|11.05.11||DVR||This Screening is part of event: DVRfest 2011|
Boom it's DVRfest time.
Once again, I'll devote (or try to devote as the case has already proven to be) the weekend to clearing my DVR of saved movies and also celebrating another anniversary of this movie journal. Can you believe this is the 7th one!? I totally can. So if you still follow this and care about me seeing random movies that you've already seen, why not follow along?
Oh, that's right, because it usually starts Friday night and I usually would've seen 4 movies by now. That's why not. Well, As anyone bored enough to still read this journal knows, I've been in a non-movie-watching slump for like 3 years now. In fact, the past few DVRfests have reflected that slump getting so bad as me forgetting all about it last year until the very last minute. Well I have good news and bad news for this year. The good news is that, perhaps for the first time since the very first year, I actually have randomly-saved movies on my DVR dating back to February that needs to be cleared out. Nothing has been saved just for the sake of the fest and no netflix or computer movies will pad out the schedule. The bad news is that there's only 6 of them and I'm already behind.
I tried my best to start the fest last night but fell asleep two separate times trying to watch this first movie which is, as the title states, Predators.
So... I really love the Predator franchise. I think the first one is one of the top three action movies of the 80s (the others being Die Hard and... something else). I think the second one is a very worthy sequel that's mostly underrated (aside from the Gerardo music in the beginning) and I've always thought there was still new ground to uncover with the Predator species in new movies. The Alien vs. Predator films didn't please fans of either franchise and really only stand there to be made fun of and as examples of how to ruin a great concept twice. So when I heard there was a new Predator movie without the aliens back in the jungle with a decent cast, I got really excited. Of course, as everybody already knows, it's kind of a crap movie.
On paper, they seemed to get a lot right. Band of badassess, not set on earth (spoiler!), a cadre of multiple Predators hunting them... Sounds right, right? So Why did it go so wrong and end up boring enough for me to fall asleep during it, wake up and rewind to where i was, fall asleep again, and have to try again the next day? It's really such a shame. It should've been such a solid action movie but it really wasn't in any way. I didn't buy Adrien Brody as being tougher than anyone else (except Topher Grace), I hated how we hardly ever saw anything from the Predator's POV, much less got to see them using awesome alien group techniques. All their cool new Predator gear was either kind of lame (oh great they have a boomerang with an IR camera on it and it fits on their shoulder like every other peice of gear they have) or not shown well at all. In fact I feel like I barely got enough sense of the variation between the predators to even know which was which. Then all the deaths are lame and the ending really falls apart with these blaring wholes that they never bother to explain like how the ship takes off or when Brody had time to watch the first movie and memorize Arnie's lines. I know I'm supposed to think that the modern-day yakuza guy who knows how to handle a samurai sword because they teach that in Japanese grade school squares off against the Predator in the field of tall grass, but to me it looked like a guy in a suit who can't see shit waving his arms around and then they both die without us seeing what exactly happened. At this point I was a little embarassed for the fictional race of Predators. Somehow there IS a difference between the group of them not killing Danny Glover because he bested the one hunter who was out on his training quest to become a man or whyever these dudes go out one by one and a hunter letting the japanese guy get back up when he falls down because he's somehow absorbed ancient samurai dueling etiquette and wants his hand-claw slice to count for the judges. Breathe, Brian. new paragraph.
So, the reall bummer of this movie to me is that it sort of made me think that maybe there are no more good Predator movies to be made. I mean, the second movie managed to move the action to a city, introduce new Predator gear (like the awesome disc blade and expanding spear and personal napalm healing kit), expand the world by having Gary Busey aware of the alien and try to capture it for science, and expand the alien mythology by making them hunt other species and having their trophies on the ship. If that one movie that's considered crap by most do all of that, what's this one do? Oh great, there's a random jungle planet that they use for training, and there's a weird blood fued between Predators and slightly-larger Predators that makes no sense. Why is the smaller Predator even there if the whole planet is just for the bigger Predators to train? I mean, the hunting thing was already pounded to death with the AvP series anyway. So in essence, this movie is a near-complete retread in terms of franchise growth, but executed at a lower level than the first two. Great. That's worth watching. But what else is there to do? Go to the predator homeworld of course but I don't think that'd be very fun.
It would be so cool to have an alien movie where the predator completely invades like half-way through. Pull a total Psycho and not mention the predator in any of the trailers or anything and actually have some form of alien movie that's interesting enough on its own, then BOOM a predator lands in the middle of it just to stir up shit. Like a weird Predator sub-plot in the second act. That'd be sweet.
Anyway, Disappointment with this, as you all could have told me before I sat down last night. Maybe someday another Predator movie will come along that really lives up to the first two but my hope is dwindling.
So... Next up is... probably a movie I shouldn't bother watching!