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August 02, 2008

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Jake

I think this is a pretty lame review. I don't even understand what sort of standards the writer is holding this movie to. Is he just dismissing it because it is an Japanese director's American debut? Because he doesn't like the dark color palette? Can a movie not be of quality if those two things are are incorporated in to it? What sort of justification is that do give a movie a bad rating? I see horror movies all the time and there were plenty of things I have never seen before in this movie. I do agree that the CGI gore brought down the experience a bit but I thought the movie was well crafted, written and acted and was effective in what it was trying to accomplish. Certainly more so than a majority of the horror films that have come out in the past decade. I am curious what other monochromatic visions of hell there are out there now. I would like to check them out.

Christine

If you honestly can't understand why Brian didn't like the film from this review, you need to (a) get some new glasses or (b) get out of your parents' basement, Jake.

The criticisms are clear as a bell, and I wish I had seen this review before I drove 30 miles to watch this piece of garbage.

I can see why Lions Gate dumped the film.

Steve

His criticisms are clear, yes; they are also wrong. Asian directors haven't all come to America and made the same kind of film; the narrative wasn't barely coherent, it was frankly quite simplistic; I don't recall any puke-green in the film at all; and there is nothing laughable about the film, other than they admit (heh) that the train is actually the 2:05 Meat Train, not Midnight.

And who's fault is it you chose to drive 30 miles to see something you didn't know enough about? Don't take out your frustrations on Jake, the poor sap. He's right: this review isn't very good. Your "parents' basement" comment is just petty and cheap. I thought the movie was surprisingly solid, and entertaining for a straightforward horror tale.

As for Lionsgate, it's just bad business to do a limited release in dollar theaters rather than a limited release in first-run theaters where tickets are 8, 9, even 10 dollars. They could have easily made ten times the money, but chose not to, which is just poor judgment. What company actually works toward making less return on their investment? It makes no sense.

Jason Fredricks

Actually, I agree with this review.

People like Steve are easily bothered with a neg review like this because it's an affront to horror fans who like to believe anything with wet red is worth worshipping.

Trouble is, "Midnight Meat Train" is a slow, cliched, horribly acted production with zero suspense and enough padding to make a matress factory blush.

It's bad. And yes, the photography does have a "puke-green" tint to it.

And I drove 20 miles to see it because I loved "Versus." Turns out, Kitamura has no talent for American filmmaking.

Kansas Jack

I hated this film too.

Jennifer

I HATED this movie. What a waste of time! Bradley Cooper cannot act, and the "360 subway fight" camera moves??? Are they kidding!?!

This critic was being kind.

Fuck the horror geeks who want to save this piece of shit.

Steve

Just to be clear, I'm not concerned with anything being an "affront to horror fans", I was bothered by the fact that the reviewer doesn't write well, and was simply inaccurate on some counts. It was closer to an affront to film criticism.

Arnold

The reviewer writes just fine, Steve.

I just went to your blog. You shouldn't be crapping on other writers, that's for sure.

Jamie

Clearly this isn't a movie for everyone. :/ Some people who see or will see it are going to love it and some who see it are going to think it's complete crap. It's all about personal taste I suppose (even if someone considers liking this film to be bad taste).

Myself, I saw it Friday in a local dollar theater with some friends and I actually loved it. It's not a fantastic film by any stretch of the imagination but you know what? I had fun. It was entertaining and didn't depress the hell out of me like Dark Knight did (though that is easily one of the best film adaptations of a comic book super hero I've ever seen). Maybe it was cheesy, badly acted or unoriginal, it was still a nice change of pace from the superhero flicks and idiotic comedies that have plagued theaters this summer.

Also, I really liked the ending. Didn't see it coming as I've never read Barker's original short story, so it was a weird surprise.

Jake

I don't wear glasses and I don't live in anyone's basement. It is ok to not like the movie I am just saying I felt the review has some inaccurate and unwarranted information in it.
Lets count the ways:
Paragraph 1:
"Because a foundation formed in blood and guts does not form a respectable Hollywood legacy"
what does that mean? What makes a respectable hollywood legacy? I don't even get that statement? Has there been no respected horror/gore movies made?

"...the studio can move on to classier, blockbustery affairs of extreme profit and Oscar gold."
Like what? Mirrors and Saw V?
Is this sarcasm?

Paragraph 2:
"now that “Train” is available to the masses (well, to the major cities)"
it is not even in major cities.

"I wonder why horror buffs would spend so much energy trying to protect a film that’s pretty much similar to every recent genre production?"
Key word here "Genre." there are going to be some unifying and familiar themes. This statement is like discrediting an action flick because there are explosions in it or a romance film because there is kissing...
Also I would like to add that I can't ever remember a movie getting put directly in to discount theaters like this one has, it seems like that would warrant some reaction of the fans of the genre. Why is that a bad thing if fans are getting active and how does that affect the quality of a film?

