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Slacking off I suppose…..

But I’m back, I think. Well I’ll try to be. So, let us step it up a bit shall we?

The Pacific (1-4)

I don’t think anything will ever top Band of Brothers for me.  It’s ten years old now and it is still fresh.  So, I lowered expectations a little going in to The Pacific.  After the first 4 episodes I can definitely say that this is a new monster in every way.  That’s not a bad thing either.  The Pacific theater of WWII was a different war than the European front, and the show reflects this quite well.  Gone are the brave charges into occupied towns and the long winters dug into trenches.  They have been replaced by harrowing night attacks by a fearless enemy and environments that swallow the men alive.  We all know that WWII was bad for all involved, but this new series makes the Pacific theater seem a little more nightmarish.  Instead of following a company around as BoB did, The Pacific focuses in more on 3 specific men and the hardships they endured.  This works for and against it.  We get a deeper look at the psyche of men who fought, but we lose the sense of brotherhood and camaraderie.  The men are all part of different companies so the show is also less narrowly focused.  So far, despite it’s differences, it will still live on as an excellent and respected piece of work that focuses on a part of WWII that doesn’t get as much attention as its European brothers.

Why I  like it:  Fresh and gritty tales from an shamefully under-recognized group of soldiers.

Why you may not:  Moves a little slower and is a little scatter-brained.  Hard to keep track of characters initially.

Lesbian Vampire Killers

This movie is bad.  It’s not a stinker and it’s not a bomb, but it is bad.  But, it tries so very hard.  And because it tries, and it wants to please you, and it’s not annoying or anywhere near as exploitative as you would expect something with that title to be, I liked it.  Two fellas out on holiday in the British country side stumble upon a town with a curse.  When the womenfolk turn 18 they become lesbian vampires.  The men in the town keep them fed in order to keep their lives.  Let the assault begin.  The jokes are very obviously aimed at a “Shaun of the Dead” crowd, but most fall flat.  There are some truly funny moments, and as bad as the jokes are, they are never wince inducing.  The characters are all very nice, and I’d probably hang out with them if we ever met.  The movie is relatively bloodless (the vampires blow up in a milky white substance as opposed to the red stuff) and the nudity is kept to a bare (ha!) minimum.

Why I liked it:  It’s a silly romp that I couldn’t help but like.

Why you may not:  It is by no means the next “Shaun of The Dead” as hard as it tries.

Triangle

A really cool idea.  Sub mediocre execution.  Three directors each get a half hour of a movie.  One director starts the movie with his own idea, and in each part the following directors continue the story while making it their own.  In this case, a heist gone wrong flick.  In this case it’s Tsui Hark, Ringo Lam, and Johnny To, 3 of the biggest names ever in Asian cinema.   Again, a really cool idea.  Unfortunately it suffers from each director taking the story in a direction they want it to go, while completely forgetting what the director before started.  What you get is a film full of plot holes, disappearing characters, and other people that come out of nowhere.  So why waste my time recommending it?  The three separate parts are all expertly crafted, they just don’t fit.  Had it been three short films that did not depend on each other, this would’ve been great.  Recommended for the curious or die-hard Hong Kong fanatics only.

Why I liked it: Independently the three parts are excellent…

Why you may not: ….Unfortunately they don’t mix well and the whole movie is dependent on this.

Survivors Season 1

The world is over.  A new strain of the flu virus has wiped out roughly 90% of the worlds population.  A diverse group of survivors, including a mom, a playboy, a doctor, and a criminal, find each other, and decide to take the uncertain journey together.  Based off of a book that was based on a 70’s television show, Survivors doesn’t bring any new ideas to the table but it is fun and effective.  At only 6 hour long episodes, the first season doesn’t take us very far, but it also doesn’t take forever getting there.  Though a tad predictable, every character is well written and there is plenty of potential for the long run.  There were two years between seasons one and two (in real time, not the time in the show) and season 3 is up in the air.  As long as they keep airing it though, I’ll keep following.

Why I liked it: Fun ride with interesting characters.

Why you may not:  Predictable and some episodes, as good as they are, just go in circles.

Kontroll

For every 20 movies I see there is one I mean to see but, I forget the title or lose track of it.  Kontroll was one of them, but, thankfully, I was able to come back to it.  When I heard there was a new Predator movie coming, I naturally had to vet the new director – Nimrod Antal (go ahead and make a joke, but he makes fun of it better than you).  Kontroll was his 2003 debut which he also wrote.  It follows the goings on of a group of ticket inspectors in the Budapest subway system.  Funny, sad, dark, and overall a very pleasant movie experience for me.  It has many plot holes and the final point of everything is very vague, but that didn’t stop me from having a big grin on my face the entire time.  The movie moves at a lightning pace and I found myself sad that it was over.  Still, not for everyone, but I think it should’ve had a bigger audience than it did, and I wish I hadn’t forgotten about it for so many years.

Why I liked it:  Funny and twisted little fairy tale movie gem.

Why you may not:  Not grounded in reality.  Characters and plot points are forgotten about by the end, and this isn’t bad just because its weak writing, but because I really wanted to see more of them, and to know what happens.

Harry Brown

If imitation is the sincerest form of flattery then every revenge movie ever should be flattered by Harry Brown.  Then they should watch it again to see what they did wrong.  While it may borrow heavily from movies like Death Wish, Harry Brown is a completely different animal.  Michael Caine plays the titular Harry, an old man who doesn’t whine about “kids these days” he just silently watches as his neighborhood falls apart.  After his wife dies, the only thing he has left is an old friend to meet at the pub for a pint and a game of chess.  When said friend is murdered by the aforementioned “kids” Harry becomes a man with nothing to lose.  Bad day to be a bad guy.  What follows is standard stuff with a twist.  Not weighed down with questions of morality, just ride along as Caine takes his revenge on people that deserve it.  The film doesn’t bitch and moan, and it doesn’t cry, it just does what you all wish you could do when the bad guys win…It makes them pay.

Why I liked it: Michael Caine is great.  It knows its a movie and doesn’t waste time with existential questions, it just kicks ass.

Why you may not:  Pretty violent and grim.  Some of the characters have accents so thick you can’t understand them.