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Harpoon (a.k.a. Reykjavik Whale Watching Massacre) Movie Review

6 Apr

Harpoon (Reykjavik Whale Watching Massacre) (2009)
review by Illumin-Arte

Reykjavik Whale Watching Massacre_poster02

Directed by: Júlíus Kemp
Starring: Ragnhildur Steinunn Jónsdóttir
Miranda Hennessy (Marie Anne)
Gunnar Hansen (Captain Petur)

” Twelve passengers set sailed that day for a three hour cruise, a three hour cruise”.
I just finished watching this little Icelandic gem, and I have to say it wasn’t a bad movie. A lot of it was your generic formulated slasher flick this time on boats while on a whale watch in Iceland. The inbred hillbillies who are usually in such flicks, are taken out of the hills, and put in the water for this movie (to borrow a term used in IMDB “fishbillies”).

It starts like all the formulated slasher flicks of its kind, but instead of a group of friends, it’s a group of tourists, from all parts of the world, who are there for a whale watch vacation. Unfortunately there was not enough time, or effort, on the scriptwriter’s, or director’s part to build any relationship between the viewers and characters, so like in a lot of the less successful films in this particular genre you just didn’t care. You didn’t care for the innocents that are being killed, or the fishbillies, that are doing the killing. So at this point, and hopefully without spoilers, I will start at the beginning of this meza meza, maniacal, murder, movie.

At the beginning all the tourist gather on the dock for the big whale watch, it is your typical diverse group you find in a lot of movies (and I don’t in anyway want to sound racist), but there is an unusual way the Icelandic people have of representing (or should I say the stereotyping of nationalities). I don’t want to go into detail with each and everyone in the group because it would just take too long, so instead I will give you just an example of what I mean, there was the domineering Japanese husband with lines like (and I write this just like he says it) ” so solly for my dumb stupid, ugry wife”, his subservient wife, and their girl servant, there is the black guy complete with Jamacian accent who’s gay (so they covered two birds with one stone) the typical air-headed blondes, three butch German women, and one very obnoxious French men (  a constant reminder of why the rest of the world dislike the French).  There is the whale watch captain, complete with white hair and beard and weather worn face played by believe it or not Gunnar Hansen

LeatherFaceGunnar
(uncanny resemblance)

For those hardcore horror fans you know the name, for those who don’t Gunnar Hansen played the original leatherface in Tobe Hooper’s 1974 “Texas Chainsaw Massacre”, only this time he does the dying (due inadvertently to the frenchman). There is also his mate who turns out to be a rapist, and a coward, who screws with the only lifeboat, when it’s needed most. But wait there’s more, now the moment we’ve all been waiting for….. herrrres the fishbillies.

Harpoon-The-Reykjavik-Whale-Watching-Massacre

To make a long intro short when the Capt. died and the mate screwed, they used the radio to call for help, the fishbillies intercept the call, and one of them shows up in a small boat. They think they are rescued, but instead of taking them to a dock he takes them to his big ole boat. The fishbillies are your typical inbred family; a mother, the muscle, and the hunchback who thinks he is the ladies man. We find out that the reason they kill and torture everyone is because they blame the tourists for the fact that there is no more whale hunting in Iceland,(thank you Greenpeace or like the hunchback says greenpiss), and they have been lowered to making handmade souvenirs for the whale watching tourists, well that and they’re also freaking psycho.  As usual there are as few spoilers in my review as possible, so what happens on the boat you have to, rent the movie, or watch it on instant viewing to see the outcome.

The cool thing about this movie and here it comes (I said a few lines ago I don’t do this type of thing I lied so sorry).

***ENDING SPOILER ENDING SPOILER***

They all die except for one who turns out to be as bad as the fishbillies and you don’t expect who it is, ironically the black man dies like the hero in George Romero’s original Night of the Living Dead’s twist ending, one dies Open Water style, and one gets an Orca revenge, this whole ending made the movie worth watching.

I give this movie 2 1/2 bums up

 

-Photo(s) used are property of Kisi Productions and Bryanston Pictures respectively. They do not belong to GeekTheWorldOnline and are intended for use in character and media review in strictly entertainment and editorial means. Their use is protected by Section 107 under the US copyright law.

“Frozen” movie review

10 Nov

Frozen (2010)
review by Illumin-Arte

frozen-movie-poster
Directed and Written: Adam Green
Starring: Emma Bell ( as Parker O’Neil )
Shawn Ashmore ( as Joe Lynch)
Kevin Zegers ( as Dan Walker)

The overall premise of Frozen is Open Water on a ski lift. I found the characters in this film very one dimensional, and I really didn’t get the chance to form an attachment to any of them. I did find them portrayed like all Hollywood twenty-somethings; looking down at everyone except those in their little circle of friends, immediately alienating everyone else around them.

The movie starts with the 3 of them  at the ski lodge, and not wanting to pay full price for the lift ticket. So let’s send the blonde to flirt with the lift operator and get the tickets cheaper without waiting in line (they are too good for that and the world is full of shortcuts).

But I digress, you will find in my reviews I like to rant so bear with me I usually keep it short and to the point.

The story-line in Frozen was not bad and quite believable the way the circumstances happened that lead to them being left alone on the ski lift. I won’t go into to any spoilers for the ones who want to watch this for themselves and form their own opinion.

All this being said and done the rest of the movie goes downhill, just like all the skiers and snowboarders. Only not as fast and with much less intensity.    After about a half hour of watching them on the lift, I was cheering for the wolves that were howling all around them.

Let’s see if I can give you a two line synopsis of the hour long dialogue:

They talk about jumping (they are only thirty feet or so in the air) one of them does, with obvious results. Guys pee off lift, girl pees in pants. After 2 days, freezing guy gets idea to use overhead cable to get to one of the supporting towers and climb down the ladder. Why don’t they ever do the obvious when things first happen instead they always wait until they are almost dead or some of them are? (Again I was cheering on the wolves.)

I watched this movie last night and I can’t remember a thing they talked about for the 2 days they were on the lift. Usually there is a good line you can quote or something, there was nothing like that in the whole movie. Don’t get me wrong there was a lot of potential here. (Adam Green having done Hatchet sparked my interest.) Frozen was just not executed correctly. Can we blame the stars for their cardboard portrayal of their characters? or the less than claustrophobic cinematography?, of which again it had potential.

I say nay nay, when in the military it’s always the generals fault. I say blame the man with the stars on his sleeves (Mr Adam Green). Frozen could have been a good movie if it had the flair of an Independent film, if it wasn’t trapped by Hollywood parameters. For instance, here is an example; let the stars die. Don’t feel you have to have someone live, sometimes killing them has the biggest impact. It worked for Open Water, that last scene was intense and left you feeling like; what would I do? And Blair Witch, the same feeling at the last creepy scene knowing they were all going to die. Frozen should have stayed away from the generic Hollywood trappings and stuck to what it could have been… a really good Indie film.

I give this movie 2 Bums up.

-Photo(s) used are property of Anchor Bay Entertainment. They do not belong to GeekTheWorldOnline and are intended for use in character and media review in strictly entertainment and editorial means.

TMT – Zombie Nation

26 May

Zombie Nation
review by Illumin-Arte

Zombie ntaion
Directed by: Ulli Lommel
Starring: Gunther Ziegler, Brandon Dean, Axel Montgomery

Oh my word where do I begin, this movie made my shit itch. It has to be in my top 5 worst movies list, I wish I could say in my top 5 worst list of all time, but luckily for me there will always be bad movies made, and always be bad movies watched, so the list is always changing.

Lets get this burning pee fest started, I didn’t know what to expect when I first saw this on instant viewing. Anytime I see a Zombie movie listed I know it can go either way, I’d like to think there is a fifty-fifty ratio of good and bad, but unfortunately, it probably leans more toward the seventy-thirty ratio, odds I repeatedly bet on for the long shot, and this time I lost big time. My wife has, on numerous occasions, said that I have a soft spot in my heart for really shitty movies, and I’ll be damned if she isn’t right. But this movie is crap, it’s the crap that crap leaves,in big piles of steaming, hot, fresh crap.

The start of the movie, lead cop with german accent (who has a tough time stumbling thru his lines in English) who has a habit of arresting young women for apparently no real reason, taking them to warehouse (which is a working furniture warehouse with no visible staff) making his partner wait outside while he goes in with woman, and comes out with no woman, but carrying a big heavy duffel bag, and his partner doesn’t suspect a thing. During the killings there is a flashback scene which is never explained, and at first you don’t even realize it’s Officer deutchland’s ( actually you don’t care that’s it’s his) who (again it’s never explained why) keeps seeing a rather portly man being repeatedly whipped about the buttocks with a stick, while his mother, who is in a wheelchair, constantly berates him about his dirty fingernails. OMG who really cares, I’m talking about this movie like it has a story line. What I should be doing is just making a list of everything that this movie did wrong, because there is no story line, continuity, it has poor editing, and the acting is delivered by an ensemble of local drama society dropouts and those who would be even worse than dropouts.

The budget of this movie had to be around the grand total of $1500.00 and that’s giving it the benefit of the doubt that it even had a budget, every indoor scene was filmed in a warehouse,from the police station offices, with exposed sewage pipes running along the walls, and the original cement floors (they couldn’t even afford rugs), to the so called apartment that looked like they got the furniture from an Ikea closeout web site (maybe they got it all from the furniture warehouse they use for the killing site).

In the movie he killed four, maybe five women, but hell, I watched this 4 hrs ago,which when you consider the movie it was a lifetime ago, this movie was an intellectual vacuum the longer I watched the more I could feel my brains being sucked out of my ears, so how do you expect me to remember that long ago.     When the zombies do finally rise out of the dirt and water, the only way you can tell is they have black circles around their eyes (that must mean I’m a zombie just about every morning I get up), they walked, and, talked, and laughed, they even drove cars, as Count Floyd would say from SCTV ahhoooo pretty scary stuff ehhh kids.

It’s  killing me writing this review this movie was so bad I’m finding it hard to describe, all my descriptions pale in comparison to the real thing, as I read thru it, it sounds so fucking lame, but what the hell I’ll stick it out and keep going.

So here comes the wrap up. Crap, Crap, Crap, Garbage, waste of time, waste of film, waste of one and a half hours of my life (I want it back), shit, shit, shit, shit, zombie girl eating bloody penis, excrement, dropping kids in the pool, vomit, puke, hurl, ralph, girl gets snake up her bajingo, ouch, ouch, ouch, ouch this movie hurts my balls, voodoo women with severed pig head zombie chicks told to eat cheeseburgers not people they laugh, time is moving slow, time is moving oh so slow, time is my enemy with this movie, cop becomes zombie, and the zombies become cops, going to take quite awhile to get over this. It’s a fartbox.

I can’t give this movie even a half bum up.

Watch it and decide, or better yet gouge your eyes out with a spoon it’s quicker.

“Monsters” Movie Review

26 Mar

Monster (2010)
review by Illumin-Arte

Monsters-Movie-Poster

Directed and Written by: Gareth Edwards
Starring: Whitney Able (as Samantha Wyden)
Scoot McNairy (as Andrew Kaulder)

Last year in November, we had the opportunity to go England yet again, It was myself, my wife, my daughter, and Kyle (SimplyKyle). It seemed that in every Underground (subway) station there were these 8’x5′ billboards advertising everything from movies, and books, to cell phones, and household appliances.

One of these billboards was advertising a small budgeted independent movie called Monsters. The picture itself did just what it was meant to do, and that was to tease, and entice, everytime I came across one of them I would just stand there and look at it and wonder, what was this all about.

