Posts tagged #movie

Summer of '84 - REVIEW

poster.png

Last weekend, my friend and I went to the movies. It was Saturday after work and he offered up two suggestions and I offered up two of my own. Long story short, I was vetoed on both my choices and, with a brief description of both Summer of 84 and Never Goin’ Back, I chose the murder mystery (I’ll almost always choose a thriller). Had I taken a few minutes to watch the trailer beforehand, I might have lowered my expectations a bit.

It’s the summer of 1984 (duh) and conspiracy theory-loving Davey becomes increasingly convinced his neighbor, a town cop, is a serial killer after several neighborhood boys go missing. He enlists the help of his friends (a ne’er-do-well, a library-loving nerd, and an overweight teddy bear) to spy on fresh-faced Officer Mackey, played by Mad Men’s Rich Sommer, who does seem increasingly guilty. Is he actually the serial killer? I won’t spoil that for you, but throw in a crush on an older girl next door, a walkie-talkie communication system, and group rides around a quaint Oregon town on bikes and you’ve got a stereotypical 80s movie, right?

cast.png

That was part of the problem for me. It’s not that the movie was bad, per se. It was just too heavy-handed on the 80s nostalgia craze that Stranger Things ushered in. A year ago, or even two, it wouldn’t have seemed so forced, but at this point, it just felt late to the game and unoriginal. It definitely paled in comparison to the group-of-friends original classics of my childhood: The Goonies, It, The Lost Boys, ET, and so on.

Now that I’ve ragged on it enough, I really did enjoy the unfolding of the mystery and its eventual outcome. The movie starts a bit slow and is dragged down by visits to the bowling alley and all the teenage feelings, but the end picks up and delivers a few surprises and scares. You know it’s a decent quest to catch a killer when characters start snooping into business they shouldn’t and you literally begin to exhibit signs of stress in the movie theater.

I have to admit my mind did start to wander a bit after Davey sees a missing neighborhood boy on the milk carton one morning. It’s such an 80s reference, but did you know that the milk carton campaign only last two years and didn’t actually help all that much? I’d just listened to a podcast episode about milk carton kids and the skeptical side of me wanted to re-listen to see if they were even used in 1984 still. You can breathe a collective sigh of relief - Summer of 84 got in just under the gun: the campaign ran from 1982-1984.

So, unless you’re really dying (ha) to see a movie about the summer in the last few weeks of summer, Summer of 84 can wait for streaming.    

Posted on August 19, 2018 and filed under Movie Reviews.

The Worst Movie I've Seen, Lately: Beyond Skyline

sdfg.jpg

Disclaimer: I am not a movie expert. Don't expect an in depth analysis of the film.  I'm just a guy that like to watch movies. Sometimes, they’re good, sometimes they’re bad.

The other day I got an email from Netflix letting me know of some new additions available. Since I have a penchant for sci-fi, I was recommended Beyond Skyline. I figured it was a sequel to the 2010 dumpster fire of a movie Skyline. So, I watched it. Wow, was it bad. Hardly watchable. It wasn't so much a sequel and a concurrent storyline. At least I think that's what they were going for. I’ll save you the trouble and give you the play-by-play.

We open with some random scene of what looks like a field hospital. I don't really know what it was. I guess it was meant to be in the future, but didn't sell it well. It had a voice over monologue that i'm sure was meant to be profound, but i can't recall a single bit of it.

I didn't get invested enough to learn anyone's name so I will just call them by what they are.

We open with a dude in a truck using mouthwash. Typical scruffy type you know is meant to be the hero/good guy. You can tell he is troubled by something, cuz that's obviously the cookie cutter protagonist they are going with. I'll call him sad dad. Oh yeah, he is a cop. We learn he has been on leave because his wife died. He is at the police station because his son got in a fight. Wow, didn't see that coming. Where his dad is sad at the world, he is mad at the world and keeps getting in fights. So, we’ll call him mad son. Some pointless argument happens and the truck wont start so they take the subway.

We cut to the train car and you have a perfect sampling of random people. Right on cue, there is a crash and the train comes to a halt. How original. So, sad dad goes and talks to the train conductor, we’ll call her subway, and she tries to take control. Of course more crashing sounds happen and they immediately say to hell with procedure and take off down the tracks. Subway pretty much lets sad cop take over without hesitation.

Now we see a police station and everyone is gone. A guy we learned to be the sad dads partner, now called partner cop, comes out of the bathroom like nothing happened. Now, there is no damn way he wouldn't have heard all the commotion, yet he is clueless. He runs into another random cop and they see a bunch of people outside looking at some blue light. Next thing you know, the people are flying into the air and we see they are being gobbled up by a spaceship. So, they decide to run and hide in the subway.

What a coincidence! Sad dad runs into his buddy, partner cop in the very same subway because of course they do. This movie writes itself.

So, they are walking down a tunnel and the Airforce nukes the spaceship. Obviously, when confronting a superior, alien force, nuke a major city.

eyes.jpg

The subway collapses and kills a bunch of the random subway people. Then an alien jumps out and eats partner cop. Mad son is mesmerized by the blue lights and his eyes get all weird like Lady Gaga did his eyeliner so sad dad shoots it, like 20 times, at least. Partner cop isn't dead and is just being held by the alien so sad dad cuts him out. LOOK OUT! Alien isn't dead so they climb up a car to get to the street. So, sad dad takes a road flare, and puts it in the cars gas tank. Somehow, he has enough time to climb up the car to safety before it blown. That's not how fire works. So stupid.

Anyway, now they are all running around and I notice subway is wearing capri pants. In what version of LA is a subway conductor allowed to wear capris? Capris are dumb, this is dumb.

I kinda checked out for a while and don't remember what happened, but they end up getting sucked up into the ship. Now we see the aliens are ripping the brains out of people and tossing the bodies aside. Somehow, sad dad still has a gun that never runs out of bullets  and starts shooting things. That makes boss alien mad and he sends other bad guys after him. Somehow, sad dad seems to get flushed out of the ship only to get his leg impaled on a spike. Next thing you know, he pulls himself back up and you see him parkour his way back up, bad leg and all. Suuuure….

Now, sad dad is wandering around the ship, where everything is wet and slimy (why would it be wet and slimy?) and he runs into a blue eyed bad guy. Que obligatory human vs alien fight. In comes a red eyed alien who starts fighting blue eyed alien and kills him. If 90’s rap videos taught us anything, its that red and blue hate each other so it makes sense.

Sad dad follows red eyed alien and they find a pregnant lady. Lady gives birth and wouldn't you know, red eyed alien turn out to be the babies father. Oh, and the mom seemed to die for no reason whatsoever. Turns out the family was sucked up and the dads brain got put into an alien robot body thing and now they are back together. At least I think thats what happened. I was up getting a beer by this point.

Sad dad makes a deal with red eyed alien that he will keep his daugher safe if he helps him find his son.

bs-1280-1513039257492_400w.jpg

Now, sad dad and red eyes are fighting more blue eyes and sad dad get an alien weapon arm. Sure, why the hell not. At some point in the fight they find mad son and to save them all, mad somn sacrifices himself and gets his brain sucked out.

Then red eyes blows up the ship.

Now they are in Laos. Not a major city like Tokyo or Hong Kong, but the middle of nowhere Laos.

The ship crashed and sad dad, subway, baby and the blind guy escape. Oh yeah, they have had an old blind guy with them up till now. Not really important.

Let flip to the section called racial stereotypes in the Movies For Dummies book. All the Laotians know karate!!!

They run into a couple bad guys with motorcycle helmets and get into a huge, i'm going to kill you as quick as I can fight. Its american brawn vs asian martial arts. Of course, they seem evenly matched. THEN, they see a worse bad guy and become friends. Instantly they team up.

Oh, I almost forgot, one of the motorcycle people find an egg thing and puts it in her bag. It will be important later, cuz thats how movies work.

After I come back from getting another beer, I see they are in some big temple thing. Asian guys says something profound about The Vietnam War and they go inside.

