Last of the Monster Kids

Last of the Monster Kids
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Sunday, October 24, 2010

Halloween 2010: October 24

Tremors 3: Back to Perfection (2001)
My blatant nostalgia for this series will really start showing now. These movies used to be on constant rotation on the SciFi Channel back during my early teens and I watched them over and over again. Smart things part three does: 1. Make Bert the lead character. While he always seemed like the type that worked better as a sparingly used supporting man, Michael Gross really makes the most of his opportunity here. 2. The supporting cast. 3. Getting the government involved in the story, not in a paranoia cover-up way but in a supportive way that drives the story. One of the things I always really liked about these film si that the monsters are not only public knowledge but exploited and sold. 4. El Blanco. He’s basically the Slimer of the series, a former threat that quickly became a harmless mascot. Things part three does that aren’t so smart. 1. The Ass-Blaster. I thought the Shrieker was a pretty big departure for the series but letting the monster take to the air is getting really good. 2. The effects. Hand puppets galore! Shaky CGI! 3. The gag of a monster blowing up and the intrails raining down on the heroes has gotten old. Flaws, and their considerable and all, I still sort of love this movie. (7/10)

Blood: The Last Vampire (2009)
I saw the anime movie a few years ago and thought it was pretty underdeveloped. (Haven’t read the manga or seen the series.) But I do understand why this would get adapted before better known, more successful series. The appeal of a Japanese schoolgirl chopping up monsters with a big samurai sword is universal. But, man, this is a shitty movie. The fight scenes are so ridiculous and over-the-top, but also serious and self-important. “Ramping” is abuse to such a degree that it would make Zack Synder look subtle. Everything is exaggerated but stylistically hollow. Bits are stolen from “Kill Bill,” “Wanted,” and the “Blade” films, to start. The saturated comic book look just ends up making the movie look even more unreal. Nothing ever has any weight. This isn’t real fighting, just people jumping around inside a computer. The rest of the movie feels similarly empty. The introduction of the general daughter is an obvious, and unnecessary, attempt to appeal to American audience. The ending is inconclusive and anticlimactic. The fake blood is really fake looking. I liked the gravelly voice fedora guy. Just to think, Ronny Yu could have directed this… (4/10)

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