Saturday, November 29, 2008
Year Released - 2008
Running Time - 92 minutes
Directed by Dav Kaufman (this is his directorial debut)
Written by Dav Kaufman
Cast Includes: Paul Cram, Chars Bonin, Danny Salmen, Cason Lee, Cody Lyman, and Meisha Johnson
Rating: 4 Skulls
After a successful heist, five thieves hide in an old warehouse for the night. But when a series of mysterious numbers appears on the wall, followed by a bloody attack, they quickly catch on that somebody, or something, doesn't want them there.
Soon, they're fighting for their lives. Does the clue for survival lie in the strange string of numbers that keep showing up everywhere?
This one is actually a pretty decent little indie flick. I definitely enjoyed it enough to keep an eye on the director! [his next project is a Documentary titled Herpers - about reptile fanatics - it comes out, next year, and sounds very interesting!]
As for 13 Hours in a Warehouse, I would bet money that Kaufman is a huge fan of Reservoir Dogs, as this movie has a similar vibe - between the thieves.
[Just remember that this is a low-budget, independent production]
I do not want to say too much about the plot, as I knew nothing about the movie, and that may have enhanced my enjoyment of it. I will however mention that there is a scene, that takes place in a bathroom, that was very reminiscent of Samara, from The Ring ~ Freaky!
I also enjoy cool endings! :-)
Definitely worth renting, in my opinion!
Here's the Trailer:
Friday, November 28, 2008
Year Released - 2008
Running Time - 82 minutes
Rated PG-13 (for some sexual humor and language)
Directed by Seth Gordon (who also directed the Documentary The King of Kong: A Fistful of Quarters - about arcade games, particularly Donkey Kong, and those who play them)
Written by Matt Allen, Caleb Wilson, Jon Lucas, and Scott Moore
Vince Vaughn (Swingers, Old School, Dodgeball, Wedding Crashers, The Break Up, etc)
Reese Witherspoon (Freeway, Pleasantville, Legally Blonde 1 & 2, Walk the Line)
Robert Duvall (The Apostle, Falling Down, Sling Blade, Apocalypse Now, etc)
Jon Favreau (Director of Elf, Zathura, and Iron Man)
Tim McGraw (yes, the Country Singer - he was also in Flicka)
Mary Steenburgen (Elf, Philadelphia, Back to the Future: Part III)
Kristin Chenweth (Olive, from the television show Pushing Daisies - she was also in RV)
Dwight Yoakam (yes, the Country Singer - he was also in Red Rock West, Sling Blade, Panic Room, and Crank)
Sissy Spacek (Carrie, JFK, An American Haunting)
Jon Voight (Anaconda, Mission Impossible, Enemy of the State, etc)
Rating: 4 Skulls
Vince Vaughn & Reese Witherspoon portray a couple who are forced to spend Christmas Day visiting each of their four divorced parents.
If you've been a follower of this Blog, then you know that I generally wait for Comedies to hit DVD.
However, with the disappointment of Transporter 3, on Wednesday, I decided to go ahead and give Four Christmases a shot, and I am very glad that I did!
First of all, you all know that I am a big fan of MMA, so when I first saw Jon Favreau & Tim McGraw portraying Vince Vaughn's "UFC trained" cage-fighting brothers, I knew that I would eventually see this one anyway, and I just have to say that they are absolutely hysterical!
There is also a great scene where Jon Favreau and his wife (played by Katy Mixon) play a round of the party-game Taboo - hilarious!
And the scene above, where Vince Vaughn and Reese Witherspoon portray Mary & Joseph in a church play (where Dwight Yoakam is the Pastor!) I was dying! :-)
What really got to me though is Vince Vaughn's reaction to baby vomit. . . I am not as bad as he is, however I react somewhat the same way around vomit - I was laughing so hard, I had tears in my eyes!
So, if you are in the mood for a holiday comedy, then I definitely recommend this one!
