Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Now I understand the hate. Sort of.

Bugger me, it's been a while. I blame the shiny things.
I've just had my first taste of the works of one Uwe Boll. For those not in the know, he's a director mostly known for video game movies. He's also considered the "new Ed Wood". Which, considering the state of most game movies, is something of an achievement.
After a few weekly visits to Blockbuster, I decided to get one of his to check it out. The film in question; In The Name Of The King: A Dungeon Siege Tale. I figured it was a sword and sorcery flick with The Stath (a.k.a. Jason Statham), so it ought to be a fun ride. I wish I was right.
When I watch a theatrical film (a proper one that went in a cinema) I have certain expectations. Namely that I expect to see the kind of quality one would find on the big screen. Not TV movie quality. This flick really felt like it was a Hallmark miniseries. Specifically the kind that would go for close to four hours. Except it only went for two.
What's worse, The Stath didn't get one-liners. Or a decent fight scene for that matter.
Of course, I'll probably look for more of Boll's work.

Friday, February 17, 2012

World War Z

Howdy folks. Thought I'd try something and give out a literary recommendation. The book in question is Max Brooks's "World War Z: An Oral History Of The Zombie War".
Basically, there was a mass worldwide zombie pandemic. The world tried to solve it the same old way they deal with "others"; throw bullets and soldiers at it until one side runs out. This doesn't go so well and lasts a decade. Ten years later, Max is UN official working on a commission report about the whole thing. The book is then made up of the first hand accounts he got from interviewing various people involved in the war.

Anyone with even a basic knowledge of the horror knows that vampires and zombies are rather overused. The difference is that the quality is easier to find with vampires. Zombie flicks and the like are usually B grade at best. This book on the other hand joins George Romero's Dead series as the gold class of zombie fare.

The key to its success comes from the "oral history part". The people giving these accounts aren't the usual cast of characters of the hero, the love interest, the single mother waitress, the cute kid etc, they're actual (fictitious) people. However it's also this style that occasionally makes it a difficult read. Rather than reading like a regular novel, it's more a series of, often greatly, differing short stories with a thematic story arc. One moment you're listening to someone chuckling at having fooled the masses with a placebo, the next your listening to woman recounting her having to escape her house and become a widow at the same time.

Once again, this is the reason I'm recommending it. It's about to get a big screen adaptation that will be "in the theme of the book". In other words, they read the title and came up with their own idea. So just make sure you see it as it should be first.

Thursday, January 26, 2012


I'm just a little crappy at meeting goals and keeping promises to myself. I'll update this thing at least once a week. It's been about six since the last one.  I'll do 100 by the One Year Anniversary (22nd of November, 2011). This is only the 70th. I'm not going to cry at this movie. The last one was The Muppets, if for some reason you haven't seen it, get off your bum and go... sit down. It made sense in my head. Don't get emotionally involved in a series that was cancelled years ago with no hope of continuing the cliff-hanger. Too many to mention.

But, I've got one that I will meet. Even if I have to nail myself to something. Just not sure how that's supposed to help. Admittedly this is a pretty ambitious one; see a film without the slightest bit of foreknowledge. To give an idea, Dad asked me about a flick, 22 Bullets. I told him it was a Jean Reno revenge story, and based purely on that, he watched. Those four simple words told him what he was in for. I'm not even going to have those four words. I'll even try with all my might to avoid seeing any promotional material and have the title, and considering the only way I'll succeed is with a foreign film, the country of origin. Of course, this could still lead to foreknowledge, if it's French there's a 60% chance Gerard Depardieu.