Paragraph 3:
I've got no problems here. A fairly decent plot summary with no revealing spoilers :)

Paragraph 4:
Movies with dark lighting can be bad because you have seen a movie with dark lighting before?
Contrast (I am guess this is what they mean by "acid washed cinematography")in the film is bad because you have seen contrast in a film before?
A film can't be good because other Asian directors have made terrible remake-movies before? (this isn't even a remake)
"Thinly Veiled commercial for the Vegan movement"
The main character goes from being a vegetarian to eating meat. Perhaps I missed something here but the movie didn't seem very anti-meat to me.
I just don't feel it is fair to knock a movie because one has "been there/done that" when the criteria for that title is based on grounds that are so loose and could apply to pretty much any movie ever made. The reviewer gave the recent X-files movie a positive review and it utilized a few of the same things that the reviewer has claimed that TMMT suffers from...
Have we not seen and done the X-files before?

Paragraph 5:
I especially dislike that the reviewer chooses to use a strong word like "its" when using the statement "but its subpar Barker."
The reviewer is clearly stating his opinion as fact by using the word "its". What makes this particular story less than legitimate than any of Barker's other work? The reviewers only explanation is that it is a short story from the Books of Blood...
Not enough of an explanation for me to accept this opinion as a fact.
I have read the source material and don't really know where the film strayed from it or was limited by it or how it confounded the director. It seemed to be a pretty straightforward telling with the exception of a little more development on some of the characters.

Paragraph 6:
I think he might be trying to back up his statement about the adaptation of the "sub par" Barker source material here. "Anemic Genital Metaphor"!?!?! If he is insinuating that the trains in a tunnel is Genital Metaphor than I guess he is right about it being anemic. Being that the film is not sexual in the slightest I doubt this "metaphor" was intentional (but that is my opinion). I am also curious what would qualify as a "legitimate pull" to a production about a guy who murders people in a subway is. Isn't that pull enough? Wasn't a guy that murders people in a hotel pull enough for the movie "Psycho"? What does this mean? I do agree with and like the explanation of the special effects.

The summary:
a feature length piece of repetition? OH I get it because we have all been there and done that before...


I just linked here from rottentomatoes.com to check out the reviews for this movie. I was horrified to see the limited amount of press that this film is getting. To me it seems like because there are less reviews, the ones that do exist have more of an impact so I just get dissapointed to see a review like this featured on such a popular site. In some aspects this review can be considered effective because it spawned this dialogue but it is just sad to me that the work of all the people who made this movie ultimately results in a doomed release and shallow reviews like this one when there are movies that are far more deserving of this sort of treatment. It is ok to not like it and I can understand why some one wouldn't. I would just rather see something with more substance to it. I feel like an ass coming on someone's site and dogging their review but it is one of the very limited reviews that this movie has got and it could be more influential than it deserves.

Marjorie Burns

"I feel like an ass coming on someone's site and dogging their review."

Well, congrats. You look like one too.

And nobody wants to read a novel, sir.

Shannon Nutt

----------Since Brian won’t comment here, let me:


Paragraph 1:
"Because a foundation formed in blood and guts does not form a respectable Hollywood legacy"
what does that mean? What makes a respectable hollywood legacy? I don't even get that statement? Has there been no respected horror/gore movies made?

----------New Line is a good template here. They started off a semi-grindhouse company before they realized more money and honor could be had by financing higher minded productions. Lionsgate is most likely going after the same goal, moving away from profitable, but low grossing material like “Meat Train” and trying to find more “respectable ground. There’s a precedent for this studio behavior, so don’t act confused.


"...the studio can move on to classier, blockbustery affairs of extreme profit and Oscar gold."
Like what? Mirrors and Saw V?
Is this sarcasm?

----Lionsgate signed Tyler Perry to a new contract recently. They didn’t offer the same to the “Saw “ producers.

----There’s a new regime at Lionsgate now. Don’t expect any more “Saw” films after the planned six.

------And “Mirrors” is a Fox release. Do your homework.


Paragraph 2:
"now that “Train” is available to the masses (well, to the major cities)"
it is not even in major cities.


---------It’s in L.A., New York City, Orlando, Phoenix, Minneapolis…
The film is in major cities.


"I wonder why horror buffs would spend so much energy trying to protect a film that’s pretty much similar to every recent genre production?"
Key word here "Genre." there are going to be some unifying and familiar themes. This statement is like discrediting an action flick because there are explosions in it or a romance film because there is kissing...


