Tuesday, February 28, 2017

A Vacation That Really Gets Under Your Skin, or Thoughts on The Ruins

From the best selling 2006 novel of the same name by Scott Smith, The Ruins (2008) is a cautionary tale about what happens when a pair of attractive American couples stray off the path and leave their Mexican resort hotel in search of an authentic experience.  When they are invited to join an archeological dig of a newly discovered Mayan pyramid deep in the jungle they leap at the chance.  They’re warned away at every step but once they get there, the angry villagers won’t allow them to leave, to the point of shooting at them with arrows and actually killing one of them.  All of this happens in the first 20 minutes.  The nightmare goes from bad to worse as they slowly realize why they are trapped in the ruins; it’s overgrown with a particularly nasty vine with a taste for human flesh.
An old-fashioned bio-horror thriller reminiscent of early  Cronenberg and updated with grisly scenes of panicked auto-surgery, The Ruins explores the fear of infection and the general tourist anxiety of being far away from home and out of control.  In that way the movie is no different than, say, Wolf Creek (2005), The Descent (2005) and especially Turistas  (2005), although with the threat being natural in origin a more relevant comparison would be to The Day of the Triffids (1962)The Happening (2008) and even Attackof the Killer Tomatoes (1978).  I was reminded of a favorite Clive Barker story, How Spoilers Bleed (1984), which had a similar premise.
Watch out for Jena Malone from Donnie Darko (2001) and The Neon Demon(2016) as Amy.  She doesn’t have the best vacation, but it’s one she’ll never forget.




my first novel?  thanks for asking:)  it’s a the first book in a 4-volume supernatural martial arts series chock full of killer kung-fu witches, haunted carnivals, punk rock assassins, and a 24-hour diner with the best pie in town…
read for free on kindle unlimited or buy the paperback, available at fine bookstores everywhere (amazon).

Monday, February 27, 2017

Brazilian Backpacker Organ Donors, or Thoughts on Turistas

I know what you’re thinking (not really); exactly how many movies can there be about pretty Americans in exotic Third World locales being tormented by the angry and resentful locals?  And the answer is: more than you would think.  Turistas (2006, released as Paradise Lost in Australia and the UK), stars Olivia Wilde, Josh Duhamel and girl Melissa George from 30 Days of Night (2007) and Triangle (2009)  as Lonely Planet backpackers who get stranded on an idyllic beach in Brazil after being robbed of their passports, phones, money and luggage.  Basically all of their American stuff, though Melissa George as Pru gets to use her natural Australian accent and plays an Aussie.  So let’s say they get robbed of all their First World stuff.
The standard tourist nightmare takes a darker turn when they meet a kindly doctor who runs a black market organ harvesting hospital.  The usual stuff ensues; tense chases in the jungle, a fight for survival, and some heavy-handed speeches on the historic First World exploitation of Brazilian natural resources.
Melissa George, no stranger to the horror genre, actually made her first film appearances in Dark City (1998) and David Lynch’s Mulholland Drive (2001) before going on to portray as Kathy Lutz in The Amityville Horror remake (2005, with Deadpool).
There are so many of these vacation horror movies, from The Green Inferno (2012), The Beach (2000), The Ruins (2008), Chernobyl Diaries (2012) https://goo.gl/rvb6Ui and A Perfect Getaway (2009, with Milla Jovovich)  to Hostel (2005), the god standard for these torture porn tourists in jeopardy movie.  The takeaway lesson is always be respectful of the local culture.  I suppose it may have to do with some latent First World guilt, or maybe we just have a taste for girls in bikinis and backroom vivisection. 




my first novel?  thanks for asking:)  it’s a the first book in a 4-volume supernatural martial arts series chock full of killer kung-fu witches, haunted carnivals, punk rock assassins, and a 24-hour diner with the best pie in town…
read for free on kindle unlimited or buy the paperback, available at fine bookstores everywhere (amazon).

Saturday, February 25, 2017

Leeloo Dallas Multipass in 17th Century France, or Thoughts on Milla Jovovich in The Three Musketeers

If you’ve ever wanted to see Milla Jovovich kicking ass in a princess dress, have I got a movie for you.  As Milady De Winter, Cardinal Richelieu’s spy, a relatively minor role in previous films, the most notable being Faye Dunaway in 1973 (she had glass knives filled with acid!), she’s now elevated to center stage in her director/husband Paul W. S. Anderson’s production of The Three Musketeers (2011).  She gets so much screen time it’s easy to forget that she’s not actually a musketeer. 
The movie follows the same basic plot structure of the original Alexandre Dumas novel, but “updated” with Hong Kong action wire work and steampunk elements including airships, triple bladed swords and double barreled crossbows.  The fight scenes have the slow motion, twisty/Matrix-y aspects that audiences have come to expect, but again, with princess dresses and pirate shirts.  Filmed in Bavaria with excellent production values, it’s easy on the eyes if you’re a fan of 17th Century architecture, interior design and costumes.
Reminiscent of Cutthroat Island (1995) and Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters (2013) in both style and tone, the movie features a huge cast with Christophe Waltz as Cardinal Richelieu, Orlando Bloom and Luke Evans.  Watch out for Ray Stevenson, who gets a free pass from me for playing Titus Pullo from Rome as Porthos, along with Mad Mikkelssen as Captain Rochefort (he’s the one with the eye patch, a role played to perfection by Christopher Lee in the 1973 film).  Also, James Cordon appears as Planchet. 






my first novel?  thanks for asking:)  it’s a the first book in a 4-volume supernatural martial arts series chock full of killer kung-fu witches, haunted carnivals, punk rock assassins, and a 24-hour diner with the best pie in town…
read for free on kindle unlimited or buy the paperback, available at fine bookstores everywhere (amazon).

Friday, February 24, 2017

Neo’s Gnarly Adventure, or Thoughts on John Wick: Chapter 2

Keanu Reeves is one of the most commercially successful and prolific actors working right now and yet he gets little respect because of a character he played in 1988.  He has an impressive IMDb page of almost 90 credits but to many audience members of a certain age he will always be Theodore Logan, or Ted from Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure (whatever happened to Bill?).  But he also made a movie about a bus, and then there was those three movies he did with The Wachowskis, which is germane to this post because that’s where he met his stunt double, Chad Stahleski, who not-so-coincidentally is the director of John Wick: Chapter 2 (2017).
The movie picks up moments later, maybe the next night after John Wick (2014).  I mean, who kills a dog, that’s my first question.  Theon as a Russian gangster, of course, but what a great premise for the first movie.  It was so simple, there was an elegant shorthand where everyone in the first movie either knew John Wick personally or was aware of his reputation.  There was no hand holding with the audience either; no distracting origin story, they’re thrown in the deep end and expected to keep up.  And because viewers are smarter than Hollywood thinks, they did.
As John Wick, the multi-lingual (including, according to this movie, American Sign Language), dog loving, debonair killer with a code, Keanu Reeves made a pure action film; reminiscent of John Woo and Luc Besson, but unapologetically American.  And he’s a mature action figure; he wears a suit and acts his age.  He’s not taking his off his shirt to show his abs, he feels pain but has an efficient and practiced fighting style that implies decades of practical application. 
Reminiscent of Leon: The Professional (1994, Luc Besson) and The Transporter (2002, produced by Luc Besson), Chapter 2 delves deeper into the stylish, super secret assassin’s guild that John Wick belongs to.  It’s interesting to note that there are no good guys here (well, maybe the dog), technically, everyone’s a murderer, and we as an audience get to watch Keanu playing a first person shooter with cleverly edited murder montages.  But we finally get to find out why John Wick always goes for a head shot; all those tailored suits have body armor sewed into the linings like the Wilson Fisk, who you and I know better as the Kingpin. 
It’s an interesting, layered world that John Wick inhabits, with steampunk-y elements where the gun fetish is elevated to an art form complete with a sommelier (Peter Serafinowicz, Pete from Shaun of the Dead) and arcane rules that imply centuries of tradition.  John Wick travels to Rome where Ian McShane’s counterpart, Franco Nero asks if he’s here for the pope, a sly reference to Godfather III (1990).
With Ruby Rose as Ares, a mute assassin who we just wrote about in Resident Evil:The Final Chapter (2017).  Ian McShane (Lovejoy!), John Leguizamo and Lance Reddick return, along with Laurence Fishburne and David Patrick Kelly, Luther from The Warriors (1979, “WARRIORS!  COME OUT TO PLAY-AYYY!!!”), T-Bird from The Crow (1994, “Fire it up!”), Sully in Commando (1985 “I let him go”) and Jerry Horne in Twin Peaks.  Director Chad Stahleski, Jeet Kune Do instructor, was a stunt man and stunt coordinator on some of my favorite movies including Ninja Assassin (2009), Escape from L.A.  (1996) and The Crow (1994).
In the second half of John Wick: Chapter 2 a contract is placed on his head and John Wick has to fight everybody in Manhattan.  It makes for some really cool fight scenes, but I couldn’t help but think of Peter Sellers as Inspector Clouseau in The Pink Panther Strikes Again (1976), when he had to dodge bullets from the world’s greatest assassins.  The death count was just about as high, but where Peter used comedy, Keanu used cars, garrotes, joint locks, knives and those signature head shots.





