Monday, December 31, 2012

A Home at the End of the World (2004)

Number Rolled: 16
Movie Name/Year: A Home at the End of the World (2004)
Genre: Drama
Length: 96 minutes
Rating: R
Director: Michael Mayer
Writer: Michael Cunningham
Actors: Andrew Chalmers, Ryan Donowho, Asia Vieira, Erik Smith, Harris Allan, Matt Frewer, Sissy Spacek, Colin Farrell, Dallas Roberts, Robin Wright

This movie is a little confusing to start off with. Though, that could just be my brain coming down off the super busy holidays and trying to immediately understand an indy film.

Based on a book by Michael Cunningham, this movie follows the life of a boy named Bobby Morrow. Bobby (played by three different actors during the movie – since it takes place over two decades) is raised alongside a brother that introduces him to drugs and sex then, later on, alongside a friend he develops feelings for and his friends family. The two friends become inseparable and eventually move in together with a woman in New York. From there, the movie begins to go into a very unconventional relationship. (No, I don’t consider gay relationships unconventional, so I don’t count the first part of the movie in that description.)

To be honest, it took me a little while to get into it. Colin Farrell kind of looked like he was wearing a bad wig for the first twenty minutes or so that he was on screen. Erik Smith and Harris Allan probably did the best they could with their roles, but their characters felt like serious versions of characters right out of Napoleon Dynamite, which is a movie I feel is a waste of film reel.

Even with those issues, the movie was quirky and engrossing. It wasn’t perfect by any stretch of the imagination, but it was sincere. It felt real. I got attached to the characters. I enjoyed the story line. It didn’t follow any particular recipe that I can think of at the moment, and I never really knew what was coming over the next five minutes.

I felt like the ending was a little abrupt, but just as bitter sweet and thought provoking as the rest of the movie. It also allowed for the viewer to use a little imagination toward figuring out what happened.

I’m very much for gay rights. Pro-gay marriage. Pro-gay everything, pretty much. However, I know that there are many people who are not. If gay themes make you uncomfortable, you’re not going to enjoy this movie at all.

Overall Opinion – 4/5

Friday, December 28, 2012

Grease 2 (1982)

Number Rolled: 9
Movie Name/Year: Grease 2 (1982)
Genre: Music
Length: 114 minutes
Rating: PG
Director: Patricia Birch
Writer: Ken Finkleman
Actors: Maxwell Caulfield, Michelle Pfeiffer, Lorna Luft, Maureen Teefy, Alison Price, Pamela Adlon, Adrian Zmed, Peter Drechette, Christopher McDonald, Leif Green, Didi Conn, Eve Arden, Sid Caesar, Dody Goodman, Tab Hunter, Dick Patterson, Connie Stevens, Eddie Deezen

Everyone has heard of, or seen, or worshiped, Grease. The one where John Travolta plays Danny Zuko, the leader of a motorcycle gang, the T-birds and Olivia Newton-John plays all around good girl, Sandy Olsen. Sandy is taken in as a kind of mascot to the Pink Ladies and together they turn her into a vinyl-cat-suit-clad bad-girl in order to win over Danny’s heart. Musical hijinx ensues.

What else could one expect Grease 2 to be about? Michelle Pfeiffer plays Stephanie Zinone, a member of the Pink Ladies, who’s looking for a “cool rider.” Enter Maxwell Caulfield playing the nerdy British exchange student, Michael Carrington, who’s taken with her from day one and has to fight to be recognized as a member of the T-birds by teaching himself how to be “cool” and ride a motorcycle.

Do I sound like a broken record yet?

What did we expect? You can’t take one of the single most popular musicals to date, make a sequel and expect it to be better than the first. Not going to happen. I don’t like that they tried. They copied the story, swapped which gender was the geek and attempted to redo Grease.

That being said, if you take it on its own merit and not as a sequel, it’s not bad. It’s campy and funny and the actors do well enough. However, it’s all mediocre stuff, until you add in the soundtrack. I have to admit, “Cool Rider,” is one of my favorite songs from the movie. I haven’t seen it in maybe five years, but I can still sing every words of that song along with the music.

If you watch it, keep in mind, the story is exactly what you expect it to be. Watch it for the music.

Overall Opinion – 3/5

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Serious Moonlight (2009)

Number Rolled: 99
Movie Name/Year: Serious Moonlight (2009)
Genre: Comedy
Length: 84 minutes
Rating: R
Director:  Cheryl Hines
Writer: Adrienne Shelly
Actors: Meg Ryan, Timothy Hutton, Justin Long, Kristen Bell, Derek Carter, Bill Parks, Kimberlee Peterson, Nathan Dean, Andy Ostroy

This movie gave me a headache. The first half hour was mostly screaming and overacting.

On the heels of that note, I have a confession to make. For as popular as Meg Ryan is, and as well known as she is, I’m not familiar with her work. In fact, I have never seen any of her movies. If I did, then I don’t remember. If this movie was any indication of her overall acting talent, I’m not sure I’m interested in seeing them, but I believe everything deserves two chances. Everyone has an off day or a bad project; everyone makes mistakes. So I can’t, in good standing, write her off just yet.

Eventually, the movie does get slightly interesting, but continues to flop hard as a comedy. I didn’t so much as giggle once during the entire film. However, while trying to figure out what I would categorize it as I couldn’t pick another category, either. Maybe it’s a drama, kind of, not really. So I can’t really complain about the genre chosen. I think that was as good a guess as any.

I wasn’t impressed.

Overall Opinion – 2/5

Monday, December 24, 2012

Crimes of Fashion (2004)

Number Rolled: 95
Movie Name/Year: Crimes of Fashion (2004)
Genre: Comedy
Length: 89 minutes
Rating: NR
Director: Stuart Gillard
Writer: David Mickel
Actors: Angelo Celeste, Dominic Chianese, Kaley Cuoco, Louis Di Bianco, Shannon Duff, Catherine Emmanuel, Megan Fox, Joyce Gordon, Hazel Gorin, Graham Harley

This movie was quite obviously one meant to air on TV. Even if there weren’t breaks in video that were meant for commercials, the basic premise and acting would lead you to believe it.

I don’t hate Megan Fox, but one needs to wonder why she plays the stuck-up bitch so easily. Everything from Transformers to Jennifer’s Body to this. I have yet to see her in something where I don’t want to smack her character upside the head with a chair. Kaley Cuoco, however, I do love, but in this she seems to have reprised her role as Billie on Charmed… only without the really cool powers and an added love of fashion designing.

The storyline was very “The Princess Diaries”. A plain type girl who’s in fashion school learns that her grandfather was a mob boss and is given a make-over to bring her into the family and give her control of it. Replace a couple of words, actually, and the synopsis is exactly that of “The Princess Diaries (2001).”

I found myself bored. It’s a recipe movie. Not a very good recipe movie. It’s the kind that really doesn’t push the envelope much and makes little to no effort to be original in any way. If you like that particular recipe, it’s fine. If you don’t prefer that recipe, stay away, “Crimes of Fashion” won’t convince you to.

Overall Opinion – 2/5

Friday, December 21, 2012

Iron Man 2 (2010)

Number Rolled: 97
Movie Name/Year: Iron Man 2 (2010)
Genre: Action & Adventure
Length: 124 minutes
Rating: PG-13
Director: Jon Favreau
Writer: Justin Theroux, Stan Lee, Don Heck, Larry Leiber, Jack Kirby
Actors: Robert Downey Jr., Gwyneth Paltrow, Don Cheadle, Scarlett Johansson, Clark Gregg, John Slattery, Garry Shandling, Paul Bettany, Kate Mara, Leslie Bibb, Jon Favreau, Christiane Amanpour, Stan Lee

Geek readers, please keep in mind that I am writing this review from the viewpoint of a movie-goer. I am not considering the comic book series in the writing of this review. I’m absolutely sure you can give me a list of reasons why the movie did or did not meet the expectations of the comic it was based off of, but that is not what this is about. Feel free to let me know anyway, because that kind of stuff is pretty interesting to me.

With that out on the table, it’s been widely noted that people were quick to give all the love to the first Iron Man and none to Iron Man 2. Not for nothing, but Iron Man 1 was spectacular. It was a showing of one of Marvel’s finest and I would watch it monthly for a more pleasant kind of cycle. Iron Man 2 was what it was. It was a sequel.

Sequels are notorious for being worse than their original counterparts, and for good reason. You get these writers or directors that have seen the first move rise to such spectacular proportions that it has earned a sequel and it puts pressure on them to make the sequel better. They lose focus. Things become a hodge-podge of Hollywood inspired action and CGI in an attempt to make it bigger and better. What you’re usually met with, as a result, is a slightly confusing storyline with ADD that doesn’t always hit the high notes it’s supposed to.

Now, I’ve seen some shitty sequels. The Matrix was a sick movie that went downhill as the series progressed; to the point where I was sleeping in the theater during that three year love scene between Trinity and Neo. Home Alone was a cute movie that was ruined by sequels. And, you know, Jar Jar Binx… ‘nuff said.

There are some sequels out there that should have been trashed before they were ever shot, but this I don’t think is one of them. It wasn’t perfect. It wasn’t spectacular. It was, however, acceptable. Maybe even good. I wouldn’t go so far as to say it was great, though.

My favorite thing about Marvel, though, is that even if you dislike the current movie you’re watching, they’re giving nods to the other movies they have out and are tying in red herrings to remind you of what’s coming next. Each movie is like a single gem placed into the Infinity Gauntlet… but… well… if you’ve seen the after-credit scenes of The Avengers, you know we’ll probably get a whole other article on that.

Until next time Netflixers!

Overall Opinion – 3.5/5

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Act of Vengeance (1974)

Number Rolled: 58
Movie Name/Year: Act of Vengeance (1974)
Genre: Horror
Length: 90 minutes
Rating: R
Director: Bob Kelljan
Writer: David Kidd, H.R. Christian
Actors: Jo Ann Harris, Peter Brown, Jennifer Lee, Lisa Moore, Connie Strickland, Patricia Estrin, Lada Edmund Jr., Tony Young, Steve Kanaly

Please note that when you look up this movie, it also comes up as “Rape Squad,” which is the title on the box, but is listed even in IMDB as “Act of Vengeance.” I’m not really sure what the deal is there.

I was born in 1983. So, needless to say, I wasn’t alive during any part of the seventies. I’m going to go ahead and take an educated guess about the decade. Before I make my assessment, I’m going to give my reasoning.

I’ve only watched two movies made in the seventies (so far) for this blog, but I’ve seen others. The movies haven’t been exceptionally good. In fact, most have been quite the opposite. However, all of them were so fucked up that I couldn’t look away from the screen. I tried, in some cases. Including this case of a very detailed rape scene in the very beginning where he’s making the woman sing Jingle Bells at the same time. That song will never be the same to me.

My thought is that those in charge in the seventies were the flower children of the sixties and they all fried their brains with acid. Lots of acid. And maybe some demonic possession. Lots of demonic possession.

This movie was a train wreck that I couldn’t look away from, though I found the ending satisfying and acceptable.

I’m officially afraid to add any more movies from the seventies to my instant queue.

Overall Opinion – 1.5/5

P.S. After scheduling this to be posted, my boyfriends phone went off and his ringer was set to Jingle Bells. I nearly threw an apple core at his head.

Monday, December 17, 2012

The Decoy Bride (2011)

Number Rolled: 55
Movie Name/Year: The Decoy Bride (2011)
Genre: Comedy
Length: 88 minutes
Rating: PG
Director: Sheree Folkson
Writer: Neil Jaworski, Sally Phillips
Actors: Kelly Macdonald, David Tennant, Alice Eve, Hamish Clark, James Fleet, Dylan Moran, Sally Phillips, Michael Urie, Federico Castelluccio

This movie was a recipe movie. When I call something a “recipe movie” it’s because it followed the basic protocols for that type of movie. For instance, this movie was about a famous woman attempting to marry her writer fiancĂ©. The press won’t leave them alone, and so they attempt to go to a remote destination where they hire a decoy bride – a woman to pretend to be her.

Now, if you know romantic comedies, you can be pretty damn sure about where that is heading. There’s a recipe for it. Each person in the film is like an ingredient, not always the same – and substitutions are allowed – but the end product is usually a carbon copy. A preordained dish of either a happy or a sad ending.

These movies become predictable really quick. The best I can do to not spoil the ending is to not mention whether it added the bitter ending zest or the happy ending spice.

Even though it was a recipe movie, it wasn’t bad. The tenth doctor (Doctor Who – David Tennant) is a brilliant actor and I’d watch anything with him in it, regardless of what it’s about. The worst movie in the world could have David Tennant in it and it would go up a full point on my rating because of it. In case you can’t figure it out, I’m a bit of a fan girl for him.

Luckily, this wasn’t the worst movie in the world so I’m not compromising my blogging integrity by saying I enjoyed it. The script was well done, the leading lady was wonderful and the story did what it could with the recipe it was set to follow. Not the greatest thing in the world, but I’d watch it again.

Overall Opinion – 3/5

Friday, December 14, 2012

Girl Walks Into A Bar (2011)

Movie Name/Year: Girl Walks Into A Bar (2011)
Genre: Comedy
Length: 80 minutes
Rating: R
Director: Sebastian Gutierrez
Writer: Sebastian Gutierrez
Actors: Gil Bellows, Xander Berkeley, Alexis Bledel, Emmanuelle Chriqui, Rosario Dawson, Danny Devito, Robert Forster, Carla Gugino, Josh Hartnett, Zachary Quinto, Michelle Ryan, Lauren Lee Smith, Aaron Tveit

I don’t normally stray from my Netflix instant queue for this blog, but a movie that is legally shared on YouTube fits my criteria for cheap (in this case free) instantly streamed movies. So I’m going to make an exception here.

I accidentally watched this movie. Ok. What does that mean? It means, my boyfriend snored me out of bed and I had to kill a couple of hours before he would get up and I would be able to go to sleep. So, what did I intend to do? I did your basic search on YouTube for various bloopers of actors and actresses I like. I came across this little gem, which didn’t fit my search criteria at all, quite by accident.

That was when I did a little bit of research on it. It turns out that this movie was made specifically by Shangrila Entertainment for Internet Distribution only. What does that mean? It means if you follow the link posted above, it will take you to the first part of a ten part movie that will blow your mind.

I can’t imagine how this movie made enough money to pay actors like Zachary Quinto, Josh Hartnett, Danny Devito and Rosario Dawson, but I’m not going to question my good luck.

The story takes place throughout ten different bars/establishments in Los Angeles in a single night, locking together seemingly independent characters in a twisting story that is both highly amusing and very gripping. Lots of strippers, implied violence and some very witty writing.

Free or not, this is the best movie I’ve seen in a month (except for “Drive”). I highly suggest you watch it.

Again, it is posted on YouTube by the company that made it. It is in ten different parts and is easily paused and started again as if they were cut into predetermined chapters. Really, if you’ve got time to blow, you won’t regret blowing it on this.

Overall Opinion – 5/5

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Monsters (2010)

Number Rolled: 72
Movie Name/Year: Monsters (2010)
Genre: Sci Fi & Fantasy
Length: 93 minutes
Rating: R
Director: Gareth Edwards
Writer: Gareth Edwards
Actors: Scoot McNairy, Whitney Able, Mario Zuniga Benavides, Annalee Jefferies, Justin Hall, Ricky Catter, Paul Archer, Kerry Vladerrama, Jonathan Winnford, Stan Wong, Anthony Cristo, Mario Richardson, Jorge Quirs, Erick Arce, Emigo Munkel, Esteban Blanco

I don’t know. It’s like a movie about a documentary maker with some Cthulu looking things strolling around and having weird Avatar alien sex. Ok, granted, the alien sex is single short scene and later on in the movie, but still. I don’t need to see that. It wasn’t even some kind of interesting tentacle hentai thing, it was just… five minutes of, “what the fuck?”

I love ‘end of the world’ movies. I don’t know why. I’m highly looking forward to the 21rst and I hope the networks play all the zombie, weather-related, tornado, end of the world stuff that they can get their hands on. I’m also not going further than two blocks from my house because the population of this world is nuts and will probably go crazy on that day. By the way, if you didn’t know, the world is supposed to end a week from Friday because some Mayan’s ran out of stone for their calendar. Whatever.

Anyway, back to this movie. It’s a movie about, you guessed it, the end of the world as we know it. Great, now I’ve got that song stuck in my head…

The Earth comes in contact with aliens, aliens take over the entire southern U.S., the Earth proceeds in trying to get land back. We miss all that cool stuff and land smack dab in a time where the humans have given up, separate the land into “theirs” and “ours” and attempt to live with the new laws of life. So it’s kind of post-alien-apocalypse, which is actually a really interesting plot. In theory.

I wouldn’t say it was boring… but I would say I expected more out of it. Someone says ‘alien’ film to me and I expect some thrills and chills. The aliens looked awesome, I’ll give them that. Very H.P. Lovecraft. But the script is like a love story gone wrong. The ending was very Soprano’s, very abrupt and there were very few really memorable scenes.

It wasn’t terrible. If it came on TV and I was bored, I might throw it on the screen for background noise. I doubt I’d go out of my way for it, though.

Overall Opinion – 2.5/5

Monday, December 10, 2012

Kicking It (2008)

Number Rolled: 28
Movie Name/Year: Kicking It (2008)
Genre: Documentary
Length: 98 minutes
Rating: NR
Director: Susan Koch, Jeff Werner
Writer: Susan Koch
Actors: Colin Farrell, Brandon Francis

I have a vast enjoyment of movies. I like everything from Horror to Romance to Independent, and everything in between. However, I don’t add many documentaries to my instant queue. It’s not that I’m not curious. Hell, I spend the majority of my free time skimming various reference sites on the internet. Documentaries aren’t just about information though, or at least, they’re not supposed to be. If someone wants to see a regurgitation of information, there are numerous dissertations that can be found through google. When someone wants to be entertained by information they are curious about, they hit up a book or a documentary series/movie. For this reason, I ONLY add to my instant queue documentaries that hold significance to my interests.

I love soccer. I played for four years, coached for two and follow LA Galaxy religiously. I know how much passion for anything can work to help someone rise themselves up from rock bottom. This movie is about aiding the homeless be fanning the flames of a passion in soccer. I’ve also been exposed, through loved ones, to homelessness. My father was homeless when I was a teenager, unfortunately, he wasn’t breaking any stereotypes. He was a drug addict and an alcoholic that participated in various illegal situations in order to get by. I did, however, have a friend during high school that was also homeless. She was as straight-edge as possible; never did drugs, never did alcohol. She’d become homeless because she found it was a better alternative to living in an abusive home. After being attacked in a shelter, she found it was simply easier to live on the streets. She made every goal of hers fit with getting through school and getting a job. Her passion came from art. Last I heard, she was designing dresses for a major company.

This documentary follows the road of six different homeless men who train to and compete in the Homeless World Cup. It’s a bit heartbreaking, as you can imagine, as you learn why these people are homeless and what they must endure to remain alive. A young man who was abused and is angry at the world. A man that fell to drugs and is trying to kick them. A young man in Afghanistan trying to live above the violence. You get to watch each of the subjects fall in love with soccer and work as a team to have that boost of confidence that will help them pick themselves up. Anything that aids someone in helping themselves up from rock bottom, is usually a good thing.

The first half of the movie goes into all this drama and offers an intriguing viewpoint of a subject people usually only see the worst side of. It’s absorbing and quite good. Then it gets into the homeless world cup. The first fifteen minutes after that are just as engrossing. Unfortunately, after that, the documentary tries a little too hard to be something that it’s not. It tries to be a fictional sports movie. Until it tried to be a mainstream movie genre, it was very good. Near the end, I was pausing every few moments to see how long I had until the end and trying not to fall asleep.

Only watch it if you’re REALLY interested in soccer and REALLY interested in documentaries. Otherwise, there’s not point.

Overall Opinion – 2/5

Friday, December 7, 2012

Drive (2011)

Number Rolled: 100
Movie Name/Year: Drive (2011)
Genre: Thriller
Length: 100 minutes
Rating: R
Director: Nicolas Winding Refn
Writer: Hossein Amini, James Sallis
Actors: Ryan Gosling, Carey Mulligan, Bryan Cranston, Albert Brooks, Oscar Isaac, Christina Hendricks, Ron Perlman, Kaden Leos, Jeff Wolfe, James Biberi

One of the first lines in the movie said toward Ryan Gosling’s character, a driver who does small time get-away driver jobs and works as a grease monkey, is “no one is going to be looking at you.” Anyone interested in men is going to understand just how false that sentiment is, because when Ryan Gosling is on the screen, there’s nobody NOT looking at him.

Aside from that? I have a new favorite movie. I couldn’t tear my eyes away from the screen. I’m not sure but I think, if there had been a fire, I wouldn’t have gotten up until my TV went blank. It was incredible.

I don’t know who to thank. The writers were amazing. The director knew exactly how to show things to create the ultimate amount of tension. The actors? Ok. I automatically have a new love and respect for both Ryan Gosling and Carey Mulligan. Their dialog was minimal. And by minimal I mean that Ryan’s character never says more than approximately 8 words at a time, and usually less. Yet, by the end of the movie, you know his character best. Feel for his character. He accomplishes this with facial expression and movement. That’s not an easy thing to ask of an actor.

I could type for years about this movie. I’m not going to, though. Watch it.

Overall Opinion – 5/5

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Killers (2010)

Number Rolled: 74
Movie Name/Year: Killers (2010)
Genre: Action & Adventure
Length: 100 minutes
Rating: PG-13
Director: Robert Luketic
Writer: Bob DeRosa, Ted Griffin
Actors: Ashton Kutcher, Katherine Heigl, Tom Selleck, Catherine O’Hara, Katheryn Winnick, Kevin Sussman, Lisa Ann Walter, Casey Wilson, Rob Riggle, Martin Mull, Alex Borstein, Usher Raymon, Letoya Luckett

Have you ever seen that movie about the assassin that decides they don’t want to do the job anymore and wants out? You know, the one where the main character starts to have a conscious or find out that their targets aren’t evil or the one they’re working for is corrupt? Then, later in the movie, they get a hit placed on them so they are forced to remember that they are never allowed to leave?

Ok. Now. How many movies just popped into your head? Even if you’re not a fan of that particular type of movie I guarantee you thought of at least three. If it’s your kind of thing, it was probably closer to thirteen. Please, add this one to the list.

Katherine Heigl is great at what she does, but what she does is play the same character in every single movie she’s in. You know, the neurotic good girl who is snubbed for not being impulsive enough? She played the same character here, only that character got dumped in the middle of a “spy getting out of the business” movie. That spy was played by Ashton Kutcher, and I was shocked that he pulled it off.

The first half hour of this movie felt like four hours. However, once the movie got going, time started moving naturally again. I’ll admit, I’m not much a fan of Ashton Kutcher, so I went into this expecting to want to gouge my eyes out with a spork half-way through. Not so.

The script went by your basic recipe, but did it well. I mean, macaroni and cheese is always made the same basic way but it’s still delicious. This movie wasn’t quite macaroni and cheese, but it was still pretty good.

Netflix has this one labeled as an action/adventure. I don’t think that’s right. It’s more of a comedy with an action/adventure twist. The parts that were action/adventure were really very good. Some of the deaths were bloodier than I expected, too.

I hated the ending. Fuck the ending. Let’s just pretend there was a different ending.

Overall Opinion – 3.5/5

Monday, December 3, 2012

Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog (2008)

Number Rolled: 59
Movie Name/Year: Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog (2008)
Genre: Comedy
Length: 42 minutes
Rating: NR
Director: Joss Whedon
Writer: Maurissa Tancharoen, Jed Whedon, Joss Whedon, Zack Whedon
Actors: Neil Patrick Harris, Nathan Fillion, Felicia Day, Simon Helberg, Nick Towne, Jed Whedon, Rob Reinis, Otto Michael Penzato

Ok. Why is this the first time I saw this movie? People have been talking about this movie consistently for the past four years. When I told people I hadn’t seen it, I got a lot of gasps and questions as to how someone as immersed in the geek culture could have not seen it. Now? I understand.

Neil Patrick Harris is the only actor in the world that could have pulled off this part. It was a cheesy ball of perfect. Felicia Day is … well … Felicia Day, which is awesome as is Nathan Fillion. He’s not Felicia Day. He’s just awesome. And then there’s Joss Whedon.

This may have been a 45 minutes geek-fest instead of a full length feature film about superheroes or a TV series involving the supernaturally fucked, but don’t go thinking that Joss Whedon didn’t make it just as epic.

Cut into parts, this short movie is more than worth the time it takes to watch. It follows the life of a villain and keeps in mind that simple piece of truth that you learn as a writer: the villain does not believe he is wrong. You get to see this in Dr. Horrible and the way Neil portrays him. You can see the difference between his anarchistic point of view and the cocky point of view of the hero, Captain Hammer, portrayed by Nathan Fillion.

If this movie stands as a hole in your geekdom, as it did for me, let it stand no more. Forty-five minutes is all it takes to fill that hole with the greats geek-filled musical you will ever see. Watch it.

Overall Opinion – 5/5

Friday, November 30, 2012

The Last House on the Left (1972)

Number Rolled: 3
Movie Name/Year: The Last House on the Left (1972)
Genre: Horror
Length: 84 minutes
Rating: UR
Director: Wes Craven
Writer: Wes Craven, Ulla Isaksson
Actors: Sandra Peabody, Lucy Grantham, David Hess, Fred J. Lincoln, Jeramie Rain, Marc Sheffler, Richard Towers, Cynthia Carr, Ada Washington, Marshall Anker, Martin Kove, Ray Edwards

Admittedly, I added this movie to my Netflix Instant Queue by accident. A bunch of friends had been telling me to watch a movie that I THOUGHT was this one. Apparently I misheard or misremembered what they said because they couldn’t possibly have been suggesting that I watch this crap. My friends just aren’t that mean.

So, after I spent five minutes repeating the phrase, “What the fuck?” over and over again, I figured out the best way to describe this film. It is the perfect blend of the Brady Bunch, Home Alone and The Texas Chainsaw Massacre. Maybe with a bit of Beverly Hillbillies. My eye is twitching just thinking about it. I might be having a stroke from losing so many brain cells at once.

Ok, all kidding aside, this movie was bi polar. You have a rape scene followed by upbeat music to a party setup. Then you have another torture scene, followed by a comedic scene between the sheriff and his deputy that isn’t needed and seems to be there just to kill time.

Now, look. I like Wes Craven. Nightmare on Elm Street. The Hills Have Eyes (I have yet to see the 1977 version, keep this in mind). Hell, even Scream. These are all household names of the horror movie genre. I would bag on him, but this WAS his first feature film. I’m not sure HOW it became a feature film, but it was his first and he obviously learned from his mistakes.

I did find the plot interesting. However, with the horrible way it was laid out and the horrible acting and the horrible camera work and the horrible script… I find it impossible to say I really enjoyed any of it.

The best part of the film? Near the end a blade of grass or something gets blown into camera lens.

Overall Opinion – 1.5/5

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Captain America: The First Avenger (2011)

Number Rolled: 28
Movie Name/Year: Captain America: The First Avenger (2011)
Genre: Action & Adventure
Length: 124 minutes
Rating: PG-13
Director: Joe Johnston
Writer: Christopher Markus, Stephen McFeely, Joe Simon, Jack Kirby
Actors: Chris Evans, Sebastian Stan, Hayley Atwell, Tommy Lee Jones, Hugo Weaving, Dominic Cooper, Toby Jones, Bruno Ricci, Neal McDonough, Derek Luke, Richard Armitage, Kenneth Choi, JJ Field, Stanley Tucci, Samuel L. Jackson, Stan Lee

Do you know what I liked about this movie? Everything. Seriously. There’s nothing to dislike at all.

The storyline is amazing. The actors destroyed their various parts in the best possible way. Chris Evans fit the part of the good ol’ boy Captain America perfectly. I’ve seen him in other movies. Other movies that I have highly enjoyed, but you know what? I absolutely understand why a lot of people only remember him from this movie. I would never guess that the man who played Captain America played that guy from “What’s Your Number?” To me, that’s the mark of an actor with heavy talent. No type-casting there.

I don’t know why Marvel is usually so spot on with their movies (relax, geeks, I said “usually”). I’ve watched my share of DC movies and, with the exception of The Watchmen, I usually have some severe issues with some part of them. Marvel, however, proceeds to blow me away each and every time.

As per usual, if you watch this movie, stick around to see the cut scene that comes after the movie. Those cut scenes are usually good and always relevant, since Marvel weaves together their movies into one great universe that allows us to follow them throughout several years of storyline. And, of course, look for a cameo from the great Stan Lee himself.

Overall Opinion – 5/5

Monday, November 26, 2012

Exit Humanity (2011)

Number Rolled: 21
Movie Name/Year: Exit Humanity (2011)
Genre: Horror
Length: 113 minutes
Rating: NR
Director: John Geddes
Writer: John Geddes
Actors: Brian Cox, Mark Gibson, Dee Wallace, Bill Moseley, Stephen McHattie, Jordan Hayes, Adam Seybold, Ari Millen, Jason David Brown, Sarah Stunt, Christian Martyn

The movie started a little slow. For the first half-hour or so I was left wondering why I should care about the main character at all. I mean, his story was sufficiently heart wrenching, but why should I care about that? I don’t know this dude from a hole in the wall. In fact, I was left wondering if the movie would have any plot at all until “Chapter 2.” By the way, the movie is split into chapters… it makes sense for what they were doing though. Don’t take my word for it, watch the movie. You’ll understand.

Now, this movie is no A-list movie. However, I can’t say it’s a B-movie either. The make-up was some serious shit (in a good way) and the actors were insane (also in a good way). There was this one little kid zombie that gave me shivers that wouldn’t go away until he’d been off screen for at least ten minutes. There were some issues with the period dress and continuity. Some of the clothing was obviously current when it was meant to be staged in the 1800’s, and there were some mistakes involving fire and a gun that should have caused a decent sized explosion. I yelled at the TV a bit. I can’t lie.

There was a bit of animation to cover some of the bigger fight scenes; it was not CGI, it was animation. Seeing as it’s a near B-movie standing, I think it was a creative and acceptable way to get around funding issues. Instead of deciding to film the scenes as crap and put them in the movie, they found another way around it. To me, that right there is honorable. I’m much more ok sitting through a little stop-animation than a scene so bad it makes me want to stab my eyes out with the remote.

Despite the few issues I had with this movie, it has one of the best scripts I’ve seen in a long time. It wasn’t my favorite movie ever, I’ll admit that. I fall for a lot of the Hollywood CGI and fancy explosions. Who doesn’t like a nice big explosion now and again on their screen? However, I have yet to find a movie that is quite as well written as this one. John Geddes really blew this one right out of the water. My source indicated that he has one other full-length script out there for a movie, called “Scarce,” it’s not currently on the Netflix instant queue, but if I happen to come across it I’ll be adding it immediately.

One last thing. When the zombie apocalypse comes, do try to remember that perpetual screaming IS A BAD FUCKING IDEA. It’s in most zombie flicks, that constant rage scream, and it never (or rarely ever) attracts the horde of zombies it should. Stop it, writers. Stop it, actors. Stop it, directors. Don’t make me whack you on the noses with a newspaper. Enough.

Overall Opinion – 4/5

Friday, November 23, 2012

The Forger (2012)

Number Rolled: 5
Movie Name/Year: The Forger (2012)
Genre: Drama
Length: 93 minutes
Rating: PG-13
Director: Lawrence Roeck
Writer: Carlos De Los Rios
Actors: Josh Hutcherson, Hayden Panettiere, Lauren Bacall, Alfred Molina, Tricia Helfer, Dina Eastwood, Adam Godley, Scott Eastwood, Billy Boyd, Kim Myers, Jansen Panettiere, Kean Matthams

I don’t always agree with the genre Netflix uses, but this time they were not fucking around with the term “drama.” There might have been two or three giggles I had throughout the movie, but the rest of it absolutely broke my heart.

An abused boy is abandoned by his mother and does his best to survive without a home. He breaks into a house and, because of his extreme talent in painting, is taken in by the person that owns the house. Though, it’s not out of the kindness of his heart. The man proceeds to use the boy in a forgery scheme and things just kind of snowball from there.

I enjoyed the movie. I was completely engulfed by it. There were a few under-utilized red herrings that could have added a greater depth to the story in some cases, but the argument to that is that it could have made the movie that much more predictable.

The last fifteen minutes of the movie was mostly amazing. The use of lighting to allow you to visualize an aspect of art that was discussed earlier in the film worked to heighten the suspense of that climax. It was a great twist on what could have been a mediocre ending; it also made so much sense with the spirit of the film. However, the very last three minutes of the move, or there-about, I could have done without. It got a little sappy and juvenile in a film that was anything but.

One issue, why in the hell would people not lock their doors?

Overall Opinion – 4/5

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

2012: Zombie Apocalypse (2011)

Number Rolled: 89
Movie Name/Year: 2012: Zombie Apocalypse (2011)
Genre: Horror
Length: 87 Minutes
Rating: R
Director: Nick Lyon
Writer: Craig Engler and Brooks Peck
Actors: Ving Rhames, Taryn Manning, Johnny Pacar, Gary Weeks, Lesley-Ann Brandt, Eddie Steeples, Robert Blanche, Gerald Webb

Well, this movie I was blessed to watch with a large group of screaming friends. First thing that needs to be noted is that this is beyond a B movie. If one were to ask anyone who watched this movie with me, it would be described as an F movie, or an F- depending who you ask.

I enjoy horror movies. In fact, I enjoy B-Horror movies almost more than the big Hollywood kind. Kevin Smith said it best when he said that without big budgets, directors are forced to be more creative about their movies. Many times, I find this to be true but not here.

I could get past the horrible and unnecessary CGI. I can even get past the horrible zombie make-up. Such things would be easy to get by actually! But the script was horrific. The plot was even worse and the ending made me wonder where the past 87 minutes of my life went. Simply put? The only reason to re-watch this movie is to torture the people you love and pull a rather MST3K stunt.

As they say in the movie:

Meow, bitch.

Overall Opinion – 1/5

Monday, November 19, 2012

The Amityville Haunting (2011)

Number Rolled: 7
Movie Name/Year: The Amityville Haunting (2011)
Genre: Horror
Length: 86 minutes
Rating: NR
Director: Geoff Meed
Writer: Geoff Meed (My sources were conflicting on this information, so the writer listed here may be wrong.)
Actors: Luke Barnett, Casey Campbell, Devin Clark, Jon Gale, Piper Kennedy, Jon Kondelik, Gracie Largent, Tyler Shamy, Amy Van Horne, Jason Williams

I swear I just spent an hour and a half watching bad actors against a backdrop of paint drying.

Admission time. I do not like camera work like that in the Blair Witch Project or this crap. Even if the story was spectacular, it would have likely scored low because I have a problem with movies that throw off my equilibrium enough that I want to vomit five minutes in. Luckily, I’m not being bias here. This movie was HORRIBLE.

Based around a family that moves into a haunted house, this movie spends about an hour and fifteen minutes showing you shaky camera movements that occasionally reveal a shadowy figure but no one notices it. In the last ten minutes it actually becomes a horror film and then it ends with, what I would describe as, the single most hilarious death scene I have EVER seen in my entire life. It’s supposed to be terribly disturbing and frightening, but the actor just kind of flops around like a dead fish for a full minute. The way a six year old would fake death in a play.

I wish I had something good to say about something. About ANYTHING, really. Unfortunately, this movie was pure crap.

Overall Opinion – 1/5

Friday, November 16, 2012

The Black Dahlia (2006)

Number Rolled: 26
Movie Name/Year: The Black Dahlia (2006)
Genre: Thriller
Length: 121 minutes
Rating: R
Director: Brian De Palma
Writer: Josh Friedman, James Ellroy
Actors: Josh Hartnett, Scarlett Johansson, Aaron Eckhart, Hilary Swank, Mia Kirshner, Mike Starr, Fiona Shaw, Patrick Fischler, James Otis, John Kavanagh, Troy Evans, Anthony Russell, Pepe Serna, Rachel Miner, Rose McGowan, Richard Brake

First thing I have to note is that Netflix probably mostly got it right in their doling out of stars, I just happened to like it better than that. It’s got flaws. For one, the movie is two hours long. Quite frankly, if a director is making my ass sit for that long at one time the movie better put me into a hypnotic trance of awesomeness. Aside from that, it’s slow to begin. For maybe the first twenty minutes of the movie you’re staring at the screen wondering where that little blurb description Netflix gives came from. To be honest, the directors probably could have cut about a half hour of the movie easily enough without losing the story or the build-up.

I’m glad he didn’t.

Though the first twenty minutes mostly focus on stuff that doesn’t lend to the main story, I appreciated it. It gave me a history into the main character and his partner in the police force. Once the story really got rolling, the time no longer mattered. I enjoyed the way they did up the mystery and, quite frankly, I had no fucking clue who done it until they revealed the killer. There was a second murder I pretty much predicted, but that main storyline murderer? Not a clue. The last half hour of the movie saw me gasping quite a bit.

There was one thing I really didn’t like at all. Twice in the movie the shots move a different perspective. That means, suddenly, the camera is moving around like you are a part of the move as the main character. In my opinion, it’s unacceptable to change perspectives in the middle of a book, and it’s unacceptable to change them in the middle of a movie. That was just poor judgment. It was like I went from playing a video game where you can watch the character move around, and then it suddenly just snapped into first person.

Also, I could have done without Rose McGowan. It was a tiny bit part, but I think I might actually hate her as an actress. It’s like she plays the same exact part with the same exact mannerisms in everything she’s a part of. Either she’s BADLY type-cast or she’s got the range of a shoddy paper airplane. Either way, I really find I dislike her.

Overall Opinion – 4.5/5

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Necrosis (2009)

Number Rolled: 85
Movie Name/Year: Necrosis (2009)
Genre: Horror
Length: 96 minutes
Rating: NR
Director: Jason Robert Stephens
Writer: Robert Michael Ryan, Jason Robert Stephens
Actors: James Kyson Lee, George Stults, Tiffany, Penny Drake, Danielle DeLuca, Robert Michael Ryan, Michael Berryman, Mickey Jones, Kymberly Jane, Grady Lee Richmond

That movie was ninety-six minutes of talking and people turning their heads dramatically while wearing strange contacts.

According to the description on Netflix, this is a movie about six friends who go into the mountains and are harassed and stalked by the Donner Party. Ok. That doesn’t sound so bad, right? In fact, I could really get behind a movie like that. That’s why I added it to my instant queue, after all!

The beginning of the movie told me it would be of B-quality. That’s fine. I like B-movies. They float my boat, so-to-speak. A scene from once upon a time when the Donner Party happened, wasn’t so bad. It gave me hope for the rest of the movie. Five minutes passed of relatively normal dialog, which was fine. Everyone likes a good realistic set-up. Then ten minutes had passed and it had been all talk. Fifteen minutes. Twenty minutes. Thirty. By the time something happened? I forgot what I was watching.

I kind of enjoyed the ending, though I’d really describe it more as a psychological thriller than a horror, it did have some moments that made me jump. To be fair, there was also a fair amount of gore involved. When all is said and done, it’s not quite as bad as Netflix rated it, but it’s pretty close.

Overall Opinion – 2/5

Monday, November 12, 2012

Creature of Darkness (2009)

Number Rolled: 63
Movie Name/Year: Creature of Darkness (2009)
Genre: Horror
Length: 80 minutes
Rating: R
Director: Mark Stouffer
Writer: Mark Stouffer
Actors: Devon Sawa, Danoe Lake, Matthew Lawrence, Siena Goines, Dan White, Kevin Alejandro, Jennifer Howie, Ryan Judd, Fernanda Romero, Phil Van Tee, Matt Lattimore, Ingrid Graham

According to the reviews on Netflix, this movie sucked. I don’t know. I didn’t really think it was all that bad to be honest. I mean, it’s B-movie. A VERY B-movie. In fact, I only added it to my instant queue because my love for Devon Sawa as an actor knows no bounds. However, if you go into this story knowing that it is indeed a B-movie, it is actually pretty good.

As with all B-movies the CGI is horrible. At one point, Devon’s character is standing in front of something and even Devon himself doesn’t look real. That’s talent, having CGI so bad that it makes the real stuff look fake. On top of that, when you’re looking at the alien in a full body shot or when he’s trying to be incognito, he looks ridiculous and the camera does this thing occasionally that allows you to see things from the alien’s perspective. Not a bad idea on paper, but the way they did it was rough. Whenever they go into that perspective it’s very difficult to make out the scene you’re trying to watch. Luckily, those scenes don’t last very long.

That being said, the close ups of the alien are phenomenal for a movie like this. I did really enjoy the plot, which was about an alien deemed a “collector” that goes around collecting the various “types” of humans as if they were insects being collected by an entomologist. The script itself wasn’t bad either. The main character starts off as this frightened coward and evolves through the course of the movie. I like that, because, quite frankly, if I was on a camping trip and randomly ran into a toothy alien that wanted to collect and kill me, I’d shit myself.

The actors did well. Not just my childhood choice of heart throb, Devon Sawa, but all of them. I was shocked to see Matthew Lawrence because I hadn’t seen him in anything since Boy Meets World. Sanoe Lake I’d only ever seen in Blue Crush and I HATED her in that. In this movie I found myself liking her more.

Long story short, I’d recommend this movie to someone who enjoyed B-movies in general, but no one else.

One question. Why is it that every single movie I’ve ever seen about aliens on earth (except maybe ET, but it’s been a while since I’ve see that) has the line “welcome to Earth” in it? Usually following some sort of violence. Is this something we should be worried about?

Overall Opinion – 3/5

Friday, November 9, 2012

Stuck Between Stations (2011)

Number Rolled: 38
Movie Name/Year: Stuck Between Stations (2011)
Genre: Drama
Length: 84 minutes
Rating: R
Director: Brady Kiernan
Writer: Nat Bennett, Sam Rosen
Actors: Heather Amos, Sam Rosen, Zoe Lister Jones, Josh Hartnett, Casey Greig, Missy Conner, Nadia Dajani, Christiana Clark, Angie Dahlager, Brent Doyle

Disclaimer: Minor Spoilers

I initially put this on my Instant Queue because of Josh Hartnett. Granted, he’s in it for only about ten minutes, but still. He’s one of those actors I fan-girl over. I have to say, though, even if he wasn’t in it? I would have added this to my queue eventually, watched it and absolutely adored it.

I was completely engrossed by the storyline of these two characters that start the night apart and slowly become entangled. A man on leave from the army because of his father’s death meets a girl he once went to school with during a time in her life where her choices have led to some epic failures. They take comfort in each other (and a little bit of weed).  

The majority of the movie involves the two main characters just talking. Oh, there are shenanigans, but they are based around the stories of these two characters crashing into each other. I’m not so sure I would call it a drama, but I can see why someone would. I wouldn’t really call it a romance either, though I could also see that classification. I think Netflix did the best they could with this one.

“Stuck Between Stations” is this beautiful look at how our choices affect us and those around us. Near the end, we get a deep look at the main characters worst memories and how those choices affected their view of themselves. Don’t say I didn’t warn you, these stories are deeply disturbing and tear-jerking.

One of the lines Rebecca says in the last twenty minutes of the movie resonated with me. My bet is that it will resonate with most people who watch it. “I just remember thinking, that I had this choice. To be horribly traumatized or not to be. And… I chose door number two.” We all have that moment in our lives where we are faced with a fork in the road. Maybe you recognized that moment immediately, maybe not until later on in life when you were looking back. Maybe you didn’t recognize that moment at all, but think back and you’ll see you had one. If you’re convinced you haven’t, you will eventually be faced with it.

I remember my fork in the road like it was yesterday. I had introduced my best friend to my ex-boyfriend, Mike, when we were all around seventeen. The three of us spent the day together hanging out with Mike and his family in their apartment in Bensonhurst. There’d been some violence the day before within our group of friends, while Mike was in Jersey visiting family, so when it came time to leave, he chose to walk me and my friend (her real name will not be used to protect her identity, I will simply call her Martha) to the car service a few blocks down.

We were nearly there when the group of boys responsible for the previous nights’ drama stalked over to us and began to scream at Mike for what he said to them. Since Mike was out of town, they were obviously mistaken about who he was. No amount of the three of us telling them that mattered. We got silent when the head asshole put his hand to his lower back. We were certain he had a gun. All of us were very lucky to find out it was just brass knuckles. Of course, had the brass hit Mike’s temple a touch to the left, he’d be just as dead.

Martha freaked out and Mike fell with a concussion, the boys ran off. I’ll admit, I froze, but because I didn’t freak out, I had my choice at that moment. Martha was freaking out so badly that there was no coaxing her over to Mike so I could help them both. I was forced to choose between them. I chose Mike.

I have never regretted my choice, even as Martha stopped speaking to me. It was the start of a long line of battles Mike and I fought together, and our friendship was born from blood and violence. We stopped dating eventually, but there will never be a weapon strong enough to break our bond. I’ve been choosing him ever since.

This movie goes into the affect scenarios like that have on our lives. How they break us or build us up while aiding us in forging new bonds or breaking old ones. It’s a subtle drama that is built through the interactions of Rebecca and Casper and their attempts to get to know one another.

Even if I had hated the movie, which I so obviously didn’t, I would have changed my mind because of the ending. It was completely unexpected and pretty much beautiful. I think everyone should see this movie at least once.  

Overall Opinion – 4.5/5

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Hello Sister, Goodbye Life (2006)

Number Rolled: 29
Movie Name/Year: Hello Sister, Goodbye Life (2006)
Genre: Drama
Length: 89 minutes
Rating: TV-PG
Director: Steven Robman
Writer: Alan Marc Levy, Nell Scovell, Claire Scovell Lazebnik
Actors: Lacey Chabert, Sammi Hanratty, Wendie Malick, David Ramsey, Adam Kaufman

This was a movie about a young college student thrust into a difficult situation. After her father and step-mother’s death, she’s put into a position where she must take care of a sister she barely knows.

Now, let’s be completely honest here. It’s not the most unique storyline ever utilized in a movie. If you’re really looking for further honesty, the entire movie pretty much followed a very easy template. The beginning of the movie suggested it would and the ending proved it. It actually took a little while for me to even get into it at all. For about a half hour I was convinced this movie would have me falling asleep in no time.

As the story went on, though, I found myself amused by the sarcastic sense of humor the main character, Olivia, portrayed and the relatively realistic interaction between her and her little sister, Celia.

My final thought? It followed a recipe, but the end product was still somewhat fulfilling. It just barely made average for me, but it definitely could have been worse.

Overall Opinion – 3/5

Monday, November 5, 2012

Balls Out: Gary the Tennis Coach (2009)

Number Rolled: 13
Movie Name/Year: Balls Out: Gary the Tennis Coach (2009)
Genres: Comedy
Length: 93 minutes
Rating: R
Director: Danny Leiner
Writer: Andy Stock, Rick Stempson
Actors: Seann William Scott, Randy Quaid, Brando Eaton, Emilee Wallace, A.D. Miles, Leonor Varela, Ryan Simpkins, Conor Donovan, Justin Chon, Meredith Eaton, Daniel Ross, Vincent Coleman Taylor, Zach Thatcher

What the hell did I just force myself to watch? Obviously, Andy Stock and Rick Stempson were high when writing this movie and blackmailed Danny Leiner to direct it. It had its funny parts, true enough, enough to keep it from being a 1, but are you kidding me?

Think “The Mighty Ducks” only with Sean William Scott playing an older and even MORE ridiculous version of every character he’s ever played. You can’t really judge the rest of the actors/actresses because they were all acting in a script that was meant to make the audience groan and laugh at the cost of actually being good.

Look, I like a good raunchy comedy. Kevin Smith is my favorite writer/director and he’s made a lot of them. But this was… I don’t even know what to say. Tennis team coach has a heart-attack, Sean William Scott’s character takes over and the attempt at making child molestation funny begins. Seriously? Sometimes this whole random thing makes me want to punch the TV.

Overall Opinion – 1.5/5

Friday, November 2, 2012

Zombie High (1987)

Number Rolled: 10
Movie Name/Year: Zombie High (1987)
Genre: Horror
Length: 90 minutes
Rating: R
Director: Ron Link
Writer: Tim Doyle, Aziz Ghazal, Elizabeth Passarelli
Actors: Virginia Madsen, Paul Feig, Sherilyn Fenn, Clare Carey, Scott Coffey, Richard Cox, Kay Kuter, James Wilder, Paul Williams, Henry Sutton

For a zombie movie, there was a disturbing lack of actual zombies.

You know what? No. That’s it. I’m not wasting anymore of my life on this movie than I already have.

Overall Opinion – -1/5