I’m still trying to shake this sinus infection or whatever it is and even though I’ve been feeling much better this past week I’m still coughing more than I should and still a bit run down. During the past two weeks I’ve spent more than my fair share of time watching movies rented from Blockbuster while laying on the couch. For the three of you who care here’s a quick recap of what I’ve seen lately:
Thirteen Ghosts: This flick had an interesting premise, but some very unscary ghosts. Probably the most disturbing one was the headless and legless torso which hobbled around, but in retrospect it wasn’t a very dangerous ghost because A) it was slow as hell and didn’t float of fly or anything cool like that and B) the worst it could have done is gross you out. OK, perhaps it could have strangled you in your sleep if you’re a very deep sleeper, but no one ever got the chance to sleep in this film so it’s a moot point. Most of the rest of the ghosts, with the possible exception of the naked suicide chick, were pretty comical looking. There was only one really cool death and that involved a lawyer and some really strong sliding glass doors. The movie was very predictable. Everyone you expected to die did and everyone you didn’t expect to die didn’t. The problem is that you could break down every character as being either “innocent” or “not innocent” very easily and being in the latter camp was a death sentence. With the mystery of who was going to die negated by this fact you end up losing any reason to care about any of the characters. You already know who’ll make it out alive and that removes all the tension.
The villain was an idiot too. How smart do you have to be to realize that you should KILL the Nanny that was just knocked unconscious in the room containing the equipment that controls your whole diabolical scheme so she won’t wake up at the crucial moment and fuck everything up by messing with your doomsday device? He’s smart enough to build this ridiculous house, but too dumb to consider that unconscious people eventually wake up. Final Verdict: If you’re sick and you’ve rented everything else you wanted to see then check it out, but don’t make a special trip for it.
Ghost Ship: Now this one I thought was pretty cool. Professional ship salvagers are lead by a stranger out to an ocean liner that mysteriously disappeared back in the early 60’s in hopes of making tons of money off of it only to have Bad Things Happen to them. The movie opens with scenes of people partying and having a good time during the last cruise just before the ship disappeared and proceeds to give us a very graphic depiction of how a whole cruise ship full of people could meet their untimely demise. Although the physics behind the scene are questionable, the deaths of everyone on the dance floor on one of the ship’s outdoor decks is probably the coolest in the movie.
Unlike Thirteen Ghosts, all of the characters in Ghost Ship are pretty much fair game for being offed during the film and you can be pretty certain that all but one of them won’t make it out alive. The question then becomes who will be the sole survivor. The ghosts that show up are scary for preciously the reason that the ghosts in Thirteen weren’t. Though at least one of the ghosts, that of a little girl, is actually a good spirit trying to warn our band of intrepid salvagers about the impending danger. Naturally by the time they get the message the greater majority of them are already dead. Final Verdict: It was still a bit on the predictable side and had a clichd ending, but manages some decent moments of tension and a shock or two.
Treasure Planet: Another in a long line of classic stories that the folks at Disney couldn’t resist “adapting” to animation. I put the word adapting in quotes because it’s a polite way of saying that, much like they did with Hunchback of Notre Dame, Disney had to fuck up the ending. Take Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson, set it in space with space ships that look like old sailing ships and somehow eliminate the need for oxygen for any passengers on the deck, toss in lots of flashy 3D rendered CGI work and then mangle the ending so that Long John Silver is actually a good-hearted pirate after all and you’ve got everything you need for a career at Disney. Oh, and don’t forget the sickeningly cute comic relief sidekick character to lighten the tone. Final Verdict: This movie didn’t do well in the theaters. Rent it and you’ll find out why. Just once I’d love to see Disney stay true to the story they’re animating.
OK, there are more reviews for me to write about, but this is a good start for now. I’ll spew out a couple of more a little later.