This Week In Cinema: March 13-19, 2011

Yes, a movie about secret agent guinea pigs took home movie of the week honors, suck on that Len Wiseman!

This week in cinema I check out Kate Beckinsale in pleather, Tom Green annoys me and some guinea pigs steal the show,

Underworld (2003, Len Wiseman, Germany/Hungary/United Kingdom/United States Of America) **

The allure of modern vampire/werewolf tales has always been how antiquated and tied down to an archaic way of life those creatures of the night are. Even as the rest of the world has advanced they refuse to, they kill with their bare hands, they hunt, they remain what we think of as a vampire or werewolf because that is all they know. Underworld takes a different route, it’s vampires and werewolves are decidedly modern, so much so that I don’t think they really needed to be vampires or werewolves at all. The story in Underworld could have been told using rival gangs, or modern occultists and it would have worked better for me. There’s been a few vampire or werewolf related ventures that have never bothered me with their modernity, Blade immediately comes to mind. But, Blade had a story to go along with its more modern vampires, Underworld has a lot of boring exposition instead. At one point I turned to my fiancee and said, “Holy crap, there’s still a half hour to go in this movie, it feels like we’ve been watching it for hours!” I will give Underworld credit for having a nice aesthetic look to it, but that was not enough to make up for a lack of a story or a film that didn’t need critters that bite or go bump in the night in the first place.

Underworld: Evolution (2006, Len Wiseman, United States Of America) *

Loud sounds, fast camera movement, but no fun to be found anywhere. This movie is inconsistent in a way that is maddening. The main villain is riddled with bullet holes time after time, run through the side of a mountain, and never comes close to really being hurt. He literally shrugs off ultraviolet bullets on a few different occasions, but in the end he’s done in by a helicopter blade, huh? Perhaps the best example of the inconsistency found in Underworld: Evolution is in the transformation of Kate Beckinsale’s character, or should I say her lack of transformation. Every other person in the movie who evolved or has evolved physically changes in some way, but not the eye candy of the film. When she evolves its all on the inside, because if she doesn’t fill out that pleather outfit of hers then this movie really doesn’t have any point. Did I mention it’s really dumb, no fun at all, and really stupid? Because, it is.

Stealing Harvard (2002, Bruce McCulloch, United States Of America) **

I had fond memories of Stealing Harvard, but I can’t really figure out why. The cast is pretty good, the set-up works in a stupid comedy sort of way, but it’s just not funny. I chuckled once or twice, and despite not being a Tom Green hater I kept waiting him to be reigned in, but he never was and because of that he ran roughshod over almost every moment of the film. What’s most troubling about Stealing Harvard is that it was directed by Bruce McCulloch, a Kids In The Hall alum. There’s no way an alum of that show should have directed this and thought it was funny. Yet, he did, and that is very disappointing.

G-Force (2009, Hoyt Yeatman, United States Of America) ***

No, that rating is not a typo. G-Force is an odd movie, but it is a funny one and an interesting one. This is as good of an example as you will ever find of fun film making. Throughout the film everyone involved realizes the idea is preposterous, but they also know it’s a pretty darn cool idea and they roll with it. On the faces of Will Arnett and Zach Galifianakis and in the voices of Sam Rockwell and Nicholas Cage you never get the sense that this is simply a paycheck movie. Everyone involved is having a good time and I had no choice but to get caught up in the fun. G-Force is absurd in the best way, it’s funny in how absurd it is willing to be, but most of all it is a lot of fun. And Last I checked, fun is hardly ever a bad thing.

Wrap-Up:

A pretty rough week, G-Force notwithstanding. I wish my fond memories of Stealing Harvard had panned out and I really wish I had liked the two Underworld films more. But, you takes what you can get, and I’ll gladly take G-Force, it’s legitimately that good. Hopefully next week will bring better things, and hopefully you’ll still be here for the ride, no matter what I promise a good time. Well, I don’t, but I promise me, and that’s pretty awesome!

Cheers,
Bill

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5 responses to “This Week In Cinema: March 13-19, 2011

  1. Wow. I’ve actually avoided G-Force at all cost. I certainly won’t go out of my way to check it out, but I might not run away every time I see it.

    And yea, Underworld sucks.

  2. I was disappointed with G-Force. I’ve had guinea pigs all throughout my life and I was looking forward to this film, especially with this cast. But the film fell short and wasn’t funny at all.

  3. James – Yes, Underworld is pretty bad.

    Cinema – Sorry the film didn’t live up to your expectations, but I had none and was still very happy with the movie I watched.

  4. crazy match in films there.

    I took my eldest to her first ever film at a cinema to see G-Force, she loved it. I was worn out. Maybe it was because it was in 3-D (I hate 3-D) or maybe it was just the over the top action (for guinea pigs) but it wasn’t for me.

    We have it at home now and I actually quite enjoyed it.

    The Underworld films are ok, in my opinion. OK not as much fun as Blade meets Matrix that the trailers made out but I still like a good vampire and werewolf flick.

    Thanks for the reviews

    Custard

  5. One of the benefits of having a five year old daughter is that it does offer a wide divergence in the films I see. :)

    I never saw G-Force in the theaters, or in 3D, perhaps I am lucky for that.

    Thanks for reading, and commenting.

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