Sunday, August 19, 2012

The Riot

My newest entry into Chuck Wendig's weekly flash fiction contest. his website here:         

Lately I started watching the show Prison Break, which is a great show full of interesting characters and some of the greatest tension in television history. Anyway, it inspired my story for this week.

                                                                  The Riot

                Run. Must run. Faster and faster. Ow, dammit I tripped. Come on, have to get up and run. Can’t get caught, if they catch me they’ll rip me apart. Being a prison guard wasn’t usually that dangerous. The convicts almost always went after each other instead of the guards because it was easier and, to be honest, no one really cared if a prisoner stabbed another prisoner. But tonight, tonight was different. The air had gone out. It was not long before they started getting mad. Then furious, when the guards tried to force them into their cells they attacked them. Stole their keys and were flooding through the prison, toward me. Now it was dangerous, much too dangerous for my taste. I had to get out, I gritted my teeth, took a deep breath and sped up, trying to reach the entrance before the prisoners reached me first.
                Hahaha. I haven’t had this much fun in years, six years in fact. Since they locked me up in this box fun hasn’t really played a big part in my life. Oh, but now it was, so much fun to be had. I love starting mayhem and when the air went out and those guards started shoving us around I knew it was the perfect time. I stabbed one with a shank I had planned on using on some unsuspecting inmate; don’t know who, hadn’t decided that yet. Once I stabbed that guard, all hell broke loose. Roundabout 20 others jumped on the remaining guard and beat him to death, stole his keys and made their way. Me, I stayed behind for a bit. Little bit of privacy for me and my…new friend. He just whimpered and started crying, pleading for his life with this sad pathetic look in his eyes. I love it when they do that, it’s the best part. I smiled and leaned in closer, staring deep into his eyes as I slid the knife up in between his ribs and into his heart, nighty night friend. I wiped the blade clean and continued on, determined to find more prey before the fun came to an end.
                I can hear them behind me and I was lost. I don’t know how I got lost, I’ve been working here four 4 ½ years and not once have I ever gotten lost, but somehow in my frenzied panic I did, indeed get lost. This is not good. I can hear the prisoners getting closer. Chanting something unintelligible, but it can’t be good. A split ahead, crap which way which way…left, I’m going left. I slipped as I made my way around the corner, catching myself as soon as I hit the ground and jumping back up. I didn’t give myself time to catch my breath, just a pause, a deep breath and then off I go. I don’t know where I’m going, but I’m getting farther away from the riot so that’s good. It had to happen in A wing. That’s where all the dangerous prisoners are, mostly murderers and rapist…and a single, solitary serial killer. If it any other state he’d probably be on death row, but this state doesn’t have the death penalty so he was thrown in with the rest of the violent offenders. A madman they say, and I have to deal with him on a daily basis. I learned not to look in his eyes; it’s the most unsettling thing I’ve ever gone through. Those cold dead eyes, light blue like chips of ice that seem to stare right into the deepest part of you. Like he’s staring at your deepest darkest fears and memories and laughing at them. At the thought of him I speed up slightly, I’m getting farther from the riot, but you can never be too safe.
                This one tried to fight back, oh how cute. Probably doesn’t feel like fighting back much now, what with the missing fingers and all, cutting off fingers with a prison shank is not an easy thing to do, but I pride myself on my resilience…plus most anything can be accomplished with the right amount of force. He was much younger than the other ones, mid-late twenties I’d say, and I had a knack for this sort of thing. Actually, I have a knack for most things, waste of talent is what my psychiatrist said. Didn’t really say anything after that, mostly just gurgles. Not very strong psychiatrists. This prison guard on the other hand, pretty strong, probably worked out every day.  Well, not anymore, I don’t think I’ll kill him, just leave him here, missing fingers and toes. Good luck oh brave one. Quick tip though, next time a 6’2” 200 pound delusional schizophrenic comes at you with a knife with blood soaking his clothes, just lay down.
                I made oh thank God I made it. There’s the door, I finally made it, I never thought I’d be so happy to see an exit sign in my life. I must have made a right turn somewhere because here was freedom right in front of me. I stumble out the door and am met with the sight of several guns pointed at me. I need to find a new line of work.
                Oh damn I can hear the cops outside. Well, guess the fun has come to an end. I see an unsuspecting inmate in front of me, I slam his head into the wall and drag him into a deserted bathroom. I strip myself down and wash all signs of blood off of me. After readying myself I punch the mirror and take a piece of glass and give myself a few cuts. Then I slam my body into the wall a few times for some bruises, after checking myself for blood again I put on the unconscious man’s clothes and get him into my blood soaked ones. I smile and make my way back to my cell. I haven’t had this much fun in a long time.

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Three...Extremes Review

File:Three... Extremes film.jpg

I'm gonna be honest. I think Asian countries do horror alot better than America does, for the most part at least. I think it's because countries like Korea and Japan have such a higher tolerance for messed up stuff. I Saw the Devil is one of the greatest movies about a serial killer I have ever seen, and yet that movie probably would of never been made in America because of how disturbing it is.

Anyway, in 2002 a horror film came out called Three. It was comprised of three different segments from three different famous Asian directors from different countries: Kim Ji-Woon, the director of I Saw the Devil, (South Korea), Nonzee Nimibutr, known for his horror film Nang Nak (Thailand), and Peter Chan, surprisingly known for romance and action movies, (China). I haven't actually seen Three, but this was just background info.

Three...Extremes was released in 2004. Not being a direct sequel to Three since, you know that movie is just 3 segments that have nothing to do with one another, rather it follows the same idea, by taking three famous directors from Asian cinema and having each one directing a 40 minute horror segment. The directors are Fruit Chan (China), who is pretty respected in his country, but I have personally never seen anything else by him.Chan Wook-Park (South Korea) who is my favorite director, I pretty much love everything he does. Takashi Miike (Japan), who I love for his insanely unique visual style and his almost unparallelled diversity, seriously he's made splatter movies like Ichi the Killer (which I love), straight up almost porn movies like Visitor Q (weird movie, I think he was trying to make some sort of statement, but I was to weirded out by the incest and what not), to family movies like Zebraman (its weird, but freaking awesome).

The first segment is Fruit Chan's "Dumplings". Personally I find the three segments to all be completely different kinds of horror films. With Chan's being the disturbingly gross kind. You know movies like Hostel. Except its not really a splatter film, its just extremely messed up...okay maybe its nothing like Hostel...not sure where I was going with this. Anywho, the segment is about an aging actress Mrs. Li (Miriam Yeung) who goes to Aunt Mei (Bai Ling) who cooks special dumplings that supposedly have a regenerative property. Its a great tale about the effects of aging, especially on celebrities, and the lengths people will go to retain their youth. I won't spoil the secret ingredient to the dumplings because its something that has to be watched to be properly disgusted by. Also the last shot of the movie is probably one of the most soul sucking depressing things ever.

The second segment is "Cut" by Korean director Chan Wook-Park. Again, keeping with the different kind of horror aspect, I personally think Park's reflects the realistic horror. Like its a bit of a far fetched concept, but can technically happen. It concerns the Director (Lee Byung-Hun) whos travels home only to be knocked out and wake up on a film set looking at the Stranger (Lim Won-hie) standing over him and his Wife (Kang Hye-jeong). You learn that the Stranger is a disgruntled extra who is mad at the Director for being seemingly perfect while he is a failure. Its a very well made film, what do you expect from Chan Wook-Park? There's alot of moments that you laugh at not really because they're particularly funny, but because you have to relieve the tension. Its again, a realistic approach to horror with the violence being gruesome, but not over the top. Its easily the best segment of the three.

The final segment "Box" hails from Japan and is directed by the mind-f*ck master himself, Takashi Miike. I'm gonna be completely honest right up front. I have absolutely no freaking idea what is happening in this segment. Something about twins, and an abusive father, there may or may not be incest or one of the twins gets burned in a fire or something. Seriously, its confusing as hell. and to top it off the ending doesn't really tell you anything. Its left open to what was real or not, but the whole thing is so surreal and bat shit insane that you have absolutely no idea what is happening. And it is genius. No, seriously, it is. You may have no idea what's happening, but that doesn't stop you from watching it. Its so strange and other worldly that you have no option but to continue in the hope that you'll figure something out. You probably won't, but its entertaining as hell and is the segment with the most horror aspect. Just straight up freaky crap happens in this part and very little of its explained but damn is it scary and weird. I don't want to give away much, but if your scared of Siamese twins like I am (I don't mean to offend Siamese twins but....damn they scare me) you'll be pretty terrified.

All in all Three...Extremes is a fantastic little gem of Asian horror. Each segment is about 40 minutes and lasts just long enough to unsettle you, but not too long to where you get used to the horror of it. The terror of each segment just builds and builds until it reaches its peak...and then it ends. Its perfect that way. As soon as you get used to the particular form of horror the segment is going for it ends and the next segment starts and scares you a completely different way. Whether its psychologically terrifying or realistically so, there's a segment for every kind of horror fan and each one works in its own right. 

Three Truths and A Lie

 This is a story I did for Chuck Wendig's weekly flash fiction contest. You can find his website here: I highly recommend giving it a look.

                                                      Truths and A Lie

Three truths will I tell you and one lie.
1.       I did not mean to kill her.
2.       I did mean to kill him.
3.       The child’s death was an accident.
4.       She wanted to have sex with me.
So, if I’m writing this from a prison, which I’ll never leave, what’s the point of lieing?  I don’t know.  Just to mess with you. My story, like any other, starts with a beginning.
                I was 24 years old and a hitchhiker, for no other reason than I didn’t want to work, but I wanted to travel. Traveling was my dream and I was afraid that if I took a job I would be stuck in it forever and never be able to travel. So, I decided to travel first, doing odd jobs along the way to earn just enough money to get me to my next destination. Sounds fun right? Like a happy go lucky road trip about an aimless drifter who eventually finds love or something and at the end of the story settles down. Nope, nothing like that at all. I did find love, but it didn’t exactly end how you would hope.
                I met Adam and Amy halfway through my journey across the United States. I started in New York and was halfway through Kansas, which by the way horrible state, boring as piss, when they picked me up in their car. They were a nice couple, both extremely pretty people with a beautiful child of their own, James. I only asked for them to take me a couple of miles, but it turned out they lived a few hours away and offered to take there where they offered me a meal and a night’s sleep. Right? Way too nice and trusting, but I agreed, of course I agreed. So after three or four hours of driving and a riveting patty cake tournament with little James (who was four), where he thoroughly annihilated me , we arrived at their quaint little farm house.
                Turns out both of them had been born into rich families and when their parents died they both inherited large fortunes. What the hell are the odds of that? How many times in the history of ever has that happened? I realize maybe now it may happen more, but they met at school…in California, just happened to meet and go on a date and fell in love or whatever. They only learned after the fact that both their families were extremely wealthy. The hell fate? Anyway, they told me their story, which while it had an interesting opening with the whole rich families thing, it soon descended into boringness. With them detailing their travels, which was my dream dammit, and how they ended up living in Kansas (trust me not as interesting of a story as you might think).  They didn’t do it in a condescending way or anything, it just happened to be part of their story. Either way it pissed me off, I was born into an extremely poor family with an alcoholic mother and an abusive father (Jesus…I just realized my life sounds like the plot of a terrible gangster movie) and all I wanted to do was travel, but instead of flying or whatever I was forced to hitchhike my way across America.
                Anyway, I ended up staying for about a week, taking advantage of their hospitality and what not because…screw you they were rich and I was jealous. I found myself thinking more and more about Amy as I lay in the extravagant guest room at night. She was a perfect specimen of the human race, straight auburn hair, gorgeous sparkling blue eyes, and a body that would convince any priest to turn away from little boys (Ha topical humor). I thought maybe it was love, but I had never really been attracted to anyone before, so I wasn’t sure. Either way I found myself increasingly obsessed with her, thinking about her constantly, stealing glances at her and staring, and having very vivid fantasies and dreams. I wanted her so bad it started to cloud my mind; no other though was cohesive or precise.  Everything in the world seemed muddled and confusing and everyone else’s voice sounded so dim compared to her angelic one.
                One day I couldn’t take it anymore and I decided to proposition her.  I told her what I thought about her and essentially begged her for sex. To my complete shock, she said yes. So next time her husband and son decided to go shopping she elected to stay behind. It was amazing, the best sex of my entire life. It was passionate and loving and just so damned amazing. The hour her family was gone was the greatest hour of my entire life, but of course they returned. Of course they returned early.
                Adam as far as I could tell up to that point had been very level-headed. But walking in on me and his wife naked, I’m pretty sure something snapped. He lunged at me from the open doorway. I jumped out of the bed and ran down the stairs desperate to get away because I knew in a fair fight Adam could rip me into tiny bloody shreds.  In the kitchen I found a knife, he rushed at me and I stabbed him. He fell, and in my moment of power I took it too far, stabbing him over and over and over to satisfy my lust, I had never felt so powerful. Eventually, someone grabbed my arm; I whipped around and stabbed without looking. It was Amy. Of course it was. She fell. I stood there in horror. I saw the kid, James; he ran up the stairs, I of course gave chase, had to try and explain. He tripped going up the stairs, fell and broke his neck. The prosecution tried to tell a different story, that Amy was already dead when Adam got home. That Adam was running from me and that I threw the child down the stairs. This is how I remember it.  But seeing as I’m writing this in a maximum security prison, with two guards standing directly over me watching my every move I guess I could be wrong. But this is the event as I remember it. My attorney tried to plead insanity just because my mother suffered from schizophrenia and drank while she was pregnant with me. What does he know? He wasn’t there, I was. So which one is the lie you ask? Honestly, I can’t remember. Good luck.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

