Episode 82 – Residunce Evils and the 3 biggest sins of Afterlife

September 21, 2010

The most chafing costume ever?

We went to opening night of the fourth installment of one of my favourite movie franchises, Resident Evil, with the intention of reviewing it (RE: Afterlife) on the episode. Too enamoured with Milla Jovovich and Zelda we didn’t get around to talking about it much.

So let me lay-out for you what’s wrong with it here in these (very late) show notes. Be warned, I’m not going to shy away from spoilers but, since this movie has probably been dropped from theatres by the time this post goes live, you’ve had your chance to remain spoiler-free.

First off, like I’ve said all over the internet, I love the Resident Evil films because they’re the “greasiest cheese.” I went into the opening night showing not just prepared for le fromage, I was hungry for it.

Simply put: Afterlife delivers the curds.

Paul W. S. Anderson and co. seem to be taking the film franchise seriously. Unfortunately, not only are they taking it far too seriously, they shouldn’t be taking it seriously at all.

What began as a series of underdog B-movie mash-ups of The Matrix, The Cube and every George A. Romero flick, is apparently now being treated as an epic approaching the grandeur of Lord of the Rings or Star Wars. Or, more accurately, the aforementioned Matrix trilogy. A seemingly lofty goal until you consider that the Matrix trilogy was a pretty hokey affair to begin with. The risk of emulating a pop-culture watermark like Keanu’s cyber-fu adventure, is ending up as merely another second-rate knock-off cluttering up people’s Netflix queues. Afterlife suffers this fate in three main ways.

1: Lack of LOLZ. The first film got by as a decent action/horror film in its own right. Cheesy, yes, but that’s exactly what makes a decent action/horror film decent. Without a few yuks along the way to a zombie headshot, there’s really no point. With diminishing returns on the storyline and acting fronts, the only thing the second two installments of the series had going for them was unintentional comic relief. Afterlife‘s overly pretentious atmosphere significantly mutes the potential for sniggering at poorly delivered dialogue and cheesy snuff-lines.

2: The baddie is the baddest baddie ever. But not “bad” meaning good. He just sucks. He basically does the worst impression of your drunk friend’s worst Agent Smith impression the entire time he’s on screen. But he dresses like Neo. Actually, if your drunk friend was Keanu, you have a pretty good idea of this guy’s Agent Smith act. Only it’s not as good as when Keanu does it.

You’re probably wondering how this doesn’t factor into point #1 and the LOLZ. Remember Shane Brolly‘s hilarious performance as Kraven in the Underworld movies? Along with Bill Nighy, he saved that movie. This guy’s performance is that bad. Only somehow too absolutely meh to even be amusing.

3: Third time’s the charm. You can always tell when a director has disappeared up his own ass because the film doesn’t start until the third act. Their own rectum acting as a blindfold prevents them from seeing no one cares about Alice‘s trip down Amelia Earhart lane. Her whole discovery, or lack of discovery, of “Arcadia” in Alaska should have been told in a series of quick flashbacks. Instead it’s a long and ultimately pointless lead-up to where the story actually picks up in Los Angeles. Say what you will about the first three films, but the pacing was flawless (or nearly flawless) in all three.

It’s a fault that could be forgivable if the film didn’t begin with the final scene from the Matrix. Only replace the Agent Smith clones with Alice clones and add guns. Lots of guns. Too many guns.

It’s like the action sequences that open James Bond films—a bit of excitement that has nothing to do with the rest of the film, but whets your appetite for more. Unlike a Bond film though, this is a sensory barrage that deadens you to the rest of the film and perhaps any experience you’ll have in your life ever again.

Come to think of it, it was actually the perfect ending to Extinction. A little George Lucas-style re-cutting in future DVD editions and the two films could be somewhat salvaged.

Even if they don’t do that, and in spite of the film’s failings, I’ll probably still buy the DVD when it’s released. It’s always good to have plenty of greasy cheese on hand to help you get through those killer hang-overs.


Episode 81 – Degrassholes (Back 2 School Special)

September 10, 2010


Jian Ghomeshi denies Joey Jeremiah inspired the FruVest.

This week (in Canada at least) kids (and teachers) left their lives of freedom behind and went back to school. To celebrate (prepare), Jakob and Mandi watched some Degrassi Junior High, Degrassi High and School’s Out! then talked about why they’re all better than Degrassi: TNG and every other teen television drama ever aired.


Episode 80 – Pets, Peeves and Pikachu

September 3, 2010

Beans has no shame.

This is episode 80 in which we talk about pets. Or , to be a little more accurate, we talk insufferably about our own pets. We don’t actually talk about Pikachu much so don’t expect Pokemon talk.

I used to want a Bengal cat until I found out they’re more than a pretty face. They’re batshit crazy and will destroy your house if you don’t keep them entertained. This, of course, completely negates the whole point of owning a cat. The reason people own cats over something absurd like a Jack Russell terrier (or the even more neurotic Border Collie) is that they’re supposed to be less, not more, work than a two-year old human.

But also, why settle for a reasonably conventional pet when instead you could isntead go for the gusto and have something awesome like a Russian Fishing Cat. I imagine living with one is the Russian roulette of pet ownership. Only I think a better way to go out is with a bullet to the brain instead of having your face eaten off in the bathtub.

That’s a disturbing enough image, but it doesn’t compare to the freaky world of purebred dogs.

And even more disturbing…

Well, we finally got around to watching Disc 2 of Season 4.5. It sure starts off with a bang. I won’t spoiler it here, but whoa! The first two episodes are the best BSG in a long time. Actually, we don’t even spoiler (too) much in our discussion because we’re far too busy being bad at Cylon math. (There are, of course, spoliers as usual though).


Coming To Terms: Flawed Structures (Aug. 2010)

September 1, 2010


For some reason I thought the WTF factor of people’s search strings had greatly declined in August. Boy was I the F wrong.

old ladys tattoed: Getting tattooed or young people getting old ladies tattooed on them? I hope it’s old ladies getting old ladies tattooed on themselves. Like those paintings of people holding paintings of themselves that go on into infinity.

tattoo of the name ‘riker’: Wouldn’t it be awful to be named Riker and in, say, 1986 you got it tattooed on your back in gothic script? Or maybe that’d be rad.

gay emo nerd: People are usually only one or two of these things. Some go for the trifecta. Others look for them on Google for the lulz.

nerd tweed pants: “Nerd tweed” is a specific weave.

startrek twighlight data: Data does kind of sparkle in sunlight. That doesn’t excuse you from getting your Twilight on my Star Trek though.

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