Sunday, August 28, 2011

Ready, Fight


Undisputed III (2010)
Dir - Isaac Florentine

This has some damn fine action! The fight scenes are awesome and the story's not too bad either. I wish people would stop doing the 300 thing of slowing down the action all the time. It gets damn annoying.


What's the Deal with...


I Am Comic (2010)
Dir - Jordan Brady

Had heard of this stand-up doc before and noticed that it's on Netflix Instant so gave it a whirl. Pretty funny but nothing really new for fans of comedy. Some pretty painful moments of watching a guy bomb on stage.


America!


The Other Guys (2010)
Dir - Adam McKay

Pretty funny, a few laugh-out-loud moments but nothing exceptional. Maybe if I watch it again I'll find it a little more humorous - I tend to be weird like that with some comedies.


What's Out There?


The Mist (2007)
Dir - Frank Darabont

Another one that has eluded me for the past few years but I REALLY enjoyed the hell out of this movie. It's not perfect but has some great Lovecraftian moments, some iffy CGI, interesting characters and a badass ending. I'll be buying this double disc Blu in the future so I can watch the alternate black-and-white cut to see how differently it feels.


Oh, You're So Cool Brewster


Fright Night (1985)
Dir - Tom Holland

When I got home from seeing the remake I had to watch the original again because it had been too long. Still absolutely love this movie and it bitch slaps the remake in possibly every way. But it would be hard to beat this movie that I've loved for about 26 years (I believe I saw this in the theater originally, if not as soon as it was in the video store).

Anyway, the Peter Vincent character in this film is so much better. Hell, all of the characters are better here and more developed than their remake counterparts. Evil's turning sequence is like nothing in the 2011 version but here it's touching. Even the poster - look at that awesome poster above.

Sigh.


It's Magic


Fright Night (2011)
Dir - Craig Gillespie

Heard some fairly good things about this so I went to see this remake that I was mostly against. Overall I enjoyed the film but the majority of the CGI is just a notch or two above that of a SyFy Original Movie. The best of these VFX are at the very end. An interesting take on the original that hits the main points but does so differently.

More on my next post...


Tiger Rules!


The Boogens (1981)
Dir - James L. Conway
Horror Movie Night

This is my second viewing of this movie and I love it even more this time. Great tale of underground creatures in a Colorado mining town and an awesome dog named Tiger.

Full write-up coming on Wednesday on Horror's Not Dead!


Damn, I Want a Twinkie


Zombieland (2009)
Dir - Ruben Fleischer

Had not seen this since the theatrical release and, for me at least, it still holds up very well. I know some of my friends don't care for this film but I find it just absolutely wonderful. Best use of Metallica's "For Whom the Bell Tolls" EVER!


Slayer Ringtone FTW


30 Minutes or Less (2011)
Dir - Ruben Fleischer

Pretty funny, not as much so as Zombieland for me, but I still enjoyed it. Ansari is great as is pretty much everyone else in the cast.


Terrorism, LOL


Four Lions (2010)
Dir - Christopher Morris

I'm very late to the party on this one, at least as far as my circle of movie friends are concerned. This is a very darkly funny movie, as I've heard, and can't wait to watch it again. Surely I'll find more and more little bits of comedy gold with each watch.


"I'm White Like You!"


Rats: Night of Terror (1984) aka Rats - Notte di terrore
Dir - Bruno Mattei

I can't even remember how long I've had this DVD on my shelf, but it's been a looooooong time. After finally watching it I can say that it's not a very good movie. There are a few moments of awesome and hilarity with the multitude of rats and painted guinea pigs standing in for the rats. The only real redeeming factor is the complete mindfuck of an ending that will leave your mouth and eyes wide open. Fan-tastic!


I'll Have the Swordfish


The Slammin' Salmon (2009)
Dir - Kevin Heffernan

Wanted to see this in the theater and I'm only about two years too late. Pretty funny overall, love the ridiculous "storybook" ending. Everything with Michael Clarke Duncan is hysterical and his freestyle rapping is amazing.


Eye on Your PIc-i-nic Basket


Grizzly (1976)
Dir - William Girdler

Thought I'd seen this before but quickly realized I had not. Some fun animal amok-ness and surprisingly violent for a PG film. That's always a plus. Good times with Christopher George and a killer bear, I must now watch Day of the Animal to see the director, CG and the bear reunite.


Thursday, August 18, 2011

Canadian Pinball Wizards


Pinball Summer (1980) aka Pick-Up Summer
Dir - George Mihalka
Weird Wednesday

Due to some technical difficulties with the regularly scheduled WW we watched this one we missed instead. What a great, fun T&A flick from the early 80s! There are all the prerequisites - boobs, pointless situations, sex, comedy, hijinks and pinball. This film also has the most creepy pinball machine ever named Arthur that talks to the player. Shudder. Near the end, at the big pinball contest, they play on a machine called Pinball Summer that has artwork all over depicting scenes from the movie. Insanity!

Tons of fun and highly recommended.


Fangsploitation


Curse II: The Bite (1989)
Dir - Frederico Prosperi
Horror Movie Night

No relation to the first film but full of great surprises. Can't believe how much I enjoyed this movie and can't wait to write up a full review for posting on Horror's Not Dead next week!


Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Go Speed Racer


Hot Rods to Hell (1967)
Dir - John Brahm

This evidently sat on the shelf for about ten years and if they would have left it there for another ten there may have been a great 70s exploitation flick to be had. Instead we get a film about hot rodding teens in the 60s that feels rooted in the 50s. There are some really interesting moments, some things that could be kind of scary, but they are ruined by the overacting and cheesy elements of the script. It does have Mimsy Farmer though, and that's a big win.


Demons Aplenty


The Church (1989) La Chiesa
Dir - Michele Soavi

Been on my "to watch" list for quite some time and it gives me most of what I want out of Italian horror cinema. There are moments of gore and a ton of great wicked imagery. This isn't too straight forward but it gets the point across and the end result is wonderful. Only complaint - Giovanni Lambardo Radice needed more screen time. :)


Run Logan, Run


Logan's Run (1976)
Dir - Michael Anderson

First time watch for me and overall I really enjoyed this. There are some cheesy FX, which are to be expected, but some really great ideas. I have some problems with parts of the story and logical things therein but I guess that's to be expected. After watching I went to a used bookstore and bought a copy of the source novel to read soon. I hear there are some pretty big differences.


Plane Terror


Quarantine 2: Terminal (2011)
Dir - John Pogue

Not horrible and actually has some pretty terrifying moments. I wish they would have spent more time on the plane before landing because that claustrophobic location is great. You have to give them credit for stepping away from the shot-for-shot remake of [rec] that they did with the first Quarantine film.

I still prefer [rec] 2 to this, but it's still fun.


Quite a Trophy


Potiche (2010)
Dir - Fran├žois Ozon


Second time for me, but Jenny wanted to see it since she didn't get to at DIFF or while it was briefly in theaters here. She really enjoyed it and I did again as well.

Back from the Dead


Final Destination 5 (2011)
Dir - Steven Quale

Went to see this in 3D at the theater and even though there was a screaming baby in there I had a great time. Some of the deaths are fantastic and go places that you don't expect. The big accident at the beginning was great (they are usually the high point of the film) and I really dug the ending. It was also nice to have the kill compilation at the end credits. Wonder if they'll shell out more money for a part 6?


Spies Like Them


S*P*Y*S (1974)
Dir - Irvin Kershner

A 70s spy spoof starring Elliot Gould and Donald Sutherland? Hell yeah! This is a rather funny look at a couple of capable, yet bumbling, spies with some fun dog owning anarchists and a lot of double crossing. Don't remember what made me add this to my Netflix queue but I'm glad I did.


Final?


The Final Destination (2009) aka FD4
Dir - David R. Ellis

Never got around to this in theaters and recently bought a DVD with the first 4 films for $10. It isn't very good, but it's not horrible. There are some rather unbelievable things happening in this film, as with every entry in the series, like the guy at the garage and being cut into diamonds by a chain link fence. Riiiiiight. On the plus side one of the bad actors was on What I Like About You, that shitty sitcom with Amanda Bynes and the guy from City Guys (another shitty teen-centric sitcom).


Thursday, August 11, 2011

Bullocks


Made in Britain (1982)
Dir - Alan Clarke

A very interesting tale about a skinhead teen out of control in the early 80s. This was made-for-TV in the UK for a series on troubled teens and I can't see how any of the others could be this good. A tale that really makes you feel for this piece-of-shit kid who has really nothing to offer, no remorse and no desire to change. It's frustrating and slightly heartbreaking with a masterful hand at the helm. Lengthy scenes really add to the real life feel like the lecture Trevor gets after attacking a cook. The real highlight is a freaking perfect breakout role from Tim Roth. He's truly amazing.


It's Fetish Time


The Frightened Woman (1969) aka The Laughing Woman
Dir - Piero Shcivazappa
Weird Wednesday

Here's a great Italian sexploitation that I must thank Lars at the Drafthouse for bringing into my life. A few moments of humor mixed with the serious abduction of a man with an extreme fetish. Amazing score by Stelvio Cipriani (a man who worked with Bava a lot) especially in a scene involving the man and woman playing an organ. No, not that organ. Get your mind's out of the gutter. Sexy dancing, a fancy dressed dwarf and a freaking Aqua Car! Highly recommended.


Furniture Frenzy


Hide and Go Shriek (1988)
Dir - Skip Schoolnik
Horror Movie Night

A film I have previously seen part of but not the whole thing. A lot of in-the-dark going on but there is some great deaths and wonderful 80s insanity. A few twists and turns and an all around good time.

Full review coming next week on Horror's Not Dead!


A Real Shame


Bloody Sunday (2002)
Dir - Paul Greengrass

Been in my Netflix disc queue for quite sometime and finally made the cut to come home. This is kind of a punch in the gut. I knew a little - very little - about this story ahead of time but Greengrass' documentary style of this horrible story from Derry, Ireland hits hard. I can see some of the Brit's side, but very little. Because of the IRA (a group I do not agree with overall) and their extremist tactics they were afraid, but they went way too far. Firing many, many live rounds on a group of unarmed protesters. Sure, they were getting out of hand and throwing stones but the excessive firing on the Brit's part is absolutely ridiculous. This is highly emotional and somewhat hard to watch but I'm very glad I did. An important time that need not be forgotten, especially for those lives lost.


Maurice Rules!


Rise of the Planet of he Apes (2011)
Dir - Rupert Wyatt

I really had no interest in seeing this. If I've seen any of the original series, aside from the famous ending on the beach, then I was too young to remember it. I did see Burton's version but don't remember anything about it other than I wasn't too impressed. Then when I started to see the FX work I decided would go eventually before it left theaters, but the rave reviews I was hearing about during opening weekend bumped it up high on my list.

I'm so glad I saw this movie!

I loved everything about this, even the few cheesy parts like "Draco's" throwback line. All of the apes are so wonderfully crafted by the Visual FX team and acted to perfection by Serkis and company that I fell in love with all of them. Caesar is fantastic but my favorite is still Maurice the circus orangutan.

I've already watched a brief YouTube video about the FX but I can't wait for the Blu-Ray to, hopefully, see a lengthy making-of doc.


Ghosty


The Uninvited (1944)
Dir - Lewis Allen

Had this on the DVR since January from TCM and finally decided to give it a go. There are some really amazing moments in this film (like when Rod and Stella are at the piano and the seance) but some of the film went by a bit slowly. Could be because I was pretty tired when I watched it, but it didn't really stop me from enjoying myself. It also feels a lot different than I expected. I figured it would be more gothic in style but when it opens the playfulness in the acting and in the music made me find it more comedic in tone. Odd.


Monday, August 8, 2011

Slick Streets and Prehistoric Creatures


Ice Road Terror (2011)
Dir - Terry Ingram
SyFy Original Movie

Another of my shitty movie weaknesses. Nothing too great about this, but Brea Grant is rather easy on the eyes. The creature was interesting but badly CGi'd, no surprise there. The funny thing is that its scale seemed to change depending on the scene. Maybe I was just tired.


Between Two Buttes


Lust in the Dust (1985)
Dir - Paul Bartel

I found this when looking at the late Divine's filmography and had to see it right away. How could this have escaped me for so long? A comedy western starring Divine and Tab Hunter and directed by the great Paul Bartel? Sold!

This has some great funny moments and a few good musical numbers. The cast assembled is amazing - Henry Silva, Nedra Volz, Courtney Gains and Cesar Romero. Not elevated to my favorite Divine flick (how can you top her and Hunter in John Waters' Polyester?) but still quite fun.


Pimps and Hoes


Truck Turner (1974)
Dir - Jonathan Kaplan
Weird Wednesday

A classic blaxploitation I had yet to see and now it will probably become one of my favorites. Isaac Hayes is fantastic in the lead role and it's a very different way to see Star Trek's Nichelle Nichols. Some great action, an incredible death scene and some hysterical pimp outfits.


Pump Some Iron


Death Spa (1988) aka  Witch Bitch
Dir - Michael Fischa
Horror Movie Night

The second of only two, to my knowledge, exercise centric slashers and it blew my mind! Great stuff and sure to become something I revisit often. Now give me a remastered DVD or Blu-Ray dammit!

Full review coming in a couple days to Horror's Not Dead.


Difference of Opinion


La Rabbia (1963) aka The Anger
Dir - Pier Paolo Pasolini & Giovanni Guareschi

This is an odd documentary where from the early 60s by two Italian filmmakers who tackle the question "why are our lives characterized by discontent, anguish and fear?" from their own viewpoint. Pasolini is more left and Guareschi is staunchly rightwing making for some interesting but frustrating times. No new footage was shot, the two directors cut together newsreel footage with their own narration being read as it shows. Great technique and interesting concept but gets a tad boring at times and my limited knowledge of Italian/European post-war figures, at least by sight, doesn't help.

Full review coming soon on Freakin' Awesome Network.com