Six years ago NASA discovered the possibility of alien life within our solar system. A probe was launched to collect samples, but crashed upon re-entry over Central America. Soon after, new life forms began to appear & grow. In an effort to stem the destruction that resulted, half of Mexico was guaranteed as an INFECTED ZONE. Today,the Americans & Mexican military still struggle to contain the massive creatures….
Ok my (un)friendly acolytes, It’s me again: The Black Saint & today you’re gonna read & listen to my pontifications over a movie called “Monsters” being released in October by Magnolia Pictures. But before I get to the actual review wanna talk a little bit about the people who attend these “Private Screenings” cuz they sorta bug me.
This screening took place at the Magno screening room in the heart of midtown Manhattan. I’ve been there before & it’s your usual screening room: 40 or so seats, Nice size screen, No snacks or drinks whatsoever (F*ckin’ snack Nazi’s). And once the movie starts there is dead silence. I also like the fact that the lights are turned out completely in screening rooms. You ever notice that nowadays they never really turn out the lights i your local bijous? They just sort of dim them enough to make it seem dark but it really isn’t ever completely dark. Why? i dunno but I don’t like it. The Saint likes it black when he’s at a movie no matter what it is.
Anyways, These screenings are usually populated with film “Elitists” who sit around before the screening & talk about the merits of foreign films starring Jean Seberg. And they talk & they’re loud as if if they talk louder than whoever they’re talking to it makes them smarter. It just makes you louder ass wipes. There was an actual argument over whether “Eat, Pray, Love” (the latest Julia Roberts celluloid abortion) adhered to the book as much as it could / should have. I hate all of them & wanted to swing my scythe across all of their necks & just watch the movie on my own. It’s bad enough you can’t snack there, I gotta listen to their caterwauling as well? Fuck them!!
But I will admit there were more people there for this screening than I expected. As a matter of fact just about all 40 seats were full which is testament to the buzz surrounding this movie. I was waiting for my buddy Tony Timpone of Fangoria magazine but he was a little late so we didn’t sit together but we compared notes afterwards. He, my friends is one of the coolest people in the horror business in general & it’s a priviledge to call him “friend”.
What this you say? What about the movie? Ok already, you asked for it. Firstly any movie that has the audacity to call itself “Monsters” better be pretty f*cking kick ass. And although the film has it’s moments..It didn’t kick the Saint’s ass at all. Then again it’s kind of hard to kick my ass period. Cinematically anyways. The film only has 2 main characters: Sam, played by Whitney (All The Boys Love Mandy Lane) Able as Sam, an American tourist in Mexico trying to get back home to her wealthy father & Scoot (In Search Of A Midnight Kiss) McNairy as Andrew a jaded American journalist/photographer who works for Whitney’s dad & agrees to escort Whitney through the Infected Zone to the safety of the US border.
Whitney able is an attractive combination of Cameron Diaz & Radha Mitchell but could not act her way out of a paper bag. Her line readings were flat throughout the movie & she showed little if no emotion at all even when faced with being consumed by the titular creatures. Scoot was a bit better as the harried journalist but he was really no great shakes either. Now if you’re thinking that the movie only has 2 main characters in it then there ought to be a lot of dialogue in it right? Well you would be correct my dear acolytes. Which is another problem with the movie. It’s called “Monsters” not “My Dinner With Sam & Andrew”, unfortunately there is a lot of talking going on here at not a lot of it about the monsters themselves….
As to the monsters, the word is that director/writer & I guess everything else-er Gareth Edwards created the effects in his basement on a laptop computer. If this is so then he is to be commended. Although we really don’t see as much of the creatures as I would’ve liked when they showed up they showed up convincingly. I was a bit bummed out that there wasn’t a variety of monsters in the film. I mean it’s called “Monsters” for a reason right? I was expecting an array of beasties not just minor size variations on one. What do they look like? You know I don’t divulge info like that in my reviews but I will say they reminded me of a monster from a toho studios pic from the 70’s. Decipher that anyway you like cuz’ that’s all The Saint will offer up to you.
I thought the fact that the Mexicans were sorta used to the creatures being around funny. They just went about their daily lives not getting too close to the Infected Zone. But then I started thinking & this is what ultimately killed the movie for me. Why were the monsters only based in Mexico? They certainly seemed capable of going elsewhere on the globe to wreak havoc. In addition it’s never explained where the probe picked up the samples that ultimately ended up on Earth. Was it another planet?, asteroid, a newly discovered planet? I couldn’t say cuz’ they didn’t say. I might be nit picking a bit but I would think these are salient bits of information that would’ve fleshed out the story a little more. And as to the ending…well let’s just say it didn’t clear things up for me. Perhaps it will for you. I don’t think so though & since I am The Black Saint I am obviously right in my comments about the whole movie, not just the (enigmatic) ending. Don’t piss me off miscreants, I know where all of you live & if you look under your bed before you go to sleep tonight you just might find me waiting there for you. By the way if you do look under the bed tonight try to clean up a little bit…I hate waiting under beds that have a lot of toys & shoes & crap under them. Doesn’t leave me much space for my Scythe. You know what I mean? Good.
