April 26, 2011
Whether pure movie buzz or by poster art alone, this is what has us talking lately here at THC...
You had us at "naked in the water." We've been waiting for this one for a loooooong time... This is most likely gonna suck, but it has Tori Black in it, so we're there. She sucks too. Google her. True story. We're dying to see what Ti West does as a follow up to House of the Devil. Cabin Fever 2 does NOT count. This crazy Russian movie know as The Edge in the English speaking world looks interesting... and greasy. Little Known fact: I was the first person to ever make Kevin Smith laugh on Twitter. True Story. I screen-shot the tweet. Awesome, right? It's all I've got, so please let me have it. Anyway, Kevin Smith is a fave of ours, so he gets our automatic attention when he delves into horror territory. Estella Warren. That is all. It took us 7 minutes of constant staring to notice there was a severed head in this poster. Adrien Brody's 535th horror movie since 2009... and it looks pretty good. This looks great, and it's finally coming out in June.
What feelings do these posters inspire in us, by the art and taglines alone? Fear and disdain, mostly.
I'm all for the nice ass and the bloody blade, but the Mafia hit squad in the back.. makes me think I'll just forgetaboutit. Capice? Shit in the woods. or Un-bear-able. I like 'em both. David Decoteau is the gay Uwe Boll. There, I said it. You spelled "bleeding" wrong. Shitted. I was going to use "Good Will Cunting", but that's a harsh word to use, even in jest. Let's just say, "it does not look like it is a good movie." Something tells me, this movie didn't find him... Finally, a movie for Twilight fans to rip on! You just know that the T&A is not going to be there. I'm pretty sure that nothing appeals to gay dudes other than rock hard abs and pouty twinks. And no, it's not the same as me watching a movie based on boobs alone... boobs are artistic, and add context to the average film. So nah!
April 24, 2011
BATTLE: LOS ANGELES
Cast Members of Note- Aaron Eckhart, Michelle Rodriguez, Bridget Moynahan and.. Ne-Yo?
What's it About?- Once again, aliens are invading the earth, and this time they're here for our water (because we have a lot of that.) There's no Will Smith to help us this time, so naturally Aaron Eckhart and his rag tag band of Marines are called upon to step up and do the job. He fist fought the Earth in The Core and saved humanity, so I have pretty strong confidence in his world saving abilities.
Along the way, the Marines rescue a bunch of civilians and decide that the new mission is to get them to safety, which is extraction point Alpha Whisky Tango Charlie or something. I'm pretty sure that's treason, as they were ordered to guard a police station, but Aaron Eckhart is a softie. Yes, a Staff Sergeant CAN have a heart of gold!
There's not really much else to say plot wise: everyone runs around shooting and hiding, and of course, dying. Oh, and Aaron Eckhart emotes. A lot. He also saves some kids and teaches them how to love again.
The Good- If I had to describe this movie in one quick sentence, it would have to be something along the lines of "It's like Black Hawk Down with aliens." The reason that the movie worked so well for us, was that it played more like a war picture than a sci-fi extravaganza. Much like Monsters and District 9 were more about the humans in the movie than the aliens, BLA focused on the human reaction; sure there's a huge, global, alien invasion going on, but this isn't a crap-fest like ID4 or Transformers, where the spectacle of it all rules the screen.
No, the human conflict drives this movie forward. We get plenty of alien battle goodness, don't get me wrong, but ti just doesn't seem as fluffy as most Sci-fi invasion flicks do. Then again, maybe I'm just a sucker for awesome special effects and sappy speeches. And Michelle Rodriguez killing things. Either way, this is a fun flick that didn't make us feel less intelligent for watching it.
The Bad- There were one or two moments in the film that felt really... cheesy. Chief amongst them, is the scene where Aaron Eckhart starts naming off his fallen troops by name rank and serial number... I'm sure it was supposed to be deeply touching, but it came off as schmaltzy. I love an emotional catharsis as much as the next guy, but I prefer them to be touching, not sadly embarrassing.
The Downright Horrendous- This movie made me aware that we stereotype rappers far too easily. We think them street savvy and rough, and don't stop to consider that maybe there is a multi-talented, multi-layered artist inside, just dying to express themselves by playing thugs, drug dealers and car-jackers on film. Good for you Ne-Yo. Now go and teach DMX how to act, would you?
The Gory- Exploding aliens and dying humans abound, so there is a decent amount of the red stuff in this one.
The Naked- The only thing naked in this movie was Aaron Eckhart's soul.
What did we learn?- That Marines can pretty much defeat anything. Also, Michelle Rodriguez is in every movie where a manly hot chick is needed...
The Master Says- A As "mindless" actions flicks go, this one is pretty damned entertaining. Better still, it's not totally mindless; it tugs at the emotions a bit, and actually gives us characters that we end up pulling for. Battle:LA isn't wining any Oscars or anything, that's for sure, but if you like your alien invasions loud, action packed and fun, then you really can't go wrong here. I think it fits in well with the Reality/Hand Held sub-genre, along with flicks like Monsters and District 9.
Final Thoughts- Even though she let Tom Brady knock her up, we like Bridget Moynahan. Tom Brady? I guess it's better than Ben Rapelesberger...
April 20, 2011
As TV shows go, AMC is pretty much the pinnacle of quality programming. The fact that The Walking Dead is amazing goes without saying on this site, but Mad Men, Breaking Bad, and Rubicon (yes, it was cancelled, but deserved better) are just as good, if not in a horrified way.
The Killing though brings the same level of storytelling excellence closer to the horror arena, with what is basically a murder mystery.
From Wikipedia: Set in Seattle, Washington, the series follows the police investigation, the grieving family and the suspects, after the homicide of a young girl, Rosie Larsen. Each of the 13 episodes will chronicle one day of the investigation. In comparison to the Original Danish series, executive producer Veena Sud explained, "We're creating our own world. We are using the Danish series as a blueprint, but we are kind of diverging and creating our own world, our world of suspects and, potentially, ultimately who killed Rosie Larsen." Sud describes the series as "slow-burn storytelling in a sense that every moment that we don't have to prettify or gloss over or make something necessarily easy to digest, that we're able to go to all sorts of places that are honest, and dark, and beautiful and tragic, in a way that is how a story should be told.
4 episodes in, and we here at THC are hooked. Michelle Forbes (recently of True Blood fame) is blazing a trail towards an Emmy nomination with the dork she's done so far as the distraught mother. It's moody, bleak, and above all, compelling as hell.
If you haven't already, get a hold of the first episode, and were pretty sure you will be too. Now I need to go and dig up this Forbrydelsen and see what the Dutch version is all about...
April 19, 2011
"Sudden, gory death hides behind every bush. When beautiful Jennifer and her friends embark on a backpacking excursion deep into the woods, they come chest to chest with an evil as old as the trees. Listen...above the crackling of the campfire...is that the sound of a twig snapping or your best girlfriend's neck? The interlopers discover that when the locals warn you not to trespass, it's a warning you should heed."
*For the record, no locals really warned anyone about anything.
At 5:29 in, when one of the already annoying characters announces "I'm addicted to piss videos", any and all hope of this movie not sucking on a large scale went right out the window. And let's just forget that absolutely nothing horror related even comes close to happening until around the 28:00 mark (of a less than 80 minute movie), because when the "action finally begins, it's so bad that it inspires sadness rather than any sort of fear, dread or tension.
Here's what must have happened: The director of this movie must have been stoned one day, and thought, "Hey, I can make a horror movie that's witty and awesome!" Randomly, jsut liek that. So he went and pawned his Playstation 3, found a group of people that couldn't act to save their lives (save for maybe one or two), took 20 minutes to write what may be one of the lamest scripts filled with some of the worst dialogue of all time, and said, "Action!"
"Hey dogfucker, I bet you wish you finished high school now."
"Do you like a little moonshizzy, Dogfucker?"
Pelt isn't kitschy, clever or witty, even though it looks as if it the filmmakers thought otherwise. I'm not even sure why movies like this get made. Be as cheap as you want to be while making a horror flick, but at least try your damnedest to make it good. Decent even. Low budget writers and directors need to stop thinking themselves more clever than they truly are. Save the humor for the professionals, and stick to the basic tenants of horror movies, you know, like making us give a shit what happens on screen, give us an interesting character or two, build some tension, make a story that's either interesting or at very least visually compelling...
In movies this bad, where the characters inspire nothing but pure hatred from the audience, I usually find myself wishing a death on them all, because as shitty characters, they deserve it, This time however, I found myself wishing death on myself for sitting through this God awful mess. Not only is it a shoddy production from top to bottom and painful to sit through, but it's boring.
Why is it called Pelt? Why does the killer look like a farmer with his hat pulled low over his eyes? Where is the gratuitous nudity? Why was the ever present "lesbian kiss" so lame and goofy?
It really goes without saying that this movie is awful, and there's really no reason to even waste a post talking about it, save for one, and her name is Amber Bollinger. She deserves a little bit of love.
Amber Bollinger plays the slut of the group, and I mean the kind of slut who begs her BFF's boyfriend to plow her ass in the middle of the forest. I think that any time a girl is so adorable that she makes you genuinely care whether a dish-rag whore lives or dies is commendable. Amber Bollinger is that cute, and as it turns out, she's got herself a little career going involving music videos and commercials, most of which showcase her as being a fairly decent actress... of course it's the fact that she's really hot that we like the most, but she could actually be something in the horror genre if she'd catch a decent break or two.
She was in a little 2009 flick called Sutures (review here) that was decent, so we know she has it in her. She also showed decent screen presence in these music videos. Watch them and don't fall in love, I dare you:
See, she's cute, no? And she has certain "thing" about her, right? Let's hope we see more of her in the future, and that it involves a decent level of nudity when we do. Don't be a prude, Amber Bamber, and show us your Twitter!
Aside from one tasty little actress to enjoy, this movie brings nothing to the table, save for frustration. Go use your hard earned, recession weary dollars on something more worthwhile... like burning it in piles to make a statement.
You just knew it was gonna suck, right? Us too. Wes Craven's been on a weak roll with his films as of late (My Soul to Take, Cursed), it's the 4th installment of a slasher series, and it's a Hollywood horror picture, which let's face it, means that it's most likely going to be glossy and lame. So we weren't too hyped up to see it, although we were admittedly curious about it all...
But, ha! It didn't suck! In fact, it was pretty damned good.
The Scream movies have always been a fun, tongue in cheek love letter for the horror genre, by the horror genre. The first one worked so well back in 1996 because it was self aware, and it told us that it was alright to love it, even with all of it's cliches and flaws. The first one was great, and the sequels were decent enough, but all critiques aside, they were fun slasher flicks, and that's that. Not to mention that the first Scream single-handedly breathed life into a DEAD horror genre in the late 90's. Go to Wikipedia and look up horror films: 1990's... Some gems can be found here and there, but for the most part it was slim pickin's as far as quality goes.
So 15 years later, here comes Uncle Wes once again bringing us back to Woodsboro for another go around with Ghostface.
It's the same basic story as the previews two sequels; Sidney returns home for some reason or another, and she's all nervous to be there but coping with her past, Gale's still a bitch, Dewey is still a loveable dork, only he's sheriff now... you know the drill. Smart, self-aware in-jokes fly like left and right like a flock of flaming birds, the smart Jamie Kennedy-ish film geeks break down the new rules for us, and everyone is made to look suspicious, to keep us guessing as to who is doing the killing this time. Oh, and Ghostface still really wants to terrorize Sidney, which is really the point of it all.
And man it was like seeing old friends.
Emma Roberts is the new blood in part 4, playing Sidney's cousin who ends up being the focal point of the movie for the most part. She's a great actress and adds a lot to the movie, probably because she's also a great hottie. Sidney get's her share of the spotlight too, of course, and the best part about her character in this one is the fact that she's kinda ballsy and tough, which made for a few good fight scenes. Oh yes, she breaks out some Krav Maga on Ghostface and goes all Fright Club on his ass. See what I did there? Fright Club... like Fight Club, because there's fighting and it's scary... never mind.
The big question everyone seems to have regarding part 4 is "Does Sidney die at the end, or is it revealed that she is the killer this time?" We aren't going to spoil anything that big of course, but we will say that while you might see the ending coming a bit before it arrives, it's pretty cool. We actually found ourselves surprised when certain people got knocked off by Ghostface, because we were just sure it was them. These movies have always been fun little guessing games, and this one is no different.
Of course the real star of these movies is Ghostface him/her/their self. The iconic killer is back in a big way in scream 4, slicing and dicing loads of kids up in creative ways, and just being all kinds of anti-hero bad-ass. I known, he's no hero, but don't tell me some people don't cheer for him! Ghostface seems for pissed off and menacing in this one, and his theatrics are just as good as they've been in any of the Scream movies.
The Good- The sheer amount of hotties crammed into the cast; Sidney's tough new attitude and karate skills; Ghostface's Venom; Emma Roberts showing off her acting awesomeness; Rory Culkin proving once again that he's probably the best actor in all of the Culkin clan; Hayden Panetierre and her horror-smart hotness; Anthony Anderson playing it with very little humor, and being pretty good at it; "I'm in the closet"; the blood; the kills; and basically the overall feel of the movie.
The Bad- Dewey's bumbling can be annoying; Gale's anything; Why couldn't Anthony Anderson have lived? We like him; Not enough time was spent on Sidney's character, because the ensemble was big... she/Neve was great in this, and deserved more to do.
The Downright Horrendous- Hayden Panetierre's hair... what the hell? Let it grow back girl!
A This is one of those horror flicks that we all need to get our tails to the theater and support, because it was great. Not perfect, but great none the less. If you love the Scream movies, and especially the first one, then you'll love number 4 as well, because it's jsut about as good as the 1996 original. It's great to see Wes Craven and Ghostface back in good form, and we are not opposed to the idea of Scr5am. Scre5m? Screa5? Oh hell, a part 5!
Yeah, we just asked for another sequel. Make it happen, Wes.