Tuesday, June 22, 2010


the reason Youtube exists.

Monday, June 14, 2010

can we bottle that shit?

Sometimes I really have to picture it happening. How some Hollywood executives sit in a fancy minimalistic feng-shui office eating sushi and snorting coke as they discuss the idea for the next block-buster. And it's in these meetings where they go "what about the karate-kid goes to china? Yeah, and he meets somebody like...like...Jackie Chan who becomes his mentor! And teaches him how to fight and so forth...", "Ok but isn't that kung-fu they do in china?", "Yeah, and your point is?", "You're right, kung-fu, karate, ping-pong...it's all the same crap anyway."

Yes, I am talking about the new Karate Kid movie. Again they are not bothered with continuing the story so I guess it's a re-boot? remake? Don't even know or care. All I know and the trailer taught me is that the KARATE-kid is doing Kung-fu. It's about the principals here folks! Treat the subject with respect and knowledge. Otherwise I feel treated like a dumb ass which maybe the majority of movie goers is nowadays, since they keep going to see this crap.

Another movie I haven't seen and won't see is Memoirs of a Geisha. My wife pointed out to me that this American version of this story was unfortunately badly done though visually beautiful. To begin with most of the main actors and actresses in the movie are Chinese and not Japanese though the story inevitably takes place in Japan. My wife also mentioned at some point the music they played in the background was Chinese as well. Hm, well its Asian anyways so who cares, right?

On the same subject is the American re-do of Martyrs, a french horror movie from 2008 (yeah, just released and already re-make on the way!). It's really interesting to me because I read an interview with the makers of the planned re-do where they fully admit, that there is no way to re-do this movie. So if it's not possible then why...re-do it? What are they planning to film then? Uhm, well the subject was so interesting...so they are going to do a similar movie, not really addressing that interesting subject directly, but a thinned out version of it? I fail to see the logic behind this project or what they intend to be filming considering their admission to it not being re-doable.

The reason why it's not re-doable is very clear to me. Martyrs is the most horrifying, cruel, inhuman, perverted, sadistic movie I have ever seen. I don't recommend anyone watching it unless they are fully aware and capable to stomach it. On the other hand, it's so horrifying because it's really well done. The subject is very interesting as Hollywood recognized, yet only interesting within it's terrifying framework that the french movie delivers perfectly. There is no way to handle that subject in another way thus making a re-do or even a different take on it impossible without totally losing the impact and the whole point of it.

The original is brilliantly acted and the story is very well told. It is not predictable at all where this movie is going as you begin watching it but when you get there it becomes spine-chillingly clear. It has to be said that I am a great fan of the horror genre and am not easily spooked or disturbed by horror movies. This is why I can justify my warning. The french have recently been producing many shocking horror movies putting the terror back into the genre. Well, as some of you may know the french have a history of shocking movies not to mention literature.

This whole project is to me again Hollywood logic with their ever-lasting quest for the next big thing and the question of - can we bottle that shit?

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Rule # 1

Once in a while I will watch a movie and find it bad. Then I will think why it was bad, because in some cases the concept, the actors or quality of the film was good. Then I will stumble upon what I have begun to call the "rules" of film. Here an example.

The other day I saw a movie called Walled in. It's a horror/thriller starring Mischa Barton who is probably more known for being in the tv series O.C. - or welcome to the o.c. bitch - as I like to call it. I didn't like this movie. And here is what rule it broke that made me not like it -

Don't derail from a set direction.

The movie is about a demolition company rep (Barton) who is sent to this creepy apartment building in the middle of nowhere to begin preparations for it's destruction. The building has a history as many bodies had been discovered within its walls and the architect was supposedly a genius. We later find out that the architect was obsessed with mythology and ancient cults and the idea is planted that he may have been up to some creepy things. In the building's entrance there is a strange mark on the wall and overall you could imagine something bad going on in that building. When Barton stays in one of the apartments during her assignments she has spooky nightmares and hears a dead girl's voice from within the walls. Many times she hears or sees something ghost-like.

Now all this told me it was going to be about the architect and some kind of unholy rituals connected with the building as well as a healthy dose of ghosts. I was so sure that in the end she would blow up the building and free the trapped souls that had been captured there by the evil architect. pustekuchen (as the German might say).

We find out, yes the architect killed the people who were found walled in and he did so believing that would make the building stronger (?) but there are no ghosts, and there is nothing supernatural going on.... in fact, the evil architect has been trapped in the building himself by a grieving mother who's husband the architect killed... and the mother's son entraps Barta's character together with the architect because he loves her and doesn't want her to leave.... but in the end when the destruction crew comes he finally confesses to her still being trapped in there and she is saved. By this time Barta has killed the architect, not because he was going to hurt her, but because he wanted her to "sacrifice him" so he could die within his building.

My point is, the movie gave every indication to it being about something supernatural. And the idea of some sort of ritual and captured souls within the building was something I was getting warmed up to. But then taking the movie into another direction - a psychotic boy who's in love - left me disappointed as well as frustrated.

As with every rule, there are exceptions. For example From Dusk 'till Dawn. That movie does the derailing in a brilliant way. It takes you on in a new direction half way through but rewards you with a totally twisted, fun and original plot.

I will continue to ponder such rules and will bring them up when I have good examples.

free fall

Just an amazing video:

Friday, June 11, 2010

Finish Him

Ok. Here is a trailer that made my day.

