Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Three Films Make A Post: Don't Ask Him Where He's Been

Dragonball Evolution (2009): I've never been too much into the manga/anime this is based on, but I'm also not filled with the burning hatred some people seem to feel for it, so I'm (for once!) in the convenient position of being an impartial judge of a film's artistic merits. I'm not quite sure about the film's moral reprehensibility or irreprehensibility, but I'm sure Roger Ebert has already spoken his verdict about that element and also decided if the film is proper WASPy art or not. Surely everyone needs the expert opinion of an old, rich white guy about that.

Anyway, being neither old nor rich, and therefore quite disqualified for being judgmental about morality and art, I can only tell you that Dragonball Evolution consists of one third teenage wish fulfilment and two thirds silly nonsense. I'm pretty sure I would have appreciated the wish fulfilment part when I was a teen. Fortunately, I'm still able to appreciate the silly nonsense, or rather, the excitement the film shows about being perfectly silly nonsense. When you go into Dragonball Evolution with the right expectations (which is to say, expecting it to be rather silly and nonsensical), it's a blast.


Legion (2010): Just watch The Prophecy instead.


Malefique (2002): Unassuming and clever low budget film about four prisoners who find the journal of a black magician/serial killer in their cell and try to use it as a way to escape. Surprisingly, spells containing the names of Cthulhu Mythos creatures aren't exactly healthy for the user.

Malefique is a very character oriented film, carried by strong acting and a sense for the macabre and the bizarre. It would be a contender for the position of "secret horror classic", but sabotages itself with an ending right out of the "ironic punishments for beginners" book the guys making the Wishmaster films left lying around. Sometimes, a bad ending doesn't hurt a film much, but in Malefique's case it shows the film to be less intelligent and more conventional in spirit than I had assumed it was. It is still a film worth watching.

Speaking of conventional, director Eric Valette has gone on to make the terrible remake of One Missed Call. Sometimes, things are worse than one expects.


No comments: