Movie Defense Force: Rampage

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Rampage

Most of you will know Uwe Boll for BloodRayne, or Postal, or any number of critically mauled videogame films. He did, however, make this non-game related foray into American violence ... and it's really not bad at all.

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Recent events make this movie even more uncomfortable.

Nice review, Jim. Haven't seen it, but based on the clips you showed, there's just one problem in taking that one seriously in terms of gritty realism: why is everyone Hollywood thin?

I don't live in America but I've traveled there often and at no point have I ever walked through an American city or small town and encountered nothing but people with sub-20 BMIs. It just smacks "dude goes on a rampage and kills a bunch of actors" as opposed to "dude goes on a rampage and kills and bunch of people" to me and ruins the suspension of disbelief.

Saw this movie a few times, its awesome, clever in its way with the ending. How the main character planned everything and how he did it. Worse part is, he is a likable guy.

Uwe boll seems to make good movies when he writes them himself. I enjoyed (well it was good, but very dark) movie Seed, and Tunnel Rats is a good Vietnam war movie set in the tunnels the Viet Cong dug, and the nightmare the soldiers faced fighting in them. Ive nor seen Darfur as yet, but thats supposed to be good as well.

Just seems his game related movies suck ass.

I wouldn't call this American violence, I'd call it violence.
It's only living in America that makes it easier to pull off.

Ariseishirou:
Nice review, Jim. Haven't seen it, but based on the clips you showed, there's just one problem in taking that one seriously in terms of gritty realism: why is everyone Hollywood thin?

Hollywood thin? Really? I must live in Hollywood then.

I don't live in America but I've traveled there often and at no point have I ever walked through an American city or small town and encountered nothing but people with sub-20 BMIs.

You've obviously never eaten in a StarBucks during an election year.

I saw this on Netflix streaming last year. I think I gave it 5 stars, if I remember correctly.

DVS BSTrD:
I wouldn't call this American violence, I'd call it violence.

But everyone's speaking in an American accent.

Hollywood thin? Really? I must live in Hollywood then.

Where do you live, then? CDC stats list the average BMI of every single state but Utah as overweight, and Utah is under by a sliver (http://www.insureme.com/insurance/bmi-index-state)>

You've obviously never eaten in a StarBucks during an election year.

I think it's "Starbucks" and yes, I absolutely have. And there were plenty of fat people in it. Or are you suggesting that they stuff them full of thin people on purpose during election years for the cameras? Because that proves my point, really.

I saw this one a couple years ago at the request of friends and other online personalities. I have to say that I quite enjoyed it. I would also recommend that people watch it.

Indeed Rampage was actually pretty good. No I don't mean super-polished-entertainment-good like The Matrix, or surprisingly-intelligent-good like Eternal Sunshine, not even flawed-jewel-good like some... But still, pretty good.

I think it's starting to show that Boll isn't incompetent. He obviously has some vision as a director, he just doesn't, or rather didn't have enough skill to pull it off. Now he's finally learning some moviemaking ropes and I think he's beginning to understand how to translate his ideas into actual movies.

I honestly believe Rampage is exactly the movie he wanted to make and I can't think of any other director who would make this movie exactly like Boll did.

I think that whoever shuns and badmouths this movie, is way too spoiled by typical Hollywood (or even indie) movies to see that almost no movie ever shows reality like Rampage.

I've honestly always liked this movie.

I think a huge problem I've had with Uwe is that as he got better at making movies, they went from being entertainingly bad to just plain bad. If everything he'd done had stayed at "House of the Dead" levels of horrible I would own his entire library. Instead he actually started to develop a style... albeit a style that was in direct confrontation with the properties he chose to work with. This movie had proven to me that he can pull off a film and do it well, he just needs the proper (and hopefully original, so he's not crushing any fans dreams) subject matter.

...either that or he's a genius of Andy Kaufman-esque proportions and he's just been trolling us on purpose, which I also find plausible being as he's somehow been able to find amazing actors to be in his films (read: Ben Kingsly) and gotten them to give the worst performance of their lives (read: Bloodrayne).

Looks like the suit was inspired by The Red Spectacles of Mamuro Oshi. Another great film which the anime Jin Roh comes from. Good stuff to know about.

great video, but i have one issue with something you said (though, i may be over-thinking it).

is Bill really an anti-hero? anti-heroes, while not totally heroic, have some redeeming qualities. they may use questionable methods, have controversial opinions or world views, but they ultimately do/are trying to do good. Bill doesn't really have any redeeming qualities, and definitely doesn't have a positive impact on his world. he's just someone who is (perhaps rightfully so) angry at the society he lives in, so he starts killing it.

Bill is the protagonist of Rampage, sure, but that doesn't mean he's a hero. Stories don't have to have heroes (A Clockwork Orange), and the heroes don't have to be the protagonist (Richard III)

edit - i take back what i said. an english-major friend of mine says that antiheroes don't have to be redeeming.

Haven't seen it myself (or any other Boll movies to my recollection), but this is one of the few Boll films I've heard get positive reactions, and pretty much the only one that I've heard received quite a large number of positive reactions. I believe it's his highest ranked IMDb listing (though I could easily be wrong).

Funny that he still managed to use the name of a video game franchise for it, though.

Oddly enough I watched like 30 seconds of this yesterday on Netflix before rewatching the new Archer episodes. Netflix has been suggesting this for 2 years now and maybe I'll give it a chance.

Maybe he should stick to making these movies?

My only complaint with the film is the ending.

Though I do think this is a very well done film, and definitely Uwe Boll's best film, recent events have made it very difficult to show to other people.

I haven't seen that movie, but I already know that serial killers are human. That's what makes their actions all the more disturbing.

Sorry...no, just no.

Just because Rampage is not nearly as awful as...Bloodrayne or something, it doesn't mean that it isn't bad.

It's really...really awful.

The acting is mediocre, but otherwise it is badly written thanks to the endless rambling of the protagonists and the thinly veiled two dimensionality of the people around him, awfully directed and highly unengaging (trying to avoid "boring" here because i do not want to imply a film about a homicidal rampage has to be "fun"). In the end, i'd argue that the movie is in a way even worse than his usual output because you cannot even really make fun of it.

Having a movie taking it's subject matter seriously and not being exploitative may be an indication that a movie MIGHT be good, but it doesn't make it so. And Rampage is a prime example.

Avoid.

Haven't seen it but I can say that I absolutely despise the overuse of shaky-cam. It can be employed to great effect when used sparingly and with restraint, but intentionally wobbling the camera all over the place is just irritating and a sign of shoddy film making.

I heard somewhere years ago that most if not all of Uwe Boll's movies were part of some sort of German tax write off scheme and that they were intentionally shitty so they wouldn't make their money back.

The only Uwe Boll movie I've intentionally watched was Postal because the RWS guys had were fairly involved in the making of it and it knew that it was going to be shit so it just kind of reveled in it which helped it turn out to be pretty alright by videogame movie standards.

Everyone should watch LoadingReadyRun's interview with Dr. Boll:

http://loadingreadyrun.com/videos/view/330/An-Interview-with-Uwe-Boll

Even if it doesn't raise your opinion of his movies, it may change your opinion of the man himself.

@Stryc9:

So, Bialystok and Boll, then? :P

Not gonna lie, Jim, when you tweeted that it was going to be an Uwe Boll film, I expected - and am actually a little bit disappointed this wasn't - one of his forays into video game movies. I've never actually watched any of his films, as they are decried as universally dreadful, but I would have enjoyed someone sticking up for In the Name of the King or the Bloodrayne movie.

That said, I thought this was a pretty good defense. I've never seen this movie, but you do a good job of sticking up for it: had I strolled into a video store and seen Boll's name on it, I would have ignored it completely. But you make it sound somewhat compelling, which is really all I need to give a movie a chance. I'm thoroughly sick of the whole 'shaky-cam, documentary style' thing that movies seem to be enjoying these days, but this one actually sounds pretty watchable.

Nice defense. P.S, should you happen to see this, I totally watched the Mortal Kombat movie on your word, and found it a thoroughly fun martial arts film. Lambert as Rayden has to be the weirdest casting choice I've ever seen, but I even got a laugh out of his awkwardness. Looking forward to seeing what you defend next. :)

Ariseishirou:

I don't live in America but I've traveled there often and at no point have I ever walked through an American city or small town and encountered nothing but people with sub-20 BMIs.

Sub20 BMIs? You are aware that by that number a person would be effectively skin and bones? bellow 60 BMI is considered unhealthy already. i know a lot of acress keeps it at minimum required 60 BMI limit (else they actually arent allwoed t be in the business due to self-harm) but 20 BMIs are just ridiculous.

Strazdas:

Ariseishirou:

I don't live in America but I've traveled there often and at no point have I ever walked through an American city or small town and encountered nothing but people with sub-20 BMIs.

Sub20 BMIs? You are aware that by that number a person would be effectively skin and bones? bellow 60 BMI is considered unhealthy already. i know a lot of acress keeps it at minimum required 60 BMI limit (else they actually arent allwoed t be in the business due to self-harm) but 20 BMIs are just ridiculous.

Erm... no. Sub-20 is the lower end of "healthy". Above 40 is "very severely obese". Above 60 would be a land whale.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Body_mass_index#Categories

Google's your friend, mate.

Ariseishirou:

Strazdas:

Ariseishirou:

I don't live in America but I've traveled there often and at no point have I ever walked through an American city or small town and encountered nothing but people with sub-20 BMIs.

Sub20 BMIs? You are aware that by that number a person would be effectively skin and bones? bellow 60 BMI is considered unhealthy already. i know a lot of acress keeps it at minimum required 60 BMI limit (else they actually arent allwoed t be in the business due to self-harm) but 20 BMIs are just ridiculous.

Erm... no. Sub-20 is the lower end of "healthy". Above 40 is "very severely obese". Above 60 would be a land whale.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Body_mass_index#Categories

Google's your friend, mate.

whooops, was thinking of BMI prime (named differently in local language). my mistake, you are correct here

I've never seen the movie, and your description of it certainly makes it sound interesting enough to watch, Mr. Sterling, but I'm afraid the film hit a one of my buttons. That scene at the end of your video, where he chats with the cornered woman before murdering her, is one of those things that I just can't abide. The moment a killer starts toying with someone he intends to murder, he becomes irredeemably reprehensible to me, and I don't enjoy watching movies about people I loathe.

I emphasize that none of my complaints above should be construed as criticism of your video, sir.

Jim Sterling:
...a FARCRY from Uwe Boll's usual gratuitous style

Pun intended?

Otherwise, smashing job on the video, as always.

JimB:
I've never seen the movie, and your description of it certainly makes it sound interesting enough to watch, Mr. Sterling, but I'm afraid the film hit a one of my buttons. That scene at the end of your video, where he chats with the cornered woman before murdering her, is one of those things that I just can't abide. The moment a killer starts toying with someone he intends to murder, he becomes irredeemably reprehensible to me, and I don't enjoy watching movies about people I loathe.

I emphasize that none of my complaints above should be construed as criticism of your video, sir.

Well, the young gentleman you see there goes on a bit of a rampage, killing quite a number of people - violently. He's portrayed as a rather normal type of guy - imagine the ubiquitous "he was a nice neighbour!" line - before he takes to dressing up and shooting people dead.

Thanks to Jim for putting that scene right there, for everyone actually instantly knows if this movie is anywhere right up their alley or not. I consider the movie to be worthwhile, recommendable and somewhat important. Do I condone the sort of senseless violence portrayed? Hell no. It's way less glorious than, say, Natural Born Killers. Besides, 'reprehensible' is the least one should come up with when witnessing the action on screen.

It's not an Oscar circus type of movie. But it addresses a real life phenomenon in a way that enables reflection, discussion and thought.

Bear in mind that, to my best knowledge, Boll was the only one addressing the strategic murderous violence of the Janjaweed in movie form with Darfur, which very well deserves my respect no matter what idiotic utterances or horribly bad movies he's made before.

He's German, he's a hack, he used to be a glitch in the system. I still wouldn't much trust him, but Rampage and Darfur can be all shit sandwich with cheese, I still consider them to be important. Even if you are absolutely not willing to put up with the fictional violence they contain, I find it important to acknowledge that they address real world violence, in a way that's rather unique, for lack of a better description. They are not 'good movies' but I think what they achieve by their mere existence is that they shame the whole civilized world by not even trying to do better than freakin' Uwe Bull. All sorts of huge budget crap movies come in pairs or get sequels or spin-offs or ripped off. I've yet to see any other movie just mentioning the constant threat of violence (as in torture, rape, murder, arson and whatnot), when everybody else seems to avoid the subject.

Movie Defense Force's motto: This movie isn't good, but it isn't bad either.

You're doing a fantastic job of defending the meh, Jim, but why does the mediocre need defending when there's so much brilliant stuff out there being ignored?

Headdrivehardscrew:
[various stuff about why the movie is important]

And all that's fine. I just don't want to watch it. The character is a hateful shithead, and I deal with hateful shitheads all day in real life. I watch movies so I can get away from hateful shitheads and laugh at pot-smoking teddy bears or green gorillas beating up space whales or whatever.

Ariseishirou:
Nice review, Jim. Haven't seen it, but based on the clips you showed, there's just one problem in taking that one seriously in terms of gritty realism: why is everyone Hollywood thin?

I don't live in America but I've traveled there often and at no point have I ever walked through an American city or small town and encountered nothing but people with sub-20 BMIs. It just smacks "dude goes on a rampage and kills a bunch of actors" as opposed to "dude goes on a rampage and kills and bunch of people" to me and ruins the suspension of disbelief.

It's kind of horrifying that normal-sized people are now apparently unrealistic...

JimB:

Headdrivehardscrew:
[various stuff about why the movie is important]

And all that's fine. I just don't want to watch it. The character is a hateful shithead, and I deal with hateful shitheads all day in real life. I watch movies so I can get away from hateful shitheads and laugh at pot-smoking teddy bears or green gorillas beating up space whales or whatever.

Exactly what I was thinking. Who is this movie for? Who would want to watch it without being forced to? And is the protagonist (no fucking way he's even an anti-hero) actually Uwe Boll's Author Surrogate character, and it's just his own warped power fantasy put to film?
Now I can't help but think the various gunmen in the news nowadays watched Rampage at somepoint and took inspiration from it in their twisted up little minds. I don't need movies reminding me the world has gun-crazy lunatics in it; that's what the news is for.

Ariseishirou:

DVS BSTrD:
I wouldn't call this American violence, I'd call it violence.

But everyone's speaking in an American accent.

Hollywood thin? Really? I must live in Hollywood then.

Where do you live, then? CDC stats list the average BMI of every single state but Utah as overweight, and Utah is under by a sliver (http://www.insureme.com/insurance/bmi-index-state)>

You've obviously never eaten in a StarBucks during an election year.

I think it's "Starbucks" and yes, I absolutely have. And there were plenty of fat people in it. Or are you suggesting that they stuff them full of thin people on purpose during election years for the cameras? Because that proves my point, really.

Hate to burst your bubble there man, but in most college towns when you are down town it is filled with thin people (though I wouldn't call them all beautiful). That isn't to say there aren't a few, but it is close enough to reality when it comes down to it.

OT: I haven't seen it yet Jim, but I am going to hop on Netflix and give it a go right now. I shall comment later on my findings (though I doubt they will vary, I've held similar beliefs to your other MDF videos.)

I didn't like this film.

That doesn't mean I didn't appreciate it.

I saw it with my cousin and I remember being chilled to my core. How easy it all was for him. How much we overlook the jerks in line mouthing off about something but preventing me from getting my stuff. It's not a tasteful film, but it's not a tasteful subject.

To dismiss this film because it has subject matter against your morals is a folly. It's against my morals too, but I get why. The main character wasn't sympathetic to me' he wasn't deep, he was very, very child-like with his reasoning, and his smug belief that his morals were better than everyone else's. He was stunted and he was angry. And he used that to his benefit.

I see a lot of that smug belief that one's view is better than everyone else's, and that everyone deserves the bitterness that befalls them. Hell, you don't have to go very far to find that on the internet. That not so quiet rage because everything isn't to your liking that has bubbled up past the surface. I defy you to go one day without finding a cue of that. Then you get why this movie was so effective.

It was horrifying with how real and easy it all could be. It's an alarm going off that says hey, even middle America isn't safe. The quiet town that is so full of it's safety and good values. A lesson we sadly had to learn for real last year.

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