Monthly Archives: May 2012

Chernobyl Diaries

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Oh Oren Peli. The man behind one of the dumbest franchises in existence, Paranormal Activity. He didn’t direct Chernobyl Diaries, but he did have a hand in the screenplay. That’s how you know this movie had no chance whatsoever. For those of you that have the blissful privilege of not sitting through any of the Paranormal Activity films, let me sum up Oren Peli’s writing style: nothing happens for the first 45 minutes, a lot of cheap jump scares, nothing is explained, annoying characters, and in the end the ghost/demon/villain always wins. To his credit, he tried something different for Chernobyl Diaries. Well, actually he didn’t try at all.

We start with 3 people backpacking through Europe. We also see Jesse McCartney in his first live action movie role. Who is he? Some dude who sings mediocre songs, and is one of the new computer generated chipmunks. I never said he was famous for anything credible. They’re on their way to Kiev to meet up with his brother Paul. After a good 20 minutes of pointless chatting and an almost confrontation with some locals, Paul comes up with the “genius” idea of Extreme Tourism. The location? Pripyat, the home of the workers of the Chernobyl nuclear reactor. I know that if everyone had said no, there would be no movie. However…Pripyat has very unstable fluctuations in radiation. Call me stupid, but that right there makes me want to just take my ass to a beach and get hammered. That is my definition of tourism.

The morons meet up with the world’s worst tour guide, and two other meat bags. They set off for Pripyat. As soon as they get to the gate, there’s security forcing them to turn around because of “maintenance” issues. They decide to just take a back way to get into the city. A mutated fish and yet another 20 minutes later, we get to the whole point of this damn thing. They go back to the van after almost getting attacked by a brown bear (seriously) where they discover the wires in the ignition have been chewed on. Did I mention their tour guide works alone, and no one knows they’re there? You probably figured that out. So Mr. chipmunk and the tour guide decide to try to walk back to the entrance of the city to get help. At night. Armed with one gun and a flashlight.

Not even a minute passes before the tour guide is dragged off, and Theodore gets his leg mangled. From here on out, it’s just a shaky cam mess. Everyone just dies rapid fire except for Theodore’s brother and his now love interest. They somehow end up in the reactor, and get bombarded with radiation. They make it outside, only for the brother to be shot and the girl gets carted off to some medical facility. She gets placed in a dimly lit cell. The last scene is her being…eaten? Raped? Heavily tickled? It cuts away so damn quick that you’re not sure if she lives, or if she’s going to be turned into a zombie mutant. Yes, that is what lies in the ruins of Pripyat: zombie mutants.

I’m still trying to figure out how this script got picked up. It’s freaking stupid. Nothing happens, there’s zero character development, and you don’t even get a good look at what’s attacking everyone. And it’s not even a damn diary! This was made to look like a movie, not a vacation video from hell. If something is called Chernobyl Diaries, I fully expect it to look like there’s someone holding a handheld camera and I better see dates and crap. And it’s rated R. For what? A broken leg and some f bombs? All of the deaths happen off-screen. You have a damn R rating… Why don’t you freaking push it to its limit?! It really doesn’t take a whole lot to get an R rating anymore, does it? -5/5. As you can see, I don’t have warm fuzzy feelings for Oren Peli. If you want to see the ultimate vacation from hell, check out Cabin in the Woods or The Descent. I would recommend something that’s in actual diary format, but those are always bad, too.

Eraserhead

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I am a huge David Lynch fan. Blue Velvet is one of my all-time favorite movies. I managed to come across his first film Eraserhead in the library. Thank god I didn’t pay for it…financially. It’s freaking weird. Lynch himself said the film “was left to the individual’s interpretation”. I take that to mean he did a butt load of Acid and weed while writing the script.

We have the misfortune of following Harry Spencer, who is a printer that’s on vacation. No, that has nothing to do with the “story”, but it was heavily mentioned. He visits his girlfriend, Mary, and her family. During dinner, her father cuts into a chicken that starts spurting what looks like blood and her mother appears to have an orgasm. Once again, no rhyme or reason. Just her mother making orgasm faces for a minute. Then Mary’s mother tries to make out with Harry, changes her mind and explains that Mary gave birth to Harry’s child very prematurely.

Mary is then forced to marry Harry, and moves in with him. We then see the baby. Well, what’s supposed to be a baby. I don’t know what the hell to compare that thing to. All I know is it freaks me out and I don’t want to think about it anymore. It refuses to eat and just wails nonstop. Mary loses her mind and leaves, leaving Harry to determine how to care for the “baby”. And in one of the most unsettling scenes ever, the baby gets sick and is somehow covered in pus, sores and has maggots in its mouth.

Believe it or not, here’s where things really go off the deep end. It goes from some resemblance of a story to random images and sequences. There’s a girl with a disfigured face that supposedly lives in Harry’s radiator. He has sex with the neighborhood slut. There’s one scene where his head just pops off, spews blood and then the baby’s head replaces his. His head then falls through a pool of blood, gets picked up by a little boy and his brain his sold to make pencil erasers. After 20 minutes of…whatever you want to call all of that, we find out all of that was a dream sequence.

Harry opens the door to see the slut getting ready to bang some dude in the hallway. The “baby” begins to laugh in a taunting manner. Harry unwraps the “baby’s” bandages, and it’s internal organs spill out. So Harry stabs the organs with scissors. Then the film just cuts to him embracing the lady in his radiator.

I don’t know what I saw. I’m all for abstract or artsy stuff, but this must be what schizophrenics see. It might be open to interpretation, but how the bloody hell am I supposed to interpret that? Don’t have premarital sex or else you’ll have a deformed child? People live in radiators and will be your only companion in life? I’m just so confused and very itchy. I don’t like it when a movie makes me itchy. I have to give this a goose egg. If you’re going for symbolism, make sure the symbolism actually represents something. And if you’re weird enough to want to see a freaky artsy Acid trip, look for Rampo Noir.

Shark Night 3D

Every year, I manage to find a movie that just breaks through, and creates a whole new level of stupidity. Last year’s champ was The Human Centipede. What could possibly be worse than some dude’s poo porn fantasy?

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I don’t even know where to start with this one. First, it takes elements from the “rich kids on vacation, secluded, no cell phone reception” plot template. Instead of a psycho killer, it adds sharks. And now here comes the inevitable section where I rip this movie to shreds. The sharks are put into the lake by the sheriff and two local country boys. Oh sorry. Spoilers and such. Their reason? They want to make a hardcore version of Shark Week. I was not aware that there is a subgroup of Shark Week viewers that want to see a snuff film. So the Three Stooges have the “brilliant” idea of releasing sharks that reside in saltwater into a fresh water lake. How do the sharks survive? You know damn well we’re not supposed to notice anything that is basic science. One thing I should mention is that we have a B-C list celebrity, Katharine McPhee, best known for…losing American Idol and not being able to have a single that can crack the Top 20. Ouch.

On top the that, they got the director of bad movie bliss, David R. Ellis. If you’re not familiar with him he butchered, I mean directed, 2 of the Final Destination movies and Snakes on a Plane. The weird thing is, Ellis started as a stunt coordinator. His credits include The Matrix Revolutions and Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone. The fall from grace is a short one, isn’t it?

Another major flaw is one of the characters. I try to avoid any resemblance of racial stereotypes. Being an African-American young woman is hard enough. But… One of the characters is named Malik, who almost failed his final and is only able to go to college thanks to a scholarship. You can tell they didn’t think highly of this character. As I mentioned, the group goes to the lake, and Malik is the first one to go water skiing. Like I said I really hate racial stereotypes, but how many famous African-American water skiers can you name? Or surfers? My point exactly. Malik is the first to be attacked and loses his arm. Later in the movie, he goes on a suicide mission to kill the shark that took his arm and ate his fiancee. During this whole scene, tribal beats play and he’s holding a spear.

And now for the most obvious flaw: The rating. A horror movie doesn’t have to be rated R in order to be good. It just works out that way. This movie is about freaking shark attacks, and it’s PG-13. All you see is blood in the water, shootings and stabbings that don’t bleed and more blood in the water. As for sexuality and nudity, you get some blonde dude’s flabby butt and a whole lot of side boob. Most bad horror movies know they’re terrible, and add boobs and gore to compensate. This can’t even do that! On top of that, the end credits are 9 MINUTES LONG, with a 4 minute “rap” video.

I’m not going to give this a rating. Instead, I’m going to show you the “rap” video after the end credits, and I’ll let you guess what rating this movie gets. Also, let me know if you actually sit through the whole thing. I owe you a drink.

Sex and the City 2

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I really wanted to skip reviewing this one. Not just because it’s basically someone taking a dump on paper and calling it a “witty screenplay”. I hate this movie. It is so offensive and crude that makes anything Sasha Baron Cohen does look like Sesame Street. The film basically says getting married and having children means the end of your life as you know it. Oh, and men want to oppress women because we’re so awesome…or something. I don’t really know because I was too pissed off to really listen.

This is where I should maybe give my own opinion on the issue. I’m all for being independent, confident and sexually “experienced”. These characters are just whiny old hags who should still be single so they can drink themselves to death. I hate these women. They make me ashamed to be a woman. I’m not going to go through the whole movie because I don’t want to re-live it. The short version? Samantha the slut is on about 40 different kinds of pills and hormones to desperately cling to her youth. She’s 52. At that point, her youth is dead and buried. Charlotte and Miranda are both married with children, and they both hate their kids.

