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Transformers (2007)
An abomination.
14 January 2008
Who'da thunk? Michael Bay has created a film that bores, insults your intelligence, hurts your eardrums and gives you a headache... and all it asks for in return is three hours of your time! I'd be less angry if it was a simple Point A to Point B action movie, because it obviously never tries to be anything more than mindless high budget crap for the lowest common denominator. But it's not a simple Point A to Point B action movie, rather a schizophrenic mess whose main plot is only revealed after two hours of hilarious I'm-an-awkward-teen comedy and introductions of 1-dimensional side characters with annoying accents.

You gotta respect that Bay fellow. He's managed to build a lucrative, long-lasting career in the movie biz despite having no directing talent whatsoever. People say his films are just for fun, yet I've never seen a movie of his which didn't give me epileptic seizures, make my blood boil and bore me with a 2 hour plus running time. I simply can't enjoy this man's creations no matter how I approach them.

Don't let the title fool you; this has nothing to do with cool robots. In fact this film has nothing to do with anything. It's just another meaningless collection of stylized shots of sunsets, gunfire and tumbling cars set to swelling patriotic music for Bay to masturbate over. I feel bad for John Turturro, who's probably still trying to cleanse his body from the filth of this script.

"Transformers" is not intended for intelligent life from any planet. Don't see this, because there's nothing more here than meets the eye. Horrible.

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Sucks and blows
6 December 2007
(the summary line will make sense once you've seen this)

Short, simple, and to the point, this short film features very good animation for its time and has excellent comic timing. The two "leads", a blue mosquito and a bubble gum-munching loner, have a very comedic, very French design and the film is well edited and "shot". Giving away anything in terms of plot would consequently give away the punchline, so I'll just advice you to see this for yourself (it can currently be found on Youtube).

It may be short and the animation may not have the glossy sheen of perfection of modern day, soulless Pixar films, but it is infinitely more charming. It's a shame no one seems to have heard of this because it really is very good. See it.
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Couch (2003 TV Short)
Funny because it isn't.
29 October 2007
So let me get this straight: this short is terrible, but Sandler fighting Bob Barker is classic comedy? There are two ways of looking at this flick. The first is the obvious one; to see the short as something pointless and random that PTA and Sandler put together because they could and because they had a good time doing it. But I prefer the other interpretation; this is PTA's own way of giving the people what they want. After suffering through two hours of great acting and subtleties in Punch Drunk Love, Sandler's fans finally get what they ask for from him: mugging, stupidity and screaming. The short isn't funny, that's the point. The joke is on the Happy Gilmore fans. Now that's hilarious.
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Family Guy (1998– )
So stupid yet so addictive
12 September 2007
"Family Guy" is what "The Simpson" would have been if "The Simpsons" were funny. It's tasteless, mind-numbing, features a line-up of largely unlikable characters, and some jokes go on far longer (say, a few minutes or so) than they should... but I love every minute of it.

For those who ever suspected Rhode Island of being filled to the brim with psychopaths, your fears are confirmed. Peter is the best father figure anyone could ever wish for: borderline retarded yet blissfully unaware of it, racist, homophobic, arrogant, loud- and foul-mouthed and an endless source of embarrassment through association. Lois is understanding to the point of insanity, Chris is Bart on illegal substances, Meg is constantly igno - oh, and who can forget Brian, the alcoholic dog? Stewie, who makes the main characters from the Baby Geniuses movies seem cute, deserves a show of his own, and is the most unforgettable character in any TV series since, uh, that guy from Buffy. The vampire guy. There's also Joe, the cop who learned everything about his craft from watching Seagal movies; Cleveland, the token black guy of the neighbourhood; Quagmire, a malformed playboy with an overactive, to say the least, sex drive; Asian reporter Trisha Takanawa; Mayor Adam West; the list of great characters just goes on.

Featuring plot lines so outlandish they make the writing for "South Park" look like freakin' Shakespeare, every episode is primarily about cramming as many dumb jokes, references, spoofs, and one-liners in there as possible. For the most part, it works, and when it works, it's more hilarious than an ostrich getting stuck in a wood-chipper. If there ever was a perfect show to watch with your brain on hold after a hard day at school or at work, this is it. If nothing else, see it just to see what the deuce all the fuzz is about (God I'm witty).
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Knocked Up (2007)
Knocked Up - Bob's review
5 September 2007
KNOCKED UP Knocked Up is about a guy named Ben whose a bit of a looser and who smoke's weed all day. One day he meets Allison and accidentally makes her pregnant. this is movie is kinda good at first with a lot of funny scenes when they get high but it became kinda boring after that. But there were at least some boobs here and there which rules cause boob's rule! Tbh the only reason I watch this in the first place is cause Katherine Heigel was in it and she rocks!! She is just awesome in Greys Anatomy and hot as hell too! So anyway I didn't really care for this movie because, to be honest. It was kinda gay, like when that guy was standing their naked holding his dork, that was just plain gay. But I have to admit it was kinda funny when Harry Osbourne showed up, lol. It gets to boring and gay towards the ending, though, I was almsot falling asleep in the cinema! So anyway, 40 year old virgin is funnier cause it has more boobs and funnier joke's plus, Steve Carel is in it and he rocks. Except in that gay Christian movie, that was just awful, I mean. It was even worst then that piece of crap Date Movie. But anyway, Knocked Up is OK but its nothing I'd want to see again

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The Bomber (2001)
"Sprängaren" blows!
5 September 2007
Can a movie be so awful it's actually physically harmful to watch? "Sprängaren" comes close. I had never watched any of Colin Nutley's pictures before this one, and I can safely say that I will never deliberately watch another one. This is so bad it should be used as a user manual for how not to make a movie. I honestly can't think of a single thing in this tedious waste of film that doesn't suck to high heavens. The story, which isn't that interesting in the first place, unravels at the pace of a dead man running a marathon. The direction is standard fresh-out-of-film-school, "hey-look-I-just-found-a-camera-in-the-garbage-can" stuff, stunning in its ineptitude and seemingly aggressive refusal to be interesting. The acting is so good it almost rivals the works of Ben Affleck in terms of charisma and enthusiasm. To be honest, for the first half hour I could've sworn I was watching a satirical comedy about zombie journalists. As for Helena Bergström, she deserves a special mention because it really boggles my mind how she EVER became as famous (even by Swedish standards) as she is now. She has no acting talent whatsoever and she has a face like the rear end of an infected hamster. Sorry Helena, but it's true and you know it, no matter what your husband says.

