Archive for November, 2011

Lost Boys: The Tribe (2008)

Directed By: P.J. Pesce

Starring: Corey Feldman, Tad Hilgenbrink, Autumn Reeser, Angus Sutherland, Shaun Sipos, Merwin Mondesir, Kyle Cassie, Tom Savini

Subgenre: Vampires

Lost Boys the Tribe

Synopsis: Chris and his sister Nicole move to a vampire infested surf community where Nicole is seduced by the head vampire.  Chris seeks out the help of Edgar Frog to save his sister and settle the score.

Thoughts: Making a sequel to one of the most beloved is not an easy task.  Making one on a limited budget with a screenplay that was originally intended to feature werewolves is even tougher.  The original Lost Boys was a bit of a perfect storm with a great cast, compelling storyline and good old teen angst on its side. 

The cast for The Tribe isn’t actually too bad.  Tad Hilgenbrink played a decent lead, especially as the former surfer with the attitude problem.  Autumn Reeser, the sister, is pretty damn attractive, which is her strong point, and the vampire crew is decent as adrenalin junkie vampires.  Angus Sutherland, half-brother to Kiefer, seems to nail the laid back surfer attitude, but it was a little to laid back for me.  Tom Savini even makes a cameo as a vampire that runs across the surfer pack.  That leaves one major player in the remake, Edgar Frog.  Corey Feldman returns in the role that made him famous and steps right back into it.  He serves as a bit of comic relief and as the bridge between the first movie.

The direction is pretty solid too, as there are a couple of X-Games inspired action sequences that are filmed pretty well.  It is a pretty blatant attempt at cashing in on the popularity of “extreme” sports, but it wasn’t too bad.  The vampire FX were solid too, with vampire deaths thrown in.

The Tribe has a lot going for it, but does fall a little short in the long run.  The story just never grabs you and the ending fight is rushed.  As awesome as Edgar Frog is, this might have been better without him.  The movie was fairly serious up to the point he was introduced, and took on more of a campy feel after. 

There are a lot worse sequels out there, especially ones that are direct to video.  The Tribe is worth checking out, especially for fans of the original movie and vampire flicks.

Super 8 (2011)

Directed By:  J.J. Abrams

Starring: Joel Courtney, Elle Fanning, Riley Griffiths, Zach Mills, Gabriel Basso, Ryan Lee, Kyle Chandler, Noah Emmerich

Subgenre: Science Fiction, Aliens

Super 8

Synopsis: A young group of friends inadvertently video tape a train wreck that was carrying something dangerous.

Thoughts: I had intended on seeing Super 8 in the theatres, but I just never made it.  I picked up the Blu Ray as soon as it came out and after watching it, kicked myself for not seeing it on the big screen.  It has its flaws, but I was wholly entertained.

JJ Abrams extensive search for the cast really paid off.  These kids did an amazing job and you really felt as if they were all lifelong friends.  My favorite was Charles, played by Riley Griffiths.  There is a pretty decent featurette on the Blu Ray that talks about the casting process.  Most of the kids had very little previous experience.  The obvious exception is Elle Fanning, younger sister to Dakota.

It’s hard to argue that JJ Abrams is not a creative genius.  He hasn’t directed all that many movies (Mission: Impossible III, Star Trek, and Super 8), but he been the creative force behind some great shows, including Lost, Fringe and Alias.  I think that Super 8 is his best film and really shows the steps he is taking in becoming a great director.  The train wreck scene, as well as the neighborhood warzone scene were some great action sequences, but the great thing about Super 8 is that it isn’t just an action movie, it’s a great coming of age movie that will bring back memories of The Goonies and E.T.  This was obviously what Abrams and Spielberg (he was a producer) were shooting for and although it can be a bit heavy handed at times, but I think they succeeded.

One part of movies that I don’t often write about it the music, but Michael Giacchino’s score was beautiful and was very reminiscent of what John Williams would bring to a movie.  It was just another reason I was pissed at myself for not seeing this in theatres.

Now, I said that it did have some flaws, and the biggest one is the ending.  I can’t deny that I felt a bit cheated and that it seemed rushed, but it wasn’t bad enough to take away all the fun I had up to it.  The CGI got to be a bit much as well, but something that should probably be expected in this day and age.  For what it’s worth, I thought that the CGI was well done.

Obviously, I recommend seeing Super 8.  Personally, I can’t wait to have my kids sit down and watch it.

Thanksgiving

Posted: November 25, 2011 in Trailers
Tags: , ,

Thankskilling! (2009)

Directed By: Jordan Downey

Starring: Natasha Cordova, Linsdey Anderson, Lance Predmore, Aaron Ringhiser-C arlson, Ryan Francis, General Bastard, Chuck Lamb, Wanda Lust

thankskilling

Synopsis: A foul-mouthed killer turkey sets out to slaughter a group of college kids over Thanksgiving break.

Thoughts: Thankskilling is the epitome of low budget, which makes it difficult to review, but I do know one thing, I had one hell of a good time watching this.  I actually won my DVD from the awesome blog Freddy in Space, which makes this all the better. 

Thankskilling has a lot going for it, and starts off with something every B-movie needs; a gratuitous boob shot (courtesy of Wanda Lust in her first non-porn role).  The actors take a back seat to the star of the movie, the Turkey.  This puppet has some of the best lines I have heard in a long time.  They are so crass and vulgar, you can’t help but laugh.  Tops on that list is right after the Turkey screws a victim to death, he drops “You just got stuffed!” 

