December 30, 2012

Critical Capsule: This is 40

I am a fan of Judd Apatow, he makes funny films that have a certain level of intelligence to them. It seems like the vast majority of films that he makes, and a number that come from his relative stable, are funny, real, and touch on actual humanity. He takes real world possibility, injects a dose of absurdist, yet still makes the final movie relatable and laugh out loud funny. They tend to touch on real world issues, deal with them in a serious fashion while making you laugh the whole time.

Critical Capsule: Jack Reacher

When I first saw the trailer for Jack Reacher I laughed. Seriously, I couldn't help it. Listening to Tom Cruise using his tough guy voice is funny to me. Don't get me wrong, I like Cruise movies, sure he is an odd guy, but so what? Still, seeing him play the bad ass in this trailer just did not seem right. My first thought was that Kurt Russell could have pulled that off with ease. Also, I was completely unaware of the Lee Childs' long running series of novels based on the titular character Anyway, I went into Jack Reacher with no expectations and walked out pleasantly surprised.

December 26, 2012

Critical Capsule: Hitchcock (2012)

Is kind of funny. I have seen my tastes change this year and I have often talked about how I am not so much a fan of real world stories adapted to the big screen or watching stars mimic familiar figures. I respect and enjoy performances like Jamie Foxx as Ray Charles, Joaquin Phoenix as Johnny Cash, and even Josh Brolin as Dubya, but I am much more likely to appreciate a performance that requires the actor to create something. Now, along comes Hitchcock and I have to rethink everything.

Blu-ray Review: Kill 'Em All

If you are looking for a mindless actioner to waste an evening with, Kill 'Em All may just be what you are looking for. This is a no-nonsense brawler that plays out like a video game. It is a martial arts movie that has very little need for story. As it stands, there is very little exposition and what story there is is pretty much saved for the final act as it barrels towards its conclusion. It is not a bad movie, per se, but it is one that requires a certain mindset to enjoy.

December 18, 2012

DVD Review: Fairview Falls - Insanity Edition

My first exposure to Glen Baisley and his work came a few years back at the inaugural Hudson Horror Show (if you have not had the pleasure of attending, look them up, they put on great shows). The show featured a few short pieces directed by Mr. Baisley, including the show introduction (featuring my first glimpse of the Black Rose Killer, whose presence casts a long shadow over Fairview Falls). While I was there primarily for the feature films (with Zombie and Evil Dead), it was certainly interesting to see some indie sensibilities playing in the horror playground.

December 16, 2012

Movie Review: The Hobbit - An Unexpected Journey (HFR)

I have always been more Star Wars than Lord of he Rings, my reading habits growing up leaned more towards Asimov and King than Tolkien and Goodkind. With that said, The Lord of the Rings trilogy was an amazing cinematic experience. It was a massive undertaking that revealed itself masterfully on the big screen. Following its success questions arose of whether director Peter Jackson would return to the franchise for The Hobbit. Well, after years of wrangling, it has finally arrived on the screen. Was it worth the wait?

December 10, 2012

Blu-ray Review: Wu Dang

Wu Dang is a Hong Kong martial arts fantasy/adventure set in the 1920's. It plays out like a cross between Indiana Jones and Enter the Dragon while being nowhere near as good as either one of those films. What it is, is a modestly entertaining movie that never really goes anywhere or says anything, a mash up that never comes together. It is a movie that is more cinematic time waster than it is an engrossing martial arts yarn.

December 4, 2012

Movie Review: The Collection

Way back in 2009 I wrote about a little horror movie called The Collector. It was a terrible piece of trash. I recall saying ow bad it was, how illogical it was, how annoying it was, but how decent the gore effects were. I felt like a collection of leftover Saw traps, which makes sense since it came from the guys who made a few of the latter sequels. Anyway, somebody must have made a couple of bucks it as we are now faced with its sequel, The Collection.

December 2, 2012

Hudson Horror 666: Aftermath

Another one for the ages. Hudson Horror 666 is over and done with, gone into the annals of time. I will be remembered fondly. In all seriousness, this was the sixth show over the past three years and they have all been memorable experiences. Hudson Horror stands as the only local event celebrating horror and exploitation cinema, not to mention the glory of 35mm projection. I would like to say this was my favorite of the six shows, however each show holds a special place in my heart. They have each offered a mix of first time viewings and old favorites all seen in a way I had never seen them before.

Blu-ray Review: ParaNorman

For years it seemed like Tim Burton was the only filmmaker taking chances by infusing horror into the family friendly genre of animation with the likes of The Nightmare Before Christmas. Then Henry Selick and Neil Gaiman gave us Coraline, which is a wonderful horror movie for kids, beautiful to watch, cleverly told, and just a touch scary. Now we have some new players in the game and a wonderful new movie. The movie is ParaNorman and the players are Chris Butler and Sam Fell, they have delivered delightful film and given us another movie that successfully brings horror into the world of animation.