behold in its monstrous intimidation and charming effects. Not to mention, these monsters look much more solid…after all, it’s something in front of the camera. But…we’ll get to that when the remake is reviewed. Pegasus is probably my least favorite creature, but still impressive under Harryhausen’s work. Oh, and what’s this you may add? You count that golden owl Bobo as a creature? Certainly not, he is a simple R2-D2 rip-off, don’t listen to what Ray Ray tells ya.
If he’s counting, yeah he’s obviously the least impressive, but we’re not counting him because we’re not. With all these fantastic qualities aside, realism? Heeelll no. And I’m not talking about where you know what you’re watching is fake but you can dismiss the falseness for temporary satisfaction. I mean that it looks so fake compared to admittedly well-crafted sets that it takes you out of the picture. The most work goes into Stop Motion out of all SFX crafts, however possible the least realistic result is also a product. And while I have all respect in the world for Harryhausen, I cannot say his results were perfect or even that grand but rather charming and fantastic.
Laurence Rosenthal. He is our next topic of discussion. He is credited for the music of this feature. His filmography mainly compromises films with similar titles to later released popular flicks. These include The Dark Odyssey, Requiem for a Heavyweight, Hotel Paradiso, Mannix, The African Elephant, The Bourne Identity, and other flicks tying into other things. His work is…not good. Here, at least. You know that super stereotypical, overheard, over played basic idea of a fairy tale soundtrack? Yeah, this is it. Cross the T, dot the I. In no way does this soundtrack distinguish itself from others or increase the emotions felt in scenes. NEXT.
*Note: Films I found similar titles to in Laurence’s filmography were 2001: A Space Odyssey, Requiem for a Dream, Cinema Paradiso, The Matrix, The African Queen and the later version of The Bourne Identity.
The script…the script…I don’t know man. Is it amateur? Well, you might say so, but it does not reflect most amateur scripts. Most amateur scripts just give you instant action. Fast Food of the Movies, I sometimes call it. Without permission from the founder of the term, of course. Is it a script built by an audience-conscious business man who has little art direction? Well…couldn’t be, considering most of them were not keen to this project and none were involved. Was it a time traveler who was addicted to Naruto? Nah, that’d be too sensible. Life is much too puzzle based for it to be that dry conclusion.
Salt addiction raises concerns amongst some mothers.
No, this is one instance my all-seeing eye cannot find, but I will critique it anyway. The film has a lot of dicking. In the round direction I might add. At first, it appears the plot will center around Zeus finding and raising Perseus. But it turns out that isn’t it. So maybe it will be about Perseus’ adventures on the island Zeus has put him and his mother on. But that isn’t it since he gets transported back to Greece. Without letting his mother know, mind you. Oh, and does this affect him in any way? Does he have challenges with the city or stare at the wonders of Greece?
Maybe for 4 seconds and then he’s in. For a long stretch of time here there appears to be no point to this film other than “YAY I’M PERSEUS LOOK AT MY SHINY NEW TOYS! WOOT WOOT!” I wish to prove my point further but I must remain vague to avoid spoilers. Then there appears to finally be a point to this movie, that it will center around a certain deformed man. But no, that plot is taken care of in 20 or so minutes. Finally at 55 minutes in, the REAL plot of the movie takes breathe and we finally have focus. But wait, the climax we await is not only telegraphed, but a relocated replay of the opening plot! Now how are we supposed to get excited for that showdown? Yeah, story in this film is at a major weak point.
Time for the last thing. The acting. Oh boy, is this gonna be a doozy. Lawrence Oliver is probably our best guy, but since he was ill he is not giving anywhere near his best performance. He still talks good, but he makes nearly no physical motions face or limb. In addition, his character is in the wrong place. He’s in the position of a good-hearted overseeing God, but he acts as a tyrannical evil God. When he wins and everyone’s happy, it confuses me because he’s obviously the morally wrong person. That’s just bad. Don’t know if it’s who’s fault, but it’s bad. Henry plays Perseus and he’s very good in his talking and physical acting, but God Damn his dialogue is so bad and his character is so cliché there ain’t no way to save this performance, no matter how good Henry is. Everybody else is just cliché and dry, not quite wooden but still very far from engaging.Overall, this movie is rather disappointing. Bad performances, bad dialogue, bad script and story, almost everything is crap. Not even the absolute genius of Ray Hair Ray How Zen can save this overrated flick. 1/5
I, Da Ca$hman, singing off. Next time, we fast forward 29 years.
The 13th entry in The Request-A-Thon, requested by DoogJMusic. And he probably meant the 2009 version but this one’s on Netflix.
The Taking of Pelham One Two Three is based off The Taking of Pelham One Two Three and was remade as The Taking of Pelham One Two Three and The Taking of Pelham One Two Three. Now that I’ve completely exhausted it’s name, this movie was based on a somewhat popular novel by Morton Freedgood, and was remade twice in 1998 and 2009. The novel was released in 1973 and this particular version was released in 1974. The New York Metro Area did not cooperate with the filmmakers at first. They filmed mostly in a real train station, and feared real criminals seeing the actors pretend to kill and steal would find motivation to actually start shooting.
They cooperated, but hysteria still unleashed its ugly tentacles. It was such a shocker that New York City (NEW YORK CITAH?!?!) banned any trains leaving from Pelham at 1:23 in the afternoon or morning for close to a decade. In the 80’s NYC dropped the ban, but is still very hesitant to have trains leave at that time. After all, it’s such an odd time anyways; aside from the numbers go one after the other. It doesn’t end in 5s or 0s, I’d bet not a single train has left Pelham a 1:23 since 1973. Especially after the 98 and 09 versions were released. So basically what this movie/novel combo did is cause a similar aftermath to 9/11 with fiction and not real death.
So either this movie is fucking awesome, or people are stupid. Despite the fact that people are in fact stupid, the film has a 100% rating on Rotten Tomatoes with 32 reviews; making it in their Top 100 films of all time at #91, tying Birth of a Nation, The Gold Rush, I Am Cuba, and Phil Ochs. Maybe DoogJMusic wanted me to review this one after all. Hey, you’re reading this right? Should I refer to you in 2nd or 3rd person? WHAT ARE YOU DOING TO ME?!?!? The point is. This film, simply put, is Legendary.
Well let’s start off with the soundtrack. Or…lack of soundtrack. David Shire is credited with original score. This guy is responsible for the scores of 2010, Zodiac, Return to Oz, Monkey Shines, All the President’s Men and The Hindenburg. That’s a…okay. And for what he has, it’s pretty much generic 70’s jazz that isn’t interesting in the slightest. Most of the movie is without music. I’ve probably said it before, but let me, say it again. In real life, music is not playing in the background. Unless you’re like me who’s being tortured by the fact that for virtually his entire life he’s had a song stuck in his head, but that’s another story.
In real life, emotions are not pulled by music and there is no musical timing there is no music in the background. Unless you have a radio but you know what there are ways to make three-headed lighting spewing dragons in real life shut the fuck up. What I’m trying to get at – and horribly failing at that – is that with little to not music during scenes things seem more realistic. It becomes easier to engage in because it feels less manipulated. Story is basically manipulating emotion, but the more you can cover up that fact that more natural your art feels and the easier it is to manipulate emotions. Cover things up and they’re easier to do. Just like the US Government! WHOOPIE! So umm…yeah, great choice on keeping the movie quiet.
Our four main colorachers are Blue, Green, Gray and Brown. Blue green gray and brown…Hey! The essential wheel of eye colors! These guys are played by Robert Shaw (Jaws, The Sting, From Russia with Love, The Golden Voyage of Sinbad, The Dam Busters) Martin Balsam (12 Angry Men, Psycho, Rawhide, Alfred Hitchcock Presents, Route 66, Twlight Zone, All The President’s Men) Hector Elizondo (THIS IS YOUR FILMOGRAPHY?!?!), and Earl Hindman. Not too much to this last guy in terms of other movies, but if you ever watched Home Improvement and wanted to know what Wilson looked like, well this is him and in the later parts of the movie you get to see his face full and uncut.
There are pics of him on the web, but they’re REALLY sketchy and taken only a few years before his death. Anyways. These guys are great villains. Mr. Green is a really serious guy, but he’s also subtly funny. Basically, imagine a bowl. Now imagine a big bag that says “THE JOB” on it. Now imagine there’s a mix in there that levitates, and you pour the stuff in the bowl (it levitates about 2 inches out of a surface, give or take.) Now imagine there are completely random spots in 14% of the bowl where “THE JOB” isn’t present. Now take a bag of “WITTY LINES” out of the pantry and fill in the rest of that space with “WITTY LINES.”
Mr. Blue has the same quotient of seriousness but instead of “WITTY LINES” he’s got “MURDER” (apply upon will.) This guy is the hardcore member of the group, as strict as a line and as solid as a brick. ‘Nuff said. Mr. Brown is really modest and has a case of a stammer; he’s easily the most empathetic member of the group and unlike Gray, Green and Blue, doesn’t want to kill a soul. He’s so modest in fact if he is at a risk of dying, he doesn’t make it a big deal. Hopefully didn’t spoil that scene too much. Since he’s so modest he doesn’t get much time to shine, and it’s a shame because having a nice guy as a contrast to this gang of murderers is an extremely good artistic choice.
Mr. Gray in particular is extremely over-tempered, throwing racist slurs, threatening to kill children, and calling one woman a “Twenty Dollar Trick Hooker.” He’s basically the explosive member of the group. So, in total, we’ve got the straight player, the joker, the goodey-two-shoes, and the bombshell. Sounds like a group of characters from a movie if I ever saw one, but god damn are these guys fucking entertaining! Now then. The pacing is something I wanna talk about. Specifically how they structure the narrative. The film takes place in several areas, but mostly in the train station and on the actual train. While this is their major areas, as I said, they do have several different scenes.
Some are in New York outdoors, some are in the Mayor’s house/office – actually, quite a few – and a couple in banks. They’re all relevant to the plot of course. And they structure time well. 5 or 10 minutes in each location repeated would be monotonous. Sometimes there’s a lot of time spent in the train, sometimes a lot in the station, sometimes only a few minutes in the station, sometimes only a few minutes in the train, and typically they’re mixed, and sometimes of course you have different scenes placed in. Everything revolves around a central story, so the creative crew doesn’t have to create some extremely stupid side story – other than maybe The Mayor is sick, but that’s barely anything – and that makes the film move faster even with the well timed cuts between location. It’s an eye-gluer this movie.
"It's what it buys, Albert, not what it weighs.” – Patrolman O’Keefe
The camera work, not sure if it’s great but it’s an interesting topic of discussion. The angle is always low. There’s never a straight shot, even if it’s by 1 or 2 circular degrees, it’s still from a lower angle. And it’s a hostage perspective. Hostages typically lie on the ground or hold their heads down or hide under something or something where they have to look up to view what’s going on. Since that is a central point in the plot, it makes sense that the camera would always be in that relative position to its subject. Not to mention, as I’ve said before, different camera angles always help the subconscious variety and uniqueness of a motion picture.
“Even great men have to pee.” – Lt. Rico Patrone
Lt. Zack Garbner is apparently our main protagonist, and he is played by Walter Matthau. He is known for a variety of films, from the great Charade, to Dennis the Menace, to Grumpier Old Men, to JFK, to Route 66, and other things. The guy is a stereotypical New Yorker but not without his personality. He’s a guy who loves the middle. He never appreciates something extreme, and can always catch something out of the ordinary due to its difference from his personal choice. He’s a good, very interesting character, but it was a bad call to book him as the main character. Though I will say none of the other protagonists are good for the main role. The mayor is a cranky bitch, his wife is a sarcastic bore, and everybody else’s role is too minor or bland to be spoken of. To be honest with you, as much as I hate to say it, this movie’s protagonist cast is very weak.
“These are the assignment desks, one for each of the lines. This is the BMT, the IRT. Here's the IND. There's our artist in residence. And right through here's our operations lieutenant, Enrico Patrone, who on weekends works for the mafia.” – Lt. Gabner
Well, I guess it’s time to wrap things up. The film has a cliché and generic soundtrack, on the positive side of that coin it is a product of its time and is used very sparingly. The protagonist side is pretty weak, but our villainous cast is absolutely spectacular. The camera work and pacing of this movie are so excellent this film is one I would label an eye-gluer. A definite recommendation to absolutely anybody at any time with the exception of those who are sensitive with this type of material especially after IX/XI. 5.5/5
I, Da Ca$hman, singing off.
The third entry in the Request-A-Thon, suggested by The Son [of Freddy Krueger]
The letters, when lined up vertically and in separate columns, come after each other in the alphabet.
Stanley Kubrick. With any film fan, that name rings a bell. By 10 years into his feature film career, he had created 2 films which are now house hold names. Spartacus and Dr. Strangelove; or, How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb. Both…very…weird…movies. But ain’t that the norm with Kubrick? One of the early drafts of DR.S;OR,HILTSWALTV…(Am I the only one who sees something wrong with that acronym)…Had an ending where many years after the events, Aliens come down to earth and attempt to understand what has gone on. From there, Kubrick had become infinitely fascinated with extra-terrestrial life forms. CA$HMAN=GEEK.
So Kubrick decided he wanted to make “the proverbial great science fiction film.” And at the time, even up to ’68, Sci-Fi had really been in a state of mediocrity. Some Sci-Fi films you might recognize in 1964: Dogora, First Men in the Moon, The Flesh Eaters, Ghidrah the Three Headed Monster, Kiss Me Quick!, Mothra vs. Godzilla, Robinson Cruse on Mars, and best of all Santa Claus Conquers the Martians! Yeah, a long walk from the days of Metropolis and Frankenstein. In search of source material, Kubrick went to Arthur C. Clarke hesitantly, as he was a man who Stanley had the misconception that he was a nut living in a tree.
Out of 4 of his short stories, Stanley picked The Sentinel. Throughout the next year or two, they looked for other inspirations, reading other short stories and screening Sci-Fi flicks as Kubrick made his movie and Clarke wrote his novel. It would pretty much take up their LIVES for the next 4 years. In the process of writing the script, Encounter in the Dawn, one of Clarke’s other short stories, was one of the major inspirations past the foundation source material. They also dived into the other half of Sci-Fi, Science, and asked Astronomer Carl “Bakin’ Raps from Scratch” Sagan about how they planned to portray aliens in the film.
He said that while it would be practical to use actors, aliens would likely have little to no resemblance to humans in reality. When he went to the premiere, he said “I’m pleased to see I had been of some help.” `:-). I think that’s enough of the backstory, let’s dive into what I think of this movie. This is 2001: A Space Odyssey.
Well, just so you do know I did make some sort of attempt to write down notes during the movie but that hope can just be thrown down the window. Also, just so you know, I did go into this movie knowing very little about it and if that’s how you like to do shit this is your best opportunity. Not just in the fact this movie is best with little knowledge, but this will also be a review where I just spill a bunch of thoughts on MS Word without really considering whether they’re spoilerific or not. I’ll just make some sort of half-assed vague attempt. For those of us who want a complete compilation of goods and bads…well, I’ll try to suffice since you’re too lazy to read a real critic’s reviews.
So I usually either star talking about the plot or the characters/actors/writing-by-individual-character. Well, I have no fucking clue what this movie is about so I’ll just start talking about some of the acting attractions of this motion picture. First, Douglas Rain as H.A.L. 9000. (Whoever just made a Dragonball Z joke, please consider the time and place. This includes me.) Douglas has had a surprisingly lukewarm career, with only 18 acting credits to his career and 4 I deem notable. This, the sequel 1984, the 1957 version of Oedipus Rex, and the 1966 Television version of Henry V.
He’s easily the star of the movie, in both that he’s the guy everybody remembers and he’s also my personal pick for best character in the movie heavily due to acting talent. He’s a computer who runs the day-to-day computer-oriented operations of a spaceship heading for Jupiter. He’s so advanced in his upper brain capacity that the crew considers him a 6th member on board. If you know anything at all about Sci-Fi movies where something goes wrong with highly advanced computers, you know exactly what is going to happen. Which isn’t such a bad thing considering this was 1968 and that fad of film is much more recent.
There was no Matrix 1-4, or I, Robot, or Terminator 1-4. Up until this film came out, the only other Machine Apocalypse stories were short stories, novels, or the one movie Alphaville. But enough of all that. Let’s talk about why H.A.L. is such an awesome villain. First off, he’s a tragic yet despicable villain at the same time. What he does is clearly horrible in all means of the word; however at the same time you know he is attempting to protect his existence. It’s like watching Raw Nature duel it out just to stay alive. It’s horrible, but you know it’s necessary. That’s part of why he’s so tragic.
But all of that would just be labeled as Shakespereotypes if it weren’t for Douglas’ acting. He successfully creates one of the creepiest villains ever in the Uncanny Valley sort of way. (For those who don’t know – Uncanny Valley is a drop in the charts of toy reception. Most people love animalistic or plant like dolls, or human dolls, but a mixture of the two is very low in popularity.) You may have figured out what I’m talking about. His intentions and changes in voice are so extraordinarily human, yet his tone of voice, his vocabulary, automatic friendliness and obedience is extraordinarily aritifical. That creeps me the fuck out.
Yes. Won’t I just get to the fucking point? Let’s go through the other characters now that we’ve gotten the big daddy out of the way. We’ll cover pacing too. The Cavemen featured in the beginning are famous for being extremely realistic for 60’s film standards yet extremely hilarious when compared to real-life Chimps, even then. It’s like uncanny valley again. They’re millions of years ahead of common guys-in-ape-costume techniques used in films such as Murders in the Rue Morgue and Bela Lugosi Meets a Brooklyn Gorilla. But at the same time they look very different from regular apes both in that you can tell they’re in costumes and that they’re a very different species.
It doesn’t help when one of the apes rolls his eyes back Undertaker style for a second. (If you have any problem with me calling them apes – they look like fucking Gorillas blame Kubrick.) Most of the human characters are standard. Everyone involved in the second portion of the film, where they discover a 4 million year old object that links to Jupitar. These characters are not well written, just basically either painfully realistic characters (when they don’t need to be) or staples of the 1960’s. Fortunately this plot point is minor. The film REALLY gets started when we talk about the Jupiter mission.
For anybody planning on watching this for the first time, here is my recommended course of action. If you plan on watching more than once, skip to the Jupiter mission the first time then after that watch the film as a whole. If your plan is to watch it once and not again for a while, watch the film as a whole and you won’t be disappointed. You’ll be…speechless. The film is very slow, I’ll give you that. But it’s like Nosferatu: The Vampyre, only more mental. In both these movies, the slow pacing attempts to illustrate the creepiness of the film. In NTV, it’s 70% visual, 30% mental. Here, as far as time goes, it’s 70% mental and 30% visual.
