Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Three Films Make A Post: It's not human and it's got an axe!

The Heirloom (2005): This Taiwanese movie starts out as a stylish and effective haunted house movie with some truly weird scenes about the draw of its haunted place. Unfortunately, after about an hour, it starts to loosen up for a few too many sweeping, melodramatic gestures that don't interact as well as they should with the supernatural part of the movie.

Still, it should be worth it for the delightful weirdness of scenes of people in thrall of the haunted house falling asleep somewhere else only to wake up inside it again, with no possibility of them having just entered through the front door alone.


Voodoo Dawn (1991): Two New Yorker college students travel into the Deep South to visit a friend studying the life of poor migrant workers. Alas, their friend has fallen victim to the evil Haitian voodoo priest and ex-Tonton Macoutes Makoute (Tony Todd), who is trying to make a super zombie out of body parts, as you do.

The boys throw in with the local good voodoo priestess (Theresa Merritt) and farm worker Tina (Gina Gershon) to fight the always evil Mister Todd.

Voodoo Dawn is a basically decent film trying to work inside the voodoo zombie tradition. From time to time, it's agreeably moody, but shies away from any actual discussion of class or race and too often replaces atmosphere with (not all that gory) slasher storytelling.

The super zombie is just a very bad idea, executed in much too silly a way for the rest of the film it appears in.

Still, the most of Voodoo Dawn is decent enough and tries not to be offensive, which is more than I would have expected from an early 90s voodoo film.


Star Trek (2009): Given that he is responsible for three of my favourite TV shows of the last decades, I was going into JJ Abrams' Star Trek re-imagining with the hope of really enjoying it. Alas, I found it to be alright at best. It's a typical modern blockbuster, so fixated on being exciting all the time that it's coming out on the other side of excitement again, and gets a bit boring in its hyperactivity. From time to time, the film throws a bone to fans of the classic show in form of an obvious quote, until it is time to get explodey and loud again.

I also would have wished that the film updated the original concepts and characters of the show in a more meaningful way (say by including a female Kirk, or at least one who isn't the old tantrum-throwing egomaniac), and not only by pissing on the shallow bit of humanism the original had. Of course, Star Trek is still more watchable than about half of the original movies, but being better than Star Trek V isn't exactly an achievement in my book.



Anarchivist said...

I've actually seen all three of your movies today. I think that's the first time. So the day starts with me getting to feel smart! Or maybe -- well-rounded. Or maybe like, how many movies have I SEEN?

Not as many as you, though...

houseinrlyeh said...

Nothing can make one feel more well-rounded than the fact that one has seen Voodoo Dawn.

I'm pretty sure you have seen more snake movies than I have, though.