January 2009

Kamen Rider G

I’m not entirely certain what I’m looking at here. But it looks like a Kamen Rider parody by SMAP. They also did a Super Sentai parody as well as Kamen Renaider a while back. I wonder if Kamen Rider G will show up in the Decade movie.

Skynet Biding Time On Mars

Mras Rover Spirit

AZM Ally Greg has discovered that Skynet has fled to Mars. NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory reports that for some unexplained reason, on the 1800th Martian day of its mission, the Spirit rover suddenly blanked out. The rover did not record what it did for about an hour and a half on that day. Another rover system indicated that Spirit did indeed draw battery power for that time. Stranger still, the before and after pictures indicate Spirit was at the exact same spot.

For an hour and a half, Spirit was doing something. NASA scientists hypothesize that it could have been a cosmic ray what done the deed. Cosmic ray, eh. Sounds a bit too fantastical if you catch my drift. I think Skynet has something to do with. Granted an hour and a half doesn’t seem nearly long enough to plot the end of mankind, especially from Mars. But it might be long enough to do some quick calculations about developing a fully functioning robot army far away from human eyes. For all we know, Spirit could be sending back prerecorded footage while it builds its robot hordes of doom!

[Via NY Times]

The Army’s Wall-E

Introducing the Army’s Small Unmanned Ground Vehicle, SUGV. Looks like a bare bones Wall-E or baby Johnny 5. The remote controlled robot is outfitted with a whole array of cameras. Its treads are supposed to allow it to traverse many types of terrain, but apparently, it can’t handle mud.

Awe, it looks so sad!

Coin Flip Cinema Debuts

Our very own AZM Ally Mikey D has started up a new podcast, Coin Flip Cinema. Their first show is an intro show, but for each episode, Mike and Dave will flip a coin to decide what movies they’re going to review. The winner of the coin toss picks a film that’s currently playing, the loser picks a DVD. Sounds like fun! Mikey and I seem to have similar tastes in bad movies so it’ll be interesting to see how this all turns out. So get to reviewing already!

[Via Coin Flip Cinema]

Underpants 3: Who Let the Dogs Out

Underworld 3

There are movies that are just so bad that in order to properly enjoy them, they must be viewed with a group of fairly geeky friends. And so it was that a rag tag group of morons, myself and my wife, Nelly and Jim from Morlock, Garth of Finder’s Keepers, and Brian of Geist Panik journeyed to the theater last Friday to catch the opening of Underworld: Rise of the Lycans. I say morons in that we paid full price on purpose. With such a group, a good time is bound to happen. And verily did we enjoy the evening. So let’s see what this third installment of a White Wolf ripoff has in store for viewers.

The Good

One of my biggest complaints from the first two films is that the werewolves hardly did any werewolfing. It seems that the director has heard my complaint because we get lots of hardcore furry action throughout the film. We can actually tell that there are werewolves in this movie! And the action scenes are shot fairly well. We get a lot of medium shots so that we can actually see the ass kicking. Every once in a while, they’ll fall into the really close-up action filming which is somewhat disorienting, but for the most part, it’s easy to tell what’s going on.

No UV bullets! Thank god! That always annoyed the shit out of me.

The black guy not only doesn’t die, but he kicks major lycan ass as a regular human before he gets turned.

Love the armor design of the Death Dealers.

The Bad

The entire plot, well “plot” really, can be summed up in a few lines of dialog from the very first Underworld. In fact, those lines of dialog are replayed at the end of the film as the camera pans down to reveal Kate Beckinsale’s opening scene from Underworld. OMGZ! Infinite movie loop! It’s very unfortunate because it makes it seem like this movie is a DVD extra. You know exactly what’s going to happen so it removes any suspense. And there’s not much expansion. The plot never deviates from the story we’re told in the first film. If this is supposed to be an origin movie, it does a horrible job. In the Underworld universe, lycans and vampires are descended from the same immortal blood line. But we don’t get any expansion of that origin, just a passing mention. Also, apparently vampires in the Underworld universe can indeed age. WHAT? That’s never properly explored.

As much werewolf action as there is, there’s hardly any vamping. There’s only one vampire bite in the whole fucking movie and we learn that when vampires bite someone, they absorb the memories of that person. But until then, the only indication that there are any vampires around at all is that we see some dusting when one of them gets exposed to sunlight. Shit, at least eat some of the stupid peasants! Oh, and there’s some blood drinking. Apparently, vampire cups have holes in them because the blood spills all over Bill Nighy’s chin. One bite, a dusting or two, and a cup of blood.

The Utterly Horrible

Speaking of Bill Nighy, it is difficult to take him seriously. His over-the-top performances usually work in things like Love Actually or the Pirates of the Caribbean series, but in all three Underworld movies he’s absolutely ridiculous. I found it difficult not to laugh loudly whenever he said anything. And there were times when he would make a face like he was reacting to someone saying things like, “My lord, the toilet will not flush” or “My lord, you left the oven on.” Hardly the menacing leader of the vampire nation.

Also, what’s up with the random harem of barely clothed vampire babes? This was a perfect opportunity to show vampires doing some biting. Maybe have them devouring hapless townspeople as the elder’s meet. Something. Anything! But all they just stood there looking utterly bored.

Having said all that, it’s an entertaining movie. Not a full price, entertaining movie. Certainly not something you’d feel good about paying for and seeing by yourself. If you must see it in the theater, catch a matinĂ©e with a group of friends so you can share the misery. Otherwise, you can probably have just as much fun renting it on Netflix with a bunch of friends with the added bonus of getting drunk.

What Do Your Internet Searches Say About You?

I Love Alaska – Episode 1/13 from SubmarineChannel on Vimeo.

AZM Ally Greg sent along this intimate, and somewhat painful, short film. In 2006, AOL mistakenly published a text file that included millions of “anonymous” search logs of its users. A group of Dutch filmmakers decided to make a documentary series of shorts focusing on user 711391. Entitled “I Love Alaska,” a narrator reads the search logs of 711391 while the camera takes a steady shot of the Alaskan wilderness. What emerges is a story of painful tragedy. Turns out our search logs tell quite a bit about us.

There are thirteen shorts in total. I found this opening episode to be somehow quite moving and a bit on the disturbing side. Part of me wants to see how it all turns out. Part of me feels like I’m intruding on someone’s personal tragedy.

[Via Ars Technica]

Tomb Raider Gets the Boot

Megan Fox

Re-boot that is.

While Paramount was responsible for the first two Tomb Raider flicks, Warner Brothers now owns the movie rights and is looking to reboot the franchise. It’s weird to hear about a reboot of a movie franchise that started in 2001, but hey, Marvel rebooted Hulk after only five years. There’s also a rumor floating around the Megan Fox may be up for the role of Lara Croft.

The Tomb Raider games haven’t been doing all that well lately so I’m kind of puzzled why Warner Brothers would bother with a movie at all. Lara’s stardom has faded quite a bit since the days when she was the first female gaming lead with a D cup. I don’t think there’s enough of a Lara fan base to make this an instant hit like it was back in 2001.

I guess a reboot is cheaper than coming up with something new. So the bad gaming movie curse will continue.

[Via Hollywood Reporter and Europa Press]

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