Yes, for every Mortal Kombat fan, this movie seems to deliver the promise of a fun movie! This is one re-boot that I'm in favor of! The first movie was just funny with it's techno music and fight scenes as well as a healthy dose of bad acting. Just by watching the trailer for the new one I see they did so many things right this time... killed off Johnny Cage that boring p.... and instead of Kung Lao we now have my favorite MK character the lead in the story... Scorpio!!! Yes the nerd in me took over. Also a great idea is to make Barraka and Reptile just very twisted humans. Gory glory.

It was first said to be released in 2010 but there is a 2013 date out there as well which I think is more likely seeing that it's been so quite about this movie as well a newsflash saying another production company is suing Warner for whatever reason, thus preventing an earlier release.

But this one goes on the list!

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Vikings on acid

Here is the trailer for a movie I was excited about - Valhalla Rising

But what a let-down! If I may summarize: it's a movie about Vikings on acid. There you have it. It's one bad trip in the length of a movie. Actually to be fair, it starts out quite well. It's mysterious, brutal and serious, like a viking movie should be. But then it goes off... and never lands back on the ground. As far as I could tell the storyline is this - one bad-ass guy is a slave forced to fight staged fights for his master, similar to a gladiator. He then escapes killing everybody who enslaved him. On his way through the lands of England(?) he meets christian warriors (sitting around a pile of butchered people) who are about to set sails to Jerusalem. He accepts the invitation. In between he has spaced out visions in red. There are long shots of his face staring into the distance. Next comes a long scene on the boat they travel on. There is nothing but fog, depression and spaced out visions again. Now they have apparently landed in America ! Yes, somebody didn't know how to navigate or was too spaced out the entire trip. And now the real tripping begins. They wander off, bathe in mud, float in water, pile up stones and there are more visions in red. They start killing each other until at the end (spoiler alert) our main bad ass drops his weapons and walks towards a group of hostile looking indians only to be beaten to death. The end.

Jeesh. I felt bad after having spent all that time watching this thing.

So on to the next movie - Kick Ass
Apparently its based on a comic and is essentially a movie about a teenager who decides to try to be a superhero and fight crime. The movie has it's moments and is amusing but very clearly a teen flick. But here's where it lost me a little. It decides to show brutal actions scenes with people being stabbed, shot in the face, blown to pieces, burned alive and so on. It comes as a surprise especially when the person doing most of the mayhem is an 11 years old girl! Yes, she has been trained by her daddy (played by Nicholas Cages) to fight crime in a costume. The scene that I had trouble with was when her father, as part of the training, shoots the girl in the chest with a gun. She was wearing a bullet-proof west we find out, so she survives, but am I the only one who finds just something still wrong about this?
I watch horror movies depicting the most brutal and horrific scenes with delight in my eyes, but I have some areas where I say "don't go there!". Although I had fun watching this movie, I still have to say - that crossed a line for me.
I just think that movies are beginning to push the limit to shock the audience but funnily enough showing nipples is still off limits and we should rather watch someone slowly burn alive. It just feels strange as this is a movie directed mostly to a younger audience (teens).
A totally different point is the music. In one action scene they played a Prodigy song which was kind of cool because I love that song and had actually thought to myself it would fit as a theme to a movie. But then during a dramatic scene I suddenly shouted "HOLD ON you somomab...!!" - in my head. They used the music from one of my favorite movies of all times - 28 days later. Now I don't know the rules here but in my book, that's a HUGE no-no. If you have read my posts you will have noticed I pay attention to movie music and am greatly influenced by it. That's why I associate certain theme songs with that movie. Hearing it used in another movie automatically degrades that movie to me as it couldn't even be bothered with composing it's own music. So a big minus on that account!

Tuesday, June 8, 2010


Have a few themes today all squished into a mouth-watering snack.

Let's begin with some news. Just read that another anime title is being made into a feature film - Wicked City. Assume that nobody has seen this but me so I should explain that this is more of a hentai movie. It has strong sexual content which I don't think will be translated into the feature film (too bad). I loved the story-line from the original which is based on a Japanese comic. The story tells of a demonic parallel world that is breaching into our world and a team of agents from both sides, human and demons, which is meant to eliminate any demons that cross over to protect the balance. Heard rumors that the making of this film is still uncertain although preparations have begun. I think it's a cool story-line that could make a great movie, yet as always - I shall remain skeptical as Blood: the last Vampire has taught me to be.

Another re-make that's in the making is Fright Night - a great 80's teen-flick that I watched countless times and doesn't lose its charm. That is why I am not sure why this movie is being made or what it wants to bring to the table. It now plays in Las Vegas and as I read it is to have more links towards modern times ...whatever that means ("dude, when I face-booked him I found out he's a blood sucker!").

Next a movie recommendation. Timecrimes. This is a totally under-played low budget gem that I stumbled upon and comes from Spain. I have a hard time to label this as I found it under the category of horror yet it has strong elements of suspense and subtle science fiction. In fact, this is in my opinion, one of the better movies with the theme of time-travel. The logic of time-travel and the effects of it can often be very confusing and many stories have been unable to keep a strong logic behind these effects. The movies that stood out to me were titles like - 13 monkeys, the butterfly effect, the jacket and terminator. But back to Timecrimes. I don't wish to go into the story as it is delicious for an unsuspecting viewer and often times had me feeling "where the hell are they going with this?" but ended with me going "aaaah." I hope that tells you all you need to know. So now go and see it!