"The Pirates! Band of Misfits"
Directed by Peter Lord
Believe it or not, there are requisites for an entertaining stop-motion animated offering, the main one being that it has to have a purpose for all its inane musings. "Wallace and Gromit" has been silly as all hell, but it's always found an organic explanation for existence. That's something that "The Pirates! Band of Misfits" lacks, is that through all the weird and zany misadventures of this crew, they never feel gleeful. They simply feel like they're there for the sake of the jokes, which often aren't all that amusing. The villain hates pirates because... she hates pirates. And the best thing about being a pirate is... Ham Night, apparently. The art of claymation gives it a slight leg up in the joy factor, but is it too much to go beyond the true bare minimum of narrative investment?
Directed by Christian Alvart
You may be wondering, what reason did I have for seeing this at all? Well, sometimes it's just there, and fact of the matter is that this is exactly the type of film my father raised me and my brother on. Sci-Fi Horror with no real purpose than to shock, which it really doesn't. We have all the requisite factors. The Earth is a non-factor, dead by now with nobody missing it. The attractive guy who survives with the attractive girl. The zombies, which they may not be since they're just suffering from space mutation, but they're zombies for all we care. They act the same as can be expected. And we have somebody who isn't who we think they are, and we can't say we honestly care either. Except this time, we kind of do a bit, but that's only thanks to a rare strong performance from Dennis Quaid. I was surprised by how effective his work was, but beyond that, this is a lot of the same gruesome nothingness that fails to enthrall much at all.