Monday, October 27, 2008

JACK KETCHUM'S THE GIRL NEXT DOOR (2007)

Cast: Blythe Auffarth, Daniel Manche, Blanche Baker, Grant Show, Catherine Mary Stuart, William Atherton

Directed By: Gregory Wilson
Written By: Daniel Farrands & Philip Nutman
Based On The Book By: Jack Ketchum
Cinematography: William M Miller
Edited By: M.J. Fiore

The story of this film is after her parents die meg and her sister are sent to lie with there aunt ruth who is popular around the neighborhood with the kids becasue they can do whatever they want at her house. aunt ruth can't stand meg and goes about abusing and torturing her inviting the neighborhood kids to join in one of them david doesn't feel right about it meg is his friend. but this summer of 1957 will change his life forever

I would never call this movie a must see it is definately not for everyone it is disturbing not only physically but mentally. it gets to you. the toture scenes are hard to watch. the emotions that this movie racks up are unnumerable you sit in awe as you watch it. the more disturbing part is that it is based on a true story. Another element that makes this story terrifying is that today you could imagine something like this happening but it took place in the 50's when things were supposed to be so wholesome and innocent (Of curse unless you were a minority)so that of course adds more to the outrage you feel building as you watch the movie go on. it also builds alot on tension and suspense. you sit and pray for a happy ending though you know your are doing it in vain. I have to give this movie credit for telling it's story so vividly with a little budget and what looks like tv-movie quality film stock.

The actors give phenomenal performances especially blythe auffarth who plays meg and daniel manche. sort of soulmates who in another movie would hae been young star crossed lovers but here are stranded in hell. Blythe makes you fall in love with her character making it all the more heartbreaking as the degredation happens to her you just want to go through the screen and protect her and save her. and blanche baker as rose is pure evil personified. She has come a long way from the movie livin large she also has a great b-actress name. while i would have liked to see everyone one of the villains get there due leaving it how they did was more like a sledgehammer to the gut.

Everyne involved in this film deserves praise it affected me that much.

It is a very good film but know what you are getting yourself into before you decide to watch it.

GRADE: A-

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

THE INCREDIBLE HULK (2008)

Cast: Edward Norton, Liv Tyler, Tim blake Nelson, William Hurt, Tim Roth, Ty Burrell, Lou Ferrigno

Directed By: Louis Letterier
Written By: Zak Penn (Script Revisions By: Edward Norton)
Cinematography: Peter Menzies Jr.
Editing By: Rick Shaine & Vincent Tabaillon & John Wright

While a somewhat improvement over the first movie this re-take of the comic character still doesn’t find the right tone for a satisfying hulk project. This film seems to be trying to give the fans everything they want that the first film lacked the only problem is they have a very bare blueprint to base the story elements around

The effects were better in the first film and I liked the moving comic canvas of the first film it at least showed some inspiration here with Edward Norton in the lead and helping with the script I expected a better output then what I saw on the screen. The plot wasn’t that interesting or engaging. This film was very paint by numbers story wise it had classic action scenes and a cgi battle between two beasts but when I watched this film I don’t remember asking for an animated film sure I want a comic book movie that might involve a little fantasy but do want some realism. It also does the requisite by involving a character who seems minor but perfectly setting up a villain for the sequel for those who notice.

One of the problems I don’t think louis leterrier was the right director for this project he is used to making fast paced action films I know directors are supposed to have a wide range but he’s not ready for that yet. This is a hero film for the MTV generation with all the fast cuts and such. It also appears that the film was entirely filmed on backlots and soundstages I can understand the need for secrecy during filming so that no one knows in advance what is happening. But the budget for this film is huge the funny thing is it doesn’t show on screen other then the effects everything else looks cheap or false not making for the best looking film.

The one female they showed in Brazil must be the only one for miles around and she is over the top hot yet has no lines. Tim Roth was one note as the villain that really showed no motivation at all for his villain. Liv Tyler and Edward Norton for old long lost lovers seem to have no chemistry and both seem to try very hard to have it. Which hurts the film since at the heart of this tale is a love story in the middle of a comic book film. For all the ingredients in this tale the poetic and artistic integrity this film doesn’t feel very deep that it wants to be. William hurt as General Thunderbolt Ross made me remember. How much I missed Sam Elliot as the same character from the first film he was compassionate and doing his job William hurt here just seems like a jerk who says he loves his daughter but his actions prove otherwise.

Don’t get me wrong there were good things in this movie the chase scene through the favella comes to mind. But nothing too noteworthy.

Why is it in colossal disaster films New York is the city all the destruction takes place in and where the epic battles must be fought? Does New York really need more publicity we have enough tourism go and destroy some other cities it would be nice to see maybe to have stuff go down in Miami or Arizona there’s a lot of open space and dessert there.

Spoiler – Plus what the hell are they going to do with the abomination now that the hulk didn’t kill him and he can’t turn human again and we know the professor is going to turn into the villain the leader the smile on his face is like a wink to the audience or fans of the comic at least. Spoiler end

So in the end you have to wonder was it worth all of attention to make a film that is the same quality as the original but instead of character and emotions this film is all about action and special effects.

GRADE: C-

BREACH (2007)

Starring: Chris Cooper, Ryan Phillipe, Kathleen Quinlan, Laura Linney, Dennis Haysbert, Caroline Dhavernas, Bruce Davison, Gary Cole

Directed By: Billy Ray
Written By: Adam Mazar & William Rothco & Billy Ray
Director Of Photography: Tak Fujimoto

VALENTINE (2001)

Starring: Marley Shelton, David boreanaz, Denise Richards, Jessica Capshaw, Johnny Whitworth, Katherine Hiegel, Jessica Cauffiel

Directed By: Jamie Blanks
Written By: Tom Savage (Book) & Donna Powers & Wayne Powers & Gretchen J. Berg & Aaron Harberts
Director Of Photography: Rick Bota
Edited By: Steve Mirkovich
Production Design by: Stephen Geagahn

What to say about this film other then it is crap.

Is this film supposed to be a little empowering to women. due to the simple fact that almost all the male characters are reprehensible stereotypical creeps. was it supposed to be a reversal of how a lot of audience members wrongly think that female characters are portrayed in horror films. As either the angel or the whore. I wish I could say that but to tell you the truth I don't think this film had the smarts to aim that far.

The acting is abysmal david boreanez is supposed to play an alcoholic but his performance feels like a scene out of drama school exercise. The other actresses I wonder are they really that bad or are just embarrassed to be there. Sure there are some hilarious scenes but not in a good way. like Denise Richards with her perfect suitor who wants to take her to a private room for something romantic? no but to show her his penis and his award winning line when he asks "what are you staring at honey, wax it." Now if there was ever a john waters scene that was in a less appropriate movie this is it. since this movie is this awful. I'm sorry I can't give a long review for it but there is no style or substance so when you don't have that what do you have. This storyline is stolen from many other horror films. The killer with a mask. The holiday theme.

The plot of this film is simple. Back in grade school there was a nerdy boy he asks all these girls to dance. All the girls turn him down but one is nice enough to spare his feelings and not to insult him. Then another girl who is hefty. Not only agrees but makes out with him but when she is caught she says he forced himself on her. and he is laughed at and beat up and disappears. Years later all these ladies who are miracously all still friends and living around each other. (ladies how many of you are still friends with all your friends from grade school and all live near by each other. if you do you should either be commeded or get some therapy.) but seriously years later as adults they are all unlucky in love and soon start being knocked off. hmmm you think it could be that kid? They try to figure out which asshole male it is or is it a female? Then they try to trick us in the end by setting up another character to be the killer. but it is really another one how do we know by the constant nose bleeds of the killer. just look at the cast and who was the most famous at the time. (Here's a clue they had a tv show on the air as the star of it. not a guest star.)

The males in this film run the gambit from loser, threesome player to gigolo. but here is the problem. you never feel sorry or sad for any of the characters or victims enough that you would actually feel bad when they die. Again no inspiration did they want us to be happy when they die. if they did again this film is sending a anti-woman message and makes all the other horror films look bad. There are also no male murder victimsin this film. then the killings are not all that spectacular or original.

No thought no inspiration at least if this went to home video it would not be seen by too many people. and you only lose a fraction of money renting it but by releasing it to theaters those of us stupid enough to pay for it are gypped and pissed. which obviously I was and I didn't even pay for it and I still wanted my money back. and most importantly my time. It was so unoriginal it ripped off the opening kill scene that was hip at that time in horror movies. now for all the money they spent on this film i'm sure there could have been a better more original or 2 that could have been made. and made an actual impact. But what do you expect form the director of Urban legend

P.S. Mr. blanks don't think you are clever by killing the girls in the same orderin which they were asked to dance. With there deaths tied into the responces they gave the kller when they were asked to dance

GRADE: F

IDLE HANDS (1999)

Cast: Devon Sawa, Eldon Henson, Seth Green, Jessica Alba, Fred Willard, Jack Noseworthy, Vivica A. Fox, Connie Ray, Timothy Stack, Kelly Monaco, Joey Slotnick, Mindy Sterling, Katie Wright, The Offspring

Director: Rodman Flender
Written by: Terri Hughes & Ron Milbauer
Cinematography: Christopher Balla
Casting By: John Papsidera
Edited By: Stephen E. Rivkin
Production Design: Greg Melton


The only thing that saves this film is Jessica Alba. Not her acting ability of which there is little but for the most obvious reason she was cast her attractiveness. So if you have a huge thing (Crush Please!) for her this is your film. This film is a let down becasue of the numerous opportunities this film had to be good. If not great. i mean look at the premise a teenager whose lest hand only is posessed. he is haunted by his best friends who were too lazy to go up the stairs to heaven (shades of an american werewolf in london)

The jokes and situations could have written themselves. but i guess the people behind this project had little money and few ideas. you know other then throw jessica alba into as many low cut outfits as possible. Not that i'm complaining too much about that. If that is all you have it's pretty sad (Don't get me started on the film "Honey" but she's put to better use in this. In that film they actually expect her to act!!!)

The 2 main problems with this film is it can't decide wether it wants to be a comedy or a horror film. I am a fan of comedy/Horror when they co-exist harmoniously but in this film they seem to be battling each other to the death for supreme leadership. Though neither is the victor. The film will have a purely comedic scene the end it in a very dark place. Which comes out of nowhere.

The other problem is the director. Rodman Flender wants to pay homage to other classic horror directors like dario argento, John Carpenter and wes craven but the thing is those directors know what they are doing they were original and have talent. I'm not saying he doesn't but in what i have no idea. Maybe he's an excellent cameraman or basket waever maybe with this little film he was in over his head. Maybe a good tv-movie was more up his alley. with this film he also seems to not only be able to decide if it's a comedy or horror but then he also tried to make a teen movie here but he wasn't sure what he could get away with in terms of sex and/or violence.

Since this came on the heels of "Scream". It seemed to be a testing ground of ideas. where in some scenes there is little violence then all of a sudden gore galore. This film just seems to have an identity crisis. It wants to be all things to all people. but they seemed to stay away. I'm still trying to figure out how a single hand with no weapon or sharp objects kills someone and massacres them so bad there is splattered blood. the film may have been saved also if instead of this film going so fast to the end with practical non-stop action. if they would hae padded out the story with more details and victims. it would seem like te film had more substance. As it is now it's like a highlight reel where there are few highlights to actually show. The only person who comes away from the film unscathed is seth green and his partner in crime eldon henson. they are hilarious and seem to be having fun.

There were rumors when this film was being developed it was going to be a musical with songs by danny elfman and directed by his brother Cult director Richard Elfman (Shrunken Heads, Forbidden Zone, Modern Vampires) Now that would have been a film worth seeing that would be different not necessarily good but i guarantee it would have been a cult film if it bombed.

GRADE: D-

ILLEGAL TENDER (2007)

Cast: Rick Gonzalez, Zulay Henao, Dania Ramirez, Wanda De Jesus, Delilah Cotto, Tego Calderon

Directed By: Franc Reyes
Written By: Franc Reyes
Cinematography By: Frank Byers
Edited By: Tony Ciccone
Production Design By: Keith Brian Burns
Costume Design By: Rahimah Yoba


The main Problem with this film is when you find out the reason behind all of the mayhem you feel cheated. I mean for this film to exist there needs to be conflict but the filmmaker could have thought it out better. The reason is some makes sense but only in the hood and/or the filmmakers mind.

Having said that this film is a improvement for franc reyes over his previous film "Empire". This one has more style. it's alot less in your face style of empire. which is a improvement. this film also has characters you actually care about because you like them as people not becasue the film tells you to. it's not action packed as the trailer would have you believe. The only original part of this film is having the mother be tougher then the son. she's actually the ruthless one.

The main thing i liked about this movie is whoever did the casting. Rick gonzalez is good. But all the female roles are filled with some truly gorgeous ladies from the big roles like the mother down to the extras. It was like a visual feast like fetish porn without the sex but plenty of attraction. Now having said that comes the bad things.

The script needed major work. The ending which i will get to. Another problem was even though i like her dania ramirez's character needed a backbone at times she was pathertic especialy when she called the main character in puerto rico. Plus her reactions to most things. i understand shock. but she needed a ticker skin. Now i am talking abut her character not her performance.

While you watch the film you wonder what's going to happen next because the film is so incoherent at times you hae to take a leap of faith to follow the film. even though the film is short it could have had a little more tightening.

Now The ending

(SPOILERS) he is searched thouroughly for a gun. but his Mother who the have been looking for can just walk in through the back door. this high security office has no surveilance cameras? Then she just kills him. The lame excuse none of his men know why he had a vendetta with the family but then after his death his right hand man who takes over says he died for some cocksucker bullshit. So then he must know the reasons for the vendetta plus all of this becasue your underage sister was pregnant by a man she had an affair with and even though you killed him. you must kill his wife or at least his kid. whohad nothing to do with it. Come on.

GRADE: C

Thursday, October 16, 2008

JUNO (2007)

Directed By: Jason Reitman
Written By: Diablo Cody
Cinematography: Eric Steelberg
Editor: Dana E. Glauberman
Costume Design: Monique Prudhomme
Casting: Kara Lipson & Mindy Marin
Production Design: Steve Saklad
Art Direction: Michael Diner & Catherine Schroer

Cast: Ellen Page, Michael Cera, Olivia Thirlby, Jennifer Garner, Jason Bateman, J.K. Simmons, Alison Janney, Rainn Wilson, Daniel Clark, Emily Perkins, Steven Christopher Parker,

If i could use one word to describe this film to me heartwarming at first it looks to be a off center independent film.which it is and also well written terrifically Acted and has the best soundtrack of the year. (I know because i bought it immediatey after even though i already have half the songs)

The characters start off as cliche then they seem to morph into real characters. who challenge what you initally thought of them. who stay with you and who you wish you knew or had in your life in reality. the only thing that felt false a little was the wisecracking store clerk. but in this movies world it still worked.

There has been some backlash about the dialogue and it's coded like dialect but doesn't eery new youth grup seem to popularize there own slang.

I feel this moie is more of a pure indie experience even though it has a universal story and characters and mainstream appeal it has it's own sense of stlye and independece that makes young girls who see this find a role model and a new generation of boys find a girl type to have crushes on sure it has some places where the character can be annoying or spoiled but that is how some teenagers are.

Ellen page continues with her amazing sense of good scripts and equal performances. If you haven't seen hard candy check it out now. she is excellent in the title role a role model for a new generation of girls. olivia thirlby is just so cute and pitch perfect in her role as the best friend. this film effected me i didn't think much at first other then it was pretty goood movie but the more i thought about the film it kind of haunted me and made me realize how much it had gotten to me i guess i just had a delayed reaction.

Now i can see why some critics have criticized the film for it's language and stylized dialogue. I don't care at first it is annoying but once you get used to it and it finds it's groove it doesn't come off as pretentious as it does taken out of context. Neither does the film. Like i said before the more you get involved in the film and it goes along you see for all the fuss it tries to be cool and a outsider. In it's heart it is heartwarming and old fashioned just like the main character.

Diablo cody is one to keep your eye on i have praised her before and i am praising her again. She also has a regular column in entertainment weekly magazine that just began. she is one to watch and i suspect she infused some of herself into this character. she seems to be the odd pop culture obsessed outcast. she is a female geek add her and tina fey together and you get two women who should control hollywood

I just can't say enough about this film.

GRADE: A

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

HANCOCK (2008)

Directed By: Peter Berg
Written By: Vincent Ngo & Vince Gilligan
Cinematography By: Tobias A. Schliessler
Editors: Colby Parker Jr. & Paul Rubell
Production Design: Neil Spisak


Cast: Will Smith, Charlize Theron, Jason Bateman, Johnny Gaelecki, Thomas Lennon, Akiva Goldsman, Michael Mann


(Warning this review is loaded with spoilers so if you want to be shocked and go in clean don’t read until after)

While this film is certainly entertaining the problem is once you really start thinking about it you realize major problems. Some may notice while watching the film outright.
Will smith is certainly great in this film an truly deserves a franchise picture at this point he is the perfect candidate to play a superhero this film I feel is a one shot deal

The premise has good ideas but as the movie goes along it goes off the tracks and then becomes another film altogether a more serious fantasy drama. The first half works as a parody or satire of superheroes and superhero movies. But the second half the movie all of a sudden becomes serious and downtrodden.

The major plot is Hancock is a superhero and alcoholic who the public dislikes after he saves the world’s only altruistic public relations executive. From death the public relations person decides to save Hancock’s image and career he has faith in him at first Hancock is reluctant but eventually comes around to cleaning up his image and trying to be good and stop feeling sorry for himself. As the movie goes we meet the pr guys family his son who idolizes Hancock and his wife who is strangely attracted to Hancock and vice versa will this lead to a betrayal of the pr person by the people he loves? Isn’t this supposed to be a super hero fantasy movie

The funniest scenes are the first half of the film the initial scene of saving the city and the scene of saving the pr guy and the pinnacle hilarious scene of the movie are the Hancock in prison scenes but after that it loses it’s mojo.

The humor strangely at some parts seems out there only to shock Kids and seniors cursing. Physically impossible sight gags, Pop culture racial humor. Bad language and surprising violence in a movie marketed for younger viewers. I’m no prude but think of it more as a warning for you parents out there

The chemistry between will smith and Charlize Theron is blazing the only problem is that it would be better served in a different movie it reminds one of the heat between Diane lane and Oliver Martinez in unfaithful only without the sex. It is telegraphed early that there is some kind of history between them because everytime they are in the same scene she keeps looking at him longingly and is uncomfortable around him for no reason which tips you off that later we will find out that they have a past somehow together

Another major unexplained or logical problem is that why all of a sudden when they start fighting does a tornado develop. I understand they are each other weaknesses but it’s not like earlier in the film when they fought or later in the film when they are together nothing happens there is no storms no electrical outlets going out no water drying up no sandstorm.

The next problem is if they are supposed to be gods who were made to be together for all eternity why are they each other’s weaknesses making there power null and void it just makes no sense

The next one is that this film is so concerned with showing more about character in the characters and finding about his past his origin story if you will that there is really no great villain or adversary for him to face it’s like a replay of the scene in superman 2 when he has given up his powers and he faces some redneck at a diner and experiences pain and his own blood for the first time the shock of it all but only this time he fights back. I guess they were saving it for sequels.

The things I do like are the handheld camera cinematography brings a certain realism into the fantasy. I like the idea of the problems a superhero would have in the real world when it comes to public opinion never being universal in favor or against. The property damage he can cause and people having to pay for it. It also shows the responsibility of having great power and what can be expected of you and the crisis of doing the right thing when it is so easy not to and get away with it.

There is a appearance by Donald Gibb who was ogar in the “Revenge Of The Nerds” films it’s been a long time but a happy welcome return. Unfortunately this film also has a uncredited script rewrite from akiva goldsman who is not the world’s favorite screenwriter who is known to usually destroy scripts he has personally rewritten or written (DaVinci Code, Batman Forever, Batman & Robin, I am Legend)
He tends to defang or water down what is so great about the scripts or story in the first place he is like a televison censor almost. I can’t totally comment on what was changed to this script as I didn’t read the original but I did read a review of the original script which was much different and darker then what you see on screen.