Well wouldn't you know, the temple is being used as a rebel base where they process drugs!!! It is so bad with the stereotypes it's insulting.

There just happens to be an American hippie/junky there that is the chemist for the drug lab. He uses his desktop computer and seems to sequence the babies DNA somehow and they find out she is growing super fast and needs blood because she is running out? Why would she be running out of blood? Oh, and now she is part alien herself, or something like that. Since sad dad had the alien arm thing his blood is the only one that works. She sleeps through the night and now she is a toddler.

They talk about how it doesn't make sense that our DNA is compatible with the alien and not only decide we are being harvested, that it's happened before. Oh and the aliens put us here for that purpose. Whatever…

Here is a great line. “But they didn't count on one thing, evolution.” SO DUMB!!!

Ok, after yet another beer, we see subway and one of the motorcycle helmets setting up a claymore mine in the jungle. Then a giant alien starts chasing them. Really, its a normal alien inside a giant robot thing. Think Pacific Rim. Motorcycle helmet runs into a minefield and sacrifices herself when the big guy chases her.

Now, there are tons of rebels and villagers booby trapping the temple and everyone gets a gun.

They come up with a plan to use the babies blood, to infect the egg thing since she is immune.The logic is it will somehow free everyone who is being controlled by blue eyes bad guy. Turns out the majority of the blue eyes aliens they are fighting are actually shells with an infected human brain running the show. If they can “free” them, they will return to normal. Well, as normal can be living in an alien robot body thing.

Anyway, sad dad climbs onto the ship with a syringe of baby blood and injects it in one of the egg things, which turns out is a bullet for a big light gun? I know...just go with it.

Well, sad dad end up fighting a blue eye and his wedding ring falls out of his pocket. Blue eye sees it and his eyes flicker to red. Guess what, blue eyes is mad son!!!!!

On the ground, there is tons of hand to alien hand fighting. It seems like the aliens know karate at points.

Sad dad puts the bullet in the big light gun and i guess shoots it? Its starts to turn red and boss alien freaks out and rips the gun out of the ship.He is in another Pacific Rim robot thing at this point so it's easy for him.

Alien boss shows back up and is just about to kill everyone when mad son gets his own big robot and they fight.

Now we see the baby, now toddler wandering around in the maylay and touches the busted egg gun and is able to activate it. It turns red.

fight.jpg

Mad son is getting his ass kicked by boss alien and sad dad shoots it with a rocket that was laying around. Convenient! Amiright?

Now, boss alien is pissed and goes after sad dad and at the last second, mad son/red eyed alien saves the day and shoots him with the red egg gun. Boss alien is dead and the others turn to red eyes.

THEN, the sad dad and mad son/alien do what any dad/ alien son would do. They fist bump.

Jump to the future I guess and the half alien baby/toddler is all grown up. I think that's who was in the field hospital thing in the beginning, but it doesn't make sense since she isn't injured. She is the leader of the resistance. Oh, and they are on a spaceship taking the fight to the blue eyes.

The end. Thank God thats over.

Wait, theres more!

To top it all off, what do they show during the credit cut sequences? OUTTAKES!!!! How in the hell can you try and pull off a serious movie and end with outtakes?!

Watch it if you want, but don't say I didn't warn you.


 

Posted on June 8, 2018 and filed under The Worst Movie I've Seen.

Solo: A Star Wars Story REVIEW

upload.jpg

Han Solo brought cool to the sci-fi genre with his aloof attitude, lack of hesitation to shoot first, and style. It's a character unlike any other before him and led to countless copycats up to Marvel's Star Lord. Through the original Star Wars trilogy we watch as Solo develops from a selfish smuggler out to make a few bucks to becoming a team player who makes sacrifices to help his friends and family until his death at the end of his own son in Force Awakens. Oh crap! Spoilers for Force Awakens...  But what was the space rebel without a cause like before the fate of the Galaxy was thrust upon his shoulders? 

Solo: A Star Wars Story is what Phantom Menace should have been. A prequel that skips the needless childhood years and jumps right into the formative young adulthood age. Showing a young Solo as the scheming outlaw we already know him as but without all the rough edges fully roughed up yet. Unlike the current offerings in this Disney Star Wars universe, it seems that the writers dipped into the Lucas well of cannon backstory a bit. That is the film is penned by none other than Empire and Jedi writer Lawrence Kasdan and son Johnathan a duo who are both parts responsible for the characters we know and grew up knowing them. Solo feels the most tied to the original Star Wars trilogy in both characters and world. Gone are the annoying jokey-jokes of Last Jedi and back is the familiar world we all fell in love with. 
A criticism I have of this film and Rogue One is that the droid technology seems to be more advanced in these films than in Episode IV-VI. I know it's nitpicky but Lando's droid, L3, has the operating system of a sassy woman while 10 years later 3PO is all persnickety and adheres to all requests made of him. Perhaps we simply did not see an independent thinking droid before K2SO and L3 because 3PO simply was not programmed that way but where were all the other droids like K2SO in the original trilogy?!?!?! Okay, sorry. That went on too long.
Beyond that I really enjoyed Solo quite a bit and am excited knowing that Alden Ehrenreich has signed on for two more movies. Now will those be three more Han-centric films or will the films deal with stories set in motion in this film, is yet to be discovered. Whatever the case; if the other two films are on par with this one then it is a trilogy that will be ranked high in the list of Star Wars trilogies. 

composite.jpg

I'm not going to be delusional and swear up and down that you will love Solo because that might not be true. This will absolutely be a movie that some people will love while others hate, a trend that seems to be following these Disney Star Wars movies. Since Force Awakens, I've been on both sides of it. I really loved Force Awakens but hated Last Jedi while others felt the complete opposite about both. I do believe that a huge complaint will come from the camp of people that cannot get over the fact that Alden Ehrenreich is not Harrison Ford and I understand it but that is not a reason to count the film out as a whole.
Back in 2009 many people praised Chris Pine for having his own take on Capt. Kirk while at the same time also loving what Karl Urban did with his spot on Bones. Ehrenreich manages to do both with his portrayal of Han Solo dancing perfectly on the line of imitation and originality. While he embodies the character he somehow manages to make it his own and if you allow yourself to relax enough and accept this new reality, it is not distracting at all. On the flip side Donald Glover's Lando is spot on, perfect on every level, and steals the scene every time he is on screen with the same charisma and charm that Billy Dee Williams breathed into the character. Obviously Chewbacca is amazing with Joonas Sutamo now taking over the role from the great Peter Meyhew. Chewy and Han's budding friendship is given full respect and is far better than the originally conceived Episode III idea wherein Han was raised by Chewbaca (and idea that thankfully was never fully realized). Woody Harrelson, Emilia Clarke, Thandie Newton, and Jon Favreau round out the supporting cast of heroes and Paul Bettany plays that part of the villainous Dryden Vos so well you want him to have his own prequel just so we can know what's up with his face.

I refuse to spoil anything in these reviews so I can't dive as deeply as I would like into very specific scenes I love but there is plenty to enjoy, if you allow it. The movie is good, if you let it be. If you can let go of what you don't like about it before you see it, you will enjoy it much more. It's not the best Star Wars movie but it is the best we've had since Force Awakens, if not more so simply for the fact that is hearkens back to the tone and feel of the originals. It's all the best of Lucas's Star Wars with the good parts of Disney's Star Wars.
Let yourself enjoy Solo. You'll be happy you did.

Posted on May 25, 2018 and filed under Movie Reviews.

The Happytime Murders: Not your Mama's Muppets

Happytime-Murders-1000-01.jpg

After years of speculation and dwindling hopes the trailer for The Happytime Murders dropped this morning! We first heard about this Sesame Street meets Se7en puppet-filled serial killer mash-up 6 years ago when concept art started circulating.  We're happy to report that the world where puppets and humans co-mingle seen in the trailer looks very true to what we saw in the concept art back in 2012. The Happytime Murders is the first feature film produced under the Henson Alternative brand and, to add to the excitement, Brian Henson (son of Jim Henson) still looks to be in the director's chair. It's great to see that all the things that made the initial reports sound so interesting haven't changed. Although we can't say we're too broken up about Melissa McCarthy taking on the lead role as opposed to Katherine Heigl...

Original Concept from March 2012

Original Concept from March 2012

Check out the red band trailer below!

Posted on May 18, 2018 and filed under Trailer Park.

The Sandlot at 25

The early 90’s were a time when nearly everything aimed at kids was “X-Treme!”; a minimum of two tones of neon was practically a requirement on any garment. There’s not much that could be plucked from the era and labeled “timeless”, but one of my favorite movies, first released in April of 1993 has withstood that test of time. “The Sandlot”, a tale of baseball obsessed friends on a mission to get back a Babe Ruth signed ball has never been as popular as it is these 25 years later.

01- Sandlot DVD.jpg

 

No sport encourages passing it’s traditions down to the next generation quite so much as baseball, and The Sandlot has become part of that tradition. Despite being set in 1962, it’s themes resonated in ’93 just as they do today, with elements like treehouses, sleepovers, first crushes (Wendy Peffercorn!), using curse words when grown-ups aren’t around, a smidge of gross-out humor, and just generally doing stuff your parents would never allow, it proves that many of the ingredients for childhood fun will never change.

In fact it was the Sandlot that made me consider the fact that my parents probably used to be kids once too. Maybe by watching it I was even getting a peek into what summer days were like for my Pop, who would’ve been just a couple years older than the Sandlot gang. In one way or another, The Sandlot has a way of making you feel wistful for a place in time that predates your own birth by 20-some years.

 

03 - JEJ.jpg

The movie stands out within the sports movie genre and even in the baseball movie subset simply because it’s climax is not merely “The Big Game” and it’s antagonist is not the standard jerky rival team. No, the dragon that guards the treasure they seek is a giant dog, whose giant-ness varies greatly based on whether that specific scene is happening ‘in real life’ or in the imagination of the kids, (paying off in a sight gag that is as funny on the 10th viewing as it was on the first).

 

04 - TheBeast.jpg

Though Baseball may be the story’s vehicle, under the red-stitched cowhide, The Sandlot’s “friendship amongst a lovable gang of underdogs on an epic adventure” is what it’s really all about. The story plays out much more like “The Goonies” than “The Bad News Bears” giving it the wide appeal that makes it a favorite of baseball fans and novices, alike.

 

05 - HotYKMSgirl.jpg

At it’s Silver Anniversary, The Sandlot has long outlived it’s 90’s born-on date. It’s impact is  refreshed with every new baseball season; it can be found all over Pop Culture these days. From screenings and promo days at Big League Ballparks, 2 Direct to DVD sequels, castmember signing events, T-shirts and action figures, constant replays on MLB Network, acknowledgement from the game’s next generation of young stars, as well as perhaps, the greatest compliment any movie can paid, the occasional homemade Halloween costume sighting (like this “L-7 Weenie” dressed as Benny “The Jet” Rodriguez).

All of it just goes to show that over the last 25 years, The Sandlot has made a legacy as “The Great Bambino” of Baseball films.

 

06A - Halloween.jpg
06BC - Sandlot Signing.jpg
06D - AaronJudge.jpg
06E - mariners.jpg
Posted on April 8, 2018 .

Sorry, Not Sorry Cinema: DEEP RISING

Because I love starting recurring columns, that never recur: here's a new one! Welcome to "Sorry, Not Sorry" where we'll discuss the horrible things we love....with no apologies.

Deep_rising.jpg

1998's Deep Rising isn't a great movie. It's not a bad movie. It's a meh movie. BUT for some reason I have to re-watch it: Every. Time. I. Find. It. Streaming. 

I can't tell you why, but like the people that made this movie, I'll try.

Upon each subsequent viewing I find more and more wrong with it, but alas, here we are. I just watched Deep Rising again this afternoon. I was scrolling through HBOGo just minding my own business, I see Deep Rising and I'm like "oh, that's cool, I'll add that to my watchlist" annnnnnnnnnnnd I'm watching it again.

It's kind of a monster movie. It's kind of an action movie. It's trying really hard to be a comedy. It does all of these things to varying degrees. 

The story goes like this:

There's this big cruise ship sailing about in a storm filled to the brim with rich people. There's this hot lady-thief there to empty the ship's safe. She gets caught and locked in the pantry. There are strange groans and growls coming from the sea. Suddenly something goes wrong...

A few miles away we find our rugged hero getaway-boat-captain shuttling his tiny boat's crew towards an unknown destination with a group of mercenaries on board. They run across the cruise ship after their boat is damaged and head aboard looking for a way to repair their ship. Something's not right. The vessel is deserted save for a few survivors. As they search for clues they find themselves being picked off one by one by something...blah, blah, blah.

Deeprisingwhatchodoin2.jpg

You get the gist. There's some crazy monster from the deep lurking about and this ragtag group of criminals and crew must find a way off the boat. The monster is...interesting. It's like a giant squid...thing. It'd be scarier if the digital effects didn't look like some PS2-era video game cutscene. The movie could have been soooooo much better if they had put that CGI budget towards some practical effects. This movie came out four years after Jurassic Park so there's really no excuse. Somehow that low-res look, however laughable, adds to the charm. There aren't really any tense moments, but there are spaces for them. They're trying. So hard. For instance, there a scene when one of the thief-ship's crew is trying to repair the damage (the massive 4x6 foot hole) in the side of their ship and is attacked/eaten. She's welding an angled piece of the hull to...nothing. She's literally just running the welder/blowtorch over the surface of the metal all while water (up to her waist) sloshes over her work surface. She hears that aforementioned groan from the ocean and we know her time has come, but all I can think about is how in the hell did she intend to fix that gaping hole! Maybe it was some kind of new fangled metal that you could just heat up and stretch to mend like Billy Mays' Mighty Putty. This isn't the only instance of "tension" during metalwork. At almost the same time our captain, now aboard the cruise ship, is heating up a pipe and banging on it, somehow crafting a part to repair his ship's engine. He's actually banging the roundness out of the pipe. Not quite sure what that's supposed to fix, but while he works the monster strategically picks off another couple of mercenaries. Somehow, I'm still invested.

The dialog might be the best part. What better example could I offer than the THREE times "___________, my ass" is used in the span of 90 seconds. "You know what badass sea-people would say to each other? 'My ass' after they hear something ridiculous." Later on, during some of that tense welding, we get this hilarious exchange: 

Hero Captain: What you got there?

Comedic Relief Mechanic: Peanut...

Hero Captain: Peanut?

Comedic Relief Mechanic: Peanut.

Hero Captain: Okay, peanut...

Comedic Relief Mechanic: [drops his peanut in the water] Shit!

Some gut-busting stuff, I know. For some strange reason though...I laugh, or maybe that's too generous...let's say a smile creeps across my face, but a genuine smile nevertheless. There's a certain lameness to every line delivered in Deep Rising, but it's the confidence with which they are delivered that earns that smile. Deep Rising is one hour and forty five minutes of Dad-jokes.

ef386f08694c0c83bbe8ae8addadf68a.jpg

The cast and crew of Deep Rising is a veritable smorgasbord of "hey, it's that guy!" guys. Stephen Sommers is behind both the camera and word processor on this one pulling double duty as writer and director. You might not know his name, but Sommers scored a pretty big hit the following year with The Mummy. He's still active in Hollywood having most recently directed Odd Thomas which I rather enjoyed. Treat Williams stars as our wisecracking hero captain. No one can deliver Dad-jokes like a guy that looks like a friend of your Dad's. I mean this sincerely: Treat is a reel treat (I think that was a Dad-joke). Famke Janssen stars as hot lady-thief and love interest to Treat Williams. Oh, did I not mention that they manage to shoehorn a romance into this sea monster madness? Yeah, love blooms on a corpse-filled boat. Director Stephen Sommers must have taken a shine to comic relief mechanic Kevin J. O'Connor because O'Connor makes an appearance in several other Sommers joints throughout the years. This love affair may have actually been sparked years before when O'Connor (and Famke Janssen) played a role in Sommers' Lord of Illusions. The cast is rounded out with Anthony Heald (Silence of the Lambs), Djimon Hounsou (Guardians of the Galaxy), and Cliff Curtis (Sunshine).

deep-rising-movie-treat-williams-famke-janssen.jpg

Deep Rising closes with *spoilers* our two lovebirds escaping to a "deserted" island in the middle of the ocean only to be greeted with the rustling of trees in the distance as something huge makes its way across the island. Deep Rising was so sure of itself that it went ahead and filmed a ready-for-sequel ending. It's that self confidence that makes me love Deep Rising. I feel like I was onto something with the Dad-joke reference. Deep Rising is the "Dad" of movies: it's not funny, it's not sexy, it's not exciting, but dammit, you love it anyway.

We give Deep Rising 5 digested fingers out of five!!!

We give Deep Rising 5 digested fingers out of five!!!

Deep Rising is available for streaming on HBOGo.

Posted on April 6, 2018 and filed under Movie Reviews.

REVIEW: The Devil's Candy

d4389e51901105.58fe201224210.jpg

You know what? The Devil's Candy is pretty great! As a seasoned horror film veteran I went into it thinking I wouldn't like it. To be exact, I went into it thinking "this is going to annoy me". I've seen some great scary movies. I've seen some a'ight scary movies. And, sadly, I've seen some scary movies that brought more yawns and eye-rolls than real chills. 

The Devil's Candy left me pleasantly surprised. Judging from the box art (aka the few screen grabs on Netflix) and short plot tease you'd be right in assuming that this was just going to be another of those run-of-the-mill demonic possession/haunted house flicks that seem to perforate our "Just Added" lists like so many holes in our streaming Swiss cheese. This snap judgement may or may not be the fault of the streaming service. Back in the glory days of Blockbuster and the like, you found new movies by box art. Whichever DVD had the craziest title or coolest art was going home with you that night. The game wasn't perfect though, you were just as likely to end up with a dud as you were to finding video store gold. But, I digress.

tumblr_ovz5fi8EHr1rqrt0mo4_400.gif

The Devil's Candy stars Ethan Embry as a tattooed, long-haired, heavy metal-loving painter. He and his family are looking for a new home and think they may have found a winner in an old house with a history. SURPRISE! The previous tenants died there and their psychotic adult son has disappeared! GASP! But, seriously, this is about where the haunted house/possession tropes end. The set-up is all too familiar, but the rest of the story makes a much needed departure from the genre's tried and true plot points. That's not to say that the film breaks new ground in horror, but it veers away from the expected and that's refreshing. I don't want to spoil too much of the plot as that veering was a lot of the fun with this movie. It leads you into thinking things are going to play out one way and keeps you invested by constantly going another direction. There are plenty of tense moments and a substantial amount of blood and gore to be found later on, too, if that's your thing. Pruitt Taylor Vince costars as the aforementioned psychotic son and does not disappoint.

The Devil's Candy is a surprising horror film, at least for me. It's got the name and plot points of a bargain bin scary movie, but it ends up delivering a lot more, specifically the greatest guitar smashing climax in the history of film.

17DEVILCANDY-master768.jpg

NOTEWORTHY:

  • + Heavy Metal Horror
  • + Cute relationship between Dad and Daughter
  • + Pruitt Taylor Vince is as creepy as ever
  • + It's NOT another Amityville
  • + Guitar SMASH!!!
  • -  Paintings in movies are lame
  • -  Poor promotional images on streaming services may not get this film the views it deserves

The Devil's Candy was directed by Sean Byrne and stars Ethan Embry, Shiri Appleby, and Pruitt Taylor Vince. It is currently available for streaming via Netflix.

Posted on March 22, 2018 .

Black Panther Review

upload.jpg

The formula for Marvel movies relies heavy on action, jokes and then story. There's nothing wrong with that and it's the formula we've all come to love and enjoy. Black Panther takes that formula, repositions the weight of each and gives you an incredible story with plenty of action and toned down comic relief. That is what makes this film so special in the MCU, it's a real drama that doesn't make you yearn for the next action scene. It lives up to the excited anticipation of it's release which earned it the highest grossing pre-sale tickets of any non-Star Wars movie.

Beyond being a super hero origin story, Black Panther is a story of forgiveness and a moving one at that. Since I'm not too big on giving away plot and story points on opening night, I'll leave it at that and get right to the construction of the film. 

Usually a movie with an ensemble cast will falter with some character development slipping through the cracks but not here. Despite having a huge roster of new characters for us (comic film fans, not comic fans who also enjoy film) everybody is almost completely fleshed out and it never leaves you grasping at clues to remind us of the relationship between each player. The development of each person and relationship is never shoehorned in either, it all develops rather organically. That is thanks largely in part to writer/director Ryan Coogler who is best known for saving the Rocky franchise with his film, Creed. The other thanks would have to go to the amazing cast.

upload.jpg

Chadwick Boseman delivers an amazing performance, as per usual, owning the character of Black Panther 100% but even more so when the claws are put away as King T'Challa. He proves that it's no wonder that he stole the show in Captain America: Airport Fight and pretty much anything else he is in. And not to be overlooked, he who is quickly becoming one of this era's greatest actors who absolutley immerses himself into the character he's playing, Michael B. Jordan performs Killmonger with the passion of Creed and the unforgiving evil of... I can't thing of a time where he was hateable... Human Torch (based solely on how terrible Fant4stic was). The rest of the cast was top notch and to mention them all would take up this entire review, one thing I will point out is that Martin Freeman's accent never slips to British but does go Fargo-ish a few time. Listen and tell me if you here it.

I have little to no complaints about Black Panther and that's not the high of just getting out of the movie talking. It is amazing and if it does not get a nomination outside of special effects, it will be a damn shame. Comicbook movies have a hard time getting nominated but this is among the ones that truly deserve the honor.  

Go see Black Panther. You will not be disappointed.  

 

(There is a mid-credit scene and one post credit scene. The latter is... Okay. It's a second tier MCU character, just a heads up.) 

Posted on February 16, 2018 and filed under Movie Reviews.

Ready Player One Poster Reveal

ready-player-one-movie-poster.jpg

Warner Bros dropped another poster today for the upcoming release of Ready Player One. Just like the movie itself, it is full of 80’s nostalgia. It is clearly a Drew Struzan inspired poster, which is fitting since many of Steven Spielbergs previous films also received the Struzan treatment. If you would like to see more of Struzans work, check out the article we previously did on him.

ready-player-one-04.png

Ready Player One, with a release date of 3/29, is set in a dystopian future where things have gotten so bad, society chooses to live in a virtual world called OASIS. After the death of the creator of OASIS, played by Mark Rylance, it is revealed that a series of Easter Eggs have been hidden throughout the Virtual World and whoever find them will be the sole owner of his company and OASIS itself.

When a seemingly nobody by the name of Wade Watts (Tye Sheridan) stumbles on the first Easter Egg, an all out frenzy ensues to find the remaining clues and thus becoming the owner of OASIS.

220px-Ready_Player_One_cover.jpg

RPO, based on a novel of the same name by Ernie Cline, by all appearances, is a nostalgia overload. If you grew up in the 70’s or 80’s, this film is sure to bring the Saturday morning memories flooding back.

readyplayerone_irongiant.jpg
Posted on February 13, 2018 .

Deadpool 2 Trailer NOW WITH MORE CABLE!

Obviously, we're gonna love a Deadpool trailer and this one gives us plenty to gush over. A nice swipe at Mustache-gate and a pretty hilarious Toy Story parody to name a couple. Also, in addition to highlights from characters we love from the first outing we get to see Domino and Cable in action and it's spectacular. If the final film is anywhere as cool as this trailer we are in for some awesomeness come May 18th.

 

upload.jpg
Posted on February 7, 2018 and filed under Trailer Park.