|09-02-2010, 04:41 PM||#1|
Join Date: Oct 2001
Location: Under a rock
It was only a matter of time before reviewing would turn awful, and on cue, The Asylum sent a package to my webmaster who gave em to me. Titanic 2, can't wait for 3! Here's my full review from mondo
Wow, this may be the first Asylum title Iíve seen that isnít trying to cash in on something recent. Now Iíve tried a few Asylum titles, and to be nice, I havenít cared for many (although Mega-Piranha is B-movie cheesy gold, straight up!) so my hopes for this started low. Iím so torn as how to even write a review for it. Should I look for good things (not as much fun) or just rip the parts that deserve ripping? Should I even bother commenting on the story, or laugh at its existence? Iím still not sure, so maybe Iíll try to cover everything in fewer words.
First off, if youíve been living under a rock outside the video store, you may not have heard of The Asylum. They are a budget DVD company, and by all means are a modern day Roger Corman operation. They make no excuses about their ďtie-insĒ (others call them ďmockbustersĒ or dupes) and usually try to capitalize on big studio movies, releasing similarly titled/themed films within weeks of the majors. So props on this somewhat original idea, although, isnít Cameron supposed to be 3-Díng Titanic and releasing it in 2012? I read that somewhere, but canít say for sure if itís true. Guess thatís the tie-in, 2 just came early.
The thing is, and I canít even say why, they just donít have the charm of Corman films. Maybe itís due to Corman having better talent. Not to be a dick, but I highly doubt weíll be singing the praises of any of these actors or crew members 20 years down the road. Thereís no great discoveries happening, just money being made (and kudos to them for living their dreams and supporting themselves doing this; thereís obviously a market or theyíd be done by now). I just donít think these films will ever be regarded as anything but what they are.
So, Titanic II? I must confess, I laughed when I heard the title and knew right away where it came from. There are a few other budget companies, but this screamed Asylum. Having grown up in the 80ís, and also having stopped growing mentally then, anything ď2Ē instantly gets tagged ďElectric BoogalooĒ, a joke that will never stop being at least amusing (if sober) or painfully funny (if on shrooms). Titanic 2: Electric Boogaloo has a nice ring donít it? To be as fair as possible, Iím watching the movie a second time while writing this. A few impressions remain from yesterdayís viewing, but I needed to be sure.
We start with some cool aerial shots of a cold and snowy locale, mingled with a dude putting on a surf-suit and credits. A sweeping score adds to the opening; has Asylum morphed into something else? This looks like a real movie right here, and my hope just jumped a few levels. Itís well shot and in focus, and doesnít look like stock footage, although it must be as weíll find out soon enough. Huge waves here (Greenland is mentioned later) from the crumbling icebergs making for great surf, until a big piece falls off and dude is fucked. The ice and water effects here are at least very good, and I have so much more hope for this film already. Iím used to really bad water effects; that and fire always show what level a film is working on, and this is way better than anything Iíve seen from Asylum yet. Even the set-ups and exposition are looking professional. Is this a new breed of Asylum?
No, itís a better breed, but still very much the same. Cheap effects of the actors on the iceberg are just laughable and took me right out of the film. Not sure if this is roto-scoping or just pisspoor rear projection. I understand they couldnít take the cast and crew somewhere snowy, but there has to be a better effect that wouldnít look so phony, and this is distracting. From here on out, it is back to feeling like an Asylum film, i.e. cheap and fake.
Does anyone care what the story is? It loses itself to so many disaster movie clichťs it does get funny. So thereís, what, a few hundred people minimum on this ship. All we care about are 3 of them. There are some good tricks and effects when the first wave/iceberg hits the doomed ship, but there are also lots of stupid moves and impossible situations for our leads to navigate through. This is what I hate about all disaster flicks, no matter the budget. When people get in situations that mean certain death for anyone (usually after trained marines or whatnot fall victim to the same, like those fucking baby Godzillas), but somehow walk away unscathed from them, it ruins every disaster movie Iíve ever seen!
All in all, this is a small step-up for a company I had been avoiding after a few too many shitfests. There are some elements of this that are cleaver and work, like filming some outside the Queen Victoria (the sister ship of the Titanic). They have a convincing hotel lobby for the shipís lobby, and none of the actors suck. Some arenít great, but there are no terrible performances. If they could beef up the effects, this couldíve been good. I just canít get over really bad effects, especially for simple things like water or location. A few less of these and I couldíve kept grooving, but they kept reminding me I was watching a low-budget film.
The director is also the lead actor ((usually a recipe for disaster (rim-shot biatch!)), but this is Shane Van Dyke, not some rank amateur! I did check out the making of featurette, and it looked like this was fun to work on. It has parts that are fun to watch too (did I really just say that? Holy shit! The end of days IS upon us!), but in the end I laughed at more than I enjoyed. I canít really recommend this, but if you see it for cheap itís not a waste of 90 minutes. The final act did bug me to no end, as it spent too much time focusing on the two remaining leads and their situation, while forgetting about everything else (the sinking ship, the bigger wave coming, all the people in lifeboats which Bruce Davison assured us are completely fucked). This couldíve happened anywhere and really slammed it into a lower gear when the film begged to be opened up. It also couldíve used at least some gore or nudity; I donít think thereís anything on the DVD that couldnít be played on the Sci-Fi channel.
If I can't find a store who has this in their system to sell to (they sent the real dvd for a screener, but not in FYE's computer at all) then it's probably going to whoever wins the football pool!
It was worth watching and laughing at once, but is not bad enough to watch over and over like House of the Dead and certainly not good enough to watch again either.
My Fucking DVDS