Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Three Films Make A Post: Live by the gun. Die by the gun. Come back for more...

Machete Kills (2013): Objectively, there's not much of a difference between this one and the first adventure of mythical superman Danny Trejo. Subjectively, I didn't enjoy the second film nearly as much as the first one, or really, enjoyed it at all. It might be because some jokes don't get funnier by repetition, or because director Roberto Rodriguez has now completely fallen under the spell of urine-based colour schemes, and I never liked the colour yellow all that much, and certainly not to the exclusion of all other colours in the spectrum, or just because Machete really wasn't a film screaming for a sequel. In the end, I just didn't find much to enjoy in the film.

King Kong (1933): One thing I always forget about the Merian C. Cooper's and Ernest B. Schoedsack's King Kong - probably because of its status as a "classic" - is how hard the film is working for its audience's enthusiasm. Willis O'Brien's special effects work is not just pioneering, it's also still overwhelming in the sheer number of effects and the pace with which they rain down on the audience after a necessarily slow first half hour. Once the film's middle is reached, the film’s sheer speed becomes so exhilarating, most of our blockbusters right now can only dream of it. Just a few of King Kong's contemporaries outside the musical genre managed to feel this alive, the film seemingly breathing pure energy and sheer enthusiasm for filmmaking as a visceral thing. Even after eighty years, it's still glorious.

Children of the Corn 666: Isaac's Return (1999): We don't know what happened to Children of the Corn films 6 to 665 but if they are anything like this outing, I'm rather glad they don't exist, for Kari Skogland's direct-to-video anti-epic is more than enough to convince me to keep away from films with the words "children" and "corn" in the title for the next few hundred years. I do appreciate that this film actually is a sequel to the earlier films, but its continuity is confused to say the least. Bizarrely, someone involved in the production decided to leave out the more interesting parts of the series' mythology, so there's little fun with creepy kids or cornfield-dwelling supernatural entities to be had (and what we get to learn about said cornfield-dwelling entity is so lame I would have preferred a complete absence). Instead we get, well, a lot of nothing consisting of some lame pseudo-shocks, many a non-surprising surprise, and the only visible effort to keep the prospective audience awake consisting of featuring Stacy Keach and Nancy Allen in roles that - again - amount to nothing of interest in a film beyond even trying to be vaguely entertaining.


Doug Bolden said...

Ah, Children of the Corn. I made it through 5. Up *to* 5 with something delight and delirium. Then after 5, I just...couldn't. One day I hope to finish them, but I don't know if I can. The scars run deep.

houseinrlyeh aka Denis said...

I'm pretty sure 666 would not have improved your situation there.
There's pain and then there's, well...this.