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Vampires vs. Zombies (2004)
As bad as everyone says it is.
Oh it really really is. I've seen films that I disliked more, due to whatever reason, but never have I seen a film that just fails in every single aspect of film making. It even fails to fail at film making, in a Way the Hercules in New York could be said to do. It's not the film I like the least, but it is the very worst film I've ever seen.
The acting is the first thing that strikes you. I've never seen a worse acted film outside of pornography. In fact I've plenty of pornographic films that are acted a damn site better than this. It really is awful.
Technically, it's terrible. The camera-work is amateurish. The editing is nonsensical. I presume they couldn't afford proper sound equipment, and this meant that every scene in a car (and there's a lot of them) has them driving at about three miles per hour and every scene set outside by the same patch of woods (and there's a lot of them too) is actually dubbed from a studio, again lending more to the bad porn vibe.
The plot is nonsensical, as many have pointed out. I'll defend vampires walking in daylight by the fact that despite it being popularized by Nosferatu, this was never originally an intrinsic part of the vampire mythos.
Speaking of vampire mythos, the writer had evidently read Carmilla, or at very least seen The Vampire Lovers. I'm not sure how I feel about this, swaying from impressed that a movie this dire has at least some aspirations to a Gothic novel I'm very fond of; or annoyed by its at best sledgehammer references and at worst total desecration of source material. At very least 'the General' is an insult to Peter Cushing though.
It gets two stars however, merely because I can't bring myself to vote one star for a film that has, or at least purports to have, both vampires and zombies in it. Incidentally I watched Lifeforce (another film that tenuously has vampires and zombies in it) on the same day as this, and despite being a rather flawed film itself, really comes out a masterpiece compared to this.
So in the end, this is not a film so bad it's good, or so bad it's in any way enjoyable, even drunk. It's just a mess, and worth no-one's time watching.
Little Britain USA (2008)
Even worse than the original, which really is saying something!
Little Britain: 1. Take a dozen jokes, about a third of which are actually funny, make each joke into a sketch. 2. Repeat the exact same joke in each episode, but with a minor variation. Instead of Lou and Andy spouting their catchphrases in their living room, they're now doing it in a supermarket!!!!!! Hilarious! 3. Do this so much that even the sketches that were slightly amusing soon become tired and repetitive to anyone whose idea of comedy isn't just endless catchphrases. 4. Enjoy unfathomable success.
Little Britian USA: 1. Repeat steps 1-3 above, but this time set everything in the States because an American audience won't understand it otherwise. 2. Chuck out any jokes that aren't about penises. 3. Add an irritating canned laughter track. 4. Put a few more penis jokes in for good measure. They're just soooo witty. 5. Hopefully bomb and be banned from our screens forever.
Land of the Dead (2005)
After missing the theatrical release of the film, I eagerly bought the DVD convinced that even if the film was not as good as the others it would still be an excellent zombie film. What I found was a good film, certainly, but in no way excellent.
The biggest stumbling point are the characters. They have no development, no motivation, no reason for sympathy. They are just a collection of tired clichés from the 'slightly bad good guy', to the 'evil corporate guy' and through the 'feisty female sidekick' and of course the fact that all Irish are 'loveable revolutionaries'. The plot is also clumsy and badly paced, with no sense of coherency at all.
My other problem with it is that it made so little sense. Here was a post-apocalyptic society that had no apparent facility for self-sufficiency. People ate hot dogs, drank orange juice and smoked tobacco and various other narcotics but there was no evidence of any cattle or agricultural farming. They had electricity and fuel but no means of sustaining this either. We are expected to believe that an entire city has existed for years, if not decades from raiding mysteriously intact outlying towns.
They very social structure makes little sense too. We all realise that all corporate types are evil soulless creatures who care about nothing but oppression and cigars, but why did everyone else live in a slum? From the numerous long shots it was evident that there were many other empty tower blocks, with the depopulation there should have been easily enough space. Apparently nobody thought of it. It doesn't explain why everyone is so desperate for money either, surely it would have little meaning in such a world and a barter system would be far more appropriate.
And finally, I just don't buy the 'intelligent zombie' thing. Romero defends it in his commentary saying he just took up where he left off in 'Day', but Bob in 'Day' was what he was through constant work by Dr Logan. Having the Zombie think and act rationally on it's own takes away the very horrific element that made it so unique in the first place.
I might have been a bit overly pedantic and negative in parts, but it is just because I expected so much more. The film has potential to be so much more, to be on a par with Romero's others, but just fails. A lot of my expectation probably stems from the fact I have recently discovered Robert Kirkman's 'The Walking Dead' and have loved every issue as an intelligent, interesting way to deal with the post-zombie-apocalypse. It is such a shame that the genre's father fails to produce anything like as good.
Spider-Man 2 (2004)
Like all good sequels, Spider-man 2 builds on and emphasises the features of the first. Unfortunately these features are inane predictability, a ludicrous plot and constant clichés. It is beyond me quite why so many people seems to think this rubbish has any worth.
It was rare that a scene started without it being totally obvious exactly what was going to happen. The sub-plot with MJ being the worst of this. As soon as she says 'don't let me down', it was blindingly obvious that he wasn't going to make the play. Just as blindingly obvious it was that she wouldn't go through with the wedding, because in true mundane Hollywood pap 'love always wins through'. Give me a break...
As to Doc Ock? Did anyone not know that he was going to suddenly find his humanity in the 'finale' and sacrifice himself. So unoriginal.
And Parker's 'dark' side, where he leaves someone to be beaten up. Well, they should leave that to Batman and stick with nice happy kiddie gloss in future. It was half-hearted and totally unconvincing.
And finally, the 'comedy' moments were strained and weak. I saw nothing in this film of any worth at all. Everything it did has been done much much better elsewhere.
The Peacemaker (1997)
Another mindless 'political thriller' to be churned out of the Hollywood propaganda machine.
As a action film it's passable, if a little bog standard. But what really brings it down is the horrific stereotyping and inane go-America attitude.
The Russians are portrayed as hopelessly inefficient, undisciplined as they sit around smoking and no doubt sipping vodka whilst on duty. While the slick and professional US troops have to swoop in and sort the mess out for the rest of the world, constantly shouting at each other to be considerate to all civilians! Thank goodness we have the US to save the day, because as Cloony says we can' leave it to the Russians as they "couldn't find snow in winter".
A pretty weak slasher flick, which I only really saw as I like both Denise Richards and David Boreanaz. The acting isn't as bad as some say, but it's nothing special. The thing that really brings it down are the boring clichés and ludicrous plot. SPOILER As an example of the holes in it towards the end the blonde girl finds the murdered cop. Now she has her own mobile phone that she was trying to call him on, and we see her pick up the cop's mobile as well just before she finds his body. So what does she do with two mobile phones? Why she runs inside the house to try to call the police on the land line, which is of course cut, and decides to wonder about the house on her own when she knows the murderer is there as well.