Transmorphers: You know the major hit blockbuster “Transformers?” This is Transmorphers. They came out the same year, and both feature robots. But, Transmorphers is the low budget knockoff from the folks who brought you such wonderful films as “The Davinci Treasure,” “Snakes on a Train,” and “The Day The Eart Stopped.” Perhaps the most curious thing about this film is the fact that any given special effect shot generally had either a visual effect or a sound effect, but very seldom both at the same time. I can’t believe I sat through it, as it is among the most terrible films ever made. There are three people who were able to get into character just slightly past the point of being proud of themselves for managing to read their lines out loud. Two of them are killed off quickly. The third one is apparently the star, but he isn’t in the first third of the film. Oddly, you have an enormous number of people in this film for what it is. If they had spent their casting budget on a quarter as many people, they might have made a much better film. I wouldn’t have to keep track of so many pointless characters, and they might have been able to afford to cast somebody you’ve heard of. The hot android chick never says anything important, for example. She could have been merged with any of a number of other characters. The script is a passable first draft for a first year student in which a few vaguely interesting things are set up in a horribly awkward, heavy handed, and ranty way which would have been hard to save even if the cast had any actors among them. You have a war mongering head of the science guild arguing with an apparently pacifist general leading the military. It sounds like a good setup, but no advantage was taken of the faint glimmer of novelty. Another review stated correctly that most of the CGI would have been pretty cool if it were in a screensaver for Windows 95. The effects seem to have been completely unplanned, with no coordination between different shots. In one shot the good guys are shooting red ray guns. In the next, blue ray guns. You have to assume that these things were decided completely at the whim of whoever was comping the shot, with no supervision whatsoever. And, the dialog was out of sync. So, no acting, no writing, not enough plot to help, bad enough visuals to counter the few decent shots, and horrible audio. The sets and most of the lighting were surprisingly passable. Not good, just surprising how they stick out as high points when everything else fails so badly.
Somehow, I love this film.
Choke: Based on a Chuck Palahniuk novel, this dark comedy is about a sex addict with a crazy mother who works as a colonial re-enactor and falls in love. It has lots of topless women, and is brilliant. I seriously really like this film. Like Transmorphers, it was shot on a fairly small budget. Apparently the budget for this was substantially larger than Transmorphers, but there are far fewer ‘major’ characters, no giant battle scenes, no fully CGI sets, probably no green screen. Quite possibly no visual effects at all. (never can tell these days) Instead of failing to make a big film, the creator succeeded at making a small film. It’s big in all the way that count. For one thing, I read that adapting the novel to screen0play involved five years before they had a script. The patience paid off. It hasn’t been particularly well reviewed. Apparently it departs quite a bit from the book, so purists won’t appreciate it. Still, after Transmorphers, it was a great comedy, drama, dark, romance type of film about stuff.
Production on the Adventures of Skullfucker has been delayed due to weather. It has been perfectly sunny and awesome every day the last few weeks, except Sundays. When it has been forcast to snow each of the past few weeks, causing cancellation of our outdoor shoot. With God himself apparently using the powers of heaven to try and delay this project, I am ever more determined to get the footy pajamas on film. We’ll get there, and Skullfucker shall rise again. Well, for the first time actually, but meh.