Wednesday, December 28, 2016
Kim JeeWoon directed that amazing I Saw the Devil, so i checked out the rest of his work, all of it solid. To that list, you can ass Age of Shadows, now I Saw the Devil i flat out loved when i saw it, it is brilliant. Age Of Shadows might be his second best film, but might be his most stylish. The dude has a great eye, and can direct various genre, he is a true student of the game.
What could have been, what could have been. I was not a big fan of the Stephen King novel, but loved the premise. When Eli Roth was going to direct it i was super stoked, beyond stoked, i had faith in Eli to direct a kick ass flick. Then it went in to production, with a good cast, but it felt rushed, as if they made it just to make it, and release it with no fan fair. Had Eli wound up directing it, it would have fit in with his recent efforts of films being low key, but he would have given it that extra touch. The film, has no touch, it is a forgettable, slowly paced film that lacks vision and heart. Instead of getting a tense film that Eli could have given us, or any other awesome genre director with a vision for that matter, we got a run of the mill film, that feels like a flick that should be straight to video
Tuesday, December 27, 2016
I love David Cronenberg, i thought about doing a best of list for him, but since i waited a year to see the film, i figured i will wait. I prefer old Cronenberg, but i still think all his films are great. His later films, while great, are not quite as enjoyable though, expect Cosmopolis, a underrated gem. Enter Map to the Stars, it is another solid film, however it is is quite tedious at times, and rather dull. I like the character study aspect, and i like how all the characters are shitty, but it doesn't feel like one of his films. Not that there is anything wrong with venturing out, but this one here, just seems to go on & on with nothing really happening. I usually love films like that, but in this instance, i was bored at times, plus that fire scene, holy fuck, awful effects. I had bought this about a month ago, but wasn't planning on watching it until next year, but i knew that Carrie Fisher was in it, so decided to watch it in her honor. Perhaps i will rewatch this soon and love it, perhaps to celebrate her life, i should have popped in Star Wars.
I can get hevily in to politics, i try to avoid them but i can, i hate most of our goverment and the way shit is ran, i saw CitizenFour and thought it was pretty good, i finally saw Snowden, but as much as i love JGL, i found the doc to be a lot more interesting. This was up Oliver Stone's alley, but it felt half assed from the start.
Monday, December 26, 2016
The trailers for this looked pretty funny, but the second one looked like it revealed too much, luckily whomever edited said trailer, was a master of manipulation, as a certain twist is actually not even a twist but a peace offering. The film is being torn apart by most critics, and it seems to go with what i have said in the past, that comedy is the new punching bag for them, used to be horror but laughs, they have to go, The film has plenty of laughs, it is a hilarious flick, i am a James Franco fanboy and i love Bryan Cranston, they have pretty good chemistry together too, even minor characters get in good laughs. Out of the three christmas comedies that i have seen in the past month, this is the best of the bunch by far.
Sunday, December 25, 2016
Saturday, December 24, 2016
Growing up i loved the Fantastic Four, my first Playstation game was a Fantastic 4 game, it kinda sucks now....hell a lot of the Fantastic Four sucks now. The comics are okay, but the cartoon is meh, the characters are kind of lame, and all the movies have sucked. Roger Corman is an inspiration, yet why give a schlocky low budget B movie producer the keys to a Marvel property? This doc explores it. The doc shows how Corman was brought the property, after Troma turned it down, Lloyd Kaufman respected Stan Lee too much to do a low budget version. Mark Ruffalo auditioned, but that is just trivia for you, as the film was a disaster, i have seen it, it is crap, but the real crap was why it was made, to retain rights, rights that went to Fox, a Fox that Avi Arad worked with, a Avi Arad that became top dog over Marvel properties, Marvel properties that went to various studios, various studios that made money, money that Marvel wanted, money that Marvel gained through in house producing, which lead to Disney buying the company. In a round about way, this film, layed out the foundation for Marvel we have today.
Michael Bay is an odd one, i shouldn't respect him, but i do. He is a trash director with a budget, most that hate him, would love him if he was a low budget director. His first feature was Bad Boys, a fun Will Smith/Martin Lawrence vehicle, it had babes, explosions, all that good stuff that Bay would become known for, but everyone loved it. He then did a more subtle film, The Rock, it was a solid action flick and better crafted than Bad Boys, it wasn't until Armageddon where he developed the real Bay style. The first two, had the style, but after this, we knew the style, and in my opinion, Armageddon is his funnest flick. So now he is known as the big budget, flashy director with style, use it but make a respectable film like the Rock again, but a historical drama....make Pearl Harbor. Thus the hate began, and rightfully so, he made an abomination of a blockbuster, a travesty of a historical drama, and made a bunch of actors a laughing stock. Where does he go next? Return th your roots, do Bad Boys 2, and it was fun, but felt heartless, it was pure style over substance. He got a script which may have had substance in the Island, yet it too, just became a shell. If you are going to do a script a studio bought, might as well do a well known property, enter Transformers, which was a lot of fun, but doesn't hold up, it has every thing Bay, including tight shots on tight bodies, this is really where the net came unglued. How dare you make a film about our toys, boo this man, oh fuck off nerds, it is a silly concept, and a decent adaptation for a tentpole project, hell i love the Ninja Turtles, but it is still silly, and Bay produced a couple fun flicks(well one, the sequel). Transformers 2, rightfully, was crap, pure crap, and this is where ammo is picked up, i myself became jaded on Bay here, but thought maybe, just maybe this guy can make an awesome flick, well the third Tranformers would not be the answer but the guy produced a ton of horror/exploitation remakes, so you knew he may have been a fan, and some like the Texas Chainsaw Massacre are underrated. Exploitation, is what these were close to, and his next film was indeed exploitation, Pain & Gain. Highly underrated film, great humor, great performances, and a sleazy vibe, will he keep this up? Post modern Bay? Nope, Transformers 4 was released and it may have been the weakest entry, dude just needs better scripts, embrace what he is! 13 Hours to me, is not a great script, but it had all of Bay's signatures, and it hit the mark on all of them, it had style, explosions, fast cuts, it looks great, and it is actually pretty damn underrated this year, now i am not singing the praise of it, but this is the Bay i want, do flicks for around 50 million like this, but find better writers to work with, you are Michael Bay, you can pick em, fuck, Edgar Wright is a fan, have him hash you out a fanboy script and direct it. The dude has talent, he just needs the right path. As i type this i honestly gained more respect for him. I may even revisit the first Transformers just to see how i feel a third time(almost a decade after my last time). I doubt i will watch the sequels, but i will see the fourth as i truly do want this man to succeed.
Netflix knocks it out with their series, but their films have been questionable, that is until now. The Fundamentals of Caring is a great coming of age/road trip film with wonder. Set out to see landmarks, meet a girl, befriend a pregnant lady, learn to pee standing up, eat a slim jim, enjoy the little things. Paul Rudd is great in this, the script is super witty and i am a sucker for films about life on the road, especially if it involves a ragtag group of characters. The feel has real heart, both in characters backstories & in discovery, this is a perfect film for everyone that says there is nothing good on netflix!
Friday, December 23, 2016
Holy fuck, what an amazing film this is! For all the romantics out there that love New Wave & Post Punk, this is your shit! Jim Carney's Once is a folk masterpiece, the songs are great and the heart oozes in it, you can tell that it is close to his heart, his next music film, Begin Again, went from folk, to corporate rock and the film felt more corporate, his next music inspired film Sing Street, goes back to the roots. It feels smaller, it feels more indie, feels more raw(with a great soundtrack) and it feels more personal, even more so than Once, this here seems like Carney's high school years. The film has heart, is has the loss of family, the bond of brothers, the growth of friendship, the uncharted territory of girls, the discovery of great music, and the coming of age. The young cast, all of them, are fantastic, the original music is just as phenomenal as the soundtrack. The film also has whimsy in it, and it glues a smile to your face the film is well versed in the style of the 50s(character's love of Back to the Future) and the knowledge of post punk, New Wave is spread throughout in a non pretentious way, this is the punk film i have been wanting! I rank it above Once, i loved every second of this film, this is must see, and i think it will be much talked about in top of the year lists online but sadly the brilliance will not get awards attention, but stick your middle finger in the air and fuck it, this is real great cinema!
Thursday, December 22, 2016
Last month i compared Arrival to The Martian, Interstellar & Gravity as a Sci Fi film released in the fall. While Arrival didn't do to much for me though i was stoked going in, and i will rewatch it sometime to fully grasp it, Passengers i was stoked for but became weary upon reading reviews. Last year in my review for the Martian i mentioned that Gravity & Interstellar both underwhelmed me as i was highly anticipating Alfonso Cuaron & Christopher Nolan respectively. The Martian i had no hopes for but enjoyed it, now we have Passengers, a film that starts off great, i love Chris Pratt by himself on the spaceship, andi predicted in the trailer that he would wake up Jennifer Lawrence, which he does. While this is going on, it felt creepy, yet i applaud the film for having a morally ambiguous character, he knows what he is doing is wrong, yet does so anyhow. Pratt is great here, Lawrence was a little off at first, but found her groove, the two together have great chemistry. Once she finds out about what he did, the film loses the magic, it gets rushed a bit, especially after Laurence Fishburne is introduced. I don't like the happy ending, well bitter sweet ending, instead of choosing to go back to sleep she decides to live with this creep that woke her up? Fuck that noise, go back to sleep, let Starlord make some more Jackson Pollock paintings. Overall i had a lot of fun with this and i liked how creepy Pratt could be at times, the dude has untapped range, here is hoping he gets eo use those chops in the future!
Wednesday, December 21, 2016
The first season of Scream Queens was great, it blurred being over the top with a tongue & cheek approach and had great humor with great gore. The cast was great, the music was awesome, it was fun & fast. Originally planned as an anthology at wasn't supposed to be a direct follow up to season 1, i was stoked for a second season, then upon finding out that it in fact was a direct season to season canon,i was weary, the first was perfectly wrapped up. Season 2, was a cheap follow up, not everyone returned, the plot felt forced, the humor was a lil off, the kills weren't as good, the tongue wasn't in cheek, it was giving us a raspberry, and it wasn't that over the top. The acting became caricature eaque, and the characters themselves were rather bland. The plot sucked, the setting could have been great but disappointed. This season was pretty fucking bad!
Monday, December 19, 2016
This film had a lot of build, well a lot in the cinephile world. This Netflix flick, that looks awesome, sounds awesome, and is getting awesome reviews. Awesome it is not, it indeed looks awesome and does undoubtedly does have awesome moments but the flicks script is to be desired, the characters are flat & the film really doesn't take us on any sort of adventure.
Sunday, December 18, 2016
Ghost Team is a fun flick, take some misfits, give them cameras and tell them to hunt ghosts. They run into psychos, drugs, "zombies" etc. Hilarity ensues, paintball are shot. There is not alot to say about it, but if you are looking for something fun on netflix, turn it on and have at it. Jon Heder is awesome in it, Justin Long they could have given more to work with, but it is still a funny take on how stupid hit like Ghost Hunters can be. I wish it had more horror elements, but oh well, it is the perfect flick to watch before going to bed.
I love quirky indie comedies, our old art house used to play them all the time, i would walk up and see them whenever they opened. Sadly our new arthouse rarely plays them, AMC only plays Wes Anderson(whom i love), and Alamo doesn't seem to play them either, don't mention the other muliplexes, no chance in hell. John Krasinski directed an underseen and underrated Brief Interviews with Hideous Men, his second film is better. It is a basic story of a man returning home for reasons of a parents illness, but unlike say Garden State which is pure magic, this is just, a charming indie flick, the exact type of film i wanted it to be.
I love porn, there is no doubt about it, i watch it almost daily, and i know porn stars, i know how rough it can be for them. For everyone one that is great, there are some that had terrible times, so do it as a last resort, some do it out of a desperate need for money. King Cobra is a pretty good flick, it helps that i am a James Franco fanboy, but he is great here, it is acting similar to Spring Breakers, different type of character, but the sleaze is there. I still need to see the GOAT, but i hear it is more of the same inspired acting. The story here is basic, dude becomes the biggest thing in porn, gay porn, and then has a falling out with the producer, and in a traditional sense, sit goes south, shit gets nasty. It is rather bleak but a good flick to check out.
This one slipped by me, i didn't see the trailer until about 3 months ago, but it looked good, nothing extraordinary but it looked entertaining. Checked it out, it has charm for sure but the script could have been better. I am a Green Day fan so Billie Joe Armstrong is what drew me to the project. I love films about punk rock, and you can tell there was heart behind it, i just wish there was more to it. I would love to see a new modern love letter to the genre.
The first Ouija i thought sucked, unispired and made as a cash grab for studios to try to get their hands on any available property. It was like the J horror remake craze of the mid 00's, it felt cheap but not the good kind of cheap. The prequel had a great trailer, with the throwback look, and the film didn''t disappoint, not saying it is great, or even good, but it was the film you would expect from the trailer, the jump scares work, and the final scene is pretty sweet.
WWE films are generally shit, some like The Call & Dead man down aren't too bad, then their are fun ones likes The Condemned. Mainly they are known or their action films like the Marine, which mainly go straight to video, but every once in a while they do something like Occulus, which is actually pretty good, i was hoping for the same with Incarnate, with a man to believe in Harvey Dent, Aaron Eckhart and as wwe would lead you to believe, Mark Henry. Well in a smart move, Henry's role is not that big. Some wrestlers can act in film, like the Rock & Batista, others are more or less like Hulk Hogan. Henry is great in the ring, and with his character, but here, it is meh. The film itself seems like your run of the mill possession film.
Saturday, December 17, 2016
I love the Beatles, they are my all time favorite band. I own all their albums, all their best ofs, i own their C.D.s, their cassettes, thir vinyl, i love them. Their films are great, however their docs are out of this world. Beatles Anthology for my money is still the definitive doc on the band, it is brilliant, but Eight Days a Week is just as good. Anthology feels more like an old school rock doc, Eight Days feels like a doc that art houses thrive for, which is where is played here. If you love the band, please check it out, they are the best.
The other night i finally watched Central Intelligence, i love the Rock, LOVE him, so surprised i never saw it in theatres. Kevin Hart is in my opinion the least funny of all the Harts, i men, the dude never even won the Intercontinental title....oops sorry, wrong Harts, Anyhow, Hart is still a mixed bag, his stand up i don't enjoy that much, but he is indeed funny, his films are even more spotty. I would rank this above Ride Along for sure, mainly for the charisma the Rock displays. Some of the "nerd" stereotypes are a bit old fashioned but i still had to chuckle as i hate Bronies . This is an enjoyable flick .
This is a film that looked like a lot of fun, it got god awful reviews but decided to check it out, it isn't bad. It reminds me of the type of film you would find on Comedy Central in the afternoon, something to have on if flipping through. Lois Leterrier was a good choice to direct as he knows action well, bur the script needed work. I think Sasha Baron Cohen's scripts are better when done as a mockumentary, i mean Borat is genius, but sadly nothing else has come close to touching it. I probably put this at the bottom of his vehicles.
Asylum is a mixed bag, some of their shit, well most, is pure shit, some of it is a lot of fun. Z Nation's first season hooked me, the second season was a tad crappy but still better than the Walking Dead, season 3....it is stupid for stupid's sake at times, and yes it can be enjoyable, but i wish i could say the show jumped the shark...but i am sure they legit will next season. Some episodes were honestly a struggle to get through, and i have always hated Warren, but she was on another level of cunt this year. I will still watch it next season, still better than Walking Dead.
Thursday, December 15, 2016
If you know me, you know how much Star Wars means to me, I fucking love it, it has been with me since childhood, the films, toys, books, comics, games, all of it. Last year The Force Awakens shook my world, it is easily my second favorite film of the decade, it is amazing. In my post last year i said that the anticipation of Force Awakens will never again be matched, that once the film begins, it is over, you are now in the world, enjoy the journey, never forget the moment, yada yada yada. I also said that the spin offs will lack the punch, but emotionally and artistically, as it will weaken the saga and just be a cash cow, which granted, yes George Lucas did himself, but now it is a yearly event. Marvel has become the same way, their films are all one, and not in a connected story sort of way, they just feel manufactured. I had a fear that Star Wars would suffer the same fate, and now i have seen the first spin off/stand alone/Star Wars Story/what have you, in Rogue One. I don't know what to think, a part of me thinks it is a great film, do not get me wrong, i think it is well crafted, well acted, well shot, awesome battles, well timed humor, and full of shit for fans to eat up.....but therein lies the problem, the other part of me is thinking I was fanboying myself by getting off on the references, cameos & inside jokes. However, i didn't get off on them, that is the problem, i chuckled and appreciated them, but nothing really gave me the goosebumps. I did not hate the film, i did not dislike the film, no, i thought it was great, but when i see it again, and yes, i will be seeing it again, i am going to view it differently, this time i tried to watch it as a stand alone piece where i knew the outcome, the second time i will know all but will see if it is indeed the film that is great, or just the references. As I am sitting here typing this, i just had a thought, the battles, the humor, the characters, if you take away the cameos & references, the film would still hold up. I am liking it more and more as i think about it, it was my most anticipated film of the year, and it did not let me down, i just need to know, why did i like it. The original trilogy, i adore, i don't know how many times i have seen them, and the Force Awakens, i have probably watched a good 15 times in the past year. There are two types of films, there are great films like The Revenant, and there are films you love like Mad Max(which is also great), but just because a film is great, doesn't mean you love it, you can respect it for being a piece of art, at the top of the field. The Revenant was great, but i truly doubt i will watch it again, Rogue One is great, but is it great in a film perspective, or is it a film to love. I will decide soon, i am thinking it is the latter, but the second viewing will solidify it. It is not the first three, it is not the Force Awakens. When i view it the second time, all will be checked at the door, i am pretty sure it will be a film to love, cause i am truly liking it more & more with each passing minute. I know some will say, weren't you let down initially by it, no, I wasn't, this isn't The Dark Knight Rises, a film crushed me when i saw it, and again the second time, then the third time, and again the fourth, but Bane kept getting better. This film was great, and as a Star Wars fan, i loved it, but i don't know if it is blind love i felt or just a cinephiles appreciation. To be continued, i will reveal on Facebook in the near future, my final verdict.
