Saturday, December 31, 2016

The Pack


   I've never found dogs or wolves particularly scary. Like, even in most movies when someone's getting attacked by a dog, my inner animal-lover just sees a hard luck dog who needs to be loved. Maybe then he'll stop mauling people to death. I'll take him! The Pack is the first movie to actually unsettle me when it comes to dogs. These dogs weren't potential house pets, they were cinematic monsters, leaving The Pack to evolve from a simple survival thriller, into a ferocious creature feature. We need more back-to-basic horror flicks like this. Bottom line? The Pack is simply inspired.

Friday, December 30, 2016

Sinners and Saints


   There is an ineffable quality to the action stars of the 80's and 90's. From the lower rung, featuring guys like Dolph Lundgren, and Carl Weathers, to the mid range like Jean Claude Van Damme, and Steven Seagal, to the top two genre titans: Sylvester Stallone and Arnold Schwarzenegger. You can beef up and snarl one liners to your heart's content... but you still won't be one of them. Action movie throwbacks like Sinners and Saints do their best to generate that same quality, but while the movie is a lot of fun, it only ever captures the same aftertaste quality of this latterday action resurgence.

The Invitation


   The Invitation sounded interesting when I read the synopsis on Netflix, but I passed it by without even adding it to my instant queue. But, now that it's the end of the year, there's all these 'best of 2016' lists popping up. Imagine my surprise when I found The Invitation on a few of those. Starring Logan Marshall Green (Prometheus) and virtually nobody else I'm familiar with* (which is quite a feat), The Invitation is pretty hard to classify. It's an understated and creepy movie, but calling it a horror movie has the potential to betray it's own story, not unlike calling They Look Like People a Sci-Fi movie. Go figure.

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Synchronicity


   This atmospheric sci-fi noir tale put a smile on my face far more than once, and despite it's limitations, it was thoroughly watchable. It's not great, or fantastic, but it's really good. Unfortunately it's also the kind of movie that's somewhat hard to review. I don't really know what to say about these kinds of movies because there's not much to discuss. The cast is comprised of mostly unknowns, despite a few minutes from Michael Ironside, the plot is complex to the extent that I couldn't spoil it for you even if I tried. But, it's good. It's not bad. Nuff said? Of course not.

Star Wars: Episode I: The Phantom Menace


   No movie was ever more of a victim to an uncontrollable hype machine than The Phantom Menace was. But, recently, the majority of Star Wars fans have officially invalidated their own opinions (in my eyes), making themselves look like fools in the process. They complain about shoddy storytelling in the prequels, yet make excuses for the regurgitated nostalgia mess that is The Force Awakens- which isn't ANY better in the storytelling department. The difference? The Phantom Menace actually feels fresh again after the regressive nonsense of The Force Awakens.

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Star Wars: The Force Awakens


   This movie is not okay. Following my viewing of the fantastically entertaining Rogue One, I decided to revisit The Force Awakens. I take back what I said. This doesn't hold up at all, and what little time has passed since its release has really not been kind to it. This movie is a massive carbon copy of A New Hope, a movie over thirty years old by now with probably billions of fans. I've called The Force Awakens a 'necessary' movie because good will towards the franchise was dashed by the prequel trilogy. But, you know what? Star Wars fans did not deserve the prequels. The prequels were too good for them.

Sunday, December 25, 2016

Rogue One: A Star Wars Story


   May the 4th can hardly claim to be the ultimate Star Wars holiday anymore, not when theaters are packed to see the latest Star Wars movie on Christmas day two years in a row. It feels like the best gift you could ever find wrapped under your tree, even if you know what it is. But, given that this is the second new Star Wars movie I've seen in as many years... I wasn't about to get all teary eyed this time around. It's an odd thing, this Star Wars movie, but hardly a bad thing for that matter. Quite the contrary.

Thursday, December 22, 2016

Fantastic Planet


   This animation classic does in 70 minutes what most big budget Hollywood sci-fi adventure movies can't in over 2 hours.  Like Gulliver's Travels by way of H.P. Lovecraft and Ray Bradbury, Fantastic Planet is full of stunning sights, immense scope, haunting creatures, and a sharply self-critical view of human nature. I found myself swept up in it's epic narrative, engrossed in the struggle between the gigantic Draags and the human-like Oms. You'd be hard pressed to find another movie like this, but conversely, there's a little bit of Fantastic Planet in most big sci-fi adventure movies anyways.

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

World on a Wire


   I must admit, I was at a bit of a disadvantage when I popped in World on a Wire. I slowly realized that yes, it was based on the book Simulacron-3. You know what other movie was based on Simulacron-3? The Thirteenth Floor. And, can I just say really quick... Fuck that movie. Fuck that movie so hard for wasting such sterling potential. World on a Wire is a million times the movie that The Thirteenth Bore is. It's engaging, intriguing, well-acting, suspenseful, intelligent and exceptionally well written. I thought I was done being mad at The Thirteenth Floor, but I guess not.

Sunday, December 18, 2016

Grand Theft Auto Online


   I've talked about GTA V on my blog here before, but I've come to realize that Grand Theft Auto Online is practically it's own game at this point. It actually has more content unto itself than the 'story mode' has. Rockstar has been continually updating and releasing content for GTA:O since it came out, and it's simply staggering in scope. I rue the day this gets shut down, but I predict that won't happen for a very, very long time. The simple fact of the matter is, GTA:O is amazing. Most triple A games these days have multiplayer as a core mechanic, or as an afterthought. There's very little middle ground. But, when you buy GTA V, you're essentially getting two GTA games for the price of one.

Coherence


   Coherence is a movie that absolutely impressed me. It's not perfect, but it's genuinely great despite it's few flaws. It's a science fiction thriller that is intriguing in concept, and haunting in execution. It explores themes of self-identity, uniqueness, and the value we place on both. I kinda wish I could leave my review at that. It was word of mouth alone that got me to see Coherence, and the word was simply "great". My friend insisted that this was a damn good movie, and he was absolutely right.

Capricorn One


   Boy this is a weird movie. Weird in a good way though. It's melodramatic low-tech (non)sci-fi the way only the 70's could've produced. The movie is a big conspiracy thriller mainly starring James Brolin, Elliot Gould, Sam Waterson, and O.J. Simpson. It's not as silly as some 70's sci-fi efforts, but it's also not as vaingloriously self important either. To put the icing on the cake, it's not technically sci-fi at all. Go figure, right? Nevertheless, Capricorn One is a star-studded oldie worth checking out.

Saturday, December 17, 2016

Shallow Grave


   When the screenwriters for this movie were looking for a director and met with Danny Boyle, who at that time had only TV credits to his name, the first words out of his mouth were "Blood Simple". Referencing of course the debut movie of Joel and Ethan Coen, another absolutely excellent crime thriller. Even now, more than 20 years after Shallow Grave's release and over 30 years since Blood Simple hit the scene, both movies have maintained their relevance to each other, and both are still fantastic all the way around.

Thursday, December 15, 2016

Shin Godzilla


   Western audiences have been spoiled to pieces with Pacific Rim. Consciously or otherwise, it's generated a false perception that kaiju movies (giant monster movies; usually Japanese) have a lot of screentime of the monster(s). They don't. They never have. The chief complaint I've been seeing circling the interwebs about Shin Godzilla is that there isn't enough screentime of Gozilla it/himself. The same complaint was leveled at the 2014 movie, and Godzilla is on-screen twice as much in this movie than he was in that one. Go figure. People are fickle.

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Spectral


   Every so often, a sci-fi/action movie comes along with really good acting, great visuals, an excellent concept, and then... the last act pulls some miracles out of it's ass with cinematic duct tape and rampant implausibility. Spectral had me though. Spectral had me so hard. I was ready to slap a four star rating on this shit and move right the hell along. I was entertained from beginning to end and that certainly counts for something, still, but in retrospect, this fun ride was deeply flawed.

Monday, December 12, 2016

Krampus


   It's really hard to review Christmas movies in my opinion. Most of them are directly engineered to manipulate your emotions to very specific ends. It works, but it also makes them critic-proof. Is The Santa Clause a good movie? It doesn't matter. It's an effective movie. It's one of countless dozens that riff on the same jokes and gags, and this is why nobody watches It's A Wonderful Life off-season, but nobody has any issue popping in Halloween in April. Then, here comes Krampus. The anti-Claus. A movie that took me completely by surprise.

Thursday, December 8, 2016

Genocyber


   Stay on the internet long enough and you'll probably run into clips of Genocyber. It's a notorious little anime nasty that's known for it's graphically detailed gore and violence. "Say no more-", I said to nobody in particular, "Where the hell do I sign up?" I love shit like this. Some ultra-violent anime from the 80's or 90's with decent animation and a cyberpunk-esque plot. That's my bag. That's my whole bag. Unfortunately, even the promise of a bloodbath with sci-fi trappings can't save some things from just outright sucking. Was Genocyber one of those unfortunates?

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance


   I do not get why people were so hard on this movie. For comic fans, it's easy to see that the directorial duo Nevaldine/Taylor genuinely get the appeal of Ghost Rider, as a character and as a property. The movie is full of insane imagery and wild action scenes. For the casual movie fan, what's not to love about a movie that's 90% nothing but Nicolas Cage absolutely losing his shit? That's entertainment. The Ghost Rider comics were never high art or deep genre defining works of fiction. They're just lurid fun, like this movie is. So what's the deal?

Monday, December 5, 2016

Black Magic M-66


   This is probably the most uncomplicated, cut-and-dry, straight forward, simple anime OVA ever. Two military robots get struck by lightning in transport, go haywire in their test mode and end up targeting the granddaughter of their creator for extermination. That's the whole plot. The 45 minute flick is just a breezy action romp. The animation is solid, the story is too simple to have plot holes or twists, and when all is said and done, you'll probably be on Google, wondering if there's more.

Sunday, December 4, 2016

Rush Hour


   It's easy to dismiss Rush Hour as nonsense from the late 90's, and maybe you're not missing much if you do, but holy crap is it more fun than I remember it being. It certainly holds up better than Bad Boys did. Mainly due to the fact that Chris Tucker is funnier than Martin Lawrence in the 'funny one' role, and Jackie Chan plays the 'straight-faced' cop surprisingly well. Their dynamic is much easier to mine comedy from, and the story is a damn sight better than anything Bad Boys had to work with.

Bad Boys


   It was 1995, 21 years ago, and Martin Lawrence was the box office draw here- not Will Smith, who at the time hadn't yet starred in Men in Black or Independence Day. Surreal thought isn't it? As Michael Bay's first big movie, I've often cited Bad Boys as a highlight of Bay's career because by no means is it as bad as some of his later efforts, but how would this buddy cop movie hold up after all this time? The answer? Well... there's no clear cut one. It's plain to see though that Bad Boys is a definite mixed bag.

Corpse Party: Tortured Souls


   I'm totally the kind of guy who googles "most violent anime" and then makes a "to-watch" list out of the results. I just really like bloody anime. It's pretty much the only reason I bothered with Elfin Lied. On the other hand, I also really like Japanese ghost stories, so Corpse Party was a no-brainer. I don't have the highest standards when it comes to anime, so I enjoyed Corpse Party fairly well but it desperately needed tighter writing. If it had that, it could have had the potential to be a genre classic. But, it doesn't, and it's not. Which is really a shame.

Thursday, December 1, 2016

Spectre


   I love revisiting James Bond movies, and buying a box set containing the entire 24 movie franchise is a perfect excuse to do just that. I watched The Living Daylights the other day, and came away feeling exactly how I did last year- it's a supremely fun and highly underrated spy adventure. How would Spectre fare upon second viewing? Well, I liked it well enough the first time. It might've been a cut under Casino Royale and Skyfall, but still a full hack above Quantum of Shitness. Watching it now, I think a few things clicked for me that simply didn't the last time. Spectre was a necessary movie, and that is something to seriously consider.

