Saturday, May 28, 2011
DOD SNO (DEAD SNOW) (2009)
Directed by Tommy Wirkola
Vegar Hoel - Martin
Stif Frode Henriksen - Roy
Charollete Frogner - Hanna
A ski vacation turns horrific for a group of medical students, as they find themselves confronted by an unimaginable menace: Nazi zombies.
Even though I've had this movie for a while, I never really got a chance to watch it until Friday night with some friends. It was a zombique (watching a zombie movie while eating barbeque). I'm not sure if it was the company while watching it or all the random comments being thrown around that made the night fun, but hopefully everyone will get back together again soon.
This movie is just a rollercoaster ride plain and simple. It's here to entertain and nothing more. Mind you, I don't mind movies like this. In fact, I love movies like this. It's made for horror fans by a horror fan. The plot is threadbare in most parts and inane in others. The film starts out serious enough, yet once the fourth death occurs it goes straight to a love letter to cult favorites such as Evil Dead 2 and Dawn of the Dead. The movie doesn't explain why the Nazi's become zombies or what wakes them at the beginning of the movie except that a battalion of Nazis fled during the last days of WW II pillaging and killing everyone in their way and then they disappear. That's it for the back story of the Nazis. Yep, kinda thread bare considering that these Zombies know how to use instruments, follow orders, and can think and work together, it leaves you thinking what really happened to them throughout the whole run time of the film.
From what I can tell the actors in the movie did a decent job as you can see they're having fun through most of the film. I saw this with subtitles and the actors didn't seem like they were going overboard with anything, well except for the outhouse sex scene, but really though, with younger actors you can only do so much with in scenes like this which would never happen in real life. I mean just think about the infections you can get doing that, that's not to say the smell won't stop you first though! The look of the film is nicely handled as the action never really gets lost and some scenes of just the scenery stick out and are amazing to look at.
The film does feel disjointed in parts as it tries to pay homage in half the movie and the other half is full of the directors own ideas. They are shots of violence that I haven't seen before which helped make this feel like a new director has come out to watch out for. Some scenes include one of the characters waking up to see her intestines being pulled out in first person view and zombie innards being used as a life line. The movie is fun by itself but to really enjoy it find some friends, find the poison of your choice, inbind said poison, and enjoy Dod Sno as the comments fly fast and furious. I'm sure there is a dubbed version of the movie but the subtitled one that I saw did just fine as the captions move at a decent pace and not to fast for those that don't like to read.
Vegard's feeling of being pulled in too many directions at once.
Originally it was going to be called "Rød Snø" (or Red Snow in English), as an homage to the Swedish/Norwegian mini-series with the same name.
The director concluded that the best way to enhance the horror and disgust of standard zombies was to give them the Nazi element; he also used the historical backdrop of the Nazi occupation of Norway in developing the film's plot.
The movie was nominated for four 2009 Scream Awards: Fight-to-the-Death Scene, Most Memorable Mutilation, Best Foreign Movie and Best Horror Movie.
Stif Frode Henriksen who plays Roy co-wrote the script for Dod Sno.
Friday, May 27, 2011
PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN: ON STRANGER TIDES (2011)
Directed by Rob Marshall
Johnny Depp - Jack Sparrow
Penelope Cruz - Angelica Malon
Geoffrey Rush - Barbossa
Captain Jack Sparrow (Depp) crosses paths with a woman from his past (Cruz), and he's not sure if it's love -- or if she's a ruthless con artist who's using him to find the fabled Fountain of Youth. When she forces him aboard the Queen Anne's Revenge, the ship of the formidable pirate Blackbeard (McShane), Jack finds himself on an unexpected adventure in which he doesn't know who to fear more: Blackbeard or the woman from his past.
