No seriously, what did I just watch?
Watching The Maze Runner last year as an enjoyably stupid experience, not on the level of Divergent which we saw with a cocktail in hand, but still fun. Although through out the entire movie there is this awareness at the back of you head that no answer will be satisfactory to setting, a nagging voice that is made worse by the fact it's a known trilogy.
Sure enough the visceral excitement of the group of teens trying to escape and survive this maze is met with an ending that... is so stupid. Unbelievably so.
I was first shown the 3rd in the Evil Dead series during a drama class, and I would be lying if I didn't say that I hated it, however my opinion was deeply shaded by the fact that I wasn't enjoying drama at the time and that the HSC was in the process of putting my brain though a blender. A couple of years later I caught Army of Darkness on television and was laughing my head off within a few minutes, seeing the first two movies isn't at all vital to enjoying the third.
The star of this series, Bruce Campbell enjoys a status in a similar fashion to Chuck Norris. Granted he doesn't have a third fist under his beard or have Jesus following him on twitter but he is recognised as the coolest hero of B-movies. The main character Ash, who chopped off his hand with a chain saw after it became infected with evil and since replaced it with the chain saw, has been sent back in time... Don't ask why... it's not important. Mistaken as a solider of Henry the Red he is taken to the castle in chains. He is sentenced to be executed by being thrown into a pit with unspeakable Eldritch horrors... just roll with it. After defeating the evils with his chain saw and double barrel Remington shot gun he frees Henry the Red's men and forces the people of the castle to find a way to send him home. This is also the scene where we get some of the best quotes from this movie, including 'all right you primitive screw heads, this. is. my. BOOM STICK'.
Embeth Davidtz plays the love interest Shelia, yes, that's really her name. I know this because I looked it up... thank you IMDB, and found out she is in fact cast as Mary Parker in the upcoming Spiderman reboot as well as having serious roles in movies such as Schindler's List. Where as Bruce Campbell appears to be able to survive simply off making cameos. The wise man tells Ash that he can return him home if he journeys to fetch the Necronomicon, a book the people also need to vanquish the evil in the land. After a brief montage of getting ready, in which we see an almost fetishistic love from director Sam Raimi of sudden zooms in, Ash leaves on his quest. Chased by a unseen evil he hides in a windmill and we enter one of the tripiest scenes... I don't really want to spoil what happens here as I don't think I could do it justice but the end result is an evil Ash appears. Ask buries his evil counterpart and continues on to the cemetery, he grabs the Necronomicon but fails to say the correct magic words and raises the army of darkness. Shelia is captured and thus Ash must rally the castle to fight against the forces of evil led by the again risen evil Ash.
This movie is great fun... it's pure retro silliness with a few really good lines. The special effects are bad even for the time but that adds to the enjoyment of it all. This is a fun movie to see but again one of those that is even better in a group, it has a decent re-watch value as well. Especially considering the first time you see it you'll spend a lot of time hitting your head and going 'WHAT?'.
I debated where I should follow up on the bad movie trend after The Room and in my quest to find the worst of the worst movies one name keeps popping back up, one company that made a name for itself trying to cash in with cheap rip-offs of Blockbusters. The Asylum.
Whilst they normally limit their activity to confusing fans by releasing movies such as Transmorphers, Alien VS Hunter or classics like Bram Stokers Dracula's Curse. The Asylum has since moved into making original productions, whether this is for better or worse is really up for debate. Mega Shark Vs Giant Octopus has reached a large amount of popularity based on it's simple silliness, following a very set monster movie plot line the silliness is unfortunately seriously hampered. This movie is not as enjoyable as the Room, the acting is not by any measure good but for the most part tolerable and I can't really criticize the writing too much, the dialogue is cliched but never to an amusing level and even competent at times. That said it is difficult to imagine that the screenwriter had to sit down and write 'then the mega shark leapt thirty thousand feet into the air and ate a 747 jet'.
This movie really doesn't have a great re-watch value, The Room I was able to watch many times over, this however I struggled to get through once. Not because it was too bad such as Birdemic or anything but rather because it was just bad. It is worth a watch and certainly would be better seeing along in a group... preferably with alcohol.
Well, I thought that I've been reviewing so many things I love and praise as good it's time for me to take a quick walk down some of the doggier streets of the entertainment city, keeping my hand closely around my bag and my eyes to the ground. And I decided to start this walk with a movie that is unquestionably, undeniably bad, but also just so enjoyable!
Released in 2003 and proclaimed by the director/producer/writer/actor Tommy Wiseau to be 'the next street car named desire', The Room has reached a level of notoriety as a cult classic to rival that of something like the Evil Dead series. People go and see it with props and catch phrases ready just as they do for Rocky Horror Picture Show. But what is it that makes it so bad, why is this movie so monumentally made of fail and yet enjoyable. Let us take it in three parts, the writing, the cinematography and finally the acting.
The writing needs to be taken in 2 parts, the story and the dialogue. The story can be summarised as girl cheats on boy with his best friend. By no means a revolutionary concept, but it is in the finner more unique details that makes the story really stand out, important contemporary issues that carry important weight such as breast cancer, gang violence and drugs are picked up and then dropped faster than this script would have been by any studio in their right mind. A perfect example of this would be the main girl, Lisa's, mother. One of their incredibly brief conversations goes as such.
Mother: Everything always goes wrong at once, no-one wants to help me, and I'm dying.
Lisa: Your not dying mum.
Mother: I got the results of the test, I definitely have breast cancer.
Lisa: Don't worry mum every things going to be fine, they're curing lots of people every day.
And that's it. It is never mentioned again. But back to the plot, or what we are meant to assume is the plot. It starts with Johhny (Tommy Wiseau) and Lisa (Juliette Danielle) being a happy and prosperous couple. Well at least Johhny is prosperous at his job at the bank doing... something unspecified as compared to Lisa's job which apparently makes far less and in very competitive and has something to do with computers. Then, for no reason Lisa announces that she is unhappy and after her mother tries to draw in her 'rebelious attitud' which just causes her to run into the confused arms of Mark. And I mean confused, no matter how many times they have sex he always seems completely dumbfounded by what is happening. Character development takes a back seat too... well I'm not really sure what it is that Tommy Wiseau has replaced it with. He certainly writes in opportunity for character development, there is an incident where Mark is confronted by another friend about his affair with Lisa and then goes off and shaves his beard. I had originally thought that this was meant to represent him getting his life in order and he was going to start being a good friend but then he just sleeps with Lisa and goes back to being a bit of a confused dick. So, there is no character development at all.
Does the writing improve with the dialogue, short answer no, long answer... noooooooooo. Well, to be fair the dialogue is only bad, not as horrible as the characters or plot. The only reason some lines are so memorable is in their delivery, this brings us right into the acting. It is spectacularly strange to watch, like seeing a children's play but you don't have the excuse of politeness to stop yourself from laughing. The worst of the worst is our star, Tommy Wiseau, who you could spend the entire movie attempting to guess just what accent he has. Hi acting is bland to periods where he tries to emote and just painfully inflicts on the wrong words. But we can thank him for the Internet meme of...
'YOUR TEARING ME PART LISA'
That isn't to say that the other actors are much better. Juliette Danielle's main acting talent seems to lie in her ability to pout, and pout, and pout... and... pout. She is also able to make every one of the sex scenes she is in awkward as she struggles to remove clothing in fluid movements. The other special actor to mention is Phillip Haldiman as Denny. This character... confuses most, and understandably so. He is said to be the 'ward' of Johnny, as Johnny wanted to adopt him and is now paying for his apartment in the same building. Ummm... and the first scene we have with Denny is him wanting to go up to the bed room with the 2 main characters and then follows them up saying 'I just like to watch you guys'. I believe the actor was going for charmingly innocent, but he just comes across as perverted and creepy.
The cinematography of this is, special. Most of the shots are well done if a little boring and pretty standard. Its the endless shots of San Fransisco that causes with stock music over it that gets painful, especially if you set a drinking game to it. The editing is often confusing and I am positive they got the order of certain shots wrong at one point.
All these things considered, you really do need to see this. Three weeks after it came out and was canned as a drama and praised as an accidental comedy Tommy Wiseauamusing but just comes of as tired. This is really Tommy Wiseau's magnus opum.
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