Wednesday, May 28, 2008

"What I Watched" Wednesday - Too. Much. SCREAMING.

Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull: Latest installment in the Indiana Jones series finds Indy older and focused on adventures featuring not Nazis and religion but Commies and aliens. Welcome to the 50s, Indy! Overall, was a bit disappointed; there were some great action sequences (particularly the big chase scene with Indy and Mud on the bike), and Ford, Shia LeBeouf, and Cate Blanchett all did great jobs in their rolls, but there were just a few too many scenes that stretched my suspension of disbelief to the breaking point*, not to mention numerous "why the heck would anyone on earth do something like that?" moments. I would say this is worth a rental, but not full price at the theater.

Drive Thru: Low budget horror flick about a group of teenagers being hunted down by the demonic mascot of a fast food chain. An interesting concept with some flashes of wit which is nevertheless dragged down by poor execution. But, hey, it has Morgan Spurlock of Super Size Me fame as a dorky hamburger joint employee, so it can't be all bad, right?

The Rage: Another low-budget horror flick, this time about a genetically engineered bio-weapon that turns its victims into blood-thirsty monsters. Had a hard time getting through this one just because of the non-stop screeching and screaming from the protagonists as they ran from the infected creatures; almost wanted to claw off my ears to make it stop. Actually went in the other room to chat with Flunky online for a few minutes while it was still playing, so I missed the introduction of the mutant killer midget transvestite; kind of mixed feelings about that. Give this one a miss.

National Treasure: Book of Secrets:
Sequel to the Nic Cage vehicle about a patriotic treasure hunter centers around Cage's quest to clear the name of his ancestor who has been implicated in the assassination of Lincoln, a quest that, of course, leads to a massive treasure. The caper stuff is fun (especially the scene at Buckingham Palace) and Riley is still a great character, and if you just switch your mind off and enjoy the big action set pieces you might not realize how little sense most of the meandering, hole-ridden plot makes.

Timber Falls:
Horror film about Dr. Mike Burton from Ed and his girlfriend getting kidnapped by a psycho hillbilly Aunt Zelda from Sabrina the Teenage Witch so that she and her equally psycho husband can force the couple into getting married and having sex so that they can create a child in wedlock that Zelda can then steal for her own. Oh, and there's a horribly disfigured inbred hillbilly brother who does Zelda's dirty work, too. Strange film, but I liked the fact that the "hero" refused to bow down to the psycho couple's requests.

Santa's Slay:
Now, I ask you, how can you go wrong with a film about a demonic killer Santa Clause played by WWE wrestler Goldbert, and featuring cameos by Fran Drescher, Rebecca Gayheart, Chris Kattan and, of all people, James Caan? Answer: very easily, apparently. The film is a little too self-aware, tried too hard to be funny, and so manages to miss out on the "so bad it's good" phenomenon.

Murder Party:
Incredibly entertaining little film about a loner who decides to crash a Halloween "Murder Party" after finding the invite on the street, only to discover that the party name is horrifyingly accurate. Honestly, this was by far my favorite movie I saw this week; the director described it as sort of Breakfast Club meets Psycho, as the film is more about the interactions between the strange group of art students who have banded together to commit murder as part of a performance piece than anything else. Not that it's all talky and no slashy; plenty of the old ultra-violence to satisfy gorehounds, but it was the characterization, dialogue, and very dark humor that made this one of my "Dang, now who the heck can I recommend this to?" films. Would have been a perfect Odd Squodd flick if Li'l Random had actually been in town last week.

For those of you who've seen the film, I will just say that the two worst offenders were the scenes that prominently featured a refrigerator and vines; for those who haven't seen the film yet, when you finally do I think you'll be able to figure out what I'm talking about pretty quickly


Flunky lover said...

I haven't seen the second National Treasure but one of the scenes was filmed at George Washington's old home. When we went to visit they were doing special tours of the basement to see the actual space. They took some poetic license in the movie we were told because they changed the letters. The house was actually built by George Washington's brother so it's not a GW down there. It almost makes me want to see the movie but not quite.

The first one left such a bad impression on me I haven't seen a movie in the theater since. That's 3.5 years ago. Flunky however did feel the same and actually watched the second one in the theater.