Tank Girl (Review)

Tank Girl

Tank Girl
Written by Tedi Sarafian, Alan Martin, and Jamie Hewlett
Directed by Rachel Talalay

Tank Girl
1995 was a banner year for British comics to be converted into big budget American films that did awful at the box office. Both Judge Dredd and Tank Girl came and went with only critical and financial failure to remember them by (Tank Girl also succeeded in bringing down the publisher that originated the comics!) Sometimes films don’t find their audience until years later. Tank Girl‘s energy, charisma, and throw everything at the wall style of film making is perfect for modern audiences raised in an era of ADD entertainment.

Tank Girl is a film filled with energy. It constantly races from scene to scene, rarely stopping to catch a breath, and skipping from genre to genre. Elements of action, comedy, animation, and horror collide. At one point there is even a big musical number! Tank Girl features action sequences that are loaded with gags, and seems well aware at how ridiculous it is. If anything, Tank Girl revels in it’s unseriousness, joyfully becoming a live action cartoon that flies in the face of modern “dark and gritty” takes on comic characters. Tank Girl herself is a wise-cracking punk rocker, who has never met an authority figure she hasn’t rebelled against.
Tank Girl
Tank Girl first appeared in print in the magazine Deadline, the strip a creation of Jamie Hewlett and Alan Martin. Tank Girl soon became popular with counter-culture movements, outstripping the popularity of Deadline and resulting in the publication of collected works, which drew in more fans. Hewlett and Martin sold the rights to make a film thinking the worst that could happen was a campy film. Deadline leveraged itself heavily into the success of the Tank Girl film (which led to the magazine’s demise when the movie failed!) Hewlett and Martin were barely consulted while the film was in production, became annoyed at the studio suits debating on what cool was, and then were called in at the last minute by Rachel Talalay to help salvage the film by providing a bunch of drawings to use as interstitials. Jamie Hewlett would go on to co-create the music group Gorillaz with Damon Albarn, while Alan Martin eventually wrote more Tank Girl stories. Both creators are still sore over their experiences.

The cult audience of Tank Girl extended to Rachel Talalay, at the time best know for producing several John Waters pictures. She helped push a film adaptation as “the ultimate grrrrl movie.” As the studio suits were almost exclusively older men, heads were butted from before the film lensed to through painful focus group after focus group. The increasingly desperate shooting schedule (suffering from being behind schedule) resulted in additional compromises, and the major edits both enhanced the manic weird energy and were obvious rewrites with desperate bridging animation/artwork that only added confusion.
Tank Girl
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Home Alone: The Holiday Heist

Home Alone: The Holiday Heist

aka Home Alone 5

Written by Aaron Ginsburg and Wade McIntyre
Directed by Peter Hewitt

Home Alone Holiday Heist

Home Alone: The Holiday Heist is the fifth Home Alone movie. This will come to a shock to some of you, who will be spitting out your coffee or vodka or coffee with vodka while declaring “There was a Home Alone 4?!?” or even “There was a Home Alone 3!?!?!” I am here to tell you that, yes, yes there was. Home Alone 3 was a sequel in name only that featured a brand new kid named Alex Pruitt who battled a group of thieves after a microchip in a car he got. Home Alone 4 is a made-for-tv flick that was originally a pilot for a potential Home Alone tv series, it did feature Kevin McCallister and his family (though several of his siblings were missing) and his dad dumped his mom for some hot young tail. Most notably, French Stewart stars as the thief Marv, who returns with a new gang to harass Kevin while trying to kidnap a prince.

Home Alone Holiday Heist
You’re so square baby I don’t care

Now that that is out of the way, it’s time to get to Home Alone 5! We return to the classic formula of a kid being left home alone. If you ignore that his teenage sister is also at home with him. Art thieves break in and young Finn Baxter (that’s his real name!) sets traps to stop them as he sees life as a video game. Just when you think this made-for-tv film might have something cool to say about modern children growing up in electronic culture, it doesn’t bother. In fact, it doesn’t bother to do much of anything except role through the numbers, which is disappointing, but not unexpected. What was unexpected is some of the traps are actually funny, they just needed a whole lot more of them. Those few moments of brightness are not enough to make Home Alone: The Holiday Heist the holiday classic of the new millennium. But I hope they make Home Alone 6, and set it at the North Pole where a kid defends Santa’s house from terrorists. Because that’s just crazy enough to work.

Home Alone Holiday Heist
I don’t know what to say that won’t make this picture any worse than it looks…

Finn Baxter (Christian Martyn) – Finn Baxter sounds like one of those made up names for kids from British stories no one ever has. But this kid has that name and he does what kids do, spending all his time on video games and freaking out about ghosts. Which is sort of a shame as he’s a regular Rube Goldberg. Eventually he sets up ridiculous traps to defend his house and sister.
Alexis Baxter (Jodelle Ferland) – Bratty teenage daughter of the Baxter clan who cares about nothing except texting texting texting. Except maybe freaking out Finn as he’s easily scared. Jodelle Ferland might be familiar to Twilight fans, and does a convincing job as an annoyed teenager.
Catherine and Curtis Baxter (Ellie Harvie and Doug Murray) – Could there be any less effective parents in the world than these two? At least mom has a career that is important, dad just bumbles around and neither do any sort of disciplining at all besides complaining. Mom does go into Mom Terror mode when she’s trying to get back home to her kids, but that’s about the parents do besides leave.
Sinclair (Malcolm McDowell) – Art thief who has spent decades tracking down the lost Edvard Munch work The Widow, because his great-grandmother is painted in the portrait. Hey, giving the bad guys back stories that make them not so bad isn’t that smart of an idea. Also note that McDowell can kill Captain Kirk but can’t handle a little kid.
Mr. Hughs (Eddie Steeples) – A black guy in a Home Alone movie! Who is a thief…. Huh. Okay. Hughs is the safecracker who also eats when he’s nervous.
Jessica (Debi Mazar) – The third thief, Jessica is obsessed over the prior safecracker Steve, who she got romantically involved with that ended badly. I was hoping she was romantically involved with Marv or something, but no such luck…
Mason (Peter DaCunha) – Neighbor kid who can tell you all sorts of things about snow and how snow is awesome and snow snow snow snow snow snow snow snow snow snow snow snow snow snow snow snow snow snow snow snow snow snow snow snow.
Simon Hassler (Bill Turnbull) – Finn’s gaming buddy who no one knew was a college kid who played games all day until they voice chatted right before the house was attacked.
Home Alone Holiday Heist
I don’t give a crap what “Rosebud” is and it’s certainly not in this basement!

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Home Alone 5: Alone in the Dark

ABC Family put out a press release that should shock you, if you get shocked by direct-to-cable sequels to former mega-franchises:


Burbank, CA (March 15, 2012) – ABC Family and Fox TV Studios announced that production has begun on the latest installment in the popular “Home Alone” franchise, starring Malcolm McDowell, Debi Mazar, Edward Asner, Eddie Steeples, and Christian Martyn. The movie is set to premiere as part of the network’s annual “25 Days of Christmas” programming event.

In “Home Alone 5: Alone in the Dark” eight-year-old Finn (Martyn) is terrified to learn his family is relocating from sunny California to Maine, and the scariest house he has ever seen! Convinced that his new house is haunted, Finn sets up a series of elaborate traps to catch the “ghost” in action. Left home alone with his sister (Jodelle Ferland) while their parents are stranded across town, Finn’s traps catch a new target – a group of thieves (McDowell, Mazar, Eddie Steeples) who have targeted Finn’s house. Produced by Fox Television Studios, the movie is directed by Peter Hewitt (“Garfield”), and written by Aaron Ginsburg & Wade McIntyre (“The Finder”).

Now, I know what you are thinking: there was a Home Alone 3 and 4? Yes! Home Alone 3 featured some random kid and some random family, and is best ignored. Home Alone 4 is the real tragidy. It brought back Kevin McAllister and the rest of the family (all recast), minus a few siblings because actors are expensive. And also dad left the family for another woman, so now Kevin is part of a broken home. And then they recast Daniel Stern with French Stewart (they did offer Stern the role first, he has still not stopped laughing….) and ignored Joe Pesci’s character and added a woman and a few other goons. And it was a proposed pilot for a tv series which never happened because the film was awful awful awful awful awful awful awful. And awful.

But I’m sure this sequel will be awesome, what with the name being the same as a Uwe Boll film! It does have Malcolm McDowell, so maybe we’ll get this:

Clockwork Orange kid

I would watch Home Alonework Orange any day of the week!

Suing the Devil will be the greatest film in history

Check out this awesome trailer! I can’t decide what I like best. Satan kicking the KISS fan in the crotch, Mr. Innocent representing all the casinos in Vegas, the Devil hiring smart people (damn that book learnin’!), $12,000 in credit card debt being mentioned as a horrible secret, “Have you ever done…..internet porn?”, the WWE Smackdown legal analysis on the news, the hero being a racist, the Devil inventing noise, or the hero commanding “get thee behind me Satan!” while Satan is already behind him. It looks like someone forgot to tell Malcolm McDowell that this isn’t a parody! Also LOL at Tom Sizemore in this flick.

Official site