Here's the Trailer:
Thursday, November 27, 2008
On the left, is a one-handed sea-salt grinder (from my 8 yr old daughter) Next is a braided-leather bracelet (from my 2 yr old son) On the right, is a pair of ear-muffs, that are worn behind the head (from my 4 yr old daughter) In the middle is Leisure Books' latest re-print of Richard Laymon's Beware (from my wife) [*Laymon is my favorite horror author]
Below, is a Dexter t-shirt (from my 15 yr old son)
Also, when I checked my e-mail, this morning, I received the below pic made by a fellow Blogger ~ Smirking Revenge ~ who I call Starbuck - for obvious reasons, when you read her Blog @ http://www.bibliosnark.blogspot.com/
Well, Happy Thanksgiving everyone!!! I hope that you all enjoy your day & dinner!!! :-)
Wednesday, November 26, 2008
Genre - Action
Year Released - 2008
Running Time - 100 minutes
Rated PG-13 (for violence, some sexual content, and drug material)
Directed by Oliver Megaton
Written by Luc Besson (who also wrote - and directed - La Femme Nikita and Leon: The Professional. He also wrote the first two Transporter movies, as well as Unleashed and Kiss of the Dragon - both of which starred Jet Li) and Robert Mark Kamen (who also co-wrote the first two Transporter movies, as well as Kiss of the Dragon. He also wrote Lethal Weapon 3 and The Karate Kid - Parts 1 - 4)
Jason Statham (Transporter 1 & 2, Lock, Stock, and Two Smoking Barrels, Snatch, The One, The Italian Job - as well as its sequel, The Brazilian Job - coming in 2011, Crank - as well as its sequel, Crank 2: High Voltage, coming out next year. He was also in this year's Re-make of Death Race)
Natalya Rudakova (this is her 1st film)
Francois Berleand (returning as Inspector Tarconi, from Transporter 1 & 2)
Rating: 3 Skulls
Frank Martin once again puts on his driving gloves in this 3rd installment of the action-packed Transporter series.
This time, Frank is hired to deliver Valentina (the kidnapped daughter of a Ukrainian government official) from Marseilles to Odessa, on the Black Sea. En route, he has to contend with thugs who want to intercept Valentina's safe delivery, and not let his feelings get in the way of his dangerous objective.
First, I just have to say that if I were to ever need anything "transported/delivered" then Frank Martin would be my man!
I think that Jason Statham is great as an Action Star, and I loved the 1st Transporter and really liked the 2nd one!
[granted the 2nd one was not the most realistic film out there, but still - while not as good as the 1st one - it was still a fun ride!]
This one. . . not so much.
Now, don't get me wrong - I was definitely entertained, it's just that it felt wrong somehow. I mean, they had Frank breaking his own rules, for cryin' out loud! [I know he has before, but not like this!] This movie pushed too hard, trying to forge a relationship between Frank & Valentina [to me, once you've had Qi Shu, ~ Lai, from the 1st Transporter and Lynn, from So Close ~ aka the hottest Asian female on the planet! then a girl with freckles all over her face just isn't going to cut it! And it isn't just about looks, Valentina is a royal pain in the you know what!]
As for the action - as you can see in the below pic, nothing new really - just your typical Cory Yuen choreography - not that his choreography isn't amazing, it just seems that we have seen all these moves before. . .
To me, aside from Statham being "the man!" Robert Knepper, as the villain, was absolutely superb! I enjoyed every scene that he was in!
I also enjoyed the whole bracelet aspect - Frank not being able to move beyond 75 feet from his car - that made for some interesting moments, though in one chase scene, I think that they forgot that rule!
If you enjoy the 1st two, then this one is watchable, though it is nothing that you need to see in the theatre - definitely a wait for DVD
Here's the Trailer:
Tuesday, November 25, 2008
The movie starts out with teen lovers, Arbie & Wendy, "dry-humping" in an Indian Burial Ground [the tribe's name is TromaHawk Tribe!] :-)
The movie then jumps ahead to where an American Chicken Bunker (think KFC) has been built - you guessed it, right on top of where the sacred Indian Burial Ground used to be. There is a crowd of people gathered about, picketing the restaurant, (think P.E.T.A.) when along comes Arbie, (wearing a Toxie shirt!) who notices two chicks making out in front of a group of C.L.A.M.'s (Collegiate Lesbians Against Mega Conglomerations) Upon further observation, Arbie realizes that one of the girls is Wendy. So upset that she has become a lesbian, he abruptly breaks into a song & dance routine [this happens frequently throughout the movie, which is too funny!]
This movie is absolutely hysterical, though it isn't for everyone. It is actually pretty disgusting, and sometimes it is downright offensive - though if you are a fan of Troma, then I am sure that you will like the movie! ;-)
To give you an idea of the grotesqueness in this movie, here is an absolutely gross trailer:
Let me leave you with one of my favorite lines from the movie:
[when a customer is served one of ACB's famous Sloppy Jose - think Sloppy Joe - sandwiches, he comes back to the counter. . .]
"I don't mean to complain, but there's a severed penis in my Sloppy Jose." hahahahahahaha :-)
Sunday, November 23, 2008
This year, I decided to watch:
Genre - Horror
Year Released - 1981 [the same year Happy Birthday to Me was released]
Running Time - 85 minutes
Directed by Ed Hunt
Written by Ed Hunt & Barry Pearson
Cast Includes: Elizabeth Hoy, Billy Jayne, and Andy Freeman (as the three young children)
Rating: 4 Skulls
Debbie, Curtis, and Steven aren't like other 10-year-olds, and it's not just because they were born during a solar eclipse. Instead of normal kids' games, they prefer a rousing round of murder, offing their parents, teachers, and playground rivals.
The movie starts out in the year 1970, where three children are all born during a solar eclipse.
The movie then jumps ahead, ten years, just before the children's tenth birthday celebration.
We witness a couple making out in a cemetery, and when the girl decides that someone might see them, they jump down into a freshly dug grave! Bad idea. . .
I do not want to tell you too much about this film, as I knew absolutely nothing about it beforehand.
I will however tell you that, in Astrology, the planet Saturn controls the emotions (how we treat other people) Being that these three children were all born during a solar eclipse, the sun and the moon were blocking Saturn, causing the children to 'miss something' in their emotional structure - making for the perfect, little, devious killers!
This one is definitely another 80's Classic that I had previously been unaware of.
If you have never seen it, and are scared of 'creepy kids' films, then I definitely recommend it! :-)
Here's the Trailer:
P.S. If you know of any other Birthday films, for me to watch, during this time, next year - feel free to recommend away! :-)
In this one, Jack Bauer (Kiefer Sutherland) is in Africa, with a buddy of his (Robert Carlyle) from when he was in the Special Forces. We learn that Jack has been on the run, for the last year, avoiding a subpoena from the U. S. government. (If he returns, he will lose his freedom) However, there just so happens to be a local warlord (Tony Todd!) who is "recruiting" [kidnapping] the local children to serve as soldiers in his People's Freedom Army.
Leave it to Jack to once again become a one-man army - protecting the children, getting captured and tortured, all within the 2-hour time-frame.
To be completely honest with you, I think that I am just plain 'burned out' on 24.
I absolutely loved the first season, and I really dug the 2nd and even the 3rd season. Then the show just started to gradually lose its appeal. [I mean, seriously, how many times can this one man continually be tortured, and still end up saving the day?!?]
I was hoping that with the hiatus, caused by last year's writer's strike, the show would somehow regain its leverage for me. Alas, no such luck - I do not think that I am going to even bother with Season 7. However, for those still interested, it Premieres on Sunday, January 11th.
[and if you missed tonight's movie, it will be on DVD, this Tuesday]
Thursday, November 20, 2008
Kristen Stewart as Bella Swan (she is also in Panic Room, Cold Creek Manor, Zathura, The Messengers, and Into the Wild)
Robert Pattinson as Edward Cullen (he also played Cedric in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire)
Taylor Lautner as Jacob Black (he played Sharkboy in The Adventures of Sharkboy and Lavagirl - he is also in Cheaper by the Dozen 2 as well as the television show My Own Worst Enemy)
Billy Burke as Charlie Swann (he is also in Along Came a Spider, Fracture, and Untraceable, as well as Season 2 of 24)
Gil Birmingham as Billy Black (he is also in House II and Gentle Ben 1 & 2)
Peter Facinelli as Carlisle Cullen (he played Van from the television show Fastlane)
Elizabeth Reaser as Esme Cullen (she is currently in this season of Grey's Anatomy)
Ashley Greene as Alice Cullen (she is also in Otis)
Jackson Rathbone as Jasper Hale (he is also going to be in next year's sequel to Donnie Darko)
Nikki Reed as Rosalie Hale (Nikki wrote Thirteen - based on her life - and played the character of her best friend, Evie - she is also in Lords of Dogtown)
Kellan Lutz as Emmet Cullen (he is also in Accepted)
Cam Gigandet as James (he played Ryan in the 1st MMA movie Never Back Down - he is also going to be in next year's Re-make of The Unborn)
Rachelle Lefevre as Victoria (she is also in The River King as well as the television series Swingtown)
Edi Gathegi as Laurent (he is in Crank and Death Sentence - he is also going to be in next year's Re-make of My Bloody Valentine 3-D)
Christian Serratos as Angela Weber
Anna Kendrick as Jessica Stanley
Michael Welch as Mike Newton
Rating: 5 Skulls
Based on Stephenie Meyer's best-selling novel - Twilight follows the saga of Bella Swan, who moves to a small town to live with her father. At school, she meets Edward Cullen, a mysterious classmate who reveals himself to be a 108-year-old-vampire.
Despite his cautions, Bella falls in love with Edward, which endangers her life when a coven of bloodsuckers arrives to challenge Edward and his family.
Kristin Stewart as Bella Swan
Robert Pattinson as Edward Cullen
Taylor Lautner as Jacob Black
Cam Gigandet as 'the hunter' James
Edward & Bella
The Cullen Family (from left to right: Emmet, Rosalie, Esme, Edward, Carlisle, Alice, Jasper)
I understand that this movie (as well as the books) are geared toward teenage girls, however I just cannot help myself! I have read all four books, and I have eagerly been anticipating the release of this movie [can't you tell? I went to the midnight show, in 18 degree weather, for crying out loud!] :-)
If you have never read Stephenie Meyer's novels, then I highly suggest them, as they are superbly written! [she is basically our very own J. K. Rowling]
I was thrilled when I found out that Catherine Hardwicke was going to be directing, as I absolutely loved the movie Thirteen! I also figured that if anyone could pull off putting the novel onto the big screen, then she was the one. I was just as happy when I found out that the author of the screenplay was a female as well. There is just something that Meyer's captured in her novels - I do not think that they would have turned out the same way, had they been written by a man. [I guess it's just the emotions that are played out, throughout the saga - something only females could capture.
Well, enough about the book - let's talk about the experience. As I mentioned, I attended the midnight show. I arrived an hour early, only to find the theatre already packed - yes, with mostly teenage women, though there were a few guys scattered about here & there [yes, they were with their girlfriends... so what!] :-)
The movie started off perfectly, with a deer being hunted ~ Right away, I knew that the movie was going to be good, and it was!
Even if you have never read the novels, the dynamic between Edward & Bella is absolutely fantastic! I loved when they first met ~ Edward's "seeming" repulsion of Bella ~ Classic!
As for the rest of the cast - My personal favorite character is Alice Cullen, and I am pleased with Ashley Green's performance. As for the other Cullens - Peter Fasinelli as Carlisle is the only one that I couldn't grasp - I just kept seeing him as Van, from Fastlane. . . Nikki Reed as Rosalie - I hardly recognized her! She played the character very well, as did Jackson Rathbone as Jasper. As for Emmet - sorry, I pictured him way bigger than Kellan Lutz
Also, Gil Birmingham as Billy Black is great, as he is very funny, in the movie. Taylor Lautner as Jacob Black is also a good choice - I just can't wait to see his character evolve, in the sequels!
Also note that Stephenie Meyer pulled a Stephen King cameo - she is seen in the Diner that Charlie & Bella eat at (which is different in the book, since Bella generally cooked all of Charlie's meals)
As for the Cullens playing Baseball - that scene was terrific! Another of my favorite moments was when Charlie first meets with Edward - too funny! [and of course, we now get to hear Edward play Bella's song, on the piano] Another very cool thing was, if you pay close attention, you will notice that each member of the Cullen family wears their Family Crest somewhere on them. For instance, Edward wears his on a bracelet around his wrist. Rosalie's is worn as a necklace. . .
Well, I feel as if I am starting to ramble [it is after all almost 4:00 in the morning right now]
Let me just leave you with this ~ see this movie! Even if you have never read the novels, or you think that this isn't your type of movie, give it a shot! [and then go read the novels, so you know what else is coming!] :-)
Here's the Trailer:
Twilight's sequel, New Moon, is scheduled to be released in 2010.
Year Published - 2004 (Published by Leisure Books)
Length - 342 pages
Written by Steve Gerlach
Rating: 5 Skulls
In some ways Ben is just like a lot of other guys in his college. He's kind of quiet, likes movies and books, and spends most of his time by himself or in the library. He's a little awkward around girls, but he keeps trying and hoping that someday soon he'll find the love of his life. No luck so far, though.
But in one very important way Ben isn't like other guys at all. You can't tell by looking at him, but there's something simmering deep inside of Ben. Lately he's been thinking a lot about some pretty awful things. . . and he's bought a gun. His loneliness has become bitterness, and his resentment has turned to hatred. It's all boiling up inside him and it's only a matter of time before he explodes. Then it's just a question of who will be the first to die.
When I first got this book, I was slightly concerned by the Simon Clark blurb on the front. You see, I just finished Clark's Vampyrrhic, which, while it was good, was a tedious read! (hence your not reading a review of it here, as I try to only recommend the best books!)
However, I am a HUGE Richard Laymon fan, and I have been looking forward to In Laymon's Terms - a tribute anthology for Laymon, [for those unaware, Laymon passed away on Feb. 14th, 2001] edited by his wife, Kelly, as well as Steve Gerlach.
In Laymon's Terms is not going to be released until December 24th, so in the meantime I decided to read Gerlach's debut novel, and what a debut it is!
Rage starts off with the main character, Ben, (a blond-haired, blue-eyed 22-year-old virgin) being rejected by yet another girl. . . Ben blames his parents for this, as they raised him as if he were already an adult. On top of that, Ben's parents sent him to a boys-only boarding school, where he rarely had any inter-action with girls. [*Note: there is an extremely graphic homo-sexual scene, in chapter ten - if this offends you, then I suggest that you skip pages 109 - 111 in their entirety]
There's just something about Ben, where you never really feel very sorry for him (at least I didn't)
He really isn't very stable. His emotions fly from one end of the spectrum to the other, in mere seconds, and when it comes to girls - he's practically married to them, in his mind, before he ever even approaches them.
As Ben's downward spiral progresses, he obtains an affinity for horror novels (he previously read Mysteries) Longing for female companionship, Ben begins to rent soft-core porn movies - eventually this leads to Hard-core Snuff Films! [of course, Ben downing Luvox - his social anxiety disorder medication - like candy isn't helping his state-of-mind]
All of this builds to an insanely violent ending that ends abruptly & horrifically!
If you can handle the subject matter in this book, then I highly recommend it!
Just be warned that Gerlach pretty much breaks all taboos in this one! It can be pretty sick & twisted at times [if you have ever read Rex Miller, then you know the feeling]
What really makes the book disturbing is the fact that, as you read it, you are put inside of Ben's head at times, knowing his thoughts, and that is what makes the book truly terrifying!
I just hope that an unstable person never stumbles across this book. . .
Wednesday, November 19, 2008
Is this not the COOLEST Cover?!?
Of course, we all know that you should never judge a book by its cover! Even if the cover had remained the same as the Proof Copy, I would still be anticipating its release [it will be published on May 7th, so mark your calendars!]
The other book that I received, from London, is Bill Hussey's The Absence [again, if you missed Hussey's debut novel, Through A Glass Darkly, then I recommend that one as well!]
So, stay tuned for my review of The Absence, which I will Post mid-April, and The Garbage Man, which I will Post early-May. . .
The other two novels that I received, from Permuted Press, are Zombie Novels ~ Those reviews will be published in the next issue of Hacker's Source [#26] Magazine - I will keep you posted on those as well.
