New Year’s Day, 2013. I’m tired, grumpy and up way, way too early. Pleasingly, the first film out of the Tub of Death instantly blasts away the cobwebs and gets the year off to a flyer. My descent into action movie insanity begins with Joseph Zito’s insane 1985 explosion-fest Invasion USA, the barmy tale of one-man-army Chuck Norris’ attempts to rescue America from a full-on terrorist invasion.
Scarlet-haired darling of Hollywood Jessica Chastain (she who is in everything) has clearly tired of impressing us with worthy, dramatic Oscar-baiting fare, so here she is, all grunged-up, tattooed and slumming it in a grimy black pageboy wig for first-time director Andy Muschietti’s immensely silly, atmospheric fright-fest. Expanded from Muschietti’s own three minute short, and ‘presented’ by Guillermo Del Toro, Mama is the moderately suspenseful tale of two little girls (the impressive Megan Charpentier and Isabelle Nelisse) who disappear in the woods on the day their parents were killed. When they are found five years later, mentally scarred and disturbingly feral, they are taken in by their unwitting uncle Lucas (Headhunters’ Nicolaj Coster-Waldau) and his free-spirited, rock chick missus Annabel (Chastain), who quickly twig that there could be something sinister or even supernatural behind their disappearance. When creepy dark damp patches begin to manifest all over their new home, and the girls start conversing with the walls, it’s brown trousers time for this dysfunctional family unit, as they discover that a mysterious, malignant entity known only as ‘Mama’ still wants to tuck the girls in at night…
Malcolm in the Middle’s dad is a crystal meth cook. To be more accurate, the actor Bryan Cranston dons this new career path as Breaking Bad’s Walter White. To watch this Jekyll and Hyde-like character is a master class in acting, and full credit is due to the Emmy Award winner (3 consecutive years nonetheless).
Walt is a fifty year old chemistry teacher (and part-time cashier), a remarkably intelligent man whose life could have been very different, a man trying to support his pregnant wife and disabled son (played by RJ Mitte, who suffers from cerebral palsy in real life), a man who discovers he has lung cancer…
The concept of a cartoon featuring Superboy, Martian Manhunter’s niece and Aqua Lad is something that would normally make me want to take all my lovely comics and burn them in my garden in a hope that the gods of nerd would somehow see my sacrifice as enough to smite the unholy that came up with this abomination. But then I sat down and watched Young Justice, a cartoon that is currently showing its second series in America and made me realise something; with the right writers and story, that showcases the universe and the characters, this may just work.
About once a year something comes around, something that is more annoying than Winter/Summer, delete as applicable if you’re a goth or emo, this something fills me with despair and to an extent upset: The “10 TV Show That Shouldn’t Have Been Cancelled” list that every “culture” website seems to wheel out like the good crockery at Christmas.
The thing with these lists is that whilst at heart they come from a good place they’re mostly just telling people what they don’t have any-more, it’s almost like the obituaries section of the Oscars, you’re reminded of some awesome talent that has taken a disliking to breathing. Whilst it’s wholly inappropriate for me, the self opinionated nerd I am, to start ragging on “rival” sites for these pieces, I also find myself drawn to the article topic myself like a moth to an inferno.
This films opens with a Brooklyn accent, an accent that I can only describe as awful, painfully awful, I originally thought this opening narration was done by the awesome acting might of Bob Hoskins, doing one of his always questionable American accents. However, after a quick search online I found out the narration was done by Dan Castellanetta, that’s right Homer from the Simpsons, someone considered a legend in the world of animation lowered himself to this film, as did some other pillars of the acting world.
I actually like Street Fighter: The Movie. Perhaps like is too stronger word, but I definitely don’t mind it. I will start this debate of sorts with the films strongest, and potentially weakest point; Steven E. de Souza. This man wrote and directed this film, I imagine a lot of readers are asking who the hell is Steven E. de Souza? Well let me answer your question with multiple questions, Have you seen Die Hard? Have you seen Die Hard 2? Have you seen Beverly Hills Cop III? Well that chump wrote those films, quite simply good action films, he also wrote Judge Dredd but no ones perfect. Perhaps him directing Street Fighter was a mistake, but the writing isn’t all bad, there are a couple of plot points which are excellent, namely around Bison. Him turning around in his boudoir later in the film and looking longingly at his self portrait, something reminiscent of John Wayne Gacey’s painting is oddly depressing moment, only ruined be the set, costumes and soundtrack.