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Fright Night (2011)
Really fun vampire flick
The film stars the fantastic Anton Yelchin and the legendary Colin Ferrell. Anton Yelchin is Charlie, a guy living in a house and Colin Ferrell is his neighbour. We find out pretty early on that Colin Ferrell is a vampire. And now horror ensues.
Also, Charlie's friend that tipped him off to the fact of his neighbour being a vampire is none other than McLovin. Christopher Mintz Plasse is Ed.
Ed is an old friend of Charlie's that he prefers to avoid. Basically, the exact same character as Fogel from Superbad with the twist of being paranoid about vampires. I can see the casting choice. Seems a lot like the work of Alison Jones.
Colin Ferrell is just amazing in this. He's incredibly creepy and he feels completely natural. This is a real vampire we're seeing here. Also fantastic in his role is David Tennant as vampire expert Peter Vincent who Charlie goes to for advice.
I saw the original movie and I have to say that it's not really that great. Its bad in an 80s way of being bad. This remake however has made everything modern. And when you have modern, you have 3D. I saw this film in 3D. the 3D was used pretty well for a horror movie. When you have this type of movie, it's always better to have a more obnoxious 3D. And this movie had some obnoxious 3D, but it was just the right amount. A lot of what I noticed was when there was just an explosion there was always 3D ashes floating through the air. That was pretty cool.
With 3D of course you have CGI blood, which has proved to be horrible in most cases. They seemed to get it right here. My only problem is the blood that spurts out at you as a 3D effect. That only happened once, but it's an example of obnoxious 3D. The frights in the movie are done well, but the scares are elevated by tense scenes.
However, even more than tension there is a lot of comedy throughout the film. At moments, I felt like I was watching an R-rated teen comedy. It might have been because McLovin was there, but I still think people will be surprised by the equal amount of laughs to frights. In fact, it almost felt more like a comedy than a horror movie, which I have no complaints against. Horror comedies are always entertaining.
Overall, I think this was a very fun movie that can't possibly not entertain you.
Shark Night 3D (2011)
Lack of fun, suspense.
This movie stars Sara Paxton and Katherine McPhee among other unknown people. The stars are not important. What we have here is a PG-13 shark movie. Something that is so unnatural, I'm surprised that it even exists.
A group of unlikeable college kids go to a lake and get eaten by sharks released by crazy hillbillies. Everyone was unlikeable. Joel David Moore is probably the most likable. He's the most entertaining part of this movie.
Before I saw this movie I was wondering how they were going to pull off the death scenes with a PG-13 rating. As expected, there is a lot of thrashing around in the red coloured water before they are pulled down under. As long as they don't show the blood pouring it's okay. There was a scene when a guy lost his arm and except for the blood on his clothes, there was no bleeding to be seen. I wanted to see some gory shark kills. There was only one cool kill in the whole movie that would have been elevated if this was R- rated.
The 3D in the movie is really only good underwater. Everywhere else it's not used enough to be worth the extra price. Just don't see it in 3D.
This movie is completely predictable from start to finish. After 10 minutes, you learn who the primary characters are and you realize that they will be safe the entire movie. Everyone else except for those characters are fair game for shark attacks. And that's exactly what happens. So any suspense that they try to go for is completely useless. There is no suspense.
The filmmakers took this movie way too seriously. The way to make this movie is like Piranha 3D. Everything is ridiculous and over the top and Piranha 3D embraced that. Shark Night didn't have any fun with it's absurd qualities. Lack of fun is a big problem.
I don't really recommend Shark Night 3D.
The Debt (2010)
Unpredictable and Suspenseful Thriller
Video review: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cYmxCULsEao
The film is about three Israeli Mossad agents who got famous for capturing a notorious Nazi war criminal in 1966. The details remained secret, but the trio struggle to keep some revelations from coming to light. The film takes place in two different time lines in the 60's and the 90's.
This movie starts out completely hard to understand in my opinion. The intro flashes by fast and I had a feeling that because of that I was going to be confused for the rest of the movie. It shows us the characters in their older age first and I'm unaware on which character was even part of the mission. Once the 1966 storyline begins, I started to understand what everything meant and it all started to make sense to me.
So, if I just so happened to be watching this at home I would have turned it off in the first 10 minutes because I would be completely confused. I'm glad I didn't give up on this. This is a thriller that builds tension every step of the way and to my surprise because I didn't even know this was going to be a thriller. I thought this was a movie about accounting. Seriously.
The concept of Jewish people seeking revenge while under cover completely reminded me of Inglourious Basterds. And it wasn't just the concept, I also got that kind of vibe from the suspense. And that could never be a bad thing!
We were introduced to an older character at the beginning that looks exactly this guy Stephan, but it turns out the character is actually the older Sam Worthington. If the movie didn't actually use their names to tell us who was who I would only be able to tell by the personalities. And the personalities, including facial expressions stick. Some pretty darn good facial continuity there.
The cast is overall pretty good. Everyone is great, but then you have Sam Worthington who has developed a reputation of wooden acting. I happen to agree with this as he always seems to have the least defined personality. This is an improvement from his narration from Avatar as he isn't too bad in this except he doesn't really have that many lines. It's almost like his limited acting range suited the role that he was in. There was a moment when he talked German it seemed like he was a completely different guy, but for all I know it could have been dubbed.
The absolute best thing about this movie is that it's completely unpredictable. It was a blessing that I went into it completely confused rather than knowing what was going to happen from the very beginning. The film plays with it's suspense and the surprises were strong enough to make some people in my theatre gasp. If that isn't good suspense, I don't know what is.
8/10, I think you should give this film a chance.
Funny or Die Presents... (2010)
It's a mixed bad of amusement and awfulness.
Funny or Die Presents is the new comedy series from HBO, which would basically be the same type of content you would see on Funny or Die. Since it doesn't allow you to rate the segments on TV, it's a mixed bag of some funny sketches, as well as some that are just plain awful.
Will Ferrell launched his popular comedy video website in 2007. In that short time, it's already been producing some of the funniest videos on the internet, that is when it's funny. That is only half of Funny or Die.
There is a certain process to Funny or Die. After watching the video, viewers have the option of giving it a good rating (Funny) or a bad rating (Die) and there is a meter displaying the percentage of people who rated it Funny. It's just like Rotten Tomatoes, but with comedy sketches. The website of course has more Die than Funny, but you don't have to watch them.
I really like how the show is set up like a half-hour television network with 2-5 minute programs, like SCTV has done in the past. The show has some great retro credits and the Steve Tom is very funny when he introduces the segments.
Does any of this sound funny to you?
Drunk History: A drunk person (Jen Kirkman) retells a notable event in history, Lincoln's Emancipation Proclamation, with celebrities mouthing her words. Lincoln (Will Ferrell), Frederick Douglass (Don Cheadle) and Mary Todd Lincoln (Zooey Deschanel) were part of the reenactment. This could be interesting for them to get big names to be part of this. I would even say that it was mildly amusing, but it went on for far too long. I might not have sat through the whole thing on the site so.....low Funny.
Safety Saw: A mock infomercial shows a new safety feature on a power saw. As long as a hamster in a wheel keeps moving, the saw will stop as soon as it makes contact. He demonstrates using a hot dog, followed by his penis. I think you can see where this goes. It's disgusting and not funny at all. Die!
Designated Driver: A sober man (Paul Scheer) picks up his drunk friend (Rob Riggle) from a bar; chaos ensues. If only for how crazy Rob Riggle acts in this, it's the best of the episode. Funny!
Space Baby: Baby in space. Baby has to save Fred Willard. WTF!!! This sketch felt like filler and a colossal waste of Fred Willard's comedic abilities. Die! Die! Die!
Overall, it's a very low-brow show and there's a chance that it could get very funny over the next 11 episodes. If you enjoy a movie like Step Brothers, I guarantee you will get something out of this.
Less Than Kind (2008)
This is a Canadian show that I can be proud of.
The premiere of the second season was quite an enjoyable episode. Sheldon and his anxious family stand vigil at the hospital while his father, Sam Blecher is repeatedly on death's door. Dave Foley (Kids in the Hall) guest stars as a doctor who might be a little too eager to see Sam pass on. Definitely check out this great adult show on HBO. A detailed analysis of the series after the jump.
Generally, I dislike Canadian humor. They never help out our stereotypes. That was why I could never get into Corner Gas and I won't be watch the upcoming Hiccups or Dan for Mayor. One of the few exceptions which didn't feel completely Canadian was Kids in the Hall. This particular show, Less Than Kind happens to be written and produced by one of the founding members of Kids, Mark McKinney. Perhaps, he's better known in the U.S. for being a cast member on SNL from 1995-1997.
Less Than Kind features Sheldon Blecher an overweight Winnipeg teenager living with his dysfunctional Jewish family. I like the show because it's not trying to glamourize Canada by making it look fun, it's the place last place Sheldon wants to be. In fact, the theme song is titled "I Hate Winnipeg." Less Than Kind was airing on City TV last year. Despite the fact that it was on one of Canada's major networks last year and that the show is about a family, this is a surprisingly adult show, filled with constant f-bombs and the occasional nudity. This year, it's a much better fit on HBO and it will be able to expand to a wider audience.
The Life & Times of Tim (2008)
One of the best cartoons for adults that's not a Seth MacFarlane show.
I love shows with simple concepts. The show is carried by Tim, an ordinary 25 year old New Yorker who works in an office. He has the worst luck. Tim is always getting caught in horribly embarrassing and incriminating situations, that are the centre of the show. I would compare it to Curb Your Enthusiasm in the way that it brilliantly sets up it's scenarios, the build-up and the over-the-top conclusions.
This show is animated and usually people wouldn't be interested in watching new ones, fearful that it's another Seth MacFarlane show or a show that's trying to mimic the style of a MacFarlane show. The Life and Times of Tim is an adult cartoon that Seth MacFarlane has no involvement in. If Family Guy pushes the envelope, Tim goes even further. This is HBO we're talking about here, they have nothing but quality, uncensored programing. This is no exception. It also happens to be HBO's first animated series since Spawn. This is the best animated series in the last 5 years.
The animation isn't amazing. In fact, it's pretty awful looking, but that works in it's favor. It's not a very fast paced show, some people may even find it boring. They could show you the most boring office cubicle on Television because of the drawing style.
Like I said the show certainly won't be for everyone. If you need to be constantly entertained with non-stop action in your cartoons, than this won't be for you. If you are patient, like you have to be to watch shows like Curb Your Enthusiasm, you should give this a chance. The second season just started and you can be able to jump in without having any knowledge about the characters. It's a huge strength for a show to be able to watch the segments in a random order. It's only a half-hour show and each story is 15 minutes, so it's not a huge commitment.
How to Make It in America (2010)
Not very good, but it could have some potential.
This is the pilot for the new Mark Wahlberg produced HBO show. The follow-up to Entourage. It's obvious that they're trying to turn this into another Entourage. I don't know if it could ever reach that level. Maybe it's because of the lack of likable characters. I can't stand some of them. The concept itself just isn't as intriguing. On Entourage you have successful actors in Hollywood being rich. How to Make It In America has is about trying to get rich by illegally selling jackets on the sidewalk. I don't know about anyone else, but when I see those people I don't want to know about their lives. Also, there was one unintentionally hilarious scene, where the two main characters were in their SUV and the friend driving was having a full conversation. I'm not exaggerating, this guy was looking at the road every 10 seconds. You can't do that in New York.
Perhaps this is just a bad pilot, as I remember Entourage also had a weak start. I will say that the show utilizes it's New York setting very well, possibly better than Entourage uses L.A.
Check it out, especially if you enjoy Entourage because it shares a similar style.
Edge of Darkness (2010)
It's a drama with intense sequences of violence.
It is remarkably easy to be fooled by a trailer. From the trailer, you might be expecting a film along the lines of something like Taken. If so, you're in luck because that exact film is being delivered to you next week in the form of a John Travolta actioner with the same director. That is called From Paris With Love. Taken and what I would assume From Paris With Love would be are both fast paced exhilarating action flicks, that hardly ever stop for a second. Realism will go out the window. Martin Campbell's Edge of Darkness is a very dramatic movie with some incredible violent sequences thrown in. Was I disappointed? Absolutely not! It's rare that we get films like Edge of Darkness and we should be embracing it. This is a drama that is tense enough to be fully entertaining from start to finish.
Everyone knows by now that Mel Gibson doesn't really have the best image in the public eye. People are going to avoid this because he made anti-Semitic comments back in 2006, which were awful and I understand the reasoning of the boycott. However, people seem to be forgetting that Mel Gibson is still a terrific actor. We're getting the first acting role from him since Signs in 2002. His performance is so great in this, it carries the entire film. If this is any indication of his future work, I would like to see more.
Mel Gibson was on screen for almost the entire film. The secondary cast was all pretty solid, but there were some issues. Ray Winstone as Darius, provided the most comic relief, of the little that there was, he had the bulk of it. My main issue with his character was that he was almost completely pointless. We are treated to scene of him talking to Mel Gibson while drinking a glass of wine and his own visit to the doctor to reveal that he has a terminal illness. I honestly believe that if you would have edited out every scene that he was in, the film would have been exactly the same. It was only at the end where I felt that he served some kind of purpose, but the scene could have easily have been dropped. It was very much a subplot going away from the main plot. Also, there was some over-acting from Danny Huston's portrayal of the primary villain in the film, only in one scene.
This is also the return of Casino Royale director Martin Campbell. Casino Royale, in my opinion, is the best James Bond film. A lot of that had to do with putting the realism back in the franchise, and dropping the gadgets. Edge of Darkness isn't completely out there and far-fetched, it mostly makes sense. I say mostly because I'm still not sure how the milk got into the refrigerator. If you've seen the film, you'll know exactly what I'm talking about.
I think you get the idea that I highly recommend Edge of Darkness. It's a surprisingly bloodier film than I expected, but that just added to the intensity. The final 20 minutes of the film are just perfect. It has a better ending than most of the Best Picture nominees. So, if you're able to put aside Mel Gibson's unethical beliefs for just 2 hours, you'll realize that this is one pretty damn solid motion picture.
Youth in Revolt (2009)
Michael Cera finally branches out.
Nick Twisp (Michael Cera) is a 16 year old virgin of above average intelligence, born into a trailer trash family. His parents are divorced and leaving separately. Nick lives with his mother and her trucker boyfriend, Jerry (Zach Galifianakis). Jerry sells a broken car to a group of sailors, who eventually come back for revenge. Jerry takes Nick and his mother on a vacation to a trailer park to escape from the angry sailors. On vacation, his life changes when he meets his dream girl, Sheeni Saunders (Portia Doubleday), who has an interest in French boys. Nick badly wants to be with her, so he creates an alter ego named Francois Dillinger an evil version of himself that eventually takes over.
Michael Cera is back in another movie about the struggles of losing your virginity. Where have I heard that before? Oh yeah, Superbad and probably also Juno (mainly the aftermath). We have to put up with him in similar movies and in similar roles. Not to mention his acting style, which is always awkward, while he wears vintage hoodies. I'm going to report right now that I didn't spot a single hoodie on him for the entire duration of Youth in Revolt. Can this be a different type of role for him? Is he finally branching out? Well, yes and no. The Nick Twisp character is similar to his normal acting style, however the character of Francois is like nothing we have seen before a confident character. Cera as Francois is very amusing to watch and it really works in the film. I don't mind if he keeps the same acting style, I'm particularly fond of that, possibly because I'm a huge fan of Arrested Development. He was great in that show, and it's great to see elements of George Michael in his other characters. I don't mind if he adapts himself, because he's a good actor. He's just good at doing a certain type of role.
The rest of the cast is very strong. Portia Doubleday does an excellent job in her debut role. Justin Long is very funny as Sheeni's brother. Fred Willard and Adhir Kalyan steal nearly every scene that they're in. Adhir, was the stereotypical Indian character in Paul Blart: Mall Cop. He was actually very likable in this because he didn't have to talk in an exaggerated accent. Zach Galifianakis was the only one that was disappointing to me. He wasn't given any funny lines and he was literally a throw away character. Maybe everyone just has high expectations for everything he's in since The Hangover. He was great on the HBO comedy series Bored to Death, but he doesn't fit in here.
The movie itself is pretty brilliant. It's not a sex comedy, it's much more than that. It's not trying to be funny all the time, mostly using subtle witty humour. Once he gets his alter ego, the movie gets very interesting. This is a film for people that have an appreciation for smarter comedies. Don't let Michael Cera turn you away from this delightful little movie in a weekend that's typically a dumping ground.
1000 Ways to Die (2008)
Horrific and Hilarious
#629: A man is having an x-ray of his head taken when the doctor and nurse begin having sex in the control room. They accidentally hit the exposure button repeatedly while having sex, eventually giving the patient a lethal dose of radiation. This is one of the brutal and odd deaths explored in this episode. The way it plays out on the show, however, is hilarious.
One of the networks that I try to avoid is Spike TV. They never seem to have anything that's worth watching. Wrestling and obstacle courses aren't my idea of entertainment. I gave this show a chance while I was channel surfing, watched one death and much to my surprise I was hooked.
This show is immensely entertaining and have since changed my opinion about Spike. They did what would seem impossible by taking a real life horrific situation and gave it the feel of an old school slasher flick.
1000 Ways to Die recreates these stories with an abundance of gore and prosthetics giving it the feel of a horror film. It really makes the show a lot of fun, and almost makes you forget that this actually happened.
What I love most about the show is the intentionally bad acting on display here. Everyone's reactions and line delivery are just so bad that they're hilarious.
In short, horror fans will love this show.