Tuesday, November 18, 2008
Genre - Action/Comedy
Year Released - 2008
Running Time - 120 minutes
Directed by Ben Stiller (who also directed The Cable Guy & Zoolander)
Written by Ben Stiller (who also wrote Zoolander) and Justin Theroux (who is writing the screenplay for Iron Man 2)
Ben Stiller (Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story, There's Something About Mary, Night at the Museum - as well as next year's sequel to it)
Robert Downey Jr. (Iron Man, Iron Man 2 - coming in 2010, and The Avengers - coming in 2011)
Jack Black (The School of Rock, Nacho Libre, and Tenacious D in the Pick of Destiny)
Brandon Jackson (who is also in the upcoming Re-make of The Day the Earth Stood Still)
Jay Baruchel (who is also in Knocked Up)
Tom Cruise - as the film's (within the film) Producer
Matthew McConaughey - as Ben Stiller's character's Agent
Nick Nolte - as the Sgt. whose story the film (within the film) is based upon
Steve Coogan - as the film's (within the film) Director
Danny McBride - as the film's (within the film) Demolition Expert
Drawing inspiration from films like Apocalypse Now and Platoon, this war movie send-up, from director and star Ben Stiller, follows a group of dimwitted actors forced to become real-life soldiers when they're abandoned in the jungles of Southeast Asia.Review:
The film starts off with some pretty funny bogus trailers, starring each of the actor's (portraying the actor's in this film) other films - the funniest probably being Tugg Speedman's (Ben Stiller) Scorcher VI.
After the trailers, the movie begins - narrated by Sgt. Four Leaf (Nick Nolte) - we are told of his escapades in Vietnam, now being made into a film - that film is Tropic Thunder. . .
This movie is not near as funny as I was expecting, though it did have its moments, one of which was after Steve Coogan's - portraying the film's director - big speech! Another was the discussion between Kirk Lazarus (Robert Downey Jr.) and Tugg Speedman (Ben Stiller) about not going full-retard, when portraying someone who is mentally challenged. Also, was the moment when Tugg was in the cave, watching an episode of Star Trek, on his iPod - what happened afterwards - too funny!
In my opinion, Robert Downey Jr. and Tom Cruise stole the show. If it wasn't for their characters, this movie wouldn't have even been half as good!
Speaking of Language - if that bothers you, this movie has a ton of it, just so you are aware. . .
Sunday, November 16, 2008
Just an example of the cheesy goodness! :-)
In this scene, Riki-Oh was tying off a vein, in mid-fight!
Just a cool X-Ray image shot, before Riki-Oh fractured a skull
Riki-Oh. . . a ripped martial artist who has had super-human strength (the strength of twenty men!) since he was around seven or eight. A dude so tough, that when he was shot, he kept the five bullets in his chest.
Riki-Oh. . . he who trained, in Kung-Fu, in a fog enshrouded cemetery, and then went to music school, just to learn the flute - Ha!
Riki-Oh. . . A must-see to believe movie!
Here's the Trailer:
Year Released - 2007
Running Time - 89 minutes
Directed by David Nerlich & Andrew Traucki
Written by David Nerlich & Andrew Traucki
Cast Includes Diana Glenn, Maeve Dermody, Andy Rodoreda, and Ben Oxenbould
Rating: 4 Skulls
Inspired by true events, this terrifying tale of man vs beast follows the ill-fated boat excursion of three vacationers through Northern Australia's mangrove swamps.
When their vessel suddenly overturns and the guide disappears into the water, Grace, her boyfriend Adam, and her younger sister Lee, soon find themselves fighting for their lives against a ferocious crocodile.
This movie was was tagged as the "Jaws of crocodile movies" I feel that is more appropriate to the other Australian crocodile movie - Rogue. This one is more along the lines of Open Water.
The directors, David Nerlich & Andrew Traucki, are behind the new shark film, The Reef, which should be coming out in 2010. There is already a buzz about this movie, comparing it to the 1st Jaws movie, which is saying a lot!
If Black Water is any indication of the outcome of The Reef, then I would say that the movie is in good hands. Nerlich & Traucki use just the right amount of tension in this film.
They start the movie off, letting us become familiar with the characters, as they visit a crocodile farm and discuss what else they want to do, while on vacation. When they discover a pamphlet for a "Black Water Tour" this becomes an option, however when they arrive they find out that they missed the boat by only about 5 minutes. However, one of the workers says that since it's just the three of them, he could take them out on his (small) boat. When you see the boat, you immediately realize that this is a bad idea. When I watch these movies, inspired by true events, I am amazed at what people actually do! (though I probably shouldn't be)
If you enjoy "man vs beast" movies, like I do, then I bet that you will enjoy this one too! :-)
Here's the Trailer: