Aftershock is a disasterously disastrous disaster flick. While dancing the night away in a swanky underground nightclub, a group of six hard-partying international tourists find their hedonistic Chilean holiday come to an abrupt end as their amoral world literally comes crashing down around them when the Andean nation is struck by a massive earthquake and its subsequent aftershocks. As chaos ensues underground because of mass casualties and blocked exits, the six must band together to find an alternate way to the streets of Valparaiso; but their survival and safety are not guaranteed (above ground) as the mountainous coastal city finds itself threatened by a possible tsunami, a crumbling infrastructure and -- because this is an Eli Roth screenplay -- a throng of maniacal and threatening escaped convicts in search of pretty girls. Aftershock also goes for grisly, blood-splattering pulpy gore intermingled with attempts at disconcerting humor just like many of Roth's other collaborations (Hostel, Cabin Fever, Grindhouse); but this one proves to be unsuccessful as he takes it ALL too far. A severed hand scene he must believe to be hilarious plays out for far too long and a disturbing rape scene had to be slightly edited to garner its R-rating (from an initial NC-17). The film is unfunny and it is distasteful and its third strike is the absence of anybody truly like-able. Once the quake hits, the film becomes one predictable disaster cliche after another. It is a why watch film unless one enjoys the timeless movie game "Who dies first and second and third and ...?!".
Dumb ... but also entertaining (if one doesn't mind martial arts and bloody carnage). This is the story of a blacksmith (RZA, doubling as the film's director) who realizes he must come to the aid of a few other warriors in their defense of their Chinese village of a corrupt and evil clan traitor. Also starring Russell Crowe (Gladiator, The Insider) and Lucy Lui (Charlie's Angels, Kill Bill), The Man With the Iron Fists is a bloody action extravaganza about right overcoming wrong that is pure camp (and beyond belief). The film holds no basis in reality; but that can be a positive to those who enjoy action and fun. This isn't my genre of film; but I laughed and enjoyed much of it. The cast is quite good and there is a plethora of interesting characters ... I just wish some of them were more utilized (namely the Gemini's). The film could be fun for those who enjoy slaying and fileting.
The Odd Life of Timothy Green was described as "enchanting", "magical", "emotional", "feel-good" and "inspiring" when it was released in theaters last year at the end of summer. The only word I could use from that sentence to describe Timothy Green and his movie is "odd" ... as in disturbingly odd. It is the story of a young husband (Joel Edgerton - Warrior) and wife (Jennifer Garner - 13 Going on 30) who are beyond-ready to be parents but are heartbreakingly unable to conceive. As they meet with an adoption agency, they recount a strange story in hopes of warming the coldest of hearts: "they wrote-up descriptions of the perfect child on various slips of paper and placed them into a box which they buried in their garden. In the middle of a stormy night, the couple awoke to find that a grown boy had sprouted from the garden and had leaves on his legs. The boy's name is Timothy and he teaches the entire town wonderful life lessons." Seriously ... and then they ask for another kid! The movie wants to be a whimsical fable that has rainbows emitting from the screen; but it hits all the wrong notes as these two desperate characters come across as people who are certifiably insane (I kept telling them to get off of my screen ... which might make me insane). It tries too hard and becomes uncomfortable as it is all put-upon, fake sweetness. It is a crazed overdose of saccharin ... and they need meds (not sugar pills).