my first novel?  thanks for asking:)  it’s a the first book in a 4-volume supernatural martial arts series chock full of killer kung-fu witches, haunted carnivals, punk rock assassins, and a 24-hour diner with the best pie in town…
read for free on kindle unlimited or buy the paperback, available at fine bookstores everywhere (amazon).

Thursday, February 23, 2017

What Do We Burn Apart From Witches, or Thoughts on Monty Python and The Witchy Blog Post

You should know by now that I spend just about as much time thinking up a clever blog title with layers of pop culture nuance and meta-references as I do actually writing the post.  I’ve written enough of these movie reviews that I can now group them by genre and theme.  The best example is all my witch movies; I started with a quote from my favorite scene in Monty Python and The Holy Grail (1975), the witch trial with Connie Booth (Polly!) for my review of The Witch (2015).  That led to Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters (2013), and The Lords of Salem (2012) and of course the Blair Witch (2016) and now it’s kinda sorta become a tradition here at supermovie antonio.  Every witch movie I write about from here on will have a reference to that scene.  I’m obsessive, and I take things to far; it’s my greatest strength and my fatal flaw.





my first novel?  thanks for asking:)  it’s a the first book in a 4-volume supernatural martial arts series chock full of killer kung-fu witches, haunted carnivals, punk rock assassins, and a 24-hour diner with the best pie in town…
read for free on kindle unlimited or buy the paperback, available at fine bookstores everywhere (amazon).

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

That Time When Leeloo Was a Purple-Haired Daywalker, or Thoughts on Ultraviolet

 Exactly how many posts about Milica Bogdanova Jovovich (who you and I know as Milla Jovovich) can I write before it gets weird?  The answer is: a lot (I can’t help being weird).  She has an IMDb page of 47 credits that goes back to 1988, including her Resident Evifranchise, her breakout roles in The Fifth Element (1997) and as Joan of Arc in The Messenger (1999) and don’t ever forget her cameo as Katinka Ingabogovinanana in Zoolander (2001).  I do find it interesting that in this current cinematic climate there’s a controversy as to whether female action movies are commercially successful and everyone seems to have forgotten that Milla Jovovich has been all out of bubblegum since the 90’s.
In Ultraviolet (2006), a genetically modified infection infects half the world with the hemophage virus, a vampire-ish blood disorder that gives everybody fangs, heightened strength and healing ability, sort of like Daybreakers (2009), but without all the blood drinking.  A dystopian religious/medical government rises up, while Milla portrays Violet Song Jat Shariff, a resistance fighter (there’s always a resistance).
There’s plenty to like about this movie; cool cyber-ninja fight scenes and interesting Matrix-y technology that enables Milla to drive her motorcycle on walls and have infinite bullets.  It’s also a pretty movie with a sleek visual style, however all those elements, coupled with the vampire subtext creates a confusing mish-mash of genres and plots.  It’s not exactly a vampire action movie, nor is it a sci-fi martial arts epic.  It’s something less definable, and currently holds a gloriously under-appreciated 9% rating on Rotten Tomatoes.
Watch out for Nick Chinlund as Vice-Cardinal Ferdinand Daxus.  You will remember him as Donnie, the necrophiliac ex-funeral director with the hair pillow from The X-Files (Irresistible, 1995).  This was writer and director Kurt WImmer’s follow up to the far superior Equilibrium (2002), another dystopian future that featured similar action sequences but a much tighter plot.  I do like seeing Milla Jovovich with purple hair (speaking of hair pillows), if that counts for anything.






my first novel?  thanks for asking:)  it’s a the first book in a 4-volume supernatural martial arts series chock full of killer kung-fu witches, haunted carnivals, punk rock assassins, and a 24-hour diner with the best pie in town…
read for free on kindle unlimited or buy the paperback, available at fine bookstores everywhere (amazon).

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Leeloo vs. Jill Valentine vs. Ada Wong, or Thoughts on Resident Evil: Retribution

Resident Evil: Retribution (2012) is in many ways my favorite film of the franchise because of the kick-ass opening sequence: we start with a silhouette of Leeloo Dallas Multipass, I mean Alice, floating in darkness.  There’s a hypnotic techno soundtrack as we quickly surmise that she’s underwater.  She drifts upwards, towards the light, and bursts backwards in dreamy, surreal slow motion, back onto the deck of the Arcadia from the ending of Resident Evil: Extinction (2007). 
Alice runs backwards from an exploding helicopter in reverse, she turns and fires her twin sawed-off shotguns full of quarter buckshot at the pilot, we see the quarters fly away from the smashed windscreen, as the quarters are sucked back into her shotguns, she holsters them, spreads her arms wide and catches her Sig Sauer P226’s and fires them at Jill Valentine in a purple cat suit.  Jill Valentine (ok, Sienna Guillory but I can’t stop writing Jill Valentine) does a combat roll, fires her Yugoslavian Skorpion Model 61’s and is zip-lined up into her helicopter.  Alice fires up at her, a shot of Jill shooting back, you can see the Umbrella scarab embedded in her chest (conveniently above her cleavage), and she’s pulled back into her helicopter.  Arcadia survivors in white run backwards as bullets fly out of their backs.  Black leather Umbrella storm troopers zip line upwards as fireballs explode in reverse and finally those choppers fly away.  It’s a four-minute segment in a 90-minute movie, and it is glorious. 
I could watch that scene over and over (I watched it three times for this post).  Alice does her recap and repeats the now sentimental and familiar line; “a lot of people died, the trouble was, they didn’t stay dead…”; and then director Paul W. S. Anderson zooms in on Milla Jovovich’s eye and shows you that scene again in real time.  It’s 45 seconds of gunfire and explosions that somehow seem more dramatic now that we’ve previously seen it in reverse slow motion.
Somehow, Michelle Rodriguez’s character Rain Ocampo returns.  What do you want, there’s clones of everybody in this universe.  In addition to Sienna Guillory, Oded Fehr is back as Carlos Olivera, in addition to Shawn Robert’s Albert Wesker.  The new video game character introduced in this film is Chinese superstar Li Bingbing as Ada Wong, another Umbrella security operative.  Watch out for Kevin Durand, Martin Keamy from Lost and Vasily Fet in The Strain as Barry Burton (バリー・バートン Barī Bāton), a STARS Alpha Team Weapons Specialist.  Full disclosure, I have no idea what a STARS Alpha Team Weapons Specialist is, I don’t play the game, I just love the movies.






my first novel?  thanks for asking:)  it’s a the first book in a 4-volume supernatural martial arts series chock full of killer kung-fu witches, haunted carnivals, punk rock assassins, and a 24-hour diner with the best pie in town…
read for free on kindle unlimited or buy the paperback, available at fine bookstores everywhere (amazon).

Monday, February 20, 2017

Prison Break Leeloo Flies a Plane, or Thoughts on Resident Evil: Afterlife

After we’ve established that Alice gains new powers with each film, (let’s call them character upgrades like those gamer kids do), in Resident Evil: Afterlife (2010) Alice is injected with a serum that strips the T-virus from her cells and robs her of her super strength, heightened healing abilities, and psycho-kinetic mumbo jumbo and makes her human again.  This is after leading her clones on a spectacular raid on the Umbrella Corporation’s Tokyo facility like Trinity from the Matrix except with twin katanas and CGI Ctrl-Cs/Ctrl-Vs of multiple Alices. 
Ali Larter returns as Claire Redfield, while Wentworth Miller from Prison Break is introduced as Claire’s brother Chris.  I know, can you believe it?  In this crazy zombie apocalypse world Alice lands her plane on the exact LA rooftop that Claire’s brother is on, along with Kim Coates, Tig from Sons of Anarchy as Bennett Sinclair and the impossibly handsome Boris Kodjoe as Luther West. 
Luther West and other assorted LA survivors have holed up in the natural fortifications of the Citadel Corrections Facility (and you assumed that post title referred to Wentworth Miller), besieged by a sea of zombies outside.  There’s also a new mutant named the Axeman (guess what he carries) hammering on the door like Pyramid Head from Silent Hill (2006), and much like the Dawn of The Dead (2004) remake, Alice and her new pals decide to make a break for the coast in an armored vehicle.  That goes just about as well as you’d expect in a movie like this.
Shawn Roberts is also back as Albert Wesker, the chairman of the Umbrella Corporation, now upgraded with T-virus super powers.  Watch out for the cameo by Sienna Guillory as Jill Valentine, and Japanese pop star Mika Nakashima (中島 美嘉) cameo as patient zero in Tokyo in one of the most iconic scenes in the series; standing in the rain in the center of a busy Ginza crosswalk and slowly transforming into something bitey.


my first novel?  thanks for asking:)  it’s a the first book in a 4-volume supernatural martial arts series chock full of killer kung-fu witches, haunted carnivals, punk rock assassins, and a 24-hour diner with the best pie in town…
read for free on kindle unlimited or buy the paperback, available at fine bookstores everywhere (amazon).

Saturday, February 18, 2017

Leeloo Rocks the Kukris, or Thoughts on Resident Evil: Extinction

Resident Evil: Extinction (2007) reboots the series as essentially a sci-fi western, think Westworld but with killer zombies instead of killer robots.  After a three-minute recap that recycles the shower footage from the first movie that introduces cloning to the franchise, Alice rides into town on her motorcycle (a BMW K-1200R, in case you’re interested, and I know you are) and leather duster.  She’s also wearing hot pants because, you know, she’s Milla Jovovich after all.  The T-virus has turned the world into a desert wasteland and the survivors are left to fight it out amongst themselves while the Umbrella Corporation plots in secret underground facilities all over the world.
Resident Evil: Extinction introduces Ali Larter from House on Haunted Hill (1999, a remake) and Final Destination (2000) as Claire Redfield, continuing the pattern started in Resident Evil: Apocalypse (2004) https://goo.gl/EOmJol of pairing Alice with a character from the game.  Claire is the leader of a Mad Max-style armored convoy that includes, coincidentally, Oded Fehr and Mike Epps as Carlos Olivera and LJ Wade from the second film.  Resident Evil: Extinction also features the debut of another game character, Jason O’Mara from Band of Brothers as Albert Wexler, the chairman of the Umbrella Corporation.  
From Australian director Russell Mulcahy of Highlander (1986, there can be only one) and produced by Paul W. S. Anderson (Mr. Jovovich) the movie tweaks Alice’s powers by adding mutated psychic/telekinetic abilities to keep the character fresh and distinct from the first two films.  Iain Glenn also returns as Dr. Isaacs, who keeps experimenting on Alice clones because he’s obsessed with Alice wants to make a serum from her blood.  But to be fair, it’s hard not to be obsessed with Milla Jovovivch.



