Last year, between the two of us, we watched an average of 317 movies.
This year our goal is to top that by watching at least one a day.
And as an extra special torture, we've decided to write about all of them.

06 January 2008

The Condemned, dir. Scott Wiper (2007)

NIKKI says:
I lost a bet. Why else would I spent my first day off in two weeks watching a Stone Cold Steve Austin movie produced by the WWE? I wasn't looking forward to it, but I felt compelled to get it done. At least, I thought, I can paint while it's on. Or clean up. Or sleep. Five minutes in, though, and I was glued. A reality TV producer throwing hardened prisoners on an island to fight to the death? It has entertainment written all over it.

I think the movie works because it's so well-made. I feared ultra-cheese, I feared bad direction, bad acting, unrealistic fight scenes. Instead, it was quite well done. The Queensland tropics substituted well for a remote island in latitude seven-something, the actors were reasonable (I didn't even notice the fake-accented Aussie actors until I spotted a Neighbours star as an FBI agent), the fight-scenes looked good, and the overall mood was seriously tense. I found myself rooting quite enthusiastically for Stone Cold (who is a really render actor, believe it or not) to beat the bad guys and find his way back to his lonely wife, Sarah. Even if he does look life a beast man from another planet who only dates Amazon women from the moon.

With all its pleasures, the film, not all that surprisingly, had its faults. The ego-maniacal TV producer was just a little bit too evil, and his film crew proved themselves a bit stupid when, after the torture of a female contestant, some of them have a change of heart about the whole experiment. The torture (by scary Vinnie Jones) was gruesome and harsh, but what part of "throwing prisoners on to an island to fight to the death" did these people not think would be harsh? They cheered when the first guy exploded -- why was that okay?

So, that annoyed me a bit. Plus, even though the island is remote and everything, the producer guy would so be arrested as soon as he re-entered the United States. Surely. So, it was a tad unbelievable and its emotions were a bit skitty, but, overall, I had fun.

Three great moments in The Condemned:
1. Helicopter swoops badly and one of the first contestants tossed onto the island lands back-first on a spiked fence. One down...
2. Vinnie Jones and the Kung-Fu guy, who have teamed up all through the film to get rid of their competition, finally eradicate Stone Cold to realise ... they are the last two left. The three-seconds it takes for both to come to this realisation is great.
3. Stone Cold blows up the producer. Very cool.

My next lost-bet movie? An American Pie: Beta House / Bratz Movie double-feature. I can't wait.


Steve did not view.

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