Thursday, January 1, 2015

Top Ten Movies to Look Out For In January

10 – The Woman in Black: Angel of Death (Jan 2)

Director: Tom Harper
Writer: Jon Croker, Susan Hill
Actors: Jeremy Irvine, Helen McCrory, Phoebe Fox, Adrian Rawlins
Genre: Horror
Rated: PG-13

I find there are very few movies coming out in January that I legitimately want to see. If I wanted to, I could have easily made this a Top Eight post without so much as a second thought. I like the round number though.

I’ve never seen the first Woman in Black, but I wanted to. I still intend to.

This sequel does look exceptionally creepy, but I don’t really have the desire to lay down my money for the privilege of watching it. Maybe if I’d seen the first one, I’d feel different. Still, the trailer didn’t make me want to throw my remote at the screen so… there’s that.

9 – [REC]4 Apocalypse (Jan 2)

Director: Jaume Balaguero
Writer: Jaume Balaguero, Manu Diez
Actors: Manuela Velasco, Javier Botet, Paco Manzanedo, Hector Colome
Genre: Horror
Rated: R

This is another sequel that I probably would have more interest in if I had seen the others in the franchise. As far as I know, though, there’s a lot of “found footage” (better known as “shaky cam”) in the rest of the series.

I. Hate. Shaky cam. I just do.

I avoid it as much as possible and the other movies in the [REC] series just don’t seem worth the possibility that I’d be dealing with vertigo at the end of the film.

[REC]4, however, doesn’t seem to have much shaking. I could be wrong, but I don’t really see any in the trailer so it does pique my curiosity a little.

Not enough to subject myself to the other three films though.

8 – Let’s Kill Ward’s Wife (Jan 9)

Director: Scott Foley
Writer: Scott Foley
Actors: Scott Foley, Patrick Wilson, Amy Acker, Donald Faison, Greg Grunberg
Genre: Comedy
Rated: Not Rated

This is the first movie on the list that I’m genuinely interested in.

First of all, look at that cast. Scott Foley (Scandal, True Blood, Grey’s Anatomy), Patrick Wilson (Stretch, The Conjuring, Insidious), Amy Acker (Angel, Cabin in the Woods, Person of Interest) and Donald Faison (Scrubs, The Exes, Kick Ass 2) working off each other sounds hilarious, even without watching the trailer first.

Once I actually watched the trailer, I just became more interested. I enjoy the mixing of genres, which this movie clearly does. Whenever murder and laughter is combined (except in movies where the laughter comes from a place of insanity), there’s usually a meshing of genres.

I think Let’s Kill Ward’s Wife is going to be hilarious. I hope it’s as good as it could be. This is Foley’s first attempt at directing a full length feature film, so I guess we’ll see.

7 – Mortdecai (Jan 23)

Director: David Koepp
Writer: Eric Aronson, Kyril Bonfiglioli
Actors: Johnny Depp, Gwyneth Paltrow, Ewan McGregor, Olivia Munn, Jeff Goldblum, Paul Bettany
Genre: Action
Rated: Not Rated

I don’t think it’s going out on a limb to say that Johnny Depp (Into the Woods, Tusk, Alice in Wonderland) is one of the greatest actors of our time. He’s a complete chameleon or, as my best friend likes to say, “he’s a freaking cartoon character!”

What my darling friend is saying there, is that Johnny Depp can change who he is on screen with seemingly no effort. The way bugs bunny might pop into his hole for a moment and come out dressed as something else.

For that reason, I find it very rewarding to watch his movies. It’s exceptionally easy to understand his character’s motivations and to get into any story that he’s a part of. Regardless of how good the script or other actors are, Depp usually makes the film worth seeing. I haven’t seen all of them, but I have yet to see one that I dislike.

It doesn’t hurt that the trailer looks really amusing.

6 – Suburban Gothic (Jan 30)

Director: Richard Bates Jr.
Writer: Richard Bates Jr., Mark Bruner
Actors: Matthew Gray Gubler, Kat Dennings, Ray Wise, Barbara Niven
Genre: Horror/Comedy
Rated: R

More genre mixing! Horror/Comedy is especially a love of mine. Actually, I’m going to go ahead and say it’s that mixed genre that holds my heart. It’s my favorite.

