Tag Archives: Movies

Uwe Boll X Zombies = Fun?

It seems utterly beyond belief that this meeting of the minds hasn’t happened until now.  Legendary Z-grade auteur and astute money man Uwe Boll – in his capacity as producer – has gone zombie.

I’m sure he has a lovely personality…

Sensibly, and perhaps understandably given his status as go-to punching bag for any genre film fan bemoaning the questionable standard of modern exploitation cinema, Boll has chosen to stick behind the camera on this one, leaving the orchestration of gory gut munching and head-shot kills to a pair of Italian film makers.

Intrigued?  Check out the trailer here.

It has a weird, cg-enhanced look which doesn’t entirely work for me – the military base location looks less like the foreboding backdrop to a zombie versus bad-ass soldiers showdown  and reminds me more of an episode of BBC Three‘s excellent ‘Canines Gone Wild!’ show, “Dog Borstal” (something tells me that grumpy dog trainer Mic Martin could take down any errant undead brain muncher with a roundhouse kick and a ‘Leave it!’).

Still, as a fan of most horror flicks which aren’t from the “Saw”/”Hostel“/blah school of torture and nit-wittery, I can always find it in my heart to enjoy a spot of gross make-up, the world gone to heck and intense actors wrestling manfully with dialogue that most daytime soap operas might reject as being a tad bit heavy on the exposition.

It can’t be as bad as “House of the Dead”, can it?  (Warning – NSFW video link contains gore. And ass hats)

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Three Point Wow

Via the fine folks at SFX comes this little slice of genius video wittily delineating a modern pop culture cliché which now has a name – the three-point landing.

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You’ve seen it in films, video games, tv shows and music videos and wondered what it was and now a very helpful supercut video has shown us the light.

Worryingly enough, a great many of my favourite things appear in that video, which either indicates that the creators of my favourite flicks are indulging in predictably geeky tropes ahoy or that my taste in pop culture tends more towards super-powered, ass kicking sci-fi fantasy than period drama and high-octane emoting.

C’est la vie and all that.

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“TRON: Legacy” Concept Art

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TRON: Legacy Concept Art – Imgur.  Via Reddit user Lechedemipalo.

No apologies for a bit of self-indulgence, here.  I loved “Tron: Legacy” and can’t get enough of its insanely geeky universe – hopefully, we’ll get to see more on a cinema screen sometime soon (with an improved, non-terrifying virtual Jeff Bridges, let us hope), but in the meantime perhaps the forthcoming animated series “Tron: Uprising” will tide me over until that happy return to the Grid.

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It’s Ebertfest!

Could take Armond White in fisticuffs and has forgotten more about film than I'll ever know - US film critic/legend, Roger Ebert.

Andy Watches Movies (a blog you should be reading) has a cool series this week on critic Roger Ebert’s annual film festival – Welcome to Ebertfest!.

I can only imagine the carnage which might arise should our UK’s own pre-eminent film critic, Mark Kermode, be permitted such an equivalent honour.

The Exorcist, followed by Slade in Flame, with back-to-back screenings of “Pirates of the Caribbean” and “Transformers” for the Lulz, anybody?

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“Expendables 2” posters – It’s a milliner’s dream!

Toughness comes in many forms.  Some dudes like to present a visual image of intimidation and go the bulk-up route,  body-building their way to success.  Others follow the ‘quiet, inner strength’ formula and let the unspoken menace do the talking.  Others fight fire with fashion – “If you want to get ahead…”, as the saying goes, “…get a hat“.

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Yep, there’s a new bunch of character posters for the Stallone toplined, Simon West directed “Expendables 2”, which look unintentionally hilarious when viewed together.

How so?  Well, you’ve got Sly above. Looking appropriately grizzled and time-served, quite in keeping with the premise of the series.

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Nobody’s going to argue with Jason Statham bringing back his specific brand of cockney bad-assery to the franchise – nice facial expression, Jase, loving the grimace, very on-message.

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Dolph Lundgren – no argument from me.  Could he look any more 80’s action hero gone bad?

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Liam Hemsworth – one of these chaps is not like the others.

I’m assuming his casting (and puppy dog good looks) are a deliberate and plot-driven decision, as it’s hard to see the audience who fell in love with him in The Hunger Games being that motivated to check out a testosterone-driven action flick with a cast largely composed of blokes old enough to be their Dad.  I’ve been proven wrong before, mind you.

We’re still waiting for a decent trailer – apparently one was just shown behind closed doors to industry types attending this week’s CinemaCon in Las Vegas, and as these posters are now in the wild, it can’t be too long until we get to see what the mayhem looks like in motion.

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Whatever happened to action movies?

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An interesting and thought-provoking piece today over at about the unbearable heft of the latter-day action movie – as you may reasonably fear, it set me thinking…

The premise of Simon Brew’s feature is that contemporary action movies fail because they have concerns which are impossible to relate to – who, amongst us, will ever be called upon to duke it out with our giant robot buddies and face off against meaner, bigger robots in a tumultuous struggle to save our very planet?

There can be no inherent suspense or drama in a premise like that because we can’t relate to it – we can only behold it, with mouths wide and brains in idle, as one would take in a theme park ride.  As an audience, we’re hostages to which ever kitchen sinks the film maker chooses to lob at us (in 3D!).

It wasn’t always this way.

A man of thought and action in nice Tweed - that's what's missing nowadays...

Harrison Ford used to own the summer movie-going season by playing broadly plausible, fallible and identifiable action heroes who were at least as gifted with thought as talented with fists.   Indiana Jones, Jack Ryan, Dr Richard Kimble – not an indestructible, CG-assisted, weightless sketch drawing of a character amongst them.  If you wanted a moderately grumpy voice of reason who could kick your ass and fix your roof, Ford was your man.

I love a superhero movie as much as the next nerd but I have to confess that the last couple of decades have robbed the honest-to-goodness action movie of a lot of its impact – why would you pay your cash to see an actor in their thirties foil conspiracy and bust crooked cops when you can have a quippy stud in a unitard fling cars and thunderbolts at your barely believing noggin (in IMAX!)?

This isn’t a thinly veiled pitch for a return to the glory days of Shane Black penned, acerbic crime thrillers (Hell, even the Black-meister’s now writing and directing the third Iron Man for Marvel, which actually seems like a good fit), as that era had more than it’s fair share of unwatchable crap.  But it would be nice to balance out the CG juggernauts with smaller scale action fare which has a more human-sized premise to induce mayhem and reduce metropolitan property values for our entertainment.

Perhaps our collective world view is now so jaded that a nineties action movie can’t seem like anything but a quaint remainder of when film directors really had to blow things up with practical explosions as opposed to giving Chip, the ILM work experience guy a plate and letting him go nuts with his PC.  I’d like to think not – but a glance at this summer’s putative blockbusters-in-waiting is short on old school action heroes and big on funny book follies.

You’ve got your Jeremy Renner rebooted “Bourne” spin-off, soon-come Superman Henry Cavill in “Bourne”-like The Cold Light of Day and the unapologetically retro sequel to old school icon Sly Stallone‘s “The Expendables” to look forward to if you prefer to have your asses kicked by veterans rather than n00bs, but the real-world action is thin on the ground this year.

I’ll be honest with you – I love my Sci-Fi, horror and fantasy, but I miss the 80’s and 90’s lunk heads, heroes from a time when all you really needed to make it big in Hollywood was a dubious mullet, noxious reactionary politics and a million-dollar grin.

"Go on, mention 'Tooth Fairy' one more time..."

My point, and I think I do have one, is this – why the hell isn’t Dwayne Johnson doing this kind of stuff and being the biggest movie star in the world?

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Get your ass to Mars!

Total Recall

Total Recall (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

No, it’s not a late April Fool’s joke.  They really have remade “Total Recall” with Colin Farrell in the lead role.  Here’s a trailer for you to have a gander at…

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And remarkably, friends and fellow nerds, it doesn’t look that bad.  In fact, it looks like a fairly pacy, well-designed slice of future frolics (albeit one where the industrial design appears to be taking notes from the choices made by BioWare with the “Mass Effect” series)

The advanced word on this remake is that it won’t, as my title alludes to, being visiting the Angry Red Planet and confines its action to a more Phillip K Dick-friendly Earth (I’m pretty sure that Dick’s original short story doesn’t have much room for the kind of martial arts, multiple-takedown whuppings handed out by Farrell’s confused everyman in this trailer, however).

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There’s lots of action, whizzy future cars, Kate Beckinsale being bad, Jessica Biel handing out smackdowns and enough gadgets to make Jason Bradbury go all funny.  Not quite as deliciously OTT as the classic Verhoeven/Schwarzenegger collaboration of 1990, but then what is?   Something tells me that director Len Wiseman doesn’t have it in him to go that all-out and transgressive (boy, the original film was absurdly violent…) but I’m a bit more interested in seeing this than I was.

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