Fiskerton visited, mainly so we could plan properly the Fantasyland Herald, which we have done extensively. But when he visits we inevitably spend a lot of time watching movies. A run down of this weekend’s choices.
Cabin in the Woods
More enjoyable with company, thought the grisly deaths still jar slightly more than really works with the overall tone, still, it remains an entertaining movie and on second watch I got more from the laughs and was able to enjoy the subtleties of some of the acting. Here is my previous comment on it, which I stand by. I’d still say see it, but not with the overblown expectations all the hype may have given you.
Age of Dragons
This is a relentlessly terrible film, do not watch it. EVER! To spare you I shall explain. It’s shot with washed out colours to make it arty and dark, it just makes it visually less interesting. Vinnie Jones is cast totally out of character, Danny Glover is just freaking terrible as Ahab. It’s basically Moby Dick with dragons and the three pages of actual dialogue that take place are either completely unfathomable (why did that one just yell at that one, when they’ve got on perfectly well till now?) or are Glovers character being insane in a sort of really bad version of Shakespearian stage acting, you know, over the top projection and flinging of arms in emphasis so people at the back can see/hear you, but it’s a movie Danny, everyone can see/hear you. Aside from that, there are two and a half minutes of action which makes no sense and the rest of the film is guys sitting round a table or walking about while Ishmael narrates THE ENTIRE FILM including, the plot, the character motivations and the action that doesn’t happen. Lying in his bunk thinking to us we get ‘is this life of killing really for me?’ Dude, what killing? All you’ve done is throw a harpoon in a bar and walk through some woods. You’ve not seen a dragon yet let alone killed anything. Seriously, this entire film is exposition. Weirdest and worst attempt at a fantasy movie ever. That said the dragon effects aren’t horrible and they obviously had some budget. SO NO EXCUSE!
Ok I know a lot of people hated this and I can see where the disappointment comes from. Screen Jackers are right, everyone behaves entirely stupidly and the aliens that we know and love never actually make an appearance, characters are insanely inconsistent and what’s with the only running in one direction. But even though I commented on all these things as we watched (he’d seen it before) I still thoroughly enjoyed it. I mean really, it was visually stunning and I never got bored with the scenery shots even though there were lots of them. I enjoyed some of the characters in spite of their idiocy, it never jarred for me the way it has in other films. Also in spite of its flaws it managed to maintain a sense of tension and expectation all the way through. So basically everything good about the film was Ridley Scott and everything else would have been a bit pants without him, but hell I enjoyed myself. My advice with this one is detach from the Alien movies, it isn’t one really and enjoy a slightly silly space adventure with some grim bits and some very stupid people in it. All in all a success for me.
Tucker and Dale vs Evil
This film was a surprise win for us both. Starting out not dissimilarly to Cabin, a bunch of college kids head on a camping trip, there is a creepy wooden cabin and here we also have a couple of hillbillys, a few misunderstandings and a psycho. Again like Cabin, it seeks to take the traditions of the Hillbilly killer slasher flicks and do something different with them, playing on our familiarity with the tropes. I would say it possibly does so more successfully. It’s hilarious. It’s grim and slightly awful, but very, very funny. The college kids are basically pretentious brats, the hillbillys sweet and a bit hopeless. The character that is the actual psycho manages to be deeply unlikeable all the way through. There isn’t any jarring here in tone, the grisly deaths and humour manage to successfully intertwine and the result is a film that is far more enjoyable and clever than I would have anticipated.
I wrote a piece just on the fun this film provides in terms of unnecessary perving over the boys and Joss Whedon being awesome while back.
On rewatch the film is every bit as wonderful and fun as the first time, in some places maybe more so. Once again everything screen jackers take the piss out of is entirely valid (although some of the cut scenes clarify some areas), it’s still brilliant entertainment. It’s a fabulous film and I love it.