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Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Movie Review # 92 Waterborne (2005)


Release: 2005
Director: Ben Rekhi
Writer: Ben Rekhi
Cast: Christopher Masterson, Jon Gries, Ajay Naidu, Jake Muxworthy, Mageina Tovah


Ratings:
Rotten Tomatoes: 100% Critics 48% Audience
IMDb: 5.7/10 
Netflix: 2.5 Stars


Review:
Independent films are known for a few things. One being artsy, another they make political statements and they known for strong writing. This movie is all of the above as it is gritty, in your face and a product of our times in the world. Where religious tensions, political motive and terror are all common phrases out of peoples mouths. It is also the reason this movie works so well as it has three encompassing stories wrapped in a unity that brings them all together.

The first being the story of the cousins. One is a slacker and hot headed dope head. Another is a Romeo and Juliet love scene with a Jewish girl and a Muslim Male falling in love and the third a career military man and his family. From the outside looking in you would think none of these stories would mesh or work together. Yet they do as each cross paths which they do. As each cross and or come in contact with each other and if wasn't for the outlying circumstances they would never have known each other existed.

You are asking what is the circumstances that brought these three differering stories together? It is this a eco-terrorist poisoned the water supply of Los Angeles and in the chaos. People do what people do they panicked and went feral. Which is where the cousins come in as they where not prepared and could not follow a plan. As they where both early 20's neither of them where old enough or coherent to comprehend and set forth a plan to succeed in this looming chaotic mess.

Then you have the Military man who wanted to leave yet couldn't. As he had just been given command of his own platoon. Which he had to lead during the crisis all the while dealing with his wife wanting him by her side and worrying that he might not be coming home if things got worse. Which caused grief and hardship as he had to put his duty before his family and ultimately had to make the ultimate sacrifice at the end. But not with his life but his career.

The third is the Romeo and Juliet. Where she had left her family to follow her dream or opening a Yoga Studio. He followed in the steps of his religion and stayed close to home. Where he worked with his mother at her local grocery store and protected her. All the while she kept to the old ways and did not approve of change or of her. But her views changed when she saw the love between her son and his girlfriend after she was part of a hate crime all because she had marked up the price of water and chose to only allow 2 gallons per person.

It would seem that none of these stories would work. Yet they do as each finds their way to the grocery. The mother of soldier is coming to buy food, the Romeo and Juliet are working and cleaning and the cousins are panicking and looking for water. This is also where it ends for one of the cousins as he pulls a gun and holds up the store. While the wife of soldier calls her husband and he leaves his post. Only to come in and shoot the crazed cousin and ultimately his career.

It was not abrupt it was not sudden. You saw it unfolding and you hoped that Brody the crazed cousin would come to his senses but as with any drama. You always have the one that dies and he was that one. It was beautiful it was touching and it was brutally real. It is also the reason that this movie worked so well as it was not overly fictionalized. It was not Hollywood being Hollywood it was a Independent doing his work the way he wanted and it deserves to be seen.

 Waterborne is an amazing movie with an amazing set of characters and actors. From Christopher Masterson (Malcolm in the Middle), Ajay Naidu (Office Space) and Mageina Tovah (Spider-Man 2 and 3). This movie might be far from a huge budget but it could not be any better than what it is. As everything is top notch for what they worked with and deserves huge kudos for making this critic fall in love with what is Waterborne.

My Rating: 4/5 Stars




Movie Review # 91 Vampegeddon (2010)


Release:2010
Director: Jeffery Alan Miller
Writer: David C. Hayes
Cast: Shane Dean, Katherine Von Forelle, Jacqueline Smith, Sugar Cox


Ratings:
Rotten Tomatoes: N/A
IMDb: 1.5/10
Netflix: 1.8 Stars


Review:
There are B-Films then there are B-FILMS!!! This is the second of the two as it is just a group of friends who wrote, directed and starred in their own movie that made it out to the general masses. It is over the top, silly and absolutely corny. But I loved it as it is so bad it is amazing and deserves a mention with the worst of the worst of all time. Especially seeing as this movie as 1.5/10 rating on IMDb (Current as of day of the review).

That just shows how awful this teen goth vampire comedy is. Now I could focus on what made this movie awful which is almost everything. But there would be no point because of what made this movie what is, is just how bad the movie is. So let's focus on what is done right and the goofs that show up. First up will be the goofs starting with 1890's Arizona. What is wrong here? Well how about modern concrete and a cyclone fence and a handicap ramp.

Second would be continuity of a bottle of vodka. That goes from being full to empty to half full back to empty back to full. In one drawn out scene taking place in the back of a Chevy SUV. Other's include seeing the camera lighting, seeing the actors reading cue cards and a wooden stake that get's sent into the hearts of vampires that never gets messy.

On the flip side of all this calamity is some of the best music in a movie I have ever heard. That being the Metal/Progressive Rock band Corvus. Which not only rocks it literally kept me watching the movie as I had to hear their next song on the movies track. Which is often and frequent and this could be looked as a coming out party for the band especially now that Vampegeddon is out on Netflix where the general masses can hear their music.

If anything comes from this horrible movie it is this. That Corvus get's signed and noticed as they have a Top 100 sound and a Progressive and aggressive beat that is catchy and makes you listen. That is comparable to Linkin Park and Korn. Outside of that you watch Vampegeddon for no reason than to torture your soul and abuse you views of vampires. Which no one person should do ever!

My Rating: 0/5 Stars (Side rating for bad films 3/5 I loved how bad this film is)



Monday, May 30, 2011

R.I.P Krista Renee Easter July 1981 to May 2011

I am in mourning today as a close friend of mine decided to take her life over the weekend. I found out the news at 5 till Midnight on Sunday May 29th. Which caused me to not sleep and put a somber note to my day. So I will take off this day from writing and celebrate the life that is Krista Renee Easter. As she was more than a friend to me and more of a sister.

She was there for me through thick and thin. Including one night when I was on the verge of taking my life. Sadly I was not there for her in her time of need. As she closed her accounts on Youtube, Facebook and twitter the day of. I know I can not change the past but I can help change the future. If you are feeling lost, sad or depressed please seek out the guidance of friends, loved ones or just a random stranger. There are people out there that will help you in your time of need.

Sadly Krista did not and that will always run through my mind. First with sadness then with anger. All the while I will play the what if's in my head. So if you are struggling with who you and what you are. Do not do what Krista did and that is take her life at the hand of a gun. You can come to me and ask me to talk to you. I have no problem being the soundboard for you to express your feelings. It is the least I can do as Krista was there for me.

R.I.P Krista Renee Easter my beloved sister and friend.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Movie Review # 90 Allan Quatermain and the Temple of Skulls [The Asylum] 2008





Release: 2008
Director: Mark Atkins
Writer(s): H. Rider Haggard (story), David Michael Latt , Matthew Alson Thornbury 
Cast: Sean Cameron Michael, Christopher Adamson, , Natalie Stone


Ratings:
Rotten Tomatoes: 18% Audience 
IMDb: 2.8/10
Netflix: 2.3 Stars


Review:
Another day and another Asylum production. This time it is Allan Quatermain who is making fun of Indian Jones. It is this type of mockbuster production that drives fans and critics insane. It is also the reason that so many hate these movies as they steal plot lines from the movies or have names close enough to the real one. That fool the viewers into thinking that they are getting the real movie.

Thankfully this is not one of them. At the same time though it is sickening on another level. As this screws up a amazing literary work. That being H. Rider Haggard's book King Solomn's Mines. Which has been made into several movies one decent, one great and this abomination of a film. That is so boring, and slow that it should be used as a torture device on certain prisoners.

As it has no replay value or first time value for that matter. Other than to laugh at how silly it really is. Especially in one scene where Quatermain is coming out of a bathroom and you see a motion detector in the background. Complete with flashing light. But if that was the only goof it would be up there with Indiana Jones and his Cobra behind the glass scene. But no it isn't as you see modern power lines, power adaptors and other things like plastic beads being worn by the Zulu's at the end of the movie.

I know this was shot on a budget but lets get real here. These type of gaffs are inexcusiable for any movie. Especially one that  you want people to pay money for. Sadly people are fooled into thinking these are amazing movies based on the covers and posters. Especially one that looks like a Indiana Jones cover. Just do not fall for the gimacs. As a cover only tells one thing that they want you attention.

Nothing else so use your resources and inform yourself. So that you do not end up with this piece of crap in your video collection or in your Netflix cue.

My Rating: 0/5 Stars



Saturday, May 28, 2011

Movie Review # 89 Frank and Jesse (1994)


Release: 1994
Director: Robert Boris
Writer: Robert Boris
Cast: Rob Lowe, Bill Paxton, Randy Travis


Ratings:
Rotten Tomatoes: 58% Audience 
IMDb: 5.7/10
Netflix: 3.4 Stars


Review: 
It amazes me how movies like Frank and Jesse and the late Heath Ledgers film Ned Kelly. Just go under the radar while movies like Tombstone and Young Guns makes huge splashes in the movies. When both Frank and Jesse and Ned Kelly are just as enjoyable as the two others just not known as much and I hope to change that.

Frank and Jesse staring Rob Lowe as Jesse James and Bill Paxton as Frank James is a beautiful period peace movie. That follows their story for the most part with little dramatic flairs added in for the movies. Like how Jesse dies and when Frank turns himself in. To be the most apparent ones that stick out. But outside of those two scenes. I found no qualms or problems with this movie as it entertained.

It taught and it explored a wonderful brotherly relationship between Frank and Jesse, and a lesser extent with Cole Younger (Randy Travis) and his brother Bob Younger (Todd Field). As each played of the other as if they had grown up together and it made for some magical and hilarious moments. One in particular with Frank and Jesse in a bathhouse. Which was funnier than the scene with Mel Brooks and James Garner in Maverick and that was my favorite bath scene in a western.

Just not any longer as when I see a western bathhouse I will automatically think vermin and bugs. Then Bill Paxton's glowing white bum with hat and gun on. It will stick with me forever in a funny sort of way. Which is great as this movie touched me in all the right places. It opens with a light hearted and fun way and ends in a down and sad way. Which is a role reversal for many movies out there. As they open with a somber scene take the beach scene in Saving Private Ryan and end with them getting the kid out.

Even though Tom Hanks character dies at the end. The same can be said of Rob Lowe in this one. He was that character who was larger than life. The one everyone looked up to and the one that became a bigger folk hero than Billy "The Kid". It is also one of the reasons I loved this movie as it didn't over dramatize his story instead it focused on his career highlights and those of friends and family.

It was clean it was neat and it was most the truth. Which is not often said with most movies that depict real life events. If I was a teacher and wanted to teach about the story of the James Younger Gang I would select this movie. As it is a soft R and even that is a stretch. As the only reason it gets this rating is for a slight excess of blood and two scenes where the violence is over the top.

But they are not enough not to show these as a teaching tool as Glory can be shown complete with the watermelon head explosion in school. So if you can give this a shot and it might surprise you on how good this is. Especially if you love Western history and all the Outlaws that it encompasses.

My Rating 4/5 Stars


Full Movie Available here: Click Me!!!  Youtube.com 

Friday, May 27, 2011

Movie Review # 88 Killer Flick (1998)


Release: 1998
Director: Mark Weidman
Writer: Mark Weidman

Ratings:
Rotten Tomatoes: 100% Fresh Audience
IMDb: 4.3/10
Netflix: 2.1 Stars

Review:
Can I say this was the best worst movie I have ever seen? Yes I think I can say that. As Killer Flick has no plot, no character development nor does it have any structure. It is all over the place and could not be better. With a script that runs along the lines of the Steve Martin and Eddie Murphy movie Bowfinger.

Where a independent film maker goes out and tries to film a movie with his supposed star. This one takes that several steps farther and to an extreme that is beyond enjoyable. It is down right sadistic when it comes down to it. As a group of four friends set out across the Arizona desert to film their movie and ultimately get their childhood and B-Film star Virgil Morgan.

In the process of going cross county to film their movie. They go on a murderous rampage as they take in unsuspecting passerby’s and turn them into extras in their film. Unlike in Bowfinger where they where asked or just filmed with out permission. These crazed filmmakers will kill to have you in their movie literally. Which is even the tag line for the movie.

It is this premise that gives this movie life. As the rest is so jumbled and hard to follow that you need a road map and a compass to understand it. Even then if you walked out for five minutes you would be lost and I sat and watched it with out a break. Yet I was still confussed as this movie is two movies in one. The movie of the boys going cross country.

Which was not real and the story of them making the movie which was real. Which you never find out about till the last 40 minutes of the movie. By then this twist is not unexpected and more of “OH” moment. But that is not why you watch this movie. You watch it for train wreck that it is and it is a glorious one at that.

It is honestly one of the most enjoyable train wrecks I have ever seen. One that I do not mind repeating nor showing to friends. As it is has all the B-Film flare that makes those Friday or Saturday night movie watching experiences with friends special. Those being bad lines, horrible acting, and horrible directing. But this movie honestly I do believe did it on purpose and I love it for that reason alone.

My Rating: 3.75/5 Stars

Trailer not found = (

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Movie Review # 87 Poker Run (2009)


Release: 2009
Director: Julian Higgins
Writer(s): Julian Higgins, Bertie Higgins, Larry Madill
Cast: Bertie Higgins, Robert Thorne, Jasmine Waltz, J.D. Rudometkin, Debra Hopkins, Jay Wisell


Ratings:
Rotten Tomatoes: 15% Audience
IMDb: 3.4/10 Stars
Netflix: 2.5 Stars


Review:
I love motorcycles and the free living lifestyle that it brings. It is because of this love affair that I wanted to watch this movie. It caught my interest with the title Poker Run and its premise of evil bikers. Sadly I could have not been more fooled by this movie. As it took all my expectations and flushed them with my hopes down the toilet.

This movie written by a trio of writers and directed by Julian Higgins. Is a cheap gore fest with minimal thrills. Tossed in with horrid writing, bad acting and a ton of gritty hand cam carnage. Which is great if the movie actually was actually a thriller. Instead of what it really is which is a bore. Maybe it is just me but I want suspense in my thrillers not excessive gore and nudity. Which this one has both.

Both of which are used for shock and awe instead of story progression. Unlike movies like Saw or Hostel where the gore was tied in to the movie. This one just does it for fun. Like kill this guy and cut of his hands. Which is a literal scene in this movie. Which is insulting to me and more than likely to several others out there. On the flip side there are some that will love this movie.

Those people will look past the flaws. The down trodden script, the bad acting and shotty camera work and see a below average to average thriller. Which never expounds or explores who the characters are. Instead they give us cookie cutter people that have no real souls or hearts. It is because of this fatal flaw that you never grow to care about them either as they are punished or mutilated.

Which is sad as in todays age of movies special effects, gore and action are what sells movies. Instead of story and narrative like the old days. Which is one thing this movie needed more than anything. But because of either the lack of caring by the trio of writers or the director this movie never gets up where it could be and what we are left with is a slow and boring movie.

One that I can not recommend to anyone outside people who love thrillers. But that is a stretch instead if you like bad horror movies you could do worse than this. But not by much.

My Rating:  .5/5 Stars

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Movie Review # 86 Bikini Round Up (2005)


Release: 2005
Director: Fred Olen Ray
Writer: Fred Olen Ray
Cast: Nicole Sheridan, Jay Richardson, Beverly Lynne, Voodoo, Evan Stone, Belinda Gavin


Ratings:
Rotten Tomatoes: N/A
IMDb: 3.8/10
Netflix: 2.6 Stars


Review:
Bikini Round up or as it is known on Netflix as The Good the Bad and the Beautiful is a HBO late night soft core porn comedy. Is part comedy, part spoof, part porn and just overall awful. I knew nothing about this movie going in and after 10 minutes 7 of which where a semi hard core porn scene between Annie (Nicole Sheridan) and R.J. McCoy (Randy Spears). I knew that was I in for the next hour and change was not going to be that enjoyable.

Which it really wasn't as this movie sold sex as the main story. Instead of what the real story which was Annie getting all of R.J's estate on his death bed. Which would have been a fun story if they hashed it out. Instead we have a villain J.R. Masterson (Jay Richardson) who is wanting the plot of land to get to the riches of Calamity Kate (Belinda Gavin). Who is more Boss Hog from Dukes of Hazzard than a real antagonist as his cronies do all his biddings.

Which really entails them having sex with Annie and Stacy (Beverly Lynne) as they are used as sex toys by the girls. All the while the reason why the girls flew out to Nevada is left alone. Which is to search and find the Lost Silver Mine. Which they never do and instead they have a three way lesbian scene with the ghost of Calamity Kate and then vow to burn the map to the cavern.

I know porns have no real plots. But this one had the beginnings of one and they blew it. That is what is most disappointing with this movie. Is that it could have been a lot more than it was. As it never stepped up to plate and instead chose to sit back and say "Let all the sex do the talking." Which made for a very long boring movie for me. Albeit for some it fills their carnal need for getting off.

But outside of that this movie has no real appeal. Nor does it have any merit just being listed as a comedy all over the place. As it is a porn through and through. Yet on sites like IMDb it is listed as Comedy and even on Netflix it is. Yes I will give it has funny moments. They are just not laugh inducing but more the "Oh my God!" type because the porn stars are trying to act and they are just so bad a it that you long for the sex scene fillers.

Which come every 3 to 5 minutes if that. Especially at the end where they are laced on top of each other which seems every minute or two. Which is sad as you pray for those or in my case I just prayed for it be over. Which is sad as I do not pray usually. Yet this movie made me do it.

Not because it was a porn. But just for the acting and no story. I could have lived with the sex scenes if the story hashed out and was brought out into fruition. Instead what we are left with is a movie that has a quarter of a heart beat and a long hard on for sex. Not exactly something I want to indulge in unless I am trying to get my man riled up and ready for a roll in the hay.

My Rating: 1.25/5 Stars


No trailer available

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Movie Review # 85 8213: Gacy House [The Asylum] (2008)


Release: 2008
Director: Anthony Fankhauser
Writer: Anthony Fankhauser
Cast: Jim Lewis, Matthew Temple, Michael Gaglio


Ratings:
Rotten Tomatoes: 23% Audience
IMDb: 2.5/10 Stars
Netflix: 2.7 Stars


Review:
8213: Gacy House is best described in one maybe two sentences. So here I go. A group of paranormal investigators go into John Wayne Gacy's house and call him back to this world. Then they do their investigation and nothing happens till the last 20 minutes of the movie. By then you are asleep, that or you are this instead insulted, brain dead and or lobotomized by the worst horror film ever to be made.

I wish I was kidding sadly it is not a joke. This movie was horrible beyond many reasonable means. There is no story. The characters are as paper thin as single ply toilet paper and there is sense of suspense or horror in this movie what so ever. It is a play on The Blair Witch project and it is evident. But where they movie played on your senses this movie doesn't do that. Instead it focuses on whining and complaining of the cast.

It is almost as if they each where told here is the concept. Now why don't you all get together and come up with a ad libbed script while we shoot it. We will go on what you give us. Sadly that is not the case as this movie is written and directed by Anthony Fankhauser who also gave us such horrible movies like. MILF, Mega Shark vs Octopus and 2012: Supernova.

With a resume like this what else can you expect other than a horrible movie. It is just inevitable and he does not disappoint. It is just that this is not a movie nor is it really anything anyone should ever watch. As it is the worst rip of Blair Witch and or Paranormal Activity out there. Now if you must see this be warned of this. This will insult, hurt and possibly put you to sleep.

It might even cause you drool out of boredom or because your brain can not handle the stupidity of this movie. So if you must watch this bring a bib and a drool bucket. Because after your are done with this horrible movie you will be closer to dead than alive and I know I lost a good few years of my life not from fright but from horrid movie making while watching this movie.

My Rating: Negative -5 out 5 Stars

Monday, May 23, 2011

Movie Review # 84 Crystalstone (1988)


Release:1988
Writer: Antonio Pelaez
Director: Antonio Pelaez
Cast: Sydney Bromley, Frank Grimes, Kamlesh Gupta, Laura Goodwin


Ratings:
Rotten Tomatoes: 58% Audience
IMDb: 5.6/10 Stars
Netflix: 2.9 Stars


Review:
Crystalstone is a movie that is relatively unheard of outside of a few enthusiasts of adventure movies. Which I fall in the former I had never heard of it till today. Which is surprising as it takes parts from Goonies and Treasure Island and mesh's them together for the most part. Be it in a overly predictable way.

The story is of two orphans Pablo and Maria who are to be split up by their cruel and evil Aunt after the death of their mother. Upon hearing this the two children leave in order to stay together that starts them on a grand adventure. As they meet an Old Man on a train played by the Late Sydney Bromley. Who is best known for this role as Engywook the maniacal and crazy Scientist in The NeverEnding Story.

Sadly this was also his last film of his illustrious career as he passed just months after the completion of this movie. Fortunately for me and for you the viewer it was one of his more memorable roles. As he told the story of the Crystalstone and set the children on their path to discover it and ultimately find the one thing they needed most a family.

It is this heartfelt message that is apparent through out. That love and family not jewels are what are important.  As far as the rest of the movie it is predictable, silly and perfect for kids. But and I emphasize this but here. There are scenes that will be terrifying to some children especially the scenes with "Hook" as he is brutish, scary and evil. Thankfully though his scenes are short and gone soon after we meet him in the film

Outside of him the rest of the film is fairly innocent. With one exception and it is something I just have to point out. The children do rob a grave and if you look closely the supposed corpse's eyes move and he also smirks. It was funny and made me literally rewind that one segment just to see if it was true. Which it was and it is this kind of enjoyment you can find through out.

From the bar bending in the jail. To the man with the Hook being flipped revealing his hand. These B-Film mistakes are what makes these films so much more than just movies. They are the reasons we love B-Films. I will admit I loved this movie and found great enjoyment in it. As will most parents out there. So if you are a fan of the Goonies give this movie a shot and see the enjoyment that is here with the Crystalstone.

My Rating: 3.25/5 Stars



Sunday, May 22, 2011

Movie Review # 83 Garfield's Pet Force (2009)


Release: 2009
Director: Mark A.Z. Dippe
Writer(s): Jim Davis, Domonic Muir
Cast: Gregg Berger, Cathy Cavadini, Jennifer Darling


Ratings:
Rotten Tomatoes: 31% Audience
IMDb: 4.3/10
Netflix: 3.6 Stars


Review:
Growing up there where the two animated cats Heathcliff & the Catillac Cats and Garfield and Friends. Like most kids you liked one or the other and very seldomly did you enjoy both. I fall into the latter group of enjoying both even though an entire generation doesn't know about the other Orange Cat it is alright as Garfield is the most known and beloved feline on the planet.

Which usually a good thing when it comes to movies. Sadly though Jim Davis seems to be letting Garfield go to waste and this movie despite being enjoyable. Is not Garfield as we know him and tries to be something else entirely. Where as the myriad of tv series play on him being lazy and lethargic. This one made him get up and out and save the planet in a Ash Ketchum kind of way.

Sorry for the Pokemon reference but it fits in this movie. As it has the same script that most Pokemon movies do which is anyone can make a difference if they believe. Which is fine and dandy if you are in the under 12 market and into silly fart and belch jokes. But and I strongly emphasize this is not the Garfield that we know and love as the witty one lines and the belittling of Odie is all but gone in this movie.

As if everything that makes Garfield who is thrown out like yesterdays garbage. Which left a sour taste in my mouth as this movie wasn't funny at all. It was more a chore or a labor of love as a Garfield fan. Yet even with that I was disheartened with the cliched superhero motif and the lack of real charm usually found in Garfield. If this was any other cartoon character or just a stand alone film with no ties to Garfield.

It would have made this a better movie as your expectations of Garfield would not be present. This is the biggest hang up for me on this movie honestly is that fact and that it is Garfield. It is also because of this I did not find a lot of enjoyment in it. Which saddened me more than anything. It is like seeing making Bugs Bunny lose is carrot and end up chewing on celery or smoking a pipe.

Yes it is Bugs Bunny but it is not the Bugs you love. Because they changed who is as a Character and a Toon. But if you are one that can look away and shelve your love for Garfield you might find enjoyment in this. Especially little boys as this movie is right up there with the TV shows like Ben 10 and Johnny Test in action and goofy nature. Girls might not enjoy this and might find some humor in the gas and belch jokes.

That is just a stretch I see it more as a way to gross out your sister than enjoyment for her. So if anything comes from this. It will be this little brothers will use this to gross out their sisters so that they can end up using the tv to play games. Once she has left the room in disgust from all the belching and farting.

My Rating: 2.5/5 Stars



Saturday, May 21, 2011

Movie Review # 82 Retribution Road [Blue Eyes] (2007)


Release: 2007
Director: Chuck Walker 
Writer: Chuck Walker
Cast: John Castellanos, Michael Gregory, Leslie Easterbrook

Ratings:
Rotten Tomatoes: 25% Audience
IMDb: 4.7/10
Netflix: 2.4 Stars


Review:
Chuck Walker is the bastard version of Louis L'Amour. Where Louis succeeded in story telling, character design and staying power. Chuck Walker fails in all of those and more. Where Louis is mostly known for his writing he did have a few of his novels made into movies like Hondo with John Wayne and Crossfire Trail with Tom Selleck.

Which are not only good Westerns they are some of the most memorable I have ever seen. On the flip side Chuck Walker's films are forgettable and painful to fully watch. Which can make for some awkward moments when your a reviewer watching bad films like this with friends and family. As one by one they get up and walk out questioning why I am still sitting there. Which has now happened twice now with one of Chuck Walkers movies the other being Return of the Outlaws (Mexican Gold).

Which I reviewed earlier this year. Sadly though Chuck hasn't learned from that movies many mistakes. As he still has the same audio problems, lighting problems and horrendous script that goes with out description. But what is most haunting is how Chuck Walkers movies have two names well at least the two I reviewed so far. As they are released under one name and once the critics and viewers catch a whiff of the crap pile it is.

He quickly changes it and re-brands it as a new movie. With the same terrible script and acting. Which I can not blame the actors in this movie. I can only blame the director and writer Chuck Walker. As with each passing moment in this movie you can tell the actors want nothing to do with this movie. Almost as if they know they are making a movie on par with the likes of The Room and Troll 2. Both of which are considered two of the worst films of all time.

I can proudly say that Retribution Road (Blue Eyes) is up there with those. In story, writing, directing and acting. Despite as painful this story of a locked up outlaw and his family who is set out to save him is. It is just on par with The Room and Troll 2. Which does not say much for this movie in the least. Just that a bad film fan will find enjoyment in this movie. Which I did and it was watching my family and friends walking out cussing at me for starting this movie.

Call me a Sadist but that alone was worth the time of displeasure. But I will never watch this again and I strongly recommend that most avoid this movie at all costs. Yet if you are a completest of Bad Cinema and must see the worst of the worst films. Then this is a prize  you must take in and enjoy as their are not many films that are worse than this one.

My Rating: .25/5 Stars






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Friday, May 20, 2011

Movie Review # 81 Dirt Merchant (1999)


Release: 1999
Director: B.J. Nelson 
Writer: B.J. Nelson
Cast: Danny Masterson, David Faustino, David DeLuise 


Ratings: 
Rotten Tomatoes:  27% Audience
IMDb: 4.6/10 Stars
Netflix: 2.3 Stars


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Review:
Dirt Merchant is the best straight to internet movie I have ever seen. Yes you did read that right folks. This feature length film released on September 19, 1999 on the website SightSound.com and even though it is no longer up on their sight. It still has that distinction and honor as being one of the firsts. With Pi by Darren Aronofsky being the first in April of 1999.

But unlike Aronofsky B.J. Nelson is not a household name is most known for his other B-Films like Lone Wold McQuade and part of the Scanner series. Neither of which are generally known outside of die hard action fans or sci-fi fans. As they are usually over the top silly and have just enough action to make up for bad acting or in the case of Lone Wold McQuade Chuck Norris vs David Carradine.

That alone is a selling point for most people. The man that has grown to great Mythic standards in Chuck Norris and Mr. Kung Fu himself David Carradine. But I am not here to talk about those movies I am here to talk about Dirt Merchant and all it silly stone humor and porn humor.

I say that with a open heart and tongue in cheek. As this movie is Jenna Jameson's first real acting role outside of being plowed by a group of men. It is also not her best acting as she turned it into Porno star mode and never left it. But the running joke through out the movie is every time you see a porn it is one of Jenna's several porns be it on tv or magazine.

So it was obvious that the role of Holly So Tighty was written for her or some other actress wanting to move into big motion pictures. Which is respectable and in this movie it worked. Now for the rest of the cast the only outstanding performance goes to Danny Masterson who is best known as Steven Hyde or just Hyde from That 70's Show.

As he is out of luck brilliant man with a keen eye for detail. He is also the main character through out the film. Even though his story is shaky and his detective skills borderline on omniscient it is enjoyable enough to make most people smile and nod. Especially once you realize that Pineapple Express stole parts from this movie or at the least paid homage to this little indie film when Seth Rogen's character was issuing subpoenas.

As Dirt (Danny Masterson) came up with direct and indirect ways of issuing them.  I could have stood and enjoyed this a little more as this is where the movie was at it's strongest. Sadly  though it was short lived. As the movie moved to more a on the run convict who plays a private dick role. As hard for that was for me to type it is even harder to watch. As the movie jumps all over with truth serums to mass murderers.

It never finds the ground that the first half was strongly footed on. Which is extremely sad as this movie had a lot of great promise and going for it with its limited budget. But none of that matters if a movie stalls out in the way this one does. Which is more Scooby Doo meet's stoner hell. Even with that I still enjoyed it and maybe it is just that part of me that enjoys the goofy or just that over the top silly bad movie.

I do not know. Nor do I care as this is a movie I can watch again and again. I guess it is for reasons that I will never understand. But life is to short for me to really care.

My rating: 2.5/5 Stars

No trailer was found = ( sorry folks.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Movie Review # 80 Boy (2009)


Release: 2009
Director: 
Auraeus Solito
Writer(s):
 Jimmy Flores
 Arturo Calo
Cast: 
Aeious Asin
Aries Pena
Belinda

Ratings:
Rotten Tomatoes 0% Audience 
IMDb 6.0/10
Netflix 2.7 Stars


Follow me @aikira21

Review:
I am going to do my best not to through in bad puns, it is just that with the a film simply named Boy. It is inevitable as the movie itself focused on that through out. With its constant poems about a poem told in spoken word by Boy (Aeious Asin) that is all he is known as through out the movie. Which leads to a bit of mystery and allure about that most leads do not have.

It is also this simple premise that made this beautiful. As you see the world from two points of view. The clean, kept and intellectual world of Boy and the dark seedy underbelly that is Aries (Aries Pena). As one is educated and the other is from a small village who moved to the city to make money and to dance. It is with this polarizing opposites that this movie is set.

As Boy accepts his budding homosexuality and goes out seeking a boy to love. A boy to hold and to cherish and this is where the real story begins. On Christmas day Boy and Aries meet for the first time. Aries is a dancer at a local Gay Bar run by a Transgendered woman named Belinda. Whom tries to set up Boy with a myriad of men and transgirls through out. Only for her to strike out each time.

But all that changed once Aries steps in and goes on stage. It was at this moment Boy falls in love and Belinda the ever present manager sets up a price plan for her dancer. Which is straight up pimping in my book. Yet what follows is magical and alluring as Boy goes out and sells his comics or at least part of his collection. In order to have one night with Aries and in hopes of Aries falling in love with him.

So on New Years Eve he goes back to the club with money in tow and pays for the night with Aries. Once paid Aries and Boy return to Boy's home. Where they spend part of the night with Boy's mother celebrating New Years and eating dinner and partying. Till they leave and go back to Boy's room. This is where the magic happens and I am not talking about how they shot the love scenes.

Which where gorgeous and sensual. But the story of isotopes and how fish thrive in different environments. It was this simple analogy of life that struck home with me. As they put humanity in the fish bowl and explained life through fish. In not only of being accepting but how some fish can not thrive in certain environments. While others can and how some bite and others protect.

This simplistic approach to a broader subject that is still taboo across most of the world. Opened my eyes and I am accepting of the GLBT lifestyle and I am part of it. As Boy explained the isotope world and how each lives a certain way and how Aries not only accepted it. But he wanted to learn more as he fell in love with Boy. Which is the same story of the girl that falls in love with the boy on the wrong side of the tracks. Just with two boys and it was just as magical.

Especially after Boy's mother came in and despite her initial shock. She was accepting of it. She didn't care as long as her son was happy. Even when morning came around she never spoke of it. But let Boy come to her which they alluded to but never broached. Yet you could tell from the context and fun at the morning breakfast table she loved him with out judgement and that is all anyone could ask for.

Even Aries got love and acceptance from Boy. As he tried to walk out on Boy in the middle of the night. Only for Boy to follow and want to be part of his isotope. In Aries world we see how Aries lives and how he doesn't dance for money he does it for pleasure and fun. We learn that Aries is a poet when drunk and how caring and kind he is.

It was just simply beautiful and magical. But it won't be for many people out there. As this film shares many of the same ascetics as movies like Brokeback Mountain and Y Tu Ma Tambien or Bad Education. Where people come of age and accept who they are but with out the death toll and slamming of the Gay Community at large. Which was refreshing.

I just wish that humanity as whole could be more accepting as this movie wants us to be. But one day we will be and films like this will be part of the reason and solution.

My Rating: 4/5 Stars







Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Movie Review # 79 #1 Cheerleader Camp [The Asylum] (2010)


Release: 2010
Director: Mark Quod http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0704517/
Writer: Naomi L. Selfman http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0783119/
Cast:
Charlene Tiltom http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0005492/
Seth Cassell http://www.imdb.com/name/nm3215890/
Jay Gillespie http://www.imdb.com/name/nm1152653/


Ratings:
Rotten Tomatoes: 7% Audience http://www.rottentomatoes.com/m/1_cheerleader_camp/
IMDb: 3.5/10 http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1637976/
Netflix: 2.9 Stars


Review:
There are great companies that make straight to DVD films. Like the people behind American Pie and National Lampoon. Then we have the hacks that are The Asylum. Who are most famous for the many mockbusters that they have put out over the past few years. All of which are painful and down right hideous. Unfortunately it seems to be the case for all their movies.

#1 Cheerleader Camp included. With an opening scene ripped from the Man Show more specifically the "Girls on Trampolines" segment. That is so over the top and offensive that I nearly turned off the movie. You ask what could be so bad? How about four minutes of topless girls bouncing up and down touching themselves as if it is a soft core porn.

As a female it is offensive and well just childish. For a teen male who this movie is catered to its instant tent time and possibly a run to the nearest bathroom or quickly under the sheets. As this is just to good to not whip it out to and masturbate. Which would make them no different than one of the main characters of the movie Andy (Seth Cassell. Who not only whips it out everywhere.

It is how he wants to get tone and fit. It as he put it the Masturbation Diet and it's the only one he can stick with. As he failed with Atkins, and Weight Watchers etc etc. In all honesty this sickening running joke goes from start to end. Which by the end it makes you plead for mercy as he is caught doing it or just shown doing it every five to ten minutes through out.

Which is understandable for as much tits and ass are shown. This movie just like another movie made by The Asylum MILF is just a soft core porn wrapped in a horrible comedy. They both even share something similar that being the bets. Where one was who could get the most granny pussy by the end of summer. This one is who can bag a threesome by the end of Summer. Which Andy wins with two grandmas.

Seriously I wish I was joking. It is a disturbing scene seeing two older woman dressed up as dominatrix's whipping and doing who knows what to Andy. Despite all of Andy's disgustingness you have Michael "The Choker" (Jay Gillespie) and its not what you think it is. Which shocked the crap out of me that they kept this clean outside of this horrible nickname.

Which was brought on by him choking on the pommel horse at a gymnastics meet. Which tarnished his name and made it on "VieeW Tuube" the YouTube of this movie. Which not only causes Michael a lot of grief it ends up with people thinking he is gay. Which are the funniest scenes in the movie especially one where a gay boy is eating cole slaw of Michaels butt while he is trying to go skinny dipping.

In all honesty that was the only scene that actually got me to laugh. As it is was unexpected and it is down right wrong and funny. Especially when the girl Michael had the hots for showed up and the guy eating the cole slaw popped up scaring her and embarrassing Michael at the same time. Leading to a misunderstanding of events. But not enough for Sophie to not fall in love predictably with Michael at the end of the movie.

That love connection or lack of one through it is what this movie is principally about. If they had stuck with that story of misunderstanding and growing up and overcoming choking. It would have been a great movie and possibly one I could sit through again. Instead what we get is masturbation jokes, girls rubbing all over each other and old woman dressed up in tight leather.

None of which appeals to me what so ever. But to some in the world this kind of movie will. Just not enough based on reviews and the ratings that this movie has. Which is a 3.5/10 on IMDb and a 7% approval rating by audiences on Rotten Tomatoes. If that shows anything it is this. That most people want substance not nudity, masturbation and childish antics.

Which at this time I do not see The Asylum caring as their movies are put out to make a buck. With catchy wording, amazing box art and shifty reviews by themselves posted on the boxes. It is their game and one day we will grow smart enough to avoid these movies. Sadly for this one reviewer I know I will be reviewing many more before just so that you do not have to see them.

My Rating: 0/5 Stars


Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Movie Review # 78 2012: Doomsday [The Asylum] (2008)


Release: 2008
Director: Nick Everhart http://www.imdb.com/name/nm2544836/
Writer(s): 
Naomi L. Selfman (story) http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0783119/
Nick Everhart http://www.imdb.com/name/nm2544836/
Cast:
Dale Midkiff  http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0001535/
Cliff De Young http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0002037/
Ami Dolenz http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0000371/


Ratings:
Rotten Tomatoes: 15% Audience http://www.rottentomatoes.com/m/2012-doomsday/
IMDb: 1.8/10 http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1132130/
Netflix: 2.3 Stars


Review:
There are things that go great together like Peanut Butter and Jelly or Ketchup and French Fries. Then there are others that are the Hell spawn of Satan himself and this movie collaboration is surely one of them. Teaming  The Asylum home of the worst movies out there with a Christian propaganda movie that makes fun of The Omega Code or any other post Apocalypse Christian film.

This combination not only fails it fails on all levels. With critics and average Joe's alike blasting this movie. It is not safe from redemption and if it was to be the final movie I had to watch before being saved. I would choose not being saved as I can not watch this ever again. Sadly my sentiment on this movie is shared by many. With several blasting it to a point that they want it removed from the record as a Christian film

Which is funny as it is more a Sci-Fiction crapfest than a real Christian movie. As they linked the Mayans and Jesus in a ancient temple. Then had a group of people who all are all American except for one Mexican become the new disciples of Christ. Talk about blasphemy to the millionth degree there. That and the second coming of Jesus was told by the Mayans and a woman the Mexican.

Was the vessel for the new Lord and Savior of what was left of humanity. Yep got to love these movies. They are so awful that they give me migraines and make me wish for a noose to end it all. Just so I do not have to watch another one of these horrible films. But that would be the easy way out and I am not going to do that. Instead I choose to watch them and then write reviews like this.

So that you folks out there do not have to watch these. So that you are not subjugated to such horrible movie making. But instead can focus on those good films that are out there.  So do me a favor be you a Christian, Atheist, Muslim or any other religion. Avoid this movie as it is not only insulting and horrible. It is down right not worth watching as it leaves with more head scratching than answers.

My Rating Negative - 3/5 Stars



Monday, May 16, 2011

Movie Review # 77 Pufnstuf [H.R. Pufnstuf] (1970)


Release: 1970
Director: Holingsworth Morse http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0607612/
Writer(s):
John Fenton Murrary http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0615080/
Si Rose http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0741676/
Cast:
Jack Wild http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0928349/
Billie Hayes http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0370906/
'Mama' Cass Elliott http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0254177/
Roberto Gamonet http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0304018/
Martha Raye  http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0713106/
Billy Barty http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0000863/

Ratings:
Rotten Tomatoes: 75% Audience http://www.rottentomatoes.com/m/hr-pufnstuf-1980/
IMDb: 5.9/10 http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0066256/
Netflix: 3.2 Stars


Review:
Everyone has movies or TV shows that bring back that inner child in them. Of those warm summer day's sitting inside sipping lemonade and enjoying a little personal time with the parents. H.R. Pufnstuf is one of those for me. It was made eleven years before I was born. But that did not stop me from enjoying a piece of their childhood.

As the characters in the show are love able, fun and adorable. From Witchie Poo to Jimmy to Pufnstuf himself. Each one of them has a unique feel and appeal to the young audience. Even though it was a short run show of only 17 episodes and one made for TV movie. It has lasted the test of time and has even spurned the production of a major motion picture release. Sometime in the future through Sony Entertainment.

Which say's a lot about a television show that was removed off the air after one season. It also say's a ton about the work of Sid and Marty Kroftt. Who where the Jim Henson's of their day. It was this kind of magic that made this show stick with the kids of the day and ultimately with me. When it was passed down by my parents. I still to this day remember the day that I saw my first episode of this show.

It was a cold rainy day and we had gone to Sam's Video and as usual my brother and me went straight to the video games. But father and mother both seemed distracted by a movie. Almost as if their childhood had come back to them. That video was the first four episodes of H.R. Pufnstuf and on this rainy day. I was introduced to this show. Which not only fascinated me it captivated me and made me want to be part of Living Island.

As a child it transports you through music and song to a world that is so unbelievable and goofy that you just want to be part of it. As the games they played and how Witchie Poo who was the Team Rocket of her day. Kept failing but coming back the next day to try and steal the magical flute that Jimmy had. Was fun and enjoyable and just silly enough to stick with me for a life time.

So H.R. Pufnstuf became part of my legacy as a child. I would rent the movie two to three times a month and it always brought a smile to my face. Then one day it was gone. When I asked about it I was told that the tape had been destroyed by another customer. I was devasted and destroyed. As Pufnstuf had become a friend that I grew to love and enjoy. Even though it drove my parents nuts and is probably one of the main reasons I ended up with a VCR in my bedroom.

But Pufnstuf was gone and he would be for years till Nick at Night came on television and I had him back. I was teenager then. But he was still part of me. I had to watch him and I did. Every episode multiple times. But the great Pufnstuf movie avoided me. I knew it existed and I knew I wanted to see it. As both my parents had told me about it. It was no where to be found or seen.

Then in 2007 it was released on DVD and to my unfortunate luck. I never heard about it till yesterday. When I was going through the Netflix cue and their it was. I was shocked so I did my research and found out all I could about it. It was part of a collection of Sid and Marty Kroftt movies. A box set of the best of the best and I couldn't be happier. As I finally get to see what I thought nigh impossible. The Golden Chalice of my long 25 year Odyssey which that is H.R. Pufnstuf.

 The movie starts off with the story of Jimmy and how he came to the Living island. Which was barely touched on in the TV series and mostly told through the opening song of the show. Which was nice and good as we see that Jimmy was hated and pretty much despised in his school. It is also shows how much society hasn't changed. As one of the songs sung in the movie by 'Mama' Cass Elliott of the Mama's and the Papa's proved.

The song was about being different and how it is okay to be different. It doesn't matter if you are lonely or hurt. But that you live you life and be you. That was true then and is even more true today. This song is possibly one of  Cass Elliott's best songs ever and one that should be put out for the youth of today. As it's message is spot on and worth being heard.

Now this is also where the movie differs from the TV series. Where the TV series focused on the adventures of Pufnstuf and Jimmy mostly. The movie focused on Witchie Poo and her vying for the Witch of the Year crown and why she wanted Freddy the Magic Flute to start with. Which is not only refreshing it is eye opening as Witchie Poo was not only love able before she became endearing and even more love able.

As you see the real Witchie Poo and not the rambling I am going to get you and your magic flute. That was shown so many times in the series. But the I am afraid of Boss Witch who is a a female Hitler complete with a red and black Skull and Crossbone swastica and German mouse liege. Only in the 70's would this be Kosher. Today it wouldn't fly and honestly I wish we where not so prudish in the states.

As this movie could not be shown on television today. With questionable subject matter like the German mouse or even the all the chain smoking that goes on with certain characters in the movie. Which is extremely sad. As this show did not make me want to smoke or anything. It made me want to get out and adventure unlike some modern shows like Yu-Gi-Oh that preach lets sit down and play games.

This one taught you to go out explore get dirty and have fun outside. But keep your friends close and enjoy them and all their fallacies and faults. Sadly it is just the sign of the times. As much as I love this movie and TV series. I know that some prude out there that loved this as child. Has lost what made this special to them.

As they say that this movie is unsuitable for children as Jack Dresses up as a fairy/angel to free his friends. That or the smoking or the German mouse are insensitive and promotes bad habits. Honestly if you are reading this much into a show made for 7 year olds then you should reconsider your life. Why not grown down and learn to be a kid again.

Life is to short to be so petty and hurtful to your children and others children. Maybe it is time for you to find your way to the magic boat that talks and take your ride to the Island of the Living. Then maybe we can talk once you see how awesome and cool Pufnstuf and and friends are.

My Rating 4.5/5 Stars


I won't link the movie trailers or anything. Here is the link to Kroftt Pictures on Youtube so you can watch and enjoy three of the best episodes. http://www.youtube.com/user/KrofftPictures

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Movie Review # 76 The Dolphin: Story of the Dreamer (2009)


Release: 2009
Director: Eduardo Schuldt http://www.imdb.com/name/nm1823279/
Writer(s):
Sergio Bambaren (screenplay) http://www.imdb.com/name/nm2959508/
Judy Kellem (screenplay) http://www.imdb.com/name/nm4129963/
Eduardo Schuldt (screenplay) http://www.imdb.com/name/nm1823279/
Michael Wogh (screenplay) http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0937376/
Cast:
Robbie Daymond http://www.imdb.com/name/nm2837894/
Debra L. Repashy http://www.imdb.com/name/nm4129772/
Michael Ferreri http://www.imdb.com/name/nm1864207/


Ratings:
Rotten Tomatoes: n/a http://www.rottentomatoes.com/m/the-dolphin-story-of-a-dreamer/
IMDb: 4.7/5 Stars http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1206541/
Netflix: 3.2 Stars


Review:
Children's animated movies are a hit and miss proposition at best. With more misses than hits usually and going in with this mindset I was pleasantly surprised with The Dolphin: Story of the Dreamer as it has a heart felt message about following ones dreams. Which is cliche and predictable. At the same time it does a new twist to the follow your dreams story.

As it directly tackles a modern issue. That we no longer dream. We just procure belongings and use those for happiness instead of following what out hearts want. This is told through out the movie and it keeps this message not only strong but very straight forward. With messages of do no live on others dreams, do not forget your dreams, and stay a kid at heart as those dreams are your most pure.

All of which are told in a beautiful fashion and through some decent animation. Sadly though the voice acting and script are both horrendous. As every five minutes or so you hear Daniel Alexander Dolphin spew from the main characters mouth. Seriously must we have your full name every time. While everyone else is satisfied by giving you their first name only? It is as if he wants the world to know that he is greatest dolphin ever!

Well according to the story he is. As his dream and the fulfillment of it. Will change the ocean and make everyone follow their hearts and dreams. So I guess he and his mouth full of a name must be spewed in full every chance. So that the world does not forget it. It is almost in lines of the way Jesus or Muhammad are in the way this movie is presented. As he is the chosen one or he is the son of God.

Chosen or bread to chance the world. It this mythology that I couldn't get out of my head and it also made me chuckle. None more so than when he fought the great Dream Eater Lucius who is there only to steal and destroy all dreamers. All because someone lied to him and destroyed his dreams. Lucius defeats Daniel and tries to steal the dream. But Daniel believes in it to much and won't let it go.

Then out of no where every one in his cult following shows up. Just as if he was the second coming of Christ or Muhammad. It was not so much a religious moment but a Holy Crap this was predictable moment. Unfortunately it was  that way from begining to end. Which for adults will not be bearable for the most part.

For kids though they will love it. As it hits on all the cues that makes a good movie for children. But if given the choice I would choose to read my kids the book first that was written by Sergio Bambaren and then let them see the movie. So I can teach them the differences of the two. Which is not much and defiantly not worth mentioning.

At the same time it sharing a special moment with my kids as I read them a book. Instead of sitting on a couch with a movie or a game. Instead reading and enjoying a bond that I had with my mother as a child. That is what this movie is really about. Sharing moments and dreams and being close with those you love and cherish. So if I took anything away from this movie. It is this.

Follow your heart and keep your dreams. Cherish your family, your friends and never judge a person by their looks. Instead choose to see everyone as a blank page that you write the script for as you get to know them. With no biased or tainted views.

My Rating 3.25/5 Stars



Saturday, May 14, 2011

Movie Review # 75 Growing OP (2008)


Release: 2008
Director: Michael Melski http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0578361/
Writer: Michael Melski http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0578361/
Cast:
Steven Yaffee http://www.imdb.com/name/nm1903172/
Rachel Blanchard http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0004761/
Wallace Langham http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0005120/


Ratings:
Rotten Tomatoes: 59% Audience http://www.rottentomatoes.com/m/growing_op/
IMDb: 6.1/10 http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1105730/
Netflix: 3.6 Stars


Review:
Cliche? Predictable? Coming of age? These are all words or phrases that come to mind for Growing OP. As it follows a strong line of other movies in context and presentation. Like American Beauty, Brokeback Mountain and Chasing 3000. With a central character growing and becoming the man or the woman they are. But what set's this apart from those is the story of Quinn.

The main character of the film. Quinn wants nothing to be like his family. Who all are pot growing, pot smoking hippies who are against the moral compass of society. Where he just wants to fit in and be normal and not the outcast that his family loves to be so much. Which is also the downfall of his family. As his blind love leads to their ultimate demise in the end and his true calling as well.

It is a full circle movie he grows up detesting pot and everything about it. Family get's busted and the he retains the legacy of growing the pot. That point was so obvious that it was nauseating. At the same time it was sentimental and heartfelt. But overly predictable. Just like the rest of the film.  Especially the family of his one true love Crystal Conners. Who where so over the top and screamed cops.

Just no one caught on. Especially when they forbid the young lovers from going up stairs by barricading the stairs with paint buckets. Talk about overkill and silliness. But for evey moment like this their are others. That make up for it. Like how the social network in high school is based on perception. Not who you are just how you are perceived. And seeing that Quinn was home schooled his entire life. Then in one moment wanting to go because of Crystal lead to many fall outs.

Not only with the people at his school but also with his anti-normality family. As his sister get's on to him for stealing her business and possibly destroying her weed selling. Which her father disapproves of because she sells all his cast offs. But to her it is all about money and not giving the premium weed to a bunch of dumb high schoolers. To his mom talking his father into letting Crystal into the house and telling him weed should not take precedent over Hope and Quinn.

All of these I can see playing out in certain households that might have this business. Hell I can see it happening in any family business. As the kids do not want to be their parents and set off to be their own person. Which did add a sense of believability to this movie. Just not enough though as with each passing scene the tiresome portrayal of suburbia and high school. Does wear on you and it does bore you.

Which I would say that happened about 30 minutes into the movie and continued for another 40 minutes. After that though the last 20 minutes not only fly they are the most exiting in the film. As the family is arrested and Quinn becomes his father all over in college. It is just making it to that point that is the hard part. As this movie will drive away people. Because of how slow and lethargic the middle is.

Which is where 90% of my complaints come in. But it is not enough to completely wash your hands of this movie. As it does have decently good characters even if they are cliche. A great cast and seeing all the pot and love of the pot that the father has. Is totally worth seeing. But as far as stone movies go this is a bust upon busts as it is more a social family drama. Than your typical stoner film like Pineapple Express or Up in Smoke.

So if that is what you think this might be. You will be disappointed and pissed off. If you want a movie that is more like a coming of age with pot? Then this is your kind of movie. Outside of those two camps I can not think of anyone else who might enjoy it. But who knows you just might.

My Rating: 3.75/5 Stars



Friday, May 13, 2011

Movie Review # 74 Arn: The Knight Templar (2007)


Release: 2007
Director: Peter Flinth http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0282425/
Writer(s):
Jan Guillou (story) http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0347188/
Hans Gunnarsson (screenplay) http://www.imdb.com/name/nm1076710/
Cast:

Joakim Nätterqvist http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0639010/


Sofia Helin http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0375138/

Stellan Skarsgård http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0001745/




Ratings:
Rotten Tomatoes: 61% Audience http://www.rottentomatoes.com/m/arn-tempelriddaren-arn-the-knight-templar/
IMDb: 6.4/10 Stars http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0837106/
Netflix: 4 Stars


Review:
Arn: The Knight Templar is a better movie than the Orlando Bloom Epic Kingdom of Heaven. Which does not say much as Kingdom of Heaven was generally panned as a awful movie. Where Kingdom of Heaven failed Arn: The Knight Templar succeeds in spades. As it is based on the trilogy of novels written by Jan Guillou a popular Swedish Author.

Arn is also based on the true story of Arn Magnusson who helped bring peace to a fractured country that eventually became Sweden. So this has a huge amount of positives going for it. With all of these it does not disappoint as it follows in the ways of similar epics like The Lord of Ring's or even John Woo's Red Cliff. With you falling in love with the characters and feeling what they feel.

They make you want to believe what it is on screen. They also have heart, emotion and give powerful performances not seen outside of major Hollywood movies usually. Thankfully that is changing with more movies getting the Hollywood treatment it is starting to make foreign films. Not only stand on par with the major studio releases. But in the eyes of this reviewer exceed them in story telling, book adaptation and heartfelt drama and action.

While Hollywood focuses on special effects and constant sequels. It has opened the door for the real movie makers to find homes outside of the Hollywood norm. Then make magical movies like this one. That only drive home how bad life was during the Crusades. But how awful the church was to humanity. They where evil people who followed not the word of Christ. But ruled with what they believed was the right way to rule.

Which was through tyranny, greed, and fear and this movie not only covers it. It covered it very well and it is shocking that Christianity even has lasted as long has it has. When you see how bad it was for humanity back then. No I am not knocking religion nor am I slamming believers. It is just that this movie makes you question your beliefs if you have any to begin with.

When you see how bad the Christians treat their fellow Christians in the name of the Lord. At the same time they do showcase the Muslims in a brighter light. Which is a good change of pace where Muslims are always the modern villains in today's society. Which is not the case. But sadly most are to stupid to see it that way.

But they don't and thankfully the writers kept to the story and didn't villainize the great Saladin. As he not only showed grace and honor. He showed true human compassion for Arn the man who not only saved his life. But a great warrior and wise man. It is this give and change perspective that is wonderful. As you see how the Holy Land is fought over and how both sides claim rights to Jerusalem.

But sadly unwilling to concede and share the holy land. As they both think only one side should have it. Which to this is still going on. Talk about Montague's vs Capulets stealing a line from Romeo and Juliet. The writers touch on this touchy subject and leave it as hopefully one day we can find peace. Which to this day we still have not. As generations of children are raised to hate another religion. All because it was what their ancestors did.

It is not right but it has happened. Now this movie strokes emotions like a good wind flames the fires. Which is a good thing. As it also provokes thought and ultimately contemplation of life and how we live it. Especially as we see Arn who fought for his freedom and his wife Cecilia fight for hers. Both of whom suffered at the hands of the Church. Yet still showed allegiance to it despite all that it had done to them.

It is this kind of faith that I do not have. At the same time it does provoke thought to me. As I see this everyday in my family and those who live for religion and their chosen God(s). I am happy for them as I am happy I saw this movie. Will it change my views on life no. But what it does do is change my views on cinema. As I search out more movies that are as spectacular and amazing as Arn: The Knight Templar.

 My Rating 4.5/5 Stars


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