Change Your Image
Upload An Image
Crop And Save
Monster Movie (2008)
Shoe-string budget horror.
When the Polonia brothers, Mark and John, scrape some money together and call a few friends to make a movie...it likens to a reunion. Prolific makers of little films and usually on a shoe-string budget. MONSTER MOVIE is no exception. An ordinary camping trip turns into something bizarre, when four friends set out to fish, drink and chill for a weekend. Destination is Cabin Lake in Pennsylvania and as the guys get closer, they find out that maybe a dozen residents of a small town in the area have gone missing. And half jokingly, there is talk of monsters. The reserved cabin is not what was expected, but the guys still set out to do some fishing and walking around in the wooded area near the lake. Reptilian monsters soon interrupt a relaxing fishing trip.
Mark and John Polonia write and direct this campy horror flick. To be exact, MONSTER MOVIE is the last project John worked on before his untimely death. The brothers always tried to make fun movies, not worrying about turning a profit. This movie fits the bill. Probably a budget made up of sofa change, herky-jerky 16mm scenes using huge plastic lizards, and a gathering of good friends. This unrated film runs 75 minutes and features the Polonia brothers and pals Brian Berry and Todd Carpenter. With all considered, this is a real hoot!
The Butler (2013)
This film moves through the trials and tribulations of Cecil Gains(Forest Whitaker), a sharecropper's son, whose domestic servant skills led to becoming a hotel valet during the turbulent 50s. His manner and ability to be discrete caused enough attention , he was given the chance to apply his trade at the White House. Gaines served as a butler for three decades working through eight presidencies. He witnessed history from a distance; the Civil Rights Movement dominated probably too much of the film for some. Gaines' own relationships with his wife Gloria(Oprah Winfrey)and son Louis(David Oyelowo)suffered drastically. He could not deal publicly with a drunk wife and defiant son. Cecil was admired and well respected as a White House butler; but was just a passive pedestrian traveling through his own life.
Any amount of common sense will allow one to recognize there is no Oscar worthiness here. Being over-hyped does sell theater tickets. Oscar winner Whitaker does deliver a powerful performance. As for Winfrey, just about anyone can play a self-centered drunk. Yes, there are some notable stars in the cast like Vanessa Redgrave, Clarence Williams III and Mariah Carey. Then there is the presidents: Robin Williams as Dwight D. Eisenhower, John Cusack as Nixon, Alan Rickman as Reagan, Liev Schieber as LBJ and James Masden playing JFK. Albeit the presidents are just passing through.
The storyline is fine, but a tad boring. Maybe this project should have been a made-for-TV feature. It is not hard to tell the difference between good acting, bad acting and over acting.
The Last Blitzkrieg (1959)
A war time hoax.
This World War II film is directed by Arthur Dreifuss and produced by Sam Katzman. A group of Americans make a well planned escape from a German Prisoner of War Camp. One of them is not what he seems to the GIs. Lt. Von Kroner(Van Johnson) is a German known to the Americans as Sgt. Richardson. who is under cover spying on the prisoners and honing his American English and slang. Von Kroger is told he is leaving the camp as part of a top secret project. After the escape, Von Kroger will join a group dressing in American uniforms to confuse enemy forces, as he spearheads an objective of sabotage actually aiding the German forces in their attack.
Johnson is supported by: Kerwin Matthews, Leon Askin, Larry Storch, Brett Halsey, Chris Baay, Han Bentz van den Berg, Lisa Bourdin, Ton van Duinhoven, Robert Boon and Dick York, who also narrates the film.
100 Bloody Acres (2012)
Horror, gore and comedy.
This Australian horror movie is directed and written by brothers Cameron and Colin Cairnes. Quirky, funny and bloody. Brothers Reg(Damon Herriman)and Lindsay(Angus Sampson)Brown own and operate an organic fertilizer company and are running a bit behind on orders due to the lack of their "special ingredient"...road kill. As Reg is running the roads in search of well, you know...three friends James, Sophie and Wesley encounter car trouble on their way to a much anticipated music festival. The agitated trio have no idea what is in store for them, when Reg rescues them with perverse intentions. It is not hard to convince Lindsay to fire up the grinder, when Reg arrives with fresh stock to complete the current run of fertilizer.
Besides being funny, there are enough moments that will have you cringing, flinching and possibly gagging. Laughter and splatter in the right proportions makes for an enjoyable flick...no matter how sick of mind you are. How can the compost business get any more interesting? This horror film is a hoot! Rounding out the cast: Anna McGahan, Oliver Ackland, James Kristian, John Jarratt and Paul Blackwell.
The Grey (2011)
Just to live one more day.
A plane goes down in the Alaskan wilderness. John Ottway(Liam Neeson)is a sharpshooter that protects oil workers from territorial wolves. Surviving a deadly plane crash, oil riggers must fend for their lives in the ice and snow. Ottway with since of mind, reluctantly assumes leadership of the group. They will scrounge food stuffs and drink from the wreckage as they deal with the thoughts of hopelessness. A GPS signaling device is found and activated, but will it be strong enough and have a enough rage to summon rescuers. There is indeed a nihilistic mood that must take a backseat to finding shelter; but most of all the sense of fear sets in rapidly as the riggers soon come to grips with the fact they are not alone in the snowy wilderness. A pack of carnivorous wolves are ready to attack, protecting their territory. Not totally implausible, the story line is tragic, dark, dramatic and thrilling. If there are any underlying messages to draw, they are deep. Survival is for the fit and smartest.
There is some violence, with pervasive language and very disturbing bloody images. THE GREY is rated R. Albeit, the subject matter doesn't distract from the beautiful scenery. Besides Neeson, the cast includes: Dallas Roberts, Joe Anderson, Dermot Mulroney, Frank Grillo and Anne Openshaw.
Human Desire (1954)
Jealousy, blackmail, murder!
The notable Fritz Lang directs this hard-boiled film noir. Lots of railroad footage, passionate acting and a murder in desperation. A Korean War veteran, Jeff Warren(Glenn Ford)returns to his railroad engineer job. Wanting really nothing more, but a quiet life is not in store. Warren meets Vicki Buckley(Gloria Graham)and enters a passionate affair after reluctantly helping her bullish, combustible husband(Broderick Crawford)get away with murder. Vicki is so fed up with her abusive husband, who is Jeff's foreman, that she convincingly dupes her new lover into plotting her spouse's demise.
Based on a novel by Emile Zola, HUMAN DESIRE is not full of frills and fancy; just Black & White two-timing homicide. Ford is an everyday man. Graham is alluring in a slutty way. Crawford seems a natural at being pig-headed and gruff. In support: Edgar Buchanan, Peggy Maley, Paul Brineger and Kathleen Case.
On Dangerous Ground (1951)
Snowbound psychological thriller.
Also known as DARK HIGHWAY, this thriller is directed by Nicholas Ray. A bitter and jaded detective, Jim Wilson(Robert Ryan), has roughed up enough suspects in the hard city streets and his boss sends him upstate to investigate the murder of a young girl in the snow-blanketed countryside. Her father, Walter Brent(Ward Bond), is devastated and tries to lead a heated search for an allusive killer. Wilson informs the local authorities that he is taking over the investigation, but Brent doesn't think a city cop can do the job. The detective, with the girl's father crowding him all the way, follows tracks to the home of a blind woman, Mary Malden(Ida Lupino). She takes care of her mentally challenged brother Danny(Sumner Williams), who is a logical suspect in the murder. Mary tries to convince the hardened Wilson to ease up and spare her brother's life.
Miss Lupino is not credited for her hand in helping with the direction of this movie, in which she gives a stellar performance. Rounding out the cast: Ed Begley, Ian Wolfe, Frank Ferguson and Charles Kemper. This RKO Radio Pictures feature was filmed in Colorado and is aided with an atmospheric score by Bernard Herrman.
Black Rock (2012)
Girls can get a little wild!
