Friday, August 26, 2011

Friday Night Movie Review 2!

It's that time again! The Fruitless Pursuits team have been lazing around all week watching movies, and seeing as how you're the only person we've had contact with this week, we are just itching to tell you all about them!

We've plucked movies from a few weeks to a few decades ago, and they're not all winners! Join us after the jump to read our mini-reviews of what we've been watching!


Gamera vs. Barugon is a terribly misnamed movie. It should be called Barugon's Wild Adventure featuring a cameo by Gamera. The movie starts with a quick recap of the first Gamera film, which ends (SPOILERS) with Gamera being shot into space. Before he makes it to Mars though, the space shuttle is hit by a meteor which sets Gamera free and he heads back to Earth and destroys a dam.

Then, in basically a different movie, some dudes steal a big opal from a cave in the South Pacific protected by a bunch of Japanese people in black-face.

They get the opal back to civilization when - Oops! It's an egg and Barugon hatches from it. He rampages, using his gigantic tongue (with freezing powers) and his rainbow ray. The rainbow attracts Gamera (who reappears for a couple of minutes) who is then frozen solid for most of the rest of the movie. Then it's mostly Barugon smashing shit and the humans failing to kill it.

Gamera reappears once more for the last five minutes. Not sure why the humans didn't kill Gamera while he was frozen - they seemed pretty determined to kill him in the last film.

We were watching the MST3K version which was really funny, but this movies was a lot slower and harder to get through than the previous one (Gamera). It took us three sittings. 


Superheroes (2011)
This a real life documentary about real life superheroes that I watched out of curiosity and it was tough for me to get through. I was expecting laughs but not only are these people very well meaning but a lot of them do what they do because bad times happened to them just like made up superheroes. But it did really bum me out to see the extreme things that influenced them to become heroes versus the ineffective and sometimes boring reality of what it would be like to go out on patrol looking bad guys. For example, Master Legend (the most watchable of the heroes) explains that his father brought him up in the Ku Klux Klan where he was forced to fight matches with other kids until he was taken by his Grandmother and straightened out, but when we see him in action today he is drinking beers out of his van and sleazing on a girl at a bar.

Their good deeds mainly take the form of reporting things to the police as well as some nice charity work. Nothing that really calls for a costume or codename. The main interesting thing for me, and something I would have loved to see more of, was one psychologist talking about things like why these people decide do be like this.

I can't recommend this unless you're super interested or curious about these kind of people. Definitely not worth watching just for the many funny names and costumes.


Glee: The 3D Concert Musical (2011)
In mid 2010 the Glee team decided to take their cash cow out on the road to get up close and personal with their fans (in a completely appropriate and wholesome way, of course). Due to the time constraints the actors were under with the whole 'having to shoot a TV show' thing, it wasn't able to be a particularly extensive tour. Tweenagers everywhere were crushed that they weren't able to scream and cry over Mark Salling in the flesh, so the next best thing was to release the concert in 3D at the movies. So here we are.

First things first, this is a movie for fans. If you hated Glee before, you'll still hate Glee. If you're ambivalent about Glee, you're unlikely to have your socks knocked off. But for fans, it's extremely entertaining. The presentation is a little disjointed, what with switching between the concert, the backstage clips and the fan stories, but the content makes up for it. There's always going to be debate about the 'perfect' setlist, but they balanced things out well enough. From the compulsory Journey cover (Don't Stop Believin'), to the super-sassy 'River Deep, Mountain High' duet, right through to Chris Colfer's plaintive version of 'I Want to Hold Your Hand' there was something for everyone. Special mention must go to two sections. 'I'm a Slave 4 U' had me vowing never to eat again and to take up dancing so that one day I could look like Heather Morris, and the Dalton Warblers medley ('Teenage Dream'/'Silly Love Songs'/'Raise Your Glass') once again resulted in Darren Criss stealing the show from his castmates.

The 3D itself started out quite confronting. It's not in any way subtle, and it's very very weird to feel like you're standing on stage alongside the singers. Eventually you adjust, but there's still a massive sense of depth during the show. Obviously I don't mean that in a BAD way, it is a 3D movie after all, but with many other recent films being a bit more subtle in their use of depth, it was a quite a smack to the senses.

In short: If you like Glee, go for it. It only had a very limited season at the cinema (two weeks in Australia), so if you're too late you'll have to grab the DVD. If you're not into Glee, this will probably be the equivalent of showering in acid so maybe stay away.


Red: Werewolf Hunter (2010)
It's awful. Felicia Day is woefully miscast as the sullen, never-smiling, always-concentrating, charisma-free Red, who is apparently not named "Red" because of her red hair, a mystery that her idiot love interest can't seem to let go of - like he's worried that her name derives from a large red baboon bottom. But it's actually a family name, passed down to the first born girl of every generation who is destined to hunt and kill CGI werewolves, and look incredibly out of place and awkward in action scenes.

I completely understand that this is an incredibly low budget made-for-TV film, but its no excuse for the sheer lack of creativity or enthusiasm that sours every bleak and similar moment (much of the film is a "really concentrating" Felicia Day walking aimlessly along a deserted street while unconvincingly holding a weapon). Both Peter Jackson and Sam Raimi made low budget horror films, fun, intense, terrifying and inventive, yet there is nothing at all to admire in the still-born Red - it's not scary, it's not clever, there's not a single memorable character or line. You know, it doesn't cost extra to have your characters show expressions on their faces or entertainingly interact with each other! I can forgive all manner of flaws in a film, but not a total lack of thought or ambition.

Red is a ridiculously bland and embarrassing film - surely aspiring students of any film school in the world, with the same restraints, could produce something infinitely better. I would rather be punched in the bum by a Balrog.

J. Tagmire:

POM Wonderful presents: The Greatest Movie Ever Sold (2011)

I have been looking forward to Morgan Spurlock's new documentary "POM Wonderful Presents: The Greatest Movie Ever Sold" for a few months now. I've loved his last few films, especially "Where In The World Is Osama Bin Laden?". There's something about Morgan's approach and delivery that I can relate to and latch onto. He comes across as a smart, and outspoken average Joe, if that makes any sense.  As a
viewer I've never felt like Morgan was pushing something onto me, which is funny because that's exactly what this film is all about.

The Greatest Movie Ever Sold is a documentary about marketing and advertising in films. In the film, Morgan approaches corporations to fund his film. He offers funding everywhere from the above the title sponsor (SPOILER, it's POM Wonderful) to the shoes he wears, and the car he drives in the film. It's an interesting approach because the movie is basically the making of the movie. You'll watch Morgan approach these companies and try to get them to sponsor the film, and discuss advertising with experts and non-experts (all while promoting the existing sponsors products), and before you know it, you've watched the entire film and ingested the companies and their products.

The film is equally as subliminal as it is blatant product placement... both of which are shown to be effective (and sometimes unethical) means of marketing. It must work though, because I just paid $5.00 for a bottle of POM Wonderful... Holy Sheetz.

Coincidentally, StryderWolfe gives us another take on the same film:

This past weekend I had the opportunity to catch "POM Wonderful Presents: The Greatest Movie Ever Sold".  If you haven't heard, this is the latest documentary by Morgan "Super Size Me" Spurlock.  It takes a look at advertising in entertainment, both blatant and hidden, as the director films himself trying to get big name corporations to sponsor his film.  Obviously, at least POM Wonderful got on board. 

"The Greatest Movie Ever Sold" was interesting, but I think I'd have to take the word "Greatest" out of the title, personally.  Although there were amusing bits and it held my interest throughout, I didn't think that the film really taught me anything or proved any point that it might have been trying to make.  Really, those are the only two things I look for in a documentary.  Instead it was a giant commercial with cut scenes teaching you how it BECAME a giant commercial.  Funny?  Yes!  But I don't know, maybe I missed the point...

Anyway, it was not without amusement value and I am glad I saw it.  I also wouldn't really want to sit through it again and am also glad that I saw it for free.  Contrast this with "Super Size Me", which I saw at least 3 times and recommend to everyone I know, and you can see how I'm a bit disappointed. 

Now then...I'm thirsty.  Anyone got any POM Wonderful?  It's made with pomegranates, you know...

No comments:

Post a Comment