Hello to all those faithfully reading and hopefully enjoying this effort to make even the worst horror movie more watcha... aw, screw that - I'm not that good. If a movie makes you cringe because yet another batch of unlikable teens that are pushing 30 are inching toward their deaths, having a party no one does anywhere ever, a paranormal movie is boring you to tears with unending pans of empty rooms, or thanks to CGI technology when people finally bite it, their blood squirts everywhere except on the victim, the ground, the people next to them... you're in good company and this is the right place for you.

Monday, October 21, 2013


R.I.P.D. 3D (2013)

I love comic books. Let me qualify that. I love certain series of comics, mostly released by Dark Horse Comics in Milwaukie, Oregon (neighboring Portland) which is roughly an hour from where I live. While this particular series I do not have, when the movie first came out I thought it sounded like a cool idea. Kind of a copy of other series like Reaper and Brimstone (both TV shows and not on for very long) - or they were a copy of R.I.P.D - don't know which. 

Point is, the whole idea is that some damned souls escape and so you need dead cops to bring 'em in. Simple enough. And not in the least bit original. Geez, if you've seen Ghostbusters and Men In Black you pretty much know the complete story already. But this movie came in at a HUGE expense, being in 3D (of course) and CGI'd clear out into the stratosphere, making it cost a whopping $130 million to make.

A movie that costs that much would have to be as popular as, oh, say the first Indiana Jones movie to even break even with that kind of debt. Aaaaaand it didn't. Not even close. And people and critics (mostly critics) hated it with a passion. One even compared it with (gulp) Howard The Duck in the realms of awfulness. So what went wrong? Well, when you have a comic book series that's fairly successful, that does not guarantee that it will translate well on the big screen (like Jonas Hex). Get Jeff Bridges as a cowboy - okay. Have Ryan Reynolds as a newbie dead cop? Yuck. But then I don't like the bugger anyway. Have Kevin Bacon as a bad cop who kills him then hits on his wife? Are we trying to copy Ghost too? No wonder critics ripped it apart. And that's my job too.

My hubby and I watched this together because, well, I was watching it and he had nothing else going. So we both watched and riffed. The film starts 'three or four days ago' which was lame and I said so. He shrugged. We both liked Jeff Bridge's character - found it silly for him to be a cowboy always complaining about the wild animals that chewed on him after he was dead (How would he know?) but his enthusiasm was at least some energy compared to Reynolds almost deadpan delivery of his part.

So Reynolds and Bacon are partners who have stolen some gold from one of their busts. Reynolds buries his and tells Bacon he wants out. So he promptly gets shot in the face (by Bacon). And finds himself in the offices of the Rest In Peace Department. Duh. Mildred Proctor (Mary Louise Parker) also seems totally uninterested in her job. The only interesting thing about her scene is the vintage glass Fresca bottle she has on her desk. That's... just pitiful. In order to, uh, save his soul I guess, he has to serve 100 years catching bad guys who get away. 

What, is Satan asleep or something? Anywho, he has Bridges as a partner - when on earth, they don't look like themselves - they have avatars. Bridges is a smoking hot Russian woman (played by model Marisa Miller) while Reynolds gets to be an old Asian dude, his gun looking like a banana (played by James Hong). This is a running gag that was funny about... umm I guess it never was funny, just kind of annoying.

If you're starting to fall asleep... don't feel bad. This had some zingers and some interesting parts, but the CGI was soooo terrible and fake that when they chase one particularly FAT "deado", he looks like a cartoon - there's nothing even remotely realistic about him. This is supposed to be Boston and they're supposed to be catching these guys without making a ripple or attracting attention. Of course in movie-speak that means they cause maximum havoc and an incredible amount of damage.

Of course it is no surprise (I'm not worrying about spoilers, you've either seen it or never want to) that Bacon's character is, in fact, a deado who's escaped detection by looking human. Until he comes into contact with cumin that is. Oh, that's a 'thing' for this movie - deados are allergic/change if they come in contact with Indian food of any kind. My hubby does the same thing with MSG. The goal of the deados is to construct this impossibly silly and contrived device (made of the gold they stole) that supposedly will 'reverse' the flow of dead people and so the world will become one big... dump.

Bridges character wonders who could even have thought to make such a thing possible. It's pretty bad when a film's character is telling US that some elements of the movie are really, really stupid. So I guess to keep the audience's interest, Boston becomes a freaking military zone in the worst sense, since these guys on both sides can explode whole buildings, streets, cars, whatever. Who knows how many people they killed. Oh that's right - none. Why? Because again the whole thing is so badly CGI'd there's no sense of realism at all. None. Nunca. Nada. Nyet. Nul. Nic. 莫. なし. لا شيء.

Because of the damage (but apparently not because a lot of people got killed) Nick and Roy (Ryan and Jeff) are taken off the case. That doesn't stop them unfortunately - and since they have 24 hours until their 'final judgement' they decide to take out the bad guys (and apparently the rest of Boston).

But since this is a cartoon...  uh, I mean a comic book the good guys win, the city is restored apparently, and Nick gets a second chance for himself and his wife - who would have died in the melee' but is restored to stay on earth with all of us. I hope they made her watch this movie in payment.