March 27, 2011

Review: The Resident (2011)

"The main resident here is mediocrity..."
Sub-Genre- Psychological/Thriller
Cast Members of Note- Hillary Swank, Jeffrey Dean Morgan, Lee Pace and Christopher Lee!

Hillary Swank is a doctor who needs a place to live. Jeffrey Dean Morgan is a creepy creep that has an apartment for rent... do you see where this is going? He's lonely, horny and mentally-ill, she's dumb and a bit slutty... Get it yet? Long story short, she moves in, teases the creepy landlord, does it with him (I think), then kicks him to the curb to "work things out" with her ex-boyfriend. It's pretty much a recipe for disaster.

"It's going to be so nice to rape you.. I mean, get to know you."
I'm pretty sure saying "let's be friends" to a mentally unstable psychopath is probably the worst idea ever. Those words can drive decent, kind men into fits of rage, let alone a nut-job who jerks off in walls while watching women eat cereal or brush their hair. And once you do provoke him with such horrible words, and creepy things start happening in your apartment building, why snoop around trying to figure out "what's going on here?" Smile at him until he leaves, then quietly run out of the building and don't come back.

"I rub my jazz on your face while you sleep... LOL!"
Of course there would be no movie if our heroine acted rational, so of course she stays and continues to piss him off. Libidos flare, tensions flare, Christopher Lee's arthritis flares... and we're left wondering if Hillary Swank can escape the evil clutches of Rape-O, the landlord. This is Hollywood though, so you kind of have to know how it's going to end.

Badly. It's all going to end badly.
This movie is like Fatal Attraction with pinches of Pacific Heights and Hider in the House thrown in for good measure. Really, the strongest thing going for the movie are Hillary Swank and Jeffrey Dean Morgan; both are great actors and hold it down in this one, despite the fairly generic storyline. It's always nice to see Christopher Lee in action too, bless his aging little heart!

If you like to watch the occasional by-the-numbers thriller, and don't really care if a movie feels rehashed and familiar, then you should dig this one. It's safe, harmless, and entertaining enough. You'll want to like it more than you'll end up liking it, but you just have to take it at face value and not pick at it too much if you want to enjoy it at all.

His passion knows no limits.
The last 15 minutes of this movie took away the feel of most of what came before it, as if the filmmakers felt they had to "Horror it up" a bit to finish strong. Not horrible, but it felt a little bit out of place.

"The Eye of Sauron is ever watchful..."
Why in the world did she not call the Cops once she realizes she's been drugged and that her landlord is creeping around in her walls? I mean, she installs some expensive cameras in her apartment because she's suspicious, but alerting the Police or doing a background check on the guy or the building isn't a viable option? Weak sauce.

Nothing creepy about that.
We get some fun needle violence and some messy nail gun violence, but it's nothing too crazy.

Hillary Swank has no problem either getting naked or bathing on film. Also, it appears as if she likes to lotion her body up all seductive-like on film too. Fine with us.

I'm sorry but no one takes a bath like this. Sit up already.
Never move into any building if it means that Christopher Lee is going to be your neighbor. Also, there are always rats in the walls.

For a Direct-to-DVD thriller, this is a pretty decent movie. A solid cast helps of course, but beyond that, the movie gives us a straight forward story and manages to keep things interesting throughout, and builds the tension fairly effectively. You could do worse than adding this one to your Netflix queue. Then again, you could certainly do better, too.


Hillary Swank... sometimes I think she's really hot, sometimes not so much. It confuses me. Still, I think she's a "Do Want." Maybe.

March 20, 2011

Review: Rubber (2011)

"This movie was wheely hard to like, and yes, I just went there..."
When we first saw the trailer for Rubber, we were absolutely geeked: we've seen Black Sheep and loved it, because it rocked; we watched Black Devil Doll, because it looked too ridiculous and awesome to be true (it was decent); we sat through Thankskilling because it looked crazy (it sucked.) So sure, Rubber had one of the cheesiest plotlines of all time, but we'll be damned if it didn't make us giggle and swear that we had to see it asap.

A telekinetic tire named Robert, on a murderous killing spree? Come on, it's just crazy enough to be brilliant! On paper.

On film however, Rubber and it's "fresh" plot are nowhere near brilliant. In fact, the movie teeters on the edges of annoying and painful more than anything else. It was fun in a quirky way for about the first 10 minutes, as were introduced to our killer tire, Robert, and we see him learn his surroundings and travail the land in search of...something. He crushes a can, he crushes a bottle. He rolls and falls. He looks around as a human would, then rolls on again. He tips over. Pretty neat stuff.

Robert don't give a fuck.
When he happens upon his first live victim, a rabbit, the movie ceases to be interesting. Meet a rabbit... it explodes. Roll on. Meet a bird... it explodes. Roll on. Meet a random string of people... heads explode. Roll on. Repeat. Repeat. Repeat. It was all very underwhelming and uninspired, and as the movie wore on, got harder and harder to stomach.

