Sunday, August 28, 2005

ZMG's Review of The Brothers Grimm

There are odd movies and there are odd movies. This movie got about a 6.5 on my wtf-meter. But not entirely because it was a good sense of oddity either.

No, this movie was a few too many stumbles from a good odd movie. The film was too silly to be a good horror film, too bland (even by british standards) to be a comedy and too weird to be a good action film.

The film starts out as two brothers who apparently still work together even though one of them was directly responsible for their sister's death when they were younger as they scam a town into believing there is a witch flying around and haunting its people. The scam works and yet somehow the French government still finds out and they are arrested within 12 hours. And you thought Amber alerts were effective.

The French then blackmail the Brothers Grimm into finding out what is going on in a small town where children have been going missing for some time. Apparently, the French are running low on guards as they can't seem to send any of their own troops to head up the investigation outside of a sadistic torturer (the only source of humor in the film) and a couple of useless soldiers whose sole purpose is to be eaten by the trees. After they arrive in the town the plot moves along jerkily as the nerdy Grimm brother (Heath Ledger) acts like a witless Agent Mulder and pushes the plot along after its become obvious to the audience. The other Grimm brother (Matt Damon) acts like a tough ladies-man who only uses his skills for fighting to beat up on his wimpy brother and a failed attempt at bravery in the last 5 minutes of the film. The brothers then try to get a grasp on the weird world of wonder unfolding right beyond the edge of the trees as a vain and seemingly immortal Queen attempts to regain her beauty lost for 500 years. In her defense, the Queen has its army of writhing carnivorous trees with a taste for French cuisine, black crows and a transforming wolf/hunter with a few mystical trinkets of his own.. which he doesn't seem to mind leaving behind if it happens to help the plot stumble along. Eventually the queen is defeated and everyone is saved, including one guy that gets stabbed in the chest twice and falls out of a 50 ft tower. Yeah.. getting stabbed in the chest twice was all a spell... sure.

There are only two really good scenes in the film. They both deal with the abduction of little girls from the town, one involving a horse that spits out a spiderweb which it then sucks back in with a girl tangled within the web and the other involves a mud creature that absorbs the child's eyes and mouth before absorbing the rest of the girl into its belly and running off. It was these two scenes that make the movie worth seeing. Unfortunately, the rest of the movie wasn't nearly as inventive.

Highlights of the film:
  • One carnivorous horse
  • One child eating mud creature
  • One shredded kitten
  • One transforming wolf with a boomerang axe
Now, usually I just rant about what a crapfest a movie is before I pass judgement. This time I want to do more than piss on this film because I think it could have been done so much better.

This is how I would have made this film. I would have the Brothers Grimm roaming the countryside as a pair of 18th century Ghostbusters. The studious Grimm brother would be a researcher and armed with several knick-knacks and inventions to ward off evil. The tough Grimm brother would act as a mercenary, shooting first and asking questions later. The movie would start out as a child is sucked into the forest by yet another inventive and bizarre trap set by the wicked Queen. Afterwards, the Brother's Grimm would be seen slaying a giant that has been having his minion sell beans to hapless country folk who wind up getting kidnapped by fast-growing beanstalks with venus-flytrap like bean pods are taken up to the giant's home in the sky and are eventually harvested and eaten by the cannibalistic giant. After slaying the giant, the two would be requested by the French government to look into the strange disappearances of the children of a small town. The French, looking to steal the brother's glory, sends a sadistic soldier of its own. The plot evolves as at least 6 more bizarre kidnappings occur, the Brothers Grimm study the local folklore and try to defend the townsfolk from the enchanted dangers within the forest. Eventually, the Brothers find out what the Queen is up to and that the French are looking to assassinate the Brothers. The Brothers then trick the French sadist into bringing a French garrison to attack the forest and take the brunt of the Queen's wrath as the Brothers sneak past the army, deal with the huntsman and put an end to the Queen's diabolical plan to gain eternal youth. The movie ends as the ravens pick up and fly off with the pieces of the shattered Queen and the possibility of a sequel is born.

Final Grade: D
Final Note: Wait for it to come out on DVD and then flip a coin.

Thursday, August 18, 2005

NOW Blue Steps up to Replace Red

Lions Gate Entertainment has declared that it will start the next technology revolution to Blu-ray DVDs next year.

For those of you who don't know, Blu-Ray DVDs use a blue laser instead of a red laser and since the wavelength for blue lasers is much shorter than the wavelength for red lasers, you can save more data on a Blu-Ray DVD. With a little marketing luck, Blu-Rays are looking to replace the standard DVDs just as DVDs replaced VHS tapes and Laserdiscs.

Personally, I think its a load of crap. For one thing, they can already fit an entire movie on one red DVD and the extras they could potentially put on a Blu-Ray DVD aren't nearly enough to justify buying a whole new player and a whole new library of Blu-Ray DVDs. Second, a blue laser runs hotter than a red laser, so that might wear out a Blu-Ray DVD faster.

It might be worth it as a new way of storing data on a computer disc, but I can't see it replacing red DVDs for movies. So chances are, if Blu-ray machines can't even play red laser discs, I wont be buying into the next wave of home movie technology.

Its not like I have the time to watch the movies I currently have.

Monday, August 15, 2005

15 Things Conservatives Don't Understand

1. Abortion is not murder. A lump of cells and living tissue that cannot survive outside of a human being is not a human being. If I carve out a person’s lung from someone’s body, it is a living organism and it will die if it is not placed inside another human being. It has no rights of its own. It is only a possession of the person from which it was taken from.

2. God is not a default for lack of science. If science can neither explain it now nor in your lifetime, that does not mean any number of god-based propositions are correct by default.

3. “Protecting democracy” and “Defending American civil liberties” are not one-size-fits-all excuses for irresponsible military action. Outside of Afghanistan, not one US soldier, in the last 50 years has died protecting democracy or Defending American civil liberties.

4. Pointing fingers at previous political leaders that have gotten off for doing something wrong doesn’t excuse current political leaders from doing something worse.

5. No one has to disprove or show your propositions are false if you cannot produce evidence that they are true.

6. Children whose parents you kill now because you feel they are evil will neither share your sentiment today nor 20 years from now.

7. You have to hate the current status quo of something, at least a little bit, before you can justify changing it for the better.

8. The Constitution was written from the Deist perspective, not the Christian perspective. Even if the Constitution had been written by Christians in the past that only means that those people who wrote the Constitution were only as superstitious as Christians are now.

9. The Constitution may give you the right to believe anything you want to, but nothing gives you the right to use those beliefs as a substitute for fact or justification for an action without something more tangible to back it up.

10. The only people responsible for cleaning up an environmental mess are the people or the industry that makes the mess.

11. There is a significant difference between not supporting a country’s decision and selling the country out to its opponents.

12. Patriotism is not an excuse for white people on one side of an imaginary line to hate white people on the other side of the same imaginary line.

13. Neither the sum total of your finances nor your country’s current status in the global community has any bearing as to whether or not your social philosophies are correct.

14. It doesn't matter how many people agree with your philosophies if you can not defend them rationally and without something more tangible than religious faith.

15. Liberals don’t fear conservatives. Ever.

Thursday, August 04, 2005

Damn Creationists Are At It Again

Led by that f*cking retard Bush, these damn creationists are trying to get Intelligent Design put into school systems. Bush is claiming that while school districts should make their own decisions, schools should teach religious based theories alongside evolution. What Bullshit!

There are a few things that all creationists fail to understand.

1. Even if Evolution is found to be false or even incomplete, that doen't mean Creationism, Intelligent Design, Irreducible Complexity or any other "god" based theory is automatically true by default. They still need to show evidence that their propositions are valid.

2. Creationism, Intelligent Design, Irreducible Complexity, etc.. are not scientific theories. Scientific theories require that there be controllable methods of investigating, gathering, measuring, and comparing reproducible empirical data. Creationist propositions meet none of these qualifications outside of religious faith. Simply poking holes in existing scientific theories and saying "I wanna believe" is not enough to show validity. That is why it will NEVER be taught in any school that values the rational mind.

3. If science does not have an answer for something, that does not mean any "god" based theories are correct by default. It merely means that there is no scientific explanation yet. It is always far more responsible to say "I don't know" about something we don't know anything about than it is to assume some religious faith based proposition is the correct one.

The only real way that creationists could start to prove their propositions are valid - outside of their usual concentrating real hard, clicking their heels together three times and repeating "I DO believe in god. I DO believe in god. I do. I do. I DO believe in god" - is to show evidence of a conscious existence beyond death and then show evidence that these apparitions follow a christian/catholic/whatever political system. Only then do I feel that rational minds would be able to take them more seriously.

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