July 31, 2012

[REC] 3: Genesis (2012)

(aka Why?)
Release Date: On VOD now, In Theaters on September 2nd.
Country: Spain.
Written by: Paco Plaza and Luiso Berdejo.
Directed by: Paco Plaza.
Starring: Leticia Dolera, Diego Martin and Javier Botet.

After loving the first two films in the [REC] series, we figured a third endeavor into the world of the possessed & infected would be a surefire hit with us.

Sadly, [REC] 3 left us feeling a bit cold...

[REC] 3: Genesis feels like a side-step away from the first two [REC] films, both in continuity and in tone. Although it's told within the same confines as the other [REC] movies, it's an odd, odd departure of sorts.

Do not go into this one expecting another visit to the creepy world of the possessed/infected that the first two movies gave us; this is more of a Horror comedy, if anything.

It's an odd one, that's for sure.

Clara and Koldo are about to be married, and they've gathered everyone that they know around them to celebrate their happy nuptials, and of course film everything via their cameras and cell phones. Everything is going as planned until old Uncle Pepe is bitten by an infected dog (the one from the first movie?) and goes all wonky on everyone.

"Fresh goes better with Mentos, Mentos fresh and full of life!"
It isn't long before the Demonic virus that we've all come to know and fear spreads, and turns just about everyone into Tristana Medeiros' bitch. A small band of survivors does their best to run from the horde of ravenous infected, utilizing suits of armor, chainsaws, and a diversionary busload of children to combat them.

He looks really happy... like he's in a Mentos commercial too!
If this move were merely an average, stand-alone Infected/Zombie flick, it would have come off as decent enough. Being the third installment in an up-until-now-great series though, [REC] 3 is baffling misfire. [REC] Universe elements aside, this one does bring the gore and plenty of Survivor vs. Infected goodness, and the Infected in this one look great as usual too. Visually, it's a solid movie.

On thing that we found especially interesting was how Paco Plaza had a character destroy the hand-held cameras that were being used to film everything, faded to black, then brought up the [REC] 3: Genesis title card. From then on, it was a standard film, rather than a hand-held film. We found that move to be both bold and surprising.

Now that is just cool.
Why was this movie so goofy? Why was there a naked guy in a sponge costume running around a wedding? Why did Clara announce her pregnancy over a PA system, in the middle of an Infected rampage? Why did it feel like we were watching a wacky comedy when the guys were running around in the suits of armor? Where did that chick get such graceful and deadly chainsaw skills? Where was all of the tension as the scares that the earlier films doled out so effortlessly? Why did this movie turn out so bad?

Mmm hmm, we know.
With the word "Genesis" in the title, you'd think that it would signify an origin story of some sort, and in this case, maybe even a prequel. Well, it signifies nothing, unless the dog from the first movie biting the uncle is the Genesis of it all... which still explains nothing. This movie should have been called "[REC] 0: A story to tide you over until the real third installment is done." That would have felt more apt.

At least we got a wet, hot chick to stare at...
As is par for the course with the [REC] movies, there's plenty of grisly looking Infected "Zombies" running around, barfing up blood all over people, biting them, and causing plenty of visceral carnage. They also get killed in all sorts of nasty ways, most notably by a pissed-off bride with a chainsaw. There's plenty of blood and gore to be had here, which is always a good thing, right? We really do wish they would have shown what happened on that bus though. We're sick like that.

Worst wedding reception ever.
Nope, no nudity to be found here.

Weddings suck. Also, Spanish weddings kill.

Now that's a great shot.
It's sad for us to have to say that [REC] 3: Genesis was a big letdown. It was goofy, clumsy, and worst of all, it felt as if it didn't really fit into the series. We have to imagine that Paco Plaza just wanted to make this movie as some sort of crazy experiment, while Jaume Balaguero was off making the real sequel to [Rec] 2, which is [REC] 4: Apocalypse. If not, then... well, bad Paco! See it if you love the series, just be ready for it to leave you feeling odd and unsure. We can only hope that the upcoming 4th and final installment in this series will bring it back to its past glory.

As a normal, non [REC] related movie, this one gets a C-. As the third installment in the [REC] series, it gets a...


[REC] 3: Genesis is available now on Blu-ray, DVD, and VOD.


Leticia Dolera is truly a Hottie, but we think she looks way better with longer hair, as evidenced in these pictures of her looking better with longer hair. Also, boobs.

July 30, 2012

The Digital Dread Report for July 31st

July has come and gone, but fortunately for we Videophiles, the last day of the month is a Tuesday!

This week's DVD & Blu-ray offerings are far better than they have been for the past few weeks.

As odd as it seems, out biggest must have of the week is First Born; we grew up on that flick, and to see the awesome little thriller about an evil step-dad and the kid who takes him on is a welcomed addition to our library.

Total Recall isn't our favorite Ahnuld movie, but it's a good one for the collection none the less. As far as Mystery Science Theater 3000 goes, any release by them is an automatic buy for us. That show was just crazy funny. You also can't go wrong with the A Blade in the Dark/Macabre/Shock 3-pack. We own them already, but if we didn't, we'd be all over that set. The Faculty and Phone are on the good side of the release fence too.

Most of the rest of this weeks releases are crap-shoots.

As far as the worst bets of the week go, there are a few we're avoiding. I really didn't like Detention at all, but that doesn't mean it wont find a loving audience for itself. Same goes for ATM, Sand Sharks and The Haunting of Whaley House;though they most likely wont find themselves a loving audience like Detention.

So get to shopping, just don't forget that next month is packed with great genre releases...

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July 29, 2012

The Theatrical Releaes Page has been updated.

... and plenty of movies have come and gone, and switched places.

Most Notably, Gangster Squad has been pulled from its September release date and pushed back until 2013, due to the theater shooting in Aurora, Colorado.

Of course there's lots of good stuff coming to theaters between now and December, although the options become fewer for we genre fans after October.

Click the pic above or visit the Navbar to see what's coming our way for the rest of 2012.

July 26, 2012

Theatrical Review: The Dark Knight Rises (2012)

Is one of the most anticipated movies in recent years a fitting end to one of the best trilogies of all time? Yes indeed, it sure as hell is. You know who directed it, you know who's in it, so let's just get on with the important bits, shall we?

When we last saw the Caped Crusader, he let his girlfriend die, took the rap for the murder of Harvey Dent, and growled whenever he talked. Eight years later, a maniacal mongoloid named Bane has come to Gotham City, determined to destroy it... but not before he destroys The Bat. Oh, and he isn't alone.

We're going to do our best to avoid any spoilers here, but we have to at least allude to a few things...

Why so growly?
Batman has become a bit of a pariah in the 8 years that have passed since the death of Harvey Dent, mainly because most people think that he killed him. With a new threat on the rise however, it doesn't take long for Gotham to welcome him back with open arms, mainly because they're hypocritical pussies that can't defend themselves. He confronts Bane, which doesn't go so well, goes to jail, goes wall climbing, and confronts Bane again, which kinda goes better the second time around. In the end, he finally solidifies himself as the symbolic protector of Gotham. Also, he has a little hover-plane thing that is awesome.

The Emo Billionaire.
Bruce Wayne is single, looking like a limpy hobo, he's broke, and he's a mopey bitch. It's gotten so bad that Alfred has taken to giving him the "I swore to your parents that I'd protect you..." speech about twice a day, to absolutely no effect. Once he decides to shave though, and has a few hot chicks all up on his jock, he gets his swagger back and decides that his self-induced "Bitch Sabbatical" has to come to an end. That does not stop Alfred from making that damn speech over and over again though... ugh.

This slinky little hooker shows up, gets a pearl necklace from Bruce Wayne, and then decides to cause some Havoc... and man oh man does she ever ride that Batpod better than Batman ever did. If Catwoman doesn't get her own movie after this, then the world is just not right. Sexy, sassy, bad-ass, and... well, we're just gonna double down on that bad-ass comment, she threatens to steal every scene she's in.

"For you!"
Bane is Gotham's reckoning. We know this because he told us so. Forget that he's a terrorist in league with the League of Shadows, because he's in a league all of his own (heh.) He wants to break The Bat both mentally and physically, and in all reality, he's near impossible to stop. Tom Hardy's turn as Bane was brilliant of many different levels. His voice was a tiny bit hard to understand once or twice due to his life-sustaining mask, and his accent was an interesting mix of Caribbean, Irish and Oxford Graduate, but when you think of Bane as a maniacal aristocrat with superhuman strength and a quiet rage to match, it all kind of makes sense. Did I mention that he wasn't alone?

What's his first name?
Joseph Gordon-Levitt owned this role and made this character every bit as important as The Bat himself, in his own way. That's all I'm saying on that topic.

Does Bane break the Batman? Is there more to some of the new characters than we first suspect? Do Lucius Fox and Jim Gordon survive? Does Bruce Wayne get laid? Does Anne Hathaway show off her Cat Toe? Will Alfred ever stop making teary-eyed fucking speeches at random intervals? To answer all of these burning questions at once; yes, no and maybe so.

"Let's hug it out, bitch!"
It's not the solid A+ we had envisioned to be, but TDKR is most definitely a solid A of an experience. In all fairness, some of the wind was knocked out of the movie's sails with the horrible tragedy of Aurora Colorado, but over time we may grow to see this movie as simply a movie.

Christopher Nolan has directed himself a masterpiece here, despite its flaws, and his Batman Trilogy will go down as one of the best ever. The man can craft a film, and though some may criticize various elements of his productions, the overall genius of his storytelling ability can not be denied. His movies are visually perfect, and the eye candy is always underscored with a large amount of sentiment and meaning. He shoots allegory, and he does it in brilliant fashion.

The allegory here is "Don't trust bitches."
Christian Bale was flawless here per usual (despite the Batman growl never being something we loved), and Tom Hardy makes a hell of a Bane (despite many people having issues with his voice as well.) Both are fantastic actors, and it looks as if Hardy's star mat finally start to rise after this movie. Anne Hathaway was dead solid perfect as Catwoman/Selina Kyle. Girl can act, and all of the people who winced when her named was first attached to the part are eating crow (aka her dick) now.

The wild card addition in all of this has got to be Joseph Gordon-Levitt's John Blake; we've always suspected that his character would be more than just another supporting role, and we're glad that we were right. He provided some of the film's best moments, and it made us wish he had been along for the ride from the very start of Batman Begins...

...and so does he.
It doesn't even need to be said that everyone else like Michael Caine, Morgan Freeman, Gary Oldman, Marion Cottilard and the others all did their jobs admirably as well, but out of the supporting cast, it was Alfred that shined the most. In a way, this last story may have had the most to do with him, as he provided most of the emotional resonance in the film. We will spoil this one small thing; he survives, though he is forever changed. In that respect, he represents Gotham as a whole.

A few things need mention here; first and foremost, as long as the movie was, it felt as if there were scenes cut out that made some of the middle parts of the film feel clunky. Arguably there were a few plot holes present, but I suspect that a longer cut might smooth over some of the inconsistencies. It also bears mentioning that while a majority of Bane's dialogue was more than discernible, it was at times a bit hard to make out. Once it hits Blu-ray and we can throw some subtitles on screen, it can't imagine it will be an issue for many people anymore, aside from the haters that will hate no matter what. People like that just want to watch the world burn.

"Snuw mreff Beautifunnh."
Everyone who has been a part of this magnanimous trilogy got to play at least a small role in the final chapter, save for Heath Ledger. A scene of him laughing maniacally from his Arkham Asylum jail cell or a quick shot of him causing some sort of mayhem on the streets of Gotham would have been perfect. In that role, he was perfect.

We still miss you, Heath.
The very last shot of the movie, because... damn. Also, any time Batman and Bane knuckle up, and every time we see Catwoman on the Batpod, because... damn.

Some clueless Internet fan-boys and critics will have you believing that TDKR is not what we had all hoped, but make no mistake, this film is a near perfect end to a near perfect trilogy. It has flaws; there's no escaping that fact. Let us liken the film's flaws to a Lamborghini with a scratch and two small dents on the rear quarter panel; it's still a gorgeous car that rides amazingly well, and after hitting that accelerator and taking a few turns, screw the rear quarter panel. It becomes irrelevant.

Nolan and his cast and crew have given us an epic conclusion to and epic story. It's sad to think that this part of the Batman Legacy has ended, but as these films have preached to us since their inception, there's always hope for a better future. In this incarnation or another, The Dark Knight will return, and like the people of Gotham, we will be waiting.



TDKR is packing Double Hottie heat! Here's the thing though, why didn't these two wrestle in this movie? Maybe we'll get that special dream scene as an Easter Egg on the Blu-ray come December... dare we dream?