Sunday, October 04, 2009

The Midnight Meat Train

I just found out that there's a movie titled The Midnight Meat Train and oddly enough it's not an adult film. Apparently it's a horror movie of some kind and actually got good reviews, but I still have no plans to see it. The title is just a little to risque for me.

But that's just the intro story. What I really want to talk about is A Haunting In Connecticut. It arrived courtesy of Netflix a couple days ago and I just started watching it and have been treated to a cruel surprise. Apparently one small word makes a huge difference because I thought I was getting the 2009 film THE Haunting In Connecticut. It turns out this is a 2002 Discovery Channel docudrama - like an episode of Unsolved Mysteries - replete with terrible acting, narration, and voice overs from the "real" people involved in the events. I'm only half an hour into it but I'm already disappointed. I feel like one of those tools who rents the special features disc instead of the actual movie and then writes a review crying about the injustice. I'm not going to write one of those reviews. I will man up and admit that I'm the idiot who didn't make sure I knew what I was getting before putting it in my queue.

Anyway, I think I'm going to start working on a script for my own ghost story. Instead of the typical scary happenings though, the twist will be that the ghost are very happy and well adjusted. They make dinner for the people who live in the haunted house and put on little skits, complete with period costumes. They also do all the housekeeping and landscaping. The residents of the house will eventually escape and write a book about it but nobody will believe them.

Since this "movie" is failing to keep me entertained, I'll throw out several brief movie reviews of films I've seen recently.

Sugar: Miguel "Sugar" Santos is a young pitcher in the Dominican Republic who has dreamed of playing baseball in the United States for most of his life. He finally signs a minor league contract with the A affiliate of the fictional Kansas City Knights in Iowa. Experiencing culture shock and feeling very isolated, he begins struggling. Without giving away too much of this movie, let me just say that the last third of the movie was inexplicable and hard to believe. I thought the ending was all wrong and was pretty disappointed. The one thing I found interesting, that I don't think was intended, was seeing Sugar struggle with isolation, I couldn't help thinking that with electronics being ubiquitous in this country, the movie was almost making the point that the youth of America are all isolated to some extent - that there is no more sense of community or family in this country anymore.

The Quiet Duel is a Kurosawa film about a surgeon who contracts syphilis from one of his patients during World War II and struggles - mostly alone - with this disease that apparently was incurable at the time. He breaks off his engagement from the woman he loves and has been waiting for him for several years. It's a good look into the Japanese ideal of stoicism. Not one of Kurosawa's best films, but still good.

X-Men Origins: Wolverine. Not nearly as bad as I'd expected based on the reviews I'd seen, but it still felt empty. Having never read any of the comic books, I felt lost a lot of the time, not knowing who most of the characters were. For a film that is supposed to tell the back story of Wolverine, I had more questions about his origins after watching than I did before. If you're in the mood for a big budget special effects spectacular though, it fits the bill nicely.

Swing Vote is one of the worst movies I've seen in quite a while. Not a single character is believable - they are all caricatures. Even if you buy into the concept of the presidential election being decided by one person's damaged ballot needing to be recast, it's hard to sit through a movie whose protagonist is a drunken, stupid man who neglects his daughter. Plus it employs one of my personal pet peeves that seem to be coming more common of late: a child who is way more intelligent and socially conscious than is believable. I don't call this the Lisa Simpson effect, but I think I might start. I don't find a little know it all to be cute, I find it pretty annoying. The one thing it had going for it was Paula Patton. She looked positively breath taking.

Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog: I'm not even sure where to begin with this one. Neil Patrick Harris (of Doogie Howser fame) plays Dr. Horrible - a hapless supervillain trying to gain entrance into the Evil League of Evil, led by Bad Horse - the thoroughbred of sin. In this musical, Dr. Horrible has a video blog on which he discusses his innermost thoughts and fears as well as recounting his exploits. Nathan Fillion steals the show though as the Dr. Horrible's nemesis: Captain Hammer. He is absolutely hilarious. While this was easily one of the strangest movies I've ever seen, it was really pretty entertaining. I've never been a fan of musicals, but the songs weren't too bad for the most part. At 43 minutes, it moves along at a brisk pace and never gets dull. The dialogue is clever, and it is just a funny movie. The best part is that you can watch it in it's entirety online here.
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