Thursday, February 5, 2015

The Devil’s Carnival (2012)


Number Rolled: 29
Movie Name/Year: The Devil’s Carnival (2012)
Genre: Horror
Length: 55 minutes
Rating: NR
Production Companies: Empire Film & Entertainment Group
Executive Producer: James Cotton, Thomas M. Kastelz, Steve Ruff
Director: Darren Lynn Bousman
Writer: Terrance Zdunich
Actors: Sean Patrick Flanery, Briana Evigan, Jessica Lowndes, Terrance Zdunich, Dayton Callie, Emilie Autumn, Ivan L. Moody, Marc Senter, Nivek Ogre, Alexa PenaVega, Bill Moseley, Mighty Mike Murga, Shawn Crahan, Maggie Rose Lally, Paul Sorvino, Tillman Norsworthy

John, Ms. Merrywood, and Tamara have all led sinful lives. On the eve of their destruction, they go to hell where they must endure the punishment for their crimes.

My very first thought while I was watching was, “what the fuck is happening on my screen?” After a little bit of plot and a couple of songs, I got sucked in.

It’s important to note that this is a musical. Not a musical the way Frozen is a musical. With movies like Frozen, you don’t necessarily have to be a hardcore fan of musicals. The story and plot are bolstered by the songs, but would be strong without them. The Devil’s Carnival is a hardcore musical. Only true fans of the genre will enjoy it. The music is an absolute necessity and takes up the majority of the film.

I happen to like musicals.

The plot is based around an interpretation of hell as a carnival. The lost souls are tortured through various staged versions of Aesop’s Fables. It’s an interesting take on some very familiar stories.

According to IMDB, Darren Lynn Bousman (Saw II, Repo! The Genetic Opera, 11-11-11) and Terrance Zdunich (Repo! The Genetic Opera, Art Department: Roughnecks: The Starship Troopers Chronicles, Art Department: What We Do Is Secret) have indicated that this is only part 1 of the story. In fact, part 2 already exists (The Devil’s Carnival: Alleluia!) and part 3 is rumored to have already been written.

I’d love to see the continuation of this story. It was amazing.

Surreal and very strange, but amazing.

Rotten Tomatoes Critic Score – None
Rotten Tomatoes Audience Score – 69%

Netflix’s Prediction for Me – 5/5
Trust-the-Dice Score4/5

The Random Rating: PG-13

P.S. An extra scene/song during the credits.

Movie Trailer:





Monday, February 2, 2015

Top Ten Movies to Look Out For In February


10 – Everly (February 27)


Director: Joe Lynch
Writer: Yale Hannon, Joe Lynch
Actors: Salma Hayek, Jennifer Blanc, Togo Igawa, Caroline Chikezie, Gabriella Wright, Akie Kotabe, Masashi Fujimoto, Hiroyuki Watanabe, Jelena Gavrilovic
Genre: Thriller
Rated: R

A flick with a female action star? Sign me up.

Once a month we get the obligatory action movie starring an old male actor. This month we have Outcast starring Nicolas Cage (Rage, The Frozen Ground, Season of the Witch), which has a fantasy flair, and Focus starring Will Smith (After Earth, Men in Black, I Am Legend), who’s not really old, but is getting there… though I still love him. Neither of those films made the top 10 this month. It feels good to replace that spot with a familiar female face instead.

Salma Hayek (30 Rock, Grown Ups, Dogma) is a great actress and I can’t wait to see her kicking some ass.

Plus, one of the enemies uses Sais, my favorite weapons.

9 – The Voices (February 6)


Director: Marjane Satrapi
Writer: Michael R. Perry
Actors: Ryan Reynolds, Gemma Arterton, Anna Kendrick, Jacki Weaver, Ella Smith, Stephanie Vogt, Gulliver McGrath
Genre: Thriller
Rated: R

The thriller genre doesn’t intersect with comedy as much as I would like it to. Then again, I like a little comedy woven into almost anything. Keyword there is: almost.

In this case, The Voices looks hilariously awesome. Granted, there’s the possibility that the movie could go too far and into an area of ridiculous that there’s no coming back from. On the other side of the coin the movie might not go far enough and might miss the chance to use the comedy in order to highlight the thrills.

I enjoy Ryan Reynolds (Deadpool, R.I.P.D., The Proposal), but his movies are hit or miss. None-the-less, I believe this one is worth a shot.

I could pretend it has nothing to do with Anna Kendrick (Into the Woods, Life After Beth, Pitch Perfect), but she’s a fucking goddess.

8 – Fifty Shades of Grey (February 13)


Director: Sam Taylor-Wood
Writer: Kelly Marcel, E.L. James
Actors: Jamie Dornan, Dakota Johnson, Rita Ora, Luke Grimes, Marcia Gay Harden, Eloise Mumford, Jennifer Ehle, Victor Rasuk, Max Martini, Aaron Johnson, Dylan Neal, Callum Keith Rennie
Genre: Romance
Rated: R

I have no interest in the Fifty Shades books. I attempted to read them but I find the writing style atrocious. Possibly because of that, I’ve had a complete lack of interest in the movie.

Until I saw the trailer.

Now, the trailer isn’t amazing, but it is interesting. It kind of reminds me a bit of Secretary (2002). I very much enjoyed that movie and it made me curious about Fifty Shades.

I have no idea how the movie escaped an NC-17 rating and I don’t want to know what the term “tampon sex-scene” means. Still, I begrudgingly admit a mild interest in this film; at the very least, a morbid curiosity.

7 – Accidental Love (February 10)


Director: David O. Russell (as Stephen Greene)
Writer: Kristin Gore, Matthew Silverstein, Dave Jeser
Actors: Jake Gyllenhaal, Jessica Biel, James Marsden, Catherine Keener, Tracy Morgan, James Brolin, Paul Reubens, David Ramsey, Kirstie Alley, Olivia Crocicchia, Kurt Fuller, Beverly D’Angelo, Bill Hader
Genre: Comedy
Rated: PG-13

The trailer makes this movie look like it is going to be ridiculously funny, but there’s a catch.

I wanted to see this film so much more before I researched it.

Apparently, this movie has been in production since 2008. Ok, that’s a bit incorrect. It started filming in 2008 and stopped filming soon after and was shelved. Apparently the producers failed to pay the actors. The director, David O. Russell (Silver Linings Playbook, American Hustle, The Fighter), disowned the film and most of the actors quit.

Aside from the ethical issues I’m now having with the release of the film, it’s come to my attention that filming was never completed. Whatever movie is coming out with this title, seven years after starting to film, is not the movie that was supposed to exist. There are rumors that parts of the main plot, necessary parts, were not filmed. Which makes me think the movie might not be as great as the trailer makes it look.

Accidental Love was originally number 5 on this list, until I found out all the behind-the-scenes stuff. The only reason it’s still so high is because I’m hoping the rumors aren’t true. It’s got a great cast and a unique storyline.

I’m trying to be optimistic.

6 – The Last 5 Years (February 13)


Director: Richard LaGravenese
Writer: Richard LaGravenese, Jason Robert Brown
Actors: Anna Kendrick, Jeremy Jordan, Natalie Knepp, Nic Novicki, Alan Simpson, Danijela Duspara, Meg Hudson, Allison Macri
Genre: Musical
Rated: PG-13

Anna Kendrick. Goddess.

Now that I’ve stated the obvious I can move on.

I enjoy musicals. I have since I first watched A Chorus Line (1985) with my mom. I’m always a tiny bit thrilled when one makes it to the big screen now-a-days. This one seems even more interesting than most. It’s based more in reality than the fantasy musicals, like Into the Woods, and it’s not a Disney cartoon.

Plain and simple, it’s looks awesome.

5 – The Lazarus Effect (February 27)


Director: David Gelb
Writer: Luke Dawson, Jeremy Slater
Actors: Olivia Wilde, Mark Duplass, Donald Glover, Evan Peters, Sarah Bolger
Genre: Horror
Rated: PG-13

There’s something terrifying about the afterlife. Possibly because I have a significantly bleak belief of what happens after death.

Olivia Wilde (Rush, Drinking Buddies, House) and Evan Peters (Kick-Ass, X-Men: Days of Future Past, American Horror Story) are outstanding actors. Add to that the biblical zombie/demon-type story and I think there’s a lot of potential in this film.

Personally, I look forward to seeing it.

4 – Jupiter Ascending (February 6)


Director: Andy Wachowski, Lana Wachowski
Writer: Andy Wachowski, Lana Wachowski
Actors: Channing Tatum, Mila Kunis, Sean Bean, Eddie Redmayne, Douglas Booth, Tuppence Middleton, Kick Gurry, David Ajala, Bae Doona, James D’Arcy, Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Tim Pigott-Smith
Genre: Sci-Fi
Rated: PG-13

Jupiter Ascending had a delayed release. Unlike Accidental Love, there was no real drama behind the delay. It was supposed to come out in June 2014, but the post-production was more involved than they’d expected and they simply needed more time.

I’m so glad there’s nothing more behind that, because I really don’t want anything to lessen my desire to see this film.

I love Sci-Fi/Fantasy. I love the Wachowski (Cloud Atlas, The Matrix, V for Vendetta) directors. I love Mila Kunis (Oz the Great and Powerful, Ted, Black Swan), Channing Tatum (This is the End, Magic Mike, 22 Jump Street) and Sean Bean (Legends, Silent Hill: Revelation, Game of Thrones).

The action sequences and the imagery in the trailer are insane and with the people working on it I’m not surprised.

I have very high hopes for Jupiter Ascending.

3 – Kingsman: The Secret Service (February 13)


Director: Matthew Vaughn
Writer: Matthew Vaughn, Jane Goldman, Mark Miller, Dave Gibbons
Actors: Colin Firth, Taron Egerton, Michael Caine, Mark Strong, Sophie Cookson, Samuel L. Jackson, Jack Davenport, Sofia Boutella, Samantha Womack, Edward Holcroft, Mark Hamill, Tom Prior,
Genre: Action
Rated: R

Just as it was nice to see a female action hero this month, it was also nice to see a relatively new face entering the spy world. Taron Egerton (Testament of Youth, The Smoke, Inspector Lewis) is new to the scene, but he beat out plenty of other actors for the part, so it’s easy to expect something great from him.

That may be a reason this film made the list, but it has nothing to do with why it’s so high up.

The actor I’m most looking forward to seeing in this film is Michael Caine (Interstellar, Now You See Me, The Dark Knight Rises). He’s returning to the spy game and I can’t wait to see that. In the 60’s, his trio of Harry Palmer films (The Ipcress File, Funeral in Berlin, Billion Dollar Brain) were a sight to behold.

Aside from that, the movie is being directed by Matthew Vaughn (X-Men: First Class, Stardust, Layer Cake) and is based off a comic book created by Mark Millar (Superman: Red Son, Wanted, Ultimate Avengers). Why does that sound familiar? Does Kick-Ass ring a bell?

The trailer looks amazing. It’s like a trip back in time to when the Bond movies had a campy flair to them; before they became super serious. I miss that kind of spy film.

It also doesn’t skimp on any of that badass nature. We’re going to see some awesome gadgets in Kingman: poison pens, exploding silicon microchips, bladed metal artificial legs, a firing umbrella, and so much more.

2 – Hot Tub Time Machine 2 (February 20)


Director: Steve Pink
Writer: Josh Heald
Actors: Rob Corddry, Craig Robinson, Clark Duke, Adam Scott, Chevy Chase, Gillian Jacobs, Bianca Haase
Genre: Comedy
Rated: R

There’s no long, involved, story for why this movie made my list. I thoroughly enjoyed the first Hot Tub Time Machine. It was hilarious and I expect nothing less from the sequel.

I have one gripe. It bothers me that John Cusack (Drive Hard, Hot Tub Time Machine, Grosse Pointe Blank) wasn’t even approached to reprise his role. What the hell is that? A little Cusack makes everything better.

1 – Seventh Son (February 6)


Director: Sergei Bodrov
Writer: Charles Leavitt, Steven Knight, Matt Greenberg, Joseph Delaney
Actors: Jeff Bridges, Julianne Moore, Ben Barnes, Olivia Williams, Kit Harington, Djimon Hounsou, Alicia Vikander, Antje Traue, Jason Scott Lee
Genre: Fantasy
Rated: PG-13

Any month my list is topped off with hardcore fantasy, is a good month.

Seventh Son was inspired by a book. If the film and the book are half as good as the trailer is, they’re going to be epic.

That’s all I have to say about this film. The trailer speaks for itself.