Archive for February 2013

Room 237 (Film Review)

ROOM 237 poster

ROOM 237 in theaters March 29

Ah, THE SHINING, how I love thee!  Let me count the ways! 1.) It has one of the most unhinged and scenery chewing performances of Jack Nicholson’s career. 2.) The ominous music by Wendy Carlos. 3.) The roving steadycam never letting you relax to ride your Big Wheel, knowing that those creepy twins could be around any corner. 4.) Also knowing that Scatman Crothers has kick-ass nudie paintings of chicks with afros in his kick-ass bachlor pad. 5.) The way it gets you to relate to the anguish of cabin fever. 666.) That overabundance of TANG in the Overlook’s pantry being proof that director Stanley Kubrick helped the government fake the moon landing.

Wait a sec…what?

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SNITCH (Film Review)

Snitch Poster

SNITCH in theaters now from Summit Entertainment and Participant Media

As a child of the 80′s, I grew up loving the “ABC Afterschool Special”.  I guess I never really gave much thought to the social importance of these cheesy little shows, nor did I realize how bad they really were.  Going back now,  watching these things are not unlike watching “Reefer Madness” with the joke being the not very subtle (and often too heavy-handed) “message”; the very quality that redeemed such schlock.

In 2004, Participant Media, then known as Participant Productions, was founded as a socially relevant alternative to the empty calorie offerings of mainstream Hollywood pictures.  Their latest release, “Snitch”, produced by and starring Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, is a movie with a message.

That message: The Rock might want to avoid dramas. Read more

Chicken With Plums (DVD Review)

Chicken with Plums cover

CHICKEN WITH PLUMS available on DVD 2/26 from Sony Pictures Home Entertainment

I’m finding that quirky festival films from France are all looking the same. Like how all Subways smell the same, French films that are fanciful and whimsical also, weirdly, all have a similar kind of visual and narrative vibe. I don’t know what it is exactly, maybe because they are all influenced by their popular movie exports like Besson, Jeunet and the French new wave, but sitting down for Chicken With Plums felt very familiar. Not that that’s a bad thing, these Frenchy films are usually worth your time, it’s just that for a film about a violinist from Tehran, it’s pretty damn French. Read more

A Good Day To Die Hard (Film Review)

Die Hard 5 poster

A GOOD DAY TO DIE HARD in theaters now!

Question: Who doesn’t love a good action movie?  Better question: Who doesn’t love taking their girlfriend to a good action movie?  Even better question:  Who doesn’t love taking their girlfriend to a good action movie on Valentine’s Day?

It’s probably safe to say the good people at 20th Century Fox asked themselves these very same things when they set a February 14th release date for “A Good Day to Die Hard”, the latest installment of Bruce Willis’ 25 year-old shoot ‘em up franchise. After all, what better way to remember you have a heart than to see one shot out of somebody’s chest on the big screen? Read more

MOVIE 43 Promises At Least That Many Belly Laughs (Film Review)

Movie 43 poster

MOVIE 43 in theaters now!!

*In my best movie trailer narration voice* In a world where trailers reveal entire movie plots in 30 seconds, one movie dares to be indescribable: MOVIE 43!!!

Honestly, the give-it-all-away-wrapped-in-a-green-band-syndrome plagues Hollywood, but can you blame marketing execs for their spoiler-free shills?  Most people don’t want to risk $12 on something that could stink, but they’re more than happy to shell out for a story they’ve enjoyed before.  When I invited a friend to catch a screening of Relativity Media’s latest film, he said he hadn’t heard of it and wasn’t interested. I tried to sell him on what little knowledge I had of the picture: “It’s a movie with, like, every actor in Hollywood. Like, everybody.”  My valley girl pitch must’ve struck some sort of chord, because he reluctantly agreed to accompany me.  Lo and behold, 10 minutes later when Kate Winslet finds herself on a date with the perfect guy (who just happens to have a scrotum dangling from his neck), we were both hooked.  Is that gay? Read more

SPIDERS 3D (Film Review)

Spiders 3D poster

SPIDERS 3D in theaters Feb. 8 from Nu Image Films

I have to admit, I have a fondness for “fake” movies – movies populated by either no-names or yesterday’s almost-stars and made quickly to cash in on a trend or title. They’re made cheaply, but with just enough slickness to cover the fact that they’re using the same sets over and over. These are not popcorn movies, these are the unpopped duds left at the bottom of your greasy bag.  When I was a kid, fake movies were in the theater right alongside the real ones. Charlie Band flicks such as GHOULIES and ELIMINATORS played right alongside Robert Redford’s OUT OF AFRICA. Most of the kids preferred the fake movies because they delivered monsters, guns, explosions, corny jokes and the occasional tit shot.  In recent years, they’ve disappeared from the big screen, relegated to the direct to DVD market before finding a permanent home on the SyFy channel. With their downgrade of size and status, fake movies have become a little too fake, a little too predictable, lacking the magic and fun they once had. SPIDERS, through some sort of fluke, is a fake movie that’s getting a theatrical release. Whether market research has deemed this type of material ready for a comeback or if this is some type of planned failure to be written off as a loss, we may never know. But what I do know is, this is one of the most bullshit looking movies I’ve seen get a theatrical release since the 80s, and I’m first in line. Read more