Friday, March 1, 2013

Bitten (2008)

Number Rolled: 51
Movie Name/Year: Bitten (2008)
Genre: Horror
Length: 88 minutes
Rating: R
Director: Harvey Glazer
Writer: Tim McGregor, Tyler Levine
Actors: Jason Mewes, Erica Cox, Richard Fitzpatrick, Jorda Madley, Nick Nicotera, Stuart Stone, Grace Armas, Amy Lynn Grover, Jeff Pangman, Shawn Goldberg, Stefan Brogren, Suresh John

Jack is a paramedic working the night shift. After his girlfriend leaves him for her yoga instructor, his performance at work begins to suffer. Caught up in his thoughts one night, just as he’s getting home, he finds a bleeding woman laid out in the trash. She refuses to go to the hospital, so he brings her upstairs and nurses her back to health. Of course, she begins to show signs of vampirism and things begin to spiral out of control.

Plot-wise, this movie is horror all the way. At least, it’s horror in theory. In practice, it is hysterical. This movie is a lot more of a comedy than anything else.

Honestly, I was kind of happy to draw something more B-list tonight. The past few posts I’ve created have been movies that turned out pretty good and I was ready to swallow something terrible. I was caught very off-guard.

First of all, I like Jason Mewes. I’ve only ever seen him in Kevin Smith related films, though. I was really nervous about possibly having to give one of his movies a bad review. However, as it turns out, Jason Mewes was the best actor in the entire movie. Some of the raunchier lines he delivered didn’t surprise me, but he pulled off some good stuff other than that as well. The lead actress, Erica Cox, was too forced and corny which only served to make Mewes look even better by comparison.

Secondly, the movie had me rolling. At one point, I literally fell off the couch. The plot wasn’t pulled off spectacularly, the majority of the actors couldn’t pull off a fake orgasm and some of the scenes were poorly thought out on continuity or timing. Even with keeping that in mind, though, the script was incredible. With a bigger budget and some better actors (except for Jason Mewes’ awesome-ness) this movie could have been huge.

I would recommend this movie to anyone who enjoys raunchy comedy. I would not recommend this to someone looking for a horror movie. Even with the vampire twist, even with murder and blood, this was not a horror movie. Comedy. Rolling on the floor, comedy.

That being said, I want to see more of Jason Mewes.

Overall Opinion – 3.5/5

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

The Curiosity of Chance (2006)

Number Rolled: 17
Movie Name/Year: The Curiosity of Chance (2006)
Genre: Comedy
Length: 98 minutes
Rating: NR
Director: Russell P. Marleau
Writer: Russell P. Marleau
Actors: Tad Hilgenbrink, Brett Chukerman, Aldevina Da Silva, Pieter Van Nieuwenhuyze, Chris Mulkey, Maxim Maes, Colleen Cameron, Magali Uytterhaegen, Tony Beck, Danny Calander, Tineke Caels, Joyce Berx, Dirk Calander, Stefan Van Haarlem, Sophie Engel, Didier Matthys, Benjamin Royaards

If you watch Glee at all, then you’re already familiar with this brand of main character. If one were to take Kurt Hummel and put him in a dress, you’d get Chance Marquis, played by a brilliant Tad Hilgenbrink. If you don’t watch or like Glee, no worries, the script is not something you would find in an episode – even if the plot might be.

Chance is a gay military brat that arrives in a new school in Europe during the 80’s, as he puts it, “the era that fashion forgot.” The entire movie is basically a flashback of the characters difficult time spent in school. Bullied by the captain of the soccer team for being gay and dressing flamboyantly, he must survive High School through use of his quick wit. With his friends, Twyla and Hank at his side, he goes on a mission to not only accept himself, but to get the rest of his school to accept him as well.

Most descriptions of this movie would have you believing that it was some kind of European version of Revenge of the Nerds. If that’s what you’re expecting, you’ll be disappointed. There’s some revenge that takes place, but it’s nothing along those lines. If anything, it’s more of a personal revenge.

The movie was pretty good, but some of it was a little much on the ‘stereotype’ side of things. The writer also completely missed the boat on the sarcastic female support character. I know what the writer was aiming for, because you can see the effort, but it did not work. She was a necessary character that could have been written a LOT better. Also, if he could have made the bully character, Brad, any more unimaginative – I don’t know how.

Tad Hilgenbrink as Chance and Brett Chukerman as Levi were the best things about this movie. They pulled off their characters, and the dynamic of their interactions within the given plot, masterfully. I’d watch any movie with either of these boys in it.

If you’ve been reading this blog long enough, you know my stance on gay rights. Just as close as that issue is to my heart, so is the issue of bullying.

Throughout my childhood and teenage years I was severely bullied. By kids at school, by kids I tried to be friends with, by family. Bullying is something I know a great deal about. Because of that I’ve gone out of my way to help kids that are in the same situation that I was once in. I’ve tried to figure out how to deal with bullies to make them stop and I’ve come to a conclusion that isn’t very popular.

My conclusion is that bullies don’t stop. We’re taught to ignore them, or to ‘get an adult’ when we’re young. As we grow older, the ‘ignore them’ policy remains in effect, but the ‘get an adult’ turns into ‘stand up for yourself.’ I’ve been in situations, and have seen others in situations, where all of those policies make it worse.

I agreed with the spin this movie put on bullying. Throughout the movie Chance both stands up for himself and tries the ignoring tactic with no favorable outcome. That, unfortunately, feels about right to me. The ending of the movie felt about right to me, too.

Whatever you think about “The Curiosity of Chance,” try to take something away from it. Chance got through his ordeal because people helped him. People were there to encourage him to stand up for himself and be who he was. Think about that the next time you see someone in a situation where they are subjected to that kind of treatment. Not everyone makes it through and most who try to get through alone are among them.

No H8.

Overall Opinion – 3.5/5

Monday, February 25, 2013

Without a Paddle (2004)

Number Rolled: 25
Movie Name/Year: Without a Paddle (2004)
Genre: Action & Adventure
Length: 98 minutes
Rating: PG-13
Director: Steven Brill
Writer: Fred Wolf, Harris Goldberg, Tom Nursall, Jay Leggett, Mitch Rouse
Actors: Matthew Price, Andrew Hampton, Jarred Rumbold, Carl Snell, Antony Starr, Dax Shepard, Matthew Lillard, Seth Green, Nadine Bernecker, Danielle Cormack, Rachel Blanchard, Christina Moore, Burt Reynolds

The movie starts off with four childhood friends. One of them goes off to live a life of adventure, and the other three promise to as well. About ten minutes in you learn that all three of them couldn’t follow their promises and have wound up getting your usual jobs and living your basic existence. Then the one that got to live the adventure dies and the other three are left looking around and wondering what could have been. So, they set off on a trip they all agreed to take when they were young; a camping trip that was supposed to lead up to finding the treasure of DB. Of course, there wouldn’t actually be a movie if it was all smooth sailing from there.

With a cast involving Seth Green, Matthew Lillard and Dax Shepard as the three leads, you know there is going to be some laughs. As three actors playing best friends, their chemistry was pretty good, too. The whole height thing comes into play, which, how could it not since Matt and Dax are freakishly tall and Seth is the exact opposite. Their personalities and biology clash and mesh to make a pretty damn good trio, if you ask me.

The story is pretty good and the script is funny, but it’s the actors that gave this movie any real depth. Even with that, you wind up with something that’s largely unmemorable after the credits roll.

Don’t get me wrong! It’s a cute movie. This isn’t the first time I’ve seen it and it won’t be the last. There’s a reason that – if you look at – you’ll see the critics tanked the movie (12%) but the audience loved it (73%). It’s because it’s got the kind of humor you get in old Jim Carrey and Adam Sandler movies, but with slightly less acknowledged actors. It’s a movie geared toward its target audience <i>not</i> toward the critics; and critics are like three years olds, they throw a tantrum when they’re not acknowledged.

I recommend seeing it once if you think it’s your brand of humor; and not just because of my deep and everlasting love for Matthew Lillard, either. It’s worth the hour and a half of your time and it’ll give you some laughs.

Overall Opinion – 3/5