Archive | August, 2012

On the Rocks – Absolute Zero Reviewed

24 Aug

A drink or two would have definitely helped…

Keeping up with the latest SyFy b-movies has been a little harder than I imagined since I cut the cable back in April, but buried in Netflix one can still find a few “gems”. And since it’s the middle of what’s been a fairly hot summer, this week’s review is for the 2006 ice disaster movie Absolute Zero, starring Jeff Fahey as a scientist with out-of-control eyebrows who discovers that the next ice age is just around the corner. And it’s going to be very, very cold.

Characters in disaster films typically fall into two camps. They can be active, trying to save the day (and usually succeeding) by implementing a last minute theory they invariably pull out of their ass. Or they can be passive, running from explosion to explosion and just trying to make it to the end. Active characters tend to make the plot more exciting, if generally more absurd. Passive ones allow for more “realistic” disasters to unfold, but they generally don’t contribute much beyond tension – unless they’re well written, which rarely happens with a movie like this.

Absolute Zero has the absurd premise of an active movie with characters that mainly react to events around them. It tries to be both kinds of disaster film, with middling results. Continue reading

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Twilight (or ‘My own personal hell’)

18 Aug

I have attempted to watch Twilight several times. Unsuccessfully.  Now, bearing in mind that I’m actively seeking out a DVD copy of a horror film about birds where the birds make plane noises and are actually just animated GIFs (for anyone interested, I’m talking about Birdemic), making a movie so bad that I can’t watch it is quite an achievement.

A few weeks ago I bought a copy of it on DVD for the sole purpose of writing this.  I really hope you’re happy with this post – I endured nothing short of torture to bring it to you.  The box has quotes on it such as “Truly breathtaking” and “Mind-blowing”.  I’m fairly certain it could be mind-blowing – if you’ve just woken up from a 70 year coma and have never seen colour tv.

It starts with a depressing monologue about death.  Bella (Kristen Stewart) has moved to an incredibly dull place called “Forks” to live with her dad while her mum is off travelling.  One of the first people she meets is Jacob (Taylor Lautner) – who has the most ridiculous hair, and teeth so white I’m surprised people don’t recoil in horror.

Normally when making a film, or a book, or anything where you want people to care about your characters, the aim is generally to make them attractive or interesting in some way – be it looks, personality, life choices.  It’s quite a move to completely disregard that etiquette.  Bella is spectacularly dull – she talks about herself with self-loathing (she refers to herself as “the uncoordinated” at one point), shirks fun, never smiles, and is more socially awkward than a bus filled with chess nerds.  She continually makes what I can only describe as sex faces at Edward from a distance.

Edward himself isn’t portrayed in a great light either – he’s creepy!  He has redder lips than Kate Moss in a make-up ad.  He walks about like he’s been in a severe car crash – he seems to be unable to look anywhere but down.  He continually just wanders off mid-chat, storms about, stares at her and pouts a lot. He stalks her.  HE ENTERS HER HOUSE AND WATCHES HER SLEEP!  I mean, really?!

twilight dvd box

Besides the crappy character ‘building’, there’s also the flawed plot – absolutely nothing happens for 75% of the movie and then there’s a rushed action part near the end which feels entirely shoe-horned in.  It’s like they realised that until that point all they’d done was mope around and flog the “he’s ignoring me” line.  Oh, woe is me, he hasn’t spoken to me in 2 days!  *flops on to chaise lounge*  It’s melodramatic teen mince.

Twilight is infuriatingly slow-paced – being in a coma would be more mentally challenging than watching this. I wanted to watch it on fast forward.  During a chemistry class scene I started losing the will to live – he asks her about the weather and she reacts like he’s just slapped her in the face, then proceeds to look at him like he’s the sexiest thing to ever walk the earth.  Meanwhile, I go off to find a sharp object to jam in my eye sockets to make the mind-numbing boredom go away.

The acting is worse than terrible – I could draw a face on a plank of wood and it would be more expressive.  At one point they drive past a building surrounded with emergency services and Bella says, “Woah. What. Is. Going. On?” with a delivery not unlike Stephen Hawking.

wooden planks

Everything about this film is boring – the dialogue, the acting, the lack of background music, the plot, even the colour scheme!  There seems to be only one colour of interior paint available in the whole town – everything is turquoise, with a blue filter over it.  It’s about as mentally challenging as watching the Teletubbies in slow-mo. Edward is insistent that he can read minds but isn’t able to read anything from hers – surely that’s a bit of a sign that she’s denser than a redwood?

There’s one scene I found quite entertaining (for the wrong reasons) – she walks past a fan, her hair blows. The camera cuts to Edward and shows his paper being blown by the fan. He reacts like he’s just smelt a dead horse.  I laughed out loud at this point.  I’m not entirely sure what they were trying to convey with this, but his reaction is way off.

Everything else aside, I really fail to understand the attraction to this film – it’s like watching people embark on the worst possible relationship, they’re ridiculous bad for each other!  He acts creepy, he threatens her, tells her he wants to kill her and all the while she mopes around and actively pursues this guy who could kill her at any second.  In fact, she wants him to kill her – she keeps talking about how she’s already dying.  This is a terrible film to show teenage girls – it all but encourages them to go after dangerous, violent weirdos and conveys the idea that it’s ok to be hurt by the people you love – in fact it’s quite romantic.  Seriously, what the hell?

Avoid.  Avoid like the plague.

-500 stupid sparkly vampires out of 5