Shitty Movie Sundays: Independence Day: Resurgence, or, Who Are the People on the Boat?

This fucking movie, I swear to God. More than once while I was watching Independence Day: Resurgence did I utter that profaneness. It’s just such a silly movie. It’s also breathtaking in scale, as evidenced by a moment when the Burj Khalifa, the world’s tallest building, which also happens to normally be in Dubai, is dropped on London. This is a movie whose aspirations for an international audience are plain to see. There’s the requisite inclusion of token Chinese characters, and even a scene where a Chinese city is sucked up into the sky. That’s how one can know the Chinese have arrived as a world power. We are now destroying their cities in apocalyptic movies. Continue readingShitty Movie Sundays: Independence Day: Resurgence, or, Who Are the People on the Boat?”

Shitty Movie Sundays: White House Down

White House DownThank goodness for Roland Emmerich. If it weren’t for filmmakers like him, we’d all be stuck watching Terrence Malick and David Lynch films. Please, don’t misunderstand me. I’m not picking on Malick and Lynch for no reason. They’re great filmmakers, as are too many others to mention. But when I thought of great filmmakers whose work is a real slog to get through, those two names popped into my head. You lucked out this time, Werner Herzog.

My point is, there is film as art, and film as escapist adventure. Roland Emmerich resides fully in the latter, his main concern being spectacle. Because of that, his movies require no effort whatsoever to enjoy. And I do mean they require no effort. If a viewer puts effort into his movies, by doing something silly like figuring out how to resolve plot holes, or think through character development that Emmerich couldn’t be bothered with, then enjoyment will not be had during a Roland Emmerich feature film. He embraces in full the ethos behind the big-budget shitty movie (different from the low-budget variety, but still related). His box office numbers prove that most of humanity seems to, as well. Continue readingShitty Movie Sundays: White House Down”

October Horrorshow: The Conjuring

Filmmaker James Wan has, in the last decade, become horror cinema royalty. He was behind the creation of the Saw franchise, the two Insidious movies, and, from just this past summer, The Conjuring. His bona fides as a horror auteur are unassailable...which must be why he’s currently helming Fast & Furious 7. After directing three straight ghost stories, maybe a change in direction was inevitable. Continue readingOctober Horrorshow: The Conjuring”

The Foam Rubber Wholesalers Convention

The Dark Knight Rises movie posterChristopher Nolan has wrapped up his epic interpretation of the Batman saga, and the viewing public has benefited greatly. After two of the most epic and well-made superhero films of all time, and fine films in their own right, the tale comes to an end this summer. Nolan, and his screenwriter brother Jonathan, should be credited with legitimizing and dragging into believability an aged franchise that at times wears its history and legacy as a seventy-year-old burden.

Only the most basic of continuity from the DC Comics characters remain in the Nolan retelling. Ra’s al Ghul? Dead after one film. Joker? One film and done (extenuating circumstances do apply). Two-Face? Dead, and a far cry from the criminal mastermind of the comics. Even Scarecrow, a stalwart of the Rogues Gallery, saw his menace pass with Batman Begins, settling for mere cameo in the subsequent films.

One of the things regular readers of the serialized Batman comics can count on is the lack of finality in any story. Sure, Joker, or Killer Croc, or Zsasz will wreak their havoc upon Gotham City and its inhabitants, but Batman always prevails, and Arkham Asylum welcomes the vanquished villain with open, inadequately secured arms, sure to let their ward escape to challenge the Masked Manhunter again...editors willing. Continue reading “The Foam Rubber Wholesalers Convention”

October Horrorshow: Quarantine

There’s a subgenre in horror/sci-fi cinema, where a limited number of people are trapped in a contained space and terrorized by some malevolent force. They are picked off, one by one, leading to climax and resolution. There may be a term for this, I don’t know. “Alien-type” maybe. I don’t really want to put the time in researching whether or not there is. After all, most of these films are awful. I did come up with an acronym, however. Arguably, more time was needed to come up with the acronym than researching terms for these dogs, but it was fun. So, from this review forward, films where a small cast is in a reclusive environment where everyone (almost) dies, will be referred to as SCREWED movies. That’s Small Cast, Reclusive Environment, Where Everyone (almost) Dies. How clever. Continue readingOctober Horrorshow: Quarantine”