Friday, January 13, 2006

Rental Reviews: Part 1 of 2

Creep. Rated 'R'
Synopsis: Trapped in a London subway station, a woman who's being pursued by a potential attacker heads into the unknown labyrinth of tunnels beneath the city's streets.
Comments: I've been anxiously waiting to see this movie ever since I saw the trailer back in March of last year. Unfortunately, it never was released theatrically here in America, so I was happy to see it on the new release wall a few weeks ago.

I enjoyed the movie. It had a great look to it and had some genuinely creepy (no pun intended) moments. However, I was a little disappointed too. I guess I had some different expectations for it that didn't happen. While it did have some good suspense, it wasn't anywhere as scary as the trailer alluded to. Also, I don't mind gore, but the operation scene seemed forced and too long. Overall, I felt the gore level was acceptable and not too over the top. I have to admit, though, that the original ending (shown as a series of sketches in the Special Features) would have been a lot more fun, instead of the somewhat lackluster version that made it into the movie.
Verdict Worth a rental, might buy it if the price was right, but not necessarily a must-own.

The Cave. Rated 'PG-13'
Synopsis: Bloodthirsty creatures await a pack of divers who become trapped in an underwater cave network.
Comments: I really wanted to see this movie back when I saw the trailer for it at the theater. Of course, I never got around to it before it left theaters.

I REALLY liked this movie. I know a lot of people (including myself) are somewhat skeptical of PG-13-rated horror movies, but I felt like this one was well done. And though I admit to being leery of PG-13-rated films, that's not to say that I instantly label them "crap." A movie it only as good as it's actors, plot, etc. and this is one of those movies that I think was well done regardless of rating. Besides, I've enjoyed quite a few PG-13-rated films over the years (this one included): Darkness Falls, and What Lies Beneath, just to name a few.

Though I am not remotely claustrophobic, I found myself taking deep breaths periodically throughout the film. All those tight spaces in the caves both under water and on dry land, stressed me out! I think one of the reasons I enjoyed this film so much was because (A) It reminded me so much of another film favorite, The Relic, (B) The sets were so realistic, I couldn't differentiate between which ones were real and which ones weren't. And (C) The CGI was nowhere near as bad as I thought it was going to be. I always appreciate it when the filmmakers make a concerted effort to make the CGI almost undetectable.
Verdict I really enjoyed this fun, suspenseful movie. It'd have been a definite purchase had Eddie Cibrian got shirtless (God, he's HOT!), but I'd still consider buying the DVD for the right price.

Cry Wolf. Available in both Rated 'PG-13' and Unrated versions
Synopsis: Eight unsuspecting high school seniors at a posh boarding school, who delight themselves on playing games of lies, come face-to-face with terror and learn that nobody believes a liar - even when they're telling the truth.
Comments: When this movie was released theatrically, it was originally rated PG-13. I remember seeing the first clunky version of the trailer and thinking "eh, it looks kinda good." Then I saw the re-released version of the trailer and it became a lot more appealing to me. Isn't it funny how something like a movie trailer can determine whether or not a movie looks view-worthy?

Anyway, I was looking forward to renting it, but when I got to Hollywood Video, all the copies on the New Release wall were gone. I took a chance and asked if one had been returned and it had, so I rented it, completely forgetting to ask if it was the "Unrated" version (it was released in both the PG-13 and the Unrated editions). As it turns out, I got the PG-13 one. Oh well, I was already home and if I liked it enough I'd probably just buy the Unrated version anyway.

I liked the movie. Even though I guessed the "twist" and figured out who was behind the murders (Hint: it's all about character development), it still kept me entertained (the cute guys in the cast didn't hurt either). So, without spoiling it for anyone who may want to rent it, I'm not really sure what could have possibly been in the Unrated version as opposed to the PG-13-rated version or how that would have even worked.
Verdict Worth the rental. Good suspense. Nice little mystery if you haven't seen very many of these types of movies. I'd buy it if it were under $10.

Godzilla: Final Wars. Rated 'PG-13'
Synopsis: Godzilla's 50th Anniversary project, in which Gojira (Godzilla) travels around the world to fight his old foes plus a new, mysterious monster named Monster X.
Comments: I'll admit it, I like Godzilla movies. There, I said it. I remember getting enthralled by them when I was growing up. One of my earliest (if not THE earliest) is sitting in a nearly empty theater in my hometown watching Godzilla vs. Megalon with my dad. I also have fond memories of otherwise boring Saturday afternoons being rejuvenated by a good old-fashioned Godzilla movie, anxiously looking forward to the next rampage/showdown.

Going into any Godzilla movie you have to make certain allowances: (1) Cheesy special effects and (2) Bad dubbing. It's just a given. If you can't deal with that then you simply cannot watch a Godzilla movie. Favorite Godzilla movie, you ask? Godzilla vs. Hedorrah (AKA Godzilla vs. The Smog Monster). It's go-go-licious!

So, naturally when all these fun movies started being remade "for a new generation," I was totally on board and have actually enjoyed renting/watching a lot of them. I assumed this would be the case with the latest one Godzilla: Final Wars. Especially considering that The Big G battles all of his foes all over the world (that can only mean one thing...mass destruction of geographical icons: The Eiffel Tower, The Syndey Opera House, New York, etc.)!! Boy, was I letdown. Hard. The whole movie had a Power Rangers quality that I really hated. Complete with fast-paced Technolicious battle music whenever the "mutants" would come on the scene (which they did WAY too often. Alright already, we get it! You're mutants. You have super-secret powers.) I kept waiting for the "Go Go Power Rangers!" music to kick in and Rita to make a cameo. Don't get me wrong, I loved the original Power Rangers, mainly because I had a major crush on that hot Red Ranger (AKA Austin St. John. I so looked forward to the shirtless fight scenes..wha? where am I? I..I think I just blacked out for a minute). BUT, this was no Power Rangers movie, it was supposed to be a Godzilla movie.
Verdict I have to agree with one IMDB reviewer: disappointing. I didn't finish the movie. I got so tired of having to sit through yet another mutant back story/fight scene/flashback, that I said "fuck it" and returned it. Plus, the monsters just didn't do it for me this time. They looked even cheesier than usual (is that possible?) this time around. And what was with the super-queer floppy-eared dog monster thing? Gaaaaaay. Save some money and rent any of the other Godzilla movies.


Blogger Stephaine said...

I liked the cave to much to my surprise. Eddie Cabrian is very, very hot.

Thanks for the heads up on the Godzilla movies. I still prefer the really old cheesy ones best.

Friday, January 13, 2006 7:07:00 PM  
Blogger Kirkkitsch said...

You betcha! Thank you for commenting! Sometimes I feel like I'm talking to myself. lol!

And I agree, I too prefer the original Godzilla movies. You can't top the classics! ;)

Monday, January 30, 2006 5:38:00 AM  

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