Tuesday, June 30, 2009

The RW Quarterly, Vol. II - Issue 2

Any whore worth his salt knows you have to step back from the daily grind now and again to do a little bookkeeping. The Reel Whore Quarterly indexes all the films I've seen and any corresponding reviews posted from the last 13 weeks.

Every review I've posted is linked. Films italicized in blue are in the review queue so be sure to check back for those. If you see a film below that deserves a whore-treatment but isn't slated to receive it, request it!

The second quarter of '09 finds me with a tally of 35 films viewed, maintaining the steady pace set during first quarter. That's no small feat considering I have been revisiting the HBO series Deadwood starting with Season 1, Disc 1. I am currently watching Season 3, Disc 2. I would have been finished had I not gotten swept into Mad Men Season 1 this last month. I'm fairly confident I will wrap up Deadwood by the end of next week, just in time for the release of Mad Men Season 2. If I keep picking up shows on DVD, I may not have time for any movies during third quarter!


The Reel Whore's Movies Watched
April 1 to June 30, 2009

38. Saw V
39. Adventureland
40. The Haunting in Connecticut
41. Blue Vinyl
42. Wolverine
43. Best in Show (CDtZ submission)
44. Observe and Report
45. Crank: High Voltage
46. Zhou Yu's Train
47. Sunshine Cleaning
48. State of Play
49. New in Town
50. Brotherhood of the Wolf (CDtZ submission)
51. The Taking of Pelham One Two Three
52. The Spirit
53. Star Trek
54. Moulin Rouge (CDtZ submission)
55. Coraline
56. Knowing
57. Shall We Kiss?
58. Terminator Salvation
59. Ghosts of Girlfriends Past
60. Sixteen Candles
61. Sin Nombre
62. Drag Me to Hell
63. The Hangover
64. Secretary (CDtZ submission)
65. Goonies
66. The Taking of Pelham 123
67. Every Little Step
68. Paul Blart: Mall Cop
69. The Soloist
70. Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen
71. Eros
72. Bad Santa (CDtZ submission)

Large Association of Movie Blogs

Monday, June 29, 2009

MMM: Do You Remember the Time?

I won't be posting any Michael Jackson music today. The radio stations and television stations have the tributes pretty much covered. Besides, I don't think I could choose a single song from his legacy that I'd want to hear above all the others.

By far Michael Jackson's music is the most widely recognizable and enjoyed. I think everyone around my age attempted the moonwalk or ran around the house wearing a single glove at least once during their youth. If you don't think you did, ask your mom, I'm sure she remembers. She may even have pictures. Now that he's passed, what can we fans expect in the coming years?

Back in my parent's youth, singer-songwriter Don McLean used the term "The Day the Music Died" to refer to the loss of Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens and The Big Bopper in a plane crash on February 3, 1959. For their generation, the loss of those great performers was a tragic period in music history.

I've been wondering what term, a term not coined by the news media, will be used to remind us of Michael Jackson's passing? Will the Jackson family, Quincy Jones and Will.i.am gather artists from the world over to commemorate his passing in song? Will fans see this as a cheap attempt to capitalize off the legend's death? We'll have to wait and see what develops. Regardless, Michael Jackson will live on forever through his music.

Don McLean's American Pie isn't really reminiscent of the style of Michael Jackson and some of the phrasing is a bit dated, but the sentiment feels appropriate.

Don McLean - American Pie


What sort of tribute would you like to see for Michael Jackson?

Large Association of Movie Blogs

Friday, June 26, 2009

Today I Feel Like This...

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Thursday, June 25, 2009

Double Team'd: The Bearded Spock

The Taking of Pelham One Two Three

Release: 10.02.74
DVD Release: 02.29.00
Rated R
1 hour, 44 minutes


Full Price




The Taking of Pelham 123

Release: 06.12.09
Rated R
1 hour, 46 minutes


Matinee




Synopsis
: One Two Three and 123

Four armed men hijack a subway train in New York. After stopping the train between stations, they uncouple the main car and use the passengers within as bargaining chips to extort money from the City. An unlucky Transit Authority employee receives the ransom call and becomes the primary liaison between the gunmen, the mayor and NYPD as the one-hour deadline approaches.

