Sunday, August 28, 2016

A Good Man (2014)

Every time I watch a Steven Seagal film, I assume it's going to follow the typical trajectory - he bonds with a small child to show how sensitive he is, and then kills everyone. This movie is no exception.

Seagal is Alexander, a bloated pufferfish with a jet black goatee and synthetic hair crafted into a questionable widows peak. Alexander is former Special Ops living in a low rent part of a European city where the Russian mob is prevalent.  He meets his neighbors - a twenty something woman and a child - when they get locked out of their apartment.  Since he's a handyman, he can help them get in. Let the bonding begin.

His neighbors brother Sasha is trying to pay off their fathers debt to the Russian mob.  The debt puts the whole family in danger, which is not okay with Seagal since he's a sensitive guy who cares about their well being. See? He's a multifaceted hitman.

After the plot set up, the next hour will be full of Seagal mumbling and walking slowly towards people who've threatened him. People who are saying things like, "it's none of your business old man" because they have no idea that this old jowel-y handyman is going to make them wish they'd never been born.

I'm guessing the opening dialogue, which consists of Seagal using the word fuck in every sentence, may be trying to convey he's a tough guy since he can't really do physical work anymore.  The fight scenes consist of Seagal twisting someones arm, causing them to cascade through the air in multiple spins.  Between the quick cuts and the stuntmen's talent, there are some passable action scenes.  Oh,  I forgot Sasha is still young enough to pick up the slack so we do have some okay fights in the film.

Occasionally there appears to sometimes be someone else dubbing Seagals dialogue, which isn't totally a surprise once you've noticed it in some of his other films.  Also watch for the scene where we discover that the Russian mob doesn't know how backpacks work.  They don't realize these bags  have more than one pocket.

Unfathomable dialogue-

Well I'm sorry to hear that because now I'll snatch every motherfucker birthday.

(There was a debate on whether he was mumbling snatch or smash. I like smash better.)

Monday, August 15, 2016

Navy Seals vs. Zombies (2105)

When the Vice President gets trapped in Baton Rouge by an outbreak of violence, an elite unit of Navy Seals is sent to rescue him.  No one informs the Seals of the real issue plaguing the city, which is zombies.

After locating the survivors, an annoying reporter trapped with the VP tries to show the Seals footage of what actually happened, but they blow her off.  They may want to be more open minded since they have no idea what made the VP and secret service scamper into a hiding place like frightened children.

They call for the chopper to evacuate the VP and are told that anyone who has been bitten is not allowed to leave.  No one shall ask why the Seals don't check any of the survivors for bites before allowing them on the copter - especially those who are mysteriously ill and can't walk without help.

Now you'd think that Seals would be leaving with the others, but instead they are told they have a second mission. Go across town and collect a scientist who may  (or may not) be the key to curing the zombie outbreak.

The annoying reporter and her cameraman refuse to leave because they want the story. So the Seals agree to watch out for them.  This is a terrible idea. It's not their job to babysit pesky reporters and this extra burden could jeopardize their mission.  And what the hell is Michael Dudikoff doing in this film?  I expect better from the American Ninja.

The Seals are not up to their usual caliber. One one is taken out by a single zombie, and another decides that he won't shoot a zombie because it's a child. It's a goddamn zombie, kill it!  I expect better decisions from the Seals.  But then again, it was obvious AJ was not going to get through this mission unscathed.  Not only is he a rookie Seal but his wife is expecting their first baby. He may as well have a target on his head.

The best thing about this movie is that it was  $2.99 to buy it, but $3.99 to rent it.  So... if I have don't keep it, you'll charge me more?  Hilarious!  This prompted a debate on whether it was worth saving a dollar if you have no interest in owning the movie.  It was 2 against 1 to save the dollar and purchase the damn thing.
screenshot of the options for rent and purchase
closer shot of prices showing it's cheaper to buy than rent

Friday, August 12, 2016

Unfriended (2015)

The biggest problem with this movie is that it takes place on a computer screen. So be prepared to spend a lot of time listening to characters type and reading their instant messages to each other.

Blair, her boyfriend Mitch, stoner Ken, blond Jess, mean Val, and jock Adam get on a private chat but  another person keeps joining them.  Since no one allowed this other person to join, they try a new chatroom. The mystery person is able to join their conversation again.  Creepily enough, it appears to be Laura, who committed suicide a year ago.

The kids can't get away from her.  She seems to have access to everywhere they go online.  They  even mute the sound, but Laura turns it back on. No one thinks of shutting down their computers or having a real life conversation. Sigh, kids these days.

Blair looks for advise online and finds a website which says you should not not answer message from the dead. This leads to a ton of exposition done through web searches, texts, and watching the kids faces as they're reading the texts.  I'm still wondering how the dead are able to type.

As people start dying and they need help, they use Chat Roulette to try to get the police.  Oh hey naked, creepy, non-English speaking, German guy in any town on the other side of the world. I need the police sent to my home asap because someone is trying to kill me.  Seriously?  Use your cell phone! Or how about texting someone nearby or post on the police Facebook page? It's all going to be quicker than finding someone on Chat Roulette, who is more than likely going to hit because you're a freak and they don't want to be pranked
This is what you'll spend 90 minutes watching

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Toxic Zombies (1980)

aka Bloodeaters

A group of hippies living in tents in the woods waiting to cultivate their crop of weed is targeted by the Feds. The Feds hire someone to crop-dust using a toxic chemical, but he doesn't differentiate between plants and people.

The hippies try to stagger away, but start vomiting blood and before you know it - boom, they're zombies and attacking their own kind rather than hoofing it out of there. The rest of the movie is random characters going camping and stumbling upon the killer zombies, some of whom carry machetes.

This is low budget with mediocre acting. It's fairly slow paced also, but if you like independent 80s movies, it's okay.  This is from the time when it was a big deal to get the resources and drive to make a movie, as opposed to the past twenty years where everyone has access to computers and video cameras.