Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Bunch o' Stuffs

Okay, It's been a little bit since the last post. Sorry. Deep in Russelland. First thing's first,

On Sunday night I saw Underworld: Evolution. I've gotta see mindless mayhem somewhere. Thinking about it after the fact, I can see how our children have issues with context. Doesn't it seem like every shitty action film that has any stakes in history then rewrites that history, taking actual people who existed in a convenient time and make them... oh, a Satanist or a Vampire or if it's a he then it's really a she. Things like that. Or if they don't take actual existing people, they make it sounds so similar to an existing one that little old me (who quite truthfully knows fuck-all about world history - midwest public education, folks!) can hardly tell the difference. Well, Underworld, keeping with the vast terrain of vampire cinema (especially Interview with the Vampire and my personal fave, the Subspecies movies) creates for itself a histrionic which, if you were so obliged to see the first one, which I did not, may make sense. I don't know though... After realizing, five minutes into the film, I could not discern Corvinus from Lucian, I just sat back and went along for the visual ride. This was alright, but the pretense of the film is SO dependent that you follow this bloodline (he he he) that it becomes muddled in plot. Now, is it just me? When I go to see Vampires versus Werewolves do I want to be troubled with plot? No. Yet perhaps this is why Underworld has a cult following. Does it do for today what Dark Shadows did for the sixties? In creating a complex lineage, did Len Wiseman and Danny McBride (the films' creators), ensure a following who thought that decoding this complex world was worth it? Or perhaps it is just another one of those videogame things that I do not understand and feel quite the better for it. I'm just really trying to sit here and figure out why they made a second film...

Cause really, what you've got here is Kate Beckinsdale looking like the love child of Aeon Flux and Catwoman (Burton's not Berry's) jumping around and shooting the fuck out of anything that moves - especially if it has fur or wings. The location harks back to Subspecies. Even though it was shot in Vancouver, the sets and people would have you believe its some eastern European locale like just outside of Bucharest or some similar Romanian town (though some characters speak French?). And then you've got Scott Speedman! Oh, good god! What an actor. The man has one, count them one method of delivery. Whether it's a scary scene, an action sequence or a love scene (and Undeworld does take a stab - he he he, I just can't help myself, can I? - at a racy sex scene which seemed to be hindered by non-disrobing clauses in the "actors'" contracts. One arm here, raise that leg a little bit more), Speedman speaks with the sad attempt at James Dean-esque sexyness. It's all hushed brooding from Speedman, who actually becomes more interesting with three inches of make-up all over his body. But just a little. The Vampire and the Werewolves (i.e. the raison d'etre) are so caught up in being gross and scary that they gorge themselves on the former and nullify the latter. I guess you could say there's some atmosphere, but for god's sake, you want atmosphere in a Vampire movie? Noone has ever topped the atmosphere Dryer created in Vampyre. There may be no: guns, t & a, werewolves or helecopters exploding, but it's still about the best film ever made about vampires (except the Subspecies movies, of course!)

If you know nothing of Subspecies then by all means, Click Here

The new DVD pick of the week is... FLIGHTPLAN!!! Yay! Now you will no longer need to wonder 'where's my daughter?' You'll know. She's right there on your DVD pile, right between Female Trouble and The Fly (new Special Edition, of course). You will, however, wonder if Jody Foster has ever taken a shit in her entire life.

The "in theaters" pick of the week is the new Michael Winterbottom film Tristram Shandy: A Cock and Bull Story I've been reading a lot about it, and though I thurroughly hated Winterbottom's 9 Songs, there's not that much else out at the moment to write about. I may see it, who knows. But you should, or so I read...

Retro DVD pick of the week is Baba Yaga the positively BIZARRE Italian film about a photographer seduced by an eponymously named older lesbian witch. The photographer's camera soons starts killing every subject who stands before it. Keep close attention at the end when they apparently run out of money and end the film so abruptly that it becomes a narrative classic (at least in my sick mind)!

I don't know how this one slipped past me, but Full Moon direct has released the Subspecies 5 DVD BOXSET! That's right, all of those times you rented Subspecies from the local video store in weathered VHS cases have come to an end (which is a very sad thing, truly). But you can pick it up here


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