Hellboy (2004)

August 26, 2009

hellboyThis a fun little romp about a Catholic demon enlisted by the United States to fight supernatural monsters. Nothin’ deep, but its pretty rad.

Hellish law:

1. The movie starts with the Germans and the Allies trying to use black magic to change to outcome of WWII. Sounds like a good law review article as to whether that violates the laws of international armed conflict. I mean is it sufficiently targetable? Would it limit suffering to combatants and civilians?

2. I love a good fake government agency: Bureau for Paranormal Research and Defense.

3. Administrative Law: The FBI wants to get through awall to get some monster eggs that can hatch into bad things pretty quick, but they want to stop and get the proper permit.

4. Customs: They have to get clearance to Hellboy into Moscow. Yes, you must declare demons.

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Alien Hunter (2003).

June 13, 2008

Director: Ron Krauss
Body Count: 10, 1 dog, 1 alien

Get those visions of men in camoflauge hunting down evil aliens out of you mind, because, well thats not what this movie is about (I know, I know – why would they name it that if it wasn’t about killing aliens…beyond me). The movie is about some Antarctic scientists that find a frozen alien and set it free. The twist, its friendly yet it carries a flesh eating virus that tends to kill off the people. The government knows all this (of course) and has plans on nuking the whole place. What I don’t get: apparently this same virus got out at Roswell (yes THE Roswell), and didn’t kill off mankind, so if the virus couldn’t escape the New Mexico Desert how does it plan on getting off Antarctica? AND why are we obsessed with Aliens with organic technology? AND why is the transmission that says not to open the capsule encrypted out the wazoo and in English once decrypted? If you don’t want someone to open something why would you write it in code?

Alien hunting law:

1. How about a little good old fashioned space law: Julian (played by James Spader . . . yeah THE James Spader) used to be involved with SETI . . . until the government pulled the funding.

2. More space law: one character states that “NASA obsessed with selling Congress on Planetary colonization.” Don’t hold your breath on that particular apprpriation.

3. They are going to nuke Antarctica. There is a treaty known as the Antartcic Treaty that states that the Antarctic is for Peaceful Purposes. Seems to me that this might be a bold move for just the American’s and the Russians. There would be a bit of an International law issue and fall out.

4. And as always when those Aliens come out Metalaw comes in. How do we treat a friendly Alien with a nasty virus?

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Communion (1989)

May 14, 2008

Director: Philippe Mora
Body Count: 0

Based on Whitley Streiber’s book by the same name, Communion charts Streiber’s alleged abduction by Aliens and the effects that it had on him and his family. Streiber, played by Christopher Walken, is abducted and researched by aliens from his country get away. He and his family must then cope with the psychological impact of the event. The movie looks a bit dated now; the aliens look more like they came out of Jim Henson’s puppet shop than like real creatures, and the abduction scenes are like Monty Python skits . . . Mony Python skits with Christopher Walken.

Abduction law:

1. Whitley’s wife says that the shrink should be trusted because she gives “evidence [that] is accepted in court.”

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Bubba Ho-Tep (2002)

September 14, 2007

Bubba Ho-Tep
Director: Don Coscarelli

What a great flick. Here’s the run down: Elvis (Bruce Campbell) and JFK (Ossie Davis) are in rest home in Mud Creek, TX just waiting to die. People at the rest home, though, are going quicker than natural due to a soul sucking mummy who has been dining on the souls of the elderly. When Elvis and JFK discover this they have to step it up and prepare to do battle with the ancient Egyptian creature. I know that it sounds like a campy thing that someone makes in their final year of film school, but its really good. A must for those of us obsessed with the King . . . and probably for those of you obsessed with Egyptology or JFK.

Hunk a hunk a burnin law:

1. Elvis is in this rest home because at the height of his fame he traded places with an Elvis impersonator Sebastian Huff. They signed a contract that if ever Elvis got tired of being Elvis he would be able to reassume the identity. Unfortunately for Elvis, his copy of the contract burned up in a BBQ accident leaving him devoid of an evidence.

2. More political than legal, but JFK insists that his assasination (an subsequent color change) was part of a Government conspiracy led by none other than LBJ. We should live by his words (later on in life that is): “Ask not what your rest home can do for you. Ask what you can do for your rest home.”

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Cutthroat Island (1995)

August 30, 2007

Cutthroat Island
Director: Renny Harlin

Cutthroat Island is a fun little Pirate adventure. Geena Davis plays Morgan Adams a female pirate that is in search of her fathers hidden treasure. Unfortunately for her, her uncle, Dog, is after it too. To really mix it all up the British navy is involved. Not bad for a Sunday afternoon, not to spectacular either.

Arrrrgh, law:

1. In Port Royal there is a shot of Pirates being hanged. Let us not forget that Piracy is the first international crime to sport Universal Jurisdaiction, due to its threat to all nations.

2. There is pirate law itself. On the ship there is an orderly system with each person filling and office. There are some good pirate law moments on board as well as a mutiny wherein the legal system itself is overturned.

3. The Jolly Roger is the flag of the ship, which sets it outside the jurisdiction of all states, but at the same time (due to universal jurisdiction) sets it within the juirsdiction of all. Damned if you do, damned if you don’t.

4. Dog swaps sides to the British Navy in order to gain a pardon. As a result he is made a privateer, essentially a legal pirate.

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World Gone Mad (1933)

August 29, 2007

world gone mad

Director: Christy Cabanne

In this mediocre showing from the beginnings of Hollywood, we find bad writing, bad cinematography, and a lot of lawyers. Essentially there is a murdered DA and the new DA and a reporter are trying to get to the bottom of it. There is some love interest that is all muddled up. Its boring as hell.

Old boring law:

1. A bootlegger who is in good with the District Attorney is asked to “fight the DA to the finish.” The loyalties of bootleggers being what they are, he aquiesces. To make the hit he sets the DA up with a promise of evidence in a big case. After his death the DA is made out to be a drinking womanizer.

2. At one point a brief case is called a “lawyers bag.”

3. The new DA is looking to capture the men who murdered the old DA because “people look to the law to protect them.” He claims that he would shoot the criminals himself “if the law allowed,” but instead he will send them away for as long as the law allows. A very noble chap.

4. We find out that the penalty for kidnapping is life in prison.

5. The murder is an attempt to cover up corporate looting. This sort of stock fraud was pertinent as this was made in the wake of the great depression. Thus we get a bit of the criminal end of corporate law.

6. A hit on the new DA fails. He is in denial that he is a target and is told that DA’s “don’t just have accidents.”

7. A bit of legal theory: “Smith and Wesson make all men equal, and equality is the basis of all democracy.”

8. The bad guys are planning to leave the country on a yatch: pre harsh immigration law days.

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Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan (2006)

July 28, 2007

Borat

Director: Larry Charles

Borat, as I’m sure you’ve heard, is pure comic gold. Sacha Baron Cohen, plays the loveable yet offensive Kazak reporter as he travels America searching for love and that cultural piece of apple pie to take back to Kazakhstan. About the time the movie premiered in London I actually got to see the Kazakhstan amabassador to Great Britain speak. With all the uproar coming out of Kazakhstan about the movie at the time, he was of course questioned about it. He replied that he’d gone to see it and found it quite funny. His view was that it made fun of Americans not Kazaks, and he’s right. Of course, I’ve found that alot of people over here think thats whats so great about it, and granted it had great political timing, but it ought to be remembered the same movie could have been made in the UK (complete with the racists).

Law to make benefit:

1. Borat while recieving a driving lesson is admonished that it is against the law to drink and drive and also to yell and cuss at other drivers.

2. Borat interviews numerous law makers in Washington, D.C. including Bob Barr (former representative from Georgia and also a lawyer) and also Alan Keyes a prospective republican presidential candidate and political scholar.

3. Later in this same vein he sees Charles Pickering (House – MS) preaching to a Penecostal revival meeting. In his sermon, Pickering targets, the teaching of evolution in schools.

4. Borat is at one point given advice on how not to look like a Muslim Terrorist. This might be handy in case of some racial profiling.

5. This movie has spawned a lot of litigation. Khazakhstan reserved the right to take legal action against Borat, and numerous people have filed suit claiming damages to their reputation, job etc. Most notably the two fraternity boys (suit dismissed) and the etiquette coach in Alabama. He has even been sued by the Romanian village he used as his home town at the beginning of the film. Poor Borat, he just can’t get a fair break can he.

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