Hosts Alex Gross, Charles Lecki and Dan McGlynn watch Quentin Dupieux’s awkward, manic ‘horror’ film, “RUBBER.” Go watch the film and try to suggest a movie that’s worse. We explain it, laugh at it, but still don’t understand it.
Tag Archives: netflix
Big Money Rustlas has 3.5 stars on Netflix? There must be some kind of mistake.
It’s remarkable how certain films manage to still look so magnificent when provided with such shockingly miniscule funding. In Monsters, filmmaker Gareth Edwards is working with a budget of only $15,000, the same as camcorder-filmed haunted house horror Paranormal Activity, an amount that would make Hollywood soil its gold-plated underwear in awe of how Edwards achieved something so visually striking with the limited finances. The cinematography is no doubt magnanimous, the director spending the minimal cash appropriately to sketch a convincing large scale setting; the film is a pleasure to look at.
It’s true, the art department most definitely deserves recognition for the momentous feat, yet Monsters – for a number of reasons – isn’t all that it should be. The director has stated that he wanted to make “the world’s most realistic monster movie”, but in doing so, he’s crafted a creature feature that is frequently a dull experience, occasionally bordering upon a tiresome terrain that lacks in an immersing storyline.
What should have been a thrilling adventure about two terrified individuals trekking through a dangerous jungle under the constant fear that giant aliens are about to crush them to death has turned into a character drama revolving around a hapless guy and gal wandering through a deserted area which just so happens to have unseen extraterrestrials positioned somewhere nearby. Even with this route it still could have worked, but the execution is drab at best.
Monsters takes place six years after a NASA space probe containing samples of alien life accidentally crash-landed when entering Earth’s atmosphere, resulting in obscure creatures popping up all over Mexico. These octopus-like beasts caused a large section of the country to be quarantined in an area entitled, “The Infected Zone,” where people are strongly suggested not to venture. In the present day, the threat of aliens are part of everyday life, with the government consistently bombing sites to try and prevent their spreading.
Our two main characters are photojournalist Andrew Kaulder (Scoot McNairy), who’s looking for his big break by photographing alien-induced destruction, and unnerved tourist Samantha Wynden (Whitney Able), the daughter of Andrew’s boss. Samantha has been injured following an attack on one of the monsters, and Andrew has been ordered by her father to safely escort her back home to America within 48 hours.
A not-so-thrilled Andrew accepts the offer and starts on a journey with Samantha, intending to accompany her to a ferry that will take her home. However, things get complicated when their passports are stolen, and they are forced to take a different trail, namely through the infection zone where the tentacled monsters roam.
I would love to tell you that Monsters is a fun, tense and scary sci-fi thriller that successfully redefines the alien invasion genre, but this is annoyingly not the case. The relationship between the two easy-going leads is the movie’s main driving force, with the titular space inhabitants not making much of an appearance, fading away into the background. While this restraint is clearly deliberate, it nonetheless left me wanting a whole lot more than what I was given.
The grip of the film’s octopus tentacles isn’t tight enough to keep us on the hook, our attention more drawn to the ticking of our watches than the action on-screen. It should be intriguing, yet something drags it away from this opportunity. The weak script doesn’t offer a helping hand either, with some messy, uninspired dialogue that McNairy and Able try their best to liven up.
Our two leads are almost Monsters‘ saving grace, their characters sharing a reasonable bond that at times manages to keep us from dozing off. With a subtle romantic element that, although predictable, seems realistic enough to not appear corny or formulaic, the two mix well together and make for watchable heroes. They’re both kind, good-spirited and seemingly without a single bad bone in their bodies, aiding in how they connect with each other.
Edwards does show a flamboyant amount of directing talent here, filming each scene with hand-held cameras, rendering the film with an almost documentarian feel similar to last year’s District 9. He has surrounded it with an enticing mood and an atmosphere of unease that nearly makes up for the troubling absence of tension, beautifully capturing the setting with luxurious allure.
While the special effects may not be up to Hollywoods’ spectacular standards, they are mighty impressive for a film of this budget. Mostly covered up by low lighting, the creatures look splendidly hideous yet beautiful, towering over the petrified people below and whining whale-like moans. They are, more often than not, decently animated, save for the climax where the CGI is a little too obvious; it’s a shame they’re so underused.
Ultimately, Monsters is quite the disappointment. While the direction and visuals are astonishing for a film with such low funding, it’s still dull and unengaging, moving along at a schizophrenic, uneven pace. It’s ambitious and well-meaning with a not-so-inconspicuous commentary on immigration, but in the end it just falls flat. I’m sorry, Edwards, but if you make a movie called Monsters, you’d better make sure they’re not just background extras.
Five Outta Ten
Sorry to barge in uninvited like this. You don’t know me but I am very curious about you. I have two very important questions that may or may not confuse or disorient you, and for that I apologize in advance–but do you actually exist?–and if so–who the fuck are you?
