Anaconda (1997)

You really wouldn’t expect a story about a man-eating monster to be this boring.

A documentary crew floats into the Amazon rainforest in search of a good story. They rescue a stranger who temps them with the tale of a creature who will “…strike, wrap around you. Hold you tighter than your true love.”

The early CGI makes Syfy channel originals look like masterworks of technical wizardry (despite its $100,000 a second price tag). But, what keeps Anaconda from going adrift in the river of forgettable flicks is Oscar winner Jon Voight as the snarling stranger. His accent is almost as weird and indistinguishable as Tommy Wiseau’s, and his performance comes across so bafflingly bad. One look, and you may become hypnotized.

Directed by Luis Llosa.
Starring Jon Voight, Jennifer Lopez, and Ice Cube.
89 Minutes – Rated PG-13

300, The (2006)

 

300 hairless Greeks (hairless Greeks?!) of the city-state Sparta make a final stand against a vast horde of invading Persians. It is oh so loosely based on the Battle of Thermopylae during the second Persian invasion of Greece.

Snyder’s visual style is that of color saturation to the extreme. We get they were going for a comic book feel but achieved little more than turning this violent and stupid film into the epitome of style over substance. The complete reliance on green screen only makes it look worse as the years roll by. The characters themselves act less than one dimensional and are only an afterthought to the slow-motion butchery.

While we certainly appreciate a good war flick, this one glorifies that favorite of human pastimes to a degree rarely seen outside of propaganda. It may have a cult following, but we sure as hell can’t figure out why.

Directed by Zack Snyder.
Starring Gerard Butler, Lena Headey, David Wenham, Dominic West, Vincent Regan, Rodrigo Santoro, and Michael Fassbender.
117 Minutes – Rated R

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