Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Summer Movies!

Transformers comes out today, and I thought I would celebrate by looking over my Netflix queue and impart some hard earned wisdom. So, here is a quick look at what I've seen recently and how I feel about it.

When I was a kid my favorite show was The Incredible Hulk, at least it was during it's run on TV. As a side note, I thought Lou Ferrigno was the greatest actor of the 20th century. So, when he graced the silver screen as Hercules in the early 80's I was pretty much the first, and only kid, lined up to go see it.

What could make this better? I know, lasers!
Ah, memories. Anyway, when I found it on Netflix I sat my poor wife down and told her to prepare for an afternoon of awesome.

Wow. I can't begin to describe this movie. You have to watch it to understand. But I'm pretty sure there were lots of drugs involved in the making of this film. There had to be. At one point when some king wanted Hercules slain, he called some goddess (I should know who it was, I just forgot), and she showed her machines of death - which were all about 6 inches tall.The wicked king says, "These will obviously grow to enormous size upon entering earth's atmosphere."


That pretty much is as about as dramatic as it gets, but man, what a trip. When we were done I turned to my wife and said, "Did that just happen?"

She shrugged and said we can never discuss what we just saw again. Do yourself a favor and see it for yourself. I feel stoned just thinking about it.

Next, I turned my attention to another of the gods, this one from my Norse brothers, The Mighty Thor. I can't say too much about this except that it might be the worst thing possible if it weren't for Richard Grieco rocking the screen as Loki.

Honestly, there may have been a plot, maybe, but  I don't know what it may have been. Thor is a big sissy, he has an older brother that's cool and tough, and when Odin and Thor's unnamed older bro get murdered by Loki, sissy Thor has to run around and... um... well, I'm not sure what he does, I think I fell asleep. 

I watched the second half a few weeks later, still unsure of the plot, Loki wants the hammer of invincibility, which he has no problem taking from Thor, Thor can't get it back so he makes his own hammer, um, with his bare hands... out of Lava... while in Hell!

Geez, this one has it all, bad acting, bad directing, crappy fx, but if just doesn't feel as drug influenced as Hercules did, it's more like the director wanted you to think he was high the whole time, but he really wasn't. It's fun enough I suppose, but not a must see. I'd skip it.

However, for the love of all that is good and beautiful in this world, never, ever, no matter how much you might want to, no matter how much your friend swears it can't be that bad, should you ever watch Valhalla Rising.

I've seen bad movies, sometimes they're charming and fun in their awfulness. This mess is the most god awful dreck I've ever seen. It's about a guy that... wait. It's about a kid that hangs out with a guy... hold on, that isn't it either. 

Okay, these guys are going to fight in the crusades, they pick up a one eyed pit fighter and then get lost, they run around all these beautiful landscapes and moan about how scary it is, then they die. There probably is about 5 minutes of dialog in the whole movie. The rest is slow mo shots of people staring. Seriously, just staring. I can't believe I considered stopping that crappy Thor movie but still managed to sit through this.

Yes, I just gave a spoiler, trust me, if you're pissed about that then I don't like you. I'm doing you all a favor by telling you about it all now. If you ever see this you'll be like, "Damn, nothing I've ever seen before could prepare for how awful this is. I'm going to make a bunch of tracts to hand out to people warning them of the dangers of this movie."

Never. Ever. See. This. Movie.

Whew. I feel awful just thinking about those last couple. Ugh. I'll stop here, let you percolate on it for a bit and get back to you for part 2 in a couple of days. A few I actually like are in there.


I couldn't find an embeddable YouTube trailer for Hercules - but here's one for Hercules II


Rogue Mutt said...

I saw a few minutes of that Hercules movie and it was God awful. "Flash Gordon" was just as terrible. Though another 2 1/2 hours of Transformers sounds like torture. And I'm a huge Transformers fan from way back!

Raquel Byrnes said...

LOL! Staring, really? In slow motion...what for? A really dramatic blink? Great review. You had me laughing.
Edge of Your Seat Romance

mooderino said...

I imagine 30 years from now people will be saying the same things about Transformers and The Green Lantern. May not take 30 years.

Moody Writing

M.J. Fifield said...

Oh, I am so watching Hercules with Lou Ferrigno. And probably the others too. I am always on the look out for a really terrible movie out of which to make a new drinking game.

Thanks for sharing!

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

I actually liked Valhalla Rising, although I don't think liked is the proper word. It was original.
Now I see why you were grumbling about your wife's movies showing up in your NetFlix recommendations.

Laila Knight said...

I'm pretty sure I saw that version of Hercules. (About the Hulk. I liked the guy who played David Banner.) Okay, am I wrong, or is this the one where Hercules cleans house for the king by pouring a lake into the building just so he can get a kiss from his redheaded princess daughter? Isn't there a sorceres involved that gets the hots for him because her spell backfires? This was a long time ago, but I remember thinking he should have aced the princess and stuck it out with the sorceres. Or I'm thinking about a different movie altogether and confusing you. In which case you're very welcome. Confusion is good for a Thursday.

Rusty Webb said...

Rogue - Flash Gordon was very campy, I'm not sure if I'd put in on the same level of bizarre as Hercules though. Had way better music for sure.
Raquel - slo mo staring, slo mo killing, slo mo breathing. I think they cut the movie together and realized they only had 40 minutes of footage - so they played it all back at half speed. Problem solved.
Mooderino - I don't know, some movies age better than others, but Transformers will probably always have some nostalgic charm for some, Green Lantern I'm not sure about - I read the funniest movie review in my life about that one - made it seem pretty hard to watch.
MJ - I should have been drinking for sure during these, although I felt like I was with Hercules. I wish someone would give them the MST3k treatment. Except Valhalla Rising, that should be destroyed.
Alex - That makes me sad. It's not often that a movie strikes me as sourly as that one did... and I have watched some really bad ones too. But, it's just proof that making a movie that everyone likes (or can tolerate) isn't simple.
It was original though. Staring into the distance has never been done so, um, so, ah... hmmmm... so much.
Laila - You called it. You have the right movie. And yes, the sorceress came off much better that the princess did in the movie. I think Herc loved the ideal of the princess way more that he cared for her as a person. He had all but declared his love for her before he'd even seen her.

Andrew said...

Didn't they have some glorious, awful movies in the early 80s? Hercules, Clash of the Titans, Yor, and the worst one ever, The Dungeon Master. Seriously, that's the worst movie I've ever seen. Although I haven't seen that Valhalla one. I believe I'll skip it.

Rusty Webb said...

Andrew - You're killing my childhood dreams now. I recall seeing a trailer for Dungeon Master and thinking it was going to be the greatest movie of all time. I never got a chance to see it. To this day I feel the poorer for it. Don't tell me it was bad too.

I watched Krull recently, you can add that one to the list. Although I would point out that it had some pretty big named actors playing small roles, before they hit the big time.

The Golden Eagle said...

Since watching people stare can be so terribly engaging . . . I don't think I'll be watching Valhalla Rising.

Thanks for the reviews!

Rusty Webb said...

Golden Eagle - thank you. Every person that agrees not to see the movie because of me makes me feel like my sacrifice was for the greater good.