my first novel?  thanks for asking:)  it’s a the first book in a 4-volume supernatural martial arts series chock full of killer kung-fu witches, haunted carnivals, punk rock assassins, and a 24-hour diner with the best pie in town…
read for free on kindle unlimited or buy the paperback, available at fine bookstores everywhere (amazon).

Friday, February 17, 2017

Leeloo vs. Jill Valentine, or Thoughts on Resident Evil: Apocalypse

 Resident Evil: Apocalypse (2004) is in many ways the most ambitious film of the series, depicting a full-on zombie outbreak in Raccoon City, or Ontario to you and me.  The events take place directly after Resident Evil (2002), or rather 13 hours before Alice wakes up in the abandoned hospital.  She’s been infected with the T-virus, but not to worry, it somehow bonded with her DNA and now she has super-powers.
Resident Evil: Apocalypse is primarily remembered for bringing Jill Valentine to the big screen, as portrayed by Sienna Guillory in the signature costume direct from the game and sporting twin Smith and Wesson 5946s, in case you care, and I know you do.  In addition to Jill, the movie follows 3 other stories; Jared Harris, Moriarity from Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows (2011) is an Umbrella Corporation scientist whose daughter is trapped in Raccoon City, and Oded Fehr is introduced as Carlos Olivera, a private security commando for the Umbrella Corporation.  Mike Epps is LJ, a street-wise hustler whose shit is custom, and Sandrine Holt is Terri Morales, the weather lady for Raccoon City news who tags along with Jill.  Alice weaves in and out of the plot, fighting mutants and kicking ass, but is really only in about a third of the movie.  Watch out for the thriller-style graveyard scene but now with roundhouse kicks.
Also watch out for Iain Glen, Sir Richard Carlisle from Downton Abbey, and mooning over Khalisi in that show about dragons, who is introduced in the second film as Dr. Isaacs, a role that will grow in subsequent films, along with his career.  And if Zack Ward as Nicholai Ginovaef looks familiar, it’s because you remember him from Scut Farkus from A Christmas Story (1983, my favorite Christmas movie, with Darren McGavin).   Sophie Vavasseur as Angela Ashford, the little girl who needs to be rescued, grows up to be Princess Ellisif on Vikings.




my first novel?  thanks for asking:)  it’s a the first book in a 4-volume supernatural martial arts series chock full of killer kung-fu witches, haunted carnivals, punk rock assassins, and a 24-hour diner with the best pie in town…
read for free on kindle unlimited or buy the paperback, available at fine bookstores everywhere (amazon).

