6.30.2010

Short Review: Zerophilia.

Premise: A boy discovers he has a rare condition known as Zerophilia, where he can change gender whenever he has an orgasm.

Starring: Taylor Handley, Dustin Seavey, Allison Folland, Kyle Schmid, Rebecca Mozo, and Gina Bellman.

My Reaction: A very unique idea, to say the least. The acting is decent, though the male version of the main character can get a bit annoying sometimes. You have no idea how much Rebecca Mozo looks like a mash between Keira Knightley and Winona Ryder, and that is all you will think about while she is on screen. There's a good story with a pretty good twist later on (actually, there are a couple). The characters are believable in their relationships with each other, though there are some pretty over-the-top moments. Overall, a unique and enjoyable film that, again, is pretty much a Rom Com/Sex Com, but it doesn't feel like one (despite sex being pretty much the centerpiece of the plot).

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I Am McLovin!

TV Meme: Day 22 - Favorite Series Finale.

Going into Day 22, I honestly had no idea what I was going to choose. A few others have said it already, but I'll reiterate. What makes choosing a favorite series finale so difficult is that series finales usually suck. They don't live up to expectations, the content of the show has drastically declined by that point, or a plethora of other reasons that I'm sure you can figure out on your own. I've done Google searches to see what other people have said were their favorite series finales, and the majority of them are for shows I never watched (Newhart, Six Feet Under, etc.).

There are so many shows I have watched that have had disappointing (to some degree) series finales. Battlestar Galactica, while wrapping up pretty much everything, still left me feeling unsatisfied with the answers I was given. LOST, while giving me almost no answers, was simultaneously decent and disappointing. To be honest, those are really the only two (besides the better two I'm about to say) that I can recall even seeing. Most of the shows I've watched seem to get canceled before even getting a proper series finale. The one I was gonna go with for a while was that to Boy Meets World, but that didn't sit too well with me as a choice. Why? Because, essentially, it was just a montage episode. You know, one of those episodes that just has the characters recalling events from all the past seasons for the nostalgia factor. Of course, there were some great moments in this finale, specifically the classroom scene at the very end with Feeny telling them all (after they leave) that he loves them all. It's a tear-jerker scene.

But for all-around quality, I think I'm gonna go, yet again, with Buffy the Vampire Slayer. There was a battle of epic proportions. Every character got a shining moment (some more literally than others). There was good comedy. There was a major character death. There was a great "relationship" moment. There was a bit of final redemption. And there was a closer that was reminiscent of the opener, book-ending the whole thing nicely. I can't say I've seen a finale any more satisfying than this one.

6.29.2010

Short Review: 100 Girls.

Premise: A college guy gets stuck inside an elevator during a blackout and meets the love of his life... but doesn't catch her name or her face, sending him on a quest to hunt through the female dormitory to find her.

Starring: Jonathan Tucker, Emmanuelle Chriqui, James DeBello, Katherine Heigl, Larisa Oleynik, Jaime Pressly, Marissa Ribisi, and Johnny Green.

My Reaction: This was a very sophisticated sex comedy... which is the best way I can put it. It takes a pretty good look at sex and relationships through the eyes of a male and does it pretty well and pretty realistically. It also touches on the female side, a bit, too... as Jonathan Tucker does a bit of cross dressing. Katherine Heigl, who usually annoys me, is actually pretty good in it, though her role is incredibly minor. She reminded me a lot of Julia Stiles' character in 10 Things I Hate About You, which is ironic considering Larisa Oleynik being in this movie. The movie does manage to keep you guessing on who the mystery girl could be, dropping clues at any number of girls. But the movie's biggest problem is that it has way too many characters and it tries to accomplish too much. It needed a tighter script with more direction and understanding of its purpose, instead of having about 15 different subplots going on simultaneously. But overall a pretty harmless, rather charming, and intelligent sex comedy.

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I Am McLovin!

TV Meme: Day 21 - Favorite Relationship.

This one was incredibly easy. From the moment I read "Day 21 - Favorite Relationship," I knew exactly who I was choosing. This is pretty much the relationship to base all other TV show relationships off of. It's so hardcore, I even just ended a sentence with a preposition. And no, it isn't Cory and Topanga (Shock! Gasp!). My favorite TV relationship is none other than Luke and Lorelei from Gilmore Girls.

That's right, people. I was a Gilmore Girls fan. What can I say? It was a very smart show. And the relationship between Luke and Lorelei was outstanding. From Season 1, you know the two are meant for each other. You know that the show will end with the two of them getting together. There can't be any other way. It just has to happen like that.

Needless to say everybody was pissed (myself included) when she chose Christopher in the final season. Granted, she doesn't stay with him, and she does get with Luke in the end. There's no grand wedding or anything. They kiss, and it's assumed they're together in the end. I couldn't find a good enough video to showcase their entire relationship, so here's a video of their first kiss instead:

6.28.2010

LKMYNTS: Altered.

I always knew that rednecks would be the threat to the apocalypse...

I love finding little known movies that turn out to actually be good. It makes me feel that I'm actually a step ahead of the movie crowd for once. It's especially fun to find horror movies, because that's such a closely watched genre with such a huge fan base that it's nearly impossible for a gem to slip by unnoticed. So, needless to say, I was a bit wary going in to Altered, figuring it was probably pretty much crap. Boy, was I wrong.

The movie starts as 3 redneck friends--Cody (Paul McCarthy-Boyington), Duke (Brad William Henke), and Otis (Mike C. Williams)--are hunting something dangerous in the middle of the night. Well, it turns out to be an alien (the monstrous kind), as they had been abducted and tortured 15 years before, when the aliens killed their friend, Cody's brother Timmy. Once the alien is captured, they take it to the house of another childhood friend, Wyatt (Adam Kaufman), whose girlfriend Hope (Catherine Mangan) is also living with him. Now, Wyatt was Timmy's best friend, and after Timmy, Wyatt was the most experimented on... and he's immune to a lot of stuff the aliens throw at him, as well as having a few extra special abilities over the aliens. Unfortunately, as they soon start to discover, maybe the aliens didn't let one of their own get caught on accident... and they can't kill it, because that would begin the annihilation of human kind.

The best thing I can say about this movie is that it is incredibly original, especially for an alien-horror movie. Most of the time with aliens, you're dealing with some type of invasion or abduction or something like that. This is totally different. The abduction happened years before the movie starts, and the invasion is the threat if they're not careful. It's essentially a hostage movie, where the hostage is highly dangerous in numerous ways, and at least one of the hostage takers (the stereotypical, stupid, hot-headed redneck) is all about killing it right then and there.

The movie is incredibly tense, and it sets up the mood early on. The pacing is perfect, and it never lets you go once you've started. Everything takes place at night (except the very end), so everything it dark and mysterious, where creatures can jump out at you at any moment. The suspense level is pretty good. I'd also heard, before going in to this movie, that it was incredibly gory. So I'm watching and watching and there's no gore, and hardly even any blood and HOLY SHIT OH MY GOD. I'll just say 4 words: tug 'o war... intestines. That scene is hardcore crazy (and brilliant).

The acting, from what I read, was people's biggest complaint. But I didn't see any major issues with it. Granted, I had just come off of a week of straight Uwe Boll films, so anything could have looked Oscar-worthy in comparison. But still, the only one who really seemed to overact was Cody, playing a pretty roughneck kinda guy. Though he does, surprisingly, have a good moment near the end. Besides Cody, the characters were pretty likable, and they weren't your stereotypical rednecks. Again, that was pretty refreshing.

But there is some negative. First, the alien looks ridiculous. If you've ever seen Dragonball Z... essentially, the aliens are Saibamen. Seriously, I about burst out laughing when I realized the comparison. They're Saibamen with super-sharp teeth. Luckily, you don't have to deal with seeing it directly too often. The next big issue... Hope, the girlfriend. The character had potential, but was mainly used as somebody to whine and bitch. And then the ending comes, which doesn't make any sense character-wise, I don't think. But oh well. I heard the creators already have a couple sequel ideas, which they wrote up at the same time they created this one, and they sound pretty cool (expanding on the idea of Wyatt and his abilities to face off against the aliens).

There's really not much more to say. I forgot to mention that this movie was made by the same guy who directed The Blair Witch Project (don't worry, there's no real shaky cam). But that does explain the movie's ability to build suspense and keep it tense. I really recommend this movie if you're into horror or the alien subgenre. It's pretty original, at the least. And if you're a gore-hound, the aforementioned scene is awesome.

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A Keanu 'Whoa'

TV Meme: Day 20 - Favorite Kiss.

Warning: There are spoilers in this post (this is primarily aimed at Rachel).

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I didn't want to do the same couple for Day 20 (Favorite Kiss) that I'm doing for Day 21 (Favorite Couple). So I'm changing it up a bit. Today, I'm going to talk about a kiss that was the talk of the town when it first happened. There really hadn't been much like it on regular TV before this, where gay/lesbian couples would straight-up make out during a television show (and actually, one of the characters is involved with the very first lesbian sex scene on network television). Not to mention they were just the cutest couple ever. Yeah, that's right, I'm talking about Willow and Tara from Buffy the Vampire Slayer.

The first kiss happens in essentially one of the most depressing episodes ever, which I won't spoil... in this post, anyway. But my favorite kiss is probably from the Season 6 episode "Entropy," where they try to gain back trust with each other and, well... this happens:



Yeah. Best. Kiss. Ever.

6.27.2010

LKMYNTS: TiMER.

I wasn't sure what I was going to think going into this movie. I'll admit I do like a good romantic comedy, despite them all pretty much ending predictably. But on top of the incredibly high Netflix rating and a decently high IMDb rating, it had an interesting Sci-Fi twist to it. Oh, and it starred Anya from Buffy the Vampire Slayer.

TiMER takes place in essentially a modern-day Earth, but where a couple decades before, people invented an object called, creatively enough, a timer (for the sake of sanity, I'm not gonna continue with the capitalization thing it does throughout the rest of this review). The timer is installed on the wrist of a person's dominant hand and counts down to the exact day that person will meet his or her soulmate. Now, this doesn't mean said person will fall in love on that day. It's just the day they'll meet for the first time--they can even be enemies at first, but they'll always eventually end up together.

Oona (Emma Caulfield) has had her timer since she was 14, which is the youngest legal age you can get one. But, strangely, her timer doesn't have a countdown, which means her soulmate hasn't gotten a timer of his own. Obsessed with "just knowing," she'll date guys a while and take them to get their own timer. And if the timers don't match up? Well, that's that. According to Oona, there's no point in continuing to date the guy--he's not her soulmate. On the other hand, Oona's step-sister Steph (Michelle Borth) has a timer that has a countdown telling her she won't meet her soulmate until she's into her 40s, over a decade away. And both women are driven crazy because of their respective timer issues. Though here's where they differ: Steph is up for some meaningless sex with strangers to take the edge off, while Oona would rather stick around for "the one."

Enter Mikey (John Patrick Amedori), a much younger guy who works at as a grocer that flirts with Oona one day. Oona, going against better judgment, eventually goes back and asks Mikey out (in so many words). Long story short, they end up in a relationship that Oona believes is just doomed from the start, but which Mikey is fine with, as he slowly falls in love with her. As he declares, life is about the detours. Also enter Dan (Desmond Harrington), who plays as Steph's love interest, despite Steph wanting to try and set him up with her sister instead.

OK, well, that was a lengthy plot summary, wasn't it? And I didn't even discuss Oona's family (primarily her brother). Her brother plays out a pretty thematically vital subplot. He has just turned 14 and gets a timer installed on his wrist, which declares he'll meet his soulmate in 3 days (to the annoyance of Oona). But I'll get back to themes after while.

First I want to talk about the overall film. I know I generally save this for the end, but this really isn't your typical Rom Com. I mean, the formula is definitely there, and you can see the 'big twist' coming a mile away. But other than that, this movie has a crap load of heart. It's very realistic with practically everything it does, from the emotions to the dialogue. It's been a while since I've seen a movie that balances its profanity so perfectly. Most comedies, particularly this genre, tend to do one of two things: 1) Use profanity excessively for humor or 2) Stay pretty far away from it and keep relatively clean. This movie is in the middle somewhere. It's there, but it isn't common. It's very real life, where people just talk normally and say something profane every now and then instead of every other word. In other words, it's used right. And it was incredibly refreshing, despite the fact that profanity has never bothered me, even in excess. But similarly, the character actions were very real, too. There wasn't any over-the-top moment. There weren't any romantic cliches, like the forgiveness in the rain. Everybody had a fault--the guys and the girls. It's just... the movie felt real. I'm not exactly sure I'm getting my point across in this paragraph, so I'll leave it at that.

The acting is really good. Nobody was even remotely bad or annoying. I particularly liked the actor who played Mikey, and I hope to see him in more things in the future. Desmond Harrington, you you might recognize as Quinn in Dexter, plays a pretty good character in this movie. He's very likable. But the one thing I just have to comment on is the reunion of Anya and Halfrek. For those of you who are looking at me like I'm crazy, Emma Caulfield played Anya in Buffy the Vampire Slayer, and Kali Rocha played her best demon-friend, Halfrek. Both actresses are in this movie, though Kali Rocha has a pretty minor role. Still, them both interacting is fun, especially the beginning when Kali's character asks Oona if the man she's with was "another potential." I'm not sure if it was intentional, but that seemed to be a funny little nod at Buffy.

So let's get back to the themes of the movie, because they're pretty blatant. Mikey has a good little speech at one point. He says that the timer basically takes away every path, giving you only one, but that life is about the detours. This line is huge in the grand scheme of the movie, but I'm not sure in what way. Basically, the movie sets itself up as a film about choosing your own destiny, following your own path and your own heart, and that life and love was more than just what some little bit of plastic told you it was. Now for my, and most other people's, biggest issue with the film:


(MAJOR SPOILERS)



The ending. In the end, Oona goes with the timer, not against it. This means she doesn't choose Mikey, which goes against the Rom Com standards. I can consider this a good, original thing. However, it also seems--on one level--to go against the themes of the film. After all that, the brother decides to continue forth with his young love, and Oona kinda goes against her sister's feelings by going with the timer, also leaving Mikey. Especially considering a scene not long before the ending where Oona's step-mother (I suppose you'd call her) explains how her timer didn't match with Oona's father's, yet she loves him so she's with him anyway.

However, on the other hand, the movie was also about the "detour," as Mikey had explained previously. In essence, there was a very Once-esque feel to it. Oona knew the relationship wasn't going to work from the beginning, but continued with it, making it one of the best 'detours' of her life. In that sense, the ending works perfectly. But still, there's something about it that bothers me.




(END SPOILERS)


Despite that issue, the movie was nearly perfect, particularly for its genre. It was incredibly charming, and you can't help but just smile while you're watching it. It felt very real and not contrived at all, like most Rom Coms these days. Not to mention the very idea of the timer and how it effects people's decisions was great to look at from a psychological point of view (and the movie does play at that). Anyway, I definitely recommend it. It's very unique and quite original. And if you have Netflix Instant Streaming, you can find it there.

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Royale With Cheese

TV Meme: Day 19 - Best TV Show Cast.

NOTE: I will be on vacation starting today, but posts will continue. I have set things to post on certain days... I'm on the ball! Not like you would have known one way or another, though... just felt like sharing.

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Day 19, best TV show cast, was always between a handful of choices. When I think of a great cast, I generally think that it has to be great from the main character down to the most inconsequential of characters. Or there are ensemble casts, where every character was cast just perfect for the role. And then, of course, the characters have to be good/engaging/entertaining, even if you just hate them so much you love them. It has to be a cast where you just can't possibly see any other people in those roles and doing it any better than the ones that were chosen.

So, of course, my mind went to two immediately. The first, of course, is LOST. It was a show that relied so heavily on its ensemble cast, and you came to know them so well, even down to those characters that may have been in one episode. Those characters still made an impact... sometimes literally (Arzt, anyone?). But I'm not choosing LOST. Why? Because everyone and their mother (Hi, Mrs. Thuro!) choose LOST for this. The second show that came to mind was Heroes. Despite it being the cool thing to hate Heroes after season 1, I stuck with it and actually enjoyed it (for the most part). Sure, it went off the rails, and there were a ton of missed potential moments. But we're talking about casting, not the show. Can you picture anyone else than Masi Oka as Hiro Nakamura? Or Milo Ventimiglia as Peter? The casting for the show was perfect; the problem came from the writing. So why not go with Heroes? Because, well, I did say one of the requirements was characters had to be "good/engaging/entertaining," and some of them just got awfully boring or annoying after a while.

So where am I going with all of this? What cast am I choosing? The one that includes Xander, Willow, Giles, Tara, Anya, Angel, Spike, Faith, Dawn, and (yes) Buffy... and eventually another that I won't mention for Rachel's sake (it's a season 6/7 thing). But he's hilarious. Oh, and formerly Oz and Cordelia. If that wasn't enough, of course I'm talking about Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Forget LOST and Heroes, these characters are iconic and part cult history. They all have different personalities. They're all likeable in different ways (again, even if it's in a "love to hate" kinda way). What other cast could pull off vampires, werewolves, hunters, demons, 'key of light' thingy, witches, nerds, and lesbians (and sometimes nerdy lesbian witches) so well? Not really much more to say... so I'll leave it at that.

6.26.2010

A Week Of Uwe Boll #6: The Demented Encyclopedia #13 - The One About Uwe Boll.

With 1 minute to spare! Uwe Boll week has come to a close as Travis and I record our 13th episode of The Demented Encyclopedia, dedicating it to the man, the mystery, the legend... Uwe Boll.

Basically, after a couple unrelated recommendations, we go through his entire catalog and discuss his movies, give our thoughts, and wrap it up with the D-Bag.

From there, we move on to one of our newer segments, Film vs. Film. I attempt to argue that BloodRayne is a more entertaining film than Far Cry, as Travis tries to argue, well, the opposite.

And, finally, we end with the Mono-Dialogues of the Week. And that's about it!









Thanks goes out to Kevin MacLeod's Imcompetech Website for the music. As always, you can use the player above to listen to the podcast, or you can search iTunes, where we are also available for download. The earlier episodes are being removed from the player for space, but you can still always download them on iTunes. Also, please become a Fan on Facebook... then you can give us your input for the podcast and will probably end up on the show during the D-Bag segment, as well as vote for which film in Film vs. Film won for the week. But as for now... enjoy!

TV Meme: Day 18 - Favorite Title Sequence.

It's Day 18, where I shall discuss my favorite title sequence. This one was incredibly easy. Sure, there are some amazing title sequences out there. Mystery Science Theater 3000. Dexter. True Blood. All are brilliant in different ways. But my favorite? My favorite comes from a show probably none of you have seen. It was a show that only lasted about a season and a half and starred Bruce Campbell as a Zorro-type figure in the Napoleonic Era (and Verne Troyer played Napoleon). It was called Jack Of All Trades, and it was a great and incredibly cheesy show. But I always loved the title sequence, and I just had to watch it every time instead of fast forwarding (I watched it on DVD). I won't try to explain it to you. Instead, take a minute out of your day and just... enjoy it yourself:

6.25.2010

A Week Of Uwe Boll #5: Seed.

I'm not even going to give this movie my time or effort in giving it a full-out review. So here are my basic, straight-forward thoughts:

Ahem.

Fuck the animal violence footage.

Fuck the nearly non-existent yet simultaneously confusing-ass plot.

Fuck the illogical actions by the zero-dimensional characters (seriously? No backup? No 'officer down!'? Oh, and WHY NOT try to execute him one more time before you faked his death anyway? And more... so much more).

Fuck the "you can't see shit because it's too fucking dark" cinematography through the entire fucking movie.

Fuck the editing.

Fuck the characters who you don't care for because you don't even know their names much less anything else about them.

Fuck the incredibly pointless hammer scene.

Fuck the ending.

Fuck Jodelle Ferland's agent for allowing her to be in this movie, as she's the only talent in this piece of shit, and she was only about 12 at the time.

Fuck Uwe Boll, who lost any semblance of respect he had garnered from me over the last few days after watching this "movie."

Fuck Uwe Boll again for making me actually say the following: this movie makes Hostel seem like the fucking Godfather. And we know how much I loathe Hostel and its stupidness.

Fuck anybody who thinks there's any minute of this film that's good or entertaining, even if it's in a "so bad it's good" way, because it isn't, and they're wrong, and they lose any kind of credibility as a movie commentator by saying otherwise. And finally...

Fuck. This. Movie.

Peace out.

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She's Gone From Suck to Blow!

(And no, it wasn't because I found the movie "hard to stomach" or anything like that. We all know I love horror and gore. After the PETA footage at the beginning, I was fine. It's just a really, really bad movie.)

TV Meme: Day 17 - Favorite Mini-Series.

Day 17. Favorite Mini-Series. This one is particularly tough because I hardly ever watch a mini-series. And when I looked through lists of different ones, I had only seen a few, and of those, only cared for a couple. And it was really tough to go with one over the other, but I did decide. The deciding factor? The ending. I've always said the ending to something can make or break the entire experience for me. And the reason the otherwise brilliant mini-series "The Lost Room" didn't make the cut is for its incredibly lackluster ending. I believe they left it as they did for purposes of a spin-off series, but that never happened.

So instead I'm going with another mini-series that nobody watched. It's from the creators of Lonelygirl15. Yeah, remember that? It was a controversial internet show because it started off like a real girl vlogging about her life and her friend Daniel, only for a bunch of weird stuff to start happening... with apparently her being involved with some type of cult. Anyway, it turned out that it was made as an internet TV show, which is what kind of spawned the sensation (such as with Felicia Day's The Guild). The series ran for a couple years, even having a few spin-offs, and I have to say I did follow it pretty much through its entire run. What can I say? It was entertaining. But I'm digressing pretty bad here.

Anyway, after the popularity of Lonelygirl15, the production company (whose name escapes me at the moment) got hired by CBS to create a 1-season show and/or mini-series that essentially played out like a murder mystery, with at least 1 person getting killed off per episode and ending the whole thing with the reveal of the killer. The show was called Harper's Island.

The story of the show was that a couple were going back to their childhood home of Harper's Island to get married. But the island had a dark past, wherein a serial killer had, well, killed a bunch of people on the island many years before, including the groom's best friend's mother. And Abby's (the best friend) father became obsessed with the whole thing, and it destroyed their relationship. Despite the show being about the wedding and the couple, Abby is pretty much the main character.

For the first handful of episodes, the killings are pretty secret. Nobody realizes what's going on, and most people just think those killed went back to the mainland or are just doing something else. But after a while, especially after the first public killing, they realize what's going on. But they can't escape, because the killer blew up the boats, cut the phones, etc.

The production value of the show was incredibly low budget, though the horror bits were pretty realistic. In fact, the show was relatively gruesome, despite them not showing half the stuff that happens (for obvious reasons). Still, it wasn't poor enough to turn anyone away. Though because there was so little budget, the actors they got weren't the best, either. It wasn't the most amazing acting in the world, but it was tolerable.

So why watch it, then? The mystery. It really does keep you guessing. Every episode, you're putting clues together, trying to figure out who the killer could be. "Oh, it can't be so-and-so, because they were with this-person when third person died." They also set up plenty of red herrings. In fact, I thought it was one character for a long time on the show, as he was one of the main red herrings. But then he started turning into one of my favorite characters. It was rather conflicting. And they really set it up to be at least half the cast. By the time the show is halfway through, you've probably set blame on the majority of the characters. I won't reveal who it was, though it was a partial let down. It was one of those things that was so predictable you couldn't possibly think it was that character. But it wasn't enough to ruin the whole thing. It just knocked it down to another average murder mystery. But it was still fun.

There was another aspect of the show that was interesting, too. You could get further clues by watching a web series that acted as a companion to the show. It starred one of the later actresses to join Lonelygirl15 and followed a similar format (ordinary girl starting a vlog to discuss her life when a bunch of crazy stuff starts to happen). She played a reporter new to the island when the stuff starts going down. It kinda follows her story, which a couple times intertwines with the main story. A pretty neat concept, I thought.

Anyway, that's about it. It wasn't a groundbreaking show or anything, and I think in the grand scheme of things, The Lost Room was actually a better and more original mini-series. It's just that the ending totally killed it for me.

6.24.2010

A Week Of Uwe Boll #4: BloodRayne.

Travis is probably gonna hate me for this one. Let me start off by saying out of all the Uwe Boll movies I had up to watch, BloodRayne was my most anticipated. Why? For a couple reasons. First, it's considered by many to be up there with Alone in the Dark as one of Boll's absolute worst films, and I couldn't wait to see this for myself. Second, I remember when it came out in theater and when the trailers first came out; I remember how fake it looked, and I often said that a Sci-Fi Channel Original looked more convincing. Combine that with a completely bizarre cast and a scene where you get to see Kristanna Loken's boobs, and I was in. And no, I've never played the video games the movie is based on.

The movie is about a Dhampir (where the P is pronounced like an F)--a half human/half vampire--named Rayne (Kristanna Loken). Many years ago, her vampire father, Kagan (Ben Kingsley), raped and murdered her mother. Ever since, she's been out for revenge. Then we also have the members of a vampire-killing society--Vladimir (Michael Madsen), Sebastian (Matt Davis), and Katarin (Michelle Rodriguez). Katarin's father, Elrich (Billy Zane), was in charge of this society... that is, until he became a vampire himself. Anyway, this society protects powerful objects/body parts that can make any vampire super powerful, and--of course--Kagan is after them. But Rayne will get these objects herself if it means finding a way to get to Kagan and kill him.

The movie's story is all over the place. Half the crap in this movie doesn't make sense, and that's being generous. Hell, Billy Zane's character ends up having absolutely no point. He's in maybe 3 scenes which go absolutely nowhere, and then he's never heard from again. It wasn't necessarily confusing as it was just laughably bad. There's even a sex scene that comes out of nowhere, which is the infamous scene where we get to see Kristanna Loken topless. And then it's never mentioned again.

The acting is atrocious, as well. The majority of the cast is incredibly out of place. Ben Kingsley doesn't even phone it in; Hell, he doesn't even sleepwalk through it. He gives us what is probably the most boring villain in any vampire story, not to mention one of the laziest performances of his career. Michael Madsen is obscenely out of place, and his pauses in between his monotone speech makes William Shatner look like Alan Rickman (oh yeah, I went there). As for Michelle Rodriguez, let's just say I pull off a more convincing British accent than she does, not to mention I can keep it going longer. Half the time she talks normal. Kristanna Loken is guilty of the same, but it was more noticeable with Miss Rodriguez. I mean, Jesus, when Billy Zane gives the best performance in your movie... though I should have realized this when the opening credits actually said "With Special Appearance By Billy Zane." Yeah. Billy Zane actually gets the "special appearance" tag for this movie. That tells ya something.

I never find reason to talk about props and costumes in movies. If you're a regular reader of mine, you'll know that. But I have to comment here. The costumes, primarily the wigs, are so bad they're ridiculous. From Ben Kingsley's to Meatloaf's (yes, Meatloaf is in this movie. You know what they say, some Meatloaf Aday keeps the doctor away... or something like that). And the weapons? Never have I seen duller swords. My Sword of Gryffindor (don't be jealous) could do more damage than Rayne's arm swords. And Ms. Loken moves so slowly with them, she gives you plenty of time to take it all in.

This leads in to the action. This movie was a gore fest. Granted, the blood was incredibly fake, as were any damaged body parts (sliced limbs, bashed heads, cut torsos, etc.). The camera stayed on them long enough that you could tell how fake they were. And the bright fake blood didn't help. There's actually one scene that's pretty funny when there are a bunch of guys beating a ripped open corpse with their swords, but they're doing it so slowly and with such bored looks on their faces. It's like they were trying out for the Pirates of the Caribbean ride at Disney World. Just going through the motions. But besides the gore, the action wasn't half bad. Sure, it was slow and not very fluid, as if the actors were too scared to play with their fake weapons, but it was still entertaining.

On top of all this, the script is terrible. Now, to his credit, Uwe Boll didn't write it. A woman named Guinevere Turner did. Yes, ladies and gentlemen, the same Guinevere Turner who was partially responsible for the screenplay of American Psycho. And it. is. bad. The conversations are jilted, mainly for 2 different reasons. First, everything is expository. There is no character building conversations. Every single sentence has to to with moving along the plot, even to the point where transitions in scenes make no sense and are forced. The second reason is that there are absolutely no contractions. This movie is apostrophe-phobic, I guess, because every little syllable of every word must be said. And as I said earlier, the story makes no sense part of the time, giving us unnecessary moments of story (Billy Zane's character... or Meatloaf's character).

All of this being said, I have to say that I actually enjoyed the movie. Some will say it's painfully boring. Some will say it's just bad. And some say it's a total rape of the video game. But I haven't played the video game, and I think this movie is actually so bad it's good. With bad acting reading the words from a bad script with actors wearing bad wigs and doing bad action scenes with overtly fake gore, all to further a plot that nobody really cares about? It's just so bad it's hilarious. And yes, I did laugh at points from the badness. And the reason I think I enjoyed BloodRayne more than some of Uwe Boll's other works thus far, such as Postal or Far Cry, is because of its consistency. Postal actually has some truly good moments in it, so its inconsistency to be either good or bad made it hard to watch. Far Cry just tried too hard; it had good ideas, but a really poor execution. BloodRayne is just bad all around, a bad that is so bad you're not sure that it wasn't made like this on purpose. Even the cinematography is bad, which is why I had the initial thought from the trailers that it came off as a really bad Sci-Fi Channel Original. So what did I think of at the end? That I was wrong. I actually think it would have made a pretty decent Sci-Fi Channel Original, though it was still at that quality and did not deserve the theater run. The only reason it did was the star power, I'm sure.

If there was anything I didn't like about the movie, even in a so bad it's good kinda way, it was the ending. There's about a 2-3 minute flashback montage of a bunch of bloody/violent acts that occurred throughout the rest of the movie (some of it in slow motion), just in case you had tried to forget it by this point. And it is a bloody montage, indeed. Still, it serves absolutely no purpose other than to confuse, which it did. But that was just a minor quibble in an otherwise super-campy, super-bad, so-bad-its-good vampire flick.

When it comes to these types of movies, I hate giving them ratings, because there are two levels to it. There's the actual movie score and the "how I perceived it" score, and I really don't like doing more than one score per movie. So I'm gonna go ahead and invent a brand new score, premiering today (actually, there are 2 new scores. The second I'll hardly ever have to use, but I have had to score a handful of movies with that rating in the past, so I figured it might as well get a picture). Ladies and gentlemen, I give you... the "Hot Mess" rating:

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A Hot Mess

(P.S. Both new ratings can be found in the sidebar "Ratings" section.)

TV Meme: Day 16 - My Guilty Pleasure Show.

This is one of my deep, dark TV secrets. It's Day 16, and I have to discuss my guilty pleasure show. Granted, it was rough choosing a show for this day, because both the shows that crossed my mind for today I haven't watched in quite some time. I'm going with my first choice, because I doubt I'll be watching my second choice again anytime soon--mostly because it comes on earlier in the morning during the week, and my schedule doesn't allow for that. That show being The People's Court.

But the show I'm going to talk about today is truly a guilty pleasure show... for somebody my age or really anybody in general. And that show is... (deep breath)... iCarly. That's right, iCarly. Again, I haven't watched it in quite some time, and thanks to Netflix Instant Streaming, I'll probably never be bored enough to watch it again. But there was a time in my life, not that long ago, when I'd flip through the TV looking for something to watch, not find anything, and then see a new episode of iCarly.

For those of you who don't know what this show is about, it's about a teenage girl named Carly (played by Miranda Cosgrove) and her best friends Sam (a tomboy) and Freddie (a dork who has a major crush on Carly). Carly lives with her older brother, a goofy artist named Spencer, in a pretty nice apartment. And one day, Carly, Sam, and Freddie decide to start up a web show entitled, you guessed it, iCarly.

The web show sequences themselves are completely stupid, childish, and the pinnacle of uninteresting. But there are other aspects of the show that always grabbed my attention. Spencer is like a poor man's Eric Matthews in the sense that he's an over-the-top goofball with the occasional serious moment, but oftentimes the writers try way too hard to make him funny. Still, he's entertaining. I'm also a sucker for relationships, and no, I'm not actually interested in Carly/Freddie. I actually like the pairing of Freddie and Sam, who hate each other. There are actually a couple episodes that I've seen that play at a relationship between them, which are always cute. In fact, Carly is probably the least interesting character on the show. Though she is essentially playing the "straight girl" amidst a cast of wacky characters.

Anywho, I think I've talked enough about this embarrassment. So... yeah.

6.23.2010

A Week Of Uwe Boll #3: Far Cry.

Wow. What can I say about Far Cry? I guess we'll just start with the plot. On a military-run island (I think), a man named Dr. Krieger (Udo Kier) is doing experiments on soldiers, trying to create the ultimate super soldier that can be controlled by said military. One of the men working there, though he doesn't really want to, is a man named Max (Ralf Moeller), who is the uncle of a reporter named Valerie (Emmanuelle Vaugier). He sets up a covert meeting for them on the island, so Valerie needs to find a way to get there. She hires a boat driver named Jack Carver (Til Schweiger), who also happens to be ex-Special Forces... and also happens to have fought in said special forces with Max... to take her to the island. But they're found out at soon as they get there and are nearly killed. Jack wants to just find a boat and get off the island, but Valerie refuses to leave without Max. Completely illogical stuff ensues.

First and foremost, I want to start off with the acting. It's atrocious. Like, really, really bad. I'm not even gonna go into detail. I'll just post this video that happens at the very beginning of the movie:



And it doesn't get any better from there. In fact, you don't hear much of Jack in this video, but he's just... ugh. I've never played the video game, so I don't know if Jack has a German accent in the game (or if there's even a voice over), but they could have--at the very least--gone with somebody who didn't struggle with English and then have them do a German accent.

It could have very well been my TV, but the action scenes in the first half of the movie were so dark you couldn't see what the hell was going on. Fortunately, I do have to admit that the action in the last 30 minute or so of the film is much better, particularly once all the super soldiers are released. But this is also a prime example of how ridiculous and illogical this movie was. The super soldiers had super skin that acted essentially like Kevlar. If they were shot, the bullets basically bounced off them. So tell me if this makes sense: The super soldiers were given Kevlar vests to wear, while the regular, non-super soldiers did not get Kevlar vests. And the greatest part? Everybody continually shot directly at the Kevlar vests on the super soldiers. Not their clearly open arms or heads. And you'd think they'd just go for the head shot. They couldn't possibly be afraid of missing. After all, seconds after they learn they need to aim for the EYE or MOUTH, everybody becomes an incredible marksman and can shoot a super fast super soldier in the EYE without even aiming. Hell, there's one moment where a woman just spins around and shoots one in the eye in about a second. And don't get me started on the romance and sex to be had within hours of meeting each other and previously being unable to stand each other. Or the elongated deaths, where there can be reactions and further actions to advance the plot right before death, despite being shot IN THE FACE (and boy did those eye shots just look stupid and unrealistic).

Let me try to put this another way. Remember yesterday when I discussed how Chris Coppola could have single-handedly destroyed Postal for me? Yeah, he was the best part of this movie. His character was actually pretty funny, though he's not really introduced until the last third of the movie. Udo Kier (who you'll instantly recognize, despite probably never having seen the majority of his movies) is a pretty decent villain. His acting is probably the least annoying (after Chris Coppola). The worst thing about the whole thing? (SPOILER ALERT) They never show his demise. That's right. You don't even get the satisfaction of seeing the villain defeated. You see the super soldiers coming toward him as he stands with his back to a cliff, but that's it. Then it goes to the escape boat with our heroes, and that's the end of the conflict. (END SPOILERS)

Yeah. This movie is pretty bad. There are a couple redeeming factors (like Chris Coppola's character), but that's about it. It's dull. It's inept. It's stupidly illogical. And up until Rampage, people apparently considered this Uwe Boll's best movie. And as I'm going in descending order based on rank, I can't wait to see what I have to look forward to next. As for Far Cry, I can totally see this as a movie to riff on with friends. I'm sure that'd be a good time. Just try to avoid watching it alone. Not as fun.

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The Zed Word

(P.S. Geeooorrggee, what are you doing driiivvvinngg? But Geooorggee, what about the whaaallleesss?)

TV Meme: Day 15 - Favorite Female Character.

Unlike "Favorite Male Character," Day 15's choice of "Favorite Female Character" was incredibly easy. Why? Because in a male-driven industry, there aren't all that many females that stick out. Most of them are simply the love interest or the ditz or the one struggling to "make it." Only every now and then do you have those who stand out in people's minds, like Buffy or Chloe (from 24) or Judge Judy. But my choice today, ladies and gentlemen, transcends them all. She is one of the most cleverly written female characters in quite some time.

I'm speaking, of course, of Sue Sylvester from Glee. Her snappy one liners and all around sick and twisted personality all played by the wonderful Jane Lynch make her a joy to watch. And when there is an episode lacking Sue? It sure is noticeable (not that the episode is bad, but you just miss her so much...). Not to mention her fascination with Will's hair. But don't take my word for it. Check out the following video (which doesn't even come close to representing her awesomeness, and I swear isn't all hair jokes. They just last a little while):

6.22.2010

A Week Of Uwe Boll #2: Postal.

I wanted to like this movie... I really did. And in fact, part of me did. At least, certain parts of it. But it was just so... I don't know. Let's get into it, shall we? Based on the video game of the same name, Postal cannot be blamed for ruining the story of the game. Why? Because the game has no story. So how can you mess up a movie adaptation? Well, Uwe Boll found a way. Set a few years after 9/11, the story follows Dude (Zack Ward) as he has a really bad day, including his overly obese wife cheating on him with, well, apparently the whole town. His uncle, Dave (Dave Foley), runs a sham of a religion that he made up himself. But he and his right hand, Richard (Chris Coppola), run afoul of the government and owe a lot of money. Meanwhile, Osama Bin Laden (Larry Thomas) shacks up in the back of Habib (Erick Avari) and his daughter's convenience store and plans, along with a man named Mohammed (Michael Benyaer), some secret, dastardly plan that is even crazier than 9/11. And all of these stories will converge... with Verne Troyer.

Yeah, the biggest problem the movie has is that it tries to do way too much. There's even a subplot with a police officer that I didn't mention up there, not to mention a couple horny old men that are thrown in from time to time. And not only with different storylines, but different things going on within each storyline. It just feels like a total mess.

The comedy is really hit or miss, and considering this is a comedy, that's not a good thing. It's a very over-the-top screwball-type comedy, not to mention it tries to be as offense as possible. I actually went into the movie expecting it to be offensively bad and batshit crazy as I'd heard rumored. This movie really was tame, especially in comparison to films like Feast 2 and 3. But there are some genuinely funny moments. Unfortunately, most of these moments happen within the first 20 or so minutes. For instance, the opening with the 9/11 terrorists, the interview scene (with "That Guy" Rick Hoffman), and the Asian lady in the car scenes were great (actually, the interview scene is probably my favorite scene in the whole movie). There's also a scene that introduces yet another character, a coffee shop worker named Faith, that is hilarious. And I haven't even mentioned the fact that J.K. Simmons needed a paycheck pretty bad for this movie, too (though his role is horribly short).

The acting can range from decent to awful. Zack Ward (who, ironically, is also somebody I always recognize from Freddy vs. Jason, much like yesterday's Brendan Fletcher) is pretty good in the lead role. He does comedy well. Dave Foley would have been better had I not have been subjected to seeing his penis. And I loved how Bin Laden was the only middle eastern character who didn't have a middle eastern accent. The worst offense, however, has to go to Chris Coppola as Richard, who is so annoyingly over-the-top, he would have ruined the movie had it already not been disappointing.

I think the action is where the movie lacked the most. In a movie about a first-person shooter that is known for being nothing but pure violence, there is surprisingly little. In fact, the violence doesn't really kick in until quite late in the movie. Though I wonder if Uwe Boll did this purposefully so to have a single joke work: There's a scene where Mr. Boll cameos as himself being interviewed, and eventually the creator of the Postal video games appears and attacks him, claiming how he's ruined his game by making this movie. It's actually a fun and clever scene, and Uwe Boll gained a bit of respect with me in how he makes fun of himself in the scene. But really... you make the majority of the movie suck for the purpose of a single joke that actually makes fun of the movie maker? That's pretty ballsy... and I don't think it worked, if that was really his intention.

But where the movie failed, it failed epically. Where it failed to be clever, it was painfully stupid. Where it failed to be funny, it was painfully unfunny. And unfortunately, there were more bad moments than good. The movie was a pretty big mess overall, and I wish that the good was scattered throughout the film instead of lumped at the beginning. Though there were a strange amount of similarities/connections with Rampage. For instance, I think Uwe Boll must have either worked in or had a really bad experience with a coffee shop...

I'm sure there's more I wanted to say about this film, but I'll leave it at that. With a tighter script, this movie could have been decent. But as it is, the movie is a bit sub-par. There are some fine moments, like I said (check out the interview scene here). But these scenes were far overshadowed by the rest.

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Feed Me, Seymour!

(P.S. What is the difference between duck?)

TV Meme: Day 14 - Favorite Male Character.

Welcome to Day 14 where I will discuss my favorite male character(s). I'm gonna do something a little different here, because, well, this is a day I've been dreading. There are just way too many to choose from! And it's not just like favorite show or whatever where you can narrow rewatchability down or whatever. There are just way too many male characters that I love equally and for different reasons. So what I'm doing is probably considered cheating. I'm going to make a Top 5 list of my favorite male TV show characters. And yes... because I will be discussing my number 1 in some amount of detail, so I'll technically be talking about my favorite male character... and then some (maybe you can see the rest as extra credit?). Anywho, here is my list.

Top 5 Favorite Male TV Characters


5. Eric Matthews

Show: Boy Meets World
About: Cory's older brother. Total goofball with heart.
Thoughts: What can I say about Eric that I haven't already? Yes, he was almost purely comedic relief, but there were moments that focused on him specifically that were great. These moments were even better if they were more dramatic and you got to see another side of Eric. He was one of my favorite TV characters for many years. He made me laugh; he made me care; he made me with I had a Mr. Feeny of my own. Here is a compilation of funny Boy Meets World moments. Not all of them are Eric, but the majority of them are:




4. Cappie

Show: Greek
About: Rusty's "Big Bro" at Kappa Tau. Partier. Lazy, but smart.
Thoughts: I said in a past post that Cappie is similar to Eric, and that I consider Cappie to be one of the best written characters on television. So why isn't he higher on the list? Well, I did say "one of" the best. Cappie is like an evolved version of Eric. He's not as much of a goofball, nor is he as over-the-top silly. Cappie is equal parts comic and serious, and his comedy is more sophisticated, as it were. He's always around for advice, and sometimes he works in mysterious ways. I guess he could be Eric and Feeny's love child. But he does have great character growth, particularly in his relationships to the other characters. Here are a couple good clips of Cappie (which were insanely hard to come across... not these specific clips, but any clips at all). Click here and here.


3. Lafayette Reynolds

Show: True Blood
About: Cook. Gay. Not afraid to step up or give attitude when needed.
Thoughts: I find I love Lafayette more and more every week. He acts similarly to Hugo/Hurley from LOST in the respect that he kind of says what the audience is thinking. But he's also more than just that. He cares for his family and friends and will always be there for them, whether physically or verbally. He's also hilarious. Here's a great scene from Season 1 where some rednecks stereotype him for being gay:




2. Spike

Show: Buffy the Vampire Slayer
About: Vampire. British. Snarky.
Thoughts: The reason I love Spike so much, beyond his general snarky and sadistic attitude, is his character growth over the show. I think out of all the characters over the entire course of the series (Buffy included), Spike has the biggest growth. He starts off as just another one-off evil character. But he was so popular they extended his role and then brought him back. And by the end of the series... well, if you haven't finished it yet (Rachel), I won't spoil it for you. Again, here's a video... it was almost impossible to find anything on Spike that wasn't a fan-made music video. Even his "best of" moments were just clips with music and no dialogue. This is the best I could find, and half of it isn't even Spike:




1. Dexter Morgan

Show: Dexter
About: Serial killer who kills serial killers.
Thoughts: Kind of an obvious choice, really, which is partially why I wanted to make the list. I didn't want to come off as just yet another guy who chose Dexter as his favorite male character. Dexter is a fascinating character in all regards. The way he has to handle his family and friends along with his... um... hobby. And his voice overs work to great effect. Even if he weren't just a great character to watch, he'd be a fascinating one. Finally, here's a clip of some of the best moments between Dexter and Doakes.

6.21.2010

A Week Of Uwe Boll #1: Rampage.

I know I'm about to miss the deadline (and on the first day!), but it's here. I've been working on finishing the first draft of my own movie script today. But now that that's done, I can focus on other things. Like this (though I still ended up getting distracted elsewhere after writing those first couple sentences... but I digress). So here are my thoughts on Uwe Boll's masterpiece, Rampage. And when I say masterpiece, I mean it literally, because this is probably his best movie.

Let me explain to you my situation going into this movie. The very first movie of Mr. Boll's that I'd seen was House of the Dead, which remains to this day the only Boll movie I've seen in theater. And this was prior to all the infamous Boll hatred started, considering this was really the film that brought him into the American spotlight. To be fair, this had also been one of the only movies of his I'd watched all the way through. I tried watching Alone in the Dark, but fell asleep over halfway in. I've since at least felt like I've seen the whole thing while watching the Nostalgia Critic's take on the movie (which is hilarious). But I know Boll's films by reputation... and by trailer... which is more than enough. I even knew of his boxing match against film critics and all the details therein. Needless to say, I wasn't a major fan of Mr. Boll by the time I got around to Rampage. In fact, despite positive reviews, I still went in expecting to not like it in some degree. And you know what?