Wednesday, December 14, 2016
Sunday, December 11, 2016
Now as everyone knows, Evil Dead 2, amped up from the first one. Gore, gags, everything, now i prefer the first, it is more horror, but i love all in the series. The second season of the series is totally the Evil Dead 2, but unlike the films, i prefer the second to the first. This is pure fan service & horror bliss, splatstick gorgasms, and over the top perfection! Ash vs shit? You got it, Ash vs Deadites from previous films? You got it! The tree of rape? Yep yep! Possessed cars? Hell yes! Hallucinations and evil puppets? It makes sense, and it is awesome! This is the type of show cult fans thrive for! It is more fun than Walking Dead, not stupid like Z Nation, not overly serious like Marvel's shows, not corny like DC's shows, the comedy elements are hilarious, the horror elements and top notch 80's goodness, the type of effects & film(series) that all Evil Dead fans should want. Sure each entry gets less horror and more comedy, but figure it this way, Evil Dead was horror, Evil Dead 2 took the gore and ran with it into comedy, Army of Darkness took the comedy and embraced it. The first season was a gift to the fans that wanted a fourth film, and now the second season has proven to be perfection, it takes all the best elements, blends them together and gives us treats for the eyes. Your screen is painted red, the blood flows more than Game of Thrones and lets the fans get off every episode. You want a stub job, you want to be fucked by a chainsaw? Whatever your thing is.....yeah, i don't know, roll with it, then this show will make sure you cum, and when you cum, it will not be white, it will be red, actually it would probably be green mucus, but still bloody green mucus. This is true nerd tv, it has been fucking perfect! Oh and the music the season ends on? Fantastic!
Friday, December 9, 2016
Mainstream critics, or the critics of the world used to love to hate on horror films, the past few years it seems as though comedy is the new punching bag, some deserve it, films like Paul Blart are pure crap, but then you have stuff like Office Christmas Party, which sure may not be genius and not every joke works, but it get unfairly hated, I laughed enough to warrant it to be funny, and i was entertained throughout. Hell when i rewatch comedies i love, i rarely laugh, only certain films make me laugh again & again, this may not be one of them but point it, i can watch a comedy for pure entertainment purposes. TJ Miller is basically his usual character, as is Jason Bateman, but they play them well as usual and have great chemistry, Jennifer Aniston is a great bitch, Olivia Munn is actually decent in this, and i finally find her hot, Kate McKinnon is on fire this year, Vanessa Bayer is showing chops, Rob Cordry is his usual side chatacter but as usual, does a good job, Abbey Lee from Fury Road & Neon Demon is in a different type of role and it works, Jillian Bell steals the show as she has done in countless films. It may not be like the Night Before and is a new christmas classic but it is a fun watch for sure!
Wednesday, December 7, 2016
Season 19 was amazing, the best season in years, ever since going serial it has been great. This season, was good, but not great. With the shit fest political climate we are in and have been in the past few months, i was expecting more. The presidential stuff was good at first but post real life election, it went down hill. The troll angle was great at first but ran out of steam. Cartman's stance was super intrguining but seemed to be over shadowed at times and put on the back burner. The member berries were arguably the best part, but wound up falling flat and really not playing a factor at the end as much as i wanted them too.
Monday, December 5, 2016
I think the film, Westworld, is awesome, it is fun, i figured the show would be a different beast, and welcomed it. The pilot was amazing, I love JJ Abrams, Lost is my shit, so i figured, cool we will get a mind fuck of a series. What followed were some cool shoot outs, some nice asses, and some boring television, that is until the finale, holy shit, that was cool. There still were some bits that dragged, but that was a bad ass hour & a half of tv, and it too dealt in the mind fuck game. It is no where near as good as everyone says it is, but hell, most shows aren't. Most pander to critics or fanboys too much, but it is simply a good show. I hear the second season will not be on until 2018, which is okay, give it a break, i might return, but if the season 2 premier does nothing, i will throw in the towel. That is, if i decide to watch it, hell 13 months from now, maybe longer, imagine what the world will be like....Trump will be in his second year in office, Episode 8 will already be out, hell might be on dvd already, will dvd still be a thing? Nakamura could be main eventing Mania, i might be married to Alexa Bliss. who knows.
It is no secret i love Batman, i love the comics, the cartoons, the movies, the tv series, i love dark Batman, i love campy Batman, i love the Joker, i love him evil, i love him surfing. I was stoked when the old 1966 Batman series, was getting an animated movie, and it is a gift! It is full of jokes for the fans, it has "cameos" from villains with their actors likenesses such as Vincent Price, it is self aware of it's oh shucks morale, it has various Catwomen, it makes 66 Gotham scared of how Batman can be, and how some assume Nolan's Batman would have become(fascist). it even knocks that series awful ending, yes i hate the ending to that franchise. It is great having the cast back, i am stoked they are bringing it back again next year with William Shatner as Two Face, if we get more of these i will be happy. Batman's animated films have been great, and this one is the best of the year after the disappointing Killer Joke.
