Saturday, July 27, 2013

THE MEANEST MAN IN THE WORLD (1943)

At only 57 minutes long this might be the shortest "feature length" film ever released into theaters.  I have nothing to back that statement up by the way, but it sounds good.  From what I've read though there were quite a few troubles with the production so I guess we're lucky we got anything at all.

Benny is a small town lawyer who can't get any clients because he's honest and has a soft heart.  He's lack of money doesn't sit well with his fiancee's (Priscilla Lane) father.  He suggests that Benny moves to New York City to try and strike it big.  He does and he's an even bigger failure there than he was back home.  Unfortunately he's been lying to Priscilla and telling her that's he's struck it rich!  He knows that the biggest hindrance to him being a successful lawyer is him being nice so in an effort to be mean he steals a lollipop from a little kid and as chance would have it a newspaper guy takes his picture.  Now he's the biggest lawyer in New York, but how long can he keep this mean act up?

The premise has potential, but it's not very funny.  Most of the jokes are stale and the whole thing (not surprisingly) feels rushed and slapped together.  If you're new to Jack Benny you'd be better off watch the previous year's GEORGE WASHINGTON SLEPT HERE which is much funnier. I'd love to see an extended version of this film, but I doubt it even exists.

I ESCAPED FROM THE GESTAPO (1943)

I don't know if the proper name is I ESCAPED FROM THE GESTAPO or NO ESCAPE since I can find it listed as both, but chances are it's doesn't have a lot of fans no matter what the name.  Set in America (which is kinda disappointing cause with a name like I ESCAPED FROM THE GESTAPO I was kinda expecting it to be held in Nazi Germany or an occupied country), a renowned forger (Dean Jagger) is crashed out of prison by the Nazis and forced against his will to make counterfeit notes for them.  Their hideout is a beach side amusement park.  Here they use different ways to spy on visiting GI's...stealing letters home, listening to personalize phonograph recordings home, etc.

The story is interesting, but for whatever reason the Nazis are a bunch of non-threatening stupid idiots.  They allow Jagger to freely wander around the park, sneak out secret messages, mack on some chick that works at the park and play all kinds of mind games on his dim-witted guard.  He gets roughed up a little, but never once did I feel like he was in any real danger.

Interesting watch, but it's so low-budget and the story so trite that I have zero desire to watch it again. Although I did enjoy seeing Blackmer and Carradine working together.

QUARANTINE 2: TERMINAL (2011)

Happening at the same time as the events from the original QUARANTINE, QUARANTINE 2 tells the story of an airplane leaving Los Angeles with the virus onboard.  Stuff happens after they get going and a zombie dude starts rampaging around the cabin.  So they make an emergency landing only to be quarantined inside the plane and the area where all the baggage gets moved around on conveyors.  Running around getting chased by zombies ensue.  That's about it.

I wasn't expecting much from QUARANTINE 2, but I was hoping for more than this!  Very little blood, zero gore, zero nudity, stiff acting, low budget effects, annoying characters I wanted to punch, lots of talking, predictable body count, me yawning, night vision, zombie cat, zombie rat..  Q2 doesn't have much going for it and within a month I will have probably forgotten that I even saw it.  Not painfully bad, but just boring.  Skip it.

I've finished all five of the movies now and my favorite was [REC] 3: GENESIS.  [REC] 2 wasn't too bad either.

Original Part 1 - [Rec]
Original Part 2 - [Rec] 2
Original Part 3 - [Rec] 3: Genesis
Original Part 4 - [Rec] 4: Apocalypse
Remake - Quarantine

Sunday, July 21, 2013

INDIANA JONES AND THE TEMPLE OF DOOM (1984)

1935.  Indiana finds himself poisoned and in an all-out battle with some Chinese gangsters in a swanky Shanghai nightclub.  During his daring escape he accidentally picks up a female nightclub singer by the name of Willie Scott.  After getting away on a airplane he finds himself in an even bigger jam and then mixed up in some bullshit where an evil priest is turning people into mindless zombies and stealing children from a local village to use as slave labor in his mine!  Even worse is this dude can use an evil Von Erich Claw move to pull out your still beating heart before tossing you in a volcano!  "Kali Ma.  Kali Ma!"

For some reason (maybe because it's so dark, maybe because Kate Capshaw screams a lot) this film is kinda looked down on by members of the No Fun Club, but I love it and have watched it like 13 million times.  The story is badass and pack in tight as Hell, there's not a minute wasted in this sucker.  It's constantly going forward.  The action scenes get you all excited and that bug scene!  Holy shit that scene was ickier than a dozen killer bug movies.  Awesome temple, scary bad guy, fast pace, crazy action, gross/hilarious dinner scene, jaw-dropping roller coaster/mine cart chase.  INDIANA JONES AND THE TEMPLE OF DOOM has everything a great adventure movie needs.  Highly recommended.

Part 1 - Raiders of the Lost Ark
Part 3 - Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade
Part 4 - Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull