Monday, September 28, 2009


Directed By: Steven Goldmann
Written By: Timothy Dolan
Cinematography By: Jeff Vinditti
Editor: Jarred Buck

CAST: Nichole Hiltz, Priscilla Barnes, Trace Adkins, Lew Temple, Tracey Walter, Ryan Carnes, Duane Whitaker

Better then you would think this being a straight to home video film now with that title alone I knew I would enjoy it. I wasn’t wrong.

If you are expecting something great or new with this film you will be sadly disappointed this film is based on the comic book of the same name and it plays like a mix of tales from the crypt mixed with a b-movie.

The title is so cheesy you expect a subpar movie. This film reminds me of the 1980’s that don’t have a care. TheFilms were a pure product and that’s it. Some of the movie is tongue in cheek but it plays like most horror movies aimed at teens the victims are picked off fast and as violently as possible.

The storyline is two decades ago a girl from a trailer park who has had bad-luck and hard living her whole life finally finds a way to leave the trailer park and after a accident that dream is smashed so she goes on a shooting spree massacaring the residents now every few years people traveling around the area disappear so of course this is the perfect time and place for a youth group filled with troubled kids and a youth preacher to travel through. The film has a already downtrodden feel to it. The girl’s past is so troubled you wouldn’t wish it on anybody so as she says it is true she never had a chance. I won’t spoil the movie

Let me just say that this film has the old staples of anyone who doesn’t follow the rules and if they sin even a little there is no mercy for them they are picked off. The film doesn’t let you really get to know each character through and through but you know there types it doesn’t make there deaths effect you in anyway but you watch to see the interesting waves they are dispatched.

Once you get to know the characters you already can predict who will live and who will die but the film does violate it’s own rule by eliminating a character who really did nothing wrong.

The film achieves what it wants along the way you don’t like the victims but you do feel sorry for them when they are being stalked and killed but the film also creates these monstrous evil characters who are interesting so you can alos kind of root for them to catch these characters and do there worst to them. Which is strange as before they were pieces of shit as hman beings but they are more likeable in there later incarnations. I guess because you expect the worst from them already they don’t have the mask of being a so-called human being.

I believe so that the filmmakers can make this film a franchise like Jason or Freddy Kruger. The possibilities of that happening I don’t know but I wouldn’t be surprised if this film gains popularity.

It’s a strange film but I was never bored.



Cast: Patrick McGaw, Mira Sorovino, Louis Lombardi

Written & Directed By: Rob Weiss
Cinematography By: Michael Bonvillian
Editor: Leo Trombetta

I Don’t know what happened to director rob weiss but I remember the hoopola over this film when it first came out immediately made it onto my list of must see movies and then it came on home video I went to my local blockbuster (It was the 90’s) and rented it I waited for a Friday night so it could be a premiere with me as the only guest

While it borrowed heavily from Martin Scorsese films and the then current kids who want to be criminals and must be taught a lesson about the life it was interesting as a story of three childhood friends who grew apart one becomes a minor league criminal the other wants to be a mobster and is coming up with all these plans for a big score that never seem to happen the third goes to prison for a crime all three of them were in on he was just the only one who got caught now years later he comes back to town to visit his family finds that the minor criminal is dating his ex-girlfriend who he is still in love with. Let’s just say there is a lot of double crosses and betrayal leading to overwrought dramatic finale that even though the director thought he was making a bold statement feels underwhelming.

Now in the book spike mike slackers and dykes john pierson writes about his time on the set and doesn’t paint a pretty picture of the director or the production. In the end this film is ok nothing necessarily to set him apart form the new directors that were coming out but a minor flair behind the camera at least this film has more heightened dialogue and scenes filled with edge of the seat drama Rather then Gratuitous action and violence that is there just to be there.

Another reason this film is a footnote in cinema history is that this is Mira Sorovino’s first starring role her part is more supporting and doesn’t really give her a chance to show the dramatic chops she would in later films she is gorgeous.

All I know is rob weiss was dating shannen Doherty for a little while and was supposed to direct a film about the history of the milk bar but after that he seems to be a producer/writer for the show “Entourage” Which in a way feels right since the characters on the show a reminiscent of the characters here or at least would have been cast if amongst friends was made today

Interesting tidbit was that Rob weiss wrote this film in desperation after dropping out of design school, kicked out of film school and failing to become a club promoter.this film reminds me of the type of guys you run into from Long Island, New York

The Film is not yet on DVD it’s worth a look but only if it is on cable

It makes you wonder sometimes if some of the great films that directors have on there resumes are like music one hit wonders. They are supposed to be artists but if they didn’t write or come up with the material are they like a singer who doesn’t write there own songs they have a visual style to interpret the story but it seems to only work once or twice since there re so many directors out there who do have talent but are stuck working on hack work maybe some directors are just given the chance they don’t deserve because they bring nothing new to the table do work that 20other just starting out directors could do no real new interpretation.


Friday, September 25, 2009


Directed By: Michael Bay
Written By: Alex Kurtzman & Ronerto Orci
Story By: Roberto Orci & Alex Kurtzman & John Rogers
Cinematography By: Mitchell Amundsen
Editor: Tom Muldoon & Paul Rubell & Glen Scantlebury

CAST: Shia Lebouf, Megan Fox, Kevin Dunn, Julie White, John Turturro, Jon Voight, Anthony Anderson, Josh Dummel, Tyrese Gibson, Zack ward, Amaury Nolasco, Bernie Mac, Rick Gomez, Tom Lenk

At this point I have to recognize Michael Bay as a auteur. He has 2 films in the Criterion Collection ARMAGEDDON and THE ROCK. When he makes a film you know it is his he puts his own signature on his films, That at first were produced by Jerry Bruckheimer the perfect producer for his style of filmmaking. Which seems to have rubbed off on the director as there films usually employ, Loud sound, Light plots, plenty of action, inventive shots, quick cuts and attractive actors who are more or less like mice in a maze ping ponging and running from one explosion to the next. The man has a certain filmmaking style that I’m not sure anyone else could make or would really want to but he will certainly be around for a long time because his films make money and audiences love them.

This film has all usual touches but for this type of film it actually fits. There is no way you can tell the story of the transformers in any realistic way based on the cartoon series of the 80’s which mainly consists of the battle of the Autobots (The good guys) VS. The Decepticons (The bad guys) The Subject is ripe for bay’s bombastic style of movie making. This time produced by the one and only legend Steven Spielberg.

There is no subltlety in this film everything is ham fisted with a good cast that strangley makes this popcorn movie watchable. The action sequences and effects are both excellent. The only problem is towards the end of the film when the transformers are fighting the bad guys it’s hard to tell who is who because they all look the same, like hunks of metal.

Another staple of Michael Bay is to install stale awkward jokes or bad comedic scenes into his action oriented films. Though it is usually a macabre humor like the BAD BOYS films but in those films it at least fir the criteria. In this film there are full on scenes of physical comedy. There are also important characters who are more comedic invention and act that way then being serious characters. For the comic relief they cast Anthony Anderson which also is nice to have the black guy be the smartest guy in the film which I haven’t seen in a sci-fi movie since VIRUS.

I will give Bay some credit he Is a good technical director. He is just lacking in the aspects of making a film though he does bring the goddess that is Megan Fox to the big screen in a substantial role her role as a love interest for Shia Lebouf. It’s a role that is unbelievable. She is so gorgeous like a Angelina Jolie Clone that she doesn’t seem real. I don’t know what role she could ever be cast in and be believable or look natural.

This film is so big it actually goes global bringing together the members of the cast who have survived numerous attacks from the Decepticons to face them in a building destroying fight in Los Angeles to save the world.

In the end this is a entertaining Perfect popcorn movie for a rental. If yo like his previous films you will like this one.


Wednesday, September 9, 2009


Directed By: Terry Gilliam
Written By: Terry Gilliam & Charles McKeown
Cinematography By: Guiseppe Rotunno
Editor: Peter Hollywood

Cast: John Neville, Eric Idle, Robin Williams, Sarah Polley, Jonathan Pryce, Oliver Reed, Uma Thurman, Charles McKeown, Sting, Jack Purvis

While not the crowd pleaser his earlier works had been. This is truly watching a natural storyteller tell a story with all the materials he could get his hands on. It is quite a remarkable film a little long but definitely worth watching. The film is a feast of costumes, production design, make-up, mattes, models and special effects to tell a story.

This film s a epic yet very simple. It’s like a bedtime story that is adequate for children but made for adults who have a need to see sincerity for there mind to be open for wonder and imagination.

The plot is exactly as the title says we watch as Baron Munchausen a fantasy world traveler goes on many adventures trying to find members of his old gang to help him stop the sultan from attacking the town in which he is staying. As the film goes on though we see that there are stories within stories within stories.

The cast is all spectacular and while not all the adventures are exciting or interesting. They are there for a reason a piece of the puzzle that is needed to be completed. The fun of this movie is you truly never know what is going to happen next because whatever it is it could never be too outlandish.

It’s a fun ride with it’s unpredictability A scene could be violent, Funny, Heartbreaking or magical. It would almost be perfect for the whole family though some scenes may not be appropriate for younger children. Plus the film may be a little too visceral for the kids even though it has a childlike innocence.

It bombed when it came out I can see why some might not like it.

This is a film I remember all the commercials and posters when it came out. I really wanted to see it but was worried it was a little too arty for me. I was 11 at the time.the commercial/preview which is included on the DVD made it seem like a fantasy comedy filled with tons of one-liners and I still remember to this day the vision of Uma Thurman coming out of a shell barely clothed. It was her entrance onto the screen and into my mind as she still is a screen goddess. The star John Neville should have become a star off of this film. At least a more respected actor as this is one of the only times he played a lead role.

This film is amazing and just the scope of it amazes you to the imagination it took to make this film and come up with this story that gives you a partial Don Quixote like hero. This was in the days when director Terry Gilliam could still get budgets to match his imagination and make it come true. He was at his creative peak. Which I now wonder if it has wavered over his last few films and dealing with studios to make it or has his imagination just gone too far to alienate conventional storytelling and entertaining audiences that at this point he only makes sense to him and his collaborators.

Either way and I don’t throw this term around lightly the man is a genius and I always await news of his new projects with excitement

This is Definitely one for the home library.