Writing about Movies, TV, Comics & Toys. Critically and creatively.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Movie #3 Planet Terror & Movie #4 Paranormal Activity

Planet Terror is a stupid movie, but it wants to be stupid, it embraces it's stupidity, and it is a hell of a fun time for all 105 minutes. As a throwback to old school exploitation movies the flick works so well, and on so many different levels. At this point we all know that it's the first part of Grindhouse (and seems to be the preferred movie of the two), this being the first time I've watched it in its entirety since I first bought the DVD I still enjoyed it very much.

The story, a unique take on the zombie story, is one of the best aspects of the movie in my opinion. The movie is very well written, with good dialogue and sharp action. Rodriguez really knows how to shoot action on screen and not turn it into a big mess thrown onto the frame to achieve the grungy zombie movie feel.

The actors are fantastic in the movie. One of my favorite things about it is it's ensemble casting and Pulp Fiction-esque network of stories. Rose Mcgowan and Freddy Rodriguez shine in their respective roles, and they seem to have the best chemistry of any on screen couple I've ever seen. Josh Brolin and Bruce Willis play the best monstrous villains of the movie, which a leading antagonist isn't something you really get in zombie movies (except for Big Daddy in Land of the Dead).

The final aspect of the movie that I cannot help but talk too much about are the effects. The zombies look GREAT in this movie, and the sheer amount of blood and goo that gets spattered about every time a gun shoots someone is enough to make gorehounds like me squeal with delight.

The movie is great, it's a lot of fun to watch, and it's a relief seeing a zombie movie that doesn't take itself too seriously.


I thought upon first seeing it in theaters and still do think, that Paranormal Activity is well thought out and a well made horror movie. But after watching the movie on DVD, without surround sound, and in a living room with two other people (instead of a theater with well over 300 people) I find it's effectiveness as a scary movie is flushed down the toilet.

Considering there are only four people in the movie, and I found three of their performances to be genuinely believable, 75% isn't a terrible percentage of good to bad acting. The actor/character in question that I just couldn't get behind is Katie. Katie says and does things that do not come off as natural, and some of them seem so forced. The only times that we get to see her being a real actor is when she's really really mad, or at the very end after a certain paranormal entity has turned her into a puppet.

This is a very well made movie, because there are a lot of things about it that I still don't know HOW they did it on camera with a $15,000 budget. The movie definitely has parts that are genuinely creepy, and when you first see it might even be very scary to you, but when watching on home video they tend to just fall flat. Not once on this viewing of the movie did I get so much as a chill (which happened a lot when I first saw it in theaters). Paranormal Activity is a good movie, but it's much better the first time you see it, if you've seen it once you really don't need to watch it ever again unless you just really want to.

This brings the total of movies watched to 4, 2 of them I had never seen, 2 of them I had. Here's to hoping I don't go through the 25 I'm allowed to watch that I've seen that quickly.

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