August 28, 2012

Total Recall (2012)

I think this is one of those films that I wanted to like, and while there is nothing terribly wrong with it (actually I did enjoy the visuals a lot), the fact that the 1990 iteration exists kind of ruined it for me. In fact, if it weren’t for the original, this would have been yet another Len Wiseman (of Underworld “fame”) product, only salvaged by the association with Philip K. Dick, which the 1990 version also enjoyed. The fact is, I believe Paul Verhoeven to be a much better director than Wiseman, and despite the 22 year difference between the movies, I find the original to still hold today, without CG and with so called outdated effects. In fact the few parts that raised a chuckle in this version were the winks to the old film, like the 3 breasted lady or the border mask robot woman, who ended up being just a lookalike in this film. Other than the old film, this is more of a Blade Runner (itself a Philip K. Dick adaptation) or Fifth Element knockoff, especially visually speaking, and if it weren’t for the fact that i’ll throw money at anything futuristic/post-apocalyptic/hover-cars related, I could have cared less about it. Perhaps i’m being too hard on Wiseman. He is afterall a relatively competent effects-flick director, and I can’t say I didn’t enjoy this new Total Recall at all, I just think that it was too soon for a remake, and it wasn’t different enough for me to consider it as a viable retelling of the mythos. Also that creepy little conjoined twin thing from the original could have made a comeback, I missed that little guy.

Iron Sky (2012)

Iron Sky has been germinating somewhere in the bowels of the internet since 2008 when the production company put out their teaser trailer and brought it to Cannes looking for financiers. It was supposed to be one of those new productions, with on-line collaborators contributing in various ways, making this a supposedly community effort. I didn’t have a lot of high hopes for it even being released anywhere but on the web, but lo and behold it actually got some theater releases and I managed to finally catch a copy of it for home. I wasn’t really expecting quality, so in that sense the fact that I was well intoxicated contributed somewhat to my enjoyment. For a “low” budget film (€7.5 million) this stands pretty well alongside more mainstream “holywood” productions, especially in the effects department. The acting wasn’t spectacular, but the cast was pretty respectable, with B-movie darling Udo Kier and a few other unknowns, it managed to drag along through a relatively comprehensible plot. The comedy wasn’t the greatest, although it did have some highlights. I especially liked the famous Downfall scene remake. Other than that, there is nothing much more to say. It’s a moon nazi movie, with all that that entails. There are plenty of nazi references, so think Dead Snow, but instead of Teen Horror, it’s a Hollywood effects blockbuster. I knew it wasn’t going to be the next Sky Captain (which wouldn’t have made it perfect by any means), so for what it was worth, I liked it. God knows there are much (much) worse things out there. It’s interesting to see a low budget collaborative web-movie take on a hollywood effects blockbuster style. You know it won’t work, but I still commend them for trying and having a certain success. Now they are supposed to be making a prequel and sequel, as well as a video-game based on the film. I say good for them. it’s about time someone took on Uwe Boll territory and tried to infuse it with something fresh and fun instead of the same old shit that he’s been pumping out forever. Definitely not to watch sober.