Archive for September 27th, 2006

DOA: Dead Or Alive

DOA: Dead Or Alive (no doubt to distinguish it from other, better, films) is basically a computer game turned into a movie. I know even less about computer games than I do about comics, so I’ll let that pass. But, turned into a movie with art direction from FHM. Basically we have a set of foxy young chicks in swimsuits pretending to be martial arts experts, all backed up with the most half-baked attempt at a plot for quite some time. Thankfully, the dialogue is so hulkingly clunky it overshadows that for most of the time.

Never having seen My Name Is Earl, Jaime Pressly is a completely new name to me. Of the four young starlets (well, actresses of the same rough stature) at the centre of this she’s the only one that actually manages to acquit herself with a bit of the sass and spark that this is shouting out for.

However, it is directed Beijing Opera allumini (and prolific, if minor, martial arts director) Corey Yeun the man behind
Transporter 2. So, the action manages to rattle along with style and some pretty fine set pieces. The scene where we are introduced to Holly Valance‘s character (“assassin and international jewel thief”) and she manages to escape from the HK police whilst putting on her underwear is worth the price of entry alone for it’s sheer they didn’t just do that, did they? quality.

Complete rubbish. But, y’know, sometimes…

Ever wonder what happened to Eric Roberts? Look no further.

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Written by Tony Kiernan

27 September 2006 at 5:36 pm

Posted in Film

Clerks II

Not long after it came out, I read Irvine Welsh‘s novel Porno. In case you don’t know, this is his supposed sequel to Trainspotting (genuinely one of the greatest Scottish novels of all time IMO). It is also unmitigated shite. But, I could not put the damn thing down. (I even sat through a job interview with it cradled in my lap. Got offered the job, despite having told the company I had no intention of ever working for them. But, that’s another story.) Basically, there was ten years of my life so deeply steeped in the characters in his novel (reading it several times, the several hundred Citizens productions milking it for all it was worth and then the superb – now iconic/over exposed? – film) that I just had to know what happened to them in the intervening years.

And, the same thing is happening here. There’s no way I wasn’t going to see it, no matter how dire the reports. Of course, the cynic in me feels used. The love I (and many others) have for the original film was being used to guarantee and audience.

It’s strange to remember just how many brilliant new directors were breaking through in the 90’s with debuts that were being marketed on just how little they cost to make. But, the lowest budgeted of them all was Kevin Smith‘s Clerks – a hilarious, surreal and existential exegesis on the lives of what was known back in them days as Generation X.

Since that time Smith’s career has had it’s ups and downs. Over all, though, he’s certainly in a much better position now than he was back then. While his films may be variable (in both quality, success and acclaim – there another two that I think are classics, but this isn’t the time for that), he’s certainly cleaned up on the comic/cartoons/mechandising front than most other directors.

So, how is Clerks II? Well, it’s pretty OK and quite funny at points. Basically, it’s a basic romantic comedy premise peppered with some trademark Smith comedy (not always hitting the mark), a couple of good set pieces, and the odd appearance from Jay & Silent Bob.

The original film was described as possible the most filthy film you’ll ever see despite there being absolutely no nudity in it. Perhaps this is where the film seems to be lacking? Since Smith (alongside the Farrelly Brothers) trailed his blaze of what is now called gross-out comedy. But, in these days of American Pie and it’s (vagarious) brethren he really would need to have pushed the envelope. But, then the certification on these things is so important to the marketing these day.

I have a suspicion that following the panning that Smith’s attempted mainstream breakthrough movie Jersey Girl received that the Weinsteins would only give him any money if he promised to churn this out. Unfortunately he didn’t remember the he doesn’t need money to make great films and tell them to get lost. Then we could have had a great film, as opposed to an alright one.

Written by Tony Kiernan

27 September 2006 at 5:20 pm

Posted in Film