Thursday, February 16, 2017

When Your Shower Leads to the Zombie Apocalypse, or Thoughts on Resident Evil

Like The Matrix (1999) but with zombies, Resident Evil (2002) introduces Milla Jovovich on the floor of her bathroom wrapped in a shower curtain, somehow out-doing the bandage dress she wore in The Fifth Element (1997).  The film establishes the mythology with a quick set-up; the multi-national (evil) Umbrella Corporation has developed the T-virus, a miracle drug that has the disquieting side effect of reanimating the dead.  Of course the virus gets out, and as Alice, Milla Jovovich and her team of private security commandos (featuring Michelle Rodriguez) have to break into the Hive, a secret underground facility under full lockdown because the entire building has been zombified.
It’s a ridiculous premise with on the nose Alice in Wonderland references, reminding viewers that this movie is a game and should be treated as one.  And to the benefit of the audience the premise works, simply because the movie is beautifully filmed and everyone looks like they’re having so much fun.  The CGI is subtle and non-distracting, Alice wears the iconic red dress that launched a thousand cosplays, and the irony is by breaking into the Hive Alice inadvertently releases the T-virus and is essentially responsible for thenext 5 movies and the end of the world as we know it.   Additionally, there’s a scene where Alice wakes up in an abandoned hospital, a full eight years before Rick, a scene that resonated so much for me that I immediately referenced this movie when I first saw Episode 1 of The Walking Dead.  
As if zombies weren't a big enough threat, Resident Evil adds mutants, a critical facet to the series that sets it apart from your basic zombie epic.  Mutants mix it up and keep the action fresh, and in Resident Evil Alice needs to roundhouse kick some zombie Dobermans that are lurking around the lab like the raptors in Jurassic Park (1993). 
Featuring British actor Colin Salmon from Prime Suspect 2 (1992), Walter Steele in Arrow, Tommorrow Never Dies (1997), The World is Not Enough (1999), Die Another Day (2002) and Punisher: War Zone (2008).  Also featuring James Purefoy, who you may remember from Marc Antony from HBO’s Rome.  After her debut in Girlfight (2000), Michelle Rodriguez followed up with roles in The Fast and The Furious (2001) and this movie, fully developing her acting personae as the hard lady action star.
Written and directed by husband Paul W. S. Anderson, Resident Evil has an unappreciated 34% rating on Rotten Tomatoes.  It’s still one of my favorite movies.  Enjoy the driving electro-rock soundtrack by Marilyn Manson and Marco Beltrami, and watch out for the laser grid hallway.




my first novel?  thanks for asking:)  it’s a the first book in a 4-volume supernatural martial arts series chock full of killer kung-fu witches, haunted carnivals, punk rock assassins, and a 24-hour diner with the best pie in town…
read for free on kindle unlimited or buy the paperback, available at fine bookstores everywhere (amazon).

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Living La Vida Loca in a Post-Zombie Apocalypse Video Game, or Thoughts on Resident Evil: The Final Chapter

Resident Evil: The Final Chapter (2016) is the sixth installment in Milla Jovovich’s signature franchise, and finds Alice riding her motorcycle through a zombie wasteland.  There’s a completely unnecessary 4-minute recap before the movie kicks into gear, in a world reminiscent of Terminator: Salvation (2009) but you know, with zombies and giant pterodactyl Cthulu-bat mutants.  A zombie franchise always paints itself into a corner; there’s nowhere to go once the zombie horde takes over, unless there’s some magic bullet/deus ex machina cure, which of course Alice is now looking for.
Alice returns to Raccoon City, where it all started, which I’ve always found to be an odd name choice for a city. I know it’s a Capcom reference, doesn’t make it any better.  Chock full of stylish wire-work fight scenes and ridiculous stunts that somehow make sense, at least at the time, like Alice zip-lining over a flaming zombie horde, the movie attempts to bring closure to the franchise.  But in a world with cloning technology it’s never really over, and even if Alice dies she can come back like a restart in a video game.
Iain Glen, not pining after Khalisi for once, has been upgraded with predictive combat software like Neo from The Matrix (1999), so now he can fight Alice.  Watch out for the laser grid hallway from Resident Evil (2002), which was always one of my favorite scenes.  The breakout star is Ruby Rose, (Stella from Orange is The New Black), in her feature film debut.  Essentially this generation’s Michelle Rodriguez, Ruby Rose portrays Abigail, your basic post-apocalyptic zombie fighter.   She’s also in xXx: The Return of Xander Cage (2016) and John Wick 2 (2017).  Michelle Rodriguez, in case you care, and I know you do, will be appearing in Fast and the Furious 8: The Fate of the Furious, later this year.





my first novel?  thanks for asking:)  it’s a the first book in a 4-volume supernatural martial arts series chock full of killer kung-fu witches, haunted carnivals, punk rock assassins, and a 24-hour diner with the best pie in town…
read for free on kindle unlimited or buy the paperback, available at fine bookstores everywhere (amazon).