Kurt McKee

lessons learned in production

Hey there! This article was written in 2006.

It might not have aged well for any number of reasons, so keep that in mind when reading (or clicking outgoing links!).

Recent movies

Posted 25 June 2006 in movie and review

I've watched a number of movies in the past month. Here's some that I recall.

Ringu 0 (2000)

A Japanese horror, this film is the prequel to the film that seems to have first brought Japanese horror to the U.S.: "The Ring". I couldn't really figure out why the movie was made, but it is genuinely creepy, and you never see anything explicit. Things left to the imagination are what I call "customized horror".

The plot centers around Sadako ("Samara" in the U.S.), who joins a drama team. For whatever reason the writers decided that Sadako was some sort of split personality, possibly even physically separated one from the other. Good Sadako is the actress, Bad Sadako is the vengeful killer. I couldn't make heads or tails of the situation, but at the end of the movie the Good Sadako is thrown down the well by her father. I didn't understand the movie, really, but didn't the mother kill Sadako? Oh well.

Underworld: Evolution (2006)

The sequel to Underworld, which I have to say was a terrible movie. This is similarly disappointing, although the special effects in several places worked well. I can only attribute this to what I assume is a comparatively lower budget, and they did well with what was available.

The movie literally continues where Underworld left off: Selene, a vampire, is fighting werewolves. It's revealed that the First Vampire is going to attempt to free the First Werewolf from his eternal imprisonment. The ensuing fights, and indeed the entire movie, is pretty bloody. I guess a movie about vampires would have to be.

The Hills Have Eyes (2006)

Did I say that Underworld 2 was bloody? That movie featured papercuts compared to Hills. The Hills Have Eyes is a remake of the 1970s horror by the same name, and revolves around a family whose car breaks down smack dab in the middle of the desert. Problem is, that area is inhabited by a cannibalistic mining colony, genetically deformed by intense radiation (courtesy of the United States' nuclear testing program).

It's a bloodbath. The movie makes good use of horrifyingly deformed humans, although it enforces the negative stereotype that ugly people are evil. Actually, "evil" is the word I would use to describe this movie. There are many, many awful things in this movie, with nothing to redeem it.

Ong-Bak: The Thai Warrior (2003)

Action. Pretty much just action. Tony Jaa does all of his own stunts, and...the movie features Tony Jaa doing all of his own stunts. It's an action movie.

The action is fantastic. Tony Jaa + action = movie.

Munich (2005)

I really didn't understand this movie. We watch a guy go out with a team and murder those responsible for the 1972 Munich Olympics massacre, and then the movie ends. Surely I missed something, but for all its good acting and powerful direction, I came away confused about what I just watched.

I don't want to appear slow, however, so I'll just parrot what everyone else has said about the movie: "Must see!", "Powerful!", and "Spielberg does it again!"

V for Vendetta (2005)

I thoroughly enjoyed this movie, and I recommend it for everyone in this day and age (a reflection more of my personal views than the quality of the movie). V is the name of the character for whom the movie was named; his quest is to expose and avenge a government-planned terrorist attack against the nation. The purpose of the attack was to bring the public to its knees in fear, that they would give up their civil liberties for protection from terrorists, thus ushering in a totalitarian police state.

Again, I recommend that everyone watch this movie, which I feel appropriately condemns the American public for so graciously handing over its liberties for security, an act Ben Franklin similarly condemned so many years ago: "They who would give up an essential liberty for temporary security, deserve neither liberty nor security."