The after credit sequences seemed to be added late just to add a little more memorable comedy into the last minutes because they seem so separate and awkward all at once it just comes out of nowhere maybe it would have worked earlier in the film like when he is trying to turn over a new leaf as a test of his new attitude but as it stands it just seems like a waste

GRADE: C+

Sunday, October 12, 2008

LADIES & GENTLEMEN THE FABULOUS STAINS (1981)


Directed By: Lou Adler
Written By: Nancy Dowd (Slap Shot) (Credited As: Robert Morton)
Cinematography By: Bruce Surtees
Editor: Tom Benko

Cast: Diane Lane, Laura Dern, Ray Winstone, Christine Lahti, Paul Cook, Steve Jones, Peter Donat, David Clennon, Brent Spiner, Debbie Rochon

PATHOLOGY (2008)

Cast: Milo Ventimiglia, Alyssa Milano, Michael Weston, Lauren Lee Smith, Johnny Whitworth, John De Lancie, Larry Drake,

Directed By: Marc Schoelermann
Written By: Mark Neveldine & Brian Taylor
Cinematography By: Ekkehart Pollack
Editor: Todd E. Miller


This review is going to be spoiler heavy so if you want to go into this movie blind definitely skip.

This is obviously inspired at least partially by “Flatliners” with a group of medical students banding together to forma little group. To test the limits of there expertise.

The killers are just a bunch of nihilistic trust funders who think they are god/vigilantes who pass the time having sex and smoking crack. It doesn’t seem to take long or too much to seduce the protagonist into this group of killers. Which doesn’t exactly make it easy to feel anything for any character.

This was written by the writers of crank and you can tell with it’s adrenaline rush seeking characters and nihilistic mood. Which goes with the visuals which tend to be dark and murky. It still has the requisite mtv flash cuts but as the film goes things are revealed so quickly there is virtually no mystery and you are left with wondering where this film is going with it’s Marilyn Manson themed darkness and it’s seven inspired themes and content. The film seems like it wants to be more then it is but it just comes off as a knock off a trashy b-movie. It all boils down to a serial killer who just influences others to do the same but make it see ok because there are always reasons where it is ok to kill like the dregs of society or you can look at it like a love story between two men where the Violence is the sex that they get off of they share the same girl and are always exchanging looks and around each other shirtless

It’s shameful in a movie full of sex and some nudity that Alyssa Milano is in a sex scene but doesn’t get naked and only uses her cleavage to maximum quality in only one scene. Plus her character just seems to be there as the innocent girlfriend who struck me as very annoying because the only things she seems to know or care about is her boyfriend and law school her character could have been peppered with a little more of a personality.

No I know I have done a lot of complaining for a film I passed I’ll admit it doesn’t deserve the grade I gave it but I was entertained for the most part so much so that I actually had to think about this film where is where I came up with what’s wrong with it but I realize this is check your brain at the door disguised as thinking man thriller this would have been deemed original and thought provoking in the 90’s but now we have been there and done that so it doesn’t impress. Though I would have loved to see what could have been done with a bigger budget and not being filmed in Canada.

You can tell look at the locations and actors and know this was a candian production through and through

I will give the film a couple of marks for the scene near the end where he tries to handle his problem I admit I didn’t see it coming though it would have pissed me off if he got away scot free without having to suffer.

I knew the character of the other student who worships milo’s character for some reason would have to be eventually relevant other then for just to be the punching bag or to represent the good side of doctors the moral upright

The ending is quite a cruel but justified show

I would rent it if there is nothing else out there or you just want a trashy film that doesn’t require too much thinking because it will explain it all to you after it happens anyway

Grade: C+

JUICE (1992)

Directed By: Ernest Dickerson
Story By: Ernest Dickerson
Written By: Ernest Dickerson & Gerard Brown
Cinematography By: Larry Banks
Edited By: Sam Pollard & Brunilda Torres

Cast: Tupac Shakur, Omar Epps, Jermaine Hopkins, Samuel L. Jackson, Khalil Kain, Michael Badalucco, Queen Latifah, Flex, Bruklin Harris, Vincent laresca, Treach, Fab 5 Freddy, Donald Faison, Erik Sermon, Dr. Dre, Ed Lover, Latanya Richardson, Oran Juice Jones


It hasn’t aged well so it looks a little dated though if you are a hip-hop lover this is one of the films that documents in the background a taste of old school new york where hip hop was on the come up.

This film is a thriller as well as a character piece as it shows the rise and realization of a teenage sociopath. Loud, charismatic, boisterous in public but inside feeling a utter contempt for people feeling he is better then them and they are the dirt beneath his feet as he is on his nihilistic journey to wherever life takes him.

The film also has episodic humorous scenes. That remind you this is also a coming of age story and the fun and innocence you have at that age no matter the harshness around you. It has one of the young men wanting to be a DJ (Omar Epps). The others haven’t figured there future yet but they want to be successful. They decide to rob a convenience store for money and respect on the street since they see to keep getting punked by a gang. As expected everything goes wrong at the robbery as one of them is killed by another member of the crew while also killing the clerk at the store. The rest of the film is the guilt over feeling helpless to do anything to stop it or avenge it. Especially since the killer is also one of your best friends and the paranoia of not knowing when your friend who is like a ticking time-bomb is going to explode and come after you.

The film sets a entertaining tone and makes you care about the characters. It’s great to see a lot of veteran actors early in their careers as well as an actor I am compared to physically time to time (Jermaine Hopkins).

The true standout of this movie is tupac as the livewire who takes a good villainous role and turns it into a three dimensional character and star making role. This is definitely a film to check out if you haven’t already. It gets a lot of things right. I remember growing up around the time this film came out and it was filmed in new york in places I remember hanging out at. So anytime I get a chance to watch it. It is like a time machine making me nostalgic for those old days.

I remember the poster for this when it came out they had to take the gun out of the advertisements. Afraid it was promoting gun violence to kids. At least before they got a chance to see the movie. I wanted to see the movie but never got a chance to see it in theaters. But I saw it as soon as it was available on Vhs. This is one of those movies I watched over and over in my teens so much I can remember almost any scene. It’s not a perfect movie but it’s good enough for me. This is a definite buy.

This movie was directed By at the time spike lee’s Cinematographer Ernest Dickerson’s Directing Debut. Remembering that I always thought the film would have had more memorable shots and angles. Plus better lighting everything looks drab and out of focus half the time. Maybe it was a artistic decision to show the abyss in which the characters wallow in. then again there is only so much you can do on a budget which I’m guessing was not that big to begin with. Maybe he wanted it to look more natural and realistic all those other prestigious and artistic additions would take the audience out of the film to remind you this is a film make believe. What the director obviously wants you to feel the life and death situations these characters are finding themselves in.


Grade: B

Thursday, October 9, 2008

30 DAYS OF NIGHT (2007)

Cast: Josh Hartnett, Melissa George, Mark Boone Junior, Ben Foster, Danny Huston,

Directed By: David Slade
Written By: Steve Niles, Brian Nelson & Stuart Beattie
Based On The Comic By: Steve Niles & Ben Templesmith
Cinematography By: Jo Willems
Editor: Art Jones
Production Designer: Paul D. Asterburry
Art Direction: Nigel Churcher & Mark Robins
Costume Design: Jane Holland


XXX (2002)

Directed By: Rob Cohen
Written By: Rich Wilkes
Cinematography By: Dean Semler
Editor: Joel Negron, Paul Rubell, Chris Lebenzon

Cast: Vin Diesel, Eve, Asia Argento, Samuel L. Jackson, Thomas Ian Griffith, Danny Trejo, Lila Acreli, Tony Hawk, Carey Hart

Given the title this film should be able to sell itself. This is one of the worst movies I have seen. This isn’t much of a film as more of a bunch of clips of stuntmen at work. The few dialogue scenes are so over the top they are bad even for a action film. It seems like they wanted testosterone to pump through every aspect of this film that even if he was getting a beer there would be a slow motion shot some hard rock or rap music and the sense that something or someone is going to attack. This is a want to be punk rock spy film. Which in of itself makes no sense. But would be something if it was followed through upon and well made.

Sure everything looks good in this film especially the scantily clad ladies but other then that this film is stupid a hardly memorable villain who was in the model of euro-trash. Though I suspect it is because they couldn’t find a name actor to actually appear in this. In some sort of way the filmmakers seem to think this was going to be some kind of high powered energetic American James Bond movie. As far as American spies. They could have chosen a person less well known to go undercover. The way the thinking goes here this would have been more like the show I-Spy with 2 secret agents that every week go under the disguise of a tennis pro and his trainer. But no they figure recruit this celebrity and since he does all this extreme sports stuff he’s perfect without any training to help us take down a underground group of nihilistic European terrorists that we can’t get close to but somehow he has no trouble doing

The only thing that was entertaining was the gadget guy his energy in his scenes are fun but that’s about it. It’s a vin diesel movie but it seems like out of all the actors in this 2 hour movie there was only 45 minutes worth of them the rest was continuous action. Not starring them.

Samuel l. Jackson is in this I’m guessing for the money. This was the film that Vin Diesel made $20 million for from what I can see it was a pretty light workload. I believe he can act but he needs better material then this. The money on this film could have been better well spent. The funny thing is that vin Diesel wasn’t een the first choice for this film Eric Bana (BlackHawk Down, The Hulk, Chopper) Was. Not that it would have made the film better but it would have been one less balck mark on Mr. Diesel’s Resume. This film wouldn’t have been been passable in the 80’s if it had starred Arnold Schwartzenegeer, Sylvester Stallone or even Keanu reeves. The film then has eve pop up out of nowhere for pretty much a cameo though they make it seem like she is vital to the story but her character disappears

This film would go well with hitman as far as mindless stunt driven films except that hitman at least has a director who has talent behind the camera. He us had to work with the little that was available but here the director had plenty to work with too much as everything is expensive but still the film is bad and thirty minutes too long (two hours too long really) if you have the time and need something mindless to play in the background at a party go for it but in my opinion. I say skip it.


GRADE: F

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

PLAYING FOR KEEPS (1986)

Cast: Daniel Jordano, Matthew Penn, Leon W. Grant, Mary B. Ward, Harold Gould, Marisa Tomei, Raymond J. Barry

Directed By: Bob Weinstein & Harvey Weinstein
Written By: Harvey Weinstein & Bob Weinstein & Jeremy Leven
Cinematography By: Eric Van Haren Norman
Editor: Gary Karr & Sharyn L. Ross

This movie is one I remember watching a lot as a kid. A teen movie about a couple of kids from Brooklyn who try to open up a rock N’ Roll hotel in a small town. The type of film that was popular to be made in the 80’s usually playing on cable ikept renting this form the library.

This film is just what you would expect the small town doesn’t accept them there is a clash of cultures the evil greedy small town government that is working against them which I’m guessing is supposed to represent the man, the evil empire that the young kids are rebelling against to try and make it and still keep there integrity. Even if in the end they have to use there old Brooklyn street smarts and ingenuity to succeed. Though everything is solved in a Scooby doo type way. Also I don’t know if a hotel exclusive for teenagers would fly where would they get the money plus if under 18 wouldn’t you need parents permission I could see it more as a youth hotel. Everyone gets to live out there dream.

There is still even the popular music montage that is supposed to represent that a certain amount of time has gone by. In this world there is a multicultural mix of kids working together which means Italian, Jewish and one black guy.

The film is note worthy for two reasons it’s one of the first starring roles of Marisa tomei. Who is cute and perky here showing a fraction of the talent she would show in future roles. The second is that this film was directed by Harvey and bob Weinstein yes the same Weinstein brothers who ran both Miramax films and dimension films. And who now run the Weinstein brothers film company. Which is funny considering that now they release oscar winning films.

All in all this film isn’t horrible it’s pretty entertaining it’s not aged well but it follows sort of the same path of the show northern exposure a fish out of water scenario. Just like that show this film probably would have played better as a pilot for a tv show where you could follow there adventures running this hotel and the many different characters clashing with the townfolk or make it like fantasy island and have the characters mix with guest stars who come to stay at the hotel.

In the end it’s a cute film worth renting but only if your really into 80’s films


GRADE: C+

THE WIZARD OF GORE (2007)

Cast: Kip Pardue, Bijou Phillips, Crispin Glover, Brad Dourif, Jeffrey Combs, Joshua John Miller, Evan Seinfeld

Directed & Edited By: Jeremy Kasten
Written By: Zach Chassler
Cinematography By: Christopher Duddy

What was I really expecting, Looking at the title. The title really says it all there is gore and there is magic not too much of a story and the little there is hardly makes any sense. It’s a shame I like the cast who are all actors I like but they are all wasted figuratively and literally with this film.

This is a ugly film it’s one I can truly say did not need to be thatgoes double since it is a remake. With the cast you could have gone and gotten a good script and made a play that was more entertaining. This is so far at the top of my list of the worst of the year.

There is a mystery in this movie that is pretty easy to figure out. That they try to sensationalize. Not that you will too much about the outcome. Jeffrey Combs is hardly recognizable in this film. The film also seems to be gory and disgusting just for disgusting sake.

It’s a joy to see Crispin Glover and Joshua Miller all grown up sharing the screen for the first time since “River’s Edge” but they could have found something better then this.

The Film is pretentious for even suggesting that anything in this is art or performance. Just like the Stylistic touch of having the lead and those around him dress and live in 1930’s style. Though still set in modern day half the time the film is so dark it’s hard to make out what is happening anyway.

The only real thing of note is that the suicide girls all play victims in this movie in states of undress.

GRADE: F

THE STRANGERS (2008)

Cast: Liv Tyler, Scott Speedman, Gemma Ward

Written & Directed By: Bryan Bertino
Cinematography By: Peter Sova
Editor: Kevin Greutert
Original Music By: tomandandy

I can understand how other people may enjoy this film but I honestly didn’t while the you are there approach is riveting and exciting making you stay on your toes. The chilling masks that could be innocent are there more for terror.

The cinematography makes you feel like you are watching a big budget snuff film. The feel of this film is like it could have been made in the seventies it is that different from it’s contemporaries in the genre. Not too many cuts no annoying rapid editing. It has it’s problems but has a good follow through.

