myspace layouts, myspace codes, glitter graphics Totally Biased Book and Movie Review: 04/01/2007 - 05/01/2007

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Pathfinder Movie Review


Starring: Karl Urban, Moon Bloodgood

Directed by: Marcus Nispel

Rated: R for strong brutal violence throughout

99 minutes (a.k.a. FEREVER)

Welcome to the review of the worst movie of 2007, so far. I know, that is a pretty heady title to put on a film that I had listed as “To See”. I realize that 2007 has barely even begun and I might have to stick with this as “worst movie” for quite a while…well, I’m willing to. This movie was bad on a level seldom approached in recent years- bad on so many levels that the badness has yet to sink into my head, in the “bad” section…. It refuses to land, but keeps floating up in front of my eyes, going, “Remember me? Remember how bad I was? Remember the money you gave to them, so that you could see me? Do you now think that was a smile of politeness, as they took your money, or was it a ‘You stupid sucker’ smile, because you were giving them money so you could watch me? And I was really, really bad, wasn’t I? MWAHAHAHA.”

The popcorn was the first hint. When the local theater runs out of the usual white cheddar topping, they replace it with this gross, salty, disgusting stuff, and you don’t know it is the second-grade, replacement topping until you are in your seat and grabbing your first handful, shoving it in your mouth to crunch on happily and –plaw! Eyes bulging, you are trying not to spit it on the floor, as your mouth slowly adjusts to the new flavor, the unexpected flavor, the whatthehell is this flavor…. I am guessing it takes about fifteen to twenty seconds before you assimilate all information and realize it is that horrid, replacement topping, not the usual stuff. There should be a sign, theater people, do you hear me?! A sign you put next to the popcorn topping, that says, “This is not the USUAL stuff, but a very POOR REPLACEMENT topping. It is SALTY and GROSS and you will PROBABLY HATE it. Thank you, enjoy the show.”

Obviously the above was a delaying tactic- trying to avoid revisting Pathfinder, even in my own head.

The story revolves around Ghost, or so I am told upon reading at the IMDb site, but honestly, I do not believe his name was mentioned once in the actual film. Lest you think he is Pathfinder, think again, wouldya? Pathfinder is some old Indian dude who doesn’t seem to have anything to do with the main character, Ghost, except for the fact that Ghost seems to have a big heart-on (wasn’t that punny?) for his daughter. Ghost is a Viking kid, abandoned by the so-called “Dragon Men” a long time ago, raised by the peaceful tribe, and yet still an outsider. Of course.

Now let me say that I have a stretchy sense of belief, ok? I can go a long way in a movie by reminding myself that it isn’t real, it isn’t supposed to be real, and I shouldn’t expect it to be real. But this movie stretched it to the breaking point. Oh, and there are going to be spoilers here, although honestly, if you have seen the previews for this movie, you have seen everything there is to see, and can probably write out a fairly accurate summary of the plot based on that 2 minute clip. Here you go, as example: Vikings come and butcher Indians. Leave child behind. Indians raise child in their ways. Child becomes poofy-muscled man, but always feels a sense of “not belonging”. Vikings come back. Vikings butcher Indians. Poofy-muscled man goes on a butt-kicking rampage to avenge his adopted people. Somewhere in the story, a tough yet vulnerably lovely Indian maiden will 1. Be at risk 2. Risk herself for him 3. Be in love with him for no comprehensible reason. In the end, poofy-muscled man will win and finally know his true self and he and the maiden will live forever happily with many papooses. The end.

Yep, close enough. Now let me tell you how awful they made this simple plot.

First of all, the natives spoke apple-pie English. I seriously expected the braves to start calling each other “dude”. On the other hand, the Vikings spoke some very Swedish-norwegian-icelandic sounding language where every fricking word had about nineteen syllables. So a simple, “Come here” would take fifteen seconds to say… “Shniden volken frienden corlavaska enachoven pianki schnoven rendersundenven orsund!” …and let’s face it, it is just not a scary sounding language.

Ghost, although he has been with the Indians since he was a small boy, has a sword that he apparently has been training himself with. We are supposed to swallow that he has, through solo practice, become this total, supremo swordsman, capable of beating seasoned Viking veterans with no sweat. And not only does he have these great swordsman skills, he can apparently ride a horse pretty damn well, too, although the Indians do not seem to have horses, so it’s doubtful that he has had one to practice on in the last fifteen years.

There are a billion and three reasons why this movie stunk, but I will limit myself to just three more, although they will be in true, run-of-the-sentence kaat style. The entire film is shot in this depressing, dark way…very cool at first, but by the end of the movie you are longing for just one shot in brightness, while the seasons change without warning- first its spring, then its winter, good golly, a snowstorm around every bend, but then WHY do the guys all wear little breechclouts down below and nothing else? ( Big furry coats and cloaks are everywhere, but their thighs look so cold! )The Vikings need to switch to waterproof mascara, because the stuff they are using now makes them look like clowns, although I realize it was supposed to be scary, but seriously, did the Viking really paint their faces before raiding helpless Indian villages? Which brings me to the final- why were the Natives such total wimps? They will face down a roaring bear without batting an eyelash but the entire village is basically wiped out with barely a finger lifted in defense… with the notable exception of the hotheaded young bunch of braves that idiotically stumble into the trap Ghost had set for the bad guys, thus the only person to save them all is poofy-muscled whiteboy who doesn’t even “know who he is”. UGHNEFERSHNEIZEN. That, my friends, is a sound of pure, unadulterated disgust, in Vikingese.

