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TheSonomaDude

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18 reviews in total 
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Spiders (2000)
2 out of 2 people found the following review useful:
"This is like a bad sci-fi movie.", 31 January 2014
2/10

Oh, the irony.

To be frank, I only sought after this film because of how much I adored Mosquito, another giant bug movie from the same director, Gary Jones. Let me tell you, this is no Mosquito. Not even close.

Spiders has some cool aspects. For example, the climax of the film is surprisingly enjoyable and the animtronic effects look somewhat decent half of the time, as the DVD cover proudly boasts "from the same effects team as Army Of Darkness, Spawn, and Wishmaster!" But the compliments end there. Porn stars would be facepalming in embarrassment at the lack of acting ability present at the set, but I'm not sure who to blame; the actors or the abysmal script.

This has got to be one of the worst screenplays I've ever seen translated into film. Every line of dialog is clichéd and laughable, with laughable line delivery by the elementary school play actors to top it off. Yes, Mosquito had some terrible acting too, but it had good acting to even it out. There is only one good actor in Spiders, and he says two lines before getting shot. Excellent casting guys, bravo. It also doesn't help that the characters are written with zero likability as they make dumb decision after dumb decision after dumb decision. Truly, the characters and actors are what subtract so many stars from the rating.

Gary Jones made Mosquito with only $200,000 but created an enjoyable and extremely entertaining B-movie with lots of gore and high rewatch value. Gary Jones made Spiders with $2 million, but created an embarrassing, appalling mess with little to no redeemable factors.

2 out of 4 people found the following review useful:
A generic sci-fi with more things wrong than right., 15 January 2014
4/10

Being part native American, human transformations have always been something I've been intrigued by. Almost every native American folk tale (from my tribe, at least) ends in a transformation of some sort; man to animal, man to object, or even man to woman. The ladder was usually the coolest story.

It seems like no films on Earth involve this idea, but it appears I have found one, Eric Dapkewicz's Paradox Alice. However, Paradox Alice is a generic independent film with nearly no redeemable qualities at all.

With better writing, this film could have been worth it, but as it is, the only thing this script is good for is testing to see if your new paper shredder works. The concept of sequential hermaphroditism being a plausible way for a species to survive is compelling enough for me to suspend my disbelief, but the film gets lost in this pretzel a tangled "love" triangle. The two other males, one being a nerdy Christian mama's boy and the other being a rigid old captain, both fall for their friend who has just become a woman in an unsettling and sporadically amount of time. If my best friend turned into a woman overnight, it would be extremely hard for me to forget he was once a dude, thus, it would take years for me to actually fall for him/her, if I even ever did. But these guys forget it instantly and pursue her after just a few days. The captain character is begging for a kiss after what seems like 45 minutes.

The acting is abysmal. Andrew Hernon as the captain character gives such wooden delivery in every scene of the film and he makes me want to throw my remote at the TV screen; every scene he's in is just completely torn to pieces by this guys lack of acting skill. Stewart Calhoun as the nerdy Christian somehow manages to be even worse, but it doesn't help that his character is written unbelievably poorly. The only credible actor in this film is Jeneta St Clair, who actually does a pretty good job and she deserves better work than this.

The overall look of the film is very cheap. The lighting is atrocious; the film takes place in a futuristic space ship, not a damn cave. The ship computer/robot thing looks like a Sony camera with a tin can taped to the side, and I swear the film was shot in a garage. There are wooden bookshelves in the control room and the characters use futuristic visual trans-space communicating devices that look identical to iPads (gee, I wonder why?) But I will partially dismiss this because the budget was, what, $1000? If even?

Most people seem to bring up the rape scene. Honestly, I did not find it that disturbing for two reasons. One: it is extremely brief...I mean, it lasts like three seconds before the male climaxes. The only thing I was thinking was "Wow, this guy finishes really fast." Two: the acting is so horrendous that it made it obvious that the rape was not real, therefore, I was not disturbed by what I was watching.

The most baffling and confusing part in the film is the very ending. As the film begins to wrap up, we see the Xenomorphs (the creatures from the Alien films) aboard the ship while the ship computer spouts gibberish. This is obviously a twist ending...but what the bloody hell was the twist? Was the computer working in cahoots with the aliens the entire time? Was the gender transformation all because of the computer? Were xenomorphs on board the ship the entire film? (How else did they get on the ship at the end, besides just spontaneously appearing on board?) Most importantly, why the hell were there Xenomorphs in this film at all? Was Eric Dapkewicz trying to imply that this film is in the same universe as the Alien franchise?

I've checked out the other works of Eric Dapkewicz, or "MakoDap" as he goes by on YouTube. He is the editor for several major Dreamworks films such as Flushed Away or and Puss In Boots, and those are some of the best edited animations I've ever seen. In the past, I also listened to and reviewed two albums by his band, Imaginarious, and both reviews were pretty positive. However, I have also checked out some of his stuff on YouTube. This man is very into transformations, man-to-woman specifically. He has created online comics depicting male-to-female transformations in graphic detail, most of which are sexual and contain some form of eroticism. Also on his YouTube account are the films he has directed, The Kiss and The Last Piece Standing, with Eleven being uploaded this summer. All three of these films have male-to-female transformations as the main theme. Another reoccurring plot point among nearly all of Dapkewicz's YouTube work is that after a man transforms into a woman, he/she becomes very horny and has sex with another man, usually willingly and very happy to do so. The ladder theme is very peculiar and disturbing, and it seems like this is just a masturbation fantasy for Eric Dapkewicz to get out of his system. That said, most of his YouTube work is actually crafted very well and he has a natural talent for storyboarding, but I don't recommend any of it.

Overall, biggest problem with this film is that its just forgettable. The script is awful, but not so awful to the point of where its memorable. The acting terrible, but none of the actors are among the worsts (except maybe the captain). The effects are just mediocre, the sets are mediocre, the editing is mediocre, everything just blends in. Its the solid definition of a 3/10 - 4/10 film. I honestly don't recommend it even in the slightest, but I do think Eric Dapkewicz can make something good given some money, a good script and actual actors.

Mosquito (1995)
1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:
I like it. So what? Its an awesome movie, and there's no shame here., 4 July 2013
10/10

As a kid, I would often find myself sitting around the TV late at night on the weekends, eagerly awaiting what new movie would come on. All you could see in the pitch black darkness was the glow of the TV shining onto me eating a sandwich with the clock flashing 12:30 AM. Among my midnight horror favorites where Tremors and its sequel, John Carperter's The Thing, Critters, Godzilla vs Mechagodzilla 2, and Mosquito.

Ahh Mosquito. Its a bad movie I realize, but there's just something about Mosquito that makes it humanly possibly to dislike it. It has such a cheesy, entertaining, awesome charm that creates and aura of coolness. And, in the end, whats better than Gunnar "Leatherface" Hansen attacking puppet mosquitoes with a chainsaw?

The plot is simple. An alien satellite crash lands in the Oklahoma swamps and mosquitoes feed on the dead carcass of the aliens. This causes the mosquitoes to grow to human proportions and they start sucking the blood of people in the countryside. Its up to a meteorologist, two lovers, a park ranger, and a criminal to team up and fend off the evil blood swarm of giant mosquitoes for chances of survival.

Its a hit and miss movie. The acting is mostly terrible, but I could care less honestly. All of the actors are obviously trying their very best (well, maybe except Mike Hard). Some actors, such as Tim Lovelace, Steve Dixon, and Leatherface himself Gunnar Hansen do a pretty decent job. Ron Asheton gets credibility because he is the bassist for one of the best punk bands ever, The Stooges, and Mike Hard also gets credit for being the vocalist for Sick Of It All, one of Brooklyn's finest punk-metal bands. Unfortunately, both of them are horrendously bad actors and should really just stick to music. Many people diss the effects for being bad, but they have a charm that kinda make them good. Hell, when it comes to the actual animatronics (such as the mosquito on the stove during the climax), I'll even call them good effects! Yep, I called the effects good! Considering that the budget was 200K in 1995, the effects could've been much worse. But most of all, the movie is very entertaining with not a single dull moment in the entire 97 minutes that this film runs for. Every scene has some awesome gore, an explosion, a mosquitoes vs guns fight, Gunnar Hansen doing something badass, and animatronic mosquitoes. Its a blast.

If your a fan of low budget films loaded with bullets and gore with a slice of cheese on the side, this is THE film for you. It may be bad, but its awesome. I'd honestly watch Mosquito on a 24 hour loop than just 24 minutes of Battleship or any Transformer movie, and those costed nearly 20 times more to make. Mosquito: Gunnar Hansen vs the giant bugs. AWESOME.

P.S.: If you are a fan of the giant mosquito genre, then Don't bother with Skeeter. That one truly sucks. End of story.

People seriously didn't like this movie?, 21 March 2013

A 5.6 IMDb rating for a kids film like this is usually not a good sign; after all, its the same rating as Transformers 2 and Quest For Camelot. Frankly, the DVD art looks absolutely horrendous and the plot sounds like an episode from Johnny Test, but however, this movie is the ultimate example of "Dont judge a book by its over" because not only did it far exceed my expectations, but it was a near great movie in almost every aspect.

The film involves three kids who get turned into fish after drinking a potion created by a nutty scientist. The kids have 48 hours to find an antidote or else they will be stuck as fish forever. Plus, the antidote has leaked into the sea and has started to turn regular dumb fish into talking genius fish, and the villain fish (voiced by the perfectly cast Alan Rickman) has become a super genius and is bent on taking over the world. A cliché plot, yes, but this is probably the weakest of the films flaws.

The animation is stellar. The 2D looks gorgeous and flows fluidly. The 3D animation...yah, it looks pretty choppy and mediocre, but fortunately it is not used too often. The characters are well written and their interactions with each other and their surroundings are believable and fun. The songs (this is a musical, kinda sorta) aren't bad either, and I actually was humming Alan Rickman's villain song. The film is also devoid of clichés, for the most part at least. There were at least five or six moments were the film did something totally unexpected and completely original. Bravo for a kids film I say, Bravo!

One thing I must touch on is the abundance of violence. On the surface (no pun intended), this film seems extremely harmless. Wrong! This film is full of senseless death, including a shark that eats innocent fish and some of the main characters in the movie. One scene that sticks out is when the main character, Fly, gets stabbed in the face by a crab and blood, yes, BLOOD, floats around in the water. But most of all, this film has possibly THE ballsiest villain death of all time. I wont spoil it, but it is an original and fantastic way to finish the villain. Also, there is a fake-out death that occurs involving Fly that actually made my jaw drop.

Overall, this is a very well made animated movie, and the 5.6 rating is extremely harsh. I've tried to find out why this movie isn't well liked by audiences, but I cant find a decisive answer. The only negative things I can find about this film through my eyes are the brief moments of CGI animation, the main pop song is annoying, and maybe some were offended by the violence, but that still does not answer the hate this film gets. The IMDb reviews that rated this a 1/10 are completely delusional, with one person saying the only good thing was the 3D animation (which was surprisingly the worst thing), one review seeming to imply that it was made solely to cash off Finding Nemo (despite the fact that this was made four years earlier), and one reviewer did not even seem to have watched the movie, claiming that it was full of clichés, it was full of bathroom humor (which it had none) and the animation was abysmal. I am willing to bet this last reviewer simply saw the DVD cover at his local rental store and went home pretending he had saw it. Shame, he missed out on a great movie.

This is a total recommendation by every means of the word. Hopefully, you'll be just as surprised as I was, and just as satisfied too. If this movie had better marketing, it would be much more known and loved. I guarantee it.

14 out of 16 people found the following review useful:
...I saw it., 24 February 2013
1/10

That's right guys, I actually found and viewed this...thing. Is it as bad as everyone says? Is it as bad as the trailers make it look? Is it as bad as the 1.7 on IMDb? Is it as bad as the mere $411,050 it grossed on its opening weekend? Well...yes.

The story involves three....three..."things" that have to throw a birthday party for their talking pillow, but they are waiting for their talking vacuum cleaner named J Edgar (I'm serious about that name) to deliver some balloons to make the party complete. However, the vacuum cleaner trips like a dumbass and accidentally releases all of the balloons into the air. Now its up to our three friends to go on a wild and quirky adventure to find the balloons and meet some new pals along the way.

Other than some bright colors and poorly written songs, Oogieloves offers nothing for children at all. The plot is extremely repetitive: the Oogieloves bump into a new character, sing a song, get a balloon, then move on to the next character, rather rinse repeat. The costumes for our protagonists look like they could've been bought in a Halloween store. I mean, the mouths move like an old kung-fu movie dubbed into English, and they all have severe camel toe. And also, why the hell did they name the vacuum cleaner after the head of the CIA? Is it some sort of inside joke or something? Did they think toddlers would really know who J Edgar Hoover is?

The characters and their actors are very...interesting. Clorice Leachman plays Dottie Rounder, an old lady who is obsessed with circles. She doesn't seem genuine at all, as if she was dragged out of bed and forced to dance. The same can be said with Christopher Lloyd, who doesn't even talk at all (except for the line "Oooooooogie!"). Cary Elwes as a bubble-spewing, ADHD cowboy truck driver seems likes he's having fun on the set, but he cant sing worth a damn, unfortunately. Personally, the worst of all is Toni Braxton as the singer who has a cold. Trying to describe her performance here is like trying to describe a dragonfly sexually assaulting an elephant with a coloring book. Simply put, her acting is just pitiful, and the song her character sings is one of the worst songs I've ever heard in a movie; its in my top 5.

The ONLY character worth sitting through in this movie is Chaz Palminteri as Marvin the Milkshake Guy. Wow, is this character fun! I'm not a kid, but if I were, I would've jumped outta my seat and started dancing along with his song. His acting is over-the-top, which is perfect for this movie and perfect for the role too. Not to mention, Chaz has the best line in the movie: "Oooh! Mah favorite!"

Overall, Oogieloves And The Big Balloon Adventure is not a movie I'd take a kid to see. There are no lessons at all for one thing. At least something like Dora The Explorer or Barney teaches lessons like sharing, being kind, speaking Spanins, etc., but this movie teaches kids squat. This is the kind of movie that would lower a kids IQ. I'm not sure what to rate it, but it wont be a high rating because this movie was just flat out awful.

9 out of 11 people found the following review useful:
Rest in piece, subtle humor in kids shows. You shall be missed., 20 January 2013
1/10

I will try to keep this as short as possible. Fanboy & Chum-Chum is beyond a terrible show. It is a filthy, revolting excuse of a children show. I am convinced that this show is some form of government product created only to dull the minds of our youth so they wont rebel. And frankly, it might work. The terrible humor in this show is so jawdroppingly heinous, it WILL kill brain cells.

The jokes in this show don't even count as jokes. Claiming that this show has 'humor' would be like filming your drunk uncle on the toilet after eating raw Indian food and calling it 'an art piece'. If you were to call it humor, then it would be categorized in the 'bad toilet humor for 4-year-olds' section. Almost every joke in this show involves some form of poop, pee, fart, booger, underwear, smelly feet, toilet, or other bodily functions that your toddler would find funny. Even if the jokes aren't all bathroom humor, they are still all extremely predictable and lame beyond believe.

Exibit A: In one of the episodes, there is an antagonist named Kyle who can preform magic tricks. Fanboy tries to show off his "magic" skills by, how else, farting in his face. Exibit B: In the episode "Fanbidextrous" Fanboy recites a famous Beethoven symphony by using armpit farts and burps. Exibit C: In the pilot episode whatever it was called, Fanboy & Chum Chum face off the new evil janitor named Mister Poopitee who roles around in a toilet-shaped golf cart. See a common trend?

While some have praised the animation style, I simply cannot agree. While I will admit it is very colorful and eye appealing to younger once I'm sure, it doesn't get much better beyond that. The animation looks like a bad Wii game cutscene. The character design is atrocious and unappealing. There is a character named Boog, who is your typical jock/nimrod/bully stereotype, who is shaped like a giant hot-dog. Everyone looks like they were translated literally from a toddlers doodle sketches in the back pages of a coloring book. Speaking of characters, none of them are likable. They all have irritating, over the top voices that will make your ears bleed in different ways never before seen by man.

