Weekly Update: Hawk Ripjaw and I are in the midst of “Shituary”, in which we watch themed bad movies each week. Week 2’s topic consists of 5 movies by the brilliantly ünbrilliant filmmaker Uwe Boll. And of course outside of that, I watched just about anything else that I could get my hands on.
Curious what else I’ve seen this year? -Click here to read the full list of movies viewed year to date-
12. Bloodrayne: The Third Reich (2011)
Director Uwe Boll’s 3rd film in the Bloodrayne trilogy, based on a long-forgotten video game series nobody really cared much about even when it was new. It is the 1940s and daywalking Vampire Rayne fights NAZIs, NAZI Vampires and Clint Howard. The plot is basically non-existent, and basically an excuse for poorly-edited action sequences and the occasional softcore porn scene.
13. Blubberella (2011)
In a somewhat inspired move by legendarily dreadful director Uwe Boll, during the filming of Bloodrayne: The Third Reich Boll also shot a 2nd film using much of the same cast and most of the same script. The difference being the hot lead actress is replaced with a FAT GIRL *pause for laugh at expense of people who are different*. The concept of doing a simultaneous parody of the film you’re making seems interesting, but the result is just a shitty comedy, as Uwe Boll is nothing if not consistent.
14. House of the Dead (2003)
Uwe Boll week continues with this Zombie movie that could almost be considered ahead of its time, because it was made in 2003, a time when the Zombie movie fad had really not yet taken off yet. I qualified that statement with “could almost”, because the only movement this movie can induce is that of the bowels. Based on the Sega Light Gun shooter game, House of the Dead frequently incorporates footage from the game into the movie… presumably to remind the viewer that they could have spent their ticket money on the arcade in the lobby…
15. World 1-1 (2016)
This documentary about the rise and fall of Atari retreads much of the same material as Atari: Game Over, only without the narrative wrap-around of the Alamogordo burial ground excavation that made Game Over so compelling. Hardcore nostalgic video game fans will find some things worth revisiting, but overall this is just more of the same.
16. Criminal (2016)
Kevin Costner is a Charles-Manson like sociopathic killer who has the thoughts of a dead Ryan Reynolds implanted in his head in order to try and catch a crazed Anarchist who is trying to hold the world hostage with a weapon capable of controlling the world’s nuclear arms. Meanwhile, Costner-Manson almost rapes dead Ryan Reynolds’ wife, but decides not to, which kindles the beginning of a tender romance between the two. All the while, U.S. government agents in England hunt the Dutch cyberterrorist responsible. “But wait”, you may say “nothing of what you’ve just said made any sense.” No, it doesn’t.
17. Adjust Your Tracking (2013)
This documentary tells the story of VHS collectors, those strange 21st century people still clinging to the “obsolete” format. Nostalgia, as it turns out, isn’t the only reason these film fans keep their tapes around, but a voracious appetite for obscure and rare movies, many of which have not and may never see a release in any other format. Shot on VHS for extra authenticity, this documentary interviews the numerous people whose VHS collections have reached critical mass.
18. Patriot’s Day (2016)
Peter Berg and Mark Wahlberg reunite for yet another movie in which Wahlberg is a survivor of a deadly disaster. This time, the film focuses on the 2013 Boston Marathon bombings. The film recreates the history of the attack and subsequent efforts to capture the suspects very close to history, with the only significant exception being that Wahlberg plays a fictional cop who somehow managed to personally witness just about every single crucial event. This fictional element stands out like a sore thumb amongst a story that is otherwise very well told and sensitive to the history.
19. Rewind This (2013)
Yet another documentary about VHS collection, but this one more broad in scope, speaking with collectors, filmmakers, and others impacted by the VHS revolution. While lacking the VHS stylistic artifice of Adjust Your Tracking, Rewind This! covers enough unique stories and material that both films are recommended. Though it is too bad the filmmakers of both of these projects couldn’t have collaborated and created a single, definitive statement about VHS collecting.
20. Alone in the Dark (2005)
Bearing basically no resemblance to the survival-horror video game its based on, this near-incoherent mess of a movie is basically director Uwe Boll’s take on Alien, with heaping helpings of The Relic mixed in. Christian Slater seems to be trying, but Tara Reid and Stephen Dorff seem utterly lost. The film succeeds to some extent, though, in the name of ironic viewing, but not quite enough to recommend seeking out actively.
21. In the Name of the King 2: Two Worlds (2011)
Dolph Lundgren reportedly did this movie in order to get some quick cash while going through his divorce. This desperation is immediately visible in his performance, which shows zero enthusiasm for the material. That’s not a dig against Lundgren, though, because I don’t sincerely think any actor with any kind of experience could have much open enthusiasm for a movie as dull as this. This is the most bargain-basement hero’s journey fantasy story I’ve ever seen, and that includes the direct to DVD Dragonlance movie…
22. Ecstasy of Order (2011)
This documentary follows a group of video game players vying for the official title of Tetris Master. Obsession for the NES version of “Tetris” and all the subsequent remakes and adaptations of Tetris is widespread even today, as the game remains one of the most challenging puzzle games ever created. The film can be considered a companion in spirit to The King of Kong, in that it shows how obsession and competitiveness with video gaming can reach a fever pitch not unlike major physical sporting events.
23. A Monster Calls (2016)
I have something to confess; this movie made me cry, and hard. A Monster Calls tells the story of a young boy who is struggling with his mother’s mortal illness, and regresses into fantasy to escape it. The escape attempts fail, though, and instead a monster (voiced wonderfully by Liam Neeson) arrives to help the boy heal during seemingly unendurable trauma. One of the most heartfelt childhood fantasy films I’ve ever seen, with a potent and emotional message.
24. Monster Trucks (2017)
25. Live by Night (2016)
Ben Affleck delivers the first true miss of his directorial career, and its a damned shame because of everything the movie has going for it. Affleck has had a good thing going in the 3 films he’s directed before this, and he had great luck in Gone Baby Gone adapting writer Dennis Lehane, upon whose book Live by Night is also based. The problem with the film is that it is a gangster movie where the principle figure doesn’t see himself for the crook he is, and spends much of the movie white-knighting. Considering the crimes he commits, this high-hatting just doesn’t make sense.
26. The Madness of Max (2015)
This documentary charts the making of the original Mad Max movie, and its unqualified international success. Mad Max was the biggest hit for an Australian film for years after, and one of the most successful independent films of all time. It is a sprawling, detailed documentary that follows through with every step of the process, making it a perfect film for Max devotees.