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Taxi to L.A. (1997)
My mom brought me to see this one in my early teens
My mom brought me to see this one in my early teens, she used to make me watch all these art house at all these recluse venues in Montreal against my own will, 95% of them were dreadfully slow. Especially when you are between 12 and 15 years old.
I actually enjoyed Taxi to LA. Having grown to love cinema and working in it now, I have hunted down some of these strange art house films, who were part of that 5%, she showed me most of the one I enjoyed back then turned out to be Jim Jarmuch films. But I could never find anything on Taxi to LA (this is before IMDb became a well known site) for this reason "Taxi to LA" stayed with me and for the longest time I was wondering what was this film. I think it had a little run at "Le Cinema Imperial", where I saw it, and never went out on video.
The movie was very offbeat from what I remember, it was something the along lines of "stranger than paradise" in it's tempo and humor, this is the reason I liked it. The story is about a lady who goes back home after work to find her fiancé, husband, or bf cheating on her. She storms out goes in taxi and asks the driver to bring her to LA. He agree for $ 2000.
I remember 2 scenes one where the romance builds between them and they make love on the taxi in the middle of nowhere.
The other one is the girl and the cabby argue over where they should stop and eat she says I know a nice place in Toronto, and he says I know some places in Niagara falls. They argue about it the cabby wins the argument and the next shot is them eating a greasy sandwich or Pizza slice surrounded by seagulls walking by the falls.
All of this review based on what I remember of an underground film that I saw more than 15 years ago and the impression it left me, so I can't rate it. I stayed curious about it because it was the only one that my intellectual mom brought me too that I liked but couldn't find anything about. Hope to re-watch it someday.
The Ward (2010)
John Carpenter returns
The Ward doesn't live up to My John Carpenter favorites: Halloween, Assault on Precinct 13, The Thing , Escape from New York, The fog, Big Trouble In Little China, Star Man, In The Mouth of Madness, They Live, and Prince of Darkness.
Right under this list you have Someone's Watching Me! Village of the Damned, Memoirs of an Invisible Man, Pro-Life, and Cigarette Burn. That I still enjoy a lot but not as much.
Finally all the others, excluding Christine since I didn't watch in years, that I just find entertaining but not as hard hitting.
For me The Ward take the second place in the second list.
I think it affects the films reputation that it doesn't climb in the first list, since it was years ago that we had a great Carpenter Fix.
It's quite a good film,but for a Carpenter film it lacked of Pulp.
The horror was very good but not as sharp as Halloween or as dark as Prince Of Darkness.
A bit of more of one or the other would have helped.
The pace is very good and the ending is extremely well thought out.
The film is the victim of the fact it's a good John Carpenter Movie, not a great John Carpenter Movie. And his fans are too hungry for a great one.
Still a very good and satisfying film experience. I wouldn't be surprise if it becomes a cult among teens.
In my opinion, in future John Carpenter films they should promote his name a lot less. To avoid bad publicity over fan expectations.
This film still show that a quality director is behind it.
The Lazarus Papers (2010)
Don't expect the cover...
Do not expect an action starring Gary Daniels and a Machete like Danny Trejo!!!!
The first thing I have to say is that the cover of the DVD is wrong... With this artwork you expect an action film with Danny Trejo and Gary Daniels... It's in fact a Supernatural thriller staring new comer Krystal Vee.
I think the distributor is cashing on the Machete fame of Trejo and the action fan base of Daniels. So don't expect this style of film or you will be disappointed.
If you are a fan of these actors you will get them in a new light. Trejo is a magical healer and Daniels is a hardcore villain.
I really liked this movie. It was fun and different. The movie starts with a genocide in a tribal village where Danny Trejo is a magical healer. We follow this tribe girl (Vee) who gets captured from her village to be a prostitute in a dark moody city by a sadistic pimp played by Gary Daniels.
The Trejo character, who survived in an unusual way, is haunted by the ghosts of the past. The tribe girl will eventually betray the Gary Daniels character and escapes with the money he had planned to steal from a rich customer.
I wont say anything else from there.
The movie tries hard to send a message, and do something different. Succeeding in uneven ways.
Finally, it's a very entertaining film with a good pace.
My friend owns a DVD set of the complete series and lent it to me, if not I would have never heard of it.
The concept is simple Sherlock Holmes is a Vampire and a Hollywood Pretty boy. Now that's the kind of idea which I find very "Roger Corman" and would except only cheese out of hearing from it.
In my opinion, they are a few elements that makes the show quite good.
1. The execution is slick, sexy and first class.
2. Great Soundtrack.
3. Nice plots.
4. Amazing characters development, you care about everyone, you know them and you want to know what will happen to them. It really makes the show.
5. Very well thought villains.
The only downfall of the show lasted one season and it leave the destiny of Coraline quite ambiguous. The same thing for the lover of Josef Kostan.
In my opinion they should make a TV movie just to tie these two things.
The Karate Kid (2010)
Corny and most of the time entertaining.
I thought the Karate Kid remake was watchable, but I wouldn't be able to sit through it without the fast forward button.
Let look at the Pro's and Con's
Pro's Jaden character makes a fresh new character he is a spoiled brad with an attitude. The movie has some great photography. Also the fact that the love interest of the plays violin adds a lot of texture to the film.
Con's The story structure is the same one the original one had, only this time the Kid goes to China. It will be a week point if you saw the original, because it makes the movie so predictable. The montage scenes slow downs the movie ridiculously. That why I mentioned the fast forward button is essential to the viewing.
Final verdict. They had all the element to do something new a fresh except they did the old Karate Kid script with the kid moving to China. Never the less the movie is professionally crafted and it will be good entertainment for a rainy day.
I give it a passing grade.
The Double 0 Kid (1992)
Worse Corey Haim film I saw
Another reviewer by the name of Tim Cox sums it all: "Silly film, but then again, I think being silly was the point. While it is silly, it's not well done silly."
Beyond "License to Drive" all the Corey Haim comedies are must avoids. Based on other reviews I read. "License to Drive" Rocks, "Double O Kid" sucks.
I saw four other light hearth comedy films with Haim, from that area. Not that they are good but they are better. "Fast getaway" 1 and 2 have much higher productions value. "Dream a little 2" and "The Dream Machine" are more entertaining.
I always give a four if the movie managed to have me sit through the whole thing, and for that film I can say I am being generous.
It was watchable but completely uncreative. All the jokes were things you saw in the three Stooges or any Bugs Bunny cartoon.
Another reason I saw this film was because I was curious about the 90's outputs of Corey Haim's, after his death. Since I was unfamiliar with those films. Not to put all these effort by him from period down, I'll suggest you to watch "Oh! What a Night" it's a coming of age story of young boy in the 50's. If someone else would be curious about good Corey Haim films from the 90's. But the"Double O Kid" doesn't provide.
In my opinion what poisoned Haim's career is that they tried to repeat is success that he had in the very good but shallow comedy "License to Drive". It's OK to try a new story with the same humor, but they fail with the humor. According to most reviewers all the comedies he did in the 90's, 90% of his work from this period, suck.
So if you need an example of bad Corey Haim comedy film from the 90's, here you go.
Finally the movie is harmless, if you have a DVD laying around your house and you have a kid 12 and under. He might actually enjoy it and it's quite respectable, family wise, in it's content.
The Expendables (2010)
Good But Rambo 4 is better
I had the action and the thrills I wanted, but since i am a fan of a few of the actors I wanted much more.
I think Stallone, did such a good job on Rambo 4 that my expectations were too high.
Now as a Rambo 4 fan, these are the 1 things that was better in Rambo 4 and less good in "The Expendables".
1. A lot of the blood in"The Expendables" was CGI. In Rambo 4 it was much more splashy and the blood seemed real. I have nothing against CGIs when they do not look like a computer cartoon in the movie, in many moments in "The Expendables" the blood looks very computerish.
Two things I was expecting that didn't live up to my expectation.
The fight between Dolph and Li is lot less mythical then I expected. I was expecting Bruce Lee VS Chuck Norris part 2. On the reverse side I like the twist and the consequences of this combat.
The rest of the fights and this one are very good but the difference between Li and Lundgren VS the rest of the cast, minus Gary Daniels and Randy Couture, is that they are Martial legends.
In my opinion, if you put them in the ring the expectation are bigger then Stallone VS Austin, that ends being a better looking fight scene.
3. I feel that the team was too sporadic, for Example in the film "The Predator", they manage to keep the audience focused on the team. I was expecting a full adventure with these characters. It's not that the camaraderie is less good, it's just that in the beginning you have quite a few scenes that focuses on Stallone and Statham. Those have scenes have all the elements to make them great except you miss the rest of the team. A few walkie-talkie moments with the rest of the guys and a few jokes would have done it. Still when they are together it's great.
In the end, the movie is fun, the entire cast is good, the story is great and I am looking forward for the sequel.
Terror Inside (2008)
Entertaining and Bizarre
I was hyped when I first heard about the fact that this movie won prizes at a festival, because the last output that won Corey Feldman some trophies was a great film called "The Birthday".
This film shares similarities in the sense that it's a first time director film that wins festivals trophies. Beyond that it's a completely different ballpark.
"The Terror Inside" felt like a super bizarre direct to DVD movie. It was entertaining but it wasn't close to anything else. It feels like a modern day grindhouse film.
What was good about "The Terror Inside" you have actors giving good performances, the movie has a decent pace, and they are good "Wow moments" that will jump to your face. Gory stuff, sometime good twists and finally some stuff that is unintentionally funny...
What lowers my rating of this film. First there is a character named Joe. At one point in the movie he pops out of nowhere at Kathy's house. There is a clear explanation of it, he needed to use her phone. The second time there is no explanation at all. I was like "what the f(^&".
Their is fight scene at the end of the movie when Feldman punches the antagonist there is no punch sound effect, that makes the fight quite phony. The two actors had perfect timing nothing against them but missing sound killed it.
The final solution to all their problems at the end was way too easy.
The movie also ended on very strange note. I don't know what to make of it, but I will give the director credits of trying something different.
I would have gave the movie a 7 if it wasn't for that punch sound missing and Joe (nothing against the actor) popping out of nowhere without an explanation the second time.
If can give any advice to the director it would be spend more time polishing the final product, otherwise you have talent.
Yet it's fun and much better then many much higher budgeted direct to DVD film out there.
The Hole (2009)
Best 3D movie so far
Just for the records I live in Thailand and this film is receiving the full theatrical treatment and I just attended the premiere.
The only reason I saw it. Is that I saw the name Joe Dante on the poster.
We are now in a period where 3D is in full swing and I have seen "My Bloody Valentine 3D" and "Avatar".
Avatar was great in his own right, but I found the whole thing over the top. Now I like simpler movies in general. So my preference is a question of taste.
Also I not have wide knowledge of 3D and special effects, but I was satisfied.
Anyways back to a normal review. Like Dante promised it's a horror film for the family, and he does what he does best again. Unlike Gremlins or any of his previous family horror film this one scares you as well as being clean.
I had a few jump and was spooked by some scenes.
Also I went with a date and it was a proper film for that. She was holding on to me and the rest... And we were watching a proper film without a ton of gore.
I am not a fan of horror film with too much gore so I was happy. If you like that stuff it's not on "The Hole" menu.
Well the story is simple there is a trap in the basement. Kids open it a their greatest fears become true. Well acted, and well directed with a fresh concept.
A touchdown for Dante.
A Dangerous Place (1995)
Cerebrally unchallenging but equally, passably entertaining.
I guess my summary sums up what you are going to get.
There is a decent murder mystery twist, there is an angle on gangs, and Asian spirituality.
Could have been deeper, but I can't give to low of grade since I watched it all and was entertained.
I would limit my review there, but IMDb insist that I have ten lines.
So the acting was very passable. Corey Feldman plays the antagonist and does a decent villain.
The main problem of the is that it has no style at all. It's like watching TV drama. If they had gave the script to a director that can add substance, might have made the movie better.
The Movies is Karate Kid with a murder twist. And the photography and the style tries to hard to copy Karate Kid. When they had enough new things to stand on their own.