Friday, September 13, 2013

The Alphabet Killer (2008)

Number Rolled: 43
Movie Name/Year: The Alphabet Killer (2008)
Genre: Thriller
Length: 98 minutes
Rating: R
Director: Rob Schmidt
Writer: Tom Malloy
Actors: Eliza Dushku, Cary Elwes, Timothy Hutton, Michael Ironside, Bill Moseley, Carl Lumbly, Brian Scannell, Larry Hankin, Jack McGee, Melissa Leo, Andrew Fiscella, Rocco Sisto, Tom Noonan, Frank Rossi, Meltem Cumbul, Kristina Jewell, Sarah Anderson, Shawn Michael, Bailey Garno, Peter Mancarella, Martin Donovan, Russell Terlecki, Cholanda Roberts, Cynthia Mace, Aaron Chaney, Manny Siverio, Eva Mancarella

Megan is a well respected investigator. When a girl is killed, she begins looking for the murderer with the odd slaughter signature. As she goes deeper and deeper into the investigation, Megan begins to lose herself in odd hallucinations and manic-depression. Her entire world changes when she attempts to kill herself. She has to fight back from a serious mental illness while trying to hold it together enough to follow the clues left by the killer.

I have more fun at the dentist than I did watching this “thriller.” It was beyond boring, which was upsetting because I usually love three of the actors involved. Eliza Dushku was introduced to me in “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” and I’ve found her amusing ever since. Cary Elwes was introduced to me in “The Princess Bride” and I had a wicked crush on him for years – still kind of do. Finally, Michael Ironside was introduced to me in “Starship Troopers,” one of my all-time favorite “bad” movies. The combination of these actors is what led me to add this movie to my list. Dushku managed to play her part brilliantly, but with a horrible script and a ridiculous storyline her acting managed not to matter much.

I feel like the writer tried to mix the psychological thriller and horror genres. Normally, those two categories go together like peanut butter and jelly, but this time it didn’t seem to work even a little bit. I had to fight to keep my eyes open as the slow-paced failed thrills plodded along.

What really sucks is that I would have forgiven all of it – the bad story, the horrible script, the utter boredom – if they’d just pulled out an unexpected ending. Even with a rarely used denouement plot, it managed to find a way to be completely predictable and even agitating.

I’d rather watch paint dry.

Overall Opinion – 1/5

P.S. VERY loosely based on the Alphabet Killer. VERY loosely.

Movie Trailer:

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Monkeybone (2001)

Number Rolled: 50
Movie Name/Year: Monkeybone (2001)
Genre: Comedy
Length: 92 minutes
Rating: PG-13
Director: Henry Selick
Writer: Kaja Blackley, Sam Hamm
Actors: Brendan Fraser, Bridget Fonda, John Turturro, Chris Kattan, Giancarlo Esposito, Rose McGowen, Dave Foley, Megan Mullally, Lisa Zane, Whoopi Goldberg, Sandra Thigpen, Wayne Wilderson, Amy Higgins

Stu is a brilliant cartoonist that just landed his own show on a comedy network. In the midst of celebration, he leaves to go ask his girlfriend to marry him. Unfortunately, they never make it. A car accident lands Stu in a coma. While unconscious, he finds himself in a world of nightmares where he actually gets to meet the product of his imagination, Monkeybone.

Don’t be fooled by my description. This movie is in no way innocent or straight-forward. Yes, you may be able to tell how it’s going to end by about half-way into the movie, but the trip getting there is so completely wild that you won’t be able to follow anything else. In fact, this might be the single most random movie I have ever seen in my life.

A friend of mine described “Monkeybone” as an adult version of “Roger Rabbit.” When the movie was over, I punched him in the shoulder for it. The only thing the two movies have in common is that they both mix animation with live-action. That’s it. “Roger Rabbit” is a timeless classic that delves into a storyline of revenge and acceptance. “Monkeybone” is a hodgepodge of randomness that follows a tale involving clear cut black and white, good guy/bad guy philosophy with a touch of “holy shit, what the fuck?” “Roger Rabbit,” might have inspired this movie in format, but certainly not in content.

None of this is meant to portray the movie as bad. On the contrary, I enjoyed the strange, LSD infused, trip I took with the characters. I was transfixed by the sheer strangeness of the film and couldn’t look away from the screen. The actors did very well with what they were supposed to do. I enjoyed Brendon Fraser. I don’t think he’s good with other genres, but I think he is fantastic at what he does: silly/comedy-based storylines. To me, this still places him in the “good actor” column. After all, just because a doctor specializes in orthopedics, instead of generalizing their study, doesn’t make him a bad doctor. Brendan Fraser specializes in silly comedy, on a good day he might be able to handle something else, but in a movie like this one, he truly shines.

However strange “Monkeybone” is, it’s still a fun movie with a great deal of depth. Worth a watch.

Overall Opinion – 3.5/5

P.S. Based on the graphic novel, by Kaja Blackley, “Dark Town”

Movie Trailer:

Monday, September 9, 2013

American Wedding (2003)

Number Rolled: 27
Movie Name/Year: American Wedding (2003)
Genre: Comedy
Length: 96 minutes
Rating: UR
Director: Jesse Dylan
Writer: Adam Herz
Actors: Jason Biggs, Seann William Scott, Alyson Hannigan, Eddie Kaye Thomas, Thomas Ian Nicholas, January Jones, Eugene Levy, Molly Cheek, Deborah Rush, Fred Willard, Angela Paton, Eric Allan Kramer, Amanda Swisten, Nikki Ziering, Jennifer Coolidge

Jim has been with Michelle for roughly three years. Having been to hell and back with her (“American Pie” and “American Pie 2”), he’s ready to pop the question. After a rather typical screw up of his, involving his dad, she says yes and they get to planning the big day. When his anti-friend from high school, Stifler, is stiffed on the invitation, they find out how badly he wants to be there.

Although this is the third installment of the “American Pie” series, it does have the capability to stand on its own as an immature romantic comedy. It may never stand up to the best comedies in the world, or even hold a candle to them, but it’s not bad. When you’re looking for nothing but a cheap and easy laugh – maybe at the end of a horrible day – this is the kind of movie you might want to look for. It doesn’t make you think. It doesn’t teach you a lesson; it just grosses you out and makes you giggle however it possibly can. That’s the whole point of this film, and it’s relatively brilliant at its raunchy slapstick format.

The actors are good for this kind of movie. Of course, most of them wouldn’t have been able to pull off more serious movies with this level of acting, Jason Biggs being the exception. Throughout the first three films of the series, he’s the only actor that consistently reached me. The problem was, even though the trailer made it look like he was the main character, he wasn’t. Stifler was the main character and I’m not the biggest fan of Seann William Scott. In fact, the mere sound of his voice makes me twitch.

If you liked the first two “American Pie’s,” than you’ll most likely enjoy this one. I don’t much see the point in the ones that follow, nor do I have any interest in seeing them. I think American Wedding is a good closer for the series.

Overall Opinion – 3.5/5

The Random Rating: R (for implied sex scenes and prolonged nudity)

Movie Trailer: