June 27, 2012

Music Review: Sugar Red Drive - A Story of Signs

I am kind of surprised I had not crossed paths with Sugar Red Drive before their label debut release arrived on my doorstep. Why, you ask? Well, the band hails from Poughkeepsie, NY, which is right in my neck of the woods and I have a bunch of friends in and around the local rock scene. Whatever, I guess it doesn't really matter much at this point. What really matters now is the music contained within A Story of Signs.

June 26, 2012

Movie Review: Seeking a Friend for the End of the World

Seeking a Friend for the End of the World is an odd movie. It kind of snuck into theaters under cover of darkness. It is a movie that has not had much of a promotional campaign and after seeing the movie , I can sort of understand why. This may be a rather straightforward and simple movie, but it is also odd, quirky, and strange. It is not a movie that lends itself to easy marketability and, quite frankly, I am kind of surprised it got a wide release right off the bat. It strikes me as the sort of movie to get a limited release to test the waters before going wide.

June 25, 2012

Movie Review: Abraham Lincoln - Vampire Hunter

You must admit, the fist time you heard the title Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter, you thought it was a joke. It's all right, you aren't alone. It is a silly title and beyond that it is a silly idea. Think about what they did here, they took one of our greatest presidents, a rather serious and tumultuous time in our history and turned it into a big action, high concept action/horror romp. Do you want to know something that you may find surprising and perhaps a bit unbelievable? It is a fun movie, really, it is not bad. No, it is not perfect, but it gets a lot of things right and is certainly a lot of fun.

June 24, 2012

Movie Review: Moonrise Kingdom

I will be the first to admit that I am not the biggest fan of Wes Anderson. I liked Bottle Rocket and Fantastic Mr. Fox, but Darjeeling and Life Aquatic did not do much for me. I will also say that I think I need to revisit those other films, and see some for the first time. Lastly, allow me to say that I think Moonrise Kingdom may be my favorite Anderson movie. There is something about this movie that I really liked and have found difficult to express just why. Let's see if I can find a way.

Blu-ray Review: Blood Work

Clint Eastwood has certainly had a long, storied, successful career. He has been an actor, a writer, a producer, and a director, sometimes wearing many hats at the same time. He has also been associated with iconic characters such as the Man with No Name and Dirty Harry. He has always associated himself with projects that interest him without regards to box office potential. You have to respect that. Something else I like about him is that he generally plays his age. Where many actors play younger than they are, Eastwood remembers his age. This fact is on display in movies such as Space Cowboys and Absolute Power. It is also front and center in the film a hand, Blood Work.

June 20, 2012

DVD Review: Seeking Justice

In recent years, Nicolas Cage has become a rather polarizing figure. More often than not he is the target of jokes regarding overacting and the like. I was one of them not that long ago, but have changed my direction and now I have a growing affection for his peculiar brand of acting. No one does crazy quite like he does. Needless to say, I was actually looking forward to seeing Seeking Justice, hoping for some more crazy Cage antics. Unfortunately, he doesn't go too far off the rails here, this time he leaves that to the movie.

June 18, 2012

Movie Review: Rock of Ages

Rock of Ages is a show I had wanted to see for a long time on Broadway but just never got the opportunity to do it. Whenever I saw commercials for it, I knew I had to see it. It was filled with the songs of my youth. Hair metal, or whatever name you prefer, provided my entrance into music in the late eighties (I know, I was a bit late) and this show is just filled with those great songs of my youth. Well, when I heard it was in line for the big screen treatment, I was certainly looking forward to it. Finally, the opportunity to see it was heading my way.

June 17, 2012

Movie Review: That's My Boy

No matter how you look at it, Adam Sandler has had an interesting career. Whether you like him or not, his brand of man-child, arrested development has gone through distinct changes over the years and you can track it through its stages. The past few years have seen a regression. Where you might have been fooled by the emergence of a slightly more mature Sandler in movies like Spanglish, Click, and Funny People, you,are now finding him in retrograde. Sandler appears to be trying to recapture the magic of Billy Madison and Happy Gilmore with more recent releases like Don't Mess with the Zohan, Grown Ups, and now That's My Boy.

Movie Review: Safety Not Guaranteed

The mumblecore genre has certainly grown up. I wonder if it has grown out of the term used to describe it, or at least gotten to the point where the films can be defined by their actual genre. I don't know, I cannot say I ever paid all that much attention to them, outside of seeing a few recent outings that employ more recognizable faces then the early outings, like Cyrus and Jeff Who Lives at Home. Anyway, the latest of this type of movie brings in some science fiction elements, yet never gets bogged down in the details of it's execution. The movie is Safety Not Guaranteed and it is a quirky, indie, romantic, time travel hybrid.

June 15, 2012

Blu-ray Review: Ghost Rider - Spirit of Vengeance

We now have two Ghost Rider movies and aside from Nicolas Cage, they do not seem to have all that much in common. It is a sequel, albeit a very loose one. Spirit of Vengeance strips away a lot of unnecessary chatter, takes it down to the basics. It is a movie that gets a lot of things wrong, is far from the perfect Ghost Rider movie, and is sure to rub a lot of people the wrong way. Not me. It doesn't hurt that Ghost Rider is not exactly a traditional hero, his supernatural basis opens a lot of different doors to explore for what is still a comic book superhero movie.

June 14, 2012

Sound Influence: INXS - Kick

As I think back on my youth, I was not someone you would have called a music fan. There were hints that I might be headed in the general direction, but nothing terribly solid to point to. Still, there were a few albums (or cassettes as the case may be) that made their way into my possession that really clicked with me and have remained important landmarks in my development as a music fan. One of those albums was Kick by INXS. If pressed, I could give you a quick reason, but there was something about it that spoke to me. It remains a favorite today.

June 13, 2012

Blu-ray Review: Accident (2009)

Accident is crime thriller/character study hailing from Hong Kong. It is a movie that is equal parts intriguing and infuriating. I really expected to like it more than I did, but then, I was not really sure what I was getting myself into. I will say that the concept worked well, where it failed for me was in the execution.

June 10, 2012

Movie Review: Prometheus

It looks like Prometheus is creating quite the divide among the movie going audience, and really among the online critic community. I am not one to get in the middle of the squabble, but I will go so far as to say that while the movie is certainly not perfect, I love what it brought to the screen. It is an experience that drew me in, asked questions, and left without really answering anything. I am perfectly all right with that. I found Prometheus to be haunting, beautiful, weird, and sort of what I was wanting it to be. I say sort of because I really wasn't sure what what to expect from it. Sure, there are plenty of odd motivational issues and a muddled narrative, but the overall experience is something to savor.

June 7, 2012

Movie Review: Snow White and the Huntsman

Snow White and the Huntsman is a movie I thought had great potential and was actually looking forward to seeing it. It looked to have a lot of action, a nice, dark edge to the story, and a malevolent Dark Forest. It is the kind of modern fairy tale reinvention that seems to be in line with the dark original tales. It sheds the sing-songy Disney image and gives it an aura of danger while still retaining the empowering fairy tale side. Well, the product that hit the screen partially delivers, but fails to really hit home.

June 6, 2012

Movie Review: Piranha 3DD

Two years ago, director Alexadre Aja brought us a gloriously over the top and bloody as all get out remake of Roger Corman's original production, Piranha. Aja took the film to all manner of bloody excess, making sure to include plenty of gratuitous nudity. In the end, he crafted an extremely entertaining horror movie, in post converted 3D, no less. Now, two years later we have a sequel, shot in 3D this time, directed by John Gulager (Feast). This movie ups the ante in many ways while simultaneously reducing its overall filmic quality.

June 3, 2012

Blu-ray Review: Lethal Weapon Collection

The Lethal Weapon series is one that I always liked but it has been quite some time since I watched any of the movies in the series. Fortunately for me, Warner Brothers has gone and released a new set containing all four films along with a fifth disk containing new documentaries. On top of that, the movies have all received spiffy new transfers, which improve upon the individual 2006 Blu-ray releases.