Wednesday, 11 January 2006

Uwe Boll: It's German for Ed Wood

Regular visitors to this site —it's true, I have them, I'm not even related to some of them— know I that I like to take time out from time to time to praise the Genius that is Uwe Boll. It's time again.

There's a theory going around that because it takes so many people to make a movie, and because many of those people are talented craftsmen, that there are no really bad movies anymore, but also, by extension, no truly great movies either. The logic, I think, goes like this: when Scorsese made smaller budgeted, more independent-minded movies he brought the good stuff, now he's given loads of money and a huge crew around him, it's all a bit "meh".

The corollary is that those same talented craftsmen are also working on Battlefield Earth, which is a terrible movie in many respects, but it's competently made. The main problem here is that if the sets wobbled and the acting was just a little more over-blown (rather than just wrong) BE could well be a "camp" classic, as it is it's just a chore to sit through, it's not bad enough to be transcendantly bad.

If, then, there was a little less craft, the theory seems to say, perhaps the art could come through more clearly. And you can see the sense of it: how much of a Doug Liman movie, do you think, is Swingers compared to The Bourne Identity? And which is more money? Exactly. Liman is a fine director who made a very good movie, but when the system got hold of him he became just another journeyman hack like all the others before him.

Then, of course, there is Uwe Boll. The system doesn't get to him because he is the system. Due to some wierd German tax law, Boll finances his own movies, so he gets to do what he damn well wants. Plus, due to some vagaries I'm not aware of, he keeps on getting actors you've heard of to appear in said movies[1].

When this all comes together it puts Boll in charge of a movie where it's box-office success has no doubt already been statistically worked out and, because of the tax thing, no-one much cares anyway.

So he ends up making Alone In The Dark.

Alone In The Dark is a bad movie. It's almost hypnotic in it's badness. Things mostly happen in the movie because Boll thought it might be a good idea to try and homage another movie and are motivated by very little else. And when he's not doing broken homage to better movies, he has his own ideas. This is very bad indeed. Random slow motion and that sharp flickery cam that everyone uses nowadays (technically this is "adjusting the shutter angle to 45 degrees" for those who listen to DVD commentaries) happen. Characters appear simply to give exposition, which often isn't needed, for one scene, badly. Music videos start up during gun battles. Your brain packs up and won't come back again until you've watched some Renoir.

Movies, you rest-assured, can still be delirously bad.

Which means, yes, I am looking forward to the appearence, eventually, at my DVD rental place of Bloodrayne.

[1] Ben Kingsley had better have financial security and a very nice house as a result of Bloodrayne or else Ben had better be channeling Don Logan in his next conversation with his agent:
"You're the problem! You're the fucking problem you fucking Dr White honkin' jam-rag fucking spunk-bubble! I'm telling you Aitch you keep looking at me I'll put you in the fucking ground, promise you!"

Or, you know, words to that effect


Peter said...

Ah, the infinite topic, the one thing that makes my heart race and my blood pressure rise - no, I'm not talking about love ... or porn. Actually I ain't talking about anything pleasant at all - I'm talking about Dr. Uwe Boll.

There's a theory out there on what makes the worst film-maker on this planet actually really tick and what his true agenda is.

Follow this link and see for yourselves ...

Vince said...

And now it turns out that Uwe's latest opus didn't open in many U.S. theaters. Maybe his incompetence is spreading.