Monday, January 31, 2011
MEGA PYTHON VS GATOROID. It's not as bad as you'd expect; it's worse. Skeletal Debbie Gibson battles with buxom Tiffany over who's slimy buddies should win in the epic battle. While the guest list was long on familiar faces, I can't imagine why Mary Lambert (dir PET SEMATARY) would have associated herself with this mess.
The characters were all interchangeable and disposable, and the "special effects" were courtesy of some 9 year-old using MS Paint on a Packard Bell 486 computer. I am thankful for the 30-second skip button on the DVR remote, as I gave it quite a workout during this schlockfest. Bleecchhh.
I actually saw the second TRANSFORMERS movie before this one. I was never really a Transformers fan, only because they became more popular after I had gotten too old for the toys. I only saw the 2nd film because I needed to get my son out of the house, and figured it would beat the time we suffered through PONYO. Anyway, I did enjoy the 2nd one, and decided to catch the first one to fill in the gaps.
I found the Autobots and Decepticons in this one to be much easier on the eyes. They were actually recognizable as robot-type figures, as in the 2nd film, they just looked like big blobs of spiky metal to me.
While the plot is kind of hokey, this was a fun film overall. Action sequences were nicely done, and the CGI is pretty sweet.
Having this in Sam Raimi's hands is the thing that drew me to it. Never saw it in the theaters, but certainly wanted to check it out.
DRAG ME TO HELL certainly did have some Raimi-esque touches to it. Some of the gooey gore looked good, the demonic voices were clearly reminiscent of the EVIL DEAD era, and some of the camera-work was also right on for Raimi.
Overall, this was a completely enjoyable and watchable film. Some of the scenes that I think were meant to build tension and suspense only built passing time into the film's duration. If this had been tightened up a bit, and got down below the 90 minute mark, I think I would have enjoyed it even more. I did watch the Director's Cut, but since I never saw the theatrical version, I have no idea what was added.
Wednesday, January 26, 2011
I finally got around to this one in the Netflix queue, and I am so glad I did. PIECES was one of our favorite films to watch and rewatch as a rental on VHS from the local video store when I was in High School. While it didn't retain the charm it had for me in the 80s, it was a great trip down memory lane.
I am not sure why Christopher and Linda Day George signed on to this ridiculously gory and cheesy film, but they certainly did carry it through with decent performances. It had been so long since I had seen this that I actually had forgotten who the killer was, so I was a bit surprised by the ending. I wish we knew a bit more about the killer and how he evolved from the horny kid who went all Lizzy Borden on his mommy to ... the guy he ended up being. I won't spoil it in case anyone wants to watch it.
All in all, good classic splatter fun.
Since I am a bog fan of werewolf folms, I have been looking forward to this one for some time now. I think The Howling introduced me to the modern genre (which I saw on the big screen at The Woods theater in Chicago during its original run) and American Werewolf in London hooked me with that awesome transformation sequence.
No awesome transformation in this film, but it was definitely a good watch. A few characters were a bit over-acted, like the girls' mother, but all in all it had solid, believable performances, an interesting and unique story and a fair amount of viscera.
Saturday, January 22, 2011
I had no expectations going into this movie, as it got quite mixed reviews. I was pleasantly surprised.
This was no high-level suspense film, nor a slasher film, nor particularly anything more than a contemporary fable. Since it was PG-13 fare, it was very tame in the bloodletting, which is OK for this film, as it would not have really added anything to the story. I felt it was an enjoyable little film, with some pretty good performances.
A few of the scenarios were a bit contrived, and some parts of it were predictable, but all in all a decent film. The end was a bit weak, but I am still glad that I invested the time in it.
Thursday, January 13, 2011
When this was released, I really had no interest in it. I must have heard someone rave about it, because I added it to my Netflix queue and it finally rose to the top. Sat down to watch it tonight.
Visually stunning, with a mythology that slowly unravels throughout the film, this is a thing of beauty. Some really nuanced visuals made this quite a memorable ride. The scenes during the playing of Over the Rainbow had a sense of the cyclone-ready sky from Oz. Just really smart and well done.
And if you can't get enough of the number 9, here you go:
Thursday, January 6, 2011
DVRd this off the Indie movie channel after hearing all kinds of good stuff about it. Played out mostly in reverse chronological order, this was one film you really have to stay focused on.
Wow. What a trip. Really well acted, and a story that seemed a bit scattered early on, but got me really hooked in the second half.
I have heard that some of the DVD versions have a hidden version of the film played out in chronological order. I would love to see that now that I have seen the mind- and time-bending version.
Wednesday, January 5, 2011
Well, there goes 90 minutes I will never get back.
I was really quite hopeful about this one, based on some early previews and the inclusion of Jackie Earl Haley. I never rushed out to see it, and it finally worked its way to the top of my Netflix queue.
The dream sequences, particularly the transitions between sleep and wake states, are quite nicely done. Effects are top notch, and the CGI is flawless.
That is all I can say in a positive respect. The characters are wooden, and the only good performances are brought in by people that die early. I didn't really care about any of the kids, and the Nancy was a lame emo caricature if ever there was one. Also, there were no scares in this film, and it was formulaic and predictable.
They should have left well enough alone.
Tuesday, January 4, 2011
Saw this in the theater earlier this year, so this was a rewatch with the wife on new year's eve.
I actually enjoyed it much more the second time around, as I was able to catch some of the little details that I missed the first time. Also, knowing how it resolves, I saw some of the clues early on that I missed the first time.
Engaging story and well played by the cast. Good stuff.
Monday, January 3, 2011
Released as THE ORDER in the United States, this Heath Ledger movie had escaped my radar until it popped up in the IFC listings recently.
Wow, what a great film. While it had some things that reminded me of The DaVinci Code (which I hated), it actually was a little lighter on the depth of mythology and much better paces that TDC.
While a few of the reveals in the film were easy to spot coming, there were some decent 'aha' moments, and some really solid performances.