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Iron Sky (2012)
Good, but could have been much better.
OK, first let me say two things. This review contains spoilers, and I've been anxiously awaiting, and supporting, this film for, quite literally, years.
Now that I've finally been able to see it, I have reservations. The production values and acting were superb, so no problem there. No, my only problem with the final film is twofold. First, the choice of story, and second, the brevity involved in same. Allow me to explain...
The script itself chooses to almost skim over the entire Nazi threat, making it a mild component to the film. Simply put, the "bad guys" are far too wimpy, and virtually no real threat to modern day society. This is actually a very realistic aspect of the scenario, since if one could accept this as a real situation this is exactly what would happen. The very hubris that sustains the Nazis proves to be their Achilles heal (they're perfect, of course, so why bother researching technological advancements over the decades since the war?). Unfortunately, that lone bit of realism doesn't make for a compelling conflict.
Secondly, and far more important to me, was the choice to fall back on the cliché of using anti-American gags as the basis of one massive portion of the story. This was simply annoying, and in my book close to being dated. Such jokes are quickly becoming passé nowadays. They've all been done, and even if you're of that mindset they're "getting old" now, and little more than cheap distractions.
Still, the maker's have achieved exactly what they set out to create, so I've given them a rather high score, and don't regret doing so. Visually it's quite gorgeous, and as stated, the acting was stellar (Julie Dietze is a real treasure). A director's cut, one that removes some of the aforementioned political humor, and expands on things such as Renate's too-sudden and barely touched-on awareness of the truth, would be most welcome on my "favorite DVD shelf." By the way, if you were previously unaware of Iron Sky, and have noticed the influx of "Nazis from (fill in the blank)" movies in recent months (there's a good half-dozen that I'm aware of), this is the long awaited movie that spawned all those clones and knockoffs (some good, some bad) that were rushed into production.
A Movie for True Lovecraft Fans!
OK, first off, if you're not into Lovecraft or the Cthulhu Mythos, you won't get all of the references and jokes, but that's not to say you won't have fun with this movie. Underneath its rough exterior lies a film with plenty of wit and charm, and a "deep" (pun intended) love of all things Lovecraft.
The delivery, as said, is a bit rough, but after only a short period I found myself easily forgiving any of the film's minor shortcomings. No expensive, top-of-the-line special effects, an excess of foul language that probably should have been scaled (ha!) back a bit, and a couple of performances that weren't anything said performers would want to put on their demo reel (read: stiff).
Still, those things aside, the story is fun and silly, and maintains a nice balance between the humor and drama, avoiding any awkward or jarring transitional moments between scenes (if nothing else could be said, at least take note of that element, which I found refreshing, as I've seen quite a few "blockbusters" of late that failed at it, unable to decide whether they're action or comedy vehicles).
A somewhat imperfect analogy would be to reference the TV series "Chuck." Take any old Lovecraftian Hammer film and drop Chuck & Morgan down in the middle of it as the protagonists and you've got a good idea of what I believe this movie was intended to be. I wouldn't go so far as to say it completely succeeded, but in the end I think it worked well enough to make the movie enjoyable.
Ultimately it's a light-hearted Cthulhu Mythos comic book on film, with nods to geeks, gamers and Lovecraft fans everywhere. Will it necessarily be everyone's cup of tea? Nah. What movie is? But if you're in the target audience, and can go into it with a smile on your face and no Cameronesque expectations, there's a good chance you'll have a good time and even find yourself later talking about it with friends over your Mt. Dew and Funyuns as you prepare to toss the percentiles and hope your character doesn't go insane.
Not a masterpiece, but fun and worth watching.
If you're a zombie fan, this is worth watching, but it's not one of those gems, like Undead or Dead Meat, that you could watch again and again. Ideal for a good one-night rental.
There are tons of really awful zombie flicks out there, with stupid dialogue, bad acting, and even worse makeup and F/X. Then there are the few really awesome offerings, that just hit on all cylinders, and keep you on the edge of your seat and begging for more. This movie is neither. It's truly not a bad movie, either in the general sense, or simply as a zombie flick. In fact, it's actually kinda fun. The worst thing going for it is simply that it's virtually impossible to come up with anything new, since it's all been done before, so you can't help but make comparisons. Had most of the events we see in this movie not been seen before in some guise, this would probably be considered a keeper. But, since we have seen it all before, it's important to ask yourself one, simple question: Did I enjoy myself while watching this. And the answer is yes.
It's true that there are slightly campy moments. It's true that there are back-to-back scenes where in one someone hears a distant moan, but in the next doesn't hear gunfire from the same location. It's true that some of the dialogue is cheesy, and you feel the pain of the seasoned pro doing his best to recite them without feeling silly. Nevertheless, if you just allow yourself to sit back and be drawn-in to the story, and can sustain a little suspension of disbelief without falling back on the tried-n-true (albeit fun) habit of nitpicking every little mistake and silly bit, I really think you'll enjoy yourself, and can kill and hour-and-a-half that you may never get back, but won't mind losing. :)
Butch Cassidy (1973)
Great show from childhood.
I haven't seen this show since it originally aired, so I'd have to say my comments are about as pure as you can get, without the bias of time. Yeah, I'm sure if I saw it now on Nick or someplace, I'd probably cringe (that's what happened when I saw Man from Atlantis again after all these years, a "great" show that now I see was pretty cheesy). Still, the true test of a TV show is whether the viewer likes it, and remembers it, and brudduh, lemme tell ya, in the '70s I remember thinking this show was simply the hippest cartoon on the box. Anyone remember the Wonder Bread trading cards? There were 16 cards in the set (each spotlighting a Saturday morning show), and you'd get one in every new loaf you bought (they did it again later when Star Wars came out, and I collected those, too). One of those cards was a Butch & Sundance Kids card, and as silly as it sounds, it was a treasured item. I never once mentally compared the show to Scooby Doo, and considering that concept now, Scooby'd lose the fight. Butch & Co. weren't copies of it, they, and all shows like it, were simply fitting into a popular mold of the time.
So yeah, it may be a goofy, cheesy cartoon, but it was a lot of fun, and I'll always remember it fondly.
Good movie, if you don't expect a horror film.
With the name and the description, it's easy to mistake this as being another edge-of-your-seat, thrill-ride horror movie. It's anything but. Apart from having a supernatural aspect to it, it's pretty much an after-school special sort of film. Its PG-13 rating isn't even needed. The suicide element is so brief and tame, that this could still easily be rated G (remember, G doesn't have to mean kids, it just means General Audiences). The interesting thing is that, when the credits finally rolled, I was satisfied with what I'd seen. Imagine that, a movie that doesn't go for the kill and just wants to entertain you with a decent story for an hour or two. The script is...OK, the dialogue is... acceptable, the acting is good, for the most part (this movie is rife with underrated actors that are much more talented than they've ever been given credit for). What I find interesting is that everyone comes across as real people. Not "good actors," just your regular, flawed bozos found on every street corner. When Julia Roberts or Tom Cruise are on a screen, you get drawn-in, but it's always "them." Marina Sirtis, on the other hand, makes you believe you're watching a typical house-mom type, not an actress, who's both kind and overbearing under different circumstances --just as a real person might be. There's a scene towards the end that'll have you wanting to give her a medal for realistically portraying someone in emotional agony, and not simply "oh, the script says I'm supposed to scream here." So, overall it's not a blockbuster, and it's not something you'll want to rush out and tell your friends about. Heck, some of the metaphysical/religious concepts used are so... well, let's just say I don't subscribe to them and politely leave it there, suffice to say they're a bit corny and detracting, in an amalgamated "I've read a lot of spiritual books, but don't really know a thing about it" sort of way. But, I gave this one an "8" score for one very good reason: It accomplished what it set out to do, and it did leave me happy that I'd watched it. With Hollywood pumping out multi-million dollar blockbusters with tons of FX and no story on a regular basis, how often can we really say that about a film these days?
Meat Market (2000)
It doesn't get much worse than this.
Y'know what really gets my panties in a bunch? When a bad movie comes out, and then the people behind it go around to all the movie websites and pose as fans, leaving tons of "Oh wow, it was wonderful!" messages all over the place. I'm the victim of this sort of crap. I read reviews of Meat Market in a couple of places, and they were drooling with approval and gushing with praise. I encourage you to take a closer look at the other people posting here on IMDB about this and other Sub-Rosa movies. Notice anything familiar upon closer inspection? Yup, you got it. If the movie's any good, why do you think they need to trick people into buying it? Meat Market is a travesty. I bought this puppy because I'm a long-time Zombie film fan, and had heard that MM was supposed to rival Dawn of the Dead in its own way, even though the budget was low and it was technically a B-movie. No biggie, thought I, cuz I love b-movies, too. Eagerly I grab my new purchase and race for home and my trusty DVD player, a fellow movie buff in tow for the shared experience!
Right away I can tell something's wrong. The acting wasn't just bad, it was can't-watch-the-movie-because-the-horrible-acting-is-upstaging-everything-el se kindof bad. Truly horrible. Then I begin to realize that the writing was also at fault. The dialogue was just plain stupid. People simply don't talk that way; another distraction from the "story." I glance over at my friend (we're only a short way in at this point), and he's looking back at me like I just shoved an anthrax-coated toothpick in his eye. Back to the movie... Supposedly, the dead are walking the streets, and people are running for their lives, shooting at the fake zombies if they're lucky enough to have guns. Apparently the zombies only congregate where there are cameras, because the background is still filled with moving cars, and other "normal" aspects of life. Sheesh. Corpses that are "killed" miraculously appear again in other scenes, as do a couple of victims that I was pretty sure had gotten killed a little while ago. The police act like Keystone Kops, the make-up and special effects are just plain horrible. Wanna look like a zombie? Rub some blackout under your eyes and wrinkle your clothing. Viola! Tom Savini would be embarrased. The plot continues to get more bizarre and make absolutely no sense, and while you're still mentally trying to get this atrocity to make sense, you're hit with more strangeness from left field, such as vampires that suddenly appear in skimpy, ridiculous outfits and continually pose for the camera wherever it's at while spewing forth the worst dialogue in stunted, I've-never-acted-before-in-my-life speech.
I can see how this may have looked good on paper as an initial idea. Zombies and vampires, world falling apart, gun-toting survivors, etc. Yeah, sign me up, sounds great. Unfortunately, both the script and the execution of the idea (makeup, effects, acting, dialogue, etc.) are so bad the movie literally isn't watchable. My friend got up halfway through the film, gave me a dirty look like I'd just played the worst dirty trick on him ever, and walked out. I gave it another five minutes and gave up, too. Dirty trick indeed. On us. Do yourself a favor, don't even rent this. Even Mike, Tom Servo, & Crow couldn't sit through this one. You've been warned.