Wednesday, November 30, 2016
I just finished the Scott Hall documentary, it was pretty good. I am glad it was over an hour, but i still wish they would have gone deeper into the rise in the early 90s aswell as the politics involving the switch to WCW. It was more of a redemption tale and showcased his run ins with the law and his personal demons. It was the opposite of the Self Destruction of the Ultimate Warrior, in it painted him in a better light through recovery, it was touching. I have always been a fan of his, always will be, bad times don't last, but BAD GUYS DO!
Saturday, November 26, 2016
Thursday, November 24, 2016
I love Park Chan Wook, i adore the Vengeance trilogy, i think Thirst is underrated, i think his other films are solid but was let down by Stoker. THe Handmaiden looked like a return to form, and it is well made, it is a great sexual thriller, but honestly the sex and few moments of violence are the only real memorable pieces. Ultimately i found it rather dull, again well made, but rather dull, sure that might have to do with the fact that it is Thanksgiving, i have been stuffing myself all day and it is too cold out, but excuses for finding it boring aside, it is still a well made film. Just don't go into it expecting Oldboy or anything like that. It seems like a Brian DePalma film at times, and i love DePalma. If someone wants to watch it, i will gladly check it out a second time, perhaps notice things i missed. I suppose if it was maybe 45 minutes shorter i would have enjoyed it more, it is definitely art house, so i should love it, but it got tedious at times.
Elijah Wood knows how to produce weird shit, the dude has been knocking em out the past few years. The Greasy Strangler isn't great but it is fun, it starts off awesome, almost like a big budget Troma film, but by way of Adult Swim, in fact the film feels like an Adult Swim short. but therein lies the problem, it starts off awesome but the plot runs thing after about 30 minutes. Luckily the last 15 minutes picks back up, the entire film is weird which is good but the first act is bonkers anti humor, the middle act is beating a dead horse, but the final act gets alot more horror invilved and seems like an awesome short from Tromadance.
The trailer for this film looked like a blast, even if it did have that faux grindhouse vibe ricking in it, something i have grown tired of. Upon watching the film, it is fun, a lot of fun, however it does for sure have that passe exploitation feel. Now i love those kind of films, however now a days it seems if you market a film a certain way or have a over the top gore style, that it is a automatic win. Sadly it is not, while this film is fun it come across as Troma lite, like this is a film people will catch on Netflix but not delve deeper into the films it resembles when it is all said & done. The gore is cool and the colors & characters work, but it doesn't feel authentic, it is definitely better than say the new found self distributed films that scrape by, by pretending to be Troma, it has better production for sure, but still lacks authentication. If i am going to see a film of a cop killing criminals, i will watch Dredd. With that said, check it out, and remember just because you don't love a film, doesn't mean you didn't like the film!!
We have had a few awesome westerns in the past year, Bone Tomahawk, Hateful Eight, The Revenant, The Magnificent Seven remake, now we have In a Valley of Violence, which easily has the best opening credits and closing credits of the bunch. Ti West recovers from what i felt was a underwhelming film in the Sacrament, that along with some lackluster short subjects in anthologies has made a lot turn on West. I am still a supporter and glad to see him venture out of horror, John Carpenter never got to make his western, which i wish he had, but West can say he has made his, and ignore the haters, this was a good flick. It is not perfect, but it fits, it feels like a film Larry Fessenden would be attached to. Ethan Hawke is pretty good in it, he out shines John Travolta, and Taissa Farmiga & Karen Gillan could have both had more to work with, but this is a man with no name style film, so all eyes on Hawke. Hawke and the violence, cause the shootouts are pretty good in this. It is not West's best film, but far from his worst.
Mike Birbiglia is one of the best stand up comedians out there today. His first feature film, Sleep Walk With Me, was charming with tons of heart, i was hoping he would make a follow up soon. It took four years, but that is okay, i would rather have him take four years as opposed to two as long as the quality is there. Don't Think Twice is a great film about a group of Improv performers in New York. Birbiglia is the heart, the one that wants to hit the next level, but doesn't want to sell out, Keegan Michael Key is the one that gets the shot on Weekend Live *cough*SNL*cough*, Key's girlfriend is Gillian Jacobs, and she could achieve the Live show aswell, but she too feels her heart is at their small Improv group. Tami Sagher is the trust fund baby that still gets unemployment and still lucks out getting writing gigs, Kate Micucci is the comic book writer and most quit of the bunch, i wish they had shown more of her. A lot of the film's heart comes from Chris Gethard, whose dad is in a bad accident and occasionally brings the team together. The film shows how friends need to let their friends do their own things, whether that be letting them stay in their comfort zone or encouraging them to reach higher. There is backstabbing, stealing & lying, but your friends can be your family so show love. Breaking into comedy is tough, i have tried, so i love shit like this, this is the film that Funny People should have been, and i said the same thing about Sleep Walk With Me., Birbligia has passion and heart and his films show case what he loves.
I am a fan of the Duplass brothers, i think they get better with each film, i thought Blue Jay was one of thiers but it was written by Mark. From first time director Alexandre Lehmaann, coming from documentary film making, it works. The film almost feels like a doc, Sarah Paulson returns home, runs into her ex Mark Duplass, and the two hang out for the day. They catch each other up on their lives, visit old hang outs, see old people, rehash stories, listen to old rap tapes they made and you feel the love. Love always rears its ugly head, as it gets too much and we learn why their relationship became rocky. It is funny, it is sad, it is heart warming, and it is cringe worthy.
First, i am not a huge Jared Hess fan, i like his stuff but i don't love any of them. Napoleon Dynamite is fun sure, but it falls victim of overhype, it is not the indie comedy to end all indie comedies. Nacho Libre i should have loved dealing with wrestling but it felt too sophomoric, with the fart jokes, i blame Nickelodeon. The Gentleman Broncos is my favorite of his, fun underrated flick, i never Don Verdean, but i decided to watch Masterminds for two reasons. One, i wanted to see why it was shelved for a long time, and i don't know why. Sure it is not a good film, but in a fun Comedy Central afternoon type of flick. The second reason, Jason Sudeikis, the dude looked like he was going to steal to show in this, and he fucking did. The dude is great in almost everything he does, and is fantastic here! I just wish the rest of the cast was as good as he is, i mean they are their basic talents, but Jason outshines all easily. I wish the script was better, even though his lines are great, mainly due to his deliveries. I wish the film was a little better so more critics would appreciate his greatness. The film is worth a watch for sure, as it is not boring, it is quite entertaining, it just is a basic run of the mill comedy, no reason to get as much hate as it has, especially with Sudeikis killing it!
Wednesday, November 23, 2016
We are starting to get quite a few boxing films these days, Southpaw which was highly underrated, Creed which was great, now we have another that fite the mold with Southpaw, Bleed For This. it is not a perfect film, but hell, most boxing films outside of Raging Bull aren't. Miles Teller yet again plays a cocky prick but one that gains a heart along the way. It is a perfect set up for a boxing film, hot shot boxer is told he can't box again after near death, trains and fights his way to the top. Teller is an underrated actor, sure he got praise for Whiplash, but that is about it. Personally i think the dude is great, with this and War Dogs, another overlooked film, he keeps showing how great he will be!
A couple years ago Joe Begos brought us a different kind of alien film, now he is bringing us a psychokinetic horror sci fi hybrd that is if not better atleast on par with his first film. Both are amazingly shot and well scored, i think this one is finer tuned with how it looks, plus the score sounds like Carpenter, so i am always eating that shit up! When it started, it flt like a short, but it did not over stay its welcome, it moved into a nice feature film. I am glad it is a feature & not a shirt, as the story unfolds, there is more & more to like. Each frame oozes style, and you can tell this is a passion project. Begos in someone to watch, and it is inspiring that new faces are making an impact these days, even if in a niche field. The build up to the end shows he is a student of the game, as the climax is worth it, and fits at home in the 80's , but not in a faux way like so many films are these days, it feels pure & genuine.
Tuesday, November 22, 2016
Damn, i was not expecting this flick to be this good. I had read good things and buddies enjoyed it, plus i am a David Bruckner fan, not to mention Larry Fessenden is attached to it and he chooses wisely, so i thought it would be good, just not like this. Anthology horror is tough these days, for every Trick R Treat we get 2 Holidays. This film is about a fucked up town, the first story is a cool segment of guys stuck in a loop with these demons following them. Those demons follow some girls that stayed at the same hotel as the leads in the first. The girls are taken in by a cult, after an escape there is an accident, which leads us to the third segment, in which we see the town be monitored. That bleeds through to the fourth, and we get more hints that time doesn't matter and that this town is not to be found, and that characters actions make them come here, some deserve to be here. The fifth goes back to the hotel, and also shows us that time, is indeed a loop here, this is hell! It is easily the most unnerving. The first is probably my favorite segment, followed by the second, then the third, fifth & the fourth, none are weak, all are compelling and suspenseful, the narrative flows together nicely and the score is pretty damn cool! This isn't fun horror, it is bleak, but bleakness & mean spirited horror is refreshing from time to time. This year has had a few bleak horror flicks, and this one is one of the better ones, more so than the wider theatrical released films.
Sunday, November 20, 2016
This is a film that had a fun premise, and a trailer that looked okay, add on Max Landis and it is a mixed bag. For those writing it off, don't, watch it, it is a ton of fun. Sam Rockwell oozes charisma in it, even if it is a creepy form of charisma, Anna Kendrick is adorable, and in a cute psychotic sort of way. The film is pretty damn funny too, funnier than i was expecting. The shoot outs are well done, and Paco Cabezas blends the action & humor together well. This is not a perfect film, but it is a fun film. I am sure it will pop up on Netflix soon or even be at Big Lots for $3 in a year, and i would pick it up that way. Super fast pace, violence, humor, Anna Kendrick & Sam Rockwell rocking chemistry, Tim Roth in a cool role, Anna Kendrick being cute, Anna Kendrick, what more could you want? Also the way Sam Rockwell talks to the guys trying to kill him, pure gold!
We have now had two great films in 2016 featuring Nazis, Green Room, my favorite film of 2016 and now this. Imperium is yet again another great debut feature, so that alone should inspire us filmmakers. Daniel Radcliffe again shows how great his post Harry Potter career is, Swiss Army Man is one of my favorites of the year, and this here is some of his best acting. I love horror films, but i don't watch horror to feel fear, i watch them, cause i love cinema. I love all forms of cinema, now this here is not a film i will watch over & over again, it is great but it is not fun, but some film you can rewatch with out them being "fun", this here, makes your heart race, why? Because it is scary, this here is scarier than a horror film. This is real life, and this is the now, this film is highly important in our current climate, we are getting Nazi graffiti in schools, KKK & Nazi support for Presidential candidates, race wars, discrimination, the next four years will be terrifying, and this film showcases how hateful the world can be. It might now show full on attacks but the cold, calculating way the characters talk about others, plot against others & look at others is unreal, so unreal it is real, and sadly, it is real. When Radcliffe enters these facilities you fear for him, the paranoia is there, you feel as if you were in his shoes that you would be jumped or killed right away. These things happen, in our own "safe" cities, in our own "safe" neighborhoods. They will act charming, they can be intelligent, and be cultured, but their views are so skewed that if you were to have a conversation, your heart would race, and mine did the entire film. Great acting, great storytelling, a great film, a scary film, an important film, a film that many should see, i hope it finds an audience on netflix!
Saturday, November 19, 2016
The past few years has given us some great teen films, The Perks of Being a Wallflower, Dope, Me, Earl & the Dying Girl, and you can add another one the list, The Edge of Seventeen! The directorial debut of Kelly Fremon Craig, is a great one indeed! Hailee Steinfeld is perfect in the role of a cynical, introverted girl that has been having a shitty few years, her dad died, her crush doesn't want her, and her best friend is dating her brother. It deals with relationships with parents, accepting each other and fitting each other in to today's world. It deals with friendships, decade old ones that get rocky once relations happen. It shows how siblings deal with each other, even if they have nothing in common. Her friendship with her teacher, the fantastic Woody Harrelson is perfect, they bicker at each other, are honest with each other but understand each other. Her crush just wants to fuck her, her new friend loves her, and she comes of age. It is a great script, hella better than Juno, it has great acting, hella better than Juno, it looks great, hella better than Juno....and I like Juno. This is one of the best of the year, and for sure one of my favorites. Life isn't fair, people die, people hurt you, people forgive you, fuck those shitty high school years, find your place, and by the end of the film, you will find it, well atleast our main character will!
Friday, November 18, 2016
I hated the first two Harry Potter flicks, but saw the third because i loved Alfonzo Cuaron's Children of Men, and i wound up thinking it was awesome. I no longer hate the first two, but they lack compared to the others for sure, not as dark, but still fun. Now I was going in to the prequel with open expectations, I wasn't stoked, but i thought it looked good. It was, in fact, i liked it better than most of the originals. Eddie Redmayne played the perfect outcast, even in the wizarding world, Katherine Waterson was great as the straight laced Wizard Cop, Dan Foggler was perfect in his role, stealing his scenes, especially the scenes with Alison Sudol Ezra Miller was going all We Need to Talk About Kevin but in a Wallflower sort of way, Colin Farrell showed again why he is underrated as fuck The flick is fun, it is an adventure, and is a great blockbuster, and perfect for this time of year. There weren't any slow parts either, which is a problem the originals had, pacing, this one is fast paced and balanced humor & darkness well. I wish it had shown a bit more of the beasts and the suitcase, but we are getting sequels, so i will gladly wait. I liked how the film had shades of grey, both in the wizarding world politics of how they treat our leads, but also in terms of who is the main villain, because honestly there can be more than one viewpoint. It shows Farrell as the antagonist, then in a better light, then as the antagonist, then once more in a better light making a truce. The end sets up the future of the series in a good way, plus it tied up lose ends that needed to happen.
Wednesday, November 16, 2016
The first season of this series was great, the second tried too hard to both please critics & geeks, the third, seemed to find its stride, the fourth became post modern, the fifth was lazy, the sixth....is awful. Sure there were some cool moments in the gore department, and the concept was kinda cool, at first, but got dull quick, then they do a twist midway through, and i thought, here we go, this is going to rock, nope, more dullness. The show needs to embrace the sex & violence more, keep it in the 10 episode limit that it is at, but quit trying to be more artsy than you are. Your characters are flawed, fuck ups, embrace that, don't be afraid to be trash, embrace it, run with it, i want to love this show, but hate this season. Also with all the hype and fake videos throwing people off as to the plot, that was stupid, i get it if this was the final season, which it was supposed to be, but it is coming back, luckily fusing the only 2 good seasons. The finale atleast embraced a bit of camp and fun, something the show lacks, which is fine if that is what you are going for, but the show aims for camp but never delivers. I would say the finale was the best episode since the premier of Hotel. I loved how it was left open ended.
Tuesday, November 15, 2016
The MCU is great, it is, i mean, from Iron Man to Doctor Strange, we have had great films, sure the past couple of years have been rough post Guardians, but Strange fixed all that. Now DC, i love their shit too, but they were stupid not to connect their series, something Marvel did do. Look how awesome Daredevil was, especially the second season. Look at Jessica Jones, i mean Killgrave was awesome. Those shows had interesting leads, and even more interesting & charismatic antagonist....Luke Cage, didn't. Now Marvel has had dull villains before, but this one takes the cake, as a matter of fact, the whole show was dull, it was boring, it was AWFUL, i down right fucking hated this series. Folks say DC is boring, fuck that, they are interesting, they just need better scripts. Folks love the fun factor of Marvel, the shows aren't that fun, they are good but not "fun" in a light way. You look at Luke Cage next to Doctor Strange and would not guess they were in the same universe, i like that, i get it, but it makes folks that say DC is lacking of fun to be hypocrites. This was a struggle to get through, i love the comic, hell i have a Luke Cage figure in my room, but the show didn't resemble it, it felt like a crappy flick netflix saw at a festival & decided to release. It felt like a shitty screener with a budget. Most Netflix series i finish with in a week or so, maybe 2 tops, this took me almost 2 months. I wanted more of a 70s vibe, and i decided to not watch a second season, if i am lost in an Infinity War joke, so be it, at least i didn't waste my time watching a show that felt like a 00's single shot series. I am still stoked for the Defenders, i just hope Luke Cage get more to do. His fight scenes were cool, but holy hell, did i not care about anyone other than him & Claire, and she was just there, not as good as her Daredevil run,. Mike Colter is good, but give him more to work with, and embrace the comic!
We have had Hercules, well two of them, we have had Pompeii, hell we even had Centurion, all of these flicks are supposed to be epic of sorts, whether they be fictional or historic, larger than life, however, none have worked, and neither did Tarzan or Ben Hur. For Ben Hur you have the historic epic original, and this new one did nothing, it was mainly a overbloated bland blockbuster that cost too much, didn't have heart and didn't have support of the studio or fan fare, and it shows. No one wanted this flick, it was unneeded and felt rushed, watching it is a task. Same goes for Tarzan, the classic character of a simpler time, had a great cast, decent promise but felt just like another studio rush job to get a tentpole project off the ground. The thing is, unlike the 90s when we got flicks like these, they were done with out auteurs, but now we have plenty, and we are still churning them out to make a quick buck.
Disney is really hit & miss, more miss, in my opinion with these flicks. The remakes of classic animation, i wasn't big on Maleficent, Cinderella, or Huntsman(never saw the sequel), I loathe the Alice movies(well only saw the first, and yes, i know it isn't remake, a live action sequel, but whatevs). I thought the Jungle Book was a lot of fun, but Pete's Dragon, ugh, why? I mean it isn't awful, but it was just mediocre, very mediocre. Now the original isn't untouchable, and i am all for remakes of animation to live action, but this one didn't feel gran enough, as if Disney wasn't fully behind it.
Sunday, November 13, 2016
When i was like 11 i kept seeing these figures, Jay & Silent Bob, pop up in Toy Fair Magazine, I was intrigued, my uncle had figured out that he had a VHS that contained these characters. Clerks was the film, and it was lost on me. Then around the time of Dogma's release, some stations played Mallrats & Chasing Amy, I liked them but didn't love them. Then for some reason i rewatched them prior to Jay & Silent Bob Strike Back, and i got them all, i was 13, and i loved them, and i never looked back. For the next 5 years, leading up to Clerks 2, i watched them every time they would be on Comedy Central or USA, i had them all on VHS(still have Clerks) and bought the dvds, and they took regular spins in my player, and did they recently when i rewatched them for this post. Here is my ranking of every Kevin Smith film, with the exception of shorts, such as his segment in Holidays, utter trash.
My all time favorite film. For me it showed me on the screen, I related to them, they were guys stuck in a rut, all his Askewniverse films have been that way. I related to it at 13, and especially do these days. It inspired me to be a filmmaker, it was cheap, it was easily shot but it had amazing dialogue. I have seen it well over 37 times, and that is an understatement. The amount of love i have for this film is insane.
2. Clerks 2
I dressed up as Jay(which was pretty much how i looked back in 2006 regardless, for the premier. The audience was amazing, it was a celebration of the film by hardcore fans, and i legit cried during the opening credits.
3. Chasing Amy
Easily his best film, it has 90s raw indie grittiness to the look, plus it couldn't be made right now, and if it did it would be sparked with controversy.
Possibly the lightest of the Askewniverse but still amazing. Sure it has flaws, but Smith clashed with Universal while making it. The upcoming sequel series i am skeptical of, as i watch these films(the Askewniverse) once a year, and it is a hell of a lot easiler to binge a 2 hour movie as opposed to a tv season.
This showed Smith can do genre film, and he did it well. , it is a film that had protest back i nthe day, and i can only imagine what it would be like these days.
6. Jay & Silent Bob Strike Back
This is a film that switches with Dogma in spots, but i still love it. It is a celebration of the series, and is just a silly flick, a little too over the top at times, but fuck it, you can still have a good time.
7. Yoga Hosers
I don't get the hate for this film, it is stupid & cheesy but that is why i dug it. It starts off kinda lame but it gets so much better. Folks hating on it, must not be trash cinema fans, or shit like Critters. Sure it is dumber than those but it is a lot of fun. Johnny Depp is awesome in it, his daughter outshines Smith's daughter for sure, Justin Long is great aswell. Hell all the bit parts are good, the effects suck, but fuck it, it kind of works in the cheapness, smoke a bowl & enjoy it.
The comedic version of the Human Centipede, and a hell of a lot better than those films.
9. Zack & Miri Make a Porno
SMith said he wanted to make a Judd Apatow film.....Apatow had been making Smith films, overly long Smith Films, Smith>Apatow anyday!
10. Jersey Girl
Another film that gets a lot of hate, i may not watch it often, but it is not a bad flick by any means.
11. Red State
A highly divisive film of his, and i am still split. I liked it when i first saw it, but found it flawed. Then upond repeat viewing certain aspects get better, certain ones don't.
Now some directors have an evolution, but Smith's is an odd one. Clerks is a solid debut, Mallrats is a solid studio debut. one got loved, the other got hate, his third, got more love. Chasing Amy feels like the film that had fans thinking, holy shit, here it is, the next Smith movie. By time Dogma rolled around he had his cult. Jay & Silent Bob was a great swan song for the universe. Jersey Girl, with its flaws, still feels like a next step, he was trying something new. The backlash was there, he went back to the Askewniverse, and this time, it was a sequel, Clerks 2 was amazing, but that is where Kevin Smith died. Instead of trying to out Smith/Apatow Apatow, he should have just done something organic, hell porn still could have been involved, he just went about it the wrong way. Cop Out? Well we all knew he would do a directors for hire film, but atleast choose a better project. He then went back to "square one" distributing his own films, his horror films. Red State could have felt like Smith, but instead, feels like a film a Smith fanboy like myself would have made. Tusk feels like Kevin Smith yet, in a self masturbatory sort of way. Yoga Hosers doesn't feel like Smith at all, but i still thought it was awesome. Bring on Hit Somebody, bring on Clerks 3, do Mallrats 2, and close with Ranger Danger & the Danger Rangers.
Saturday, November 12, 2016
It has taken me a couple of days to write this up, mainly because I do not know what to think of it. The first scene is scene seems like Terrence Malick, which for some could be a good thing, for others a bad thing, next we see the Arrival of the aliens, it plays out perfectly, then Forest Whitaker shows up and the next 10 minutes or so, become rather dull, that all changes when we first see the UFO, the score sets the tone, and once inside, it is a tense, slowburn of a build, walking up the UFO in their gravity up to the window where the aliens are, the score is amazing and just fits in so damn well. It then slows down a bit again, becoming mainly a film about people writing, studying, and not a lot else happening. That changes again however, once Amy Adams boards the ship by her self, it becomes all mind fucky, and that is the films strength, non linear time, a possible multiverse theory because of it, flashbacks & flash forwards intertwining that it would make Lost proud. The end, was satisfying. Overall it was good, but it isn't as good as everybody says. It might be the best of the new trend of releasing a critical sci fi film every fall(Gravity, Interstellar, The Martian) but it is not Denis Villeneuve's best, that still goes to Sicario, I love Sicario.