Wednesday, 26 December 2007

Balls of Fury

Hot on the heels of Dodgeball, Talladega Nights, Blades of Glory and Gymkata comes the latest in the woefully long list of "comedies" about ridiculous "sports". Please enjoy my highly ironic use of "quotes" in that last sentence.

This time around, the sport in question (seriously in question) is table tennis or ping-pong. Replace Vince Vaughn, Will Ferrel, Will Ferrel or Kurt Thomas (the gymnast, not the NBA star) with some pudgy dude and there you go. Hey listen, I've got nothing against pudgy dudes. I am a pudgy dude. I'm just trying to make a point. Oh, you can add a little Christopher Walken as a race inappropriate semi-Asian bad guy and voila...this suckfest!

The plot is stolen directly from the Bruce Lee classic Enter the Dragon. Once again, substitute martial arts with ping-pong. Doesn't this seem highly creative to all of you? Me too. After I watched it the first time, I wanted to watch it again immediately. Wait...replace immediately with never again. There. That sounds better.

The comedy was ultra-high brow in this little gem. My favorite bit was when our hero had to smuggle a vibrator shaped transmitter into the bad guy's lair. I shouldn't have to tell you this and I'm sorry if I am ruining any future SPIKE-TV viewing of it, but he hid it up his butt. To illustrate how funny/painful this would be, the filmmakers had our hero walk he had something up his butt...into the lair. For about a minute. Through the gates. Into the courtyard. Up some stairs. I want that minute back in my life. That minute and all the minutes that I spent afterwards groaning at the utter lack of imagination that it took to write/direct these scenes. Now I have to add the minute or so that it took me to type those last few sentences. Vicious cycle. Let's move on.

Hmm...lets's move on to what? I think that pretty much illustrates what demographic the producers of this movie were aiming for. Functioning retards who have either $10 to spend or the ability to work a cable TV/DVD remote control. And I think they might have even groaned at the "transmitter up the ass" scene.

Great CGI, though. Christopher Walken looked almost human. Almost. Man, that guy creeps me out!

Thursday, 6 December 2007

Survival Island

Now I know that no one out there is gonna watch this turd. I just know it. I'm sure that no one has even heard of it, much less have it on their NetFlix queue. In case you are confused, it also goes by the name of Three. Did that help? Nah, I didn't think it would.

The only reason, ONLY REASON, I watched this horrible little film is that I couldn't sleep and it was the only movie on the nearly 100 movie channels that we have that I hadn't seen. And it starred Billy Zane, the obviously gay leading man type whose career has really gone nowhere. Beyond playing despicable types like he did in Titanic. Oh, and he got to play a despicable type right here in this one. But I enjoy me some camp every now and again, and when I want camp I go straight towards the gays. See what I did there? Ah, good times.

So, Mr. Zane and his real-life beard and ridiculously proportioned (32E-24-35. Hey, it's right there on her IMDB page...back off) British actress Kelly Brook star in this little tale about a rich asshole, his hot wife (just keep telling yourself that you are straight, Zane) and a hot-headed Argentinian guy who worked for them on a yacht cruising the Caribbean. Sound familiar? Sure...basically the plot of Wertmuller's very good Swept Away and the very bad remake by Guy Ritchie. Just add Zane and wackiness ensues. Probably that way in real life too. You would have to ask around certain West Village clubs in NYC to be sure.

The story goes a little something like this: Rich asshole, his wife and their friends rent a yacht for a luxury tour of the Caribbean. Rich asshole pisses off fiery worker on yacht to the point were fiery worker quits. On the boat. In the middle of the ocean. Okay? Anyway, I guess he plans to swim to the nearest island because he grabs a pair of goggles right before he "accidentally" causes a fire on board. Everyone dies except the fiery Argentinian dude and the rich asshole's hot wife. The wind up on a deserted island alone. Or so we are led to believe.

After a couple of days of leering and nude swimming, the fiery Argentinian dude finds Billy Zane unconscious on a reef a little ways off the island while fishing. He should really just end his suffering, but he decides to save his gay ass. That's when all the trouble begins. Zane is extremely jealous so he tries to assert his dominance. That doesn't really work and his hot wife winds up attracted to the fiery Argentinian dude. They have sex while Zane is off fishing and the game is afoot.

The boys try killing one another in various ways, blah blah blah. It just really sucks. And there are montage shots of a crazy witch woman doing a voodoo dance all through the film that is really annoying. Has something to do with something that happened towards the beginning of the film. I think. I really didn't care enough to pay attention.

The only thing worth watching this film for is the lovely Kelly Brook. Not her acting. She couldn't act her way out of a paper bag. But she looks pretty good in a bikini. Tell you what, leave the film alone and check out some of her NSFWish stuff here, here or here.

You are most welcome.

Wednesday, 24 October 2007

The Butterfly Effect 2

I wonder sometimes at the sanity of studios. See, I would have to wonder who thought The Butterfly Effect warranted a sequel. The first movie was fucking awful and made absolutely no sense whatsoever.

I remember my girlfriend at the time loved it, it was her favourite film. She insisted I watch it with her, despite my reservations. I watched it then took it apart, pointed out why it was utter nonsense and she then sulked for the rest of the evening. But then, she was pretty fucking sulky, so bollocks to her.

So some cunt thought it would be a good idea to make a sequel…

First things first, this is only 76 minutes long. The DVD case will say the running time is 10 minutes longer, but that is ALL credits. This movie has the longest end credits I've seen in years, and for no good reason; they're just indulgent and really really slow. Why? To pad out the running time, of course.

I'm not kidding when I say this story could have been told in 45 minutes. I've never seen so much plot filler in my life. Two completely superfluous sex scenes (in one, the main man's wife keeps her bra on – is that for certification or for herself? If for herself, why the fuck would you accept a role where one character has sex with another? Ami I being naive?), a shit-awful story and so-so acting – except the main man, who is largely pretty good.

Story: blokey and friends are in a car accident, and everyone dies or something. Except him. His girfriend dies, anyway. A year later, he discovers he can travel back to certain points in time by looking at a photograph and making the camera go all jiggly, and picking his nose until it bleeds. When back in time, he can change events and thus, change their future. When he comes back and his nose is bleeding, events in the present are altered.

This way, he brings his girlie back, gets himself promoted and has sex in the lavs of a restaurant. Yay. He also owns a BMW in this future – a dead giveaway, I would have thought, that he has become a complete cunt after changing these past events. And guess what? In the BMW future, he is indeed a cunt!

I don't even know if this 'review' is making sense. Maybe it's best that it doesn't, because the movie sure as bananas doesn't. It's just so fucking shit. Shit shit shit shit shit shit shit. Could have been an interesting Twilight Zone episode or something, but not dragged out to a movie.

Fuck this, rent Severance or something equally amusing instead.

Tuesday, 16 October 2007

Boy Eats Girl

I'm noticing a pattern. Many of the worst movies around have titles that are a small step away from being a porno movie. Well, this one isn't just a small step, it could easily be a porno title.

Sadly, it's not a good movie. The reasons for this are legion. It's a zombie movie, or a Zom-Rom-Com, if you will. Except it's very light on the 'Com', the 'Rom', though there is plenty of 'Zom' it's all shite.

Normally, I would champion a low-budget horror movie. Often, their only limitation is budget, so horror filmmakers have to use plenty of creativity to get a vision across on screen. And the viewer often has to use lots of imagination, too. But with Boy Eats Girl, there's no inclination to use your imagination, because if you do you'll be engaging with the movie on some level, and that's impossible.

Okay, the story. I know, I know. I'm just too negative. Right, Irish lad likes Irish girl. They go to the same school. He thinks they're getting together one night, her dad stops her going out, he waits, thinks he's been stood up. Goes home and gets drunk, and in an utterly inexplicable move, puts a noose round his neck because he has one handy. Mum walks in, knocks the chair over and kills her son.

Luckily, mum stumbled across an ancient voodoo tome at the local church. Yes, really. She uses the book to bring her son back from the dead, and he appears to be fine until the dance that night, when he decides to take a bite out of a classmate who's kicking the shit out of him. Classmate becomes a zombie too, and the rest is history. Zombies spread like wildfire, cheap effects abound, and our hero eventually is saved and gets the girl.

The girl is part of the problem. I've never been quite sure of why I have heard of Samantha Mumba, but I have. She made some music back in the day, and appeared in minor roles in a couple of films… But that's all. And this? Hardly a career progression, luv. She acts without expression or feeling of any kind, and I still have no idea why blokey is so fixated upon her in this film. There's far cuter – and more expressive – girls at his school.

There are a couple of decent performances in this, but they're bit-parts.

How do you fuck up a zombie film? I mean really? It's so damn simple, but this movie is what it looks like. A shite film with a shite title. Devoid of wit, imagination and anything positive. Avoid.

Saturday, 13 October 2007


I love movies with names like this. RENEGADE! Sounds impressive, right? It was actually originally released under the name Blueberry (after the main character, Mike Blueberry), which is not nearly as macho as RENEGADE! Typing it all in capitals helps. Also when you read it you should say it in your mind like you are the announcer at a monster truck show. Now showing....RENEGADE! Oooh...even better with large type!

OK, enough about the name. Here are some reasons why I should have loved this film:

  1. It's a Western. I love Westerns. The sight of a man in chaps riding a, er, um....did I just make this too personal?
  2. It's a comic-book adaptation. I love comic-book adaptation. Except comic-book adaptations of Jean Gerard's work. He goes by the name of "Moebius" for you comic-book buffs out there (Slyde), and I've always had a problem with that. I mean if you can pick a name that is more effete or condescending than Jean Gerard, it would have to be Moebius. Besides, as Quentin Tarantino and Crimson Tide taught us, the Jack Kirby Silver Surfer is the only real Silver Surfer and the Moebius Silver Surfer is shit.
  3. An incredible international cast: Vincent Cassel (Le Pacte des Loups), Djimon Hounsou (Amistad), Eddie Izzard (funniest man alive), Temuera Morrison (Once Were Warriors) and Michael Madsen. Now normally, I would gladly spend 2 hours watching ANY of these guys read from a phone book, but...
  4. A completely naked and spread-eagled sequence of Juliette Lewis underwater. OK, I take that was totally unnecessary. Lot a fur, people...lot o' fur.
And now for the reasons why I didn't love this movie:
  1. It sucked.
Tres, tres disappointing. The whole film is told in flashback from the point of view of a man on a bad peyote (or ayahuesca) trip. And it was filmed just like that. The third act was almost unwatchable, and yet I did it for you, oh my readers and only friends. The mystical drug trip sequences were something straight out of H.P. Lovecraft. The words "eldritch" and "cosmic horror" kept creeping into my subconscious. And it was boring. Just really, really fucking dull.

Almost all of the talent in the film was entirely wasted. Vincent Cassel was just fine in the lead role. He was channeling a bit of Clint Eastwood as a Cajun-raised US Marshall keeping the peace between the town folk and the neighboring Native American tribe. Temuera Morrison was especially good as his best friend and guide to the spirit world. And Michael Madsen always lends a gleeful joy to his villainous roles. But Hounsou, Izzard and the rest of the cast were not given anything at all that they could work with.

So I can only recommend this turd if you really like confusing, dull, drug-fueled and kaleidoscope-like dream sequences. Or if you just miss having them on your own from back in the day.

Monday, 24 September 2007


Take a classic disaster movie, packed to the rafters with stars and made damn-near perfect, then fill it with B-list and faded 'stars', make it far shitter and what do you have? Poseidon!

It opens with a spectacular CG shot of the ship, it really is huge. That shot alone could have financed God knows how many independent movies. I'm not going in to the plot other than to say, there's a big luxury boat and it gets flipped over in the middle of nowhere, in the deep blue sea. End of.

The fundamental problem with Poseidon is the cast. Is there a 'leading man' out there with less charisma than Josh Lucas? I don't think there is, no. He is almost unwatchable in everything he does. It's not his fault, I'm sure. I bet he's every bit as hard-working as every other actor out there. It's just that he shouldn't be given any work in the first place. He should be as hard-working, but in McDonald's.

In short… my apathy for this movie is so great, and it is riddled with so much mediocrity that I would not know where to start. Just don't watch it. You can see where the money went in this one – an estimated budget of $160m – as it's all on screen. It's just that Wolfgang Petersen hasn't got a fucking clue what to do with the visuals.

He's still coasting on two movies, in my opinion, one of which wasn't even that good (Das Boot, which is truly wonderful, and The Perfect Storm, which isn't). Hopefully Poseidon's dismal showing at the box office will be a wake-up call for him. Surely something as fine as Das Boot couldn't have been a fluke?

The Weather Man

This is a curious thing. Nicolas Cage plays a TV weather man who seems to be heading for a breakdown after hearing his that his dad (Michael Caine) is dying.

Really, that's about it. The movie goes nowhere and does absolutely nothing. It's beautifully photographed, full of bleak, washed-out colour, but the photography is capturing nothing. Reasonable performances performing fuck-all.

A couple of moments made me chuckle, I must admit. But two in a 97-minute movie which purports to be some kind of black-ish comedy? Pffffft.

I would imagine this was a low-key movie when it started out; that works in my head, anyway. A decent script, a low-budget movie, possibly with a lot more bite to it than it ended up with. But then you get stars involved, and the budget spirals upward… And a big-name director gets attached, and the next thing you know a movie which does nothing but make you wonder how you can get those 97 minutes back is expected to have decent box office.

Hmmmmm. Maybe I should be running a studio, because if Gore Verbinski had come to me with this and said 'it'll cost $35million', I would have told him to fuck off, given him $6m and told him to get on with it. Where the hell did they spend $35m? I can only assume it went on salaries, because nothing happens in this movie to justify that budget. Okay, I know that's not especially high for Hollywood, but even so...

Shite. Avoid, then come back and thank us because you haven't seen this.

Friday, 21 September 2007

Snakes on a Plane

Hi there, MovieGrenaders! Slyde here, finally getting his lazy ass in gear and writing my inaugural post here on the (soon to be) ultimate movie review site.

Part of the reason that it took so long for me to post is, because since I haven’t watched too many movies lately, I therefore haven’t watched too many SHITTY movies lately, which kind of doesn’t leave me a lot to write here about, does it. Of course, another reason why I haven’t posted yet is because, as I already implied, I’m a lazy bastard.

But none of that is really here nor there, since me being lazy isn’t the reason I am posting.

No, I am here to talk about the god-awful mess of movie that was Snakes On A Plane.

Two years ago, when the net first caught buzz of this then-soon-to-be-released turd, bloggers went absolutely ape-shit with how fucking cool this movie was going to be. As information and small snippets of the film were leaked to the press, the blogging community collectively shit their pants at how fucking rad this movie was DESTINED to be. The momentum on the web kept building and building right up until a few months before release, when the word from the studio went out to report that the principal cast was rushed back into the studio to “re-shoot some scenes to make them even MORE violent”. That pretty much sent the movie-loving geek community into a collective orgasm.

I must confess that I WAS one of the aforementioned geeks who was dying to see this film.

Mind you, I KNEW it was going to suck. We all KNEW it. No movie with a title like Snakes on a Plane could be anything other than bad, but we all hoped it would be one of those “It’s so bad it’s really good” movies that we all love (but don’t admit to).

Unfortunately, this movie fell under the category of “It’s so bad, that it just sucks”.

I really found nothing redeeming, or at least funny, about this movie.

First off, all the deaths were pretty fucking stupid:

Snakes kill a couple who are fucking in the bathroom, by biting the girl’s breasts.

Then another guy is taking a leak in another loo when a snake swims up to bite his hog.

Another snake then squirms up the dress of a fat girl sleeping in her seat, to bite her in the eye.

Then the deaths REALLY start to get stupid.

It just goes downhill from there. Plus if I see ONE more bad Samuel Jackson movie where he continues to pretend to be a bad-ass in a movie that just sucks, I might just kill someone. Mr. Jackson, you haven’t made a movie where you were a REAL bad mutha-fucka since Pulp Fiction, and you probably never will again.

The final capper for me on why this movie needs a grenade: The stereotypes! Pretty much everyone on the plane is a stereotype of some form or another. The prissy rich girl who keeps a little dog in her purse, the arrogant hip-hop star who needs to get back in touch with his “real” side, the Asian kick-boxer who boards the plane in a tank top showing off his biceps (I’m not fucking making this shit up!). The list goes on and on.

At one point I was just expecting EVERY fucking stereotype imaginable to show up on the plane. Chinese guy in komono pulling a rickshaw; Ski-parka Eskimo complete with whale harpoon, shifty-eyed gangster in black pin-stripe suit fiddling with a violin case......

You get the idea.

Do yourselves a solid, and give this fucker a pass.

Wednesday, 19 September 2007

Cyborg 2

OK. I'm not sure if this is what Badgerdaddy had in mind when he started this site. A 14 year-old film that was never released until it was shot straight to video in 1999. Six years after it was completed! Of course it's gonna suck! To what levels...well that is for you to decide. No wait! That is for ME to decide! I think I may be done using exclamation points for a little while. That last one hurt.

Let me start off by saying that I have a bit of a soft spot for the first Cyborg film starring Jean-Claude Van Damme. It had it all. He did splits and shit while duking it out with post-modern pirates in the desert after some kind of plague-induced holocaust or something. What's not to love? The plot was silly. JCVD must protect a cyborg with info on a cure for the plague on a trip to Atlanta (Atlanta?). Really it was just an excuse for him to do splits and shit. The kind of stuff his fans really wanted to see in 1989. I saw this one in the theaters when it came out, fact fans. Honestly.

The sequel doesn't seem to have a whole hell of a lot to do with the first one. Sure, there is this one dream sequence that references the first film with moon-lit shots of the Muscles from Brussels (hey...I didn't create the nickname). But it really could have ignored the original film altogether and it wouldn't have been any worse. It wouldn't have been any better either, but that is neither here nor there.

This version of the Cyborg is played by Angelina Jolie in her feature-film debut. An 18-year old Angelina Jolie, that is. Sure, she was in a movie with her dad back when she was a kid and she did a few short films for a friend of hers, but this was her first real starring role as listed on her IMDB page. I gotta say...she is pretty damn hot in this movie. Her acting is a bit robotic, but she is playing a cyborg. Ha...see what I did there? I made a funny. Erm.

Oh, and she gets naked in it.

There you go. If you wanna see a naked Angelina Jolie when she was 18 or so for a few seconds, then by all means watch Cyborg 2. If you can somehow get through life without that little bit of titillation (yeah...I went there again) then you are a better man/woman than I.

I can die a happy man now. All of a sudden I'm a little sleepy. Nite all.

Saturday, 15 September 2007

Smokin' Aces

Okay, this is a controversial-ish choice, and I don't have much time at all. My gripe isn't with the movie, but the marketing.

I know marketing people are among the lowest in the universe, but seriously, what were these cunts thinking? Most of the UK marketing advertised this like it was some sort of knockabout action comedy adventure, where some hitmen were all trying to kill the same target, causing mayhem somewhere or other.

Well, the same target bit was true. The hitmen/women bit was true. Knockabout action adventure kinda thing? No fucking way.

The target is fucked up on drugs, hates himself and is given little choice in selling out his comrades as he tries to turn state's evidence and get into witness protection. It hurts him. He's off his tits a lot of the time. He's falling apart. Ha ha, oh the humour!

Some of the hitmen are killing indiscriminately and are really quite vile. Not a huge amount of humour about any of them, save for one band of twisted fucks. Even their deaths are amusing.

A lot of the action is brutal, not knockabout in the least. The deaths hurt, on the whole. And there are a lot of deaths. People take revenge, people hurt. Some of it's pretty fucking ugly too.

There is humour in the movie, definitely, but the marketing people would have had both barrels from me if I had paid to see this in the cinema. It's been a long time since I've seen a film so completely mis-sold in its advertising.

So see this if you like action movies, it's got a reasonably solid script and a superb cast (led by Ryan Reynolds, who is usually the best thing about any movie he's in, alongside a rather good Ben Affleck, Ray Liotta, Andy Garcia and the always-great-value Jeremy Piven. Oh, and the very surprising Alicia Keys), it's just maybe not what you would expect from seeing any of the trailers. So there.

Saturday, 8 September 2007

Superman Returns

Let me start off by saying that despite my love of all things comic-book related, I hate Superman.

I fucking hate him! The character doesn't make any sense to me. His alter-ego, Clark Kent, makes no sense to me. How the hell are we supposed to believe that intelligent people can't see through a pair of glasses and a different hair style as a disguise? He is a boring, do-good superhero with ridiculously powerful abilities. Abilities that really can't be overcome unless one wields kryptonite. And one always seems to wield kryptonite. But my biggest problem with the character is his ability to fly.

Hawkman can fly, but he has a costume and some kind of "ninth metal" that defies gravity which allows him to do so. Angel of the X-Men can fly, but he was born with wings. Iron Man can fly, but he uses rockets and his costume to do so. All fairly weak reasons, but at least they are reasons. Superman can fly because, er, well...our sun is yellow.


Super strength? Fine. Speed? Check. Invulnerability? Sure. Freezing breath? Stupid, but why not. But flight? No way! At least give me a reason besides "uh, well...he flies", fer crissakes! Okay...I'm done. Onto the film.

It sucked.

The story takes place a number of years after Superman (and Clark Kent, by the way. Hmmm?) has disappeared to find his home planet of Krypton. He comes back...blah blah blah. Lois is married with a kid...blah blah blah. Lex Luthor is planning world domination...blah blah blah. Who fucking cares? The plot is stupid. Superman is ridiculously powerful so they can't find an villain for him to "fight", so they pull the old evil genius trick out of the book. One they have used a million times. And he uses kryptonite to weaken Supes! Genius! How do they keep coming up with these things?

Let's talk about casting. Brandon Routh is fine. I mean they were just casting a face and body type, so the acting part of it was totally secondary. But Kate Bosworth as Lois Lane? Five or six years after the last time we saw her when Superman defeated General Zod? 23-year old Kate Bosworth playing someone who should be in her mid-30's? Gimme a fucking break! And why the hell would Superman, or anyone for that matter, want to bang her bony ass? Someone needs to give that poor girl a sandwich.

And I glad to see that the Lex Luthor/Kitty (Kevin Spacey and Parker Posey) dynamic hasn't changed all that much since Gene Hackman and Valerie Perrine played those characters in the 70's. Okay, Perrine played Eve, but the character was the same. Why would an evil genius like Luthor put up with such an inane bitch?

James Marsden plays Lois Lane's love interest, well besides her super-lust for Superman. It looks like he is stuck in a rut playing characters in comic-book adaptations whose wife/girlfriend gets the hots for a cooler guy. Must suck being James Marsden.

So if you want to see a film with a more-than-obvious plot, actors sleep-walking their way through their roles, and one in which Superman fights, er, well no one...then Superman Returns is for you. Oh, and good luck with the Special Olympics. I'm rooting for ya, buddy!

Sunday, 26 August 2007


This one really hurts.

I was really looking forward to the film adaptation of Stephen Hunter's Point of Impact earlier in the year when it was released. I even wrote about it here. Sure, I was hesitant about the casting of Mark Wahlberg as ex-Marine sniper Bob Lee Swagger, but I was ready to roll through it. You know...for the sake of the art involved. sucked. Big time!

Sorry. I hate to be one of those jerks who complain about how Hollywood ruins books when they transfer them to film. I tend to agree with someone like Alan Moore who believes that any film made from previously published source material should be viewed as an entirely different entity. But damn, "they" really ruined this one!

And that sucks, because Stephen Hunter is an award-winning film critic for The Washington Post, and his novel almost reads like a screenplay. But "they" had to fuck with it. Fuckers!

But the crappy screenplay is only the beginning of the problems with this film. The acting was absolutely atrocious. And that includes the awful work done be Danny Glover and Mark Wahlberg...usually dependable actors. Wahlberg mumbled his way through the entire movie and Glover was almost as hard to understand. I think he had braces on his teeth or something, but he was really annoying to listen to every single time he was on screen.

I'm not even going to get into the crazy political message that the filmmakers were or were not trying to make. I got too bored to try and figure it out. Actually, it's not too hard to figure out. They beat you over the head with it. It's just too tiresome to chat about here.

Your best bet? Stay far, far away from this MOVIEGRENADE!

Friday, 24 August 2007

The Covenant.

This is very, very special indeed.

It's so bad it's highly, highly amusing, and also contains what I think might be the worst line I have ever heard in a movie. Ever. Amazing.

Okay, the 'plot' centres around a group of four friends, who are teenage boys. They're all real purdy, too (why are they never ugly?). They're also all witches, living in the town of Ipswich in Massachusetts, I think. They are descended from four families of 'untold power' from back in the day; there was a fifth family, but they wanted too much power and were banished or some such shite.

Anyway, strange things start happening to the excessively arrogant boys, like someone else is using some powers and stuff. They suspect one of their own, but then they remember the earlier script reference to a fifth bloodline that vanished and figure it's back.

And what are the chances? The child of this bloodline is also very pretty with a hot body. How lucky it wasn't a KFC-guzzling porkster, or that swimming scene would have made the movie an NC-17 in the States. Or possibly an unprecedented NC-82.

So the boys' girlfriends are sued to gain leverage by new witch-boy as he tries to get Caleb to 'will' him his powers, as he is about to 'ascend'. Using the powers is addictive, and it seems to have sent new bloodline boy a bit mental and power-crazed - but he's more powerful than our 'heroes' as he's been willed his father's powers.

With Caleb's powers too, he'll be even stronger, and more mental.

It's flimsy, it's filmed like a pop video, and the cast seems to have gotten work because they look nice. It could easily have been maybe 40 minutes long, but somehow has been dragged out to more than 90. And the twist which helps our hero survive is flagged so early in the film I feel embarrassed typing this.

Oh, and the worst line ever. Picture the scene. Two boy-witches fighting. It's like normal fighting, but they're 20 feet apart. And I mean it's exactly like a regular fight - they're throwing punches but they're like, erm, wobbly air, and they hurt and stuff. Even kicks produce this devastating wobbly air. Whoooo, dramatic. And really, really boring.

Anyway, they're facing off, and more-powerful-new-bloodline-boy is kicking the fuck out of the super-purdy Caleb. MPNBB then says, from on high, looking down at his wounded opponent:
"I'm going to make you my Wee-yotch!"

You see what they did there? It's like bee-yatch, but for witches. And it made me laugh out loud, then feel shame for all the professionals involved in this utter piece of shit. And to think, Renny Harlin's past movies have often been passable. A couple were even damn good – Cliffhanger and Long Kiss Goodnight, for example. But watching this, he is clearly nuts, as are the studios who financed this pile of hairy arse.

Monday, 20 August 2007

Lady In The Water

I've been mulling over whether to include this as a grenade or not, and I've realised today that I have no choice.

Lady In The Water is fundamentally really, genuinely not very good at all.

I'll tell you why I was in two minds though; like all of Shyamalan's movies, it's just so fucking sincere. With all his films so far, if you can buy into the premise, it's nearly always an interesting ride. Not always great, sometimes not even good, but usually interesting. And I am a fan of his. Unbreakable is one of my favourite films, it's incredibly good. It may even be in my top five. Signs is excellent, especially the second time when you can watch with emotional distance and see how damn funny it is.

But Lady In The Water… Not so good.

The plot's kind of tricky. This chap (Paul Giamatti) is working as a caretaker in an apartment complex. He's nice. A lady appears in the swimming pool, seemingly from nowhere. He takes her in. She's chased by a bad wolfy-grass beast.

Did I say it was tricky?

Okay, water nymph lady (as it turns out) is there to fulfill some destiny malarkey; different people in the complex will play different roles as she seeks the person she will inspire. Luckily, as this is all from some ancient Chinese folk story, there is an ancient Chinese woman in the complex.

Christ, now I'm writing the plot down, I can't think for the life of me as to why I was in two minds about this GRENADE!

Anyway, a giant eagle is to collect the nymph and take her home as she's a special, special nymph, and the people in the complex have to help her do that safely. (and you thought the synopsis couldn't get any worse)

The assorted characters are fine, and all well played, with particular nods to Giamatti, who is probably the main reason I was undecided about this, and M Night Shyamalan, who I thought was also pretty good in his role.

The problem is that it's just hard to care about the nymph. A giant fucking eagle? A wolfy thing made of grass that looks like it's actually made of Lego when you actually see it? Too many contrivances make you feel manipulated, and this fucker is packed with them. It's too neat, too pat, and yes, too damn contrived.

Best thing about this film is the guy who is experimenting by only bodybuilding one side of his body. He's great. But even his role is telegraphed from distance, if you know your movie devices. He crops up early on, then just about disappears; the rest of the cast have similar introductions but stick around. So you know he's coming back for something significant, and as soon as that thought clicks, it's a short step to figure out what that role is.

All in all, annoying, without charm, with some damn good performances that can't save what is, ultimately, a big pile of old wank.

Sunday, 19 August 2007

The Marine

OK. I've really got no excuse for watching this horrendous piece of shit. It was really late and I couldn't sleep. Maybe I got taken over by an alien pod-thing that loves pro-wrestlers. I dunno. All I do know is that I think I lost 10% of my brain cells during the excruciating 85 minutes that was this film. That sucks, because I usually like to kill brain cells the old fashioned way...with alcohol.

