Tuesday, August 30, 2011

REVIEW: The Tooth Fairy (2006)

There are some things you just can’t make scary. No matter how hard you try, they just aren’t intimidating or fearful in any way. The tooth fairy is probably near the top of the list along with toenail clippings, old newspapers and dirty dishrags – except dirty dishrags can become scary with chloroform on them, so that’s probably lower on the list than the tooth fairy.

But people keep trying for some reason – first Darkness Falls and now this. Do they seriously think it’s that good of an idea to the point where we need multiple movies about it? I’ll spoil the surprise and say no, it’s not worth watching. But you’ll read the rest of the review anyway! Muahahaha!

Director: Chuck Bowman
Starring: Lochlyn Munro, Chandra West

The film is directed by Chuck Bowman, who’s directed such classics in the past as Christy: The Movie and Spring Fling!...yeah, I’ve never heard of any of those either. It stars Lochlyn Munro, who was in Freddy VS Jason, so you know you’re getting the best star power you can get with this movie! But it also has Chandra West from White Noise and several Puppet Master sequels! Woah! The stars they brought on board for this movie are just BLOWING ME AWAY!

The film itself starts with happy, bouncy music over cheery 1940s small-town imagery that makes me wonder if I turned on the wrong movie. It looks more like a cheap Hallmark card than the opening of a horror movie. What’s the deal?

Then we see two dumb little kids going to a creepy house where apparently they can get a bike if they go inside and pull out their teeth for a creepy old disfigured lady. Doesn’t that sound like a good deal? But she chops him up with a machete after he does it anyway...raw deal, man; raw deal.

Yeah because that big red bike in the background doesn't at all take away from the seriousness and grimness of this scene...idiots.

In the present day, we see a woman named Darcy and her daughter Pam driving along and stopping at a gas station. It goes well until she meets two country bumpkins who I think were rejected from the last Texas Chainsaw Massacre circus show. They push her around a bit and get especially violent when they find out she’s married to a guy named Peter, and then they try to rape her until she steps on one of their feet.

Best service at a gas station ever?

Meanwhile, we see Peter, who is opening up a new hotel in town, where he works with a guy who seemingly doesn’t own any shirts. They get their first tenant, a hot chick who calls herself STAR, because she has four names that all spell that out. I think this cast of characters in general belongs in some kind of raunchy sex comedy or something, not a horror movie. Maybe they got mixed up with the cast of Bucky Larson: Born to be a Star or something – probably about equal levels of dignity either way, so it’s an easy mistake.

He's kind of like Gru from Angel...if he was a lot less funny and well written.

The daughter, Pam, meets this little girl who wears an old fashioned dress and doesn’t know who Harry Potter is, so of course she’s a ghost, even though the movie tries to play it up like it’s a surprise. And if you’re surprised at that, here’s another zinger for you: trying to put out a fire with gasoline is a bad, bad idea. The ghost-girl gives us a big old info dump about how there was once an old witch lady who lived in the house and killed kids after taking their teeth. Why? You’d find a more worthwhile answer in a Magic 8 Ball. Seriously, there’s no explanation. Does she just like teeth? Does she get off on it?

Anyway, we also learn that she just ‘knows’ somehow when kids lose their teeth (the explanation in Darkness Falls is looking pre-etty good right now, huh?) and comes to kill them when they lose the last one, or something. Pam thinks she’s safe at first, but then in an act of extreme coincidence, she hits her mouth on a rock after the ghost-girl leaves and loses her very last baby tooth. Aw snap.

The movie just kind of plods along aimlessly without any kind of actual interesting things going on, and I'd rather watch a 6 hour video of nothing but tax accountants filing papers and picking their noses than watch this for even one more scene. The characters seem to enjoy going on long philosophical diatribes that basically mean nothing. Like I love this one scene where Star and that kid who works for Peter have this conversation outside at night about going to college – it’s pretty much like watching two people who were raised without ever being exposed to normal human interaction, like in some kind of scientific experiment, try to converse. The awkwardness is just off the charts!

Oh, and occasionally there are a few scenes of Peter and Darcy beating up the two bumpkins from the beginning of the movie, but even those just feel like padding anyway. Way too much time is spent on this storyline, and since it literally amounts to nothing when they’re randomly killed off without any resolution to their storyline, it’s probably the most overt example of padding I’ve seen in a movie since the first half of Them.

There's also this lady in the picture below, who is an incredibly phoned-in and half-assed attempt at forcing more plot dumps on us, as she apparently knows everything with no explanation or reason for it. She comes by the house to warn the family about the evil stuff happening in the town, deciding quite smartly to dress all in black and sneak around like a house burglar - why? Just so the movie can shoehorn in a jump scare or two. I'm actually starting to miss The Ice Pirates' stupid joke set-ups watching this trash.

This is PJ Soles, who used to be in classic movies like Halloween, Carrie and Stripes. Now she's a minor character in this movie. I'll pause for a moment to let the incredible sense of empathetic shame wash over you in waves.

Things get serious when that guy who works for Peter is attacked in the middle of the night, tied up and put through a wood chipper by the movie’s ‘tooth fairy’ killer. Everyone is heartbroken and deduces masterfully that he must have accidentally fallen in. Next time put a safety label on that damn thing, Peter. You gotta be more careful. Oh, and after that we get some scenes where Darcy and Peter start to reconsider their staying in this town. Yeah, they really have to think hard about whether or not to stay there after Darcy was almost raped by the locals and after Peter's hired help got brutally murdered. It's just such a tough decision!

An every day occurrence.
"Oh, I think we should move back to the city after all these bad things that happened. Like the hillbillies that tried to rape me, the murder in our basement and the crazy old lady next door telling us there are evil things afoot...we're not having a good time."
"No, Darcy, that's a silly idea, I need this place to write stories because...well, because the script says we need to stay here! Hur hur!"

And wait a minute, why is this tooth fairy killer murdering these random people? The movie outright stated that she only went after kids losing their last tooth, and even in the beginning when we saw the prologue, there was no indication she was going on any kind of murdering spree. So what the hell? This movie can’t even get ITS OWN BACKSTORY right! There’s no logic here! It would have been easy to set up some kind of escaped mental patient killing people and taking their teeth just because he’s, you know, crazy, but this half-assed attempt at a supernatural ghost story just falls flat altogether when they can’t even make up their minds on how it works or decide what the story is.

You know what this is? This is a great big case of indecisiveness, like they wanted to go halfway with one idea but then got another one they liked just as much, only both ideas were about as good as handing deadly assault weapons to people with questionable morals and chips on their shoulders during wartime. Either way, we all lose.

