Category Archives: moulin rouge

Battleship The Movie

Battleship ~ There been a lot of bad press and even worse word of mouth on this flick, and let’s be honest here, this is a movie based on a board game. And not a game that lends itself well to a plot, mind you, this is not Clue we’re talking about here. All that said, and bear in mind, this is by no means a brilliant movie (it’s no Doctor Zhivago) but it is pretty good flick for one made based on a board game.

The acting is pretty bad by most here, I would say below soap opera level, no offense meant to soap opera actors, but it doesn’t bode well for folks like Liam Neeson and Alexander Skarsgard. The special effects of the completely indecipherable alien ships are the draw here, as it should be for a summer blockbuster. They are kinda like rejects from the Transformers movies, only not, but they are impressive. Also impressive is how they actually tie aspects of the film to the specifics of the game “Battleship,” that, I thought was clever. Spoilers, if there are such a thing here, but it was really sweet that the old guys who fought in World War II and their antique battleship are the guys who save the world, especially nice in lieu of Memorial Day this past weekend.

As far as the rest of the cast goes, Rihanna steals the movie, she is a delight. Taylor Kitsch, who I have loved as both Gambit and John Carter, is almost a cipher here. He’s terrible in this role, paper not even cardboard. Liam Neeson… well, if you have seen the preview, you have seen almost all of his scenes. Talk about calling it in, taking the cash and running. I did however also like John Tui and Tadanobu Asano, the latter of which is being called the Johnny Depp of Japan – they were both quite good.

The rest of the movie? It gets not only monotonous and predictable but it actually manages to make those big impressive alien ships get boring after a while. And the jumping from ship to ship to ship when they get sunk got a bit ridiculous after a while. We all knew we would beat the aliens, but it got so I wanted to yell “Get on with it already!” more than a few times.

All in all, it was an enjoyable two hours of mindless popcorn movie fluff. It wasn’t bad enough to want my money back, but as I said, this wasn’t a great film either. I don’t think it deserves the bad word of mouth it has been getting either. Come on folks, it’s not like this was Moulin Rouge! or The Dark Knight.

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Best Worst Movie

Best Worst Movie ~ What’s the worst movie ever? That’s a question of much debate. For myself, I immediately discount stuff like Plan 9 from Outer Space and Glen or Glenda? because however cheaply made or haphazardly written, these are still hilarious and entertaining, no matter if it ‘s unintentional. In the same way, anything that falls into the “Mystery Science Theater 3000” category doesn’t count either, as it’s interactively entertaining.

That said, I would put MST3K alum Manos: Hands of Fate up for worst film ever. It’s intolerable to sit through. I would also throw in Barfly and 1989’s Blue Steel up on the butcher block as well. And don’t get me started on The Dark Knight or Moulin Rouge!. This documentary makes a case for the infamous Troll 2.

Written and directed by one of the childhood stars of Troll 2, Michael Stephenson, this is an examination of the cult classic status of the flick as the worst movie ever. He interviews one of his co-stars, a dentist-turned-actor, and the Italian filmmaker that made the flick possible, among others. This documentary is a fun romp for fans of film and fans of bad camp horror movies alike. Check it out.

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Eyes Wide Shut

THE WRONG COUPLE

A Video Review of Eyes Wide Shut

Copyright 2002 Glenn Walker

It is so sad that this Stanley Kubrick’s last film. While his style is apparent throughout – the story, what there is of it, is pitiful.

I also feel like a voyeur watching Tom Cruise and Nicole Kidman touching and loving each other so intimately. It’s possible that I wouldn’t feel this way had I not known they were married in real life. That fact lends a rather disturbing edge to the film.

Nicole gives such a stunning performance that it makes Moulin Rouge (the worst film ever made) seem like a step up. Husband Tom has never been so wooden and deadly dull. Two other actors might have made something better of this.

We also get to see so damned much of Cruise and Kidman (yeah, I’m complaining about nudity, I can’t believe it but I am) that you get sick of it. It’s like the kid who gets caught smoking and as punishment is forced to smoke an entire carton. I don’t want to see Tom or Nicole nude ever again.

The film is also long, freakishly long. There are long sequences without music that make Meet Joe Black seem like a cartoon short. The silences are deafening in their length. These scenes might actually be part of Kubrick’s secret plan to make us feel like we’re eavesdropping, if so, it works only too well.

What this film has to say about relationships between men and women and trust and fidelity may be entirely viable but it’s defeated by the choice of Tom Cruise and Nicole Kidman in the lead roles.

Again, it is such a shame this is the master Stanley Kubrick’s final film. And especially that he couldn’t hire a composer who decided to practice the scales rather than write a score.

What Not to Rent at the Video Store

WHAT NOT TO RENT AT THE VIDEO STORE

Copyright 2002 Glenn Walker

It’s Friday night and you don’t want to go out. You just want to snuggle on the sofa with your honey with a few videos and some Orville Redenbacher‘s Sweet ‘n Buttery Gourmet Popping Corn (the absolutely best popcorn on Earth, no contest).

So it’s off to the video store, yes, one of life’s great adventures. First you have to choose a video store. If they want blood and urine samples to rent, that’s a bad choice of video store. If their foreign section is only one shelf, the sign says “F’ern,” and the staff thinks Fellini makes pizza down the street, bad choice. If the employees are playing makeshift basketball with a mannequin head and a trash can on the counter, bad choice. If the movie posters in the window are for Titanic and Patch Adams and are bleached white from the sun, no. If they have a Jean Claude Van Damme section under ‘drama,’ uh uh. And if they have Moulin Rouge playing on the monitors, run, don’t walk to the exit.

Once inside, how do you know what to look for? There are so many movies, literally thousands. Or more importantly, how do you know what not to look for?

First if you’re at Blockbuster, avoid the staff picks at all costs. If these people knew anything about movies they wouldn’t be working at Blockbuster, right? At any other store the staff picks might be worth a look.

The new movies, if there are more than five copies left, forget it. It sucks and obviously no one wants it, unless it’s the first week it’s out and the public at large doesn’t know any better yet.

Ask other customers what to see. Don’t ask the staff (unless you actually know them outside the store) because they’ll say anything to get you to rent anything. It’s their job, it’s what they get paid to do. Other customers are in the same quandry you are and word of mouth is always the best recommendation (my opinions notwithstanding).

When walking through the store tapes with dust on them are usually bad choices. Now, when you find a tape hidden behind other tapes (especially those with dust on them) this is a good choice. Someone has hidden it so no one else can rent it and they’re saving ot for next time. This is a winner.

Look for warning labels on the movies. For instance, avoid any films whose boxes carry words like “Adam Sandler,” “Robin Williams,” “Billy Crystal,” Moulin Rouge or any movie with numbers after the title. Any thing that has Ebert & Roper giving a ‘thumbs up’ to is also a bad sign.

So remember: no staff picks, no dust, no Blockbuster and no Adam Sandler. Good luck!

Reprinted from the Project: Popcorn website at:
http://www.whitevioletpictures.com/popcorn/