I'm not going to say that I love the Pirates movies, but I do like them a lot. The first one I found runs a little to slow most of the time and the third one is disjointed too much by putting to much plot in which could have been put into another whole movie. The second movie, Dead Man's Chest, is my favorite of the whole series due to all the characters flaws, as everyones real personalities come out. Plus the Kraken was just awesome! So now we have a whole new batch of movies starting up with this one and we get to see if they can live up to the others.
Depp's Jack Sparrow has always been the center of the films and that hasn't changed with this one. In fact without Bloom and Knightley in the mix, the film is more concise due to this as it focuses almost all the attention on Depp, as well as Rush's character Barbossa, which is the way the other three movies should have been. Sparrow is still the lovable rouge, which should not be changed no matter what and Barbossa is still the pirate that will do anything to get what he wants. Yet it's Ian McShane's Blackbeard that draws the most attention among the three captains in the movie to me. He just commands your attention whenever he shows up, never raising his voice, but still his posture tells his mood, as well the inflection in the way he speaks. I would have loved to see more Blackbeard in other movies yet that won't happen (spoiler ahead) due to he dies toward the end of the film. Cruz's Angelica will thankfully make a decent rival for Sparrow in upcoming films as she's just as fierce as Backbeard and cunning as Sparrow.
While the first three films had a sense of happy mischief for most of the films, this one starts out this way but changes quickly to one of menacing and unease. Most of this is due to Blackbeard, yet also Angelica, who is always trying to stay a step ahead of Sparrow which plays more like a deadly game of chess in parts. One of the complaints about the movie is that to many things happen at random and out of nowhere. To me that only happened twice. Once when Sparrow's father, Captain Teague, again played by Kieth Richards, shows up at just a little to perfect timing, though he truly gets the plot rolling and then when the Spaniards show up at the fountain. Another problem I had with the story is the throw away side story of the missionary man who falls in love with the mermaid. I didn't have no problem with it until the end when the script just left the plot thread dangling and didn't finish it up. I guess they thought the story needed a romance in it.
While On Stranger Tides isn't a bad film, it doesn't quite hit the mark in spots thanks to the story as there are amazing scenes in the film yet at the same time they don't all connect together correctly. Yet the film has a nice visual style that is different from the previous films. One such scene is when you see Blackbeard for the first time. It's just a shocking image seeing McShane's character all hirsute, with the ends of his beard burning at different parts and smoking, with his eyes almost glowing while his face sits mostly in shadow. On Stranger Tides seems to move much better than most of the original three movies and has just as much humor, even though it's more gallows now, which I love. Most people will see this as the weakest entry in the series, but to me it's a welcome addition to it that takes the characters to different places while exploring Sparrow's past a little bit thanks to the introduction of Angelica.
Brain surgery by stalactite.
You know that feeling you get when you're standing in a high place... sudden urge to jump?... I don't have it.
This film is loosely based on the 1988 pirate novel 'On Stranger Tides', by Tim Powers.
Penelope Cruz was pregnant during the filming of the movie.
Johnny Depp said he agreed to star in this, before "there was a script or anything".
As in the movie, the real Blackbeard never actually killed anyone by his own hands he captured.
Saturday, May 21, 2011
Wednesday, May 11, 2011
TALES FROM THE CRYPT: DEMON KNIGHT (1995)
Directed by Ernest R. Dickerson
Billy Zane - The Collector
William Sadler - Brayker
Jada Pinkett Smith (as Jada Pinkett) - Jeryline
A man on the run is hunted by a demon known as the Collector.
I saw a website I visit post a article about this movie recently and thought it would be a good movie to review, and also because I haven't seen it in a couple of years. When this movie came out originally the HBO series was winding down but was still showing great episodes and was the one true full on horror series on TV at the time and the next really good horror TV series wouldn't start for another two years (something about a vampire Slayer). While the TV series always had a huge amount of tongue in cheek humor about it, the movie seemed to have a more serious plot. So the real question is does this one hold up like the TV series to this day.
If there is one reason to see this movie for the first time or just a re-watch, it is simply to watch the craziness that is Billy Zane as The Collector. I can't tell if he just decided to play his character as a demon with no cares or he understood what was possible with the character, yet either way what he does is an amazing performance that holds the movie together. It seems as though he's having the best time of his life and doesn't want it to end, as he just chews through the scenery like a puppy teething chews through house shoes! Also my friend Kelly wanted me to mention how hot Zane is. While no one else stands out like Zane does in the movie, it's not without some decent actors slumming it such as Thomas Haden Church as the cowardly asshole redneck Roach, that is only concerned about his own neck and willing to do what ever it takes to live and CCH Pounder as Irene, the foul mouthed proprietor of the doomed apartment complex that used to be a church. While William Sadler is decent as the main protagonist in the movie and a good character actor for the most part, it just seems like he knows this isn't his movie even though he's billed first and it shows in parts of his acting.
Yes, the story is easy to see where it's going and you basically know from the get go that almost everyone will be dead before the end, but it is still a fun no brainer of a ride. The film didn't try to reinvent the rules or the genre, yet it still manages to make the most of what it has. The script was enjoyable as there are some fun back and forth moments between some characters, while with others, there was just no helping the others no matter what. This goes without saying as it is a horror movie of the "B" variety. While the directing is decent in most parts, there was some scenes where it just seem like director Ernest R. Dickerson didn't know what to do or how to film them. Such as when the demons are being born from the ground as it is filmed with quick cuts and motion blurs for most of it and as well the death scene for John Schuck's Sheriff Tupper as it plays out where you can't tell what is going on and I found myself getting mad due to this was a perfect chance for the director to try something new instead of quick jump cuts of the different actors in close up being shocked at what they are seeing.
All in all this movie is just fun and still holds well today due to the gallows humor that flows throughout the whole movie which harkens to the original EC comics from which the whole Crypt HBO series was based on. Yet the main reason to see this is just to watch Billy Zane plain and simple. As a bonus we also get to see a young Jada Pinkett Smith before the Smith was added, though for most of the movie she's in the background more than anything else. Special mention has to be giving to the effects people and their work for making the demons look interesting and truly horrific looking. Just to bad the rest of the Tales From The Crypt movies weren't this good, or as fun!
Cranial reconstructive surgery by way of a fist. See below.
HUMANS... You're not worth the flesh you're printed on...
Fuck this cowboy shit! You fucking ho-dunk, po-dunk, well then there motherfuckers! All you had to do was give me the goddamn key! Then we could get on with our lives.
Alright... this house is hereby... condemned...
One of the protagonists, Wally Enfield, played by Charles Fliescher, who is the voice for Roger Rabbit, is a recently fired postal worker. The remaining protagonists find a large collection of guns in his home, realizing that Enfield intended to attack the post office. This is likely a reference to several real-life spree killings perpetrated by maniac postal workers.
Originally the film had two versions. One had demons that looked like killer yuppies in it that went around selling bibles made everyone nervous, so Universal pitched in some additional money to get some actual demons on the screen.
Following the credits, a brief post-credits scene of the Crypt Keeper plays, promising that the next film, supposedly titled Dead Easy, will appear in theaters soon. This post-credits scene only appears in a later DVD reissue of the movie. The title referenced was the working title of what would be "Bordello of Blood".
"Demon Knight" was supposed to be the second film in the trilogy but Universal Pictures thought it should go first cause it was the most Tales-Like feature out of the three. "Demon Knight" was only one of the original titles planned that was actually made. "Dead Easy" (aka "Fat Tuesday"), a New Orleans zombie romp which was to possibly open the following Halloween, and the Third film "Body Count" were never filmed as planned. The Key in Demon Knight was supposed to appear in all 3 of these films. It appeared in Bordello Of Blood but not in Ritual.
Monday, May 9, 2011
Directed by Kenneth Branagh
Chris Hemsworth - Thor
Natalie Portman - Jane Foster
Tom Hiddleston - Loki
The powerful but arrogant warrior Thor is cast out of the fantastic realm of Asgard and sent to live amongst humans on Earth, where he soon becomes one of their finest defenders.
