Follow Friday: Cool Awesome Movies
Follow Friday: Cool Awesome Movies
Welcome to another edition of Follow Friday where each week I feature and interview a fellow blogger and follow their suggestion to another blog to feature next week. I prefer this over a blogroll because it gives each blog their own time to shine, plus I personally rarely click on blogrolls so why would I expect you to? Not only that, but I get the chance to check out some great blogs I might not have found otherwise found, talk to some great people, and share the conversation with you. So this week I was directed by Paul over at Paragraph Film Reviews to check out Cool Awesome Movies that focus on some pretty cool, pretty awesome movies, if you tend to like your awesomely cheesy B-Movies. And they also celebrate one of the best things to come out of B-Movies, gratuitous nudity, so there’s an NSFW warning for you before you go check out the site.
One of the first things I noticed was that when I was going back through a few pages of recent reviews, there wasn’t a single movie that I had seen though there were a few I was somewhat curious about. I definitely appreciate a good B-Movie once in a while, but I honestly haven’t seen a ton of them, and especially not many recent ones. The first movie that caught my eye was a little movie called Cashback which would always catch my eye when I looked through the DVD section at Target, but never enough to actually look it up. I had even read one other review for it a while back and reading this one really makes me want to put it on my shortlist of movies to watch. And it’s not entirely for the nudity. I did eventually go back and take a look through the archives and found a handful of comic book movies such as Spawn and the 1990 Captain America and a few other movies I could relate to a bit better. But enough from me, it’s time to check in with co-founder Shaft as well as contributor Lukok.
Bubbawheat: The name of your site “Cool Awesome Movies” seems like it would be fitting for a site that reviews big action blockbusters, but you seem to also focus on a lot of bad, low budget, B-movies. What is it about the bad movies that make them cool and awesome?
Shaft: Well, the name of the site was conceived more as a joke than anything else. Savant and I thought of coming up with some witty title, but went for practical simplicity instead, and so it became Cool Awesome Movies. It’s so in-your-face, you just can’t take it seriously. And we hate to be taken seriously, because serious people are painfully tedious.
About the blockbuster vs. bad B-film ratio, when Savant and I first started back in summer 2008, we planned it to be a site entirely dedicated to cheesy action flicks and B-cinema in general. Well, things just went in a different direction and today we will review pretty much everything (except French art films), but we focus mostly on non-mainstream cinema. It’s no fun writing a review for a film that’s already been reviewed on thousands of other sites.
And what makes bad films so cool & awesome? It’s their unpretentiousness, I think, and the honesty of the people behind them. And most importantly, they’re just fun!
Lukok: I think it’s the fact b-budget flicks can do whatever they want. They have more freedom without big corporate studios breathing on their backs. Therefore they can show a lot more violence, profanity and nudity. They can allow themselves crazy over-the-top screenplays and so on.
BW: I totally agree, and I feel the exact same way about fan-films, except for the nudity part. Which do you enjoy watching more, the well made Hollywood blockbuster, or the poorly made-yet-still-entertaining B-movie?
S: Both. And I truly mean it. I can watch and appreciate the Socar material like “Black Swan” or “The King’s Speech”, as well as revel in the brainless fun of “G.I. Joe” or “Transformers”. But I can equally enjoy Steven Seagal’s latest DTV offering, or the most recent Japanese shock/gore/pink film. There’s something to be found in everything.
L: For me, it’s kind of in the middle. Big blockbusters tend to turn even worse than B-movies. I mean, with B-movies on a tight budget you know what to expect. But when you go an see a 100 million dollar film you expect at least a mediocre script, good acting and fine direction. Unfortunately sometimes you don’t even get that. Therefore I enjoy both, you can find really good films made for a lot of money, but you could still see atrocious ones as well. Same thing goes for cheaper flicks.
BW: One of the other things that’s rather apparent is there are a lot of pictures of breasts right alongside critical discussions of bad movies right alongside some jokes. What brought about the decision to showcase the nudity, aside from “why not”?
S: Ah, yes, the boobs. Only one thing attracts people more than violence, and that’s nudity. Back in 2008 when we started, movie-reviewing sites were (and still are) so utterly PG – not a single “bad” word, not a single decent titillating screenshot. I mean, that’s all cool and fine, but on the other hand it’s all so damn serious. And did I mention how I hate seriousness?
