I quite often rent low budget horror movies with a sort of “well it might be a hidden gem” attitude, the thinking being that horror is probably one of the easier genres to work with on a budget, however renting a low budget horror comedy is usually (i say usually…there are not a significant number of these around, at least intentional ones) a more dangerous bet. However this movie is pretty great, it has one of the most RIDICULOUS hook ups every conceived, but that is why its brilliant, if it chickened out on its promises and took itself seriously it wouldnt be any fun at all. Its got chain saws, bone crackings, axes and all sorts, none of this is genuinely (read remotely) scary, but the splatter is done very well and there are a couple of twists aside from the blindingly obvious one … you know the one thats in the title … and on the back of the dvd case … This film asks some big questions about the tendency in the society in which we live towards sterotyping, then ignores them in favour of death by saw mill equipment … which is why I like it.
I desparately want to hate this film, I really do, I want to just say things like “its been done so much better before”, but this movie tricked me into liking it, Jack Black playing himself as he usually does works so well in this context and the kids are all infinitely believeable. This movie makes you feel warm and fuzzy inside just like it is supposed to, and though you know the story before you even look at the back of the dvd case when it all comes good at the end you’ll still smile. Unless you are a heartless bastard. In fact, they should show this film to assasins, if they smile at the end they are not yet ready, if they remain stoney faced they can be unleashed upon the world to commit atrocities only people who did not smile at School of Rock can comprehend …
Pitch: “So there is the Russians, the Chinese and the cops, and they all are fighting like huge gun battles against each other and some fist fights and car chases and a bit with a train…!” “Well that does sound pretty exciting, who wins?” “none of them, basically the staith is against them all and totally kicks all their asses” “Oh the staith eh, you didnt mention him, so the Russians and Chinese are going to be really excessive stereotypes, and the cops will be from new york?” “Oh yeah they will of course be stereotypes! Except for the Staith, he will have a bad American accent that he sometimes forgets to do” “This is sounding pretty brilliant, people love it when he does those awesome one liners, can he say something like “its a nice drive…if you like trees and shit?”” “Yes of course, why wouldnt he say that…” “So what is tying this all together, he has some drugs or money or something that the bad guys want?” “Well, this is the good bit, its a little girl who has like an amazing ability to remember numbers, and is really good at maths, and basically she knows this information that they all want, and the Staith, for no real reason will decide to protect her, we’ll give him some sort of back story to explain why he has all these badass skills, and if anything gets a little hard to believe we can just write in another character or two to explain things as well, we could just do that as we go along…” ….pause…. “Green light this right away, get the first page of the script over to me as soon as possible, remember our target audience, make sure everyone states what is happening on screen all the time and dont worry too much about the whole thing, we can make it up as we go along”
No one seeks out Staith films to be intellectually stimulated, and I think they are all the better for them, this is a particularly prime example of a really random excuse for some shit to get fucked up! Its entirely unbelieveable, ridiculous and stupid, but that is precisely what makes it AWESOME… oh and those one liners help.
Though everyone knows there are Shakespeare plays other than Romeo & Juliet, Hamlet and Othello all but English literature students and … well … that is it really just english literature students, they are the only people who even know what they are about! So, with the aim of joining that elite squad of people who could talk about the more obscure Shakespeare plays I rented Coriolanus. Well, what can I say, it had guns in it and wasnt awful! Now good old Romeo & Juliet, the Baz version was pretty good right, just because the soundtrack was good and yes…you guessed it… it had guns in it! Well Coriolanus was like that, but because the storyline revolves around actual war they dont have to pretend their guns are called silly things like “The Sabre” and whatnot. Voldemort is at his best here, demonstrating that he can be a bad guy even without half his nose missing, and in excellent tragic style the whole thing ends with everyone bailing out just desserts! I liked this film so much I actually bought the play in book format. Those things with pages that you have to read, if you need any more persuading did I mention that there are lots of guns in it…
The reason I think this film is funnier than Bruno, and Bruno funnier than Borat is that each relies less than the one before on making real people uncomfortable. Im not entirely against the sort of comedy Borat employed as some sort of social commentary about the treatement of people from other cultures, but it never really aspired to or acheived those heady heights. So here, and better for it, we have a film which makes fun of dictators, which most people will agree is a legitimate target (it also mocks independent health food stores and those who work in them, beware if you are either a dictator or health food store worker, you might be offended, the amount depends on which category you fall into, health food store dictators will hate it) Some parts are genuinely funny, and the main character is pretty likeable after a while mostly because he has some organisational talents and is rather lonely, more a victim of circumstance than a genuinely bad person. After all I think there is some truth in the assertion that nuclear missiles should be pointy rather than rounded, after all their primary purpose is to look badass and scare the crap out of everyone.
If there is one thing hollywood does well it is making films where there is barely a second where something isnt happening, which makes watching a film like Las Acacias an even more exciting experience … well as exciting an experience as watching a film where literally nothing happens can be. I did nearly fall asleep near the start, just when I was thinking how brave it was of the director to have waited so long before anyone said anything to each other, and wondering what the script looked like at this point, but this film draws you in, though very little is said you cant help but identify with the characters and although you know that the stony faced truck driver will eventually warm to his passengers (after all if he didnt it wouldn’t be a very good film at all) the little moments which lead to this are all part of the journey. This film was a little like that David Lynch disney film (yes it exists) The Straight Story in that its all about the journey rather than even something remotely interesting as a pay off at the destination. Because the whole film hinges on just one journey I cant really say much more without ruining it, and dont take my insistence that nothing happens to mean that you shouldnt watch this film, you really should, even if just for the baby, who the film makers have somehow trained to do cute things on demand!
I couldnt wait to rent this, I remember being so scared watching this when I was about fourteen, I remembered it being BRILLIANT! What I did not remember however is that it is ridiculously … weird… there are some parts that make absolutely no sense at all! I suppose fourteen year old me didnt really register that I didnt really know if I was supposed to feel sorry for the Candyman character or be scared of him, watching it now I just sort of wanted to give him a cuddle and say “look, I know you had it rough, but that was literally hundreds of years ago, things are different now, stop killing people with a giant hook”, that said the occupants of the tower block where much of the film takes place are all pretty much negative stereotypes …
Candyman is the third best hook operator after Abu Hamza and … Hook, who was so good at hook operation that he named himself it. Still wont say it into a mirror five times though.
If like me, you are a man, and like to conform to gender stereotypes to such an extent that you actively seek out films with lots of guns and fightin’ in them, then you can get much more guns and fightin’-ey than ‘The Raid’! To not put too finer point on it, this has the most fightin’ in it that I have ever seen, more than most movies that are ostensibly about fightin’. I use fightin’ to demarkate between the sort of ridiculous hand to hand face smasherry on show here from the fighting of war films or things like rocky. This fightin’ is brutal! Were you to just watch someone, as they watched this film you’d have a great time documenting all of the “owwww” “urrghhh” moments crossing their face as our hero literally smashes his way through a building full of an unending stream of bad sorts. There is a pretty basic storyline underpinning the whole show, but it is suitable and makes you hate the baddies enough that when they get killed in all sorts of brilliant ways you cant help but think they (probably) deserved it! Definately not one to watch with your mum, but certainly worth watching if you are feeling a little low on testosterone.
Usually when a film begins by showing how pathetic/awful/unlikable its main character is I woefully unlookforward (or whatever the term for looking forward, but with woe might be) to spending the rest of the film trying ever so hard not to hate them, eventually failing and thinking “well why and earth did THEY get a happy ending”, unless of course its a nice tragedy in which case I sometimes think “well they pretty much deserved that, the idiot” (see Coreolanus, or sticking with good old Shakespeare that Juliet amd Romeo could have solved a lot of their problems if they had just solved their communication issues). But this film, this is different! The brilliant captain of Pirates! Is a complete and utter tool, but eventually comes good and does the right thing. The concept isn’t exactly new, person is idiot, realises idiocy is ruining friendships/lovelife/life in general, then changes their ways, but those other versions of the story don’t have pirates…or scientists!
Fairly soon after watching this I was lucky enough to see the ship used in the film, it was pretty beautifully made, if pirates, scientists and a good “not being an idiot anymore” story are not enough for you then watching this film alone just for the “its so cool how they made this” momemts is almost worth it.
Blue sky almost pulls off the trick of making you forget that its animated, then helpfully reminds you by having something incongruously cgi come and hit you in the eyeballs. Its a nice story though, rather too heavy on the love story side of things but the basic repressed masses rising story has been done better, maybe just watch metropolis (the original) its nearly as futuristic. Light cycles from tron rating – 10/10 random pikachu type thing appearing for no reason rating 10/10 character development rating 4/10