Night of the Lepus (1972): Giant mutant rabbits terrorize the southwest!!
That’s the IMDB description of this “movie.” I sh*t you not. What do you get when you combine an overbearing environmental message, terrible acting, and a director who forgets the fundamental rules of movie making with giant killer bunnies? If you guessed the greatest movie of all time, you would be right. Night of the Lepus is a movie that…well…has a rather large cult following behind it, and when you watch the 88 minute “movie” you’ll see why. It starts out as a very serious (and as a result terrible) horror picture that tries to make you think about overconsumption in our current day and age. However, by the end of the movie, you can sense that director William Claxton had completely lost control of the story and as a result just said f*ck it, we’ll do it live! And threw together one of the worst fight scenes ever put on film in the third act. For example, all the bunnies in the third act looked like this…
Ya. It looked like there were people just off screen throwing stuffed rabbits at the camera. It was beyond hysterical, though obviously not in a good way. This left you, the viewer, laughing hysterically at the movie and clearly thinking this was the greatest movie of all time. And we’re just getting started.
So, let’s take a minute and talk about the actors who signed up for this movie. Unlike Manos: The Hands of Fate, which I have reviewed previously, there are real life actual Hollywood stars in this movie! A post-Psycho Janet Leigh is in this, as well as a, brace yourself, post-Star Trek Deforest Kelley. Yup. The man most known for playing McCoy in Star Trek decided that he should be in this….thing. I mean I can’t even claim crash-grabs here. To show up in this movie would just be out of desperation. And what’s really sad is the fact that the actors actually look depressed as they deliver their lines. The emotion they convey the most is, “why am I here? Why am I putting myself through this?” it isn’t painful. It made me sad to see these guys struggle as much as they did through this movie. And I’m not done.
Then there was the director. William Claxton. Shame on you. You know what’s really sad? Claxton actually had a reputation at the time as being a decent director. When he made this “movie” he was in the middle of directing, wait for it, Bonanza. Yup. You heard me right. This man has directed 57 episodes of one of the greatest western TV shows ever. 57 episodes. You would think that after 57 episodes of filmmaking he would understand the basic rules of filmmaking. Actually, you know what? I’ll give him the benefit of the doubt. I’ll say he just didn’t care enough to adhere to them. Things like the invisible wall rule, where a camera is expected to stay on only one side of the action so as to give us some sort of direction, or the if-its-nighttime-don’t-put-a-daytime-scene-in-the-middle-of-it rule, which pretty much explains itself, are ignored. Ya obviously that isn’t the name of the rule, but it would likely be labeled under coherent editing, which this movie does not have. It was actually kind of funny when the stock shots they’d get of horses running around in a nighttime scene had the sun in the background of the shot, to be completely honest. The action scenes of this movie made a Michael Bay fight scene seem coherent. My God was it bad. And I’m still going!
Let’s talk about the message real quick. So there’s an overbearing environmental message in this movie. The message was warning us about overconsumption. Ok. I’ve seen a movie have an overbearing message before. This is nothing new. But never have I seen a movie go so extremely overboard with the message that it basically says, “Watch out. If you don’t stop over consuming, you will die. You will die with extreme prejudice.” What do I mean by this? Well, I’m going to assume you don’t care about knowing what happens in the movie. So by the end, there are thousands of giant killer rabbits on the loose. So, how do they solve the problem? By using innocent bystanders as bait to get the rabbits to a specific point? Ya. Sounds about right. Not only that, but the cops and national guard kill the rabbits with firearms, and decided that these innocent bystanders need to be downrange from the gunfire. Ya. Sounds about right. 10/10 best plan. Ever. If it weren’t for the ridiculously unrealistic rabbits being thrown at the camera in this scene, this movie would be the worst movie I’ve ever seen. However thanks to the fact that this movie is hilariously bad, it is slightly better than unwatchable. ‘Nuff said.
The Critique: Giant Killer. Bunnies.
The Recommendation: Giant. Killer. Bunnies.
Rewatchability: Giant. Killer. Bunnies.
The Verdict: 1/10. Giant. Killer. Bunnies.
So you may be wondering why I put myself through that movie. Well, because as of around December of 2014, Enter the Movies has reached the milestone of 100,000 views. Holy crap. That is a lot of views. I don't necessarily know who all of you are that read this blog, but I thank each and every one of you for doing so. I'm honored that you have incorporated my thoughts and opinions into your daily lives. It truly means a lot to me. Thank you, once again, and here's to another 100,000 views!
Insurgent (2015): Beatrice Prior must confront her inner demons and continue her fight against a powerful alliance which threatens to tear her society apart with the help from others on her side.
Man, I don't even know where to begin. Insurgent is....bad. Insurgent....Insurgent signifies everything wrong with the young adult (YA) novel adaptation. This genre is right there with the Christian genre for being the worst thing in the movies right now, and it might even be worse because the fans of the genre think that its films are better than they actually are. At least Christians know they are getting crap. They just don't care, as long as the film reminds them of their faith. Fans of the YA genre think their films are amazing. These people are the ones who get upset when The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1 receives no nominations from the Academy for the Oscars. Well here's what I have to say about that: if any of you think Insurgent is a great piece of cinema....shame on you. It is a lazy excuse of film with horrible special effects and a bland story. Like every other YA adaptation, this film has an interesting world it's set in. But does it investigate this world? No. A few throwaway lines here and there do not count for investigating the world. This film stars Shailene Woodley, a very talented actress and who I said was the actress to watch for 2015. Well, Snowden is coming out later this year but for now I'll rescind that statement. I was not impressed with her performance at all. Granted she had some pitiful writing to back her up, but still. I know this girl can do better. And then there's freaking Optimus Prime over there. Theo James still sucks as Four. He's a a hunk, and that's it. The only one who shines even remotely is Miles Teller, who glides through this role knowing that he's better than it, but, once again, his character is so poorly written that it still makes no sense. Which is a shame, because Teller's character is the only character here that is even remotely interesting, but God is he written SO FREAKING POORLY. Which, brings me to my next point!
The YA genre. Why is it so bad? Well, because it's a cash-cow. Production companies know that all they have to do is get a few recognizable actors and actresses, adopt a popular YA novel, (preferably a best-seller) and the target audience will come out to see the film in droves. Regardless of how good or bad it is. So, why spend $10 million on an action scene when you can spend $5 million, right? The amount of money you're going to make isn't going to change, so why bother? This film and this series just screams laziness. You take Kate Winslet, someone who the target audience will immediately recognize from her other work, you throw in Shailene Woodley, who is in this series only because they wanted to capitalize on her success in The Spectacular Now, which was a hit with Divergent's demographic, and you have Miles Teller, who was also in that EXACT same movie and is in this film for the EXACT same reason. Then you throw in a hunk for the lead male, and you have yourself a surefire hit. I could do the exact same thing with Percy Jackson, The Maze Runner, The Giver, and even The Hunger Games. Though, to kinda take The Hunger Games off the hook, I will say that at least Jennifer Lawrence became Jennifer Lawrence AFTER the first Hunger Games. Even though they were hoping to catch the sci-fi demographic due to her role in X-Men: First Class. But I digress. It's all corporate decisions, guys. That's all the YA genre is. The same goes for the superhero genre too, but at least there we are getting some interesting stories and fantastic visual effects. In the YA genre we don't even get that. And we get two-part finales because f*ck you give us money. Thanks Obama.
That's right. This review is about Insurgent, isn't it? Well, like I said, Insurgent is not good. While there were a few enjoyable moments scattered throughout a lot of boring scenes, most of this film is exactly that: boring. I will also credit the film at least trying to remind you of the events of the first film in a somewhat clever way. (Having Kate Winslet deliver a recap as propaganda was kind of cool.) But that's about it. The big action set-piece? The one that was shown in all the trailers? Looked HORRIBLE. It was terribly shot with already-dated CGI, and led to several moments where I said to myself, "There is nothing on this screen right now that is real." which you should never EVER say in a good action film. You cannot go full CGI. Especially when your CGI is awful. But on top of that, this film was very technically bland. VERY technically bland. The cinematography was boring, standard, and lazy. The score was about as memorable as watching an hour of C-SPAN. The costumes made no sense. Everything about this film was either lazy, bland, bad, or a combination of all three. Even M83 didn't make a showing in this film. His song I Need You which accompanied a zip line scene through Chicago's skyline was easily the best part of Divergent. (And the only scene from the film I actually remember) So I was very depressed when my ears didn't hear the master musician that is M83. But don't worry, guys! We still have 2 more of these things to go! Woot woot! TWO PART FINALES ARE THE BEST. Cough cough.....sorry. I'm allergic to bullshit. Actually, just a heads up, I probably won't watch the last two of these things. Why? Well, for one, I've vowed to no longer watch Part 1 of two-part finales in cinema, but two, this film actually ended. Which was odd. The film did very little to set up for an obvious third (and fourth) movie. So, to me, the Divergent series is done! All plot points that I "cared" about are resolved. Peace out, mofos.
The Critique: Everything that is wrong with the YA genre, summed up in one film.
The Recommendation: Please. Avoid it like the plague.
The Verdict: 3/10 Bad
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