October 2011


 movie coverI'd rather be watching TV![IMDB link] [Netflix link]

PEOPLE: NOT the same director and writer as Cabin Fever 1. Eli Roth has nothing to do with this. This is Ti West. But the thing is, Ti West has disowned this film after making it! Lionsgate apparently re-cut the film to eliminate most camp references, and tacked on another ending. But then he later apparently admitted most of it is exactly how he made it.

Rider Strong (Boy Meets World, Carl Jenkins in Roughnecks:Starship Troopers Chronicles) is only in this for a few seconds–don’t be fooled. It’s been years. The main character is Noah Segen (Deadgirl, bit part in Fanboys, the 2007 Picture Of Dorian Gray–not the one we saw). Cute girl Cassie played by Alexi Wasser (Chloe from Melvin Goes To Dinner). Deputy Winston from Cabin Fever 1 is reprised by Giuseppe Andrews (Lex from Detroit Rock City, Jason from American History X, Howard from Pleasantville). Slutty high school stripper played by Regan Deal
Also, one of the actors has the same name as my uncle: Michael Bowen, the principal.

UNCOMFORTABLE PLOT SUMMARY (inspired by this): [highlight for spoilers] Government executes sick victims.

QUIRKS: Non-serious horror gore. Straight-to-video sequel. High school-based, whereas the first movie was, I believe, college-age-based. People keep saying this has a 1970s or 1980s feel to it, but I didn’t particularly notice.

VISUALS: Interesting animated near-opening and closing segments. Cartooning up the beginning and end helped set the feel for this movie — Don’t take it too seriously. Of course, people bitch about this, or whine that they only did this because they didn’t have enough money, blah blah. But I liked it better that way. Cartoons rule!

SOUNDTRACK: Chosing Ramones‘ “Somebody Put Something In My Drink” was more appropriate here than any movie ever!

MORALS: If you’re a douchebag, your girlfriend might leave you. DERP.

Also: Don’t drink bottled water. haha.

POLITICS: Don’t trust the government to be on your side during an emergency. (See also: Hurricane Katrina.)

GOOD STUFF: Making it high school instead of college actually made it more interesting. It started off slow, mostly about the characters. But y’know? I kinda liked the backstory. It was a good buildup, and then it was mostly, a gore-fest. Some of the vomiting blood was ridiculously perfect-streamed. It definitely made you cringe, and feel grossed out, uncomfortable, and with adrenaline from how horrible this infectious disease was. I think the movie achieved its goal quite well, even if it wasn’t any kind of masterpiece story.

The pacing is really weird: It starts off like a high school comedy / coming-of-age film, and then everything goes apeshit once prom happens. This could be a feature, or a flaw. I kind of enjoyed it, it almost made me feel like I was watching a high school comedy… And then the blood & gore started. Very slow buildup.

There were a lot of outlandish elements included in this… It had some Troma-esque aspects, but with better production and better acting.

BAD STUFF: It definitely had its flaws. It started off slow (but I didn’t mind). There were many cliches, but isn’t that expected?!

CONCLUSION: This really exceeded my expectations. It was kind of slow at first, and more of a comedy… Then it became a total bloodfest. I haven’t felt this uncomfortable since watching Jackass or Saw.

RATINGS:
Clint: Netflix: 4.6/5 stars (a low 5 stars). IMDB: 8.4/10 (a high 8).
Carolyn: Netflix: 3/5 stars. IMDB: 7/10. “I don’t like feeling that uncomfortable. This is a different kind of adrenaline. Different from Saw or Hostel or even Jackass. This is more psychological. It deducts a point for freaking me out and making me think my fingernails were falling out.” [That makes me like it more. -Clint]

The native public rating for this movie is: IMDB: 4.5/10 (ouch!), Netflix: 2.4/5 stars (Netflix‘s predicted rating for us was 3.3/5 stars–cool that it knew we’d like it, even though the majority of people didn’t.).

RECOMMENDATION: Most people seemed to not like it, but most of the hate seemed to come from a few categories of lameness. 1) People who said the original was better, therefore this sucks. It’s a sequel! Besides Star Trek 2, almost every sequel isn’t as good as the original by most people. Who the hell watches a sequel and then gets disappointed when it isn’t as good as the original? C’mon, get real! 2) People who thought it was too disgusting. Uhhh, it’s a horror movie! It’s supposed to make you feel bad! If you want to feel all happy, go watch a comedy or an adventure! You’re in the wrong genre! Oh, you want horror movies to scare you without disgusting you? Those are your own limits; they’re your fault, not the movie’s fault. 3) People who automatically hate it because the director disowned the released version. Uhh — none of you have seen the director’s cut, because it doesn’t exist. So you’re automatically going to hate something over the politics? Lame. 4) People who complained that it was too gross to be a comedy, and too campy to be a horror. You have a valid point, but I still find that close-minded. It’s like, all comedies have to be funny throughout. All horrors have to be horrible throughout. Nothing can be mixed! I guess that explains a factor of why people hate Twilight so much — how dare they mix Vampire/fantasy with angsty teenage romance. I don’t see the Twilight haters hating on all the other angsty teen romance movies; just Twilight because they dared to put vampires in it. For me, that’s the only way to make an angsty teen romance watchable: Mixing it up with another genre.

So my recommendation is to check this out, and fuck you if you don’t like it.

SIMILAR MOVIES: Parts of it reminded me of Quarantine.

COINCIDENCES: (Zombie Strippers, Cabin Fever 2) 2 movies in the same week with diseased strippers.

ANOTHER REVIEW HERE.

the beginning starts off like a high school comedy movie

she was a brunette in Melvin Goes To Dinner...

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To the best of Carolyn & my ability, these are the most complete lyrics for this song to appear on the whole Internet….We started with the only post on the Internet about finding the lyrics, which is HERE. That message board isn’t allowing new signups, either, so if someone’s gotta take this topic over, it’s gonna be me.

For Star Control 2 fans, this is a song that used the Melnorme theme as the basis, but is about alcoholic robots (much like Bender from Futurama.)

Here’s the original Melnorme music:

No clue if this link is authorized or not, but everyone seems to have this song already. But if you can’t find it, it seems to be here on FilePlanet.

What is the matter?
My circuits are fried!
Servos malfunctioned,
I am scrambled inside!
Too much memory to process those bits
I know it’s happening in potato juice
We make Potato Juice
We make Potato Juice
We make Potato Juice
We make Potato Juice
and you’re soaking in it

Robots are jumping,
maybe? ’cause they’re young? (drunk?)
I’m getting dizzy, and hearing strange sounds
My wheels are clogged
There might be some dents
I ran into a wall and got up again
We make Potato Juice
We make Potato Juice
We make Potato Juice
We make Potato Juice
and you’re soaking in it

We’re wacky robots
We go to a pub
Refuel for culture?
and throw away the mug
When we go riding down the street late at night
You better watch it if you get in our way
We are Potato Juice
We are Potato Juice
We are Potato Juice
We are Potato Juice
and you’re soaking in it

If you’re organic, then we think you are scum
We hope you’re ready for anhilation!
If we were able to, we’d kill you right now!
But on potato juice, we just don’t know how!
We are Potato Juice
We are Potato Juice
We are Potato Juice
We are Potato Juice
and you’re soaking in it

-*-

Okay Internet… You are now complete again. (more…)

 movie coverI'd rather be watching TV![IMDB link] [Netflix link] I’ll pretty much watch any zombie movie, if it’s in HD and is current.

HAIKU REVIEW: Small towns really suck
at surviving zombie swarm
terrorist attacks.

UNCOMFORTABLE PLOT SUMMARY (inspired by this): Local racism and religious fanaticism leads to complications.

PEOPLE: Produced and directed by Arabs. With the beautiful and charismatic Janette Armand as the Iranian girl. But really, nobody involved with this movie is anyone known. It’s a small, independent film, by a small production company that’s only done 2 films.

QUIRKS: Zombie comedy apocalypse terrorism, racism, gayness, fanatical Christians, coming out to your mom, post-911 hysteria. Three sets of characters, whose stories basically converge by the end of the film.

VISUALS: Decent to watch, even if watching it in HD exposes a lot of fakeness with the special effects. However, because it’s also kind of a comedy, guts that don’t quite look real sort of work — one is reminded of Troma during those moments. Still — there’s definitely some gore in here for people who want it. And a lot of blood splatter.

MORALS: Usually it’s don’t trust your government in movies like these — but actually, the government did nothing wrong here. The moral of THIS zombie movie is: Don’t trust your redneck neighbors, don’t trust the church-goers either. People hide behind their moral authority and do evil things while thinking they are good. Religion, paranoia, and nationalism are major causes of this phenomenon.

POLITICS: A big gay angle, dealing with how gay couples must act different in small towns, must fight Christian persecution, must go through major anxiety just to say who they are to their own parents. A big religious angle, showing how religioinists act completely illogically in the face of a crisis — it’s a terrorist attack, not the Rapture. A big racism angle with how people can’t deal with Arabs, and will ask an Arab person about their “home country” even if they’ve lived in America their whole life. A bit post-911 angle, with how paranoia rules the zeitgeist and makes people irrational, and how attacks are used as justification to beef up the security police state. Although this movie came out in 2009, it takes place in 2003 — making the post-911 mentality that much more relevant.

BAD STUFF: It’s political and this might throw off people not expecting it. It’s a comedy, but it’s nowhere near as funny as most comedies, because we’re dealing with the politics and the zombies. It’s also nowhere near as scary or thrilling as a zombie movie that sets out to ONLY be scary or thrilling. One could say that this movie attempts to do too much, and thus falls flat, scattered in several different directions. I prefer to look at it as encompassing a combination of aspects that I’ve never seen in a movie before, thus giving me a unique experience — even if it was far from perfect.

CONCLUSION: As far as zombie comedies go, it’s definitely no Zombieland. But it makes up for the lack of comedy with politics and thrills — this is directed and produced by Arabs, about how a small town stuck in a post-911 mentality would react to a terrorist attack that creates zombies. It doesn’t work perfectly, but it definitely works. It’s certainly better than some zombie movies I’ve already seen, such as Night Of The Living Dead 3-D.

RATINGS:
Clint: Netflix: 4/5 stars. IMDB: 7/10.
Carolyn: Netflix: 3/5 stars. IMDB: 6.4/10. “It was OK. A little bit on the gratiutious gore side at the beginning… The political angle was kind of fun…”

The native public rating for this movie is: IMDB: 5.1/10, Netflix: 2.7/5 stars (Netflix‘s predicted rating for us was 3.5/5 stars–very accurate!).

RECOMMENDATION: Zombie-completists or people interested in politics should check this out.

SIMILAR MOVIES: Uh… every zombie movie? Well no, not really. Maybe a zombie movie like Fido, which also has social implications, would be a better comparison.

MOVIE QUOTE: “Ohhhh, Iraaannnn.” (more…)

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I'd rather be watching TV![IMDB link] [Not available on Netflix.] After watching the 5-star horror movie Mirrors, we all decided to watch the original Korean movie it is based on. So a lot of this is from the viewpoint of comparing this version to the American remake (with Keifer Sutherland).

PEOPLE: A Korean movie. The first movie directed by Sung-ho Kim, who also wrote it. Starring Ji-tae Yu, who was Woo-jin Lee in Oldboy, had a bit part in Sympathy For Lady Vengeance. Ju-bong Gi was also in Sympathy For Mr. Vengeance.

PLOT SUMMARY: IMDB’s here. The original plot most certainly differs from the Mirrors remake. They are very similar, but with different backstories. Hollywood adds a wife and kid, of course.

UNCOMFORTABLE PLOT SUMMARY (inspired by this): [highlight for spoilers] Failed cop fails at stopping serial killer.

QUIRKS: Psychological horror. Murder mystery. Creepy mirrors.

VISUALS: Quite good. The film quality didn’t quite seem as modern, and it didn’t feel as digitally polished as Mirrors did — but that may be because I watched this one in DVD quality vs watching Mirrors in BluRay quality. It may have been more elegant than Mirrors, however, having lots of shots where you don’t quite realize you’re watching a mirror until they pan out at the end of the scene.

GOOD STUFF: Definitely some moments that make you jump. A fairer sense of ultimate justice by the end of the movie, when compared to the remake.

BAD STUFF: Not quite as adrenaline-pumping as the remake. Of course it’s the trendy film critic thing to always say you like the original better than the remake, but in this case I think the remake was a scarier movie. This one, however, doesn’t stretch credulity as much, and has more elegant pacing — so a lot of people will prefer the original for that evening. After all, the remake’s final “boss battle” is kind of Evil Dead-ish, which is totally incongruent with the tone of the original movie.

CONCLUSION: A great Korean psychological thriller! Mirrors are creepy as hell. A bit less campy and more consistent than the American remake, but not quite as scary.

“That’s some NIGHTMARE SHIT right there!!” –something I said during the movie, during a hallway chase scene where the other guy got WAY too far WAY too fast, during a single shot where the camera never changed — I still don’t know quite how they did that.

RATINGS:
Clint: Netflix: 4.6/5 stars (that’s 5 stars). IMDB: 8/10.
Carolyn: Netflix: 4/5 stars. IMDB: 8/10.
Parthena: Netflix: 4/5 stars. IMDB: 7.5/10.

The native public rating for this movie is: IMDB: a mere 6.5/10.

RECOMMENDATION: Get versed in some American mirror-related horror and such first. Watch Prince Of Darkness (and possibly laugh at it), then Dark Mirror, then The Broken, then Mirrors. After that, watch this to see what Mirrors was based on.

SIMILAR MOVIES: Oh look! Mirrors 2 is out! And you can get this movie with it for free when you purchase it!

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 movie coverI'd rather be watching TV![IMDB link] [Not available on Netflix.]

PEOPLE: Buncha BBC British people most americans have never heard of.

PLOT SUMMARY: A zombie outbreak happens during the filming of the UK Big Brother show; the people in the Big Brother house don’t even realize what happened. Carnage ensues.

QUIRKS: OMFG A ZOMBIE MINI-SERIES?!?!?!?!?! I found out about this after watching The Walking Dead pilot. I thought, “Damn?! Are there any other zombie TV shows? I think The Walking Dead is the first ever!” And that’s how I found about about this zombie TV show. But I would technically call this a mini-series, not a tv show, due to the fact that it was aired several nights in a row, and not stretched out over a season. Plus, the story pretty much completely concluded.

VISUALS: INSANE levels of shaky-cam. I don’t mind shaky-cam very much, but it annoyed me slightly here… So those who really hate it would probably really hate this here.

MORALS: In a crisis, fuck other people. Except you won’t survive without them. But also, fuck them.

GOOD STUFF: John The Canadien’s review does a good job summarizing things. So I don’t really see a point in duplicating his effort.

BAD STUFF: Starts off a bit slow, but then the action crescendos VERY quickly.

CONCLUSION: Finally, a zombie SERIES!!!!!! YES!!!!

RATINGS:
Clint: Netflix: 5/5 stars. IMDB: 9/10.
Carolyn: Netflix: 4/5 stars. IMDB: 8.4/10.
John The Canadien: Netflix: 4/5 stars. IMDB: 9/10.
Two Beans: 4/5 beans.

The native public rating for this movie is: IMDB: 8.1/10.

RECOMMENDATION: Great zombie stuff! Must see!

SIMILAR MOVIES: The only other zombie TV series: The Walking Dead! Of course, you could say this is similar to most other zombie movies. And the reality TV aspect brings the movie Live! to mind. Live! is a great movie.
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 movie coverI'd rather be watching TV![IMDB link] [Netflix link]

LIMERICK REVIEW: There once was a spirit named Ink,
who was quite a bit of a fink.
A battle between evil and good
That ended about how it should
And then they revealed the great link.
[meh.. not my best limerick.. truthfully, I’m getting tired of writing these]

UNCOMFORTABLE PLOT SUMMARY (inspired by this): [highlight for spoilers] Spirits injure and hospitalize neglecting father and neglected daughter.

PEOPLE: Starring Chris Kelly, who totally looks like Milo Ventimiglia (Peter Petrelli from Heroes). Jessica Duffy (a hot newcomer) in a significant role.

QUIRKS: VERY strange chronology–some of the strangest in any movie I’ve seen. Dual timelines where “1000 years can be a day, a day can be 1000 years”. This creates paradoxical situations that you have no choice to accept. The movie is non-linear in ways that aren’t even revealed at first.

There is definitely a lot of symbolism regarding his connection to his daughter [highlight for spoilers] in both timelines.

Shot on a meager $250,000 budget.

Quite surreal.

VISUALS: The visuals really reminded us of the movie Avalon: Lots of blown out highlights, and various single-color schemes used for various scenes. This was more colorful than Avalon’s near-constant sepia, though. There were actually some amazing otherworldly effects for the parts that took place in what I call The Gloom / The Twilight (a concept established in the Night Watch / Day Watch fantasy movies). Though it’s not technically The Gloom from Night/Day Watch–it’s the dreamworld. Same difference as far as I am concerned. Trippy other dimensions!

The Incubus guys reminded me ever-so-slightly of some of the bad guys from The City Of Lost Children.

A great movie to watch in HD!

MORALS: Kengwis at IMDB says it well: “No matter how safe you feel, evil may find you. But no matter how far you’ve fallen, redemption is possible.”

BAD STUFF: A lot things weren’t ever explained–like why the Incubus are what they are, how they became that way, what their agenda is, who the Storytellers are, and why they all exist in that realm. The dreamworld, which is much like The Gloom / The Twilight from the Night Watch / Day Watch movies, isn’t really explained until near the end.

The movie itself was a bit scattered. It would have had to have been 2.5 hours (instead of 1.5 hours) to adequately explain everything, but the movie was tortuously slow and enigmatic during the first 40% or so, so it’s a lose-lose situation.

I would have perhaps structured this movie so as to be a bit more obvious. Then again, several twists were very well-hidden due to the deliberate obfuscation of the plot and chronology. In fact, there are even [highlight for spoilers] characters who are other characters that you don’t realize. Ink turns out to be you-know-who, and ‘guardian angel’ Liev means Lion in Russian, implying that Liev was Emma from the suicide timeline, and tying in to her telling Emma that she was a Lioness. A lot of people figured that spoiler out before the final reveal, but I’m quite glad that we didn’t.

Nonetheless, this film is a great piece of art that is unfortunately flawed in a few ways. It most certainly had the potential to be a 5/5 star movie, but failed to reach that potential. Much like The Fountain.

CONCLUSION: Not quite the fantasy movie that I expected. It was more of a fantasy-drama than a fantasy-adventure. Damn confusing and surreal. Flawed, yet incredibly poetic. This might benefit from another watching. I give this high recommendations despite my average rating.

RATINGS:
Clint: Netflix: 3/5 stars. IMDB: 6/10. Though I think if I watched it again it might improve to 7/10. I doubt it would gain another Netflix star, though.
Carolyn: Netflix: 3/5 stars. IMDB: 7/10.
The native public rating for this movie is Netflix: 3.5/5 stars (4.3/5 stars for people who rate like me–WRONG!), IMDB: 6.8/10.

And visually? This movie is pretty close to a 10/10.

RECOMMENDATION: People tend to either love this, or hate it. Carolyn & I were one of the rarer “in-betweeners”, who simply liked it, didn’t love it, but didn’t hate it. If you could stand The Fountain, you could definitely stand this. Read the similar movies section below; if those elements appeal to you, you should check this out. If you love a visually unique movie, then DEFINITELY check this out.

SIMILAR MOVIES: As said above, the visual style reminded me of the movie Avalon. But the fact that there were these “others” who had their own war between light and dark in a Twilight/Gloom realm next to our normal world felt exactly like Night Watch and Day Watch. But the ethereal soul-searching in a visually stylized world made it feel like What Dreams May Come.

However, it was more like The Fountain than anything else. The pacing, the content. The connected souls, the confusing passage of time, the confusing leaping back and forth, and the confusing count of how much total time is passed. Even the way they had voices talking without a character on the screen, almost in the viewer’s ear, felt like The Fountaion, as did the spiritual elements (though they were accented less here than in The Fountain, which often came off as psycho-spiritual bullshit).

Similar to The Fountain, we still had no idea what the plot was 1/3rd through the movie. But eventually it all came together in a way that made sense, and was more coherent than The Fountain.

It’s also a bit reminiscent of Neil Gaiman-based movies, like MirrorMask.

The fact that I wrote this much also speaks about how interesting this movie is. (more…)

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