One Two Three
Lt. Garber (Walter Matthau, JFK) of the New York City Transit Police is pulled from entertaining visiting Japanese businessmen to negotiate with the lead gunman, Mr. Blue (Robert Shaw, From Russia With Love). Matthau slips into the role like a comfortable pair of sneaks.

Shaw's demeanor lets audiences, and Garber, know from moment one that he means business. Also, in the seventies English accents gave the baddies an added sense of notoriety (see also Star Wars). He's cold and calculating, unlike his men, Green (Martin Balsam, Death Wish 3), Grey (Hector Elizondo, TV: Monk) and Brown (Earl Hindman, 3 Men and a Baby). As a disgruntled ex-motorman, Green supplies the knowledge and little else. Meanwhile, Grey is the stereotypical sleaze with an itchy trigger finger and a leering eye. Brown, like the name implies, takes all the shit.

The passengers are a mixed bag of old folks, business people, streetwalkers, a mother and her children, an unconscious homeless person and an undercover policeman. Shots of their frightened and disgusted faces convey the imminent danger they all face. The passengers are fearful, but do nothing stupid to risk retribution. As things inevitably go wrong for both Garber and Blue, the thrill of the perilous events never wanes. The film climaxes before the final moments, and the villains' just desserts are delivered in more of a whimper than a bang.


123
Walter Garber (Denzel Washington, Out of Time) has been demoted to traffic control. Allegedly, Garber took a bribe from Japanese train manufacturers to recommend a specific model to his superiors at the NYC Transit Authority. He seems like a good guy so it really sucks when he's on the receiving end of Ryder's (John Travolta, Broken Arrow) ransom demands. Even after NYPD's hostage negotiator Camonetti (John Turturro, Transformers) arrives, Garber is the only person that can keep Ryder from murdering hostages.

The hostages are a mother and child, a veteran, a businessman and a little bitch boy with a laptop. They talk a lot, but mainly annoy audiences more than provide any sense of tension or peril. Likewise, the ex-motorman Phil Ramos (Luis Guzmán, Confidence) complains more than assists with his three lines of dialogue, and the two remaining unnamed henchmen are faceless mercenaries quick to fire off their weapons in lieu of actually speaking. The task of instilling fear lies solely on the character of Ryder. Director Tony Scott (Man on Fire) keeps Travolta reigned in just to the left of corny. Sadly, Ryder's stache looks like a permanent stain from the nine years of rimjobs he dished out in prison. That along with his veiny neck makes him about as believable a Wall Street trader as Vin Diesel was in Boiler Room.


The exchanges between Washington and Travolta generate the most tension in 123. Washington could make a movie where he sleeps on a sofa for ninety minutes and it'd be enthralling. 123 stumbles because the subway car full of hostages, several armed gunmen, and scrambling NYPD officers are underutilized and ultimately ineffectual in advancing the story. When those supporters are called up to bat, it's Scott's patented epileptic mish-mash of blurs and screams which leave a hollow disconnected feeling to the events. 123's climax is gripping, but the gravity of the day's events appear as easily forgotten as this movie will be.

The Money Shot: One Two Three and 123
Having seen both One Two Three and 123, I couldn't help but think of the original Star Trek episode Mirror, Mirror. For those unfamiliar, Kirk finds himself on an alternate universe's Enterprise with an evil, bearded Spock by his side. Everything seems strikingly similar to Kirk's Enterprise, but the crew's motivations are skewed to devious purposes.

While the premise of both One Two Three and 123 remains largely unchanged, there's an fundamental shift in theme. One Two Three has texture and you understand every character's motivation, much like Kirk's beloved Enterprise crew. 123 concerns itself more with dressing up the scenery with flashy displays and strange facial hair, but wastes little energy creating a lasting impression.

Large Association of Movie Blogs

Today I Feel Like This...

Call it what you will; a tribute to the great work of Ivy over at Do You Have a Flag? or pilfering someone else's great idea. Point is, I love her feature and it fits the moment perfectly.

Large Association of Movie Blogs

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

My Delinquency Unmasked

Hola Stargazers. I was a little thin on posts last week, but for good reason. I had to hop, skip, jump on over to Charlay to visit family. That, and to get my geek on at HeroesCon.


