Category Archives: Film

The Asylum

As a quick follow on from yesterdays post I’d thought I’d draw your attention towards The Asylum, the studio which was responsible for Mega Shark VS Giant Octopus and a whole pantheon of movies equally worthy of the title worst film ever.

The Asylum is an independent budget studio who has produced bucket-loads of films with an average cost of about £500,000 each, which is actually faintly impressive considering how difficult it is for indie studio and how much movies cost these days. My admiration for Asylum stops there though. What The Asylum specialise in is a genre known affectionately as “Mockbusters” and less so as “blatant rip-offs made to cash in on a Hollywood hits success.”

Their filmography consists of titles like, The Da Vinci Treasure, Alien Vs Hunter, I Am Omega, Pirates of Treasure Island, Snakes on a Train, and Transmorphers. While the films tend not to follow their doppelgangers plots too closely they are almost unwaveringly released a couple of weeks before or after them.

I guess it just gets on my nerves, films are supposed to be works of art, not opportunistic money grabbing ventures.

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Mega Shark vs Giant Octopus

Last night I had the misfortune of watching Mega Shark vs. Giant Octopus. You know the one right? The one with the ridiculous trailer that went viral and looked like it would become Snakes on a Plane all over again? If not it is worth a watch

It looked like it was going to be B-movie heaven. In reality it was…..really, really boring. 90% of the film consists of pointless, dull dialogue, delivered by wooden actors playing characters who were bland and uninteresting. It was amateurish in a manner which wasn’t even funny. I thought there would at least be some moments which would be comically awful, or some impressively over the top action sequences but it was pretty lacking in both. All of the best parts of the film are shown in the trailer and if you’ve watched it there’s almost no need to watch the rest of the film

There are also glaring continuity errors, in one scene a jet is sent to fight the giant octopus and yet every time it cuts back to a shot of the jet it is different. An F-15 one moment, an F-22 the next. I don’t think they did it on purpose either…

Some scenes just don’t make sense; I still don’t know what caused the awkward Mexican stand-off on board the submarine, or even why the submarine crew would need guns. And then there’s the characters introduced near the beginning that are then forgotten for the rest of the film…I should probably stop pointing out its flaws now…I think you’ve probably realised that I don’t recommend it.

The thing is I am a fan of this type of modern pulp cinema. One of my favourite ways to spend the night is on the sofa with a couple of mates, a godawful film and more than a couple of beers. Mega Shark Vs. Giant Octopus is not worth buying though, it really does suck. lots.

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Obama’s gift to Brown

Earlier this week, when Gordon Brown met Barack Obama he presented him with the gift of a pen holder, made from the timbers of the HMS Gannet, an anti-slave ship that was a sister ship to the HMS Resolute, which was used to make the desk in the oval office.

A well thought-out and meaningful gift no-doubt, but Obama’s gift to Brown has raised a few eyebrows.

The President’s gift to the Prime Minister was a box set of 25 DVD’s of classic American films.

A lot of people have used this to bash Obama’s diplomatic skills, and when compared to Brown’s gift for him it does seem a little insubstantial but I do think it’s a nice gesture. Hollywood film is probably America’s most popular and influential cultural export and its a nice idea to give something which represents American society. There’s a bit more information on the story here including the probable list of films.

It got me thinking though, what 25 films would I put in a box set to represent Britain, heres a quick list in no particular order.

1. Trainspotting
2. Brief Encounter
3. The 39 steps
4. Secrets and Lies
5. Four Weddings and A Funeral
6. Monty Python’s and now for something completely different
7. A Matter of Life and Death
8. Carry on camping
9. 24 hour party people
10. Goldfinger
11. If…
12. Look Back In Anger
13. Blow Up
14. Shaun of the Dead
15. A Hard Days Night
16. The Wicker Man
17. A Clockwork Orange
18. The Remains of the Day
19. The Crying Game
20. The Full Monty
21. Lock Stock and Two Smoking Barrels
22. Kidulthood
23. Bend it like Beckham
24. The Dam Busters
25. Dracula

There were a few others but I decided to limit myself to 25. I’ve tried to include examples from most of the major british directors and that cover a range of subjects that show britain. It’s not necessarily a list of the greatest british films, although I think many of them are, but it’s supposed to be a list which represents Britain, both past and present. Think I’ve missed anything or disagree with it? let me know what your opinions.

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Indiana Jones story development

Sorry I haven’t posted anything for a while, been a bit busy. In the mean time may I distract you with this?

It’s a bit geeky I know, but the sheer awesomeness of it cannot be denied. It’s a transcript of the conference between George Lucas and Steven Spielberg that they held in 1978 to develop the ideas for Raiders of the Lost Ark. Just chatting away casually creating one of the most iconic film series of all time.

It’s great to see which parts stayed and which parts got left out and how they list the influences. Indiana Jones came quite close to being a kung-fu genius.

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