Posts Tagged ‘movie review’

Star Wars: The Clone Wars (2008) review

August 26, 2008

I kind of want to say George Lucas raped my childhood with his CGI animated version of The Clone Wars, but he didn’t. He just… disappointed my childhood, like he couldn’t even properly brutalize my good memories of Star Wars. It’s a little like expecting to be molested by your drunken stepfather, but then realizing he likes your brother better. You’re kind of glad you didn’t get what you thought you were going to get, but you still feel a little rejected and confused.

Of course, I’ll probably still watch the TV series, because I’m still hopelessly a Star Wars fan, but the love in my heart for Luke and Leia and Chewie isn’t what it once was.

Death Race (2008) Review

August 24, 2008

I have a problem with any movie based heavily on cars. They always affect me a bit too much, and usually not for the best. Here’s an example:

After I saw Grindhouse, I sped all the way home. Not just like a little speeding, I mean a lot speeding. I had the highway to myself, so I just put the hammer down. Not all the way, but farther than I usually speed. After watching Paul W.S. Anderson’s remake of the 1975 cult classic Death Race 2000, I wanted to strap some .50 caliber machine guns onto the roof of my 1992 Buick four-door and drop a chunk of 6-inch-thick steel armor plating onto the jerk who tailgated me all the way home.

If you’re ready to go out and run down old ladies for extra points, read my Death Race review here. Actually, they took out the points system in this one, which is a shame. I loved the scene below.

Which only goes to show that even the fearsome Frankenstein has a 100% red-blooded American sense of humor!

Step Brothers (2008) Review

July 29, 2008

Will Ferrell is back, and he’s teaming with Anchorman director Adam McKay and scene-stealing legitimate actor turned professional dufus John C. Reilly in the new lowbrow comedy Step Brothers! You see, it’s funny because they’re both middle aged and they still live with their parents! Hahaha, they’re losers! There’s farting and grown men in their underwear and emotionally-stunted man-children screaming, preening, and chewing the scenary! Ahahaa, it’s mad l0lz, yo!

Or is it? Am I being sarcastic? Yes. Either way, to see just how this movie went wrong, and what the one good thing about it was aside from an uncharacteristic divergence from the normal plot progression of these sorts of movies, click here for lots of Den of Geek goodness and a review from me. And to think, I loved Anchorman in spite of its flaws.

Feel free to leave comments and register; if I remember right, DoG is giving away an iPhone.

The X-Files: I Want to Believe (2008) Review

July 26, 2008

Jump THIS shark, fanboy!

Jump THIS shark, fanboy!

I love The X-Files. From the first season until I went off to college, I watched the show religiously, no matter what time it was screened or what day of the week it was shown on. I saw the first movie on opening day; I have a couple of X-Files tee shirts somewhere in my closet, and even have the soundtrack album of music inspired by the show. I’m a fan, and as a fan I want the movie to be as successful as possible because I think the show ended too early thanks to David Duchovny thinking he could be a movie star.

The film opens with Mulder (Duchovny) standing outside Joliet State Correctional Institute with a suitcase in hand. Pulling up in an old police car bought at auction is Scully (Gillian Anderson). After a quick trip to James Brown’s church in Chicago and a long talk with Cab Calloway, the two decide to get the band back together and save the orphanage in which they grew up.

Oh wait, that’s the plot of The Blues Brothers. Sorry.

Here’s the plot of The X-Files: I Want to Believe, as well as a review.

Image found: here.

The Dark Knight (2008) Review

July 19, 2008

The Dark Knight is quite possibly the most hyped film of the year, thanks to the death of Heath Ledger. As it turns out, the second of Christopher Nolan’s Batman films might also be the best film of the year as well. Check out my comprehensive review at Den of Geek.

Honestly, this movie was so good writing the review was practically impossible. It’s so much easier to shred a movie for being bad, but when a movie is so great I have absolutely nothing to complain about? There’s nothing harder than that. I even tried to think of one thing to bitch about, but I had nothing! This might be the best comic book movie of all time. (Yes, better than X-Men 2, Spider-Man 2, and even Iron Man.)

Hellboy II: The Golden Army Review

July 15, 2008
Hellboy says click the links... or else

Hellboy says click the links... or else

If you’re interested in my thoughts on Hellboy, Guillermo Del Toro’s genius with visuals, the funniest movie singalong in some time, and of course my man-crush on the awesome Ron Perlman, click here and read my Den of Geek review of Hellboy II: The Golden Army. Featuring absolutely gorgeous cinematography and special effects (practical effects, not just CGI), Hellboy II could show George Lucas how to do CGI without overdoing CGI.

If that’s not enough for you (and I know it’s not, because you’re all insatiable for the stuff I love), then click further into the website and check out DoG’s exclusive interview with Hellboy II director Guillermo Del Toro as he chats all things Hellboy, The Hobbit, and how he’s become the guardian angel of first-time directors after his horrible experience working on Mimic.

Ron’s Big Score

January 4, 2008

Bender’s back, baby! And I wrote up a review of the DVD/movie! WHOOHOO! Swag for everyone! And by swag, I mean boring old words!

