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Where New Pulp Lives! And from Time to Time...Dies!

Friday, December 16, 2011

TV Movie Review??? Stephen King's Bag of Shit

Whooops!  I meant SK's Bag of Bones mini-series.  Based on the novel of the same name.

Christ this sucked.  I mean I can do a detailed review and point out all the ways but what's the point really?  It sucks, plain and simple.  But here's a few reasons why in which I also throw in comparison's to Big Trouble in Little China.  Let's begin.

1. The acting is terrible.  Pierce Brosnan phones it in.  Apparently, he thinks he's Sean Connery in that he can take any role and never shed his accent.  Which doesn't work here because he's supposed to be an American, even has a brother who sounds American, yet there's Pierce being Pierce.  The rest of the cast is forgettably awful.  And I mean all of them.  Maybe it's the script but everyone sounds off.  You know when you walk into a public bathroom to take a leak and hear someone dropping a nasty deuce? That's the way the cast sounds.  What they needed was Kurt Russell.  And not Jack Burton Kurt Russell although that would have helped.  No, they just needed plain old Kurt to play the writer.  A guy who can be tough but also pull off depressed and drunk.  A guy who looks like a working-class type who decided to take up writing.  Not a pretty boy.  A reasonable guy who experiences pretty unreasonable things.  A guy who knows what to do when the earth quakes, and the poison arrows fall from the sky, and the pillars of Heaven shake. Yeah, Kurt would just look that big ol' storm right square in the eye and he says, "Give me your best shot, pal. I can take it." In this case, he'd say it to a ghost.

2. The bad guy.  Ties into reason one but gets his own number because he's that much more shittier.  Cartoonish.  Mustache twirling.  TIMES A BILLION!  Where's Lo-Pan when you need him?  Little old basket case on wheels would have fit better in the storyline than this clown.  I know, I know.  Chinese girls don't have green eyes and supernatural Chinese villains don't belong in Maine.  Indeed!

3. The directing.  Mick Garris sucks.  Can we just get that out of the way?  All of his King adaptation are terrible.  This one is no different.  Actually, it might be his worst yet.  Because it tries to be a real movie.  There's the sloppy opening title sequence: fade in, fade out, fade in, fade out.  I want to sleep already.  Then there's the silly scares.  The convenient set-ups like Pierce driving by the villain's house and the villain just happens to be at the window looking at him like he's been waiting eons just for Pierce to drive by (aren't we all?!?).  Then like a day later, Pierce drives by again and sure enough, there's the villain only this time with a devilish grin.  Ooooh!  I sense conflict!  And convenient.  But not as conveniently fun as driving into a Chinese stand-off in an alley in San Francisco's China Town where the Hang-Sengs and the Wing-Kong just happen to be getting ready to throw down to the death and Lo-Pan in ten-foot tall roadblock guise just happens to be there, the same Lo-Pan who recently kidnapped Wang Chi's girlfriend, a Chinese girl with green eyes.  I mean, that would just be crazy.  BUT FUN!  Unlike Bag of Bones, which sucked.

4. The script.  Bad dialogue.  Bad timing.  Nothing memorable.  Nothing sharp.  But lots of yelling about curses and needing to break the curse and you don't know what you're dealing with and there are forces at work here and curses and custody and power and white people are bad and women have it coming and the sins of the father and...what, I trailed off I guess.  Pretty much if it's a cliche related to curses and bloodlines, it's here.  Lots of self-important talk about having to break said curse by, go figure, sacrificing children to appease the angry woman that was raped and killed along with her daughter.  Maybe I missed something but it all felt really trite and familiar.  Or maybe I didn't get it.  Then again, I was not brought upon this world to get it!  I tell you, it's nothing like sacrificing a girl to Ching Dai, having the curse lifted, and going on to rule the world from beyond the grave.  Nothing like it at all.

5. The ending.  Hmmm.  Bad.  The silly "I got to put you to rest even though you're dead by dissolving your earthly remains with lye."  What?  What the fuck?  How about fire?  That burns up remains, too.  And how did we get to lye.  And what's this say about our victim?  Excuse me, I know you were raped and murdered as was your daughter and then buried in an unmarked grave but we disagree with the scope of your vengeance so we're going to dig up your bodies and dissolve them into goo so you can finally be at rest.  Uhh...what if that's not what she wants.  What if...and this is crazy...but what if she just wants to keep killing girls in the bloodline for, I don't know, ever?  Then you're not really putting her at rest, are you?  You're fucking re-killing her.  I think.  Whatever it is you do to dead people.  Or ghosts.  Point is, when you decide to dissolve a ghost's remains to stop said ghost from inflicting death, you do so with extreme prejudice.  You do so because you want to stop her, not because you care about her rest.  It's combat.  And that angry ghost should be doing whatever it needs to to stop you, not just let you dig them up and dump lye on them.  Wow, that's exciting!  No you need a ghost that comes out of thin air in the middle of a goddamn alley while her buddies are flying around on wires cutting everybody to shreds.  And you don't fight a ghost with a shovel and lye.  You fight it with a six demon bag until it becomes flesh.  Then you throw a fucking knife into it's head!



How did I end up slipping Big Trouble in Little China in here, you ask?  Why, the wheelchair of course.  Crabby old guy in wheel chair caused instant memory recall of Lo-Pan.  Both are up to no good.  Both need to sacrifice a female to end their curse.  Both have weird henchmen.  Both are evil.  And both scare everyone around them except our hero.




So, that about sums it up.  It was terrible.  Rather than watch it, watch Big Trouble in Little China.  It's good and fun and everything this movie isn't. I give Bag of Bones this: