Yeah, I realize, you get what you pay for when you go see a movie called Dragon Wars and I expected an action packed no-brainer. I was still disappointed.
Looking at the previews or even the posters, one might have expected a high-budget fantasy film, somewhere between Returner, Transformers and Reign of Fire, which was all that I could hope for. Unfortunately, at its best, D-War would have to aspire excessively to even suck.
It's a beautifully animated special effects piece and it features a lot of recognizeable American Actors, whose careers... might recover... depending on who saw this movie. But low hopes or not, within the first 20 seconds I started thinking "This might not be so good!", within the first two minutes I realized I was watching a bad movie, and by the time the movie had ended, I was convinced of its Doghood. This isn't a mean-spirited, grotesque bad movie, and if you dare to see it, you won't start to gouge your eyes out. However, it certainly won't be worth your time.
Hey, you know what I read the other day about Lindsay Lohan?
The stakes have been raised higher and higher with no critical mass in sight for what is euphamistically called "celebrity watch", and 2007 has held the crappiest of the crappy of all this. From the rise in popularity of a certain website I won't mention (but it rhymes with Pee-Hymn-She) first on the web, then on television to the pile on and join in of such formerly respectable news agencies as CNN and NBC to the relentless chasing of individuals who have somehow given up their rights to privacy and a camera-free-life because they CHOSE to be on Camera SOME OF THE TIME, 2007 has been a disgusting year for Tabloid Sleaze.
Does what Mel Gibson said disgust me? Yes. But it's also disgusting how that information was obtained and disseminated. Do I find Paris Hilton, Brittney Spears and Lindsay Lohan attractive? Sure. It doesn't mean I want to know everything about them all the time, especially when I'm trying to look for actual news. Do I care that Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes have been guarded about their baby? No. I would be too! Do I think Britney is a bad mother? I have no Idea! All I know is from some asshole's story that was filtered through the minds of sensationalistic reporters and shoved in my face when I'm trying to obtain information on current world affairs. Is it any of my business that so and so or what's her face are in rehab?
You know what would make a good Tabloid Story? How about an Expose on the lifeless leeching douche bags who follow celebrities around with their cameras everywhere they go, just waiting for them to do something fucked up. Let me tell you, we're all fucked up. Follow any one of us night and day and I guarantee you'll see something funny or nasty or embarrassing. Keep this going for years and years and years and I guarantee, any one of us would snap and get loaded. Sometimes people happen to go without certain articles of clothing... they don't always expect a camera to be shoved up their crotch.
People say Celebrities ask for it.
I say they didn't ask for this.
If you want to make the world a better place, don't watch these shows, don't go to these websites, don't buy these magazines. If any part of the story includes the words "... they don't want you to know..." then it's none of your fucking business! Better yet, start chasing the paparazzi with your own cameras and put up web pages about embarrassing things they do, publish the content of their cell phones, take compromising pictures of them and their children and shove microphones in their faces when they're most vulnerable. You think they'd like that? If not, just tell them... you're just trying to make a living too.
Setting aside the fact that the interesting things about the Saw series have long since run their course, setting aside that any uniqueness about these movies is long dead and setting aside that the major characters have moved on in one form or another with the last film, Saw IV is really just a depraved, morality-devoid film which sinks lower than the first three in marketing ploys and plots, even going so far as to conveniently forget and completely ruin one of the most major lessons and surprises from Saw III in the process. When the final scene is shown, we're less surprised and thrilled, wanting more, than we are bored and drained by this familiar film. At best, it's a retread, at worst... a celebration of how to hurt people. The silliest thing here is how illogical it all is. The idea of a man dying of cancer and occasionally delusional pulling all this together with perfect timing every step of the way, fooling not only the victims and audience, but even his accomplices is simply no longer working. The only real thought here went into what more painful things can be done to people with devices made of rusted metal. Too bad the characters weren't given enough sense to try more intelligent, obvious ways of getting out of these messes. At least two more are on the way. What's next?
In the late 1990s, Horror took a different turn and remakes were thinly veiled as sequels or spoofs to their original material. The first decade of the 2000s have changed that considerably, allowing for bad horror remake after bad horror remake after bad horror remake.
Rob Zombie's Halloween isn't the worst offender in this trend, merely the latest. That said, it quite simply isn't very good. Half of the film is wasted on explaining why a character whose mystery is his best assett does what he does. The other half is a stunted, rapid-fire remake and rehash of the original film! Rob successfully distracts us with Nudity from some very beautiful women, packs his cast with noteworthy horror veterans (including one of the beautiful women who starred in two of the older Halloween films) and the occasional jump-out-and-grab-you scream. But his attempts at making an anti-classic splatter flick are far too obvious. He was much better with his grindhouse attempt in Grindhouse! Halloween simply doesn't cut it as a film, but it does make me wish all the harder for a White Zombie reunion!!!
There are those companies who want to cash in on Niche audiences like fans of Horror, Video Nasty and Grindhouse flicks. Anchor Bay is a noteworthy example of one that works hard to earn the trust of these fans, treating these obscure and cult movies as if they were high-class blockbusters of Hollywood's Golden Age, with fine transfers, heavy seeking of extras and affordable DVD prices. Starz has since bought Anchor Bay and thus Blue Underground, formerly the DVD Extra folks for Anchor Bay have filled their void. Another pretty decent one out there is Media Blasters' Shriek Show imprint. And new companies like Code Red are springing up all the time.
On the flip side of this coin is any company affiliated with Golden Media. These companies aren't out to preserve alternative classics or cater to a niche market, but are out to get as much money from as many of the niche wallets out there as possible.
If you want to see an often banned film like Sexo Canibal, no problem, VideoAsia has the North American Distribution rights. They've taken the time to dub a Japanese VHS copy with pixelated nudity and a huge, black band over the subtitles onto a bare bones DVD and call it "special". Fan of the film Grindhouse? Good news, Fortune 5 has released, just for you, the Grindhouse Experience Boxed Set featuring similarly bad VHS dubs and no extras at all! But the packaging does suggest, since it carries some of the same movies, that it is directly affiliated with 'Quentin Tarantino presents the Los Angeles Grindhouse Festival 2007'.
Since there is no other way to see many of these films, Golden Showers... I mean Media... will continue to make money without effort, and that's too bad. If you do want to find something they carry in a better format, I can recommend ways to find what you're looking for in either an original packaging, or a dub performed by people who give a damn!
Following the 54 reviews of Summer of Horror 2006 and the 24 reviews of Operation: Sci-Fall 2006, 2007's Winter of Wit featured only 15 reviews, some of which could only loosely be considered "Comedies".
What can I say... I realized I had a Life all of the sudden... but that doesn't stop me from realizing that WOW deserves a Mulligan!