Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Alone in the Dark (2005)

ALONE IN THE DARK directed by Uwe Boll

Ranked 2.3/10 on IMDB

Warning: Spoilers!
--does anyone truly care?

Quick Synopsis:

Talon: Written by three people! Yes, three people. I'll spare their names. 

Christian Slater plays the role as Edward Carnby, a paranormal detective, and the hero.

Tara Reid plays the role as Aline Cedrac, Carnby's ex.

Actually, she isn't his ex for long. Middle of movie, she creepily breaks into his house while he sleeps, snuggles next to him bed, and then they make endless and nudeless love throughout the night to some forgotten rock ballad.

Joe: If a guy had done that to an ex, the cops would have been called. But I guess no one complains if it's Tara Reid.

Talon: Actor Stephen Dorff plays the role as Commander Richard Burke. He's the head guy of Bureau 713, which is an organization to protect the world from paranormal dangers.

Joe: Pretty much an X-Files version of the Colonial Marines in ALIENS, without any of the memorable characters. Or good dialog. Or acting prowess.

Talon: Then a bunch of terribly rendered CGI aliens or demons or whatever the hell they are invade 713 because the script said so. Carnby and Cedrac and Burke spend most of the movie hunting and fighting these creatures with unlimited pistol and machine gun bullets. These weapons have no recoil of course and never have to to be reloaded. Eventually they find the alien hive and blow it up. The end.

Joe: The creatures looked like a cross between Giger's Alien and the Terror Dogs from Ghostbusters. They weren't Asylum-level bad, but they never looked good. Didn't help that some of them had some weird transparency ability. And what was with that zombie guy in the beginning? What did he have to do with anything.

I have a migraine.

First Impressions:

Talon: Wow! I had hope. I had honest-to-god hope. For those who don't know, Alone in the Dark was a kick-ass survival horror game, in which you get bombarded with jump scares, free roam, battle gory monsters by crafting wicked inventions like inflammable bullets, and solving puzzles.

Pure fun.

I played it a lot when I was younger, so discovering they made a film based of it had my stomach tingling.

Joe: I warned you it was supposed to be bad. That's the point of this blog.

Talon: Then the movie started, with the longest infodump scroll in movie history.

Joe: It went on forever. I've published short stories that had fewer words. And none of it really mattered.

Talon: I knew, as I read on and on, my nostalgic memories of playing the video game were going to be crushed. This should have been done through action and dialog.

Joe: I'll vote it shouldn't have been done at all.

Talon: A headache formed behind my eyes, and the movie hadn't even started.

Now, I don't want to sound like a critic, or a jerk, I love movies: People pour their heart and souls into making them...

But if I had to read one more damn page of how Edward Carnby had psychic powers and he's a supernatural detective and he's an orphan and he used to work for Bureau 713. Gah!

So after a flashback scene which was a dream, we're with Carnby and he's narrating about his life and repeating all the things mentioned in the info-dump scroll.

Joe: Voice over narration is often used when the editor realizes, post-production, that the film doesn't make sense. I dunno if there was VO in the original script, but it didn't add to the movie at all. Nor did it help the onscreen action make sense.

Talon: Then a fun action chase scene happens, which is what I expected since this was a high-budget (twenty million dollar) action movie.

Joe: The foot chase and fight was fun, if you checked your brain at the door. But Slater is fighting a zombie dude, when the main antagonists are semi-invisible monsters. This was probably explained in the infodump scroll at the beginning, or through voiceover, but I still don't get it. There aren't any more zombie dudes in the rest of the movie, just those alien things.

Talon: Then it began to drag, and the remainder of the movie left me unfulfilled.

Joe: I actually had to stop the movie to make espresso to stay awake. Couldn't say the same about my fave Uwe Boll film, HOUSE OF THE DEAD. That was an entertaining bad movie. This one was like watching traffic pass by at 3am on a backwoods road in Wisconsin.

Acting wasn't bad. The movie looked good, except for some sketchy CGI. It had nothing to do with the videogame it was based off of, other than use the protagonist's name. I always enjoy watching Slater and Reid. He traded his Jack Nicholson impersonation for gym-time to buff up.

Talon: The movie was like a so-so omelette with no seasoning. 

Here's some of the dialog my dad and I had while viewing. Try to imagine some of our phrases as catchy slogans:

"Perfect for insomniacs!

"This makes me want to cut myself and roll in salt."

"Are you sleeping?"
"If you weren't asleep, tell me what just happened."

"Hurts me in my pleasure center."

"Based on a video game they've never played."

"They went down into the hive, and then immediately tried to escape from the hive. What was the point?"

Joe: I did love that female soldier who got her head cleaved in half. That was a really decent special effect.

Talon: Then, after a brutal 90 minutes, the best death scene of all time. I ruptured a kidney laughing so hard. Let me explain.

So, Carnby and his girl (Aline Cedrac) make it out of a cave where the super crazy alien hive was located. The Commander of the 713 (Richard Burke) stays back to destroy the nest with a bomb.

In the climactic scene (the pounding music lets us know it's the climax), Richard grabs the bomb, sets the timer for five(!) seconds, arms and throws it into the hive, then dies from the explosion while trying to outrun it.

I could not stop laughing.

Maybe if he set the timer for, idk, maybe more than five seconds? He woulda had a chance to escape.

Joe: And there was no urgency. We didn't see thousands of monsters running for the exit, about to escape. They were all just chillin'. He could have set the timer for fifteen minutes, had a smoke, and walked out of there at a leisurely pace.

Talon: R.I.P Commander Richard. Killed by a five second bomb timer he set himself.

Too funny.

Even though Carnby and Cedrac had been adversarial with him for half the movie, then best buddies for the second half, they get over his death rather quick and the narrator tells us the whole city has been evacuated...

Except for that guy driving over there in the background! No joke!

Best Worst Scene

Talon: It's Commander Richard blowing up. I'm still laughing inside.

Joe: The ending. Such heroism. Such self-sacrifice. Such stupidity.

So, after that life-changing experience, here's our trademark.

Watch it? 

Talon: Yes, it had the best ending ever!

Joe: Yes. But you'll need two espressos to stay awake, and three beers and a shot for the pain.

Share it? 

Talon: Yes, I'll inform my friends to use it as an alliterative to Ambien.

Joe: No. There are other Uwe Boll films I'd recommend first, that I'm going to make you watch later.

Re-watch it? 

Talon: Yes, when I'm ten years older and my brain had sub-consciously deleted this movie.

Joe: Sort of. There is a Director's Cut, which we're gonna have to sit through eventually.

Talon: Did you see Alone in the Dark? Do you have any best worst movies to recommend? Are you selling generic Viagra? Post in the comments!


Talon will now spout off five reasons you should watch the next movie we're blogging about, one of the most reviled films of all time, HOWARD THE DUCK!

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