I just felt like I was being manipulated from beginning to end from the fake based on a true story coda a the the beginning (It Wasn’t) and quite honestly ripped off from texas chainsaw massacre to letting us know just enough about the characters as a backstory so we can feel for them as they are victims on screen for most of this film to the quiet streches of the film only to be jarred by a loud sound and the music that expresses doom in almost eery minute of this film that is a warning that something is going to happen but half the time doesn’t the filmmakers try to use what you already know about these types of films against you then tries to shock you by having scens go a different way

My problems are not only there but in the beginning they say not many details are known about what actually happened ok so why this movie is this a interpretation of what the director thinks happened then why so much attention to detail like he was there and knew specific details about what happened. Also if this is supposed to be a true story how come the killers are so talented or supernatural that they seem to be able to disappear at will and then show up again unexpectedly with hardly a sound they are human humans can have the best plan in the world but make mistakes it’s human nature they also thank to gravity make noise but not these killers who are kind of humanized at the end but by that time it’s too late I feel all the beleivabilty has already flown out the window. While the reasoning for the crimes is chilling and spoiled in the advertisement for the film it is also what sells it and makes it scarier. If I had made it I probably would have copped out and shown the faces of innocent kids doing this as a thrill more then anything else it beats drugs. That is not the actual ending.

SPOILER- Though keeping them faceless does make them all the more scary and perfect for a sequel SOPILER END

I give this film an A for effort and quite frankly I believe the director does have talent which is plainly evident on the screen he just makes these mistakes that take me out of the movie. I’d rather see more types of movies like this made by actual talent then the 20th remake of a Friday the 13th sequel which while fun in the original series are whack outside of it. Not to mention I would rather see films like this then another j-horror American remake.

The thing I can also give this movie credit for is that it seems to understand the horror genre. This while being gory a few times is mostly about thrills and suspense more then anything else. Liv Tyler and Scott Speedman Give good performances this might be the best film either has been in so far it ay least has given them the best roles to play.

I would say this is a good rental. I’m ore interested in the making of the film then the finished product.

GRADE: C+

THE REF (1994)

Cast: Denis Leary, Judy Davis, Kevin Spacey, Christine Baranski, Glynis Johns, B.D. Wong, Raymond J. Barry, J.K. Simmons, Vincent Pastore

Directed By: Ted Demme
Story By: Marie Weiss
Written By: Richard LaGravenese & Marie Weiss
Cinematography By: Adam Kimmel
Editor: Jeffery Wolf

This film is a pleasant surprise. It is finally a match for Leary to create a character with his type of insight and humor into everyday life yet shocking since it wasn’t actually written by him.

This is a cynical dark humored holiday movie a perfect anti-dote to all those other holiday movies that spread syrupy cheer even during the worst of times this film has a heart but it beats very slowly and the color is not red it’s black. Like most home for the holiday films each character has a secret or quirk that manages to come out to the forefront while the other characters react.

This movie is funny and smart which is rare in modern cinema especially when the film is marketed as a mainstream fare. I think this movie’s marketing are what kept it from being a hit it felt like the studio who put it out got cold feet about it towards the end and just dumped it or tried to market it as a film it wasn’t. While the film does have a “The man Who Came To Dinner” feel it is far from that. I really enjoyed the whole cast here who work well as a ensemble Kevin Spacey’s career took off after this film but surprisingly the person who made me want to watch this most was Judy Davis who I have always enjoyed as a performer ever since seeing her in woody Allen’s “Husbands & Wives” I always felt she was robbed for the oscar from that movie. This movie actually made me a fan of Denis Leary it made me seek out more of his work and stand-up comedy.

The film about a burglar who breaks into a rich divorcing couple’s hose on Christmas eve and everytime he tries to escape more people come over blocking him from escaping and he has to pretend to be there marriage counsler. The plot sounds lame but this film is so much more it could almost be a play with it’s great dialogue and down trodden story. It really is a fun movie certainly not family entertainment

You can imagine how this film must be when the leads are unlikeable but compared to the rest of the characters become the most likeable characters.

It’s sad that the director of this film Ted Demme had such a short directing career as I feel this was his masterpiece. It would have been interesting to see if he could have topped this in material and follow through

The original ending was that Denis Leary after being questioned by cops goes to jail to show the son of the couplethat a life of crime doesn’t pay but then ends up on the Montel Williams show plugging his book about the experience it was shot but scrapped but I am glad they got rid of that ending as it would have cheapened the movie as a aristocratic dark comedy and just have a cheap joke ending that comes out of nowhere. While making it like other holiday films with a uplifting happy ending. In the commercial promos and trailers you can see some of these interrogation scenes. The way it ends now it kind of shows life doesn’t pay it’s not the happiest life but it’s the only one he has.

This is a definite must see if you can buy it you wont be disappointed.

GRADE: A

NATIONAL LAMPOON'S VAN WILDER: PARTY LIAISON (2002)

Cast: Ryan Reynolds, Tara Reid, Kal Penn, Teck Holmes, Curtis Armstrong, Sophia Bush, Tim Matheson, Daniel Cosfrove, Paul Gleason, Chis Owen, Deon Richmond, Erik Estrada, Aaron Paul, Teresa Hill, Tom Everett Scott

Directed By: Walt Becker
Written By: Brent Gold Berg & David Wagner
Cinematography By: James R. Bagdonas
Editor: Dennis M. Hill

This is your typical college party movie where there is nothing really at risk for the main characters except that the movie makes you believe it will be the worst thing in the world “Oh my god graduate and have to work for my father, Oh no !!!” there is pretty nothing here you haven’t seen in other college party films maybe just in different variations. There are plenty of gross out gags. But let’s face it no one watching this film is looking for or expecting anything approaching creative the thing that holds this movie together at all is the performance of Ryan Reynolds. He is charming and funny even though he looks too old for this film but at least they explain it. This seems to be where he started his comeback from Canadian tv star to his rise as a comedic actor of the united states. Until he buffed up and more tried to be an action star. He excels here to make a impressive on-screen likeable debut. The charm would carry over into other roles but here is where you get to see the first glimpse of it.

The only other interesting part of this movie is seeing actors now older who are veterans of this particular genre of film Paul Gleason (The Breakfast Club) Tim Matheson (National Lampoon’s Animal House, Up The Creek) Curtis Armstrong (Revenge Of The Nerds 1, 2, 3, 4)

There are plenty of ladies in state of undress in this movie so at least it’s more of a hardcore college movie that partially reminds you of the one from the 80’s but the thing that annoyed me was the main star who you would want to see naked Tara Reid stays fully clothed except for wearing a bikini that’s the closest you get. The women who do get naked are pretty much no names almost faceless since you won’t remember them. But that is probably not what you were looking at anyway. I don’t know what type of film stock they used but it looked cheap and that didn’t help my enjoyment of the film, with all the other problems in this movie it doesn’t help it’s chances of enjoyment.

I remember when the national lampoon stamp and name meant something a wild, rollicking low brow yet clever comedy now it seems just to be low brow this was supposed to be the brand’s comeback and while a hit on video maybe they should have aimed a little higher instead of buying up a independent comedy then putting it under the national lampoon cannon. I mean look at the movies they produced after this “The Hottie And The Nottie”, “Gold Diggers”, “Dorm Daze” That usually star ex-teen tv stars. I hope one day they go back to the quality of what they once were, but hey we all gotta eat and they have to do whatever makes them money. Though I don’t know how successful these films really are since they mostly go straight to Dvd. Yet always make the worst of lists.


If you like this type of film you won’t be disappointed but if you are looking for actually good movie and laughs, skip this unless you worship at the cult of Ryan Reynolds.

GRADE: D+

AN AMERICAN CRIME (2007)

Directed By: Tommy O’Haver
Written By: Tommy O’Haver & Irene Turner
Cinematography By: Byron Shah
Editor: Melissa Kent

Cast: Ellen Page, Catherine Keener, Ari Gaynor, James Franco, Nick Searcy, Scout Taylor-Compton, Bradley Whitford, Jeremy Sumpter


JUST ONE OF THE GUYS (1985)

Directed By: Lisa Gottlieb
Written By: Dennis Feldman & Jeff Franklin
Story By: Dennis Feldman
Cinematography By: John McPherson
Editor: Tony Lombardo

Cast: Joyce Heyser, Sherilyn Fenn, Ayre Gross, William Zabka

I remember this movie fondly as a child. I discovered this movie just like everyone else who watched cable in the 80’s I was on a search for boobs. Let me explain I was going through puberty and had no hope of seeing any porn. There wasn’t this whole internet thing around at the time where you can see anything and everything. So as a loyal subscriber to TV-Guide, i would read the movie guide to see which films had nudity, brief nudity or adult situations which has now been changed to sexual situations in the guide. Though back then adult situations didn’t necessarily mean sex but had that slim chance that it could. I would always read the synopsis of these films to see if I could stand sitting through them until I could get to the nudity next I would look at the schedule to see when I could catch it. Sometimes this backfired as I couldn’t watch it because an adult was in the room. Sometimes I was lucky my dad would rent the movie for me thinking it was a innocent teen comedy that he wouldn’t want to watch. Then I was in boob heaven. That is why probably still a lot of these movies are horrible but I have a soft nostalgic part spot for them.

This one isn’t that bad it’s funny in parts while showcasing a lot of 80’s fashion and thinking. It is in some way is a tale of showing that women deserve equal treatment in high school while showing 80’s clich├ęs. Then it casts one of the preeminent 80’s actor/bullies in teen movies William Zabka Johnny from Karate kid Greg Tolland from back to school Oscar Nominee (For best film short subject)

The plot is far fetched but giddily entertaining .

One of those old gender benders where a girl works for the school paper. When Her story is cut from the school paper. but she it is so good that the only reason it was not published is because she’s a girl. Terry (Perfect any sexual name) comes up with the plan to enroll as a guy then see if it is the same results plus she can get a story out of it by impersonating a man and seeing what it is like to live in a man’s world when you are really a woman. The fact that not only does no one recognizes her while enrolling at the same school. Not only that but how does she explain her absence from school for weeks and plan to graduate. All she really does is cut her hair dress differently and speak an octave lower. The only person she lets in on all of this is her brother who is obsessed with naked women that he has postered his room with playboy and penthouse playmate centerfolds. She doesn’t even tell her college aged boyfriend who actually looks more like he’s 30. Why to make more comedic scenes when he comes by to take her out een though she is supposedly only 17. Of course through the movie she meets a guy who she slowly falls for he’s a bit of a nerd obsessed with James brown who she slowly makes over and he has a crush on the bullies girlfriend and goes about trying to seduce her away while terry get’s jealous not feeling she is good enough for him while she is ducking a freshman girl who is obsessed with her.

Joyce heyser who starred in this should have gone onto bigger and better. After seeing this I had a little crush on her and always hoped she would make a comeback which she did kind of in a small role in the movie greedy with Michael j. fox. By the end of this movie I got the goods so I was also happy because of that I got what I was seeking and was entertained while doing it. Especially as a 11 year old. The funny thing is that for all the sexual energy and vibes in this movie there is only one scene of nudity towards the end. Maybe it’s influenced by the fact that this film is directed by a female. That maybe the reason this is more of a clean comedy. If I recall it was one of my favorite movies. It helped through my oncoming years of frustration through the years of teenage sexuality. This is one you should definitely check out if you are into 80’s comedies it should be up there like other teen classics of the 80’s such as the John Hughes films.

GRADE: C+

SINGLES (1992)

Cast: Campbell Scott, Kyra Sedewick, Matt Dillon, Bridget Fonda, Sheila Kelly, Jim True, Eric Stoltz, James LeGros, Eddie Vedder, Chris Cornell, Peter Horton, Tim Burton, Xavier McDaniel, Jeremy Piven, Christopher Masterson, Bill Pullman, Paul Giamatti

Written & Directed By: Cameron Crowe
Cinematography: Tak Fujimoto & Ueli Steiger
Editor: Richard Chew

I saw this movie when it first came out in the theaters and loved it. I saw it as cutting edge and realistic in the way that it looked at contemporary relationships.

Looking at it all these years later I still feel the same way the only problem is it doesn’t age as well as it should. When it was made it looked like another generation x brand relationship movie this one was a little different it is more a romantic comedy that explores relationships but uses the seattle alternative grunge music scene as more of a back drop as t what was happening at the times it’s not trying to win over or explain the culture. It would almost be like if you made a romance in old Victorian times what matters is the character and the story don’t worry so much about the background it is coming from.

This is a Cameron Crowe film and the thing I have always admired about him is that he knows how to write situations and characters that are real and make you care about them. This film is as Cameron crowe made it out to be like a record album with ballads fast songs, slow songs but in a certain order. That is what this film has also some scenes are dramatic some are just flat out comedy. Some are deeply felt full on romance. The mood changes at times so seamlessly it is close to Mr. Crowe’s idol Billy Wilder.

The love stories and couples are infectious and we see the ups and downs of each relationship as well as there pasts and there struggling friends the main ones Are Kyra Sedgewick and Campbell Scott as two people who are perfect together and date but always seem to separate and have it not work out then there is Campbell Scott’s ex girlfriend played by Bridget Fonda who is his neighbor but head over heels for matt Dillon a rock musician who is on the verge of making it but he see’s there relationship as open and she worships him. She is even willing to change who she virtually is just to be his fantasy perfect woman. Intermixed are a band of character either looking for love or sex.

This film was actually more popular for It’s soundtrack more then itself when it came out it had all the bands that were either popular or were on the verge of it at the time. A lot of them appear in cameos in the film or play actual roles Matt Dillon’s band citizen dick are all played by members of pearl jam. One of there neighbors is Chris Cornell of Soundgarden and later Audioslave. Alice in chains performs in the film, this was also a precursor to friends where the group of friends, either all live in the same apartment complex or are at least close by and always hanging out in a coffee shop and have either once dated hooked up or are related. In fact it seems like only Campbell Scott is willing to leave and find outside people. Another Added bonus is that this film is practically a all star film at least future stars and cameos by known stars of different fields, film, sports and music

This is a wonderful film that you should check out if not for all the above mentioned then look at it as a partial time capsule. If you weren’t around a chance to look at what was cool and prevalent at the time if you lived through it I am sure it will bring back memories

GRADE: B

INTRODUCTION

it's a little late but hi. The reason i decided to start this blog is that someone commented that any idiot with a computer can now call themselves an online jornalist so i decided why not me. i just wanted a place where i can share my opinions with the world. This will mostly be a movie review page but you never know if it strikes my fancy i might comment on something else like music, politics, life, books but either way this is a place to enjoy. Feel free to comment let your opinions be known.
i just hope you like the reviews and feel free to let your friends know about the page. There really is no rhyme or reason to the films i pick it could be i was thinking of them recently, I Saw them recently, or i have seen the film before and it was recently on tv and i finally decide to review it.

GOTHIKA (2003)

Cast: Halle Berry, Robert Downey Jr., Penelope Cruz, Charles S. Dutton, John Carroll Lynch, Dorian Harewood

Directed By: Mathieu Kassovitz
Written By: Sebastian Gutierrez
Director Of Photography: Matthew Libatique
Editor: Yannick Kergoat
Original music By: John Ottoman


Here is the case of a movie having all the right elements going in. You have a eclectic yet talented cast. A good foreign director with a keen eye for mood drama and visuals. yet still is abysmal. You also have a crappy script and story that wouldn’t entirely work as a horror short story. This all together makes everything this movie had going for it, Fall apart. This story of halle berry a psychiatrist who works at a mental institution with her husband who is in charge of the hospital. She gets into a car accident she then goes to see if the person she almost hit is alright. The person grabs her and screams forcing halle to faint when she wakes up she is in the asylum as a patient. She is there because she is accused of mudering her husband more of a massacare killing him with an ax.

She like the audience needs to find out what happened. Since she can’t remember anything. This is a possession story That’s all i.m going to say this early in the review. It should be all I really need to say the film is just that ridiculous. I tried to hold out some hope for this movie bt it’s not scary in fact it’s not even laughably bad. It’s just bad everything is taken too seriously for such stupid things going on. I don’t even really know why Penelope cruz is in the movie other then to add another star to the cast.

First of all Halle berry being married to Charles S. Dutton 20 years her senior is ridiculous enough it only goes downhill from there. I’m embarrassed for all those involved here The twist is just downright stupid.

I am still a fan of those involved but it is a permanent mark on there records. The scary part was Halle fit this in as a favor to producer joel silver before she filmed “Catwoman” That obviously was a bad year for her. But to tell you the truth it hasn’t really been good for her since winning the oscar as far as roles go. She just needs a better quality of scripts or have someone help her pick her roles. Plus she broke her arm filming this movie another unfortunate thing that keeps happening to her is injuries on film sets.

SPOILER ALERT – Her husband is part of a tag team of serial killers who also happen to sexually abuse patients So Halle was possessed by one of the victims who acted out revenge on Halle’s husband. One of the serial killers then left her body. Halle then woke up when she was placed in the asylum. Now a patient. END SPOILER

I did that so none of you choose to sit through this. Wasting your time watching it.

I can see why Robert Downey Jr. did the film it was kind of a mini-comeback or at least steady work. So that he could prove that after his personal problems that landed him in jail. He could be dependable. Really he can write it off as a paycheck job as I’m sure most of the cast will

The worst part is that they end the film as a set up for a sequel.

Grade: F

ALL OVER ME (1997)

All Over Me (1997) A-

Cast: Allison Folland, Tara Subkoff, Cole Hauser, Shawn Hasoty, Vincent Pastore, Wilson Cruz, Leisha Hailey

Directed By: Alex Sitchel
Written By: Sylvia Sitche;
Cinematography: Joe DeSalvo
Editor: Sabine Hoffman
Casting By: Lina Todd


I saw this movie the first time it showed at the angelica I have vivid memories of it. I really like this movie. What happened to the sitchel sisters they made this movie and if these walls could talk then disappeared and they were actually talented this seems to be a continuing trend all these female filmmakers made dynamite debuts and maybe made one more film then virtually disappeared this seems to more be a common thing of female directors of the 80’s and 90’s. there were the Sitchel’s, Darnell martin (I Like it like that), Nancy Savoca (Dogfight), Allison Anders (Gas, Food, Lodging), Hannah Weyer (Arresting Gena) who you might see as writers or producers here and there but they seem to not be actually directing anymore and it’s a shame Sofia Coopola and Jane Campion can’t be the few representatives all the time

One of the reasons I went to this movie was that I had a crush on leisha hiley who was a member of the band the murmurs she is a lesbian she was eventually K.D. Lang’s girlfriend but at the time I didn’t know that. Another reason that I have a soft spot for this film is maybe. I can relate to the film so much. It’s about a girl named Claude who is in love with her best friend, but that friend starts dating and falling deeper and deeper in love with the neighborhood thug/drug dealer. Who gets her hooked on drugs and soon she is depending on Claude in love with her to protect her and help her out as she becomes more strung out. The reason I believe I can relate is that, I have been there minus the drugs and being a lesbian, but being in love with a friend who only see’s you that way. Then watching them fall for the wrong type of guy who seems to get increasing control over them. Then when there is a problem that friend runs to you wanting you to help solve it getting you involved and keep them together but not totally trusting you even though you have there best intentions in mind but they have the nerve not to trust you but believe the lies the guy is telling them and everyone around them can tell it’s a lie.

The only problem with this film is the murder that happens in the film it kind of pushes the movie into formulaic unbelievability. This movie that started out as a coming of age tale about unrequited love turns into a murder mystery but at least it doesn’t stray as much as it could have as we watch Claude find love with someone else who is fascinated by her as much as Claude is my her best friend at the beginning of the film.

The emotional pinnacle of this film s the scene where claude is alone with the girl who has a crush on her and they listen to the patty smith song “pissing in a river” so much raw emotion is in that scene not only physically but since there is no dialogue the lyrics and music lay it all out all the longing, rage, resentment, sadness and despair. That is the other noteworthy element of this film. The soundtrack is perfect each and every song by a female artist or band and strike the right emotional tone. It’s virtually a who’s who of 90’s independent and alternative music artists. Ani Difranco, Babes In Toyland, Patti Smith, Jesus & Mary Chain, Cornershop and Helium

Allison Folland is top notch as Claude but she’s another actor you only see here and there she’s doesn’t get enough work as far as I’m concerned. Tara Subkoff is good as the doomed friend she eventually left acting to become a fashion designer it’s a shame she was a star in the making Amy Adams kind of reminds me of her a little. Cole Hauser is a good actor the only problem here is he looks too old to play his role the rest of the cast can play believably young him he just looks like a Beverly hills 902010 Situation. where he doesn’t look right good performance but the looks is just wrong