Moving on to smaller, yet crucial aspects of the film, the sound, musical score, and lightning is so sickeningly off in almost every single scene that it hurts to watch. The music, for the most part, has nothing to do with what's going on on-screen, the dialogue is muffled and there is a very lazy (and ineffective) use of natural lightning throughout. To be honest, only one scene didn't make me want to gouge my eyes out with a rusty spoon, and it was a five-second shot of some trees. I guess this is a major achievement for someone like Nutley.

The stunning amount of reviewers here who gave the film more than 3/10 makes me want to commit acts of terrorism myself. How can you find anything about this movie good??

Send this film to Guantanamo where it belongs... as a torture device.
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That Darn Turboman - or, How Brian Levant Raped Christmas, One Dwarf Tossing at a Time
4 September 2007
Since I have no life to speak of, I could easily list all the things that are wrong about this film, but IMDb doesn't let you type more than 10,000 words so I'll try to keep this brief. If you watch "Jingle All the Way" expecting a heart-warming family film for the holidays, you're bound to be more disappointed than... um... say, someone who read this sentence expecting a somewhat funny punchline. I have to be honest about this movie's flaws, you being my number one customer and all:

1) This movie isn't funny. The only funny thing about this eggnog spill is that sometime back in 1996, George Lucas sat down in his Xanadu out at Lucas Ranch, popped this gem into his VCR, saw Jake Lloyd on screen and thought to himself: "This is it. I've found the kid who could do justice to the role of Darth Vader". Come to think of it, not even that's very funny.

2) This movie isn't heart-warming. In fact, it's more of an exercise tool for bulimia victims. They won't have to use their fingers or anything.

3) What's with the rampant anti-dwarfism in this movie? Vertically challenged members of society are repeatedly tossed around as carelessly as babies with weed-smoking relatives.

However, despite all of these flaws (and the 9,997 other ones that I wasn't allowed to list) "Jingle" is a mind-blowing experience for those with the right expectations. Like I said, if you expect a heart-warming and hilarious Christmas film, prepare to be disappointed. BUT – if you expect a film in which Schwarzenegger does some totally awesome Arnold stuff the way only he can, like:

  • trying to play a caring father but coming off as more of a closeted paedophile

  • fighting a huge, bare-chested Santa

  • punching a reindeer in the snout

– then, my friend, you will walk away from the movie a better person, with a big, earnest smile on your face and a steady stream of drool running down your chin. Personally, I watched with the right expectations, and loved the flick, even if it did kinda make me feel like my soul had just been besmirched with bucket-loads of hot grease from hell at times. But overall, a very satisfying experience for fans of the garbage Arnold has been churning out every now and then between his good stuff. Think of it as a big-budget "Hercules in New York" minus the legendary bear fight. Like Arnold would say: "Dees ees keewl!"
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An experiment, an experience, and an extraordinary film
1 September 2007
Ignore the insipid title: this film is brilliant, and one of the most enjoyable flicks of the last 10 years. Featuring beautiful visuals, an original and engaging plot, and great retro-stylized animation, Interstella 5555 works on every level and is much more than just an obnoxiously long music video. To make a film based on this concept - and making it work - sounds like a near-impossible task, but director Kazuhisa Takenôshi skilfully keeps the film entertaining all the way through. The good guys are easy to like and the villain is deliciously evil and self-centered; despite the fact that not a line of real dialogue is spoken, their personalities, emotions and intentions are always as clear as the colourful, stunning animation.

From the opening - which strongly echoes Kubrick's masterpiece "2001", as do certain other parts of the film - to the upbeat (not nauseatingly so) ending, I was transfixed, stunned, intrigued, saddened, and overjoyed that films this original and enjoyable are still being made. This is truly one of those films that are greater than the sums of its parts, as it is more of an experience and a ride than just a movie. As a bonus, there is a not-so-subtle message about the dangers of selling out as an artist and that you should never value profit higher than your own style since it will most likely make you miserable. Granted, "Interstella" might not be perfect, as it does get a little slow towards the end and has one or two cheesy scenes, but the majority of the film is so overstuffed with awesomeness that it's hard to care about minor flaws.

Perhaps only fans of anime or Daft Punk will love the film as much as I do, but music video directors should check it out as well and take note - the songs are seamlessly and expertly synced to the action on-screen. For the most part, the tone of the music is more in tone with the film than in most mainstream films; especially "Harder Better Faster Stronger", "One More Time" and "Crescendolls" are perfectly applied. Overall the film is an emotional, original, dazzling experience, a work of pop culture art, and a must-see for fans of the band or just of good movies in general.
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Friends (1994–2004)
Friends - Bob's review
20 August 2007
This is show is about the lives of six people who are very good friends. They get into very funny situations and its also very touching at times. It is very good that the show went on for as long as I did. My favorites are Joey, Chandler, Lisa Kudbrow and Jennifer Aniston, she's super hot!! Although I don't really like the Mathew Perry character cause he's kinda gay. Anyway this is such a great TV show and it never gets old. I have never laughed harder than at some of the episodes like the one where the stripper cries or The one where Rachel has a baby, I laughed my ass off every time I see it. Its shows like this one. That really make me appreciate American television.

Overall this is an hilarious TV show and if you don't like it than your probably just some friendless loser with no life who sits around on he's fat ass and eats tacos all day.

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The most disturbing thing I have ever seen...
15 August 2007
...and I've seen "Baby Geniuses".

What starts off as a parody of numbingly retarded rap music videos soon degenerates (some would say "improves") into some sort of surreal, in-your-face nightmare that straight males won't soon forget. If you thought bearded ladies were scary before, prepare to have your mind royally screwed over. Putting aside how revoltingly twisted the video is, it's also pretty funny, as well as expertly shot and edited. Chris Cunningham gets the glossy visuals of rap videos down to a T and the freaky shots work perfectly to Aphex Twin's captivating electronic song. This is genius.

Richard D. James, Aphex Twin himself, plays a big part in the video (apart from providing the titular song, of course) as his characteristic shark grin, as in "Come to Daddy", serves a big part in terrifying the poor viewer. Few musical artists have the screen presence of this guy.

Many will argue that Cunningham's greatest freak-out was his debut video, "Come to daddy", but as stunning as that video is it can't compete with the sheer, basic, and harrowing horror of "Windowlicker". Whether you're a fan of Aphex Twin or not, this video deserves to be seen as it towers miles above most videos of its kind.
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31 July 2007
I haven't been genuinely scared by a movie (and certainly not by a horror movie) in a very long time, but this one really worked for me. The combination of Mo-gae Lee's beautiful cinematography, impeccable performances from a small but outstanding cast (Su-jeong Lim is especially impressive, taking the difficult emotions she has to portray believably into account), and a story that manages to be at once horrifying, believable and accessible make this one of the finest films and most effective horrors of the last ten years. Not to mention you'll never look at kitchen sinks the same way again...

The score by Byung-woo Lee stands out, ranging from low-key and moody to intensely loud at all the right places, and perfectly accentuating the colourful and rich photography. The sound design is incredible - the buzz of a TV set has never been more chilling. All of this ensures that the atmosphere is thick throughout, almost unbearable at times, courtesy of director Ji-woon Kim. This guy (whom I previously had never even heard of) has understood what so many other directors can't seem to grasp: horror is all about atmosphere and mood. This is what makes "A Tale of Two Sisters", quite simply, brilliant. I could write more, but it's best to watch the film knowing as little as possible about it, so all I can do is urge you to watch it as soon as possible. I'd place it next to Kubrick's "The Shining" (1980), Miike's "Audition" (1999) and Bergman's "Hour of the Wolf" (1968) on my short list of the most frightening horror films I've ever seen, as well as one of the best. To think that, once upon a time, I used to think women with poor chiropractors and even worse manicures, crawling out of TV sets, were scary...
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A must-see
30 July 2007
Not because it's good or entertaining or thought-provoking (although it did make me think of several better ways to spend an hour, like staring at the ceiling, eating cat food, donating my lower intestines to starving children, shaving my feet), but because it truly has to be seen to be believed. No, I'm not talking about my "little friend", you sicko, I'm talking about Ray Dennis Steckler's amazing parody-of-a-satire-of-a-real-movie from 1966, "Rat Pfink a Boo Boo". Being the film in which the first 40 minutes consist of a bad guy with more teeth than Julia Roberts stalking a woman for what seems like hours before just ditching her at the supermarket, and a dance number (you gotta dig those rhythm-y blues, momma! Or whatever). Then the film inexplicably (and quite amusingly) decides to transform best-selling rock singer (his fans in town reaching the impressive number of three) and nondescript leading man Lonnie Lord into the stiff-armed superhero Rat Pfink. Improvisational (and it shows!) action scenes, a man in a gorilla suit and his ambiguously gay owner (who keeps him in a leash and wears his pants too high), and a car chase that looks like a more action-packed, prolonged version of the opening scene of 'Manos' ensue.

It's the kind of film where everything ends in a big dance number. It's the kind of film where the hero's sidekick has little blinking lamps on sticks on his head. It's the kind of film where the director waits until there's a real parade in town and just has his actors ride a bike in front of the parade, pretending to be the subjects of celebration, so the director won't have to hire extras. It's the kind of film that never really ends, because it never really begins. It's the kind of film that was so important to its creator that two missing letters in the title weren't such a big deal. See Rat Pfink ride a motorcycle with his arm stretched out for what seems like two hours. See what drugs and laziness can do to a director's mind. See a gorilla that sounds like a pig. See the best effects a movie with the production values of "El Mariachi" from the sixties has to offer. See the bad guy recite one of the most impressive "we gotta do something" monologues ever written.

Or better yet, don't. I should've trusted my gut and spent an hour watching TV shop instead.
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Scary Movie 3 (2003)
In ten years time, the only Scary Movie I will gladly watch again will be this one.
30 July 2007
As far as these not-so-groundbreaking comedies go, the third part is easily the one most shock-full of funny stupidity and the one that stands up to repeated viewings. It is the most quotable of the four and the one with the best story and characters, like that's saying much. But the bottom line is that the film is hilarious. It never lags behind and it always has another dumb joke, sight gag, reference or annoying kid being hit by a car up its sleeve. Unlike the first movie, where only the few scattered moments of cleverness were really funny, or the second which was stupid and lamely written like the writers' crystal meth intake depended on it, "3" has an abundance of dumb jokes - and almost all of them work! This can all be attributed to David Zucker, who does anything but live up to his name and shows really great comic timing. Without this, the entire script would be excruciating, but Zucker's clever direction (how many noticed Cindy jumping at the loud noise from a boat - coming from a different scene?) and the cast's talent make the film much funnier than it has any right to be. Call it a guilty pleasure or comedy gold, either way, unless you're one of those people who watches Richard Gere movies on purpose, this movie will leave you breathless with laughter.

