July 31, 2014

Movie Review: Bloody Birthday

In the early days of slasher cinema, there was something of a free for all. I do not say this from any real knowledge aside from just seeing all the sorts of movies they were putting out in those days as the style was beginning to find its footing in the world. We had the early classics that set the formula, like Black Christmas and especially Halloween. We had Friday the 13th that brought it all to the masses. Then there was everything else. That brings us to today's film which seems to have been made by those who were paying close attention to the direction horror was taking. Bloody Birthday may not be a great movie, but it certainly is worth paying some attention to.

July 30, 2014

Movie Review: Piranha (1979)

Tell me, how have I gotten this far in life having never seen Piranha? I am speaking of the original, not the 2010 remake (which was pretty awesome on its own). Granted, this is something I can and will say about a lot of movies (that's what I get for diving in this late in the game). Now, to be certain this is hardly among my favorites of all time, but there is definitely something about this movie that is undeniably entertaining. It is campy, silly, and fun. It is definitely a low budget gem that is a little off the rails, and something to be savored. Well, that may be a little over stated, but fun movies are fun movies, and for a lazy night this fits the bill.

July 28, 2014

Movie Review: Sex Tape

Sex Tape was the second of two movies I watched last weekend based on an utterly ridiculous concept. The difference being, I really liked what the other one did with it (Lucy). Yes, it is based on a long since debunked myth, but it was still interesting as a look into human potential. Now there is this thing. Somehow I failed to realize just how ludicrous an idea it really is. Sure, it looks like a fun high concept to base a movie on, but the execution is so bland and lackluster that the whole thing feels wasted. I actually think that is a shame, I think this idea could have been used to much better effect.

July 27, 2014

Movie Review: Lucy (2014)

I recall the first time I saw the trailer for Lucy, I was immediately interested. It looked like a fun/weird mash up of action and science fiction. Then I learned it was from writer/director/producer Luc Besson and I was fully on board. Sure, he is pretty far removed from his artistic heights of Leon, La Femme Nikita, and The Fifth Element, but there is still something about his productions, his blending of high concept and everyday action that I have always liked. Sure, The Family left something to be desired, but then again, everyone has their off time, right? Back to the movie at hand, Lucy looked like a winner from the get go to this guy.

Movie Review: Hercules (2014)

Way back in January a Hercules movie hit the theaters with very little fanfare and proceeded to bomb at the box office. This was not wholly unexpected considering it seemed to be a late pickup by Lionsgate with the hope of making a few bucks. That movie was Legend of Hercules, starring Kellan Lutz and directed by Renny Harlin. It was one of those movies when my instincts kicked in and successfully steered me away. The logic being I would wait for the big summer Hercules movie with Dwayne Johnson. That would have to be better, right? Well, it has arrived and I did go and see it. Long story short, it's not good.

July 22, 2014

Cinema by the Letter: A

Lists, lists, lists. Everybody loves lists. People make lists for everything. Best of something, worst of something, forgotten somethings, and overlooked somethings. Why should I be any different? I already do best and worst movies lists twice a year (halfway point and the end of the year), so why not do some other types of lists? This list based column will see me pick a letter and then list ten movies I like that begin with said letter. They may not be my favorite, they may not be the best, but they will always be movies I like starting with that letter. Use it as a jumping off point and add other movies you like with that letter. Keep it positive, this is not a time to judge, just share the love.

July 21, 2014

Movie Review: The Purge - Anarchy

2013 saw the world introduced to the cinematic universe of The Purge. The movie proved to be a surprise hit and seems to be on the verge of becoming a new franchise. The concept is an interesting one, and if the first film did it's job of teasing us with the idea of purging, this sequel takes us right into the middle of it. It is a moderately entertaining movie, but ultimately does not rise quite as high as the original. At times it seems to be an almost apology for the lack of big picture purging from the first film. This is not really a problem, but I must admit that I enjoyed the tighter focus of the first better.

July 15, 2014

CONTEST: The Purge: Anarchy Prize Pack!

CONTEST IS CLOSED. Thank you to all who entered!
Welcome to Critical Outcast's first ever sponsored contest! In conjunction with Universal Pictures, this is a contest for a The Purge: Anarchy prize pack! With the sequel to surprise hit The Purge right around the corner, there are a few things you should know before heading out to theaters. Below you will find a series of interactive images with 5 things to know before heading out. Use your mouse to control these images and then read on for the contest and what you need to do.

July 11, 2014

Movie Review: Dawn of the Planet of the Apes

I tell you, when I go to talk about the Apes movies, I have to take some time to pause and make sure I am using the right title. When I went to the ticket booth I asked for a ticket to see The Rise of the Dawn of the Battle For the Conquest Beneath the Planet of the Apes. It was quite the mouthful. Fortunately, I was given the ticket for the right movie. All jokes aside, this movie easily stands as one of the best of the summer. It really is that good. It seems the rare occurrence that we get the summer blockbuster type of movie that hasn't been dumbed down, like the Transformers franchise.

July 10, 2014

Movie Review: Deliver Us from Evil

From the moment I first saw the trailer for Deliver Us from Evil, I knew I wanted to see it. Not just because I am a horror fan, but because it looked legitimately good. The trailer built up some scares, plenty of atmosphere, and certainly a distinct level of interest. It is a horror based on a true (or supposedly true) story, and we generally know how that goes, there is a certain amount of embellishment that goes on to the reality of the story, some rearrangements made for the sake of the cinematic take on the tale, but there is still a core of truth somewhere in there.

July 9, 2014

Movie Review: Transformers - Age of Extinction

Transformers: Age of Extinction has arrived. It has taken me a little while to catch up with it, but I have finally seen it. As I sit here pondering the experience, I wonder if there is really anything else I can really add to the discourse that has already been had about its merits, or lack thereof. There probably isn't, still I cannot help myself but offer up a little bit about it. The funny thing is that I find it relatively easy to defend it and attack it. It is one of those movies that does some things right and a lot of things wrong. Pretty much the same as the rest of the Transformers franchise, or Michael Bay's entire career.

Movie Review: Earth to Echo

Let's be right up front with this, Earth to Echo is not an original film, nor is it a great film. However, while it is not original or great, it is certainly entertaining for the family and does not pander to its audience. It is made with love and affection towards family cinema from the 1980's. It is pretty clear that director Dave Green and writer Henry Gayden are paying homage to the films they grew up loving. You know, that really isn't such a bad thing, is it? Sure, in a perfect world everything would always be original, but I'm not holding my breath for that (actually, I am not sure I would want that anyway).

Movie Review: Snowpiercer

It was perhaps a month or two ago that a co-worker messaged me to suggest I see Snowpiercer. At that point I had never heard of it before. To be honest, I didn't really give it any mind at all, almost forgetting the message. In the time since I had been asked about a movie where everyone was stuck on a train, and The Host director's first English language film, as well as a new science fiction movie starring Chris Evans. At some point you would think I would have put all the pieces together, but oh no, not me. None of it would click until I saw Snowpiercer pop up on the movie theater's schedule. Then I couldn't wait for it.

July 8, 2014

Blu-ray Review: Joy Ride 3 - Roadkill

Way back in 2001 there was a little movie called Joy Ride. It was a decent low grade thriller with a few actors who we would become more familiar with over the years in Paul Walker, Steve Zahn, and Leelee Sobieski. More than that it was co-written by JJ Abrams. It was effective, entertaining, perhaps nothing particularly special, but it is certainly worth watching. Things become a little dicier when you start to consider sequels. Frankly, I had no idea that there was a sequel to this until I got my hands on this third entry to review. It turns out that a sequel was released straight to video back in 2008. I have never seen it, but judging on the third entry, I am not sure it is actually necessary.

July 5, 2014

The Top 10 Movies of 2014 (so far)

2014 is just flying by, isn't it? It feels like something of a lackluster year. There is just something about it that just feels low key, as if it is just waiting to take off. It just needs the right film to ignite it all. Then I go and take a look at some of the movies I have seen this year, and there in amidst the junk I have sat through are the good movies. Seriously, there have been a lot of good movies this year, although in many cases I look at my favorites so far and feel like I may be the only one who likes some of them. That is quickly followed by the good thoughts. I see films my way and that is often different from a lot of other people. Well, enough of this pointless preamble, you want to see the list. Read on!

July 2, 2014

The Bottom 10 Movies of 2014 (so far)

It is hard to believe the first half of the year is already over. 2014 is just flying by. With that said, it is time to reminisce on those most would rather forget about. I think I am getting better at avoiding some bad movies, but I still feel drawn to a lot that I probably shouldn't. Many are movies that put my eternal cinematic optimism to the test. Now, this isn't about the movie that I skipped, they would amount to nothing more than a blip on the radar anyway, what this is about is the movies that I did see that proved to have very little going for them and at times seemed to actively court my negativity. So, without further adieu, let's take a look at the bottom ten films that I saw theatrically so far this year.

July 1, 2014

The Rumors are True: Hudson Horror Show IX is a Go!

After what felt like an eternity, the reality of the return of the Hudson Horror Show is finally beginning to sink in. The thought of having to continue on with my life without his biannual event was almost too much to bear. It really has become some of my most anticipated events of the year. It is true, it is making a comeback on August 9, 2014 at the Empire Cineplex (formerly Silver Cinemas) in my backyard of Poughkeepsie, NY. The show is quickly shaping up to be an amazing one, and if you are a fan of cult cinema, you will want to be here.