I give it 1 &…

& the horses and the dogs that the Vikings brought (oh yes, of course they traveled the billion miles by boat with their horses and their dogs…wouldn’t you?) were cool looking

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Friday, April 13, 2007

To See or Not To See, and BUY MY BOOK

To See or Not to See, based on the glorious previews that I sit through every time I see a movie. Fine readers and fellow movie viewers, feel free to chime in - comments section, or email, and let me know what you advise- what you are looking forward to, or what you dread....

To See:

The third in the Pirates of the Caribbean series.. the end of the world, or whatever… Ok, it is called At World’s End. Now, I am not saying I will go the theater for this, in all likelihood, I will not. I will watch it once it arrives at my doorstep in a neat little red Netflix envelope. But I will see it, if for no other reason than Johnny Depp is amusing in that character, come on, you have to admit it! No matter how lame the second one might have been compared to the fist, it was still interesting enough that I watched the entire thing, and I thought the action was good… plus, I wasn’t offended horribly by the “unrealistic” characters introduced, like Davey Jones with his face and headful of wormy tentacles. But I have to ask it, if you are looking for realism, why are you watching a movie called “Pirates of the Caribbean” instead of the discovery channel?

And… since we are talking about crazy ass sequels, what about the next Die Hard movie: Live Free or Die Hard? Of course I will see it, no matter how much it makes me cringe to even imagine it. But look at the Rocky movie- that turned out to be pretty damn good.

Sadly, I doubt very much that Lt. John McClane is going to be portrayed as the older, softer version, as Rocky was. Judging from the previews, there isn’t going to be a whole lot in common with the original Die Hard, either (one of my favorite movies ever). Nope, looks like lots of explosions and lots of cars racing and McClane guffawing and floating one liners at a young, silly “partner” who will be in awe of this mysterious old man’s expertise in…well, just about anything. And… they have his daughter. *swelling- serious - music *. So, even if it isn’t a good Die Hard movie, it probably still falls under the category of sweaty men with guns getting revenge, therefore it’s watchable to me.

Not To See:

Perfect Stranger, on the other hand, does not look very interesting to me. I will see Bruce Willis in the Die Hard movie, but this…not so much. Halle Berry and Willis are both pretty big star power to draw folks in, but not in this way- Berry thinks Willis killed her friend, and now she has to go “undercover” to prove it. Not only is it hard for me to think of Willis as a weaselee, murdering, big businessman, it is also hard for me to think of Berry as an undercover secret agent-type, ferreting out mysteries. This is the kind of movie where my (admittedly short) attention span gets entirely away from me, and I go to the bathroom six hundred times, and keep pouring my popcorn on the floor so that I can go get a 50 cent refill. Speaking of which, does everyone have this option at their local theater? You buy this huge tub of buttery goop popcorn for about nineteen dollars, BUT… if you eat it all and still want to manifest your extreme gluttony, you can go get it “refilled” for 50 cents? Same goes for the seventeen dollar cup o’ Pepsi. Is this unique to my home’s movie theater, or do all theaters have such a fricked up way of selling shit? Oh, I was saying, I doubt I will see this one, but who knows? If it gets good reviews, I might change my mind. That is, after all, a Kaat’s prerogative.

What doyathinkof: (Or.. “I am not sure if I will see or not see”)

Disturbia, where an extremely young looking Shia LaBeof (and yes it is hard for me to see him as a grownup after all that Holes nonsense… how can he be under arrest again, but as an “adult” just a few years later?) is under house arrest and so, of course, starts spying on the neighborhood. He discovers not only that he has a hot neighbor who wants to spy with him, but that one of the other neighbors just might be a knife-wielding maniac. Always fun! Anyone looking forward to this one?

And one final note- please do admire the newly published “ 30 Kaat Dayz”, sold at Lulu, advertised just over to the right of this post under “Biased reviews in a book? Let me BUY IT!” If not to purchase, just to, you know, admire the dazzling cover that I labored over in photoshop for like, I dunno, twenty minutes or even twenty-three.

It is a collection of thirty blog posts, sort of a “test book” to screw around with on lulu, but when I mentioned it to a few people, they expressed a strange desire to buy it. Ok, whatever, crazy, people, there it is. Make me rich or something.

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Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Shooter Movie Review


Starring: Mark Wahlberg, Michael Peña, Danny Glover, Kate Mara

Directed by: Antoine Fuqua

Rated R for strong graphic violence and some language.

