Thursday, June 23, 2011


1. MIMIC 2: HARDSHELL (2001)

-Now when I first saw the original Mimic (1997), I'll admit, I was impressed by how entertaining I found it to be. I had no appeal to watch it, but then I streamed it on Netflix and it wasn't half bad. Solid story, great performances, and pretty creepy if you ask me. You always wonder what lurks in those New York City subways... So it was no surprise to me that Miramax decided to make a sequel which became Mimic 2: Hardshell, released in 2001. The film had no one from the original EXCEPT Alix Koromzay (who played Mira Sorvino's friend, Remy, in the original), taking on the lead role this time. She plays a Chemistry teacher at an inner city school in New York City. One thing leads to another. Ya dah ya dah ya dah... Long story short. Long John and the cockroaches begin to invade the school leaving Remy, a couple students and a Detective, trapped inside. I love any horror/sci-fi film that involves kids, so... when I read this was taking place inside a school?!? I jumped the gun to see it. Boy, was this a mess. It takes like 50 minutes to actually get to the action of the bugs attacking the school, and when it does? It absolutely blows. The lighting is way too dark, you can't see anything. It would have been way cooler if ALL the students and faculty were trapped inside.. THAT would have been entertaining. But nope. A $10 million budget won't allow that apparently. This film drags to a point where you just want them all to die and get it over with. I found myself waiting for this piece of garbage to end. And it's not even 90 minutes! So. If your a fan of the original, DO NOT see this sequel. It's pathetic. I have not seen the threequel, Mimic 3: Sentinel, but... after seeing this one? I think I'll pass...

2. WRONG TURN 2: DEAD END (2007)

-I remember when I found out the original Wrong Turn had been released on DVD back in 2003 and I jumped at the chance immediately, renting it. And the verdict? Honestly? Eh. It was all right. Took a while to get going. The deaths were pretty cool though. The make up was decent. And the acting was surely tolerable. Had some B list names in there were all familiar with. Including Kevin Zegers and the insanely hot, Lindy Booth, as the stoner couple (who also starred in the remake of Dawn of the Dead together). Jeremy Sisto and Emmanuelle Chriqui as the hippy-like, loving couple about to get married. Desmond Harrington as the business-man drifter. And of course, Eliza Dushku as the ridiculously sexy, bad ass chick (WITH NO BOYFRIEND). The film was all right for what it was. Obviously capable of spawning off a franchise. In 2007, Wrong Turn 2: Dead End came out. I'll see any horror sequel no matter how bad it may looks, but this??? FUCKING AWESOME. For a straight-to-dvd sequel? This was amazing. The first Wrong Turn could of learned from this one. Centering around a reality television show in inbred West Virginia with Henry Rollins as the 'ultimate tough guy' host?!? The film is exremely creative with the gore, very entertaining, doesn't drag for a second. I love when you go in watching a film with low expectations and it ends up being great! Unfortunately once the THREEQUEL was released, (Wrong Turn 3: Left for Dead) the company lost a lot of money. The effects in the third chapter were so horrible, they looked like N64 games. Apparently Wrong Turn 4: Bloody Beginnings (it's a prequel!!!) will be coming out this fall 2011. Ohhhhhh.... lets hope they don't screw it up.


-LOVED IT! LOVED IT! LOVED IT! Now I am a huge fan of the original Cabin Fever. I think Eli Roth truly made a classic horror film with a twist. Something that could actually happen (which always freaks people out...) and it was like what horror audiences all over the globe had been waiting for, for quite some time. A film with barely any stars and a limited budget! It was like The Evil Dead of 2002. The film was a monster success and made a pretty solid profit, turning Eli Roth into the director he is today. So obviously there going to make a sequel, right? Unfortunately it took 7 years for the film to come out. Ti West, this time, (director of The Roost and The House of the Devil) stepped behind the camera to pull this sequel off. Now the final cut we all know (and the one I am reviewing right now) IS NOT the version Ti West made. The studio completely changed his cut and practically made their own in the edit, giving him barely, if not any, control. Man... Hollywood sucks some times... HOWEVER. I still loved it. The acting was so much better than expected. It was funny. It had charm. It had tons and tons of blood. What more can you ask for?!? It retained all the ingredients the original Cabin Fever had and more! For those who don't know, the sequel centers on a high school prom that goes haywire when, not only the punch in the bowl, but also the bottles of water that are shipped to the school, contain a deadly bacteria spawned from the original film. Seriously. SEE THIS MOVIE. If you like the original, I don't think you'll be upset with this.


