Friday, August 31, 2007

Repeat Bidness: House of 1000 Corpses

House of 1000 Corpses

Release: 04/11/2003
DVD: 08/12/2003
Rated R
1 hour, 29 minutes

Matinee ($$$)

I can't believe this Stargazers! I finally start a blog and now my free-movie stream has all but dried up. Since I was denied a sneak peek into Rob Zombie's re-imagining of the classic horror film, "Halloween," I have decided to dig up one of the first reviews I ever wrote for the first film Zombie ever made. Without further adieu...

The debut picture from writer/director/musician Rob Zombie tells the story of four college kids traveling along the back roads of Texas (does any of this sound familiar?) on All Hallows Eve. Captain Spaulding, brilliantly performed by Sid Haig (Jackie Brown), runs the roadside Gasoline, Fried Chicken, and Horror Museum where the kids stop into to stock up for the last leg of their voyage home. The museum tour chronicles a local mass-murdering legend, Dr. Satan, and sparks the kids’ need to drive out to the remote killing grounds of the legend in the cold, rainy dead of night. One hitchhiker named Baby, played by Sheri Moon, and one flat tire later, the kids end up at the home of the Firefly family. After partaking in the Firefly Halloween celebration and getting the car repaired, the fun really begins.

I am going on record as saying this is perhaps one of the best and one of the worst horror films I have ever seen. Approximately two thirds of this film is edgy and phenomenal in its deliverance; the remaining portion is utter filth and a waste of good celluloid. Perhaps the darkest, most twisted character is Otis Firefly, creepily portrayed by Bill Moseley (*Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2). Otis will single handedly freak you out. He’s the answer of the question “What if Ted Nugent was insane, correction an insane mass murderer.” The gore and violence are wonderfully sick and twisted; the influences of many horror classics are plainly evident in this film. Unfortunately, many horrific horror film fumbles are also present. Zombie’s directing segues into a music video vantage with random cuts and digital effects unnecessary for the development of the story.

Dirty Undies

Sheri Moon is a sexy, beautiful woman who flaunts what she’s got in this flick. She has a brief scene of nudity scattered throughout the music video cuts. Her high-pitched joyful schoolgirl laughter intensified her intriguing debut performance. Bill Moseley makes Billy Bob Thornton seem sane and dull. Sid Haig is a dreadful delight as he single-handedly holds the record for profanity. He couldn’t open his mouth without making a sailor blush and I’d love to see him in more features. Overall “House’ is a very bloody and deliberately brutal film with a smidgeon of violence tossed in to help offset the blood. One last notable mention is the trip to the local ABC store with the ingenious logo.

The Money Shot
“House of 1000 Corpses” has something for every aficionado of the horror audience, and that is where it fails. In trying to make a dish palatable to all connoisseurs, Rob Zombie inevitably created a film with a lot of indigestible tripe. All that said, it is still a must see. I recommend seeing this movie simply on the well-developed and unique characterizations; what you try to get from the rest of the flick is done so at your own risk.

Large Association of Movie Blogs

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Repeat Bidness: Glorious

Blades of Glory

Release: 03/30/2007
DVD: 08/27/2007
Rated: PG-13
1 hour, 33 minutes

Matinee <> FULL PRICE

The bad boy of figure skating, Chazz Michael Michaels, played by Will Ferrell (*Wedding Crashers), and golden child Jimmy MacElroy, played by Jon Heder (*The Benchwarmers), were the unquestioned leaders of men’s singles competition. But since there can be only one champion, their bitter rivalry erupted on the ice, leaving them banished for life. Three and a half years later, Jimmy’s stalker, Hector, portrayed by Nick Swardson (*Grandma’s Boy), tells Jimmy of a loophole that will allow him to skate…in pairs competition. Soon after, Jimmy crosses paths with Chazz and their hatred explodes, landing them in jail until Coach, played by Craig T. Nelson (The Family Stone), approaches them with the crazy idea of skating together. With nothing to lose, the two men set out to qualify for Nationals assuming they don’t maim each other first.

By simply looking at the cast pedigree listed so far, there should be no doubt that this film was designed to be silly, stupid and funny. Simply put, it exceeds all expectations. First-time feature length film directors Josh Gordon and Will Speck give Ferrell wide berth to be the wildly egotistical front man he plays so well. Heder plays the more sympathetic character, and is equally effective. Fans of figure skating may find “Blades” to be insulting to the sport, but the absurd routines that the “skaters” perform wouldn’t be funny if they weren’t. Besides, it couldn’t be too offensive if the film managed to include cameos from Nancy Kerrigan, Scott Hamilton, Peggy Fleming, Dorothy Hamill, Brian Boitano, and Sasha Cohen! But the film isn’t all Ferrell, Heder, and former stars of the ice. Actors such as the aforementioned Swardson and Nelson play extreme caricatures and are extremely hilarious doing it. I’d love to give you an example but they must be seen to be believed.

Amy Poehler (Mean Girls) and Will Arnett (Let’s Go to Prison) will both creep out and amuse audiences in classic Boris-and-Natasha style as the Michaels-MacElroy duo’s main competition; Stranz and Fairchild Van Waldenberg.

Dirty Undies
Jenna Fischer sheds her “Office” attire for the role of Katie Van Waldenberg. Jenna turns on both her cutesy, girl-next-door charms and her inner call girl to entice the Michaels-MacElroy duo into dissention and pique audiences. “Blades” also tosses in some gratuitous cleavage shots from nubile skaters and even an EMT, but they all pale in comparison to a towel-clad Ferrell with his flowing black locks, numerous tats, and generous pudge. Okay, maybe not.

Not since the days of Tonya Harding has ice skating been so brutal a sport. Ferrell and Heder crack one another’s skulls and bust each other’s balls on more than one occasion. For good measure, they even manage to abuse not one, but two skating mascots!

The Money Shot
If you find the thought of an 6’ 3 1/2” mildy overweight man being a champion figure skater ludicrous, it’d be in your best interest to save your hard-earned dollars. For the rest of us, "Blades of Glory" is a multi-faceted achievement; it continues to build Ferrell’s killer comedy resume, boosts the reputation of many deserving up-and-coming actors, and it revives the nearly dead film career of Jon Heder. While the story’s premise may be skating on thin ice, rest assured the comedy is able to nail the landing...and that’s what will have audiences on their feet cheering.

Large Association of Movie Blogs

Thursday, August 23, 2007

I am McLovin' Superbad!


Rated: R
1 hour, 54 minutes


I know I am a week late with this much anticipated review, but hey, I can’t be fortunate enough to catch sneak previews all the time! But there’s no time for rambling, on with the review:

“Knocked Up” star Seth Rogen and his colleague Evan Goldberg were finally able to greenlight a film the two started writing at the age of thirteen. Their movie, “Superbad,” is a coming-of-age film about best friends Seth and Evan. In the penultimate weeks of their high school years, Seth and Evan are invited to a house party where they may finally hook up with their dream girls, assuming they can use their buddy Fogell and his fake ID to shower the party with booze. This simple task starts a spiraling series of events involving cops, seedy parties with seedier people, and constant bickering that jeopardizes more than their chance to score.

I knew the moment I saw Jonah Hill in “The 40 Year Old Virgin” that he would soon hit it big. Likewise, watching Michael Cera week to week in “Arrested Development” gave me the same tingly feeling, until they cancelled the brilliant and underrated show. Fortunately everything happens for a reason and that reason is “Superbad.” If Cera and Hill were never on your radar that will soon change. Hill plays up Seth as wild and offensive as are his curly, unkempt locks. Cera portrays Evan as the straight man, complementing Hill with a deadpan delivery and somber tone. The duo’s timing meshes perfectly, creating a real sense of camaraderie. Aside from writing the script, Seth Rogen appears alongside SNL cast member Bill Hader (*Hot Rod) as a pair of police who wreak their own brand of insanely riotous mayhem. Hands down, Fogell, a.k.a. McLovin’ will be the most remembered and revered character. This third Musketeer, portrayed by newcomer Christopher Mintz-Plasse, may not be ready for stardom. Let us hope he can handle his skyrocketing fame more deftly than the other recent cult icon, Jon Heder, whose debut in Napoleon Dynamite has been followed by many shortcomings.

While the actors are adept at delivering, the material they are given is equally brilliant. The situations are totally outlandish as with any goofball comedy, but Rogen and Goldberg manage to add a vein of reality that grounds the incidents in an all-too-familiar setting. Looking at “Superbad” on the whole, audience members will be saying, I know a guy just like that! The ability to create such relatable and honest characters and situations is what takes “Superbad” beyond the average film. If there is one glaring weakness in the film, it is the lack of development of the female characters. But assuming Rogen and Goldberg couldn’t know how a woman thinks, maybe it was a smart move on their parts to focus solely on how the guys roll.

Dirty Undies

The various fracases that Seth, Evan, and Fogell are embroiled in, while not overly violent, do leave a few bruises and bloody a few garments, but I will leave it at that. Ironically, nudity is virtually nonexistent. Its constant vulgarity and frank expletives, big talk from small-balled boys, and sexually degrading remarks both appropriate and inappropriate to nearly every situation will have your ears ringing as you realize you can’t wait to see this again!

The Money Shot

“Superbad” has been touted as a film that is, in some ways, in the vein of the “American Pie’ series; basically, a dirty comedy about teenage guys. Mostly “Superbad” excels beyond the by-the-numbers predictability to deliver raunch with a sliver of tenderness at its core. Heck, if you don’t go for any other reason, go so you will fully understand the true glory behind the soon-be-iconic “I am McLovin’!”

Large Association of Movie Blogs

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Welcome Stargazers!

After years of writing movie reviews and annoyingly emailing them to friends and family I discovered this new-fangled medium people call "blogs." Though skeptical at first, I thought I might as well let my voice be know what I mean. Before you become hopelessly addicted to my reviews, I should warn you:

  • I rarely spoil the movie with my jibber-jabber.
  • I live for blatant gore, nudity, language, and violence and love to point out a film's flair for these (check out the Dirty Undies).
  • For the ADD-afflicted I employ the Money Shot at the end of every review.
  • I have an inexhaustible list of fav film talent and will revere them whenever the opportunity arises.
  • An easy to follow ratings system based on where we're hit the hardest: the wallet.
I think that's as much of an intro as anyone needs. Check back soon for an actual review!

Large Association of Movie Blogs