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erostew

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26 reviews in total 
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1 out of 3 people found the following review useful:
Kind of Tired but Funny at Times, 8 June 2015
6/10

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

**Spoilers are pretty minor in nature and don't mention the ending.

Apparently this was Mike Clattenburg's last visit to the Trailer Park. I don't know exactly what went on behind the scenes but the 3 main characters apparently bought out Clattenburg and Barrie Dunn and will be in control from Season 8 forwards. And that's probably a good thing because Clattenburg and Dunn made a bit of a mess of this movie.

The camaraderie from the previous efforts is not much in evidence and some of it just seems plain mean spirited. The boys aren't getting along and Bubbles is in pretty rough shape. There is no way that the old Ricky and Julian would let Bubbles be reduced to living under J-Roc's deck.

On top of that it isn't even set in a "trailer park"! The supposed park is new and clean with a bunch of new and clean looking "manufactured homes". It's like they spent no time at all making things look right. At least Rick still had his New Yorker.

Overall there were some funny scenes; John Dunsworth and Robb Wells and Mike Smith did their usual great job. For some bizarre reason Pat Roach was given a Justin Bieber hairstyle that just wasn't funny and rode around on a Segway. And John Paul Tremblay didn't seem like he could really get into his role. I suspect he might have been less than happy with being made into the Merchant of P*ss. Maybe he did something to get Mike Clattenburg and Barrie Dunn particularly angry with him.

I think the actors did their best but the writing just wasn't up to snuff. It almost feels like Clattenburg and Dunn were doing their best to torpedo any future for the Boys. Luckily the strength of the series has always been the characters and their respective actors. So it's worth watching for fans but if you aren't a fan don't bother. Luckily I found TPB Season 8 to be a lot better than this movie and it looks a lot more like the series used to be than this movie.

8 out of 13 people found the following review useful:
Funny as *u**, 19 March 2015
8/10

Even though this is NOT a Trailer Park Boys movie it IS a Trailer Park Boys movie. The 3 stars of the cult favourite TV series and many of the supporting cast members play "themselves" in this movie about setting up their own TV network so that they won't have to put up with any more censorship. Apparently they REALLY like swearing!

The boys kind of play the same characters that they do in the TPB series but with some differences. For instance "Mike Smith" is a violent, drug and booze fuelled party monster. Pretty much the polar opposite to Bubbles. John Dunsworth shows absolutely nothing of Jim Lahey. Pat Roach is a real hoot as Swearman although "Dickman" might be a more accurate name. He has a pretty good sized role in this and does a good job. Tom Green and Carrot Top are kind of blah in their parts. Tom has an obsession with handing out key-chains and Carrot Top kind of reminds me of the late Joan Rivers in a Ronald McDonald wig. Insert bad plastic surgery joke here.

Over all a darn good movie. It isn't going to win an Oscar but then have you actually watched some of the crap that HAS won an Oscar? If dick jokes, weed, booze and F-bombs turn you off then turn this off. Likewise if you hate the Trailer Park Boys you will hate this. If you like the TPBs then you will like this.

I give it a solid 8 out of 10

5 out of 11 people found the following review useful:
Some Great Acting, 2 November 2014
9/10

Okay, let me say this right now: I don't think this movie is about neurotic society or Hollywood narcissism or anything else in that vein. Of course I can't say what the writer and director were intending. Perhaps it was actually meant to be about those things. But it's really a story about some weird damn people living weird damn lives. A sort of freak show I suppose you could say. David Cronenberg has always liked strange tales so it isn't surprising that he is the director.

There's some really good acting in this. Mia Wasikowska does a phenomenal job and John Cusack is brilliant. His character oozes a kind of malevolent charm and you can see the rage that is barely held in check. I've always liked John Cusack but I was honestly surprised that he could act this well. Kiara Glasco and Sarah Gadon both turned in solidly good performances. I'm not a Robert Pattinson fan at all and I didn't see anything in this movie to make me change my mind. He wasn't bad but there are probably thousands of actors that could have done as good or better in his role. Julianne Moore proves that her talents have not faded with her looks (Not that I'm saying she isn't still beautiful). She gives a great performance as the sad and vulnerable fading actress. I have to admit that I actually watched As The World Turns back in the 80s just because she was in it. I was unemployed and sitting at home flipping through the channels when I just happened to catch her in that soap and I've been a fan ever since. The only performance I really couldn't stand was Evan Bird as Benji Weiss. I hated his character in the Killing and that has probably coloured my judgement when it comes to his performance here.

David Cronenberg does a good job of keeping things moving and the script is pretty solid. I didn't have any of the WTF? moments that I have had with so many recent movies. Certainly this film deserves a better score than the 6.3 it currently has. I suspect that some of the low rating is due to the scene with the penis and the taboo secret behind the Weiss marriage. A major plus for me is that I actually watched the whole movie at one sitting. I haven't done much of that lately. At all.

Over all a very very good movie with great acting and some of the Cronenberg weirdness. 9 out of 10.

2 out of 5 people found the following review useful:
I really wanted to like this but..., 20 October 2014
2/10

I ended up hating it.

I saw the low ratings and decided to give it a shot anyway. It's the kind of movie that has the potential to give us situational horror instead of just another gore-fest. I like character driven movies if they can deliver compelling characters and an interesting story. Sadly Dead Within just doesn't deliver. On any front.

As another reviewer mentions: It isn't a Zombie flick. He's right. It is the result of somebody having the idea to make a Zombie movie but not having any real cash to spend. Basically: "We can't afford the costs of having a horde of Zombies in our movie so we will basically shoot most of it in one small set with only 2 actors, and the story will be about the people trying to survive and not about the Zombies."

Unfortunately the creators of this micro-budgeted waste of time make the same mistakes as so many other low-budget filmmakers: They seem to have hired actors because they would work cheap instead of hiring them because they can act.

I don't want to mislead you into thinking that the acting is the only bad component of this movie though. The direction and editing are lousy too. Camera-work is not terrible but it certainly doesn't add anything to the viewing experience. It's shaky and hand-held low-budget stuff. The writing, if you can call it that is unoriginal and tells a disjointed story with way too many flashbacks. The ending is pretty much NOT a surprise. Despite having four credited writers, two of them being the lead actors, it feels mostly improvised. There isn't much in the way of special effects and what there is is pretty amateur. The "Zombies" are basically people with black contacts. Those contacts, some gauze and some black "blood" that looks like used motor oil are the majority of the makeup effects.

The only bright light in the whole sorry effort is the sound. It SOUNDS creepy.

2 out of 10

110 out of 198 people found the following review useful:
Unoriginal and Stupid, 25 June 2014
3/10

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Poorly done piece of "seen it before" that fails to bring anything new or interesting to the table. Would have been better as a TV movie than as a series.

This show is very poorly written with no discernible attempt at realism. The acting is pretty bad though the actors really don't have much to work with. The dialogue is soap opera melodrama with a touch of gung ho rah rah.

The budget was apparently spent entirely on the set with all of the blinking lights and stuff. This of course left no money for decent effects or even makeup. Their idea of 50 below zero Arctic conditions is to have some weird crystals on the cheeks of the actors that are probably meant to resemble frostbite.

The so-called Russian helicopters that pop up in the middle of the Arctic, far away from any ship or base, are pathetic. The only non-CG helicopter is a plain old civilian helicopter painted black with some dumb looking fibreglass panels stuck on it. They fire off a crapload of missiles and bullets and manage to hit exactly one person and it's apparently a flesh wound. Then there are the Russian commandos: They jump out of the chopper when it's 30 or 40 feet in the air and are promptly killed by the brave defenders.

And speaking of the defenders: There were two scientists and two guards and with fancy snowmobiles. Then all of a sudden there are 6 or 8 defenders. With a guard dog. The defenders are some sort of naval unit but they have a dog. On a ship. In the US Navy. Yeah I'm sure that happens all the time. And they were taken to and from the ice/island/whatever it was supposed to be in a helicopter. One helicopter for all of those people and snowmobiles? And that's just the first few minutes! Unfortunately things did NOT improve.

The really sad thing is that this isn't even the worst thing I've seen on TV. The basic premise at least seems interesting. Poor execution pretty much kills it though.

68 out of 112 people found the following review useful:
Surprisingly Un-Sexy, 5 August 2013
3/10

This film suffers heavily from a distinct lack of sexiness and way too much boring dialogue. And that is just the beginning of the problems. You really know a film is bad when Lindsay Lohan is the only bright light in it!

The Acting: Lindsay Lohan does quite a good job in a couple of scenes involving emotion, though she is much less effective in the (too abundant) dialogue heavy scenes. James Deen shows a few flashes of talent but mainly seems as if he is trying to emulate a method actor with no real understanding of how to actually pull it off. The other "performances" are uniformly bad to less-bad.

The Writing: One word... Awful. Boring dialogue and unbelievable story. Poor ending. I think Bret Easton Ellis is a one-trick pony. He has never managed to equal what he achieved with American Psycho.

The Directing: Same word as above... Awful. Paul Schraeder really should sink back into obscurity. This project is definitely not going to help his career. Poor choice of camera angles and poor framing abounds. He shows no sign of his earlier talents. I think he is lost in his own imagined "genius" as he tries for a gritty realism and gets ugly pretentiousness.

Camera, Lighting, etc.: Poor lighting in almost every indoor scene. It looks like it was shot on a smart phone. The music is irritating. Wardrobe... What wardrobe? It looks like the actors supplied the clothes they wanted to wear. There is no costume design or set design in evidence here.

Sexiness: Basically there is none. Lindsay Lohan looks pretty sad with her prominent beer belly, sagging breasts and 1960s style lingerie. Control-top granny panties are not lust-inducing! The sex scenes are boring and much less spicy than the hype suggested. The "orgy" was so badly filmed it and lit that it was impossible to find it sexy or even interesting. Women or those with a gay interest may find it more sexually appealing but I don't find dangling limp penises to be anything but silly looking. The entertainment media painted this as shockingly graphic but it is pretty tame compared to cable shows like True Blood if you discount the number of penises on view.

In Conclusion: Not really worth a look even if you just want to see Lindsay Lohan in the buff. There was more of her on view in Playboy and her body looked at least a bit better in the magazine. If you are looking for titillating sex scenes you would be better off with Skinemax. If you want to see a dramatic expose of Hollywood's dark underbelly look elsewhere. In fact just look elsewhere. Period.

32 out of 39 people found the following review useful:
Better than the numbers indicate, 25 May 2013
7/10

I won't try and stretch your credulity by saying this is a must see movie. You could give it a miss and your life will be just the same as if you saw it. However... It really isn't a bad little flick if you can get past the misleading posters, etc. They say "Action Movie" and the reality is that it is a character piece. A definite case of poor marketing.

John Cusack plays a burnt out CIA black ops guy that is assigned to watch over Malin Akerman after screwing up a job. The movie is more about him confronting his demons than about fighting off some nameless terrorist types. He does a decent and believable job.

Malin Akerman's character is somewhat under-developed. Her acting wasn't terrible, I just think the role could have been better written. I just couldn't seem to care all that much about whether she lived through it.

The one really jarring note was the location. It is supposed to be a remote secret base, but they used one of the many former air bases scattered through England as the setting. The thing is none of those bases are all that remote and it is a large complex with bunkers and electric gates and crap like that which kind of sticks out like a sore thumb. They would have done better to set it on an island off Scotland or something.

Over all it was worth seeing but it's better to rent than to buy.

Boris and Natasha (1992) (TV)
2 out of 3 people found the following review useful:
Dave Thomas is Great in This, 9 October 2012
8/10

I'm not sure if this movie made it into theatres or not. If I remember correctly it had a short run in Canadian theatres but I could be wrong.

The movie is the kind of screwball comedy in which Dave Thomas excels. He gives a great performance and really hams it up. I have been a big fan of his since the very earliest days of SCTV when it was still shot in Edmonton. There are a couple of other SCTV alumni in this movie also. Both Andrea Martin and John Candy spice things up a bit.

The only slightly sour note is the casting of Sally Kellerman as Natasha. She does her usual quirky and funny job of acting and by no means did a bad job. However at the time this move was made she was into her 50s and 10 or 12 years older than Dave Thomas. So, even though they work well together, their chemistry could have been a bit better. No doubt she was cast because they needed a known name to go with Dave Thomas who was not known as a lead actor, and for that matter still isn't usually a lead.

So in summary: If you get a chance to see this on Netflix or see the DVD on sale somewhere don't hesitate to watch it.

29 out of 39 people found the following review useful:
Badly Botched Effort, 10 April 2011
3/10

I'm probably in the minority here but I found this film to be a steaming pile of "could have". It could have been better, it could have used a bigger budget, it could have used a better director and better actors. And most of all it could have used a better cinematographer.

From the very start of the film it's pretty obvious that this is an extremely low budget effort for the extremely ambitious story they are trying to tell. And unfortunately this just is NOT done well. I've seen lo-budget war pictures before that ended up being extremely effective. In the main they used a fairly limited number of sets and actors and tried to tell "smaller" stories. Pathfinders is an attempt to tell a very large story on a shoestring.

The opening of the movie has a woman singing a song that sounds nothing like a period piece. The wardrobe is just barely up from Halloween costume quality. And the acting is stiff and phony. And it doesn't get any better. Hiring a bunch of amateur hour actors so that you can spend most of your limited budget trying (unsuccessfully) to make your film look authentic is a bad bad idea.

Another irritating thing is the very initial premise of the movie. The use of Pathfinders before the D-Day invasion has been a secret for 60 years. HUH??? Secret from who for crying out loud? Anyone with even a passing interest in WW2 history knows that. It may well be true that nobody made a movie about just that exact facet of D-Day before but it sure as hell hasn't been a secret for 60 years. Pathfinders are at least mentioned in several films, including The Longest Day.

Despite all of the shortcomings of the film, my biggest gripe is with the camera work. Why the heck are there so many needless closeups? Are they trying to hide the shoddy quality of the sets and wardrobe? Honestly this is not the worst film I've ever seen. If it was just a low budget effort with some shortcomings I'd probably give it a 5 or 6 out of 10 rating. BUT it's a movie that never should have been made for this kind of budget! There are some things you just cannot pull off successfully without money. And the people behind this film would have done a lot better if they had tried to work within budget limitations. Ignoring the small budget and trying to do it anyway is just a case of stupidity and arrogance.

3 out of 10.

I just can't decide - Brilliant or Crap., 7 June 2009

I gave this movie a 6 out of 10. Not because I'm sure that it merits that score but because I'm not sure that it doesn't. Then I decided not to score it at all. I didn't hate it but I didn't love it either. So "no score" wins for now.

Be forewarned that there are some very disturbing scenes. This is a movie that would never be made today because of some of the pedophilic imagery. And I admit to having a weak enough stomache that I had to fast-forward through some of the scenes involving feces, urine and vomit.

If you can get past that I am quite sure that there is a message in there somewhere. Except when I think it's a piece of crap, that is. The trouble is that I can almost get what it's saying but I can't quite make the leap. Possibly it would have been easier to understand closer to the time it was filmed.

I am pretty sure that it is a simultaneous indictment of both the former Eastern Bloc and the West. You can feel the filmmaker's hatred of the Soviet system and his disappointment with the West. Or not. Maybe I have that completely wrong! It comes down to one basic fact. It left me thinking.

I didn't really like it and I don't think I entirely respect it either. Nonetheless I came away from this cinematic enigma with something. I just don't know if that something is worth having :) However I don't regret the time I spent watching it.

My advice is just to watch it for yourself. The reviewers that call it "brilliant" are probably just poor self-deluded victims of their own pretensions. The ones that call it crap or garbage are probably at least honest about their feelings but they likely didn't even try to understand. Make up your own mind.


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