“Well, OBVIOUSLY, Participation is No Longer Voluntary.”

Happy Valentine’s Day, people. Please put your candy and/or sweetheart aside and come along with me on our continued snarky journey through bad horror movies. Today we’ll be concluding Bloody Hearts with our review of Would You Rather.

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It is an uncomfortable movie with a surprising amount of actual potential. Unfortunately, the finished product is just not very good.

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“That’s Not A Plan. That’s a Shit Sandwich Without Bread.”

Many years ago, I watched the original Red Dawn. I know I did. I actually remember sitting down to watch it. And yet . . . and yet it’s like the entire experience was wiped from my mind, like something traumatic happened that my brain overwrote to protect itself. Aliens, I don’t know. The point is, it’s all gone.

At some point, I may revisit that past trauma. In the meantime, I decided to just watch the remake instead.

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This probably doesn’t come as a shock, I’m sure, but it’s not very good.

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“As For You, Ma-Ma . . . Judgment Time.”

I haven’t finished my Iron Man 3 review yet — work keeps getting in the way, dammit, and also writing that could, at least potentially, make me some money, and reading too, because The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making is the BEST — but I do at least have a Baby Review for you.

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I’d planned to see this in theater (mostly because I kept hearing good things about it, which surprised me) but I never quite got there. So my friend Denise and I did a little movie exchange: she borrowed my copy of the original The Thing, and I borrowed this.

Dredd is a lot of fun, but it’s getting the Baby Review treatment today, partially because I’m a busy nerd who wants to get back to her regularly scheduled reading time, but also because I just don’t have a lot to say about it. I can’t compare it to the original comics because I’ve never read them. I can’t compare it to the Sylvester Stallone movie because I’ve, thankfully, never seen it. And the film makes absolutely no attempt to be any deeper than it needs to be. Judge Dredd himself (Karl Urban) has virtually no kind of character development or backstory of any kind. They tell you absolutely nothing about him, just that he’s a badass. Sometimes, I’m okay with that. This is one of those times.

Here’s what I can say about Dredd:

1. Despite being set in a dystopian America where crime is so prevalent that the police are authorized to be judge, juries, and executioners, Dredd has a very similar plot set-up to The Raid: Redemption, an Indonesian martial-arts action movie that I also really liked.

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2. Karl Urban is fun as Dredd, all stern and badass and very Clint Eastwood — who apparently was a big inspiration for the character in the comic books. Also, he never takes off his helmet, which is apparently a Big Deal. (It’s okay. I can wait a couple of weeks to see Karl Urban’s pretty face in Star Trek: Into Darkness.)

3. Olivia Thirlby plays Dredd’s new, psychic, probationary partner, and she gets the unenviable task of being the I Must Learn The Will to Kill girl — at least to an extent — but she does the job pretty decently, I think, and overall I like her quite a bit.

4. Also, psychic showdowns? Kind of awesome. I love it when mental battles are actually done well in movies.

5. Lena Headey continues to be a Bad Ass in all things.

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5. This is the rare film where all the slow-motion action is actually highly plot relevant and surprisingly works pretty well. (I do think they use it maybe one or two more times than they need to, and occasionally the shiny-ness of it all is a little silly and would probably look better with a bigger budget, but overall it works.)

6. Decent foreshadow and set-up in this movie. I can’t go into detail without spoilers, but I approve. I also like that this isn’t a big Save the World story, that it’s just a job, one day’s violent BS in a long string of violent BS-filled days. That works for me.

7. Dredd is a pretty violent film, which also works for me. There are a few surprising moments too, just stuff you don’t normally see in action movies like this — like what might happen to innocent bystanders during those big cop car chase sequences — and I enjoyed those little moments.

CONCLUSIONS:

Fun, solid action flick.

MVP:

Karl Urban. He basically has to do all of his acting with his voice and chin, so even if there isn’t much in the way of character to explore — you need a strong lead to sell this.

TENTATIVE GRADE:

B+

MORAL:

There is no negotiation.

“Come At Me. Every Inch of Me Will Resist You.”

When my friend Robyn came to visit, we attempted to watch Coons! Night of the Bandits of the Night, and barely made it through the trailers before giving up. (So, Rob? Congratulations. You broke me. I am a broken woman now. I hope you’re happy.)

We decided to watch this instead:

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I have this poster on my wall, and though you can’t see it from the picture, it has the very best tagline ever. Said tagline?

Survivor Who Kill Everyone Even Though Best Friend.

This is a fair representation of the translation quality throughout the film.

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“We Might As Well Shoot Each Other Now And Get It Over With.”

I remember when Zombieland first came out, people were calling it America’s answer to Shaun of the Dead . . . as if Shaun of the Dead had been some kind of challenge, a war cry from England screaming, “Beat that, fuckers!” You see this kind of thing all the time in advertising, though, even in TV — if BBC America promos are to be believed, The Hour isn’t just England’s Mad Men; it’s BETTER.

So how does the Australian Red Dawn fare?

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Well, truth is, I barely remember the original Red Dawn at all, although I’ve never been under the impression that it (or its recently released remake) is anything but a big pile of cheese. However, I’d be surprised if Tomorrow, When the War Began can claim to being much better.

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