by Louis Fowler
Most weeks, I review more DVDs than the Indy can fit into print. You can look for extra write-ups here, on the IndyBlog.
Based on a video game that I have never heard of, Dead Space: Aftermath is a sub-par half-anime/half-CGI animated movies about ... I don't know. Something about rocks in space that make people go crazy and see monsters or something. In addition to being based on a video game, this is also a sequel to a previous animated film, subtitled Downfall, so that doesn't help matters. From the initial trailers, however, I fully expected this to be a Heavy Metal-like, gory sci-fi-horror movie that would at least keep me entertained for 78 minutes, but it's so uneven and bland that I had a hard time not only connecting to it, but caring about finishing it. The main problem is the animation: It feels lazy. The anime segments are decent, but the CGI portions are unwatchable, like a primitive episode of ReBoot. For serious gamers only, I suppose.
I kinda wonder if writer-director Deon Taylor has actually ever seen an episode of Twilight Zone. In the special features, he says that his anthology series Nite Tales is comparable to Zone, but then he'd know that most Zone stories are brilliantly twisted morality plays steeped in ironic endings that often shock the viewer with their out-of-nowhere twists. In Nite Tales, however, Taylor skips all that thought-out story crap and just sticks to the obvious. A nightwatchman surrounded by creepy mannequins? The mannequins kill him! Why? Who knows! A woman and her daughter kill men for their skin to make cell-phone covers. No reason, they just do! And let's not even go into the whole Gary Busey and Tiny Lister trapped in a room together, with no escape, which, sadly, is the best of the lot. It's all ineptly hosted by the Timekeeper, aka Flavor Flav, destroying the last shred of dignity his association with Public Enemy afforded him.
Murderous street-thug Carter Blache quits the drug-dealing business, wanting to go legit and earn some honest money. So, inspirationally, he goes to medical school, studies hard, graduates top of his class and becomes a doctor, helping the unprivileged children in his community and ... I'm just kidding. Had you going, right? Nah, Carter becomes an underground rapper who hustles mixtapes and still manages to find time to threaten/choke his live-in girlfriend, who's also an informant for the FBI. And did I mention he's the hero of King of Paper Chasin', by the way? Normally I'd be all for these neo-blaxploitation flicks, but this one is so ugly, inept and unlikable that it comes off like a big fraud, like the type of movie a well-to-do white-kid from the suburbs would look up to as a true depiction of life on the streets in an effort to piss off mom and dad. You hear that, rebellious Boulder teens?