May 31, 2015

R.I.P Betsy Palmer (1926-2015)

We're sad to have to report that Betsy Palmer has passed away. An accomplished character actress for nearly six decades, on both stage and screen, she will be remembered by most for her classic turn as a vengeful mother, dispatching careless camp counselors in clever & bloody ways in Friday the 13th (1980)
It was only a few weeks back that we did a post about Mother's Day Horror Movies, and right at the top of that post was Betsy Palmer's Mrs. Voorhees, mother of Jason. She took the role because she needed money to buy a new car, and she never thought that it would ever amount to anything, but 35 years later, her turn as Mrs. Voorhees still stands as one of the most iconic in Horror History... and she was on screen in that movie for all of what, 10 minutes?

If that isn't a testament to her talent, I don't know what is.

If you listen to the talk on the Internet, anyone who has ever met her has nothing but great things to say about her. Sweet, kind, cordial, lovely... and about 100 other words that convey the same sentiment: that Betsy Palmer was a wonderful person.

In the end, iconic role aside, that sounds like the best kind of legacy for her to leave behind.


May 30, 2015

Horror Hotties: The Ladies of Mad Max: Fury Road (2015)

Before we get to our review of the endlessly fantastic Mad Max: Fury Road, we have to take a look at the ladies who made the movie so great: the World Class beauty of Charlize Theron; the stunning Rosey Huntington-Whiteley; Elvis's granddaughter, Riley Keough; Lenny's daughter, Zoe Kravitz; and the crazy hot Abbey Lee, Courtney Eaton, and Megan Gale.

Not only are they sexy as hell, but they kick all sorts of ass in this movie, which really only serves to make them extra sexy. So they're extra sexy as hell.

Blogger has put a kink in our works!

Windows Live Writer no longer works with Blogger.

What this means for us is that until Blogger fixes things on their end, or until Live Writer is made Open Source, we're not going to be able to update any of our Release Date Pages, Review Archives, Hottie Archives, etc... The reason for this is that Blogger has no image formatting abilities that allows us to add margins and such to individual pictures, we have no way to format Release Date or Review Archives posts the way that we normally do.

It won't affect reviews and other normal posts, but from an organizational standpoint, and as far as being able to keep Blu-ray & DVD, VOD, TV, Theatrical, and Netflix release dates current, we're out of luck.

We talked to a guy from Microsoft who assures us that a fix is on the way, and the second this issues is resolved, we'll update everything. For now though, there's not much that we can do.

The picture below sums up our feelings on the issue.

Theatrical Review: Poltergeist (2015)
We've come to accept that remakes are a big thing in Hollywood, and in the Horror Genre especially. People want what's familiar, and Hollywood wants to make movies that are "safer" from a financial standpoint, so it makes sense that they want to remake everything that people have already seen.

We can bitch and moan all we want to, but until the day comes when people stop paying to see remakes, and reboots, and re-whatevers, and instead start spending their money on more "original" properties, they are never going to stop.

That being said, if Hollywood is going to endlessly remake the hit movies & TV shows of yesteryear, then they could at least put more care into them than they did with this Poltergeist redux. I mean, it's a Steven Spielberg movie, for crying out loud, you have to show it a certain amount of respect, or don't remake it to begin with.

And before someone comes along and says "But Poltergeist was a Tobe Hopper movie!" please know that Spielberg was the heart and soul of the original, not Hooper. Tobe is crazy cool, and we love him, but Poltergeist was not his movie.

You pretty much know the story of Poltergeist already, but if you don't, then here you go:

A young family moves into a beautiful home on the cheap, hoping to live the American dream. In this version, they're cash-strapped, and the husband is out of work, but they have love to pay the bills, so why not move into a big house in a decent neighborhood?

Once they move in, strange and scary things begin to happen all around them, but nobody seems to care all that much until their youngest daughter, Maddy, goes missing. When they realize that Poltergeists have taken her into their TV, they call on a crack team of Paranormal Investigators to help them get her back. Together they must travel into the spiritual netherworld to save Maddy, which might just see them all dead. Or scared. Or something.

No scares whatsoever ensue.

The main problem with this Poltergeist remake, is that it doesn't really feel like a Poltergeist movie at all. Instead, it feels more like a typical modern day Haunted House flick that borrowed the Poltergeist name to drum up some extra interest in itself. Sure, some of the same plot elements are there, but only because they have to be; otherwise, this would be a generic, PG-13 ghost story, and nothing more. Which it really is anyhow, so...

This movie isn't scary, creepy, or even mildly frightening. The story feels convenient, its characters are bland and unsympathetic, and everything feels forced together in such a haphazard way, that the movie never really gives itself a chance to work. It really felt like someone took the good scenes from the original, updated them for the modern audience, and just strung them together with any stereotypical plot elements that they could think of.

It also felt really rushed.

The original Poltergeist was a clever, witty, exciting and fun movie, that also knew how to scare us (and still does, for the record.) This remake though doesn't have any of the Spielberg magic that made the original so damned good, and helped it become one of the most popular Horror flicks of the 80's.

  • The family isn't all that likable in this one. In the original, they were a normal, All-American family whom we got to know and like. Eventually, we even came to fear for their safety. In this one, Dad is an unemployed smart-ass; Mom is just kind of there; the oldest daughter needs a smack; the son is afraid of everything; and little Carol Anne Madison is little more than cute. We never once felt like they were people that we should be afraid for, but stereotypes that existed only because the scary stuff needed to happen to somebody.
  • And I'm still not sure how a family that is essentially broke could afford to move into a house that looks like it costs at least 500k.
  • The clown bit in the remake was horrible compared to the one in the original. In the original, the clown was there for most of the movie, creeping people out, and slowly building up our dread and anticipation... and then at the end it finally attacks, and we shit our pants. Here, the clown is found, attacks the kid, and that's it. No one  even really comments on it. It happened early, it happened quick, it wasn't very scary, and it had almost no impact. It felt like just another random jump-scare. 
  • The tree attack screen in this one was half-assed too. 
  • In the original, the whole "you moved the headstones!" thing was given much more weight, and it also made for one hell of a reveal. Here? Basically an afterthought. 
  • Remember in the original how JoBeth Williams put her life on the line to save her baby girl, and ends up essentially trying to "fight" the evil spirits? You know, because any Mom worth their salt would fight to the death for their kids? Well in this one we get a mechanical drone heading into the netherworld to look for the girl, while Mom just stands around looking concerned, and screaming "Save my baby!" I know we live in an age where technology rules, but it should never replace the human element in a story about humans. It just kills the impact.
  • And the ending felt almost tacked-on. It was almost like "Oh shit, we forgot to do the part where everyone thinks that it's all over, but it really isn't!"  
  • Let's not remake any other Steven Spielberg movies, alright, Hollywood

The one bright spot of this movie is Jared Harris. Not only is he a great actor, but his Carrigan Burke was the only character that ever really woke us up during this one. The rest of the cast was fine in this one too, even if their characters weren't anything great, but Jared Harris was the best of them, by far.

The bottom line is that this movie is one that you'll forget about as soon as it's over. It's not a horribly bad movie, as it's well-made and boasts a pretty strong cast, but it's not scary, it feels rushed, and it brings absolutely nothing new to the table. For a remake, that last thing is absolutely unforgivable.

Skip this one and watch the original instead. There's honestly no reason why you should do otherwise.


Poltergeist is in theaters now.

Rosemarie DeWitt makes for a hot Soccer Mom.

May 29, 2015

What's New on VOD for the Week Ending 5/29?
May has been pretty good to us, movie-wise, and here in its final days, it gives us one last bunch of VOD titles to enjoy before it goes.

*Click the pics below to watch the trailers & rent the movies.
Chappie: In the near future, crime is patrolled by a mechanized police force. When one police droid, Chappie, is stolen and given new programming, he becomes the first robot with the ability to think and feel for himself.

We've been huge fans of Neill Blomkamp since District 9, and we didn't even mind his Elysium all that much, even though a lot of people seemed to find it disappointing. Chappie looks like it's going to be something along the lines of Ex Machina, but with a completely different tone and flavor about it, and we're down with that.

The fact that Dev Patel, Sharlto Copley, and Hugh Jackman are headlining this one, only makes it sound better to us.
Gun Woman: A brilliant doctor on a quest for revenge buys a young woman and trains her to be the ultimate assassin, implanting gun parts in her body that she must later assemble and use to kill her target before she bleeds to death.

Leave it to the Japanese to give us a crazy movie about a woman who is turned into a "living armory" of sorts by a vengeful doctor, and make it watchable. This one is violent, bloody, and packed with all kinds of nudity and gore... and we dug it. We'll be reviewing it soon.
Let Us Prey: Rachel, a rookie cop, is about to begin her first night shift in a neglected police station in a Scottish, backwater town. The kind of place where the tide has gone out and stranded a motley bunch of the aimless, the forgotten, the bitter-and-twisted who all think that, really, they deserve to be somewhere else. They all think they're there by accident and that, with a little luck, life is going to get better. Wrong, on both counts. Six is about to arrive - and All Hell Will Break Loose!

The set-up for this movie reminds of of the 2010 Val Kilmer flick, The Traveler, which isn't necessarily a bad thing. With Liam Cunningham playing the mysterious drifter in this one, we can't help but be curious to see how it measures up.

After seeing him as Davos on Game of Thrones, we'll pretty much watch anything that he's in.
Survivor: A Foreign Service Officer in London tries to prevent a terrorist attack set to hit New York, but is forced to go on the run when she is framed for crimes she did not commit.

We're all for a good Spy Thriller around here, and if it involves watching Pierce Brosnan trying to kill Milla Jovovich for 90-minutes or so, even better. Why that idea excites us, we have no idea. We have issues.

Director James McTeigue has proven that he knows his way around action thrillers with his work on V For Vendetta and Ninja Assassin, so we're willing to give this one a go on good faith. Plus, Milla. She's always a clincher for us.