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Beowulf. Sounds like the name for some unnatural sex act a Brit would order while visiting a downtown Berlin leather bar.
"Cheerio mate, I'll have me a Beowulf!"
"Would you like shit in the mouth with that sir?"
"Would I! Soil me like a set of unbrushed dentures lad!"
"Right away sir!"
"Top Notch! TOP NOTCH I SAY!"
So what is Beowulf really? Beowulf is a giant German queen that enjoys shitting in the open mouths of English queens!
Ok seriously. Beowulf, is one of the earliest tales ever written. The original sword and sorcerery fantasy (not counting the Bible of course) that weaves a yarn about a legendary warrior, called on to save a Kingdom from a monster named Grendel. The story is actually half-way decent (I'm referring to the written work in this case), if you can manage to get past the Old-English it's written in.... man you guys talked like douches back in the day.
Director Robert Zemeckis, chose to bring the story of Beowulf to life through animation rather than live-action. An unusual tactic, but with the state of computer graphics being what they are these days, perhaps he could pull it off (after all he did bring us never-ending joy through the on-going adventures of Marty McFly in the Back to the Future trilogy).... or perhaps not.
While the CGI in Beowulf is pretty good, it's still a bit off. What really confuses me, is why spend all the time and money to create this feature through animation, if you were going to make the animated characters look exactly like the individuals that were providing the voiceover. Beowulf sports an impressive cast as well. SIr Anthony Hopkins, John Malkovich, Robin Wright Penn, Angelina Jolie and Brendan Gleeson (he played Hamish, the giant red headed fella in Braveheart, who tossed rocks at Mel Gibson..... unfortunately for us, he stopped). Amazing actors all that provide ample support for the star of this film.... Ray Winstone. Huh? Yeah, let that sink in real good for a minute.
Who the fuck is Ray Winstone? That is the million dollar question. We may never know, however I will let you know what Mr. Winstone isn't. A competent actor, who's career is largely one of voiceover work, and is unable to command the presence necessary to stand side by side with an Anthony Hopkins or John Malkovich, nor is he able to carry a film as the leading role. In Beowulf, Winstone is terrible. Wooden, stiff, unemotional. Yes there are those who would say this personified the character Beowulf, and his true nature, but you are assuming that Winstone made these choices. I think rather this was all he could muster in his limited acting abilities.
You would think I would pan this film for such a casting choice, but rather that do so, I celebrate. Beowulf is borderline bad movie magic. One shitty actor, surrounded by amazing actors. Can you do better than that? Yes you can, because the acting of Beowulf was so poor, that the animators actually had to animate the character to match the thespians skills (or lack thereof) as well. Brilliant. Just brilliant!
The animation in Beowulf is really top notch. Aside from the intial wierdness at seeing famous actors as video game characters in medieval clothing, it's an entertaining film. Throw in the lead actors shitty acting and an awesome battle scene with a giant dragon (which they stole directly from the Bible... remember when Jesus slayed the dragon and saved the Jews?) and you have a bad movie worthy of your viewing.
Hamlin Grade: 6
Timothy Dalton is the one true James Bond,
The Best Bad Movie Lines EVER.
When an amazingly gifted writer scripts a near perfect collection of words, and they are delivered by an actor of the same level of skill as the aforementioned scribe.... we are blessed with an epic movie quote. These cinematic lines, regardless of their length, often become larger than the movie they appeared in, and resonate for decades.
The same can be said for the Bad Movie Line. The exact opposite of the above. Take a horrible writer, have that individual scribble an unreadable and grammatically imperfect sentence then hand it off to an actor unworthy of starring in a Romanian snuff film and you get.... perfection.... but of a different sort. You see, sometimes the stars and moon align, and give us something uniquely special. I myself have been fortunate enough to forge a few epic lines.... and countless bad movie lines, thus I deem myself an expert. That being said, I nominate the following bad movie lines as a few of the greatest of all time.
"So. It is you. The son. Is it not?"
No Retreat, No Surrender
I could have taken any line from this classic and thrown it against the wall and it would have stuck like a corn-riddled dump. No Retreat, No Surrender is Hollywood magic at it's finest, even though it was filmed in a shitty little suburb of Seattle. The marketing for this film is brilliant. Jean Claude Van-Damme as the star. Like I said brilliant. One small flaw in that plan. Van-Damme is hardly in this film. If you get up to take a piss while watching it, you will miss him. However if you are able to sustain that desire, you will hear Van Damme's epic quotation. Actually it is Van Damme's only line in the feature. Barely able to speak English, he takes a break from kicking the shit out of a teenager to deliver his bad movie rhetoric.... "So. It is you. The son. Is it not?" It's difficult for me to cast aspersions at Van Damme because I probably couldn't have spoken that line much better myself. If anything I would have added a few more pauses.... for dramatic effect.
"What does God want with a starship?"
Star Trek IV: The Final Frontier
What list that celebrates bad movie lines would be complete without one of my legendary utterances? This line of course has a special place in my cholestrol clogged heart as the film it appeared in was my directorial debut..... it also slammed the coffin closed on that chapter of my professional career as I was never allowed to sit in the director's chair again.... but who need's that seat when you command a Starfleet Vessel? Exactly. In any case, this bad movie line is when yours truly threw down his verbal chops and debated God, or what we thought was God. If not for a sizeable pair of nuggets swinging between the shaven thighs of one Captain Kirk, the Enterprise and all hope would have been lost. "What does God want with a starship?" What indeed.
"SLAVES are made in such ways!"
Yes even the defender of the Jewish faith, Mel Gibson drops a bad movie line from time to time. Granted, not all bad movie lines appear in bad movies, or are delivered by bad actors. On occassion one of these gems get's past everyone. Fortunately, Mel directed Braveheart and naturally assumed that all his lines were beyond criticism, or revision and we couldn't agree more. During a lovely tent scene with the future Queen of England, a negotiation has gone sour with William Wallace (Gibson). The Princess offers Wallace gold, and titles, and declares that "Peace is made in such ways", to which Wallace retorts sharply "Slaves are made in such ways!" If only he had reviewed his dailys a second time and seen how ridiculously over the top he shoved that line down the audience's throats we wouldn't be here now. Thankfully, Mel's ego came through for us.
"Turn your key sir! Turn your missile key now sir!"
Ahhh the threat of Nuclear War! Remember the 80's when doom was just around the corner? War Games was one of many films that tried to cash in on our fear by giving us a 'what if' glimpse at World War III. Nestled within War Games is a beauty of bad movie line, that appears in the opening minutes of the film. Deep within an underground missile silo, to military men, sit at the controls of a nuclear arsenal, when all hell breaks loose. Flashing sirens and bells alert the men that it's time to launch some rockets (thank you Nick Cage! bad movie line from Con Air.... tons within that piece of shit by the way)! In order to successfully launch a nuclear weapon (this information has been gleaned from countless years of acting), two men must simultaneously turn an ignition key to effect the start of World War 3. At the moment of truth the elder silo occupant is having second thoughts about bringing about the end of the world... of course the younger douche bag is all to happy to accomodate his superiors. The young man in this instance is Michael Madsen, appearing in his first ever Hollywood feature. He draws his side arm and levels at his partner while announcing..."Turn your key sir! Turn your missile key now sir!" Brilliance.... it's no wonder Madsen has achieved such greatness.
"How about I take you home and eat your pussy?"
Shark Attack III - Megaladon
This movie is so bad, I'm still shocked I wasn't in it. Imagine the movie Jaws, if you will, without the story, plot, direction, cinematography, special effects (yes I know, this film arrived some 20 years later and still can't compete in this department) and most importantly, actors. The writing is horrible. The actors are worse. Put them together.... and magic. Essentially a resort community is under seige by a prehistoric shark called a Megaladon and it is up to a local sheriff (heard that one before, god speed Roy), an old asshole in a wet-suit that drives a submarine, and some whore who fancies herself a National Geographic Reporter. The trio join forces, but it's the duo of the sheriff and whore that bring us bad movie gold. A relationship that has been brewing for close to 60 minutes is finally consummated on the wings of a pick-up line, so out of line, I doubt even a sexual ninja such as myself could pull it off. The sheriff announces "How about I take you home and I eat your pussy?" Now on planet earth, such a question would be followed up with a slap across the face, and a strike to the groin.... but not in the world of Shark Attack 3: Megalodon. A pussy is in fact dined upon (actually we are expected to suspend disbelief here as this bad movie line is followed by one of the most tepid love scenes I have ever witnessed). Let's be honest here, you pull off a gem like that, the only thing that should follow is non-stop, hardcore sex, with farm tools, pirates, and a wheel barrow full of STP High Viscosity Motor Oil.... and a wet-nap.
"This is my church."
Some Kind of Wonderful
Before he made the transition to cool, Jesus-looking, drug dealer, Eric Stolz was often cast as the geek, or social outcast in films. In Some Kind of Wonderful, he played... an asshole for lack of better description, who was in love with the hottest chick in school, and decided to use his artistic prowess to paint a picture of her.... and upon her viewing of it her panties would disintegrate and her vagina would jump directly on to his orange speckled, alabaster meat sword. His best friend is also an artistic asshole, a musician, and she is madly in love with Stolz.... but the dumb cunt never speaks up.... so no penis for you. I digress. This movie is a painful piece of shit, and should of been titled Some Kind of Awful, but the final moments of the film, Stolz delivers this award winning line. Walking through a museum with the hot chick at school late at night (this is step one of the panties removal plan) and while tourning the moonlit art, he utters to her "This is my church." It still sends chills up my spine, and through my hair implants.
In 1994 a movie called Deadly Target hit the shelves, from PM studios and they provided us with such fun movies as Cyber Tracker, Out For Blood, The Sweeper, Last Man Standing, Cyber Tracker 2, Recoil and Rage. The movies from this group were always bad but the movies I listed were all fun-bad entertainment that I'm proud to acknowledge to own all on DVD.
But having Don "The Dragon" Wilson, Jeff Wincott, Lorenzo Lamas, C. Thomas Howell, Michael Madsen and Gary Daniels under contract while sometimes was a stroke of genius. (Seriously I really do admit that I own the movies I listed above) We did get movies like Deadly Target which was a rip off to the letter. Indeed this movie was second rate all the way stuff and instead of reviewing it i'm just going to list the rip offs I noted.
Steal from Showdown In Little Tokyo-Gary Daniels (The Bruce Li of Dolph Lundgren who is at least better than Frank Zagarino the Bruce Le of Dolph Lundgren clones) wears a black leather jacket, while Ken MacLeod wears exactly the same style of clothes Brandon Lee does. Also it's noted that Gary Daniels is from Hong Kong and MacLeod is a valley dude who then team up to take out the triads who are pushing drugs also the main bad guy is responsible for the death of one of Daniels' loved ones which is exactly like Dolph Lundgren's character.
Steal from Red Heat- After capturing the main bad guy for Gary Daniels to take back to the airport, we are given a break out attempt that leads to the death of MacLeod's partner and a group of cops.
Steal From Year Of The Dragon-The plot surfaces around bad guy Byron Mann's attempt to become the kingpin of the L.A drugtrade with his youthful gang, while the asian mobsters want to run it with "honor"
Steal from Stone Cold-Gary Daniels and Ken MacLeod thwart a terrorist attack in a court, just like Brian Bosworth did in Stone Cold, except they weren't bikers this time.
Steal from Tango and Cash-In Tango and Cash, Sylvester Stallone and Kurt Russell come up with ways to torture said bad guy into talking, because they don't kill him, it comes back to haunt them. Same thing here, though the torture method is different.
Steal from Double Impact- The climax takes place with Gary Daniels and Ken MacLeod trying to rescue Daniels' new girlfriend on a ship, just like in Double Impact.
Steal from American Ninja-At the end, Gary Daniels' girlfriend is aboard a helicopter, who after an escape, Ken MacCleord blows up said helicopter (Like Steve James did in American Ninja.)
Of course there are probably much more, these were the ones though that stuck out the most. Gary Daniels' martial arts sequences are only average and the shootouts and car explosions are too stupid to really enjoy. Ken Macleod and Gary Daniels put in really wooden performances but are at least better than the Asian love interest for Daniels. Uh Byron Mann is an okay villain though he hardly poses much of a threat, what it needed was Cary Hiroyuki Tagawa or John Lone.
Also the film opens with Gary Daniels stumbling onto two gay men making out, which frankly is uh, I guess novel. Also Daniels is hit on by a man in a coffee shop, and the fact that despite Daniels' love interest we never see her in tight jeans, in her panties (god forbid she gets naked.) which I found strange, until I realized this was directed by a woman.
Also the film features some would be comic relief which basically add up to only mildly amusing at best. Overall Deadly Target is pretty lame, a rip off action flick without a soul of its own. Indeed, I expected better from the Bruce Li of Dolph Lundgrens.
Hamlin Grade: 3
-Board certified professional safety dancer