So a friend of mine sent me a link to a casting call for people who like to dress up as zombies to try out for an episode of the great show Mythbusters, filmed right here in the Bay Area (Reject Your Reality image courtesy of the TV Show T Shirts). The notice is calling for people willing to show up in camera ready zombie attire with makeup. They need to have full range of movement, including head and torso and need to be able to don helmets or torso padding. Given how cool both zombies and this show are, my mind is spinning as to what zombie myth they plan to test.
When you think about it, due to the fact that they want you to show up in zombie drag they probably aren’t trying to create zombies out of people. I doubt they want to test the whole shoot zombies in the head to kill them either, since that works pretty well for living humans too. Could they be testing to see if a human can outrun a massive herd of shambling humans? The helmet and torso padding mention is throwing me too. Maybe they are training dogs to attach zombie heads? I am totally confused.
If any of you try out and get in let me know what they are working on. I am dying of curiosity. If you can’t talk about it for press reasons I will keep it secret until the episode comes out, but I kind of have to know. Given the massive font of creative cos play and zombie love that is here in the Bay Area they should be getting some of the best zombies this side of the Walking Dead.
If you are interested in participating check out their zombie application form. Good luck, and if you do it I hope you have a blast.
I am in fact a fan of the whole Resident Evil series. I played the games years ago, and enjoy the movies for the pure brain candy that they are. They serve purely as a vehicle to give Mila Jovovich a chance to slow motion kick the hell out of zombies, mutants, and Umbrella Corporation employees (Umbrella logo shirt from the Zombie T Shirt category) and in that narrow category this one is dead on.
That being said, they are definitely the film equivalent of a Caesars salad made of lead paint chips, steadily eroding the average cinema IQ of the movie going audience. The thing to remember is the movies view exactly like watching someone play the Resident Evil video games, and Capcom is not well know for crafting amazing (or even coherent) stories in their video games as well.
This is the point in any discussion of the relative cinema merits of a RE film that someone has to stand up and say “What the hell were you expecting? It’s Resident Evil!” This is an extremely valid point and one I wont belabor. If you go to an RE film expecting anything worthwhile you should dedicate your life to finding the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow, as I guarantee you will have more chance of success.
Resident Evil: Retribution is a particularly harsh example of great action and special effect glued to a script that would bring shame to the writers of 80’s porn movies. The story seems embarrassed to show itself and for good reason. It peaks around the corner of an action scene timorously, squeaks out a few lines of expository dialog, and then hides in the closet weeping quietly while Alice and her crew rush to the next set piece for slow motion action mayhem. Keeping in line with the current ugly trend in movie making there is nothing really original here at all. The film could be called Resident Evil: Regurgitation as every villain, monster, and supporting hero has been vomited up from past movies including the Red Queen and Rain from the first film, as well as pretty much all of Alice’s past boyfriends, Jill Valentine, and assassin Ada Wong.
The story actually defies description. I was awake and alert and I honestly can’t tell you what the hell was going on. Back in November I wrote a post about the Umbrella Corporation and what the hell their deal was, and never were my points more driven home. How exactly does destroying the human race and turning them all into zombies or biological monsters generate profit? I’ve also never seen a company more in love with it’s own logo. Every door, gun, knife, vehicle, pencil, and pot holder in the movie has an Umbrella logo on it. I am going to have to remember that trick when my company is on its way to world domination (I think I need a cool logo first).
Anyway, Alice (Mila Jovovich-the whole RE series, the Fifth Element, the Three Musketeers) and starts off with a reverse action scene on a cargo ship from the last movie that is really, really freaking cool. Unfortunately that sequence has nothing to do with the rest of the film and vanishes into the nether. Alice wakes up almost naked on a giant Umbrella logo (by the way, I know this was supposed to hearken back to the first film but the garment they cooked up to almost but not quite show her naked made the thermal wraps she wore in the Fifth Element actually look functional. Basically two square towels front and back held on with Scotch tape) and is tortured and interrogated for no apparent reason by Jill Valentine, who is under control of a mechanical spider. She gets busted out by Luthor West (Boris Kodjoe) with help from Ada Wong (Bingbing Li). There was some weird sequence of Alice living as a suburban housewife who’s community gets overrun with zombies and she has to escape with her hearing impaired daughter.
