Archive for religious

Q (1982)

Posted in movies with tags , on October 28, 2011 by adam

I love a good religious horror movie, the weirder the better. I’m pretty tired of movies built around Christian mythology – be it exorcism or the Rapture or anything in between. There aren’t nearly enough American movies about other religions. The Keep (which it still on my list, much to my shame) I believe is based in Jewish lore, so that’s one. Eastern dogma is fertile ground for supernatural movies like The Golden Child, which, while not exactly horror, is one of my all-time faves.

But those are easy. We need someone to monsterize the niche religions. We need a crazy Scientology movie where Tom Cruise and John Travolta pay a mad scientist to build a magic soul auditing machine to awaken the evil Intergalactic Dictator Zenu, who then goes on a rampage of offering free stress tests and eating poor people. I’d say Zoroastrianism is ripe for a movie deal but I think their diety already got a few movies starring Antonio Banderas and Catherine Zeta Jones. I’m pretty sure that’s right.

But wait. Up in the sky, what is that? Is it a bird? Is it a dragon? Why no, it’s the winged Aztec god, Quetzalcoatl! Now we’re talking.

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Red State (2011)

Posted in movies with tags , on October 20, 2011 by adam

Remember when Kevin Smith was the next big thing? No fat joke intended, the mid-to-late ’90s were a time of infinite promise for the comic auteur. Everyone loved Clerks, and Mallrats took his unique brand of hyper intellectual toilet humor into the mainstream. Chasing Amy proved he could add a splash of serious without losing the funny. The high concept, still hilarious Dogma solidified his position as the filmic voice of the latest generation of disaffected American youth.

Then something went wrong. Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back was dirtier and more expensive than any of its View Askewniverse predecessors, yet it fell well short of its anticipated box office and critical success. Jersey Girl was to be the writer/director’s evolution from adolescent dick jokes to refined, grown-up wit. While not without its limited charms, it too failed to live up to the hype. His next two movies, Clerks II and Zack and Miri Make a Porno, were more or less competent and moderately well-received, but neither is the kind of movie you stick around to watch again when it happens to be playing on HBO. And don’t get me started about Cop Out. Tracy Morgan should never be allowed to do anything except play himself on 30 Rock. The man is a menace.

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The Last Exorcism (2010)

Posted in movies with tags , , , on October 19, 2011 by adam

You know what the devil’s problem is? Marketing.

Christianity tells us that God and the devil are locked in a never-ending soul collecting contest – not unlike a game of spiritual Pokémon. I can’t help but think the devil would fare better if he did a bit of market research. Nobody wants to spend eternity burning in a lake of fire, but a beach resort with year-round tanning doesn’t sound so bad. I don’t understand why Hell isn’t a little more tourist-friendly. If the devil got rid of the whole perpetual torture and gnashing of the teeth stuff, who’s to say more people wouldn’t volunteer to head downstairs when their lives are over? El diablo may be really into having his skin peeled off and eaten by scorpions until the end of time, but most people aren’t. Only a crappy businessman builds an establishment that caters more to his needs than those of his guests.

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Priest (2011)

Posted in movies with tags , , , on October 15, 2011 by adam

Forgive me father, for I have brought unto this blog a truly dreadful movie.

The premise of Priest – very, very loosely based on the Korean action-horror comics of the same name – is solid enough: a dystopian alternate reality in which vampires have coexisted in open enmity with mankind since the beginning of recorded history. Throw in a little Paul Bettany (who I generally enjoy), a ton of kung fu, and some big-budget special effects and you should have a sure-fire blockbuster, right? WRONGZO.

This movie is so horrible I actually shook my head and rubbed my eyes like a Looney Tunes character when I found out it boasts a Metacritic rating of 41 out of 100. 41! That’s nine points higher than director Scott Charles Stewart’s last effort, the similar but much more tolerable Legion, and approximately 41 points higher than it deserves.

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Frailty (2001)

Posted in movies with tags , on October 12, 2011 by adam

How many FBI recruits sign up with dreams of crossing names off the most wanted list, only to get stuck endlessly sifting through diplomatic junk mail? There’s an incredible volume of serial killers in movies, and just as many glamorous special agents chasing after them. You’d think the FBI would do something to discourage people from imagining a badge as a ticket to jet around the country and put holes in the Hannibal Lecters of the world. You don’t see NASA tacitly endorsing the idea that any schlub who can operate construction equipment is qualified to fly into space to blow up asteroids. So why don’t the feds make an effort to disabuse people of the notion that one in five Americans is stashing bodies in the basement? Because nobody would willingly sign up to work shitty hours for terrible pay if they knew they’d most likely be spending twelve miserable hours a day in a windowless cubicle, categorizing Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s e-cards. Someone needs to make a movie about a disillusioned FBI data analyst who becomes a serial killer just to get a little job satisfaction.

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My Soul to Take (2010)

Posted in movies with tags , , on October 9, 2010 by adam

With its cheap title and Razzie-worthy buzz I had no doubt My Soul to Take would be just one more in a long line of Wes Craven disappointments. Yet despite myself I was excited. Just being in a theater for a scary movie makes me happy, and this one happened to be in 3D (though at times it was hard to tell). I had my snacks in hand and my silly glasses on face. The crowd was decent-sized but not oppressive. Then a pair of parent-of-the-year contenders rolls into the aisle across from me with a gang of noisy friends and, I shit you not, their five-year-old son and his Nintendo DS. Are you fucking kidding me? What kind of monster brings a little kid to a movie like this? During the course of the 90-minute movie, and despite multiple shushings from various neighbors, Mrs. Considerate proceeded to take no less than three phone calls while Junior lit up the row with his non-stop video games. I’m going to do my best to to be fair to the movie (which showed flashes of novelty but for the most part was pretty dull), but it’s hard to be fair when you’ve just spent two hours in the dark listening to New York’s classiest ruin your nineteen dollar movie experience. To all those that think it’s okay to talk during a movie, may you burn forever in the special hell.

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Legion (2010)

Posted in movies with tags , on October 2, 2010 by adam

The whole time I was watching Legion I assumed it was a graphic novel adaption. I was surprised to learn it was actually an original story made for the big screen. Perhaps original is a bit too generous since it draws so heavily on Prophecy and Dogma, with a little Terminator and Matrix mixed in for good measure. Nevertheless the movie stands up fairly well on its own, even if it’s somewhat flawed in the execution. Continue reading