Thursday, 20 November 2008

Some films...

Being a bit less busy means I get to watch more films, and I've seen some pretty good ones this week. This having a break from writing thing does make it difficult to maintain a writing blog so it may become a films and random stuff discussion blog for a month or so.

Wednesday night I did a bizarre double-bill of Dragon Wars and The Tracey Fragments, and I really enjoyed both. Dragon Wars should be terrible, and from what I've heard most people think it is. It has lots of imdb comments titled 'worst film ever made' and so on (I'm not looking forward to the day they start appearing on Ten Dead Men). But I really enjoyed it. It is rubbish - the characters are pretty much given names and some vague motivation then get on with it - but I still found myself getting into it, and the effects aren't bad. Plus there are some epic battle scenes in Downtown LA - for a South Korean film this is impressive because no one films in LA these days. And at the end of the film (which takes place in a random CGI desert with no explanation as to how they got there) I realised that despite the obvious rubbishness, I'd actually quite enjoyed watching it.

The Tracey Fragments could not be any more different, except for also having lots of 'worst film ever comments'. It's one of those miserable teenager films, and has the added bonus/annoyance of being shot mostly in split-screen. The split screen is annoying at first (it's either the same shot from different angles, or the same moments repeated, or just random shots of sky or body parts) and it had a horribly pretentious feel to it. But in the end it won me over. It's a film that starts out as if it doesn't have a story and it's just going to be a rambling, miserable mess. But actually it does have a story, and quite a good one. So after the split screen becomes less annoying and more fun, I really wanted to find out what was going on and the final revelation does not disappoint. I am, however, scared by how good Ellen Page is in everything. I think she may well have sold her soul in exchange for acting talent and is making the most of it before the deal runs out.

Finally, I think part of my current disillusionment about writing may have come from watching Ivansxtc in which Danny Huston plays an agent who gets cancer and realises nobody in Hollywood cares. Directed by Bernard Rose who also did Candyman (good) and more recently Snuff Movie (bad, and unfortunately not a Scary Movie type spoof of popular snuff films), it's as miserable and nihilistic as it sounds, but Huston is brilliant as always and there's good support from Peter Weller. But yeah, it aims to put you off a career in Hollywood for life and does an excellent job, particularly with the writer/director character in the film who is the most manipulated of them all and at the same time comes off as the most pathetic.

So that's all I did this week. Brother Pete is coming to stay this weekend so we'll probably end up watching lots of daft films. Am also planning to go exploring in London which I haven't done for a while.


Richard Hawes said...

Dragon Wars is a great bad movie. For starters there isn't even a war between dragons. There's only one dragon right at the end. So much of the film is nonsense. Why would a Korean prophecy manifest in America? And that mega-budget LA battle between the creatures and the military is completely pointless. None of the central characters are even there when it happens. Check out the forerunner, Reptilian, which was much worse but still very entertaining.

Chris Regan said...

Very much like Reign of Fire, which promised lots of dragons and really there was only one or two. I'll look out for Reptilian.