Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Double Bubble

Somehow, in the last few days, I managed to take time out from my busy schedule of chasing down an unwilling 7 year old and spraying her throat with Cloraseptic, to watch 2 movies, neither of which I hated like poison. Huh!

The first one was Cube Zero:

This movie was BAD. I don't mean 'bad' like, "Oooh, that dude is Baaaad", I mean bad as in 'not good' (for the record, I have never in my life uttered the sentence 'oooh that dude is bad'-I don't want anyone thinking I talk like that). It stars a cast of...Several people you've never heard of (The lead actor DID seem very familiar to me, and it wasn't until close to the end of the movie when I figured out where I knew him from. I am not going to SAY where I knew him from, because that would be an admittance that I actually watched that show, and too many people know about that already), none of whom were burdened with an overabundance of talent. The dialogue was God-awful, and the characters were all pretty one-note.

The plot, as near as I can figure it, is: there's this big building-it's a prison or something-that's shaped like a big cube, and it's got 26 separate cells. Some of these cells have deadly traps in them (which the prisoners test by flinging a boot into the room-seriously), and the prisoners go from one to the other, trying to get to the edge, or maybe the center-I really have no idea-so they can escape. There's 2 guys that watch and moniter the prisoners, and one of them decides to help the new lady-person prisoner escape so she can return to her daughter, but that means that he has to go in after her, and in effect, become a prisoner himself. Ya dig?

This movie was terrible, and I loved every bit of it. You've got THAT plot, you've got a death machine that has great, big buttons on it that read "Yes" and "No" (they employ said machine during 'exit' tests, where they ask the prisoners if they believe in God-I was howling), you've got your overdone, cartoonish villain (complete with bad-movie villain staple: the disfigurement, in this case his eye), you've got your heroine, who apparently thinks that THE performance to rip-off is Terminator 2-era Linda Hamilton, and you've got your annoying fat guy who attempts to serve as comic relief. So, so, bad. If loving this movie is wrong, I don't wanna be right.

The second movie I watched, and loved for entirely different reasons, was Ravenous:

This one is a bit tougher to explain, but I'll just rip-off the description from IMDB:

Captain John Boyd receives a promotion after defeating the enemy command in a battle of the Mexican-American War, but because the general realizes it was an act of cowardice that got him there, he is given a backhanded promotion to Fort Spencer, where he is third in command. The others at the fort are two Indians, George and his sister, Martha, who came with the place, Chaplain Toffler, Reich, the soldier; Cleaves, a drugged-up cook; and Knox, who is frequently drunk. When a Scottish stranger named Colquhoun appears and recovers from frostbite almost instantly after being bathed, he tells a story about his party leader, Ives, eating members of the party to survive. As part of their duty, they must go up to the cave where this occurred to see if any have survived. Only Martha, Knox, and Cleaves stay behind. George warns that since Colquhoun admits to eating human flesh, he must be a Windigo, a ravenous cannibalistic creature.

This movie kicks all kinds of ass. It's billed as a horror movie, but at it's core, it's a dark comedy, and dark comedies are my very reason for being. Some people might be put off by the whole cannibalism thing, but not I. Of course, I don't condone the ingesting of human flesh-that would be wrong-but in the setting of a work of fiction it doesn't bother me. Plus, it makes for some very fine morbid humor (Colquhoun/Ives waxing philisophical while eating a stew made from Knox-parts:" Ben Franklin once said 'Eat to live, don't live to eat. Hmm? Hmmmm?"). Also, I automatically love any film that has lively bluegrass music playing during a grisly murder/chase scene (the score was co-composed by Damon Albarn, God bless 'im).

All the characters in this movie are played as quirky misfits (save for Guy Pearce as Boyd-he's all broody due to the ravages of war and whatnot), my favorites being David Arquette (sure, I like David Arquette okay) as pothead cook Cleaves, and Robert Carlyle as the Charlie Manson-looking Colquhoun/Ives. As a matter of fact, all the actors do fine work here....Except for one.

I think Guy Pearce has it in him to put in a performance that isn't completely wooden (in fact, I know he can-witness The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert), but for some reason, he tends to choose roles that just don't play to his abilities. His Boyd was the film's biggest flaw, and he seems to bring down the batting average of a lot of the movies he's in. Don't get me wrong, Memento and LA Confidential (and Ravenous) were fine films, but that was almost in spite of him. I like him well enough, and he's certainly easy on the eyes, but he needs to liven it up a bit. That's all I'm sayin'. Overall though, I ♥ Ravenous, and I wouldn't be averse to watching it again some time.... If I can get time out from Cloraseptic duty. Sigh.