Schwarzenegger Month: Collateral Damage

This is one dark film. Which may explain why it failed at the box office. In Collateral Damage, Arnold Schwarzenegger stars as Gordy Brewer, a Los Angeles firefighter who loses his wife and son in a terrorist attack. Firefighter, terrorism, innocent victims. Considering this movie was released in February of 2002, only weeks after ground zero in Manhattan stopped smoking, there is a strong possibility the film’s subject matter kept people away. Not only was terrorism a touchy subject back then, the 9/11 attacks were not completely over yet. Not as long as they were still clearing debris. That’s some bad timing. But it could have been worse. The original release date for this film was less than a month after the attacks. I wish I could say I was sympathetic to the plight of the filmmakers and everyone else involved in this project, but tough shit. A film flailing at the box office was the least of the country’s concerns back then. Continue readingSchwarzenegger Month: Collateral Damage”

October Horrorshow: Resident Evil

I’ve seen Resident Evil four times. Each time, it gets worse. Don’t ask me why I’ve dedicated five precious hours of my life to this dog. I have no answer. I wish I could swear this last viewing was the final viewing, but who knows? Maybe it will be, now I’ve bothered to write a review. Continue readingOctober Horrorshow: Resident Evil”

Shitty Movie Sundays: Reign of Fire

What a gloriously stupid movie. Reign of Fire, from 2002, is about a post-apocalyptic near future in which dragons have been mistakenly awakened from a cave deep underneath London, and have turned the earth into a blackened ball of ash. A group of survivors, led by Quinn (Christian Bale), are eking out a meager existence in a ruined castle in Northumberland in the north of England, keeping their heads low and trying not to starve to death. They’ve reached a kind of perilous equilibrium, sure that as the dragons have burnt the surface of the planet to a crisp, it will only be a matter of time before the beasts all starve to death as well, and then rebuilding human civilization can begin. It’s a dangerous waiting game, between this meager group and the beasts, caught in a race to see which side can outlast the other. No side can hold out much longer, both heir to a land blackened and barren. The humans have pluck, and left alone, they may be the ones to survive, while the dragons, after all, are only animals. Continue readingShitty Movie Sundays: Reign of Fire”

October Horrorshow: 28 Days Later & 28 Weeks Later

So much horror is garbage that every occasion that sees a thoughtful and intelligent entry to the genre is a welcome reminder that a film that tries to scare the viewer to death is not automatically bad, or packed to the gills with cliché. While slasher flicks and the endless variations of SCREWED scenarios (see the review of Quarantine for a definition) are good fodder for the bloodthirsty moviegoer, the need for true quality is still there. All the camp, all the gore, all the outlandishness that gives the horror genre its identity is, unfortunately, as full of as much grace and depth as a carnival funhouse. Enjoyable as that can be, and as much as it keeps bloody murder from being weighed down by too much realism, a well-handled production with a talented cast, a talented director at the helm, and a good story can always be applauded as something that is, my goodness, actually worth seeing. Continue readingOctober Horrorshow: 28 Days Later & 28 Weeks Later”

Shitty Movie Sundays: The Transporter

Sometimes I watch movies so you won’t have to. I sacrifice hours on lazy Sunday afternoons abusing my eyes and my sense of taste not just because I enjoy bad cinema, I do, but because some bad movies descend so low that even cinematic shit-eaters like myself can find no redeeming qualities to them whatsoever, and viewers need to be warned to avoid them. Like a signpost jutting out of the desert warning of rattlesnake country ahead, or a toxic waste dump, consider this article a harbinger, for there will be trouble for those who ignore it. Continue readingShitty Movie Sundays: The Transporter”

The Empty Balcony: Godzilla Against Mechagodzilla & Godzilla: Tokyo S.O.S.

This past week the programmers at Telefutura graced its viewers with a very special set of movies. Sunday night saw a rare return in modern television to the late night creature feature, with Godzilla Against Mechagodzilla (from 2002, not to be confused with 1974’s Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla). And last night came the followup, Godzilla: Tokyo S.O.S. from 2003. Of course, Telefutura is a Spanish-language station, and I don’t speak Spanish. In addition, I didn’t mark down any listing times for these movies with an intent to tune in. I stumbled on them while flipping channels, both well into their respective story arcs. But what the hell, it’s Godzilla. Even truncated and in a foreign language, no Godzilla flick is difficult to follow. Continue readingThe Empty Balcony: Godzilla Against Mechagodzilla & Godzilla: Tokyo S.O.S.”