God Bless America Review

 File:God bless america ver2.jpg

In my Iron Sky review I talked about how I think having political undertones and such in your movie is okay as long as its subtle or clever and doesn't take away from the characters, story, and such of the movie. That is a statement I will stand by..

Some movies are all about politics though, like Michael Moore films. And in documentaries and such I understand. But in a fictional film where the point is the story and the focus should be on characters and making the audience like them, having amazingly ham-fisted and blatantly obvious political overtones can alienate audience members or, in my case, completely destroy my enjoyment of a movie.

I have seen one other film by Bobcat Goldthwait, that is World's Greatest Dad. And I liked it quite a bit, I thought Robin Williams was brilliant, and I thought the funny moments worked for the most part and the dramatic moments worked too. Point is, for the most part I really liked that movie, I thought it was a very well made movie about the lengths a parent would go to for his child.

God Bless America is the fifth movie written and directed by Goldthwait, and completely unlike World's Greatest Dad, I cannot stand this movie. I understand what he was trying to do, I really really do. Underline the point about how America has lost its way and has descended into paying attention to horrible people doing horrible things. I get it America is deteriorating because of how it worships terrible people and because of how people have become increasingly pop culture obsessed in stead of getting a job or whatever.

Its not really the subject matter that bothers me, although the movie does come off as very America hating, its how Goldthwait goes about telling the story and who he tries to make us identify with. The film starts with Frank (Joel Murray) living in a crappy apartment next door to a douchebag, hsi annoying wife and their non-stop crying baby. The first scene is a scene where Frank imagines him shooting the man and the baby with a shotgun and he smiles about it. That's not a very good way to introduce us to a character that we're supposed to like. And we are supposed to like him by the way, it isn't one of those movie where a psychopath is the main character so you can see what goes through their mind, like I Saw the Devil, we're supposed to like Frank and cheer him on during his horrible murdering spree. Anyway he is diagnosed with a brain tumor and fired from his job for sending flowers to a female co-worker who was having a bad day, Frank then kills an obnoxious teenager (one of the Sweet 16 girls) and it is witnessed by Roxy (Tara Lynne Barr). She then convinces Frank to go on a vicious killing spree with her, basically killing anyone they don't like or agree with. That's pretty much the rest of the movie.

I understand what this movie is trying to do, its all a political point about the downfall of America. I get it. But do the main characters really have to be so horrible and unlikeable? They don't come off really as people trying to make some sort of point, although they constantly try and say they're making a point, they come off as psychopaths. And again, I'm, not opposed to having a psychopath a mian character (again pointing out I Saw the Devil), but this movie tries to make you emphasize with Frank and Roxy like they're doing the right thing. At no point does the movie come out and say that what Frank and Roxy are doing is wrong. In fact the film makes it seem like what they're doing is right. In understand that its also an attempt at black humor because that's Bobcat Goldthwait's thing, and while it worked in World's Greatest Dad, that's because although we didn't like his son, we like robin Williams character because he was a good guy trying to defend his son because at the end of the day no matter how terrible of a person his son was he was still his son and he loved him. That worked because Williams' character was a good person. Not so in God Bless America, the two leads are horrible despicable people.

The actors are okay I guess, they do their job well and the directing is pretty good, but its really the writing that just completely destroys this movie. For example: the movie tries to paint Republicans as horrible selfish people who are completely unfair to the opposite point of view. Ok that's someone's opinion and I respect it, but at the same time, the two main characters are liberals and are killing Republicans because they don't agree with how they act. Do you get the point I'm trying to make? I get that maybe it was some sort of attempt at saying that both parties are full of horrible people, and that would of worked if, again, the movie didn't try and paint Frank and Roxy as the good guys. Through the whole movie Frank is painted as the good guy, but he isn't a good guy, even in his own horrible moral world he isn't a good person because alot of the people he kills, especially in the last scene, are just people doing their job, trying to make a living and he kills them just because they're there.

Besides politics, the rest of the people in the film that Frank and Roxy kill are jerks. I guess that's another point about the movie, to try and be nicer to other people. Which is a sentiment I can get behind. But the movie is very juvenile in the way it tackles the subject matter. Basically is someones a jerk, kill them. And while yes there have been times where someone was being a jerk to me and I wished I could have killed them, I would have never had done it. Because as soon as I stopped and thought about it I realized I would be the better person if I just ignored them and didn't let it get to me. Giving jerks attention is what makes them jerks. They figure if people pay attention to them when they act like that, why not act like that all the time? Also, at some point in your life you have to realize that no matter how bad you may want them dead, jerks are always going to be there, its just a part of life, some people are just mean spirited people. The best you can do is rise above them and be a better person, ruthlessly gunning them down in a movie theater isn't being a better person.

I hate this movie. I understand what Goldthwait was trying to do, but they way he went about doing it was, I think, completely wrong. It comes off as shallow and self centered. And although Goldthwait tries to make a statement about technology and how it is ruining America, there is no cleverness to it. Its very blunt about, like he's saying it because he doesn't understand the technology, basically he comes off as that old man on his lawn yelling "You darn kids". This movie isn't, clever, funny, or entertaining and I cannot stand it.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Total Recall Review


Total Recall is a 1990 film directed by Paul Verhoeven starring Arnold Shwarzenegger based on the short story "We Can Remember It For You Wholesale" by Phillip K. Dick. So basically the King of Science Fiction, the man who directed freaking Robocop and Arnold Freaking Schwarzenegger made a movie...and yes it was pretty awesome. Seriously, maybe its a bit silly at points, but its an inventive movie and its a hell of a ride. So when I heard they were going to remake it I wasn't all that excited. But then they announced Len Wiseman was directing and I got kind of interested. Then they announced it was going to star Colin Farrell and Kate Bekinsale and I was even more interested. But then the kicked...Bryan Cranston as the bad guy? I'm sold.

Douglas Quaid (Colin Farrell) is an everyday common man factory worker...except for his rouge handsome features...oh and his smoking hot wife Lori (Kate Bekinsale). He finds his life boring and uninteresting and wants more out of it. So he goes to the company Rekall to have false memories placed into his brain despite the warnings of his friend Harry (Bokeem Woodbine). The procedure is done (or is it?) and its revealed that Quaid is a spy (or is he?) and therefore implanting spy memories in his head would be bad. Robots come in, Quaid kills them all and what follows is and hour and 45 minutes of chase scenes, action, and plot. Along the way a new love interest is introduced in Melina (Jessica Beil) who knew Quaid before Cohaagen (Bryan Cranston) covered up his memories and gave him the false life he was leading.

This movie isn't really a remake of the 1990 version. Its more of an adaptation of the Phillip K. Dick short story. It cuts out the Mars thing and instead substitutes it with two colonies on Earth, United Federation of Britain (UFB) and The Colony, which is Australia. Strangely, with a movie who's two primary locations are England and Australia almost everyone speaks with an American accent.

The action scenes in this movie are awesome. The chase scenes are extensive, but not in running time. They don't last too long to where they get old and boring, but they're not too short. They're just the right length and boast some pretty impressive stunt work. The action scenes, again, boast impressive stunt work and have great visuals. There's a particularly cool one in a zero gravity environment. The visuals are awesome with the futuristic city looking cool and there's alot of neat future technology. It has several callbacks to the 1990 version, usually by just a couple lines of dialogue, but the three titted prostitute does make an appearance.

Roger Ebert mentioned in his review that he liked the first film more because Arnold has a stronger screen presence than Colin Farrell and why I do think that's true, I think Farrell works in his role. He's unassuming and lost. He has very little of an idea what's going on most of the time and as an audience we can relate to that. While I agree that Arnold has a much stronger presence I think Colin Farrell is a better actor and portrays the character with more subtlety. Personally I like Bekinsale in the role of Quaid's "wife" more than Sharon Stone and Jessica Beil  does a decent job as well. The big kicker is Bryan Cranston. Bryan Cranston is a beast, anyone who has ever watched Breaking Bad knows this. He's not really in it a whole lot which completely works because he doesn't overstay his welcome and when he is there he's excellent.

There's a few scenes in particular which I think this movie did better than the 1990 version, the biggest one being the scene where Farrell (or Schwarzenegger) has to figure out whether what's happening is real or not. While the 1990 version did a fine job at it I like this one more because the way it's shot and acted out displays a much bigger sense of urgency. You can see Farrel figuring it out in his movements and expressions. Another scene I like more in the new one is the scenes were Farrell finds recordings of himself. The first one being on a laptop in a safety deposit box and the other being in his abandoned apartment. Again the laptop scene in this film is done with more urgency the filmed Farrell doesn't have alot of time to make his message and its clearly rushed. The second scene in his apartment where he finds like a per-recorded hologram that can only answer certain questions (like out of I,Robot) is one I really enjoyed because I am, if anything, a sucker for beautiful piano. I also think the action and chase scenes are done better in the new film if only because they're bigger and more amazing to watch. Also Len Wiseman is, if anything, a great action director. He utilizes editing very well with shots lasting long enough so you know whats happening,but not too long where the choreography looks fake (a problem that plagued The Last Airbender like cancer).

Overall I can't really say which film I liked better. They're both good in their own rights and again I would argue that the new version (despite the references to the 1990 version) isn't really a remake, but a stand alone adaptation of the Phillip K. Dick story both films are based on. I would argue that Len Wiseman is a better director than Verhoeven (at least where action is concerned), but there's a certain charm to the Arnold and Verhoeven film. Either way this movie was alot better than I expected. The acting is good, the writing is good, the direction is great. The action and chase scenes are pretty exceptional and the visuals are fantastic. Its not a perfect movie, but its a great action movie and as far as summer blockbuster movies go its above average.

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Zero Day Review

 File:Zero Day film.jpg

The Columbine Massacre was one of the worst American tragedies ever committed. Even though only 13 people died (15 counting the shooters) it is the fourth deadliest school massacre and was one of the most atrocious acts of violence in America until 9/11. Many movies have been made about the massacre, most notably being Michael Moore's Bowling for Columbine and Gus Van Zant's Elephant. But indie film maker Ben Coccio makes what might be the most honest and direct film about the horrible tragedy.

Coccio started writing the script after the massacre happened and the movie was filmed in early 2001 using little to no crew and handheld camera work. Coccio withheld its release after the 9/11 attacks to avoid causing distress, it was then edited more and released in 2003.

Watching the movie is honestly not the most enjoyable experience, its slow paced, mostly focusing on what the two main characters Cal and Andre did leading up to the attack, showing how they planned on getting the guns and how they made pipe bombs. It wasn't really until after the movie was over did I realize how much I liked it. While yes, it is slow paced, it works in establishing the characters and their "motives". The weird thing about this movie is that Cal and Andre don't really seem to have that big of problems, yeah in the opening credits we see Andre getting bullied, but we don't see them get bullied at all during the rest of the movie. They're not very popular, that much is clear, but probably due to their anti-social behavior and violent thinking. Together they make a team they call the Army of Two...which yeah...a little gay. And that's not just me being stupid the whole movie is sort of full of like maybe they were gay type things. But it isn't like Van Zant's Elephant where they make out in the shower. It just sort of hints at it.

The movie doesn't in any way defend the perpetrators of the massacre, instead presenting them as people to the audience and letting the audience decide. And at first, they really don't seem like bad people...for about 5 minutes. Then when it becomes clear what they mean to do its a long road down violent, almost insane planning and actions. Shot from handheld cameras by the two lead actors, Andre Keuck and Cal Robertson, the two characters make video diaries and put them in a safety deposit box in Andre's name to be found after the massacre, which they dub "Zero Day".

The movie shows in meticulous detail the planning that the two characters put into the event. There's a scene in the film that is around 5 minutes long and is a detailed account on how to make pipe bombs, which they never actually use, and which the actual perpetrators of the Massacre used, though they didn't go off as planned. They are shown how they obtain the guns used, Andre's Dad's gun closet and they steal some from Andre's cousin.

The two lead actors are honestly not that good. But in the context of the film it works pretty well. They seem shy and almost hesitant about being on camera, which works with the shooting style of handheld cameras and they deliver their lines almost stilted, because they are aware they're on camera and are shy about it. And while it wouldn't really work anywhere else it works here.

