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A professional male stripper, who is known as Magic Mike (Channing
Tatum) is a 30 year old male stripper. Who certainly loves his job,
entertaining the ladies, having parties and the occasional one night
stand. But Mike doesn't want to be a stripper for the rest for his
life, he is hoping to get his own business. In the same time, he takes
an chance on a young, aimless, handsome 19 year old man by the name of
Adam (Alex Pettyfer) to be his protégé. Adam starts to enjoy the
nightlife world of male strippers, especially dancing for beautiful
ladies of all sorts. While Mike is slowly starts to enjoy Adam's
friendship and Adam's worried older sister Brooke (Cody Horn).
Directed by Oscar-Winner:Steven Soderbergh (The "Ocean" Series, Erin Brockovich, Haywire) made an entertaining dramatic comedy that offers fine performances, including Matthew McConaughey as Tatum's sleazy nightclub owner. Tatum has some impressive dance skills, certainly no surprise for those, who have seen "Step Up". The male strippers cast seems to be having an great time with the dances.
The Blu-ray has an sharp anamorphic Widescreen (2.35:1) 1080p transfer and an superb DTS 5.1 HD Sound. The extras are sadly disappointing, i was hoping an commentary track, more featurettes or deleted scenes. We do get an brief featurette, play all dances option and three extended dance sequences (The highlight is the "Ken" doll dance scene). "Magic Mike" for some tastes by certain film critics and audiences was not the sleazier male stripping movie, they were expecting. But "Magic Mike" is mostly original piece of work. Soderbergh shows the nightlife of the male stripping world quite nicely. Which it is not all sleazy, most male strippers do it to entertained the costumers and for a few male strippers, it is just an job after all. Fine adult entertainment. Soderbergh also did the cinematography and editing of the film in a pseudonym fashion. HD Widescreen/Hawk-Scope. (****/*****).
Social Worker Emily Jenkins (Oscar-Winner:Renée Zellweger) is assigned
to investigate the family of a 10 year-old Lillith Sullivan (Jodelle
Ferland). Since her father (Callum Keith Rennie) and her mother (Kerry
O'Malley) might be abusing her physically. Since Lillith is afraid to
sleep at night. One late night, Lillith calls Emily to tell her that
she is falling asleep and she fears that her life is in danger. Emily
and her police detective friend Mike (Ian McShane) finds her parents
nearly killing Lillith by cooking her alive in a large oven. Her
parents are arrested for attempted murder and possibly have mental
problems as well, since they are placed in a mental institution for
quite some time. But Lillith wants Emily to adopted her, instead of
staying in a group home for children. Emily agrees, she feels a close
bong with Lillith but soon... Emily realized this 10 year-old-girl is
not what she seems to be, especially people are close to Emily's life
are having terrible accidents.
Directed by Christian Alvart (Antibodies, Pandorum) made an interesting, if familiar horror thriller in the style of "The Omen" series. Although "Case 39" tries very hard to be fresh and original. Good performances by Zellweger and Ferland makes this movie worth watching. The picture has an strong supporting cast including Bradley Cooper (Before his leading horror role in "Clive Barker's The Midnight Meat Train") in a memorable death sequence and Adrian Lester. Director Alvart has a flair for visual style and he sometimes makes up for the flawed parts of the picture.
DVD has an sharp anamorphic Widescreen (2.35:1) transfer and an strong Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround Sound. DVD includes featurettes and over 30 minutes of deleted scenes, which it has an alternative death sequence for the McShane's character (Far more interesting than the theatrical release) and alternative ending (The theatrical ending is much more satisfying). For some reason, "Case 39" had trouble releasing in theaters, it nearly taken three years to be finally released in north America in theaters. Since it already came out different parts of overseas. The movie is certainly better than the poor reputation it received. True, the movie has its shares of flaws early on in the film but it slowly makes up for it. "Case 39" is a good if somewhat been there, done that horror movie. Horror fans will certainly be entertained by this one. Written by Ray Wright (The Crazies "Remake" and Pulse "Remake"). Hawk Scope. (*** ½/*****).
Karen (Annette Bening) always wonder about the baby, she was forced to
give up her baby daughter by her mother (Eileen Ryan). When Karen
himself was only 14, when she got pregnant. Which her mother give the
baby for adaption. Karen wonders how her life would be like, if she
knows her daughter. Elizabeth (Noami Watts) is a highly successful
lawyer, who knows she was adapted and she is not quite sure, if her
real biological mother is looking for her. Elizabeth falls in love with
her boss (Samuel L. Jackson) but Elizabeth unintentionally finds
herself pregnant. An young woman named Lucy (Kerry Washington) and her
husband Joseph (David Ramsey) is looking to adopted a baby, since Lucy
can't get pregnant. Somehow the private lives of Karen, Elizabeth and
Lucy have an complicated if different unhappy lifestyles that needs
some happiness in their lives.
Written and Directed by Rodrigo Garcia Barcha (Things You Can Tell Just by Looking at Her) made an intriguing human drama with superb performances by Bening and Watts. Although the cast are terrific, including:Jimmy Smits, Cherry Jones, Elpidia Carrillo (Best known for her supporting performances in "Salvador" and "Predator"), Shareeka Epps, David Morse and more. This is a moving film, yet slow, it is mean-spirited at times and probably difficult to like the leading characters but the writer and director of the movie keeps things moving, especially it has some predictable moments.
The Canadian DVD has an sharp anamorphic Widescreen (1.78:1) transfer and an fine Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround Sound. DVD's only special feature is the original theatrical trailer. "Mother and Child" is certainly an very good movie. It's a fine adult entertainment. If you haven't heard of this flawed but genuinely well made picture is not to be missed. HD Widescreen. (****/*****).
Becca Crane (Jenn Proske) moved to Sporks to live with her clueless
father (Diedrich Bader), who is the sheriff as well. Becca slowly
realized that there is Vampires in Sporks. Becca finds herself falling
in love with Edward Sullen (Matt Lanter), who happens to be a vampire
as well going to her high school. She becomes friends with Jennifer
(Anneliese van der Pol), a fast talking teen slut. Becca is also in
danger, when three vampires (Arielle Kebbel, Charlie Weber and B.J.
Britt) are after her. Edward saved her from one of the vampire attacks
and Jacob (Christopher N. Riggi) also saved Becca from those attacks.
But Jacob is a werewolf, who changes into a Chihuahua (!). But Jacob is
in love with Becca. Now Becca has to choose between Edward and Jacob.
Directed by Jason Friedberg and Aaron Seltzer, who are the infamous writers and directors of such low-brow comedic disasters most of the time, laugh-less spoof such as "Date Movie", "Epic Movie", "Meet the Spartans" and the worst of all "Disaster Movie". Although Friedberg and Seltzer wrote an slightly more coherent script. The best thing about "Vampires Suck" is Jenn Proske as Becca, she captures Kristen Stewart performance as Bella from the "Twilight" movies. Proske is dead on in the movie. Bader is well-cast as her dad. Anneliese van der Pol is amusing as Jennifer, she makes fun of Anna Kendrick's role as Jessica quite well.
The DVD rental exclusive has no special features. The DVD is the original theatrical version. DVD has an good anamorphic Widescreen (1.85:1) transfer and an good Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround Sound. The worst thing is Friedberg and Seltzer's script. Sometimes their jokes starts as amusing, then so-so and then unfunny. Their visual gags and as well as dialogue doesn't help at all. But at least, "Vampire Suck" is more watchable mess than "Disaster Movie". Proske has one surprisingly sexy sequence with Latner, when she tries to seduced Edward by wearing sexy lingerie (A clever reference of "Naked Gun 33 1/3:The Final Insult). Perphas the best thing about "Vampire Suck" is the end-title sequence with a music track by Marilyn Manson titled "If I Was Your Vampire" is a good touch. Otherwise, "Vampire Suck" is watchable but just don't expect much from the Friedberg and Seltzer team. (** ½/*****).
