Mr. Bo Ziffer's Profile - Rotten Tomatoes

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Rating History

Hobo With a Shotgun
6 years ago via Rotten Tomatoes

I highly suggest you don't watch this alone; the film just isn't as satisfying if you can't turn to the person next to you for a glimpse of shock and disgust on their face.

Of all the Grindhouse films, this one (based on the winner of the international Grindhouse trailer contest) follows the rules and stipulations of what a Grindhouse film should be the closest. As much as I like Planet Terror and Machete, Robert Rodriguez put a lot of money in a film in order to make it look low-budget, which is actually quite ironic coming from the guy who gave us the $7,000 wonder, El Mariachi. Death Proof had the retro, low-budget look, but there were many inconsistencies (excellent editing during the car chase scene, but can't handle a girl sitting down at a table?) Hobo With A Shotgun looks low-budget because it IS low-budget. It doesn't have to pretend to be low budget, but it is just as entertaining.

When a nameless homeless man (Rutger Hauer) steps off a train to Shit Towne, his main focus is to buy a cheap lawnmower and start his own business. But the streets are run with an iron fist by the maniacal Drake, and his sons, Slick and Ivan. Soon, the hobo realizes he can't stand aside while crackheads, thieves, and pedophile Santa Clauses are at large, and he takes action . . . with a pump-action shotgun! Enter the hooker with the heart of gold, demons on motorcycles, monologues about bears, and some of the most creative deaths put to film, and you've got one of the strangest exploitation films I've seen in a long time. And I've seen Ichi The Killer.

Not since Peter Jackson's Dead-Alive (Braindead) has my thirst been blood been so quenched. Decapitations, gut-busting shotgun blasts, and human pinatas are on display, warts and all in neon-lit, fish-eye lensed glory. Acting is over-the-top, save for Hauer, who is just right. But it's all in fun, provided you can handle it. If you saw the remake of Prom Night and thought "Ew, too bloody" . . . erm, this isn't your movie.

If you're a fan of Troma films, you'll probably like this movie. If you're looking for something with substance and great performances, I would STILL recommend this film, just to show you what you're missing.

Faster (2010)
6 years ago via Rotten Tomatoes

Once you've seen The Rock play a movie star with amnesia, a football player with an adorable daughter, or a tooth fairy, it's hard to take him seriously. "Faster" was his attempt to break from the family films and comedies and try to re-establish the bad-assery he displayed in The Scorpion King or The Rundown. It ain't happening.

In this movie, a getaway driver named Driver (The Rock) is released from prison after doing ten years time. From the other side, he is able to get information on the thugs who ambushed his team of bank robbers and killed his brother. After the first murder, a drug-addled cop named Cop (Billy Bob Thornton) takes the case and tracks Driver down, always a step behind. In addition, a killer named Killer (some British twat) is assigned to kill Driver before he can finish the job.

It astounds me how boring and slow a movie with the title "Faster" can be. There aren't really any action scenes. Driver shoots some walls; Cop walks through a hall; Killer talks to his therapist over the phone; Driver shoots Malachai from Children of the Corn; etc.

Killer is completely pointless and irrelevant to the plot. He was clearly shoe-horned in by one of the writers to try and pad the running time out. Billy Bob Thornton tries his best as a cop driven by duty, but The Rock's character sucks the excitement out of any and all action scenes. His lines of dialogue are few, but very poorly written.

But we don't watch for the dialogue: we want the big car chase! There has to be one, right? I mean, the movie's called "Faster"! The car was in all the trailers. Well, most of the time, Driver uses his awesome muscle car to drive five miles under the speed limit to his next target. He gets in one . . . count 'em, ONE . . . car chase with Killer that lasts for about a minute and a half, but that's it.

And if you havn't noticed, our main characters are named after their roles in the films, which I feel is needlessly complicated and confusing. When pitching this script, it must have been like a bad Abbott and Costello routine:

Writers: "So we got this guy, Driver . . . "
Execs: "Who is he?"
Writers: "He's Driver."
Execs: "We know that, but who is he?"
Writers: "We just told you. He's Driver. And he's being chased by Killer."
Execs: "Who is the killer?"
Writers: "Exactly."
Execs: "Oh, fuck off!"

In not so many words, it's over-plotted, yet dull and lifeless. It fails to take advantage of it's 70's Revenge Thriller inspirations, or even it's own title! Avoid at all costs.