The movie has enough celebrity cameos to fill your average episode of "The Simpsons", a cast ranging from photogenic eye candy in the form of Pamela Anderson and Jenna McCarthy to in-need-of-a-hit actors like Leslie Nielsen, Charlie Sheen and Anna Faris, and even a little rap music to boot (and to please the 11-year old, 50 Cent-loving, white suburban kids). The film is not ugly to look at, and the various different visual styles and moods of the movies spoofed are well re-created, like the gritty, washed-out photography of the "8 Mile" sequences or the oh-so-ominous music in the "Ring" segments. The cast works well together; few people can keep a straight face muttering ridiculous dialogue like Charlie Sheen and who can play a dumb blond better than Anna Faris? Vertically challenged, leg-humping Kevin Hart steals the show, although "the dogs are acting strange" is classic.

Of course this kind of comedy is anything but timeless, since most of the movies spoofed will be forgotten as time goes by, but we teenagers who were born in the late eighties to early nineties will forever hold this quadrilogy of stupidity dear to our hearts.

Definitely more entertaining than its victims - the ridiculously pretentious "Ring" (2002), the lackluster mess "Matrix Reloaded" (2003), or even "8 Mile" (2002) (which I actually liked) - "Scary Movie 3" is one of my favourite comedies and, in my humble opinion, one of the funniest spoofs ever made. Laugh all you want. I am.
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Spermaharen (2002 Video)
I'll never eat ravioli again!
30 July 2007
Spermaharen is many things. It is the haunting story of a newly divorced newbie sailor facing fatal miscalculations in his clothing system, inexplicably opened ravioli cans and incompetently designed caviar tubes during a one-man trip around the world. It is simply the best cooking show ever written as a pair of enthusiasts of illegal psychotropic substances show us the best ways to a man's heart - or, in this case, the best ways to the veins of his left arm (if only that wine-homo would get out of the way!) It is a bizarre documentary, infinitely more disturbing than Alan Resnais' Night and Fog, covering the rather mundane (excluding the occasional OOWS*) life of culture personality Lars Brundin, fat, blond and weird. Finally, it's the story of poor old Doctor Hanke, a man whose increasingly rehearsed dreams of entering show business are continually interrupted by the anal cavities of his Cretaceous Era patient.

Of all these bizarrely intriguing and intriguingly bizarre shorts, the one that really sticks with you is Johan Rheborg's manic tour de force, Ensamseglaren (or "The Lone Sailor" as you yanks would say). Rheborg is unsettlingly convincing as the ravioli-loving, logically impaired sailor who slowly but surely slips further off of the edge. The way he enthusiastically and sincerely explains how to use toilet paper more economically, talks to himself, and throws a one-man gay pride parade is just stunning.

That's not to say the other segments are bad; Lars Brundin's shorts are just so out there that they're indescribable; Doctor Hanke's musical numbers prove once again why Robert Gustafsson has no business wasting his life and considerable talent away at Swedish game shows; and the brilliance of the junkie cooking show is self-explanatory. Overall this obscure, to say the least, collection of Internet short films is funnier and more memorable than most mainstream comedies and better shot, acted and written than just about every Swedish movie made the last few years.

If I were to brand this cult DVD, I'd call it "retarded surrealism", which is meant to be complimentary. If you find this in a bargain bin somewhere, buy it! It's a must-see for any fan of the Killing gang and, like most of their work, it makes you uncertain of whether to laugh or to cry. Either way you'll scratch your head feverishly and be turned off of ravioli for a very long time.

*OOWS = Obese Old Woman Striptease, now excuse me while I find a toilet to converse with.
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300 (2006)
Madness? Nope, just tedium.
11 July 2007
If going to the movies in 2007 has taught us anything so far - besides that Nicolas Cage should send his agent to one of Eli Roth's hostels, that Tarantino still refuses to make anything other than glorified B-movies, and that numbers still aren't scary no matter how much a wild-eyed Jim Carrey tries to convince us of it - it's that "Spartan" must be Greek for "Speedo". Seriously, was anyone in this movie wearing a shirt? I haven't seen so many half-naked men since I went to that topless bar in Thailand a while ago. Still, being the endlessly tolerant and open-minded person that I am, I had no problem with the raging homoerotic nature of the film - I did sit through Batman and Robin without problems. What did bug me was how boring the whole bloated thing was. Two hours of comic book dialogue spliced with ridiculously brief action scenes and a Gerard Butler who looks and sounds like he just stumbled in from a System of a Down concert, just after a brief visit to ZZ Top's hairdresser. In a Speedo.

The one thing this dullsterpiece has going for it is obviously its visual style, which is often striking. However, call me a hopeless ADD case if you wish, but I need a movie to be more than just pretty to look at if I'm going to follow it for almost two hours. For a movie with no plot besides one gigantic battle, there is a suspiciously small amount of battling! It's like being trapped in a video game for an hour and a half before you find the "attack" button. Not that there's anything terribly wrong with movies imitating video games, but I prefer when it's the other way around. Interestingly, the dialogue and character development of 300 is somewhat on par with that of Super Mario World, minus the charisma of Yoshi. I was wondering when Xerxes would reveal his secret collection of mushrooms (how else do you think he got so abnormally tall?).

Anyway, despite being hyped as an all-out action-fest so violent it would give Michael Bay epileptic seizures, 300 is so dull you'll be squirming in your seat. It's a Greek tragedy in the sense that it's tragic that a stylized, cheesy action flick for repressed geeks can be classified as a masterpiece these days. Are we really this starved for entertainment?

Well, at least I learned a new word. I would earnestly suggest that you do not watch this film, unless you want to have some laughs at how ridiculously overblown and convinced of its own greatness it is. The average score I gave it is only because of the visuals and the half-naked ladies.
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Hostel (2005)
Hostel - Bob's Review
11 July 2007
This movie is about a couple of dudes who go to some European place (I think it was Sweden or Kazahkstan) to bang some hot chicks and sight see. The movie is kinda boring at first because no one gets killed but there are boobs so it's okay anyway because boobs rule. Then it gets really really boring because it's just lots of talking and stuff, and no boobs. But then the fun really begins because some dude gets his heels sliced up and another guy gets power drilled in the leg and it's totally gory and gruesome and stuff. Then there's this one guy (I think he was the main character 'cause he was played by that guy from Torque) who is about to be killed by a chainsaw but the chainsaw dude slips on Torque guy's fingers and the chainsaw lands on him (the chainsaw dude). That was hilarious.