So John Cena (WWE wrestler) plays the titular ex-Marine. Hey...shouldn't they have called it The Ex-Marine? Anyway, he comes home from a tour o' duty and he and his wife get accidentally wrapped up with some bad guys on the run. Bad guys kidnap wifey, and Hulk smashes!!!

Robert Patrick (he of Terminator 2 fame) has the only fun in the movie as bad guy with a sense of humor. He is so over-the-top in his portrayal that he actually winds up on the bottom again. But there he goes...chewing up all the scenery Australia has to offer. Oh yeah, it was supposed to be set in South Carolina, but someone obviously thought that SC and the land Down Under were pretty interchangeable. Someone who has never been to either South Carolina or Australia, if you ask me.

So here it is...the best/worst moment in the film. Cena comes after the bad guys with a vengeance. Every time they think they lost him, he pops back up again. At one point he is chasing them on a motorcycle and one of the bad guys says: "Who does this guy think he is...the Terminator?" Cut to a shot of Robert Patrick in the rear-view mirror making a surprised look with his eyes.

Yeah. They went there.

You....stay away. Please!

Tuesday, 14 August 2007

A Sound of Thunder

I had only heard of this stinker in passing when it came out a few years ago. The title doesn't really give a whole lot of insight into what the film is about, and I think it spent all of one week in the theaters.

So before watching it the other night, I looked it up on IMDB and saw that it was a time-travel sci-fi kinda thing based on a short story by Ray Bradbury. And it starred Ed Burns, Ben Kingsley and a bunch of others. Now Burns is maybe one of the worst mainstream actors out there, but his films are usually OK. And Kingsley is a legend, although he has starred in some shitters you never know.

I should've known with this one. What a fuggin' awful movie! The special effects were shit. Looks like it could have been made for a cable TV channel instead of a major movie company. I see on the trivia section of the site that the original production company went bankrupt during that could explain it. Lemme put it this way: the blue-screen scene in the original Wayne's World movie (we're in Delaware...ugh) was far superior to the shot of Burns and his assistant walking through the streets of future NYC. I almost couldn't believe how bad the effects were in that shot...for a movie made in the 21st century!

The plot was shit too! This tech company figured out a way to use time travel to send rich assholes back in time to hunt dinosaurs. The only catch is that they couldn't affect anything from the past. No stepping off the "Jesus walked on the water" path that they send back in time. No killing of anything except the dino, which was about to die anyway by getting stuck in a tar pit and then covered with lava and ash from a volcano that is about to erupt. Nothing. They are absolutely adament that any change at all can cause drastic harm to the current timeline. Even the killing of an insect, because that insect could lay eggs that...blah, blah, blah.

(Sidebar: They must have really improved the carbon-dating process in the future to figure out when this specific dinosaur died to the exact minute. And that it all happened 5 minutes before a volcano was about to erupt. Truly amazing what they can do in a crap script!)

Dum, dum, duuuuuuuuuh!!!!

Guess what happens? One of the asshole, rich businessmen steps on a butterfly by accident. That tiny event causes waves of changes in the future. It doesn't matter that the butterfly was about to go extinct anyway because of the volcano that was 5 minutes away from exploding. Nah...not to our screenwriters, it doesn't. The changes to the future happen in waves, like the ripples from a stone thrown into the middle of a pond. Our heroes have to figure out a way to go back and give this poor butterfly another 5 minutes of life to preserve our future.

Ugh...that bored me just writing it!

You know what? Just don't see this movie. Period!

Monday, 13 August 2007

Aeon Flux

Picture the scene: I'm on a plane, it's a 12-hour flight from Hong Kong to the UK. My tactic, to avoid landing and being completely fucked, is to stay awake through two movies, then sleep. This way, I wake up half an hour before landing, and the flight doesn't seem so bad. It's always the last few hours of a long flight that suck the hardest, after all.

Anyway, there I am. The plane is dark, and everyone else is asleep. I mean, the entire plane – we left HK at about 1am, so this is understandable. I flick through the movies on offer, and they're all either shite, or I've seen them before. Oooh, what's this? Aeon Flux? Charlize Theron's first movie after her Oscar-winning performance in Monster? Well, that could be interesting, I think.

The most interesting thing about Aeon Flux is that I'm sure there's a good porno version of it out there, in which they only had to take the 'l' out of the original title.

In the 25th century, a virus has wiped out a big chunk of the world's population. Survivors live in Bregna, a fortified city surrounding by a big, fuck-off wall. Wow, that's pretty much superfluous. If I'd just said 'fortified', I think you would have pictured the fuck-off wall. Aeon Flux is the name of a female assassing, played by Theron, who works for an 'underground' rebel group, led by The Handler (Frances McDormand) or something. Aeon is sent to assassinate Trevor Goodchild, head of hte council that runs the city, but Aeon finds out lots of stuff and decides to protect him instead. So she becomes a target for The Handler's crowd, and blah blah blah.

It's actually quite a nice looking film, though every scene looks like it was shot on bluescreen. Or greenscreen, pedants.The problem is that there's just nothing here. It's flimsy beyond belief. Who do we care about in the film? No-one. The cast includes Pete Postlethwaite, Frances McDormand, Marton Csokas, Sophie Okonedo (who was so brilliant in Hotel Rwanda) and many more, yet I wanted everyone to die in the first 20 minutes.

The problem with movies like this is that they need to establish a universe for you to accept. The movies that do this best, do it without you realising. X-Men is a great example, as is Blade Runner. And Alien. You see things functioning, you see how the world works, and you're intelligent enough to accept and assimilate it. I'm always suspicious of movies that have to explain what's happening in too much detail. The obvious exception is Star Wars, which kept its descriptions so simple and its illustrations so detailed, they they worked very well together. You read the scrolling words, the next thing you see is a space pursuit with huge craft and flashing lasers, and robots aplenty. And you accept.

The world of Aeon Flux is well drawn, nicely realised, a little trippy and hyper-real in fact. But you just can't give a fuck about this non-existent script, a really slight story and no meat at all to grab on to. Even the action is average, being way too showy and extravagant. It's just not effective.

In short, if you watch this movie after reading this, you deserve to watch this movie. It's good enough for a 12-hour flight when everyone else is asleep and no-one can see what you're watching, but apart from that exact circumstance, avoid. Buy a box of tissues and rent Aeon Fux instead.

Friday, 10 August 2007


OK, this is a movie that I really, really wanted to like. It's got violence (of the ultra kind), vampires and a very sexy Milla Jovovich (My "v" button almost didn't make it through that sentence). What's not to lovvvve?

To date, I have tried to watch this un-watchable piece o' crap 3 or 4 times. I've never made it to the end. It's just so damn confusing. I've read on IMDB that the original version was over a half-hour longer, and maybe they cut some of the more important plot points in favor of the stylized violence that drives much of the movie. Dunno. All I do know is that a simple action flick like this shouldn't be that demanding.

Here's the plot in brief: It's sometime in the future. A virus has turned a portion of the population into Hemophages - vampire-like beings with enhanced strength, speed and intelligence. Their is a war going on between the humans and the 'phages. A woman (Jovovich) who is infected with the virus is sent on a mission to steal/destroy a weapon that the humans have developed to destroy all the 'phages. The weapon turns out to be a young boy who has anti-bodies in his system that can and will destroy all the hemophages. Silliness ensues! Phew...that wasn't easy.

The acting is awful, even with the presence of the lovely Ms. Jovovich. Let's face it...she's not much of an actress, but she is good on the old ocular lenses. There are some roles ably played out by character actors such as Nick Chinlund and William Fichtner, but even they can't save this movie grenade.

The action is mind-numbing. They often speed up and slow down the action ala The Matrix, because that's pretty hot right now...or was a few years ago. And it looks like the whole film was an excuse to play with special effects and blue-screen technology. Violet kept changing the color of her hair, nails, and outfits for no apparent reason than that the filmmakers could do it. Mission accomplished, douchebags! Next time give us a story and some dialogue to, er, sink our teeth into. Those of us with possessing more than a 3rd grade education appreciate it.

I would totally spoil the ending for you right now, but as I state above, I haven't quite gotten through this dud. Hopefully, I never will.

Monday, 6 August 2007

The Ring Two

I quite liked the Hollywaood remake of the first Ring movie; it had some atmosphere, and was shot with suitable gloom. It looked great, actually, despite adding a bizarre horse motif, perhaps to mark it out as its own film, as the Japanese Ringu is pretty fucking shit-hot.

This sequel, however, has no redeeming features and is shite from start to finish. I'd tell you why, but I already feel bad enough that I watched it. Just avoid, it's cobblers.

There, that was short and to the point, wasn't it?


Yes, the recent-ish remake. I think some spoilers might follow, but if you watch the movie and couldn't work them out anyway, you're a fucking muppet. So let's assume you would have and move on.

Now, this is a fun film. Dumb as fuck, great fun, loads of monster action. It's still shit, but it's a great guilty pleasure of mine.

It's a real MOVIEGRENADE! kinda film. Some moments of brilliance (the cars bouncing when 'zilla takes a step, for example – beautifully done) and one moment of utter shitness that stands out above all the others.

Well, most of them. And I will keep this short, as this 'blockbuster' has probably been seen by most of you already.

There's a 'thrilling' chase through Manhattan's streets, with Godzilla chasing a bunch of helicopters that were initially hunting the big fella/fella-ess. Godzilla is big, and fast; the helicopters are hunted down, hunter becomes hunted and all that shite.

What I've never understood is, why didn't they just fly up? I mean, they knew Godzilla couldn't fly or anything, and they… well, they were flying.

Maybe that's not so surprising. Maybe it's more surprising that the script went through rewrites and rewrites, was read by studio, director and producer, plus cast, and not one of the cunts realised that the helicopters could just fly up.

Like I said, it's dumb as fuck. I'd even go so far as to say, Godzilla is so bad it's good. And it has a decent cast struggling manfully with a slender script – Jean Reno, Harry Shearer, Hank Azaria, and, erm, some others.

Saturday, 4 August 2007

Into the Blue

Just wanna thank the daddy of badger for asking me to join him in trashing some truly "bad cinema". It never gets old.

So, as I mentioned on my blog last week, I stayed home last Saturday licking my wounds from a truly out-of-nowhere drunken evening the night before. Part of my penance was to watch this truly awful movie from beginning to end. I thought about changing the channels many times, but I just didn't feel that I had suffered enough yet. Then I wanted to see how far they would go in copying The Deep from beginning to end.

They went pretty far.

First the plot: A group of divers (Paul Walker, Jessica Alba, Scott Caan, and Ashley Scott) discover an ancient, long believed to be mythical, shipwreck. They also discover a downed plane in the vicinity with a whole shitload of cocaine. Didn't that happen in The Deep, but with morphine? Anyway, local drug-runners soon find out that they are diving in that spot and they may have found their coke. Lots of macho posing later, they finally come to a *hum* heroic underwater climax. Good guys win, bad guys lose. Pretty sure that happened in The Deep too! Wonderfully original. I say if you are going to remake a film, you should fucking acknowledge that it is a remake.

OK...a couple of things I liked about the movie. Jessica Alba's ass, but that should go without saying. It was so perfect that it was inhuman. Real women don't have asses like that. I'm pretty sure she must be a robot. Also, I've been a huge fan of Ashley Scott ever since the short-lived series, Birds of Prey. She's all right! She did get her leg chomped by a shark in this one, and I am fascinated by sharks and shark that worked for me. And I have to be honest, I was utterly amazed by Paul Walker's swimming ability and his underwater acting while holding his breath. I don't know how he did it!

Yeah, that was about it for the good things about the movie...which was real pretty to look at. Just like a beautiful, dumb blond with fake tits and a good tan. You know, that's how the NY Times should have reviewed this bomb. "Into the Blue: a beautiful, dumb blond with fake tits and a good tan. Enjoy!"

