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