FOR YOUR CONSIDERATION: Starship Troopers 2 (2004)

Oh, Starship Troopers. You knew the audience thirsted for more and yet you held out until your budget was slashed by nearly $100 million, and made your fans look for your desperately on the shelves of their local Blockbuster as you craftily snuck past the theaters and went straight to DVD.  You knew your story was too good for big name distractions like Neil Patrick Harris and Casper Van Diem, but you did allow the girl from Nip/Tuck to be a part.

If you saw the first Starship Troopers, you’ll recall this propagandist romp through the future ended happily with a massive bug captured and Neil Patrick Harris happily prancing through an alien world in a suspiciously Nazi-ist uniform, then blazed into the credits in a fit of glory.

Never forget

The sequel is a more thoughtful affair. There’s some soldiers trapped in a underground bunker where they intermittently fight bugs and shout a lot. There’s a girl infected with an alien who is brought in and immediately set loose so she can infect the rest of the staff with sexiness…also murder.

Basically, its Invasion of the Body Snatchers. One by one, everyone gets infected except for the doe eyed recruit who happens to be pregnant….and a little bit psychic. Her words.

Beyond this, there was a lot of blood, a lot of shouting, people getting hit over the head with blunt objects and a monologue about how its funny we’re all born insane.

There’s also a real darkness to this film.  There’s only two places it was shot – a open quarry in the dead of night and the basement of a cheese factory that hasn’t paid their electric bill.  You can’t see a thing.

We open our story with a recruitment video and this terrifying face beckoning us all to fulfill our citizen’s duty…

Which moves us into battle….

There’s bugs and its dark….

Like, really dark….

And no one talks. Just shouts.

Its at this point, roughly 15 minutes into the film, this shot blows the entire budget.

 

 

Even the bugs are like, “Wait, we can’t afford craft services?”

When the fighting just becomes too much, they go back into their quarantine/abandoned Hostess factory where they tend to a sick girl they found out in the field.

She’s fine. In no time she’s up and around, seducing all the men on the ship….

 

Its always sad when you see someone trying just waaaaay too hard….

This is our heroine (I think. The movie wasn’t super clear on it…). She’s quiet, has no backstory and prefers to wear her serious face at all times.

Don’t bother trying to joke around with her. Its just not going to happen….

And never corner her. Never, never corner  her.

Thank God this movie wasn’t shown in 3D. That nerve might have popped out and hit me in the face.

They found a grizzled poor man’s version of Gerard Butler in a closet. Immediately, he springs into a serious face off with our heroine.

Our heroine is pregnant, therefore….

….she’s kind of psychic. Kind of, so don’t get any ideas or start treating her like a novelty act. What that does entail is that she closes her eyes and sees bugs and her coworkers.  Not necessarily doing anything, just visions.

You guys! Her superior is psychic too! Kind of….

And so begins the alien infestation. This happens. None of the psychics called it, but apparently, that’s not part of their skills. Also, that’s disgusting.

Meanwhile, this cool drink of water doesn’t realize he’s about to die. Otherwise, he would have put more clothes on.

This is the last thing you want to see when you realize you left your pants in the other room.

When will these people realize that its not the invasion we’re fighting, but its ourselves?!?!?! They’re all infected so its going to be awhile.

You’d think with the amount of times our heroine was given a big gun, she’d do some damage.  You’d think that, but you’d be wrong.

In another darkened room and to save money in the budget, this scene was lit from a atomic powered flashlight.

Behold the mannish captain of the abandoned factory. This is a hard face. This is a face that challenges you.

Espescially when she’s holding your head up just to get a good look at it. On a side note, its just so….dark in here.

Maybe if we move outside it’ll be better….

Sigh….

Even outside, its just so dark.

The movie ends, with our heroine being the last one standing. We’re left with a poignant image of her walking away, child in hand,  from the institution that she spent so much time with. We’re left wondering the meaning of life, the meaning of violence and the meaning of this movie, that seemed to be clueless in everything it attempted.

For all of those unanswered questions, the filmmakers have no intention of leaving you behind.  That’s why they created this….

…Which was not enough to tell the whole story…

 

FOR YOUR CONSIDERATION: Gabe, The Cupid Dog (2012)

Its been awhile since I’ve posted, which means we are long due for anotherentry in the “Animals Who Talk But Looks Terrible On Film” category, but when I saw the movie artwork, I couldn’t say no to it….

After all, the dog has human eyes. I was kind of hoping it was a person trapped in the body of a dog, and the only way it could be set free was by getting a human to fall in love with it to break the spell. But that’s not what happened.  And as in the case of A Talking Cat?!?! its not even the same dog that was in the movie.

Instead, there’s a dog who’s owner is moving to London, something about a secret identity of a famous author and the dog sniffs out women.  There. Whatever visuals you just had from reading that sentence were probably better directed and acted out than what was in this movie.

You may ask yourself, “Hey, I hear this movie is directed by Michael Feifer. After seeing this, I might be interested in his other works…”

He is responsible for this…

The man enjoys dogs, I’ll say that.

Also this…

 

 

Just do what the dog says, and no one gets hurt. Or at least thrown in the river only to be found weeks later.

So here’s the best moments from the film.

 

Meet our hero – he sits at a desk and stares at his computer a lot, which is apparently what journalists do. He is bland and vague and the most interesting thing about him is that little dragon thing sitting on his desk. He is not a serial killer.

From here on, the director decided we wouldn’t truly be in the moment without uncomfortably tight close ups on his subject matter.

This is Gabe.  Look at him.

LOOK AT HIM.

(at this point he might be a serial killer.)

This is Eric’s coworker.  The camera loves him enough to be pushed into a  super close up.

This scene involves Gabe the Dog creeping up on a unsuspecting ginger girl and stealing her bikini top in hopes of her falling in love with his owner Eric. Even if I hadn’t consulted this directors IMDB page first, I would have wondered if he had ever lurked inside the mind of a serial killer based on this shot alone.

We all knew this wasn’t going to go well, and I suspect this girl was cast in exchange for giving the director her phone number.

 

Family friendly film or episode of To Catch a Killer? You decide.

This shot did not help me in my concerns that someone was about to die in a really ugly way.

This is the face that says, “Her head would make an excellent addition to my collection.”

“Hey girls, I’m making a movie right now. I can’t pay you, but if you’re willing to put on these bikinis, play with a dog and then meet me in this large manhole thats in the basement of my house, then we should have some fun.” – Michael Feifer.

Stop with the extreme close ups.  The camera clearly does not love this man’s face.  They’re barely even friends.

Now that Eric has graduated from staring at his neighbor Sara through the narrow slats on his fence to actually talking to her in a safe zone that’s the appropriate 100 feet from her house, we can really see the chemistry between these two go off.

Eric and Sara do go on a sort of date. She brings her kids and he brings them to a man who carves dark and disturbing death masks outside.

Eric seems the only one who’s entertained by it.

Honestly, I wish this movie had been about this sassy receptionist.  It would have been called, “Shirell, the Talking Receptionist” and I would have been happily watching that.

It should be noted that Eric is journalist.  However, Eric spends a lot of time not chasing down stories.  Just wandering around an office with a shovelface and not know what is going on. Thank goodness there’s a dog.

At one point, Gabe fakes an injury and gets Sara and her kids to rush him into the emergency room.  I should note here that if you’re rushing, you need to bend your knees to run.  None of this tiny shuffling with your legs tightly together business. Its like this is Sara’s first day in movement.

I’ve been to the vet plenty of times, but I do not recall ever posing with the entire staff with a couple of patients thrown in for extra ambience.

Just FYI, Gabe was fine, but the movie never told us where Eric hid the bodies. Chances are the director answered those questions in what was his next film….

 

FOR YOUR CONSIDERATION – A Talking Cat?!?!?! (2013

Right away, I want to give this movie the award for worst title of a movie ever. If you’ve ever taken bad Photoshop as a warning, heed these factors when looking at the poster for this movie.

1). The movie features a different cat.
2). No one has a lawn in this movie
3). Same for the fence.
4). The emotions shown on the poster were not found anywhere in the movie. People took the fact that a cat was given the gift of speech with mild if not dull surprise.

Here’s the synopsis of the movie: A cat talks.

There.

Was that answer too short for you?  Fine – a cat talks and people act mildly surprised.  Also Eric Roberts voices the cat in such a way that if you listen closely you can hear him do it over a iPhone.

Before we get started, lets see what else director David deCocteau has done…

Okaaaaay. He seems to like cats.

Um…okaaay.

Here’s the moments that were forever put on film to be enjoyed for centuries to come (really more of a threat to the actors involved than anything else…)

Cue the opening credits which was really just someone’s screensaver on their computer.

 

We meet this man – his face is large and doughy and we learn that he is wealthy and retired from a company that does computer things.

 

We meet his son – a whisper thin lad who talks about liking girls, but who’s body language says a very different story.

 

 

 

Dad comes home and we’re immediately plunged into a world where if you’re not uncomfortable, something is very very wrong.

Meanwhile, across town…and by town I mean in a forest location that in no way looks anywhere near the other location…

There’s a woman who is confused and can’t find shoes, and a daughter who chooses to ignore reality.

And her son who remains pretty noncommital about his part in this whole movie.

Mom tries…

Yeah…probably best to let him sit on couches and be pretty.

And a cat stops by. To talk to them.  Because he’s a talking cat.

Back in Mr. Doughy’s lavish estate, his son and defintely not someone the director met while having lunch at the Standard in West Hollywood, answers the door to a girl.  Here’s where this actor is going to have to do some actual acting and act interested in her.

Spoiler alert: he fails.

 

Dad walks around in this shirt…

Lets get a closer look at that, shall we?

What exactly does that mean?

And now…back to our family centric film.

The cat is talking. Its totally believable.

See?

The movie is a little hazy on how the cat talks. Apparently, its just none of our business.

That cat is totally talking and in no way makes me think of Eric Roberts doing a voiceover in the bathroom.

Meanwhile, Cabin Mom and Doughy Dad are bonding…over cheesepuffs. And in no way did Doughy Dad remind me of this…

Nope. Not at all.

While that’s happening, his son is confronting his fear of the water with Cabin Son…

My heart says that a gay porn scene is not about to break out…however its always wrong when it tells me to stop at Taco Bell so I don’t know…

Fast forward a few minutes…

He’s still trying to give it a go with this whole girl thing. Kind of like when I try to go gluten free for any amount of time.  Its just not going to happen.

Nothing to see here. Just a man at home with his weird and creepy tree/shoe sculpture.

At one juncture the movie pretends to have a plot in which the cat gets hit by a car….

“Is he okay? Are we keeping him comfortable?”

If comfortable means having him stretched on a bed, staring at a laser pointer and draping cheesecloth on his head, then yes…he’s going to be fine.

And then they do that thing that nobody else does and makes it a group activity to watch a cat drink from a dish.

Which no doubt gave the director an idea for his next movie…