Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol-review

Shit! There go my keys.

If I were a Michael Bay fan I would be in love with this movie.  Why do I say that?  They rely a lot on racial stereotypes. The main character, goes though at least 5 big events that should have killed or crippled him. There is a lot of one liners and comic relief that is completely unneeded and unwanted.  Really this movie could have been stronger if it was just Tom Cruise passing the torch to Jeremy Renner.

I love the power glove. It's so bad.
On the plus side the talent is good and the effects are top notch. There are a lot of good scenes that are sort of gripping.  Ethan Hunt, played by Tom Cruise, hanging from Burj Khalifa in Dubai is a pretty stunning scene that looks impressive. I can honestly say that that is the first time I’ve ever seen it used in a movie, and considering it’s the largest man-made structure in the world that is sort of hardcore. 

As to the plot, it felt really pointless.  Ethan is broken out of prison by his IMF team. He goes on a mission to the Kremlin only to have it blow up around him. His team is blamed for it and he finds that he and his team needs to get nuclear launch codes from a older gent named Hendricks who plans on starting a total world war.  Some how in his mind he thinks this will cause world peace.  When your villain makes less sense than a James Bond villain it is time to consider a re-write.
The chaiwalah has done it again!

The biggest standout actors I remember were Jeremy Renner as Brandt, and Simon Pegg as Benji both played their roles well and were very likeable.  The biggest disappointments were Lea Seydoux as Sabine Moreau, a French assassin and Anil Kapoor as Brij Nath a rich and wildly over-the-top Indian businessman.  All these actors deserved WAY bigger parts than they got.  But Seydoux and Kappor really got shafted.  Both of these actors have done better things and shown much better range, Especially Kappor as the Regis Philbin type character Prem Kumar in “Slumdog Millionaire”.

Voulez vous coucher avec moi ce soir.
When I said earlier that this movie plays on racial stereotypes I meant in a very general sense.  Some times they will show the Kremlin and you’ll hear Russian singing and hear the stereotypical marching soldiers in a solid goosestep outside.  If it’s Dubai, it’s a herd of camels running through the sand. If it’s India you hear Bollywood music and see a bunch of dancing girls as if a musical is about to break out.  That is where Kapoor shows up as over-the-top billionaire version of Apu from “The Simpsons”.

The end of the movie feels empty and pointless. The fight scene is like something out of “Revenge of the Sith” with Yoda and Palpatine. At least the force would explain why an old man would be able to fight so well.  I have no idea why this guy is able to kick Ethan’s ass.  It’s all pretty bogus.  If you are a huge fan of this franchise then I’d give it a rental. However, I don’t think this one is worth the ticket price.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

15 of the Best and Worst Movies of 2011

15. Kung Fu Panda 2
14. Thor
13. The Help
12. Melancholia
11. Everything Must Go
10. Monsters
9. Insidious
8. Captain America
7. X-men The First Class
6. Paranormal Activity 3
5. Cowboys and Aliens
4. Hanna
3. Fright Night
2.Rise of the Planet of the Apes

15. Paul
14. The Rite
13. Season of the Witch
12. Sucker Punch
11.  Don’t be Afraid of the Dark
10.  Scream 4
9.  The Thing (2011)
8. Creature
7. Real Steel
6. Red Riding Hood
5. Pirates of the Carribean  on Stranger Tides
4. Green Lantern
3. Battle L.A
2. Conan the Barbarian
1. Priest

Monday, December 12, 2011

Movie Donations

Sometimes I get strange requests for reviews.  If you have movies that you are wanting to get rid of and want to see featured on the blog contact me and I'll let you know how to send them my way so I can feature them on the blog.  I welcome any sorts of comments or questions as well. Thanks for reading.

A Halloween retrospective- 200th review

Much of modern horror owes a lot to the Halloween franchise. The idea of a faceless, unstoppable killer has been so over done that it is cliché.  The series itself owe much of its fame to the movie “Psycho” for which there is a direct inspiration.  In fact the Dr. Sam Loomis character that was played by Donald Pleasence was named after the boyfriend in “Psycho”.  Still, the movie has made its mark in movie history and through good times and bad the series continues to flourish.

Yeesh! I think I need a bigger knife.
The first movie is genius.  John Carpenter directs and we have a young Jamie Lee Curtis as Laurie Strode.  Michael Myers escapes from a mental institution and Dr. Loomis, played by Donald Pleasence, is after him like a modern day Van Helsing.  Michael kills some babysitter before attacking Laurie in a chilling chase scene.  We even get to see him briefly unmasked before Dr. Loomis fires six bullets into the killer’s body.  He falls off a balcony and his body vanishes.  This sort of keeps with the theme of the movie; that the boogey man is real.  It works and it’s creepy and really done well.

Halloween 2
“Halloween 2” takes off immediately after the events of the last movie.  Laurie is taken to the hospital. Dr. Loomis goes looking for Michael with the authorities.  Eventually we discover that Michael is Laurie’s brother.  He killed his sister many Halloween’s ago and now he aims to kill Laurie as well. He hunts her down to the hospital and there is a great final chase scene.  Dr. Loomis kills Michael by blowing up the room with himself inside.  The last we see of Michael his is a flaming corpse.  It was a fitting end to the horrors of Laurie Strode.

Halloween 3: Season of the Witch
No more Silver Shamrock commercials please!
This movie has no real place in the same world as Michael Myers.  It’s still a damn good movie.  It involves an evil corporation and a mass conspiracy to kill children on Halloween using masks.  The reason it’s so different is that the producers were going to make Halloween into an anthology style of movie where each film would feature a new story.  The audience was confused by the lack of Michael Myers though.  So they decided to bring him back and scrap that anthology idea despite how cool it might have become.

Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers
Where have we seen this before?
It is suggested that Michael went into a coma after the explosion at the hospital and was being kept alive.  He escapes of course and now goes after his niece Jamie Lloyd, played by a talented young Danielle Harris.  Jamie is the daughter of Laurie Strode who apparently died in a car accident.  Dr. Loomis is still alive and only has a minor face scratch despite being blown to crap along with Michael.  After many deaths Michael is hunted down and shot multiple times until he falls down a mine shaft.  Before he died he touches Jamie’s hand and she goes home and kills her foster mother which makes this movie seem really eerie since it’s as if the little girl is going to take over as the new evil of Michael Myers.  This movie is the start of what is known as the “Thorn trilogy” in this series. 

Halloween 5: The Curse of Michael Myers
You just got face forked!
The movie takes place the same evening as fourth movie.  Michael survives his gunshots.  Jamie is placed in a mental care facility and seems to have some sort of psychic link to Michael Myers.  Dr. Loomis uses her as bait most of this movie to try to find and kill Michael eventually they find a way to put him in a jail cell where a mysterious man in black breaks him out.  Danielle Harris is still great as her role as Jamie in this movie and it shines big time.  Luckily she comes back to the series but not as Jamie. I’ll come back to that in a bit.

Halloween: The Curse of Michael Myers
Good now Paul Rudd can bland Michael to death.
Six years after the events of the last movie Jamie is now pregnant and is giving birth in front of an evil cult.  She escapes and is being pursued by Michael. She hides the baby but is killed. Tommy, the boy that was babysat by Laurie in the first film, played by a dull as dishwater Paul Rudd finds the infant and takes care of it while trying to protect a local family from the return of Michael Myers.  He discovers that Michael is powered by a curse of the thorn.  Dr. Loomis shows up for his final appearance in a Halloween movie before Pleasence’s death and Tommy is able to thwart Michael by beating him to death with a metal rod.  This movie is really weak.

Halloween: H20
Help? I'm in a washing machine!
I really enjoy this movie despite the fact that it retcons an entire 3 movies.  In this case now Laurie Strode is alive and played by Jamie Lee Curtis again, she has a son and not a daughter and its 20 years after the events of Halloween 1 but not 2 since it implies that he was never found.  She is a teacher at a private school and she is paranoid for the safety of herself and her son.   Still, Michael eventually finds her.  However, she fights back in a very awesome scene that was very fun to watch.  She eventually pins Michael between an ambulance and a tree and decapitates him with an axe.

