u g l y… you ain’t got no alibi.

Sheesh. It’s been one of those weeks of movies that are best left forgotten.

I watched 22 minutes of Cabin Fever 2: Spring Fever and don’t recollect any of it.

I watched 24 minutes of The Last Resort (Your Passport To Hell) and it was stanky dull.

Least of all, I made it 18 minutes in The Lost Tribe… enough said.

Red DragonWe watched all of Red Dragon. And, well, it was certainly better than any of the above movies but…

After seeing Silence of the Lambs a multitude of times, Red Dragon just seemed to be nearly the exact same story, but not nearly as well done… Which is sad as they did dig up a pretty great cast of Hollywooders: Anthony Hopkins, Harvey Keitel, Phillip Seymour Hoffman, Ralph Fiennes, Bill Duke and Edward Norton. Honestly, though I know nothing about the books, I was so put off by the duplication of the plot of the Silence of the Lambs movie and how much cornier the characters were in this film. Also, the villain’s tattoo was just plain dumb. Sometimes, “good” ideas that don’t work well on the screen should probably be avoided. That was one of them.

Sams LakeThen? Sam’s Lake. Yes, I actually watched this whole movie. I think only because the characters were ok. Alright, the movie wasn’t terrible. It was like, you know, regular, okay? The story of a girl who brings a group of her friends back to relax at her old rural family home. The town turns out to be creepy and the townsfolk turn out to be creepy… But they encounter a childhood friend of her and then, as night falls, things get scary. The key twist becomes to obvious too early on, but at least they come up with some other twists to perk it up. So yeah, a newish slasher flick (with some twists) that, while not great, is certainly better than most of this so-called “horror” swill that I watch on Netflix streaming.

DoghouseLastly, I watched Doghouse. Um, yeah. Somehow I made it to the end of that. Probably because of the non-stop gory action. Sort of a low quality and badly written “Shaun of the Dead” built on a British “chicks are evil, dude” philosophy. A bunch of guys who act like jerks to their wives/girlfriends, ditch them all to take a trip to the small town of Moodley. but they get there to find out that all of the men are dead and the girls are all bloody, broken crazy zombie-types who are out for blood. No. It’s not as good as it sounds. But it moves along pretty continually and has lots of bad gore and gratuitous death scenes. Kurty, if you haven’t seen it, you should check it out.

quiet refreshment…

Destination Moon Having one of those quiet evenings where I wanted to watch movies but nothing that was too overwhelming or thought-invoking, I ended up watching, firstly, Destination Moon. One of the great classics, not only for it’s Heinlein origins and rich technicolor appearance but also because of its historical significance as one of the first major American Science Fiction films, blatant cold war message and being George Pal’s first science fiction film. It is also a “serious” science fiction movie without most of the unreality that comes with science fiction, including all of those outlandish events in most of the big Hollywood Sci-fi films that were to follow. Though the science involved not turn out to be an accurate portrayal of things that were to come, it is done in the hard-science fiction fashion of attempting to realistically theorize the technology of the future. Considering it was made nearly 20 years before anyone went to the moon, its tackling of the issues and manner of getting a ship to the moon is pretty respectable. Though, as seems common for a lot of these movies, there is some corny banter thanks to a young Brooklyn kid who is reluctantly along for the ride, but that aside, it is pretty serious stuff.

After a failed attempt to launch a satellite into orbit, a scientist, a military man and an industrialist band together to get a rocket to the moon within a year to prevent the world from becoming a one world government, as they obviously fear that the unnamed Soviets are sabotaging the U.S. space program in an attempt to beat us to the moon as, we all know, whoever has the ability to launch bombs from the moon will be able to control the world. After a meeting with other leaders of industry, focusing on an explanatory movie with Woody Woodpecker (which my daughter made me watch over and over) they charge ahead, against some last minute opposition from the government.

Destination Moon, is a straight-forward, low-thrill film and is unquestionablly classic, both as a Sci-fi adventure and also as a brave look toward what technology may lay ahead.

The Name Of The Rose After that, I watched another old favorite, The Name of the Rose. As I haven’t read the novel, I can’t attest to its literary accuracy, but the movie is great! Sean Connery is a Franciscan monk (and ex-Inquisitor) who, with his assistant (a young Christian Slater in one of his first film roles) arrives at a monastery on the eve of an important meeting between the Franciscans and representatives of the pope. He arrives, though, at the beginning of a series of murders which brings out his most Sherlock Holmsian tendencies. A fascinating glimpse into medieval cloistered life, the early art of bookmaking, and a visit to the complicated world of religious heresy and medieval politics, all in a wonderful and convoluted monastery set with intriguing murders and all around. Connery is great here, and right at my favorite era of his career, right between Highlander and The Untouchables.

As one might imagine, Connery trying to get to the bottom of things makes a number of folks rather nervous, and the arrival of F Murray Abraham as a rival from his Inquisitor days only serves to bring things to a head. The Name of the Rose is an intriguing, serious, and yet fun, movie of people who are filled with medieval fears: of the devil, of the evils of cavorting with women, of heretical writings… And a story of murder and the accusation of sin being used as an excuse to cover a desperate fear of losing power.

but stallone? really…

Get Carter Admittedly, I’m about the first to oppose movie re-makes anyway. Also, I do like Michael Caine and am generally fond of British crime movies… So, naturally, when they remade Get Carter 10 years ago starring Stallone in the Caine role, I was, well, not sceptical but, rather, hostile. . Of course, I never did see the remake and, most certainly, Stallone had earlier redeemed 15 years of crap (considering First Blood, or maybe even Nighthawks to be his last good film) with his great performance in the incredible Cop Land, but I don’t get the feeling that the respectability really returned, especially not putting him in the same league as Michael Caine. But, honestly, I had never seen (nor heard of) the Caine Original until the remake came out. So a week or so ago, I sat down to watch Get Carter for the first time and, well… It is not one that I’ll be keeping around.

The story was workable, some of the cinematography was quite good and Caine was good, but the generally weak acting of everyone else and the bad direction made it one for the mediocre book. Caine is a hoodlum whose brother has died and he shows up to find out who did it and seek his revenge. As one might imagine, Caine leaves a trail of naked ladies and corpses in his wake. I know that sounds good, and it takes place in a nice and grim urban backdrop (though the strange coals carts on the sea were my favorite), but the acting isn’t good, the lines are delivered half-hard-heartedly and the choreography (for the fight scenes) is really lame. It really just couldn’t keep my attention very well.


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