They actually have the nerve to say that being a wife and mother is supposed to be easy. Marriage and being a parent won’t be like going through all the levels of hell, but it won’t be unicorns farting rainbows either. And Carrie…dear Horseface Carrie. What is her biggest complaint about new husband Mr. Big? He just wants to spend time with her watching TV and ordering takeout. And that he bought a TV for their anniversary instead of buying her jewelery. That’s right. These have to be the most self-centered, spoiled, disgusting, and annoying women in cinema.

I don’t even know what to say. This movie sucks, and I hope the people that made it get raped by rabid squirrels. Is it possible for me to give a movie a negative rating? Well, I’m doing it anyway: -5/5. If you want a raunchy comedy that’s actually funny, just watch Horrible Bosses or Superbad. At least those actually have plots and likeable characters. I just realized those are quickly becoming scarce in today’s movies…

Slaughter Night

Have you ever seen a movie, loved it, waited a while to re-watch it, and found it wasn’t as great as you thought it once was? The same goes for the opposite. Well, I feel the need to test that theory. I worked at a Blockbuster for a while, and I can’t tell you how many “good” movies I saw. But enough back story, follow me back to 2007 for one of my favorite films: Slaughter Night.

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I used to be really into horror movie magazines and websites, and I found out about Slaughter Night finally coming to the states. I fell in love with it. It was gory, the story was great, and I just thought it was very interesting. I saw it again today. I must’ve been out of my damn mind 5 years ago. Either that or this film was edited to death, but I’m 99.9% positive that didn’t happen.

What changed my mind? Growing up and realizing what goes into a good slasher flick. This movie has none of those qualities. The first thing I have to mention is the shaky cam. It’s not just one or two scenes. Any time there is a party or someone is about to die, it looks like the camera man is having a freaking seizure. Before I get into that, I should probably back up a bit.

We start the film with a little girl being kidnapped. It then cuts to (turn away now if you’re extremely squeamish) the killer violently decapitating another child and sticking her head on a pike. The police catch the killer and save the other child. Then we get opening credits. Seems a bit abrupt, doesn’t it? Get used to it. After the credits, we end up at a rave. People are doing drugs, the music is loud and nothing really interesting happens. We’re introduced to the Dutch version of Kristen Stewart named Kris. She has what is probably the most obnoxious friends I have ever seen. Nothing continues to happen for 10 minutes until she starts arguing with her father about going on a trip to Australia. I’m guessing he runs a red light because they get hit by a huge semi truck. Kris’ father dies in a explosion. The entire time she has this completely blank stare. I don’t know much about acting, but if it’s an emotionally charged scene like seeing a parent being turned into barbecue, act like you actually cared about him.

We’re then treated to 20 MINUTES of her, her friends and her mother mourning. What does this have to do with the killer? If you guessed anything except nothing, I applaud you for being so optimistic. Then we’re treated to more bad editing and Kris is just with her friends on a road trip. Are they going to Australia? Nope. Where are they going? An abandoned mine. Why? Your guess is as good as mine. And that right there is one of the biggest flaws of this movie: No continuity and no real plot. All the characters are just lumped together only to be picked off one by one.

Things might seem a little jumbled from here on out. There was so much shaky cam and bad lighting that I honestly don’t know what happened. They use a Ouija board to contact spirits, they unleash psycho child killer, and psycho child killer kills them one by one by possessing them. The kills suck, and it’s the same one over and over. Now I don’t have a problem with decapitation, but when it’s the only form of killing in a 90 minute movie it does become quite predictable.

Long story short, everyone except Kris and the dude she made googly eyes at survive. The end. I gotta be honest with you… This isn’t how I was planning to start my new segment. I picked this movie because I remember it being so awesome. But, that’s the whole point of this: ideas and preferences change. What I thought was awesome 5 years ago is just a shaky cam filled train wreck. Let me also say that I don’t completely hate shaky cam. I just absolutely hate when filmmakers use it to build suspense or terror. If you have a good script, everything else should come naturally. That didn’t happen here, so it gets a 0. Now it’s time for me to take Advil and pray that the room stops spinning.

The Avengers

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Yeah… You knew it was coming. This is one of the biggest movies of the year/all time, so of course I had to go see it. What can I say about it that hasn’t already been said? It’s just a good, entertaining and action-packed film. The only things that might be considered flaws are that this is definitely a comic book movie, and the plot is a little simple. If I were to dive into why those are flaws, I’d just be nitpicking and I know I already do quite enough of that.

I will say that I grew up with DC Comics, so I’m not as familiar with The Avengers as I would like to be. But, thankfully you don’t need previous knowledge of all the characters to understand everything. It’s also hilarious. Each actor holds their own, and they don’t overdo it. The action scenes are unbelievable. I really don’t know what else to say.

Now, if you’ve read any of my previous posts, you don’t I have absolutely no problem picking a movie apart piece by piece. I can’t do that here. Is it 100% perfect? No, but no movie is. I feel that any minor details can be overlooked because holy hell this movie is awesome. I give it 5/5. Go see it. Go see it more than once, actually. We won’t have another movie this good until The Dark Knight Rises comes out. I say enjoy it and fully appreciate it. They just don’t make movies as good as they used to, but this is a pleasant exception.

Resurrection County

I think there needs to be an age limit when it comes to a group of people pissing off the local residents. If it’s a group of 18-25 year olds, you expect it. It’s like an unwritten rule in movies that youth equals stupidity. Now, if it’s a group of 4 that are 35-40? Their dumb asses should know better. Especially when 2 are married, and the other two are engaged and pregnant. But, let’s not get too far ahead. Take off your thinking caps so you can fully appreciate the stupidity of Resurrection County.

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One major thing I need to point out: That blonde wearing a short skirt with big boobs? NEVER appears in the movie. So all the guys out there that were looking forward to seeing a nubile co-ed? Tough titty said the kitty. Instead we get the most unlikable cast I’ve ever seen in my life. We have Tommy (the moron), Lucy (moron’s crybaby pregnant fiancee), Sam (asshole brother/husband that gets everyone killed), and Katherine (an excuse to show boobs in this movie).

We start with our main characters at a gas station. We sort of find out they’re on their way to ride ATVs in the woods in the middle of nowhere. Why couldn’t they just do it the comforts of their own state? Because then we wouldn’t have a movie. They get close to their destination, but not before almost running over children in a redneck reservation.  After 5 minutes of witless banter, a butt naked bald dude comes running at them with an AK-47. They freak out and speed off further into the woods.

Stop right the hell there. Who the frack in their right mind would continue to travel further into a place where they almost got lit up by a butt naked redneck? Oh right. Common sense has to be non-existent in this universe. We get to the completely secluded campground. Tommy finds out Lucy is pregnant. Lucy is also Sam’s sister. Instead of being happy for the couple, Sam goes into full asshole mode. His reasoning? He was the last one to find out. Now, this whole sequence is supposed to get you to bond and feel sorry for these characters. I don’t. These people are idiots.

Sam is butt hurt because no one wanted to tell him about the pregnancy. Well, duh that’s because you’ve achieved a level of douchebaggery that takes years to get to. His wife is like a plank of wood: she doesn’t do anything and just kind of sits there. Lucy shouldn’t even be on this trip. She knows she’s pregnant. Why would she continue when she almost turned into Swiss cheese 10 minutes ago? In order for these events to happen, everyone has to abandon common sense, intelligence, and just the basic need to want to be safe. And…we still have 45 minutes left.

Back to future mincemeat theater. Sam and Tommy go riding, leaving the women COMPLETELY ALONE at the campsite. After 10 minutes of the men bitching and the women almost setting themselves on fire, we actually find the damn plot. Sam and Tommy come across a house. Don’t ask me why they were looking for one. I stopped caring. Mind you, as they progress toward the house, there are very large signs that say: “Keep out”, “Turn Back If You Want To Live”, and my personal favorite “All Trespassers Will Be Shot”. They knock on the door to the house. A redneck with an open shirt and man boobs greets them with a shotgun.

Another redneck shows up. The movie tries to go for a whole suspense thing. It just doesn’t work. At this point, I least wanted Sam to die for being an asshole that apparently wants everyone to get maimed beyond recognition. But, Tommy unfortunately saves him, killing the second redneck in the process. Let the crap storm commence.

Alright, I really hate this movie, so I’m wrapping this up: Katherine dies while butt naked and giving a shotgun a blow job, Sam is beaten to death, Tommy almost gets butt raped, Lucy gets an arrow to the head. Tommy thinks he made it out alive, but still gets shot in the head. Oh yeah, the sheriff gets sacrificed for some reason. So…this movie sucks dog balls. I’m supposed to believe people that old are that stupid and oblivious to obvious danger? You know, I’m not even going to go for the obvious here. All I’m going to say is if your movie is called Resurrection County, I better see some damn zombies. This is yet another goose egg.

How can you insult the intelligence of your audience, when your own movie has none of its own? This is like the 2nd, 3rd and 4th Final Destination movies. These events could only happen by very elaborate and stupid means. I would get it if there was alcohol or drugs involved. But all of the main characters were of sound mind and judgement, and they still decided to piss off rednecks? I think I need to go lie down. And I really need to stop getting movies from Redbox.