The movie is deep and very thought provoking because it made me think about what would happen if I went to a hostel and was tortured by some crazy Dutch bastards (yes I know they weren't really Dutch but Goldmember rules so go f**k yourself). The torture scenes are really gross and totally awesome and the acting is very good. Especially Torque guy. I like when the Asian chick's eye just sorta hangs out of her socket, that was totally awesome. Although I didn't really understand the ending. I heard from a buddy that Eli Roth made a sequel but I can't see how it could live up to the standards of this film. Overall this is movie is very good and easily a must see for fans of gruesome horror

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Weebl and Bob (2002– )
mmmmmm pie.
2 July 2007
Has watching the meaningless lives of what appears to be eggs with severe speech impediments, a near-fetishistic fascination for pie, and the vocabulary of the average MSN user, ever been more fun? This is a show so unique, so wonderfully out there, that it's hard to forget. With its extremely crude animation style, pink/white colour scheme and abstract, to say the least, plot lines, this series of short films succeeds because it's so hilarious - in its own very silly and mind-numbing way - that you'll have trouble breathing at times. Weebl and bob are a comedy troupe to remember, the animated Marx brothers of our time, only with pie. For anyone with a taste for stuff so pointless and time-wasting that only the internet could have possibly spawned it, Weebl and Bob is flash animation Nirvana. It's a real shame that this show was pulled off the air, but it's well worth seeking out on the web. Together these two animated slackers redefine surreal comedy with a unique heart and wit. And pie.
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Have you all lost your bloody minds?!
23 May 2007
In the immortal - although very paraphrased - words of Lieutenant Dane: "*Life* is *beautiful*? Well, kiss my crippled ass!"

The first hour or so of this movie felt like being invited to a fancy dinner party in some beautiful restaurant in Toscana and having to spend the entire evening next to some socially challenged, annoying moron with delusions of charm and an inability to ever shut up. The second hour of the film is basically identical except now it's set in a concentration camp. So basically, the film is two hours of unfunny jokes with a Holocaust backdrop thrown in to make it critic-proof. How sad.

Imagine a six-year old trapped in the body of a middle-aged Italian man on a steady diet of Red Bull and Ecstasy - that's how I'd describe Roberto Benigni's "characterization" of the film's star, Guido. He even has trouble stopping himself from laughing at his own wit at times (although referring to Benigni's humour as "wit" is like calling Xzibit an accomplished thespian. I'm not even sure it can be called "humour" - it's almost insulting to such masters of the genre as Adam Sandler or Owen Wilson). I guess this is how you win an Oscar these days. If you want to see a truly good performance from a comedian playing a foreigner, look no further than Sacha Baron Cohen's "Borat" which was released last year (I'm just telling you this in case you've been living under a rock for some time, or if you're from Ohio - in that case, I'm sorry). At least in that film, the main character was *supposed* to be mildly retarded, while in Benigni's movie the lead makes you unsure if you should laugh or cry as he hogs up precious screen time with his oh-so-hilarious antics. Sacha Baron Cohen was, by the way, almost completely ignored by the Academy. Go figure.

The film's plot is about one man trying to make life less unbearable for a little doe-eyed kid throughout their stay in a concentration camp. They don't arrive at the concentration camp, however, before one excruciating hour of Benigni's constant mugging and a love story that rings so false it would make even Michael Bay retch. The second hour of the film is considerably less light-hearted than the first but just as boring, repetitive and unrealistic. In reality, a guy like Guido wouldn't have survived a week in a concentration camp. Chances are if the Nazis didn't kill him first, the other Jews would have, if only to shut him up for once. Just how the hell did Guido manage to keep Doe-Eyed Child Actor hidden from the Nazis for so long? The film can't possibly be supposed to be serious - it's too implausible - and it's not nearly funny enough to be a comedy. What a mess.

The film only hints at the true horrors of the Holocaust and never really shocks or disturbs you. It doesn't say anything that we didn't already know about this tragedy and the unfunny jokes only make it more offensive. Ask yourself this: does Jim Carrey have anything to do in a film about the Holocaust? I thought not. Does a second-rate hack with only a shred of Carrey's comic talent but with the same urge to mug and overact have anything to do in a film about the Holocaust?? I think not!

All this aside, the film is competently made in most other aspects, with some beautiful scenery and a not-too-awful score. Other than that this is an embarrassing and inexplicably acclaimed ego-trip. The only truly funny thing about this disaster is how everyone is calling it a masterpiece and actually believe that the Oscars were well deserved! Oh well, people loved "Crash", too (Paul Haggis' 'RACISM SUCKS' epic, not the one where James Spader has sex with a leg wound). Honestly, this film is so corny I'm surprised aliens didn't etch secret messages in it with their rayguns. How can you hand out a Best "Foreign" Picture Oscar to a flick that ends with a freeze frame of a mother hugging her child? Seriously, a FREEZE FRAME? Give me a break or some insulin because this is too much sugar for me.

In conclusion, this film is manipulative, completely unrealistic, offensively stupid and features one of the least likely love stories ever. And it's unfunny. Dreadfully, hopelessly, comatose-ly unfunny. This coming from a person who could find something to laugh at in "Scary Movie 2". Trust me, I laugh very easily at various kinds of comedies, and "Life is Beautiful" is easily one of the worst movies ever to win an Oscar.

And please don't call me insensitive, heartless, or soulless... I don't call you a tasteless, easily manipulated sheep, now do I?

Finally, I'd just like to say that Benigni has one of the scariest smiles I've ever seen. Think Jack Nicholson, Tom Cruise and Rip Torn combined times a hundred. Every time his mouth twisted into one of his well-practiced, sh!t-eating grins (and this happens almost every twenty seconds throughout the movie, so don't worry, you won't miss it) I had an overwhelming urge to run from the room screaming. Avoid this movie.
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Baby Geniuses (1999)
23 April 2007
Some people think they have experienced pain. They think their twisted ankle, broken jaw, urinary infection, or whatever petty affliction they're suffering from, is what pain really means. How I admire these misguided, blissfully ignorant fools.

I can tell you without the slightest doubt that I'd rather have twelve urinary infections, both my legs broken and my nasal cavities filled with sharp, rusty needles that swung up and down every time I breathed, than watch the almost obscenely idiotic mess known as "Baby Geniuses" again. Ever had one of those days when you woke up to find that you had the bad hair day of the century, were late for an extremely important job interview, accidentally flashed the landlord and was evicted, and got dumped by your girlfriend? Watching "Baby Geniuses" is like that day - on drugs.

Does anyone with a three digit IQ actually find talking babies funny? I just think it's disturbing! I don't need to see some dude who has barely learned how to walk cracking pop culture jokes or repeating the term "diaper gravy" over and over again. Yeah, really great joke guys, gets better every time I hear it. I think "diaper gravy" #451 was my favourite. Baby Sly told it with such passion and intensity, I got chills.

I swear, some day those poor baby "actors" will find out that their parents let them be cast in this torture device, track them down, put them in a nursing home and never speak to them again! So not only will "Baby Geniuses" by default ruin your evening, it may also have ruined many people's lives. Two birds, one diaper, you might say. I can only hope that the people who actually saw the SEQUEL to this crime against mankind and all that is holy were mentally stable enough to not break down completely. I swear one viewing of "Superbabies: Baby Geniuses 2" would undoubtedly send me straight into some padded room somewhere in a fancy jacket. There's only so much a man can take.

If you have an acquaintance you really, really, REALLY hate, this film is the perfect Christmas present. Christopher Lloyd must have been on drugs when he signed on. One more thing - if I never see anything as revoltingly disturbing as that giant baby robot again, I will die happy. Avoid.
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22 April 2007
Oh my God, I was so expecting something more entertaining than this when I downloaded this movie, seeing as 1903 was one of my fave years for movies ever, but it sucked! The "plot", although I'd hesitate to call it that, is about some dumb elephant. It slowly makes its way onto some platform and gets electrocuted to death. Lame. Even for a short film, the plot was too thin to keep my attention. Edison is, like, the worst director ever. Plus, the elephant has no screen presence whatsoever. And the ending? Wow, that wasn't predictable at all. *sarcasm*

The picture quality is horrible too. You can barely tell what's going on most of the time. The only positive thing about this movie is that unlike most other un-scary horror flicks this didn't spawn eleven sequels. Other than that this is a complete waste of money and 1 minute of your life you'll never get back.
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Troll 2 (1990)
Bottom 100 Marathon, Episode III: "Troll 2"
21 April 2007
In-crappy-credible. That's the word that comes to mind. How do movies like this get made? Was there no sane person on the set (never mind, they didn't have a set) who had the guts to tell Claudio Fragasso "sorry mate, this just ain't gonna work, just give it up already before anyone gets hurt"? Wow. That's all I can say. I truly cannot summarize how awful this movie is in words. But I'll try, anyway. I have to get this film out of my system before I go insane.

Take some rednecks and ex-porn stars, throw them into some anonymous town in the middle of nowhere, slap a huge "NILBOG" sign on a pole, hire lots of dwarfs and some sh!tty costumes, and get the most over-the-top, annoying, washed-up Z-movie actress you can find to play the main antagonist, add a delusional kid who is almost as convincing as the thespian from "Pod People", and at least twice as irritating, and you have a movie. That's the Claudio Fragasso way!

So we have a kid actor with whom we're supposed to sympathize, but he's so bad I just wanted to hit him most of the time and tell him not to be such an overreacting little prick. Seriously, Joshua looks like someone is repeatedly kicking him in the groin whenever he tries to emote.

Unbelievably, Joshua isn't the worst actor in the film - even though everyone in this movie either screams or mumbles his or her casual lines , and even though Joshua's mum looks like a crack addict psychopath during most of her scenes, the real Dung Beetle award for incompetent acting has to go to Deborah Reed. She plays Creedence Leonore Gielgud in a way that makes it hard not to think that the nice men in white coats were waiting for Deborah after major shooting of the film had finished. This woman has the scariest eyes I've ever seen, they're constantly moving up and down, bulging in and out of their sockets so fast even Rodney Dangerfield would be scared. Her eyes are enough to almost distract you from her horrendous overacting, but only almost. Hearing her deliver her "little flower" speech makes you pine for the subtlety and depth of Vin Diesel. But enough about her.

Can it get any worse? Actually it can, because suddenly a myriad of the aforementioned dwarfs - sorry, I meant goblins - appear. Think of an army of walking, oinking potatoes with bargain bin Halloween masks - those are the goblins. Sound scary yet? I thought so.

Kill me now. I thought the film couldn't get any dumber, but it did - suddenly Joshua realizes that "NILBOG" is actually "GOBLIN" spelled BACKWARDS!!! Yes, I'm stunned too. This truly is the most brilliant plot twist this side of M. Night Shyallaman. And so cleverly set up, too! I can assure you I did NOT see this coming, no siree. Gee whizz, what a shocker! All sarcasm aside, this is probably the part of the film where I completely lost it. The sheer look of shock on Joshua's face upon his revelation combined with the "scary" music (which was probably stolen from some Japanese TV show from the eighties, by the way) - this is unintentional comedy at its finest. And by "finest", I mean "most painful".

