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Streaming:: Trollhunter, Hobo, Red State & Vanishing

January 9th, 2012 by unkle lancifer · 16 Comments

UNK SEZ: I wanted to do a “Best of the Year” list sort of thing but how could I possibly when I’m so hopelessly out of the loop? Part of it’s my fault because I’m trapped in the past but part of it I blame on the fact that many movies never hit my neck of the woods. During the Christmas break I realized that the least I could do was catch up with the recent flicks available on Netflix. This little four-car pileup represents only a fraction of my intake but hopefully we’ll get to some of those other flicks soon too.

TROLLHUNTER

To tell you the truth, knowing that TROLLHUNTER was a found footage flick didn’t make me run to it with open arms. Nothing against the concept, I just wasn’t in the mood for the usual song and dance. I threw all my trepidations in the garbage disposal though as soon as the first troll showed up. He was glorious. If this movie doesn’t convince you that CGI is not necessarily the devil’s plaything then nothing will. Fun, imaginative and crowned with a great character in troll hunter Hans (OTTO JESPERSEN), this movie easily leaped over my expectations and turned out to be quite the horror adventure.

HOBO WITH A SHOTGUN

I probably found this movie only about half as funny as I think I was meant to. I was not too comfortable seeing RUTGER HAUER my hero, being treated poorly by Tromaville rejects. It reminded me of the awful day my dog followed me to school and all the other kids laughed at her running down the hall. Don’t laugh at my dog! Suddenly I understood that HOBO wanted me to feel that way so that I could fully enjoy my blue eyed champion RUTGER killing all the rat faced punks. Sadly that understanding came a little too late for me to get all I could have out of this. In any case, I loved all the nasty neon colors swirling around in this movie, the references to MAD MAX and HALLOWEEN 3 and the blippy soundtrack and excellent STREETS OF FIRE theme song at the end. I just don’t enjoy seeing people push RUTGER HAUER around, to me that’s like sacrilege or something.

RED STATE

Wait a minute. How is it possible I was so unimpressed with this movie? I like a good KEVIN SMITH rant and it shouldn’t be very difficult to get me on board with a movie that skewers religious zealots and features JOHN GOODMAN. I thought RED STATE jumped out of the gate fine but I fell off the back of the truck midway through. Maybe it says something about my lack of mettle that I could not adjust to RED STATE’s major shifts in tone of which there are several. There was one point toward the end where I thought perhaps it might redeem itself for me and then instead it went the opposite direction entirely. (Alas, an unfilmed original ending scrapped due to financial restraints sounds more my cup of tea.) As it stands, I felt like the subject matter deserved a far less flippant approach and I was let down by SMITH painting in such broad strokes. I give him much respect for working out of his comfort zone but I felt the wild-eyed caricatures sort of let the garden variety bigot too easily off the hook. I guess this is one of those divisive movies that you either love or hate and I can’t be more shocked that here I stand on this side of the fence!

VANISHING ON 7TH STREET

Don’t worry RED STATE, you are not my least favorite movie in this grouping! That honor belongs to VANISHING ON 7TH STREET! BRAD ANDERSON is a mega valuable and extraordinary director in my eyes. Not only do I dig his forays into horror, like the excellent SESSION 9, but I also think his HAPPY ACCIDENTS and NEXT STOP WONDERLAND are pretty awesome too. VANISHING has a wonderful plot as far as I’m concerned. It’s sort of like WHERE HAVE ALL THE PEOPLE GONE? with darkness itself starring as a malevolent force furiously erasing the world. Unfortunately even though this movie has more going for it than most with ANDERSON’s expertise, an involving concept, semi professional (albeit miscast) actors and I’m sure a reasonable budget of some sort it fails to gel into anything solid enough to cast a shadow itself. It’s just like a big glob of formless putty. It even has the nerve to have an annoying kid character in it and I was of the understanding that we as of a culture had a silent agreement to leave that pesky stock character to disaster movies from the seventies. I’m not telling you not to check this one out; in fact, do and tell me it’s just my imagination that it is as intolerable as I think it is. I don’t mind being wrong. I want to be wrong.

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16 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Amanda By NightNo Gravatar // Jan 10, 2012 at 10:23 am

    I really want to see Trollhunter! I keep forgetting it’s around for some reason, so thanks for mentioning it.