Well it's almost summer this is marked by the release of the first of the four big superhero movie and this time it's Thor. I'll admit that I'm not really a fan of the comics even though I do like some of the artists Marvel has had for it's long and lengthy run since the character first appeared in Journey Into Mystery # 83 in 1962, even though the comic has been cancelled multiple times only to come back later. After being in development hell since 1990, the character is finally on the big screen and ready to take his place with the Avengers which releases next year, yet can the character and movie stand on it's own is the true question.
Let me just say that Chris Hemsworth has so much charisma that it actually shines throughout the whole film. Even the quieter scenes you still feel his presence even though he doesn't talk, the camera just loves this man. Hemsworth portrayal of Thor is just perfect as you can tell this man is something more and can do amazing things just by his demeanor. Hemsworth is the star of this film and you know why after watching it. Tom Hiddleston is intriguing to watch as Loki, not so much for his charisma but for the calculated cunning that you know lies behind the the caring exterior. This is a man that has so much disdain for his brother that every action he takes is to somehow get a upper hand over Thor no matter the cost. While Hemsworth's Thor has a boyish charm to him, Hiddleston's Loki is a stewing pot of anger that is disguised by niceness for his own purposes. I should mention that Natalie Portman to me runs either hot or cold, depending on the movie she is in, and in Thor you can tell she cares about her role, as her acting is sincere again and you know she's having fun playing the character of star struck Jane Foster.
As this movie is a connecting movie to Iron Man and The Avengers, I was surprised to see that this film easily stood on its own and told a very enjoyable origin story that didn't feel like a one. Kenneth Branagh who is know for directing more Shakespearean fare at first seemed an odd choice to direct a movie about a superhero god, yet he pulled it off. I think the main reason for this is due to that much of the movie is the story is about one brother at odds with the other and trying to make himself look better in their father's eye. While the movie is called Thor and his journey to becoming more than a prideful, arrogant boy into someone that is worthy to lead a kingdom, it can easily also be about Loki and his realization that he's more what has been let on by his father. I can easily say that Loki is the tragic Shakespearean figure due to that he thinks what he's doing is the right thing yet at the end it all turns against him. The story itself is finely tuned so where nothing seems like a waste, though the movie does slow down in parts it doesn't interrupt the pacing. Even the humor that is thrown in doesn't ruin or take away from what the story has built up.
My only complaint with the film is that some of the action does get lost due to the 3D post conversion as this process still isn't perfect and will probably never be able to compete with filming in 3D. Other than that, the views the audience are giving of Asgard are just beautiful and majestic, even though you aren't giving much in the way of how the society functions. What is giving though is the camaraderie and friendship between the Brothers Three, Sif, Thor, and Loki which can be story in and of itself what they have gone through together as the act more like family than friends. I should mention as well for any fanboy of comics, they will geek out (I did) when Jeremy Renner shows up as Clint Barton/ Hawkeye in a uncredited role, that was filmed after the main filming was finished it seemed, which helps tie Hemsworth and Renner's characters more into the whole movie universe that Marvel is building. While there is no telling where the next Thor movie will take place or what it will be about, this one stands on it's own just amazing and is a fun film that has more going for it than seems.
Thor's quick playtime with a giant frost doggy that ends with a reverse tracheotomy to the nape of it's neck.
Hey, we got Xena, Jackie Chan, Robin Hood, and that Lord Of The Rings guy coming!
Natalie Portman took the role of Jane Foster because she couldn't resist the opportunity of a comic-book film directed by acclaimed director Kenneth Branagh saying, "I was just like Kenneth Branagh doing 'Thor' is super-weird, I've gotta do it." This is also Portman's second movie based upon a comic, the first being V For Vendetta.
J. Michael Straczynski's recent run on the relaunched Thor comic is serving as the influence for the film, who also has a cameo in the film as one of the Townies.
The Eye of Agamotto, a very powerful magical amulet, can be seen in Odin's treasure room. This was a weapon wielded by a Marvel hero, Doctor Strange the Sorcerer Supreme.
Sir Anthony Hopkins signed on as Odin despite never reading a "Thor" comic or knowing anything about the Thor mythology. It was the concept of the father and son relationship that intrigued him about the role.
Sam Raimi after directing Darkman, pitched the idea of a Thor movie to Stan Lee and 20th Century Fox in 1990.
Wednesday, May 4, 2011
I AM NUMBER FOUR (2011)
Directed by D. J. Caruso
Alex Pettyfer - John Smith
Timothy Olyphant - Henri Smith
Dianna Agron - Sarah
John is an extraordinary teen, masking his true identity and passing as a typical high school student to elude a deadly enemy seeking to destroy him. Three like him have already been killed ... he is Number Four.
I saw this last week with friends due to it was cheap and we wanted something to do after we got done with dinner. I actually was interested in the movie when it first came out due to it looked interesting, if not a little teeny unfortunately. I knew it was based on a series of young adult books that have done reasonable well but I really didn't know much more about it than someone is tracking the main character down to kill him so I effectively went into this one blind.
While the story is your average fish out of water story, as in it has the basic high school story of new, good looking guy comes to a new school and the jocks don't like him, it does throw in that the lesser characters in it turn out to play a part when you weren't expecting them to. Yet then again this has been done in plenty of recent movies as well, it just transplants aliens in instead of wanna-be vampires and pseudo werewolves and magicians. What does set this movie apart from the rest of the pack is above average writing done on the script. Nothing is made to sound like the audience is dumb or hollow and the characters even though they're your cut-out basics all have a depth to them (even the dumb jock amazingly). Alas that doesn't make up for the stupid talk of the malicious aliens, who it seemed learned how to talk from reading comic books from the 1960's. It's actually worse than it sounds. Also it just seemed like the aliens were just a holding place for a bigger bad that never showed up, well minus the two pets they carry around in a reinforced tractor trailer.
Now the acting I was more surprised with than anything else in the movie, due to that now one seemed to call it in, and the actors clearly had a good grasp on their characters. Nothing seemed wooden, which in a teen type of movie is hard to do these days because of a certain vampire movie. Yet Timothy Olyphant was above everyone else in the movie as the protector of Alex Pettyfer character. Olyphant just has a darkness to him that comes out in certain performances, and this is one of them. He knows that he'll probably die protecting his ward and that always hangs over his head and he tries to get John, Pettyfer's character ready for that inevitability. Pettyfer's John Smith is well acted as well, due to the fact that he Pettyfer doesn't make the character a whiny teenager, yet instead, someone that just wants to stay in one place for an extended period of time. To just call a place home and mean it for a change. True, there is a side love story but it's more of a getting to know someone more than anything else.
Admittingly the movie isn't perfect. There is mention of the destroyed homeworld of the main character briefly and that's it for a back story, which is the one truly sad part in the movie as there is so much potential that just got thrown out the window. Moreover the movie introduces Number 6 halfway through with just a passing "Hi" and then she's gone for another fifteen minutes till she comes back for another sec to only show up full blown during the climax of the movie with a quick introduction only. Thankfully the end of the movie is a joyride of destruction and mayhem. Also if anyone has a chimera like the one in the movie let me know because I would love one, even though it's ugly when it's fully revealed, it's just so, damn, cute! Even with all its flaws I walked out of the theater not disappointed like I thought I would be and I'm actually kinda looking forward to a sequel if they ever make one.
50 yard line small tactical grenades that wasn't so small after all, more like a small tactical nuke.
I play a lot of XBOX.
Actor Alex Pettyfer has described being an actor to being in prison.
Number Six's motorcycle is a Ducati 848.
Sharlto Copley was scheduled to play Henri but had to drop out due to commitments with the A-Team film.
In an interview with Collider, DJ Caruso talked about directing a sequel using 3D. Alex Pettyfer, Dianna Agron, and Teresa Palmer are contracted to participate in future sequels.
Tuesday, May 3, 2011
DYLAN DOG: DEAD OF NIGHT (2010)
Directed by Kevin Munroe
Brandon Routh - Dylan Dog
Sam Huntington - Marcus
Peter Stormare - Gabriel
The adventures of supernatural, penniless nightmare investigator, Dylan Dog, who seeks out the monsters of the Louisiana bayou in his signature red shirt, black jacket, and blue jeans.
I first heard about Dylan Dog when it was going into pre-production back in 2008 and it went by the title Dead of Night. It caught my interest just because it sounded like it could be a fun movie, and a throw back to movies from the late '80s and early '90s. Then it seemed like the movie got stuck in production hell. Then toward the beginning of last year a trailer popped up on line with a new title. Bad part about that is that it just said coming soon and no date was attached to it hence more waiting unfortunately. Well my wait is over and the movie is out, now to see if it lives up to my expectations.
I'll go ahead and say that I think that Brandon Routh is underrated as an actor. He plays things low key and always with a hint of self depredation. Even when he played Superman a couple years back, he played him more low key. And here he is again playing it more to the vest at the same time though more open. Routh is the best part of Dylan Dog hands down. If the movie could have used more of someone though it would have been more Peter Stormare's Gabriel. Anytime he shows up on screen, he steals it, overacting and all. Even Taye Diggs does wonderfully in his role as the head of the vampires, playfully smug yet at the same time menacingly. As for Sam Huntington, I have nothing against him as an actor, I just found his character in the movie as grating more than anything else and at times kills the movie all together.
Now I want to talk about the big bad in the movie. I was let down completely by it. It didn't pose a threat as big as they said it would and to really end its reign of terror, all you really had to do was pull the damn cross out of it's back. Done and over with. Another thing that didn't help is the terrible CG effects added to the big bad, as is just made it look like a science fiction channel monster reject due to it was just a little above their standards.This isn't to say that the rest of the creature effects in the movie are bad, quite the opposite in fact. The zombies each have their own look about them, they age each time you see them, and the funny thing is that they have to keep on buying newer body parts to replace the old ones that get to ragged. The vampires though look like they came from the Buffy T.V. series as they get a reptilian look to them when they go full vamp. The really bright spot in the creature feature section is the rouge zombie. The thing looks like a tank on feet and acts like one as well they way it plows through minor characters.
I'm not going to say that I loved the movie, cause I didn't love it. I thought it was okay. There was just way to many flaws that kept bugging me throughout the movie. I know that it is basically a low budget horror movie (once it's funding cuts got done with they had 8 million dollars only to make it), but that doesn't mean you cut the story with comedy to make up for it. Another problem is that even though the movie was shot in New Orleans, it didn't have the atmosphere that permeates other movies shot or centered around the area. I've read a little bit of the comic series this was based on, and I must say that even though I like the humor they put into the Dylan Dog character they should have kept the character more downtrodden. Also, I really miss seeing the Groucho Marx chacater pop up even though I understand why the film makers didn't put him into the movie (the Marx estate wanted 8 million to use the likeness of Groucho, which would have left the production nothing to spend). The truly bright spot in the movie is the noir aspect of the story even though the script writers ruin what ever they build up with it with by putting in a comedic side story for Sam Huntington instead of keeping the story and movie darker. The best way I can put this movie is it's a mess that has bright spots in it even though those spots are razed by feeble attempts to add humor to the story.
Lobby floor shootout of the vampire variety with magnesium flares.
We don't eat them, they don't shoot our brain stems.
Dylan Dog exist in the same world as Francesco Dellamorte from Dellamorte Dellamore.
Both Dylan Dog and Dellamorte Dellamore were created Tiziano Sclavi.
Dylan Dog is the top selling comic in Italy.