Archive for the Based on a Video Game Category

THE WORST MOVIES OF 2012 by L.L. Soares

Posted in 2012, 2013, 3-D, Bad Acting, Bad Situations, Based on a Video Game, Exorcism Movies, Fantasy, Faux Documentaries, Just Plain Bad, LL Soares Reviews, Sequels, Worst-Of lists with tags , , , , on January 2, 2013 by knifefighter

THE WORST FILMS OF 2012
By L.L. Soares

Well, there were lots of really good movies in 2012, but, as usual, there were some dogs as well. I think the fact that it was a lot easier writing this list – and keeping it to 10- is a good sign. There were a lot more good movies than bad ones in 2012.

These are the worst movies I saw last year.

NUMBER ONE:
SILENT HOUSE

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I keep hearing the original 2010 film from Uruguay was better. That’s not hard to believe. The American remake of SILENT HOUSE was one of the worst movies I’ve had to sit through in a long time. Poor Elizabeth Olson, who was so great in MARTHA MARCY MAY MARLENE (2011) is completely wasted in this “thriller” about a woman terrorized in her summer home by an unseen intruder (well, unseen until the end). The big gimmick here is that it was supposedly filmed in real time, all in one take. If that’s so, then it was a lot of effort for nothing. It has a stupid twist ending, involving something that should have been traumatic, but is never made believable by the awful script. It was an idea that could have been done well, but the filmmakers involved completely blew it. Laughably bad.

NUMBER TWO:
RESIDENT EVIL: RETRIBUTION (IN 3D)

Resident_evil_retribution_poster

The previous Resident Evil movie (RESIDENT EVIL: AFTERLIFE, 2010) was at least dumb fun. I was starting to think this was one of the better film series based on a video game – at least the movies were entertaining. Then the new one (RETRIBUTION) comes out in 2012, and it’s just friggin dismal. It’s more of a place holder between the previous movie and the next one than a real movie of its own, with very little plot to distinguish it, and no attempt to tie up loose ends. I walked out of the theater feeling really cheated. If nothing else, this movie convinced me that it’s time to stop making RESIDENT EVIL movies.

NUMBER THREE:
DARK SHADOWS

DarkShadows

As a kid, I used to watch the original DARK SHADOWS TV show after school every day in the late 60s/early 70s. It was extremely low-budget, and sometimes laughably bad, but they always played it straight and tried to make it a decent show. Basically a soap opera with vampires and werewolves, the main plot involved the vampire Barnabas Collins and his struggle to reunite with the reincarnated version of his lost love, Josette.   It spawned two pretty good movies at the time, too (HOUSE OF DARK SHADOWS in 1970 and NIGHT OF DARK SHADOWS in 1971), which were clearly horror films. Then Tim Burton decided to revive the old show as a new movie. Is it a bigger budget version of the old horror show? Nope. It’s a completely asinine comedy, involving Johnny Depp as Barnabas (the role was originally played by Jonathan Frid), rising from the dead in the 1970s and experiencing culture shock when confronted with hippies and bad fashion. Made with that “wink wink” style of comedy that I can’t stand, this is easily one of the most annoying films of 2012. What a wasted opportunity to make a movie version that was truly scary. Instead, we get a moronic exercise in tedium.

NUMBER FOUR:
THE TWILIGHT SAGA: BREAKING DAWN PART 2

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You know something’s wrong when the latest TWILIGHT movie isn’t the worst movie of the year. The end of the “saga” – BREAKING DAWN – was broken into two films so the greedy studios could make more money. Meanwhile, we get more of the same crap we’ve been getting since the first film. Bella (Kristen Stewart) is now a vampire and is still in love with Edward (Robert Pattinson). The bad guys are told a lie and instead of checking it out, just attack our heroes and their family, when everything could have been resolved in a few minutes. I want to say this movie was a relief, because I knew the series was finally over, but I bet you they find a way to keep it going. Just to keep the money coming in. I want the two hours of my life I wasted on this movie back.

NUMBER FIVE:
SILENT HILL – REVELATION 3D

SilentHill

Not a good year for movies with “Silent” in their titles, I guess. And almost all of the 3D movies in 2012 were pretty lame, so this one has two strikes against it from the get go.

The original SILENT HILL movie from 2006 wasn’t great, but at least it had some interesting imagery and some strange scenes to keep it from being a complete snooze. About a journey to a surreal town/world where it’s always raining ashes and demons fight each other for power, it was actually one of the better video game-based movies. But as we learned with the RESIDENT EVIL franchise, these guys should stop while their ahead. It took six years to make this sequel, and they shouldn’t have bothered. It’s boring, incoherent, and just plain bad. Poor Pyramid Head, the strange-looking beastie from the series who deserved a better movie to appear in. Maybe it’s time to finally have a moratorium on movies based on video games.

NUMBER SIX:
UNDERWORLD AWAKENING (IN 3D)

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The UNDERWORLD films aren’t based on a video game, but they might as well be. Kate Beckinsdale returns as an ass-kicking vampire who has to fight werewolves and humans in what has to be one of the most boring franchises around. I hate this series. I hate it even more because Beckinsdale is hot in that leather outfit and deserves to be in a horror movie franchise that doesn’t suck. The vampires here might not sparkle like in the TWILIGHT movies, but they’re not much better. Another boring series that needs to just stop already.

NUMBER SEVEN:
THE DEVIL INSIDE

devilinside

Another “found footage” horror movie – a genre I normally enjoy. And the first half of this exorcism movie is actually pretty good, until it falls apart. A woman is making a documentary about her mother, who has committed murder while being possessed by a demon. There are a few good scenes, but they’re not enough to save the movie. Overall, it’s just too predictable and doesn’t give us anything we haven’t seen before. And then there’s the fact that the movie doesn’t really have an ending. Instead,  it ends abruptly and we’re given a URL and told to go to the website for more. I’m sorry, I don’t pay for a movie ticket to be told to check out a website. Another movie where I left the theater more than a little pissed off. You would be much better off renting the 2010 movie THE LAST EXORCISM instead. It’s another “found footage” horror flick about an exorcism, but it’s actually really good and doesn’t waste your time.

NUMBER EIGHT:
THE INBETWEENERS

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The British series this movie was based on, about four socially inept teenagers who are desperate to finally lose their virginity, is supposed to be pretty funny. Or so I’m told. But, if that’s the case, I have no idea why the movie version is so unfunny. The characters are likable enough. There’s some heartfelt scenes where you actually care about the people involved. But there are hardly any laughs. This is supposed to be a comedy. A comedy without laughs isn’t much of a success. And the fact that this was a big hit in England is kind of depressing.

