September 28, 2015

Movie Review: The Green Inferno

I remember the first time I watched Cannibal Holocaust. I hated it. Completely hated every moment of it and don't get me started on the animal violence in it. There was something about it that just rubbed me the wrong way. That reaction was way back in 2006, not that long ago, right? In the years since I have made my peace with the film, even coming to be a fan of it. I have seen it projected in a theater a couple of times and attended a panel with star Robert Kerman. It is a movie that does not lose its power. It remains a very effective film and a very unsettling experience. It is the granddaddy of cannibal horror, and now we have a new film looking to recapture the feel of that grindhouse classic, Eli Roth's The Green Inferno.

September 21, 2015

Screening Report: Hudson Horror Invades the Alamo III (Alamo Drafthouse, 9/19/15)

If you did not know, the Hudson Horror Show is a pretty big deal. You go somewhere and mention them, people know what you are talking about, their eyes light up with excitement. There is a growing camaraderie amongst the horror marathon that is amazing. Go to these shows and you instantly become a member of the family. Anyway, this past weekend the Hudson Horror crew spearheaded their third invasion of the Alamo Drafthouse, and it was a sold out affair. This double feature played to a lively crowd and went over extraordinarily well.

September 19, 2015

Movie Review: Maze Runner - The Scorch Trials

Last year we got another in a long line of young adult dystopian future novel adaptations in The Maze Runner. I went in hoping it would wash the bad taste of The Giver, which was released shortly before it, out of my mouth. It did, sort of. It was a movie that was always in motion and successfully distracted me from a pretty poorly written movie. Somehow it managed to be enough to entice me to come back for the sequel. It was touch and go for a minute, but I went. With that said, I am thinking I may not come back for the third.

September 15, 2015

Movie Review: The Visit (2015)

The Visit has arrived in theaters and seeks to bring M. Night Shyamalan back to his roots. He is a writer director who began his career with an improves sick string of movies, most notably the Oscar nominated The Sixth Sense and Unbreakable. His career started getting big and, in my opinion, the quality started to falter with movies that seemed to feature Shyamalan in an unchecked mode. His most recent films have been lackluster studio fare, like After Earth, that left me wanting more from him. I was wondering where the guy who made Unbreakable went. I think we found him.

September 14, 2015

Movie Review: The Perfect Guy

When it comes to late August and early September releases, there is not usually the expectation of quality. It is similar to what happens in January, you may find a gem, but usually the new releases are just movies the studio is hoping to make a little money off of in lieu of any real quality. Something of a dumping ground. I feel that is what happened with The Perfect Guy. Clearly they were looking to follow up last year's No Good Deed, and based on the box office, they must be happy with the results. However, if you are looking for quality, you would be better served looking elsewhere.

September 11, 2015

Screening Report: Tremors (9/10/15 Alamo Drafthouse, Yonkers, NY)

A month or so back it was announced that Tremors would be screening at the Alamo Drafthouse in Yonkers, NY, as part of their Prints of Darkness screening series, hosted by Fangoria magazine's Michael Gingold. On the side I had been told that they had reached out to Kevin Bacon to possibly make an appearance for a Q and A live in the theater. The theater had recently done a live Skype broadcast with him following a screening of Cop Car, plus he lives in New York City, so it was not outside the realm of possibility. Needless to say, a week score the screening, it was announced they would, indeed, have Kevin Bacon in the theater.

September 7, 2015

Blu-ray Review: Furious 7

Fourteen years later, it is the franchise that just keeps on giving. I can honestly say that when The Fast and The Furious arrived way back in 2001, I never thought anyone would still be talking about it in 2015, much less be anticipating a sixth sequel! At the same time, it is just as hard to fathom that the series has gotten better as it has aged, stepping up its game beginning with the fourth and never looking back. It has long since outgrown its street racing roots and has become a sort of gear head James Bond series filled with big stunts and international intrigue, just sillier. Seriously sillier, there is not a shred of believability here.

Movie Review: No Escape (2015)

When I first saw the title No Escape pop up on an upcoming movie list, my mind flashed back to 1994 and wondered if they actually remade the Martin Campbell directed sci-fi/action film that came out that year. You don't remember it? It was pretty good, had a decent cast with Ray Liotta and Lance Henriksen, and reminded one of movies like Escape from New York. Well, obviously they didn't, it is just a coincidence. This No Escape is actually a modern day thriller featuring a family just trying to stay alive. In all honesty, this new film is probably the better of the two, but I think I want to revisit the older one now, see if it holds up.

September 2, 2015

Movie Review: American Ultra

The idea of American Ultra is not a new one. It is a movie that relies heavily on familiar elements to keep everything moving. While it is not exactly new material, this is not a negative. In fact, the familiarity lays down the framework on which they are able to execute the elements that differentiate it from others of its ilk. I think the closest comparison would be The Bourne Identity. Perhaps Stoner Bourne? Obviously, not everyone is going to be into this, nor is it a great movie, but I found it to be quite entertaining, a refreshing cinematic excursion.

August 29, 2015

Movie Review: Hitman - Agent 47

Eight years ago the first attempt at adapting the Hitman series of games hit the big screen. I do not remember much of it other than I did not like it. There had been some hope for it, the lead was decent actor (Timothy Olyphant), plus it was helmed by Xavier Gens, who was coming off the excellent horror film Frontier(s). However, that is neither here nor there. What we are faced with now is a reboot of the franchise with a new lead and a new director, not to mention a new story. Unfortunately, the results are not any better.

Movie Review: Sinister 2

Three years ago Scott Derrickson and C. Robert Cargill brought us Sinister. It was a horror movie that drew me and unsettled my core. It was a movie that, like Insidious, proved there is life and quality in mainstream horror. It was a haunted house tale, it was a demonic tale, it was a missing person mystery, and it succeeded in making skin crawl. It was a movie that took a different angle on the idea of found footage, having the main character find film that pertains to the mystery at hand. It was quite effective. Sadly, the sequel did not live up to its predecessors promise.

August 25, 2015

Screening Report: Exhumed Films Guilty Pleasures II (8/22/15, Alamo Drafthouse, Yonkers, NY)

Exhumed Films is a group based out of the Philadelphia area that put on genre film marathons and other special events on an annual basis. Last year they started a new tradition, the Guilty Pleasures Marathon. They take five films that had positive play at one of their prior shows and put them together in a marathon of their own. Last year's event included such films as 1990: The Bronx Warriors, No Mercy Man, and Night of a Thousand Cats. It is all held within the friendly confines of the Alamo Drafthouse in Yonkers, NY. Having such a good time last year, it was a given that I was going to be at this year's event!

August 16, 2015

Movie Review: The Man from U.N.C.L.E. (2015)

If you are looking for someone writing about how this modern cinematic reboot of The Man from U.N.C.L.E. relates to the original 1960's series, you've come to the wrong place. Frankly, the only thing I know about the original is the title, that it was an east meets west spy series, and it starred Robert Vaughn and David McCallum. I am also fairly certain the two relate in only the broadest of terms. With that being said, this new take is actually better than I was expecting. It is not a great film, mind you, but it is a fun stylish modern take on an old formula. Simply put, this was an entertaining two hours in a movie theater.

August 15, 2015

Movie Review: Cop Car

There are times when I go to a movie and while I watch the film unfold, I think to myself how there is no way that it could have been made by a big studio. If I know it is going to be a small release, I will frequently think how there is no way that it will play for a wide mainstream audience. Now, this is for movies I like, mind you. I hate to think like this, but it is true. For those of you who are really into movies, have you not had thoughts like that while watching a movie? You can be smiling giddily, enjoying every moment, but deep down, you know there is no way an average audience is going to latch on to it. It can be for any reason, but you know it is true, and it makes you sad.