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Posted: Mon Apr 25, 2011 8:59 pm
by Remo D
Okay, here it is... a spot for NON-current reviews of films that I didn't get around to earlier but which are worth a mention for one reason or another. Perhaps I vowed I'd never pay to see them. Perhaps they never played near me. Perhaps I simply missed them and never got around to them... until I took advantage of several going-out-of-business sales, that is.

Tonight's selection: POSTAL (2007)

After HOUSE OF THE DEAD, ALONE IN THE DARK and BLOODRAYNE, could anybody seriously blame me for declining to venture out to witness more from director Uwe Boll? Of course, for THIS movie I had no real choice--it played in exactly ONE indy house hours away from me. As for the video release? I very seldom rent movies, and it was never going to become a priority.

And yet... and yet... this film in particular was one that people continued to talk about. Mainly because this was a "bad taste" comedy that tried its best to be as universally offensive as possible. So--let us dispense with questions of taste. 9/11, massacres of people of all sizes, ages, races, genders and body types, sexual/scatological humor, bestiality (actually, the animals get off the easiest), political and religious targets, Verne Troyer as himself, Uwe Boll as himself... look, if anything can set you off, it's probably in there somewhere and that was the entire idea. Comparisons to a live-action SOUTH PARK are somewhat justified as far as content goes--though one might wonder if it tries anywhere near as hard to make a POINT as Parker and Stone often do. Whatever the case, people kept talking about it, and it even earned a chapter in a recent book I bought ("My Year of Flops" by Nathan Rabin).

So I finally broke down and bought a copy for the proverbial song. And I will tell you this with a completely straight face. Had this been the first Uwe Boll film I'd seen, I wouldn't have zeroed in on him as one of the world's worst directors. I have NO desire to go back and look at any of those previous films again. They have no scares, no effective drama and no competent action. They're just as terrible as I said they were earlier. But when it comes to INTENTIONAL comedy, Dr. Boll actually has something you might call a "knack."

It's not just that POSTAL made me laugh out loud frequently, but it did. I actually thought that the massacre in the unemployment office scored the laugh as the Postal Dude (Zack Ward) crawled through the carnage, scouring the victims for a ticket that would get him closer to the front of the line. I actually chortled when he used a cat for a silencer (said feline survived with merely an indignant yowl). I enjoyed the fate that Boll set up for himself (and his last words in the movie). So on and so forth--but remember that I said it wasn't JUST the fact that I laughed. I also had to admit that his cast was (for a change) completely comfortable with their characters and the outrageous material (Dave Foley was especially good as the odious Uncle Dave).

It's not an easy film to recommend, but it did NOT have me tearing at my hair, hitting the fast-forward button or begging for it to stop. POSTAL announced what it was going to do in the very first scene and went on and did it with full confidence. And it made me laugh. So there you go.


Posted: Wed Jul 06, 2011 6:31 pm
by Remo D
Okay, time to toss in a few more "ketchup" reviews of movies I never caught first time around...

TRON: LEGACY looks absolutely smashing on Blu-Ray (I didn't even miss the 3-D) when it comes to the dazzling visuals depicting the various survival games (especially the light cycle races). There's no doubt about it--what we have here is a spectacle. Unfortunately for me, the vast majority of the film necessarily takes place under the gloomiest of computerized landscapes, which ultimately drained the joy out of the experience (as it's a fairly lengthy film). I enjoyed the intrigue that led up to the entry into the Grid, but once we caught up with the "old" Jeff Bridges, the story bogged down into endless metaphysical mumbo-jumbo (and of course, the ticking time bomb of the slowly closing portal). Oh, and I wasn't impressed with the David Bowie impersonator, either. Enough said.

On the other hand, the film that COULD have been claustrophobic as hell was opened up into a sweeping, breathtaking epic courtesy of Danny Boyle... yep, I finally saw 127 HOURS. We all know the premise, and we all cringe at the two false starts before James Franco finally does what we all KNOW he's going to have to do before it's all over... but in the meantime, it's a journey of both mind and landscape--it's colorful, it's exciting, and there's never a dull moment. I'm not sure anybody else BUT Boyle could have pulled this one off.

And now we come to a pile of sludge by the name of SHUTTLE, which I can't review without spoiling, so bear that in mind.

Okay, this one's the "airport shuttle driver from hell" variant of the type of movie of which I am the most utterly sick. Innocent young travelers are set upon by conniving psycho/conspiracy criminal/take your pick. Sometimes they do the right thing, sometimes they do the stupid thing. But you know from a very early point that no matter WHAT they do, the bad guy will get the upper hand. No matter how many times you bash his loaf in with a fire extinguisher or a tire iron, or even if you shoot him point blank, he's going to recover. And when the innocent motorist shows up to rescue one of the girls, you know he's going to get splattered the second he almost does so. You know every so-called "twist" before it happens (including which of the "victims" is really in on it). Some of these movies are better acted and better crafted than others (WOLF CREEK comes handily to mind), but it doesn't matter... it's nothing but constant, unrelieved, hopeless sadism with a pre-ordained ending, and there's probably nothing I find less entertaining as a horror fan. And as SHUTTLE is desperate to use every single cliche in the book, it goes on for nearly two hours. Stuff this one.