However, do be prepared for some insane visuals. You know those stories and videos on the Internet that claim to rip your psyche apart when really they don’t have much of an effect? Hell, probably the effect you get is from that hype. Yeah, this film will actually rip your psyche apart. I’m really wondering what is going on in Kubrick’s head. And all of it carries meaning, both in plot and it messages. For instance, during the final scene in The Dawn of Man, there’s a climatic fight. Notice how the ones that are more barbaric in their fighting style and morals are also standing up straighter and have more strategical insight.
You be the judge on that one. Also make sure to watch for the most epic jump cut you have ever seen in your fucking life…wait, I was supposed to be talking about characters, wans’t I? Well, the crew members are pretty good. They’re like the film in a sense. While the actual actors are not enthralling, it’s for the better and fits the film’s heavy, slow and painful atmosphere. In a…good way? God my brian is hurting. However, their writing is spot on as everything they say conveys a meaning and is engaging in the context. Sparsely it is relaxing, and only relaxing to foreshadow the coming horrors.
Mostly, it is grim and alone. So what have we talked about so far. The characters, the narrative (whatever there is), the costumes, the pacing and scenes, and just how horrifying this film is. Well, I think there are two things left to talk about. First, the effects. Now, I’d like to mention I did watch this on the standard Blu-Ray edition, and it looks fantastic. Seriously, this film could have had no editing done, just a title change, be released today and nobody would know the difference if it had not come out in ’68. Not just in film quality itself, but in the effects. The shots of space, everything in space, the shots of the moon, etc.
This is the shit that you would see in an IMAX Presentation at the NASA H.Q. in Florida. Not the fucking year before we landed on The Moon. Kubrick’s photography is beyond impressive, it is some of the best in film history. I can’t emphasize this enough. Stanley Kubrick, at least by this example, is a visual God. And film is a visual medium, so, that’s pretty big. Film is not just a visual medium though, among many other things it is a showcase of music. Think about it. What are “the most famous” instrumental pieces from the 21st Century? Try the theme songs of: Star Wars, Superman, Indiana Jones, this film, Harry Potter, Jaws, Jurassic Park, etc.
The fact that films have influenced the musical industry this much shows you that it’s important to make sure you have a good composer. Think of movies as attracting the eyes, ears and mind. And in some extremely rare cases being woeful to the nose. But that’s completely different. So does this film succeed at making a soundtrack? Well…
Yeah, it does. This is essentially what you will be hearing throughout the film, however for much longer durations, including the silence. Honestly, I think it’s about time we brought this one home. What’s the consensus? While extremely slow with some very much less than perfect actors, a beyond extraordinary soundtrack, visual style, photography, symbolism storytelling technique, villain, horror factor, writing and ending make this a must watch for any film fan. In addition to it's own quality, it's also neccessary viewing as it is responsible for the epics of Sci-Fi we have today, essentially. This and Planet of the Apes lead to a new wave of Science Fiction. In a little over the next decade, we got A Clockwork Orange, THX 1138, The Noah, Close Encounters of the Third Kind, Star Wars, Superman, Mad Max, Star Trek: The Motion Picture, and Alien. The Rating? 5.85/5
I, Da Ca$hman, singing off. Next time, we start off The Drankenstein Manathon II.
Because Michael Crichton told me to.
You know, it kinda sucks when the trailer gives a lot of the jokes. But then how else would you make a trailer?
So umm....how do I review this movie? It's not a multi-person production. This is basically Woody Allen wanted to break into Hollywood, so he got a hold of two imported Japanese flicks, got some friends, and over-dubbed them. Those two being two International Secret Police movies, A Barrel of Gunpowder and Key of Keys. It would be interesting to see if these films were imported as they were intended to. Right now both have barely any info on IMDb, and neither have an entry on Wikipedia. Anyways....oh, yeah, I guess I should explain the whole "Michael Creighton" deal.
So I have this friend who's grandma is Michael Crichton's cousin. According to him, "everybody is making a bigger deal out of it than it really is." (Or something like that.) I'm definitely guilty myself...although maybe to the lowest degree. Despite the fact that I'm a nut for the Jurassic Park franchise (oh that will come, guys, that will come.) Some of his friends have actually started calling him Michael. So, you might guess, this guy who we're gonna annoy by calling him Michael Chricton from now on; has been begging for me to see this movie. You remember I did a chunk of the movies people were begging me to do in The Request-A-Thon?
Yeah, well, Mike here did something that NONE OF YOU PEOPLE thought about doing. RhinoKlox, MBM, MNM, DoogJMusic (although he doesn't actually live nearby me) and all the rest ofyou guys all didn't think of the obvious. Michael gave me the DVD to borrow. As Stephen King might say, "pack your bags, we're going on a guilt trip." You might as well have held a gun to my head. And honestly, knowing you, if I waited a few more months that might have actually happened. Another difficulty was that I was looking for Woody Allen's original dub, and Netflix only has one of the TV Versions. To show you how bad TV dubs can be: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H9bPQHdpXyk (I would post the video here but Webs is finding a stranger in the alps while eating pineapple.)
Those are my excuses and I'm stickin' to 'em. Now, what was I talking about? Reviewing the movie? This is not a movie that can be reviewed based on objective quality, subjective quality, subtracting quality, multiplication quantity, 3 presidents and an egg salad or otherwise. This can only be reviewed by telling people why they should see this movie and who shouldn't. If you're a Woody Allen fan, you're going to like this movie (if you don't believe me I had a live test subject.) This is definitely done with Woody Allen's sense of humor, part dirty part Jewish. So I guess if you're into dirty humor, you're gonna like this too. There's plenty of raunchy parts of this film.
If you're into random ass as hell humor, you're gonna find yourself enjoying it. If you like the idea of a young director just fucking around with whatever he wants, then yeah, you're gonna love the fuck out of this. Now, then, who wouldn't like this movie? Well, if you don't like the idea of random jokes going on for more than 1 minute (there's PLENTY of us out there that are like this) you're gonna get bored quick. If you don't like offensive stereotypes, racially or sexually, stay far away from this film. If you want your movies to be like Young Frankenstein or Blazing Saddles, where if you took out the jokes you would still have an objectively good movie, you're not gonna like Whazzup
Leonard Maltin does a good job at describing this movie as "one long, very funny joke." But since that's all the film is, one big dialogue joke, pacing issues happen when there isn't any dialogue. Even more issues happen when jokes fall flat (some do, guys.) Woody Allen even addresses this. There's a couple of segments where he and another person (usually an interviewer) are appearing. I'm not gonna spoil the joke, but...the film is self conscious that it is only what it is and what it is is not the most promising concept. The way I look at it, it's like Family Guy or South Park. It's good to watch, but it's a whole lot more fun to quote.
3.5/5, check it out.
I, Da ₡₳$h₥₳₦, singing off.
Part I of the 2-Year-Anniversary of I, Da Ca$hman’$ Movie Review$
Love the book by Harper Lee. It is in my top 3 favorite novels. With The Giver and IT. Yeah, everybody’s gonna disagree with at least one. I first started this website 2 years ago. The first thing I reviewed was the novel Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson. Ironic, ain’t it? Started a movie reviewing website with a review for the book. That was in a Language Arts 8th grade class. The last book we read, Speak being the 2nd to last, was To Kill a Mockingbird. Naturally, I posted a review of that too. As an exercise in that class for visual representation, we watched the movie of it.
The review of that movie, for one, states that the film was released in 1964. Yeah, try being two years off Ca$hman. Then I start off the review with the lines “I…AM….ANGRY.” We can’t be stable, can we sir? Then I start to ramble on and on about lettuce and the Godzilla movies and basically typing a bunch of shit that’s already B.S. but was made more B.S. by the fact I didn’t really explain what the fuck I was talking about. And I would not, could not, organize my sentences to portray the meaning I was talking about. It looks childish, and unprofessional.
It goes on about how to make an apple filled with propane or some shit I don’t know. Well, I do know, but you would never know since I didn’t try to make sense. Come to think of it, that shit is actually kind of funny. If you’re high, read that review, you’ll be crying. But alas, it’s time to give a serious impression to something that has joined the likes of directors Alfred Hitchcock and James Wales in the sense that it is considered a legendary film. And I don’t have the book as fresh in my memory, so it will be strict on critiquing the movie except for very major plot elements. Mainly, themes. Nothing like symbolism will bring the rating down. And yes, TOM Robinson’s actor is still awesome.
Alright, let’s start with something simple. The color scheme. As many of you are no doubt aware, this film was filmed in black and white. By 1962, film was the most common file format and black and white was only used for either cost or effect. Films like Dr. Strangelove, Night of the Living Dead and this movie were already exhibitions of this tactic. Later on we would see movies like Young Frankenstein, The Elephant Man, Sin City, The Artist and so on use this tactic. Now of course you can convert film to B&W digitally; but back then they had to make some serious struggles to get their hands on the last B&W film in existence.
Unless of course you were making the film independently, in which it wouldn’t be until the 1980’s when it was common for the average household to have color cameras. I don’t mind B&W film by any means. It seems as if B&W brings uniqueness to the film. Since real life isn’t two colors, it’s very different. And it can be a loving homage to anything that might be served as a background to the film. In this case, it’s because the story of this film takes place in 1932. Black and White film in modern times can go either good or bad. On the good side, it can be used well in the way it was originally intended. In other ways, it’s just kinda forced and prevents any deep colors from being utilized. And I hate to say it…but yeah, the latter is the case with this film. C’mon guys. Only film was B&W in 1932, not real life! WE learn that very early on in life. There’s not enough reason to use B&W film.
Our main three child actors are Scout, Jem and Dill. That’s more their nicknames but that’s how you’ll get to know them. They’re played by introductory actors Mary Badham, Philip Alford and John Megna. Mary didn’t get much of a career afterwards, with the only highlight in her filmography is this and The Twilight Zone. Philip got jackshit. John Megna actually got the most out of his career, in addition to staring in this movie also being in Start Trek, Go Tell the Spartans and The Godfather Part II. Too much a shame because they’re all really good in this movie. All three of them feel completely naturally, nothing is being forced.
I do see Scout on the screen; I don’t see Mary playing Scout on the screen. When you have child actors you already are setting yourself up for disaster, but when you give them a country accent you’re inviting hurricane Katrina to your birthday party. Yet somehow, someway, Katrina just so happened to be the guest of honor. If being able to make child actors feel this good and this natural isn’t a perfect example of actor-director teamwork I don’t know what is. There are two other actors that everybody remembers from this film, and one of them is Gregory Peck, playing Atticus Fish.
And I don’t care if this is a serious review Imma callin’ him Atticus Fish. His filmography strengthens the saying “more is less, less is more.” His filmography other than this film are movies that you’ve never heard of. The ones that struck me as eye=grabbing from their title were Twelve O’ Clock High, The Gunfighter, Moby Dick and Moby Dick. Mostly he was like Tom Cruise or John Cena. He was extremely popular and did a lot of community, charity and service work, but almost never really contributed anything good to entertainment despite being called an actor.
That is of course, aside from this movie. Fortunately and unfortunately, critiquing Gregory’s acting in this movie would be a cntrl+V of what I said about the child actors. Extremely natural, his iconic performance, and I bet a challenge for both him and director Robert Mulligan. Now then. What else should we talk about, the narrative? Aayeyeee12mkwonezpooseeeeeeee. Oh, hey Kyogre. What’s going on, old chap? ….Mhmm…Mhmmm…Yep. Yep. I gotchya. Oh yeah, I do remember that. Yep, yep, I’ll do it. Gotchya. …..Ah, you guys thought I was gonna avoid the juggernaut, didn’t ya? DIDN’T YA! I ain’t motherfuckers!
This review’s not even serious anymore so I’m just gonna go completely off topic all you crap lovers! C’mon, we’re gonna see just how racist or not racist Atticus Finch really is! So uuugh…yeah, this review’s not professional, but hopefully it turns out to be something worth a damn. Anybody here ever heard of Malcolm Gladwell? Well, he’s kinda like me but older and Canadian. He’s a comedian in his vocal speech and a serious contrarian in his written speech. Half the time he doesn’t even believe what he’s writing, he just writes to make people think differently. And I love that, you betchur ass!
Malcolm published a paper in the New York Times called “The Courthouse Ring.” To summarize a four-page article into a couple of sentences, Atticus Finch is not heroic. He is a coward. If he was truly an icon of the civil rights movement, he would have been moving! Ya know, for a movement! Instead, he’s only pro on colored people when it’s convenient for him. People who would like to believe what their 8th grade teachers told them say things like “He’s got kids, he doesn’t have time to be advocating.” Also, “the fact that in the 1920s south USA he is subtly proud of supporting a black man when he is accused of rape is an extremely strong movement.”
Both sides have their fair argument and I wouldn’t disagree or agree with you if you choose one side or another. I’ll say this much, he’s simply no icon to be followed. Being a lawyer does not support any movements from your own will. I stand by what the 8th grade teacher told me, however. Here’s why. Atticus Fish never actually existed. He is a fictional character in a novel and a movie. And he was crafted with the intention of being a positive figure of equal rights and anti emotional discrimination. Therefore, being that Harper Lee was his God, Atticus Finch is inherently not a racist coward. He looks like a worm compared to MLK or I, Da B, but still, he’s overall a good guy. NOW we can talk about the narrative structure.
“I remember when my daddy gave me that gun. He told me that I should never point it at anything in the house; and that he'd rather I'd shoot at tin cans in the backyard. But he said that sooner or later he supposed the temptation to go after birds would be too much, and that I could shoot all the blue jays I wanted - if I could hit 'em; but to remember it was a sin to kill a mockingbird. I reckon because mockingbirds don't do anything but make music for us to enjoy. They don't eat people's gardens, don't nest in the corncrib, they don't do one thing but just sing their hearts out for us.” – Atticus Fish
I still got a few gripes with the movie for not correctly translating elements from the book. Not just that they were in the book and the book is holy so help me God. Even though that book is a holy piece of scripture. This is mostly stuff that actually hurt the movie in its pacing. I don’t like so much how the courtroom and the legal case involving Tom Robinson and company is introduced very early on in the film. I especially don’t like how the actual hearing takes place between ½ and ¾ in. In the original novel, the whole legal case didn’t get introduced until the second half.
The first half was strictly dedicated to the three children and their stories. I mean, the TITLE of the story has to do with innocence and its death. I just feel like that if they kept it to the basic pace it was in the book, things would have flowed much better. Like, the first part of the movie would be wrapping around while the second part is just beginning; instead the script is attempting to juggle both parts in one and it’s not as well executed. The other part is “the knot.” The Knot, I won’t spoil what it is, but it’s bastardized in this movie. In the book, it was a gradual plot element that reflected the entire first half.
In this film, it’s just a passing thought covered in under 5 minutes. Again, a choice to remove from the book that wasn’t that good of a decision. I want to reiterate, it’s not so much that this was changed from the novel as much as it is these choices were bad in terms of narrative pacing and they have better alternatives right in their face! So remember how AWESOME Tom Robinson’s actor is? Yeah, well, who is this AWESOME one anyways? Well, his name is Brock Peters. Some other well-known films and TV shows he’s done are Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home, Static Shock, 10000 Black Men Named George, The Last Place on Earth, The Legend of Tarzan, Samurai Jack, Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, Johnny Bravo, Mortal Kombat: Defenders of the Realm, Batman (TV Series), Alligator II, DuckTales, Magnum P.I., Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, Battlestar Galactica, Tarzan (TV Series), Mission: Impossible (TV Series), Rawhide, and many more.
Definitely A LOT of notable films and TV Shows under his belt. So how is he? Well…I’m not sure I have the same opinion on him anymore. Unlike most of the characters, he doesn’t seem very natural. He’s just kind of a mesh. Like Brock didn’t understand what character he was playing, he just understood the situation. And I guess that’s how the story works, but still, it doesn’t excuse his acting is only halfway through the ballpark when everybody else is doing fantastic on camera. Ain’t it ironic that the guy who I considered the real star of the movie the first time ends up being my least favorite actor the second time
Two more things I wanna talk about. First, is the soundtrack. It’s done by Elmer Bernstein, who’s done soundtracks that share a similar characteristic. Such films reflecting positively include Airplane, True Grit, An American Werewolf in London, The Magnificent Seven, The Ten Commandments, Ghostbusters and The Great Escape. Some not as positively are Cat-Women of the Moon, Robot Monster, Gunsmoke, Airplane II: The Sequel, The Black Cauldron, Spies Like Us, Three Amigos, Leonard Part 6 (HOLY SHIT), Twilight and See No Evil. It’s also notable to note that he got turned down from Gangs of New York.
I mainly wanna focus in on True Grit, Ghostbusters and this movie. They all have soundtracks that fit the mood perfectly and are really good just on their own. The downside is that so many people have down knockoffs, ripoffs and homages that they have aged as well as alcohol. That they get better with age, no. That they turn into vinegar, yes. Sorry, but this soundtrack overall brings down the movie today. It’s that generic nostalgia music, that you would expect to here during a commercial wherethe salesman eccentrically and forcibly yells “relive these classic memories time and time again!”
Second is Robert Duvall. This is the guy you’ve heard of. This is the guy not only in this production, but in The Godfather, The Godfather Part II, Apocalypse Now, Deep Impact, Alfred Hitchcock Presents, The Untouchables, Route 66, The Twilight Zone, Hawk, True Grit, MASH, THX 1138, The Killer Elite, The Godfather: A Novel for Television, Invasion of the Body Snatchers, Ike: The War Years, Stalin, Geronimo: An American Legend, Wrestling Ernest Hemmingway, The Scarlet Letter, The Apostle, Gone in 60 Seconds, The Godfather (game), The Godfather: Mob Wars, The Godfather: The Don’s Edition, The Godfather: Blackhand Edition, The Godfather II, and the upcoming Out of the Furnace.
That’s a great filmography, blunt and simple. Would you believe that all this came from a role as minimal as a cameo, yet so legendary that every similar character is compared to him? I think it’s the way he looks. The makeup and his facial expressions combined create a simple yet complex, subtle and soon to be unlocked past featuring both an appreciation for everything little and big yet a hatred for all of those that do not share his viewpoint. Tortured and taught. That is Boo Radley. And…I guess, that’s our movie! Hope you enjoyed this review…better than the last one anyways. And I hope you’ve enjoyed the last 2 years of I, Da Ca$hman’$ Movie Review$. I got one more review tomorrow for this anniversary, and I gave a hint at it somewhere in this review. Nobody will pick it up, but I put it there. Anyways, let’s end this off with true Ca$hman fashion.
The Rating? 4.8/5
I, Da Ca$hman, singing off.