I'm not trying to be a hero! I'M FIGHTING THE DRAGON!!

Posts Tagged ‘another fucking found footage movie’

The Visit

Thursday, January 7th, 2016

tn_visitM. Night Shyamalan has had one of the harshest popularity drop-offs of any name brand movie director. THE SIXTH SENSE got him a couple films worth of “could he be a new Spielberg?” goodwill before the love affair ended non-amicably. He rubbed many of us the wrong way by becoming increasingly self-aggrandizing as his movies got more and more misguided, arguably culminating in the ridiculous LADY IN THE WATER, where the villain is a pompous film critic and Shyamalan himself plays a writer whose work is destined to inspire the next Martin Luther King. Of course, most people limit their critique to making fun of the twist endings he used to do and xenophobically refusing to expend a regular amount of effort to learn his last name. (SHAW-MUH-LAWN, guys. Fewer syllables than Tarantino or Kurosawa. You can learn it.)

These days he doesn’t even get a fair shot. AFTER EARTH, for example, did not deserve the disdain it got. But I think we’re fair in assuming he’s not gonna turn out to be a great director for the ages.

THE VISIT is not a rebirth of the once promising writer-director, but it’s a positive step. It shows an awareness I didn’t know he had. Instead of floundering with ambitions far beyond his abilities he’s decided to slum it in the middling subgenre of the Jason Blum produced found footage/fake documentary horror movie (see also: PARANORMAL ACTIVITY 1, 2, 3, 4 and GHOST DIMENSION, THE BAY, AREA 51, THE GALLOWS, UNFRIENDED 1 and 2). While the format is usually used as a workaround for filmmaking competence and professional actors, Shyamalan treats it as a creative challenge. It never seems like laziness, it seems like a puzzle. Can he use this “kid with handheld camera” bullshit and still get in some of his favorite things: great performances by young actors, some beautiful shots, some sadness and sentiment? (read the rest of this shit…)

VERN has been reviewing movies since 1999 and is the author of the books SEAGALOGY: A STUDY OF THE ASS-KICKING FILMS OF STEVEN SEAGAL, YIPPEE KI-YAY MOVIEGOER!: WRITINGS ON BRUCE WILLIS, BADASS CINEMA AND OTHER IMPORTANT TOPICS and NIKETOWN: A NOVEL. His horror-action novel WORM ON A HOOK will arrive later this year.

Frankenstein’s Army

Wednesday, February 11th, 2015

tn_frankensteinsarmyLooking to get a fake Stalin-era propaganda anthem stuck in your head forever? The FRANKENSTEIN’S ARMY menu, opening and end credits are here to help! This low budget, high on practical effects English language Dutch-American-Czech production tells a simple story about a group of Soviet soldiers who encounter a Nazi scientist’s enclave of steampunk zombie cyborg monsters. And that’s about it.

Tbfh (to be frankly honest) I don’t really get this fascination with adding Nazis to zombies or aliens or mad scientists or whatever. I’m not against it, I just can’t really relate to the people that get so excited for IRON SKY or DEAD SNOW or whatever. I think maybe genre + swastika is shorthand for ’40s pulp aesthetic. And it seems like it’s usually these low budget grassroots people dealing with period detail and style that they can’t really pull off convincingly. This one does better than many I think, even if it has HELLBOY’s Karl Roden in it to remind you how not-fresh the Nazi/Russian/mad science triangle is.
(read the rest of this shit…)

VERN has been reviewing movies since 1999 and is the author of the books SEAGALOGY: A STUDY OF THE ASS-KICKING FILMS OF STEVEN SEAGAL, YIPPEE KI-YAY MOVIEGOER!: WRITINGS ON BRUCE WILLIS, BADASS CINEMA AND OTHER IMPORTANT TOPICS and NIKETOWN: A NOVEL. His horror-action novel WORM ON A HOOK will arrive later this year.

Willow Creek

Wednesday, September 10th, 2014

tn_willowcreekWILLOW CREEK is the latest Bobcat Goldthwait directorial work, but mostly it’s just the latest found footage movie. This one is about a couple visiting the area in Northern California where the famous (admitted hoax I thought, but I guess not) Sasquatch footage was filmed in 1967, retracing the journey of the filmers and making their own video about it. Boyfriend Jim (Bryce Johnson, also star of Goldthwait’s SLEEPING DOGS LIE) is a believer, but has enough of a sense of humor about it that a stranger angrily tells him “It’s not a joke!” after seeing him film in front of a wooden Bigfoot statue. Girlfriend Kelly (Alexie Gilmore, SURFER, DUDE) has to confess complete Bigfoot atheism, which leads to some tension and arguments. She’s just going along to have fun with her boyfriend, but it upsets him that they’re not on the same page.
(read the rest of this shit…)

VERN has been reviewing movies since 1999 and is the author of the books SEAGALOGY: A STUDY OF THE ASS-KICKING FILMS OF STEVEN SEAGAL, YIPPEE KI-YAY MOVIEGOER!: WRITINGS ON BRUCE WILLIS, BADASS CINEMA AND OTHER IMPORTANT TOPICS and NIKETOWN: A NOVEL. His horror-action novel WORM ON A HOOK will arrive later this year.

Chronicle

Monday, June 18th, 2012

Yeah, CHRONICLE. I just shouldn’t watch these found footage movies, I guess. It doesn’t matter how good they are for their genre, I always think they pale in comparison to actual movies. But technically this isn’t a found footage movie, because they never claim that anybody found the footage, and they sometimes switch POVs from the one character’s camera to another character’s, or to security cameras. So it’s a footage movie.
(read the rest of this shit…)

VERN has been reviewing movies since 1999 and is the author of the books SEAGALOGY: A STUDY OF THE ASS-KICKING FILMS OF STEVEN SEAGAL, YIPPEE KI-YAY MOVIEGOER!: WRITINGS ON BRUCE WILLIS, BADASS CINEMA AND OTHER IMPORTANT TOPICS and NIKETOWN: A NOVEL. His horror-action novel WORM ON A HOOK will arrive later this year.

Trollhunter

Saturday, September 3rd, 2011

tn_trollhunterTROLLHUNTER starts out exactly like any one of these post-BLAIR WITCH fakumentaries: 3 somewhat obnoxious college kids are making a documentary (about a bear poacher?) when they stumble across something scary (a troll) and shine some lights and cameras around the woods at night getting spooked by sounds and shadows. So it’s first time actors pretending to be non-actors trying to catch something on tape and we’re supposed to sit at home watching it and pretending we think it’s real so we can be scared if they “happen” to catch something scary blurred out on the camera for like 2 seconds. (read the rest of this shit…)

VERN has been reviewing movies since 1999 and is the author of the books SEAGALOGY: A STUDY OF THE ASS-KICKING FILMS OF STEVEN SEAGAL, YIPPEE KI-YAY MOVIEGOER!: WRITINGS ON BRUCE WILLIS, BADASS CINEMA AND OTHER IMPORTANT TOPICS and NIKETOWN: A NOVEL. His horror-action novel WORM ON A HOOK will arrive later this year.

Welcome to the Jungle

Friday, August 12th, 2011

tn_welcometothejungleWELCOME TO THE JUNGLE is a little low budget cannibal movie put out in ’07 by Dimension Extreme. That’s the division of Dimension Films that puts out independent or foreign horror movies they buy the rights to. They’re extreme so I believe that means they’re like other Dimension movies except they wear backwards hats and ride snowboards. I think ROGUE is the only movie released by them that I saw and liked alot, but I’ve heard good things about INSIDE and TEETH.

This one didn’t get much attention other than a little controversy when rumors spread that it was a remake of CANNIBAL HOLOCAUST. Writer/director Jonathan Hensleigh got mad and claimed otherwise in interviews, but on the commentary track he calls what he said “unfortunate” and admits that CANNIBAL HOLOCAUST was “obviously” a huge influence.
(read the rest of this shit…)

VERN has been reviewing movies since 1999 and is the author of the books SEAGALOGY: A STUDY OF THE ASS-KICKING FILMS OF STEVEN SEAGAL, YIPPEE KI-YAY MOVIEGOER!: WRITINGS ON BRUCE WILLIS, BADASS CINEMA AND OTHER IMPORTANT TOPICS and NIKETOWN: A NOVEL. His horror-action novel WORM ON A HOOK will arrive later this year.

Paranormal Activity

Tuesday, December 29th, 2009
tn_paranormalactivity
Holy shit, the door opened (SPOILER)

Well, no surprise here. I’m on record as being done with this “scary home video” fakumentary subgenre, and I think it’s not worth doing unless you can come up with a new gimmick to add on top of that gimmick, like CLOVERFIELD did by doing a found video Godzilla movie. PARANORMAL ACTIVITY doesn’t have much to distinguish it from BLAIR WITCH PROJECT or [REC] other than it’s even lower rent, taking place entirely in one normal house with only 2 cast members for 98% of the running time. I didn’t check the credits but if more than 4 people worked on this then somebody wasn’t pulling their weight. (read the rest of this shit…)

VERN has been reviewing movies since 1999 and is the author of the books SEAGALOGY: A STUDY OF THE ASS-KICKING FILMS OF STEVEN SEAGAL, YIPPEE KI-YAY MOVIEGOER!: WRITINGS ON BRUCE WILLIS, BADASS CINEMA AND OTHER IMPORTANT TOPICS and NIKETOWN: A NOVEL. His horror-action novel WORM ON A HOOK will arrive later this year.

[REC]

Monday, October 19th, 2009

tn_recWell, say hello to the bad guy. The wet blanket, the party pooper, parade pisser, Gloomy Gus, Whiny Waldorf, Joyless Jim, Bum-out Benjamin. I’m talking about me here, the guy who achieved the dubious record of “First Person Not To Like [REC] Very Much.” Sorry guys. Didn’t think it would be me, so I didn’t prepare a speech.

If you’re not familiar with it, [REC] is the ’07 Spanish horror picture already remade in the U.S. as QUARANTINE. It’s a fakumentary/found footage one like BLAIR WITCH, CLOVERFIELD, THE OFFICE, etc. The premise is that a TV hostess and her cameraman are doing a story on firefighters when they respond to a building where a deadly 28 DAYS LATER type infection (zombies except in name) breaks out. They get trapped in the building and document the mayhem because the people have a right to know or whatever. (read the rest of this shit…)

VERN has been reviewing movies since 1999 and is the author of the books SEAGALOGY: A STUDY OF THE ASS-KICKING FILMS OF STEVEN SEAGAL, YIPPEE KI-YAY MOVIEGOER!: WRITINGS ON BRUCE WILLIS, BADASS CINEMA AND OTHER IMPORTANT TOPICS and NIKETOWN: A NOVEL. His horror-action novel WORM ON A HOOK will arrive later this year.

Vern didn’t think DIARY OF THE DEAD was that hot either!

Wednesday, February 6th, 2008

Dear diary,

I saw George Romero’s new movie DIARY OF THE DEAD. It’s basically “NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD meets BLAIR WITCH PROJECT” or “CLOVERFIELD with zombies” or “CANNIBAL HOLOCAUST – cannibal + zombies but not ZOMBIE HOLOCAUST.” It’s not a sequel to the living dead movies but kind of a do-over with the zombie plague beginning in the present day and depicted in documentary form. Some film students are working on a crappy mummy movie (come on George, this is 2008, only Rob Cohen makes mummy movies) when they start hearing news about the dead coming back to life, and their director is compelled to keep filming. We’re told at the beginning of the movie that his footage was edited by another character along with clips they downloaded from youtube, some news and security cam footage. Also she admits that she added music. And, I’m afraid, she narrates it.

I feel bad saying this but since nobody is reading this and it’s only a diary I will come out and say it: this movie isn’t very good. I enjoyed watching it and will list many of the good things about it right here on these pages, in the interest of balance. And in case Harry reads this because he got real mad at Quint for not liking it and I pretty much agree with everything in Quint’s review. But in my deepest, most personal secret opinion this is a failed experiment for old George. (read the rest of this shit…)

VERN has been reviewing movies since 1999 and is the author of the books SEAGALOGY: A STUDY OF THE ASS-KICKING FILMS OF STEVEN SEAGAL, YIPPEE KI-YAY MOVIEGOER!: WRITINGS ON BRUCE WILLIS, BADASS CINEMA AND OTHER IMPORTANT TOPICS and NIKETOWN: A NOVEL. His horror-action novel WORM ON A HOOK will arrive later this year.

Cloverfield

Sunday, January 20th, 2008

CLOVERFIELD is a new movie about a giant monster named Cloverfield who comes out of the water and attacks New York City. Cloverfield knows he has a sissy name that’s way too close to that asshole cat Garfield. He wants it to have a more rebellious ring to it, like [Holden] Caulfield, or at least semi-respectable, like Seinfeld before he started advertising BEE MOVIE. So to prove he’s not fucking around and to establish dominance one of the first things Cloverfield does on his visit to the big city is rip the head off the Statue of Liberty and throw it across Manhattan. If he was trying to bowl it was a gutterball but, poor bowler or not that shit is threatening to a human like you or me. Let’s face it, he has a size advantage. That is the main thing going on between Cloverfield and us. More weight, more reach. Not really a fair fight.

Since we don’t actually witness the incident (except for where the head lands) it’s hard to really know for sure what Cloverfield’s motive is. It’s easy to jump to conclusions that he’s making a statement about the loss of liberty in America post 9-11, or perhaps he is some sort of rabid anti-American and is threatening our liberty. He should realize that it is very insensitive in the post 9-11 world to not only attack landmarks in Manhattan but to make people think of being beheaded. I don’t care if the fucker’s from space, if you’re visiting some place you gotta do research on the local customs and not just be a big asshole like that. So he’s either very anti-american or just a prick. Or maybe he hates women. My guess though is he thought the statue looked at him funny. Or he saw that torch and thought she was armed and just acted on reflex. After all, it is New York. Okay, I have gone through alot of theories here but I’m sticking with that last one, the Amadou Diallo theory. If anybody finds evidence to back me up on one of those stupid “viral marketing” websights everybody got all caught up in please let me know. (read the rest of this shit…)

VERN has been reviewing movies since 1999 and is the author of the books SEAGALOGY: A STUDY OF THE ASS-KICKING FILMS OF STEVEN SEAGAL, YIPPEE KI-YAY MOVIEGOER!: WRITINGS ON BRUCE WILLIS, BADASS CINEMA AND OTHER IMPORTANT TOPICS and NIKETOWN: A NOVEL. His horror-action novel WORM ON A HOOK will arrive later this year.