Saturday, August 29, 2009

The Final Destination 3D

3D is back to supposedly reinvigorate another stale franchise. Unfortunately, it can not over come the cliches and wooden acting that permeate this installment. To seal the deal, a key scene is an audience getting killed while watching a 3D movie. Really? The one plus is that outside of the cartoonish 3D effects there was some good practical effects carnage for the gorehounds like me.

Click here to check out the official website.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Halloween II (2009)

Everyone's favorite slasher is back in Rob Zombie's follow to his 2007 re-imagining of John Carpenter's Halloween. Zombie continues his exploration of the mind of Michael Myers and delivers incredible imagery that let's us know just how fractured the Myers family really is. Scout Taylor-Compton is back as Laurie Strode and keeps delivering terrified performances that are hard to watch and gut-wrenching. A master stroke in this sequel is the realization of the Dr. Samuel Loomis and his profiting off of the Haddonfield carnage and aftermath. A good sequel for Rob Zombie and Michael Myer fans alike.

Click here to check out the official website.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Inglorious Basterds

Quentin Tarantino is back with his next tribute to genre films and this time out it is the Nazi war film starring Brad Pitt, Eli Roth and and Diane Krueger. Basterds does deliver the Tarantino trademark violence and dialogue but unfortunately they are not as prevalent as you would expect from his past films like Kill Bill, Pulp Fiction or Reservoir Dogs. Being a fan of genre films I was hoping for some form of homages to classic Nazi exploitation films like Ilsa, She Wolf of the SS or Salon Kitty. Christopher Waltz does give a great performance as Col. Hans Landa and is oddly evil in a Sherlock Holmes kind of way and goes supernova in the strangulation of an American sympathizer. Ultimately Basterds is an OK movie which is not what I expected or wanted from Tarantino.

Click here to check out the official website.

Friday, August 14, 2009

500 Days of Summer

Even though I am a huge fan of Zooey Deschanel and with a recommendation from my friend E, it was the back and forth between my friend's Alex and Diana while dining on our botched carryout order from Peking Gourmet Inn that got me to go see this movie. As the movie states at the on set it is not a love story but the life of a relationship from initial sighting to its demise. Deschanel and Joseph Gordon-Leveitt, who also stars as The Doctor in this summer's CGI action thriller G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra, deliver good performances in this non-linear story. As for the debate over Chinese, Alex is right that no guy ever wants to hear that the girl he loved could love someone else but just not him. This is a good film worth seeing and actually does have a hopeful, if not actual happy, ending.

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The Goods: Live Hard, Sell Hard

Jeremy Piven's new ensemble comedy is a scatter shot of laughs with some hitting the mark and others not even on the firing range. If you have seen the video snippets on YouTube then you have already seem most of the best moments from the movie. If you want to see a really funny car salesmen movie, you can not go wrong with watching 1980's Used Cars from Robert Zemeckis that starred Kurt Russell. Piven's signature role for me is still as Droz from the sleeper comedy hit, PCU, back in 1994 and he just has not been able to hit that benchmark again to date. Pass on this at the theater and just see it as a Sunday afternoon movie when it hits Comedy Central for unfathomable repeats within the next year.

Click here to check out the official website.

District 9

Of all the movies slated to come out this summer, this movie was the one I wanted to see more than any other because it was produced by Peter Jackson and the trailer was just so friggin' amazing you just knew it was going to be something special with a great story. Neill Blomkamp's film delivered on all my expectations and is one of the best damn SciFi movies I have ever seen. The special effects are amazing, the prawns are even better then when we all saw Gollum for the first time in The Two Towers, the story is satirical and packs a mean punch, and the "gore" moments are never gratuitous. I dare say this film is the SciFi genre equivalent to the horror genre's Night of the Living Dead. SciFi fan or not - this movie is a must see for everyone.

Click here to check out the official website.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra

Well it did not suck! Stephen Sommers' action-packed, non-stop, popcorn munching, cartoon come-to-life movie with cameos from his go to actors Brendan Fraser and Kevin J. O'Conner, was fun and Snakes Eyes is still the coolest Joe ever. Sienna Miller and Rachael Nichols were very hot as the Baroness and Scarlett but where was the bikini fight sequence? Well we can't have everything but maybe that will be in the sequel set up by a whistle from the President. As my friend Steven said, "it reminds me of Starship Troopers" and I agree but without the bugs and the sex.

Click here to check out the official website.

Friday, August 7, 2009

A Perfect Getaway

David Twohy brings us more of a suspense thriller than an actual horror movie with this film featuring a newly wed couple on their honeymoon when they discover that one of the other couples on the same trail are murderers and impostors. The film starts out well but the surprises and twists are expected. If you think you know what the twist is already without seeing the film you are correct. I am a huge fan of Mila Jovovich and Steve Zahn and was hoping for a better film. Save your money and watch this when it hits cable.

Click here to check out the official website.

Julie & Julia

Being a huge fan of the Food Network and Julia Child, there was no way I was not seeing this movie as soon as possible and my fellow movie watchers who jam-packed the 7:30 p.m. showing at my local AMC theater seem to have agreed. The movie did not reveal anything I did not know about Julie Child and her life but seeing her come to life again by the incomparable Meryl Streep blew me away. I always knew Meryl was a wonderful actress but her performance here was as spellbinding for me as Heather Ledger's was in The Dark Knight as the Joker. The parallel story of Julie, played by Amy Adams, is very good and interwoven with Julia's story expertly by Nora Ephron with great supporting performances by Stanley Tucci and Chris Messina. This is a must see film for all fans of Meryl Streep and Julia Child that showcases amazing talent and an extraordinary life.

Click here to check out the official website.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Green Lantern: First Flight

Warner Bros. and DC Comics has released their next straight to DVD origin story featuring the voice talents of Christopher Meloni as Hal Jordan, Victor Garber as Sinestro, SciFi hottie Tricia Helfer as Boodikka, and Kurtwood Smith as villian/pawn Kanjar Ro. Unlike the previous DVD release of Justice League: The New Frontier that introduced us to Hal Jordan as the Green Lantern, this film gives us his the complete story with his first mission under his mentor, Sinestro, as he is tested by the Guardians to prove he deserves the mantle of Green Lantern from Abin Sur. As a fan of the comics and DC's new line of PG-13 DVD releases, I enjoyed this thoroughly. The trailer for the next DC DVD release, Superman/Batman: Public Enemies looks great and I hope it is just as great as Jeph Loeb's original story arc. Keep up the good work DC and take that Marvel!

Click here to check out the official website.

Blood: The Last Vampire

I did not get to see this at my local AMC art-house theater in Shirlington Village because it was only there for a week. But as fate would have it with Asian films being released to the US, I was able to pick up a copy the same day from the same martial films DVD stand where I picked up Gwoemul, or The Host. Buffy the Vampire Slayer this is not it but it does remind me a little of American Ninja in a way but much better acting and plot and no vampires. The killing of the big boss at the end could have been more drawn out for me because it seem to end rather quickly. If you like anime, vampires, and school girls swing swords, then this is the next movie to add to your Netflix queue.

Click here to check out the official website.

The Collector

Marcus Dunstan, one of the writers for Saw IV, V, and VI, branches off to create a new pop-culture serial killer to rival Jigsaw. The twist here is that, instead of being caught inside a trap and having to figure out why you are there and how to get out, Arkin discovers the traps and must see how he can save the family he is stealing from before the killer discoveries he is in the house. Josh Stewart, last seen by me as Holt McLaren in the series Dirt, plays Arkin and delivers a great performance and some genuinely gut-wrenching escapes that give us plenty of the red stuff. A good horror flick but it does remind you of the Saw franchise without Jigsaw's rules of game play. Definitely worth a look for my fellow horrorphiles!

Click here to check out the official website.