Monday, February 1, 2010

Quick Hits: 2/1/2010

What randomly flashed before my eyes in the last week or so.

Rest Stop 1 & 2: The first one was a pretty damn good little movie. It built up the tension, made the gore worthwhile, fleshed out the character of Nicole(and to a lesser extent, the cop whose name I forget), and gave us a simple, gritty horror movie. The finger biting scene and the death of the cop scenes, in particular, where quite well done. The 2nd movie took everything that worked in the first, and flushed it down the shitter. Annoying comedic relief, one-note characters("Hi, I'm a nerd!" "Hi, I'm a drunk slut!" "I simmer with brotherly rage!")somehow less gorey, and a horrible end. I do appreciate the ghost sex though, I do.

Transiberian: It started off as a good, atmospheric thriller set on the Transiberian railroad, with a solid cast(Ben Kingsley, Woody Harrelson, Emily Mortimer) but turned into a mindless, predictable schlock. Characters act without any reason, and Kate Mara wasn't nearly naked enough.

Second Skin: A documentary about people who play MMORPGs with a religious fervent. While it do a good job explaining why people like games such as World of Warcraft and Everquest, it really focused on the negatives of that subculture. Game addiction, Gold-farming Chinese sweat shops, and a son's suicide are the main threads of the movie. If it wasn't for the quirky love story(yes, there is a love story) and the section about a group of hardcore gamers preparing for the Burning Crusade expansion, the movie would be a total downer. But those two story threads keep it afloat, the fractured love story(Boy & Girl meet over online game, fall in love, then finally meet in real life) being the highlight of the entire doc.

Zombiemania: A short(less than an hour) little documentry about the resurgence of zombie popularity. It hits all the usual notes, spends a good deal of time on why Romero's movies still work today, and delves a little bit into how the zombie f/x has evolved over the years. Pretty much a light, fluffy little doc, but anytime you get interviews with George Romero, Tom Savini, and Max Brooks, you have yourself a good time.

Joe The Barbarian: A comic book by Grant Morrison(writer) and Sean Murphy(artist), is essentially the Lord of the Rings-meet-Home Alone. And it is amazing. The first issue, as this is, is a little slow, laying the groundwork for the rest of the series, But Murphy injects life into each page, that it is really worth getting, even if you aren't a comic fan.

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