Saturday, March 29, 2014

I Saw This!! Ghost of a Chance of Waves

The Conjuring, 2013, James Wan -- download
Tidal Wave, 2009, Youn Jk -- download
Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs 2, Cody Cameron, Kris Pearson -- download

The whole idea of I Saw This! is to capture those movies I have let pass without review, with a good enough time gone by so anything but some primary details fade. I know you know this, but I am saying it again as it really applies to these three movies.

The Conjuring is a "period piece" horror movie set in the 70s where a family moves into a house haunted by a violent spirit and seeks out the assistance of a pair of paranormal investigators, known for either debunking or dealing with the nasty things. Think Sam & Dean from Supernatural but without all the CW trappings, and they are husband and wife.  These are the legit investigators with a basement full of the trophies of defeated demons, spirits and ghosts. The Perron family needs their help to keep their lovely fixer upper house.

James Wan, known for Saw, directed this. I didn't let that deter me as he also did one of my favourite horrors of late, Insidious. The trouble is that he brings back Patrick Wilson as investigator Ed Warren. You might end up mixing up the two characters in your head or maybe it was just me. Anywayz, its a great atmospheric movie, full of dark shadows, claps & bumps in the night and some fun, legitimate scares. And it looks good. Despite horror plots always blurring for me, as their tropes are repetitive, if the visual imagery sticks with me, the tones and colours and textures, the I know I enjoyed the movie.

P.S. Check out this great fan-art poster by myrmorko at DeviantArt. It actually struck me as a better image than most of the official posters.

Next we have something that I indulged in because of a dearth in disaster porn lately. As I explained on FB, no, disaster porn doesn't involve a young lady answering the door, during a tornado, in revealing negligee, but likens to my guilty pleasure in enjoying movies where natural disasters are causing great destruction. As I said, dearth. I can watch my copies of 2012 or Deep Impact again or I can try some from other countries. I now avoid the stupid SyFy / Asylum flicks. My enjoyment of bad for bad's sake has waned.

Unfortunately, this has all the trappings of the same genre -- low budget, terrible effects and is wrapped up in the incredible melodrama that is South Korea cinema. In many instances, such as Oldboy or in horror movies, this works. Here, it becomes grating. I didn't care about any of the unlikable characters and didn't feel anything for the resort town that was about to be swamped by a tsunami... excuse me, MegaTsunami.

The basic plot is that a geologist knows about an unstable area of the ocean and is convinced that a mega-tsunami will come in the next few years, wiping out the coast of South Korea. Everyone ignores him. Of course. Meanwhile a handful of annoying characters living in the coastal town cause drama for each other oblivious as to how their normal lives are about to end. When the bad CGI wave comes, they all have to forget their differences and help each other out. Some die, some live. Boo hoo.

The only part I enjoyed was thinking about the unlicensed (as far as I could tell) restaurant that Yeon-Hee ran on the waterfront. Imagine if you could set up some lawn chairs and a blue tarp tent and call it a restaurant. Catch the fish yourself, cook the fish yourself and hope people don't get poisoned by the lack of any hygiene regulations. Its a concept that I don't think would fly in Toronto, despite what the foodtruck fans tell you.

Finally we have Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2. I loved the first. And the idea of them spinning a sequel off the same plot as Jurassic Park 2 is brilliant. The characters from the first movie return to the island that has been changed by the food-life machine. Problem is that the base-plot (evil food scientist with ulterior motives) is boring. And the puns are no longer cute and giggle worthy, just run of the mill and in your face. The voice acting is still spectacular and the animation is great. That said, Steve still cracked me up, as well as Tim Lockwood's eyebrows.

And that's it. Actually less to say about it that a stupid CGI tidal wave movie.  Wow. Plot? Well, the return to the island, defeat evil food scientist pretty much covers it. Nothing else stuck with me.