We get introduced to some other moron with a beard who is apparently old friends with Peter. He serves basically no purpose in the story except…no, he literally serves zero purpose! His longest scenes in this movie are the ones in which he has an overlong, pointless “philosophical” conversation with Star, and following that, they sleep together before his head gets cut off by the tooth fairy. That’s it. He contributes nothing else. WHY WAS HE EVEN IN THIS MOVIE? Maybe he caught Chuck Bowman doing some embarrassing sexual act with a monkey, or something, and tried to blackmail him. It wasn’t worth it, man! It wasn’t worth it!

So yeah, are you ready for the mindblowing finale? They find out that the tooth fairy killer will be destroyed if all the souls she’s captured get their teeth back from her. Yeah, that plot thread that sounds like it came from some horror parody movie? It’s being played completely serious in this. Through a “climactic” – hah hah – finale involving the tooth fairy killer being set on fire two times and eventually being killed rather lamely in broad daylight, the movie finally, mercifully, ends. PHEW.

Insert caption about how stupid and unscary this is here; I'm too lazy right now.

I rarely come across films that are literally worthless in every possible way including for reviewing – most of them at least inspire some discussion about the various technical aspects the makers got wrong. Not here! There’s nothing about this movie worth talking about at all. It’s worse than nothing – a sub-level of horrendousness previously undiscovered by film. This kind of tin-can-budget sewer slime doesn’t even deserve one second of your time. I have greatly overexaggerated its worth even by typing out this 1500 word review.

Friday, August 26, 2011

REVIEW: Don't Be Afraid of the Dark (2011)

Director: Troy Nixey
Starring: Guy Pearce, Bailee Madison, Katie Holmes

Guillermo Del Toro comes back with another sentimental, elegant ghost tale, this time a fair bit more horror-oriented than the fantasy of Pan's Labyrinth and the over-reaching sorrow of The Orphanage. This movie has a lot in common with those, and it seems Del Toro has found his niche - ghost stories with a lot of ambiance, a historical bent and lots of countryside scenery and big, spacious old mansions. It’s a good setting and creates a very thick atmosphere that is vital to the movie.

The story revolves around a family living in a big, old mansion that has a dark secret. The father (Guy Pearce) vies to get his house on the cover of a big magazine, while the daughter Sally (Bailee Madison) explores the house and finds some rather unsettling things, like voices that talk to her from an old furnace. It’s a pretty stock story, but it’s told with some real presence and drama, and so I found it more entertaining than I would have under less artful hands. Del Toro didn’t direct this, but he did write the screenplay, and it’s fascinating how much this feels like other Del Toro-involved movies like Pan’s Labyrinth and the Orphanage, which I mentioned earlier. He has a really set-in-stone style that I find very cool, and it shines through in everything he sticks his fingers into. Director Troy Nixey is a newcomer and does an admirable job, with a good sense of pacing that escalates as the movie goes on and doesn’t feel forced or rushed. It’s nothing revolutionary but it’s solid.

The acting is pretty good. Pearce's character is straight up rude; a cliche "disbelieving parent" type found often in these movies, and Katie Holmes is a pretty stock girlfriend character, but both are played well and I never had a problem believing them. Bailee Madison does a pretty solid job at playing a scared little girl, and as she had to carry the film, this was no easy task - she performs admirably. The lighting and colors are masterfully nightmareish, appearing soft and subtle at first but turning horrifying as the film reveals its creepy, slithering tendrils and the tension explodes. I wasn't too impressed with this in the beginning, but the old Del Toro magic won me over and I found myself drawn into his musty, archaic setting and the unsettling story. More points would have been awarded for monsters that were more terrifying, though...

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

REVIEW: Lake Placid 2 (2007)

2007 was apparently the year for terrible Sci-Fi Channel crocodile movies, as we got the abominable Croc and also this one. Lake Placid 2 is better than Croc, and better than the original Lake Placid (if only because there’s no Bridget Fonda in this one), but seriously, is it that hard to make a movie about killer crocs that doesn’t suck? I guess that’s a dumb question considering I just watched this and am now reviewing it. So suck up your crocodile tears and let’s review Lake Placid 2.

Director: David Flores
Starring: John Schneider, Sarah Lafleur, Chad Michael Collins

Our movie begins with two morons out on the lake doing research, just like in Croc. Only this time they’re funny! One of them says that fishing isn’t a hobby of his, which is clearly why he’s out there to begin with, and clearly, acting isn’t a hobby of his either, seeing as he’s less believable than most third grade actors in a school play. But it’s OK. The crocodile eats him and spares us his dire performance any longer.

We then switch to something much more important: Sheriff Riley, played by John Schneider of Dukes of Hazzard fame! He tells his punk son Scott to respect him, then tries to get him to talk to a hot chick who I’m sure won’t be in any of the rest of the…oh, screw it; sarcasm is pointless now. The sheriff goes into town and hears about the guy being eaten out on the lake. Like any good law enforcement officer, he waves off the whole thing as a joke and accuses the surviving scientist guy of just being on drugs the whole time, not even listening at all. Truly the best law enforcement in the world.

"You raise a good point. Allow me to contort my face and tap my chin as I ponder your query."

That is until his ex-lover Emily shows up. Emily is a wildlife researcher/bleeding heart who’s been called in as well. She also doesn’t believe there’s anything out on the lake, even when they find the severed head of the dead guy from the opening in the water. What more proof do you need? A note from the croc saying he did it? Hell, I bet even then she wouldn’t believe it! Maybe he just cut off his own head, right?

They go to see Sadie, a crazy old lady who is sadly not played by Betty White this time. Apparently it’s her sister or something; I don’t know. She says she doesn’t know anything and refuses to talk to Emily, slamming the door in her face. Emily mutters something in a clear low tone that nobody would be able to hear that well through a closed door, and Sadie opens up the door again and snaps at her again. Maybe she just has really good hearing aids? I hear the Supersonic Hear-Thru-Walls models are just flying off the shelves! Later on she shouts at them to go away through the closed door and it sounds like she's right outside with them, no barrier separating them at all. Because doors don't block or distort sound in any way! Truly a genius handled the sound editing for this movie.

Then we see some more brilliant examples of tact as Emily and Riley see a helicopter landing around the lake. Emily tells Riley it’s a guy called Struthers, who is some kind of poacher who kills endangered animals, and she keeps talking about how bad and horrible he is even though he is clearly in earshot when he’s walking up to them – nice to see she’s got such a great sense of professionalism! Or maybe it’s just poor filmmaking. Oh and I also love how he keeps saying “She likes me” to his assistant every time Emily shoots down one of his dumb quips. I think I forgot to laugh at that one. Whoops!

