Love crappy movies but are too ashamed to admit it? Are you a big Rob Schneider fan but you're tired of being burned? Not sure if you want to waste your money on the same old movie? That's why you have Joe.
Joe Loves Crappy Movies is by Joseph Dunn. Joe willingly goes to see the very worst that Hollywood has to offer. Whenever a crappy movie comes out Joe will be there to see it, make fun of it, and actually review it. Nothing is safe, and nothing is sacred. From the big budget action disasters to the low brow fart based comedies, to anything starring Martin Lawrence? Joe will tear it apart.
With each entry you'll get not only a comic poking fun at the movie, but also a detailed review. Joe's not educated in film or cinematography or acting, he's just a guy that draws comics and likes movies. So if you're looking for the everyman perspective and a little joke in comic form... you're in the right place.
Viewed: 2:30pm 03/01/06
Starring: Konstantin Khabensky, Vladimir Menshov, Valeri Zolotukhin
Directed by: Timur Bekmambetov
Fox Searchlight Official Site of the movie
Russia got so fed up of all these American trilogy franchise masterpieces, that they decided to make their own, and in the process put a handful of our blockbusters to shame. It's no Matrix or Indiana Jones but it certainly kicks the crap out of the Mummy movies.
Night watch is part one of that trilogy that deals with themes that may not surprise you. It's filled with good vs. evil, vampires, children with mysterious powers. The best ideas are the best ideas for a reason. They work. And even in Russian, even with subtitles, even with a few minor pacing problems, it definitely works here.
Anton Gordetsky is a lost youth who finds his true purpose during a desperate attempt to regain a lost love. He discovers secret abilities. Abilities that qualify him to become a Nightwatcher. Nightwatchers are creatures of good that police the activities of the evil, making sure they don't cross any lines. The evil creatures of the world have their own Daywatchers that work the opposite beat making sure that the truce between good and evil stays properly balanced. Think Cops with shirtless hillbilly criminals that are invisible and trying to suck your blood.
They've got super powers and they use them. We're treated to a lot of cool conceptual action with morphing cat ladies and wireworks galore. It all looks sharp and is very believable in the adapted environment. It's further helped by spectacular work behind the camera. Beautiful angles and calculated compositions make the film as much a work of art as it is knock down drag out vampire flick.
If you're turned off by subtitles ? don't worry. There's enough action to fill the void, and if that weren't enough the subtitles are ALIVE. They're part of the environment, part of the atmosphere. When someone screams the subtitles grow and break apart. It's cool enough that you won't mind doing a little extra reading.
The one fault I found with the movie was the pacing. It seems to drag a bit in the middle and I'm not really sure why. It's not like the plot gets too thick or the action too sparse, but I do feel like things could have been stepped up a little. "Get to the point" you know?
I'd like to stay away from spoilers and just tell you that they've really gone the extra mile to create their own story here. Societies, history, prophecies and the like are all carefully constructed to Lucas proportions. I got the feeling that I could point at one of the random characters in the background and say "what's that guys story" and be met with a novel length biography detailing everything from lineage to sperm count. They've truly created a world of their own.
Nightwatch is fantastic ride as they educate you on the past and slowly reveal the new challenges of the future. It's a film worthy of its cult status. And most cult films aren't.
Rating: 7 out of 10
I liked it a great deal, but dropped some points for the pacing problems. It took me out of the film that much. There is hope though? This movie has actually been out since 2004 with its sequel coming out in Russia this year. Of course it's become so popular that a US produced one is now in the works and will no doubt feature like, Paul Walker or somebody. I'm ok with bringing it to the US as long as they stay true to original themes and the original spirit that made these Russian versions so good. The major benefit I can see is that the funding would be behind it. We might be able to see that dude turn into a bear this time. They tease you so bad ? "Yep, I can change into a bear." Then why don't you, jerk!?
DVD worthy?: I'm on the fence. The movie alone was good but not awesome. I do feel it would be better with a complete set so part of me would like to wait and see if they continue the story and I would just buy a full franchise. As a stand-alone though, I'm not so sure.
If you liked this movie check out: Constantine
Constantine had the same sort of feeling to it. Lots of interesting ideas centered on this hidden world of good and evil. The comic I did points to a better series of movies to check out, but Constantine retains the same grit that Nightwatch captured so well.
I liked Constantine, but didn't love it. Most people down right hated it, but some of that I feel is a little misguided. It had a lot to live up to being based on one of the greatest comic books of all time, and one of the most real and truthfully bad ass characters in comics history, the movie could never live up to the fan boy expectations.
Like many movies (Godzilla Aeon Flux), it was a half way decent movie that may have been excepted better if it were disassociated from it's source material. As Constantine, it's a poor adaptation. As Keanue versus Heaven and Hell, it's a cool little movie.
Trailer Hitch: "Where's Mamma!?"
Ok, there were no new trailers before Nightwatch so I decided I want to talk a little more about The Hills Have Eyes. I've pretty much decided that I will not see this movie because it's too freaky. I can deal with horror, I can deal with gore, it's the deformed monster aspect that is wigging me out. Not that I have problem with deformities. People are people. But exploiting that in the interest of horror is a little much.
It is effective. To me anyway. If I were to see it I do know what the comic would be. In the trailer someone actually screams "Where's Mamma!?". I'm sorry, but that is the funniest thing in the world. Couldn't tell you why, it just tickles me. So if there were a comic it would just be me laughing hysterically after the guy says that. So it's probably a good idea I'm not going through with it.
If there are any brave souls out there that would like to write a guest review for The Hills Have Eyes, shoot me an e-mail and I'll happily do a comic to go along with it. I'll even put you in the comic if you can provide a photo. Let me know.
Vote today to see my version of a Jedi Vampire. It was actually kind of fun with all the tattoos and stuff. Sort of would like to explore it more. Maybe make a proper meme out of it over at LJ.
Non movie related stuff:
Had an interview go up yesterday over at Stumblebum Studios. Lots of fun, a couple of twist questions that I really enjoyed. Want my deep thoughts on Pictionary? Look no further, the answers are within.
The man behind the interview also happens to be behind one of my favorite new reads Cultural Void. It just celebrated it's 1 year mark, but I've only been reading for a couple of months, so I'm still in the lovey dovey stage. Soon it will turn to bitter phone calls and accusations of cheating with other web comics. Until then? it's magic. Thanks for the interview and the great comics, Dave.
I'm happy to report I'm participating in guest week over at The Outer Circle. Like last weeks guest spot over at Hell Ain't So Bad I became a huge fan of the strip in the process of researching the guest spot. TOC is a fantastic devilishly funny read told from the perspective of the creator that knows he's in the comic. Comes out daily too so there's always something waiting for you. Definitely worth your time.
Man, there's tons of stuff going on. I'll need to save some of it for the next comic. And that comic will be one devoted to the Oscars. That will go up tomorrow. Sorry to anyone asking for advice on this past weekends movies. Those comics should be up later this week. In summary: Ultraviolet - Violently craptasticle. 16 Blocks - A little slow but worth the walk. Thanks for reading!
Joe – The creator of the strip who has embraced giving crappy movies the chance they deserve. Like the majority of the cast he’s obsessed with boobs.
First Appearance - The Introduction
Yeo – Yeo is Joe’s wife and often the voice of reason in the strip. Having her act rational allows the rest of the cast to embrace being in a comic strip which primarily involves randomly punching people, interacting with fictional characters and talking about boobs. Yeo is smart, beautiful and way too good for Joe. Don’t tip her off.
First Appearance - Fever Pitch
Irv – Joe’s movie-going sidekick who’s always down for watching Jason Statham crescent moon kick some thug through a plate glass window and getting some drinks before after and during a Vin Diesel movie. Like the majority of the cast he’s obsessed with boobs.
First Appearance - Ong-Bak: The Thai Warrior
Agent 337 George Jones – A government Agent that took over for Joe after he was bad-mouthing President Bush in the V for Vendetta strip. George ran the show for over a month bring a much needed sense of patriotism and justice to both the strips and reviews. He eventually got too attached to his work, empathizing with Joe’s plight to give crappy movies a fair shake. In a way he came to love crappy movies as well and was pushed out of the position. He spiraled out of control and ended up in prison. His adventures will be told in the limited series JLCM Presents: 337 Locked Up which is set to début Christmas of 09.
First Appearance - V for Vendetta
Other Notable Appearances: Stay Alive, Ice age 2, Larry the Cable Guy: Health Inspector, Slither, Here Comes Guest week, Let’s Go To Prison
Leonidas – The former king of Sparta who has traveled into the future and is having trouble coping with the modern times. Yelling loudly and kicking people into giant holes doesn’t really work the same way it did in the olden days. As time as gone by he’s adjusted but it’s a safe bet that he’s always one bad message away from throwing a spear through someone.
First Appearance - 300
Other Notable Appearances: Four Brothers, Strip# 300, The Golden Compass, Rambo, Untraceable, The Ladies of Max Paybe
Palpatine – Former Senator, Emperor of the Galactic Empire, Sith Lord... He shows up in the Joe Loves Crappy movies galaxy on occasion to let people know that they’re being stupid. No one’s really sure how he shows up in this universe but chances are it breaks all kinds of copywrite laws.
First Appearance - Episode III: The Dark Side
Other Notable Appearances: Four Brothers, Night Watch, Saw 3, Are We Done Yet
Slow Billy – Billy is a sweet kid but he’s not the sharpest tool in the shed. If you’re watching him for the day be prepared to explain to him the plot of the movie or how popcorn works or, not so much where babies come from, but what babies are. He’s a complete moron.
First Appearance - Four Brothers
Other Notable Appearances: The Chronicles of Narnia, The Da Vinci Code, Vantage Point, Journey to the Center of the Earth
Kyle the Movie Snob – Be careful what fun facts about movies you tell your friends at a friendly gathering or in line for the latest blockbuster, because if you’re even slightly wrong, Kyle will be more than happy to let you know. He usually gets what’s coming to him though. Poor guy has cracked three ribs since joining the JLCM cast.
First Appearance - Ultraviolet
Other Notable Appearances: 16 Blocks, Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End, Transformers, Journey to the Center of the Earth
Jean-Luc Picard – Another lawsuit waiting to happen is Jean Luc Picard who, towards the end of the strip’s first year, became the go-to background character. If there was ever a seat to fill or a random person to place wandering around in the background, nine times out of ten it was Picard. While Picard has crossed paths with Irv he and Joe have never met. Perhaps they will some day but for now just can an eye on the background.
First Appearance - The Producers
Other Notable Appearances: I’m not telling you, that’s no fun. It’ like Where’s Waldo – go find him!
Ice Cream Sandwich – Delicious and… deadly? Usually when you see someone eating an Ice Cream sandwich, someone else is experiencing a substantial amount of pain. Still, how nice is an ice cream sandwich on a hot summer day?
First Appearance - Saw IV
Other Notable Appearances: Bee Movie, Run Fatboy Run, Saw V