---------The review is crystal clear here: it states that the critic has seen the same type of filmmaking before, and he regards it as tiresome instead of invigorating. If the explosions and kissing were doggedly formulaic, the same critical opinions, it would seem, would still apply.

Also I would like to add that I can't ever remember a movie getting put directly in to discount theaters like this one has, it seems like that would warrant some reaction of the fans of the genre. Why is that a bad thing if fans are getting active and how does that affect the quality of a film?

---------Again, the review is clear: the critic question why a film he finds subpar should warrant such a response. The thought process doesn’t affect the review, only putting it in an up-to-the-minute context.

Paragraph 4:
Movies with dark lighting can be bad because you have seen a movie with dark lighting before?
Contrast (I am guess this is what they mean by "acid washed cinematography")in the film is bad because you have seen contrast in a film before?
A film can't be good because other Asian directors have made terrible remake-movies before? (this isn't even a remake)

-----Having seen “Midnight Meat Train,” I agree that the film is visually derivative of other recent horror pictures, extending beyond just the Asian immigrant to Hollywood rules. The critic is simply stating his opinion, not feeding a “can’t” situation.

-------Jake, I’m beginning to think you don’t understand how film reviews work.


"Thinly Veiled commercial for the Vegan movement"
The main character goes from being a vegetarian to eating meat. Perhaps I missed something here but the movie didn't seem very anti-meat to me.


-------In the picture, meat is very obviously symbolized as evil. It’s a reoccurring theme throughout the film.

I just don't feel it is fair to knock a movie because one has "been there/done that" when the criteria for that title is based on grounds that are so loose and could apply to pretty much any movie ever made. The reviewer gave the recent X-files movie a positive review and it utilized a few of the same things that the reviewer has claimed that TMMT suffers from...
Have we not seen and done the X-files before?


-------For me, clichés done with some imagination are what makes cinema great at times. I believe, but can’t speak for Brian, that the critic feels the same way. “Midnight Meat Train” is cliché executed with lethargy, not invention.
“X-Files” is a whole other argument, and not applicable to the discussion at hand.

Paragraph 5:
What makes this particular story less than legitimate than any of Barker's other work? The reviewers only explanation is that it is a short story from the Books of Blood...
Not enough of an explanation for me to accept this opinion as a fact.


------It’s not fact. Nothing in a film review is fact. It’s all personal opinion. That’s day one thinking, Jake.


I have read the source material and don't really know where the film strayed from it or was limited by it or how it confounded the director. It seemed to be a pretty straightforward telling with the exception of a little more development on some of the characters.

------Again, my opinion: but that “development” results is excruciating melodrama that the director can’t organically integrate into the story. The review is pretty clear on this topic as well.


Paragraph 6:
I think he might be trying to back up his statement about the adaptation of the "sub par" Barker source material here. "Anemic Genital Metaphor"!?!?! If he is insinuating that the trains in a tunnel is Genital Metaphor than I guess he is right about it being anemic. Being that the film is not sexual in the slightest I doubt this "metaphor" was intentional (but that is my opinion).

------The camera is the penis, not the subways. The scene where Leon can’t take sexy pictures of Maya? Come on, that’s psychology 101.


I am also curious what would qualify as a "legitimate pull" to a production about a guy who murders people in a subway is. Isn't that pull enough? Wasn't a guy that murders people in a hotel pull enough for the movie "Psycho"? What does this mean? I do agree with and like the explanation of the special effects.


----The ending reveals a supernatural element that’s not introduced into the rest of the film. To me, that would’ve made terrific “pull.”

-----If you bring up “Psycho” in a discussion of “Midnight Meat Train,” again I state that film criticism might not be your speed.


The summary:
a feature length piece of repetition? OH I get it because we have all been there and done that before...


-----Indeed. And true, IMO.

Christian Toto

I had a problem with paragraph four, sentence two, word number seven ... or is it eight? Oh, I lost track ...

Adam

Well, I hate to beat the dead horse but this review was pretty horrible. The way in which it was structured was odd. In fact most of the review was (Brian is it?)talking about directors, screen play writers and the movies origins while trying to throw some 10 dollar adjectives in to make him feel creative. I was cruising around the web to look for an opinion, not a random splattering of facts he searched for in google.

As for my opinion (should any one care to hear it) I thought it was a simplistic linear horror film where every one dies.. Thats it! No need to show off the education that brian might have received at the local community college. The movie was a short hour and 42 minute long thrill ride. Is it something i haven't seen? No. Would i pay money to see it in theaters? No, however it is certainly worth a torrent download.

As for you Brian, your fat, butt ugly, you have a stupid little goatee, your a good writer but you bore me to tears, and you most likely stink.

Take care


Ps. Oh and if you wish to criticize me then go right ahead. I'm not looking to win a Pulitzer prize, just point out a bad review when I see one.

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