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Shoot 'Em Up
Review Written by: Alex Sandell

It's the multi-colored baby bottles and the carrot in Owen's
hand that really add that extra something.

You know what I hate? The fact that this gem of an action movie failed at the box-office. If you count the singularly excellent experience that is Grindhouse as two separate movies (and the fucking Weinstein Company certainly does) -- that makes the three greatest, most irreverent thrillrides of 2007 complete financial duds.

What are you people paying to see, anyway? Spider-Man 3?!? 

Shoot 'Em Up would fit in perfectly with Grindhouse. It may be even more over-the-top than the two main features in that film. It's more like those classic fake trailers found in the Tarantino/Rodriguez masterpiece. Think Machete and you'll have some idea of what you're in for with this movie (if you missed the Machete trailer that was included with Grindhouse, you can still check it out on the Planet Terror DVD).

This is a balls-to-the-wall, explosion of gun-porn that's so crazy it could get the testosterone pumping through a corpse. It's a man, a carrot, a baby, a thousand dead bodies, a million guns and a billion bullets. It's 90 minutes worth of some the most inventive action sequences ever committed to film, buzzing your brain as it blows out your ears with a screamingly loud soundtrack by the likes of Nirvana, Iggy Pop, Green Day, Motorhead and Motley Crue. And it comes equipped with a DTS 6.1 soundtrack on the standard DVD that is dying to be heard -- by your neighbors as it blasts out of every crevice of your home.

Between the gunplay there's plenty of cheesy one-liners all delivered with a wink and a smile by Clive Owen and Paul Giamatti -- both hamming it up for the camera in a way that ham hasn't been hummed since Donald Pleasence bit into Blofeld in the Bond movies back in the day. Between the one-liners there's a topless and lactating Monica Bellucci giving blowjobs in exchange for enough money to buy her newfound baby a bulletproof vest. And that's one of the film's mellow moments.

But this movie is about the guns more than anything and even the sex scenes can't get in the way of the shooting. Clive and Monica don't let a few dozen thugs wreck their Michael and Glenn kitchen scene from Fatal Attraction. Clive shoots more than bullets in this scene and the climax ends with a ... well ... take a guess. Of course Clive ties the scene up with a one-liner cheesy enough to top 3 deep-dish pizzas -- "Talk about shooting your load."

Am I giving away too much in this review? I'm giving away practically nothing. What I've described above is just a small fraction of the memorable moments in this feature attraction.

This is about as fun as they come. It's bloody, it's funny, it's clever, it's obscenely entertaining and it's a must-see. A must-own. A must go-out-and-buy-today milestone of a manic movie!

Is it perfect? No. The plot is absurd enough to make Planet Terror's look like Atonement's. The parachuting while shooting scene is wrecked by bad FX. There's a mangled pro-gun message mixed in with a seemingly serious cry for gun control. But none of this wrecks the roller-coaster ride that is Shoot 'Em Up.

From beginning to end this one will put a smile on any action junkie's face. It makes any ADD-riddled action movie that preceded it look restrained by comparison. If you stick around for the end credits you'll be rewarded by a James Bond-ish "title" sequence (the movie was too eager to get to the shoot outs to put it at the beginning). But this title sequence isn't set to the tune of some cheesy pop song -- it plays to Motley Crue's, "Kick Start My Heart." Which is appropriate as Shoot 'Em Up is to James Bond as Motley Crue is to Madonna.

Sit back, crack open a beer and have a blast with this soon-to-be cult classic. Shoot 'Em Up is that action movie you've been craving -- one that never lets up and never says it's sorry.

Agree? Disagree? Email Alex!

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©2007 Alex Sandell [All Rights Reserved]. Copy this without my permission and I'll send Clive after you!