So, when all is said and done, what can we make of this movie? It's low budget, so badly acted you'll want to gouge your eyes out, unintentionally hilarious, blatantly homoerotic (Elliott having trouble choosing between his "boys" and his girlfriend, Elliott's "boys" sleeping half-naked next to each other) and it gave me the impression that Claudio Fragasso has a fetish for the colour green. In conclusion this film has very deservedly earned itself a position on the Bottom 100, and I'm still blown away by the fact that there are movies this irredeemably awful out there. My review has barely scratched on the surface of how awful this film is - it's worse than "Red Zone Cuba", worse than "The Beast of Yucca Flats", worse than "Time of the Apes"... and I wouldn't hesitate to say that it's *this* close to being as bad as "Manos: The Hands of Fate" (interestingly enough, both films feature a hilarious scene in which the main characters inexplicably burst out in a chorus of "Row your boat"). My Bottom 100 marathon couldn't have ended on a higher note of badness and I'm happy to say that I survived this ordeal (Watching "Bloodrayne", "Captain America" and this in a row) without any extensive brain damage... or did I? Anyway, to any devoted fan of bad movies, this is truly appetizing... and provocative. To quote Arnold, one of Elliot's "boys": "OH MY GOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOD!"
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Bottom 100 Marathon, Episode II: "Captain America"
21 April 2007
Gee whiz, what a flick! It's so stupid it's almost funny. Almost. But not really. Mostly it's pretty dull, but still somehow quite watchable. The music is fantastically awful in its eightiesness. Who better to play Captain America than Matt Salinger? Yes, you read that right. THE Matt Salinger. What? You've never heard of him? Me neither, and considering his performance in this movie, it's no wonder.

Serious mindf-ck occurs at the very start of the movie. The blue, red and white title "Captain America" unceremoniously appears on the screen - but we're in 1936 Italy! Some Italian dialogue makes me wonder if I have accidentally gotten hold of a dubbed copy, but my fears are thankfully never confirmed - although I doubt that the Italian dubbing mafia could've done a worse job at characterization than the American cast. Anyway, we see a little Italian dude playing the piano. Some anonymous military bad guy smashes a window and sends his henchmen to blow Italian dude's parents to pieces. It takes a while before we understand what the hell this has to do with anything - no, it's not a scene from "The Godfather" which was accidentally spliced into the film during production - because we quickly cut to:


(as an afterthought) 1943

World War II is running full throttle and dazed-looking Steve is mugging his way through a tearful farewell to his family and girlfriend, Bernie (and here I was thinking this was a guy's name!). We are treated to such wonderful dialogue as: "It's just that... I love you and I can't stand thinking that I won't know where you are or what you're doing!" Sparks fly, chemistry's high (or maybe it's the scriptwriter) and Steve leaves his old neighbourhood... never to return... OR WILL HE?

It turns out Steve signed up for some lab rat work for the accent-ually challenged military. Before he can say "no paycheck is worth this!", he's strapped to a chair, attacked by flashing colours, and Captain America is born. There's no time for celebration, however, because an evil nazi bastard shows up and starts peppering everyone with a prop. What I love about this scene is that the military is carrying out this secret, important experiment in the basement of a bar and it's free for anyone to just drop in! Oh, that and the flashy colours, of course.

Captain America is hit and we find out that he's immune to bullets. The accent-ually challenged military guy sends him to stop Red Skull - the Italian dude from the beginning of the movie - a bad guy with a really awful case of acne who thinks the concept of jokes about English lessons is the best thing since spaghetti bolognese. Steve arrives at the bad guy's hideout, some bland action occurs and Captain America shows that he's a complete loser by actually letting this walking advertisement for Clearasil get the better of him. Suddenly strapped to a nuclear missile, Steve grabs hold of Acne Man's wrist and the latter makes the only sensible thing: he uses a knife to slice off... his own hand. That's truly brilliant thinking there, buddy.

Then we cut to a poor child actor telling his mum that he's going to be president of the USA when he grows up (FORESHADOWING!). The kid goes outside for some reason and sees Steve America and the nuclear missile in the sky. This is so inspirational to him that he has to rave about it to his blonde-haired snob of a friend, who touches his shoulder in a very disturbing way. I'd just like to point out that this is the WORST CHILD ACTOR I'VE EVER SEEN, EVER! And I've seen The Omen 2006, Santa Claus Conquers the Martians, and Stephen King's version of The Shining.

50 or so years pass and - voila! - poor child actor #1 has indeed become president of the United States. A lot of boring stuff happens as Steve America is carved out of a block of really authentic-looking ice in Alaska; meets Bernie who's now supposedly 66 (I must say she ages extremely well!), married and has a seriously hot daughter; and has to cope with the cultural changes of the US since 1943, sort of like in "Austin Powers" only less touching. We also find out that Acne Man has magically transformed into Incompetent Plastic Surgery Man (whom I will refer to as IPSM from here on).

Some filler scenes, filmed as an excuse for the cast and crew to go to Italy, ensue until we finally get to the climactic showdown between IPSM and Steve America. Now Steve finds himself in a situation where he has to stop IPSM from blowing up Europe (!), but can't because... I.P.S.M. is armed with a machine gun?? What the hell? I thought he was immune to gunfire? Whatever. My brain hurts now.

I wouldn't want to spoil the film's ending for you so I'll just leave this already too long plot summary now. Add to what I've just said porn movie actors, a very eighties soundtrack, overly ambitious action with none of the budget it needs to not be a complete joke, and Matt Salinger's... um... original performance as the Captain himself, and you have a film which is actually pretty watchable in an F-movie kind of way.

In conclusion: It's exactly stupid and unintentionally silly enough to keep your attention to the bitter end (unlike something like "Bloodrayne", whose stupidity bored me to tears) and really all you could ask for from a good bad movie. It's pretty mean to call it one of the 100 worst movies ever. Remind me never to write a review this long again. My next stop is also an early nineties cheese-fest, this time about vegetable-lovin' freaks: "Troll 2". Pray for my sanity.
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BloodRayne (2005)
Bottom 100 Marathon, Episode I: "Bloodrayne"
21 April 2007
The masochist in me has taken over and I've decided to sit through three movies from IMDb's Bottom 100 in a row to see if this kind of activity can cause permanent brain damage. My first stop is "Bloodrayne", Uwe Boll's third video game adaptation and, impressively, his least entertaining, interesting and fun movie so far. Whereas "House of the Dead" was so bad it had its moments of unintentional comedy, and "Alone in the Dark" was simply too empty and forgettable to count among the all-time worsts, "Bloodrayne" made me seriously consider killing myself before I had come half-way through. Why do I loathe this movie? Let me count the ways:

Direction: Truly mind-bogglingly sloppy and dull. Boll outdoes himself with constantly out of place camera angles and really unexciting action scenes. He's not called the modern day Ed Wood for nothing.

The actors: This is the biggest and most talented cast Boll has managed to bribe into one of his films so far. Michael Madsen, Udo Kier, Ben Kingsley and Kristanna Loken are just some of the people who have been hired to humiliate themselves this time. Madsen tries but he really only puts as much effort into his role as the script deserves - meaning, not very much. Udo Kier does his best comical evil-Russian-mind-controller á la "Yuri's Revenge" impression - too bad the film actually tries to be serious. Ben Kingsley is so monotonous it's clear he has nothing but contempt for the film - but what intelligent actor wouldn't? Loken... well, Loken looks good and acts bad, although I didn't expect much else. Some of the supporting actors are so unbelievably awful you don't know whether to laugh or cry.

The story: Not even worth mentioning. So I won't.

The musical score: Generic and overbearing, loud and completely out of sync with the scenes most of the time. Slapped on to the film by Boll not to enhance the film but because films are supposed to have one.

The effects: Very funny in an over-the-top kind of way, but certainly not scary. The guy who gets split in half is a laugh riot.

The film's main problem is that for all its idiotic dialogue and laughable acting it simply isn't entertaining enough. It's one of the dullest movies I've watched in a long time and before the 1 hour mark I guarantee you that you'll be bored halfway into a coma. Oh, and could the nonsensical, out of place sex scene be any *less* erotic, because I don't think I was quite bored enough at this point!

In conclusion: It's truly "worthy" of being in the Bottom 100. How fitting that the first vampire movie Boll makes is the one that sucks the most. My next stop in this marathon is the 1990 superhero movie "Captain America". Pray for my sanity.
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Memento (2000)
Now... where was I?
20 April 2007
You've probably noticed that I haven't said a thing about the actual plot of the film yet. That's because the less you know about it, the more fun - and frustrating - the film will be to watch. I highly recommend this, it's one of the best of 2000 and simply too original to miss.

Since we are never quite sure what just happened, we not only understand what Leonard's going through, we literally go through the exact same thing. The motivations and intentions of the characters Leonard meets are never quite clear to us and we're never sure if anyone really means what he or she says. This and the power of the final scene (which, had it been the first scene, would have reduced the film's impact enormously) is what makes the plot structure more than a gimmick - it's essential to the power of the story to tell it in this order.

Speaking of fantastic acting - with this and his vital supporting role in "L.A. Confidential" under his belt, the real mystery is why Guy Pearce isn't one of the biggest stars in Hollywood today. I honestly couldn't see anyone else playing Leonard Shelby. He might come off a bit wooden at first, but it's really just the way his character is written - he believably portrays paranoia and confusion later (or should that be earlier?) on in the film. Carrie-Ann Moss is wonderfully convincing and cold and Joe Pantoliano is just one of those actors who can't seem to screw up a single line on dialogue. I wouldn't want to change a single casting choice.

Change the scenes to run in chronological order and there's still Nolan's witty script, fantastic acting and characterization, and slick visuals to enjoy, but the film's true power is really in its structure.

It's also a movie which needs several viewings to be completely understood, but its plot is far from incomprehensible - as soon as you understand the system by which the scenes have been arranged, you just need to put the pieces together. The answers are all there for those who look for them. The use of black-and-white photography for some scenes is very helpful and a nice touch.

The new millennium has just started and, as if from out of nowhere, comes English director Christopher Nolan with his confusing, frustrating, groundbreaking, atmospheric and 100% original masterpiece, Memento. It's a film that will quickly grow a huge cult following for its ingenious plot structure and editing, and deservedly so. It's a unique and fresh concept used to create a movie which excels in every area and stands out as a fantastic movie by thriller standards, no matter in what order the scenes appear.

There are no spoilers in this review. I promise.
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The Dentist (1996)
This is what happens when you don't floss regularly!!
13 April 2007
A film destined to make you brush your teeth more carefully, "The Dentist" is a highly entertaining B-flick with several gruesomely gory scenes, a story refreshingly free from horror clichés (20 year-old Miss America contestants playing teenagers, people walking alone into dark rooms, etc), and a wonderfully unhinged performance by Corbin Bernsen in the lead. The story follows Bernsen's successful but unstable, perfectionist dentist Dr. Feinstone, who snaps completely when he finds his wife performing fellatio on the pool guy. This unfortunate events kicks off a series of torture scenes as Feinstone shows his patients that sometimes it's best to keep your mouth shut!

The film effectively takes advantage of the inherently creepy situation a visit to the dentist can be - think about it, you're basically lying down, helpless, while some stranger who may or may not be mentally stable puts his or her fingers into your mouth and scratches your piano keys with metal instruments! The gore is deeply unsettling and disgusting, even if it does look a little fake at times (it's not exactly a high budget production). The cast, save for Bernsen, isn't exactly Bogart and Bergman, but they manage to play their characters without being too cringe-worthy. Mark Ruffalo, from "Eternal Sunshine", shows up in a small role - and when was the last time you saw the "Terminator" series' Dr. Silberman in anything?

"The Dentist" is a must-see for any fan of gore or of cult movies. It drags a bit at times and it's far from being anything fantastic, but what matters is that it actually delivers what it promises! For what it is - a story about a dentist gone bonkers - it couldn't possibly be better. Followed by an equally entertaining and deliberately campier sequel which is also worth watching.
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