Friday, August 30, 2013

You're Next

One of my all time favorite home invasion movies is The Strangers. You're supposed to be safe in your home, and when that sense of security is shattered it truly is terrifying. The only problem with that film is that other filmmakers try to copy that same terror and fail miserably. You're Next is no exception. The film is directed by Adam Wingard. Sound familiar? He's the one partly responsible for unleashing V/H/S onto the world. He's also the editor of this film, which is quite obvious. Yes, my arch nemesis Shaky Cam is back in full force. When done right, it adds to the tension or mass hysteria that the characters are experiencing. Wingard doesn't seem to understand that.

Much like V/H/S, the editing is so bad that at several points myself and other viewers became dizzy. There's also quite of bit of strobe light effects, so please do not see this if you're prone to seizures. So the editing and cinematography is terrible. The plot and gore should make up for it, right? Well, the thing about gore is that it's only effective if you see the end result. If I see someone get beaten to death (which happens twice within a 20 minute span), I fully expect to see blood splatter and brain matter all over the room. Instead most of the deaths happen off camera or we only see the victims' faces, and some squishing noises. In other words, it was just repetitive and boring.

We're now left with the plot. At this point I still had some hope left. Of course that tiny glimmer of hope was crushed around the 45 minute mark. In order to explain, let me go back to The Strangers. The reason why it was so scary is because we never found the reason why the couple was picked by the crazies in creepy masks. When done right, that type of plot can work out very well. It just doesn't work here, and prepare for spoilers.

Long story short, an older couple is celebrating their wedding anniversary, and their highly unlikable hell spawn bring their equally unlikable significant others. There's the brother that's a douche bag for no reason, the brother that's fat and gets picked on by the douche bag, the black sheep, and sickeningly sweet sister. People start dying like flies, and we discover the black sheep has hired ex-military to dispose of his family so he can get the inheritance. Why? Because he's the black sheep. No seriously. That's really the only reason the movie gives as to why he would pay to slaughter his family. And yet he appears to be emotional when forced to kill his own brother. I call shenanigans. If someone pays to kill their family for the prospect of more money, they're a heartless bastard. Therefore if a situation arose where they had to kill someone, there would be no hesitation and they certainly wouldn't be emotional. After more jumping around the house, the black sheep dies from getting a blender shoved into his head and turned on.

Oh I forgot to mention the fat one's girlfriend. She just happens to be the daughter of a survivalist who forced her to move to the Australian Outback when she was a child, and taught her how to defend herself if needed. That's right, there just happened to be someone that can save the family. Well, maybe considering the fat one was in on it too. Shocker! Have you noticed how I've described the plot? That's exactly how events were laid out in the film. Confused? You should be. Annoyed because this whole thing is so contrived and mind numbing stupid? I know I was when I realized I paid $8.50 to see this turd.

This movie is just pointless. The characters are so annoying and spoiled that you actually want them to die. The plot is so thin and complicated that it really shouldn't even be called a plot. And finally the editing is so bad to the point where you actually have to figure out if someone just died. It's yet another 0. Just watch The Strangers or Funny Games. They're both creepy, and you'll be able to see what the hell is going on.

Saturday, August 24, 2013

The Raspberry Reich


This movie is unrated, and the following review will contain graphic description of gay sex scenes. Don't say I didn't try to warn you.

No, this is not a gay porno. This is some artsy film by Bruce La Bruce. I don't know who he is, and frankly I'm too scared to do a Google search to find out. From the 30 minutes that isn't hardcore porn, the plot is some German nymphomaniac wants to start a sexual revolution that goes against heterosexuality, marriage, and monogamy. And she bases her delusions on revolutionaries from the 1970s. In order to test her male followers, she has them have sex with each other. Basically this is a 20 minute short film stretched into a 90 minute feature. It also took me 3 hours to finish it. You're welcome.

I feel the need to add that I have absolutely no problem with gay/lesbian/transgendered films. What I can't stand is when a movie uses that for shock value. It's cheap, and paints a negative picture on someone's lifestyle. Men don't just turn gay after 5 minutes, and they're don't always hop from one partner to the next. This movie wants you to think otherwise. I'm not even going to dive into the whole German aspect, because quite frankly this movie is just stupid.

As I've said before, if you want to make porn just go ahead and make porn. Do not try to hide behind terms like avant garde or art house. You're not being creative. You're being a pretentious douche bag. Now, it's one thing if there's only one graphic sex scene, or even major nudity. But when I see a penis thrusting in and out of a vagina, mouth, or anus it's porn. There's no gray area, and it is definitely not artsy.  Then there's also the masturbation with guns, old people having sex on a table, and several close-up shots of ejaculation. And I can't forget about the constant paragraphs of texts over seizure-inducing backgrounds.

There's just no point to this movie. It's all about shock and sex, but it's not done tastefully and it's far from new. This is in the same vein as A Serbian Film: using graphic sex as a metaphor. It doesn't work that way, and it's a load of crap. It gets a huge 0, and just avoid it at all costs. If you want to see shock done right, check out Blood Feast or The ABCs of Death. But, if you're like me and you just have to see it, at least have alcohol on standby. It's the only way you'll be able to sit through it.

Friday, August 23, 2013

Assault Girls

Ah it already feels good to be back (sort of). After browsing through the Foreign section of Netflix, I came across this little gem. Now, I'm going to warn you that this is a case where the poster is horribly misleading. I thought I was going to see chicks with guns being super awesome and such. Nope. Instead it's women that have to team up in a video game to defeat a common enemy. That doesn't sound bad. Actually that might be interesting: a ragtag group of women going after an evil corporation, a guy that two timed them, or I'd even take evil spirits. So what is this this powerful foe? A giant eel that has the head of Godzilla.

What makes it even worse is that the running time is only 70 minutes long, with a 10 minute introductory narration that has NOTHING to do with the plot. There's also the actors that speak English even though they're Japanese and their accents are so thick that the movie is subtitled. Why are they speaking English? The announcer of the game tells us 50 minutes into the movie that native languages aren't allowed during game play. Why? Insert your own explanation because I can guarantee it would be way more creative than whatever the writers would've thought of.

I'm going to make this easier on myself and on you. Instead of watching 70 minutes of nothing, just watch the movies and anime this movie manages to rip off in an admittedly impressive amount of time. I'll even give you the list:

Mobile Suit Gundam, The Matrix, Appleseed, Desert Punk, Gamer, Source Code, Godzilla, Watchmen, Rampo Noir, Gunslinger Girl, Big O, Neon Genesis Evangelion, Aliens, Gantz (not if you're squeamish), Trigun, Burst Angel and Ghost in the Shell.

17 in 70 minutes. I think that's some kind of record. What really bugs me outside of the blatant rip offs is that it's a potentially interesting concept that is wasted and lost in the midst of 40+ minutes of no dialog, no plot, bad CGI, very odd characters, and this weird gray haze that made me think the screen on my computer was on its last leg. It's a 0 for me. I'll never understand how a movie called Assault Girls could be so boring and borderline depressing.