Fellow blogger The Fraze was also there, but the multitude of nerdly happenings and nerdly masses kept us from connecting. You can discover all his exploits over at Counting Down the Hours.

Like every year, I spent too much money and had a blast doing it. I met some really cool people. I did my share of line standing to meet the big names in comics like Brian Michael Bendis, Ed Brubaker and George Perez. I also met some noteworthy names you'll be hearing more about.

New Friends:

Along the back wall was Lora Innes who writes and draws the webcomic The Dreamer. The webcomic is being published by IDW and a trade paperback collecting the first six issues will be released July 15th. Mark your calendars, people!

My foxy tee garnered me the attention of Shazzbaa. She writes the journal comic, Today Nothing Happened. I've only had time to read a few entries, but I'll certainly be back to read more.

Shazbaa's booth buddy Meghan introduced me to Maggot, the star of her webcomic Filtered Fuzz. Her site sidetracked me from this post for more than a few minutes.

I did meet some cool dudes, too. I was drawn to the booth of Chris Schweizer for two reasons; his hilarious drawing of Wolverine in the convention program and the spanky bandanna he was sporting on Day 1. I left with his book Crogan's Vengeance and a photo of the best pirate pose of the weekend.

Robert Venditti, creator of The Surrogates was also on hand. How cool is it that your first work gets turned into a major motion picture!? He was very excited.

The guys at Tsunami Studios were super nice. John "Waki" Wycough and I spent a long time discussing if Eccleston or Tennant was the better Doctor Who. We also argued which sidekick, Rose, Martha or Donna Noble, was our favorite. Differing, but equally valid opinions emerged.



Like I said, it was a weekend for geeking out. In that regard, I was quite successful. Now it's time I climb back into the review saddle. These pending posts aren't going to write themselves!

Large Association of Movie Blogs

Monday, June 22, 2009

MMM: To the Sweat Drop Down My...

Psst! Stargazers! I'm not sure if your aware, but July is creepin' up on us. Try not to make any sudden moves or it'll be on you like white on rice!

That may sound silly, but I've been flitting from work to home to movies to graduation parties to concerts to family functions all month never realizing I was fast approaching summer. Realization struck me at HeroesCon this weekend. Summer made her presence known when a short walk from the parking deck to the Charlotte Convention Center (I'm talking less than two minutes) had me drenched in sweat. Seriously, my thighs were slathered in sweat like hot butter on breakfast toast!

Summer's arrival escaped my attention because theaters are mostly full of lackluster blockbusters. Where's Will Smith's big summer spectacle? One of his so-so actioners would fit snuggly betwixt the rest of the current mediocrity. Without a movie to promote, what is Will Smith doing?

The former Fresh Prince could be coaching his son Jaden on how to properly massacre the Karate Kid franchise in the upcoming reboot. Then again, he could be chillin' with his buddy, DJ Jazzy Jeff. I like to imagine that's what he's doing. Come along with me, let's imagine it together:

DJ Jazzy Jeff & the Fresh Prince - Summertime


Summertime's here. Time to sit back and unwind.

Large Association of Movie Blogs

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Counting Down the Zeroes: Secretary

This post is part of COUNTING DOWN THE ZEROES, brought to you by IBETOLIS of FILM FOR THE SOUL.


*****************


Secretary

Release: 09.20.02
DVD Release: 04.01.03
Rated R
1 hours, 44 minutes

Full Price




I've never considered myself someone who enjoys romance films, yet here I am writing about yet another romantic flick for Counting Down the Zeroes. Traditional romances have always seemed so predictable: guy meets girl, they fall in love, some stupid misunderstanding occurs and splits them temporarily, but all ends happily ever after and we all leave the theater full of warm fuzzies. Big whoop. What makes Secretary so different?

Lee Holloway (Maggie Gyllenhaal, Donnie Darko) is a young woman returning home from a mental hospital on the eve of her sister's wedding. By the reception, her dysfunctional family has Lee running back to her old bad habits. Lee copes with emotional pain by causing physical pain to herself. In an effort to achieve some normalcy, she takes a typing class and starts dating an old high school friend, Peter (Jeremy Davies, Saving Private Ryan). She even hits the job scene, becoming a secretary for a lawyer, Mr. E. Edward Grey (James Spader, Mannequin). While the job offers Lee escape from her family and its troubles, an infatuation with her boss grows into something far more profound.