So all in all I’m giving “Monsters” 2 1/2 Shrouds out of 5. Mainly because of the amazing effects on a budget work that Gareth Edwards produced & a couple of funny lines that a few Mexicans had. But I still adhere to the notion that just because you can produce a movie with very limited funds & get good effect work to go with it, it doesn’t mean you should go ahead & do it. Especially if your script has some pretty gaping holes in it. But all in all it could have been much worse so it gets the rating it got. In the future I would advise Mr. Edwards to get a solid script in place before he proceeds with his next cinematic venture. Most of you peons will probably like it more than I did & while that doesn’t make me particularly happy I will magnaminously allow you a bit of happiness if you see it & like it. I’ll get to you….eventually.
If you wanna see a kick ass movie this week & are into Martial Arts films at all then go out & rent or buy “Ip Man” starring Donnie Yen. It has some of the most amazing fight scenes I’ve ever witnessed in any film I’ve seen. Period. Do yourselves a favor & watch it as soon as you can. It’s actually a bit of a history lesson as well so you clowns might actually learn a little something while you’re being entertained so completely. No gore & very little blood but man is it exhilarating to watch.
So that’s all for now my loyal acolytes, My bony fingers ache a bit so I have to dip em’ in some Hydrochloric acid to get them back to snuff….what? You don’t use acid when you have body aches? You don’t know what you’re missing people. Just remember to brush your teeth, do your dishes, watch “Pawn Stars” on the History channel & as always before you go to sleep get on your knees & say your nightly prayers…TO ME!!!
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lol, not only is the guy that wrote this review a dumbass but sounds like he’s got anger managment issues. What a twat
Well put “Anonymous”. But in the future let’s be sure you refer to me as “Mr Anger Management Issue With A Twat” OK? Great!!
Got to admit this is oddly one of my most memorable movies I can remember, saw it three years ago and I spend a hefty portion of my time on “product awareness”, I work at blockbuster, anyway of all the movies in 10′ I’ve seen this has to be the one that pops into my mind first ^^ If you’re looking for a good film to kill some time give it a shot bro’s, just keep in mind it’s kinda like “The Tunnel” (I think I got that name right) where the wind up a bit slow at first
you obviously didn’t understand the movie. before posting a review, it might be a good idea to know a thing or two about the movie that you are reviewing.
your complaints of how there were holes in the script? there wasn’t actually a script. both actors improvised basically the entire movie. if you bothered to do even a little research, you would have found out that they had a 12 page outline, and other than being told to hit certain points in order to advance the story, they were on their own. not everyone wants a Hollywood blockbuster complete with nonstop action, and certainly not every alien or monster film should have to follow that structure…but that’s okay, it shows your taste in movies, and may or may not give your readers a little insight to the level of your intelligence. it’s a shame that you had the opportunity to see the advanced screening, what a waste.
“A shame”…really? What you read was my opinion – nothing more than that. In actuality I knew everything I needed to know about the film before I sat down to watch it (Advanced screenings usually come with press releases detailing all of the strident facts regarding whatever we’re about to watch), so I knew all about the 12 pg. outline & improvisation. To question the level of my intelligence only shines a light on the level of yours as you have no idea who I am (Just as I don’t know anything about you). As to my taste in movies, I’ve never hid the fact that I dig down, dirty & gritty horror films but in no way, shape or form does that mean I don’t appreciate & love something completely different (As a matter of fact horror films only fill 4 slots in my “Top 10” favorite films of all time). Bottom line is I thought “Monsters” was a complete bore & more than a bit disingenuous. Perhaps this is due to the way it was promoted but that’s neither here nor there. I didn’t like it – you did and I’m sincerely happy that you did but in my book if you’re going to call your film “Monsters” (& promote it as a creature feature) then that’s what I expect to see. For you to slam my “taste in movies” & “My level of intelligence” is extremely short sighted & prejudicial. But it is what it is I guess, I’m glad you read the review & it prompted you to write a response. It’s all about the debate.
BTW: I attended the screening with more than a few extremely well respected film critics & found it hilarious that nearly all of them (Including the one who accompanied me who happens to be the editor in chief of one of the most popular genre publications on earth) had fallen fast asleep inside of 30 minutes. Give me some credit for staying awake for the duration at the very least…
I remember Monsters… I think the worst thing about it was it became Edward’s template for his take on the latest Godzilla film. A Godzilla film with next to no Godzilla in it…. ugh… So very disappointing.