It is so good to finally see Geena Davis back on the big screen! Davis… MoreIt is so good to finally see Geena Davis back on the big screen! Davis has always been one of my favorite actresses, showing a quick wit and a calm demeanor that has led to some tremendous films. In the new direct-to-video dramedy, Accidents Happen, she proves that she may have been on vacation for a while, but she hasn't lost a thing. In this film, Davis plays the mother of sixteen year old Billy Conway, (Harrison Gilbertson), who always seems to be in the wrong place at the wrong time. The film starts with a childhood accident that destroys his family and really defines just who Billy is. After a chilling, but hilarious opening, the film jumps to a sixteen year old Billy and what's left of his family. His mother is crazy, his brother's a drunk, and his father just isn't around anymore, so it's up to Billy to deal with the trials and tribulations of a boy who is growing into a man. Davis is listed as the star and she has some amazingly funny lines, but the story is really centered around newcomer Harrison Gilbertson, who gives one the best performances by a teen actor that I've seen all year. Gilbertson very clearly shows us how Billy is seeming unaffected by what happens to him, he's strong, and seemingly ready to deal with anything, but on the inside, Billy is much different than he appears. The character was a deep one with many levels and Gilbertson takes us through them all with ease. I loved this film, because while it's dark and depressing at times, they also joke about these things that you're not supposed to joke about. Just when things seemingly become to much, that humor creeps back in and makes you love how wickedly fun this film is. If you want to see something different, that will have you going back and fourth between laughter and tears, then this is the film for you. I went into this film expecting nothing, just looking forward to seeing Geena Davis again and what I got instead was one of the best movies I've seen all year.
Corin Nemec pairs with Director Michael Feifer on their fourth… MoreCorin Nemec pairs with Director Michael Feifer on their fourth direct-to-video profile of a serial killer. This time the one they chose was Ted Bundy and the movie is not as advertised. Even though their other collaborations have been less than steller, I decided to watch this one, because it was described as a "drama that traces the path of this charming icon serial killer." From that, I was hoping to see a biographical film and that's the way it started out. After a half-hour or so, the film unfortunately descended into a blood bath. Ever since establishing himself with the hilarious teen comedy, Parker Lewis Can't Lose, Corky Nemec has turned to the dark side and seems to thrive on playing these twisted evil men. The former teen idol is terrific and gives a really strong performance, but it was the only thing of note in this film. After introducing us to Bundy, the writers stop focusing on the man and focus on his crimes. For the final hour of this film that's all you see, until a macabre ending which tries to show Bundy as some kind of hero, who never had a chance, because of his circumstances. The man brutally butchered as many as seventy woman, but according to this film, it's not his fault, he's just a child who never grew up. The whole premise of the film was ridiculous, it's a blood bath that tries to make Ted Bundy into some kind of victim and it's a slap in the face to the families of his victims. As much as I enjoy seeing Corin Nemec play a psychopath, I'm done with these snuff films that glorify the most evil men the world has even known.
Action is a genre that is known for being way out there in terms of… MoreAction is a genre that is known for being way out there in terms of realism, with ridiculous special effects, shotty dialouge, and bad acting. Seldom is an action movie really focused on the story, instead it's always about the man who can do the impossible. In Too Deep was different though because it was based on a true story and there really weren't any expensive special effects. In this film, Omar Epps plays a rookie, undercover cop, whose first small assignment actually leads him into the number one crime syndicate in all of Cincinnati. The inexperienced cop uses his urban upbringing and street smarts to get him to the top, where he really has to decide which side he wants to be on. In Too Deep featured a great, real life story, that was on the level, I really enjoyed this film. On top of that Epps and LL Cool J were terrific opposing each other and giving strong performances. What I didn't care for was the blatant racism from Director Michael Rymer. Everything was very well done, but it is very obvious that the Writer/Director of this film was white, while the majority of the cast was black. What I witnessed was a film where all the people in charge were white, all the thugs were black, but it didn't end there. The white people spoke eloquently, while even the black officers and other non-affiliated cast members all spoke street. Every person from the rookie cops aging father to the man who ran the convenience store were dropping F bombs left and right, adding man to every other word, and constantly saying the N word. I understand the point of this movie was to be real, but part of that realism was that this gang had never been infiltrated because of how smart they were. Instead of being portrayed as smooth and savvy, the leaders of the gang were portrayed as ignorant thugs and that really takes away from the film.
