Tag Archives: 2002

Review of Collateral Damage (2002)

18 Sep

Collateral Damage (2002) is an action/thriller/revenge film, following a Los Angeles fireman on a quest to enact his revenge upon Colombian terrorists.

Directed by Andrew Davis (The Guardian (2006), Code of Silence (1985)).

Written by Ronald Roose (The Hessen Affair (2009)) and David Griffiths (The Hunted (2003)).

Starring: Arnold Schwarzenegger, Elias Koteas, John Leguizamo, John Turturro, Francesca Neri, Cliff Curtis and others.

This movie only came out when I was getting over my Arnie-fandom, so I didn’t even bother seeing it and knew nothing about until I actually sat down and watched it recently. After seeing it, I can say that I still know almost nothing about it. The movie is so stripped off any personality, that you can easily not realise you’ve been watching a movie and not a past-his-prime Schwarzenegger-flick.

In this movie Arnold Schwarzenegger is a fireman with a thick Austrian accent. In all his movies Arnold is somebody (insert any macho profession) with an Austrian accent. You are introduced to his family, but after a few minutes with them you get from the somber tone, that they are going to die. Or something. They die. Fuck spoilers, it happens in like the next scene, anyway.

This murder of his family is just thrown in there to have a reason for Arnold to be pissed off and start kicking ass. You don’t feel anything as his family dies and even though, Arnold tries to show us his wacky interpretation of method acting, it is a lot less believable or emotional than, for example, in Commando, where his relationship with Alicia Milano is established a lot better.

I don’t blame Arnold for any of this movie’s flaws, though. There are some other factors, like the script being total shit and feeling like it’s been written back in the early 90’s, but then updated a bit. Also the pacing is crap, since it tries to have some serious political message about terrorism, it layers on a ton of unnecessary exposition, only to become a mindless action B-movie later on. It’s 25 minutes in, when shit finally starts going down.

Also Arnold feels like a horrible anachronism in this. He doesn’t make as many weird faces, has almost no one-liners and tries to dial down his broad-stroke(victim)-acting. We are now faced with the fact, that Arnold has no place in the 2000’s, we feel weird, when people don’t give him suspicious looks, because he’s a god damned 6’2’’, huge Austrian man.

About half-way into the movie John Leguizamo appears, starting to steal his scenes and breathing some fresh air into the movie, but guess what, he’s only there for a couple of scenes and we’re back to the draggy dumb turd-fest, we were enjoying before. Closest we get to one-liners is when the villain says „What’s the difference between you and I?” and Arnold replies „The difference is, I’m just going to kill you!”, sure, it’s kind of clunky and no „See you at the party, Richter!”, but it has to do.

The film is simple-minded enough to seem like a fun action movie, yet stubborn enough to keep jamming internal conflicts down Arnie’s throat, who in addition to never being a good actor, seems to have lost his screen presence. It all amounts to probably one of the worst movies of his career and one of the last leading parts for him. We’ll have to see what he does in The Last Stand. The movie is somewhat summed up by the odd end twist, that you probably won’t see coming, but just because you won’t care enough.

Overall, a very bland and unentertaining movie from one of, if not the biggest action star ever. That’s a big fall, if you ask me. Not recommended.

“So, yeah, mister unsuspicious mechanic guy, go right that way and wait with your back turned to that guy with the gun.”
“I’ll be back!”
“Sure, you will.”

Review of Hellraiser: Hellseeker (2002)

15 Jun

Hellraiser: Hellseeker (2002) is a straight-to-video thriller/mystery/horror film and the sixth film in the Hellraiser film franchise.

Directed by Rick Bota (Hellraiser: Deader (2005), Hellraiser: Hellworld (2005)).

Written by Carl V. Dupre (Detroit Rock City (1999), The Prophecy 3: The Ascent (2000)) and Tim Day (Hellraiser: Deader (2005), Roulette (2003 Short)).

Starring: Dean Winters, Ashley Laurence, Doug Bradley, Trevor White, Rachel Hayward, Michael Rogers and others.

The movie starts and we see that Ashley Laurence is back, that’s great, Hellraiser was at its best with her. She is in a car with her husband and they crash into the water. Why? Because they start kissing while driving a car, that’s not an accident, that’s suicide. Laurence drowns.

You start thinking „Oh, it’s a dream, no way they would just use her for five minutes and then her character dies. Right?” Wrong. During the whole movie she appears for like 10 minutes total.

After the crash, the husband wakes up in the hospital, gets sedated, wakes up during a brain surgery and then wakes up again, so the brain surgery was a dream. Or was it? It’s less than 10 minutes into the movie and I’m already confused, a great sign.

What is cool about the movie, is that it looks like it’s shot in the early 90’s and except for the scenes in the office, where the guy works, there’s not much that would make it seem like it’s not. Ok, there’s a CG eel that crawls out of the guy’s mouth at one point, but the CG is bad enough to not disrupt the 90’s feel.

Then this guy starts getting hallucinations every couple of minutes, so if anything weird happens, I instantly doubt if that’s real. And as the movie goes on it gets even more fucking confusing. 30 minutes into the movie, the guy just wakes up at work and I’m not sure if I’m just thrown back to the last time I saw him at work, like 15 minutes ago.  Did I just spend 15 minutes watching him dreaming?

You gradually understand that our hero is a cheating bastard and, as we know, in Hellraiser movies these don’t have the best of fates. Even more, the guy is just this total asshole and the only reason you sympathise with him, is that you’re forced to, since everyone around him are even bigger assholes.

Seriously, the movie is so fractured that when at one point the guy wakes up from a hallucination that turns into a dream, from which he wakes up to have another hallucination, I just gave up and stopped caring. How am I supposed to feel any suspense when I know that the movie spends a minute in reality and then it sinks into five minutes of some nightmare jumpscare world.  All the scene transitions are him waking up.

However, for an unrelated script, just like Inferno, this does play on the pleasure/lust/whatever else aspect of the series and the tone is even more similar to Inferno than the previous ones, but it’s still ridiculously hard to watch. It’s a psychological thriller both for the main character and the viewer trying to make sense of this mess.

Pinhead and some cenobites do appear briefly, but they’re both unimpressive and unimportant. Just thrown in there. Ashley Laurence appears again at the end in a plot twist, that isn’t awful, but I just didn’t care at that point.

Overall, visually decent, but terribly annoying to watch. It’s torture on your brain that is used to more or less cohesive films. It’s a stupid movie, not recommended.

Pictured: The influence of Hentai on Hollywood(‘s straight-to-video section).

Review of Halloween: Resurrection (2002)

19 Apr

Halloween: Resurrection (2002) is a slasher/horror/thriller film and it’s the eighth film in the Halloween movie franchise and the final one before Rob Zombie’s remakes.

Directed by Rick Rosenthal (Halloween II (1981), Bad Boys (1983)).

Written by Larry Brand (Christina (2010), The Drifter (1988)) and Sean Hood (The Crow: Wicked Prayer (2005), Cube 2: Hypercube (2002)).

Starring: Jamie Lee Curtis, Brad Loree, Busta Rhymes, Tyra Banks, Bianca Kajlich, Thomas Ian Nicholas, Katee Sackhoff and others.

I won’t waste much time, this movie is a piece of shit. I wish I felt like my job here is done, but I have to pretend that I have at least a tiny bit of professionalism in me.

So we start with Jamie Lee Curtis in a mental hospital with long hair (she looks younger already). Wait, what? I didn’t know she was in this movie. Why? But, of course, because she fucking dies 15 minutes in!

It is explained that Michael didn’t die at the end of the previous movie. Well, the explanation for it I thought wasn’t bad, except that the final shot of H20 doesn’t make sense, however, it still made a lot more sense then this movie’s existance as a whole. So Curtis is in the loony bin, killed an innocent man, waiting for Michael to come after her and growing hair. And he does come and kills Laurie Strode. That’s it, his job is done. Naturally there’s nothing better left for him to do, than to come and hang around in his old house, because it surely doesn’t make more sense that he would go after Laurie’s son.

Then we switch to some stupid college kids and then I realise why this is a horror movie as I see Tyra Banks and Busta Rhymes in the same frame in a Halloween movie. I thought „Oh god, what have I gotten myself into?” and the answer was the steaming pile of anal-raped whore shit that Resurrection is.

And the fucking title. Yes, H20 was a stupid title, but this is definitely at the top of the most generic sequel subtitle list.

We find out that Rhymes and Banks has the genius idea to have a live reality show (ah, yes the early 2000’s when people would actually watch a show that is in lower quality than that of the built-in modern laptop webcams) in the old Myer’s house. I guess they didn’t know that the owner is home.

And that’s the main problem here, you should care about the teenagers, but here they are just so completely unlikable and also trespassing while Michael just wanted to chill after almost 25 years of going after his sister. I’d be pissed off as well. When back in the 80’s Gene Siskel and Roger Ebert were concerned with people identifying with slasher villains, they talked about this movie, because here the other characters are so despicable, that I couldn’t help but root for good ol’ Mike.

Sadly, soon you realise that Busta Rhymes is nowhere near the worst actor in this. That is until, of course, he runs into a burning room, spewing bad one-liners and throwing Wat Chun Lee inspired karate chops at Michael. In a way this sounds equally absurd as Jason in space. “Oh, shit. Who’s knockin’ on my door this late? Whoever this is, is distracting me from seeing Wat Chun Lee whoop some ass. ” I’d also rather see this, I guess, made up actor whoop ass than this.

I have to mention this as well, when did cellphones display text messages letter by letter? Who has ever been stuck waiting for the end of their message to finish appearing? No one, that’s who, you stupid assholes. That is not how you create suspense.

Overall, this is a really bad movie. From all the Halloween, Friday the 13th and A Nightmare On Elm Street movies, this is the only one, that I just completely despise and plan on never watching again. It’s a worthless fucking movie equivalent of an abortion gone wrong and still living as a disfigured shadow of what it could have been. Not recommended.

"Michael? You know what, he's a douchebag! All these years going after me in his stupid onesie and that shitty Star Trek mask. He's standing right behind me, isn't he?
Hey Mikey, wait, you know I didn't mean those things!"

Review of Cabin Fever (2002)

23 Dec

Cabin Fever (2002) is a horror/comedy film made by the horror enthusiast Eli Roth on a relatively small budget ($1.5 million). The film grossed about 20 times its budget.

Directed by Eli Roth (Hostel (2005), Hostel: Part II (2007)) and this is his directorial feature film debut.

Written by Randy Pearlstein (Cabin Fever 2: Spring Fever (2009)) and Eli Roth (Chowdaheads (1999 TV), The Rotten Fruit (2003 Short)).

I’ll start by saying that Eli Roth can’t write dialogue, he seems to have learned how people interact from 80’s slasher movies and haven’t been good at that either. However, I must admit that he’s not all that bad at directing, although at times he’s not great at that either. He makes a jarring choice to have a scene where he is playing some bald guy in a campfire story immediately followed by him stumbling in with a fake goatee and acting as a total douchebag.

The characters just suck so much, almost everyone is written as an idiot or a dick/bitch. It is not good that you want the protagonists of a horror movie to die. They are neither likable nor realistic.

The acting is pretty bad, but I’m not sure if they are to blame, because it would take good actors to make the script tolerable and they are not good actors. Well, Rider Strong is sort of ok, maybe it’s because of the horrible performances from the others or the fact that I was a fan of Boy Meets World, but he stands out as not irritating.

The police deputy character was kind of funny, but then again I felt like being slapped in the face by the total disregard of any realism to introduce another stupid comic relief character. Also he shows up twice in the movie and the second time, which is the next day, his moustache is a lot thicker.

“Pancakes! Pancakes!” a kid in a bad wig at the gas-station screamed for no reason, before busting out in kung-fu moves. I guess it was to accentuate that the townspeople are real rednecks and he’s probably a child of incest. You know, a flesh-eating disease isn’t enough, we need some asshole hillbillies as well.

The special effects are pretty great, like when a girl decides to shave her rotting legs and the result shows that she could’ve basically just used a potato-peeler. So yeah, the gore is good, what I can’t say about a scene where they show a dog’s POV and it’s all tinted red. Why? Then there’s a shot where a guy has swallowed a harmonica horizontally, which I very much doubt could be possible.

Overall, it’s an ok throwback to 80’s “cabin-in-the-woods” movies, it is fun if you look past all the idiotic shit. I’d actually recommend it, although I didn’t like it that much.

"This is the last time I try to bleach my femstache using sulfuric acid."