Friday, 30 October 2009

Friday the 13th (2009)

Is it really a surprise to discover that this movie blows donkeys? Probably not. But I watched it anyway, to save you some time which, come the end of your days, you will thank me for.

A few years ago, I was editing a DVD magazine, and my dep ed was a few years younger than me. The original Friday the 13th came in for review, and I asked if he'd seen it, and was surprised when he said no. I asked him to take it home and give it a try, and he did.

The next day, he came into the office and said he now disliked Scream instensely, as he could now see the virtues of good horror, and Scream had... Ruined the magic, I guess. Like the magician that explains his trick from start to finish to kill the illusion. He was impressed with the set-ups, the editing (which is positively spanking), everything about it. Let's face it, the first Friday the 13th is just a good movie.

Hell, even some of the later incarnations were fun. Remember Friday the 13th Part II, where Jason was actually flawed and made mistakes, and wasn't some stupid-arsed killing machine? That was a fun movie too. Part 3 in 3D, then let's skip a few... Oooh, Jason Takes Manhattan is absolutely fucking hilarious, and of course Jason X is pretty damn good fun too, if a bit too self-effacing to work as a genuine horror movie.

But this piece of shit? I can't even remember how it ended, two days later. I can't remember the story, I can't even remember what Jason looks like in it. I really can't think of why it even got made, because it's complete and utter bumholes from start to finish.

Hang on, let me think. Some kids go out to Camp Crystal Lake, and they get killed. That's the first five minutes. Then they're dead.

Some other kids go out to CCL, and they get offed one by one too. One of them meets a bloke who's looking for his missing sister, who was in the first lot that got killed. Oh, did I mention that for no good reason, she is still alive in Jason's fucking huge underground lair? She is.

Erm... They find her, someone escapes, Jason gets a bit beaten up and stuff, and then the credits came and I was much happier because the nightmare had ended.

Even the effects were shitty in this. I mean, a friend texted me the next day and said "What was the Jason make-up like?" I had to tell him I couldn't remember. The last movie I saw that was this forgettable was Sister Act; two days later, I cannot remember a single detail from this movie. I wish I could tell you more, but a big part of me is glad I can't.

Just fucking avoid it.

Tuesday, 27 October 2009

Eagle Eye

I'm a fan of Shia La Beouf. I think that's how you spell it. I gather in America he's well known for some sitcom or other, but the first time I saw him in a movie it was the wonderful Holes. Since then, he can do almost no wrong.

Then I saw Indiana Jones and The Kingdom of the Ripped-Off Moviegoers. My mind started to change, but then I thought, no. If I were him, at his age, and I had the chance to be in an Indy film, I'd have done it too. Even if I might have ended up as the next Short Round.

Even my wife and stepdaughter like Shia. Last night, when debating what to watch on DVD, my wife said, 'I want to watch the one with the boy in!' That means Shia, Fact Fans.

So we watched Eagle Eye, which I had borrowed from my parents. That should have been the first alarm bell.

The movie is about a really clever dropout kind of person (Shia) – we know he's a clever drop-out because he has a conversation with his dad (the criminally under-used William Sadler) about dropping out of Stanford or somewhere. He's got a dead-end job in a copy shop (how do people who work in copy shops like these films? I wouldn't be that pleased if I'd seen this or, say, Never Been Kissed. Just saying).

One day, the day his identical twin brother is buried, he finds $700,000 in his bank account and a huge delivery of controlled materials in his apartment, like the kind of stuff you can make bombs with. His cell phone rings and a female voice (which sounded suspiciously like Julia Roberts) tells him the FBI are going to be there in 30 seconds and he needs to get out.

So far, so good. There's another character who is threatened with the loss of her child if she doesn't comply with what the mysterious caller wants, and they are thrown together for some reason or other that becomes clear later.

I was fine with most of this. I knew very early on that this was going to be a piece of shit because it looked a lot like another piece of shit, right down to the photography and dialogue – Tony Scott's cock-awful Enemy Of The State. But I hung in there, right up until the mysterious voice on the phone is telling Shia that if he doesn't get the man back who's come to collect him and woman-person in a van, that the man is going to die. Now, they're out in the middle of fucking nowhere, but for a load of really big electricity pylons which are right above them. How on earth is this man going to die? Hmmmm.

Death by fucking pylon.

After that, I was lost, and it's only maybe 30 minutes in to the movie. It really is downhill from there, and there's some ropy CG effects early on to boot (the train that whips past Shia as he's on the train line doesn't even ruffle his jacket, for fuck's sake. How lazy).

It turns out, the government – oh, SPOILERS, you hear me? If I haven't put you off yet, SPOILERS AHEAD! – has got this big old supercomputer that wants to kill the government for some stupid fucking reason, and Shia's dead twin brother put some sort of lock on it, so it needs Shia's face to unlock some shit or other, and it needs the woman to shoot him in the face once he's done it.

This film was so, so shit. I can't believe I stayed up late for it, especially when we could have watched more episodes of Friday Night Lights. Gah.