James Helsby

LRE #15: Repo Men

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Little Red Envelope

In my mailbox this week:
Repo Men

Release Year: 2010
Staring: Jude Law, Forest Whitaker, Liev Schreiber

In a corporate ruled future, it’s a simple job to replace human organs with synthetic alternatives. The price is high, but when you are doing it for your family, can you really say that any price is too high? Well, much like buying a car that you can’t afford, you need to stay up with your payments. If you don’t, the Repo Men will come and take back the property.

But if that property is your heart, or your means of life, repossession means sharp blades, no sedative, and almost certain death. Remy, a very proficient repoman, ends up being injured in an ‘accident’, he is presented with a choice. Die, or accept a new organ he can’t afford. You owe it to your family. You owe it to yourself….

Ok, the premise is out of the way. It really doesn’t sound that bad. You take a little Jude Law (great actor) add in some Forrest Whitaker (great actor) and throw in some Liev Scheiber (great actor), and what do you get? A film that made me wish I had my two hours back.

It wasn’t bad, per say. But I spent the first half of the film, just getting used to the blood and guts on display. It would switch between monologue, dialogue, and soliloquy, depending upon the situation. The introspective moments are done in a manner of Remy (Jude Law) writing a book, the source material for the movie (Repossession Mombo, which was original penned by Eric Garcia).  Remy is writing the book, for his estranged son to read, to help him have a better understanding of his fathers life.

Remy, is being hunted by his former repo-man partner Jake, (Forrest Whitaker) under the direction of Frank (Liev Schreiber) who works for the mega-corp, The Union, to repossess the organ put into Remy after a botched repo job. Add into that, that Remy is on the run with a women who essentially has had all her internal organs replaced with synthetics, and  you start losing track of half of the content of the movie. The is just a bit too much going on.

I had two major problems with the movie. It was totally transparent of plot. It was in the first 10 minutes when I spot-on called the major twist, the one that presents itself in the final few seconds of the film. I correctly identified what would happen to Remy, before even having started the movie. I also was correct in predicting the reasons that happened, if not the exact circumstances (all without having read the synopsis)

The second problem, was wrapped into the violence. In the final scene, the ‘heroes’ are essentially performing vivisection on each others bodies, WHILE having sex. It is one thing for a movie to be a slasher, it’s another thing to have sexy time in a movie. But when you try and combine slash and sex, in the same scene, at the same time, you end up with something so uncomfortable; it’s like watching your parents having sex. Nobody wins.

It isn’t all bad. The acting was decent enough, and a special appearance by John Leguizamo essentially saved it from the eject button. Repo Men is an interesting presentation of a future, corporate. Very reminiscence of classics like Running Man, or Brazil, without Arnold or the touch of a Python. You really need to be in a certain mood for this movie. It’s not plot heavy, but it might leave you scratching your head, just to make sense of it.

How much alcohol did it take: Just enough to act as a digestive sedative.
Rating: 3/10. It is  violent. The acting was decent. Liev Scheiber can do no wrong, even when he is a douchebag.

The Wife’s Retort: I love Jude Law. Having said that; I spent the first half of the film, trying to stop myself from barfing, and convince myself to watch the rest. I spent the second half regretting my decision, and still wanting to barf.

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<h2><a rel=”attachment wp-att-23071″ href=”http://watchplayread.com/blog/lre13-the-losers/attachment/70125553/”></a><a rel=”attachment wp-att-23362″ href=”http://watchplayread.com/blog/lre-14-clash-of-the-titans/attachment/70119812/”><img class=”alignright size-full wp-image-23362″ src=”http://watchplayread.com/files/2010/09/70119812.jpg” alt=”” width=”210″ height=”270″ /></a>Little Red Envelope</h2>
In my mailbox this week:<strong>
Clash of the Titans

<strong>Release Year</strong>: 2010
<strong>Staring</strong>: Sam Worthington, Alexa Davalos, Liam Neeson

I am all for a good remake. And doubly so, when you take a somewhat bad movie and turn it into an awesome movie. The formula is pretty simple: What did people like about the original? How can we make that better. But sometimes, a ‘re-imagination’ or ‘modernization’ or ‘insert other jargon here’ can bring nothing good. Nothing good comes from the 2010 remake of <em>Clash of the Titans</em>.


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Perseus as Scultped by Cellini

<em>Clash of the Titans</em>, is the story of Perseus (Sam Worthington). Perseus is the son of Zeus (Liam Neeson), but doesn’t know it. You see, when a God gets a forlorn in his loins, he descends from Mount Olympus and instantly conceives a child with some lucky or unlucky woman. In this case, Zeus was upset with a warlord, and decided to ‘have’ his wife. She was instantly impregnated, and Perseus was born. The war lord then cast his wife (still alive) in a coffin into the sea to die, to smite Zeus.

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Perseus being a demi-god (half-man, half-god), survives where his mother doesn’t and is saved from the sea by a fisherman. Perseus is then raised by the fisherman and his family, and eventually grows up to despise the Gods, when they kill the family. And so, a hero-quest is born.

This may or may not align with traditional mythology, I didn’t really care too much about it in school. Most of what I knew about Greek mythology I learned by watching the original <em>Clash of the Titans</em>.

I wasn’t a huge fan of the original 1981 movie. It was cheap, poorly acted, and horribly special-effected (is that a word? No? It is now.) But there were some things that it really had going for it. You had Sir Laurence Olivier, and Ursula Andress, and huge amounts of cheesy classic camp. Special effects were done with stop motion clay-mation, and it seemed like half the film was shot through a Vaseline coated lens.

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CGI Boring

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Clay-mation Glory

But I would rather watch this film, 100 times over, than watch the new adaptation.  I knew something was wrong, when not five minutes into the show, I needed to rewind 10 seconds, and crank the volume up, just to understand what the hell Worthington was saying. We have a phrase for this, “mumble-vision,” the need to review a scene, just to try and understand what the hell was said. The audio, at least the spoken track, for this movie was horrendous, and I don’t usually make that complaint. But we just couldn’t understand words, or even why Worthington went from pseudo-American accent, to British-accent, to Australian-accent through the course of the movie.

But I could make it past the mumbles. The rewind button works well, and subtitles help. But what I can’t make it past, is the giant glaring, and even addressed plot holes. I might ruin it for you, but I don’t care. You see, it one scene, Zeus give Perseus a golden coin to pay a bribe to the boatman of the river Stix; to grant them passage across into Hell. They discuss how the passage into hell is easy, but leaving is much more difficult. As they are crossing, one of Perseus’ compatriots walks up to him, and asks him how many coins Zeus gave him, to which he responded “only the one.” No return trip.

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Cloverfield monster attacks Argos

Cut to 5 minutes later, after a fairly boring ‘climatic’ fight scene with Medusa, and you have Perseus walking out of Hell, head held high. No boat man. No river. No Money.

This bugged the living crap out of me.

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Original and Cheesy

And then, about ten minute before the end, you finally get to see the Kraken. And he looks more like left-over animation from Cloverfield. A cross between a Dinosaur and octopus. I will unkindly remember him as Octosaur. But i digress. This is supposed to be the ultimate evil monster, and child of Hades. The size of a city. And yawn, we spent most of the time watching Perseus being chased by giant flying rodents that explode when they hit anything.

This movie was bad. It was really bad. It tried really hard to be a summer-action-blockbuster, but fell on it’s face. It made it’s money, and will probably make more in DVD sales, but I say avoid it. Go get the original, and save yourself $10. Better yet, dust of the VCR and pull out the copy your parents had.

<strong>Ho</strong><strong>w much alcohol did it take:</strong> <em>More than it should have.</em>
<strong>Rating:</strong> <em>3/10. Annoying. Sort of long. Boring, with glaring plot holes.

<strong>The Wife’s Retort: </strong><em>Mumble, Mumble, Mumble, fight scene, mumble, mumble, Zeus, mumble, mumble, release the kraken, mumble.

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