January 29, 2013

Blu-ray Review: Death Race 3 - Inferno

In 1975, producer Roger Corman helped bring Death Race 2000 to the big screen. Audiences across the country were introduced to a the big race where points were garnered by running over pedestrians. In 2008 we go to see a movie that presented as a remake, but is described by director Paul W.S. Anderson as a prequel and plays out like a video game. In 2010, we went a little further back with a prequel to the prequel, Death Race 2. Now, in 2013 we get a sequel to the 2010 prequel. All of this makes me ask, haven't we had enough?

January 27, 2013

Movie Review: Hansel & Gretel - Witch Hunters

Originally slated for release nearly a year ago, Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters was delayed in order to do a post conversion to 3D (which is actually pretty decent). It would not surprise me if there were reshoots or other types of tweaking during that time. Whatever the entire truth behind the delay may be, I strongly suspect the studio just had no confidence in the movie. While the concept makes sense for a movie, it does not exactly scream out to be a box office success.

Movie Review: Movie 43

There are very few movies that I want to walk out on. Movie 43 is a movie I wanted to walk out on. It is one of those moves that I actively disliked. It is filled with big name stars doing things that are just not funny.

January 24, 2013

Blu-ray: Doomsday Book

Doomsday Book is an anthology film hailing from South Korea. It was originally conceived as a film bringing together three futuristic visions from three of Korea's top filmmakers. Unfortunately, that is not how it went down. Filming began in 2006 and two of the three segments were completed, but Han Jae-Rim's (The Show Must Go On) segment fell through and he left the project. It was not until a few years later that funding was available to make a third segment, a role stepped into by Yim Pil-Sung, who had directed one of the other segments. Now, with a completed film it has now been unleashed upon the world.

January 23, 2013

A Revisitation: Type O Negative

In my limited music exposure I have come across a few bands that released albums that were ahead of their time as well as bands that found me lagging behind. I have just experienced a brand new situation. Prior to this past week, I do not think I had encountered anything like this. I have been listening to a band I have been a fan of for years but have not listened to for awhile and I have discovered an entirely new respect for them. Perhaps I have finally caught up to where they were so many years ago. The band? Type O Negative.

January 21, 2013

Movie Review: Mama (2013)

When I first saw the trailer for Mama I have to admit that I was intrigued. The movie looked genuinely creepy, and that is always a good element to have when talking about a ghost story. However, despite the generally positive reaction I had to the trailer, he prospect of it actually being a good movie left me conflicted. The biggest problem was that it was rated PG-13. On the other side, it has none other than Guillermo del Toro (Pan's Labyrinth) on board as a producer and he is not the sort who lends his name lightly. There must have been something about this project that caught his attention, that fact should make this a worthwhile endeavor.

January 17, 2013

Blu-ray Review: Tai Chi Zero

Billed as steampunk kung fu, Tai Chi Zero looks to shake up the standard martial arts flick by spicing up some of the visual style in a genre mash up. Unfortunately, while the movie proves to be modestly entertaining, the idea of bringing the steampunk aesthetic to the world of martial arts fails to truly come together. Tai Chi Zero is a tale of style over substance. Style wins, but it is not for a lack of trying. Director Stephen Fung (House of Fury) throws everything but the kitchen sink at the screen.

January 15, 2013

Movie Review: Gangster Squad

Gangster Squad was originally slated for release late last summer, but in the wake of the Aurora tragedy the release was delayed. The delay was partly due to the gun violence, but I suspect it was more the scene depicting a gunfight in a movie theater. The studio was understandably concerned and rightly chose to delay it's release. They also went and removed the theater sequence. I do not agree with this decision even if the scene did not have any impact on the overall story. Still, I found myself in the theater unsure of what quite to expect.

January 14, 2013

Worst Movies of 2012

The moment none of you have been waiting for! It is time for the unveiling of the worst cinematic experiences I had in 2012. I am sure you are already heated over the inclusions and exclusions of my top twenty list. I don't think there will be as much of an issue with the bottom ten. At least I don't think so. In any case, I do not want to waste time with the preamble, let's just get this over with, shall we?

Movie Review: Zero Dark Thirty

Well, Zero Dark Thirty has arrived in my town, with all the critical fanfare in tow. The film has been one of 2012's most anticipated and now that it's release is going wider, we can all get a peek and see if it is truly worthy of he heaps of praise. Not to mention, we can see if it is worthy of the political outcry over how the events leading to the climax truly went down. It also happens to be director Kathryn Bigelow's first feature since her Oscar win for The Hurt Locker.

January 13, 2013

Top 20 Movies for 2012

I have been putting this off long enough. Frankly, I am not sure why I always take so long to get this list together. Anyway, it is finally here, my countdown of my favorite films from 2012. Now, let it be known that I have not seen every film released to theaters. Yes, I see a lot but this list is not about the "best" movies of the year, it is about the best movies of the ones I saw in theaters this year. Nothing more, nothing less.

January 11, 2013

Blu-ray Review: Hit and Run

Hit and Run is a movie that is not terribly deep and not exactly insightful. It is the kind of movie that arrives with low expectations, does not exactly light up the box office, and disappears from the public eye, destined to be little more than a footnote for all involved. That probably sounds harsh but I believe it deserves a better fate than that. This movie is actually pretty good and while it may not have much to say, it is a fun, in the moment kind of flick. I could think of worse ways to spend an evening.

January 8, 2013

Blu-ray Review: The Thompsons

Mitchell Altieri and Phil Flores, aka the Butcher Brothers, first appeared on the scene with The Hamiltons in 2006 when the movie was selected to be part of the After Dark Horror Fest. Now, I have not seen that film, but I have seen their follow up, The Violent Kind, a very strange genre bending film that needs to be seen to be believed. With that said, that movie was good enough to make this directing duo one to keep an eye on. They have returned with The Thompsons, a sequel to their debut.

January 6, 2013

Movie Review: Texas Chainsaw 3D

In 1974, the world was first introduced to The Texas Chainsaw Massacre. I do not think that anyone had any idea what they had with this tale of a cannibalistic family and the unfortunate souls to wander too close. The film has stood the test of time and, in my opinion, stands up as one of the scariest films ever made. Now, nearly forty years later, we are faced with a story that further tells of Leatherface and the Sawyer family.

January 5, 2013

Netflix'ns: Ghost Warrior

Do you remember that blast from the past Encino Man? You know, the movie where a caveman, played by Brendan Fraser, is thawed out on modern day California to hang out with none other than Pauly Shore? Of course you do. Everybody loved that slice of comic brilliance, that intelligent take on the fish out of water tale. Well, maybe not. Now, what if I told you that years earlier the same idea was used but played straight and instead of a caveman you get a samurai? Sounds great, right?

January 4, 2013

Blu-ray Review: Killer Joe

Director William Friedkin has made a career out not being pigeonholed into a genre. I am sure that was not an easy task when you are behind such a classic as The Exorcist. Still, when you see other films like The French ConnectionCruising, Blue Chips, and Bug and you will see evidence of a man who won't be stuck in a corner, a man who wants to tell stories no matter where they come from. Rather than play it safe, he looks for new worlds to play in, new stories to tell. His latest film, Killer Joe, is another step in that search for stories, offering up a playground of rednecks, killers, murder, and black comedy.

January 2, 2013

Netflix'ns: Eaten Alive

In 1974 a landmark film in horror history was released, that movie was The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, directed by Tobe Hooper and written by Kim Henkel. It is a movie that has stood the test of time and stands up as one of the scariest films ever made. It is one of those movies where everything works. The problem is how do you follow something like that up? Since filmmaking is a business and you are constantly being judged on your past work, it can be hard to love up to it. In any case, Hooper and Henkel reteamed for the 1977 film Eaten Alive, one of the legendary Video Nasties.

January 1, 2013

Netflix'ns: Pontypool

This is a movie I heard about a few years back but ever got around to seeing. Recently, since it landed on Netflix it has become a bit more prominent. The urgency with which I needed to see Pontypool reached new heights when coworkers began telling me how much I needed to see it, repeatedly. Well, I finally broke down and watched the movie. I am glad that I finally did. The movie is a fantastic example of what can be done with a familiar genre and a fresh idea.