Imagine waking up in the hospital after an accident, not knowing what… MoreImagine waking up in the hospital after an accident, not knowing what happened, and then realizing that it's two years later than you thought it was. That is the dilemma faced by Simon Cable in The I Inside. This ambitious thriller has you piecing together the puzzle along side it's star Ryan Phillippe. The I Inside jumps around, far too much, between past, present, and future to tell it's story, a story that you really won't care about. It's a very uninteresting tale, that is told to you a piece at a time and to be honest, that's why you watch the film. It's confusing and not very good, but once you've invested the time, you want to know what happens. Ryan Phillippe was Brilliant as Simon Cable, proving that it really isn't all about the looks, he can act too, but again it's wasted talent in a very uninteresting tale. Phillippe is paired with Sarah Polley, who I absolutely love, the fact that she was in this film, is what put it on my radar, but she easily gives the worst performance of her career. Yes, the story wasn't very well written, but if everyone had put the energy into their roles that Phillippe did, the film would have at least had some credibility. The films Director is Roland Richter, was directing his first film in the United States. I don't know about movies in Germany, but here in the United States, if you're going to release a jumpy, confusing film, you'd had better make the story worth while. Richter fails to do that and the result is a slow, confusing film, that has you asking, "is that it? Really?" The I Inside is unique and will make you think, but the story being told, really isn't worth the time it takes to piece it all together.
Whenever I see Nicolas Cage's name on a movie poster, I know that no… MoreWhenever I see Nicolas Cage's name on a movie poster, I know that no matter the film, I'm going to see a great performance. While Cage has done every conceivable genre, he is of course best know for his action films. In Stolen, Cage once again teams with his Director from Con Air, Simon West, to give us another exciting thriller. Cage plays Will Montgomery, a career criminal who has just spent eight years in prison. Montgomery comes out wanting to start a new life, but that's put on hold when he learns that a former enemy has kidnapped his daughter and is holding her for ransom. I guess no one has ever told Nicolas Cage that you're supposed to slow down with age, because he is just as good in this movie as he is in all his other films. Cage, notorious for performing his own stunts, does some amazing things in this film and is of course pure intensity. In this film he's paired with Josh Lucas who was in a film by the same title in 2009, not to be confused with that movie, Lucas plays Montgomery's partner in crime and throughout this film you can see him and Cage feed off of one another, too me, that was the best part. Lets be honest here, rarely do action films have a decent story to distinguish themselves from one another. Stolen is no different, a daughter in peril, held by a weird foul mouthed bad guy, who is being chased by a want to be hero with a less than stellar reputation, you've seen this dozens of times. What makes Stolen stand out from those other films is the cast, it's as simple as that. The cast really keeps you interested, even when the movie gets to be predictable and even when the stunts are impossible, the cast keep bringing you back to the edge of your seat, with their great performances and extreme intensity. For that reason, even though this is a familiar and predictable film, Stolen stood out from all the other action films I've seen lately.
We all have our own guilty pleasure, most of them we never admit to,… MoreWe all have our own guilty pleasure, most of them we never admit to, however I will admit one now. I have loved this movie ever since I was a kid. Now that I've watched it as an adult, I can admit that it is one terrible movie, but it still had me laughing as hard as I did when I was 10 years old. In Ladybugs, Rodney Dangerfield plays a salesman who is asked to coach his company sponsored, girls soccer team, but he had no idea what he was in for. The other coaches are ruthless, the parents are insane, and worst of all his team is terrible, so what is a comedian to do? He gets his girlfriends, athletic, 14 year old son to dress up as a girl and join the team. The son is played by teen heartthrob Jonathan Brandis, who I became a huge fan of during the show Seaquest DSV. Brandis was absolutely hysterical as the teenage son, playing a teenage daughter. Some of his lines, along with his interactions with Dangerfield are pure comic genius. As for Dangerfield, while he was a legendary stand-up comedian, he was a terrible actor. The next logical step for a great stand-up comic is acting, sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't, and while Dangerfield has some pretty funny lines, he is one of the worst acting comedians I have ever seen. The story here is a unique and interesting one, in a context that is most definitely not meant for younger kids. There are some funny lines and more laughs to be had at the ridiculousness of the situation, but besides that, this is not a great movie. I gave it an even rating, but when it comes to this film, I am biased by my admiration for the late Jonathan Brandis and my fondness for this film I have loved, since my childhood.
From the companies that brough you Horrorfest, comes the Task, a… MoreFrom the companies that brough you Horrorfest, comes the Task, a unique story with a twist. I really liked how ambitious the Task was and just what lengths it went to in order to try and trick the audience. It's unusal to find good writing or much of anything that isn't predictable in a film like this, and I really didn't expect it to be as entertaining as it was. This unique story begins with seven people being kidnapped and brought to a remote location to compete in a reality TV show, that combines Survivor, Fear Factor, and Ghost Hunters. The game requires the contests to spend one night locked in an abandon prison, with a seedy reputation. The contests must complete the tasks that are put in front of them to win a large cash award. The contests were as different as can be leading to a fantastic dynamic between them, it's a shame they didn't build on that dynamic and show more interaction between characters, that only would have added to the story. The cast, as usual, is mostly newcomers, but talented newcomers, who do an excellent job in making this story believable. A movie like the Task really comes down to the cast, because if they're not believable the movie ends up being only good for a few laughs. The cast was good, the plot was great, but what really put the film over the top was it's terrific ending, which was very reminiscent of another Lionsgate classic, Saw. It's an ending you shouldn't see coming, but one that really brings the whole thing together.
In year three, our cast of unique and magical characthers have to deal… MoreIn year three, our cast of unique and magical characthers have to deal with a new threat, an escaped prisoner, from Azkaban Prison, who seems to want to kill Harry Potter. Azkaban was a return to the magical formula that made Harry Potter legendary. The story here is suburb and unlike the Chamber of Secrets, it isn't dummied down or rushed for us. New elements are introduced such as the secret map and time travel, but perhaps most important of all we finally see Harry demonstrate some of this incredible power that has led to his fame at Hogwarts. The story was terrific, the action was great, the performances were off the chart, and the childish stuff was kept to a minimum, but was Azkaban perfect? Many critics will tell you that this is the best of the Potter films and it was terrific, but personally I was hoping to see more of the world outside of Hogwarts. I was looking forward to possibly seeing the inside of Azkaban prison and some of the people who are locked up there. While I appreciate the different views and new filming location, it was still centered at Hogwarts. Not a bad thing, but personally I'd have liked to have seen something else. Aside from that, new Director, Alfonso Cuaron, does use parts of the story that were excluded in the previous films, he also does give us a new location, and view of things. Overall, Cuaron really does do a tremendous job, making this film geared more toward young adults than children. Azkaban is much closer to being what J.K. Rowling intended than the Chamber of Secrets was. I absolutely loved this film, there are just some parts of this film that are truly amazing. If you're picky like I am, and are only going to give Harry Potter one shot, then I suggest the film you watch is The Prisoner of Azkaban.
My adventure into the world of Harry Potter continues with the Chamber… MoreMy adventure into the world of Harry Potter continues with the Chamber of Secrets. While I enjoyed the film, I didn't think it was as good as the Sorcerer's Stone, as typical of most sequels. In the Chamber of Secrets, we see Harry return for his second year at the Hogwart's School of Wizardery. In year two, students are being attacked, and Dumbledorf knows why. The legendary Chamber of Secrets has been open and a mythological creatures has been released. Harry and his friends have to find out who opened it and why before they are able to do anything about it. This story wasn't as mysterious or edge of your seat as the last adventure was, and I found some parts of it to be downright childish. What I enjoyed about the first film was that for all it has for kids, it had an equal amount of content that adults would enjoy. In the Chamber of Secrets, that element has been replaced with things like giant talking spiders, flying cars, and worst of all Dobby the troll. The story was pretty good, but it wasn't as refreshing as the last film, the cast was once again terrific, but the Chamber of Secrets seemed to be much more like a kids movie to me and for that reason was kind of a disappointment.
Crime dramas that are based on a true story are always the best kind… MoreCrime dramas that are based on a true story are always the best kind of crime dramas, because it really is impossible to make up some of the bizzare fucked up things that go on inside the criminal mind. The Factory follows the investigation into the disappearance of prostitutes in Buffalo, New York, that takes a personal turn when one of the detectives daughters is abducted. John Cusack plays the lead detective and is terrific as always, this guy is so intense in everything that he does, from a dark crime drama like this to a comedy like Hot Tub Time Machine, Cusack always puts it all on the line and the viewers really do appreciate it. He's paired with a young, beautiful partner played by Jennifer Carpenter who feeds off the veteran actor to give a strong performance herself. This movie was a textbook crime drama, that followed both the investigation into the suspect, as well as the activities of the suspect. It was a tremendous story, but what I didn't like is that you knew exactly who the suspect was and where he worked right from the beginning of the film, there was no mystery too it, but the writer makes up for that with a twist in the end that I promise you won't see coming. The twist is jaw dropping and probably right from the true story, but for me, it kind of ruined the film. The Factory was great up until that point, and while I was shocked over what happened, it wasn't exactly what I wanted to see happen. Sometimes you don't know what's going to happen, but you have in your mind the way you want the story to end, and when the film all of a sudden goes in a completely different direction at the very end, you start to wonder if you didn't see it sooner, because it just wasn't written well enough. It's a very cool movie, albeit a little creepy. The Factory has some great performances and is definitely worth seeing, despite the fact that it leaves you craving something different.