Forgive me, please, but the fact that this series was created, released, and subsequently picked up for a second season turns my skull into a jar of unappetizing brain-jam.
This may be an exercise in futility; however, I desperately wish to attempt a case study on those who find this alarmingly retarded television show appealing.
As a horrifyingly weak rip-off of Frank Miller’s 300, I expected to at least be entertained by the adventure that would possibly be an effective prequel to the story of Sparta’s 300-man army. But–on the contrary. Watching this show caused me to feel that the only proper way to view it (by anyone) should be while wearing a diaper, and perhaps jamming shards of plastic into your dead, sunken eyes.
The show is so inane, poorly written, poorly acted, and poorly designed that it could literally be considered a form of punishment to watch it…and that’s a criticism I would typically reserve for According to Jim.
It is as if someone over at STARZ grabbed an unsuspecting dimwit off the street, sat him down with a fellow in a mental institution, smearing shit on the padded walls, and said, “You totally have to listen to this guy. He’s a freakin’ genius! ‘Member that movie 300? Yeah? Remember how it wasn’t quite gay enough? Yeah? Well wait ’til you hear this idea…”
Then, instead of running away and calling the police, the unsuspecting dimwit listened to the mind-numbingly retarded idea, and said: LET’S DO IT!
Each episode runs about an hour–and after about 20 minutes into the premiere, there had already been 3 sex scenes, countless instances of characters using modern expletives in ancient Rome (like “suck my cock” and “fucking motherfucker” and “you fucking cunt”), and about 20 slow-motion fight scenes that will make you absolutely hate movie violence forever.
When you pair wonderful lines like, “My boot will meet your ass in the afterlife,” with the gruff cartoon bear voices coming from the over-actors, you’re left with nothing left to consider other than, “What?! Everyone’s naked!”
As I sat, slack-jawed, watching the mess unfold on the TV, I couldn’t help but wonder, “Who is this show supposed to be for?”
And this is where you come in! The show is certainly not meant for me–so it must be for you. And since it’s obviously targeted towards you, could you please explain why and how?
Is Spartacus: Blood and Sand a period drama? There was certainly a shitload of terrible dramatic acting (when there was no sex happening)…so it could have been that.
Is Spartacus: Blood and Sand simply a Lucy Lawless vehicle? After being typecast for mythological roles, Xena has lowered herself to doing green-screen cable action on a show that sounds like it should be a video game starring 50 Cent?
Is Spartacus: Blood and Sand some sort of gay social experiment? Maybe–for some reason–the creators wanted to see how much half-naked beefcake-on-beefcake action men will sit through if they are rewarded afterward with a glimpse of some perky Roman tits…
…or is Spartacus: Blood and Sand a reflection of a network’s opinion of its viewers? Perhaps STARZ has simply thrown in the “fuck it” towel and dumbed down a series so far that it is essentially just nudity and CGI blood. Is there anyone out there who isn’t totally sick of slow motion-to-fast speed movie violence?
Don’t get me wrong, I love limb-flying movie magic as much as the next guy (…as long as that next guy isn’t Quentin Tarantino), but it’s ridiculously over-used.
What frightens me most is that I can wrap my head around movies like Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Squeakquel and The Spy Next Door. 20th Century Fox and Lionsgate Films thinks children are all in the mental Special Olympics, knocking over every hurdle along the way. That’s not difficult to understand.
What is difficult to grasp is how a cable station like STARZ, after the success that HBO and Showtime have had with original programming, has the fucking nerve to try to pass off this mindless dirge as entertainment.
Needless to say, I’ll be watching every episode on Netflix. I mean–seriously–what else is there to watch now that Jersey Shore is over?
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Way back in 2007, I saw a Frank Oz film called Death at a Funeral, so imagine my surprise when I discovered a trailer for a new Neil LaBute film called Death at a Funeral. Should the “too soon” rule usually applied to tragic events also be applicable for remakes?
The original Death at a Funeral was a predominantly British comedy with a few American actors scattered in—but it was one thing that the new Death at a Funeral is not: a white movie.
Before watching the trailer, I actually expected this new Chris Rock vehicle to be a black comedy that just happened to have the same name. It wasn’t long before I discovered that not only is it an almost word-for-word remake, but they even used the same dwarf actor!
This film’s two-time dwarf actor (or maybe he’s a midget) is Peter Dinklage—he’s even got a funny little name to match.
While it is unquestionably shitty to remake a film within 3 years, it is—in this case—somewhat understandable. First, they are targeting the film toward a different (and probably much broader) audience. Second, it looks like a pretty funny movie. And third, nobody saw the original.
If I hadn’t seen the first version, I may be tempted to check out this new endeavor. Okay, that’s probably not true, but I may get it on Netflix when it comes out on DVD.
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