I am a tremendous fan of bad movies. I was going to begin by saying that watching the bad films helps you appreciate the good ones but I just don’t believe that and it probably is not true, I watch them strictly for entertainment purposes. For me, they elicit a similar reaction most people receive from horror films. I cannot watch horror films as they bore me to death, but put a terribly poor written and low-budget movie in front of me and I will be on the edge of my seat in anticipation of the next awful plot twist (just like their masked mass murdering counterparts, they come out of nowhere). Occasionally, you come across a gem that is so good at being bad that it miraculously becomes good again, such as Plan 9 from Outer Space (Wood Jr, 1959), The Room (Wiseau, 2003) and Ankle Biters (Minarovich, 2002). Unfortunately, neither of the films I will be reviewing today were able to cross back over that line and sadly remain solidly in the bad movie genre. Did I mention I will be reviewing the knockbuster hits Paranormal Entity (Van Dyke, 2009) and Titanic 2 (Van Dyke, 2010)?
Alright, brief synopsis. Paranormal Entity is clearly a knock-off Paranormal Activity (Peli, 2007). I think they are horror films but I can’t really tell as nothing much happens throughout the combined 174 minutes. Watching either film will guarantee you a restless bedtime experience filled with poorly acted nightmares. Both films suck, but they suck equally. They are indiscernibly similar, so if you liked either movie then you are probably a jackass. Those statements feel a bit too harsh and I don’t want any readers out there to mistakenly assume I feel “too” anything about these movies. They are, at best, lukewarm garbage, and not the cool environmental pollutant type garbage that corporations dump maliciously, I am talking about a couple of spare beer cans and an empty bag of Doritos that have been sitting in a puddle of rain water for like a week. That is the most scathingly ambivalent review I can give.
Titanic 2 was something I really thought I could sink my teeth into. 100 years after the tragic sinking of the Titanic (Titanic 1, if you will), a billionaire playboy/engineering genius/actual director/writer/star/actual grandson of Dick Van Dyke decides it would be appropriate to build a ship, christen it Titanic 2, and sail from New York to London (the lanes reversed!). Meanwhile, an iceberg the size of Manhattan or something falls into the Atlantic and sends waves crashing into the ocean liner, I think. Now I kind of forgot what happens because, to be honest, I watched this film over a month ago. I remember one scientist in Greenland is taking ice core samples by scooping up freshly fallen snow with his hand and putting it in a container. I was under the impression it took special drills digging hundreds of meters into the ground under sterile conditions to retrieve ice core samples but I doubt Mr. Van Dyke and his crack team would have over looked such a thing. The story is preposterous, the dialogue is awkward, the acting is stiff, the visual effects are terrible, and best of all they take themselves seriously but the movie still doesn’t manage to make you laugh often enough to make sitting through it worthwhile.
Now let us take a step back and I will tell you a bit about the think tank that puts out these straight-to-DVDs. Aptly dubbed The Asylum (It is insane that these movies turn a profit)(I believe it is a subsidiary of Tantamount Studios), this quality allergic production company has streamlined the way knockbusters are made. They begin by figuring out what is going to be popular 3 to 4 months from now, and they end by putting a hastily thrown together “movie” on the shelves of your local Blockbuster, or in my case Netflix instant queue, to coincide with the actual blockbusters theatrical release. According to Wikipedia, they spend “well under a million dollars” and write each film in anywhere “from an hour to a few weeks.” Now that is what I call talent. Oh, except it is talent in the way that I can touch my tongue to my nose or I can snap my fingers in a strange way are talent. Their apparent success is derived from piggy-backing on the massive marketing campaigns put in place by the high-budget originals. How a commercial for Transformers (Bay, 2007) could cause anyone to rent Transmorphers (L. Scott, 2007) is beyond me, but many folks out there hate them for this deceptive practice. I was inclined to agree, but after some thoughtful reflection, I have concluded that I just really don’t care. Do the people being tricked deserve to be tricked? Well, if you cannot tell the difference when you are renting this film then you most likely cannot tell the difference when you are watching this film. Are they destroying art to make a profit? Absolutely (and also probably not a super great thing to be doing) they are, but so is like almost everyone else. What they are doing is fine in my book as long as they don’t start to develop a non-ironic cult following. The second I find out a large group of people sincerely enjoy their films then I will be sincerely pissed off. So for now I give them:
1.5 out of 5 homophones
I started off discussing how much I enjoy watching bad movies and meant to talk about Jason Friedberg and Aaron Seltzer, who, in my opinion (and a lot of other peoples), suck it big time. As an example, the five related lists that appear first on Seltzers IMDB page include: Directors Who Somehow Still Get Work, directors trying to destroy the movie business, PLEASE disappear off the face of the planet………please. PART II, The worst directors of all time, and peores directores que jamas hayan existido. According to my three years of Spanish education, that last one translates to something directors what something something exist. According to Google Translate, that last one translates to the worst directors who ever lived. Incidentally, while perusing their IMDB pages, I noticed that I have yet to see their latest release Vampires Suck (Friedberg, Seltzer, 2010) so I will be pushing that to the top of my queue and reviewing it shortly. Did I include too many rhetorical questions in this article?