Look at these two; it's like the movie is stuck in 1930s cliches of explorers.

Oh, and have you picked up that the sound editing is just horrible? There's zero sense to this. Like the above scene - Emily is walking away, clearly almost out of hearing reach, but she hears Struthers making a sarcastic quip about the idea of trying to humanely get rid of the giant croc and tells him to shut up, but the sound is mixed so it sounds like she's still right there beside him and not walking away in the distance. Maybe she's just really good at throwing her voice? I don't know.

Meanwhile Scott meets up with the hot chick from before, whose name is Kerri, and her dumb jock boyfriend Thad, who has no redeeming qualities. She says she doesn’t want Scott to think they’re all a bunch of redneck hicks, to which Thad replies that he hopes Scott brought beer. Real stunning refutation of that stereotype, I must say! So they all go camping on the lake, and I’m not making a sarcastic quip where I pretend I don’t know what’s going to happen this time. You know what’s going to happen.

They meet up with Larry and Rachel, another couple who you probably won’t remember when this whole thing is over. Larry is a big fat guy with a beard and no shame, and Rachel looks like she belongs in the 50s. We’re treated to some gay wrestling between Larry and Thad in the water while Rachel says she doesn’t want to come in and get her hair wet. Oh, don’t worry honey. That won’t be your biggest problem in about ten minutes. Whoops, spoiler! Oh well.

Scott goes for a walk and displays his amazing coolness when he stands in place, not moving at all, and somehow trips and falls on his ass, sliding down a small bank and landing in the lake below. To be so amazingly inept at even the simple act of standing up straight is just awe-inspiring. That is talent right there.

"Hmmmm, yup, just standing here, enjoying the fresh open air, not doing a thing..."
"Whoops, tripped over air again! Happens all the time. Hyuck hyuck hyuck! Don't judge meeee!" *splat*

Then we switch over to the group of croc-hunters actually starting their hunt. But Emily wants to do it without killing the animal, setting up a net and some bait to try and lure the croc into it. They get something in there, I’m not sure what because it’s so poorly shot, but then the croc sneaks up on them from behind and eats several of their friends, including dorky scientist-guy from the beginning and one of the cops I think. But that doesn’t matter. What does matter is HOLY HELL, THOSE ARE SOME CUBE 2-LEVELS OF CGI BADNESS THERE!

Mnomnomnomnom...nothing like watching your arm get eaten by CGI.

You know, when Jaws did the whole ‘keep the monster hidden’ thing about 35 years ago, it was good, and suspenseful. I am not sure this is what they had in mind. Having people standing there pretending to shoot at something off screen isn’t exactly good entertainment when that’s all you show, and barely ever the actual monster they’re aiming for. Christ. Riley says he doesn’t like hunting, but as soon as Struthers pulls out his guns, Riley is amazed and shocked at how awesome they all are. I like contradicting myself every two sentences, too. No, actually I don’t like that.

At the other end of the lake, Scott gets Kerri and Thad to come see what he found in the woods. Larry doesn’t go because he’s too busy watching Rachel sunbathe nude. He calls her breasts “little monkeys,” really? That’s the euphemism for breasts you’re using in this movie?


He’s still in the water though, and for some strange reason the croc bypasses him entirely to go after Rachel on the beach and eat her instead. I guess her dry hair just tastes better or something…and I told you that wouldn’t be her biggest problem, didn’t I?

Well if we can say one thing about this character, her hair was indeed very dry right until the very end.

So yeah, then Larry shouts “I’m sorry” after she gets dragged under and killed – not sure what the point of that is, buddy; not like she can hear you, being dead and all. Just sayin’.

Scott shows Emily and Thad the egg nest he found. Thad smashes some eggs, and almost gets into a fight with him. Thad spouts such poetic lines of dialogue as “You don’t want to start something you can’t finish, or it’ll be your darkest hour.” What is this, a Killswitch Engage song? Thad gets eaten by the crocodile in another amazing display of drop-dead awful CGI, and when they’re running away, Kerri says “What happened? What IS that thing?”

…really? It happened right in front of her, movie. It’s not like it was some alien creature never before seen on this planet! And she didn’t know what happened? I’m not sure it takes a rocket scientist to figure that one out! Her boyfriend got eaten by a crocodile! That’s not exactly cryptic or anything! Man these characters are dumb. If boxes of rocks are the standard, these characters are storage lockers full of rocks.

So while that’s all going on, Riley, Emily and Struthers, along with Struthers’ assistant, Ahmad (who Struthers ‘saved’ from a lion years ago and has him indebted to him) are planning to lure the crocodile out into the open and then kill it. But Struthers, being an attention whore, jumps the gun and ends up getting the boat flipped over, risking death for them all. Ahmad kills the croc but also quits being Struthers’ assistant, saying that he’s been doing it for 14 years and has not gotten any kind of gratitude. I think that’s more his fault for letting it go on so long, but OK. He gets killed off two minutes later anyway, so I guess there was no point to the whole exchange.

They go to see Sadie again, who tells them that she’s been feeding the crocs growth hormones because she doesn’t have money for better food…wait, huh?

"Don't you judge me!"

Anyway, they find out there’s 3 crocodiles. They kill another one of them, so now there’s only the one left. Meanwhile, Scott, Kerri and Larry are hiding in trees when an owl scares them and Scott delivers the following line: “I don’t think owls have ever eaten anybody.” STOP GIVING SCI-FI IDEAS FOR MORE MOVIES, DAMN YOU! Also, I wouldn't really trust the guy who can't stand up straight without falling over to lead me or give me any kind of logical consolation. Just sayin'.

Larry gets killed off, and Riley sends Kerri and Scott to stay with Sadie until they kill the last croc. Struthers cracks some more terrible jokes, Emily acts self righteous and annoying and Riley tries to be Bruce Campbell some more. Kerri says the crocodiles were ugly, and that makes Sadie so mad that she has to feed Kerri to the crocs, but it’s OK, because Scott saves her and somehow Sadie gets pushed into the water and eaten instead. And nothing of value was lost.

The final battle comes around and admittedly I don’t have too much of a problem with these action scenes, as they’re pretty well done in terms of slasher/monster movies. The special effects are crap, but the action scenes are quite good and maybe a little more exciting than the original film’s action scenes. So that’s at least one thing the film did right.

They kill off the crocs, Riley and Emily start making out spontaneously – crocodile hunts and gory death scenes are a big turn on in Maine, I hear – and Scott and Kerri find Kerri’s dog who went missing in an earlier scene, so everything is OK. Because no matter how many people died in the movie, if the dog survives, you know it’s a happy ending. How else would you even do it? By having a sensible resolution and providing a realistic way to send each character off on his or her next journey? Nah, just throw in a dog, as it is the cheapest possible way to end any movie. Hurrah for phoned-in and contrived emotions.

I don’t know. Lake Placid 2 was not the worst thing in the world. There were a few funny scenes and jokes. But on the other hand, the characters had little sense, the story was played out and dull and the editing and special effects were just horrible. So it’s a mixed bag. I can’t really recommend it, as there are so many better films out there, but it’s certainly better than the first one, and also way better than 2007’s other big crocodile movie, Croc. So there’s that! And now I’m finished with my summertime crocodile-movie-reviewing extravaganza, and can move onto something else…

Well isn't that just great?!

Monday, August 22, 2011

REVIEW: The Ward (2010)

Director: John Carpenter
Starring: Amber Heard, Marie Gummer, Danielle Panabaker, Laura-Leigh, Lyndsy Fonseca

This is the return of John Carpenter, hallowed director of The Thing, Halloween and several other classics of 80s cinema, to the director’s chair. He’s done a few Masters of Horror episodes, and one of them (Cigarette Burns) was good, but it was high time for him to get back to what he does best. And so here we have The Ward, a punchy, spooky horror tale of an abandoned mental hospital, at which a young woman named Kristen (Amber Heard) is taken in after burning down a barn and losing pretty much all memory as to why. She interacts with the other patients, all of whom are very different, and with the strangely and unsettlingly uncommunicative hospital staff. The only problem is, there’s a ghost roaming the halls – a ghost of a young girl who Kristen suspects was also a patient there, and who is now killing off the inmates one by one.

The Ward is just a great, classic horror tale. The suspense is ramped up high, the setting is isolated and cool and the atmosphere is wicked and hellish, building up from a slight unease to full-blown terror and heart-pounding tension, like a growing infection. There are no bells and whistles with this movie, just a delightful romp through the horror tropes that we all know and love. The gore is nice and bloody, but not extravagant. Carpenter knows the genre, and is able to manipulate us so that we never quite know where the film is going. The twist isn’t mindblowing, but it’s also not the one you’d necessarily expect with how the rest of the film is set up, and that’s the mark of a good twist.

But mostly this is good because it’s a nice retro late-80s/early-90s style horror film that just works. I just went along with this and had a ball, and if you’re an old school horror junkie you will be right at home with The Ward. If not for the super-sleek production values and modern quality, this could have been released back then. Also Carpenter makes sure to take time out of the horror for a fairly lengthy music and dance scene with the inmates. That’s the cincher; this movie rules. Go see it this Halloween or sooner if you get the urge. It’s a killer.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

REVIEW: Croc (2007)

Last year, I reviewed a movie called Blood Monkey. It was a terribly frustrating film that advertised itself as a killer ape horror flick, but was really just filled with dull padding and a lack of any kind of excitement. What I didn’t know at the time was that it was part of an asininely long series of made for TV crapfests put out by Sci Fi called the Maneaters series, all low-budget movies with terrible actors focusing on natural monsters and outdoorsy themes. Joy. A whole series of mind numbingly awful films about animals killing people. At least the one I’m reviewing today was directed SO WELL by the guy who gave us The Ice Pirates though!

…wait, that isn’t a positive at all. But then, as you’ll see, there isn’t much with Croc that is.

Director: Stewart Raffil
Starring: Crocodiles...

The movie starts off in a swamp in Thailand where two guys are hunting for crocodiles or something in a boat. That comes to a close when the croc does his favorite karate move, the Nose Chop, and slices their boat in half.


Then it’s feeding time, and we see some of the WORST CGI since the Anaconda movies; oh joy!

Amazing. Is that from a really old 90s computer game? Because it would have been state of the art back then.

But then we move onto important scenes, like our main character Jack gawking awkwardly at a hot chick who comes into his crocodile farm. He’s so smitten with her that he instructs his nephew Theo to watch her all day…creepy, but I guess it could be worse. He could be courting a fat green frog-man-lady-thing like in The Ice Pirates.

Eugh, I've got to stop putting this in reviews.

So after some stupid stunts for the crowd involving basketball-playing elephants and calling down a member of the audience to be a goalie in an elephant-soccer game, Jack finds out that the chick he’s been tailing all day is some kind of animal health inspector. She points out all kinds of silly problems like how he’s feeding the birds tiny parasites in their food, or how the water and the meat is of extremely shifty quality. But he waves it all off because the safety of his animals is no big deal, as long as he can get a dinner date with the woman. She turns him down like any sane girl would do to such a terrible actor, though.

We see later that she’s talking to her bosses, who run a rival crocodile farm down the street. She says that she didn’t shut down Jack’s farm because the problems she found were all rather minor…wait, so feeding the animals parasites and having unsanitary water and food are minor problems? And even she didn’t ACT like they were very minor when she was there, so what the hell? When she gets back to her bosses it's like “Oh, they're basically mistreating these animals in every conceivable way…it’s no big deal!” Some animal welfare inspector you are, lady.

And it seems like the guys running the other farm don’t even know her name when she’s about to leave, despite the fact that they were acting like they clearly knew her in the beginning of the scene? I mean, they did hire her to look into Jack's farm; it's not like they'd forget her name that fast in real life...oh, screw it; nobody proofread this slop anyway.

Then the movie decides to delightfully treat us to scenes of what we all wanted to see in a killer croc movie, POLITICS. LOTS AND LOTS OF POLITICS. Yes, this is the movie for you if you wanted a bunch of scenes where the characters talk about debts and what’s going to happen if their farm closes down! In one scene, Theo spies on the rival croc farm owners and finds out they’re plotting against them, taking a few pictures for proof. They chase him down and he gets in the car with Jack who just happened to be driving by, only they get caught by the police and the gangsters at the same time. The gangsters break his camera memory card (how do they get away with this when the police are there? Are they corrupt? It’s never really explained), but it turns out he switched it with a spare one, so the whole scene was pretty much pointless.

In another scene we see Jack escape from a debt collector by having some smoke cover them while he runs away on the beach…I’m sorry, was there a crocodile anywhere in this? Did they really think all of this would be interesting to us? Why do I get the idea this director would be liable to make a werewolf movie and focus on the main character dealing with his insurance agency? Or maybe he’d make an alien movie and focus on the main girl’s pregnancy dilemmas? THE POSSIBILITIES ARE ENDLESS.

Phew, so in case you were dumb enough like me to watch this movie past that point, we actually DO get another scene with a crocodile, believe it or not. Because I guess the riveting world of crocodile farm politics just wasn’t enough for this movie. But seriously, movie, you could at least try? The scene goes like this – the girl’s boyfriend goes underwater to make out with her legs or something, and the croc gets him, but all she does is stand around and look confused. How come she doesn’t just look under the water? Might save her…oh wait:

Whoops! Message gained from this scene: sex is bad. We should all just abstain from even looking at the opposite sex, and that way we will never be eaten by crocodiles.

So seeking an opportunity, the rival croc farm leaders decide to do the normal thing for this situation and break loose a bunch of crocodiles from Jack’s farm, to make it look like one of them did the nasty, bloody deed. This actually does get Jack’s croc farm shut down by the police, even though I’m not sure that should be their first priority when there’s a croc on the loose KILLING PEOPLE right now. Deal with the farm itself later, guys! I’m not even sure what this is supposed to accomplish, anyway. It’s not going to stop any more murders from happening, so why the hell are they focusing on shutting down the farm as their first priority? And wait…I don’t even really care! I often forget that I’m stooping to lower intellectual levels when watching these things.

Yeah, you really need that many cops to hand the guy a piece of paper and shut down his farm, right? I bet these idiots also send 10 cops to save a cat stuck in a tree while there's a serial killer investigation going on.

We get some more banal banter and boring acting, with the police about whether or not to cut the captured crocodile open to see if it’s the one that did the killing. God, it’s like every time we get a kill in this movie, we have to suffer through six or seven scenes of nothing but talking and legal nonsense. HOW IS THIS ENTERTAINMENT? How did they mess this up? All they had to do was make a stupid slasher movie with a crocodile eating people! Was that not complex enough for the writers? Was the chief marketing audience for this movie grad students who wanted to feel smart for watching something about the legalities of crocodile farms in Asia? What’s the draw in that? Can someone explain it to me?

So then we see some more EXCITEMENT when the two guys who run the other farm debate about whether what they did was right or not…man, I miss Lake Placid. Hmph. At least that movie had ACTUAL STUFF HAPPENING. Jesus.

I really like this one scene where on TV it shows this guy on a boat being filmed from up above in a helicopter (or something…), with a croc swimming around him. The narration explains that it can’t be Jack’s crocodile because it’s a different kind. But there’s something off about this scene…

Oh, I know. WHY THE HELL ISN’T ANYBODY HELPING THIS GUY? He’s just down there stuck on a boat with a huge man-eating crocodile, no big deal at all, right? Seriously, they’re just filming him for the news and not making any apparent attempt to save him. That’s pretty harsh. In another scene, we see a family of four being warned that there’s a man-eating crocodile on the loose, and they just kind of blow it off. They get theirs, though, when their little boy gets eaten by the giant CGI croc just moments later, like the croc was waiting for a cue or something.

"I'm a douchey white suburban dad, and I'm right about everything. When you tell me there's a man-eating crocodile in the water I think you're joking, just because I haven't seen it yet."

Truly parents of the year, people! Exemplary work! Give them a medal! Ugh…

They meet a guy played by Michael Madsen, whose only character trait is ‘guy with gravelly voice so you KNOW he’s a tough veteran.’ He’s some kind of croc hunter, or something. He doesn’t really do much of any importance throughout this whole thing, but that’s because nothing of any importance happens in the rest of the movie anyway. I mean, are you really surprised? Did you really expect the film with as much purpose and meaning as that Rugrats All Grown Up cartoon to pull itself together in the last act?

There's one scene of note where a bunch of the other croc farm leaders get massacred by the croc when it SOMEHOW hides in their pool and they don't notice - plot convenience at its worst:

OK, seriously, how does he not see the crocodile? They're both underwater. How do you not notice that?
Is he just blind or something? Seriously, how do you mess this up? Is the crocodile just super-silent? Does he have camouflage powers? WHAT?

But otherwise it's just bland as all get out. Pretty much it just plods on and on and makes me want to go to sleep. The final battle is an unpleasant and unentertaining cobble of horrible wooden acting, illogical scenes, bad CGI and completely stilted, un-engaging fight scenes that pretty much couldn’t be any worse if you put frigging Space Eunuchs in there. I mean, the final battle gives more importance to the scene of the characters trying to get Jack’s leg free from the mouth of the gator, than the actual fight scene with said gator beforehand! I’m serious. They kill the thing in like, a second, and then spend a minute or two more debating what the best way is to make sure they don’t have to amputate Jack’s leg. Oh, yes, I’m SO INVESTED in what’s going to happen to Jack’s leg after this is all over! Please, spare me the suspense; my heart is about to give out! God, what a load! This movie is awful!

But then again, what was I expecting from this anyway; groundbreaking cinema? No, how about just mild entertainment; the bare minimum of laughter or excitement to keep me from falling asleep? Croc didn’t even have that, and even for a Made for TV movie it’s bad. Director of Ice Pirates, you failed again. Go sit in the corner.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Trailer Review: Battleship (2012)

Greetings, readers! Welcome to a new section of the blog called trailer reviews. Where I review trailers. Wasn't that a fun explanation?

And yes, that IS Rihanna in the front there!

Ahem. Yes. Today's trailer is of a new movie coming out next summer called Battleship. Yes, Battleship, based on the hit board game from the 1950s. I'm not even joking - that's really what it's about. The film industry is SO BANKRUPT FOR IDEAS that they're now making movies out of board games...why am I not more surprised? Oh yeah, because there's a Rock'em Sock'em Robots movie coming out this fall, too.

Prime movie material, guys. Prime movie material.
So yeah, here's the trailer: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8NNQqHsIc-4

It starts off with some steamy music and a nighttime beach scene of a guy and a girl sharing some intimate moments together. He says he's going to go straight to her father and tell him that he wants to marry her. Then we see that isn't a good idea because her father is Liam Neeson, who simply can't see what his daughter sees in the guy. And as we all know, Liam Neeson is the ultimate protector of daughters, so he can consider his attempt shot down. We then see some heavy-fire battle scenes and even a big monster rising up out of the ocean...and DUN DUN DUN, SUMMER 2012, BATTLESHIP IS COMING TO THEATERS!

Seriously, what was this trailer going for? First we get the romanctic beginning and the scenes with the kid and Neeson, and it looks like it might be some kind of drama, then it's like BAM, out of nowhere, the film is now a big monster/robot movie with action scenes and CGI and everything, with no segueway or lead-in at all. It's totally jarring, and doesn't set the movie up as anything to be taken too seriously. But then again, I really doubt it was supposed to be, anyway. Still though, it really doesn't do much for the movie's credibility at any rate. Just because those early romance scenes are in the movie doesn't mean you devote half of the trailer to them! A trailer should be used to set us up for a general idea of the movie. Would you like it if a horror film trailer mostly showed you the scenes in the beginning showing everyone having fun? No, I don't think you would, because it would be pretty silly.

