Thursday, February 3, 2011

Three Films Make One Very Sleepy Guy: There's No Waking Up From The SLEEP OF THE DEAD!

Ölümsüzler (1971): This Western is not exactly a shining example of the virtues of Turkish pop cinema. Though there are certainly some things to recommend it - among them Erol Tas, yes Dr. Seytan himself, mugging charmingly as the main bad guy - there's an atypical dragginess to the film's pace, and a painful fascination with scenes of people riding, riding and then riding some more while needle-dropped music you just might know from somewhat more effective Westerns plays that make it difficult to enjoy the film.


Red (2010): Action comedy very freely based on the graphic novel by Warren Ellis (who was able to buy his daughter a pony from the money he got out of this, so there's at least that to say for the film) and Cully Hamner. It's all highly paid actors of the good sort, silly action and flat jokes all the time, presented with exactly the type of Hollywood slickness that makes my feet fall asleep. It's quite an inoffensive film in that it is perfectly watchable, but also a terrible waste of talent and theme (what happens to men and women of violence when they get old?), seemingly too cautious or just too damn disinterested to make something out of its budget (you know, an amount several dozen indie films with ambitions could be made from). It's mainstream cinema at its most riskless, and neither as fun nor as funny as it pretends to be.


Dead Clowns (2003): Of course, having none of that big time Hollywood money does not necessarily save a film from being a bore. As it turns out, in the wrong hands, even zombie clowns can get frightfully boring. Ölümsüzler might drag through the sheer power of its riding scenes, but that's still better than being like Dead Clowns and dragging through the sheer power of various actors and "actors" holding incredibly tedious monologues until they are killed off by clowns. A plot that might just be enough for a twenty minute short film gets blown up to ninety horrible minutes, contemporary scream queens (= actresses who are probably great people, but haven't been in anything worth watching in their lives) appear and die or do exposition and die, there's no editor in sight, and why am I feeling so sleepy all of a sudden?


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