Monday, January 31, 2011
Do you like violence and lots of action-movie cliches? You've come to the right place in this movie if so. It's loaded with both. I know what to expect when I see one of Jason's movies, and this one delivers on the gunfights, beatings and car chases for sure. It's just that the character he plays in this one isn't as cool or (remotely) likable I think and there's not as much creativity at work as say Crank or The Transporter.
In fact, in my opinion it's one of those films where everybody sucks. I "didn't have a dog in the fight" so to speak, meaning I didn't have a hero. It's like watching wrestling and there's an all bad guy battle royal. In the end you want some action but don't really care who wins.
And why Statham would take on this new apprentice is beyond me from the beginning. The guy is a psychopath and a loose cannon. Jason's character has done so well with his career as a hitman and is totally under the radar while making his hits look like accidents or at the least not attracting attention, then he takes this loudmouth who threatens to blow all that he's worked for out of the water, and low and behold he does. Plus he knows from the start he can't trust the guy. I'm just not sure the main plot point of the movie even makes any sense. Sure, I know he feels guilty and blah blah blah... but still. Dumb.
But don't get me wrong here, I know this type of film really isn't about character development or depth and I went in expecting relentless blood-letting and in-your-face violence and that's what I got. It's a fun movie once your brain is disconnected, which should be as soon as the previews are over. And there's nothing wrong with that.
Medicate by JonathanDavisKorn
Final Days by JonathanDavisKorn
Happiness by JonathanDavisKorn
Sunday, January 30, 2011
Watch recaps of Diaz vs. Evangelista Cyborg, Jacare Souza vs. Robbie Lawler, Roger Gracie vs. Trevor Prangley, and Herschel Walker vs. Scott Carson.
This film was apparently completed back in 2007 and not released until it hit DVD recently. I really have no idea why as it's actually a decent little horror flick I thought. Sure, it's a bit (a lot) cliched and pretty much just a cross between Pulse (don't answer the phone!) and The Orphan (creepy girl) too often, but it's actually fairly well done and sort of fun despite the predictability.
Jodelle Ferland plays the creepy girl and she's really good. I like how her sweet, adorable character can suddenly bring the evil, yet it's still sort of subtle. I like Bradley Cooper so I think his role was way too small in this. To me he was sort of evening out Renée Zellweger's screen time as I'm not a fan of her's and think she's the same whiny role she always plays in this, where she looks like she's constantly either confused or trying not to start crying.
The movie starts out as a drama but shifts to a more suspenseful psychological horror film, revealing a bit at a time and this makes it pretty engaging. The screenplay is good and the film is well made I thought, as it sets a nice spooky atmosphere but doesn't really overdo things. It's paced very nicely and never really boring. Without spoiling anything, I'll say I'd have personally preferred a darker ending, instead of this one that felt a bit more "Hollywood."
Overall it's not highly memorable, but I think it's pretty effective and entertaining.
Saturday, January 29, 2011
MAIN CARD (televised on Showtime)
* Champ Nick Diaz vs. Evangelista "Cyborg" Santos (for welterweight title)
* Champ Ronaldo "Jacare" Souza vs. Robbie Lawler (for middleweight title)
* Herschel Walker vs. Scott Carson
* Roger Gracie vs. Trevor Prangley
Friday, January 28, 2011
Writer: Tim Tori (Hysteria, Trespassers)
Director: Patrik Syversen (Manhunt)
Cast: Bruce Payne (Bernard), Courtney Hope (Amber), Saxon Trainor (Veronica)
SYNOPSIS: Amber dreams of escaping her small town existence and persuades her friends to accompany her to find an apartment in the big city. When their transportation breaks down, she and her friends gratefully accept a ride in the back of a semi. But when the driver refuses to stop and they discover the cargo is hundreds of cartons of blood, they panic. Their panic turns to terror when the truck disgorges them into a dark, abandoned warehouse where blood-thirsty creatures learn to hunt human prey, which, the friends realize, is what they now are…
Thursday, January 27, 2011
Despite fantastic cinematography, a good screenplay and great acting by Russell Crowe, Cate Blanchett, William Hurt and others, I felt this was missing something. I guess maybe it's just that the story has been told so many times and everybody is so familiar with all the characters and such so you know exactly where it's going, which takes away any suspense. In the big final battle scene, you know who's going to win and who's not going to die, so you just sort of watch it happen.
This is a slightly revised version and it mostly takes place before the legendary Robin Hood we all know is "born" so it is a bit different, sort of an origin story. There's no robbing the rich to give to the poor here, and in fact I'm not sure why it's even called Robin Hood as that moniker doesn't even come around until the very end.
The film's strength though is that it looks great. The sets and costumes and cinematography are fantastic throughout. It really feels like the old English countryside (I guess, hell I haven't been there nor can I travel time). There's also a lot of detail and the film feels pretty heavy, so don't expect a whimsical merry men movie. Perhaps it drags a bit due to this at times.
Overall a good movie with a lot of excitement and good action, but not a great movie by any means. It's definitely no Gladiator.
In December, Mikkey Dee told to some French journalists that Motörhead is planning to release a box-set with several DVDs in 2011. He didn't give any details but said that it will come in a "beautiful package including many surprises." There's also a new book and movie coming out.
Re-Kill Comes To Life As Part of After Dark Originals "A New Brand of Fear" Series
Los Angeles, CA (Thursday Jan 26th, 2011) — After Dark Films CEO Courtney Solomon announced the newest zombie feature, RE-KILL, written by Mike Hurst (Hardwired, Ninja) and directed by Val Milev. Roger Cross (The Day The Earth Stood Still), Jesse Garcia (Quinceanera), and Daniella Alonso (Wrong Turn 2, The Hills Have Eyes II) star. The film, produced as part of the AFTER DARK ORIGINALS “A New Brand of Fear” series, was originally intended for release in this year’s January 28th theatrical festival, but producers say RE-KILL has shown so much promise that it is being pulled from the festival, and will most likely enjoy a wider theatrical release, on it’s own, later this year.
Solomon said, "The original reason we made these films was to give filmmakers a chance to shine while participating in the “Originals” film festival. By making a great film they open the door giving that film a chance to be released on a wider basis. It's only a good thing for everyone if this happens".
Re-Kill, from Producer Courtney Solomon, and Executive Producers Stephanie Caleb, Allan Zeman and Moshe Diamont was shot in Bulgaria and is currently in post-production.
The remaining After Dark Originals Films, Prowl, Seconds Apart, Fertile Ground, The Task and Husk will all be released theatrically on Friday January 28th in select theaters. See the official site for a list of the theaters.
It’s been 5 years since the outbreak that wiped out 85% of the world’s population, but the war between Re-Animates (Re-Ans) and Humans wages on. Most of the major cities are still uninhabitable. Within the few surviving cities, the Re-Ans have been segregated into “zones” and are policed by the R-Division of the QUASI S.W.A.T. Unit who hunt to re-kill the Re-Ans in the hope of quelling a second outbreak.
“R-Division, Frontline” is America’s #1 TV show in this Post-Apocalyptic world. Weekly, the show follows different R-Division units on the battlefield as they work to keep America Safe and Re-An free. Jimmy, the videographer for the Outbreak Network, thought this week’s episode would be like every other. He was wrong. Through the lens of his eyes and camera, we see raw, revealed and uncut, that which could be mankind’s last day.
The footage you are about to see is graphic and disturbing and may not be suitable for children. Viewer discretion is highly advised.
Wednesday, January 26, 2011
The way this film was shot and the obvious fact that it stars Matt Damon makes it feel like the Jason Bourne movies, and that's a good thing. There's not as much action as those movies but there is enough to satisfy most action junkies. It's got a political message for sure and that may turn some people off, but it's still a good war movie.
It's a bit cliched at times, with a lot of cardboard type characters, and that works against it and takes away from the depth and power. It's sort of a dumbed down version of the message it's trying to deliver I thought. Probably accessible to more people this way, but still felt a bit like a cop out to me.
It has a nice pace though, is never really boring despite all the wordiness at times and has enough action to wake you up from too much thinking. Damon is great and I liked Greg Kinnear in his role quite a bit.
It also puts your right in the action, feeling almost like a documentary during the action sequences, which is exciting but also can be a bit distracting. You definitely feel like you're right in the Green Zone with them and I'm sure that's exactly the purpose. And hey it's not in 3D like every other movie that comes out so that's a plus!
Not awesome by any means, but I found it to be a very entertaining political war movie, if not a bit oversimplified.
There were 2 large things working against this movie all along for me before I even watched it. First, there was just no way they could have satisfied all the fans and tied up everything they've left open along the way from the first 6 movies. They could try, and they did, but I can't see anybody being satisfied just because the expectations set for a grand finale were way too high. Secondly, after the first 6 films the shock factor is pretty much gone. Hell, they've done it all and I guess I'm sort of numb to the whole thing.
My like of each film is usually based upon the traps, how creative or cool they were was what left me wowing or disappointed after each movie. The traps are the stars. This film had more than any other, but creatively I just didn't think they were as good. These traps show a lack of creativity, or perhaps they just go back to the whole "seen it all before" thing.
So is this a terrible entry to the franchise? No, not at all I thought. It's the same Saw... gory, ludicrous plot, unlikeable characters getting ripped apart, plot twists and multiple story lines running side-by-side. It's Saw. What else is to like? Well, I like how it all came full circle back to where it began and with Dr. Gordon. I liked the Hoffman going after Jill storyline. I like that it's probably the goriest of all the entries, with more traps and victims than any.
But the Bobby Dagen storyline didn't really work for me. I wasn't interested in him and I felt like it was just a distraction to fill time. The 90 minutes could have all been used on the whole mythology of Saw and explaining things, not introducing a non-important character and his friends. But they needed some victims to use traps on, I can understand that.
Utimately, as I explained earlier, I just wanted a whole lot more from the finale. I wanted a better story to finish the whole thing.
Tuesday, January 25, 2011
The films are a horror/thriller film franchise created by James Wan and Leigh Whannell. The series revolves around the Jigsaw Killer, a dying vigilante who kidnaps victims and places them in deadly traps to test them and see if they are deserving of the life they have abused. The victims, almost always taken because they have taken their lives for granted (lying, conning, drug-dealing, etc.), are usually linked to each other in one way or another.
Here's some official sites if you wanna check 'em out:
Saw II (2005)
Saw III (2006)
Saw IV (2007)
Saw V (2008)
Saw VI (2009)
Saw 3D: The Final Chapter (2010)
Official Site and Fan Club
Here's a quick look at how they've done at the US box office:
and some jaw-dropping totals (click to enlarge):
Let's get to the movies themselves...
Summary: The film is focused on two men who find themselves trapped in a grimy, industrial bathroom with instructions to kill each other, or be killed in turn. The two characters attempt to escape the trap, while police seek the man who trapped them in their predicament, the Jigsaw Killer (Tobin Bell), and his other victims.
Stuff: Shot for just a bit over $1 mil, it earned over $100 mil worldwide... writer Leigh Wannell plays photographer Adam Faulkner... one of the only things I dislike about this film is Cary Elwes and his annoying overacting in the last 20 minutes... pre-production was only five days; it was shot and cut at the same time in 18 days... was originally intended for straight-to-video, but sceenings were positive... best traps: jaw splitter, razor wire maze...
Quote: Jigsaw: "Most people are so ungrateful to be alive, but not you, not any more... GAME OVER!"
Defining Moment: Elwes character gets "foot loose"
Summary: The Jigsaw Killer is apprehended, but traps the arresting officer (Donnie Wahlberg) in one of his own games while showing another "game" of eight people in progress at the same time... and one is the officer's son. It also explored the character's back story, explaining why he became a serial killer.
Stuff: directed by Darren Lynn Bousman... made for only $4 million and grossed over $144 million worldwide... Shawnee Smith's character, who had a small part in the first movie, is introduced as Jigsaw's protege... shot in 25 days... Shawnee Smith was actually pregnant, but kept it a secret... The whole film was shot in one building... It took around 120,000 syringes to complete the Syringe Pit sequence... best traps: syringe pit, venus head trap, magnum eyehole
Quote: Jigsaw: "Hello Michael, I want to play a game."
Defining Moment: Amanda is thrown in a pit with thousands of used hypodermic syringes
Summary: The Jigsaw Killer is working with his unstable apprentice Amanda to finish the final tests he had prepared and planned before he dies. The film also contains additional back story information on the two antagonists. It adds to the plot of the first film and completes parts of the 2nd film.
Stuff: directed by Darren Lynn Bousman... the goriest and most brutal of the 3 so far... made on a $10 mil budget, it ended up grossing over $150 mil worldwide... the film was toned down 7 times to obtain the "R" rating... First Saw movie to include nudity.... the set was used from Scary Movie 4... dedicated to the memory of late SAW producer Gregg Hoffman after his sudden passing... best traps: chained to the classroom, angel ribs trap, shotgun collar
Quote: Eric: "You're not Jigsaw, bitch!"
Defining Moment:Jigsaw gets brain surgery
Summary: SWAT Commander Rigg is abducted and thrust into a game and has but ninety minutes to overcome a series of demented traps and save an old friend or face the deadly consequences. Two seasoned FBI profilers, Agent Strahm and Agent Perez, arrive to assist the veteran Detective Hoffman in piecing together the puzzle.
Stuff: The first movie in the series not to be written by Leigh Whannell... filmed in 32 days... directed by Darren Lynn Bousman... delves into the origin of Jigsaw and has his first victim and trap... also the origin of the pig mask as John uses it at a Year of the Pig Chinese New Year festival... grossed $63,300,095 domestic and $139,352,633 worldwide... best traps: knife chair (Jigsaw's first trap ever... and it broke), mausoleum trap, hair puller, Ivan's bed trap, ice block trap
Quote: Jigsaw: "Time is an illusion that cannot be given."
Defining Moment: Maybe the defining moment for the whole series is when Cecil slams John's pregnant wife between the wall and the door, making John into Jigsaw.
Summary: Following Jigsaw's grisly demise, Mark Hoffman, the final apprentice to the serial killer is deigned a hero. Meanwhile, Agent Strahm is tested and puts the pieces together. While Strahm realizes that Hoffman is helping Jigsaw, five seemingly unconnected people face a horrible lesson about teamwork. Strahm follows all the leads he can get off Hoffman, including the death of his sister and why he joined Jigsaw. Hoffman and Strahm circle each other until it boils down to a gruesome and bone-crushing finale.
Stuff: Directed by David Hackl... writen by Patrick Melton & Marcus Dunstan from the Feast trilogy... the first sequel not to open at #1 in the US... Seth's trap is inspired by the Edgar Allan Poe short story "The Pit and the Pendulum"... first film of the series in which Billy the Puppet does not appear in person... real animal blood was used for the final trap
Quote: Jigsaw: "If you're good at anticipating the human mind, it leaves nothing to chance."
Defining Moment: Strahm finds himself in the cube trap, a glass cube placed over his head filling with water.
Summary: Agent Strahm is dead and framed while Hoffman continues John's legacy while Jill carries out John's final request.
Stuff: first "Saw" film to use digital timers on body-worn traps... tilization of the Reverse Bear Trap makes this film the first installment to reuse a previously featured trap... the lowest opening weekend of any "Saw" film in the US, only making $14.1 million.
Quote: Jigsaw: "You think it's the living that will have ultimate judgment over you, because the dead will have no claim over your soul. But you may be mistaken."
Defining Moment: The Shotgun Carousel Of Death
Saw 3D: The Final Chapter
Summary: As a deadly battle rages over Jigsaw's brutal legacy, a group of Jigsaw survivors gathers to seek the support of self-help guru and fellow survivor Bobby Dagen, a man whose own dark secrets unleash a new wave of terror.
Stuff: The first of the franchise in 3D... had the longest pre-production schedule of any Saw film. The complexity of the 3D process inflated the usual 9 week prep into 21 weeks... had to be submitted six times to obtain an "R" rating from the Major Motion Picture Association of America, to avoid an NC-17 rating... has 11 traps, the most in the entire franchise... highest body count of any of the films with 27
Quote: Hoffman: "You wanna know the only thing that's wrong with killing you, Jill? I can only do it once."
Defining Moment: The return to the bathroom where it all began, the final scene of the series.
* Ekotren ~ "The Dead Of Night" CD (Amazon.com has the MP3 version for $6.99 right now and here's a full stream from TuneLab)
* House of Bones DVD (see my review here)
* Red DVD (action/cop/comedy with Bruce Willis and John Malkovich)
* Saw: The Final Chapter DVD (I picked up the DVD/Blu-ray/Digital combo version already and in the special features is has something called "52 Ways to Die – Recounting the Traps from the Saw Films"... yes, all the traps. Oh baby this is going to be awesome!)
* Dead Space 2 VG for PS3/Xbox (see blogs here and here)
There's all sort of Dead Space 2 related stuff out today too, from soundtracks to animated movies, so us DS fans can easily overdose. Be careful.
Fangoria has this to say in their review of the new Dead Space game: "DEAD SPACE 2 plants us three years later, as Isaac wakes up in a hospital amidst an interplanetary pit-stop mining city known as “The Sprawl,” thrusting players into one of the most hellacious first fifteen minutes of a game ever to appear on consoles."
Monday, January 24, 2011
Saturday, January 22, 2011
Two TUF alumni - DaMarques Johnson and Cody McKenzie - take on seasoned veterans Joker Guymon and Yves Edwards at Fight for the Troops. Go to the "Free Prelims" tab on Facebook.com/UFC to watch live - these two fights air exclusively on Facebook Saturday night!
Prelims on Facebook.com/UFC
* Yves Edwards vs. Cody McKenzie
* Mike Guymon vs. DaMarques Johnson
Main Card on Spike TV
* Evan Dunham vs. Melvin Guillard
* Tim Hague vs. Matt Mitrione
* Mark Hominick vs. George Roop
* Pat Barry vs. Joey Beltran
* Cole Miller vs. Matt Wiman
Intrepid Fallen Hero Fund
Friday, January 21, 2011
Much more awkward than funny, I got a few laughs out of this but not near as many as I'd hoped for based on the premise and the fantastic cast of Rudd, Carell and Zach Galifianakis. The 3 of them alone should have had my side hurting, but Zack's screen time is very limited. Another character, Kieran, brought some fresh goofiness as well so that made up for the lack of Zack (hey, a rhyme!).
Rudd and Carell are great together but the script just didn't give them a lot. The whole dinner thing was really just a short bit at the end of the movie, after a whole lot of awkwardness. It's one of those films where it got so uncomfortable a few times for Rudd and his situtation during a restaurant scene I just felt too sorry for him to really get a laugh from it.
And the "schmucks" are great, but like I said it's just a short bit at the end of the movie so you never get much of a chance to get into that. It's mostly Carell ruining Rudd's life. Carell's character is great but he's also such an idiot it's hard to feel very sorry for him, most of his problems he brings on himself by being an ass.
Still though, great cast and some funny bits so it's worth a watch but it's a tad bit disappointing I thought. I absolutely loved the mice dioramas though. And I would be remiss if I didn't mention Stephanie Szostak is stunning... so there's that.
Thursday, January 20, 2011
This the best band from Oshawa, Ontario, Canada that I know of.
© 2010 WMG
Wednesday, January 19, 2011
I was a bit apprehensive since M. Night Shyamalan wrote the story, but was also sort of hopeful since he didn't actually write the screenplay or direct. I liked his earlier work but he lost me somewhere around the dreadful Lady In The Water and the moronic film The Happening. After this film though I'll continue to give him chances I guess because although this one wasn't great, it's enjoyable I thought.
If you're claustrophobic you might want to avoid it, as a good deal of it takes place within the cramped quarters of the elevator. It's one of those guessing games from the opening minutes as to who is "the devil" so there are twists and red herrings aplenty. It's not as much in-your-face horror as it is suspenseful and tense, but there's some gore and a body count. What is in-your-face are the religious metaphors, and I think it's a bit of an over-simplified sermon so that annoyed me somewhat.
There are some pretty creepy ideas and scenes, the direction is solid and I found the characters interesting and believable. The ending left me a bit unfulfilled though. In the end I think it's entertaining and compelling enough to make it slightly above average for a small scale, broken elevator movie.
Synopsis: Fifteen-year-old Emma is like any other teenage girl; she thinks that her parents don’t understand her. She longs for independence and a life free of family ties and responsibilities, and she is prepared to do anything to achieve it. But one day she will be forced to face up to the consequences of her actions. It all started off as a bit of fun. Emma never really believed it, but the truth is there is something dark and sinister within her, and it won’t take long to surface.
There have been so many exorcism films out and the problem lately has been that pretty much since the granddaddy of them of all, The Exorcist, most have really brought nothing new to the table. The victim starts acting creepy, goes to doctor, then a shrink, then weird things start happening, cockroaches!, here comes the priest, freaky deep voice and eyes rolling... etc and so forth. Once again, this movie is more of the same, right down to the ole trusty Ouija board. That's not to say there aren't a few good creepy moments and some effective suspense, but nothing really new here.
Anything to set it apart you ask? Well, there is sort of an undercurrent of a troubled family dynamic maybe. There's also a priest who may not be what he seems, which gives it a bit of a twist towards the end. And I'll say that there is more of a body count than most exorcism films have.
If you're looking for some exorcism fun, this definitely delivers that. It's all pretty redundant though, but a passable entry to the genre.
Tuesday, January 18, 2011
You know how I love After Dark Films, and if you don't just click here. Once again though this year I'm left out on the real fun as this year's 8 new films hitting the theater just next weekend won't be coming to a theater near me it appears. Well, at least we're not on the short list yet. The closest is a mere 5 hour drive to Grapevine, TX. But hopefully my city will pop up on their website soon. I won't be hating on the people who get to see them on the big screen though, the lucky dogs. *sigh* Well, I'll have all of the DVDs in hand as soon as they're out anyway, just like the other 4 sets of "8 Films To Die For" they've put out. Giant movie marathon possible soon?
Here's the posters for this year's batch:
Again, go to their site for info on the movies. They did change it up a bit this year with all originals from their new venture "After Dark Originals". They're comprised of 100% original scripts and not from acquired, previously created films. A nice mix of paranormal, black magic, space aliens, psychopaths, vampires and the undead. The gangs all here!
Here's the nifty new trailer: