Jun 5, 2012

The monkey also watches films. Way too many films.

Again and again, I find myself wanting to update the blog with something, but work, home projects, writing, strife abroad, it all combines to completely exhaust me.

So, in an effort to catch up, I thought I'd direct your attention to the lovely critical cinema website Flick Attack (its motto: hitting you with one random movie a day...whether you like it or not) where yours truly blows off some steam in snack-sized chunklets of movie reviews.

Here, then, are some excerpts from my blisteringly unfocused rants and raves for your reading pleasure, if not your viewing:

Jonah Hex (2010)
  • What should have been a pulpy Western mesh of Blade and Pale Rider is a flat-out disaster, actually making Wild Wild West seem not so bad in retrospect (that armored spider was pretty cool).
A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984)
  • I am unconvinced that Wes Craven is a great horror director. I’m not honestly sure he’s even a good one.
The Thing (2011)
  • It’s obvious that the people behind The Thing remake studied John Carpenter’s gruesome masterpiece before they began their prequel. But studying ain’t the same as mastering; while Thing 2011 plays the same notes as Thing 1982, there’s barely any music to be heard.
MacGruber (2010)
  • MacGruber is a textbook example of the smart-stupid, the type of stupid only very smart people can create. Thank God that Adam Sandler and Dennis Dugan never got their paws anywhere near this one. 
Prince of Darkness (1987)
  • Right smack in the middle, a religious tome reveals that Jesus Christ was an extra-terrestrial who tried to warn humans about the dangers inherent in the liquid, and no one bats an eye. That is some cold analytic shit happening right there.
Dolan's Cadillac (2009)
  • In the no man’s land of direct-to-video fare, you get Slater, the poor man’s Jack Nicholson, hardly an untalented actor but hopelessly miscast in portraying such devastating evil.
 Drive Angry (2011)
  • Here’s what I want in a movie titled Drive Angry: anger, and driving. When Nicolas Cage is your hero, I’d think the anger would have been covered, but in a role that demands Wild at Heart Cage, or even Face/Off Cage, he gives us Bangkok Dangerous Cage. 
Dune (1984)
  • Here is why I love Dune: It doesn’t work. Not as a drama. Not as a space opera. Not as a war movie. By the basic tenets of comprehensible storytelling, it’s ridiculous. Its overall failure is legendary. But taken as a whole, it’s a twisted dream, rife with spectacularly unique imagery and a baroque, Flash Gordon-like design that never fails to draw me in, even while I’m picking it apart.
Hobo With a Shotgun (2011)
  • There isn’t one area on the human body that isn’t brutalized in Hobo’s 86 minutes; there isn’t one obscenity in the English language unmuttered; there isn’t one depravity unseen. But you also get a surprising amount of flair.
Point Blank (1998)
  • What follows are scenes of action so inept, they are tailor-made for YouTube clips. And, yes, the filmmakers honestly expect us to believe that the slab of greased ham that is Rourke is backflipping his way out of Danny Trejo’s line of fire.
Hardware (1990)
  • Hardware is seemingly designed solely for genre snobs who can glimpse genuine artistry poking out from between the seams. Part spaghetti Western, part Terminator and part slasher, if you dig the style, you’ll likely groove to the nihilistic audacity. If not, you’ll find it a heap of gory nonsense.
So, yeah, my movie tastes and literary tastes are wildly divergent. And yes, I praise Dune for being incoherent, and condemn Point Blank for being incoherent. But such is the strange schizophrenic nature of my existence.

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