February 28, 2014

Movie Review: The Final (2010)

So, the other day I was watching a movie called The Final. It wasn't a great movie, but it was still rather effective. It is a recent horror film from the team of director Joey Stewart and writer Jason Kubati. Neither one has many credits in their respective roles, but they came together and turned out a movie that managed to sneak its way past my defenses and kept me, for the most part, interested. It is a movie I have no problems recommending, so long as you are not expecting anything groundbreaking.

February 27, 2014

Movie Review: Friday Foster

Blaxploitation is a genre I need to explore some more of. There are some really good films that came out of this era. Some more so than others. There are the ones everyone is aware of, Shaft and Foxy Brown come to mind, these are the ones that even non-movie geeks know. But you can dig a little deeper and find slightly more obscure titles (at least by my uneducated estimation) like Black Belt Jones, TNT Jackson, Truck Turner (this is a good one), and Sheba Baby (which I did not particularly care for). Then there are those that when you see them, you wonder what took so long or why they are not better regarded. Enter Friday Foster.

February 25, 2014

Movie Review: Truck Turner

There is nothing quite as motivational as movies getting set to expire on Netflix. It forces me to make time for movies I kept looking for the right time to watch. You know, some movies demand to have that special moment in time and expiration dates make that special moment now! The movie in question is one of those expiring and I made the time and I think I am a better person for it. It is a movie that comes highly recommended by a couple of friends and now, after watching it, I can see why. The movie is none other than Truck Turner.

February 24, 2014

Movie Review: Targets (1968)

Targets is one of those movies that has been sitting there, languishing in my Netflix queue. It is a movie that interested me enough to want to put it in there, but there it stayed, staring at me. For some reason I never seemed to find the right time to watch it. There it sat. Then, just the other day, the right moment came. I was spurred to action by the fact that an expiration date popped up next to it. There is nothing quite as motivating as the thought of losing that something. I am glad that it did as the movie is really quite good, involving, and unsettling.

February 23, 2014

Critical Capsule: The Room (2003)

Have you ever heard of The Room? Before a few days ago I had no idea what it was. I have since learned it is generally considered one of the worst movies ever made. I am here to tell you that is a pretty accurate description. It is one of the worst things I have ever laid eyes on, although I would still watch it over Movie 43. It is a movie that completely fails on every level, even the title makes no sense. Still, it is a movie that needs to be seen, preferably with friends and an abundance of beer.

Movie Review: 3 Days to Kill

It really feels like Kevin Costner is trying to revive his movie career. I mean, it is not like he ever really went anywhere, but he is appearing more in higher profile films. Now, I am not his biggest fan, but I have no problem with this. As a matter of fact, his latest is pretty darn good, much better than I was expecting it to be, and not exactly what was sold by the trailer. Granted, my enjoyment may have been due to my extremely low expectations, but I cannot deny liking the movie. It is a B movie that recognizes this and throws a bunch of stuff at the screen that does not always make sense, but still works as a whole that drew me in and kept me involved.

Critical Capsule: Pompeii 3D

So, the other day, against better judgment, I went and saw Pompeii 3D. I had a feeling going in that it was probably going to be a mistake, but I found some reasons to justify my presence due to the director's prior work and his 3D resume, and there I was. The trailers did not look particularly interesting, plus we know how it ends. Still, there I was, front and center, opening day with maybe three or four other people in the theater. That was the total there, no fear of selling out and no fear that I would not get my preferred seat location. As you can see, I am also reaching for things to say.

February 19, 2014

Movie Review: Mountaintop Motel Massacre

While looking for a grimy little horror movie to watch, I stumbled across Mountaintop Motel Massacre. It was released in 1986 after apparently sitting on a shelf for three years. Considering all of the horror being released during this period and the surprisingly decent film that it is, it is surprising that it sat around like that. I wonder what caused its delay? My suspicion is that whoever owned it had financial issues and got bought out. I guess it doesn't really matter, the movie is here and it is pretty entertaining. It is hardly the best example of its genre, but then again, it kind of blends a couple of sub-genres together into a concoction that is not really either.

February 17, 2014

Movie Review: Virgin Witch (1972)

The 1970's were a wild and crazy time for cult cinema. Previous hard and fast rules were being broken at every turn. Horror and erotic cinema were being combined in new ways. A good example would be from Hammer with their films like Twins of Evil and The Vampire Lovers. Then there is Virgin Witch. It is a movie that ignored all taboos in putting flesh on the screen, but it forgot to include any atmosphere and horror. The end result is a movie that is boring. It is more interested in clothing removal than it is being a movie. That isn't always a bad thing, but in this case it is.

February 16, 2014

Movie Review: Ms. 45

Over recent years, I have seen my appreciation, enjoyment, and love for old school horror, cult, and exploitation films grow by leaps and bounds. However, for as much enjoyment as I get from them, there is still the big question of what ones to look for and where to find them. Fortunately, my taste shift has coincided with becoming friends with a few folks whose knowledge of these films is encyclopedic and they have helped guide me, told me names, titles, all manner of information. One of those titles that came up some time back is Ms. 45, a personal favorite of one of my friends. It is now one more I can check off the list and I highly recommend that you seek it out as well.

Movie Review: RoboCop (2014)

It has finally arrived. Despite what seems to have been a troubled production and vociferous protestations from the anti-remake brigade, the new take on RoboCop has arrived in theaters. Many have sworn not to see it, others were excited for it, others were cautiously optimistic. You can count me among the latter group. It seemed clear based on who was brought in to make it that it was not meant to be merely a cash grab, although there is a certain amount of that to be certain, but the got a generally interesting cast and some new blood behind the camera. Was the end result worth it? Ultimately, that is up for you to decide yourself.

February 15, 2014

Movie Review: Winter's Tale

A few months back I saw a trailer for Winter's Tale. It was not something I had heard of before, but it did look interesting, a mash of supernatural, time travel, and romance. The romance is a type of movie that is really hard to do right. More often than not the style is relegated to simple platitudes and moronic characters who do not act even remotely human. This looked to be trying to do something different, I could not exactly tell what, but different enough to catch my eye. Still, I should have been wary because of two words, Akiva Goldsman. More on that in a bit.

February 13, 2014

Critical Capsule: Fantasm - A Look Inside Horror Conventions

So, I just watched a documentary called Fantasm and I have to say that I really quite enjoyed it. Now, this is not so much a review as it is some comments on said film and a request that you check it out. It is free to watch online through 2/28/14 at nuhofilmfest.com. It is a quick watch, clocking in at about 55-minutes, so you should be able to squeeze it in. Why should you watch it? Simply put, it takes a look at the attraction of the horror convention. If you know me, you know that I love going to conventions, this will help you understand why I do. It is not always easy to explain my fascination to those on the outside.

February 12, 2014

Movie Review: Dario Argento's Dracula

There are some classic monsters and characters that always seem to be remade and reinterpreted every so often. The classic Universal monsters are among the most popular, with countless Dracula and Frankenstein tales being told over the years. It is almost like any horror director feels the need to prove themselves with their interpretations and ideas on the classics. I have absolutely no problem with this. Good movies, good ideas, good interpretations, these things will always rise to the top. Unfortunately, sometimes there are wrong steps taken, things just do not come together in the execution. This is an example of that. Dario Argento's Dracula (released theatrically in 3D) just does not work. Period.

Movie Review: RoboCop 3 (1993)

I guess it was a foregone conclusion that RoboCop 2 was going to be a hit as RoboCop 3 went into production shortly after the second film wrapped. As it turned out, part 2 was a moderate hit, not making as much as the original, but certainly enough to justify a continuation of the series. Unfortunately, this third film seems to have been compromised from the get go. This third film just takes everything that made RoboCop a franchise to be reckoned with and made it a joke. I know that sounds harsh, but this movie is just bad. I am sure it did not help that it sat on the shelf for a while as Orion Pictures went through bankruptcy.

February 11, 2014

Movie Review: RoboCop 2 (1990)

In 1987 the first RoboCop proved to be a financial success. The film finished in the top twenty box office performers of the year and took in more than $53 million dollars. With its initial success (partnered with aftermarket rental success, promoted by a meeting between the titular hero and former President Richard Nixon), it seemed to be a foregone conclusion that a sequel would be ordered. That sequel, the aptly titled RoboCop 2, arrived in June of 1990, where it, too, was a box office success, although at a slightly smaller total (coming in around $45 million for its run). While the box office seemed to be built in, the bigger question would be about how it would match the original.

February 10, 2014

Movie Review: RoboCop (1987)

While the horror lover in me sees the 1980's as the golden era of the slasher, giving us so many movies starring the likes of Michael, Jason, Freddy, Pinhead, among others, the movie lover in me sees a bigger picture. In addition to horror, it was a great era for action movies, think about the movies that came out during the decade. Die Hard, Lethal Weapon, Predator, Aliens, Rambo, Beverly Hills Cop, Terminator, Raiders of the Lost Arc, The Road Warrior, the list goes on and on. With so many great action flicks, it is impossible to pick a favorite, and I am not sure I ever could. However, I have picked one to focus on with this review, and if you read the title, you know which one, none other than RoboCop.

February 9, 2014

Webisode Review: Tales of Light and Dark - "Geokilling"

Tales of Light and Dark is a new web series created by writer/director Glen Baisley. The series has been moving along well with a series of nicely constructed multi-part arcs. All of it has been leading up this final episode of the season, a two parter that grows from what has gone before and definitely feels a bit more ambitious in execution. It has been quite entertaining watching the series grow, getting more and more ambitious with its multi-part episodes. This is good as they are quick watches and with multiple parts, you can have bigger stories. If you happen to run into Mr. Baisley out somewhere shooting or at an event like the Hudson Horror Show, be sure to say hi and have a chat about low-budget film making or even just movies in general!

February 8, 2014

Critical Capsule: The Monuments Men

So, the other night I saw The Monuments Men and today I thought I would share a few words but I really don't want to spend a lot of time on it. You see, while I love the story that is its basis, this movie just feels poorly executed and filled with missed opportunities. Its tone is all over the place, the characters do not have all that much chemistry and it feels disjointed as the characters spend a lot of time going in different directions. It is a movie that could have used a few more passes or actually made the interesting real life story interesting on the big screen.

Movie Review: The Lego Movie

When I first heard they were going to make a movie based on Lego Blocks, I could not imagine it being a good movie. Wait, let me take that a step further, I actually did not think it was a real thing. If anything, I figured it was going to be some sort of straight to video thing for kids. I was wrong. Trailers arrived, commercials arrived, and I was surprised to see that it actually looked kind of funny. Was it possible for this to actually be a good movie? The positive buzz that formed around seemed to indicate so. All right, I guess you could consider me officially interested.

February 4, 2014

DVD Review: Code Red (2013)

Zombies are all the rage, although their welcome seems to be wearing thin in some corners of the horror community. Not this one, however. While there have been some really bad zombie stuff released over the years, I am a sucker for a good one, or even a modestly entertaining one. They come in all shapes and sizes, they recently made the jump to big budget blockbuster status with the surprisingly decent World War Z. They seem to be easy to write, easy to execute, but difficult to master, and every would be horror director seems to try their hand at it. This includes first time writer/director Valeri Milev.