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.

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Independence Day: Resurgence


   Wow, I seriously can't believe this got terrible reviews. It just proves that objectivity isn't a trait people are capable of anymore. That, combined with that fact moviegoers these days seem to be as jaded as your stereotypical New York cab driver, condemned Independence Day: Resurgence to an unjust and early grave, critically speaking of course. Sure, it's big, loud and frequently dumb, but so was it's predecessor. I'd be quicker to suggest the first movie is overrated than to say this is a bad movie. It can't be bad because it's exactly the movie it should've been. Objectively speaking.

Central Intelligence


   I love The Rock, and I think Kevin Hart is hilarious. The prospect of them doing a buddy-action/comedy movie though was kinda hard to sell me on right away. There was as much potential for it to be bland and unfunny as there was for it to be fun. Luckily, it was definitely more of the latter. The movie isn't high brow humor, nobody's going to remember it as a genre classic five or ten years from now. It's going to go down in history as a footnote in the entries for movies like 48 Hrs. and Rush Hour. Does that mean it's not a lot of fun? No. Central Intelligence gives you your money's worth when it comes to laughs and thrills.

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Tekkonkinkreet


   I seem to be on a roll with these animated flicks and so far I haven't hit a bad apple yet. Tekkonkinkreet is fantastic. It's an anime movie based on a 90's manga of the same name. It's about two kids, Black and White, in Treasure Town, a place that's gritty but oddly beautiful. The movie is action packed, but not in the conventional sense. Yet make no mistake, for a character driven, coming of age, crime drama, there's no other like it. Tekkonkinkreet leaves any semblance of competition in the dust, quite literally soaring through the air with stunning verve and confidence.

Monday, September 26, 2016

Metropolis


   I love anime, and Metropolis is hailed as one of the greats of the medium so I've no idea why it's taken me this long to get around to seeing it. With my expectations in neutral, I popped it on in a spur of the moment thing, and got right into it. I'd expect nothing less than stunning animation and an epic scope, and Metropolis delivered precisely that. Unfortunately, it's characters were rather one-note, and it's story was nothing I haven't seen a hundred times before. So what does that leave us with?

Saturday, September 24, 2016

Crying Freeman


   As I was messaging my friend, telling them I was watching Crying Freeman their first response was "Huh? What's that?" so I explained that it's a 90's action-thriller starring Mark Dacascos. "Who?" Sigh. Mark Dacascos is a national treasure that too many people don't know exist. He never got the fame of Jean Claude Van Damme, or even Dolph Lundgren, but to the action junkies like me, he's a reliable ass-kicker with charisma and good looks. When he lands a leading role, like this one in Crying Freeman... I pay attention.

Thursday, September 22, 2016

He Never Died


   He Never Died is the slow burn, low key, dramady, noir-thriller with a supernatural twist you never knew you always wanted. Starring the always epic Henry Rollins, this flick is pretty great. The whole thing rides on his shoulders, and what shoulders they are. Without Rollins I don't think this movie would even be good. Let alone watchable. All the other characters have to play off of him and it's his interactions with them that are just golden. He's fantastic. He Never Died is not one to miss, and you're in luck, it's currently on Netflix instant streaming.

The Tournament


   Imagine one of the craziest action movies you've never seen, with enough shootouts, kung-fu, and parkour to fill at least a few Bourne outings, and give Daniel Craig's Bond a run for his money. But, you've never seen it because the movie doesn't have a Matt Damon, or a Daniel Craig. It's full of character actors who're usually only ever playing supporting roles. Ving Rhames (Pulp Fiction, Con Air), Kelly Hu (X2: X-Men United), and S├ębastien Foucan (Casino Royale). Why this movie hasn't picked up a massive cult following within the action subset of movie nerds is absolutely baffling. It's bloody awesome.

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Highway to Hell


   "Abandon all hope, ye who enter here." You might be familiar with the ominous phrase from Dante's Inferno, said to be inscribed above the gates to hell. I bet you never pictured it scrolling across an electronic marquee though. Highway to Hell is full of clever little sight gags like that. It's humor isn't sophisticated, and the movie is rife with hell-centric puns, but this little gem from 1991 is a blast from start to finish. I cannot believe I hadn't seen this sooner. It's one of those movies that's so deep inside my wheelhouse that I feel like I should've watched it years ago. It's so much fun.

The Conjuring 2


   I really liked the first Conjuring. I'm a pretty big fan of James Wan. He and Leigh Whannell have cranked out some absolute horror hits. I was nuts about the first few Saw movies, and I'll leap to their defense at the drop of a hat, any hat. I also loved the first two Insidious movies (haven't seen the newest one yet), and despite the fact that nothing was actually conjured (a fact my friend loves to point out)... I seriously enjoyed The Conjuring as well. So how did this sequel fare with this fan? Pretty damn well to be honest. I think Wan and company have outdone themselves.

Switchblade Sisters


   Director Jack Hill said that a realistic portrayal of teenage gang issues wouldn't have worked if all the girls were pretty and wearing hot pants. So, instead, he opted to make the movie as a fast, lurid, fantasy. The movie is melodramatic and more than a bit absurd, but it's all in good fun with tongue planted firmly in cheek. Despite coming out in 1975, Switchblade Sisters feels like a stylized parable about gang violence in the 50's. It's easy to spot gang members, because obviously they all wear all-black and leather jackets. That's just the kind of movie this is, love it or don't.

Monday, September 19, 2016

Kill Zone 2


   Tony Jaa never fails to impress with his skill and onscreen presence. Kill Zone 2 is no exception. Jaa and costar Jing Wu tear up the screen with ferocity, delivering some fantastic action scenes. For this fact alone, Kill Zone 2 is well worth watching. For anyone who's jonesing for another hit after getting hooked on genre fair like Ong Bak, The Raid, and The Raid 2, Kill Zone 2 will mellow your ass out for a while. Is it actually a good movie though? That... is largely debatable. The more complex the filmmakers make these plots, the more opportunities the movie has to stumble, and Kill Zone 2 has an obstacle course to run.

Friday, September 16, 2016

Turkey Shoot


   Few words bring a smile to my face as immediately as the word "Ozploitation" does. The genre's more action packed offerings are properly insane. There's just a crazy flavor to Australian exploitation that regular exploitation doesn't have. Look at Fair Game, or Razorback. The movies are just... insane. I'm already sounding like a broken record. Anyways, I finally got around to seeing Turkey Shoot, and it's one of the titans of the Ozploitation genre. I cannot believe I didn't sit myself down and watch this sooner. It's bloody amazing.

The One I Love


   I don't remember who recommended this movie to me, but I owe them a big thanks, and I owe myself a kick in the butt for not getting around to it sooner. The One I Love is pretty fantastic. I gotta be real careful what I say about it here too because I went into the movie with only the most basic, fundamental concept of what I was going to see, and anything more would've cheated me out of part of the surprise. This is just one of those movies you have to see for yourself.

Kristy


   The slasher/thriller genre can get pretty stale every now and then, but then a movie like Kristy comes along and reminds everyone why the genre just fucking works. First surprise, the heroine's name isn't Kristy. It's actually Justine. I know right? That's not really a spoiler by the way, but make no mistake, the name Kristy does very much come into play. The title might be a bit misleading, but in a fun way. The movie is a treat for genre fans, and a decent thriller for moviegoers in the mood for this sort of thing.

Thursday, September 15, 2016

The Forbidden Room


   We've all had late nights that had us convinced we were certifiable insomniacs. You know the kind of night I'm talking about. You're crashed on the couch, the TV is on, and it's helping you drift. You're not really paying attention to what you're watching, but the combination of moving images and background noise is... helping, somehow. Fast forward to the next morning, and you can recall a smattering of shows and/or movies, at about five minutes apiece. You remember stuff you saw, but there's virtually no context to any of it. Cannibals and intergalactic war one minute, an infomercial on bath mats the next. That... is what The Forbidden Room feels like.

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

The Wicked City


   Here's another movie that's hard to believe even exists. I first reviewed this strange-ass little gem back in 2013, but I had watched an English dubbed version of the movie... on VHS. Now, I love VHS. As a format I think it's really cool, and I collect movies on VHS. It's a hobby for me. But, the English dub of this movie is a complete travesty. I get a headache just thinking about it, and I'm not really one to complain about dubs in general. Of what little anime I do watch, I watch most of it dubbed. If I had an option though, with most foreign movies, I will choose subs over dubs by default. But, with The Wicked City it should be a fundamental necessity.

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Dreamcatcher


   Okay so, like, this movie is real apparently. I'm still kind of in shock after watching it. It's like an M. Night Shayamalan movie... but... not. Because his bad movies are just... bad. Dreamcatcher certainly isn't good either, but it's so frickin' entertaining. Like, wow. It's based on a Stephen King book, which I've never read, just putting that out there. I know some fans of the book were pissed about the movie, but really... is that news or something? Fans of books will always be pissed at the movie adaptations. My opinion is of that of a moviegoer, nothing more, nothing less.

The Nice Guys


   Shane Black is carving out a very respectable niche for himself in the vast landscape of all that is 'movies'. Whether you know him as 'the guy with the pussy jokes' from Predator, or the writer of Lethal Weapon, Last Action Hero, The Last Boy Scout, and The Long Kiss Goodnight, OR... the writer/director of Kiss Kiss, Bang Bang and Iron Man 3... there's no denying that the guy does good work. The Nice Guys is no exception. It's a sequel, in spirit only, to Kiss Kiss, Bang Bang, and as such, it's perfect. He's approaching something that could rival Edgar Wright's Cornetto Trilogy, if only he made a third one.

Sunday, September 11, 2016

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 2: Out of the Shadows


   The 2014 Ninja Turtles was kind of a big deal for me, not that I gave a crap about it when it came out. It looked ugly and excessive in every imaginable way, but I eventually had a change of heart and decided to at least give it a shot. If it sucked, it sucked, but at least I found out for myself. Lo and behold, it didn't suck. It was deeply flawed, sure, but it didn't suck. It was fun! Much to my surprise, I really, genuinely enjoyed it. It was stupid and silly, but it also managed to capture what I loved best about the franchise. So how would it's sequel fare? Well, to be honest, it fared a bit better.

Monday, September 5, 2016

Rise to Honor


   Should I have like a specific day where I review random crap? If Throwback Thursday is a thing, can't Random Crap Monday be a thing too? In this case, Random Classic might be more apt. Despite the deceptive art above, this is not a movie. Rise to Honor is in fact a video game from 2004, exclusive to the PlayStation 2. I had this game for a hot minute when I was younger, and I really enjoyed it. I bought it again last year on a nostalgia binge when I decided to just buy a bunch of old game systems and games. It was probably one of my better buys at that point...

Saturday, September 3, 2016

The Neon Demon


   I'm a massive fan of Danish director Nicolas Winding Refn's work. Drive is one of my absolute favorite movies, and Bronson is completely fantastic. I've seen most of his stuff, including Valhalla Rising, Only God Forgives and a couple of the Pusher movies. Even when I strongly dislike one of his movies (i.e. Only God Forgives) it's still an interesting experience and one worth discussing with other movie nerds. I feel like this is where The Neon Demon is at. It's never more than the sum of it's parts, but holy hell what parts it has.