Movie Review: The Crazies (2010)

Howdy there, more Month of Spooks content comin’ your way right now! So what’s on the menu tonight? A remake of an older flick? Alrighty then!

Ladies and gentlemen… “The Crazies”.

Ogden Marsh is a quaint little township in Iowa, a place where EVERYBODY KNOWS YORU NAAAAAME… sorry. But yeah, it’s a nice place. That however changes soon when a mysterious virus starts spreading throughout, infecting the people living there, turning them into vicious killers. And we follow the town’s Sheriff (Timothy Olyphant) as he tries to survive with his wife (Radha Mitchell) and a few other people. “The Crazies” is a tale of survival and not losing your humanity and insert other mid-apocalypse buzzwords. And by that mildly snarky line you can probably figure out my thoughts on the narrative of this movie. It’s fine. I never found myself bored by it, I was interested in seeing where it would go. But in the end I will forget this experience sooner than I really want to. It’s a decent survival thriller that never truly makes me feel engaged. It’s more a passive acceptance of its dry and self-serious narrative.

The characters in this are whatever, serving the story just fine. First up we have Timothy Olyphant (fuck yeah) as David, the Sheriff of Ogden Marsh. He knows to be tough when needed, but is generally a kind dude for the most part. He’s probably the most interesting character here, as we follow him and his perspective on this whole ordeal. And Olyphant is great in the role… as he always is. I just think he’s kinda neat, ‘kay? Next we have Radha Mitchell who plays Judy, David’s wife. I like Radha Mitchell, I think she’s a good actress. And I guess she does the best she can with this material, even though she doesn’t get much of a nuanced character. She can basically best be relegated to “wife” in this. We also get supporting work from people like Danielle Panabaker, Joe Anderson, Brett Rickaby, and more, all doing pretty well in their respective roles.

The score for the movie was composed by Mark Isham, and I think he did an alright job with it. Some tracks are basic loud horror noises and some are basic mellow drama stuff. The music does its job just fine in conveying certain emotions, even if they don’t always translate to emotional reactions from me.

Based on the 1973 George Romero movie of the same name, “The Crazies” was directed by Breck Eisner who I think did a good job here. He knows how to create some decent intensity in certain scenes. While the story felt fairly unmemorable, some of the creatively macabre scenes that Eisner shot will stick with me a bit more. This goes for Maxime Alexandre’s cinematography, which I think is great.

This movie has been decently well received. On Rotten Tomatoes it has a 70% positive rating. On Metacritic it has a score of 56/100. And on imdb.com it has a score of 6.5/10.

While I don’t think “The Crazies” is one of the horrors I’ve ever watched, it’s certainly an alright way to spend a slow evening. It has an average story, okay characters, great performances, okay music, and really good directing/cinematography. Time for my final score. *Ahem*. My final score for the remake of “The Crazies” is a 6.31/10. So while quite flawed, it’s still worth a rental.

My review of “The Crazies” is now completed.

No, you’re the one with a man crush on Timothy Olyphant… He said, speaking to his reflection.

Movie Review: Mission Impossible 2 (2000)

Here we are, the second part in my “Mission Impossible” review series leading up to “Mission Impossible: Fallout” in August. So let’s get into it.

Ladies and gentlemen… “Mission Impossible 2”.

When a rogue agent (Dougray Scott) gets hold of a deadly virus, it is up to Ethan Hunt (Tom Cruise) to try to stop him from doing some bad stuff with it. So we go from a complex spy plot to a simple save the world plot. And I’m fine with that… for the most part. On one hand, sometimes you just need a “hero trying to stop a villain from doing bad shit”, and when it focuses on that it’s actually fun. But on another hand, this movie can be quite boring. The first half to be a bit more exact, as it meanders a bit too much for my taste. But when the second half kicks in, we get the fun, fast-paced, and focused action plot that we want. So overall this plot is… fine.

The characters in this are… well, they are… how do I put this… flat-ish. The first movie had tons of good character development, and this… doesn’t. Tom Cruise of course returns as IMF agent Ethan Hunt, and unlike being a vulnerable and interesting character, in this he’s kind of like James Bond. He went from a complex character to a badass archetype. And while he can be fun to watch, I feel like something’s kind of missing here. Oh well, at least Tom Cruise is really good in the role. Next we have Dougray Scott as the villain, Sean Ambrose. He’s not one of the greatest villains of all time, but he works quite well for the story being told, being an enjoyable foil for Ethan. And Scott gives a really good performance. Next we have Thandie Newton as Naya, a thief that Ethan recruits for the mission (impossible) and even falls in love with. She feels less like a fully realized character and more like a somewhat generic love interest/prop. But she does get some decent enough moments throughout to make her feel somewhat useful. And Newton is good in the role. Then we get supporting performances from people like Ving Rhames, Anthony Hopkins, Richard Roxburgh, John Polson, Brendan Gleeson, and Rade Serbedzija, all doing okay in their respective roles.

The score for the movie was composed by Hans Zimmer, and it’s pretty good. It uses an interesting blend of orchestrations, acoustic guitar, and slightly distorted electric guitar to create some pretty cool sounds. It actually helps to make some bits a bit more exciting. As for the theme by Limp Bizkit… it’s actually okay when there are no vocals, as the instrumentals are fairly competent.

This movie was not directed by Brian De Palma, but was instead helmed by John Woo. And I think he for the most part did a good job. The shots look good and he does make the edit quite interesting. And when we actually get to the action scenes Woo shows his true colors… and man, that is a good thing. The action scenes in this are fast-paced, badass, brutal (for PG-13), and tons of fun. Say what you want about his pigeon fetish, but you can’t deny that Woo knows how to handle action sequences.

This movie has gotten a lot of mixed reception. On Rotten Tomatoes it has a 57% positive rating. On Metacritic it has a score of 59/100. Roger Ebert gave it 3/4 stars. And on imdb.com it has a score of 6,1/10.

“Mission Impossible 2” is a mixed bag of things, but ultimately works if you want some enjoyable action. It has an okay plot, meh characters, really good performances, really good music, and great directing. Time for my final score. *Ahem*. My final score for “Mission Impossible 2” is a 7,01/10. So while very flawed, it’s still worth a rental.

My review of “Mission Impossible 2” is now completed.

SLOW-MO PIGEONS DUAL-WIELDING PISTOLS.

Movie Review: Resident Evil: Degeneration (2008)

re_degeneration

Hello there, ladies and gentlemen… and welcome to the first official post for the Month of Spooks! I know that it’s October 2nd today, but I’m at least starting way earlier than I did last year when I half-assed everything. Anyway, this is the first of *insert amount* posts that will be released by me and some of the poor souls who decided to take part in this. So far, there are three people involved. And if you feel left out, don’t worry, since it’s so early in the month you can still enter by messaging me on twitter and then we’ll talk about it. Anyway, done with that clumsy intro… let’s get into the review.

Ladies and gentlemen… “Resident Evil: Degeneration”.

Set between the events of “Resident Evil 4” and “Resident Evil 5”, this movie tells the story of returning characters Leon S. Kennedy (Paul Mercier) and Claire Redfield (Alyson Court) as they after a zombie outbreak at an airport have to stop an angry man looking for revenge from causing a lot of destruction and death. And that’s basically all I can say there without getting into spoilers. With that said, this is a pretty interesting plot. Sure, it is relatively predictable, especially if you’re a “Resident Evil” fan (like I am), but it’s not bad. I enjoyed seeing where the plot went throughout the movie. The only real problem I have with it is that towards the middle of the movie it slowed down and slightly ruined the pacing. I felt like the movie came to a halt. Luckily it picked up again a few minutes later, but I still felt that slower bit. So overall the plot is pretty good, with that slower stuff near the middle.

The characters in the movie are all fitting pretty snugly into their respective roles. Leon Kennedy has always been a capable guy, and it still shows here. First time we saw him he was a police officer, first day on the job. Second time, he was a bit more cocky and confident. And here we have someone who is a lot more calm, hardened, and overall cool. Paul Mercier who voiced him in “Resident Evil 4” (AKA the best one) returned to do the voice in this movie and he is great in the role. His vocal performance is really good and fits the character perfectly. Alyson Court as Claire was really good, playing this character who knows what she’s doing, but isn’t perfect in every way. And then we also get a lot of other supporting voice performances from various veteran voice actors. And they all do a good job.

The original score for the movie was composed by Tetsuya Takahashi and it is pretty good. It’s not something that will stick out in my mind long after the movie is done, but it’s also not bad. It’s an orchestral score that works for the various scenes in the movie to help elevate the scenes to a minor extent.

Seeing as this is an animated feature, we have to talk about the animation. And it is really good. Sure, there are stiff character movements and facial expressions throughout. But for a 100% CG movie that aims for a more realistic feel, it looks great. Not as great as a movie like “Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children”, but still really good. I mean, when I was watching the movie I didn’t go “Yeah, that looks like shit”. The animation is really good, if a bit stiff at times. That said, the action in the movie looks great, I was really entertained by it. Especially towards the second half, where the movie goes full-on “Resi-Cheese”. Also, it’s not really scary, but it’s at least decently tense at a few points.

It’s difficult to find what people think about this movie, since it barely exists on the movie sites I usually utilize. Oh well, at least imdb properly has it. On that site it has a score of 6,6/10.

“Resident Evil: Degeneration” is a pretty interesting movie. It has a pretty interesting plot (with a slow part near the middle), good characters, good voice acting, good music, and really good animation. So now it’s time for my final score. *Zombie moan*. My final score for “Resident Evil: Degeneration” is an 8,99/10. I’d say that it’s worth buying.
Worth buying

My review of “Resident Evil: Degeneration” is now completed.

You’re probably gonna get more enjoyment out of this if you’re a fan of the games. But if you’re just a normal person looking for a good movie… yeah, you might get some entertainment here. Also… let the Month of Spooks officially commence!