-Yikes. How does one review such a piece of trash like this? Well. It's going to be a struggle, but I'll do my best. Now I am a huge fan of the original American Psycho. I bought the DVD as soon as I saw it. I just found it to be one of the most intelligent psychological horrors in quite some time and surely gave me hope with current cinema. That there are still people out there willing to take risks with a piece of art. And the fact the director, screenwriter, and most of the crew, were women? All the more exciting. Christian Bale's finest performance in my opinion. To be honest, I was very confused and totally shocked when the sequel came out. This is not a film you make a sequel to. But. They did. So. I saw it. And it was garbage. Mila Kunis steps into Patrick Bateman's shoes as the new killer. The "All American Girl" if you will. She plays a disturbed college student, who witnessed her sister get tortured and murdered by Bateman when Kunis was only like 12-years-old. Now that right there is a blooper! Remember??? Bateman never killed anyone in real life! It was all in his mind. Guess the writers of the sequel didn't even see the original. Anyway, so Kunis wishes to become a Police Officer so she can rid people like Patrick Bateman off the streets herself. She takes a criminology course taught by, wait this is top knotch... WILLIAM 'FATASS' SHATNER! Jesus... Kunis finds out about this competition to be the College Professor's (Shatner) assistant, so she starts offing all the students in her class so she can be #1. The deaths are just pathetic. Did I mention some horny dude gets strangled with his own condom? There are plotholes you could drive a tow truck through. This film is a total disgrace and does not deserve the eys of ANYONE!

5. LAKE PLACID 2 (2007)

-Jesus. It was only a matter of time... Now the first Lake Placid was by no means an amazing horror film, but it was surely very fun. It was entertaining, a little scary at times, and I'll enjoy anything that stars Bridget Fonda and Brendan Gleeson. So, of course, eventually the Sci-Fi channel decided to make a straight-to-dvd sequel that starred uh.... um... NOBODY??? Well, with the exception of one unlucky lady... This film has such a low budget it makes Plan 9 From Outer Space look like Inception. The gore is laughable, the acting is horrendous, the story is pointless, the characters are unlikeable, the crocodile is horrible CGI. Everything about this film is trash. Hell, they even made a threequel if you could believe it! How does that happen! This sequel alone is God awful. It made no money. Where do they get the balls to make ANOTHER chapter! And you know what the saddest thing is about Lake Placid 2? Cloris Leachman plays the 'Croc Lady' this time... CLORIS LEACHMAN!!! AN OSCAR WINNER! How many times do you think she said to herself in between takes of Lake Placid 2, "What the hell am I doing... is this really happening right now? Am... am I really doing this right now? Jesus..." If I had to say at least ONE redeeming quality about this film, it would have to be that it's sort of one of those 'So bad it's good' films. So...piece of advice? Either watch it shit faced, stoned, or not at all.

6. OPEN WATER 2: ADRIFT (2006)

-I have to admit. I really liked this film. Now when the original Open Water came out, audiences all over either loved it or hated it. I personally enjoyed it very much and found it extremely creepy. I, myself, am afraid of underwater monsters, so... I really respected the whole handheld camera feel. It seriously felt like a documentary to me. Some people complained about it being too boring. I found it anything but. AND you get to see gorgeous Blanchard Ryan naked! In 2006, the sequel came out, taking on a whole new sort of terror. WEATHER. The film centers on a group of thirty-somethings, one of which brings her baby, who board a douchebag, careless friend (Eric Dane) of their's yaht for the weekend. One thing leads to another. They all leap off the boat to go swimming, leaving the baby on board, but... OOPS. Eric Dane forgot to put up the emergency ladder to get back on the yaht. Now they all have to struggle to climb back on. Meanwhile heavy weather conditions arise causing there struggling to stay afloat all the more painful. The film is not incredible and can definitely dip into some cheesy Hollywood moments at times, but it's far better than I expected. I was on the edge of my seat for a few scenes. The acting was fine, the budget was solid. The story was terrifying and realistic. The fact that there all SO CLOSE, but so far, to getting on that boat just messes with your head. AND. A baby is on board during the horrible weather, with no food or water, so... yeah. It goes there... If you hate the first Open Water, STILL watch this one, cause there completely different films.


"Acting's fun. But life's more important." - Margot Kidder

Tuesday, June 21, 2011


Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides (2011)
-Now when I heard a couple years ago that they were making a fourth Pirates film, the only words that circled around in my head were..."Why...? Why...? Why...?" But I gotta admit... Pirates 4? Not that bad...

Rob Marshall of Chicago fame takes on the fourth installment in the series. Pirates 4 centers back on Captain Jack Sparrow of course, played by Johnny Depp obviously, who teams up with Captain Barbossa (Geoffrey Rush) to locate the Fountain of Youth. Conflict arises when they come across the vicious Blackbeard (played by a terrifying Ian McShane, who certainly takes the Disney franchise to a whole new level...), and his stunning daughter, Angelica Malon (played by a bad ass Penelope Cruz). The quartet embark on the quest battling numerous dilemmas along the way.

Now I'll admit, I have NEVER EVER been a big fan of this franchise. I find these films to be quite boring to be honest. BUT. My father happens to be a die hard sailor and an enormous fan of the franchise. So every year they come out around the month of May, which is when my father's birthday is, so... I take him to go see it everytime. I even saw the first film in the cinema three times believe it or not, against my will of course... I even have the first three on DVD! So. I am no stranger to the series. The first one was enjoyable and definitely gave me hope in Bruckheimer produced films... The second installment I thought was the best, and still to this day, believe this. The third one? Uh... The less spoken about it, the better. But then four years go by. They regroup. Eliminate pretty faces, Orlando Bloom and the ever so irritating Keira Knightley, and start off fresh with some new faces.

Penelope Cruz and Ian McShane are totally the stand outs in this epic. The two work well off each other so well, it's scary. Oh, how I love when they get REAL TOP KNOTCH actors in Disney films. Just makes it all the more exciting.

There are some bad ass action sequences in this film. What I loved about this installment was how UN-KID FRIENDLY it was. The killer mermaid sequence? That scene was one of the creepiest I have ever seen in a Disney film. The suspense was killing me. And it certainly delivered.

Now some of the other new faces that appear are not half bad either. Stephen Graham (one of my favorite actors) is hysterical and wonderful as always. Richard Griffiths is very entertaining as the bubbly King George in the opening.

Now, you can't have a big Hollywood Bruckheimer film with out at least a couple pretty faces right??? Since they scrapped Bloom and 'Long Chin' Knightley, they replace them with English actor, Sam Claflin (who was recently seen on the shit show, The Pillars of the Earth), and Spanish actress, Astrid Berges-Frisbey (there's a name for ya), who plays one of the killer mermaids that has been kidnapped by Blackbeard to show them all to the Fountain of Youth. Her and Claflin begin to... yup, yup. You called it. Fall in love... Awwwwww. But honestly. They were not nearly as annoying as I coulda sworn they were going to be from looking at them in the big poster.

The major complaint I had about this film however... would have to be Jack Sparrow's introduction in the opening (nothing beats his intro in Dead Man's Chest. Poor little bird...). I mean, he's disguised as a judge to infiltrate the court? YAWN! I mean, don't get me wrong. There were plenty of flaws in this film. I didn't even enjoy Depp in this film that much at all. He's just making money at this point and sort of seemed cocky on screen. McShane and Cruz are the true stand outs.

So if you love the franchise, definitely go see this film. You shouldn't be disappointed. But don't look for anything more but big explosions, crazy mermaids, mindless entertainment, and some cool performances.


"You cannot live your life looking at yourself from someone else's point of view." - Penelope Cruz


Midnight in Paris (2011)
-Midnight in Paris... mmm. Such a beautiful title. Just rolls off the tongue. If your ever unhappy one day... just recite those three words out loud numerous times. Something about that title just soothes me.

Anyway, now to the film. Now ever since the 21st Century began, Woody Allen has been quite inconsistent. But I mean, the guy HAS BEEN writing and directing a film every single year for the past 40 years, so... come on now. What do you think he is, Superman?!? He's also 76 years old. Out of all the films he has made in the past 11-12 years, I thoroughly enjoyed Match Point, Vicky Christina Barcelona, and Hollywood Ending. But Midnight in Paris? This is a true gem. Absolutely gorgeous.

Now the film centers on Owen Wilson (in one of his best roles since The Life Aquatic) as a hack Hollywood screenwriter who travels to Paris with his neglectful, overbearing fiancee played by the ever so beautiful, Rachel MacAdams. The two do not agree on anything. The film opens up with Wilson telling MacAdams how he wishes to move to Paris so he can write more novels, which completely goes over MacAdams' head. She wishes to stay in Malibu and live an ordinary, traditional life. Wilson's character throughout the film is always talking about his literary idols. Hemingway, Fitzgerald, Joyce, etc... Then one evening, after his fiancee goes off dancing with a couple friends, he takes a stroll around midnight through the city of Paris and finds himself back in the 1920's and having drinks with get this... ERNEST HEMINGWAY AND F. SCOTT FITZGERALD! His dreams come true. What proceeds is simply a test of his engagement. Should he stay in Paris and jeopardize his relationship? Or move back to California and continue writing bad screenplays?

The film is so beautifully shot and wonderfully executed. Makes you want to move to Paris right away. When I first found out that Owen Wilson was headlining the film, I thought to myself..."Wow. Woody's really getting old, isn't he..." But that personality that some might find annoying of Owen Wilson is so perfect for his character in this film. You connect with him. You understand his frustrations. You sympathize with him. He just wants to be happy. Rachel MacAdams is wonderful as his 'could care less' fiancee who is more interested in Paul (played by a very irritating, unlikable Michael Sheen) as a 'know it all' nemesis of Owen Wilson, who he suspects she is having an affair with.

Other supporting stand outs are Corey Stoll (from Law & Order: L.A.) who is spot on as Hemingway, practically stealing the show every time he appears on screen. Adrian Brody as an hysterical Salvadore Dali. A performance that makes you remember how good Brody really is. Kathy Bates as the motherly loving Gertrude Stein. But the finest and most memorable I'll admit is the beautiful Marion Cotilliard as Adriana, who Wilson's character begins to fall in love with. I'm tellin ya, if Cotilliard keeps up the rate she's going with the roles she's taking??? She'll go down in history as one of the finest actresses on the planet. You just fall in love with her on screen. I couldn't take my eyes off her. Not once. A natural beauty. And a helluva an actress.

Midnight in Paris is a terrific date movie, Paris being the 'city of love' of course. So men? Bring your women to this film immediately if you want to earn some extra brownie points. The cast is great. The cinematography's excellent. The characters work. The message is wonderful. Everything worked for me in this film. I highly recommend it. And if your a Woody Allen fan? All the more.


"Being a screenwriter in Hollywood is like being a eunuch at an orgy." - Albert Brooks


Super 8 (2011)
-Now when I first saw the intense teaser trailer for this film last May of 2010, which simply consisted of a horrific train crash sequence and then something quite strong and enormous bashing out of the train hatchet... I gotta say... I was extremely intrigued. I am not a huge fan of JJ Abrams (despise Lost and Fringe), but I will say that he has to be one of the smartest guys working in show business, marketing wise. He knows how to stir up a crowd. I mean, it worked for me with Cloverfield, which I really enjoyed, and I found myself thinking Super 8 was going to be the same turn out. Sadly... it was far from it.

Now for the 2% of people who have NOT yet seen Super 8, the film simply revolves around a group of kids in their early teens, set in 1979, who are in the midst of making a zombie film with their trusty Super 8 camera. They end up travelling to a train station in the middle of the night to shoot some more footage, but as there filming, a train comes rushing by and ends up derailing, from being smashed from some guy's truck who rode onto the tracks. What proceeds is an insanely horrific train crash sequence (pretty awesome I have to say). The train crash is the talk of the town, but... there ends up being more to the story than just a train crashing. Especially when Government officials start roaming through the small town giving the Police, orders. And then eventually one by one, people begin disappearing. Something has emerged out of the train and lurks through the town.

Story sounds pretty kick ass, right? I mean, the acting of the kids is fine. Elle Fanning and Joel Courtney (who play the main kids) are absolutely terrific as well as the familiar faces that pop up here and there throughout the film. Including Ron Eldard as Fanning's drunk, controlling father. Kyle Chandler, as Courtney's Deputy father who he never sees. Noah Emmerich is great as the head of the Government agents who will not listen to anyone but himself. And even Christopher Guest veteran, Michael Hitchcock as another one of the Policemen! Which really surprised. All I kept thinking when I was watching Hitchcock was, "GIVE ME THE BIZZY BEE! GIVE ME THE BIZZY BEE!!!" Haha. Best in Show...

Anyway, what really ruined this film for me was that it felt WAY TOO MUCH like a Steven Spielberg rip off. JJ Abrams seems to hold his inspirations under his sleeve. Now I understand he's always been a huge Spielberg fan and that was one of the main points in this film is to take us back to the time of The Goonies and E.T., but come on! It was more than just those two films. The ending reminded me way too much of Close Encounters. Some of the attack sequences seemed way too close to Jurassic Park... Hell, even the alien looked like Optimus Prime from Transformers! Which Spielberg produced! I mean, holy Christ.

And did I mention that there are plotholes you could drive a tow truck through?!? Most of the elements in the film make absolutely no sense. The story structure and editing is really weak. It keeps jumping from one scene to another far too quickly as if JJ didn't have an idea to throw in between, so he just jumped from one to the next abruptly. I found myself at the end of the film, completely unfulfilled. It did absolutely nothing for me. No impact whatsoever. The only redeeming qualities about this film were the train crash, which I have to say, is one of the best train crash sequences I have seen in quite some time. And... SPOILER ALERT!!! The fake zombie film that plays during the end credits. The fake zombie film is better than the entire film all together!

Now I understand this film was set out to reach a more younger audience, but at times, it seemed a little TOO kid friendly. To a cheesy point. But the acting from the teens and their characters were far better than a shit load of the teen adventure films I've seen, so I'll give JJ that much. The film is not a disaster by any means. There's some tense moments. The gas station event... But... I just found myself, as I exited the cinema saying, "Eh. Just another monster movie." Which is a true shame, cause I really had high hopes for this one. But hey. I am like only in the 12% of people who disliked the film, so... It ain't like JJ's losing any money from this one. I think he'll be all right...


"What I am saying is that I believe in showmanship." - Steven Spielberg