To read the full post, complete with enticing photographs, head over to Film for the Soul...



Large Association of Movie Blogs

Monday, June 15, 2009

MMM: Take this Pink Ribbon Off my Eyes

This past week I got to stretch out under the setting sun one evening and enjoy some live tunes. It was a great bill featuring the Sounds, Paramore and No Doubt. Despite Paramore being the current hit holder with all their Twilight soundtrack songs, let me clarify to younger audiences that No Doubt was, in fact, the headliner.

For the five of you that may not know, No Doubt is a California rock group featuring lead singer Gwen Stefani. They started back in 1986, and have reunited for a summer tour. I'm not quite sure why, but I'm glad they swung by my neck of the woods. I had seen Gwen Stefani on her solo tour about two years back. She gave a great show especially considering it only cost me $10. This time around No Doubt and Company set me back a whopping $15. One thing about it, you can't get more bang for the buck. Especially not at today's typical concert prices.

It was a blast, but of their seventeen or so songs performed they skipped one of my faves. It's no surprise since this particular tune never did all that well when originally released. Heck, I don't even think I heard it until some years later. Lucky for us, it's the Monday Mood Music selection so we can all enjoy it:

No Doubt - Bathwater


This made my second concert for the summer. Who are you most excited to see this summer?

Large Association of Movie Blogs

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

The Spank Bank: Christian Bale

I can't believe it, stargazers, but no one has been inducted into my prestigous Spank Bank since before my surgery, nearly nine months ago! There are many worthy applicants, including Caitlin's Hot Old Man for June. However, before I can even consider his qualifications, I need to honor someone's who's been a long time coming.

And there's no better time than today for his induction. Why, you may ask? Today marks the exact midpoint between the opening of his two big summer films. I have made myself and this post the meat of a sexy sandwich. With Terminator Salvation twenty-one days behind us and Public Enemies just twenty-one days beyond, get ready to slap the bacon and spread the mayo on this Christian Bale Club.

Reel Whore officially presents Spank Bank inductee:


Christian Bale


The First Time My Eyes Met:
Samuel L. Jackson's Shaft was the first time I saw that beguiling grin. He portrayed such a Grade A prick in this that I couldn't really garner him much love.

He Had Me At ‘Hello’: I don't know if I should thank my sister or my own good judgment, but renting American Psycho was one of the best times of 2000. Patrick Bateman might have been off his rocker, but damn if he wasn't one fine hunk of man flesh.


Sexiest Movie Moment: Bale's portrayal of Bruce Wayne is as sexy as it gets. For you casual fans, Bruce Wayne is the slightly obnoxious, seemingly stupid buffoon who has women and money dripping from him like sweat from his balls. Ahhhh, skeet skeet skeet!

Let’s Never Speak Of This Again: Since I've never seen him give a bad performance, this was a tough decision. As Trevor Reznik in The Machinist, Bale went from a hunky 180 pounds to a sickly 120. Kudos for going the distance and giving an excellent performance, but let's not ever, ever put either of us through that horror again.

It Brings A Smile To My Face: I've got to go back to American Psycho and Bateman's self-indulgent menage set to Phil Collins' Sussudio. I'm usually grinning from ear to ear when I see him brandishing the guns, but the wink and point gets me every time.

My Biggest Regret: Take a deep breath. I'm certain you'll want to gasp appropriately in shock when I say I've never seen Newsies. Done? My sister's favorite flick and I'm still so lame as to have missed it. My excuse was that I hated musicals, but we all know better.

His Winning Feature: I know this will sound weird, especially after his little outburst on the set of Terminator Salvation, but it's his strength of character. Whether he's deathly thin or buff and bulging he still draws you into his character. It's more than his smile or his chiseled features; it's his sheer projection.

If I Could Walk In Her Shoes: I'd switch places with Rebecca Hall in The Prestige. I'd love to discover exactly what Alfred Borden could make disappear in a private show.