    The mancub saw Red State and didn’t really care for it either. I’m not sure I’ve heard anything particularly good about it. I can’t even remember the last time I saw a Kevin Smith movie (I know, I’m soooo behind!).

  • 2 unkle lanciferNo Gravatar // Jan 10, 2012 at 11:56 am

    A,

    Trollhunter is a great fun. I wish I got the chance to see it on the big screen! The effects are really grand and eye-popping.

    I’m relieved mancub wasn’t feeling Red State either. That was a movie I felt almost bad for not liking more than I did.

    I’d recommend that folks interested in the subject matter watch The Rapture (1991) instead. Now that is a great movie!

    The last Kevin Smith movie I saw was Jersey Girl over Christmas break. for all of Red State’s issues I can say that at least it does not have Ben Affleck singing in it.

    Thankfully my losing streak ended last night with “Burning Bright” I’ll try to get a review for that one up soon. I really enjoyed it!

  • 3 stevil1981No Gravatar // Jan 10, 2012 at 4:33 pm

    The only one on this list I haven’t seen yet is Vanishing. I was lucky enough to catch Trollhunter on the big screen and it was glorious. I was super excited for Hobo from the trailer and in my opinion it more than lived up to it. I know it wasn’t actually a Troma movie but Hobo just felt like the movie Troma has always wanted to make but have constantly fallen short due to not really caring about their scripts, just throwing in as much stupid self aware humor and gross out effects and hoping that it was enough to make a movie.It really seemed that Jason Eisner put everything he had into his film. I really enjoyed Red State which surprised me, I wasn’t expecting to. Doesn’t seem to be a popular opinion I know but there ya go.

  • 4 unkle lanciferNo Gravatar // Jan 10, 2012 at 7:26 pm

    Stevil,

    I think Hobo is a movie that I should have probably seen with a crowd too. I’m sure it would have been way more fun that way.

    I really dug the way it looked and Hauer’s performance but some of the Troma-isms I could have done without. (although the nurse in the hospital did make me laugh out loud.)

    I agree that Eisner did an excellent job taking the concept as far as he could. After this and Treevenge I’m really interested to see what he does next.

    I have a couple good friends who loved RED STATE too so you are not alone. For me, the beginning really got my hopes up and then it lost me with the Waco/FBI stuff.

    Maybe you should try “Vanishing” it does have its supporters and I’d be interested to hear what you think.

    I feel bad about throwing so much negativity into this group post but I wanted to get these movies out of the way and move onto others.

    Maybe I shouldn’t have watched all this stuff right after Trollhunter! I kept expecting everything to be that cool!

  • 5 bdwilcoxNo Gravatar // Jan 10, 2012 at 9:29 pm

    Couple more Redbox winners, both starring Robert Duvall: Get Low and Broken Trail. Both are excellent, the first being a character study and the second a first-rate western. Highly recommended.

  • 6 lottie_of_millhavenNo Gravatar // Jan 11, 2012 at 1:39 am

    I’m happy to see some love for Burning Bright,it really surprised and impressed me.

    Everything I hear about Red State makes me think I’m right for skipping it,so I think I will continue to do so.

    Trollhunter looks amazing, must add to my queue right now.

    I have been very excited about Hobo…but then again I am a Troma fan, so it might be right up my alley.

  • 7 unkle lanciferNo Gravatar // Jan 11, 2012 at 8:13 am

    BDwilcox,

    I have to get back to my RedBox! The last movie I got from them was actually a blank CD that somebody had returned instead of the movie and it curbed my enthusiasm.

    Redbox was good about not charging me though. I just had to call them up and report it.

    Lottie,

    I’ll be working on that Burning Bright review today. Loved it too and it really had me gritting my teeth!

    Do see Hobo!

    I hope my comparing it to my dog following me to school does not deter anybody off!

    I loved Troma growing up. I don’t know when this bad taste in my mouth developed. I even have a “Toxic Crusaders” colorforms set!

    I guess it came from knowing somebody who worked for them who turned out to be a real douche and that association just fermented in my brain.

    So much for being objective! I also hate the movie “Amelie” because it reminds me of a girl I can’t stand.

    I think it was hard for me to get into the spirit of Hobo because early on it reminded me of those videos from years back of homeless people fighting for money.

    and I had just seen a video on Tosh.0 of these guys kicking what looked like a homeless guy and it really disturbed/pissed me off too.

    Here in Philly we do have a lot of homeless people and many of them are just mentally ill people who have been dumped on the street like garbage.

    Eventually HWAS gets down to being a crazy revenge fantasy and that worked for me but first I had to jump over the hurdle of what seemed like a comedy about exploiting the homeless.

    That makes it sound like I have the worst sense of humor.

    Which is kind of true. I always have the worst sense of humor for a spell once christmas is over!

    Anyway, if you don’t think about actual homeless people while watching the movie I’m sure it’s much better!

  • 8 lottie_of_millhavenNo Gravatar // Jan 11, 2012 at 11:30 am

    Unkle Lancifer- Yeah, I know what you mean about the homeless. I live in New Orleans, and I see a lot of people on the streets that just about break my heart. Hopefully, as long as Rutger gets to kill a lot of bad guys by the time the credits roll, it won’t leave me with a bad taste in my mouth.

  • 9 unkle lanciferNo Gravatar // Jan 11, 2012 at 12:58 pm

    Lottie,

    Don’t worry he does get his revenge and it’s all in good fun.

    I didn’t mean to approach the movie (which is mostly a comedy) all politically correct but it was something that was sort of nagging in the back of mind.

    I really have a high tolerance for violence but when there is a humiliation aspect to it some sort of alarm goes off.

    We are definitely meant to sympathize with Hauer though and anticipate and enjoy his revenge.

    I think maybe if they had gotten better actors to play the bad guys I would have enjoyed it more.

    Still it was nice to see RH!

  • 10 Sam HarveyNo Gravatar // Jan 11, 2012 at 1:00 pm

    ‘Don’t laugh at my dog’!
    Can completely see this painful situation. Bless you!

  • 11 unkle lanciferNo Gravatar // Jan 11, 2012 at 1:35 pm

    Haha – I should probably say that I’m not comparing Rutger to a dog but my love for him is (give or take a mile) equal to the love I had for my dog.

    Poor Ginger! The image is burned forever in my brain. She’s running down the hall, her big eyes looking upwards confused as the horrible kids are pointing and howling!

    I guess I didn’t need to see any movies to be traumatized. My eyeballs naturally record the world in trauma-vision.

    If only Ginger had a shotgun!

  • 12 stevil1981No Gravatar // Jan 11, 2012 at 3:20 pm

    I will definitely check out Vanishing Unk, I remember thinking it looked interesting when it first came out but then it seemed to (pun totally intended) vanish. Also, I think I was way too hard on Troma movies in my last post. Just for the record I absolutely loved The Toxic Avenger, Class Of Nuke ‘Em High and Combat Shock. It was more so stuff like Monster In The Closet and the original Mothers Day that just bored me.

    P.S.
    I almost feel like I can see your dog running down that hallway and it melts my stone heart.

  • 13 unkle lanciferNo Gravatar // Jan 11, 2012 at 6:14 pm

    Troma does have a few gems in their collection. I do dig Class of Nuke ’em and the original Toxie.

    Some of their later stuff is just headache inducing though, ya gotta be careful.

    I must be getting old because I’m really looking forward to “The Woman in Black” and the biggest selling point for me is that I imagine it’s going to be relatively quiet!

  • 14 PinchyNo Gravatar // Jan 15, 2012 at 2:05 pm

    I have another film for the streaming list: Phase 7. It’s an Argentinian apocalyptic thriller/black comedy/siege film with a heavy John Carpenter vibe. I had low expectations going in but ended up really enjoying the movie. If you don’t mind subtitles or comedy infused with your doomsday scenarios, you’ll probably like it too.

  • 15 Nates666No Gravatar // Jan 19, 2012 at 6:13 am

    All the talk of homeless made me just want to pop in and bring up one of my all time fave movies-Street Trash. If you havent seen it please do. it may be a step up from the troma trash but in the glory of the late 80’s splatter fest/black comedy that we should all have a soft spot in our hearts for…

  • 16 unkle lanciferNo Gravatar // Jan 19, 2012 at 11:00 am

    Street Trash! Great call Nate666!

    I haven’t seen that one in years. I need to watch it again soon! thanks for the reminder!

    & thanks for the recommendations Pinchy &Bdwilcox!

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