Tagged: movie review

A Review of 300 in Three Hundred Words

What do you call 1800 abdominal muscles and three Olympic-sized swimming pools of testosterone?  That’s right, the movie “300.”  I was a little embarrassed to find that I enjoyed the movie, being one sex change and 10 years of maturity away from its target audience.

Surprisingly, the mythic cinematography gave 300 a surreal feel that worked quite well – it was like the embodiment of an oral storytelling tradition.  After all, it all boiled down to the story.  Apparently, raw courage, muscle and self-sacrifice can cover a multitude of anachronisms, including, but by no means limited to, dialogue containing the approximate vocabulary of a disgruntled high school football coach.

300 blithefully tramples the thin line between epic and laughably obnoxious.  One less ounce of gore and I would have laughed gleefully at the sight of 300 men running around in dirty-looking undies and capes, like so many mutant halloweeners about to get arrested for indecent exposure.  Perhaps the font choice for the title and credits is rather more ghetto than comic book, but, having little experience with either, I will refrain from further comment.  I do feel qualified to comment on the soundtrack, though.  Schizophrenic.  Because nothing says “go out and kick ass” like a sound collage of pseudo-ancient vocal music and electric guitar.

The casting was fantastic, mostly because it didn’t include Megan Fox.  I was a little disturbed by Butler’s distinctly Scottish accent at key parts in the script, but then, recollecting the bravery and sacrifice of William Wallace and Robert the Bruce, realized the connotation wasn’t necessarily an unreasonable one.  More unreasonable was the fantastically gay Xerxes.  While his effectiveness as a demigod was hampered by his bitchy persona, impractical piercings and preponderance of golden chainage, I prophesy his success in future music videos by Lady Gaga.

Double act, please?

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Stargate

A few random thoughts on Stargate (the movie):
~Col. Jack O’Neil’s hair looks like it was cut with a guillotine. I couldn’t manage to take him seriously because the top of his head was flat enough to land a diminutive plane on.
~Having a pyramid-shaped space craft is like having a cone-shaped boat – it may work okay, but it looks about as maneuverable as a water-logged emu.
~Daniel + Sha’uri = their eyes met + lame^10
~Killing off Skaara’s comic sidekick was not sporting and a blatant attempt to manipulate the viewers’ feelings. It worked – I felt betrayed when he died. That’s like strapping a bomb vest to Robin, drive-by-shooting Dr. Watson, or hanging Will Scarlett. It’s just not human.
~Sci-fi desert creature – hairy costume – clumsy mechanical devices – fake slobber = horse
~The plot was of sufficient quality for a rather lame series of Super Bowl commercials.
~Ra’s Anubis-helmeted henchmen were the original Transformers.
~Showing the same psychedelic time-travel sequence twice was cheap. However, the shot was an admirable example of 90’s SFX. Message to all SFX artists: one day, your work will look like that. Kill yourself now.
~I want to meet the extra who can say, “See the noble and glorious charge of the enslaved natives? Well, I was the guy…right there… who falls down the sand dune on his face.”
~And they all lived happily ever after…except for the soldiers and natives who were randomly massacred in the fight scenes.

Ra looks like Queen Amidala gone emo.

NB: The chicken dance seems to be a particularly traumatic phenomenon, judging from the comments I’ve received both in response to this post on Facebook and in person. Let’s clear a couple things up: 1) it was about as entertaining as watching a music video on mute with subtitles 2) I believe it was referenced twice in the course of the movie, which was three times too many 3) the director/writer had the humour level of a slightly retarded toddler.

NB: I know there are other events in Stargate which I should address, but please rest assured that yes, I saw your favourite cheesy parts, and yes, I agree that they are exceptional examples of lousy film making. Leave a comment and get it off your chest.

In the Name of the King

in the name of the kingIn which I release some pent-up feelings.

I wasted 127 minutes of my life last night.  It seemed like a good idea – he was hot, experienced and promised “a grand, epic adventure.”  Unfortunately, Jason Statham (Transporter) reached an embarrassing low in a movie that can only be described as “abysmal.”  Unless you enjoy torturing yourself with bad cinematography, cliched plot, incoherent flow, anachronistic script writing and a fair dose of bad acting, avoid In the Name of the King: A Dungeon Siege Tale.

If you happened to be eavesdropping outside my house last night, you would have thought I was watching a comedy, not a fantasy adventure movie.  This movie made me laugh – hysterical, incredulous laughter that erupted at all the wrong times.  The death and grief scenes were especially humourous, containing an incomparable mixture of tasteless acting, cliche and melodrama.  The villain bore a remarkable resemblance to Bob Hope and his greasy, slicked-back hair seemed dreadfully inappropriate in light of his medieval surroundings.

Actor Ray Liotta = Bob Hope?

Also horrendously inappropriate was the dialogue.  It was like Sir Gawaine saying to Sir Pellinore, “Yo dude, did you see like when I totally owned that giant?”  To which Sir Pellinore replies, “Yeah man, you like totally rock.  We should hang out more.”  Seriously, sucky writers should stick to modern stories, where we can laugh at them without feeling sick.

The storyline was the same as…every other hero movie.  It was only set apart from the competition by the incredible lack of depth.  Every scene had a point that could be guessed at least 5 minutes before it actually arrived.  Do not be deceived, as I was…there is in fact no “twist.”  What you think will happen does actually happen, though the acting may be worse than you expect.

If only the director had foregone the “storyline” and stuck with a montage of Statham fighting monsters and exuding awesomeness.  His well-acted character was like a chocolate chip in a vegan raisin cookie – good, but not good enough to save the rest of the cookie.

Much of this movie looked like the unedited footage you expect to see in the extras.  You know, the deleted scenes where the villain gurgles a few more times before he dies and the father-figure offers a lecture that is both pithy and incredibly boring.  I do not know who the editor was, but I think he spent more time playing solitare and napping then working on the film.  The lighting was dreadful and there was absolutely no “flow” to the first hour.  I felt disoriented, confused and bored, like riding the kiddy rollercoaster at a traveling carnival with my eyes closed.

I feel a lot better now…having dissed this movie almost as severely as it deserves, I will never think about it again.  If, on the off chance that you have watched this movie and enjoyed it, please comment on this blog, leaving the titles of any other movies you have previously enjoyed.  This will save me considerable time, disappointment and frustration in the future.