The final 15 minutes or so is really the best part. It details the shooting, filmed by security cameras in the school, and show Cal and Andre shooting people. Its extremely effective in the way it is shot and the dialogue and sounds you hear. Its the best part of the movie in the fact that you now realize just what people are capable of. You are with Cal and Andre through the entire movie, and through the entire movie I always kind of had this thought in the back of my head like, no they won't do it. They just don't seem capable of it, they talk about it alot, but they just seem like the kind of people that would talk about it and then back out when the time actually came. But actually watching it unfold on front of you on the screen, in its entirety, is something else all together.

All and all I like this movie. Its an extremely independent movie, if that makes sense, but it works in what the film is trying to do. Is it a great film? No, not technically, it is very slow paced and the acting isn't that great, but if you're anything like me it'll leave an impact. Its really a movie that is to be though about after you watch it. Its not a great movie, and not the most enjoyable to watch, but it works as a surprisingly accurate and respectful portrayal of the Columbine Massacre. It debunks the idea that the killers worked off of ideas from movies or video games instead saying it was their idea. They seem to want to protect their families, continuously saying on camera that they had nothing to do with it and it wasn't their fault. The whole movie is kind of uncomfortable to watch, especially the last 15 minutes which is genuinely disturbing and unsettling and it actually does seem like what might of been going through Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold's minds. Maybe not a great movie to watch for just a casual film watcher, but if your a film nerd you might wanna check it out.

Friday, August 3, 2012

Your Highness Review

 File:Your Highness Poster.jpg

This movie sucks. Yeah, not a very intelligent way to start a review I understand, but it's true. I remember the trailer to this movie and how it actually seemed funny and witty and pretty good. Holy hell was I completely wrong. This isn't gonna be a long review.

Two princes, Thadeous (Danny McBride) and Fabious (James Franco) quest after the evil wizard Leezar (Justin Theroux) who kidnapped Fabious' fiance Belladonna (Zooey Deschanel), along the way they meet Isabel (Natalie Portman) who joins them.

That's it that is the whole plot. And while its a decent story, by God is it executed horribly. The writing is terrible, pacing is awful, and the directing is slap-shod at best. This movie is a complete waste of a great cast. Danny McBride who I think is a great comedic actor, and co-wrote the movie, tries his best to make it funny, but just can't do it. I understand his whole schtick is that he's kind of a douche in every role, but at least he's usually somewhat likeable, or at the very least funny. But not here, he's annoying self centered and has an ego so massive its ridiculous. He has some sort of rivalry with his brother even though his brother is as nice as he could possibly be to him. And here's the thing, he never changes. At no point does this character grow, through the whole movie, right till the end hes the same annoying arrogant douchebag.

Honestly, I'm not sure why James Franco is in this movie. Maybe as a favor to director David Gordon Green(who directed Franco in Pineapple Express)? He's an Academy Award nominated actor, maybe not when this movie came out, but still, he was in freaking Spider-Man, he was an established actor, there was absolutely no need for him to lower himself into this film. Here's the thing, hes good in it too, or at least he does the absolute best he can. He deserved a much better script and director, this movie was a waste of his talent.

Same goes with Natalie Portman, Academy Award winner, again not when this was made, but still established actress and what not. She plays her part as well as she possibly can too. Plays a good badass warrior chick.. Her romance with Danny McBride's character though, is somehow more retarded and forced than the one between her and Anakin in the Prequels. She does the best she can, but again monumental waste of talent.

There's a few other great actors who are completely wasted in this movie, Charles Dance as the King, who is probably best known now for his portrayal of Tywin Lannister in Game of Thrones. Toby Jones who has always been a great supporting actor is completely wasted in his small supporting role as a minion of Leezar. Justin Theroux (who I recognize from a supporting role in Six Feet Under) is a good actor who again does as well as he can, but this movie is so terrible it brings him down.

I hated this movie. There's really not a whole lot of movies I legitimately hate. But man do I hate this one. Its boring, unfunny, the action is dreadful, the adventure is lame, the story is predictable as all hell, the great talent is completely wasted by a terrible script and crappy directing. It tries to be all edgy with vulgar language and jokes about how James Franco's character may have been raped by some kind of puppet monster thing when he was a kid and most of the jokes are just...uncomfortable more than funny. I didn't laugh once during this movie. The whole thing is a complete waste of alot of talented people's time, as well as mine or anyone who watches it.