After a little investigating when we returned home it intrigued me even more. I found out that this was an independent film, shot with basically no budget (I have heard totals ranging from $10,000 to $800,000), that it was self financed by the writer, director, Gareth Edwards, that the CGI special effects (which were said to be ground breaking), was also done by Gareth, on his home computer, and the locations at which the movie was shot was done so illegally at times.

Needless to say I couldn’t wait to see this little gem, and yesterday I finally did, they say half the fun is the anticipation well let me tell you the anticipation was all the fun. Maybe in my mind I was expecting more than the movie delivered. If you all don’t know by now I’m the first to jump on an Independent film, for instance I thought one of the best movies of 1999 was The Blair Witch Project (even though my friends thought it sucked) and I loved Paranormal Activity (Paranormal Activity 2, Why oh why?) just to name a few.

I wanted to love this movie in the worst way, and I didn’t. It in no way lived up to my expectations, the whole story line was weak, there was a kind of intro to the story at the beginning of the flick explaining how it started but then it jumped ahead six years, and it lost all intensity, I not only didn’t know why the infected zone was there, or what kind of battles there were for six years I didn’t care.  Most of the filming was done at night with poor lighting making it difficult to see anything, the acting was mediocre, the pacing was excruciating, and bottom line there was not enough of the Monsters.

monsters-poster(excuse me but is it not the name of the flick?)

Except for a couple tentacle shots, once in the river, once in a store, you only see the monsters one time (I want to tell you what they look like but I won’t ruin it). There’s also a part, I guess this was suppose to be important, where some glowing mushrooms on a tree are brought to  our attention, it is then explained by one of the locals that these will be hatched into the monsters, okay I know lets just kill the mushrooms, no more mushroom eggs no more more monsters.

There was one part of the movie, where the photographer played by Scoot McNairy was getting passage for his employers daughter played by Whitney Able ( yes they are a real life couple) they pay $5000 for the boat and she’s suppose to leave the next morning but due to circumstances beyond her control (he gets robbed by a girl he picked up that night) loses her passport so they have to cross the infected zone on foot. What could have been an exciting plot in the movie, just plain flopped.

After crossing the infected zone they climb to the top of a mayan pyramid and finally see the wall that was built to keep them out of the USA  (the monsters not illegals although not a bad idea guys) the only problem is there are no pyramids anywhere near the border of US and Mexico.

monsters-2010-infected-zone-chart-gareth-edwards

 Every other review I’ve read of this movie says I’m wrong in my opinion and I will probably watch this movie again to see if there is something I missed, but for now this is where I stand on a movie I wanted oh so bad to love. Maybe if there was a third party, a co-worker or friend of Andrew, filming this as they went (I know this technique has been done to death since Blair Witch, but some movies can get away with it and almost needs this et al Cloverfield) the movie might have had a different flow.

This is just one man’s opinion,

I give it 21/2 bums up

-Photos used are property of Vertigo Films and Magnet Releasing respectively. They do not belong to GeekTheWorldOnline and are intended for use in character and media review in strictly entertainment and editorial means. Their use is protected by Section 107 under the US copyright law.

A-Team movie review

6 Feb

A-Team (2010)
review by Illumin-Arte

T

Starring:
Liam Nesson – Colonel Hannibal Smith
Bradley Cooper – Face
Quniton Jackson – B.A.
Sharito Copley – Captain Murdock
Jessica Biel – Charissa Sosa

This review has been awhile in the making. SimplyKyle had originally asked me to do this review as kind of a comparison between movie and television show (yes I’m old enough to remember the show when it first premiered). The premise of the show was simple there were four men who were in the military together, who were falsely accused of a crime they committed under orders, arrested and escaped from prison and was now pursued across the country as fugitives of the law. Somehow, and I never quite understood how this entered into the scheme of things, they became modern day Robin Hoods and spend their time helping people with their outrageous problems, using handmade inventions ( I wonder if they were trained by McGuyver in the military), and they didn’t charge any money.