In the interest of full disclosure, there’s some discrepancy about when this move came/is coming out. I have seen a lot of information that says it’s coming out in January 2015 and a lot of other information telling me it came out in July 2014. I can’t find anything definitive, but I’m assuming that it debuted at a film festival or something and is hitting theaters at the end of January.

With that out of the way, Suburban Gothic looks amazing. Matthew Gray Gubler (Beautiful Girl, Life After Beth, RV) is phenomenal in Criminal Minds and the banter between him and Kat Dennings (2 Broke Girls, Thor, ER) in the trailer is the whole reason I want to see the film.

5 – Predestination (Jan 9)

Director: Michael Spierig
Writer: Michael Spierig, Peter Spierig, Robert A. Heinlein
Actors: Ethan Hawke, Sarah Snook, Noah Taylor, Christopher Kirby, Cate Wolfe
Genre: Sci-Fi
Rated: R

Time traveling agents.

As a fan of Doctor Who, I find myself enamored with stories of time travel. I also find myself comparing and contrasting those stories to the show. I expect this time will be the same.

I look forward to it.

4 – Wild Card (Jan 30)

Director: Simon West
Writer: William Goldman
Actors: Jason Statham, Anne Heche, Sofia Vergara, Michael Angarano, Milo Ventimiglia, Stanley Tucci, Jason Alexander
Genre: Action
Rated: R

Jason Statham (Homefront, Parker, The Expendables) is my preferred action hero.

The entire cast in this film is actually relatively amazing. If I didn’t know the title or the premise of the movie and just heard that Jason Statham, Milo Ventimiglia (Tell, Heroes, Pathology) and Sofia Vergara (Modern Family, Machete Kills, Chef) were going to be acting together, I’d buy the ticket anyway.

That’d be hard without knowing the title wouldn’t it? Moving on…

Wild Card seems like it is going to be a strong action film. I would expect nothing less from Statham.

3 – The Wedding Ringer (Jan 16)

Director: Jeremy Garelick
Writer: Jeremy Garelick, Jay Lavender
Actors: Kaley Cuoco-Sweeting, Josh Gad, Kevin Hart, Olivia Thirlby, Mimi Rogers, Jorge Garcia, Whitney Cummings, Amy Okuda
Genre: Comedy
Rated: R

The Wedding Ringer looks like it’s going to be ridiculous and stupid and funny as all hell.

This seems like it’s going to be the kind of movie I want watch after I’ve had a rough day, a couple of rejection letters and a fight with my mom. It seems like the kind of film you can turn your brain off for and just laugh.

Nothing wrong with that.

2 – Blackhat (Jan 16)

Director: Michael Mann
Writer: Morgan David Foehl, Michael Mann
Actors: Chris Hemsworth, Viola Davis, Holt McCallany, Tang Wei
Genre: Action
Rated: R

Blackhat seems to examine the weight of the digital world in our lives and how vulnerable we are because of it. It’s a terrifying perspective and that makes for a great movie.

Any film that can tear open my being and frighten me at the heart, is one I want to watch.

I will be vastly disappointed if this movie doesn’t meet my expectations.

1 – Punk’s Dead (Jan 25)

Director: James Merendino
Writer: James Merendino
Actors: Devon Sawa, Ben Schnetzer, Hannah Marks, Sarah Clarke, James Duval, Adam Pascal, Michael A. Goorjian, Machine Gun Kelly
Genre: Comedy
Rated: Not Rated

I have been waiting for this movie. I donated money to this movie on Indiegogo.

SLC Punk! is one of my all time favorite films. I can recite it from memory. I fell in love with Matthew Lillard (The Bridge, Return to Nim’s Island, Fat Kid Rules the World) as Stevo and Michael A. Goorjian (My Eleventh, Around June, Party of Five) as Heroin Bob.

When the first movie came out I was 16 and just starting to learn about what punk was. I met my “punk dealer,” my Heroin Bob (if you will), in an alternative school that I started in after I’d gotten kicked out of several other more mainstream high schools.

I might have been a touch rebellious back then.

Anyway, my Heroin Bob was named Frank and he introduced me to my very first punk band, Bad Religion. From there it was a slippery slope. It led to bands like NoFX, Black Flag, The Casualties, The Descendants and, obviously, The Ramones and Sex Pistols. From the music of the scene it led to appreciation of the ideals, to put it nicely.

SLC Punk! spoke to me back then. It still speaks to me.

So when I heard that writer/director James Merendino (Death Club, Trespassing, Magicians) was making a sequel I jumped on it.

I’m disappointed that Lillard was unavailable and that Jason Segel (How I Met Your Mother, Sex Tape, Bad Teacher) decided not to reprise his role as Mike, but there are plenty of actors from the first movie that will be appearing.

I can’t wait to see how Sean, played by Devon Sawa (Nikita, The Philly Kid, Final Destination), has changed or what John the Mod, played by James Duval (Donnie Darko, Hackers, Hercules Reborn), will be like. Will Eddie, played by Adam Pascal (Rent, School of Rock, Goyband), still be a “ladies man?” Of course, there’s Goorjian who will be returning as Heroin Bob. And there are rumors that we’ll even get to see Til Schweiger (Tatort, Muppets Most Wanted, Charlie Countryman) returning as Mark, though I haven’t been able to confirm them.

I could talk about these two movies for days, so I’ll just end this here and say, “I can’t fucking wait.”

Monday, December 29, 2014

Kill Theory (2009)

Number Rolled: 12
Movie Name/Year: Kill Theory (2009)
Genre: Horror
Length: 85 minutes
Rating: R
Affiliated Companies: BenderSpink, Cross River Pictures, Element Films, Last Resort Productions, Lift Films
Executive Producer: Kimberly Anderson, Matt Battaglia, Sam Nazarian, Malcolm Petal, Marc Schaberg, J.C. Spink, Cory Thabit
Director: Chris Moore
Writer: Kelly Palmer
Actors: Dom McManus, Ryanne Duzich, Teddy Dunn, Daniel Franzese, Agnes Bruckner, Patrick John Flueger, Steffi Wickens, Theo Rossi, Taryn Manning, Kevin Gage, Trever O’Brien

A group of teens ready to graduate from college take a vacation to a friend’s second home to celebrate. All they’re interested in for the weekend is sex and alcohol. While they’re having fun, there’s someone out there looking to test them in ways they can’t imagine.

Have you ever seen that commercial?

Congratulations, you’ve just watched the first 45 minutes of Kill Theory in less than a minute. At least, that’s what it felt like to me. I couldn’t stop thinking about that commercial for the majority of the film.

For the rest of the movie, I was just kind of looking forward to it ending.

I want to be clear. The actors were amazing in their parts. Daniel Franzese (Mean Girls, I Spit On Your Grave, War of the Worlds), Theo Rossi (Sons of Anarchy, Cloverfield, Meth Head), Ryanne Duzich (Friday Night Lights), Teddy Dunn (Veronica Mars, Jumper, The Manchurian Candidate) and Patrick Flueger (Chicago P.D., Footloose, The 4400) threw themselves head first into their characters. Unfortunately, someone should have checked just how deep their characters ran before they jumped. You risk concussions when you jump into bodies that shallow.

Ok, yeah, that was a pretentious paragraph. You know what? There was more depth in that paragraph than in all the characters combined. The actors can be as amazing as they want; sometimes the writing just brings everything down anyway.

The only things that kept this movie from being completely unwatchable were those members of the cast who were exceptional with what they were given.

Rotten Tomatoes Critic Score – None
Rotten Tomatoes Audience Score – 27%

Netflix’s Prediction for Me – 4.3/5
Trust-the-Dice Score2/5

P.S. Netflix indicates that Edwin Hodge is in this movie. He’s not.

Movie Trailer: