Thursday, September 16, 2010

Short Movie Reviews

Crank 2: High Voltage is bizarre and exciting. Don't look for too much clever, though there is some. There are a handful of famous people in it. It is a lot of fun. It's guns, and tits, and blood, and butts, and fighting, and stupid shit, and weird shit, and strippers... and Dwight Yoakam... Weird science... Don't worry if you have not seen the first one. They cover anything pertinent (?) in #2, so you catch up quickly.

Verdict: Oh, just watch it.

Something Wicked This Way Comes is one I watched this for a few reasons. First, I had just read the book. Second, it got a lot of praise from my readership. Third, I read at Krell Laboratories that this was a favorite Pam Grier role. I was sold. Unfortunately, I think the book was too fresh in my mind, and the differences were a tad stark. I will agree that at the time, this was a great performance by Grier, but otherwise the movie left me a bit flat. I did like the old-school live action Disney feel that we get so little of these days. It reminded me, stylistically, of the Witch Mountain movies. It is hard to turn a book into a film, so not blaming Disney. If I had not read the book, or had read it long ago, I am sure I would have thoroughly enjoyed the film.

Verdict: For nostalgia buffs, or non readers ;-)

Russell Brand in New York City first introduced me to Russell Brand. It is funny and smart, and despite Comedy Central's attempt to make him look like a douche, he comes off as being extremely likable. A lot of the act involves introducing himself to American audiences, and his adventures hosting the MTV Video Music Awards.

Verdict: Easily the funniest stand-up I have seen in a long time.

The Double-D Avenger Russ Meyer babes Francesca "Kitten" Natividad, Raven de la Croix, and Haji return in this low budget, large cupped action/comedy. Kitten's character is diagnosed with terminal breast cancer. She learns of a cure from the Amazon basin that cures cancer, and she discovers, provides super powers. A bar across town wants Kitten out of the way, as her bar is stealing their business. They don't know about her new super powers, and identity, The Double-D Avenger!

Verdict: Funny at times. Has its moments, but uses a lot of age-old boob jokes.

Ponyo by Hiyao Miazaki (Princess Mononoke, Spirited Away) brings us the odd tale of a magical undersea princess who falls in love with a human boy. She is determined to become human, but is a magical creature. Her father, a wizard, is sickened by the human world's pollution of the seas (a standard Miyazaki theme), and the human boy Sosuke must take on responsibilities seemingly beyond his years (another Miyazaki standard).

Verdict: Fun, but almost strictly for the kiddies. This one lacks the all-ages aspects that Miyazaki typically strives for.

The Call of Cthulhu was made in 2005, and is meant to appear as an old silent film. Some of the photography and editing appear more like 1930's film noir, but for the most part it is convincing. The film follows the story nicely, and provides a great, creepy feel that a modern film would typically attempt to over do. It weighs in at a trim 43 minutes, and is well worth watching.

Verdict: Nicely done, and true to the source material.

Doctor Who: The Talons of Weng-Chiang has The 4th Doctor taking Leela to Victorian London to expand her education. They quickly become involved in the investigation of a murder and some disappearances. The Doctor knows immediately (almost) that the creature Weng Chiang.

Verdict: I only watched episode one. Pretty standard Tom Baker fare.

Resident Evil: Afterlife has Milla Jovovich returning as Alice to fight the zombie hordes and the evil Umbrella Corporation. Very nice use of 3D in this one. Sure, there is a lot of shit flying at you, but they do a lot to add depth. The story is pretty good; not overly confused (though that is often acceptable in zombie films). Milla kicks much ass, and there is some scheming among the survivors. Ali Larter gets a lot of face time. Perhaps Milla is shying away from the fifth, inevitable, film? I hope not. Resident Evil without Alice is like waffles without syrup: abnormal.

Verdict: I liked it a lot.


Kal said...

I will check out that The Call of Cthulhu film now that I know about it. I really liked Resident Evil 4 too and was glad they set up for another one. I appreciated the 3D not being an 'add-on' also for once. I just wanted to see more 'Alices' but I have a feeling that Anderson was holding something back for part 5.

Darius Whiteplume said...

I was a little confused since she *S*P*O*I*L*E*R* supposedly lost her superpowers, but still seemed to have them... Also surprised the duplicates did not kick more ass. They must be lower quality copies, like Stormtroopers? ;-)

lyinglies said...

Most of those never got released in Brazil, maybe for some good reason...I did watch Call of Cthulhu and agree that it's awesome, though.
I totally can't wait for RE Afterlife 3D! I sure hope you're wrong and that there'll be a whole lotta Milla in the 5th movie, or it's gonna suck big time.

Darius Whiteplume said...

I don't think they could afford to _not_ have her. Look at what happened to Underworld 3 without Kate Beckinsale...

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