Ken’s Movie Diary 2017 – Week 15

Weekly Update: No real topic this week, played catch up on some VOD releases and watched a few older films.

Curious what else I’ve seen this year? -Click here to read the full list of movies viewed year to date-

126. Army of One (2016)

Nicolas Cage portrays real-life figure Gary Faulkner, a delusional man who throughout the mid 2000s ventured to Pakistan several times attempting to capture Osama Bin Laden, supposedly because of a vision from God.  This movie is the definition of overindulgence, with both actor Cage and director Larry Charles testing the audience’s patience with a kind of balls to the wall delivery that wears fast.  One can’t fault Cage for making a decision and sticking with it… The result, though, is a test for sanity.

127. Salt and Fire (2016)

Perhaps Werner Herzog’s most wrong-headed film of his career.  This film feels like little more than an excuse to take a trip to Bolivia. The basically pointless plot ostensibly deals with a kidnapping of UN scientists by a Corporate Executive (Michael Shannon). The film is full of embarrassingly bad dialogue and meandering camerawork that would upset Neil Breen. How this came to be is baffling, but Herzog has earned a failure or two…

128. Ice Station Zebra (1968)

John Sturges’ potboiler Cold War-era adventure film follows the crew of a submarine headed for the Arctic on a mission to save the lives of the people stranded at a research station after an unknown disaster struck. The Captain (Rock Hudson) is ordered to also escort a handful of civilians and marines, for reasons unknown, though since the Russians are also headed for the station, he can take an educated guess or two… Ice Station Zebra is mild entertainment, far from the highest highs of Sturges’ career, but worth a look as a slice of period entertainment.

129. Neil Stryker and the Tyrant of Time (2017)

10 years in the making, this ultra low budget sci-fi action comedy tells the story of special agent Neil Stryker saving the world from the clutches of “The Mad Scientist”.  I applaud the creativity of the filmmaker in using all of the buffalo for props and art design. And the movie is jam-packed with jokes, many of which work. The problem is with the unfocused story- numerous sequences serve only to prolong the movie doing no service to the narrative.

130. Mortal Kombat (1995)

Some have called this movie the best video game to movie adaptation ever made.  It is at least the most accurate game to movie adaptation, following the game’s concept pretty much completely. The “movie” itself though is a hopeless failure; the performances are embarrassing, and the computer effects were unconvincing and dated even for the time. Watch this only for its worth as a piece of mid 1990s nostalgia.

131. Nova Seed (2016)

On a world where humanity is dying out after decades of conflict, mutated animal-human hybrids roam the Earth. The humans hunt them down mercilessly, though a few are kept alive and forced to fight in gladiatorial combat. Meanwhile, the evil Doctor Mindskull plots world domination by harnessing the powers of nature itself. Hand drawn by the director on his own over 4 years, with the director handling most of the other stages of production, Nova Seed is a fascinating product of a singular vision. The art design hearkens back to 80s animation like Heavy Metal, Fire and Ice, and a heaping helping of Saturday Morning cartoons. The story is told with minimal dialogue, mostly through news broadcasts and a handful of ancillary characters. The rougher edges of this project (voice acting mostly) are easily forgiven in the name of creativity at its purest.

About Oberst von Berauscht

Oberst Von Berauscht once retained the services of a Gypsy to imbue in him the ability to accurately describe the artistic qualities of a film up to seven decimal points. To maintain this unique skill, he must feast on the blood of a virgin every Harvest Moon, or failing that (and he usually does), he can also make a dog do that thing they do where they twist their heads slightly (you know, when they're confused about something) at least a few times a week. I've gotten way off track here... The point is, Oberst is one of the website's founders, so... yeah

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