My idea of a perfect getaway may not involve suspicion, violence and gore, but it sure makes for a suspenseful film.
A Perfect Getaway follows a couple, Cliff and Cydney Anderson, honeymooning on the Hawaiian Islands. While taking in the scenery of the great outdoors during an 11-mile nature trek across one of the islands, they come across a group of girls who have just learned that there have been some murders on the islands and that the killers have yet to be caught. Fearing that it might be the abrasive couple that they didn’t give a ride to and is now on the same hike that they are on, they decide to continue on with another couple, Nick and Gina. However, the idea of “safety in numbers” starts to seem fallible as paranoia sets in and everyone starts to become suspicious of everyone else, changing the hike into a game of “everyone’s a suspect.” [Read more...]
My idea of a perfect getaway may not involve suspicion, violence and gore, but it sure makes for a suspenseful film.
Bobcat Goldthwait’s latest film is a pitch black comedy revolving around the struggle of a writer who wants to be famous and the revisionist history nature of high school and the results are a solid effort that tells a touching if a bit disturbed story of family.
Goldthwait’s film revolves around a single dad, Lance, and his annoying douche of a son, Kyle, and Lance’s attempt at being a good father to a son that has no desire or direction. Kyle is sex obsessed, talks a game a million times bigger than he really is, and treats his only friend and father like dirt; unless the conversation revolves around something involving sex. Lance is an English teacher whose elective poetry class is unpopular and he views himself as more or less a failure as he has been rejected by every publisher and magazine under the sun. When an unfortunate circumstance arises in the family’s life Lance is given the opportunity to share his literary voice in a new way that creates adoration for Kyle. [Read more...]
Screenwriter Diablo Cody is back with Jennifer’s Body, following up Juno with another film about a foreign being taking up residence in a high school girl’s body. This time around she goes the demonic route with a darkly comedic “horror” film that sadly fails to live up to its full potential.
Though the title may apply more to the idea of her body being a vessel, Jennifer’s Body describes much more of this film’s title character. Jennifer is a very confident and outspoken high school girl who has no problem flaunting what God gave her. Unfortunately for her there is only room for one supernatural entity in this film. While at a bar with her best friend Needy, a weirdly explosive fire erupts, killing most of the people there. While in shock outside, Jennifer agrees to go with the band that had been playing that night in their creepy van, leaving Needy behind to worry about her. Eventually she shows up at Needy’s house covered in blood, starving, and sporting a really unnerving smile. Oh yeah, and she likes to eat people. [Read more...]
Adam is a cute, yet heartbreaking look at a man suffering from the inability to function “normally” in the world around him, especially when it comes to love.
Following his father’s death, Adam returns to their apartment to continue living his solitary life of ritual and habit. Everyday he eats the same cereal for breakfast, goes to work as an electronics engineer at a toy company, does his chores, eats the same frozen macaroni and cheese frozen dinner, and fills his time engulfed in the mysteries of the universe. Though this consistency may appear as a coping mechanism post funeral, it is actually because Adam has Asperger’s syndrome (don’t worry if you don’t know a lot about it. There is enough exposition in the middle of the film to fill you in). [Read more...]
This Italian mob movie isn’t as flashy or romanticized as many American gangster pictures are, but the films gritty and real life feel give the picture an extra weight and tension that you never know what is going to happen.
Opening with a set of hits that sets off a civil war among gangs, we follow a group of individuals that fall on both sides of the battle, young up and comers, a seemingly innocent bystander in the process, and a pair of rouge crooks reeking havoc for one bosses territory. As things progress through the film things slowly get worse and worse for those involved with the old establishment and lines are drawn with deaths tolls ratcheting up higher and higher as people grasp for power. Some of the characters we follow are the money handler who doles out weekly payments for the old time establishment, a young man who is being pulled into the crime working for an entrepreneur who deals with disposing toxic waste in neighborhoods back yards, a excellent tailor who’s employer gets him into unforeseen trouble in the competitive fashion production industry, a mother who must deal with the heat of her son sticking with the established crime bosses, and a pair of small time crooks who think they are hot shit and live life as if they were Tony Montana. The characters run the gauntlet of all the classes and people that are affected by crime whether directly involved or associated by proxy. That is the films real achievement, in showing how crime can affect anyone when things get this bad and as the final facts scroll across the screen the directors have achieved their message. [Read more...]
Diablo Cody’s second screenplay is full of great ideas and a number of good lines but something keeps Jennifer’s Body from gelling into a well paced and entertaining picture that seems to be hiding in there like the demons inside our title character.
The story follows the school’s hottest girl Jennifer and her best friend Needy whose unlikely friendship is probably based on Jennifer’s insecurities but the two are friends nonetheless. The two decide to attend a rock concert of a band, Low Shoulder, who are from the “big city” and Jennifer dreams of hooking up with their lead singer. The band though is a bit odd and is in search of a virgin which they think they should be able to find with ease at this small town gig. Jennifer lies about her sexual purity to the band and seeing that they have found their virgin an oddly suspicious fire erupts in the bar killing many local patrons and Low Shoulder uses the tragedy to lure Jennifer into their van and off into the night. Later when Needy gets home, Jennifer shows up in her house looking rather messed up, puking black goop all over the kitchen, and leaving as mysteriously as she arrived. Jennifer shows up at school the next day seemingly fine and as the school mourns the students and citizens lost in the fire more people end up mysteriously killed and we learn something seriously weird has happened to Jennifer. [Read more...]
The Terminator series has come a long way with Terminator Salvation in terms of graphics, but the story fails to meet the standards set up by the prior films.
In the year 2018, the machines still have the upper hand following their all out nuclear strike many years before on Judgment Day. Though forced to live in hiding thanks to their decimated numbers, the human resistance has yet to give up the fight against the machines. Taking place following the three previous films of the franchise, Terminator Salvation follows John Connor, who has yet to fulfill his destiny of leading the humans against the machines. However, before he can become this man he has to retain the timeline that has been set by finding Kyle Reese, the man who will eventually go back and time and father Connor; the same man the machines are trying to find and kill, thus killing Connor as well. [Read more...]
For a movie about flavored extract, Extract sure is bland.
For the most part, Joel lives a pretty mediocre life. He lives comfortably in his nice house with a nice car in the driveway, but its hard to be content with this with an annoyingly outspoken neighbor and a wife that uses sweat pants as if to say “you’re not getting any tonight.” What’s more is that his only escape from it all is the extract plant he built and now owns, but now it too is becoming more trouble than it’s worth for Joel. Seeing his escape thanks to an offer from General Mills to take the company off his hands, he finally sees a way to put his life back together. Too bad the factory has other plans for him. After a freak accident at work, Joel must now find other ways to bring about a happy return to normalcy before he loses his mind.
The special effects of G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra may be worthy of applauds, but this is the only part of this film that can be given this compliment. Everything else, including the characters, story, and banter, feels like something an unimaginative little kid came up with on the fly while playing with the action figures in his backyard.
When a convoy of military vehicles transporting warheads to their buyers is attacked, Duke (Channing Tatum) and Ripcord (Marlon Wayans) are saved by a group of soldiers who are more equipped to combat the attackers and their futuristic weaponry. After some macho arguing about the transporting of the warheads being his mission to finish, Duke talks his way onto the group’s plane, and it is quickly revealed that they are an elite fighting force known as G.I. Joe. After a training montage, they are again attacked by the same group as before and must fight to protect the world from the bad guys and their nefarious plans.
Carriers may veer from the fast-passed, zombie-filled plot line I wrongfully assumed was coming after first seeing the trailer (I repeat, there are no zombies), which it is all the better for in the end. By doing so, it becomes a heart wrenching film that makes the viewer question what they may be willing to do to survive.
Following an outbreak that has killed most of the human population, 2 brothers, Danny and Brian (Chris Pine and Lou Taylor Pucci) decide to act on their last hope by taking Brian’s girlfriend, Bobby (Piper Perabo), and Danny’s friend, Kate (Emily VanCamp), on a road trip across the country to a place from their past that they believe will be unaffected by the spread of the disease. All they have to do is get there.
Towards the latter part of Carl Fredricksen’s life he decides to take a very unconventional trip to Paradise Falls, South America in order to fulfill a promise he made to his late wife. However, this sentimental trip inside a house toting mass of balloons proves to be much more when he quickly realizes that he has inadvertently kidnapped Russell, an 8 year old Wilderness Explorer who was hoping to obtain his last merit badge by helping Carl out (though he probably had something much simpler in mind). Once they finally reach South America, the journey to the falls proves to be harder than expected, filled with perils involving a giant bird named Kevin, a pack of talking dogs, and a blast from the past.
A couple of years ago, we learned with the Da Vinci Code that maybe some books just shouldn’t be changed into a movie because they lose some of their magic. Sure, they can be fun, but you can tell that something is missing. Now I won’t say that the film version of Angels and Demons is a waste of time, it’s actually really entertaining, it just doesn’t have the power of the novel.
Before I can really delve into the body of the film one thing must be noted: Tom Hanks changed his hair up for this one. Can I get a hallelujah?
Michael Dougherty’s anthology film is in love with Halloween and captures the fun, dark, and creepiness of the holiday to success while also providing a fast paced and engaging film.
The film is a quick tale over the events of one night of Halloween in a small Midwestern town that embraces the holiday with open arms. Loosely connected and tying into one another we follow the path of a killer school principal, a group of young girls looking to de-virgin their young companion, a group of young students investigating the towns oldest ghost story, and an old shut in that hides from the night of Halloween inside his run down house. When the film settles on one story it pretty much sticks with it till its run its course, but Dougherty does a pretty good job at blending them all together into a more cohesive film that runs together rather than breaking it up with title cards are what have you; think Traffic or Syriana.
I guess I should throw a little history on this picture while I am at it as well as this flick has been sitting on Warner’s shelf now for the last few years, outside a couple of festival appearances, [Read more...]
It’s not exactly going out on a limb by saying that the Star Wars franchise has been caught in a downslide following the first three films (AKA Episodes 4-6), but The Clone Wars may have found a way to sink even further yet.
The Clone Wars can be summed up as follows: Anakin Skywalker, his Padawan Ahsoka Tano, and Obi-Wan Kenobi go on a rescue mission from within the raging battles between the Jedi Knights and the Republic vs. the Separatist forces. Both sides fight to succeed in saving Jabba the Hutt’s kidnapped son in order to gain access to the parts of the galaxy that Jabba has power over.
Steve Zahn plays Mike, a motel manager who falls in love with (AKA becomes obsessed with) Jennifer Aniston’s art saleswoman, Sue, while she is passing through on business. Stupidly, in a bout of loneliness she gives in to his creepy attempts to woo her by sleeping with him before flying back home, not realizing how idiotic this act is and how she will have to pay for it later.