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Hobo with a Shotgun (2011)
This movie's incompetence knows no bounds
Hobo With A Shotgun is a confusing mess of a movie that has no idea what it's trying to be in the first place. It fails to be a funny action movie, a satisfying story of revenge or even a clever tribute to old exploitation films. It disappoints in all ways.
The premise is as simple as it can get: a homeless man enters a lawless town, gets beaten up and decides to fight crime by himself using his trademark shotgun that never needs to be reloaded. As I said, this film is presented as an homage to the old low-budget Grindhouse films of the sixties and seventies, so it's useless to criticize the mediocre acting, and the lack of a creative plot or a clear message. More relevant is that the film introduces countless subplots that have no purpose even existing, such as the homeless man (who I don't think even has a name) trying to help a prostitute build up a better life. None of these subplots go anywhere and only make the movie more confusing.
The action is of course as gory and over the top as possible, which would be understandable if this movie actually was an homage to the old action-sploitation genre, but it seems to me that the movie is merely using that as an excuse to be an uninspired exploitation flick itself. The whole thing just comes off as soulless and without conviction. The action itself seems to be trying too hard to be unappealing, and because of that, it just becomes unenjoyable after a while. Especially when the movie starts recycling its own death moves.
The ending is one of the most half-assed, badly timed and badly edited endings imaginable. Calling it an anticlimax would be an insult to the English language. It's almost pointless for me not to give it away. If you were expecting a grandiose, spectacular payoff, you will be severely disappointed at best and utterly enraged at worst.
It's a shame, because for what it's trying to be, it actually does look like it could be a decent action movie. It just needed to be handled by someone like Quentin Tarantino, who actually knows what he is dealing with and always pays respect to the material that he bases his movies on. This movie on the other hand just seems entirely forced and contrived, and hardly covers up the reality that the director's only desire is to make money.
Stupid, predictable and an absolute borefest.
The Human Centipede is a movie notorious for its bizarre premise: a mad scientist kidnaps three people and connects them to each other by stitching one's mouth to the other's rectum, thus creating a human centipede. Apart from this mildly disturbing concept, the movie is really nothing but a waste of 1,5 hours.
After nearly 15 minutes of filler that won't be important for the rest of the movie, two girls, Jenny and Lindsay, are drugged and kidnapped by the ultimate person-you-shouldn't-trust-stereotype, Dr. Heiter. He then kidnaps a Japanese tourist named Katsuro off-screen. His role in the movie is basically just to scream in Japanese, which I can't understand. So yeah, I'm not really taking this character too seriously, and neither does the movie apparently, because it sounds like they're recycling his scream sound effects. Dr. Heiter then explains the movie's ridiculous premise to his three victims. One of the girls escapes, resulting in a poorly edited and unexciting chase scene. She then gets caught again, thus confirming that the entire 10-minute scene was entirely pointless.
If you're big fan of gore movies, you are going to be very disappointed at this point, because you don't actually see Dr. Heiter constructing the human centipede. All you see is him pulling out a girl's teeth, which is more boring than shocking. After that, we get a couple of shots of Heiter doing nothing, until suddenly, the Human Centipede is standing in front of him. The rest of the movie mostly consists of Heiter trying to train the Centipede like a dog, and his odd arousal when Katsuro (who is in front) is forced to 'feed' the person behind him with his excretion (again, you don't actually see this, but I count this as a plus).
This goes on for 20 minutes, until 2 police officers arrive, looking for the missing people. Despite the fact that Katsuro is screaming as hard as he can, the police can't hear him, even though several characters before this scene could clearly hear someone in the basement. It doesn't really matter though, because the Centipede escapes from the basement and manages to injure Dr. Heiter with the power of bad editing. This results in another scene of the Centipede trying to get away from Heiter, veeeerrrry sloooowwwwly. And Heiter tries to catch up with the Centipede, veeeerrrry sloooowwwwly. At least the movie has a consistent pacing.
In the end, Katsuro slits his own throat for no reason, Dr. Heiter and the police shoot each other to death, Jenny dies of an infection, and Lindsay is left alone. End of movie.
What can I say? Perhaps the premise might have worked if it was used for a short movie, but it clearly doesn't work when the director tries desperately to stretch the movie to 92 minutes by adding pointless scenes and conversations. The editing isn't good, most of the dialogue is predictable and the characters are just not interesting. If you are not a fan of gore, this movie will gross you out. If you are a fan of gore, this movie will bore you to death. Either way, you probably won't like this movie.
Ed Wood (1994)
A well written and thoroughly enjoyable movie from beginning to start.
In 1994,Tim Burton, the master of casting, directed the film Ed Wood. Despite critical praise,it didn't fare well at the box office and just barely got a DVD release. When people think of Tim Burton, they're more likely to think of films like Batman or the Nightmare Before Christmas. Personally though, I think Ed Wood is the best film Burton has made so far. Most of Burton's films are great simply because of things like the acting, the camera-work, the sets and the music, but Ed Wood is one of the few Tim Burton movies to have a great plot as well.
Ed Wood tells the mostly true story about the man who wanted to be just like his greatest hero, Orson Welles, but eventually became known as the worst director of all time. The film follows Ed Wood, played by Johnny Depp, as he directs three of his most infamous bad movies: Glen or Glenda, Bride of the Monster and Plan 9 from Outer Space. Apart from Wood fighting his producers and arguing with his girlfriend over his own transvestitism, a very important part of the movie is Wood's relation with the former Dracula actor Bela Lugosi, played by Martin Landau. Lugosi has lost the shine he once had, and is now an aging drug addict. It is because of Wood, who becomes his friend and asks him to perform in his movies, that Lugosi begins to enjoy life again.
What makes this film especially great in my opinion, is that instead of mocking Wood over the many failures that he created, the film successfully portrays Wood as a kind and likable character. Normally, we'd hate him for making so many bad movies, but this film actually manages to sort of make you feel sorry for him. Of course, Johnny Depp's great performance is also a big step up. It's beautiful to see Wood being hooked by how perfect his own creations are in his own experience.
Great acting, great writing, great music, great cinematography, and above all, a lot of fun. It's everything that makes a movie great. I know this film came out a relatively long time ago, but I personally think it deserves a lot more attention. There are a lot of references to cinematic history that might distract you if you're not familiar with them, but even then, I'm still positive you will like this movie.
Not the worst movie ever, but really unimpressive.
This year, the same director who brought us the 1996 version of Hamlet, brought us the movie Thor, based on the Marvel comic book by the same name. A lot of comic book movies came out this year, and sadly, this one happens to be just as generic and uncreative as most of them.
The main aspect in this regard is the plot. I'm gonna write some spoilers now, so if you're planning to see this movie, you should probably stop reading. Thor, the God of Thunder, played by Chris Hemsworth, ignores the orders of his father by attacking the enemies of his country Asgard, the Frost Giants. This leads to the Frost Giants declaring war on Asgard as Thor's father, the king of Asgard played by Anthony Hopkins, banishes Thor to Earth, where he is found by Natalie Portman. What follows is a bunch of cliché jokes centered around Thor not understanding the norms of Earth's society.
At this point, you'll probably notice that the camera-work is just weird. Fifty percent of the whole movie is shot at a 20 degrees angle. I guess this is a vain attempt of the filmmakers to make the film look artistic, but it has no effect to me. It still looks like a generic Hollywood product.
The rest of the second act consists of Thor's brother Loki trying to kill Thor for no reason other than just Loki being evil. Of course Thor sacrifices himself for Natalie Portman, who suddenly became his love interest, which proves that he's worthy of returning to Asgard. How nice.
So in the end, it's easy to conclude that the only thing that can be admired about this movie are the special effects, but they're not enough to save this film. The story and the villain are really standard, the acting is not that good and the cinematography, like I said, is just idiotic. I guess it's okay for young children who really want to see it, but unless you're a hardcore fan of the comics, I really can't recommend this movie to you.
Dragonball Evolution (2009)
Remember how the Dragon Balls work? You gather all 7 of them, and then the Eternal Dragon Shenron appears, and you can make a wish. You got that? Good. Now, hold that thought, because it is the only Dragon Ball-related thing in this entire excuse for a movie.
Before this movie even aired, the Internet Movie Database was already full of negative reviews, so I didn't expect much of it. But even then, I couldn't imagine how bad it would be.
First, I have to say that I am definitely a fan of Dragon Ball and Dragon Ball Z. It is absolutely a true masterpiece, and it made me love Japanese animations. You'd think that with such a popular show, Hollywood would try to make it even better by adding a 3D-effect to it in a live-action movie. But what they did was exactly the opposite: absolutely NO effort was put into this movie at all! The story and especially the characters are hopelessly westernized and some people might take this as a good thing, but it really does the story no good.
There are barely any similarities to the original series at all. Not even the name is correct. The original series' name was Dragon Ball, but here, they somehow decided to make one word for it. Further, the only things that relate the movie to the source material are the names of the characters and the concept of the Dragon Balls. That's right, only the names are the same, because the personalities are completely different. Bulma is just a trigger-happy rip-off of Lara Croft who falls in love with some hobo (Yamcha), Master Roshi isn't old at all and he lives in some apartment in the middle of a city, Mai is suddenly a henchman of Piccolo instead of Pilaf, and Piccolo is a lame enemy you'd expect in a Cartoon Network TV-series like Ben 10. But absolutely the worst example is Goku himself, the protagonist. At first, I didn't even know it was him! Where they high when they chose Justin Chatwin to be him (no offense, he was fine in War of the Worlds)?
Oh, and Krillin? He didn't even appear.
The most important thing this movie lacks is RESPECT. This movie is really disrespectful. Seriously, I couldn't imagine what they were thinking when they made this movie. I wouldn't be surprised if James Wong made this movie just to make the entire series look stupid. It's like they put the original plot in their mouth, chewed it for a minute, swallowed and then threw it up. The result: I wouldn't even call it a Dragon Ball movie. It's rather a pathetic fusion of High School Musical and The Incredible Hulk. I can describe this movie in one simple word: DISGUSTING! This movie is just an insult to Akira Toriyama and DB and DBZ fans all around the globe. This movie didn't make me sad, it made me angry.
I have started an IMDb account just to post this review. Hopefully, that says enough.