April 19, 2018

Screening Report: Uncle Sam at Alamo Drafthouse, Yonkers (4/17/18) w/ Bill Lustig

It must have been a year or so ago that I attended a screening at the Alamo, in Yonkers, that was hosted by Bill Lustig. I forget what movie it was, but I want to say Vigilante or Maniac Cop 2. Wait a minute, you don’t know who Bill Lustig is? For shame. He is a director and producer who has been in and around the industry for decades, and he is responsible for bringing us such classics as Maniac and Maniac Cop. Well, in any case, after the screening, there was some discussion about any possible interest in seeing his last directed film, Uncle Sam. I was the first one to say that I would be there. It is not that it is a great movie, but it is a fun one that I thought would be fun to see with an audience. Now, here we are basking in the afterglow of a screening of said movie.

April 18, 2018

Critical Capsule: The Strangers - Prey at Night

The Strangers was a scary and effective horror film that had an unsettling realism about it. Now, we have the sequel that I don’t think anyone was really asking for, bearing the subtitle Prey at Night. The best thing I can say about this movie is that it has some well shot sequences. The movie itself seemed intent on doing nothing like the first one, thus defeating the purpose. Rather than terrifying the characters, it was more about terrifying the audience with unearned jump scares. On one level, I can sort of enjoy this, but then I get distracted by the terrible choices made by those behind the camera. It is as if they are seeking to undermine the elements that made the first so effective. In many ways I hated this movie.

Related Posts with Thumbnails

April 17, 2018

Critical Capsule: Game Night

This movie was a complete surprise. Don’t get me wrong, I am not calling great or anything, but it is genuinely funny, involving, and actually kept me guessing throughout. Game Night is a legitimately fun movie that just when you think you see where it is going, it swerves and changes everything. I liked the cast, Jason Bateman and Rachel McAdams are a good lead pair. I also liked that the makers tried to do stuff with the style to further the concept of games, most notably using tilt shift to make the town look like a game board and the cars as game pieces. This is he sort of surprise I like to have, when hoping to be entertained, and walk away genuinely liking it.

Related Posts with Thumbnails

April 16, 2018

Critical Capsule: Annihilation (2018)

Alex Garland is a name that perks my ears, he is a filmmaker who is adept at bring intelligent genre fare to the big screen. His latest is an adaptation of Annihilation, I am not familiar with the book, but after seeing the movie I am curious. The movie is mesmerizing and while I sort of get it, I cannot explain it. It is fascinating to watch this movie unfold and seemingly refuse to answer any questions. It is sort of like the tree in Empire Strikes Back, Luke is told all that is inside is what he brings. Inside the anomaly called the Shimmer there may be more than what the women bring, but the influence of what they bring has an impact. Then there is the final act, some of the freakiest stuff I’ve seen in a mainstream release. This is a movie that begs for multiple viewing to unlock its secrets.

Related Posts with Thumbnails

April 10, 2018

Movie Review: A Quiet Place (2018)

It seems like every year has that one genre film that breaks out and gets on the hype train. In many cases, the hype is deserving. Even though hype has a way of leading to backlash, i have found the films to get the positive hype to be more than deserving. One thing that I am liking is that in recent year the films are retaining the quality and are skewing closer to mainstream success. I love the idea of more people discovering genre films and letting the sickness spread. In case you didn’t know, the movies I am referring to are It Follows, The Babadook, The Witch, Get Out, and now we have A Quiet Place. I make no secret that I love them all.

March 29, 2018

Movie Review: The Teacher

There was probably a time when a teacher seducing a student was considered taboo and was an act that was completely unheard of. It must have been a long time ago. It seems like we can not go all that long without story of some young teacher seducing a student for illicit sexual escapades. Just the other day I saw a news story about a guy who took off with a female student on the sports team he was coaching, only to get caught trying to get a job to make some money to get across the border. It all makes the plot of The Teacher seem all that more mundane when all you need to do is turn on the news for something more scandalous. Still, I found the movie to be pretty watchable, although not terribly good.

March 15, 2018

Movie Review: Mayhem (2017)

On one hand, Mayhem is just the kind of movie that I should love. On the other hand, Mayhem is just the kind of movie that I should hate. With that said, I guess it makes some sort of sense that I am somewhere in the middle with regards to how I feel about it. There is about as much to like about it as there is to dislike. In some ways I wish this was a short film, as that is one of the problems, it feels stretched, straining to be a feature length feature film. There is nothing worse than padding, right? Stop saying these meaningless words and get to the point Just get to the action already. Get on with it. Right?

March 8, 2018

Critical Capsule: Spawn

I decided to revisit the Spawn film the other night. Just as I had suspected it is as bad as it ever was, yet I still find it as compelling as ever. The film is seriously dated and somewhere along the way in adapting it from comic to screen, it lost a good deal of the seriousness and darkness that it had. That said, the hero of Spawn is still a compelling character, a killer recruited by Satan doing his bidding on Earth while thinking, or trying, to do the right thing. I have always loved this character and this film will always evoke a love/hate response from me. For as bad as it is and how much was changed, there are still elements that I like. Michael Jai White, a victim of bad writing, has the physicality to play the role and does his best with what he has. The shining performance belongs to John Leguizamo, legitimately electrifying as the bad guy, a short, fat, white clown. I cannot recommend this movie, but it has a secial place for me.

Related Posts with Thumbnails

February 19, 2018

Movie Review: Winchester

Being a horror fan, i sometimes feel obligated to get out and support horror movies in the theater. This means i often sit through awful mainstream dreck without an ounce of artistry to its money sucking soul. Of course, I do like being surprised by mainstream horror, movies like The Conjuring and Insidious did just that. So, when i first saw the trailer for Winchester, I thought I was in for that rare mainstream treat. The film, based on the trailer, had an interesting look, an interesting premise, plus the added bonus of Helen Mirren. Then I started hearing that it was no good, slow and boring and I almost took a pass on it, but faced with sold out Black Panther screenings, it looked like a good alternative to me, so I gave it a shot.

February 14, 2018

Movie Review: Pick-Up

There are some movies that you pick up to watch that you have absolutely no idea what to expect. Pick-Up is one of those movies. It is a movie that defies logic, sense, and in some cases attention span. I found, while being somewhat intrigued by the happenings in the movie, I had to stop and back it up a few times as I found myself dozing off. It is the first movie in a 32 movie box set of Drive-In Classics that I have watched since getting the set a long time ago. It was also released in a Grindhouse Classics branded double feature some years ago.

February 9, 2018

Critical Capsule: Best Friends

If you want to remain best friends with someone, do not watch the movie Best Friends with them, no matter how much they tell you they love Richard Hatch. Also, no matter how many times marketing folks call a movie a Grindhouse or Drive-in cult classic, chances are if you've never heard mere mention of it before, there is probably a reason. Best Friends follows two buds and their respective lady friends, reunited and heading out on cross-country trek in an RV. It has some gratuitous nudity, but for the most part, this is Lifetime theater circa 1974. Bad acting and a story that goes nowhere and ends when it should be interesting. This is what happens when you make a coming of age movie and neglect to give it a point. Boredom ensues.

Related Posts with Thumbnails

February 7, 2018

Movie Review: The Devil's Honey

For as wildly inconsistent as Lucio Fulci can be, almost all of his films (at least the ones that I have seen) have something of interest about them. Granted, as much as love and enjoy many of his outings, I realize I have only seen a small slice of his filmography. With that said, when I saw Severin Films announce the release of a Fulci film called The Devil’s Honey, I was immediately intrigued. Besides the opportunity to get more Fulci on Blu-ray, it was a movie I had never even heard of. What is this mysterious Devil’s Honey? Turns out it is an erotic thriller that eschews in your face blood and gore and turns it's attention to in your face, melodramatic, sleaze.

January 26, 2018

Critical Capsule: Jumanji - Welcome to the Jungle

I know a lot of people had very strong feelings about the prospect of a Jumanji remake. I was not one of them, sure I enjoyed the movie, but I cannot say I had any particular attachment to it. That said, I initially thought this new edition looked pretty bad. I was wrong. No, it is not a great movie by any stretch, but it is a lot of fun and I liked the use of the video game elements throughout. Beyond that, the cast had great chemistry and Jack Black, in particular was quite well cast and had a rather strong character arc. Likewise, I actually didn’t mind Kevin Hart here, I am not usually a fan of his. Then we have the Rock, who was great as usual. Finally what can be said about Karen Gillan? Overall, this was a fun addition to the Jumanji-verse, not sure I need anymore but this is an easy one to recommend for a little fun in the theater.

Related Posts with Thumbnails

January 25, 2018

Critical Capsule: Justice League

Justice league, what else is left to be said? Probably nothing. I did enjoy the film, but I did not love. I felt that Steppenwolf was a weak villain and the plot felt like a mash of Avengers and Lord of the Rings. A lot of the comedic moments fell flat, especially when they were centered on Batman; however, Flash was pretty fantastic. I thought most of the heroes were handled well, Wonder Woman continues to shine and Cyborg was a lot better than I was expecting. I would :d[ watch this one again and feel it currently is the second best of the DCEU, behind Wonder Woman. I do feel this universe has been rushed but there is always time to save, unlike Universal’s Dark Universe debacle.

Related Posts with Thumbnails