Monday, July 27, 2009

Movies #63 - 65: Bad, Worse and Awful

Oh, silly Pirate. You and your odd assortment of DVDs you bring for me. Me and my weakness for bad films. Together, we might just be the most perfect match in history since peanut butter and chocolate.

#63 Transporter 3 (2008)

If you've seen either of the preceding Transporter movies then you pretty much know what to expect for this third installment. Jason Statham takes his shirt off in increasingly inventive ways, uses his shirt to kill about twenty guys who stand around and rush him one at a time, and then he has sex with an under-aged girl barely able to utter a complete sentence. The Transporter movies are very French...which is my way of saying that they're sort of endearing, but sort of awful. They weirdly fuse solid action moments with bizarre Jerry Lewis-type humor. If you've seen Luc Besson's The Fifth Element, then you know the sort of odd combination I'm talking about. It's no coincidence that Besson also handled the writing duties here. This is probably the weakest of the three movies, but it's breezy entertainment and has a good turn by Robert Knepper as the villain. If you have a Pirate who brings you this for free, I think it's okay for you to watch it. If you don't have a Pirate who brings you this for free, it's not okay to watch it.

#64 Punisher: War Zone

No longer can you utter the words, "they just don't make them like they used to." Punisher: War Zone, the third Punisher film to be made (I know, right?), is a total throwback to the action days of yore. Gore. I meant "days of gore." If you love exploding heads, this film will make you forget about Scanners. What's that? More a fan of the exploding chests? Have no fear. Punisher: War Zone has enough exploding body cavities to make the chest-bursting scene in Alien seem like a Disney cartoon. Huh? You say you want plot and dialogue, too? Did I not mention the exploding heads??? Supposedly this version of The Punisher, played without a hint of irony by the brooding Ray Stevenson, is truer to the comic book...if that matters to you. If it're weird. This is a B-movie from start to finish and, as such, there is a certain joy in seeing Dominic West mug for the cameras in his jigsaw-like skin mask, and in seeing hundreds of people killed real dead, real good. But even judging by B-movie standards, Punisher: War Zone just isn't that entertaining. Except for the exploding heads. Oh, holy hell, this is the mother of all exploding head movies.

#65 The Spirit (2008)

What the fuck? No, seriously, wtf??? Here's an example of a movie with an A-budget striving to be, I guess, a B-movie...and failing miserably. That's just awkward. I don't even know how to discuss The Spirit, to be honest. There were times when I was giving it the benefit of the doubt as a campy, off-the-wall, outside-the-box action film. Except it's not campy. It's bad. It's not off-the-wall. It's retarded. And it's not outside-the-box. It just doesn't know what a box is. The visual style, that same look from Sin City and 300, is particularly washed-out and dark here. It's not a fun movie to look at, regardless of what the "characters" are doing on-screen. There are a few good lines, but those lines are only made possible by the rest of the film being so god damned awful...the sort of half-winking, "Christ, this movie is so bad we can say anything we want now," lines. Like Samuel Jackson's character going on a rant about eggs: "Free-range chickens with their big brown ugly-ass eggs. They piss me off. Every time I think about those big brown eggs they piss. Me. Off." Every time I think about The Spirit it pisses. Me. Off. Also, die Scarlett Johannson, die.

Transporter 3 4/10

Punisher: War Zone 3/10

The Spirit 2/10


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