NUMBER NINE:
BATTLESHIP

battleship-poster

The idea of making a board game into a movie is kind of dumb. The people involved with this movie were given an almost impossible task – to take this concept and run with it – and they try. But it’s a failure. Another waste of film and actors and special effects – all for nothing. Poor Taylor Kitsch. After playing the lead in a really good movie (JOHN CARTER) that was unfairly maligned, he next starred in this cinematic garbage, and any buzz he had as an up-and-coming movie star pretty much vanished. Until SAVAGES, that is. But will SAVAGES be enough to keep his career from fizzling out? 2012 must have been a real rollercoaster for poor Mr. Kitsch. As for BATTLESHIP, I hope the poor box office for this one has sunk any chances of a sequel. But no matter how awful this movie was, it was still better than the eight movies I listed before it.

NUMBER TEN:
WRATH OF THE TITANS

220px-Wrath_of_the_Titans

Despite their budgets and the high-tech special effects, the TITANS movies have left me cold. First there was CLASH OF THE TITANS (2010) that was a remake of a 1981 Ray Harryhausen fantasy film with stop-motion monsters. In the new films, the monsters are CGI, but I don’t see them as much of an improvement. They’re kind of generic in a way. Sam Worthington plays Perseus as kind of a one-note character (and I know he’s capable of more than that – maybe he’s as bored as I am). Liam Neeson and Ralph Fiennes are completely wasted as Zeus and Hades, respectively (but they’re the only characters in the movie with any real passion). Some of the monsters look cool, but overall, the movie is kind of boring. The story just isn’t that compelling….ZZZZZ… Oops, did I nod off there for a moment?

HONORABLE MENTION

PROJECT X – A faux documentary-style teen sex comedy about the craziest house party ever. It didn’t make my list because it was so forgettable that I…er…forgot about it until I saw it on Michael’s list. It mustn’t have annoyed me as much as it did him, but, frankly, it’s not worth talking about any further.

© Copyright 2013 by L.L. Soares

SILENT HILL: REVELATION 3D (2012)

Posted in 2012, 3-D, Based on a Video Game, Cinema Knife Fights, Demons, Monsters, Religious Cults with tags , , , , , , , , on October 29, 2012 by knifefighter

Cinema Knife Fight: SILENT HILL: REVELATION 3D (2012)
By Michael Arruda and L.L. Soares

(THE SCENE: A strange ghost town, where ashes fall from the sky like snow. L.L. SOARES is standing in the middle of the street with an umbrella, when MICHAEL ARRUDA approaches)

MA: Nice weather we’re having.

LS:  Yeah, I checked the Weather Channel. Partly cloudy with a chance of ashes, followed by ash showers off and on all day.

MA:  I’m surprised you have an umbrella.  I figured you’d be roughing it.

LS: Just looking out for my health.

(The MARLBORO MAN rides by on a horse)

MARLBORO MAN: Holy Onions! This place looks like a giant ashtray!

(He coughs as he continues riding away)

MA: Hey, do you have another umbrella?

LS: Sure. Do you have twenty dollars?

MA: Twenty dollars?  That’s a rip off!  What are you trying to do, cheat me out of my money?

LS: Yep.  I guess I have something in common with SILENT HILL: REVELATION after all.

MA: Ain’t that the truth!  This is the second time in two days I’ve been cheated out of some cash!

(MA hands LS a twenty-dollar bill, and LS gives him an umbrella)

LS: Well, I guess the sooner we start, the sooner we can get out of this awful place.

SILENT HILL: REVELATION is a sequel to the 2006 movie SILENT HILL, and I’m surprised it took so long for them to make a sequel. Both movies are based on the video game, also called SILENT HILL.

MA: A movie based on a video game. That’s a bad sign right off the bat.

LS: Do you think?

Let’s go for a walk.

(The two of them stroll down the empty street)

LS: When SILENT HILL: REVELATION begins, teenage girl Sharon (played by Jodelle Ferland in the first movie, and now played by Adelaide Clemens) is having horrible dreams about a strange town called Silent Hill. To add to the confusion, Sharon is now going by the name of Heather, as she and her father Harry (played by Sean Bean, whose name was Christopher in the first movie) are constantly moving around and taking on new identities. Harry has told Heather/Sharon that they constantly move because he’s wanted by the police. But in reality, they’re trying to stay one step ahead of some weird cult that is hunting them down.

Heather goes to her first day in a new school, which is pretty horrible since she’s always the new kid and never has a chance to make any friends. Although this time around, there’s another new kid named Vincent (Kit Harrington), who clearly wants to bond with her. She keeps putting him off, but eventually, a friendship will develop

On her way to school that morning, Heather was approached by a strange man named Douglas Cartland, who appears to be stalking her. He later shows up at her school when she’s leaving later in the day, which seems to confirm her suspicions. She calls her father to warn him and arrange a place to meet (she doesn’t want to lead the guy back to her house). At one point, Cartland corners her and tells her he is a private detective working for some people he no longer trusts, and that he has told them of her whereabouts (something he now regrets). Soon afterwards, he is killed by a monster that looks like a psychotic clown.

MA:  I liked that clown.  And if you were blinking just now, you might have just missed the only time in this review where I say that I liked something about this movie!

LS:  When Heather gets back home, her father is gone, and there’s a note written in blood in big letters on their living room wall that says, “Come to Silent Hill.”

Heather does not remember the events of the first SILENT HILL movie—.

MA:  Neither do I!  Blocked it all out.

LS:— when she had gone to the town of Silent Hill as a child. She has since been told that her mother, Rose (Radha Mitchell from the first film, who has a brief appearance in this one as well) had died in a car crash (when in reality she had stayed behind in Silent Hill in order to get her daughter to safety).

It’s at this time that Vincent reveals his secret agenda, as well, and he agrees to take her back to Silent Hill to save her father.

It’s never really clear if Silent Hill is a real town, or if it is in another, Hell-like dimension. My impression is that it’s both.

MA:  I would agree with that impression.  It seems to be both, but imagine if writer Michael J. Bassett actually fleshed out the story, we might know more about this bizarre demonic town!

LS:  There’s some kind of eternal fire going on beneath the earth in some coal mines, resulting in the sky raining ash in the town continuously. The residents of the town are also quite odd, looking like a collection of zombies and other monsters.

While she tries to find and save her father, Heather must deal with Leonard and Claudia Wolf (Malcolm McDowell and Carrie-Anne Moss, respectively), the leaders of the strange cult who want to use Heather as a vessel for the rebirth of their god, and they kidnapped her father and brought him to the town to lure her there.

MA:  And that’s probably the reason Bassett didn’t flesh out the story.  As soon as people start talking about what’s going on, it gets laughable real quick.  A vessel for the rebirth of their god?  Really?  It’s all so forced and contrived.  The problem I have with it is if you’re going to write a fantasy, you’d best convince your audience that it’s real, and the folks behind this movie just aren’t interested in doing that.  And that’s because this is based on a video game, and if it looks like a video game, and the same characters from the game are featured in the movie, then that’s good enough for the target audience.

But you know what folks?  It really isn’t good enough.  This is a movie, not a video game, and it needs to be treated as such.

LS:  There is also the demonic Alessa (also played by Adelaide Clemens), who is kind of like Heather’s dark side. Alessa lives in Silent Hill and is the one who keeps the cult members confined there (some of them can leave, but only for short periods of time). Alessa is not happy to see Heather again, since she knows the cultists have plans for her that would end their torment under Alessa’s rule. Instead of tormenting the annoying cult members, I wish Alessa had just wiped them out. Hell, I wish all of them would have wiped each other out, and spared us having to sit through this movie.

Along the way, we also encounter various strange monsters, some of which are directly from the Silent Hill video games. One is the ogre-like “Pyramid Head” (Roberto Campanella) who looks like a big, muscular guy who carries an oversized sword and has the head of giant pyramid. He is actually Heather’s guardian in this strange dimension, and he defends her against other beasts.

I had a mixed reaction to the first SILENT HILL movie. I’m not a big fan of movies based on video games, but I thought SILENT HILL was one of the better ones. That said, the plot was confusing and kind of annoying (even though it was written by Roger Avary who also co-wrote at least part of the scripts of Quentin Tarantino’s early films). But the imagery was very interesting. The first film was directed by Christopher Gans.

SILENT HILL: REVELATION is written and directed by Michael J. Bassett, who also directed DEATHWATCH (2002) and the recent film version of Robert E. Howard’s SOLOMON KANE (made in 2009, but only get limited theatrical release this year). Despite the different writer and director, the new movie has much of the same strengths and weaknesses as the first one. In REVELATION, I found the plotline aggravating and pretty boring at times, but the monster effects were kind of fascinating. This series at least has unusual visuals. I find the creature “Pyramid Head” to be especially fascinating (he’s in both films, as well as the games).

MA:  I agree that the visuals in this movie were creative, and for a while there, I thought the cool visuals might be enough to carry this movie, but it turned out not to be the case.

I was hoping that perhaps this would be one of those bizarre movies where the visuals were so wild and intriguing, that you could look past the weak story and still like the movie.

Not so.  And why not?  Because these images were mostly eye candy.  Director Bassett didn’t really do much with them.  This movie isn’t suspenseful and it’s not scary, and so you’re watching these scenes of weird monsters, but they’re doing things that aren’t so weird.  Had this movie pushed the envelope more, really got into the audience’s face, and created some chilling, memorable scenes, then we’d be talking about a pretty cool movie.

Instead, and I’ve said this many times now about movies based on video games, it’s like watching someone else play a video game.  And that gets boring real fast.

(A teenager walks by playing a hand held video game.)

TEEN:  Come on!  It’s fun to watch people play these games!

MA: Really?  Do you like watching other people read, too?

TEEN:  That’s stupid.  The games are fun to watch.
MA:  Well, maybe so, but the movies based on these games aren’t.

(TEEN walks on, suddenly surrounded by other teens watching him play, cheering him on.)

MA:  It’s strange new world.  Remember the games we used to play?

LS:  Tie the helpless virgin to the stake and sacrifice her?  Ah, the good old days!

MA:  I was actually thinking of kick ball.

LS:  Is that anything like “kick the severed head into the sewer?”

MA:  Er, let’s just get back to the review.

LS:  Okay.  The acting is pretty underwhelming. While I think Sean Bean has been terrific in things like the first season of GAME OF THRONES (2011) where he played Ned Stark, I found his performance here very disappointing.

MA:  And did you notice that sometimes Bean had an accent, and other times he didn’t?  I thought it was one of his more disappointing performances.  I mean, he’s usually very good.  Not so here.

LS: Yeah, I hate to say it, but he’s awful here. And other good actors like Malcolm McDowell and Carrie-Anne Moss are pretty much wasted here. It was actually painful seeing McDowell in this movie. What a waste of his talent.

MA:  They probably had to be wasted to say their awful lines!

LS:  Kit Harrington (another actor from GAME OF THRONES, where he plays Jon Snow) is okay as Vincent. I did like Adelaide Clemens as Heather/Sharon/Alessa, however. She actually reminded me a lot of a young Michelle Williams, and while her role was underwritten, I thought she was one of the better things about REVELATION.

MA:  Clemens was okay, but I think you nailed it when you said the role was underwritten.  Like the rest of the movie, I didn’t find her character Heather all that real. She’s pretty one-dimensional, and in terms of acting performances, I thought Kathryn Newton made more of an impression last week in the lead role in PARANORMAL ACTIVITY 4.

LS:  Definitely. Newton was much more believable as a real teen. If you make a comparison like that, REVELATION is going to come up short! Hell, seeing a movie like this makes me realize how maybe PARANORMAL ACTIVITY 4 wasn’t all that bad, compared to the other crap we’re forced to see.

The special effects by Brendan Carmody and his crew, and the visual effects by “Mr. X Inc.” are quite good. And I thought the film’s music, by Jeff Danna and Akira Yamaoka was effective as well. But the weak link here is Michael J. Bassett’s script, which starts out okay, but then journeys into the cliché (everything from bad use of occult symbols to demon-possessed people with way too much makeup on) and the downright incomprehensible.

As for the action, I found most of it a yawn. There’s actually one fight scene that I liked, toward the end, where Pyramid Head fights this demon woman who has buzz-saws imbedded in her head. She looks like one of the cenobites from the HELLRAISER movies (so much so, that I started wondering about the originality of the visuals in the SILENT HILL series that I found so interesting). But that big battle lasted all of about two minutes! What a rip-off!

MA:  Yeah, I would agree that it started off okay.  I found myself actually enjoying the beginning of this movie, before they get to Silent Hill.  There was enough initial intrigue to almost hook me in, but then strangely, once they get to Silent Hill, it all goes downhill, and that’s because once there, Bassett felt a storyline was no longer needed.

LS:  The 3D effects in this one were okay, but hardly worth the extra money (the movie ticket I bought for the 3D version cost me $16, and I definitely felt cheated). There are some scenes where things come jumping out at you, and the ashes falling from the sky once we get to Silent Hill look pretty good.  But it still doesn’t justify the higher ticket price.

MA:  The 3D effect ran hot and cold for me in this one.  For most of the time, I thought it looked pretty bad, and I remember sitting there thinking, this is some of the worst 3D I’ve seen in a while! And then all of a sudden, the film would make fun use of it, like there’d be a severed body part floating in the air towards the audience, but there weren’t enough of these moments.

All in all, as is the case with most 3D movies I see—and pay more for— these days, I wish it had been in 2D.

LS:  Me, too. I would have preferred it.

(They pass a pile of ashes and LS takes out a top hat and puts it on top of the pile. Suddenly, the ashes come to life and look an awful lot look FROSTY THE SNOWMAN)

FROSTY (blinking his eyes): Happy Birthday!

MA: It’s not my birthday.

LS: He always says that when he first comes to life.

MA: But this isn’t snow. He’s Frosty the Ash Man.

FROSTY: Buddy, I’ll take what I can get.

MA: So tell us, Frosty. Now that you’re suddenly alive, do you have anything interesting to tell us?

FROSTY: Are you kidding? I just want to find me a frosty beer before the wind blows this hat away and I turn back to a heap of ashes.

LS: Ah, an ash man after my own heart.

(FROSTY runs ahead of them, looking for a bar)

MA: Well that was disappointing.

LS: Kind of like the movie we’re reviewing, don’t you think?

For its visual sense of style alone, I give SILENT HILL: REVELATION just one knife. But that’s about it. Otherwise, because of the lame script, this movie was pretty forgettable.

MA: I can’t forget about it fast enough.

You know, I’m really starting to hate movies based on video games, and they’re starting to be as painful as all those TWILIGHT movies we’ve suffered through.

LS:  Starting to?  Where have you been?

MA:  I guess I haven’t been paying attention, but after the latest RESIDENT EVIL movie, and now this movie, well, these video game movie-wannabes have my attention now.  And that’s what they are:  movie wannabes.  They’re video games using real actors in their scenes, and they’re not telling stories the way movies do.  What bothers me is there are probably people out there who think movies like this without stories are real movies that are worth the price of admission.  That’s sad.

You should feel cheated, people!

LS: I think you nailed it with this one. It’s a matter of perspective. People who make movies based on video games seem to think that if the movie looks like a video game, with the same kind of pacing, it’s a good thing. But it’s not. Movies are a completely different medium. How about taking the characters and themes from the video game and beefing them up? Giving them a decent story and motivations that surpass the limitations of a video game? How about giving us a story that actually has some meat to it? Every single one of these movies seems like a missed opportunity. You could take the original concept and use it as a jumping-off point to give us something a lot better. Instead, of using the ingredients to whip up a fantastic entrée, they seem satisfied to give us the same old soup. It’s called lack of ambition.

MA: This movie wouldn’t know a story if it fell from the sky and hit the writer in the head!

So, Heather has to enter an alternate reality world called Silent Hill in order to save her father.  How very nice!  You know what would make this even nicer?  How about some details?  Where did this alternate reality come from?  Why does it exist? Just who are these strange people living there anyway?  And why is Heather the only one their god needs?  The world is full of people.  Couldn’t someone else do?  Why is Heather so important?  What makes her so special?

Where did all these creatures come from?  What is their purpose?

(A SPIDERY CREATURE pops out of building behind them.)

CREATURE:  Our purpose is to kill!  To maim!  To scare people!

MA:  How come you didn’t do any of that in this movie?

CREATURE:  I did so!

MA:  To a main character in this movie who we actually cared about?

LS:  There were no characters in this movie we actually cared about!

CREATURE:  You guys are mean!  Don’t I look creepy?

MA:  Sure, but so does the old lady who lives down the street from me.  Big flippin deal!

(CREATURE runs away sobbing.)

MA:  If the creative minds behind this movie had given this project even just a little thought, they might have had a real movie here.  Instead, they shower us with mindless visuals for 90 minutes, and the end result is about as fascinating as sitting in front of a tropical fish tank.  I like looking at fish tanks like the next guy, but not for 90 minutes!

For example, I liked the look of the carnival sequences in this movie.  I sat there taking in this amusement park setting, and I thought, “cool!” Now let’s do something with it.  Make me feel like I’m inside this place.  Give me events in the story which take place here that will really make me remember this setting.  Get me to say, “Oooh, the carnival sequence!  That’s the scene where the demonic clown terrorized the two girls.  That scene scared the crap out of me”!

Instead, we have a cool-looking carnival where a bunch of unimportant things happen quickly to unimportant characters, and nothing that happens in this place resonates with me as an audience member.  As a result, by next week, I won’t even remember these images.

And how about just a little bit of suspense, please?  A scare here and there?  Something that I can sink my teeth into?

Nope.  Nada!  Nil!

(They pass FROSTY THE ASH MAN, who is blowing the head of foam off a big mug of beer)

LS: Now that’s what I call a frosty one.

(FROSTY goes to drink it, when the wind blows his hat off, and he turns to a pile of ashes again. The beer spills to the ground)

FROSTY’S VOICE: Dammit!

LS: What a waste of beer!

MA: SILENT HILL: REVELATION bored me to tears.  I’m giving it one and a half knives.  I wouldn’t say that I liked it better than you, because I didn’t like it, but I did enjoy the visuals, even though they got no support from the weak story, uninspired acting, and ridiculous dialogue that pretty much ruined the rest of the movie.

Don’t see this movie, people.  Keep video games out of the movie theaters!  And I hear people chatting that they want this to become a movie franchise?  Come on!

LS:  It’s a losing battle, because these movies make money.

MA:  And that’s why people shouldn’t see them!  Heck, I love baseball, but that doesn’t mean I like all movies about baseball, or even that I want to see movies about baseball.  When I’m in the mood for baseball, I watch a baseball game!  Why do video games have to become movies?  Just play the games!

(Suddenly, giant chunks of ash begin to pour down upon them.  MA’s umbrella crumples under the pressure of the ash storm.)

MA:  What kind of a cheap umbrella did you sell me?

LS:  The kind that doesn’t last.  (Pulls out another umbrella)  Here, you can have this one for just ten bucks.

MA:  Ten bucks?  What do you take me for, a fool?

LS: Yes.

MA (looks at camera):  Ask a stupid question—.  I’ll just take my chances.  (Pulls his shirt over his head.)  Okay folks, we’re done here.  Thanks for joining us and we’ll see you again next week.  Gotta run!  (Exits quickly.)

LS:  Yep, we’ll see you all again next week.  (Exits at his leisure with his sturdy umbrella).

(Behind him, a coughing MARLBORO MAN falls off his horse into a pile of ash).

—END—

© Copyright 2012 by Michael Arruda and L.L. Soares

Michael Arruda gives SILENT HILL: REVELATION 3D ~ one and a half knives!

LL Soares gives SILENT HILL: REVELATION 3D ~one knife.

CKF COMING ATTRACTIONS for October 2012

Posted in 2012, 3-D, Action Movies, Based on a Video Game, Coming Attractions, Demons, Ghosts!, Horror with tags , , , , , , on October 5, 2012 by knifefighter

CINEMA KNIFE FIGHT – COMING ATTRACTIONS:
OCTOBER 2012
by Michael Arruda and L.L. Soares

(The Scene:  Halloween Night.  A residential street filled with lots of little trick-or-treaters and their parents.  Among them walk two big trick-or-treaters, MICHAEL ARRUDA & L.L. SOARES, who are not in costume.)

MICHAEL ARRUDA:  I just love Halloween.  It’s fun seeing all the trick-or-treaters.

L.L. SOARES:  I guess.  I’d rather be home answering the door, scaring all the trick-or-treaters.

MA:  No can do.  We’re going to a Halloween party this year.  Besides, you don’t have to be home to scare the little tykes.  You can do that right here on the street.

LS:  Good idea.  I might even get some of their candy.

MA:  You wouldn’t stoop that low, would you?  Stealing Halloween candy from trick-or-treaters?

LS:  Of course not!  But when they drop their bags onto the street as they flee in terror, I can’t just leave it on the ground.  That would be littering! (laughs).

(A group of trick-or-treaters approach.  LS growls at them, but they don’t run away.)

BOY DRESSED AS VAMPIRE:  Cool, mask, mister!

LS:  Mask?  I’m not wearing a mask!

GIRL DRESSED AS PRINCESS:  I like your ghoul mask.

LS:  I’m not wearing a mask!  This is my real face!

MA:  Scary, isn’t he?

LS:  Boo!

(Kids run away screaming.)

LS:  That’s more like it.  Although they didn’t leave any candy behind.

MA:  Let’s get to our first movie.  Up first this October is not a horror movie, but an actioner, the Liam Neeson sequel TAKEN 2 (2012) opening on October 5.  I’ve become a big Neeson fan of late, so I’m disappointed that I have to miss this one.

LS:  Yep, our very own John Harvey will be reviewing this one, since he’s our go-to-guy for action movies. I actually did see TAKEN, and I liked it, but I’m not all that eager to see the sequel, so I’m kind of relieved that John stepped in.

Our newest staff member, Sheri White, will be reviewing a movie this weekend, as well: Tim Burton’s FRANKENWEENIE.

MA:  I’m not disappointed I’m missing FRANKENWEENIE.

On October 12, we will be reviewing a horror movie, which is appropriate for the month of Halloween, and it’s also the first of three in a row, which is pretty cool, since it seems there haven’t been many horror movies on the big screen of late.  Anyway, on October 12 we’ll be seeing SINISTER (2012), a horror flick by the same people—specifically the same producers— who brought you INSIDIOUS (2010), a film I liked.

This one looks good too, although one problem I do have is the trailer is pretty extensive and it seems as if they give a lot of the plot away.  I’m not sure what’s left in terms of surprises.

It stars Ethan Hawke, who was decent in the vampire flick DAYBREAKERS (2009).

It’s written and directed by Scott Derrickson, who wrote and directed THE EXORCISM OF EMILY ROSE (2005), an OK exorcism movie that was nothing to write home about.

LS:  Yeah, I have no idea what to expect with SINISTER. I’m not a big Ethan Hawke fan, but this one looks like it might have potential. I hope it’s at least as good as INSIDIOUS, which a lot of people really seemed to like.

Then on October 19, we’ll be reviewing PARANORMAL ACTIVITY 4. I know it’s a sequel, but I always have fun at these movies. They’re well made for what they are—and the audiences are always very interactive, in a way that actually enhances your enjoyment of the movie. I’m definitely one of these people who hate it when people talk or make noise during a movie, but with the PARANORMAL ACTIVITY series, it’s all part of the experience.

MA:  I have to agree.  I’m looking forward to this one too, because the PARANORMAL ACTIVITY movies have definitely grown on me.  They’re scary, and seeing them in a packed theater with lots of people screaming and yelling out jokes to ease the tension is a lot of fun.

Originally, I didn’t enjoy them as much, since I didn’t feel their stories were all that great.  I still feel the same way, but I can’t deny that the experience of seeing them in a packed theater is a lot of fun.

LS: If you rent one of the PARANOMRAL ACTIVITY movies and watch it at home, there is no way you’re going to fully understand what’s so good about them. These movies are best experienced in a movie theater.

MA: And we finish the month with a review of SILENT HILL: REVELATIONS (2012).  It’s a sequel to SILENT HILL (2006), a film I didn’t like.  I saw it on DVD and really struggled to get through it.  I found it dull and confusing.
That being said, the trailer for this movie looks pretty good, so perhaps this will be a case where the sequel is better than the original.  We’ll see.

It’s written and directed by Michael J. Bassett, and he wasn’t involved in the previous movie, so the fact that it’s someone completely different at the helm this time bodes well for the production.

Our old friend Malcolm McDowell is in it, and hopefully he’ll be better here than he was in the Rob Zombie HALLOWEEN movies.  And it’s in 3D.  Nuff said about that!

LS:  I actually thought the first SILENT HILL was one of the better video game-based movies I’ve seen. Since that was made back in 2006, I figured it didn’t do very well and there wouldn’t be another one. It’s strange that it took them six years to make a sequel, but you’re right, it looks like it might be good. I’m looking forward to it.

MA:  So, that takes care of October.  At least we’ve got some horror movies to look forward to.  That’s something.  And none of them have the word “Saw” in the title.

LS:  I’m looking forward to the day when we can add the words RESIDENT EVIL to that list of franchises that decided to stop making movies.

MA:  Hey, we’ve reached the party.  Let’s put our masks on.

(MA & LS put on masks of SISKEL & EBERT.)

LS:  I refuse to say “Two thumbs up!”  Real men use knives!

MA:  I agree!  Well, at least this way people will recognize us as film critics!

(They enter the party.  Someone shouts, “Hey, look, it’s ABBOTT AND COSTELLO!”)

—END—

RESIDENT EVIL: RETRIBUTION (2012)

Posted in 2012, 3-D, Action Movies, Apocalyptic Films, Based on a Video Game, Cinema Knife Fights, Clones!, Complete Waste of Time, Dystopian Futures, Sequels, Zombies with tags , , , , , , , , on September 17, 2012 by knifefighter

CINEMA KNIFE FIGHT: RESIDENT EVIL: RETRIBUTION (2012)
By Michael Arruda & L.L. Soares

(The Scene: a large studio. MICHAEL ARRUDA & L.L. SOARES stand in front of a blank green screen.)

L.L. SOARES: What’s with the blank screen?

MICHAEL ARRUDA: It’s blank to make a point.

LS: Is it a figurative representation of your cognitive abilities? (laughs)

(MA remains stone-faced.)

LS: Uh-oh. You have that look again. The same one you get after seeing one of the TWILIGHT movies. Something tells me you didn’t like today’s movie.

MA: You think? I don’t think there are enough expletives to describe how I feel right now. I hated RESIDENT EVIL: RETRIBUTION. You can have all the neat visuals and special effects in the world, but without a story, it’s about as entertaining as sitting for 90 minutes and staring at that blank screen (points to blank green screen.)

Here’s my plot summary for RESIDENT EVIL: RETRIBUTION (2012): Alice (Milla Jovovich) continues to fight against the evil forces in her world, and she’ll still be fighting these forces in the next movie, because absolutely nothing was resolved. Okay, we can all go home now.