Halloween: Resurrection
Feel the music of the night!
Any fun that “Halloween H20” brought to the table. Halloween Resurrection shoots itself in the foot. The movie retcons itself AGAIN.  She apparently doesn’t have a son in this movie.  This time they are saying that the man that Laurie Strode killed was an ambulance driver that Michael dressed up to look like himself.  This caused Laurie to go nuts and commit herself.  Michael comes to kill her and SUCCEEDS.  This movie kills Laurie Strode.  The rest of it is Michael in a house filled with Tyra Banks and other weirdlings that are pretending to make a reality show inside the Myers house and getting picked off one by one.  Busta Rhymes shows up and does kung fu on Michael which is about where any sane person would walk out of the theater.  Michael dies of electrocution and it seemed like his franchise would as well.

Did they give Michael steroids?
Rob Zombie made a pretty fair interpretation of “Halloween” it’s got good points and bad points.  For one thing the cast is great.  It’s got Malcolm McDowell as Dr. Loomis and they have brought back Danielle Harris as Laurie’s best friend.  There are many other cameos that I could spend a lot more time with as well.  They focus a lot on what made Michael the monster that he is showing his broken home and abusive family life.  I think it’s a lot more scary to not know.  Also they cast Tyler Mane as Myers which is an odd choice.  I think making Michael Myers a thug like Jason Voorhees makes him just intimidating but not scarier.  The movie itself has a great soundtrack and is visually appealing and the dialogue is fresh.  It’s made in that Grindhouse style way that Rob Zombie is good at. As a whole it’s pretty hit or miss.

Halloween 2 -remake
A steam tunnel killer?  Sounds like a Freddy Krueger thing.
This was Rob Zombie’s follow up to “Halloween”.  This time the hits and the misses are lot more obvious.  For one I was bummed to see them kill off Danielle Harris. The cast is still great and the soundtrack is still wonderful.  The problem is the movie tries to be a tad too surreal for what I imagine when I think of “Halloween.”  There are scenes when Michael is taking to the “ghost” of his mother in his little kid voice. When I think of little boy in the mind of a giant murderer I think of Jason Voorhees, not Michael Myers.  It also had Laurie kind of take the mantle as the new killer at the end which just felt wrong. However, it wasn’t nearly as wrong as hearing Michael Myers grunting and talking.  Michael Myers is a lot of things but he has always been a silent killer.  When he shouts “Die!” to Dr. Loomis I died a little inside.

According to Wikipedia there are plans for a Halloween 3D but it is in development hell.  I am sure it’ll get off the ground eventually since there are always going to be fans of these movies.  As long as there are Halloween’s to celebrate we can be sure there will be stretched out painted William Shatner Masks for us to put on and scare the crap out of babysitters.  It’s nice to see that for some of us the boogey man is still out there even if he is sometimes credited as “The Shape” or by his name of Michael Myers.  Let’s hope he can keep up the good work.


Omigosh! Fido's breath killed Mrs. Moss
Whenever you bring up zombie comedies most people leap to “Shaun of the Dead”.  Why not? “Shaun of the Dead” is a great movie. However, when I mention “Fido” to some folks they don’t know what to expect at first.  I’ll admit the title isn’t what I would have chosen in order to really sell this. Still, it’s a lot of fun and it’s really insightful for what it is; a story about a boy and his dog, with a zombie in the place of the dog.

I've run over so many gophers today.
“Fido” takes place in a version of the earth where it’s the 50s and radiation from space has caused anyone who dies to come to back to life as zombies.  Luckily there are domestication collars that people put on the zombies that make them into pets and into servants that can do various menial tasks without the hunger for flesh.  Timmy is a little boy who is bullied and is very alone.  One day his neglectful parents get a zombie and he befriends it naming it Fido.  The rest of the story is the tale of a boy and his zombie.

This movie is just really fun.  Carrie-Anne Moss kicks ass as Timmy’s mother, Helen, and Dylan Baker does likewise as his father, Bill.  Billy Connolly plays Fido and does a damn fine job of portraying emotion while still being an undead monster. There is a message about human kindness and love that is there but it is very subtle and it’s not preachy and thrown in just to claim it has meaning.
Even Zombies need walkies.

“Fido” really is a great movie that more people should see.  If you enjoy comedies you’ll like it.  If you like zombie movies, you’ll LOVE it.  It’s smart and the cast are very sincere in their roles and it makes for an experience that is really worth the time.  I hope more people are willing to give this one a shot.

Flash Gordon-review

The power of Christ compels you

Wow! If there is anyone with the nostalgia for 80s cheese I got a movie for you.  “Flash Gordon” comes at you from 1980 with a soundtrack by rock group Queen and enough bad effects you’ll think you’re watching the live action movie of “Popeye”.  But where “Popeye caused me to want to join Helen Keller in being both deaf and blind this movie actually has fun parts to it. 

Red Bull gave Bluto wiiings.
Flash Gordon is a football player that gets kidnapped with his love interest, travel journalist Dale Arden, by a mad scientist played by none other then Topol, the actor that is famous for playing Tevye in “Fiddler on The Roof”.  They take a rocket to planet Mongo where Ming the Merciless, played by the always awesome Max Von Sydow is the Emperor and rules with an iron fist.  Can Flash and his friends escape the tyrannical rule of Emperor Ming? 

Where do I begin?  This movie is funny and cheesy in almost all sense of the word.  The effects are piss poor.  There are hawk men with huge metal wings that run around like filthy Vikings.  The dialogue is so delightfully over the top they HAD to know it was as campy as the 1960s “Batman” television show.  When Flash’s love interest Dale runs into a death pit as Flash is mid fight only to scream “Flash I love you, but we only have 14 hours to save Earth!” I think I laughed myself a bit insane.  Could they have found a time, other than combat to have Dale exposit that bit of information?

Timothy Dalton, former James Bond, now plant planet prince.
Max Von Sydow, who has been in some amazing movies in his time doesn’t skimp out on his performance as a sci-fi villain. If you are a fan of “MST3K” you’ll love this shit.  If you have children younger than 10 they will like it.  Other wise it’s just weird and you’ll probably find it stupid. Hell, I enjoyed it on some level and I thought it was stupid.  If you are curious give it a shot.

The Way of the Gun-review

In short, don't use any tollbooths kid.
“The Way of the Gun” has some fun action to it.  It is nice to see Ryan Phillippe is not just a pretty boy.  Both he and Benicio del Toro do a great job in a movie that on paper seems like it would have been a pretty cliché idea.  The idea of stealing from a mob boss and having them come down on you has been done to death. However, it’s not a bad thing if it’s at least done well and with some new elements which in this case actually makes this a good movie.

Well I guess looking through the hole is an idea.
Parker, played by Ryan Phillippe, and Longbaugh, played by Benicio del Toro, kidnaps a pregnant surrogate mother in the hopes of getting ransom for the baby.  The problem is that the baby is supposed to be going to a mob boss and his wife.  So soon there are all manner of ups and downs and twists added to this plot that create problems for them and the situation is not as it seems.  Can they simply get the money? Is there any way out of this that doesn’t involve them being rubbed out?

As a whole the acting is decent. Phillippe and del Toro do a great job.  James Caan is in the movie as an operative working for the mob boss.  He is probably the weakest part of this movie.  Sometimes he does his best Sonny Corleone impression the rest of the time he is on camera looking bored out of his skull like he was just there dying for a paycheck.  The shitty thing is they really milked the hell out of his part and he is integral to the plot. 

I recommend this movie if you are into crime action.  There are a lot of shoot out scenes and all in all it ends okay enough.   I think if you are fan of the antihero genre this is the movie for you.  The line of what is good and bad seems incredibly blurred for these protagonists.  It’s a lot of fun that is for sure.

Sunday, December 11, 2011


Go go Geisha Tank!
What the hell did I just watch?  This movie is okay if you can handle bizarre gonzo movies but if that is not your style make tracks because its goes all over the map.  It’s another movie with effect by Yoshihiro Nishimura, which I have praised on my site before for being the Japanese Tom Savini.  However, this time it’s not his goriest work.  If anything this is some of the most cartoonish and over the top style stuff I’ve seen in a while.

Send in the FEM-BOTS!
Yoshie and Kikue are two sisters who are recruited to be in a clan of geisha assassins. Their sibling rivalry starts to get out of hand as they begin enhancing themselves with cybernetic to make themselves better killers.  Things like ass swords and fem-bot style tit guns.  Things that any clever person would really need to get the job done.  Yoshie decides she needs to break free of the company that made her this evil robot and wants to save her sister.  The corporation however has other plans for her.

Please stop! I'm allergic to shellfish.
This movie has lots of really stupid plot ups and downs. For example there is a subplot involving a group of people that want to rescue the geisha assassins that pretty much hits a brick wall.  There is also the most insane way to deliver a bomb to Mt. Fuji I’ve ever seen.  Turn the pagoda you are in into a walking robot as if this was an episode of “Mighty Morphing Power Rangers”.  When it attacks buildings they even bleed.  As if that wasn’t mind-blowing enough Yoshie can grow tank treads out of her torso.

What's that building's blood type?
Have I lost my mind? This is all weird as hell.  But I guess this is the same movie where they did just kill a many by impaling his eyes with tempura shrimp.  Of all the movies that I’ve seen with Nishimura’s name on the credits this is the one that is by far the most ridiculous.  It’s still kind of fun in a very stupid way though.  I guess if that is your bag you might enjoy it, but holy shit it’s a strange ride. 

Friday, December 9, 2011


Oh man! I am tripping!
The holidays are upon us. With depression and suicides being at their highest during the holidays I figure the most appropriate movie to talk about now is the new film “Melancholia”.  I am being glib but in truth this is a beautiful movie that has a lot of insight into the depressed mind.  The cast does a wonderful job pulling it off and it is a remarkable movie that I hope will at least get some Oscar recognition.  The director/writer Lars Von Trier did the movie “Antichrist” which really did nothing for me so this was a really nice change of pace.

A burning wedding dress in slow-mo. Symbolism?
A planet recently undiscovered until recently is on a collision course with Earth. The Earth is doomed and all life as we know it will end.  The film has two separate parts for each sister, Justine, played expertly by Kirsten Dunst and Claire, played by Charlotte Gainsborg.  We follow a wedding of Justine to Michael, played by Alexander Skarsgaard and discover that the main characters suffer from different levels of depression and see how it affects their friends and family.  When they realize the new planet (named Melancholia) is not just going to pass the Earth Justine accepts that the end is coming soon and Claire panics and wants to spend every moment together as a family.

This game of musical chairs just got out of hand.
Trier said that the inspiration came from a depressive episode he suffered and that he found depressive people remain at peace in stressful situations.   The movie has that theme down perfectly.  If there was ever a movie I thought that they should show to a depressed people to make them understand what they are going through this would be it.  It’s also a beautiful movie.  It starts with slow motion shots from the rest of the film and shots from space culminating in the collision that destroys the planet.  This lets you know just how doomed these people are as you watch them.

Before we die, I want you to know I've been

peeing in the sink for years.
I can also say that Kirsten Dunst impressed me in a whole new way.  I knew she could act when she had the right role. Movies like “Interview with a Vampire,” “The Virgin Suicides,” and “Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind” showed she had talent but this role actually shows that she can wow us given the right project.  Keifer Sutherland does a good job as Claire’s husband, John, who is constantly trying to convince his wife that things will be okay only to discover how wrong he is.  Charlotte Gainsbourg should be commended for her role as Claire.  She is fearful of the apocalyptic end and it is displayed on her constantly.  She looks like she will break at any moment.

The cast is fantastic. The set and the effects are really good for a drama of this caliber.  Why didn’t this get a bigger release?  It’s a really good movie but if there is any flaw it is a long movie.  I think if you are in the mood for a drama with style and a new take on depression this is a good one for you.  Hopefully there will be Oscar buzz around it and it will be released again so folks can see in more widespread fashion.  If you are lucky like I was you can catch it through On Demand. 

Thursday, December 8, 2011


You think these are freaks? Try die hard "Twilight" fans.
“Freaks” is a 1932 movie directed by Tod Browning.  A man most famous for directing the Bela Lugosi classic, “Dracula”.  The movie was considered controversial and was even banned in the United Kingdom for over 30 years after its release.  There is really no real reason for it other than the fact that they cast people with real deformities to play circus folk.  A bold move for the 1930s since it displays people who are armless, legless, and have various conditions such as microcephalics and conjoined twins.  

Fact: This guy went on to play Master Blaster.
The movie centers around a dwarf named Hans who has inherited a large sum of money.  He falls in love with a trapeze artist named Cleopatra who just wants him for his money.  She makes a plot with the strong man, Hercules, to seduce and murder Hans.  After marrying Hans she starts to poison him but soon finds out that if you insult one freak you insult them all.   A swift revenge is then brought to Cleopatra and Hercules and a happy ending is had by all the rest.

A double pleasure is waiting for you.
All in all it’s a good film.  It’s short and to the point.  The acting is decent and the good characters such as the clown Phroso, played by Wallace Ford and Venus, played by Leila Hyams, have a nice romantic spark throughout the movie and it also works well that the “Freaks” have people that treat them as human.  The villains Cleopatra and Hercules are great at being despicable and horrifying people completely deserving of their punishments. I’m sure if more people saw this movie classic they would realize that there are a lot of references to it in other things from “South Park” to the animated show of “Clerks”.

My eyes are up here Hans.
I am not sure what shocked people more: The punishment scene at the end or the fact that they hired actual circus folks.  My guess is the fact that it was too real for 1930s audiences to handle. According to Wikipedia a woman at a test screening tried to sue MGM after seeing this movie saying that it caused her to have a miscarriage.  That is a strong accusation for something distasteful.  That being said if you are in the mood to see a movie that is really a bit of history and get a glimpse as to where society used to be give this one a watch.  You can usually find it online for free if you are really curious. 


I guess you can't have a picnic without ants.
When I was a kid I remembered seeing this movie and thinking it pretty good.  However, having grown up and having found out more about the person that actually is the basis for the Lawrence Woolsey  character I can honestly say I appreciate it a lot more.  The movie is a 1993 period comedy about a Florida town during the Cuban Missile Crisis.  A high school boy is trying to make friends and find romance during this frightening time.  They find distractions in visiting the movies.  Some of which are produced by Lawrence Woolsey who is a character inspired by William Castle.  

Jeez, fine I'll go.
Woolsey, played by John Goodman, visits the small town to show his monster feature “Mant!” about a man that is half human and half ant.  He befriends a teenage fan and we see him setting up all the gimmicks that made Castle famous. Things like, buying insurance in case you die of fear during the movie, a man dressed in a costume scarring audience members, and shockers put under the seats in order to give the audience a jolt at the right times.  It’s fun homage to Castle.  Woolsey is a showman and it comes off really well since he wants everyone to have fun in his shows and escape the fears of the real world.  

This Naomi kid is bad. She'll never go places.
The real world meanwhile is building to tear itself apart.  There are high school high jinx and some other shenanigans that make this movie relevant to what it’s trying to portray.  It’s a very self-aware movie that most movie lovers can really get behind.  There is also a young unknown Naomi Watts in one of her first film roles playing a small part in the film within a film “The Shook-Up Shopping Cart.”  I think if you haven’t seen this movie you should give it a try.  You might find it as charming as I did.  

The Captain ate Tennille.
If you are a fellow movie geek you can find a goldmine of gems in this movie.  From hidden references of other movies to the musical score being directly taken from some of the biggest monster movies of the era this movie is covered in classics. A fun thing to do one day is make a scavenger hunt out of all the old stuff one can find in movies like this.  There are a lot of interesting things I am sure many people would discover that way.  The hardest part is labeling them all when there is so many to choose from.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Automaton Transfusion-review

Cat got your tongue?
All I can say about this movie is that the price was right.  I got it for free with a copy of the New Zealand movie “Black Sheep” which was good and cheap already. I had never heard of it and quite frankly I can see why since who ever wrote it is a complete hack and whoever filmed it was a total spaz.  I couldn’t find anything fun about this movie with the exception of one unique kill; and all it did was make me smirk at the stupidity of it.

The movie follows obvious 20-somethings pretending to be the most stereotypical high school students imaginable.  They are all of a sudden attacked by fast zombies.  The plague spreads quickly and a small group of them attempt to fight them off.  They discover that they were created by the Government as a throwback to the Vietnam conflict. Then with the main two kids surrounded it ends with a “to be continued” as if anyone cares.
We sure could go for some hamburger sandwiches or
some french fried potatoes since we are teenagers and all.

First of all the filming is migraine inducing with the fact that they never use a tripod to hold the damn camera.  The shaky camera is also followed by absolutely JARRING scene cuts that would give a jack-in-the-box whiplash.  The characters are cookie cutter high school stock that you won’t remember during the movie much less after.  They also speed up the film as if it was the fucking Benny Hill show in order to hide the really shitty effects.

I want my baby back, baby back, baby back...
The only part that made me sort of smirk was the out of nowhere death of a pregnant girl who was killed by a zombie when he punched her belly, tore out the fetus and starts eating the baby.  Stay classy movie.  I can’t say I recommend this piece of shit. Just save your sanity and keep away.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Mary and Max- review

Is this "Ghost World"?
If you are looking for a more mature fair when it comes to claymation look no further than “Mary and Max”.  This is a movie that addresses lots of heavy subjects: Childhood neglect, teasing, alcoholism, suicide, obesity, and autism.  However, it also has a lot of heart.  It’s an incredibly well done movie with lots of sensitivity and care. 

I guess "Calvin" here couldn't find a Ford to piss on.
The year is 1976.  Mary is a friendless little girl in Australia.  She gets a random address from the post office for a man in America.  The man happens to be a 44 year old obese man who lives a lonely life in New York.  They become pen pals and develop a real strong friendship that lasts through the years and many ups and downs.

Weebles wooble but they don't fall down.
The cast list involves many big name celebrities such as Toni Collette, Philip Seymour Hoffman and Eric Bana.  However, unlike many other animated features it’s pretty hard to recognize.  I found it easy to get lost in how very amazing the style of the claymation style was.  The choice of color and the facial expressions are wonderful.  As a side note I also love it when it when claymation shows enough handiwork that there are fingerprints in the clay characters.

I don't think that shirt will catch
on for Asperger's Syndrome awareness.
“Mary and Max” is a real gem.  If you want to see something different this will really be up your alley.  It’s a great story and it’s not like most animated features.  The humor is dark and the subject matter is mature.  It’s not for little children.  It’s a strong drama but it is also funny, sad and really dramatic at points.  The movie lets you see how two lonely people from two corners of the globe can change each others lives in such incredible ways.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Hobo with a Shotgun-review

The Enzyte commercial that never aired.
In the spirit of the modern Grindhouse movies, “Hobo with a Shotgun” comes at you and really is a lot of fun.  The dialogue is funny and edgy in a way that is no more subtle than a sledgehammer to the face.  The film stock was edited in such a way that it gives the movie a real worn down Grindhouse look too.  It’s a macabre bit of fun with blood, boobs and bullets.

The director made the trailer for “Hobo with a Shotgun” in a contest to promote the double feature of Quentin Tarantino and Robert Rodriguez’s “Grindhouse”.  This means along with “Machete” now there are two Grindhouse trailer movies that have made it to full feature production.  That is pretty damn cool. 

An unnamed hobo played by Rutger Hauer arrives in Hope Town.  He finds that it is lawless and under the control of an insane criminal named the Drake and his two sons.  The Hobo befriends a prostitute that is being victimized by the sons and takes it upon himself to rescue her.  He is saving his earnings to purchase a lawnmower to start a business.  When he spots folks in trouble he instead purchases a shotgun which he uses as a vigilante to kill criminals.

I will Traci Lords the hell out of this performance.
Rutger Hauer really gives this performance some good gravitas.  Considering that it’s got lines in it like “They are going to make comics out of my hate-crimes!” It has a lot of potential for suck.  However, it’s played really well on his part. The girl that played Abby, Molly Dunsworth did a fine job as the hooker with a heart of gold.  Though, I found it distracting at times since she looks like a young Traci Lords.   My main complaint is that the main villains are not that threatening.  I am just not very threatened by a couple guys in lettermen’s jackets with their dad who looks as though he raided Tom Wolfe’s closet.   

Give that girl a hand...No I'm serious.
There are lots of bloody and gore scenes with some pretty crazy effects and unique kills.  Many are really quite good. The story is pretty solid.  It shows a bleak view of humanity and one man up against the hordes of criminals in a corrupt town. It would likely be a lot of fun for you if you are either a fan of the standard fair of the Grindhouse or modern Grindhouse style of movie.  If you are neither of those then steer clear.