Sunday, February 26, 2012

Top and Bottom of 2011 - #3

Exit Through the Gift Shop (2010)
This is a fascinating look at the world of street art and the artists who make it. It starts with a montage of street artists plying their craft - some clever, some vulgar, and some outright vandalism - all while a song plays in the background declaring that “Tonight the streets are ours.” Then we are introduced to Thierry Guetta a clothing shop owner/documentarian/aspiring street artist. He’s quirky, full of life, and enjoys almost unlimited access to some of the biggest names in street art. But when he starts doing his own street art it’s derivative and repetitive (and most if not all of the actual artwork is done by other people). Is he a true artist, or merely a flamboyant hack? What results is a wonderfully entertaining look at several interesting people and the work that they do, even when their art is completely illegal.

The Adventures of Hercules (1985)
THIS is the Hercules movie that has him turn into a cartoon as the climax. In the sequel to 1983's Hercules, Lou Ferrigno once again stars as the Herc, this time tracking down the seven thunderbolts of Zeus which have been scattered across Greece. The plot is no better than that of a video game; Hercules defeats a monster to reclaim the thunderbolt then instantly travels to the next place where he faces off against the next monster. There are visual effects all over the movie, but they all look terrible, especially the scene in which Hercules battles a glowing ball of light and when he faces off against a gorgon in a blatant (and terrible) ripoff of Clash of the Titans. The dialog is laugh out loud atrocious, and for reasons known only to the filmmakers, every time Herc lands a punch, the screen flashes red. But the absolute cinematic pinnacle of the movie is the climax. Hercules and Minos battle each other in the stars as bad rotoscoped images of themselves, occasionally transforming into various animals to make everything more thrilling. Then, once Minos has been defeated, Herc gets huge and stops the moon from colliding with the earth. I was wrong earlier; THIS is the worst Hercules movie ever made.

Coming up next: Defending yourself against a horde of invaders.

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