Tag Archives: Humor

Fright Night: It's got bite!

22 Sep , 2011,
Crimson
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Fright Night - Poster Art

Bloodsuckers these days suck.

They’re emo and effeminate, they sparkle and glitter in the sun instead of going up like a pile of dry kindling, and they’ve all got about as much street cred as Justin Bieber. It’s a sorry state of affairs (Bram Stoker’s probably gonna turn in his grave if he knew), which is why the new Fright Night is such a gem.

Helmed by Craig Gillespie, this remake of the 1985 cult classic puts a modern spin on the original though the story and despite the paradigm shift, the premise, at least, remains mostly the same.

Instead of being a complete dork, Charlie’s (played by Anton Yelchin, who nevertheless looks like a dork) a cool kid now. He hangs out with the jocks, has a semblance of a life, and it’s high school nerd Ed who thinks there’s something wrong with Charlie’s next door neighbour Jerry Dandridge (played by Colin Farrell).

Ed, of course, bites off more than he can chew, and that’s when things begin to get exciting.

Naturally, it’s Colin Farrell who steals the first half of the show. His vampire is the quintessential nocturnal predator – tall, dark, handsome, fundamentally vengeful, and incredibly dangerous. It’s a nice change, seeing as how Hollywood emasculated the vampires in Twilight.

His performance is mirrored by David Tennant, who plays Las Vegas illusionist Peter Vincent with the same kind of frenetic charm and irreverence  that made him so endearing in both Doctor Who and Hamlet.

There’s much to be said about the midori-chugging curio collector and charlatan (and also a fair bit of plot exposition to boot), but why read about it when you can actually watch it?

All in all a great movie, and probably one of the best remakes I’ve seen so far. I’m kinda keeping my fingers crossed for The Thing, but that’s another movie for another month.

Don’t forget to check this one out, folks. And that goes double if you’re a fangboy.

Well done, Your Highness

23 Jun , 2011,
Crimson
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Your Highness - Poster Art

It’s campy, vulgar and absurd, but Your Highness – with its blend of Monty Python-esque comedy, grossly exaggerated Dungeons & Dragons (D&D) archetypes, and near ludicrous amounts of crass humor – is likely King of the Hill in this season’s geek flicks.

Directed by David Gordon Green (of Pineapple Express fame), and co-written by Danny McBride (also of Pineapple Express fame), this period comedy is an articulate romp through fantasy land that possesses a whole lot more depth than it’s initial presentation lets on.

It’s a clever subversion of Campbell’s monomyth, and as any fantasy fan worth his tropes would soon discover, an homage to everything sword & sorcery.

McBride plays Thadeous, a prince of the kingdom of Mourne. He’s a slovenly horn dog, a coward, and the polar opposite of Fabious, his dashing, golden boy brother (played by James Franco).

The ne’er-do-well’s something of a disgrace to his father, the good king Thallious, but he’s forced to man up when the evil wizard Leezar (Justin Theroux) comes calling and spirits away ditzy Belladonna (Zooey Deschanel), Fabious’s bride-to-be.

The two brothers embark on a quest to save Belladonna, and by association the kingdom, from Leezar’s evil, facing all manner of peril, including amazons, a hydra, and a minotaur. Along the way, they pick up Isabel (Natalie Portman) – a crazy warrior woman with an axe to grind – and after numerous trials and tribulations, Thadeous grows a pair and goes from leading chump to leading man.

It’s evident that the script was Your Highness’s strongest suit. The lines are tongue-in-cheek, and they come fast and loose, irreverently satirizing anything and everything about the genre. Simply put, nothing is sacred here.

That, coupled with the cast’s over-the-top presentation and hammy acting, lent further credence to the entire point of the movie – the director’s and writers’ aim was solely to entertain, and it does so without any pretensions or sensitivities.

McBride was every bit as goofy as he was offensive in his portrayal of Thadeous, while Franco’s Fabious oozed honest-to-goodness (and thus idiot) charm. Rasmus Hardiker, who played Thadeous’s spoony bard sidekick Courtney, proved surprisingly versatile, while Natalie Portman sizzled the screen with her intensity and delivery. She’s downright bloodthirsty, and doesn’t even blanch when she describes how she’d kill the ones that wronged her, and “wear their flesh as capes”.

In addition to it’s slap dash toilet humor, herpderp moments and implied homo-eroticism, the movie’s also full of geek references and Easter eggs.

Comic book lovers will notice the similarities between tubby mid boss Marteetee and the X-Men villain Mojo (as well as  his champion’s similarity to X-Men’s Longshot), while the unnamed Barbarian in a later scene  is an obvious parody of Robert E. Howard’s Conan.

There’s even a bunch of samurai in there, and Boremont’s metal hand, missing a convenient finger joint, sports a wrist blade a la Assassin’s Creed.

Ultimately, if you watch the movie closely and carefully enough, its true target audience soon becomes apparent.

Yes, it’s a movie by geeks. For geeks. And that, my friends, is Your Highness’s crowning achievement.

The critics and their highbrow sophistry be damned. Go watch this movie.

Your Highness demands it.

All your brains are belong to us

18 Feb , 2011,
Crimson
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So Now You're a Zombie. But can you read? XD - Cover Art

Everyone wants to be a vampire.

After the fiasco that was Twilight, being a pretty boy that sparkles in the sun’s kinda the in thing.

But if you’re into the undead, and you’ve seen zombie movies, then you’ll know that travesties like Edward Cullen aside, shambling around and going “Braaaaaaaiiiiiiiiiinnnnnnnsssss~!” ain’t half bad.

That is, until you come up against gung-ho survivor types and pesky high school kids who refuse to stand still so you can take a chomp outta them.

And that’s why So Now You’re a Zombie is such a godsend.

I noticed this book at the reservations counter in Ngee Ann City’s Kinokuniya, whilst hunting for a buncha books at its discount sale (which is on from now till the 20th, by the way).

It turned out to be a great read, chock full of helpful tips for the fresh zombie, a healthy dose of pop culture references and injokes, as well as digs at 2010’s obsession with the walking dead.

(2011, of course, is plagued by its own share of zombies. Just look at Koreha Zombie Desuka, the upcoming survival horror game Dead Island, and well, Minecraft).

Man, if only being a zombie were this easy.

Suffice to say, So Now You’re a Zombie takes a bite outta self-help books (which tend to appeal to real life zombies anyway), and the end result, with its goofy illustrations, charts and diagrams, is just too funny to pass up.

Hell, it’s even educational.

The only thing is, I’m wondering if zombies even know how to read.

Definitely a great gift idea for Romero fanboys and peeps who’ve got the Z-bug.

Also, a great reference for writers gunning for the whole tongue-in-cheek thing.

It’s a parody with brains.