LS: Well, I have to admit. You make it sound better than it is.

MA: Yeah, but not much.

Today’s movie RESIDENT EVIL: RETRIBUTION (2012), is the fifth movie in the RESIDENT EVIL franchise, a series based on a video game, and by golly, does it show! In this series (which started back in 2002 with the first RESIDENT EVIL movie), a virus has taken over the world—the deadly “T-virus” —turning people into murderous mutated zombies, and the bad guys pulling the strings here are the folks at the dastardly Umbrella Corporation. To save the world it’s up to Alice (Milla Jovovich), who wears tight-fitting black clothes and kicks bad guys’ butts with ease.

Just who exactly is Alice and why is she qualified to be the heroine in this series? I’m sure players of the game and fans of the movie know the answer, but based upon this one movie— and I’ve seen a couple of others, so I’m just being difficult here, to prove a point at how awful this movie is at telling a story—the audience has no idea. But the filmmakers couldn’t care less, because the audience is going to be made up of fans who do know. For the average moviegoer, this movie is a major waste of time.

LS: Actually, I think Alice isn’t a character from the games. She is more or less there to represent the player, since it’s a first person shooter game. Don’t quote me. I am no expert, I’m not a gamer, and I haven’t checked out the Resident Evil game or its sequels. End of disclaimer.

MA: Is Alice a secret agent? A hired assassin? A vengeful spirit? Just what exactly is her motivation here? For five movies she runs around fighting zombies. Why? I don’t really know, and to be honest, at this point, I don’t really care.

(ALICE walks by wearing a maid outfit.)

ALICE: Who am I? What’s my true identity?

LS: I don’t know, but why don’t you try on a few more costumes and maybe we can help you figure it out. Here, try this one on next. (Hands her a bikini.)

ALICE: Watch it guys, or I may end up kicking in you in the head, or worse!

MA: He’s the one who handed you the bikini.

ALICE: And you’re the one trash-talking my movie!

MA: I’m not trash-talking it. I’m telling it like it is. Why don’t you go figure out your identity. (ALICE looks confused for a moment, then exits)

LS (to MA): Gee, thanks a lot for canceling the fashion show!

MA:  I’ll kick myself later.  Right now I’m too incensed.

LS:  Wait a minute, are you sure that RESIDENT EVIL: RETRIBUTION even counts as a movie? Maybe we don’t have to review it.

MA (ignores him): This time around, Alice finds herself working with former enemies against former friends (oooh! how interesting!) as she continues her fight against flesh-eating zombies and the evil Umbrella Corporation.

And that’s all I got folks! I can’t even bring myself to rehash the lousy excuse of what supposedly passes as a story. (to LS) If you want to add more, be my guest, but I can’t.

And you know why? Because there’s NO STORY! Let me say it a few more times: no story, no story, no story. Did I say this movie doesn’t have a story? It also doesn’t have compelling characters. No one in this movie is at all interesting, as none of them rise above the level of video game characters.

For a while, I was enjoying the visuals in this movie, but with nothing else to offer, even these impressive 3D visuals grew tiring. After all, I didn’t pay extra money for a movie ticket just to look at cool CGI shots of Tokyo, New York, and Moscow.

LS: What about the cool brain monster? It’s this great big thing with sharp claws and a head that looks like a great big brain with teeth. I thought it was kind of a cool visual. Sure, the fact it’s CGI makes it look a little fake, and after a while, it loses its novelty completely. But for a few minutes there, I thought it was kind of neat…

What about the big car chase? Sure, it went on forever and become kind of pointless after a while. But for a minute there, it almost seemed competent. And Alice gets to drive a cool car…

What about the fight scenes? Sure they go on forever and become really pointless after a while, especially with all those lame slo-motion effects over and over, but for a few minutes there, I was having a good time. Especially Michelle Rodrigues sneering and injecting some kind of parasite into her bloodstream that gives her superpowers. And what about the blonde chick with the cleavage and the robot spider brooch? You gotta love that!

And the emotionless bad guy in the shades who talks like a character out of the MATRIX series, and who is so stiff and cartoony that you want to kick his ass every time he’s onscreen?

MA:  Amen to that!  The cartoony bastard!

LS:  What about Milla Jovovich? She’s still hot and there’s even a scene where she’s in a paper medical gown (although we never really get to see anything), but even she’s not enough to make this franchise interesting anymore…

What about the cool 3D effects that are so…..boring that you barely notice they’re there unless an axe is being flung in your direction, and which point you say, “ho hum.”

I don’t know, Michael. Help me here. I’m running out of ideas…

MA: You don’t need my help.  You’ve done a good job all by your lonesome listing all the things I didn’t like about this movie, but sadly, there’s more.

RESIDENT EVIL: RETRIBUTION makes no effort to tell its story, no effort to draw in its audience, and this is what makes me so damned angry. I feel taken advantage of. How difficult would it be to take these characters and this post-apocalyptic premise and make it interesting? And if you can’t make it interesting? Here’s a thought: Don’t make the flippin movie!

 

The film opens with a quick summary of the previous movies, and then jumps right into more action. For some folks, maybe this is fun, but for me, within minutes, I was already bored. This movie lost me in the first 10-15 minutes. I was already gone, which meant a short 90 minute running time seemed three times that long.

LS: Gee, that makes me feel a little better. About half-way through I almost dozed off, and I thought it was because I was being lazy. But it really was a boring waste of time!

MA: And for a film with non-stop action, I can’t say that I found any of the sequences all that impressive or exciting. I really felt I was watching a video game, from the CGI fight moves to the cartoon blood, I yawned throughout.

LS: And what was up with the R-rating? No nudity, no bad language, and lots of really fake-looking CGI blood. An episode of SNOOKIE AND JWOWW is scarier.

Yeah, a series about a video game has finally become a video game itself. Not really something to brag about, unfortunately!

MA: I actually enjoyed the previous film in the series, and one of the reasons I enjoyed it was Milla Jovovich as Alice. I remember saying I could watch her all day. Well, that day is over. Sadly, not even Jovovich in her tight black suit could save this one. Seriously, there are only so many times you can watch her fight bad guys and monsters without being emotionally invested in the story.

Her main adversary in this one is her former friend Jill Valentine (Sienna Guillory), that “blonde with the cleavage” you mentioned earlier, and I thought the movie’s main conflict was pretty awful, and that’s pretty bad, to be awful among video game characters. Michelle Rodriguez who I like a lot—who doesn’t? —is wasted here as Rain. The role is an insult to Rodriguez’ talent.

LS: And I love Michelle Rodriguez! But what was up with her “twin” characters. One good and afraid of guns (get rid of that one!) and one sneering and evil? The good twin wasn’t even around long enough to care about. Blink and you missed her—that’s how long a “good” Michelle Rodriguez lasts. Good riddance, wimp! But not even sneering Michelle can save this movie. Although she does have on scene – one brief image – that was the best thing in the entire movie for me. She’s underwater beneath an ice floe, and a thousand zombies are grabbing her and pulling her under, intent on eating her alive. That one brief moment of film is the only image in RESIDENT EVIL: RETRIBUTION worth saving when you burn the movie for heat in the coming apocalypse.

MA:  Yeah, that was a neat image, and admittedly, there were a few of them in this movie, but it’s hard to appreciate cool images when you’re bored out of your mind!

Shawn Roberts as the villain Albert Wesker is one of the worst villains I’ve ever seen in a movie. He’s about as interesting as a storefront mannequin. I think he’s a vampire, secretly related to the Cullen family in the TWILIGHT movies, since he’s just as boring as they are.

LS: That’s “the MATRIX reject” I mentioned earlier. He makes Keanu Reeves look multi-dimensional. That dude had a much bigger role in the previous film, and his stupid, cartoony personality was almost fun last time. Here, he’s just an annoying moron you want to kick in the face. Get rid of this guy already!

And as for the TWILIGHT comparison. You may not like those movies, but at least they try to tell us a story (albeit a bad one). And hell, Kristen Stewart is kind of hot. I’d love to see her have a “sneer off” with Michelle Rodriguez.

MA: RESIDENT EVIL: RETRIBUTION was written and directed by Paul W.S. Anderson, and he’s written all five of the movies in this series. What can I say, other than this movie put me to sleep? That says it all, from my end. But that’s not the worst part. What’s the worst part, you ask? It’s that they’re going to do this yet again! Oh yes, this movie sets the stage for yet another sequel! Oh joy! Please, stop!

And how about those flesh eating zombies? Scary? Nope. Unless you’re scared of video game graphics.

And what’s with the alternate reality sequence at the beginning of the movie? Where Alice finds herself happily married with a young daughter Becky (Aryana Engineer)?

LS: Aryana Engineer? What kind of friggin name is that? Even her real name sounds like a robot! And don’t forget that artificial intelligence that looks like a bright red and angry Honey Boo Boo! The Red Queen! Another character who was interesting for all of…..well, she was never interesting!

MA: The movie throws this out there, and then never really goes back to it or even uses it in the story. And what about little Becky? At one point it’s said she’s not real, that all her memories have been implanted, but yet Alice keeps her with her throughout the whole film as if she’s her real daughter.

LS: Awww, isn’t that sweet? Play the “mommy card.” Maybe that will keep the audience from nodding off. Not likely!

MA: That’s how awful this movie is!  It plays the “mommy card,” and it’s not even a real kid or a real mommy!  Talk about lazy writing!

Then there’s a scene with multiple Alices hanging on an assembly line. What’s that about? Does the movie do anything with this scene? Nope.

LS: It’s not even impressive, because you know it’s just CGI crap. The clone factory scene was a complete waste of time.

MA: I hated this movie. With this film, the RESIDENT EVIL series is now rivaling the TWILIGHT series in terms of boredom. Stop making these movies already! Please, folks, don’t waste your money! Even a mediocre movie like THE COLD LIGHT OF DAY, which I reviewed last week, is better than this, because it at least made the effort to tell a story and create likable characters.

LS: Hell, THE INBETWEENERS MOVIE is a masterpiece in comparison. At least it had a heart, unlike this emotionless Tin Man of a movie.

MA: And what may I ask does this movie have to do with retribution? Just who is it who is getting the just or fitting punishment? No one. Things are pretty much the same at the end of the movie as they were at the beginning. No one changes, no one learns, no one grows, and no one is punished.

LS: I sure felt punished when I was watching this movie!

MA: I have a better title for this movie, RESIDENT EVIL: STAGNATION.

RESIDENT EVIL: RETRIBUTION is the worst film I’ve seen this year since BATTLESHIP (2012).
I give it 0 Knives. Woof!

LS: Nice Taylor Lautner impression. Just don’t take off your shirt now, okay?

Oh come on, at least BATTLESHIP had Taylor Kitsch and Rhianna going for it. RESIDENT EVIL: RETRIBUTION is pretty much worthless, from its generic title to its non-ending. I kept waiting for TO BE CONTINUED to flash across the screen at the end, but after a great big wide-shot of the White House and zombies and flying monsters (where did all this crap come from, anyway?), it just goes straight to the credits.

For some reason I can’t explain, I liked the last movie in the series.

MA:  Yeah, I liked the last one, too.

LS:  Yeah, I think we both gave it a pretty positive review. It was called RESIDENT EVIL: AFTERLIFE (2010). I know this because I looked it up. The titles to these movies are too generic and boring to remember otherwise. The last one had good pacing, had some fun moments, and actually seemed to have a story to tell. Hell, I’ve been one of those idiots who have called the RESIDENT EVIL movies “brainless fun.” And I’ve said the series is better than the UNDERWORLD films. Well, I take all that back now.

While I liked it okay, the one thing that really pissed me off about the last movie was it ended in the middle of the story, pretty much spitting in our faces and saying “There’s gonna be a sequel, and there’s nothing you can about it. So we’re not even going to try to come up with a decent ending.”

RESIDENT EVIL: RETRIBUTION doesn’t even try to entertain us, and then it gives us that cynical, lazy non-ending again, signaling yet another sequel. As the end credits rolled, and I realized we might have to sit through another one of these cinema turds. That is, unless we rebel and refuse to see it. And we just might.

The entire series has gotten lazy, cynical and just plain sadistic. I was going to give this movie half a knife. Seriously. For the brain monster, for Milla in the paper gown, and for Michelle Rodriguez being pulled underwater by a thousand zombies (I still love that one brief image). But you know what, this movie is so damn mean in the way it refuses to give us even a shred of enjoyment, that I’m going to be mean, too.

I give it zero knives as well.

This is easily one of the worst films we’ve seen this year. It’s an insult, and someone should keep them from making more. I suggest imprisonment.

(MA stands there, emotionless)

LS: No jokes this time around, no nothing, huh? You’re really pissed off about this one.

MA: Can we go now?

LS: Sure.

(MA storms off the set. LS gives the cameraman the middle finger and Exits)

-End-

© Copyright 2012 by Michael Arruda and L.L. Soares

Michael Arruda gives RESIDENT EVIL: RETRIBUTION ~ ZERO knives!

LL Soares gives RESIDENT EVIL: RETRIBUTION ~ ZERO knives!

Cinema Knife Fight Coming Attractions for SEPTEMBER 2012

Posted in 2012, 3-D, Based on a Video Game, Based on Comic Book, Based on TV Show, Coming Attractions, Science Fiction, The Future, Time Travel with tags , , , , , on September 7, 2012 by knifefighter

CINEMA KNIFE FIGHT – COMING ATTRACTIONS:
SEPTEMBER 2012
by Michael Arruda and L.L. Soares

(The Scene:  A carnival.  MICHAEL ARRUDA & L.L. SOARES are standing in front of various trick mirrors that make them look incredibly short, amazingly tall, exceedingly fat, and with humongous oversized heads.)

LS:  So, what’s with all the trick mirrors?  (looks at his reflection which gives him a huge head.)  Are you trying to tell me I have a big ego or something?

MA:  Too obvious.  No, these mirrors symbolize this September’s movies.

LS:  How do you figure?

MA: Well, there seems to be a lot of deceit and trickery in this month’s movies, so I thought this carnival would be the perfect setting to have us tell the folks what we’ll be reviewing in September.

LS:  Really?  Well, there’s no trickery in the month’s first offering, THE IN-BETWEENERS, which opens on September 7.  At least I don’t think so. It’s based on a British TV show, and is about four nerdy kids who will do anything to have sex while on vacation. It looks like it will try to push the envelope like the HANGOVER movies. I can’t really tell if it will be funny or just plain embarrassing. The teen protagonists look incredibly annoying.

MA:  I like British humor, and I’m looking forward to this one.  I’m just not sure how wide a release this one is getting, and so it may not be playing at a theater near me.

If this proves to be the case, I will most likely review something else, as there are a couple of other movies opening this weekend.

There’s THE COLD LIGHT OF DAY, a new thriller starring Henry Cavill, the star of IMMORTALS (2011) and the next Superman in next year’s MAN OF STEEL, as a young man whose family is kidnapped while they’re on vacation, and he learns that his father (Bruce Willis) works for the CIA.  It doesn’t sound all that exciting to me, mostly because it doesn’t seem all that original.

The one thing that I am looking forward to regarding this one is that Sigourney Weaver is playing the villain, so that might be worth something.

It also has a pretty bad title.

The other film of interest that opens this weekend is the science fiction thriller BRANDED (2012), another conspiracy story, this one about a futuristic society in which people are deliberately brainwashed by product ads by an evil corporation, and one man’s attempts to buck the system and fight back.  This one stars Max Von Sydow as the baddie.  Could be good.  Could be unoriginal and uninspiring.

LS: I remember seeing the trailer for that awhile back. Once again, a movie that might be in limited release. I think I’d rather see BRANDED over THE IN-BETWEENERS. But I guess it’s possible we might see neither the weekend of September 7th. I’m getting sick of movies only being in limited release. So it may be a surprise which ones we end up reviewing this weekend.

I wonder how many movies we’ve announced in COMING ATTRACTIONS that we said we were going to review, but never did because the movies never played anywhere near us.

MA: I’d say quite a few.  It’s a pain.

On September 14, we’ll be reviewing the latest RESIDENT EVIL movie, RESIDENT EVIL:  RETRIBUTION (2012).  And it’s in 3D.  Oh joy!

While I like the RESIDENT EVIL movies, I’m hardly excited by them.  Why?  I find their stories to be a bit of a bore.  For instance, in this one, what do we have?  We have Alice (Milla Jovovich) once again fighting the evil Umbrella Corporation.  Ho hum.

Granted, Jovovich is very good in these movies, and she’s the main reason I like them, but she can only carry them so far.  The trailer for this one makes it seem like a rip-off of TOTAL RECALL as it goes on about everything she ever knew in her life being fake, an implanted memory, blah blah blah.

It’s written and directed by Paul W.S. Anderson.  This is the third RESIDENT EVIL movie he’s directed, and he’s written all five of them.

LS:  I remember liking the last one okay. That was in 3D, too. But it ended in such a blatantly obvious way—right in the middle of the story—that you knew a sequel was already in the works. Talk about flogging a dead horse. End this damn series already! It’s starting to get tedious. Even if I agree about Jovovich—she’s the only reason to see any of these movies—I really don’t understand why anyone continues to go see them.

MA:  On September 21, I’ll be reviewing DREDD (2012) solo, since L.L. will have that weekend off.  I can’t say that I’m looking forward to this one either, but it’s an action movie based on the comics’ character, so there’s hope for it I guess.  And not to be outdone by RESIDENT EVIL, it’s also coming to us in 3D!

It stars Karl Urban as Judge Dredd, and I have to admit I’ve enjoyed this guy’s performances in recent years.  He was excellent as Dr. McCoy in the J.J. Abrams reboot of STAR TREK (2009), and he was the only good thing in the awful horror movie PRIEST (2011) as he played the villain Black Hat.  So, if he’s allowed to act and not just be a special effect in one fight scene after another, this one just could be good after all.

LS:  I actually want to see DREDD, since the character (who originated in British comic book 2000 AD) is pretty cool. Unlike that lame Sylvester Stallone movie from the 80s. I bet you the new movie is a big improvement, if they stick to the source material. Maybe I’ll see it afterwards and provide a follow-up review to yours, if it’s worth seeing.

And then, on September 28, I’ll be reviewing LOOPER solo as it’s Michael’s turn to have the weekend off.  This one could be interesting. Joseph Gordon-Levitt plays a hit man who kills people for the future who are sent back in time for elimination. But what happens when the guy he’s supposed to kill is an older version himself? With Bruce Willis as Levitt’s older self. This might be one time travel flick worth seeing. I hope.

MA:  As much as I like time travel stories, based on the previews, this one doesn’t excite me, so I’m not unhappy I’ll be missing it.  I do enjoy Bruce Willis though, who seems to be popping up in a new movie every couple of weeks these days!  So maybe— maybe I’ll see this one afterwards and then write my own follow-up review to yours.

LS:  Copycat!

MA:  So, that wraps things up for the month of September.  Sadly, none of the movies this month do much for me.

LS:  Yeah, it’s sounds like a mediocre month at the movies.

MA:  Personally, I could be just as entertained by these goofy carnival mirrors.  And I wouldn’t have to pay extra for 3D glasses!

LS:  That’s just like you to suggest something boring and then think it’s fun!  What are you going to do?  Sit around here all day and watch people look at themselves in these mirrors?  That’s creepy!

MA:  No, what’s creepy is when someone looks into one of those mirrors and sees something they’re not expecting to see.  Hmm.  That gives me an idea.  (whispers in LS’ ear.)

(CUT TO: Several little kids laughing at their images in the carnival mirrors, but when they get to the fourth mirror, they scream and run away.  Camera reveals the mirror is missing, and in its place, in the center of the empty frame, stands LS in horror make-up with blood dripping from his lips.  Camera pulls back to see MA wearing a top hat and speaking into a megaphone.)

MA:  Step right up, ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, and see the hideous monster in the mirror.  More hideous than Freddy Krueger, scarier than a PARANORMAL ACTIVITY movie, one look and you’ll scream in terror!  (aside to camera) We have to earn a living somehow!

—END—

© Copyright 2012 by Michael Arruda & L.L. Soares