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Monday, August 07, 2006

Zombie's Movie Review Corner: Ron Howard HATES Me

The Descent

I saw The Descent on Friday.

That was one badass movie. Unlike The Passion of Mel Gibson's Ego, the gore in The Descent has a point and is tastefully done. Even when one of the main characters is literally swimming in what amounts to a kiddie wading pool of blood and gobbets of flesh, it seems so...artful.

I'm not going to give away plot points or anything, though the story itself isn't really much to write home about. It's predictable with the whole monsters-in-the-dark-cave-ahhh-scary way, but what isn't usual for a horror film is that the characters, all female, are, by and large, not the typical shrieking and shaking "What was that noise? Let's go investigate while wearing high heels!" female characters that so often populate a horror movie.

The women in this movie are all strong, and while they do give over to crying sometimes, it's realistic crying. I would also cry if my dumb ass got stuck in a cave with monsters that were attempting to eat my entrails.

They do not give over to weeping in corners and doing nothing else, though. They make wise decisions and informed choices when it comes to trying to get out of the cave. No one ends up running around like a maniac, waving her hands frantically until a Big Bad swoops down and eats her face off. I like to see a girl kick some ass Rambo-style when she realizes it's either that or get dead. And eaten. And possibly have her blood and bits of flesh added to the Monster Slip-n-Slide.

Because the women aren't the sobbing morons you'd expect, it is their interactions with each other that make the film stand out and provide the meat, as it were, of the movie. It is almost as if the slimy creepy-crawly neck-eating monsters are backdrop. And that's cool.

The movie does not end with the sort of OH NOEZ/DIDN'T SEE THAT SHIT COMING surprise a la The Skeleton Key (because, for serious, and maybe it makes me lame, but I didn't see the end of The Skeleton Key coming), but it does have a rather interesting plot twist and I found it rather satisfying, all told.

In short, I recommend this. Go see it. Right now. You can watch the trailer first, if'n you wanna, roight heah. Trailer doesn't do it justice, nor do the two clips Yahoo saw fit to include there, but that's okay. I give it The Zombie Seal of Approval, and that should be enough for you.


The Da Vinci Code or Ron Howard HATES Me

I honestly didn't expect The Da Vinci Code to provide me with a quality, engaging film experience, but this movie was flat out bad. I really only went to see it because I had some more free passes for the dollar theater and staring mindlessly at a dumb movie seemed like an okay way to pass 90 minutes.

Except it didn't pass 90 minutes. It was much, much longer than that. In fact, it was an hour longer than that. I sat through 2 hours and 29 minutes of this shit, and when it was over, I had a headache the size of Montana.

Now, I hadn't read the book. I started to read it, but I got two pages in and couldn't take it anymore and threw it across the room. Fine. That obviously doesn't bode well for Dan Brown, because I am notorious for suffering through crap books just because they're books and I usually read whatever books come across my path.

But I thought the movie would at least be vaguely interesting.

And I was dead wrong.

There is absolutely nothing of worth in this film, unless you count Ian McKellen hollering "NEVER TRUST THE FRENCH!" at some disgruntled British police as being of worth - and frankly, after sitting through this bloated corpse of a melodramatic, crappily-acted movie, I just can't.

The dialogue is terrible. The acting is horrendous. The plot drags. And it should've ended about 15 times before it actually shambled to a stuttering, retarded halt.

When the credits finally rolled, I virtually leapt from my seat. I had thought it would never end. I had thought I was going to be forever trapped in the theater with a horde of snuffling, oddly-giggling (Yeah, Annoying Guy That Was Sitting Behind Me, your ridiculous titter nearly provoked me into whirling around in my seat and grabbing you by the throat so I could drown you in my vat-sized cup of Diet Pepsi. If I ever see you again, I will spit at you. And your children, if you have any.), sneezing, mouth-breathing, defective humans, while this cinematic abortion dragged on and on until the end of time.

There were times that I laughed because something was so ridiculous, I couldn't keep it in.

At one point, Tom Hanks' character, Professor Mullet or whatever, is locked in a scene of dire tension and drama and oh no we must save our friend from the frightening albino monk assasin and what does he come up with? His brilliant plan? "We've got to get to a library!"


Cut to Professor Mullet and Hot French Female Co-Lead, on a London city bus.

"It'll take us a half an hour to get to Chelsea library! It might be too late by then!"

Well, I sure hope no one ever has to rely on public transit in order to save my ass. "Dear GOD! I have forgotten all of my subway tokens at home in my other pants! How will we ever rescue poor Zombie now? Oh, woe unto Zion! All is lost!"

I also hope no one ever has to rely on Tom Hanks' acting in order to save my ass, because I'd be in some trouble. I don't like to mock Forrest Gump, because he has done some fine work, but he was horridly miscast in this role and lumbered about the screen like a lump of Play-Doh in a bad, greasy wig. A bad Serious Academic Mullet greasy wig, no less.

At least in Forrest Gump, there was a kickin' soundtrack and Hanks ran around real fast and there was shooting and the consumption of alcohol. Professor Mullet provided me with no such stimulation. Perhaps he should've taken up jogging. It might've made the film more interesting.


I think I might've dozed off at one point, but I do know I was awake for the touching and heartfelt speeches Professor Mullet and Hot French Female Co-Lead What Turns Out to Actually Be the LAST LIVING DIRECT DESCENDENT OF JESUS CHRIST HIMSELF exchange towards the first of the many false endings.

Professor Mullet regales us with an inspiring and uplifting tale of falling into a well as a child and praying to Jesus as he flapped around in the water overnight, and how he knew Jesus was in the well with him, thus allowing him to survive his terrible ordeal.

And all I could think was, "What's that, Lassie? What's that you say? Jesus has fallen into the well? OH NOEZ!"

That time, I laughed so hard that I had to bite my hand, for fear of laughing out loud and bringing the wrath of the obviously enthralled crowd around me down on my head, where I might be bitten and contract Stupid...or worse...Bad Taste.


Oh yeah, and the albino monk assassin? What a fucking lamer. He had a (misrepresented) cilice on his leg to mortify his flesh for Jesus, praise the Lord!, and when he moved it from one thigh to the other, he whined and cried like a baby. And he staggered and sobbed while flogging himself. FUCKING WALK IT OFF, FLOWER. If you're going to self-flagellate, fucking do it right. And that means no sissy la-la crying. Jesus don't want your tears. He wants your pain.

I just can't find myself getting all wary of a stumbling, limping, mostly inept, crap at the self-flagellation assassin, and therefore, the Big Bad was...well, not. Try harder next time.

I think that's enough talking about that. BAD. BAD. BAD.

Thanks a lot, Richie Cunningham. I always knew your boyish grin hid unspeakable evil.

link | posted by Zombie at 5:25 PM |


Anonymous mary commented at 3:29 PM~  

I missed my boat to see the descent in theatres. I shall not get a sitter again for a few weeks, and the hubby made me go golfing in 99 101 degree weather. With 90% humidity. At 1 pm.

He owes me bling bling for that.

Blogger Zombie commented at 5:48 PM~  

He owes you some bling, and you owe him a kick in the junk. He also owes you 2 hours of watching the kiddos so you can go see it by yo'self. Because you HAVE to see it. In the theater.

I have spoken. Go on.

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