There is a sequel in the works, which is good news, but I don’t know if it can live up (or down) to the original, but I know I will be checking it out for sure.

There is more than a fair share of juvenile humor here and this is a movie made to be watched with some friends and a couple of beers.  It isn’t “good” but it sure is a good time.  Check it out and have a blast.

The Lost Boys (1987)

Directed By: Joel Schumacher

Starring: Corey Haim, Jason Patric, Kiefer Sutherland, Corey Feldman, Jamison Newlander, Jami Gertz, Dianne West, Barnard Hughes, Edward Herrmann, Alex Winter, Billy Wirth

Subgenre: Vampires

Lost Boys

Synopsis: When their mother gets divorced, Michael and Sam are forced to relocate from Phoenix to Santa Clara.  Relocating is difficult enough, but when the town you are moving to is controlled by vampires, it makes it even more difficult.

Thoughts: This is one of the best, if not the best, vampire movies to come out of the 80s.  I have no idea how many times I have watched this, but it is a ton.  It is always entertaining, but not without its flaws.  For me, this is a great reflection on the late 80s, both in life and in the genre.

For starters, the story is great.  Ironically, the story started out with vampires that were kids around 5 or 6 years old and grew through many iterations to get where we all know it.  It is heavily inspired by Peter Pan.  Personally, I think the changes they made worked out for the best.

One of my favorite things about horror films from the 80s are all the future stars that are in the movies.  The Lost Boys is no different.  Jason Patric and Kiefer Sutherland both eat up the screen when they are on it, even if Patric could be a bit too brooding at times.  The Frog Brothers were brought to life by Corey Feldman and Jamison Newlander to great effect.  Of course, if you have one Corey in the 80s, the other can’t be far off.  Corey Haim plays Sam, the youngest brother, and probably my least favorite part of the movie.  I just found him to be a tad annoying, which I know is nitpicking in such a great film, but I have to find something didn’t love.

Joel Schumacher gets kudos here as well, but I can’t help but think that he caught a good script and a great cast and ran with it.  They guy’s resume is so up and down, I can’t honestly judge his directorial skills across a wide range of films.  I thought he had some great shots in this one though, including the first person vampire flights and the scene on the railway bridge.

For me, The Lost Boys is just a big a part of the 80s as Freddy and Jason.  It is a must see for horror fans and a great trip down memory lane for any of us that grew up in the 80s.

Prom Night (2008)

Posted: November 21, 2011 in Movie Review
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Prom Night (2008)

Directed By: Nelson McCormick

Starring: Brittany Snow, Johnathon Schaech, Scott Porter, Dana Davis, Jessica Stroup, Collins Pennie, Kelly Blatz, Idris Elba

Subgenre: Slasher

Synopsis: Years after an obsessed teacher slaughters her family, Donna is getting ready for her senior prom.  Little does she know, the teacher has escaped from prison and is ready to crash the party.

Thoughts: Everyone knows there has been a glut of remakes the last ten years or so, and most of us have grown more than a little tired of it.  Now I am not inherently against remakes; the horror genre has been built on them.  Just look how many times Dracula, Frankenstein, Jekyll and Hyde and the Phantom of the Opera have been on-screen.  In the 80s, we were treated to The Thing and The Fly, two amazing films that happened to be remakes, and recently Dawn of the Dead and The Texas Chainsaw Massacre have been remade to some success as well.

Well, they say to make an omelet; you gotta break a few eggs.  Consider the Prom Night remake a shattered egg.  I have long thought that Prom Night could be remade with great success, sadly the Producers elected to generate a piece of shit that showed no love to the original and pandered to teenagers in an attempt to balloon box office numbers.  I get that studios are in a business to make money, but there is a fine line to be drawn here.  The habit of putting out slightly amped up episodes of the OC as horror movies has to stop. 

The Prom Night remake feels a lot like a television episode, with maybe a little more blood thrown around, and that is part of the failure.  On top of that, the acting stinks.  I didn’t like any of the main characters, even worse; I didn’t really have any feelings towards them at all.

I think if I were going to start putting together a list of the worst remakes out there, this would be in the top 5.  This might be something I have to think about and come up with…

I rolled through the entire Prom Night franchise in a short period of time, and there were some really bad moments in the first four, but I can’t come up with a single reason to watch this remake. Do yourself a favor and pass.

Prom Night IV: Deliver Us from Evil (1992)

Directed By: Clay Borris

Starring: James Carver, Brock Simpson, Nicole de Boer, JH Wyman, Joy Tanner, Alle Ghadban

Subgenre: Slasher

Synopsis: Psychotic Preacher Father Jonas escapes to stalk and slash another group of teenagers.

Thoughts: The Prom Night franchise switches gears again, bringing us what is probably their most original entry yet.  During the prologue, we are introduced to Father Jonas, a religious madman who is evil beyond compare.  He is soon locked away by his fellow clergymen.  Of course he escapes many years later to continue his murderous rampage.

The premise of Deliver Us from Evil had loads of potential, even the overall story was great, but the execution was lacking.  The acting was barely passable, although James Carver as Father Jonas was delightfully over the top, delivering one of the most laughable lines ever, “Holy Father help me save the sluts and the whores.”

What really hurt Prom Night IV was the script.  Parts of the movie were just too slow and boring, failing to ratchet up the tension or advance the story.  Personally, I thought the number of victims should have been increased.

Prom Night IV was “this close” to being a pleasant surprise, but as it stands it is probably of interest only to those checking out the Prom Night franchise.