The story goes in all kinds of weird directions. Rain (Michelle Rodriguez) shows up both as another suburban housewife and later as a mercenary out to kill Alice. West sends in an assault team comprised of a bunch of other old characters. There is something about Alice having the key to human survival and they have to break her out of the Umbrella base, which is an abandoned Russian sub base except there are still some nuclear subs around. Jill and Rain are after them, along with a legion of zombie soldiers and massive mutants. They move from set piece to set piece (literally. The base has reproductions of Tokyo, Moscow, etc and they have to fight through each one). There is a big fight at the end, and eventually Alice escapes with her daughter into the prelude to the next sequel.
The stars. If you like brainless action and hot women in skin tight S&M outfits this movie will work for you. Two stars. The CGI and filming were really, really good. One star. The fight choreography was brilliant and the complete opposite of the quick cut action that films have been using lately to avoid having to find actors who can actually fight. One star. All the monsters were gross and cool. One star. While I am of course a big Mila Jovovich fan I am actually giving a star for Bingbing Li. Something about her with a gun strapped to her bare upper thigh exposed by the midriff slit in her hot red dress did things for me. I can’t quite figure out what exactly but will think about it. The only problem I would have dating her would be saying her name and not bursting into laughter (insensitive as hell, I know). One star. A movie that delivers exactly what the specific audience wants. One star. Total: seven stars.
The black holes. If movie stories were babies, this one would not even qualify as afterbirth. Two black holes. This film borrowed so heavily from the previous movies that it’s debt must rival the national one. One black hole. In addition to being bad, the story left me really confused at points. No one had a motivation they could articulate to do anything, leaving me without any kind of reason to even try to understand. One black hole. For a zombie movie I found this film really lacking in zombies. One black hole. The action, while good, bordered on the ridiculous at times. It has always been pretty apparent that Alice is unbeatable, which tends to drain the tension from the scene. One black hole. Total: six black holes.
A grand total of one star. Should you see it? There really is only one reason to see this film, and that is if you are a fan of Resident Evil and have seen all the others previous to it. If so you will enjoy the hell out of it. The action is exactly what you want. If you have not seen any of them or like to understand what the hell is going on don’t bother. Date movie? Hell no. Bathroom break? A bizarre side effect of having no real story in this movie is that none of the scenes are critical, but all of them are exciting and fun. If you are enjoying the film I would say hold it for 95 minutes and if you are not go any time you like.
Thanks for reading. More movies out this weekend, so look for something else soon. Follow me on Twitter @Nerdkungfu. Feel free to post any comment about this movie or my review here. If you have an off topic question or suggestion feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Talk to you soon.
After Dave wrote his review for Hunger Games I went and checked it out. I liked it. Fun and entertaining. But I was reading on line this morning that it looks like they are hiring the director who did I am Legend, a pretty lame movie.
The thing is, if you read the book I Am Legend (or Omega Man) was a pretty grim story about the end of humanity. Francis Lawrence managed to miss the real point of both the book and Charlston Heston movie and instead made a dumb zombie survival movie. The entire reason they called it I am Legend is the main guy is the legendary last human, bane of zombie culture. In the movie Lawrence made there is no reason at all for the title. Just another mediocre movie.
Lawrence also made Water for Elephants. I didn’t see it, but Dave did and according to his review it sucked. Other than there is no real reason why this guy should be working on he sequel to one of the biggest single movie openings in history. Is it that hard to hire someone good? Seriously, with enough money you could hire Scorsese.
That zombie shirt comes from Dave’s zombie t shirts, by the way.
So my best friend and I were discussing zombies this morning and came to the great debate of fast zombies versus slow zombies. Like most things in life I have an opinion on this matter and have no problem sharing with all of you.
Proponents of slow zombies say that this is the classic mode for zombies, from the Romero days and beyond. While capable of the occasional burst of speed when presented with a close victim, zombies have always moved with a slow, lumbering shamble and there is no reason to change that. Slow zombies tend to be the ones who need to be shot in the head to kill and are otherwise impervious to most other damage. They feel no pain or desire other than to eat the flesh (or brains) of the living. They are literally animated rotting corpses and tend to show it (Zombie Target courtesy of the Zombie T-Shirt category). Good slow zombie movies include any George Romero or Lugio Fulci films, Zombie Squad, Zombie Lake, the first two Resident Evil video games, the Walking Dead, Cemetery Man, Dead Snow, and Shaun of the Dead.
On the other hand, fans of fast zombies are quick to point out that the original zombie was not even a walking corpse but rather a drugged human in Haiti, and that the undead zombies are an evolution of zombiehood. Why not then extend the evolution further and have faster and faster moving zombies? Or, for that matter, why not have giant fast moving behemoths that are sort of related to zombies? Most fast moving zombies actually tend to be infected humans and in a weird way are more closely related to the original Haitian zombies. They therefore can be shot anywhere and be affected; however their total lack of fear or pain registration tends to make them pretty hard to put down. They also tend to mutate and grow things like claws and super long tongues that can strangle you, which again calls the whole zombiedom into question. Films that include fast zombies are 28 Days Later, Zombieland, Dawn of the Dead (the Zack Snyder remake), Return of the Living Dead, Dead Alive, and most modern video games like Left 4 Dead.
Honestly it boils down to tone, and for me slow zombies are what a zombie movie is all about. If you give a zombie anything faster than a stumble you turn the movie from a zombie film to a horror film. The zombies are just bad Freddy Kruggar clones sans sweater and claws, and fast motion belies the brainless nature that makes zombies less an active force bent on your destruction and more an unstoppable force of nature. The menace of the zombies is not in one fast zombie sneaking in under your arc of fire and killing you. It is in being overwhelmed by a stumbling horde of mindless eating machines. True zombie movies are in truth survival movies, and the zombies themselves are just another obstacle to confront the protagonists, along with issues of shelter, food, and gas.
Like George Romero always implies in his films, the real danger in a zombie movie is other humans, not the zombies. When you give zombies human-like abilities it degrades the zombie experience.
Thanks for reading. As for movie reviews, this is one of the bleakest weekends ever for film releases. Not only is there nothing I am excited to see, I can honestly say I am dreading most of them. I will see something later tonight and write it up tomorrow, but I am not really gung ho for it. Follow me on Twitter @Nerdkungfu or email me here with suggestions or ideas. If you have an opinion on the fast zombie/slow zombie issue please post a comment here. Talk to you soon.
So I just read online that Will Smith has agreed to do a sequel to I am Legend, the horrible remake of the really good Omega Man starring Charlton Heston. Didn’t his character die at the end of I am Legend? Unless they expect us to believe that he is such a bad ass he was able to fight off about 100 infected humans with a scalpel. Also, didn’t he blow himself up with a grenade?
The really funny thing is the only thing they took from the book and movie was the title. The reason it was called I am Legend was the one remaining human survivor wasn’t really a scientist. He was a guy who would go out every day and kill the infected humans as they slept. What he didn’t realize was that over time they were regaining control of their higher brain functions and were reforming society, just a sort of vampire/zombie can’t stand the light sort of way, and he was becoming a legend as a supernatural mass murderer. Very cleverly done in my opinion. This movie was total crap and the fact that it made serious money means the movie going audience is comprise of morons.
Dave doesn’t have any I Am Legend merchandise so I lifted this image from his zombie t shirts. He says I should put in an image for each post. It’s not really an infected human like in I am Legend. More of a classic zombie. You get the idea.
One thing it appears Dave and I agree on it’s that zombies rule and the Walking Dead is one of the greatest TV shows on right now. Great story, great characters, and great zombies. The good news is I just found out is that AMC has just ordered another 16 episodes is addition to the ones they are showing right now in season 2. Excellent choice. Of course it always makes me laugh when AMC does great original TV like the Walking Dead or Breaking Bad when their initials stand for American Movie Classics. Shouldn’t they be showing Gone With the Wind all day or something?
Something that has always amused me about zombies is the guys who are huge fans and are hoping for the big zombie apocalypse (like Dave) are also the guys most likely to end up zombie chow in the first ten minutes. Most of them seem to think hey are going to run around with a shotgun like on this zombie t shirt and be the hero of the wasteland, but based on what I have seen with regards to physical abilities things are going to go badly for them pretty quick. I’m sure if zombie apocalypse took place in Warsong Gulch they would do fine, but anyone remember the scene in Zombieland when the main guy describes the reason cardio is so important?
Impossible to not enjoy it.
Another Tuesday, another $5 movie. Thank you Regal. Yes, as much as I enjoy dumping all over main stream movies, I have to say I quite enjoyed this film. I think I can sum it up in three words: great chase scenes. Director Brad Bird (the Iron Giant, the Incredibles, Up, Ratattoule) has revealed a hidden talent for really amazing chase scenes that make most other chase scenes look like three-legged races. Furthermore, not only are they exciting and fun, but he manages to merge them into the story seamlessly. They don’t at all feel forced into the screenplay in an attempt to showcase his ego. Really well done.
Before any of you call to see if I contracted brain fever, yes there were issues with this movie and I will get into them shortly. Just overall a fun time.
Also, what is up with Tom Cruise? And for once I mean that question in a good way. I don’t know if it’s makeup, CGI, Just For Men, healthy living and exercise, or the magic power of the Church of Scientology, but he looks like he hasn’t aged a day in the last ten years. It’s bizarre.
Anyway, the movie. Tom Cruise (Minority Report, Top Gun, Jerry McGuire) reprises his role as Ethan Hunt, IMF super spy. He starts the movie with a really cool prison break scene where he and a disheveled guy bust out of a Russian gulag. He has been rescued by two other IMF agents, the great Simon Pegg (Paul, Hot Fuzz, Shaun of the Dead. Shaun image courtesy of the Zombie T Shirts catagory) and the hot Paula Patton (Precious, Deja Vu). Their mission is to break into the Kremlin and gather intel on some guy who literally wants to blow up the world (more on that later). Really cool high technology spy stuff happens. They get betrayed and the President has to enable the Ghost Protocol and disavow them entirely. The team is joined by disgraced agent Brandt (Jeremy Renner – the Hurt Locker, 28 Weeks Later) and have to save the world.
Literally. The bad guy (Michael Nyqvist – the Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, Abduction) wants to start a nuclear war. I don’t want to get too far into the story, as it is good and I expect you all to see it. Spy hijinks ensue. Stuff gets blown up, people get chased, cars get wrecked, there is a pretty cool cat fight (Paula Patton versus Lea Seydoux – Inglorious Bastards, Robin Hood, Midnight in Paris), and none of the action or technology suspended my disbelief so high that it hurt my brain. There is a serious vertigo scene, so if that affects you maybe go to the restroom at that moment. It won’t catch you by surprise.
The stars. Great chase scenes. One star. Overall good story, with a level of complexity normally missing from mainstream movies. They also managed to avoid the burning need to explain everything to the audience, which I appreciate. You could follow the story but you had to pay attention. Two stars. Simon Pegg. One star. The two women were hot. One star. Although it galls me like a hot poker you-know-where, Tom Cruise was pretty good. One star. Overall the action was really good, and they didn’t resort to the quick-cut fighting that bugs me. One star for hiring a fight choreographer. The movie delivered the rarest gift a jaded movie critic can receive: actual excitement. There were a few scenes where I was literally gripping my armrests. The vertigo scene in particular. Two stars. A PG-13 rating that felt appropriate and didn’t need to go up or down. One star. Pacing was awesome. It was 133 minutes that felt like an hour in a good way. One star. Two bonus stars for overall great movie experience. Total: thirteen stars.
The black holes. The most obvious, glaringly stupid one has to be the motivation for the villain. He plans to start a nuclear war because he thinks it would be fun or something. That’s it? There is no political or monetary motivation you could add in to make him more believable? Two black holes. This next one is kind of petty, but one of the things I have always enjoyed from the entire Mission Impossible franchise is the theme music. From the TV show I think it really brought the whole thing home, and added a lot of excitement to any of the shows or movies. In Ghost Protocol there is about a 20 second clip of a modified version of it and that’s it. It’s like they were under contract to use it and did so grudgingly. One black hole. There were a number of tangential plot devices that I felt could have either been expanded upon or dropped entirely. One black hole. In particular there was a seduction scene involving an Indian billionaire that I felt was completely worthless. One black hole for that. Total: five black holes.
In the irksome but not black hole worthy category, I have one. Before 9/11 whenever something catastrophically bad had to happen to an American city it was always New York. After 9/11 New York became sacrosanct and now whenever something has to suck on an apocalyptic scale it always seems to be San Francisco, the city I live 20 minutes from. San Francisco is about as far from the mainstream politics of America as a major city can get. Have movie makers never heard of Chicago, Detroit, Miami, or Los Angeles? Not that I wish ill on any of those cities, but when you really look at it’s value as a military or terror target San Francisco is kind of stupid. I guess it has a distinctive skyline and that’s what Hollywood is looking for.
Final total of eight stars, a great score. If you like fun and excitement see this movie. Do it in a theater as I honestly believe there are a few scenes that would lose significant impact if watched at home. Kind of weak as a date movie in my opinion, as Tom Cruise is still considered hot and a lot of women have been fantasizing about him for years. If you do take a date to see this be sure to talk about how crazy Tom Cruise is.
Thanks for reading. I am starting to work my my end of the year movie awards, and coming up with funny titles and categories like “The Who Brought This Guy Award” for the most unnecessary sequel of the year. Please offer suggestions and comments. I am always looking for input. Follow me on Twitter @NerdKungFu. Thanks again, and have a great Holiday.
So I haven’t seen anything new recently and am really too busy to compose one of my lists (as hard as it may be for you to believe, I actually do some research on my stuff), but last night while working on an inventory I came across this Resident Evil t shirt for the Umbrella Corporation and it reminded me of a question that has plagued me ever since I finished RE2: what exactly is the business plan and profit model for the Umbrella Corp?
Think about it for a minute. Umbrella is a huge biotech firm. That means they have investors and a board of directors, as well as auditors and so on. Basically, people who make sure the company makes a profit. However, there doesn’t seem to be any kind of plan to make any kind of money here. As far as I can see, here is Umbrella’s plan:
Step 1: Create super virus that will kill most of the population of the planet and turn them into zombies.
Step 2: Kill all your own employees (this might actually be a cost savings maneuver, as you would save a fortune in unemployment and retirement payments. Still, seems a little extreme)
Step 3: Release T Virus into the world and kill most of the population. Then turn them into zombies so they can eat the survivors.
Step 4: (secret)
Step 5: Profit.
So, I run my own company and while I am kind of a small amateur I have learned one very important lesson: zombies rarely buy things and give you money for your goods. In fact, zombies are probably the worst customer demographic available. They don’t have jobs and their only disposable income is whatever change is rattling around in the pockets of the rags they are wearing. On the other hand, they have other use for money so theoretically could spend 100% of it on t shirts, but really even newborn babies are better customers as their parents will spend money on food and so on. So how does killing off most of the planet turn into money? What is the mysterious step 4?
So at some point there has to be a stockholder meeting or something. Do the directors actually report what’s going on? “We managed to turn 87% of the human population into zombies, so profits for this quarter are trending down. However, our uncontrollable super soldier program is progressing nicely so if we can find a country with enough survivors to form an army we should see a nice profit from that.”
On the same note, what is up with creating super soldiers with the intellect and attitude of a raging bull on meth? Is there some kind of plan to train Nemesis to not go berserk and kill everything in sight first time he is released, or is this some other aspect of the mysterious “death and destruction make profit” program? Maybe some kind of apocalyptic death cult is paying them to destroy the world. But then, even if they are paying you a ton of money, where are you going to go to spend it? Do you really want to spend a week on vacation at Zombie Disney World? Going to buy a palatial estate surrounded by the undead?
Anyway, these are the questions that keep me up at night. By the way, I would like to mention that I started off playing RE2 first and was kind of freaked out by it. Then I went back and played RE1. In spite of worse graphics that game scared the bejesus out of me. Story or sound effects, I guess. Ever notice that modern games, in spite of more amazing graphics and details, then to be just plain shorter in content? You could spend a week wandering around Raccoon City in RE2, but these days you only get a few hours at best. I guess all those incredibly detailed graphics take up a lot of memory. Either that or video game companies are trending towards the lazy.
By the way, those of you who are purist and want to yell at me for talking about a video game when for the last few months I have been purely on movies, let me remind you that Resident Evil is also a series of movies staring Milla Jovovich. Also, while I personally focused on movies and love them, this blog started off with nerd dating advice and is really about whatever catches my nerd interest. One of these days I am going to start a detailed discussion of army building and table tactics for Warhammer Fantasy Battle (something I know a lot about). No way will that cost me readers.
Anyway, thanks for reading. If you have any insight as to what Umbrella does for money be sure to post a comment here. Follow and message me on Twitter @NerdKungFu. Thanks again. I should see something tonight and write up a good review tomorrow. Talk to you soon.
A really, really, really dumb movie that for some unfathomable reason has some entertaining moments.
If the year of movies in America were like driving across the USA, than October would be crossing West Texas. 1000 miles of pretty much nothing, with a ton of little one horse towns filled with bored locals. If we were to push this analogy further, then the Three Musketeers would be the town of Pecos, TX. A mid sized community (pop 9501) that is probably a nice place to live but dead, dead boring.
