Jan. 1st, 2012

innocent_man: (ctd1)
Clash of the Titans is, of course, Ray Harryhausen's amazing display of stop-motion animation. Oh, there are some name actors in there (Laurence Olivier, Maggie Smith, f'rex), but really, it's about the monster puppets.

The story is basically that of Perseus and Andromeda, with some additions and switches. Perseus is set to die on the ocean as a baby, because the King of Argos is a jerk. But his daughter got knocked up by Zeus himself (as a golden rainshower; for a NSFW depiction, check here), so Zeus actually gives a shit, so he has Poseidon RELEASE THE KRAKEN and destroy Argos.

Perseus grows up to be a Greek Hero, and winds up sneaking into Andromeda's room with his magic helmet to watch her sleeping, which is totally not creepy in the slightest. He learns the answer to the riddle that wins her hand and keeps him off the bonfire, but then Thetis, ignoring the prayer of her now-monstrous son but totally pissed off because Cassiopeia said Andromeda was hotter than Thetis. So now the city of Joppa is going to be destroyed by the Kraken unless Andromeda is offered to the Kraken as a snackrifice.

Oy. Greek myths are fucked up. Anyway, Perseus kills Medusa, uses her head to kill the Kraken, marries Andromeda and all is well. And Hera muses, "what if courage and imagination become human traits?" Zeus responds, "Well, then they don't need us anymore." And I can kind of get behind that, actually.

The movie is fun and kind of cheesy, and the SFX look strange to us now, but when you consider it's all done with models it's pretty amazing.

My Grade: B+
Rewatch value: Medium

Next up: Club Dread
innocent_man: (beast)
Club Dread is a Broken Lizard film. That'd be the same comic geniuses that gave us Super Troopers and Beerfest. This time, we're on a tropical island run by Jimmy Buffet Bill Paxton, this movie's token celebrity, playing a drugged-out singer running a party resort. The other Lizards are the staff, who immediately start getting machete'd to death by a mysterious slasher.

It's a slasher flick, with all of the usual tropes that involves - sex, nudity, drugs, violence, stupid people doing stupid things. I think that the movie improves on repeated viewings, though, because once you know who the killer is some of the earlier bits make more sense.

Best bits of the movie, though, are Steve Lemme and Jay Chandrasekhar playing their bizarre roles (Costa Rican dive master and English tennis instructor, respectively). Their accents are funny, but Lemme's role (Juan) is also kind of sweet and earnest, and the English Putman is a complete tool, but Chandrasekhar manages to make it creepy in just the right amount.

One thing I like was how much attention they paid to throwing out multiple options as to who the killer was, but none of them pan out or really get followed up. It might be Jenny, since her co-workers tend to die off. It might be the creepy, over-earnest girl with the hots for Juan...no, wait, she's just an incredibly sheltered gymnast. But her coach would come after her like a deranged lunatic! Or, it might be Lars, since he's a crazy Coconut Pete fan. Or...ah, hell with it. The movie is fun in a way that not all slasher flicks manage, and I place it just below Beerfest on the Broken Lizard scale.

My Grade: B+
Rewatch value: Medium-high

Next up: Clue
innocent_man: (cookbook)
Clue, of course, is a movie based on the board game of the same name. In the game, you try to figure out who killed Mr. Boddy, and where, and with what weapon. In the movie, this is more or less what's going on, except it's set in the backdrop of the 50s with the Red Scare in full effect, and a cast of comedians playing the colorfully-named cast.

Tim Curry is the life of the movie as Wadsworth, the butler. His employer/slavemaster, Mr. Boddy, has been blackmailing all of these folks for their indiscretions (said indiscretions range from simple affairs to full-out serial murder), and now one of them has killed him. Twice. The cast spends the movie scampering around this huge house, making a lot of clever and often somewhat blue comments to each other, and knocking off anyone who doesn't have a surname. By the end of the movie, things are well and truly out of hand, six people are dead, and we know whodunit...

For which there are three different options. I never saw this movie in theaters, and so I've only ever watched the version where all three endings are played in sequence. The DVD also includes and option to play one at random, and maybe next time I watch it, I'll do that so I can see what one of the latter two (the Mrs. Peacock or the "fuck it, everyone's guilty and Mr. Green is a plant") endings are like if you see them from the beginning.

Following the plot is hard at times, but the writers kind of hang a lantern on that ("There's still one thing I don't understand." "One thing?"). The strength of the movie is in the fun performances and the pratfalls. Yeah, the movie doesn't make a lot of logical sense, especially the final ending (if Wadsworth set all of this up, why is he reading instructions? Why does he take the risk of Mr. Boddy, his "butler," shutting off the lights and telling everyone to kill him? How did any of this really work?), but what the hell. You're along for the ride, and the plot matters less than the immediacy of searching the house. I've run games like that, where if you stop and think it doesn't really track, but screw it, we're having fun.

My favorite bit of dialog, by the way: "This is war, Peacock! You cannot make an omelet without breaking eggs! Every cook will tell you that!" "But look what happened to the cook!"

My grade: B+
Rewatch value: High

Next up: Conspiracy Theory

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