Friday, November 18, 2011


This is not a turkey. It's a damn vulture.
Well, another Thanksgiving is almost here.  So what do I do?  I choose a horror movie to review that has a Thanksgiving theme.  Let me introduce you to the world of “ThanksKilling”. Where JonBenet Ramsey jokes are considered witty and topical; despite coming out in 2009. Where looking past the fact that they have a vulture puppet rather than a turkey puppet is clearly a virtue. Where I am pretty sure it’s a sign of mercury poisoning if you enjoy a movie this shitty.

This isn't exactly Sesame St.
Five stereotypical college kids go home for Thanksgiving. Their car breaks down on the road and they are attacked by a roving puppet. An Indian curse brings a killer foul mouthed turkey back to life to murder all people he comes to contact with.  Can the roving gang of college age stereotypes stop this horrid creature?  

Puppet sodomy. Stay classy "ThanksKilling".
Look, I get it.  A lot of it is played for humor. But it’s really not funny watching a hand puppet of a turkey sodomize a girl and then yell “You just got stuffed!” It is really low brow.  Most of the jokes in this are. The actors deliver their lines with all the grace of an illiterate reading off cue cards. 

May as well add a laugh track since
I am not laughing at this sitcom style shit.
The only thing that it has going for it is that it’s has a short run time. At 70 minutes long that is like saying the bad news is you have to eat a plate of dog shit, but the good news is that there is not a lot of it.  The end credit says “To be continued… in space.” I hope that is a cruel joke. Just be thankful this year you are not a masochist like I am when it comes to what you watch.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Red State-review

If I am to go into detail on how much I enjoyed Kevin Smith’s movies when I was younger and the steady decline of his films since he has become mainstream in Hollywood I’ll be writing for days.  It is almost a scary opposite of Quentin Tarantino who also started in the Independent film world and has only grown as a director since becoming main stream. Smith’s best work comes from work that has a message from the heart.  That being said, here is his first foray into the horror genre.

Bring out the gimp.
Three incredibly unlikable teenage boys answer a want ad for a woman who invites them over for some loving’.  Once there she drugs their beer and they wake up as prisoners of a fanatical cult of religious nuts that kill people who are not moral.  After killing a couple people and a LOT of talk the ATF comes in and starts a shoot-out with the cult. Can anyone survive the madness?

Praise the Lord and pass the ammunition.
 Where do I begin?  First off, the teen characters are completely unlikable so, when they act like idiots and do NOTHING to make them appeal to me on a personal level I am not going to care if they survive the situation they are in.  It also doesn’t help if the writer seems to switch protagonists on you.  It was clever in “A Nightmare on Elm Street” and “Psycho because it is only one character and the audience is not expecting a main character to snuff it.  This movie does this a couple times before it finally settles down on the B plot of the ATF agent played by, John Goodman.  Goodman does a fine job but this movie is really not his best work at all.

Send out your beef patties!
 If anything this movie feels like Kevin Smith just wanted to ride the coat tails of Rob Zombie and his horror movie style.  While Zombie’s movie style can be hit or miss you can tell he is at least an intelligent fanboy who appreciates the genre he is dealing with.  With Smith it felt like he watched “The Devil’s Rejects” and wanted to make it chattier.  Smith seems to have forgotten that in a movie you should SHOW rather than TELL.  The entire shoot-out scene with the ATF seemed a lot like the fire fight with the Firefly family in “The Devil’s Rejects”.   Granted, that movie was a lot more violent and was much more like a grindhouse movie than “Red State” but it still felt like déjà vu.  

Is “Red State” worth watching?  Not in the least.  Kevin Smith is really starting veer in strange ways.  It feels like forever since he has done something that he is really good at like just making another Jay and Silent Bob movie (and no, “Clerks 2” doesn’t count).  This movie is too dull to be a real horror and it’s not funny enough to be his style of dark comedy.  Oddly enough there was alternate ending that I when I read about it in Wikipedia it really bugged me that they chose the snoozefest of an ending they used.  This movie would have been at least somewhat cooler if they decided to close with a weird WTF ending.  

Sunday, November 13, 2011

J. Edgar- review

Hey! These things make everything look bigger!
I really love the movies that Clint Eastwood chooses to work with.  They are usually very bold and have the actors take on really unique challenges with a compelling story.  The cast is usually very strong and there is a lot that can be said about it when it all comes together well.  As for “J. Edgar,” I’m just going to say that every director is entitled to a bad movie now and again. 

Leonard DiCaprio as Phillip Seymour Hoffman
“J. Edgar” tells the story of J. Edgar Hoover as he creates the F.B.I and follows him through some of the biggest cases of his life.  As we follow this we see a different side of him as very paranoid man, who blackmails anyone that might go against the bureau and how he is a closeted homosexual.  The movie hop scotches through time and we see him as a young man and at his final days as an old man bearing the likeness of Phillip Seymour Hoffman.  The film lacks a lot of cohesiveness of an overall story arc which makes it seem like a long look at someone’s jumbled up photo album.

Why can't I quit you?
In the film’s defense the cast is really good.  Leonardo DiCaprio is really good at playing Hoover, and Naomi Watts is wonderful, though she seems underused.  Armie Hammer as Clyde Tolson, Hoover’s lover, is a really good choice and somewhat steals the show sometimes.  Some might remember him playing both Winklevoss twins in “The Social Network” a fact that really impressed me when I discovered it was one guy playing both parts. He is going to go places.
Live from New York it's Saturday Night!

The movie can be subtle sometimes and an interesting character study of Hoover.  However, its plot structure criss crossing all over and not having a central story makes it a mix of unbearably dull at times and confusing at others. I just can’t help thinking that with all the material that there is on the man that we get this confusing and poorly put together movie. We should have gotten something much more interesting and linear.  Here was a man who was arguably one of the most powerful men in American at one time; and they made a movie about him where you couldn’t possibly give a shit.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

"On Frozen Ground" location shoot.

I had the pleasure of being on location at a shooting of the film "On Frozen Ground".  Security was sort of a bear about cameras so I had to hide mine as it was rolling. Around the 11:15 mark you can see Nic Cage getting makeup put on and get into his car which had Vanessa Hudgens in it.  Then the onlookers were told to leave.