April 2011

Another blog. About Portland. And other stuff too.

about | archives | twitter | flickr | potma | iphone snapshots | facebook | yelp
rss feed | youtube | links | the burning log

Questions? Comments? Reservations?

Another Portland Blog

Tuesday, November 15, 2005


Zombie vs. shark, etc.

I caught three movies over the weekend. Maybe I should have seen three highly-praised films like "Good Night and Good Luck," "Capote" or "Kiss Kiss Bang Bang." I hear good things about that last one. All the cool kids are calling it the new "Big Lewbowski." Further encouragement to see it can be found here.

But why pay to watch something respectable that will add another fold to my brain when I could:

1. Watch a movie where a zombie fights a shark?

2. Watch another movie about a talking chicken in 3-D?

3. Watch a third movie where Jon Stamos saves "the city" from a dastardly plot orchestrated by Gene Simmons and an army of Mad Max extras?

Case rested? Not quite. Let me further explain myself in a series of mini-reviews.

MINI-REVIEW # 1: "Zombie"

The other 90 minutes of this film could have been anything. One continuous shot of mold growing in an Outback Steakhouse kitchen or an elderly woman knitting. But because "Zombie" contains a scene where a topless photographer is saved from a shark attack by a zombie that just so happens to wandering by in an underwater lagoon, I had to see it eventually. Last weekend's Grindhouse Film Festival at the Hollywood Theater finally presented the opportunity so, obviously, I took it.

The rest of "Zombie" is a by-the-numbers zombie film that doesn't hold a candle to anything George Romero did with the genre but it's worth a look for "zombie vs. shark" and the probably the most unintentionally hilarious final shot in cinema history. I won't say wins the fight but the big fishie does tear off his opponent's arm.

MINI-REVIEW # 2: "Chicken Little" in 3-D

Revolting confession time: for reasons even I can't explain, I've seen every single full-length animated feature put out by Disney (direct-to-video doesn't count). This list includes "Home on the Range," which is one of the worst movies I've ever sat through and "Victory Through Airpower," a little seen propaganda feature the studio put out during WW2. I was determined to put an end to this run by deliberately not seeing "Chicken Little." Not in a theater, not on DVD, not on TV, not while stuck on a plane, never. But then I read an article about the company "revolutionizing" 3-D and, with nothing better to do on a Sunday night, I took a sibling to see it.

We had to pay an extra $1.50 for two pairs of official "Chicken Little" glasses and, while the movie isn't going to knock Miyazaki off an full-length animated pedestal, it wasn't all that bad. It's passable, inoffensive, instantly forgettable cinematic sugar for tots and their parents and, unlike Dreamworks' string of computer-animated crapulence, this didn't contain a lame pop culture reference every 2.5 seconds. "Chicken Little" is roughly 1/4 as good as "Lilo and Stich" but 1000% better than "Madagascar" (saw it at the 99 West while waiting for "Batman Begins" to start. Gimme a break). As for the 3-D, they're really on to something here. When it's being pumped out of a digital projector, 3-D isn't hard on the eyes and lacked the jitter of every other movie I've seen in this format.

MINI-REVIEW #3: "Never Too Young to Die"

By now every single human being on the planet has read David Foster Wallace's Infinite Jest. As you already know, the centerpiece of the novel is a movie so incredibly mesmerizing that it forces viewers into a bliss-filled catatonic state. While the author never completely reveals the subject matter of the film (some theorize it's a looped-shot of the inside of the womb), I'm convinced the author was inspired by this long forgotten slice of '80s cheese. Yes, Virginia, there is a movie where Jon Stamos defeats a supervillian (played by Gene Simmons) with the awesome power of gymnastics. This isn't to say it's the best thing ever (ok, maybe it is) but the movie is completely mesmerizing.

"Never Too Young to Die" isn't available on DVD but can be found on eBay or, if you're in the Portland area, Movie Madness. If you track down a copy and wind up in a waking coma, you can blame "Flog" for recommending it to me and "Lionel Bifida for recommending it to him. This thing is sort of like the video from 'The Ring," but without anything bad resulting (I think). Hey, if you've read this entire review, I've successfully passed this Stamos curse on to you. You've got seven days to track down a copy or...yeah, nothing at all will happen to you. On the other hand, you may wake up with an Uncle Jesse-style haircut in a week. If this happens, I apologize in advance. Sorry.

Oh, it should also be noted that Simmons plays a she-male supervillian. Really.

For a complete synopsis with photos, click here.

BONUS REVIEW: George Carlin's "Life is Worth Losing"

Carlin has been butting his head against the borders of comedy for, what, 50 years now? In each of his numerous HBO comedy specials, audiences laughed at his "7 Dirty Words" bit, his gags about finally giving up Catholicism to worship Joe Pesci, abortion, 9/11 and *gasp* even rape. But in his most recent special, the audience stuck mostly to nervous chuckles. In the last decade, Carlin's humor has come to define dark comedy but, perhaps with no other taboo subject left to conquer, he's moved on to suicide. Sheesh, maybe he shouldn't have kicked the wine and pain-killers. This new special is more de-motivational nihilism from an bitter old crank than 90 minutes of brilliant stand-up from a comedy legend. While the bit about extremely overweight people having sex is gangbusters, after watching this I'll be depressed until March. Or at least until I track down another copy of "Never Too Young to Die."

Comments: Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home




  • October 2003
  • November 2003
  • December 2003
  • January 2004
  • February 2004
  • March 2004
  • April 2004
  • May 2004
  • June 2004
  • July 2004
  • August 2004
  • September 2004
  • October 2004
  • November 2004
  • December 2004
  • January 2005
  • February 2005
  • March 2005
  • April 2005
  • May 2005
  • June 2005
  • July 2005
  • August 2005
  • September 2005
  • October 2005
  • November 2005
  • December 2005
  • January 2006
  • February 2006
  • March 2006
  • April 2006
  • May 2006
  • June 2006
  • July 2006
  • August 2006
  • September 2006
  • October 2006
  • November 2006
  • December 2006
  • January 2007
  • February 2007
  • March 2007
  • April 2007
  • May 2007
  • June 2007
  • July 2007
  • August 2007
  • September 2007
  • October 2007
  • November 2007
  • December 2007
  • January 2008
  • February 2008
  • March 2008
  • April 2008
  • May 2008
  • June 2008
  • July 2008
  • August 2008
  • September 2008
  • October 2008
  • November 2008
  • December 2008
  • January 2009
  • February 2009
  • March 2009
  • April 2009
  • May 2009
  • June 2009
  • July 2009
  • August 2009
  • October 2009
  • November 2009
  • December 2009
  • January 2010
  • February 2010
  • March 2010
  • April 2010
  • August 2010
  • September 2010
  • October 2010
  • November 2010
  • January 2011
  • February 2011
  • March 2011
  • April 2011

  • Clicky Web Analytics

    This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?