Silent Hill: Revelation 3D (2012)

Everyone Has a Different Nightmare in Silent Hill. I Am Theirs.

Silent Hill: Revelation 3D (2012)I really wanted to see today’s movie, but not out of anything positive. I saw the first movie and thought it was okay, but definitely saw how people would think it was awful. I think I just have a special place in my heart for mindless crap. Plus, it’s based on a video game, and that makes up the rest of my heart. Then they made a sequel. And generally, when you add video game movie, sequel, sequel to a movie that wasn’t that great, and 3D, you’re looking at a terrible movie. I wouldn’t see this movie in theaters lest I think that I should just give in and see it in 3D, so I waited. Now it’s out on DVD, so I rented it that I might bring you my review of Silent Hill: Revelation 3D (in 2D), written and directed by Michael J. Bassett, and starring Adelaide Clemens, Erin Pitt, Kit Harington, Sean Bean, Carrie-Anne Moss, Malcolm McDowell, Martin Donovan, Deborah Kara Unger, Radha Mitchell, and Roberto Campanella.

Have you played Silent Hill 3? Then you’ve played this movie, pretty much. Heather Mason / Sharon Da Silva (Adelaide Clemens) is a nearly 18-year-old girl who moves from town to town with her adoptive father Christopher Da Silva (Sean Bean), on the run from the law because Chris killed a man in self-defense once. Heather has nightmares (whether she’s awake or not) about going to a town called Silent Hill that is filled with lots of icky creatures that are trying to kill her. She reluctantly (and quickly) befriends a boy named Vincent Cooper (Kit Harington), who drives her home after one of these episodes becomes a little too real and ends with a private investigator named Douglas Cartland (Martin Donovan) getting killed. When she returns home, she finds that her father has been kidnaped, and the abductors have left a note telling her to come to Silent Hill. Vincent agrees to drive her and the two head off to Silent Hill to find out the truth about her past.

This movie is not good times, but I would like to focus on giving credit where credit is due. So that part of this will be short. But this movie did capture a decent amount of Silent Hill … by mainly just taking the same story and putting it on film. On the other hand, I’ve never really been a fan of Silent Hill, so I still didn’t like it. But the parts of the movie I didn’t like weren’t really Silent Hill’s fault as much as it was bad writing. Like all the super sweaty exposition in the movie. It’s nice to not waste a lot of time with the backstory, but making sure we’re up to speed by having the characters talk in exposition that they would never say in real life is awkward. Things like, “This present is for you, my soon-to-be-18-year-old daughter!” I mean, that’s how I introduce most of my soon-to-be-30-year-old friends, but I acknowledge that I’m a weirdo. Another thing I didn’t get along with in the movie was the relationship between Heather and Vincent, and more specifically how quickly it developed. This girl is supposed to be really good at being solitary, and even has a whole speech developed for it, but they become super close friends in a matter of hours. When she has a secret, Vincent says, “It’s okay, you can tell me.” Yeah? Our six hour friendship has developed that level of trust already? Close enough to drive me across multiple state lines to save my father, who you have never met? Oh, well I guess that’s a thing too. I’m a pretty nice guy, and I’m willing to help out people to a degree, and I also acknowledge that this Heather chick is really cute, but this bitch had better put out if she wants a ride to anywhere more than a 20 minute drive away. There are other cute chicks around, and most of them don’t require 8 hours of driving and getting involved with a dangerous cult. Most of the dialogue is problematic as well. Like when Heather acts befuddled when Vincent tells her that his grandfather was locked up for seeing monsters walking around during the day. Yeah, Heather, his mom is the crazy one. That’s what normal people do. And when the cops bust in to Heather’s house and refer to the “Come to Silent Hill” message on the wall as “probable cause” in the death of the private investigator earlier. Do you know what that means? Are you suggesting that the detective guy busted into the house and wrote on Heather’s wall, and that’s why Heather followed him to a mall and killed him? That’s what “cause” means. This would be considered a “clue” at best. Also a bummer in this movie is the ending. The climax to the movie and the way Heather defeats Alessa is by hugging her for a few seconds, and then it’s over. There’s a little more to the movie after that, but hugging is not the battle I was looking for. Can you imagine that as a boss battle in the video game?

I hate 3D. I don’t understand this new trend towards being super impressed by it when I remember seeing Captain EO in 3D when I was a child. This stuff has been around for a while, and it didn’t help tell a story back then either. I didn’t need to see this movie in 3D to be annoyed by it. I thought people stopped doing the cheesy, obvious 3D things like hitting a paddle ball at the camera to show off what 3D could do right after that became a joke. This movie does that jokey 3D stuff to try to be scary. They fail. It remains goofy. The rest of the look of the movie was fine. It looks vaguely Silent Hill and nothing seemed very poorly realized. The first movie captured an atmosphere much better than this movie did, but this one did fine enough.

The greater majority of the performances were underwhelming. Adelaide Clemens did a fairly good job of it, though. She was cute, looked an awful lot like Michelle Williams, and did a fine enough job in the movie. Her character was dumb as a post, but she can’t be blamed for that. I do get to wondering what Malcolm McDowell thinks when agreeing to make a movie. I would say he’s an inarguably great actor, but he does choose some less than fantastic movies to be in every now and then.

Silent Hill: Revelation 3D was not good times. It was nice that it seemed to respect the game that gave it life, but bad that it wasn’t scary, wasn’t particularly interesting, and was full to the brim with sweaty, unconvincing dialogue. Some of that can be blamed on the performances, but I think most was in the writing. And, as a hater of 3D, I found myself annoyed by how many corny plays they made towards using the 3D. I was pretty much annoyed by the entire movie. I can’t recommend it. It has potential as fodder for mockery, but not much else. Silent Hill: Revelation 3D gets “I don’t think I like my reality” out of “The darkness is coming. It’s safer to be inside.”

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A Clockwork Orange (1971)

It’s Time for a Bit of the Old Ultra-Violence

Today’s movie was requested by my friend Christine, probably based on my earlier review of another Stanley Kubrick film, Spartacus.  This movie is A Clockwork Orange.  I already had this movie in my collection so it was an easy request to grant.  Problematically, I don’t remember liking the movie very much so I’m not sure why I owned it.  But I watched it again anyway and here’s what I think.  A Clockwork Orange stars Malcolm McDowell, Patrick Magee, and Anthony Sharp.

A short time ago in a land across the pond, Alex DeLarge (Malcolm McDowell) is the leader of a gang of “droogs” that likes to hang out in “milk bars” and go out for “the old ultra-violence”.  This, on one evening, including the beating of writer Mr. Alexander (Patrick Magee) and the raping of his wife while singing “Singin’ in the Rain”.  Two of Alex’s droogs suggest that they break into the house of a wealthy woman who is all alone except for her cats.  They do so and Alex ends up beating the woman to death with a penis statue, then getting betrayed by his cohorts and left for the police.  He goes to jail for about 2 years until he gets selected by the Minister of the Interior (Anthony Sharp) for an experimental aversion therapy called the Ludovico technique.  This involves giving him a shot to make him sick and showing him scenes of violence and rape.  This has the desired effect of making him sick whenever he sees naked girls or wants to hit someone, but also has the accidental effect of making him sick when he hears Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony because it was the background music.  Calling Alex cured, he is sent back out into the world.  Suffice to say, it goes poorly for Alex.

I’m generally not a fan of what I refer to as an “artsy-fartsy” movie.  Take, for instance, Donnie Darko.  I know, everyone tells me it’s the best film ever for some reason.  I know I’ve seen it once and I know I’ll have to see it again, but I remember not liking it and barely understanding it.  I’m not much for finding hidden meaning to films or novels, either because I’m not paying attention at all or maybe just not paying attention to the right things.  Either way, I generally regard such movies as trying to seem meaningful by not making sense.

All that being said, I generally liked A Clockwork Orange.  It’s a very watchable movie with a couple confusing bits but not enough that I’d lose track of what was going on.  The slang was the hardest thing to follow.  At least 50% of what comes out of McDowell’s mouth is almost unintelligible by the standards of an American of my age.  I don’t know what a “droogie” is, nor do I know what it is to “viddy”.  I think I managed to deduce that “yarbles” are testes, but much else made it difficult to understand what was being said.  Of course, that’s not the movie’s fault.  It can either be blamed on England in the 70’s for their choices of crazy slang terms, or for the author of the book the film was based on.  I’m not going to read that book, but I assume the movie sticks to it fairly well.  Based on nothing, of course.  And this movie left me wondering if everyone in London in the 70’s actually had artsy pictures and sculptures of naked women and dicks laying around their houses as the movie lead me to believe.

I figure the point of the movie (as best I can understand) is something about the morality of a temporary fix to a problem in comparison to fixing it for good.  Sure, Alex was unable to rape people and randomly assault people, but is that fixing it?  Hell, it didn’t even work out that well for him because he was unable to defend himself when being attacked or, I assume, have a consensual relationship with someone.  Basically the movie seems to be asking whether or not it’s good enough for someone to want to do something bad but to be unable to, or should we instead try to fix them wanting to do the bad thing in the first place.  This is not really a hidden message as the Priest in the movie pretty much says just that.

The acting is all pretty good in here.  As is expected, McDowell steals the show.  In the beginning, as leader of his droogs, he’s every bit as creepy as he should be.  In the middle, when he’s trying to finagle his way into the aversion therapy, not to get better of course, but instead to get out of jail, he’s got a thick layer of unbelievable obedience masking his true intentions.  And during and after the therapy, he’s every bit as conflicted as he should be.  He’s probably the reason I found this movie so watchable.

I give this movie my blessing.  It’s very watchable with a decent meaning to it and some great performances.  You should take a look and it should probably be in any self respecting collection.  It’s still inferior to my favorite Kubrick movie, The Shining, but I can’t hold that against it.  I’ll give this movie a “Viddy well” out of “Whatever the hell that means”.

And, as always, please rate, comment, and/or like this post and others.  It may help me get better.