How this show has been nominated for seven Daytimes is beyond me. This show is horrible in every meaning of the word. It will make you rip your birth organs out just so your next child will never suffer from this show. I think I just lost 30 brain cells just thinking about it. Please hear my plee and avoid this show like the Black Plague! You and your children will thank me.

Also, not only does the show spoof stuff like Star Wars and Jaws, but also The Mist and Maximum Overdrive...weird choices but whatever.

1 out of 3 people found the following review useful:
84 Million Dollars to make this?, 29 July 2012
1/10

I'm shocked. Thats all I can say. Who in their right minds thought this would be a good movie?

The movie involves some new schmuck family (that seem to live in a house designed by Dr Seuss) find the mask, as Loki (the man that was trapped in the mask in the first film) is in human form, trying to find the mask. It is filled with poor CGI, terrible writing, awful acting, and just joke after joke AFTER JOKE of nonstop boredom.

The Mask itself is totally different. In the first film, it was an obnoxious sex machine, knowing perfectly how to push the buttons of certain people and evade situations in the most cartoonish and childish ways possible. Now, its just a cartoony man that spews fart jokes and other jokes than even Pauly Shore would be embarrassed to mutter.

The make-up on The Mask is just bad. It literally looks like a mask! The mouth only moves like a centimeter and the overall effect just looks like garbage.

The attempt at humor is just pitiful. Some scenes in this film are actually quite disturbing in my opinion! Such as the scene where Loki transforms an old lady's face into a giant nose, rendering her to be blind, deaf, and the inability to talk. I would be fine if at the end, they turned her back to normal. But no! We never see her again! Are we just to assume she spent the rest of her life as a giant nose? I don't know, I just kinda find it disturbing. Just the way she is seen lumbering around, pleading for help because she cant see or hear. They play it as a big joke, but it just is downright disturbing to me.

Overall, 84 Million Dollars for this? Wow.

4 out of 6 people found the following review useful:
Unique and creative with some flaws...more than I can say for most horror films now..., 26 July 2012
8/10

Sitting down in a theater in 2001, I assumed this would be another crappy teen horror film with useless sex scenes and cheesy unrealistic plot points (I reviewed movies at the time for my community). However, I was pleasantly surprised.

First off, I think we all know now that director Victor Silva is a convicted child molester. While that is without a doubt awful, he does a great job directing this film. His criminal background shouldn't effect the film he made. I'm not supporting him at all, but I did like this movie.

Anyways, the movie starts off extremely chilling and terrifying. The first 15 minutes of this movie will send a chill down your spine. However, once the kids go into the house, the film slowly starts to descend at a slow but sure rate. By the end of the flick, the film is very 'meh', but maybe that's because the film couldn't live up to the beginning.

The Creeper, the villain of this horror film, is easily one of the most terrifying villains of horror in a long time. The way he looks, what he wears, his truck, what he does. All of it is horrifying. I proudly tilt my hat to whoever did the makeup design. However, the "twist" at the end, while definitely unique, kind of takes away from the seriousness the film had. It looked good in Vilva's head and on the storyboards, but when it transferred to screen, it just isn't subtle.

As I said, the first third of the film is great. The second third isn't as good, but still manages to keep up the thrills. The climax in the police station is sadly quite boring and loses all the tension the film was building up (despite that the scene involves a massive shootout), but its the VERY ending, the last 2 minutes of the movie that satisfy me. The film in general has a very dark, subtle, and eerie feeling that you just don't see in horror films nowadays. The camera angles are very Evil Dead-esque at times and really add an evil tension to the film.

Overall, this is a nicely made horror film with some flaws here and there. If you can get past the directors terrible criminal background, then check out this film. However, I don't recommend the sequel.

The Fog (2005)
2 out of 2 people found the following review useful:
Debra Hill's ghost shall seek vengeance., 27 May 2012

I rarely ever rate a 1/10, but I had no choice but to do it here. Debra Hill probably wants to return from the grave and take revenge on the film makers of this movie, just like the ghosts from this film. From the director who brought us such classics like "Blank Check" and "Stigmata" comes THE FOG...remake.

First off, the 1980 The Fog isn't one of John Carpenters best, but it is still a good horror movie with great chills, cinematic directing, and a creepy musical score. Remaking The Fog was a risky decision, but it could've worked; the original was missing a lot of things, so a remake could piece them together to make an excellent horror film. For example: GORE. Despite an R rating, the 1980 film has very little blood. So a remake could've added the gore to make it even more cringe-worthy. Look at The Blob, the 50's version has no gore at all, but the 80's remake is basically the same film, just arguably one of the goriest films of the 80's. But no, the producers went with a PG13 rating here just for more money.

The acting is bland, the writing is like something out of a SyFy channel movie, the CGI is hokey and laughable, the ghost sailors aren't scary whatsoever, and everything in between just sucks. The ghosts and fog are CGI, and it looks abysmal. The ghosts in the original were dark, mysterious, quiet, and had glowing red eyes that haunted your mind. Here, they just look like typical Haunted Mansion ghosts. Most of the time, we don't even see them, people just get attacked by nothing. The fog itself doesn't look as near as scary as the real fog in the original.

The characters suck too. The originals' cast was played by ADULTS, who did ADULT things in ADULT situations. This time, 90% of the heroes look like they haven't graduated from high school yet, so we have TEENS doing TEEN things in adult situations, which doesn't add up. Every girl in the movie is hot, and has at least one skimpy dress scene. The love interest that the producers through in was terrible and pointless. We even have a token black guy for comic relief! Why does THE FOG need a comic relief black guy? Imagine if Halloween had a token black guy, or The Thing.

Overall, this is by far the worst remake of a Carpenter/Hill film, and one of the worst horror films to be released in theaters...ever. The Thing prequel may have been disappointing, the Assault On Precicnt 13 remake may have been bad, the Halloween remake may have been even worse, but THE FOG takes the cake. I'll be waiting for an Escape From NY remake with an all teen cast, CGI explosions, and a token black guy.

The Thing (2011/I)
1 out of 3 people found the following review useful:
Could've been better, but I was overall satisfied., 23 November 2011
7/10

Well, I haven't had the time to write an IMDb movie review for a long time, so now that I finally had the chance, I said "why not?".

I am a HUGE fan of The Thing 1982, along with most of John Carpenters work. John Carpenters The Thing is, in my opinion, a 10/10, A+, 5 stars, large thumbs up, whatever. I think its one of the best horror films ever made. So I was quite excited to find out that a prequel was to be made. After several debates on the movie boards, Friday October 14th arrived and I saw The Thing in theaters opening day.

I recently saw it again at my local dollar theater (it was completely empty...) and my opinions haven't changed much. I like it, I really do, but some things could've been improved:

-the title. SO many people were convinced that this was a remake. I think they shouldve named it "From Another World", because if you place it with the Carpenter movie, you have "The Thing" and "From Another World".

-CGI was overused. The Carpenter film is famous for having groundbreaking effects, but no CGI (it didn't exist in 1982). Tom Woodruff and Alec Gillis are 2 great effect workers (they did Jurassic Park, Tremors, Aliens, Starship Troopers, and AVP), so I was eager to see their work; they advertised "80% animatronics, 20% CGI". Well, it was more like "40% animatronics, 60% CGI." Oh well. The effects were very good, for the most part.

-they never use the Ennio Morricone theme. Well, they do, but its at the end credits for about 30 seconds before it switches to some other music. Morricone wrote a spine chilling musical score for the 1982 film. The main theme for the 1982 film is, I think, one of the best ever. So I was disappointed to only hear it once in this film.

-what we see and what we don't. This tool was used extremely well in the 1982 film. Here, the paranoia factor seems to be minimized for the gore and transformation scenes. But even then, I think the gore could've been upped. The scene where the thing reveals itself on the helicopter could've been really gross and awesome, but we don't see any of it. Why?

-its too damn rushed. The 1982 film had patients and was building up on the paranoia. In this one, as soon as the Thing breaks loose, its like a 90 minute roller-coaster, which is both good and bad. Its good because its never boring, but its bad because it just seems to fastly paced and seems to be overwhelmed in itself.

However, there are some good aspects. The acting is good, the effects range from "meh" to outstanding, the ending is brilliant, and the cinematography is really fabulous to look at. Overall, I think a 7/10 is a fair rating. Not as good as the Carpenter film, but its still better than...most horror films from this year.


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