Saturday, 17 March 2007

THE HOST, a must see movie!

I originally meant to have one more blog entry about movies before temporarily venturing to other topics. This isnt that entry though. This is kind of a blog entry elicited by pure impulse on the spectacle I watched last night under the name of "The Host".

To get formalities out of the way, "The Host" is a Korean movie with English subtitles (for the ones among us that missed Korean language 101 in the classroom). To categorize it in a genre such as a horror movie, a sci-fi movie and so on would be doing it great disservice. If some of you are still bitching about genres and technicalities like that I would categorize this movie in the custom made genre of multipurpose/multilayered monster movie. Yep this is a brand new category created by me with, guess what, only one movie in it "The Host".

The premise of this movie is as unoriginal as they come. Toxic wastes into the river, great monster born, monster likes humans ala creme(they are never vegetarian are they,lol), humans fight back. So you may think, it is all pretty much b-movie fodder why the fuss? My answer would be it is all in the execution. This movie succeeds in so many levels in my book it is truely remarkable, lets check why that is, shall we?

For the CG whores among you who think that any CG creation worse than Gollum is not satisfactory stop reading now. The monster is decent CG wise and the closest relative I can think of quality wise is the monster in Hellboy. It is at that level of design. It has a pretty unique design and a definitely unique type of movement especially when on high grounds. The monster though is only the excuse to watch the movie not the main reason to enjoy it.

The basic premise is that among the victims (diseased/missing) of the monster's attack is a little girl. The girl's closest relatives a band of 4 people (3 male, 1 female) start looking for her. They are by no means superhumans or amazingly trained, they are just driven by a sense of loss especially when the one missing is the youngest of the family clan. The depiction of those characters, their reactions to this unusual situation and the ways that they go about to rescue the girl is what makes this movie standout. At the same time there are parallel views of how the little girl survives in the "lair" of the monster while the search and rescue mission is looking for her. This movie has funny moments, has decent action, has political subtext (US is the "bad guy", in a way), has really good acting ( I was particularly impressed by the little girl) and amazing direction. The greatest compliment I can give this movie is that it took a genre that is purely for laughs sake(big monster in a city) and made a proper full scale movie out of it. Personally, I had such a change of emotions during the movie I couldnt believe it. It was nothing but the shallow experience I was expecting and trust me it isnt the easiest thing to get surprised (albeit pleasantly) by movies this past decade.

This is a 10/10 movie in my book and I urge you all to watch it. I am sure different people will have different reactions to it but I think that it would all come down to the commom denominator that this is an enjoyable movie.

p.s. I ll be back with one more "merc with a mouthish" post about movies next time and then we are moving on to other things. See you around!

Thursday, 15 March 2007

Enough with the blockbusters show us some low budget gems damn it!!!

Ok ok, we've all watched the major blockbusters in the movie theatres, checked out some cool movies in the DVD store and we think we are complete as far as movie viewing is concerned.Well not in my world! There is this little subcategory of movie culture that is called the "little movies few have heard of and even fewer have watched" (wow what a mouthful,lol!) .These are the little movies that are out there in the market in one form or another, the movies that are only the talk topic of some dedicated fans or some major geeks that are in the know. These little gems scream lower/lowest budget in your face and wear their distinctive cheesiness or lack of high production values(as in lack of money!!!) like a badge of honour. They are worth your attention since either you ll be pleasantly surprised with what they actually have to offer or you ll just laugh out loud at the absurdity of it all. Below follows a brief list of such movies and what I think of them :

BUBBA HO TEP : Let's get this out of the way first, Bruce Campbell is the ultimate b-movie actor and an all around nice guy! Ok on to the movie then. Concept: An ageing Elvis and a black dude that thinks he is JFK battle a mummy with cowboy boots in a nursing house. Assesment: For the ones among you that havent stopped reading, here is the juice of the matter. This is a genuinely good movie in my book. Ok it has an absurd concept so what? (It is not like hobbits are walking among us or anything in real life is it now...). The fact of the matter is that this movie is funny, it makes you feel things(for example when Elvis considers what would have happened if he had done things differently in his family life) and lets face it people, in what other movie will you see two old geezers fighting a mummy in cowboy gear (reason enough to see it,lol)

DRIVE: Another unsung hero, of action movies this time, is Mark Dacascos. When you see mediocrities like Van Damme and Seagal (although I do have a soft spot for Seagal's wooden acting and his absurd mid-fight speeches, comedy wise of course) do decent box office gross, you really think anyone can make it in the movie business. In my book Marc Dacascos totally outshines most of those so called action whores by a mile in both the fighting and the acting chops.Still, I guess the name Dacascos has too many syllables for the casting agents in Holywood so he is not really a star player. Concept:A guy has a heart implant accelerator in his heart (total sci fi BS then, lol) that makes him a very special fighter so to speak, unfortunately some people want to take it out of him Assesment : One of the best action movies I ve seen period.The action is so well choreographed it is really something else. The movie has a lot of comedy moments as well courtesy of a black dude (unfortunately I dont remember his name) and one of the first appearences of Britanny Murphy (yep the Sin City Britanny Murphy). I know you are now used to the sexed up version of Britanny Murphy but she is so cute in this movie it is unbelievable, she is a sight to behold in what is a standout performance for me.

LIVING IN OBLIVION : Starring one of the most underrated and sublime actors of his generation Steve Buscemi. I have to say this is probably one of my favourite comedies ever because it is so intelligently written, directed and acted that you just dont want it to end(I know I didnt,lol). Concept: A movie crew with only basic funding tries to make a decent movie but everything goes horribly wrong Assesment: This movie is really a lesson for future filmakers of "how not to make movies". One disaster follows the other and frustration progressively accumulates on the face of the director played expertly by Steve Buscemi. Little moment: I just love the scene with the dwarf and the smoke, I laughed so hard with that scene it was a miracle I didnt burst from laughter(it is all in the words and the delivery of the actors). A warning though, this is a really hard movie to find especially in PAL regions.

PIECES OF APRIL: You know all those cheesy american movies with the ideal family, where everyone has a great car, they shag the best chicks without effort and they got lots of money without working at all. Good.Now forget about them. If possible delete them from the hard disk of your mind(spooky this sounds like something Bill Gates would say,oh the horror,lol). This movie is an intelligent drama disguised as a comedy. Confused? No need to be, let me elaborate... Concept: April (played surprisingly well by the then single Katie Holmes) is a punk like little princess living with her black boyfriend in a little appartment in the big city. Her rather estranged family(excluding the dad) is coming to her place for Thanksgiving and April has to cook the turkey for the dinner. It is all good except from one thing, she has never cooked before! Assesment: The movie starts as a cute little comedy with April trying to cook the turkey.As everything goes from bad to worse you cant help but feel sympathetic and touched by her eagerness to please her loved ones (especially her mom) and gain their acceptance. This movie has also a lot of fun moments with April going around the block of flats she lives in, trying to cook the turkey and getting to know an interesting mix of characters in the process. This movie made me feel strongly for the main character and I really wanted everything to end well, not a bad achievement in this cynic world we live in huh...

Whoa! I actually remembered four little gems of a movie that stayed with me long after watching them, I wouldnt call this a genius moment but I guess there are a good few IQ points left in that skull of mine. Since I am sure there are more movies like those lurking around in my subconcious, lets dont put an abrupt end to this blog entry.Lets just say "talk to ya later" and call it a day... Now where is that DVD copy of
Best of Pam Ander..... eehhmm I mean Citizen Kane I rented the other day,lol.

Take care people!

Welcome to "The Merc with a mouth is back!"

In an age of obligation and constant running to catch up with life's demands fun is essential to maintain our sanity.Thus, I chose one of the most insane fictional characters created (Deadpool) as the flagship of this blog space. This is by no means a Deadpool fan site or anything of the sort(although for those in the know I have to say I like this character a lot and am still waiting for him to get his own SOLO monthly title). Topics wise I intend for this site to be quite a broad affair incorporating daily life stories(albeit the deadpoolite version,lol) as well as stuff around my favourite past time hobbies, all with the funny approach and tongue in cheek humour that Deadpool himself is so fond of. If from time to time a more serious topic raises his ugly head, hey I am only human. Nothing more to add then, lets start this journey one laugh at a time...