Not to say that the Three Musketeers is is boring. It was directed by Paul Anderson, the director of the Resident Evil series, and like those movies he managed to insert some entertaining, over the top action scenes. However, where those types of scenes mesh well in the fantasy world of zombies and Mila Jovovich, in a movie without any kind of super science or super natural antagonist it starts to look really silly. He manages to inject Mila Jovovich (his wife) as well, where she pretty much plays Alice in a corset. (Zombie target image courtesy of the zombie movie t shirts)
He seems to have “borrowed” from a lot of movies, actually. Besides Alice, he must have kidnapped the action choreographer from Pirates of the Carribean, as well as the steam punk super technology that we still can’t do today from Wild, Wild West (remember the giant steam punk spider? If something failed miserably in a past crappy movie, obviously the answer is to keep pushing into the face of the audience until they learn to accept it). He also seems to have felt there weren’t enough tributes to Raiders of the Lost Ark and Mission Impossible in the world, as both of those moves make an appearance here like an unsavory object of indeterminate nature floating on the surface of a scummy pond.
The thing that surprised me was how close to the original story by Alexandre Dumas (who, in a move that kind of infuriates me for reasons I can’t quite pin down, gets third billing in the credits). It was pretty much the true story. However, once that story as the skeleton they decided to flesh it out with as much stupidity as humanly possible. It’s like using the body of an Olympic athlete as the basis for your Frankenstein monster, but then using the corpses of 50 dead, decayed clowns for the rest of him. Then you cover the whole thing with shrink-wrapped stupidity.
I’m not kidding about the stupid, by the way. The movie dipped deep into the suck zone in the opening scene. A guard walks to the edge of a Venice canal and is shot from underwater by some kind of crossbow. I might have believed a trained soldier being capable of using a straw or tube of some kind to swim up stealthily and might have had a crossbow that was build to fire underwater, but that is not what happened. No, what we have here is a leather SCUBA suit (no joke) and some kind of multiple mechanical dart thrower. The problem is the movie really didn’t need all the really dumb advanced primitive technology. Everything in it could have been accomplished better without giving your prop guy a dream assignment. Examples of this advanced steam punk technology includes but is not limited to a flying dirigible with no sign of motive power other than a few sails that is capable of maneuvering through the air at will like the Enterprise, monofiliment wire capable of cutting a silk ribbon to shreds from it’s own weight (you really feel the Resident Evil in that scene), some kind of rotating machine gun cannon (it’s almost like the designer of the sky ship knew ahead of time that at some point it would have to fight a battle with only four crewmen), centuries old booby traps that still manage to shoot hundreds of spiked balls, some kind of wood that can bounce cannon balls, and an advanced zip line.
It really aggravates after about the fifth time you see something this dumb, and does absolutely nothing to advance the story. I see this as Paul Anderson and the prop designers having a big circle jerk. I think it telling that, in all the previews I have seen for this movie, never once do we see a hand cranked flamethrower or flying ship, in spite of the fact that they all seem to be pretty prevalent in the movies. Somewhere along the line I suspect a marketing guy was given the assignment to sell the movie to the public, took a look at the available footage, and said “No way can we use this crap to do more than alienated the audience.” Maybe that guy should have been shown the script sooner.
The story. If you have read the book, you know the story. D’Artagnan arrives in Paris to become a Musketeer and ends up challenging each of the three, who are all disgraced for failing in the Venice SCUBA mission (they were betrayed by Milady, Mila Jovovich) to a duel. He also gets into it with Rochefort, the captain of the bad guy’s guard. They attack the four of them together and they bond as they cut through the enemy swordsmen like a chainsaw through butter. Turn out the bad guy, Cardinal Richelieu (played by the great Christopher Watlz, although for this movie he just seemed to be replaying Colonel Landa), wants to wrest control of France from the young king and his queen. He frames the Queen in an affair with the Duke of Buckingham (played by Orlando Bloom with the worst hair cut ever. Think a brunette Flock of Seagulls) and has Mila plant a diamond necklace on the Duke. The Three Musketeers (plus D’Artagnan) must recover the necklace or the queen will be executed and war with England will ensue. They steal the duke’s flying airship to do so. Stuff blows up. Sword fights ensue. A dumb romantic sub plot with one of the worst actresses I’ve seen in a long time (Gabrielle Wilde, who has no other movie credits although she did have a part in Dr. Who) pains my eyes.
The stars. They stayed close to the original story. One star. Christopher Waltz. One star. They didn’t resort to that one second quick cut fight sequence I hate so much, which means they hired a fight choreographer. One star. I can’t say any of the acting was particularly good, but I will say pretty much all the actors seemed to have realized what kind of tripe they were producing and played it very tongue in cheek. Not enough to reduce the pain of the movie, but it did soften it a bit. One star. For reasons I hate to admit some of the scenes were indeed entertaining. One star. Total: five stars.
The black holes. Stupid Wild Wild West-esque steam punk technology that did nothing for the movie. Two black holes. Every single character with the partial exception of Richelieu was painfully one dimensional. One black hole. No attempt whatsoever to make the language sound anything like something from 400 years ago. Hackneyed, campy dialog. Sorry, 17th century people do not use the phrase “state of the art.” One black hole. For that matter, about 1/3rd of the characters had English accents, the rest all had American, and not a single person in this movie about France had a French accent. I wouldn’t mind French accents, British accents, or American accents but pick one and stick with it. One black hole. At no point did any of the bad guys seem to realize that, instead of sending wave after wave of swordsmen to kill the four guys who just cut the last six waves to pieces, they could just sit back and shoot them. One black hole. This movie squatted squarely over their PG-13 rating and never moved an inch or pushed the envelope at all, to the detriment of most of the action. One black hole. Mila Jovovich has the assignment of stealthily sneaking into the queens chambers to plant evidence and steal a necklace as part of a nefarious plot, and decides the best way to lend credence to the plan is to slaughter a dozen guards, which no one remarks upon or seems to notice. One black hole. One extra black hole for the leather SCUBA suit, which particularly offended me. Orlando Bloom’s haircut. One black hole. An ending so filled with plot holes you could have used it to strain your pasta. One black holes. Worthless, worthless, worthless 3D effects. I want my extra $3 back. One black hole. The Three Musketeers mission was to prevent a war with England, yet during the course of executing it managed to start a war with England. One black hole. Total: thirteen black holes.
So a total of eight black holes, a crappy score for a crappy movie. However, if you are a fan of movies like Pirates of the Carribean, can suspend your disbelief so high it needs an oxygen supply, suffered recent severe brain damage, or plan to get really drunk and/or stoned before seeing this, then I think you could enjoy it. It does have some entertainment value, in the same way picking your scabs is weirdly entertaining. I didn’t feel as ripped off as I usually do after an eight black hole movie. If you do fall into one of those categories than by all means see it in a theater, as the action I think would suffer on a smaller screen.
You know, something else about this movie occurred to me while I was talking to a friend of mine about going to see it, and that is in my recollection I cannot remember any Three Musketeers being remotely good. I have thought about it for a while, and I think I have an answer. It all has to do with the pants. The clothing from pre French Revolution France is so ridiculous looking that you cannot take anyone in it at all seriously. I think most writers realize that. Unfortunately that kind of corrals them into making a silly, campy, dumb movie. I read the Three Musketeers as a kid and thought it was pretty cool. However, the one thing I did not picture while reading it was men wearing frilly pantaloons and high heeled shoes. Once I saw the clothing these guys had to wear back than it more or less tainted the reading experience for me. I can’t take a character wearing a paisley top hat as a serious action character.
Anyway, thanks again for reading. We had some kind of technical problem this weekend, but I think the site is back up and running (either that or I just totally wasted 90 minutes of my life, in addition to the 110 minutes I wasted watching this thing). Follow me on Twitter @NerdKungFu. More crap out this weekend. I don’t think I can see Paranormal Activity 3 and review it fairly as I have not seen the first two, but I will try to see Johnny English soon. Looks horrible. Talk to you later.
So after bitching about WOW the other day I decided to just mess around a little. I ran Strat and had the very rare Baron’s mount drop for me. Happy days. I also had a great dinner last night with a friend and it was a lot of fun.
Apparently she has never watched a zombie movie, so it fall unto me to educate her on the wonders of zombie films. I think the best way to ease her into it would be with Shawn of the Dead, as it is probably the easiest one to start off with. I was really happy to get this shirt into the zombie movie t shirt section, and am a huge fan.
Anyway, raid night tonight. I might get my raid slot back by going BM but have to convince the officers it’s a good idea. We’ll see.