Skip to main content

Posts

Showing posts from May, 2014

Midnight Matinee (1989)

Originally created for a Canadian cable channel, Midnight Matinee is every ounce as terrible as a made-for-tv-movie could be.

It's like every bit of this movie was stolen from other movies in the 80's. If it were a better movie with wittier writing, I'd think it was supposed to be a satire. Turns out though, it's just a bad rip-off. That turned into a great rip-off (Popcorn, one of my very favorite underrated horror flicks).

The Plot In A Nutshell:
A horror movie festival ends in an actual murder. 2 years later, the wild youth of the town wants to - get this - have another festival. SHOCKING!

Where They Stole It From:
If you think you've heard this story before that's because it's basically the plot for My Bloody Valentine (1981), both of which were made in Canada. Coincidence?... I think not.

Or perhaps you're a big fan of Italian horror and have seen Demons a few times where the things playing out in the movie the characters are watching start happenin…

Breaking The Girls

Are you sad that you've been stuck jerking off to Wild Things for over 15 years? Crushed that Jennifer's Body only had limited teenage lesbian sex? Disappointed by Natalie Portman's masturbation scene in Black Swan? Can't go on without an updated version of Jawbreaker? Looking to relive the thrill of Cruel Intentions? Wishing someone would bring back Malice? Desperately seeking a teenage version of Strangers on a Train?

DON'T WORRY! 
Look no further! I've found the movie you've been dreaming of.
Allow me to introduce you to the 2013 'masterpiece' that is Breaking The Girls.

If you haven't been able to glean the gist of this thriller based on all the movie titles I've shouted out, you're slow, and here's the $.25 version for you: a couple of unlikely female friends talk about killing each other's enemies. It's all fun and pillow talk until someone ends up dead.

There are only so many twists a story like this can have and they&…

Stevie

Movies like Stevie remind me why I hate independent films. This low-budget piece of crap was terribly written, poorly acted, and made me actually appreciate The Good Son.

Yeah... seriously.

THE GIST:
A couple adopts an angelic child. Bad things begin to happen to them. We're meant to wonder, does this perfect child really have an evil imaginary friend or is she just evil?!

Unfortunately, no one will ever believe that this kid is evil. Seriously. I don't think she could have acted evil had she been a tiny blonde serial killer in real life. In fact, all of the acting is wooden and lacks any urgency whatsoever.

The writing is extremely heavy-handed. The "clues" to who the evil entity really is are so blunt and obvious that you'd have to be a complete moron not to figure them out before the end of the first act.

Has Catherine McCormack given up on acting? On life, maybe? The woman is a well known stage actress and was in award-winning flicks like Braveheart. What the …

Entity 2012

On a fairly regular basis, I end up watching a type or subgenre of movie that I typically dislike and would avoid. Tonight's accidental viewing? The Entity - which turns out to be a found footage movie. This is actually the type of movie I accidentally watch the most often because it's not always called out in the synopsis.

This should really be a lesson to myself about doing more thorough research before committing to watching a movie.

Alright, taking a step back here, let's do a $.25 plot summary:
A British TV crew from a "ghost hunter" show go exploring in the woods of Russia with a psychic in tow. They uncover a sinister looking building in which the Russian army (apparently) conducted medical experiments on psychics. This outing ends badly for everyone, thankfully (because all of the characters are terribly annoying).

The thing that I found weird about this movie is that it's a found footage movie but there's footage not shot by any of the characters…

Yet Another Super Hero Rant Regarding Batman

I've written a few times about the explosion of successful super hero movies with my general focus being on the marketing savvy of Marvel, which I'm still impressed by.

After the release of The Dark Knight Rises, I felt it might be time to write a bit about the "comic wars" going on in the movie world. Then I left this half-formed post to simmer and stew while the Hollywood landscape continued to evolve.

In revisiting this post, I've decided that my general starting point can be phrased in the form of a question: What do you want out of a comic book movie? And how much does that matter?

I want action and entertainment and don't really care (at all) about the characters or their backstories of that fact that an actor is too old or too tall or too blonde (JOKING) to portray that specific character.

My hypothesis: The moviegoer's expectations are equally as important as their attachment to the source material when determining their enjoyment of the movie the…

Why Do We Keep Making Space Boring?

Space is huge and far away and 99% a mystery to us. Its also a place that is more than likely going to kill us when we venture into it. The potential for catastrophic failures, complete disasters, and painful deaths is pretty damn high.

We've seen, countless times, in movies and in real life, that space can be terrifying. Children of the 80's, who doesn't remember the Challenger disaster? And look no further than Alien or Event Horizon if you want to see examples of how terribly wrong space exploration can go.

Recently there's been a whole slew of space movies that promise to be terrifying but are, in fact, just boring. Boring. How can space be boring? What the hell is wrong with these people?

Here are just a few of the offenders:
Europa ReportThe gist: Spaceship lands on Jupiter's moon, off target but mostly unharmed. The crew proceeds to make a series of absolutely absurd, unbelievable, not-sciencey decisions and as a consequence, start dying off. In the process,…

Last Kind Words: A Not So Ordinary Ghost Story

This will be the first review in some time where I don't begin by writing, "I've been avoiding or ignoring this movie" - shortly after appearing on Netflix, I just took the plunge and watched this one. (Who knows why I do things...)

On the flip side of that, I was wary of this movie, on my way into it, because it's a ghost story and a low-budget indie flick - two things that I often dislike. There was a very high likelihood that I would completely despise this movie.

I will admit though, to being pleasantly surprised to get an unusual and enjoyable ghost story from Last Kind Words (LKW).

LKW is essentially a Southern-set gothic tale with peaceful, meditative pacing that never rushes the viewer into anything. Sometimes, that slow burn is a beautiful building of anticipation and sometimes the filmmaker isn't skilled enough to give the audience a proper "pay off" at the end. In this case, the wait was worth the investment.

Many horror movies rely on a…

Here Comes The Devil

I was just having a conversation with a friend about the current resurgence of late 60's early 70's style filmmaking. It started with grindhouse and a new found love of exploitation flicks. I can see the appeal. i can completely understand how people crave the absurdity and extremism that grindhouse offers. What I haven't yet pinned down is the emerging love for the more esoteric, underground art film style of surrealism that seems to be cropping up.

This underground genre is characterized by obsessive attention to detail, disjointed timelines, strange or poetic dialogue, bold and unsettling imagery, use of many production tricks (like slow-motion, unsynched sound and picture, unusual camera angles, etc.), quirky characters, seemingly unsolvable mysteries, unclear or non-linear plot lines, and unflinching confrontation of every taboo topic imaginable.

I've managed to sit through a few of these modern gems (Beyond The Black Rainbow & Kiss of the Damned) and have ye…

Dead End: So Bad, I'd Forgotten I'd Already Seen It.

Compared to most people, I watch a lot of movies. I watch so many movies, in fact, that sometimes I re-watch them because I've completely forgotten having seen them already. This is one of many reasons that I love the ability to rate movies on Netflix: it helps me remember watching them and it's like an archive of things I've previously watched.

Pretty sure I also blog to remember which movies I've watched.

I don't necessarily believe that my terrible memory is the only reason I forget having seen some movies. I'm going to go out on a judgmental limb here and suggest that some movies are just so bad that I have blocked them from my memory and others are too bland, generic, whatever to be worth remembering.

I think Dead End falls somewhere in between those concepts; it's pretty awful but it's also pretty boring. I'm actually torn here and am not exactly ready to call it an out and out terrible movie, because I have definitely seen worse in my day, bu…