August 14th, 2008

MAMMOTH (2006) ½ *

Aliens come to Earth and possess a prehistoric wooly mammoth frozen in ice that when awakened, rampages through a small town using it’s trunk to suck red-blooded Americans' souls from out of their bodies.


Umm… can you say:  STUPIDEST MOVIE EVER?


Yeah I know I swore off these idiotic Sci-Fi Channel Original Movies a long time ago, but every once and awhile I see one of these things on TV and just have to watch them against my better judgment.  This time I thought a movie about a wooly mammoth possessed by aliens HAD to be good because it starred Tom Skerritt and any time Tom Skerritt stars in a sci-fi movie, it has to be good, right?  (Remember Alien?)  Besides, it also stars the ultra-hot Summer Glau and any time the ultra-hot Summer Glau stars in a sci-fi movie, it has to be good, right?  (Remember Serenity?) 


Jesus, it’s time to finally admit I have a problem.


Director Tim (My Movie Sucks) Cox tosses in so much bad comic relief, characters making references a la Scream to other (better) movies, and tons of awful CGI effects as if to say, “Hey look we KNOW we’re making a bad movie!”, but that doesn’t disguise the fact that Mammoth IS a bad movie.  Really bad.  No kind of So-Bad-It’s-Good bullshit excuses apply here.  You could use this movie to clean the floor mats of your ‘87 Buick, it sucks that bad. 


Mammoth doesn’t work as a spoof, a straight-up monster movie, OR a lame-ass Sci-Fi Original.  The scene where the couple necking in the woods are actually a pair of septuagenarians had potential; but it’s all set-up and no payoff.  Just like the rest of the movie. 


Tom Skerritt, fire your agent. 


Glau’s irritating father gets the only memorable line of the movie when he scolds her boyfriend:  “If you gave her the weed I will neuter you!”


AKA:  Outbreak.

REINDEER GAMES (2000) ****


Are you like me?  Do you physically get ill whenever Christmas rolls around and they just start playing nothing but CRAP on TV?  How many times are they going to run White Christmas on TCM?  I mean how many different versions of fucking Miracle on 34th Street ARE there anyway?  And look, I like A Christmas Story as much as the next guy, but does it really need to be on TNT for 24 hours consecutively every fucking Christmas?  I don’t think so. 


I’m here today to start a new yuletide tradition.  Next Christmas when all your family members gather around the tube and want to watch The Grinch, Home Alone, Christmas Vacation, or some other shit like that, you pop in Reindeer Games and let everyone discover the TRUE meaning of Christmas. 


(If you’re wondering, the true meaning of Christmas isn’t the birth of Christ our Lord, but Ben Affleck, Gary Sinise, Clarence Williams III and Danny Trejo dressing up like Santa Claus and robbing an Indian casino.  THAT Charlie Brown is what Christmas is all about.) 


Basically the plot of this puppy is Ben Affleck gets out of prison around Christmastime.  His cellmate was supposed to hook up with the uber-sexy Charlize Theron, but he got a shiv in the slammer, so Affleck pretends to be him so he can get into her pants.  Then Ben’s season of giving is promptly cut short when Charlize’s brother Sinise thinks Ben is the cellmate and coerces him into dressing up like Santa Claus and robbing an Indian casino.


I might be the only movie critic on Earth who loves this movie.  I don’t care what anyone else says, this movie has it all.  Action, suspense, Charlize Theron naked, warm Christmas sentiment, Charlize Theron naked, some decent Christmas tunes, Isaac Hayes going bat shit insane, Affleck being used as a human dart board, Clarence Williams III being turned into a walking Molotov cocktail, a twist ending that actually manages to surprise, and of course, Charlize Theron naked.  It would also make an excellent Let’s-Dress-Up-Like-A-Beloved-Icon-And-Rob-A-Casino Double Feature with 3000 Miles to Graceland. 


People generally seem to have a problem with Ben Affleck.  I don’t know why.  He was always stellar in all those Kevin Smith movies and he was the bomb in Daredevil.  In Reindeer Games, he kicks out the jams and delivers another knockout performance.  Sinise is also great as the slimy villain and Theron is simply amazing, especially whenever she isn't wearing a stitch of clothing. 


Director John Frankenheimer’s career was all over the map.  He went from directing classics like Seconds, horror flicks like Prophecy, and complete turds like the Island of Dr. Moreau.  Lucky for us action fans, he also did this movie.  It’s awesome.  I always try to watch it every Christmas to get me into the spirit of the season.  The funny thing is that even in the middle of August; it’s just as good. 


Do yourself a favor and put this on your regular Christmas viewing list. 


Reindeer Games features enough twists and turns, yuletide bloodshed, and scenes of Charlize Theron getting naked to put it on the Video Vacuum Top Ten Movies of 2000 at a healthy Number 4, right between Cecil B. Demented and ahead of Shanghai Noon.