Sunday, November 13, 2016

Antibirth


   Only at around 43 minutes into director Danny Perez's nasty little flick does the body horror start to show up. I'd love to say it was worth the wait, but I'm just not sure. Antibirth has so much potential, and I really dug the story, but even as I'm writing this I'm struggling with whether or not it's worth recommending, because I'm still wondering whether or not it was worth watching in the first place. Antibirth is about a woman named Lou, a total party animal- drugs, alcohol, hangovers, repeat. None of this is glamorized in the slightest, mind you. It's all super trashy and dirty-looking. I guess that's emblematic of the movie itself, but hey, what do I know?

Saturday, November 12, 2016

The Greasy Strangler


   "What the fuck did I just watch?" so said myself and every single other person who ever watched this movie. I've never seen anything quite like this, and I've seen a movie where a one eyed ex priest went to hell to kill a super rapist, but ended up sexing his hot sister giving precisely zero fucks. This movie however, is about a father and a son who live together, and run a walking Disco tour. But, when a sexy woman shows up on the tour, a weird semi-oedipal competition breaks out between the father and son, as they both vie for her affection. Oh and as the title plainly states, there's a grease-covered serial killer going around who strangles his victims to death.

Don't Breathe


   Director Fede Alvarez knocks it out of the ballpark with this nerve-shredding horror flick. He's probably still best known for his Evil Dead non-remake, and while it may have left a fair chunk of it's audiences cold, it's a movie that I found absolutely amazing upon second viewing. So I was deeply interested in this movie when I found out about it. I knew just the basics going in, that it was about a trio of young adults who break into a blind man's home, searching for the massive cash settlement he supposedly has stashed away. Big mistake.

Thursday, November 10, 2016

Blood Simple


   Some thrillers have characters who make massive assumptions, huge leaps of logic... and by cinematic good will, they just happen to be right. Characters suddenly and inexplicably figure out who the killer is only when it's ultimately crucial, or they remember they had a knife in their pocket that's been there for such a long time you'd think they'd have at least accidentally figured it out before that perfect moment. Blood Simple is not that kind of thriller. It's the kind of thriller where characters make extreme assumptions, as people do, and invariably... they're wrong. This is just part of why Blood Simple is a great movie.

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Doctor Strange


   If you took the virtuoso effects of Inception, the trippiness of Altered States, and the heroics and style of Batman Begins... and deftly blended them together, you'd have Doctor Strange. I can't even say all that aloud without smiling. Maybe Doctor Strange isn't perfect, and maybe it's a bit formulaic, and maybe the superhero bubble is destined to burst soon, and maybe... maybe none of that matters. Maybe Doctor Strange is so much fun and filled with so much spectacle, that it's an irresistible time at the cinema.

Sunday, November 6, 2016

Mighty Morphin Power Rangers: BOOM! Studios comic


   This may very well be the first time I've ever reviewed a comic series on my blog. Nevertheless, I've never felt so compelled to spread the word about one either. I'm a huge Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers fan. I have the whole show on DVD, I still have a bunch of MMPR VHS tapes even. Growing up, I had the trading cards, the pogs, the Sega Genesis games, the action figures, the picture books, the flash cards, the lunch box, the t-shirts, boxers, pool gear, happy meal toys, party napkins, and yes... even the comic books. Point is, if the Mighty Morphin Power Rangers logo was on it- I owned it.

Saturday, November 5, 2016

Cronos


   "He is not some kind of all-powerful Lestat vampire, he's also not the kind of vampire who can sparkle and stop cars- he's the saddest character in the movie." said Del Toro in one of the interviews I watched from the bonus features on the Criterion Blu Ray release of the movie. It's very plain that Del Toro has a penchant for subverting the standard approach to monsters, villains, and the supernatural. The main protagonist in Cronos is a kindly old antique dealer named Jesus Gris, so obviously he's not gonna fare too well in a Del Toro movie. Senor Gris is in for a very nasty time.

Sunday, October 23, 2016

Batman: Arkham Knight


   I've played every Batman Arkham game from the debut title, and each one has been an overall solid experience. We're at a point in gaming consumerism where almost all games are good. That's the absolute baseline here. Go ahead and look up a list of the most disappointing games of the PS3/X-Box 360 generation. Most of the games on the list are at worst, mediocre. They aren't disappointing because they're terrible games (usually), they're disappointing because, well, they didn't meet the overhyped expectations. My point is, the Batman Arkham series has a general standard of quality, and comparing a new title to previous ones is usually just a moot point- picking nits, and such.

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Mortal Kombat X


   When I buy a new game, I decide within just a couple hours whether it's going to be one I can't put down, or if it's going to be one I never pick up again. Games like Crysis 3, Vanquish, Resident Evil 6, and Dark Void are just a handful of games like this. Point being, I don't wait til I've beaten a game to review it. It should be apparent whether or not it's worth playing and is good or not, within five or so hours of gameplay. At this point, I've sunk at least ten hours into Mortal Kombat X, with little doubt it was going to be anything but excellent, and still my expectations were exceeded.

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Kite


   To someone who hasn't seen over two thousand movies, Kite might seem groundbreaking and innovative. Unfortunately, I'm not that guy. I'm the guy who has seen over two thousand movies. Kite feels like the bastard child produced from a marriage of Leon The Professional, Dredd, and some cut-rate Neill Blomkamp flick. Except, it's not as fun as any of those movies, and this is coming from a guy who doesn't really even like Neill Blomkamp's movies. Kite has a young girl who's been brainwashed into her current state as a stone cold assassin, who's out to kill the man who murdered her father. Real original, right?

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Ju-On: The Grudge


   Ju-On is a J-Horror flick with two restless fingers on the piano keys, trying to add spooky atmosphere to a movie that is chronically un-scary. How this movie ever got popular enough to be remade in America is well beyond me. I don't like movies that rely solely on jump scares, but I have a little bit more respect for them now. A good jump scare has to at least... you know, make you jump. The "jump scares" in Ju-On are mind numbingly anti-climactic to the point where they're not startling or creepy or scary. Even worse? This is the kind of scare tactic the movie is hopelessly married to.

Sunday, October 9, 2016

Dark Water


   Returning to my J-Horror binge, I decided to pop in Dark Water, a movie I'd heard excellent things about. Ultimately, I don't feel like this is a horror movie, and that's my biggest beef with it. It's occasionally creepy, and the climax is spooky, but if anything it's more of a psychological drama. I was tempted to say 'thriller' instead of 'drama', but Dark Water is entirely unconcerned with delivering thrills of any kind. It's a drama, and an exceptionally well made one, but I can't really imagine thing movie scaring anyone outside of the most sensitive of viewers, and even then only in one or two moments. Does this mean Dark Water is a bad movie? Certainly not.

Saturday, October 8, 2016

The Darkness


   You know, I was on board with this movie until the last act. And, not that it was a bad last act, but once it arrived, I realized something. EVERYTHING this movie does, the original Poltergeist did better. When a movie contributes virtually nothing to it's genre, and never rises above 'adequate', what do we do with it? Even it's unique imagery feels like something that's been done before, although I can't quite place my finger on where. The Darkness isn't a bad movie by any means, but it's a stale entry in a genre that's been flooded by safe, predictable, formulaic and ultimately tame fare. The Darkness should've been so much better.

The Monster Squad


   Taking a break from the bizarre and grisly stylings of the J-horror genre for more conventional spookiness, I decided to finally pop in The Monster Squad. A movie that, by all means, I should've seen ages ago. It's right up my alley, halfway between The Lost Boys and The Goonies, and a massive love letter to the classic Universal monster movies. I've also had the movie on blu ray for two years and never watched it. Tsk tsk. Bad Joseph. Get it together, man. As I expected, I really liked the movie, but even more enjoyable was seeing my little brothers' reactions to it. That's what really made The Monster Squad a blast.

Hair Extensions


   You know that any movie that starts with a line like "My nose hair has been growing so fast lately!" is going to be memorable, for better or worse. In the case of Hair Extensions, or "Exte", it's definitely for the better. Director Sion Sono is a name I'm becoming quite familiar with, not realizing at first that at least three more movies on my immediate to-watch list were directed by him as well, I'm well on my way to being a sold-out fan. Exte shows the right way to do absurdist, over-the-top, horror. Unlike Uzumaki, Exte takes a strange and unlikely premise and runs with it, all the way. Whereas Uzumaki was about a town haunted by spirals, Exte- like it's name implies, is very much about... hair.

Thursday, October 6, 2016

Noroi: The Curse


   I sat in stunned silence for at least a full minute after this movie was over. I had to collect my thoughts, and calm down. Noroi: The Curse is one of the most effective and affecting horror movies I've ever seen. As simple as that. It's easily the best J-horror movie I've seen to date, and probably the best horror movie I've seen in years. One of surprisingly few that not only lives up to it's hype, but surpasses it. The movie was made in the style of a documentary, like something you're likely to see as a Sunday night special on a cable channel dedicated to mysteries and the like. Make no mistake though... this movie is anything but pedestrian.

Uzumaki


   On the heels of Pulse, I decided to dig into more J-horror. This weird flick was just one of many I have lined up, I do hope the others are better than this one though. While I liked Pulse for it's atmosphere and using loneliness and technology as it's fundamental themes, I feel like Uzumaki doesn't have any of that going on under the hood. It's an absurdist flick about a small town that's plagued by... spirals. I didn't mean for that to sound so cynical, but there's really no way to describe this movie with a straight face. It's spirals! Not 'strange symbols', 'spiral-like ghosts', or a 'spiral cult'- the main thing in this movie is literally just spirals. I'm not kidding.

Pulse


   I love J-horror movies. In general I've always found foreign horror flicks to be uniquely interesting. They provide insight into the commonly accessible fears prevalent in a country or of a specific time in that country. Japan, for instance, certainly has a long standing relationship with ghosts. Whether they're crawling out of a TV, or embodying a small white-skinned child, it's a pretty common and popular theme. This 2001 thriller is no exception. Pulse is another entry into this genre, but instead of VHS tapes, or missed phone calls, the inciting object in question is... the internet.

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Murder Party


   According to IMDb, this little gem of a movie was filmed with no money. I realize that's probably not entirely accurate, someone had to have cash here and there, but to make something like this without a significant budget whatsoever? That's the real feat here! Murder Party hums on the kind of energy you'd find in a Tarantino movie, but has the guts and creativity of an original Evil Dead flick. Many comparisons can be drawn between Murder Party and The Evil Dead, but none more important than the shining testament of what a bunch of friends can do when they set their hearts on making a movie. Murder Party is a crazy good time.

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Kickboxer: Vengeance


   Not even October and all it's required horror movie watching could keep me away from some good old fashioned DTV action trash. Kickboxer: Vengeance as a cut rate remake of the 80's 'classic', Kickboxer, might be easy to dismiss out of hand, or would've been if not for the pedigree of the talent involved. First of all Jean Claude Van Damme the man himself is back, but in the role of the trainer. The obligatory Miyagi type. I'm cool with this. As Tong Po we've got Dave Bautista. An actor/role match made in heaven (or hell in this case) if I ever saw one. And, in the lead role is Alain Moussi, who has been in- wait... who? Yeah, my thoughts exactly.

31


   This has a lot of abysmal reviews online, and I mean... I get it, but I don't agree. People just love their hyperbole. That, and I'm a pretty undemanding and open-minded moviegoer. 31 is Rob Zombie's latest film, and despite popular opinion it's not his worst. Nor is it his best. It just is what it is. Zombie has his own style, and I respect that. Not everyone's going to like his style, but he sticks to it. I like it, personally, even if don't always like his movies. I liked House of 1000 Corpses, and The Devil's Rejects. I was rather indifferent about The Lords of Salem, but I guess I can say I liked 31. Which is somewhat disappointing because I really wanted to love it.

Drag Me to Hell


   I realize I'm already about four days late into the October horror movie fest that the universe is currently in the throes of, but fear not, I'll catch up soon enough. And, what better way to start than with a Sam Raimi flick? Granted, it's a PG-13, post-Evil Dead trilogy, horror flick made in 2009 but still. Raimi and Co. go for broke with this movie, making it as gross and as spooky as possible. Moreover, the story's unwavering (and obvious) commitment to it's initial promise is respectable. Drag Me to Hell isn't a great movie, but it's a fun one. It has enough over the top shlock and classic jump scares to warrant a look if you haven't by now.

Monday, October 3, 2016

Ratchet & Clank


   Yet another movie with a mixed to weak reception that should honestly be wholeheartedly embraced, not just by gamers, or fans, but by any audience who loves a good space faring romp. I've been a fan of Ratchet & Clank since their debut title on the PS2. Admittedly, I've only played about four of their games, but each one was excellent. I just finished a revisit of Up Your Arsenal today, so I was in the perfect mood to finally pop this in and see how it was. And, you know what? I really liked it. Ratchet & Clank isn't perfect, but few films are and this one hits all the right notes.

Tale of Tales


   Tale of Tales lives up to it's name, providing audiences with a series of three fresh fairy tales of the ultra grim variety. The concept of a fairy tale has certainly evolved over the past hundred years. Nowadays, and for a long time now, the term 'fairy tale' has been synonymous with Disney movies like Peter Pan, Cinderella, and Sleeping Beauty. Simplistic stories of good vs. evil, light vs. dark- and so on. But, this movie reminds viewers that fairy tales used to be dark, complex, and challenging stories that might not always have a happy ending.

Sunday, October 2, 2016

Warcraft


   I should start by saying I'm not a fan of the games. I realize this movie had clicked with a fair number of people who've never played the games, but I'm not one of them. The movie starts off with an army of Orcs leaving their world to come to another, better world. In this new world, Azeroth, we're taken to scenes unfolding in various cities or kingdoms all with their names conveniently (and pointlessly) on the screen to let us know where we are. Why are some scenes taking place in Stormwind and others in Ironforge or Karazhan? (names I actually had to look up) Seconds later, we're in another new city, with another name that I won't remember in five minutes.

Friday, September 30, 2016

Total Recall (2012) Director's Cut


    First of all, I gotta say, I'm a huge geek for most all things 80's and 90's, specifically (and obviously) movies. Ergo, I'm a major Schwarzenegger fan. Terminator 2 shares top spot with Aliens and The Matrix as my favorite movie(s) of all time. Not too far down the list from there is RoboCop, directed by Paul Verhoeven. So as anyone could deduce at this point, I must fuckin' love Total Recall. The original one. It's a 90's sci-fi/actioner, starring Arnold Schwarzenegger and directed by Paul Verhoeven. That person would be right. I love Total Recall. So why on god's green Earth am I watching the remake? Again, even! Well... there's a really good reason for that.

Thursday, September 29, 2016

Star Trek Beyond


   My disdain for Star Trek Into Darkness is legendary. I almost hate that movie. It's a bastardization of everything Star Trek is about, and its insulting to the fanbase. Mild hyperbole aside, it didn't instill much confidence in me when Justin Lin was announced as the director of this third entry. The rebooted franchise was fast and furious enough, we didn't need more of that flavor. It was even more disheartening when news broke that Paramount insisted the script be made "Less Star Trek-y", because that's really going to help, isn't it? Imagine my surprise then, that this movie is the most "Star Trek-y" out of this whole trilogy.