While there were some issues here and there, it was overall a pretty damn good movie. Rampage is about a guy named Bill Williamson (Brendan Fletcher) who still lives at home with his parents (Matt Frewer and Lynda Boyd). He also puts up with his anarchist friend, Evan (Shaun Sipos), who so looks like he could be Brad Pitt's little brother (I swear, a couple times, he looked just like Brad Pitt in his younger years, say in Twelve Monkeys). And Bill's having a bad day. His parents want to kick him out of the house, his boss yells at him, his waitress spills food all over him, etc. While this doesn't create his reaction, it adds to what he does later. And what does he do? He dons a kevlar-based full body armor and goes on a killing spree (as well as robs a bank).

The movie is a slow burn at first, building his relationships and taking him through his bad day. You can tell he has a pretty good relationship with his parents, so there isn't the "let's blame the parents" angle. Even when they were talking about kicking him out, he was able to keep a level head and talk with them kindly and rationally. It was completely unexpected. And this whole section of the movie goes on for at least 20 minutes or so. It's a bit too long, honestly, and there's a whole bunch of unnecessary flashes into the future when he eventually goes on his rampage.

Similarly, once he starts on his rampage, there are flashes back to the beginning of the movie when he's not on his rampage. It was just very strange, and it's my biggest complaint about the movie. Then again, Uwe Boll has always had very strange editing choices (House of the Dead video game footage, anyone?). The rampage itself is fine, except for the very beginning of it. Going along with the strange choices, Boll decides to have almost the entire first few minutes of the rampage happen while we see nothing by Bill's eyes. It's kind of annoying.

I think what I loved most about the movie was the direction it turned. Travis' review kinda spoiled it for me, as I probably would have picked up on it slower had I not read it first, so I'm not gonna go into too much detail here. Let's just say it becomes a kind of genre I really enjoy. And it shows you how well thought out this whole thing was and how smart the character of Bill really is.

On the acting front, you really only have a few characters to deal with: Bill, his parents, and Evan. Evan is good for the character he is. And, again, there's one moment when you're watching one of his online videos that he looks so much like Brad Pitt it's scary. You'll recognize the parents immediately, or at least the father. Matt Frewer is a veteran "That Guy" who, if you're like me, you'll most likely recognize from Honey, I Shrunk The Kids every time you see him in something. Not sure why I recognize the mom. Probably from Final Destination 2.

And then, of course, Brendan Fletcher, who I always recognize from Freddy vs. Jason. I want to give this guy his own paragraph. He does amazing as Bill. Seriously. He plays the character in a way that is so unexpected. He's not yelling at his friends or his parents. He doesn't come off as the loser loner, nor does he come off as some kind of Roid-Rage freak (he's pumping iron quite a bit in the first 20 or so minutes). He gets along fine with his parents. He puts up quietly with his outspoken friend... at first, anyway. Even when he's on his rampage, he's not screaming and yelling at people. In fact, he's pretty calm through most of it, keeping cool and collected. He knows exactly what he's doing, and he's not exactly doing it for thrills. He's doing it to make a point.

In fact, there are a few instances in the movie where he does leave survivors. He decides not to kill certain people (another spoiler from Travis' review that cut the tension a bit for me, so I won't say who). It's not a rampage of chaos. Everything he does has purpose. It's actually order disguised as chaos, which is where the real brilliance of the film lies.

That's right, I said it. There's brilliance in a Uwe Boll film. From the way the story resolved to the message it delivered, this was actually a well thought-out film. A brutal and bat-shit crazy film, but a well though-out one nevertheless. The only thing that almost killed it for me was the ending. The last few seconds of the film with the text about ruined the mood. It would have been better to end it right before that text came on screen. Fortunately, it wasn't enough for me to dislike the film. Unfortunately, I'm now left with only those films I shall probably dislike (which I'm going to review in descending order, giving myself ample time to sink into the degradation of his worse films). But as for now, I need to rate this one.

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A Keanu 'Whoa'

TV Meme: Day 13 - Favorite Childhood Show.

Welcome to Day 13 where I discuss my Favorite Childhood Show. This, ladies and gentlemen, was one of my hardest. The one (along with Favorite Show and First Show Obsession) were some pretty tough categories. Why? Because I had to rotate choices. Boy Meets World was originally in this spot, but then I moved it to Favorite Show. So I had to come up with a new one for this one, which means I had to flip around First Show Obsession, and it was just some big mess (remember, I'm not wanting to use the same show for any 'favorites'-type category).

And then I started wondering... what age range does it mean by childhood? There was my really young years (which I what I'm going with for Obsession), my mid-childhood (which is what I'm using for this one), and my later childhood (which was Boy Meets World). Obviously, as I just said, I'm going with mid-childhood, which is in the age range of, oh, 6-12 or thereabouts--and yeah, there's some overlap with the other age ranges... which makes no sense, but whatever.

Anyway, let's get on with it. So what am I considering my favorite childhood show (pretty much based on process of elimination)? Power Rangers.

That's right. Starting with Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers and going through In Space (and partially Lost Galaxy), Power Rangers was everything to me. It was basically my second major television obsession growing up. I had VHS tapes (including Alpha's Magical Christmas, I believe it was called... as well as a "learn karate" video tape that I believe was hosted by Tommy). I had action figures. I had a video game for my Sega Game Gear (yeah, remember those?). I had a set of their weapons that combined together into one ultimate weapon. I had at least one morpher. I had both movies. I had a framed poster. I think I even had Pink Ranger gloves that talked when you hit them right (or something like that... and why pink? Yeah, I dunno). And on top of that, I never missed an episode. I even watched the rip-off shows that were even remotely similar (Masked Rider, Big Bad Beetleborgs, etc.).

The Mighty Morphin' years will always be the best, despite--apparently--a lot of fan love for In Space, which I hardly remember. The relationship between Tommy and Kimberly; anything to do with Tommy in general, really; Rita and Lord Zed; Bulk and Skull--how can you not love it?

The Mighty Morphin' years started to come to a close around the time the first movie came out, in which they gained new powers and Zords (the Ninja Zords). Granted, they didn't use the movie as canon and gave an entirely different story on the new powers/Zords through the show... but whatever. This "ninja" era was cool, especially for the fact that they had an 'in-between' power up that wasn't regular weakness, but also wasn't full power morph.

Unfortunately, this didn't last too long as they decided to go Zeo, which was a pretty cool concept, I suppose. But they couldn't keep that very long either, having to shift into Turbo. This was by far one of the stupider seasons and one of the least liked. This one, too, started with a movie. Though the movie here was used as canon, strangely enough. But like Zeo, it didn't last very long. From here they went In Space, which is supposedly one of the best seasons of the original run. In Space was supposed to be the last season, but they kinda gave it one more nudge after that one had some of the highest ratings the show has ever seen. That final nudge was Lost Galaxy, where the majority of viewers stopped watching, myself included. I don't think I made it very far into this season. And after this, they pretty much rebooted the show every season with a new concept, new characters, new everything. Some might say Lost Galaxy is the first to reboot itself, but it actually had some long-term appearances by original-run characters throughout, so I can't say it was a full reboot like the seasons to follow.

However, if you want a good, detailed look back at the Power Rangers, check out Linkara's History of Power Rangers. Those videos are amazing. Just make sure you have a lot of time on your hands, because they can be pretty long. As of this posting, he's gone all the way through Lost Galaxy, but he's going to continue on with the one-off seasons that followed.

6.20.2010

A Week Of Uwe Boll.

Man, it's been a while since I've done a "A Week Of..." Seriously. Like, at least a year or more. And it's not exactly an entire week. In the past, my "A Week Of..." posts were actually 7 days long. This will only be 6 days, Monday through Saturday.

Why Uwe Boll, might you ask? For a couple reasons. The biggest, of course, is that Travis and I will be covering the man and his work in our next episode of The Demented Encyclopedia. Next, though, is that I recently watched Rampage... which was actually a good film. And because I haven't actually seen the majority of his movies, I thought I'd drown myself in their terribleness. There are a few I won't be covering here, of course, but on top of Rampage, I will be covering 4 others. I've added them to my Netflix Instant Queue, and I will be checking them out over the next week.

Which 4, you ask? Well, you'll just have to wait and see! But I'll give you a hint. I won't be covering House of the Dead or Alone in the Dark (two of his most notorious) because, well, 1) they aren't available on Instant Streaming, and 2) I've already seen both (OK, so only most of Alone in the Dark). These 4 are going to be ones I have not yet seen. And, again, the fifth is Rampage, which I'll be covering first, since I just recently watched it.

So get yourself pumped. The Raging Boll is making his way back to my blog (I covered him once a very long time ago, announcing how he was the root of all evil), one film at a time, topping off with Saturday's posting of the Uwe Boll-centric TDE. Oh, and don't worry. I'm still continuing with the TV Meme. So you'll be getting at least 2 posts a day over the course of this week. Stay tuned!

TV Meme: Day 12 - An Episode I've Watched More Than 5 Times.

Today, Day 12--an episode I've watched more than times--was one of the harder ones to figure out. Why? Because I almost never watch episodes more than a couple times at most. And if I do, they're usually sitcoms or something like that, which I don't watch on a regular basis and thus have a hell of a time remember which episodes of what shows I've watched more than 5 times.

Do I know if I've actually watched any episodes of any show more than 5 times? Not at all. So with today's post, I'm just gonna take a wild guess. What I'm going with today is a show where I've seen the same episodes multiple times, and I know this for a fact. And the episode in particular is one of my favorites (if not my favorite), and I know I've seen it quite a few times, because I'll stop and watch it if I catch it on. So what's the show? Family Guy. And the episode? It's the thirteenth episode from Season 2, "Road to Rhode Island."

In this episode, Stewie had gone to his grandparents' house in California, and Brian volunteers to bring him back home. However, they miss their plane and have to travel cross-country by various means on their own. Meanwhile, Peter becomes addicted to marriage counseling video tapes that are presented like porn.

This episode has some incredibly memorable moments. Here are a few:

-After a few mishaps, they begin hitchhiking. They end up in the back of a truck with what appears to be illegal Mexican immigrants, where Brian has the following conversation with one of them (paraphrased):

Brian: "Me llamo es Brian."
Man: "You don't need the 'es'. Just, me llamo Brian."
Brian: "Oh, oh! You speak English. That's great."
Man: "Que?"

-Brian and Stewie end up in Austin, Texas (which looks nothing like Austin, Texas), where Brian was born. While there, they discover--to Brian's mortification--that his mother has been stuffed. The burial scene is hilarious as Stewie does a eulogy retelling the story of Abraham almost killing his son Isaac.

-All the Peter/Lois stuff with the video. One of the best parts is when Lois figures out what's going on and records over the video as herself stripping... and then when she appears in the room and begins to seduce Peter, he continues trying to watch the video of her, despite her being right there.

-And, of course, the "Road to Rhode Island" song, which just tops off an already great episode. Here's a video of it (it's not the video footage, but the song put to pictures... still, it's the song):



There are a few more great moments, but then I'd practically be telling you the entire episode. So I'll leave it at that. And that's an episode I've watched more than 5 times (I think).

6.19.2010

TV Meme: Day 11 - A Show That Disappointed Me.

It's Day 11. Man, I'm just flying through this thing, huh? Well, it's time for a show that disappointed me. After a bit of thinking, I could only come up with one real answer.

Leverage. Now it's not a bad show by any means. It's still pretty entertaining. But here's what happened. I watched the first 3 episodes via Netflix and was blown away. The show was outstanding. It was like every episode was a heist and/or perfect crime scenario. It was exactly my kinda thing. I was loving it so much that I didn't bother to wait for the rest of it on Netflix and, instead, went out and bought the first season on DVD (it was pretty cheap).

And do you know what happened? I continue watching the show, and the quality of excellence just plummets. The majority of the episodes are no longer about heists or perfect crimes. The characters were good, but most of the middle episodes were just... incredibly lacking. Fortunately it picks back up again near the end of the season. I just wished the entire season was like the beginning and ending. Granted, there were maybe 1-2 episodes in the middle portion that were really good, but for the most part they were just... blah. Still, a thoroughly enjoyable show, but it just wasn't up to par with what I was expecting when I got it.

(For further information, I reviewed season one of the show here.)

6.18.2010

TV Meme: Day 10 - A Show I Thought I'd Hate But Ended Up Loving.

For this Day 10, a show I thought I'd hate but ended up loving, it took me a while to figure something out. Like most people, I don't go out of my way to watch a show I think I'm gonna hate--or even moderately dislike. So what I really had to come up with was a show that I saw the first episode of and was, at the least, incredibly underwhelmed. And I came up with two.

Now, it was hard to choose between these two, because neither of them really fit the full criteria. For instance, with the first one, I watched the first episode and thought it was incredibly stupid, and I didn't want to watch it again. Then I watched it again and thought it was great. The reason it doesn't work for this choice? I don't love the show. I haven't kept up with it, and I didn't go out of my way to watch every new episode when I did watch it. I've seen most of the first couple seasons, I think, but that's about it. And the show? The American version of The Office.

So I'm going with my second choice, which is pretty much the opposite, emotion-wise. When I watched the premier episode, I didn't hate it, but I was incredibly underwhelmed. I wasn't impressed at all, and I thought the show was going to be really boring. That is... until about the last 5-10 minutes of that premier episode, when there's a major twist that made the rest of the episode worth it. And from that point on, I loved this show. And the show? The newest version of Battlestar Galactica.


Sure, the show had a few missteps (and I know I'm way long-past due on my reviews for every season after the first), but it was just so damn entertaining. The characters were deep, involved, layered, and human (sometimes). The stories were engaging. The action was fun. And there were so many great mysteries, including the major "Who's a Cylon?!" mystery that spanned the entire show.

I'm not gonna ramble on about the show like I have with others. I'm pretty much just gonna leave it with that. I wasn't sure I was going to like the show when I started watching it, and it turned out that I really loved it.

6.17.2010

TV Meme: Day 9 - Best Scene Ever.

It was only for a short while that I had no idea what I was going to post for today--what I believe to be the best scene ever. I mean, there are tons of scenes out there. This is nearly an impossible choice, right? First kisses, action scenes, redemptions, twists and surprises... there are thousands and thousands of possible choices.

But then came the Glee season finale (Warning: Potential Spoilers Ahead). And, well, the choice suddenly became very, very easy. For the longest time, I wondered if they were ever going to perform Queen's "Bohemian Rhapsody" on the show. But I also always wondered how they would pull it off. First of all, it's a long song. Second, how the hell do they mix it with whatever current story is going on? The song is mildly schizophrenic, split into 3 different parts--and those three parts are essentially disconnected from each other in just about every way (mood, lyrics, etc.). And because Glee prides itself on mixing popular music with the story, this would make it a nearly impossible song to do.

Well, they found a way. During Regionals, New Directions' rivals, Vocal Adrenaline, performs the song (straight from one commercial break to the next). Now, having Vocal Adrenaline's performance juxtaposed against the birth of Quinn and Puck's baby was brilliant. Everything syncs up perfectly, not to mention Vocal Adrenaline's choreography at one point symbolizes the actual birth just as Quinn delivers. And also, in the song's third act, we also see the song symbolizing what Jesse (the lead singer of Vocal Adrenaline) did to Rachel in playing her and leaving New Directions to go back to Vocal Adrenaline. We also get to see brief character development (Quinn choosing Mercedes to come into the room with her or Puck crying as his daughter is born).

And all of this while simultaneously showing us that Vocal Adrenaline's biggest problem as a performance group is that they're all show and no soul, as was the focus a few episodes prior. But let's not keep me rambling. Just check out the scene yourselves: