Saturday, August 29, 2015

A Haunted House

Wayans notices unusual occurrences after he welcomes girlfriend Atkins to move in, with their experiences being documented through security video and a hand-held camera. Includes a fair share of jokes that both land and miss. Surprisingly insensitive at times, but this one's not for those who can't take a joke anyway. It's frustrating that Wayans feels the need to succumb to loud, childish reactions when he's proved himself quite capable of delivering clever comedy. Unlike many parodies, which usually have several targets, this outing focuses mainly on PARANORMAL ACTIVITY, which ends up limiting the range of mocking the "found footage" genre. Presented to the MPAA in two versions, but both ended up with an R-rating.

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Tucker and Dale vs. Evil

A group of college kids go camping and cross paths with the two titular hillbilly characters, who end up being far more well-meaning than their appearances suggest, making for some hilariously bloody, tragic misunderstandings. Make a cake by mixing DELIVERANCE, EVIL DEAD, Friday THE 13TH and SLEEPAWAY CAMP together; and ice it with HAROLD AND KUMAR GO TO WHITE CASTLE, JANE AUSTEN'S MAFIA!, SCARY MOVE and SILENCE OF THE HAMS for the frosting. Labine and Tudyk know how to bring quality laughs to the table; while the makeup, SFX and visual-effects departments all deserve a kudos for their impressive talents that would make a more serious movie legitimately horrifying. And let's face it, the two leads are so likable that they even bring a strange sweetness to this incredibly goofy outing. A parody-comedy that gets some good chuckles from those outside its target.

Sunday, August 23, 2015

The Unauthorized Full House Story

Pretty interesting account showcasing the lives of the FULL HOUSE cast while the hit series was in production from 1987–1995 (and book-ended by relevant events outside of the show's run), with a primary focus on Stamos (Gaston), Coulier (Mader) and Saget (Brawith). Very well-casted, and its pacing is impressively smooth. A main setback is the lack of major conflict warranting such a "dramatic story". It's also a bit strange how the characters can say they wish their real lives were as simple as FULL HOUSE when the show was about a young widower and his three motherless daughters.... Still, kudos to the attention to detail—they even make sure to cover Posey as Danny Tanner in the unaired pilot.

Saturday, August 22, 2015

Mission: Impossible - Rogue Nation

Well-received fifth installment follows Cruise as he chases down terrorist Harris; while at the same time staying under the radar (but not without the help of loyal Rhames, Pegg and Renner) of CIA agent Baldwin, who is convinced the IMF has done nothing for global security and has instead been criminally endangering and compromising previous missions. At times, the dialogue is just as bad as Woo's second installment; but from the opening scene of Cruise climbing on the outside of a flying Airbus A400M (without the use of special effects or a stunt double, by the way), there's no doubt another impossible mission will accomplish your entertainment. It's nice to see reprising characters getting fleshed out a little more, and the minor references to previous films are indeed fun; but this excellent series runs the risk of slowing down if each installment is becoming less and less self-contained. Hats off to Harris, who breathes life into a textbook greedy madman just by his unique voice.

Saturday, August 15, 2015

A BOOK ABOUT A FILM teaser trailer

C. W. Schultz's upcoming release A Book About a Film concerns the lost/unfinished movie The Cornfield People that has been obsessively covered by this very blog.  At midnight, Schultz's official website released a teaser trailer of the book which includes never-before-seen footage of The Cornfield People.  Some people who claim to have a copy of the film have tried to upload it to YouTube or Google, and the movie kept getting removed, so this teaser trailer might be the closest some people may ever get to viewing The Cornfield People.

Tuesday, August 11, 2015


A so-very-'90s disaster film that's excellent at everything except the acting. After trucks carrying toxic waste explode in a tunnel under the Hudson River, former Emergency Medical Services chief Stallone has the instinct to put himself in danger and go down to rescue any potential survivors. The explosion alone is worth watching, and there are plenty of other SFX that hold up to this day. Unfortunately, there are just way too many obstacles to keep the intensity fresh on top of the pedestrian acting—it's hard to tell if it's the cast or the script that's to blame. The nostalgia of it all will give it some brownie-points for replay value.

Friday, August 7, 2015


With his career failing, dimwitted male fashion model Stiller is brainwashed and used as a pawn to kill the Prime Minister of Malaysia (Asai) by a group of corrupt executives. Pretty decent if you give it a shot, with Taylor's backstory demonstrating some real thought being put into some of these characters. Long list of cameos are real fun, but it's Stiller and Wilson together on screen that takes the cake. The film contains elements from a pair of short films for VH1 Fashion Awards television specials in 1996 and 1997. Surprised there is not more fashion model cameos. The soundtrack is terrible, despite possibly being intentional.

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

We Are What We Are

*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Childers plays the eldest child in the Parker family and after her mother's accidental drowning, she must take the lead in a very horrific family tradition. Meanwhile, Parks plays a doctor who refuses to give up the search for his daughter that went missing years ago, and his autopsy exam of Ma Parker (DePaiva) lands him a connection to a family that might know a thing or two about his quest. Slow, but Mickle sets a great tone, and we are ultimately led to a very memorable finale that will especially satisfy those hungry for a cannibal-horror flick. Parks and Sage are the same as always, but they're good at what they do.

Mission: Impossible II

John Woo dumbs down this sequel to the 1996 action-spy blockbuster so much that it's almost unwatchable. What was cool back in spring 2000 and became out of style by autumn 2000 is all here: Limp Bizkit's rendition of Lalo Schifrin's theme, Tom Cruise's bad haircut, Thandie Newton as the leading lady, Anthony Hopkins hanging out in Spain, Rade Šerbedžija and his mustache, etc. Yes, this film's predecessor is a bit more complicated than what it needed to be, but it didn't need to be given a lobotomy. Even Ving Rhames' reprisal and the Australian setting can't save this hopeless, dull waste of two hours. The 1960's show's cast responded negatively to the first film, it'd be interesting to hear what they have to say about this one.

Monday, August 3, 2015

National Lampoon's European Vacation

The Griswolds (changed to "Griswalds" for this outing) are back and off to Europe after winning the free trip on a game-show. Predictable and inferior, likely the weakest of the series, but still offers some worthy laughs nonetheless. Both kids are replaced, but the recasting has since become a fun ongoing gimmick in the following films. Perhaps working Randy Quaid back into the plot somehow would've made this holiday more memorable? Despite its flaws, the concept of sightseeing with Sparky and his fam still "works" per se, so this installment is far from a complete waste. Followed by NATIONAL LAMPOON'S Christmas VACTION.

Sunday, August 2, 2015

Birdman: Or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)

Reminiscent of his tenure as Batman, Keaton is perfect as a washed-out celebrity famous for the eponymous role whose Broadway play acts as a reflection for his fear of worthlessness. The film is structured to appear like one long take, where we are able to branch off into other characters' stories who reveal a similar fear of being insignificant. One of a kind and never boring. Met with overwhelming acclaim, including the Oscar for Best Picture. Main character's decisions in the third act are a bit too questionable for everyone to be gaga over this outing, but all-around outstanding performance (especially by Norton) will carry any dead weight.

The Galapagos Affair: Satan Came to Eden

German and French expatriates relocate to the Galapagos Island of Floreana, where their dreams of solitude take a tragic turn after a series of disappearances. A cast of voice-actors wonderfully narrate the writings of the residents, while current interviews from those who live on the islands paint a vivid picture of what the settlers were searching for and what could've gone wrong. The whole affair is brilliantly pieced together in a cinematic three-act structure, with the majority of the subject's actions being shown through photographs, newspaper clippings and archive footage. Shortening or cutting out an interview or two would've improved the pacing. Meant to shed light, not give answers. If you want a realistic story of trouble in Paradise, look here!

Saturday, August 1, 2015

Mission: Impossible

*** This review may contain spoilers ***
The Impossible Missions Force (IMF) team are assigned to retrieve a non-official cover list (NOC list), but they are ambushed by another spy team and killed one by one. Any survivors are left to take the blame for the murders, learning the original mission was a setup designed to lure out a mole. More confusing than it needs to be, but is eventful and well-acted enough to have major replay value. De Palma's use of foreshadowing might sadly go unappreciated to those willing to watch only once. Fans of the television series will likely be displeased with the lack of mind-games among other things. Those who don't hold the show dearly or have never seen it will find this outing quite satisfying.


Mix BLADE RUNNER and WATERWORLD, and then under-budget it. A mercenary hunts Klyn and his group of murderous marauders from New York City to Atlanta in a plague-infested post-apocalypse. Expectedly bad, but the flaws are more with lingering shots of way-below-par SFX and the feeling of confinement in an open-road setting. While it never succeeds in pulling the audience into its futuristic urban wasteland, Klyn should get some brownie-points for being such an excellent villain. Admittedly, it could've been worse: given the title, one would expect Van Damme's TERMINATOR attempt. Pinckney sued Van Damme for accidentally wounding his eye during a fight scene, causing permanent vision loss. Originally intended to be a sequel to MASTERS OF THE UNIVERSE.