Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Predators(2010)-The Rare New Movie Review

Despite the way I portrait myself through my internet persona, I do watch new movies on a regular basis. As a homebody, my television is always on. If I'm not watching re-runs from yesteryear or the Travel Channel, chances are my eyes are glued to the screen for a movie. As a "cult" and "genre" movie connoisseur, I am always watching whatever random trash I've picked up at the 99 Cent store or via Netflix. Fortunately, I also have a significant other, and she is not always down with my "eclectic" tastes, so I do tend to spend a great deal of time watching more mainstream movies, typically of the indie and horror variety. I don't write reviews or voice opinions of everything I watch, mostly because of what little image I have to maintain as a film doouche. Kidding. I really just don't think people want to read about how much I enjoyed The Kids Are Alright when there are assholes who get paid to write better and more in depth reviews for such snooty rags as the New York Times and The Village Voice. I write about exploitation and kung-fu flicks, top notch indie is way out of my league.

The same rule typically applies for newer horror movies. Not because I'm one of the shithead horror snobs that proudly vocalizes how much new horror sucks, because I don't feel that way all the time. There has been awesome shit coming out of France and Korea for a couple years now. Its mostly because I don't usually have an interest in writing about something 1000's of people are raving over at the same time period. For me it would just be beating a dead horse.

And now we come to the re-makes, yet another thing I don't typically touch with a 10 foot pole. Usually because the snob comes out in me and I just think the movie is going to be shit, and in a lot of ways I'm usually right. Any other Predator movie I would have never wasted my time on, unless it were the first and second. I couldn't even get through the first AVP because it bored the living daylights out of me, and didn't even touch Requiem because of it. I've done the same for all the Saw and Hostel movies. The first ones couldn't capture my attention, so there is no way the rest of the series could.

I didn't feel the same way when I first heard about Predators(2010). First off, Rodriguez produced it. Yeah, the man is responsible for more than one shitty film, but he can still do no wrong in my eyes. Two, the script was based on the original storyline, so it was going to be like AVP never existed. Last but not least, Danny Trejo. Need I say more? I knew i was probably going to love this film no matter how shitty it was, and I was close to right.

Summary: Eight people find themselves mysteriously transported to am environment they are unfamiliar with. Most are bad asses of some type:black ops, warlords, yakuza, special forces...the entire spectrum of action movie has been covered. With the exception of one, Edwin (played by Topher Grace,who ofrom all appearances is a skinny little sissypants. It doesn't take long to realize why they have been thrown together on what turns out to be and alien world: they have just stepped into the Most Dangerous Game. Only this time the hunters aren't a bunch of bored white guys.

As with any good Predator movie, one-by-one our troop of tough guys get picked off. If you entered this movie not knowing that this is the plot, you probably have an adult supervisor. Some of the kills were fun, but would have been more interesting if CGI wasn't used. I know it's a common complaint from old guys like me, but there is something more organic about the kills is Predator compared to this new ofshoot. It just feels more realistic. Compared to early works of CGI horror, like Blade, Predators looks spectacular, but there is a difference.

The cast was fantastic, and not because they are notable thespians. Quite the opposite actually. With the exception of Fishburne, this was probably the most glorious mix of B and C-listers ever put together. Grace, Trejo, and best of all, Adrien Brody. A man who has flirted with the A List many a time over the last 15 years, and should probably still be schmoozing with the lot of them. A man who has unfortunately made some flawed career choices that prevent him from ever hitting the top again(like working with Argento). A man who you would never expect to be America's next big action hero, but he's going to give it a fighting chance. Brody gained 25 pounds, changed his voice cadence up, and is going for the gold. If he can't be in Apatow's or the Coen Brothers next box office sensation, he might as well try to fill the JCVD/Ah-nold/Rock shoes. That reason alone I found reason enough to give this movie a good letter grade.

Unlike Dinner with Schmucks, this was two hours of my life I will give away freely if it presents itself again. I had few gripes and a lot of fun. It helps to go into not expecting a cultural masterpiece. But because of Brody's over-the-topness, it kind of was in its own right. If it wasn't already available On Demand, I would have forked over the cash to see it in the theater.

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