124 min

Shooter was on my list of movies to see for quite awhile. Firstlee, because it is my kind of movie. I make no apologies for loving this kind of movie. I have said from the very beginning that I like kicking ass, revenge-type movies where there are big, sweaty men, preferably with guns, getting their revenge on and generally kicking badguy butt in big quantities. This was precisely what I knew Shooter was going to be, and I wasn’t disappointed. The secondly reason was because I wanted to consider Mark Wahlberg in the role of my Forever Hero, Jack Reacher, should the books about him ever be made into movies (oh pleeze, Kind Movie Gods, let it be so!).

A side note to any UK readers who want my eternal gratitude…if you were to get me the new Reacher book before it’s release date in the US, well I’d be forever in your debt. Why it comes out there THIS month and not here until NEXT month, well that is because someone in the publishing industry has a cruel sense of humor and likes to make people like me squirm with impotent rage and impatience.

K, done squirming. As a Reacher, I think Wahlberg would do well enough, except that he doesn’t quite meet the physical requirements. But since watching the 8 foot tall Xerxes in 300, I have realized that actors don’t have to be “6'5", 220-250 lbs., 50" chest” (heehee, stats from the page of Lee Child.…Oh my… my Reacher obsession took over again, I am sorry. I could be writing a letter to my elderly aunt and suddenly look down and see that the last four paragraphs are about Mr. Reacher, and somehow that happened when I began discussing her cat’s incontinence problems. Don’t ask how, the connection always appears somehow. But, anyway, I was talking about SHOOTER.

Wahlberg plays Bob Lee Swagger, who used to be the greatest sniper dude around. He is a disenchanted US Army vet who left the service after the service left him- and his “spotter”- deep in enemy territory on a mission that wasn’t supposed to be missioning. Swagger got out, his spotter didn’t. Now he has become a hermit of sorts, living in a remote mountain cabin with his dog, who fetches beer, a prerequisite in being a hermit dog, I do believe.

His peaceful, if suspicious life is disrupted by the arrival of Glover, Colonel Isaac Johnson, who has come to drag Swagger out of his isolation so that he can save the president. (Glover talks like he has a mouthful of spit and/or gravel for the first half of the show, what was up with that?) Apparently, there are assassination plans underway and the only way to stop them is to beat them to it- how would Swagger do it? Twisting of the patriotic arm ensues, and reluctantly, Bob Lee starts figuring out how he would kill the president. Can you all see the big betrayal on its way? Yep, thought so. Bob Lee doesn’t see it, however, until he has been shot and is running for his life, accused of trying to kill the president, with no one to trust and no where to go.

Viewers get to see his survival skills in the urban jungle, and although someone if it a bit farfetched, it is all fun. Along the way, Bob Lee picks up some compadres, Nick Memphis, and FBI agent who sees that the pieces are not fitting as well as he was taught they should in the academy, and his spotter’s widow, the positively DARLING actress Mara, who is really “cute” until she smiles fully in one scene, and is transformed into breathtaking. I love actors/actresses who can change like that with one smile. Bodes well for their performances in the future. I think we will see her more often.

So the government naughty men are in for it- from a one man army, with his backup of two, and of course the movie water knows Bob Lee will more than match them. The government trained him to stay alive, after all, and he is going to do it, no matter how inconvenient it is to their evil plans. The plotline was actually a bit more complicated than I would normally expect in a movie of the genre, probably thanks to the fact that it was adapted from the novel "Point of Impact" by Stephen Hunter, a damn fine bookster. Moral of the story: The true American is not going to stand for no double-crossing from a lisping, secretly evil colonel, and that is how these kind of movies are supposed to be, right?

I give it 3 and ½ &s…

&… the plot was better than expected

&… even though parts were completely unrealistic, it is a fact I don’t go to movies for fact, but fiction, and as long as it’s entertaining fiction, it’s ok by me

&… Marky Mark is fleshing out nicely into an action type movie hero

½ &… big explosions, fights, guns, etc.

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Wednesday, April 04, 2007

To See Or Not To See-

To See or Not to See, based on the glorious previews that I sit through every time I see a movie. Fine readers and fellow movie viewers, feel free to chime in - comments section, or email, and let me know what you advise- what you are looking forward to, or what you dread....

To See-


This may indeed be a predictable type of story line, and a predictable type of movie, but ooh baby, it’s what I like. Looks like the Vikings come apillagin’ and pretty much kick a whole lotta Native American butt, way before the white guys with horses came and destroyed everything. They leave one behind, however, a young boy, who we can see from the preview is going to be raised by the injuns and is going to totally riot on the Vikings when they next stick their furry faces in the scene.

Not to See-


If you only knew how many endless, forever-gone-never-going-to-get-them-back hours of my life were spent watching and/or listening to Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Movie Three, when my oldest son was a toddler and in that horrible stage of watching movies over and over and over again…. you would not even need to know why I will never, and that means EVER, watch the continuing adventures of the four adolescent mutated turtles gifted in the art of ninja. No matter how good the animation is. The very word “Splinter” makes me shudder with coagulated boredom.

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