Friday, August 2, 2013

Shrooms (2007)

Number Rolled: 35
Movie Name/Year: Shrooms (2007)
Genre: Horror
Length: 84 minutes
Rating: NR
Director: Paddy Breathnach
Writer: Pearse Elliott
Actors: Lindsey Haun, Jack Huston, Max Kasch, Maya Hazen, Alice Greczyn, Robert Hoffman, Don Wycherley, Sean McGinley, Toby Sedgwick, Andre Pollack, Jack Gleeson, Mike Carbery, Anna Tikhonova, Goranna McDonald, Berry Murphy, Joe Murphy, Joe Phelan, Stuart Rankin

Five friends meet up in Ireland with a sixth. Together, they go camping in order to harvest some “magic mushrooms.” Tara finds the wrong kind of mushroom, a deathcap, and accidentally overdoses on it. After someone gives her CPR, she begins to have premonitions of an evil force taking out her friends.

This movie seriously creeped me out. Not because it was fantastic or the story was all that amazing, nothing that simple. Throughout the entire movie I was having a horrible time with déjà-vu. I remember seeing everything I saw past the twenty minute mark, but I can’t remember seeing the movie. It’s actually really bothering me. This is not the kind of movie I would seek to watch for reasons other than this blog. The Netflix blurb makes it seem way too run of the mill. I’ve decided to assume I caught it on cable once upon a time and move on, but I’m still creeped out.

The problem is, the Netflix blurb isn’t wrong. This movie is very run of the mill. If it weren’t for my aforementioned personal experience, it would have left absolutely no impression on me. Come to think of it, that statement alone is kind of proved by that aforementioned experience.

I wouldn’t blame the actors, they were just fine. Unfortunately, the story was pretty much every urban legend ghost story in creation. Every time you expect something to jump out of somewhere, you’re probably going to be right. The ending was mildly interesting at best. Just, nothing made this movie stand out plot-wise. Basic of the basic. True mediocrity.

I need to try and figure out where I’ve seen it before.

Overall Opinion – 2.5/5

P.S. The Random Rating – R (for explicit/prolonged drug use and extreme violence)

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Hercules (1997)

Number Rolled: 14
Movie Name/Year: Hercules (1997)
Genre: Children & Family
Length: 92 minutes
Rating: G
Director: Ron Clements, John Musker
Writer: Ron Clements, John Musker, Don McEnery, Bob Shaw, Irene Mecchi, Kaan Kalyon, Kelly Wightman, Randy Cartwright, John Ramirez, Jeff Snow, Vance Gerry, Kirk Hanson, Tamara Lusher, Francis Glebas, Mark Kennedy, Bruce Morris, Don Dougherty, Thom Enriquez
Actors: Tate Donovan, Josh Keaton, Roger Bart, Danny DeVito, James Woods, Susan Egan, Bobcat Goldthwait, Matt Frewer, Rip Torn, Samantha Eggar, Barbara Berrie, Hal Holbrook, Paul Shaffer, Amanda Plummer, Carole Shelley, Paddi Edwards, Charlton Heston, Patrick Pinney, Lillias White, Vaneese Y. Thomas, Cheryl Freeman, LaChanze, Roz Ryan, Corey Burton, Keith David, Jim Cummings

Hercules is born to Zeus and Hera, as a full-blood god upon Mount Olympus. After learning from the fates that the new born was on track to destroy a plan set to hatch eighteen years into the future, Hades has the boy kidnapped and turned into a human, then killed. His peons get something wrong though, and manage to turn him human, but not strip him of all his powers. Because of that error, Hercules survives in the care of his adopted family.

I’m in love with mythology. Greek, Roman, Celtic; the origin of said mythology doesn’t matter. Since I was in elementary school I would pick up any book I came across with any myth, any legend, any fable. I recently finished reading all the available books in the Percy Jackson series (the next one comes out in the fall and I’m twitching for it). There was a lot I didn’t like about the mythology of those books, but I think they mostly got it right. With Disney’s “Hercules” I know I should hold a lot less against it. After all, the old Greek myths were not G rated. This movie is for kids, so a lot of the story had to be watered down; which I expected and I prepared for and I still was unhappy with.

The origin they went with was just horrible. I couldn’t really get past it, especially since they based the entire rest of the storyline on it. In the end they made it fit, but I still cringe. The creation of Pegasus, however, was just adorable.

The animation was alright. I could have guessed Zeus and Hercules from their concept art. On the other hand if someone would have stuck a picture of Hera from this movie in front of me, there would have been several goddesses I would have guessed and not one of them would be her.

With those issues in mind, the movie wasn’t bad. I just expect more out of Disney originals. When you put this up against other 90’s originals (like Pocahontas, The Lion King, Aladdin, Beauty and the Beast, etc.) it just comes up short. The music was good, but not exceptional. The story wasn’t as memorable when compared to the other instant classics Disney was putting out at that time. None of this means it was bad.

Disney is still a powerhouse company, putting out more movies per year than audiences can even digest, but back in the 90’s they were just starting to become what they are now. Every movie they put out was original, unforgettable and pretty much genius. Hercules is a really good movie that kind of loses itself among the rest of those amazing films.

I loved the Meg character though. There’s no secret that I love that sass.

Overall Opinion – 4/5

Monday, July 29, 2013

16 to Life (2009)

Number Rolled: 2
Movie Name/Year: 16 to Life (2009)
Genre: Comedy
Length: 89 minutes
Rating: NR
Director: Becky Smith
Writer: Becky Smith
Actors: Hallee Hirsh, Theresa Russell, Shiloh Fernandez, Mandy Musgrave, Jaime Gomez, Will Rothhaar, Carson Kressley, Emily Foxler, Pamela Dunlap, Nicholas Downs, Ryan Gourley, Michael Cornelison, Julie Mickelson, Ian Paul, James Serpento, Gabrielle McNally, Brendan Dunphy, Stewart Hayden Butler, Rachel Storey

Kate works at an ice cream kiosk during the summer in a small riverside town. “16 to Life” follows her throughout the day of her sixteenth birthday. She interacts with her co-workers and customers; playing matchmaker and obsessing over never having been kissing.

It sounds like your average typical coming of age story. There’s no way around that. However, for all its faults, I have to give the movie credit. There were some really original ideas in the storyline. About twenty minutes into the movie I was sure the script was one of the worst bits of obnoxious writing I’ve ever come across but, as the movie continued, I liked it more and more. Maybe the writer is just bad at beginnings, or she got to know her characters better as she wrote, but the beginning and the end are like night and day. It went from complete drivel to brilliant throughout its hour and a half duration.

To be honest, I’m not familiar with the majority of the actors portrayed. Fernandez I know from the new Evil Dead and I think I remember Rothhaar from an episode of Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Because of that, I can’t really comment on whether or not they acted as one would expect. It’s kind of nice, actually. I don’t remember the last time I went into a movie with NO expectations for any of the actors. I didn’t really have a problem with any of them either.

It was a decent romantic comedy. I enjoyed the twists and turns of the randomness that was shown.

Overall Opinion – 3/5

P.S. The Random Rating: A hard PG-13 or soft R (for sexual reference and explicit drug use)