Shoot'em UpI watched a couple of movies last week up at the farm. Since I was alone for a couple of days, I decided to rent some movies that my wife wouldn't want to watch, but that were also off the beaten path of mainstream video fare.
The first movie was Shoot'em Up starring Clive Owen and Paul Giamatti. I had not heard of this movie prior to seeing it on the shelf, but I have enjoyed both Owen and Giamatti in the past and decided to take a flyer on it.
It wasted no time jumping into action. And it was constant action from the moment it started till the moment it ended. The plot was completely beyond belief, the actors were endowed with superhuman capabilities, performing feats of strength that defied the laws of physic. The s-xuality of the movie was so overdone as to make it nearly soft-psychological porn. The gore and violence factor was a high 10.
But the premise of the plot was utterly and completely awful, mixed with a message that guns are bad and guns do bad things and people that make guns are bad people only out for blood.
This movie looks like it was torn from the pages of a comic book directed towards s-xually frustrated adolescent losers who probably fit the profile of growing up to be a serial killer living in mom's basement.

There was not a single redeeming quality to this movie. It was completely and utterly without any redeeming value. A complete and total waste of 90 minutes. 

TracksThe second movie that I rented was Tracks . The premise is that a group of friends who drink too much, smoke too much dope, live on the fringes of society in their lower class neighborhood and suffer from more than their fair share of teenage angst are bored one day, and flip the switching mechanism on a commuter train track in NJ. The result is a train wreck that kills the conductor. The boys are sentenced as adults and sent to prison.

The focus of the movie is one young man and what he goes through. There are flashbacks to his troubled past, as well as glimpses here and there into his life outside of prison. The main focus is time in prison and its trials and tribulations. He tries to push away those that love him. Why these people love him (except his mother) is not made clear. He's a loser, a troubled young man, with a history of violence and a bad attitude and is disrespectful to most around him. He goes through some difficult times in prison, as would be expected of a 17 year old boy in adult prison. He makes friends with one guard (played by Ice-T), who gives him some guidance. But Ice-T is a painfully bad actor and his plastic strained performance in the flick further cements his inability to act.
The young man finally achieves parole and ends up in a halfway house for a short stay, only to end up back in prison after earning his first day pass and failing to follow the very simple rules (call to check in every hour).
The plotline surronding this young man is very conflicted, as if the director couldn't decide if he wanted to portray this young man in a sympathetic light or as the troubled hoodlum moron that he ended up coming across as.
Ice T
In one scene he's portrayed as a smart kid helping the prison guard (Ice-T) with his junior-college homework. In the next scene, we see the young man behaving like a total and complete loser making absoutely awful decisions, the kind of bad decisions that make you feel no sense of compassion for him.
The ending of the movie was extremely disappointing and left me hanging. Now, don't get me wrong, I don't expect every movie to end like a nice neat package all wrapped up. But this movie just ended. It left me completely hanging.

I found myself just not caring about the main character. He was a real loser with real problems and there was nothing about him to like. I didn't hate him. I didn't like him. I simply didn't care! He had no redeeming qualities and I was never able to connect with him . Maybe it's because I knew too many guys like him in my youth and I know how the vast majority of them turned out (most are still losers and the ones that aren't are most likely dead). Regardless, this movie left me with a void.
I can't say anything nice about the movie. The bad stuff I could say is pretty run of the mill. It was bad, but not awful (Shoot'em Up was utterly awful). This movie left me feeling like I wasted 90 minutes. I didn't gain a thing from watching, but most importantly, it was simply was not an entertaining movie.

Tracks is chooked full of violence, nudity, s-xual content, and vulgar language. Don't waste your time with this one, either.





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