Transmission date: 13/01/
What a load of crap.
No, wait. It’s a New Year. We should start off on a more positive note. Let’s start again.
HI! How are you? Did you have a good holiday season? Excellent. That’s great to hear!
Me? I was forced to sit through a load of crap over the holiday weekend. Thanks very much.
(See? Isn’t that better? Festive, that’s me.)
The movie I speak of is the latest Rick Axe blockbuster gagfest, IRON MARS. Please buckle your seatbelts, kids. There’s so very much wrong with this film that it makes me want to weep.
Most you know I am not an Axe fan… in my humble opinion, he is to movies what ebola is to a healthy body. Still… I try to give everyone a clean slate when I sit down to view the final product. I work for the benefit of the doubt. Most of the time, I do not even look at who the directors are before sitting to watch. However, Axe’s style is so… let’s call it Distinctive… that any pretense of anonymity was shattered early on.
I didn’t make it fifteen minutes. Spoilers ahead. You have been warned.
Let’s start with the biggest disappointment: the plot. The gist of it is this: the year is 2061, and Aerodyne, a private space travel company, has launched their first transit ship to Mars. Upon achieving Mars orbit, they are fired upon and brought down. They crash on the planet’s surface and are forced to don space suits and walk across the surface of the red planet, seeking the part of their ship that contains the inflatable biodome, else they will run out of air.
The astronauts (played by Leonardo DiCaprio, Hilary Swank, Rebecca McIntyre, and Kimbo N’fume) trek across the frozen landscape, seeking their life support module. Soon, they come upon the red, white and black flag of the Third Reich flying above a low rise of hills. When they get closer, they find series of caves leading deep within the crust of planet. And in those caves, the last remnants of the Nazis that fled Earth in 1945.
Normally, I would find this to be an irresistible hook. It is a brilliant premise, and could be a lot of fun in the right hands. Sadly, it is so similar to a plot that has been floating around the internet for years that I cannot help but feel that the producers of this film got lazy and ripped off the original creators. I know, I know, this is hardly a surprise… it happens all the time. Still… to have it be so obvious is simply insulting to the audience.
The cast is the second disappointment. It is always a sad thing to see stellar actors give mediocre performances. There are directors and producers who believe that loading up a bad script with great actors will save a film. On occasion, it works. More often, the poor quality of the script winds up dragging down the performance of the actors. The upshot is that you can have Leonardo DiCaprio and Hilary Swank head the cast of your science fiction blockbuster, but if they have a crap script and lousy direction to work with, the result will be a film that barely holds the attention of anyone looking for credible storytelling.
That leads us to the third disappointment: the audience. Sitting in the theatre, I was so very disappointed by the looks of joy and bliss on people’s faces as they watched this movie. Very little story, pitiful acting, yet the crowds ate it up with a spoon the size of a shovel. Flashy explosions, slow-motion effects… these keep the masses happy. Axe knows that, and he dishes it up in spades.
I know this is a rant, but to paraphrase some historical figure who’s name I cannot recall, we get the entertainment that we deserve. If this film is any way to gauge what is to come, the future of American-made Film is a string of huge explosions interspersed with random gunfire backed by the days greatest heavy metal hits. Why, oh why do we not demand better from Hollywood? No, instead we will sit in our chairs while people who should know better peddle the vulgar and the banal to us, and we’ll happily pay for the privilege.
This movie will make millions. It will deserve far, far less.
That’s all the bile I can muster for this month. Next month, we’ll look at what might be the great hope for the soul of entertainment, the cyberdrama from Jade Dragon Productions out of Shanghai: Tea With Lemongrass. Until then, you can find me in all the usual places, email, Qlatch, or even the antiquated Facebook. Until next time, take care of yourself, and watch out for those Nazis.