Worse still (yes, there is a worse still), was the plot involving the spectators. Oddly enough, this horrible and nonsensical plot line took up most of the movie, almost pushing Robert and his story to the background. Sure, we get that the spectators were us, and the filmmakers were making a "statement" about movie audiences and how they will take what's fed to them for the most part, but go fucking preach to someone else already... or...  at least make your preaching clever and enjoyable, so as to validate your own point.

And for those fans out there who defend this movie by saying "but it's a scathing jab to the midsection of Hollywood, and an indictment of their unoriginality... you just aren't getting it!" We get it. The fact of the matter is that Rubber was not an enjoyable movie, no matter what its purpose. If you're going to make movie about how shitty Hollywood drivel can be, at least don't make it shitty itself, or you're not really making much of a statement at all.

You're sheep. All of you.
This was a disappointment. It's a one punchline joke that repeats itself over and over, managing very few moments of actual humor. It isn't scary, though it's fairly bloody in spots (but even that was pretty underwhelming too.) In the end, Rubber isn't nearly as smart as it thinks it is, and it's a sad thing too; it could have been a brilliant little slice of B-movie schlock had it stuck with the tire aspect and tried to play it straight.


They're in this.


March 8, 2011

Review: Rare Exports: A Christmas Tale (2010)

"If this movie isn't on your to see list, you'd better check it twice..." Much like Vikaren, or maybe even The Monster Squad, Rare Exports is a family-friendly "Horror" flick that is definitely geared towards a younger crowd.

Deep in the snowy mountains of Finland, life is simple: for the most part, people herd reindeer and grimace at each other a lot. That's pretty much it. So imagine how exciting it is for little Pietari to discover that a nearby mining company has unearthed the frozen grave of... Santer Klaus! Is that what they call him in Finland? Sinterklass? Father Christmas? Joulupukki? I don't know, I'm just trying to talk about Santa here.

Santa isn't fat and jolly in Finland; no, he's wizened and gangly, and above all else, he's really creepy. He gets off on punishing the naughty children, and I'm pretty sure he's into eating them too. That said, it makes perfect sense for a group of local villagers to throw him in a cage and poke him with sticks, threatening to sell him into prostitution to pay for their dead reindeer... which he apparently ate. Also, the children of the town are disappearing, and only little Pietari seems to notice...

From here on out the movie gets all sorts of crazy, culminating in some daring helicopter acrobatics and a showdown with Santa's Elves. Don't ask, just sit back and enjoy the fun of it all, would you? 

Oh, Joulupukki is not happy at all right now.
Rare Exports is a fun and fresh ride, and is definitely a movie that caters towards the younger Horror fans out there; it's not totally a kids movie, but rather is enough of one in tone and content that it's not only safe for them to watch, but they should love the hell out of it when they do. Imagine if the Monster Squad and The Thing had a baby, and it was adopted and raised by The Goonies and Vikaren. That's this movie in a nutshell. The best news is, it's a great watch for adult Horror fans too.

The idea that Santa Claus is a creepy, evil, twisted monster that really only exists to punish the wicked is a hell of a concept, and Rare Exports makes the most out of the premise, and does so in a really fun way. There's a twist that comes a bit more towards the end of the film that I didn't see coming, and it "changed" the movie for me a bit, but it worked well. Despite it being a bit different than I had expected, I have to say that the ending made me cheer a little, as a kid basically steps up and saves everyone's asses for them, because the adults just can't seem to get their shit together.

Good for you, Pietari. You're a good kid. 

Finland's biggest hero. *Shout out to Teemu Selanne, who is pretty heroic in Finland too.
If there's a negative aspect about the movie, for me at least, it's that I would have liked to have seen a bit more bloody carnage from ole' Santy Claus and his Elves. I like how it all played out, but I guess I was expecting more of a murderous killer Santa rampage kind of thing, rather than what I got. I'm not really complaining, I'm just sayin'.

Rare Exports is a fun, interesting take on the legend of Santa Claus, and you should definitely give it a chance. Be warned though, you'll have to endure subtitles to watch this one, so no whining about "man, I don't want to have to read my movies!" Just suck it up and push through, would ya?


Rare Exports: A Christmas Tale is available now on Blu-ray, DVD, and VOD.

 So, um, I guess he's not all that Holly or Jolly in person?

March 1, 2011

Boris's oil -based Rubber

When it comes to crazy awesome art, it doesn't get much better than Boris Vallejo. His paintings are instantly recognizable to any fantasy or comic book geek worth their salt, especially those into erotic fantasy art. Now, that may sound dirty, but really, it's ridiculously tasteful while being "sexy", so don't discount it. It's crazy good. Brilliant even. Now Boris has gone and done a painting for the upcoming telekinetic-tire revenge flick, Rubber. We are officially geeking out over this new poster. If you arent familiar with Boris's work, you need to get right and go google him, to see what the man does. Now.