Friday, October 31, 2008

Week of Reel WHorror!: Day 5

Welcome to the Final Day of the
Week of Reel WHorror!
It's the last day of the Week of Reel WHorror! Do you really think I'll start talking about Grindhouse or it's sexy stars Freddy Rodriguez and Rose McGowan now?

The big day is here. Day 5, best recognized as Halloween, is upon us! The only day scarier than October the 31st is Friday the 13th. That's why this past week I have been steeping myself in the legend of one the greatest slashers of my time, Jason Vorhees. I've seen all the movies in the series at one time or another but until this past week, I had never taken the time to view them from frame one to the last. There's been some moments great, bad and just plain lame.

13 Observations about
Friday the 13th

Friday the 13th

Betsy Palmer is bat-shit insane as Pamela Vorhees!
Bad: Marcie's final wash up - she gives up before the axe falls.
Lame: Crazy Ralph comes to Crystal Lake to forewarn the counselors. How? Jumping out of the pantry to scream doom to a solitary Alice. Crazy is as crazy does.

Friday the 13th Part 2

Good: We simultaneously learn Jason doesn't kill dogs, but he really shouldn't leave home without his mask.
Bad: A one-eyed flour sack? For real!
Lame: Despite all the murders on Crystal Lake, Jason's shanty-shack is never discovered but is found by three random people in the course of this one day!

Friday the 13th Part III

Good: The origination of the famously recognizable hockey mask.
Bad: Any non-murderous, gimmicky 3-D moment (and most murderous ones too). Juggling apples and dangling yo-yo's may have been 3-D theater worthy in '82 but it doesn't fly now.
Lame: Plot is a Pamela-Jason vice versa redux of the original.

Friday the 13th:
The Final Chapter

Good: Corey Feldman goes bat-shit insane as Tommy Jarvis!
Bad: Pronounced and presumed dead for an insanely long period of time only to wake and kill again.
Lame: The Final Chapter is named The Final Chapter.

Those of you who made it through elementary school having not drowned in a lake during summer camp may realize two things; this is only twelve observations about only four of the films.

13) The original series, I-IV even including the painful Part III, has a quality that wasn't quite ever matched once Jason officially went to his grave. Sure Jason Lives, Jason X and Freddy Vs. Jason have great camp value, but once they sort of "closed the book" on Jason it was never quite recaptured.

I hope you enjoyed the Week of Reel WHorror!


Large Association of Movie Blogs

Trailer Trash: The October 31st Quickie

Finally! The last October quickie is here. Don't misunderstand, a quickie is never a bad thing but I do miss the hard-pounding trailer onslaught the Gang Bang provides.

Unlike the last few weeks, the 31st promises only four new releases with only two slated to reach all the masses. Let's peek at what's up for viewing.

The Haunting of Molly Hartley The trailer's end echoes the names Chace Crawford and Haley Bennett, like that will draw people into seats. It looks about as scary as coming home to find a nearly nude Asian boy kneeling in your living room with his mouth agape. Like the latter is more of a NAMBLA wet dream, Molly Hartley is more of a High School Musical 4: Hell High than a true tale of terror. I'll take a U(nsatisfactory) in this course.

Verdict: Exercise the Right To Cinematic Celibacy.

Zack and Miri Make a Porno With only a few days before the election, I whole-heartedly endorse Zack and Miri for your weekend movie selection. I'm worried the comic stylings of the Apatow crew involved may not mesh so well with the View Askew fellas. But seriously, a raunchy Kevin Smith script starring the wise-ass Seth Rogen and the Banks-able Elizabeth Banks alongside porn stars like Traci Lords? Make Zack and Miri the choice to sate your inner whore!

Moist With Antici...Pation!

Splinter (limited) It was the perfect weekend until they're kidnapped, trapped and that's not the worst of it; The Porcupine Monster Attacks! No, really. This trailer is ninety one-second sequences fluttering before you. Amid the flicker of panic, blood and splinters my best guess is the couple and their captors are ravaged by a prickly mutated rodent. I may be wrong about the monster, but the sick vibe makes viewing a possibility.

