Thursday, February 23, 2012

Let Me In: This aint Twilight



Let Me In (2010)
Starring: Kodi Smit-McPhee, Chloƫ Grace Moretz and Richard Jenkins with Elias Koteas
Directed by: Matt Reeves

Plot
Owen (McPhee) thinks he has a new friend in the neighbor who just moved in. Abby (Moretz) just wants to be left alone. As days pass the fondness grows between them but can Abby tell Owen what she is, that she is a vampire?

Review
Let Me In is a remake of Let The Right One In (2008), a Swedish horror film based on the book of the same title. While there are many similarities as both films come from the same source material, both films are uniquely different and are able to stand alone on their own merits. Right off the bat one gets the sense of isolation which is Owen’s life, harassed by bullies, cut off from his alcoholic religious mother and absentee father. Owen has no one in his life to help him. What Abby is, is made known to the audience at second time she meets Owen right as their friendship begins to bloom. This film is, at its heart a beautiful love story, two desperately lonely people who, through fate, find each other and seal their love and friendship in blood.

This is a horror film no question. Real life horror surrounds Owen, at home and at school. Kodi McPhee plays the victim very well. In his constant torture by bullies you will literally scream at the screen “LEVE HIM ALONE”, as you get the ever present sense of despair that Owen feels through this relentless bullying. ChloĆ«
Grace’s performance as Abby is touching, and frightening all at once. You feel the love and compassion she has for her caretaker (Jenkins), and the growing admiration she has for Owen. You also get the anxiety and pain she feels when its time for her to feed. While she is playing a vampire who has walked the earth for over 200 years, she still is a 12 year old girl inside and you get that feeling throughout the film (another difference between this and LTROI) especially when she starts to suspect that Owen is falling for her.

The film moves at a good pace. Everything is established well leaving little to question. All actors in this film work well and have little nuances that heighten the tense moments and bring out all kinds of emotion in the viewer. Kudos to Matt Reeves for putting such a good spin on a very good novel and film. The differences are clear and direct, the cinematography is excellent, and the story is sublime. One thing that usually goes unnoticed in horror films is the score. The beautiful score composed by Michael Giacchino enhances this film making many scenes that much more powerful.

Likes
Awwww look at the love! So cute to see young love in bloom
What light through yonder window breaks? Its Romeo and Juliet! Follow the clues they are very clear throughout the film.
EEK! Forgot this was a horror movie…My! What big teeth you have!

Dislikes
A little more of Jenkins’ character would have been nice to really solidify his place in Abby’s life
Also more Elias Koteas “the cop”, something like how long has he been on the case

What I Learned
Vampires get lonely too

Best Quote
“So, what do you want to do…down here?” ~Abby

Rating
I would rate this film 4 ½ outta 5.

Final Comment
Let Me In is VASTLY different from Let The Right One In, in so many ways. Fans of the book will note the MAJOR difference between Abby and Eli. Fans of the LTORI movie should note that Eli is more grown and savvy (emotionally and mentally) in many ways than Abby and that Eli’s motivation is also a bit different than Abby’s too. Two films, One cup… drink and enjoy!
video

Friday, September 30, 2011

Pinocchio’s Revenge...Horror at its worst...and not in a good way

Pinocchio’s Revenge
Starring: Rosalind Allen & the adorable Brittany Alyse Smith
Directed by: Kevin Tenney


Plot

There is a plot in this movie? Yes…5 years ago Vincent Gotto killed his son for some unknown reason. While burring his boy with his beloved hand carved wooden puppet Pinocchio, (which Gotto made himself) he was caught and sent to death row. His public defender Jennifer Garrick (Allen) believed he was innocent. Yet despite her efforts she couldn’t get Gotto to cooperate. She believed he was hiding something; well his secret went to the grave with him as he road the lighting. Mysteriously the wooden puppet made it from the evidence box to Jennifer’s home where her daughter Zoe (Smith) instantly fell in love with it…that’s when things go suddenly wrong. Bullies at school get hurt, mom’s boyfriend meets with a nasty fall the beautiful live in maid Sophia gets killed and Zoe blames ever thing on Pinocchio…is the doll really up to no good or does this little girl need a healthy dose of Prozac? You decide…. (or not)

Review
Fuck…. This is the dullest movie in the history of film making! Clocking in at 96 minutes it feels like 3 hrs. 80 of those 96 minutes is filled with absolutely nothing of interest. Besides being treated to a full frontal nude shot of the beautiful Sophia who is the live in maid, nothing really gets kickin till the last 15 minutes of the movie. The film itself is confused because it never establishes why the wooden doll is alive, nor why or how Gotto made the puppet and why it came to life or appears to do so to the children who possess it. It attempts to use the Candyman possession technique but it really doesn’t come across that way and really plays out like the director and script writer just wanna fuck with the viewer which really sucks.
This movie is an absolute waste of time…

Observations
The director and cameraman must be pedophiles because there are two full on shots up Zoe’s catholic school girl uniform showing her vividly pink panties… the only problem is she is 8 years old…sick mother fuckers…the shots were too long just to be an accident. The voice of Pinnochio was the same one from the David and Goliath claymation cartoons many of us watched as kids… (If ya don’t know David and Goliath, you may have seen them in those new Mountain Dew commercials the one where 2 boys are fighting and the dad comes and takes the Dew and drinks it…)


Likes
Brittany Alyse Smith, this lil girl has some talent…too bad here parents made her do his wack ass flick…
The maid Sophia! That woman has a nice body and she shows it all for no apparent reason in this film….

Dislikes

The story the plot, the pointless of this movie
The fact that they don’t explain why the doll is evil or might be evil
2 up skirt shots on an 8 yr old…that is just sick
The fact that it isn’t clear that the doll moves on its own
That this movie tried to be a Child’s Play rip with a Candyman twist….

What I learned
ABSOLUTELY NOTHING!

Best Quote

“I’m free! Now lets go visit David!”~ Pinnochio

Rating
I give this flick 1½ outta five…

Final Comment

DON’T rent or watch this film under any circumstances. Don’t watch this film and operate heavy equipment or machinery. Don’t watch this film and then go for a drive….just leave this shit alone.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

New Reviews Soon

I've been in a bit of a funk lately but all will change soon. I will be putting up some new reviews soon including the following:
Buried
Devil
2012
Kick Ass
Unthinkable
Man on Fire
Red
Donnie Darko
S.Darko: A Donnie Darko Tale
So Stay Tuned :P for more fun and excitement...ok mostly fun

Monday, July 5, 2010

One Hour Photo: Isolation has no cure...


One Hour Photo (2003)
Starring: Robin Willams, Connie Nielson, Michael Vartan, Erin Daniels & Eriq LaSalle
Directed by: Mark Romanek


Plot
Sy the photo guy, works at the local big chain discount store. Seemingly alone in the world he attaches himself to a family who he fantasizes has the perfect life. With no life of his own to speak of, Sy tries to enter the lives of the Yorbin family. He has been at every birthday, and happy event for the last 11 years through their photos. When Sy begins stalking the family members and trying to get some real interaction with them it builds upon the illusion that they live the perfect life...but when things go wrong at his job, and he discovers a dark family secret, will Sy finally loose his mind?

Review
This film should be called, Examination of a Isolated life...cause that is what it is...This is the first film i have ever seen to portray loneliness so well. It is billed as a thriller...but there are no thrills to be found for this film is about being uncomfortable...and haunted by ghosts in the mind of the main character Sy Perrish (Willams).

Robin Willams, made famous by playing over the top lovable yet zany characters tones himself down (way down) to be the man whom seems to be just another face in the crowd. The sets and images that surround Sy are in themselves his creation... his home and clothing are indistinct, just bland pale colors white, cream, beige, light grey. This is the best and clearest indication that his life is empty, lacking the substance of something useful, meaningful and worth wile... well that is until you get to his secret room...the ones with the photos...the photos of one family in particular. Williams plays this character so uncomfortably well, you squirm when he speaks (as the film as a few monologues ) or talks to the family which is the object of his obsession. It is this obsession that causes him trouble at work, and eventually gets him into bigger trouble when he discovers his dream family isn’t as perfect as he wished it was...

This uncomfortable and haunted tale is driven by some brilliant writing and wonderful visuals, assisted by an eerie haunted lonely soundtrack. If you ever want to walk a mile in a lonely man’s shoes, then this is the film for you ... wonderful, frightening, haunted, and refreshingly uncomfortable...

Observations
Robin Williams was on Prozac for this film (he had to be hes so subdued)
This film is very uncomfortable, full or awkward moments and forced conversations...
Toward the end of the film there is a naked woman, she has winter bush...it seemed to be late autumn

Likes
The haunted uncomfortableness of the film
The haunded soundtrack
The story, setting and mood of the film
the wonderful visuals

Dislikes
winter bush
pace...kinda slow

What I Learned
Don’t fuck with a lonely man’s fantasies
Becareful who ya go and fire...
women get winter bush all year round...

Best Quote
“If you touch her again; I stab you in the heart! ”~ Sy

Rating
I give this flick 3 1/2 outta 5

Final Comment
This movie is a nice bit of storytelling. If you are in the mood for something sad, haunting and uncomfortable this is a must see...

Monday, June 28, 2010

Crank 2: High Voltage Totally random fun maddness!


Crank 2:High Voltage
Starring: Jason Stratham, Amy Smart, Efren Ramirez, Bai Ling & Dwight Yoakam as Doc Miles
Directed by: Mark Neveldine & Brian Taylor

Plot:
Picking up exactly where the first Crank left off, we find Chev Chelios (Stratham), falling to his death, so we thought. He’s still alive! He is immediately scraped up and tossed in a van. He is taken to a chop shop of sorts…they are chopping out his organs starting with is heart. Falling in and out of consciousness he sees that the next organ to be harvested will be his Johnson… “well fuck that”, Chev is up and kickin ass. However the artificial heart he has isn’t made for keeping him alive long, so with the help of Doc Miles, Eve (Smart) and his other assorted goofball friends he must find his original heart before the fake one gives out. Of course given the title, this time he has to recharge the battery powering his heart by various means. Can Chev find the fiend behind his current misfortune?

Review:
Wow, where to begin? If ya didn’t like the first film then this one definitely won’t win you, but if you did, well then this one is a total home run. It is the bizarre, often trippy cinematography that makes it visually appealing, and the story so outlandish that it keeps me hooked. The film is full of violence, random boobs and assorted nastiness. I found the film absolutely hilarious, it is so random in how the events unfold you will sit bewildered saying WTF at every beat of Chev’s mechanical heart. A perfect example is when Chev tracks down a guy he thinks has his heart, when they finally face off , the scene morphs into a classic giant monster battle complete with guys in rubber suits fighting on a miniature stage Godzilla style.Will you need to see the first film? Yes, other wise this movie will be completely lost on you, so many inside jokes, so little time.

Observations:

Every loose end is wrapped up, albeit sloppy, everything is resolved.
Full Body Tourettes …wtf?!?
Public sex is always a crowd pleaser
Cory Hame? Say what? I didn’t recognize him at all…he plays Randy
Guest appearance by David Carradine…can you say Poon Dong? LOL I knew ya could.
Triad gangs, Mexican Mafia how can you go wrong?
Looks like anyone can walk into a Mexican mafia stronghold. This is the 2nd time this has happened.

Likes
Random
Fast paced
Inside jokes

Dislikes
Shot on handi-cams but eeh got a budget need to stay within the lines
Some of the music I can deal without…seriously but the soundtrack is much better in this film than the first… not by much though.

What I Learned
Chev Chelios is a die hard mofo…

Best Quote
“Fuck You Chelious!” ~ everyone in the movie (they say it so much you really can’t think of a better one)

Rating
I give this 3 ½ outta 5. Its such a niche film I can’t really justify any higher rating.

Final Comment
See the first then watch this, you will be howling with laughter. Totally random, totally fun… get some!

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Gamera Series 1995-1999

Gamera 1, 2, & 3 1995-1999
Starring: Gamera, A young Asian girl, an oceanographer, a special investigator, & a zoological expert chick.

Plots (I'm doing all 3)
Gamera: Guardian of the Universe1995

Over a million years ago the ancient civilization of Atlantis disappeared beneath the ocean. Their legacy remains as strange events lead a zoological expert chick, Nagamine and a Investigator Osako to check out some strange disappearances on a small island near Kyoto. Discovery of an ancient bat-like creature, (referred to as birds through out the series) prompts a large scale investigation and attempt to capture the creatures. At the same time an Oceanographer and his crew of scientists discover a small island floating beneath the ocean surface moving against the current. Suddenly it surfaces and the scientists waste no time exploring the tiny island (bout the size of a football field) and discover a metal obelisk buried in the center. As they examine the obelisk one of them accidentally touches it, setting forth a chain of events which set loose a 300 foot long flying turtle. At this time Nagamine and Osako discovers that the so called birds are genetic hybrids called Gyaos capable of self reproduction , also that they grow and an exponential rate, and enjoy feeding on humans. As they go to warn the government, the now GIANT birds escape. As they make their get away the giant turtle arrives on the scene and attacks them. The military is torn between saving the birds or destroying the turtle named Gamera, who seems only interested in defeating the birds before they over run the planet. Can a young Asian girl, Asagi, who seems to know the feelings of Gamera, Nagamine and Osako persuade the government self-defense force not to attack the turtle until it has stopped the Gyaos creatures?

G2: The Advent of Legeon 1997


A meteor crashes to earth bearing some very unfriendly visitors. An enormous space bug has landed on earth and with her brood, has systematically disable all radio communication in Kyoto. She brings with her a large strange plant that generates a lot of oxygen which plant uses to launch a seed into space that carries the bugs eggs to another planet. The resulting explosion would level the entire city. The bug called Legeon, has with it thousands of minions that it uses to do its dirty work. When Gamera arrives to stop the launch of a seed pod, the military forces are again torn between stopping Gamera or allowing it to defeat another enemy to the earth. Asagi comes to the aid of the giant turtle to help it figure out a way to defeat the swarming minions and their massive queen before the entire planet is overrun with one eyed silicone eating, cell phone stabbing bugs…

GIII: The Incomplete Struggle (aka the Awaking of Irys)1999

Gayos sightings are being reported all over the world. And with them reports of Gamera as well, but its not all good news. Gamera has become careless in his ruthless pursuit of the Gayos creatures and destroys all in his path to achieve his goal. The governments of the world decide that regardless of its good intentions, Gamera must be stopped. At the same time, a family shrine is raided and an ancient family treasure is disturbed , something that was not supposed to be touched. Now awakened, Irys, the prototype creature developed by the people of Atlantis to defeat Gamera in case Gamera ever became uncontrollable is now unleashed. But many years of hibernation have made it hungry. Developed using a strain of Gayos dna it craves humans. Loyal to Anaya, the girl who set it free, it attempts to merge with her in order to complete its growth. Inheriting the girls hatred for Gamera who accidentally killed her family in 95 when he fell on their house, it seeks to put an end to the giant turtle as well. The girl is rescued from the creature before it can completely absorb her. Asagi returns once again to help guide Gamera in its toughest battle yet. Nagamine and Inspector Osako also help to unravel the mystery surrounding Anaya and the exploding population of the Gayos creatures before its too late.

Review
This has to be the most brilliantly conceived collection of monster movies ever made. Each one excels the last in effects story and cinematography. The production values of these films are top notch, and the stories are engrossing and completely original from the Gamera origins of 1960. True, Gamera:GOTU borrows many scenes from the original battles made in the 1967 film Gamera vs Gayos, yet the similarities end in the 2 following sequels. This trilogy, directed by Shusuke Kaneko, celebrates the 30 year history of the lesser known Turtle and his formerly child friendly exploits. This isn’t your parents Gamera. The suits and effects blow Godzilla films from the same year out of the water. Kaneko knows how to make a monster movie. The use of many of the same human characters help lend a continuity to the films, as well as his ability to direct his team of effects people that make the miniatures and sets.

While putting a new spin on the origins of the massive turtle he also stays true to the fighting tradition of the mighty monster. Gamera gets fucked up in each and every film. He is cut, gouged, stabed, sliced, blown up, impaled, and even has a limb blown off, but he still keeps fighting to the bitter end exacting a most satisfying revenge upon his foes. These films appealing on so many levels, the story element, the action, and effects all combine to give a unique experience to these traditional guy-in-a-suit monster flicks normally reserved for more mainstreamed movies. This series raises the bar and I do believe TOHO should follow suit.

Shusuke Kaneko also directed the latest godzilla flick GMK Godzilla, Mothra, King Ghiddorah: All out monster Attack, which is the BEST Godzilla film ever made.


Observations
Gamera, the other Big G!
This isn’t the child friendly, hey kid hitch a ride on my back Gamera. He’ll save a kid or too if its convenient for him but he ain’t gonna go outta his way to do it.
Goddamn he takes a licking and keeps on tickin’…Godzilla has never been hurt as bad as Gamera…cept that one time when Mecha Godzilla’93 whipped his ass pretty good…
I never knew Turtles can fly…especially looking like an airplane in the attempt.
Retractable fighting spurs… gotta love em!
It’s not a turtle, it’s a transformer… what the hell is up with that chest-beam? Then again he is a genetically engineered badass.
Does he ever get dizzy spinning round like a top?

Likes
Big Badass Turtle with sharp pointy teeth!
Seeing Gamera again, after a 15 year hiatus
The stories, plots and settings. The Awesome effects and wonderful sets….

Dislikes
That chest-beam in G2, what was that all about


What I Learned

15 years can bring some remarkable changes to a beloved series….
Nothing beats a flying turtle…cept maybe a radioactive lizard….
Fire balls, plasma balls, fireball lugies… what ever they are round and the blow stuff up…
Gamera has a varied assortment of desperation weapons that simply fuck shit up!
Gamera RULES!

Best Quote
“This isn’t in my job description! Lets get outta here!” ~Osako


Rating
I give the trilogy 4 ½ outta 5 and awesome series! A must for any monster fan. If you like any Godzilla movie then you will love Gamera.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Elm Street's Fatal Flaw


A Nightmare on Elm Street (2010)


Starring: Jackie Earle Haley, Kyle Gallner, Rooney Mara, Katie Cassidy, Thomas Dekker and Kellan Lutz


Plot:

When a boy cuts his own throat in public his friends begin having dreams of a creepy little man in a red and green sweater. Although they know each other in high school they don’t realize they have a past and its coming back to haunt them, big time. As the teens begin to piece together the mystery they drop off one by one. Can they solve the puzzle before its too late?


Review:

Back in the days when slasher films were a dime a dozen, and Friday the 13th topped box office and sequel charts, a little low budget horror film made its debut. A Nightmare on Elm Street went from 0-60 in 3 seconds flat in 1984 and became an instant hit. This film series with 9 direct sequels under its belt, a TV show, and long awaited cross over film Freddy vs Jason, is an undisputed classic and the 3rd highest grossing film series of its genera. With all that said, how could a series reboot go so wrong? Its all in the basics. In probing that darker edge that made non-horror reboots like Batman Begins so successful, Nightmare went way off the beaten track and took a blood filled, campy horror romp someplace it didn’t really need to go.

In the original series Freddy Kruger is a dirty child murderer. He is burned alive by the parents of the town of Springwood now haunts dreams of teens, eventually killing them in the dream…if you die in the dream you die for real. In the reboot Freddy is now a child molester…say wha?!?…yes a sick nasty pedophile thus removing anything remotely fun from his torment and eventual offing of the selected targets, making the film quite frankly a waste and effectively killing off any type of sequel in the foreseeable future. Child molestation is not a fun subject, nor one for the likes of a horror film whos history is steeped in one liners and witty repartee from the villain who has an almost anti-hero status (I did say almost). This type of subject matter is best served via dramas and is absolutely nothing to laugh about or address lightly thus giving Kruger’s trademark quips a decidedly darker and sicker overtone which makes enjoying the film somewhat awkward if not impossible (especially for me given my line of work). Granted this is originally where series creator Wes Craven wanted to go but backed down at the last moment. Craven doesn’t support this version (mainly do to the fact he wasn’t consulted for the project as he had been in the past), and rightly so because this isn’t our Freddy anymore, least one I would associate with at parties.


Observations:

Ewwwwwwww pedophile gross!!

Every so-called teen in this flick looks like a Twilight wanna be

Jackie Earl Haley…good performance…bad project


Likes:

New Freddy look (it ain’t half bad)

The way he’d flick 2 of his claws together Nice effect

The overall story while distasteful isn’t bad and it moves along at a nice pace


Dislikes:

Pedophile nuf said….

Twilight wannabes


What I learned:

Pedophilia has no place in horror movies


Best quote:

“What ya screaming for? I haven’t even cut you yet”


Rating:

1 outta 5 for its good performance by Haliey its hardly worth watching.

Final thoughts:

Leave the nasty child rape stuff for dramas, keep horror fun gross and somewhat pure.