To sum it up, this trailer fails hard at setting the film in question up to be anything resembling entertaining! It's like the chewed-up leftovers of a Michael Bay movie trailer. Since I did this review for the trailer, I will eventually see the movie itself next year, and you'll read my thoughts on it then. Until that day...I will lie in wait.

REVIEW: Trust (2010)

There are some minor SPOILERS in this review...so if you want to check out this rather recent film, read on with caution!

Director: David Schwimmer
Starring: Clive Owen, Catherine Keener, Liana Liberato

A powerful and disturbing picture about a young teenage girl who talks to a guy she met online and finds out eventually, when they meet in person at a mall, that he's about 35 or so. He coerces her into having sex with him, and when everyone finds out, a media scandal and FBI case ensue. At first the girl really likes the guy still, and wants him back, even despite the alarm and shock of everyone around her at the situation. The film shows the decline and breaking apart of the family as the father (Clive Owens) becomes more and more obsessed with finding the rapist and bringing him to justice in his own way. I'm pretty sure this was based off a true story, and so I'm glad there wasn't much Hollywood-style glamorization. Owens never actually goes and catches the guy, and his attempts are realistically in vain, brought down by his own very human limitations. Like there’s one scene where he goes and thinks about buying a gun – his fatherly protectiveness is very real, very clear, and it blinds him to the more sensible ways to act. In another scene, he attacks a guy at one of Annie’s basketball games when he sees him taking pictures. These are rash, impetuous, human things to do, and it’s interesting to see the movie bring them out.

The acting here is very good (props to newcomer Liana Liberato for an excellent performance!), and the scenes are incredibly disturbing in their stark nature. Some of the ones in the beginning when the girl meets up with her online 'friend' are just spine-tingling uncomfortable – hell, all of those scenes are. The final scene with her and her dad outside is quite good for the exact opposite reason – it is honest, emotional and full of nostalgia and love. The film doesn’t have a big Hollywood ending where the killer gets caught, and that added a lot to the film, making it all the more hard-hitting and captivating as the audience is hit with the realization that this is real life, that these things happen sometimes, and all you can do is pick yourself up and move on. Overall I enjoyed this, and found it relevant and meaningful - a depiction of the darker side of our cybernetic revolution. I wasn't sure how to rate it at first, but frankly, this has not left my head since I finished it, and so I have no choice but to recommend it very highly to anyone who wants a realistic, harsh, emotional journey through a very sensitive situation. This will be remembered.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Review: 30 Minutes or Less (2011) TH

You might want to be smashed for this one

This is a film where the ludicrous story is in the background with the players throwing out banter, odd little quirks and working on friendship through the thick and thin in the foreground. There's the two buddies who've got each other's back, or at least they initially thought when secrets come out about Chet (Aziz Ansari) confessing to being the culprit for Nick's (Jesse Eisenberg) parent's divorce and Nick sleeping with Chet's twin sister one time way back. On the opposite corner, Dwayne (Danny McBride) lives at home with his lottery-winning, Marine-spouting dad who belittles him. So he turns right back around and acts all dominating and self-centered to the tag-along Travis (Nick Swardson) who wants to make an impression, so he'll do just about anything for his respect.

As the title suggests Nick is a "30 Minutes or Less" pizza guy who hates his job. Meanwhile Dwayne despises his dad and from the advice of a stripper decides to hire a hitman to take care of his father and collect his remaining lottery bankroll. He'll need $100 grand of his own for the hire and decides to get some pizza dude to rob a bank for him with some convincing of a bomb vest. Yep, the story is pretty ridiculous to say the least--despite supposedly mirroring real life events in Pennsylvania--as point A doesn't always smoothly line up to point B in the film. Dwayne and Travis have an idea--wham!--they have a solution fall into their lap, literally. Nick is presented with a dilemma--wham!--he jumps right into it like it was his calling card. Director Ruben Fleischer along with Eisenberg did a great turn around for "Zombieland" and you might except them to have done so here. Except this is either a make it or break it movie, since the scenarios are over-the-top and the dialogue is going for broke with the goofy, juvenile and throwing a parade with low self-esteem--sex, gay, racist jokes that might be funnier on substances but a share of them throwaway otherwise--instead of possibly the witty or setting up punchlines, which makes this more a single shot film than a repeater.

It felt like they tried too hard at times for that laugh by saying whatever to get a reaction rather than working through a scene. Other films have gotten away and proved to be thoroughly funny gems with a similar setup, but that's pretty much all this has going for it with not too many tricks up its sleeves otherwise. It's an attempt at a simple laugh riot by taking a trip to the loony land of the thought to be implausible. Though it doesn't always fully sculpt that world they take you to. It feels like you got invited to a gathering, yet don't always get a full feel for the people around you to truly let loose and have a grand time yourself because they're nothing but loafers, idiotic and get themselves in entanglements for all the wrong reasons--not exactly charismatic to say the least, even when laughing at them. Not to mention the character development went in and out whenever they felt like it: from knowing better to not knowing better, to doing it because they're forced but then enjoying getting caught up in it.

Swardson probably has the most range as he's nearly capable--he was the one who built a complex bomb after all--but doesn't want to let down a friend, so he goes along to get along. The others arrive in one state and leave in a similar state: little growth, little to learn. The credits rolled down somewhat abruptly without showing the after party where their adventurous story is told or their reward is enjoyed. Yeah, it's a silly comedy but there doesn't feel like that much in the way of a challenge rather than a contrivance for life's struggles, as a share of the setups are there to a point, just not always capitalized on or transitioned to its own advantage. The twin sister literally feels like the twin sister without a name, as she's dropped off in the story somewhere as a mirage to work towards for the slacker Nick, as everybody else around him is becoming more successful. Chet so happens to like his full time teaching job, and Nick's lost love so happens to be moving to Atlanta during all this mayhem. There were some lines here that are funny from the jittery Aziz Ansari and some here nor there from the others, but overall hit and miss. To its credit the movie goes by very quickly, as in they move from one place to the next in a rapid succession, even if what they're doing doesn't always feel that gravitating or memorable past a cursory viewing, if that even. If you're a die hard fan of a performer here, I recommend a rental. A free rental. A free rental when you're all taxed out and there's nothing else to watch.

Director: Ruben Fleischer (Zombieland)
Starring: Jesse Eisenberg, Danny McBride, Aziz Ansari, Nick Swardson
Website: IMDB

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

The American (2010)

Starring: George Clooney, Violante Placido, Thekla Reuten
Directer: Anton Corbijn

Fans of this blog might know that around this time last year we did two posts devoted to the trailers that we saw when seeing a movie in theatres. Wile it was suppose to become a semi-regular feature, we have not done any since then and do not plan on doing so. This is mostly because movie theatres tend to run the same trailers over and over again so there is not a lot of new material to work with, and also due to the fact that it takes up that much more time to write and post. For me at least, there is another reason related to creativity for not continuing the segment: trailers can be deceiving. Of the seven that I reviewed for "The Other Guys" edition (http://docuniverse.blogspot.com/2010/08/movie-trailers-other-guys-edition.html), I have since seen five of them. "RED" and "Due Date" were basically what I expected them to be like, but "Devil" and "The Social Network," which I did not want to see and thought I would hate if I did, both ended up being at least decent. And then there was...this movie. I originally thought, "Hey, it's a spy thriller with George Clooney. I like spy thrillers and I like George Clooney. This should be pretty good." (that's not exactly what I wrote for the post, but you get the idea). Yeah...I was wrong about that. Very, very wrong.

I'm going to go ahead and paraphrase the plot summery in one paragraph, so if you do not want it to be spoiled for you, don't read it. Yes, one paragraph; believe me, that's all I need.

Clooney plays a gunsmith named Jack, but I am not going to refer to him as his character or any of the others by their names because they essentially don't exist, as you will see shortly. Clooney is first shown with a woman (big surprise) at a remote cabin in Sweeden. He soon gets ambushed by three assassins, but he takes them all out before turning the gun on his lady friend, killing her as well. This is admittedly a very impressive way to start off the movie as it grabs your attention. It will not hold. This is how the rest of the film progresses: George Clooney travels to and drives around Italy. George Clooney eats. George Clooney encounters a weird and nosey priest. George Clooney works out. George Clooney has sex. George Clooney drives...again. George Clooney puts a gun together in (another) unnecessary scene. George Clooney meets spy and does target practice. George Clooney obsesses over butteries for reasons that are never explained. George Clooney kills a guy who is trying to kill him. George Clooney falls in love. George Clooney wants out. George Clooney cannot get out because he is too far in and has to do one last mission. George Clooney drives (notice a pattern here?). George Clooney eats some more. George Clooney kills more people trying to assassinate him. George Clooney drives (oh, come on...) and finds out he has been fatally wounded. George Clooney drives (.....) to place where his lover is. George Clooney dies...while driving. The End.

Why, why, why, why, WHY?!!!!! Look, I like it when movies take their time with developing a scene, like they did in "The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly", "Once Upon a Time in the West" (which is shown briefly in one scene; why couldn't I be watching that movie?!), "2001: A Space Odyssey", Clooney's own critically-polarizing "Solaris", or most recently 'The Tree of Life". But all those films (some of which this film was supposedly trying to emulate) either had a point to them or they were trying to draws viewers in by allowing them to gain from the experience. This film doesn't do that. There is nothing to be gained from it because the plot contains a stereotypical storyline with bland characters and uninteresting lines (remember my last review about these three factors? You need all or some positive combination of these or else it doesn't work). As a result, the pasting is just artsy for the sake of being artsy and boring as hell. It shows some nice images of Italy, but other than that, it is just 1 hour and 45 minutes of George Clooney...doing things (like DRIVING!!!), and nothing more.

Okay, too dragged out, bland characters, uninteresting lines...yeah, that's kind of it. I really cannot go into any more detail about this because everything wrong with this film is pretty straightforward. It's just one of these movies that has close to nothing to offer and tries to overcompensate by acting deep when it clearly is not. I didn't do a "Worst Films of 2010" list back in December, but if I had and I had seen this movie at the time, it definitely would have taken the "Number 1" spot. Avoid it at all cost.

I do not own the copyrights to these images and links; they are for entertainment purposes only. Please do not sue me.

Monday, August 8, 2011

REVIEW: The Ice Pirates (1984)

Ugh, who even cares...just start the damn thing.

Director: Stewert Raffill
Starring: Robert Urich, Anjelica Huston, Ron Perlman, Mary Crosby, Michael D. Roscoe

"I never thought this would happen!"
-One character about to be turned into a eunuch...

The Ice Pirates, a film that isn’t very well known and for good reason, is the kind of thing that I can only compare to that kid in your class who always tried to tell funny jokes but just never was very good at it. He kept trying, though, and although nobody laughed, one can’t deny that he was indeed persistent. Persistently annoying, persistently grotesque and persistently awkward, but persistent! If that’s all you care about then this movie should serve you quite well.

The film begins with an uninspired text scroll that informs us briefly that the world we’re about to see is one in which water is the highest form of currency. And…that’s really it. Nothing too dramatic, just that. I'm glad this movie is so intent on setting us up the right way. Well, OK then! The film kicks off with a bunch of guys in spacey-looking armor and tights running around on some pretty lame looking sets that come off less like ‘Star Wars parody’ and more like ‘what Star Wars would have been like without all the adventure and wonder sucked out.’

What is that? The contents of the neighborhood junkyard? Jesus Christ, that looks less convincing than Angelina Jolie's performance in Taking Lives.

And check out these awesome special effects for the laser blasts!

Because when you have no cash for special effects, just get your kid to scribble some blue crayon all over your film!

So the guys get this big machine and go through a whole hoohah about trying to open a door to what ends up being a bathroom. We’re greeted with what is perhaps a fitting metaphor for the film, a scrawny, ugly yellow alien sitting on the toilet. And to complete the metaphor, he gets passed over by most of the crew but gets a whack on the head from the last one. This kind of neglect followed by abuse is pretty much standard for the rest of the movie.

Did I mention this movie is another gem that Ron Perlman had a supporting role in? Because it is. I have a feeling he won’t be putting this one on his resume any time soon, but then, it is more dignified than 5ive Girls or Dark Country, so there’s that.

They initiate a big battle with the guards while trying to steal the water, but end up finding a hot chick sleeping in a giant glass case with the bongwater smoke that was inhaled while the writers created this movie. Why is she in the glass case to begin with? You know…there’s probably a reason, but this whole movie is directed so poorly that I have a hard time telling. A lot of the time it’s like that; you can’t even really tell what the hell is going on! It’s not like I’m asking to be spoonfed every little thing on a silver platter, but some clearer direction and action logic would be nice. Most of the time, the movie can’t even be bothered to explain ANYTHING AT ALL. How would you like it if, in my next review, I started off in the middle of the movie and didn’t bother to explain the events I’m mocking in any sequential order? THAT’S ABOUT AS MUCH SENSE AS THIS MAKES. Use transitions and segue ways! It’s not that hard!

Oh, and I can’t possibly go over every single weird thing this film does, but seriously, this about sums it all up:

I think these guys got lost on their way to a Monty Python convention. Oh well, not like they would have won any contests there anyway...they're about as funny as John Cleese's toenail clippings.

So after main character Jason is done kidnapping that princess who was randomly in a glass case for no reason other than plot convenience, they all get captured by the very vague force of law and government in this galaxy, and are sentenced to be castrated and turned into space eunuchs. Uh huh. Space eunuchs. That’s…so bizarre and strange that I don’t even know what to say about it. They’re put naked on a conveyor belt and shaved, and then they’re run through a clamp that cuts off their balls. Well, gee. I knew some feminist groups were hardcore, but this is just unrealistic!

And that's how you de-size a population properly.

After that, we see that the Princess has spared the pirates if they’ll help her with her quest to find her father. Why do they still have to dress up like eunuchs then? Why couldn’t she just take them directly to the ship and start the mission immediately, if they’re going to do it anyway? Because the movie wouldn’t be long enough without padding, and because it’s funny to have rugged space pirates dressed up in pink tights and fluffy wigs. Me, I just think it’s kind of creepy, but then, I have the right number of chromosomes. So I guess I’m not quite the audience this film is aiming at.

They go for funny AAAAAAAAAND mostly just hit 'awkward.'

Ugh, so on their way out, the pirates discover a robot that talks in jive and acts like a pimp:

This is like a really bad South Park joke or something...eugh.

…and a model toy police car with spikes on it that actually drives inside the hallway:

You know what the chief problem with this is? It isn’t funny. The timing just feels off most of the time on the jokes, the characters don’t really have much comedic charm and the jokes are incredibly forced, like trying to fit square pegs into round holes. Not to mention the set-ups are completely convoluted and overly long. You want an example? How about this one part where two characters find a weird bug that definitely is NOT ripping off Alien, which they declare is a ‘space herpe.’ Yes, a space herpe. And yes, this is all just a waste of time set-up for one line about how the ship has herpes now. Wow. An overlong set-up leading to a pointless non sequitur joke that adds nothing to the plot and is in no way humorous or enjoyable. And people wonder why I’m so cynical.

On the ship, they figure out that they need to go to this bar, or something, to find out where they can get a land cruiser to go find this guy who knows where the princess’s father is. But that’s not important. What is important is that this whole thing is a set-up for Jason to make the princess go and flirt with this frog-alien-human-hybrid thing to get the land cruiser, because he knows the frog-thing has one they can use. Only when the princess comes back, she tells him the frog-thing is a woman, and wants Jason to come and sit with her! So…if Jason knew the frog-thing had a land cruiser, how did he not know it was a woman? You know movie, there’s this little thing called logic that I hear is very useful when trying to write a story. Try it sometime!

What is that thing, Rosie O' Donnell on a bad hair day?

The film wastes some more time with an overlong fight sequence between one of the pirates and some guy at the bar…why am I mentioning it in the review if it’s such a waste? Because the film really seems to think it’s something worth watching, so of course I must waste more of your time in turn by talking about it! It just simulates the experience of watching the movie better that way. GET ON WITH IT, MOVIE.

Then the movie falls into some pitfalls of ungodly annoyance when you hear the frog-lady talk in the most horrific croaking voice you can possibly imagine, asking Jason if her blouse is nice (shivers will run down your spine…). It’s annoying. Then, when we actually see the guy they’re trying to find, we get an info dump of crap that I bet you anything the actors didn’t care about. And it’s boring. Boring and annoying, people; those are your choices with this movie.

Anyway, the guy’s (who looks something like a bargain bin Obi Wan Kenobi...charming) story is that he was aged by a time-warp he went through (it happens) while searching for the mysterious ‘seventh world,’ which was lost in time and is a source of unlimited water – gee, I have no idea what this joke could be building up to! A planet filled with water lost in a place where no one knows? The mystery is just astounding. Seriously, COULD THESE JOKES BE ANY MORE OBVIOUS? It’s Planet Earth if you haven’t figured it out! This joke is old before the punchline even hits!

Oh, but I just love when a movie gives me a chance to see a robot wearing a tie and cufflinks getting run over by one of the rejected ideas for Wacky Races in the middle of the desert. That’s just a treat.

No robots or skeleton-faced cars were harmed in the making of this scene.

Back on the ship, the crew has now adopted a host of farm animals on the ship…if you’re surprised, you haven’t been watching the movie long enough for your brain to be melted into a fine, pulpy goo to where you can accept this garbage yet. Don’t worry. It’ll happen soon enough.

They then go to see a man who wears glasses. Yes, glasses, in a sci fi movie. Isn’t that like having a guy wearing a watch in Middle Earth? Just doesn’t add up. Anyway, they talk to him for a while and he’s pretty annoying and terrible, like the worst standup comedian you ever saw in your life. Oh, and his head comes off. Why? Oh, come on; like the movie’s going to start making sense now. And yes, the head-coming-off thing is just a big set up for Ron Perlman to say “he really lost his head.” Again with the lame jokes with overlong set-ups. You could at least try to make this a little funny, if you’re going to continually abuse our senses with your nonsense, movie. Just asking for a little mercy!

So yeah, they’re there because unfunny glasses-man apparently knows where the princess’s father is, but it turns out to be a robot. I really don’t get the point of this scene – she finds out her father is a robot, cries a little, and the scene fades back out. What? Was half of the scene cut out or something? Did they really just like that scene so much they couldn’t get rid of it? What? Give me some answers, movie!

Since this is a parody, we’re treated to a love scene between Jason and the princess, with some machine putting different backgrounds for them to have sex in front of. And I guess I’m supposed to find it funny, but mostly I’m just wondering why they would have that damn machine anyway. Also, why would they even need it when they’re not even looking at the backgrounds anyway? That’s not really the point of having sex, movie. “Honey, why’d you stop?” “I’m just mesmerized by this beautiful fake sunset in the background!” Yeah. Pretty bad, huh?

Then we get the final battle, in which our heroes also go through the aging vortex that got that other guy. It causes time to speed up at alarming rates, and all the characters to grow older. Sorry, but unless that time warp can make the movie end faster, I’m not interested. This scene does have a few clever moments, like Jason and the princess’s baby being born super-quick due to the time speed-up, and I actually do like the final shot where the whole family is together. That was kind of nice.

But the rest of this movie is totally insipid! I mean, Christ, what more can I say? The humor is terrible, the jokes are poorly set up and it’s not at all entertaining. Is this really the kind of thing I’ve come to accept as worthy of reviewing? I feel like I used to have much higher standards…I need a vacation, man. I’m out of here. Blowing this joint. Not comin’ back for a while. So long, suckers!