And I know from personal experience, if I search the net for images of whatever female person, I’m first going to click on the one picture which shows some skin instead of the others which don’t. In other words nudity = traffic.
And it has paid off, especially since we have opened the specialized boobie section only a few months back, where we post a gallery of screencaps from whatever film in which we encounter nudity, sorted by actresses’ names. We only regret we didn’t think of it sooner, as four years of cinematic boobies have not been archived.
A picture is worth a thousand words. I guess a picture of nude breasts is worth a million. Maybe we ought to start reviewing porn, eh?
BW: There are all those porn parody movies out there which may have some attempt at a plot. You also have a section dedicated to Asylum Films, known for defining the term “mockbuster”, is there any of their movies that actually surpass the “so bad it’s good” mentality, even a little?
S: The Asylum, I love those guys! They have a great sense of humor, and are pretty honest about what they do. About any of their films completely surpassing the “so bad it’s good” mentality, I honestly can’t think of one. I can only speak of those titles I’ve seen, of course.
But many surpass it a little, sure. “Abraham Lincoln vs. Zombies” is pretty OK. It’s definitely not their most entertaining feature, but it’s closest to a good film they’ve gotten. Then, “Ballistica”, as far as action flicks go. I also remember enjoying “Titanic II” and “2010: Moby Dick”. Oh, and “Nazis at the Center of the Earth”!
BW: What’s been the most surprising movie you ever watched, for whatever reasons?
S:Ugh, that’s a really, really tough one. There so many titles that have surprised me immensely, but if I had to chose one and only one, it would be “Bellflower” – an ingenious American indie feature made on a $17000 budget. The reason? It struck a very, very personal chord, and it caught me totally unaware. I had no expectations prior to seeing it, and it ended up being one of the best films I’ve ever seen.
L: In recent memory it has to be “Hobo with a Shotgun” since it made me say: “They’re not going to do that right?”, then they went and did something even worse in the next scene. It was a pretty good flick as far as gore and shock value go.
BW: What’s your favorite superhero movie?
S: I’ll bend the rules slightly for this one. I’ll have to choose two, and they’re not superhero films in the real sense of the word, because the heroes there are more anti-heroes and they’ve no actual superpowers.
The first one is Lexi Alexander’s “Punisher: War Zone”. That film was a blast; not nearly as good as the Punisher MAX comic books (especially the story arcs penned by Garth Ennis), but damn good nevertheless (though rather brainless).
Punisher is my favorite comic book character, by the way. I like him for his take-no-bullshit attitude, and his methods of operation which are very efficient – and permanent. He won’t leave the villain neatly tied up for the police to pick him up, only that the same can later escape and do evil all over again (Yeah, Batman, I’m looking at you!). Instead, he’ll put a bullet through the perp’s head, and problem solved – forever!
The second would be “Watchmen”. I have no words to describe the awesomeness and the immense depth of that work, both Alan Moore’s graphic novel as well as Zack Synder’s adaptation. Brilliant. That’s all I can say.
BW: I personally wasn’t a huge fan of either of those movies. Though I can see how War Zone is great as a B-movie. I preferred the 2004 Punisher over the other two, and Watchmen I enjoyed but tuned out before the end, but have yet to revisit it for this site.
L: As a kid I’ve seen Burton’s 1989 Batman dozens of times probably. Nolan’s Batman trilogy is also quite good. But I have never been really big on superheros, neither Spider-man nor Superman ever appealed too much to me. I’m more of an antihero kind of guy, so Punisher would be my favourite hero, though he isn’t a superhero.
BW: He may not have any powers, but I definitely think of him as a superhero, or at least a super-anti-hero. And finally, what blog do you suggest I follow next week?
S: Seeing as some of my favorites have already been featured in Follow Friday, out of the ones that haven’t I’ll choose Twisted Flicks, TF’s been one of our oldest readers, his reviews are always awesome, and his blog is thematically similar to ours in that it focuses on “the seedy underbelly of world cinema”. The only downside is, his reviewing activity as of late have become somewhat scarce.
Take care, and thank you for having us in Follow Friday!
No problem, it’s always fun talking with other bloggers and it was nice to have my first double interview. Which is kind of funny because I’ll be having my second double interview tomorrow for this week’s Superhero Shorts. Hopefully Twisted Flicks is at least active enough to answer a few questions, I look forward to checking out the site. Until next time, this has been Bubbawheat for Flights, Tights, and Movie Nights.