This thriller is directed by Katie Aselton, who also is responsible for the storyline and stars as one of three friends having a weekend getaway on a island off the the coast of Maine. Black Rock is supposed to supply relaxation and some privacy as the young women get together for the first time in a long time. Aselton plays Abby, Lake Bell is Lou and Kate Bosworth plays Sarah. Two are a bit reluctant, but soon get some of their differences behind them. Thinking they were alone, the girls are set back when they are interrupted by three local hunters. Heck, why not share the island and have a few drinks around a campfire. The mood changes as some heavy flirting causes the situation to get very bad. The three hunters are actually buddies kicked out of the military and they have no good on their minds. Very soon the night becomes a panic filled night of terror as the girls find themselves fighting for their survival. Yes, the fight is a bit gory, brutal and very graphic. The vicious hunters are played by: Will Bouvier, Jay Paulson and Anslem Richardson.
Strong violence, raw language and partial nudity with sexual references earns BLACK ROCK an R rating. Nothing real redeeming, but throw back a few and watch some nice looking girls fear for their life.
The Grand Budapest Hotel (2014)
Lunacy, witty and pure fantasy!
A Wes Anderson fanciful farce. Anderson directs, shares story writing and is in charge of the screenplay. This is a maniac fantasy that takes place between the world wars in the Republic of Zubrowka. Gustave H(Ralph Fiennes) is the eclectic concierge at the prestigious European Grand Budapest Hotel, who takes a bellboy named Zero(Tony Revolori)under his wing and preps him to become a trusted friend and protégé. Mr. H caters to his guest and even makes clandestine visits to some of the most snooty and wealthiest older ladies. And on occasion the richest of men. Gustave and Zero find themselves embroiled deeply in a heated battle for a family fortune. The meticulous concierge is accused of art theft and even murder, making for riotously and hilarious flight from the authorities. Mr. H and Zero, while on the run, contemplate a logical conclusion. Playful, witty, quirky and near impeccable story telling using a backdrop of flashbacks.
Packed full of stars for sure: F. Murray Abraham, Willem Dafoe, Adrian Brody, Jude Law, Saoirse Ronan, Edward Norton, Harvey Keitel, Jeff Goldblum, Bill Murray, Jason Schwartzman, Tom Wilkinson and Tilda Swinton.
August: Osage County (2013)
Grief and dysfunction of an Oklahoma family.
Set in Oklahoma, filmed in Oklahoma, written by an Oklahoman; and as a life-long Oklahoman, I say "Big whoopy-do!" Written by Tracy Letts based on his Pulitzer Prize winning play, AUGUST:OSAGE COUNTY stars an ensemble cast showing various degrees of talent. If you are not depressed when the credits roll, you will be totally in an agitated mood as the ending credits roll. Dysfunction piled on top of dysfunction. When their father, Beverly Weston(Sam Shepard), once-noted poet and self acclaimed alcoholic, disappears, three strong willed sisters return to their childhood home near rural Pawhuska, Oklahoma. Ruling the homestead is their mother, Violet(Meryl Streep), suffering from oral cancer and dependent to the hilt on pain killing narcotics. Sisters Barbara(Julia Roberts), Karen(Juliette Lewis) and Ivy(Julianne Nicholson)find it hard enough dealing with their rude, crude and mean-spirited mother; when it is discovered that the family patriarch has actually committed suicide, there is plenty of sorrow, blame and finger pointing to go around. When the immediate family gathers for the post funeral dinner, hell breaks loose and Violet's drug induced "truth telling" starts a round robin of family dysfunction and destruction with the airing of dirty little secrets. Family members find it hard to face up to their personal transgressions.
The scenes shared by Streep and Roberts seemed so awkward and forced. Streep, of course, owns her role and is outstanding. Roberts, on the other hand, struggles. Miserably miscast is Benedict Cumberbatch as the mentally challenged Little Charles. Nicholson's talents are overlooked. Rounding out the cast: Chris Cooper, Margo Martindale, Abigail Breslin, Ewan McGregor and Dermot Mulroney. And Misty Upham is notable as the hired help, Johnna.