Thursday, June 2, 2011

Three Films Make A Post: Monsters walk the Earth in a ravishing rampage of clawing fury!

Watchmen (Ultimate Cut) (2009): I know, as a good little nerd I'm bound by law to hate Zack Snyder and everything he has ever done with an intensity sane people reserve for guys who eat babies, or are Hitler, but I just don't. In fact, I think Snyder's highly artificial and operatic version of Alan Moore's and Dave Gibbon's Watchmen ain't half bad. Often, the film nearly manages to reach the heights its aiming for with its choice of source, at other times, it gets bogged down in slight bloat or is trying to stay so close to surface elements of the comic that it's veering into the territory of the unintentionally comical, but the latter does come with a territory as inherently ridiculous as the superhero genre (that I love just as much as Snyder seems to do).

In other words, I think Watchmen is a perfectly fine film.


I.K.U. (2000): Taiwanese-American arthouse director Shu Lea Cheang made this hard softcore low budget movie in Japan with a predominantly Japanese cast and crew, and it's pretty much like an outsider's dream of what a Japanese cyber-porn movie would look like. There is some sort of story about a sex-data collecting android called Reiko in there, but Cheang seems more interested in burying it under every cheap visual trick you can afford when you're producing your movie digitally. The whole film works inside of the stylistic parameters of Japanese low-budget cyberpunk films like Tetsuo, just with sex taking the place of the violence, and gender- and sexual fluidity that of less precisely located bodily transformations. Like its predecessors, it'll either give you a headache from exposure to too much visual and audial information in too little time, or make you quite happy in its own psychedelic way.


Drive Angry (2011): Well, depending on your preferences, this charming little ditty about Nic Cage crawling from hell to save his baby granddaughter and driving, angry, is either the End of Western Civilization made film or an adorable attempt at making a movie that is exactly like an old grindhouse film without even a hint of the intelligence other lovers of the form like Rodriguez and Tarantino apply to it.

Being who I am, I'm obviously pretty alright with both interpretations. What's not to love about a film featuring Nicolas Cage grimacing and mumbling, Amber Heard perfectly emulating all the sexy good-naturedness of 70s exploitation heroines who deserved better than their filmic surroundings gave them, William Fichtner doing his best Christopher Walken impression, random nudity, horrible jokes, and a bit of the old ultra violence set to generic rock music?

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