You know, one of the weakest things that an "adventure/action" film can do is give away a seemingly important plot twist in the very beginning of the film. We are introduced to the #1 wreck diver early in the film played by James Brolin. Fairly well known actor, and from the get-go there is tension between him and Paul Walker's character. Turns out...dum dum duuuuh...that he is not really a wreck diver, but he IS the local top gun of drug running. Wow! I totally didn't see that coming! Well known actor shows up early in the film as a minor character, but then winds up being the big bad later on in the film? Must have been looking at Jessica Alba's ass or something. Do they really think we are stupid? Dumb question. Of course they believe we are stupid. It's why Hollywood keeps making piles of money on piles of shit like this one.

Generally, the acting in this MovieGrenade, was poor to mediocre at best. Ashley Scott and Jessica Alba are nice to look at, but they can't act their way out of a paper bag if they tried. I guess the same can be said for Walker and Caan, except I don't float that way. Hell, they even got model-turned actor Tyson Beckford to play a baddie in it. I don't see any Oscars in the future of any of these "actors".

I think that if anyone out there wants to see this movie, they should do themselves a favor and watch it with the sound off.

Then it would be just like having a pretty scene of an aquarium playing on your TV, and that can be really soothing.

Monday, 30 July 2007

28 Weeks Later

Including this as a Moviegrenade! is something of a shock, not least to me. I walked out of the cinema stunned by parts of the movie – but let down by its core. And there may be some spoilers in this, but if there are, they're not fundamental or surprising. Trust me on this.

Let me explain. If you don't know the plot, this movie kicks off, yes, 28 weeks after the end of the first movie. In the first movie, England was ravaged by a virus called Rage, which made infected folks really, really angry. And murderous. And mental. It was a fast, furious and in parts, fucking fantastic movie. Violence exploded and died down like in real life, it came out of nowhere; and it posed interesting questions; which is worst, a world full of infected mentals or a world full of non-infected mentals with guns?

The sequel attains some of the same highs and still made me gasp with its brutality at times. It takes a lot to do that, I love my horror movies. I even watch the news on TV occasionally. The opening sequence, in which Robert Carlyle and his missus are boarded up in a farmhouse during the initial infection period. It echoes the first movie, with an ejaculation of barbarity, people doing anything to survive against ridiculous odds and mindless murder. Carlyle escapes. Next time we see him, he's meeting his kids off the train as London is repopulated, 28 weeks on.

Turns out, his wife survived the farmhouse attack he ran from (and to be honest, I think anyone would have run from it). And within her, the virus has mutated – and is passed on to Carlyle.

By the way, Robert Carlyle is a pretty bloody good actor and I don't hold him responsible for any of the following shitness.

Anyway, the virus gets out. Carlyle spreads it, and it moves like wildfire through the new population. The army of course has a huge presence, and in a very powerful scene, snipers are on rooftops trying to pick off the infected in a fleeing crowd of hundreds. Eventually, seeing how fast the virus moves, they're given the order to kill everyone on sight. It's surprisingly moving, despite viewing most of the action from the rooftops.

We move on. Some survive, and are trying to escape the area before it is napalmed to destroy the virus.

Robert Carlyle, infected and mental, also manages to escape; in one of the movie's most shit scenes, he steps into a side street to avoid the wall of fire which kills everyone else. So he's infected, but he can reason? Why can no-one else? Not only that, but he follows his kids to try and chomp them as well. This just doesn't work in any way as a device. It's fucking annoying, in fact, that we're supposed to buy this. Why is he different? No reason. At all. Except maybe to inject some kind of pathos while throwing logic, burning, out into the street.

Even so, there's some real tension, and like the first movie you're never quite sure what's going to happen. I left the cinema shocked and stunned by parts of it and insulted by others.

Yes, it's a grenade, but it's one worth seeing. The good far outweighs the bad, and while it's more sensationalist than the first movie, it works as entertainment with no 'message'. If you ignore the Carlyle thread running through it like Rage, of course.

Hollow Man 2

Straight-to-video is a fertile ground for finding undiscovered gems or real pieces of shit – both of which come under the not-so-strict Moviegrenade! remit.

Hollow Man II falls into both categories. Well, all three, I suppose – straight to video/DVD, an it's an… undiscovered piece of shit.

The story is simple; government funded scheme to make people invisible goes haywire when invisible person goes mental. Lots of killing happen because he needs 'the buffer' to stop the invisibility serum destroying him; only one woman can make the buffer, which was denied him by the government/big business who wanted his existence kept secret so he could murder political opponents.

Into this stumbles cop and James Blunt lookalike Peter Facinelli, who really should know better. He tries to protect scientist bird, who is supposed to be hot totty but isn't. And no, she doesn't get her norks out, in case you were wondering.

So, what do you need to know? Budgetary constraints are obvious; Christian Slater is the Hollow Man in this outing, and he appears as himself for maybe six minutes of screen time; the rest, it's his voice and some dodgy-sounding heavy breathing. It's amazing he wasn't caught straight away with that asthma. His transformation uses footage from the original and more expensive movie, and scenes where the invisible is visible are kept to a bare minimum.

I kept wondering why the movie was based in Seattle; usually, when a city outside of New York or LA is used it's for a reason. This reason doesn't become apparent until the end, when Blunt-A-Like and Slater go head to head in a rainstorm. Just as well really, or two invisible men fighting would have made the shittest film climax ever.

Worst moment of the movie is right in the nonsensical middle. Scientist Bird suggests that in two hours they could be in Oregon, and no-one would know where to find them, so they would be safe. She also points out that Slater can only survive another month at most. Fuckwit copper says no, how can she say that when Slater killed his partner. No, he says, I'm going after him.

Riiiiight. So there's army and SWAT after this guy, and he's going to die in a month anyway. And you have to go after him. You twat.

Definitely one of those movie moments where you pull for the bad guy. And while it's fun in (short) parts, it's still one to avoid. Consider this a moviegrenade I jumped on for you, and thank me in your prayers.