EDIT: Man, Adult Swim really blows without Futurama. I mean, I love Shin Chan and all, but… too much Family Guy.

Shaft (1971) Film Review 5/5

February 9, 2006

That Shaft (Richard Roundtree) truly is one bad mother… well, I’d best shut my mouth, even though I’m only talkin’ ‘bout Shaft. Can you dig it?

Even if you’re white, “Shaft” is one of the blaxploitation movies that can really reach across all colors and barriers, simply because Shaft is such a cool sonofabitch. Everyone likes him. Black Panthers? Shaft’s friends. Blind people? Shaft’s friends. Gay bartenders? Shaft’s friends. Hippies? Shaft’s friends. Jews? Shaft’s friends. Old Italian cops? Also Shaft’s friends. Shaft truly is one of the people in this world who reaches out across all races, creeds, philosophies, and barriers simply through the power of his awesome fashion sense (I want that black leather coat he’s got) and incredible coolness.

Now, Ron, you mentioned all sorts of people, but not women. Is Shaft a friend to the ladies? Well, that depends. Do you mean ‘friend’ as in treats women well, or do you mean ‘friend’ as in ‘has a strong pimp hand and puts the bitches in their place, his bed’? If you said the second one, then Shaft truly is a friend to everyone. Shaft has a hot black girlfriend, and he fucks a hot white woman. Once he’s done fucking the white bitch, he does what every man dreams of; he tells her to get the hell out of his apartment and not to let the door hit her in the ass on the way out! When his girlfriend says that she loves him, he says ‘Yeah, I know. Take it easy.’

Can you see why Shaft is everyone’s hero (except feminists, who don’t count as people)? Brother has a way with the bitches that most men could not get away with today, AND he’s down with O.P.P. Yeah, you know him.

Shaft’s a cool character, to be sure, but does the movie do him justice? Well, the first key to a successful blaxploitation flick is to be cool, and “Shaft” the movie is very cool. It’s probably aged the best out of all the 70’s flicks I’ve seen in my many years of watching late-night TV. A lot of films from the period come off as cheesy, but “Shaft” takes itself seriously, and no amount of 70’s lingo can detract from a flick this gritty and exciting. If anything, it makes the movie better.

Bumpy Jonas (Moses Gunn)’s daughter Marcy (Sherri Brewster) is kidnapped, but nobody knows who did it. Bumpy, the HNIC of Harlem’s whores, drugs, and numbers racket, has a lot of enemies. On one hand, the Black Panthers lead by Ben Buford (Christopher St. John) hate him for the way he’s poisoning their community. On the other hand, the Mafia want Harlem, because they know that black people love to do drugs, have sex with whores, and gamble illegally. On a third hand, you’ve got the cops, lead by Det. Vic Androzzi (Charles Cioffi), who want this shit stopped before it becomes an all-out war in the streets.

In the middle of all this? Shaft, the only thread these four groups have in common. How’s he gonna get out of this and still manage to save his own ass?

Driven by Richard Roundtree’s coolness and a spectacular movie score from Isaac Hayes, the likes of which no one could do today, “Shaft” excels not just as the biggest and arguably best serious blaxploitation flick, but as one of the all-time greatest and most influential films from the early 1970’s. Shaft truly is a cat who won’t cop out when there’s danger all about.

The Gate (1987) Film Review (4/5)

June 20, 2005

As a child of the 80’s, I can’t be helped for the things I’ve seen. Some of you kids, you lucky kids, don’t remember the Bill Cosby sweater, or the super-teased hair, or the neon headbands that some unfortunate characters in this movie wear. You can’t hold it against them, though it dates the whole film. They were probably the coolest cats in the crap-tank for their day. I know one day I’ll look back at my clothes and realize how dumb I looked, too.

This movie takes two of the most common themes in 80’s news hysteria, crams them together, and makes them into one spectacular horror movie that manages to both be legitimately funny and legitimately scary while still maintaining, for all intents and purposes, a solid PG-13 rating (dare I say it, had it been released now it would probably be PG, simply because there’s no tits). That’s right, the plot of this movie revolves around subliminal Satanic messages and album art buried into a metal record from evil, Godless Germany. When the world goes to hell and evil is running amuck, you can always blame ze Germans.

There’s also a geode. An eeeeevil geode that’s full of smoke and that writes things on your Etch-a-Sketch when you crack it open. If you have an evil geode (it’s a rock with crystals inside) like I do, you’ll already know not to read what it writes for you. Nobody told little Glen (Stephen Dorff, 18 years before you knew who the fuck he was).

Glen has a friend named Terry (Louis Tripp, who was never heard from again, mwahahaha!) who is one of those kinda weird kids. Apparently, because his mom died on him a year ago, he’s gotten really into lots of weird black metal bands from Europe, no thanks to his enabler father. Needless to say, this kid puts a lot of faith in his metal bands, so when a guy who sounds like Tim Curry reads an incantation that’s supposed to reawaken the demon king and bring hell on Earth, Terry stops headbanging long enough to read along. Turns out that the conditions are exactly right, and Terry starts the process of bringing hell on Earth. Thanks a lot, you little redheaded fuck.

To make matters worse, Glen’s parents go out of town, leaving him in the care of his big sister Al (Christa Denton) and her friends, the Lee sisters (Kelly Rowan and Jennifer Irwin, AKA Ug and Hideous Lee for those keeping score at home). So when weird shit goes down, Al doesn’t do what most kids would do and call their parents, because she knows if she fucks this up, she’ll never get a chance to throw 80’s parties and perform Wiccan parlor tricks with her weird-looking friends ever again.

Suffice it to say things get much worse before they get any better.

This movie is really one of the classics of the 1980’s, at least in my eyes, and it will probably be one of the horror films I’ll raise my creepy children on, simply because it has all the scary stuff you need at like age 6. The stop motion demons are really a major plus in my book, too, because I’m a fan of doing things the old-school way. The claymation melted phone just makes things even better. Add some spectacularly sloppy gore effects, a few shape-shifting demons, and an inter-wall zombie, and you’ve got yourself one hell of a classic movie.

I’m not doing it justice with this review, I know. I’m one of those people who has trouble expressing how awesome things are without using bullshit clichés like “awesome” and “sex-tacular.” Just give this flick another chance. It was great when you were a kid, and if you’re anything like me (you poor fucking bastard) it’s even better now that you can appreciate it more after having seen a thousand shitty digital effects.

Also, the Crucifyx demon-resurrection song? As soon as I find it, it’s going on the LC Album of Movie Soundtrack Greatness. The pre-rap spoken word breakdown in the middle just cements its place in greatness.

Old school, bitches. Always old school.

Slaughter (1972) Film Review 4/5

June 7, 2005

“Slaughter” is yet another classic blaxploitation picture brought to us by our good friends at American International Pictures. I firmly believe that without these guys, there still wouldn’t be a place for black filmmakers like Spike Lee, the Hughes Brothers, and the Wayans Brothers. But please, don’t hold that against them; they’re really good people who’ve put out some great movies. You can’t blame them on the fools that have followed in their wake. If you want to look at a positive protégé of the blaxploitation movie, look at Mario Van Peebles’ “Baadasssss!” or any Quentin Tarantino picture. Hell, these guys have produced a litany of classics which have made their way onto this website (here are some: “The Abominable Dr. Phibes,” “Dr. Phibes Rises Again,” “Black Mama White Mama,” “Blacula,” “Sisters,” “Coffy,” and “Foxy Brown”).

Done clicking? Good. I got reviewing to get to, and I can’t sit around with my thumb up my ass while you catch up on history, fool. If I don’t get this done, Jim Brown will kick my ass.

That’s right, kids. NFL Hall of Famer, the greatest running back of all time, and ass-kicking nonthespian Jim Brown is the star of this picture, playing the titular character Slaughter! I just can’t say Slaughter!’s name without that exclamation point, because Slaughter! just kicks that much ass in as non-emotive a way possible.

But really, that’s okay. When you’re a former Green Beret avenging the murder of your parents, you’re not expected to do much other than kick a lot of ass, take a lot of names, and be stoic and brooding. Jim Brown does all these things and more. It doesn’t really matter that he can’t act, you can just look at the guy and tell he’s going to kick someone’s ass, because he’s still fresh out of his playing days and probably the most ripped motherfucker on the planet at this time. Seriously.

So, somewhere along the hunt for revenge, Slaughter! gets into trouble with the authorities. Turns out busting into the airport with your car, gunning down some mobsters in cold blood, ruining a US Treasury investigation, and then chasing down an airplane (!!!) in the of the most awesomely lop-sided car vs. plane chases ever isn’t exactly smiled upon by A.W. Price (Cameron Mitchell), your token racist authority figure. Seems he’s got a job for Slaughter! in exchange for dropping the murder rap. And that job is to go after Hoffo (Rip Torn, holy shit!) and his band o’thugs.

But even Jim Brown can’t do it alone. He needs help, and this is where we get our token white sidekick and overall sneakthief Harry (the excellent Don Gordon, with a pretty good role considering he’s not Slaughter!), the token black girl/groupie/pretend reporter/Treasury agent Kim (Madeline Clark, whose character wears a lot of hats in this film), and the token white love interest/Mafia doll/Hoffo birthday present Ann (Stella Stevens, her two best assets constantly on display plot be damned), who actually doesn’t get dismissed from the film after she takes her clothes off a bunch.

Featuring prominently one of the most vicious beatings of a woman ever captured on film (I guess Ann never heard the phrase “Once you go black, you get your ass kicked by your Guinea boyfriend”), some good car chases, some great Jim Brown chases, some excellent comedy from all parties, some weird fish-eye lens shots of long-distance action, an excellent Billy Preston themesong in the “Shaft” tradition, and most surprising of all, gun battles in which people actually run out of bullets, and not just when it makes for more drama.

That Slaughter! never fails to make an entrance, whether it’s leaping through a window or strolling in a pimpriffic tux into an all-white underground casino where he sticks out like a gigantic Negro sore thumb. This one’s almost too good to be true and a hell of a lot better than I ever expected.