Watching this show I fondly remember that even though they made cannons out of old bicycles, and had machine guns made from old champagne bottles and cake pans (lol) they would have 15 minute shootouts and no one would die some shows not even a wounding, and the only time the bad guys would give up is when they were shot with a cotton candy gun, or a popcorn shooter, or a paint shooting cannon. It was pretty sad but people loved it young and old alike. The cast of the TV show were George Peppard as “Hannibal”, Dwight Shultz as “Murdock”, Mr T. as “B.A. (Bad Attitude) Baracus, and Dwight (Starbuck) Benedict as “Faceman”. The plot was thin ,the scripts even thinner, the fun was silly, and The tv action was full and never lacking it’s what kept bringing the fans back for 4 yrs. (1983 to 1987).

oldshowindexpic
(my how the times have changed)

Now on to the big screen (in reality it was roughly a 6 inch screen on the back of a plane seat on my way home from England). Ok it was such a small screen on the plane, I felt in order to do the movie justice I watched it again on my 62 inch. you know what ? I still wasn’t that impressed.

Let’s start at the beginning. I thought the opening scene with Hannibal getting the shit kicked out him and handcuffing two rottweilers ( I think they were rots I don’t know they were dogs and big) together by their collars was bad, but when he came out of the shadows lighting a cigar and there wasn’t a mark on him, That was my first clue.

The second clue came with the meeting of Hannibal and B.A. (Boscoe) Baracus. Here is B.A. driving in the Mexican desert and he comes across Hannibal who proceeds to shoot B.A. in the arm. Hannibal sees a Ranger tattoo on B.A. and shows him his Ranger tattoo and now the shooting is forgotten and he will follow the man who shot him to the end of the world. They go and rescue Face who is working with Hannibal, and then for some reason they need a copter, so they stop to get Murdock out of a mental ward (how they got his name and why they go for a nut with a death wish I haven’t figured out) and during all these first time meetings they kept lifting their shirt sleeves and showing tattoos like it had some kind of hypnotic powers, or some kind of charisma spell cast on it by a wizard, (these are not the droids you looking for, or, I am not the man who just shot you, follow me, follow me).

The rest of the movie is just as sad. At one point they even tried to show the sensitive side of B.A. reading oriental philosophy and quoting Ghandi.

MR.-T-COMPARED
(I pity the fool who ain’t in touch with his spiritual side!)

The weak story line, and poor character development, made the whole movie hard to get into.  So they really had no choice but to rely on outrageous action scenes and a pathetic attempt at humor to carry it. The problem with to many action scenes is they have a tendency for jumpy camera shots, and spastic editing, making it hard to follow without getting dizzy and sometimes if your prone to car sickness a slight turning of the tummy. The ending of the movie was so garbled with action and a choppy attempt at a sting operation when it finally finished you didn’t really care. I thought before I saw the movie that it had potential, especially when I saw Liam Neeson as Hannibal. The other cast members had some potential they are Bradley Cooper as Face, Quinton Jackson as B.A. Baracus ,and a semi exceptional performance by Sharlto Copley as Howling Mad Murdock, I was wrong, and they were two dimensional.

All in all my suggestion to you is if you want to experience the A-Team please rent a box set of the original series put on your Members Only jacket, grab a Coke Classic, put on the sunglasses you only wear at night, and enjoy. Unfortunately this is one plan that didn’t come together.

I give this movie 2 1/2 bums up.

 

– The views and opinions expressed in this article are solely that of the author and do not reflect the views of GeekTheWorldOnline.com.
– Photos used are property of Universal Television, NBC, and 20th Century Fox respectively. They do not belong to GeekTheWorldOnline and are intended for use in character and media review in strictly entertainment and editorial means. Their use is protected by Section 107 under the US copyright law.