The Crew (Greg Evigan, Nancy Everhard, Cindy Pickett, Miguel Ferrer,
Marius Weyers, Matt McCoy, Nia Peeples, Taurean Blacque, Elya Baskin,
Thom Bray and Ronn Carroll) of scientific ocean floor station "DeepStar
Six". Which it is funded by the navy is expected to perform scientific
studies as well as install an underwater nuclear missile silo. On a
routine job, two of the crew members on the small submarine blasted the
cave open. They decided to explore it but they encounter the unknown.
When a large mysterious creature attacked the underwater ship and
killed the two crew members instantly. Since this creature is
attractive to light, this thing decides to attack the crew of the ocean
Directed by "B" movie producer:Sean S. Cunningham (Friday the 13th, Spring Break) made an entertaining, low-budget adventure with some cheap thrills. The cast do their best with this material but it is Ferrer gives the only memorable performance in this cheap feature. Some people prefer this one over "Leviathan" but I think, "Leviathan" is better made, much superior cast and special effects are superior to "DeepStar Six". The look of the creature is not bad, the best thing in Cunningham's direction. He only used the creature in some key sequences and the monster only appears in the movie for a couple of minutes.
"DeepStar Six" should have had an large budget, what i felt hurts the movie are the underwater sequences are not very convincing. It seems to me that Cunningham worked hard on a low budget and he did his best to cover the flawed production values. It seems that Mario Kassar and Andrew Vanja from "Carolco Pictures" only give Cunningham an $10 million budget or less. I felt the script was good and Harry Manfredini (Best known for "Friday the 13th" movies) gives an good music score, probably his best work. I felt the cast seemed out of place, expect for Ferrer but they did their best.
I would love to watch this movie in Widescreen, since the region 1 DVD's are only Full Screen. Maybe in a future Blu-ray release, we can finally watch it in the original Widescreen aspect ratio of 2.35:1.
This is a update from March 25, 2013. I track down the Region 2 DVD from eBay. DVD has an good anamorphic Widescreen (2.35:1) transfer and Dolby 2.0 Surround Sound is quite good. DVD also includes an rather dull commentary track by the filmmakers, two featurette, original theatrical trailer and photo gallery.
As a "B" movie, it works but fails as a "A" level production. Since "Carolco Pictures" are better known for their big budget productions. As a Guilty Pleasure, "DeepStar Six" is entertaining. It is memorable for Miguel Ferrer's standout supporting performance and an surprisingly good Harry Manfredini score. Certainly an interesting double feature with "Leviathan" for one night's viewing. Super 35. (*** ½/*****).
Incompetent Cop Frank Drebin (The late Leslie Nielsen) from Police
Squad. He is investigating the attempted murder of his partner Nordberg
(The infamous O.J. Simpson). He finds himself in a conspiracy that the
millionaire Vincent Ludwig (The late Ricardo Montalban) is planning to
assassinated Queen Elizabeth the Second (Jeannette Charles).
Directed by David Zucker (Scary Movie 3 and Scary Movie 4, Ruthless People, Top Secret!) made an enjoyable comedic spoof, based on the failed TV Show. Which the TV Show was created by David Zucker, Jim Abrahams and Jerry Zucker. The late Nielsen is terrific as a clueless police detective. Priscilla Presley is amusing as Drebin's love interest. Oscar-Winner:George Kennedy appears in a supporting role as Ed Hocken from the Police Squad.
DVD has an good anamorphic Widescreen (1.78:1) transfer and an digitally remastered Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround Sound. DVD includes an entertaining commentary track by David Zucker, Producer:Robert K. Weiss (The Blues Brothers, Dragnet, Tommy Boy) and Host:Peter Tilden. DVD also includes the original theatrical trailer. "The Naked Gun:From the Files of Police Squad!" is one of the most memorable spoofs ever made and it was certainly one of the funniest comedies made in the 1980's. There is some familiar faces in bit parts. TV Version adds some additional footage. Don't miss this Leslie Nielsen classic, Mr. Nielsen we will miss you. Written by Jerry Zucker (First Knight, Ghost, Rat Race), Jim Abrahams (Hot Shots! and Hot Shots! Part Deux, Big Business, Jane Austin's Mafia!), David Zucker and Pat Proft (Bachelor Party, High School High, Police Academy). (****/*****).
Dr. Hal Raglan (The late Oliver Reed) is a controversial psychologist,
his work is designed to help release the disturbed emotions in his
patients. His star patient Nola (Samantha Eggar) is keep in isolation
but her negative emotions are more troubled than expected. Her husband
Frank (Art Hindle) suspects that his daughter Candice (Cindy Hinds) is
hurt and abused by her mother on visitation days. Frank thinks that Dr.
Raglan odd therapy is nothing more than a fraud. He needs proof to
destroy his creditability but Frank slowly discovers, there is some
brutal murders happening. It seems to happen, when Nola vents her fury
during her sessions with Dr. Raglan. Frank needs to discover the truth,
what is behind these disturbing killings.
Written and Directed by David Cronenberg (The Dead Zone, The Fly "1986", A History of Violence) made an horrific, sometimes disturbing horror film. The movie starts off as a strong drama, then slowly goes to the unknown. There is terrific performances by the late Reed, Eggar and Hindle. Hinds does a good job as the victim in the film. One of the highlights is the memorable music score by the Three Time Oscar-Winner:Howard Shore (The Lord of the Rings trilogy, Se7en, The Silence of the Lambs). The feature is especially well shot by Canadian Cinematographer:Mark Irwin (The Blob "1988", Passenger 57, Scanners).
The DVD is the Uncut Version of the picture. This version runs 92 Minutues, although the DVD Cover is credited as a R-Rated Version. DVD has an sharp anamorphic Widescreen (1.85:1) transfer and an clean Dolby 2.0 Mono Sound. The only extra is the original theatrical trailer. It would have been nice, if the movie had an running commentary track by the director. Robert A. Silverman has an scene-stealing performance in a supporting role as One of Ralgan's former patients. "The Brood" starts out as a slow-moving drama, then the movie is gets much better with horrific and memorable scares. Certainly one of Cronenberg's most fascinating films. Don't miss it. (****/*****).
John Cutter (Wesley Snipes) is a undercover security operative, who has
taken a job training flight attendants and security personnel is how to
deal with dangerous criminals or terrorist. When John takes a flight
for his new job at Los Angeles, there is a handcuffed international
terrorist and his name is Charles Rane (Bruce Payne). Who is known to
the FBI as "The Rane of Terror". Which Rane is in FBI Custody, but
although Rane's fellow terrorists are on the plane and soon enough,
they are taking over the plane. Now John is forced to deal with the
Directed by Kevin Hooks (Fled) made an reasonably entertaining action-thriller, which it is basically "Die Hard" on a plane. Payne is a extremely enjoyable as the villain, while Snipes is solid as the action hero. The movie is actually clever at times, funny and it has some good special effects. The movie has strong supporting cast including Tom Sizemore, Bruce Greenwood, Ernie Lively and a young Elizabeth Hurley as one of the terrorists! The movie is still fun to watch, although it is dated to say the least.
DVD has an good anamorphic Widescreen (2.35:1) transfer (Also in Pan & Scan) and an fine digitally remastered:Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround Sound. DVD includes Production Notes, Original Theatrical Trailer and an Action Movie Trailer Gallery. "Passenger 57" has some silly moments but it is certainly tight, well made, action "B" movie. Director's father Robert Hooks appears in a small supporting role as a FBI Agent. Also remember, Always Bet on Black. From a story by Stewart Raffill (The Ice Pirates, Mac and Me, The Phildelphia Experiment) and Dan Gordon (The Assignment, Surf Ninjas, Wyatt Earp). Screenplay by David Loughery (Star Trek 5:The Final Frontier, Dreamscape, Lakeview Terrace) and Gordon. J-D-C Scope. (****/*****).
Local eye doctor and Christmas expert Steve Finch (Matthew Broderick)
wants an nice simple Christmas with his wife Kelly (Kristen Davis), his
daughter Madison (Alia Shawkat) and his son Carter (Dylan Blue). When
the Finch family has new neighbors during the holidays, which they are
the Hall family. Buddy Hall (Danny DeVito), his wife Tia (Kristen
Chenoweth) and their twin daughters, Ashley (Emily Aldridge) and Emily
(Kelly Aldridge). Buddy is a pro salesman in a Car Dealership
department but he quickly get bored with the previous jobs, he had.
Buddy wants to do something totally different for Christmas, he has the
idea to have many colorful Christmas lights on his house that they can
be seen from Space! Soon enough, it truly annoys Steve and he feels
that Buddy will ruined his Christmas spirit. He decides to do whatever
it takes to ruined Buddy's Christmas. Especially they competed against
each other during the holidays.
Directed by John Whitesell (Big Momma's House 2, Malibu's Most Wanted, See Spot Run) made an decent Christmas movie with some low-brow laughs and an few moments of mean-spirited gags. Broderick and DeVito are certainly good in their roles. But the script could have been much better, sometimes i wonder if the movie was meant to be darker at times. Perphas the dirtiest joke in the movie, when Broderick and DeVito are amused (and probably turned-on) by watching live performance of "Santa Baby", not realized in these short Christmas skirts and Christmas costumes is their daughters. But the worst thing about the movie is the Christmas lights, especially in DeVito's home in the picture. After watching the movie, it kinda made me sick watching these different colors Christmas lights. Overall, "Deck the Halls" is fairly amusing two-thirds of the way but the movie always goes overkill. Too bad with a brighter script, this feature could have been really good. Watchable but nothing memorable. (***/*****).
26 men has been chosen to join the roles of Prison Guards and Prisoners
for the experiment for two long weeks. The prize is $14,000 a person if
they can last two weeks for this experiment. Travis
(Oscar-Winner:Ardien Brody) is hoping to get the money for a long
deserved vacation and Travis is called Prisoner 77 for the study.
Barris (Oscar-Winner:Forest Whitaker) is seemingly normal man, who
never had power in his life. Barris is one of the prison guards. This
experiment is in a isolated area. At first, the experiment goes well
until the prisoners slowly starts acting like real prisoners. It seems
that Travis is the lead of the group. While the Prison Guards are
getting more sadistic and powerful. Travis would never expected this
strange experiment to be deadly real.
Written and Directed by Paul Scheuring made an effective thriller, based on the original German 2001 film titled "Das Experiment". Oscar-Winners:Brody and Whitaker are terrific in the movie. While Cam Gigandet and Travis Fimmel offers scene-stealing performances as the brutal guards. Originally made for theatrical release, somehow this feature went Direct-to-DVD instead. Which it is too bad, because the movie is powerful and brutal at times. Despite some silly dialogue, especially coming from the worst Prison Guards in the movie.
The Canadian DVD has an sharp anamorphic Widescreen (2.35:1) transfer and an strong Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround Sound. Unlike the American DVD and Blu-ray. The Canadian DVD offers some special features like interviews, B-Roll footage and behind the scenes featurette. "The Experiment" has an few flaws. The first, i wish the movie was much longer. Especially getting to know some of the Prison Guards and Prisoners better in supporting roles. The feature also lacks an satisfying conclusion. But still, strong performances by Oscar-Winner:Brody, Oscar-Winner:Whitaker (His role shows shades of "The Last King of Scotland"), Gignadet and Fimmel makes this picture worth watching. Usually talented character actor:Clifton Collins Jr. is sadly wasted in a underwritten role as one of the prisoners. Super 35. (****/*****).
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