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

The Other End of the Line (limited) Priya, Indian call center employee, takes a chance on love by flying to San Francisco to meet her repeat customer Granger. Sound like something you want to see? Go view the trailer and save your cash. Seriously, it's the entire story with no surprise unturned in under two minutes! If starved for cross-cultural Indian romance, rent Mississippi Masala or Outsourced instead of suffering through this.

Verdict: Exercise the Right To Cinematic Celibacy.

Looks like this weekend's choice is clear; watch Zack and Miri or catch up on the releases of the last few weeks. I'll be doing both.

Large Association of Movie Blogs

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Week of Reel WHorror!: Day 4

Welcome to Day 4 of the
Week of Reel WHorror!

If you've been following my Week of Reel WHorror! closely you know that what follows has nothing to do with the hunky Christian Bale or his role as Patrick Bateman in the glorious American Psycho.

I've decided to kill two birds with one stone on Day 4. Because Day 3 was a barrage of one horror review after another, today will be a barrage of images. I promised months back to post my photos from my vacation to the San Diego Comic Con. I'm making good on that promise today. The various toys, celebrities and costumed attendees should give you more than a few ideas for the perfect, last-minute Halloween costume!

Celebrities: If you know what's good for you, follow the Mistress of the Dark to see all the great celebrities I met during the Con.

Toys: Where do they get those wonderful toys? After all, the Con isn't just about all the cool and crazy folks you meet.

Costumes: If you think this bloody Wolverine looks sweet as hell, you haven't seen nothing yet. Every kind of costume, from movies to TV to games and more, was on display by the attendees.

Celebrities, Part II: Alas, not every wish can come true. These are my near brushes with celebrities. If only I had been a little earlier or a little closer...

Large Association of Movie Blogs

LAMB MOTM: Revolver


Original Release: 12.07.07
Rated R
1 hour, 55 minutes

Rating: See below

Jake Green (Jason Statham, Transporter) has been released from prison after seven years. He wants to even the score against gangster casino owner Dorothy Macha (Ray Liotta, Slow Burn) for sending him up, but waits. Two years later, a now wealthy Jake embarrasses Macha in a game of chance, learns a fatal disease will kill him in three days and meets Zach (Vincent Pastore, Serving Sara)and Avi (Andre Benjamin, Be Cool). The two men promise to eliminate the threat of death from disease and Macha if he'll give them all his money and do everything they say for three days. Let the games begin.

I'm a fan of writer-director Guy Ritchie's Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels and Snatch. I figured Revolver couldn't be as bad as the murmurings on the web said. Turns out, the film is all murmuring. Statham's greasy mop wig and scruffy handlebar mustache must have hindered his speech because I barely understood a word he said. Ten minutes in, I turned on subtitles to decipher the gravelly tenor of his voice. I couldn't imagine listening to this in theaters. The mumbling wouldn't have been so distracting except Revolver relies heavily on Statham to explain the plot. His words get clearer, but only as the story becomes more muddled.

I'm not knocking Statham, Jake Green is more nuanced than many of his recent characters and he handles the depth admirably. Liotta, prone to hamming it up, is excellent as the high-strung, hot-headed gangster as well.

Twenty or so minutes into Revolver, I got the impression Ritchie was trying to attain a new level in his film making. Liotta standing alone in a grandiose hall, or standing naked in a blue-hued tanning room seemingly begged for respect of its brilliant vision. Experimentation with animation looked cool but seemed more random than purposeful. Ritchie overshoots his lofty aspirations with an abuse of style over substance.

Dirty Undies
The coolest and most outrageous character is Macha's hitman Sorter (Mark Strong, Stardust). He has a knack for killing folks with one shot, no matter how insane that shot may be. Gunblasting battles are the bulk of the film's violent moments. The strongest scene is a pinned down, blood-splattered Liotta watching a nearly dead assassin finish her job. Liotta repeatedly steals the show with either his violence, nudity or foul mouth.

The Money Shot
is a film that had it's moments. When it ended, I felt there was a greater meaning I may have missed. Then again, watching it again to glean that meaning wasn't worth the effort. Simply put, the subject matter far outreached the abilities of the storyteller. My mildly positive opinion of Revolver continues its downward spiral.

As for its designation in the annals of the LAMB MOTM; Reel Whore gives Revolver LAMB Loathe. Check out who else feels the way I do.

Large Association of Movie Blogs



I'm Mutha-Fuckin' Nia Long!!!
I'm 38 years old today!

If you don't get it:

Happy Birthday Nia!

But I digress. We now return to our regularly scheduled posting.

Large Association of Movie Blogs

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Repeat Bidness: Land of the Dead

* This post is part of the Week of Reel WHorror! *

Original Release: 06.24.05
DVD Release: 10.18.05

Rated R; (DVD: UR)
1 hour, 33 minutes;
(UR: 1 hour, 37 minutes)

Full Price ($$$$) < > Matinee ($$)

"Dead don’t get no respect!"

We've watched zombies evolve from the shambling, grunting corpses of 1968's Night of the Living Dead to those who spew blood a dozen feet and give chase like they’re Usain Bolt a la 28 Days Later. How can the king of the undead genre hope to compete? Simple; writer-director George A. Romero has the zombies who awoke in the night, ravaged in the dawn, and overran in the day now exert their will over the land.

Humans have taken up refuge on an island city where a societal class system is still in effect. The poor masses huddle beneath the Utopian skyscraper of the rich known as Fiddler’s Green. Fiddler’s Green is run by Kaufman (Dennis Hopper, Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2) who uses money and influence to command an army and a team of scavengers. Riley (Simon Baker,
Ring Two) leads the lowly scavengers alongside Cholo, played by everyone’s favorite typecast Latino, John Leguizamo (Spawn). The duo, with scavenger crew in tow, lead a foraging run to a neighboring zombie-infested city where the zombies’ have attained the ability to communicate and react. Shortly following, all Hell breaks loose as the zombies unite to swarm the human outpost.

While the evolution of zombies into thinking, rationalizing creatures is contrary to their very nature, you have to admit that it makes for a cool film concept. Big Daddy zombie uses his jerky movements and disgruntled moans to fuse his rotting brethren into a menacing, unstoppable force. Riley and Cholo are the stereotypical heroes, the Cain and Able if you will, of the scavengers. Riley is a hard-working, honest, and caring leader who just wants to retire far away from the dilapidated existence humans know. Cholo is a self-centered hustler looking to buy his way into Kaufman's high society Kaufman.

As with previous Romero flicks, the humans’ superficial aspirations blind them to the more immediate threat of being devoured by shuffling nimrods, so just imagine the panic and carnage when those nimrods start wielding knives, guns, and jackhammers! Post-apocalyptic vehicles, fireworks, and massive explosions fill the voids between the shallow conflicts emerging among the city’s denizens.

The zombie make-up and special effects are friggin’ awesome. My favorite was the perpetual pearly whites of Number 9. Keep a close eye out for zombies that have made appearances in previous Dead films; in particular the infamous Bub from Day of the Dead and the Seersucker Zombie from the original Night of the Living Dead. I’m certain there had to be more cameos, but with so many zombies in Hollywood, it’s hard to remember all their faces.

Dirty Undies
Ahh, the refreshing aftertaste of an R-rated film! Romero dishes up a sensory overload of violence, cursing and racial slurs! The 65-yr-old even flashes us a nice pair of chesticles; after all this is a man who made his bread and butter in the heyday of the 70’s and 80’s.
Watching these shambling, festering corpses take up arms, and literally, arms to fight against the infringing humans is intense. The prolonged sequences of gore and destruction as the undead turn humans into wishbones; tearing hunks from throats, snacking on sausagesque intestines and wrestling over scraps of actual finger foods will surely sate even the sickest of appetites.

The Money Shot
Not only does Romero improve upon his zombies, but also his story's undertones. You’ll leave the theater ruminating whether the humans were really the victims. Preponderances aside, Land of the Dead is ideal brain candy for the mindless theater masses.

Large Association of Movie Blogs

Repeat Bidness: Red Eye

* This post is part of the Week of Reel WHorror! *

Original Release: 08.19.05
DVD Release: 01.10.06

Rated PG-13
1 hour, 25 minutes

Full Price ($$$$) <
> Matinee ($$$)

Veteran horror director Wes Craven (Scream) proves that a successful thriller can be accomplished given the PG-13 restriction, though most contemporary horror flicks have proven to the contrary. The premise of this tense tale is that hotel concierge Lisa Reisert (Rachel McAdams, Wedding Crashers), is returning to Miami on the red eye flight after attending her grandmother’s funeral in Texas. While suffering through security and weather delays, she meets fellow passenger Jackson Rippner (Cillian Murphy, 28 Days Later), whom she hesitantly befriends. Once aboard the plane, Lisa finds the odds in her favor as the handsome Jackson is seated by her side. Her luck abruptly ends as the young businessman's disturbing agenda puts several lives, including hers, in immediate jeopardy. At 30,000 feet there’s nowhere to run and escape may be too late by the time the plane lands.

Wes Craven ties this thrilling saga to the wings of air travel in current day America. Besides dealing with the death of her grandmother, a demanding job and a doting father, Lisa has the added stress of shoving elbows with disgruntled passengers. The detailed, hectic life scripted for Lisa is well delivered by McAdams’s performance. Her expressive features and casual presence spark an instant closeness with the audience. Without such an emotional connection, would have become another pointless shock-fest. Accenting her luminous performance is the equally adept Murphy. Thanks to his charming good looks, Lisa overlooks his somewhat foreboding remarks in the hope they make a love connection. Murphy expresses a duality with Jackson that creates an unnerving tone for the film. The tête-à-tête with McAdams and Murphy is the focal point, and thankfully their excellent acting talents help maintain the necessary intensity.

Red Eye does run a bit short, but it helps that the thriller moves fast and that the premise is simple to follow. Having our protagonist trapped in an enclosed space at the mercy of a threatening villain keeps the audience guessing what can be done next and who will be left standing once the dust clears. The visual experience assists the story as well, many times giving the vantage of a fellow passenger or supporting character and never the omniscient presence that can many times spoil an effective thriller.

Dirty Undies
Wes Craven rounds out the cast with one of my favorite filler actors, Brian Cox (The Ring), who sports some very Craven-esque make up during his few minutes of screen time. While the scripting keeps you riveted to the story, the two main actors’ attractive, disarming features will keep your eyes glued to the screens. Since this is ultimately a PG-13 thriller, there is no skin to speak of though we do get a panty shot from McAdams’s stunt double. I know, not quite what you're hoping, but at least her double gets lots of work with the abundance of spine-tingling chases and altercations. The death toll isn’t inordinately high, but Craven saves up the mayhem for a handful of satisfyingly brutal scenes.

The Money Shot
Thanks to some clever casting, Wes Craven can rise from the ashes of the accursed Cursed with his head held high. This tale of terror is infused with a hearty dose of tension that will ripple through the viewer. Without a doubt, Red Eye proves the case for quality over quantity.

Large Association of Movie Blogs

Repeat Bidness: Vacancy

*This post is part of the Week of Reel WHorror!*

Original Release: 04.20.07
DVD Release: 08.14.07
Rated R
1 hour, 25 minutes

Full Price ($$$$) < > Matinee ($$$)

"Vacancy Packs Houses."

Amy (Kate Beckinsale, Underworld) and David Fox (Luke Wilson, Scream 2), are a married couple within weeks of their divorce. Returning from a party Amy sleeps while David avoids interstate gridlock by taking the remote mountainous back roads; getting lost and stranded in the middle of the night (never a good thing). Backtracking to a nearby motel, the couple is left with no option but to stay the night and wait for the garage to open in the morning. Attempting to settle in Room 4, strange noises and bad decor force them to pop in the complimentary videos. Realizing the heinous acts recorded on the tape were taken at the motel, the pair’s differences become inconsequential when weighed against their desire to survive the night.

The trailers for Vacancy left me less than excited at venturing to see this. However, within a few moments it becomes clear that Wilson and Beckinsale are working diligently to save this potentially dicey film. Wilson employs his dry sarcastic wit, making the bitter relationship between the unhappy couple completely believable. Beckinsale brings a pissiness and irritation to Amy’s tone and mannerisms that will send an “ice-cold bitch” shiver down your spine. But Wilson and Beckinsale evolve Amy and David into terrified, God-fearing people when the ear-piercing screams and dull thud of knife in flesh blare from the motel’s ancient TV.

The emotional duress endured by the characters is only one of the driving forces. Director Nimród Antal develops an atmosphere of suspense and intensity to keep audience hearts racing (and, if like the lady a few seats over, jumping from your seat). With such a minuscule cast, the terror and panic generated by Vacancy is surprisingly immense. Unfortunately the film is not an out-of-the-park home run; the director, the producers or the story itself loses its cojones and the ending falls flat. Thankfully, the thrills and chills have more than exceeded the price of admission.

Dirty Undies

The crack of bone, shrill screams and desperate final pleas from blood stained faces will resonate in your mind even though they are the briefest of moments within the film. The struggle of their lives, for their lives, elevates the seemingly weak Amy and David into determined, resentful powerhouses, which make for a hell of a series of tense, violent encounters.

The Money Shot

It just goes to show that you cannot always judge a book by its cover, or in this case, a movie by its trailer. What looked to be a potentially painful and arduous installment in the seemingly endless stream of crap horror is actually one of the better horror flicks. Vacancy is an unnerving film (minor plotholes withstanding), and I don’t think theaters will leave the light on for the easily frightened.

Large Association of Movie Blogs

Week of Reel WHorror!: Day 3

Welcome to Day 3 of the
Week of Reel WHorror!

The above image is a still from Descent. It's a shame today's installment has nothing to do with this totally awesome horror movie or the totally hot Natalie Mendoza.

After Day 2 of the Week of Reel WHorror, I was more than a bit disturbed to find so few horror films showcased in my year-plus worth of posts. To remedy this situation, I searched my pre-website digital cemetery for reviews of worthy horror films that stargazers may have overlooked upon their initial release.

Though I dug up more than fifty reviews, I whittled my selection to three in honor of Day 3, but also because fifty posts in one day would be a bitch to read! These reviews will be posted under my Repeat Bidness title throughout today.

Large Association of Movie Blogs

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Week of Reel WHorror!: Day 2

Welcome to Day 2 of the
Week of Reel WHorror!

Sorry, this post has nothing to do with Natasha Henstridge or the movie Species, I just like both of them a lot and wanted to use that freaky yet hot image!

You may have missed the subtle introduction to the Week of Reel WHorror; it was buried in this week's Monday Mood Music. Today's post is a walk down memory lane at the Reel Whore. I watch a lot of horror flicks, but surprisingly, I have not posted as many as I have thought. Since everyone is hungering for some horror and gore this time of year, I have added the Reel WHorror label to any old post that qualifies as disturbing fare.

Some links are horror, others thriller, and a few are just gory goodness. I even tossed in a couple of posts for the Siren of the LAMBs battle royale featuring my Baby Firefly fan fiction. If you missed out on it, read it...if you dare!

Stay tuned, Day 3 only gets bigger and better!

Large Association of Movie Blogs

Nick & Norah: Worth the Underwire

Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist
Release: 10.03.08
Rated PG-13
1 hour, 30 minutes

Full-Price ($$$$) <
> Matinee ($$$)

Nick (Michael Cera, Juno) sits at home pining over Tris (Alexa Dziena, Havoc), the girl who dumped him on his B-day. His buddies show up to drag him from his emo-cocoon to play bass and operate the drums at their band, The Jerk Offs, latest gig. Nick hops into his Yugo and sputters into the Big Apple. In Engelwood, Norah (Kat Dennings, The House Bunny) and Caroline (Ari Graynor, Mystic River) head into the city for a night of fun and a chance to find the elusive indie band Where's Fluffy?. Norah, rattled by Tris's attitude at The Jerk Offs gig, pretends Nick is her new boyfriend. Her ruse is exploited by Nick's mates asking Norah to give Nick a chance at love while they babysit Caroline.

Despite the weird title, I was stoked to see N&N because of my favoritest two youngbloods. The perpetual high schooler, Cera plays Nick differently from that of his Juno and Superbad roles, though he does slip into that nervous, jittery vibe now and then. Dennings' Norah is a straight arrow and mother hen to her friend Caroline. Surprisingly, you'll find yourself remembering Caroline's drunken antics as much as the N&N romance. Graynor is given a Banks-able role which she exploits (minor but memorable enough to launch a star; a la Elizabeth Banks in Forty Year-Old Virgin).

Dirty Undies
Cera may be a total mo, but Dennings is looking voluptuous from head to toe. She has the goods to give ScaJo a run for her money. Nick's buddies' new friend Lethario (Jonathan B. Wright) has a hunky Josh Hartnett vibe going. I won't be the only person expecting to see more from him.

Some might say that N&N is "full of the gays" so if you've got a complex maybe you should steer clear. Nick's gay bandmates and the gay clubs visited are just a part of the night. This casual inclusion is refreshing in contrast to the usual movies loaded with homophobic or homosexual hi jinks. The vulgar moments lie instead in hetero sex talk, slutty dancing and underage drinking.

The Money Shot
The strength of N&N is the authentic awkwardness of their young love. Neither is sure what to say and when they do speak it's goofy or sounds bitter. Just as Norah warms to Nick he rolls out the Tris-talk to kill the mood. Enter Tris, the completely selfish skank, pouncing on Nick before he finds happiness outside of her clutches. Likewise Norah's ex Tal, (Jay Baruchel, Knocked Up) unleashes the Jew fire just as Nick thinks he's in the zone. The night is full of ups and downs, cock-blocking ex-lovers, a frenetic Caroline on the lam, and mistakes and mercies that remind us the fun is not missing the moment while trying to capture it.

Large Association of Movie Blogs

Monday, October 27, 2008

MMM: A Graveyard Smash!

Monday already, huh? More importantly, Halloween is just five days away! I'd like to use my Monday Mood Music platform to launch my own mini post-a-thon in celebration of the season. Welcome to the first post in the Week of Reel WHorror!

This week's music selection satisfies both the groove you need to start the week off right but also the vibe necessary to ring in the witching hour.

The video is more a short film than a collage of pretty images set to music. It debuted nearly twenty-five years and cost around a half-million dollars; an unheard of amount at that time for a music video.

Zombies with far better coordination than those in Romero films get down in the dead of night, Vincent Price recites a foreboding prelude to the horrors to come, and director John Landis transforms the King of Pop into a cat-like monster and a zombie with a penchant for red leather. Michael Jackson's Thriller is a classic. You'll no doubt hear it a lot this week, but enjoy the full length video here.

The scariest part of Thriller is Ola Ray's skin-tight blue denim cheetah print capri's and matching denim jacket. **shudder**

Large Association of Movie Blogs

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Trailer Trash: The October 24th Quickie

It's the end of yet another week in October meaning it's time to run through the openers coming our way. I can hardly believe it, but IMDB lists nine F'n movies releasing this week. Granted, many of the films are limited, but that's a whole lotta choices. Let's see how many I can squeeze into this quickie.

High School Musical 3: Senior Year Better known as HSM3. I got to be honest here; never seen the first two so why would I want to start now? The trailer does make me want to re-watch Not Another Teen Movie for the 100th time. On another note, when will this trend of turning television fodder (Hannah Montana, Sex and the City, Star Wars: Clone Wars and now this) into ticketed fare end?

Verdict: Exercise the Right To Cinematic Celibacy.

Changeling (limited) Being a huge Clint Eastwood fan, I may be biased when I say this looks phenomenal. It's intense and Jolie looks to be aiming her sights for another Oscar. Playing opposite her is one of my faves, Jeffrey Donovan of Burn Notice fame. Clint has the habit of making films long, but every moment will surely have its purpose.

Moist With Antici...Pation!

Pride and Glory Good cop. Dirty Cop. Brothers at odds. I've been sold this tale before though the acting should be on point. Colin Farrell and Edward Norton vie to be the toughest nut to crack while Jon is reminds us Angelina isn't the only Voight with acting gravitas. But my real excitement is I saw Rick "Spanish" Gonzales being tossed about in one scene. If you could measure the worth of a movie with Spanish's appearance, well...

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

Passengers This flick is Anne Hathaway's horror film debut, unless you count Princess Diaries. I hadn't seen anything about this until I perused the IMDB list. It looks more thrilling than horrific but Patrick Wilson does add a nice creepiness factor despite being so hunky. I'm thinking this will be a little too soft to sate my horror hunger and too convoluted to meet my thriller needs.

Verdict: Exercise the Right To Cinematic Celibacy.

Saw V Saw I, II and III were great. I proclaimed it to be one of the better horror series to be developed in the new millennium. Then came Saw IV and shattered my love affair. I swore off the series after seeing that mess. Now here comes #5. I want to stay away. The trailer doesn't pique my interest, aside from Meagan Good's appearance. Then again, I've seen the first four so why stop now? Help me, please.

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

Synecdoche, New York (limited) Bizarre. That's the first word that comes to my mind but when isn't a great Charlie Kaufman story labeled that way? Hoffman, through all his various layers of make-up, is drawing me in with his performance. There is also the great supporting cast, including Catherine Keener and Hope Davis, to consider. If, and when, it comes to my local arthouse theater, I'll give this a chance.

Moist With Antici...Pation!

I know there are more films to go, but damn if nine isn't just too many to cover for a quickie! The final three, I've Loved You So Long, Let the Right One In, and Fears of the Dark may be some of the best films releasing this week for all I know, but given their very limited release status it's safe to say they won't make it my way until I make it a Netflix night.

Large Association of Movie Blogs

Monday, October 20, 2008

MMM: 1-2-3-Redlight!

Stargazers! Welcome to another week in this crazy thing we call life. If you noticed, my Monday Mood Music title has undergone a few changes. I ditched the hella lame date stamp, abbreviated the title (MMM) and added a topic subtitle. I'm just trying to spruce things up a bit.

I have a long list of musical selections for the coming weeks, but I decided to start with my latest, greatest jam. I can't help but groove when this tune hits the airwaves. It's a collabo between two of my favorite artists, John Legend and André 3000 of Outkast; its perfect to get the blood pumping when suffering from a case of the Mondays.

"Even Stevie Wonder got down sometimes."

If he can, so can you.
Have a great week.

Large Association of Movie Blogs

Friday, October 17, 2008

Not Watching Sex Drive is How People Get Gay

Sex Drive

Release: 10.17.2008
Rated R
1 hour, 49 minutes

Matinee ($$$)

Let me preface by saying I saw Sex Drive way back in August. I'm not sure if it they took it back to the editing room prior to release but let's assume not.

Chicago high-schooler Ian (Josh Zuckerman, Feast) is eighteen and still a virgin unlike his best bud Lance (Clark Duke, Clark and Michael). Though scruffy with a throwback fashion sense, ladies love cool Lance. Felicia (Amanda Crew, She's the Man) is Ian's BFF though he wished it weren't so since he's been feenin' for her since pre-school. To get over her, Lance convinces Ian that his IM buddy Ms. Tasty really is a hot blonde in Knoxville and not some dirty old man. Ian determined to release the virginity pressure, steals the '69 GTO Judge from his older brother Rex (James Marsden, 27 Dresses) to rendezvous with Ms. Tasty. If you think the trip is uneventful with mission accomplished, you've obviously never seen this well-worn premise before.

Zuckerman does a respectable job in the loser role patented by Jason Biggs, Breckin Meyer and the like. His funny scenes rely on bathroom humor - masturbation, condoms and penises mostly, some scenes closely mimicking other sex romp films. Crew is around mainly to be cute and cock block Ian when necessary. Of the trio, Duke commands the funniest lines thanks to his superb delivery.

The hilarity of the film lies with the supporting characters. James Marsden is over-the-top with his homophobia and car obsession. Watching his tantrums is a hilarious departure from his typical good guy roles. Conversely, Seth Green (Austin Powers) uses his perfected sarcasm and dry wit to portray the cool Amish dude Ezekiel. I laughed hardest when Green was in the scene. Sex Drive has a couple more cameos but one's like David Koechner (Get Smart) would've been best omitted.

In fact, it's the nearly two hour runtime that hurts Sex Drive most. At least half the bathroom humor and several peripheral characters, Ian's to-be stepmom and his younger brother among others, could have been cut to trim time and make the jokes pop. Movies like this should never extend too far beyond ninety minutes if they want to be awesome.

Dirty Undies
You expect brief nudity and lots of sex talk in a film called Sex Drive, though more would've been better. There's hot Amish chicks and a hunky Marsden to ogle at least. The bulk of its vulgarity lies in weak bathroom and penis humor. I will give director Sean Anders credit for one excellently executed genitals scene, you'll know it when you see it. The ending devolves into some comedic violence but it's nothing if you've made it through all the cock jokes.

The Money Shot
Sex Drive will not meet any lofty expectations. I'm still bothered by why Rex was living at home despite his age. My expectations ran low but even plot points like that bugged me. I kid, of course. Still, Sex Drive delivers far more laughs than groans. This isn't the kind of movie you question, you just hop in the passenger's seat and enjoy the ride.

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Trailer Trash: The October 17th Quickie

Welcome to the second week of my October Trailer Trash coverage. I'm not sure if the format is as nifty as I'd like but I've had no complaints thus far.

I never made it out to theaters this past week. This self-inflicted house arrest must end soon! According to IMDB, the October 17th releases may offer the incentive I need as the number of interesting films in theaters keeps rising.

W I don't know what to think about this film. I saw the first trailer and wasn't too impressed. Since, the countless TV spots sell it as bitingly funny. Still, I've lived the W nightmare the last eight years and can't see paying to relive any fraction of it, or his life prior. On the other hand, Josh Brolin is a damn convincing Bush and would make it worth the price of admission.

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

Max Payne I've been excited to see this since before Mark Wahlberg could talk to animals. I need something to wash away the foul taste The Happening left. I'm starving for a good actioner and crossing my fingers this will fit the bill. If not, at least I can stare at Mila Kunis and Olgo Kurylenko, although why Kurylenko wears the same red number from Hitman is a little curious.

Moist With Antici...Pation!

Sex Drive Actually, I saw this film two months ago, long before any trailers aired. Assuming I've never seen it, this road trip trailer has three things going for it; Seth Green as an Amish dude, James Marsden as a dick and Clark Duke just being funny. Also, MGMT's cool song Time to Pretend prominently hypes the film. Wait, that's four things isn't it? Expect a proper review later today.

Moist With Antici...Pation!

The Secret Life of Bees Based on the best-selling novel with Love & Basketball's Gina Prince-Bythewood helming you'd think it'd be a good flick. No disrespect to the talent of Latifah, Hudson and Keyes but this isn't a musical. Just saying Nia Long, Meagan Good, Gabrielle Union, etc would have liked an audition. Having Fanning in the Haley Joel fugly teen years doesn't help either. At any rate, wifey will be dragging me to see this, despite my minor protests.

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

What Just Happened (limited) The official trailer has this looking snappy and fun. Then again, I am a sucker for Bruce Willis and watching him play himself with a belly and bushy beard is an almost sell. But I realize in all the spots, I've seen no clue as to what's happening - never a good sign. Since word on the street says its bleh, even Bruce Willis won't get me in the seat opening weekend.

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

Morning Light (limited) This is the amazing true story of fifteen teens chosen to participate in a 2300-mile ocean race despite having no sailing experience. Um yeah, I don't watch reality shows on television so I'll be damned if I pay money to watch one in theaters. I thought Disney had an entire channel they could dump garbage like this?

Exercise the Right To Cinematic Celibacy.

That's a wrap. Hopefully, I'll make it to the theaters this weekend so I can return to writing reviews next week. Until then...

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