Most Anticipated Upcoming Project: I believe I blew my load a little earlier on this one, but watching Bale square off against Johnny Depp in Michael Mann's Public Enemies seems like the perfect way to spend a summer afternoon. The screen will literally ooze charisma every time this plays.

My Dream Of Working With The Charismatic Mr. Bale: The story possibilities are endless with an actor like Bale committed to the performance. He'd be so intense I'd imagine I'd be too intimidated to even properly direct the man. He'd recognize my nervousness and we'd hit the town to calm my nerves. As we become fast friends, the ladies would stop and stare and fraternize. Bale, irritated by the fawning, would set them straight by chiding "Get off us, ladies, stop tugging at our silk drawers." Do they stop? I'll never tell.

Large Association of Movie Blogs

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

It's Funny Because He's Fat

The Hangover

Release: 06.05.09
Rated R
1 hour, 40 minutes


See It, Take a Friend, Buy the DVD!




On the verge of his wedding Doug (Justin Bartha, National Treasure) is taken on a bachelor party extravaganza by his two best friends, Phil (Bradley Cooper, Wedding Crashers) and Stu (Ed Helms, Harold & Kumar Escape from Guantanamo Bay), with his fiance's brother Alan (Zack Galifianakis, What Happens in Vegas) in tow. After a toast atop Caesar's Palace, the wolfpack awakens in their villa the next morning minus one: the groom-to-be. With no recollection of their insane night, the trio begins piecing together the clues which sends them on an even crazier manhunt.

I walked into The Hangover with fairly low expectations. The trailers suggested that director Todd Phillips would have another hit on the scale of Old School. Even so, I knew if I got too excited I ran the risk of being let down. That's when I realized:

I thought the goat in Drag Me to Hell was the greatest animal moment I'd see all year, then I saw a tiger tearing through a Mercedes like it was catnip.

I thought Ray Liotta's Detective Harrison in Observe and Report was the most dickish cop I'd see all year, then I saw Rob Riggle (Step Brothers) and Cleo King (Pineapple Express) play officers Franklin and Garden. In tha face!

I thought Lou Ferrigno in I Love You, Man would be the best muscle-bound cameo of the year, and then I saw Mike Tyson.

I thought Ling Bai's Ria in Crank: High Voltage was the craziest Asian character I'd see all year, then I saw Mr. Chow (Ken Jeong, Role Models).

I thought Julianna Guill's breasteses in Friday the 13th were the best pair of boobage I'd see all year, and they still are (Sadly, one great boob does not a pair make).

I thought Seth Rogen's Color Me Badd duds in Observe and Report were the worst outfit I'd see all year, then I saw Alan's white jeans and satchel.

I thought Odette Yustman's tighty-whitey cameltoe in the Unborn would be unmatched in 2009, then I saw Alan in a jock strap.

I thought Karl Urban's McCoy in Star Trek would be the most memorable doctor in 2009, but Matt Walsh (Old School) came damn close to unseating him.

I thought Harry Connick, Jr's mountain-man beard in New in Town was the most impressive facial hair of the year, then I saw Alan's bushy flavor-saver.

I thought Liam Neeson laid down the most severe ass-whooping of the year in Taken, then I watched Mr. Chow wield a crowbar like nobody's business.

I thought J.K. Simmons in I Love You, Man would be the best father figure with the fewest lines of the year, but then I saw Jeffrey Tambor (Hellboy) and he has him beat.

I thought Watchmen's Patrick Wilson and Malin Akerman would have the hottest sex in a hovering superhero vehicle in 2009; then I...sorry, it wasn't THAT crazy a movie!

I could keep this up all day, but the gist is that The Hangover excelled beyond my expectations. Is it better than Old School? Let's not get crazy. The main difference between Old School and this is that the trio of buddies in the former carried the movie with very little help from their supporting cast. The Hangover accomplishes a similar level of hilarity due largely to the efforts of its entire cast. That said, you will leave the theater with a newfound respect for Zack Galifianakis (North Carolina REPRESENT!).

The Money Shot
In a sea of middling summer movies, you could waste your money on far worse fare. If you wisely choose the only adult comedy at the box office, be certain to sit through the credits for the slideshow of the night they all forgot.

Large Association of Movie Blogs

Monday, June 8, 2009

MMM: Celebrate Good Times

Today's mood music was a no brainer. Although he's been featured before he's my favorite artist and you really can't ever get too much of him. We're revisiting this artist because yesterday, June 7, Prince Rogers Nelson a.k.a. Prince turned 51.

With so many great songs to choose from, I wasn't sure which one to post. The choice was easier than I expected since it's nearly impossible to find any of his vids just floating around on the internets. In fact, I couldn't even find an embed link on the legitimate sites that worked.

Luckily, Spike.com is home to the video of choice. I thought playing 1999 for his 2009 birthday might be a bit of a cliché, so instead I chose this tune released in the summer of 1989. It's a funky little jam and coincidentally it's from one of my favorite summer films of the time, Batman.

Click on either the title or the photo below and you'll be treated to a blast from the past.



I hope you had a happy birthday Prince. I hope everyone has a great week.

Large Association of Movie Blogs

Friday, June 5, 2009

Trailer Trash: The June-09 Gang Bang

If not for Star Trek and Drag Me to Hell, May would have been about as satisfying as the stale popcorn I choked down during Terminator Salvation. A good friend reminded me that the true summer season doesn't begin until now, despite what Hollywood wants us to think. That said, June's releases aren't shaping up to be a box-office rockin' good time either. Sadly, I can't go more than a few days without suffering from Flik-Itch, so you'll find me huddled in the dark, crying, more than once this month.

Due to its mild popularity, I have brought back my Reel's Title addition. Here are IMDB's June releases, ranked from worst to best for your reading enjoyment.

Exercise the Right To Cinematic Celibacy.

Land of the Lost (06.05) It's been a blast watching Will Ferrell appear on Man vs. Wild and the debut of The Tonight Show with Conan O'Brien to hock this big honkin' summer turd. Good thing his popularity is invincible, though Land may prove to be his kryptonite.

Reel's Title: Sucksassic Park: The Lost Careers


Friel's role in LotL will open doors to nowhere.

Imagine That (06.12) I thought I'd never utter these words again, but for an Eddie Murphy flick, this doesn't look that painful. Eddie's teamed up with an uber-cute child and the attitude we thought was lobbed off along with his testicles at the turn of the century.
Reel's Title: Daddy Day...Who Cares?

My Life in Ruins (06.05) If this were a TV movie, it'd be rated TV-MA for Menopausal Audiences. BTW, it should have been a TV movie. No offense, Nia and company, but this will be your careers in ruins.
Reel's Title: My Big Fat Greek Mid-Life Crisis

Year One (06.19) Want to know how bad I think this looks? The dickishness of David Cross, the awkwardness of Michael Cera, the hotness of Olivia Wilde and the all-around yumminess of Paul Rudd can only lift this Jack Black affair to dismal. Black may be cradling the balls and swallowing the gravy of studio execs for his next starring role.
Reel's Title: A History of the World: Part Duh

Open wide Jackie boy!

It's Friday, I Don't Want to be Alone.

The Proposal (06.19) Sandra Bullock rom-coms are as inoffensive as they are forgettable. However, I do love me some Ryan Reynolds and Betty White is always good for a laugh, which should lift this from sleep-inducing to dreary-eyed.
Reel's Title: While You Were Sleeping I made Hope Floats at the Lake House using Forces of Nature...Ya-Ya

Whatever Works (06.19) Woody Allen has been on a hot streak these last few years and looks like he opted to fill his usual role with Larry David. My enthusiasm for David has pretty much always been curbed, but the Wood-Clarkson-Begley combo shows promise.
Reel's Title:What Works for Woody

My Sister's Keeper (06.26) Who cries at summer movies?! If you see this, I'm betting you will. A Jodi Picoult story directed by the Notebook's Cassavetes starring the anti-Fanning, Abigail Breslin; I dare you not to shed a tear!
Reel's Title: Niagara Falls Frankie Angel


Moist With Antici...Pation!

Tetro (06.11) I don't know how to explain it...this looks amazing. I'm mesmerized by the trailer and not just because the sensual Maribel Verdú stars. I haven't seen many Coppola films, but this will remind me why I should.
Reel's Title: A Film You Can't Refuse

The Hangover (06.05) Old School will always be a glorious comedy in my book, and Todd Phillips is trying to make another tasty treat from the same mold. The end result may be inedible, but my mouth is watering to take a bite.
Reel's Title: Scoundrels Get Schooled in Vegas

The Taking of Pelham 1 2 3 (06.12) I've seen the original and it's friggin' intense. In the hands of Tony Scott, the possibilities are limitless. I just wish they'd use David Shire's groovy title score.
Reel's Title: Broken Arrow II: Battlefield Subway

Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen (06.24) I gotta be honest here, I'm dangerously close to inducting stars Shia LaBeouf and Megan Fox into my special series for their inane shenanigans. Even so, my love for giant talking alien robots that transform into cool shit and beat the hell out of one another runs deep. Illicit photos of Megan in a three-way with Shia and his mom could surface tomorrow and it would still not keep me from seeing this.
Reel's Title: Bay-Splosions II: Revenge of the Boom-Boom-Pow!

*drool*

***

Maybe some of these June releases will prove better than expected, but you won't see me holding my breath. This will be a good month to build up my indie cred over at the arthouse theater, assuming Away We Go, Moon, and Food, Inc. open there.

Large Association of Movie Blogs

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Fun with a Capital F-U!

Drag Me To Hell

Release: 05.29.09
Rated PG-13
1 hour, 39 minutes

Full Price


We've all been there. You wake up determined to have a good day. Then at work you're reminded that your boss lacks confidence in you, your douchey coworker thinks he's the better than you, and your boyfriend's mom poo-poos you and she hasn't even met you! All these little things rise to the top until some poor unsuspecting sap forces you to angrily assert your superiority. A moment like that can make you feel like a dick, especially if the bystander didn't deserve it, but it could always be worse.

Christine Brown's (Alison Lohman, Big Fish) day qualifies as worse. Her guilt over denying an old lady a loan extension diminishes when she is subsequently attacked by said customer, Mrs. Ganush (Lorna Raver, TV: Star Trek Voyager). Besides vandalizing her car and giving her a fierce gumming, the gypsy woman bestows a horrid curse upon Christine. Over three days, a lamia will torment her until finally dragging her to Hell, unless she can find a way to stop it.

I knew Drag was going to be a winner when, within the first couple minutes, a cursed boy's mother gets bitch-slapped across the room by the unseen dark spirit. Only in the minds of Sam and Ivan Raimi (Army of Darkness) could such deviance dwell. For those unfamiliar with director Sam Raimi's earlier work, the zooming cameras, bizarre screaming voices, and demon-possessed, dancey floaty people are all reminiscent of the Evil Dead franchise.

Major kudos to Alison Lohman who sold every single gross moment of Drag with genuine fear and hysterics. She's subjected to an onslaught of wet, gooey, squishy things. She's tossed about her humble home like a rag doll. Throughout her mystical dilemma, her skeptical boyfriend Clay (Justin Long, Jeepers Creepers) remains supportive.

The small details in Drag speak volumes. Watching Mrs. Ganush sail on Christine's hard candy like it was filet mignon or glimpsing a simple eye brow arch by Christine's boss, That Guy David Paymer (Payback) let's us know exactly who they are and where they are coming from.

Dirty Undies
Long before Ellen Page, it was Lohman's cherubic mug that graced many a pedophile's wallpaper. It's amazing that at nearly thirty, she still has moments where she looks twelve. That innocent optimism blends well with the tough streak Christine develops through her demonic tribulations. She gives as good as she gets, even if it's against a defenseless kitty and a geriatric gypsy. The brutal fight from her driver's seat is in the running for 2009's most memorable moment.

The Money Shot
Drag Me to Hell is gross in the most extremely fun way possible. I could have easily written another page on all the goodness this potential franchise delivers. Hell, I didn't even mention the goat!

Large Association of Movie Blogs

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Yes We Can!

Stargazers! It's time once again to do your civic duty. E! Online's poll: Tater Tops 2009: Who Is This Season's Breakout Star? is up and your vote is needed!

Specifically, I recommend you vote for Miracle Laurie. She's the true breakout, seeing as how Dollhouse is her first recurring role and she nailed it! That was no easy task considering she played Mellie, November and Madeline - completely different characters. Sweet and slightly self-deprecating as Mellie, but Miracle could turn on a dime into one tough cookie.

Not knocking the other 'breakouts' but didn't Kevin McKidd have his own show before Grey's Anatomy? Adam Scott has been around for like ever and is always good. Yvonne Strahovski has been playing this character for three seasons of Chuck. Nelsan Ellis is the closest contender to a true breakout, and no offense Mr. Ellis, but Miracle is WAY hotter!


I tuned into Dollhouse because it was a Joss Whedon project and I have always been a stringent supporter of Eliza Dushku's career. However, it ended up that I wouldn't be completely satisfied with an episode unless I got Miracle Laurie fix. Yeah, she was that good. Enough hype, go vote!

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Tuesday, June 2, 2009

A Quickie: Street Fighter: The Legend of Chun-Li

Seeing Moon Bloodgood work so hard in the subpar Terminator Salvation, I remembered how she worked equally hard alongside Kristin Kreuk earlier this year in an even worse flick.

Street Fighter: The Legend of Chun-Li

Release: 02.27.09
DVD Release: 06.30.09
Rated PG-13
1 hour, 36 minutes

Group Rental




After a performance, accomplished concert pianist Chun-Li (Kristin Kreuk, TV: Smallville) finds an ancient Chinese scroll left in her dressing room. The scroll's jist is that her hands weren't made for piano playing, they were made for ass-whooping. Chun-Li straps on her boots made for walking and hits the mean streets of Bangkok. A master named Gen teaches her to focus her anger into extreme whoopitude and lets her loose against the evil Shadaloo. Conveniently, Shadaloo is headquartered in Bangkok and led by Bison (Neal McDonough, Walking Tall), the soulless man who kidnapped her father years ago to use him towards sinister ends.

Much of that plot is spoon-fed to audiences twice-around; visually and through extensive voiceover by Chun-Li. Kreuk is exceptional; too bad everything else in Street Fighter isn't. She looks awesome in a blue throwback dress and gold ankle boots as the night club seductress, but the action sequence that follows is poorly shot. I blinked and totally missed her battle with Vega. The final confrontation is more brutal than expected, but that's a long time to wait for a quality fight.

In the meantime, you have to watch Kreuk tread water above the largely incoherent and implausible story. Moon Bloodgood (Terminator Salvation) plays Bangkok Detective Maya Sunee well while looking steamy hot in either tank tops or just her bra (winning her the nickname Boobgood). Conversely, as Charlie Nash, Chris Klein (American Dreamz) and his ham-fisted acting made me throw up in my mouth a little every time he spoke with his weird embellished manner.

I had high hopes Street Fighter would be a cleansing fire for Kristin Kreuk, burning away the years of bad writing Smallville doused upon her as Lana Lang. Through it all, she's managed to keep her head high, even when the stench becomes unbearable.

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Monday, June 1, 2009

MMM: Why the Wait Kate?

Welcome to another Monday Mood Music! The date's June 1, which reminded me of the website thesixtyone. I don't visit the site as much as I did a year ago, but it's been pretty busy around here. The same must be true for this week's artist.

She had me with the first note when I discovered her tracks on thesixtyone. After finding her in spring '08, I was telling all my friends the name Kate Earl would be all too familiar to them by summer's end. The only thing I wasn't certain of was which song, Melody, Golden Street or Only in Dreams, would be her break out single.

I became glum when her second album's summer '08 release date shifted to fall '08. At last check, it's set for release in summer '09. June 1 is dangerously close to what I'd call summer, but there's still no firm date scheduled. My money is in hand and I've been waiting patiently. Dear, dear Kate, when can I exchange these for a cd and harmonious satisfaction?

I will not suffer alone. Get ready to join me in pacing frustratedly for Ms. Earl's next album.

Kate Earl - Melody

Melody (live acoustic) from Kate Earl on Vimeo.

If you want to know more about Kate Earl, check out her website. You can also listen to the NPR interview she did for her debut album, Fate is the Hunter.

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