Posted on 3/15/11 04:35 PM
"It's like how much more black could this thing be, and the answer is none."
This is Spinal Tap is one of if not THE funniest movies of all time.
It centers around a struggling British rock band that gone from playing 15,000 seat arenas to 1,500 seat venues since their last North American tour. They are being interviewed all along their tour by film maker Marty Debergi (Rob Reiner) as the worst possible scenario for each scene happens.
It has great, hilarious gags making a mockery of the 80s heavy metal scene and music in general. Being a fan of 80s metal may be one reason why I find this film so great, but I'm sure that others will enjoy the funny one liners and sticky situations that the group gets in along the way, including but not limited to, getting lost on their way to the stage and becoming a secondary act to a puppet show.
The chemistry between the actors is brilliant. They give such a realistic and hilarious (I need to find a different word) vibe while talking to each other. No matter what they are saying, it would still be funny. For example, Nigel has a piece of gum on his finger, and David tells him to put it on the table, but Nigel says he will forget it on the table. This probably sounds stupid written, but it's funny how they converse it. The realism is also great. They act as if they are in a real documentary instead of reading pre-existing lines. People thought it was a real band for this reason.
I almost forgot about the music.. If you actually take time to listen to the lyrics, you will find them to be a riot. From the song "Stonehenge" there is a lyric that says, "No one knows who they were, or, what they were doing, but their legacy remains. Not only are the lyrics funny, but the songs themselves are pretty good too. I actually took the time to learn how to play "Big Bottom" on drums. Plus, they put out three CDs. That's not too shabby for a band that came out of a mockumentary.
Overall, it's a great movie with great one liners, situations, and acting. If you have been living under a rock for the last 26 years and haven't seen it, do so.
^Thanks to any comments and thumbs ups.^
Posted on 11/06/10 10:24 PM
After the not too shabby Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter, you'd expect Friday the 13th Part 5 to be a good movie, right? Right, it isn't.
After killing Jason Vorhees, a grown-up Tommy Jarvis is being escorted to a halfway house. If you didn't notice from the end of part 4, he went completely insane, and now he barely ever talks. Oh yeah, he is also haunted by images of Jason.
This paragraph contains spoilers.. Scratch that, you should be able to tell by the blue hokey mask instead of a red one and the human hands. Plus, Jason died in the previous installment. Yes, Jason is not actually the killer here. That tends to be the reason most Friday fans dislike this movie (sort of like Halloween 3, although comparing them is apples and oranges). While an incredibly bad decision, the only part that that really effects is the ending. Especially if someone didn't know it was a fake Jason until the end. But, that's not the main reason this movie is crappy.
First off, we have the rednecks who live in a house near the halfway house. They come to the halfway house to complain about people at the halfway house trespassing in their yard. One, the makers of part 5 were trying to add more than just teenagers to die, like the biker gang in part 3, failing horribly. Two, I wanted them to die the second they came on screen, not for an emotionally-attached reason such as them being mean to the main characters. No, I just felt that if they had any more screen time it would suck.
There are too many unnecessary parts in the film. As stated above, there are the rednecks. There is the visit with Reggie's brother, which did nothing for the story except to open up more people to die and to get Tommy into a fight (which led to more more people dying). There's also the shots in which they are trying to develop Tommy's character, but it doesn't fit. At breakfast one day, one of the people at the house has one of Tommy's masks. Tommy then beats him up and has to be restrained by the head of the house. It just didn't work.
Part 5 is one of the worst in the series. It might as well not even exist. You'd probably be better off going from part 4 to part 6 unless you want to see the whole series.
Posted on 11/06/10 10:07 PM
Don't Be Afraid of The Dark, scheduled to be released in 2011, played at my local film festival earlier today. That sentence was placed there specifically to gloat.
This movie stars a family of three composed of a dad named Alex(Guy Pearce), his girlfriend Kim (Katie Holmes), and Alex's daughter Sally (Bailee Madison). The two adults buy a house once owned by a painter who.. lets just say bad things happened to him, and Alex's daughter comes to live with them after moving from her mother's house in LA. One day, she discovers a hidden basement to the house where the painter (Blackwood, I believe his name is) used to.. paint.. Anyway, the girl begins to hear voices in the room, and no one believes her because she is 10.
Most horror movies today rely on cheap, cliche jump scares in order to thrill the audience. For the most part, this movie is not one of those. There were four or fives uses of jump scares in the movie. A few of them did occur at terrible times, one making me shake my head in disbelief. However, the most effective one was the jump used in the trailer when the POV is crawling under the bed sheets, lifting new areas of sheet up as it moves further down the bed. Even after watching the watered-down version twice in the trailer and another two times in the festival advertisement, it still hit as hard as the first time. It is done so well in the actual movie that you know it's coming from a mile away, and you sit there for seconds, waiting for it to happen. Then when it does, and you see what's there, it comes as a huge shock.
Perhaps my favorite aspect of the film is its music. The score is great from the dramatic scenes and the mellow soundtrack to the horrific scenes and the tense soundtracks. It's hard if not impossible to describe the music in words, so I will stop by saying that it's effective.
The last thing I will talk about (mostly because it is 1 am) is the story. First, we see the original occurrence of Blackwood (see above) in a flash back Prom Night type of way. I don't want to give anything away, but I'll say this- stuff happened. Then, we have the present day where people uncover past events and fall into some sort of trouble. The cool part about the story was being told about all of the paintings and how they changed along with what changed them. That probably doesn't make sense, but it will if you watch it. You see a painter as if he was a guy in real life, and something happened in his life that changed his paintings and made it creepier. Horror movies are much more effective when they have a story laced into the scare and blood, and this one is a fine example.
Don't Be Afraid of the Dark is a great horror movie in a day and age where they are hard to come by. I recommend seeing this when it comes out next year. Yes, that was more gloating.
Posted on 9/20/10 06:18 PM
Warning: Spoilers may follow.
Christine is film constantly builds and builds throughout the entire length, creating great suspense. The characters are very well developed, too. They change slowly throughout, which ends up in their radical change.
In the beginning, we have a nerdy guy Arnie, who is constantly being pushed around without defending himself. One day while riding passenger seat with his friend, he notices an old, beat-up car (Christine) for sale whose previous owner died. Arnie instantly becomes enamored with it and blows his college savings on it. After returning home, his parents become angry at him, and the family becomes increasing torn apart from there.
He fixes the car up at a junk yard and becomes less attached with his friends and more attached to the car. He ends up getting a girlfriend, and the demon car gets jealous and tries to kill her. Finally, the car takes over his entire life and
kills anyone that gets in the way of Arnie and herself.
One reason this film is so great is because the audience sees Arnie change drastically as a result of his love obsession with his car. He goes from being a normal nerd to an angry, loner, tough guy who verbally abuses his family, friends, and the police.
This movie is a great combination of a psychological movie with a manhunt. The people that died were the people that tried to harm the relationship of Christine/ Arnie. The dramatic element, getting inside of Arnie, is what makes this movie so great.
Anyone and everyone should check this out.
Final rating - 4/5
Posted on 9/20/10 05:27 PM
The original "Halloween" is one of the greatest horror films of all time. The sequel, while not being a masterpiece by any means, will please hard Michael Myers/ Halloween.
Halloween 2 picks up right where the first movie left off. The first attack is over, then Michael continues following Laurie Strode (Jamie Lee Curtis) as she is in the hospital.
This is more of a straightforward movie, whereas the original mixed the baby sitters' personal lives in with the suspense of building Michael's appearances and the attacks. This movie is shot in the pov of Michael, which makes it more of a FT13th-type movie. He is constantly there throughout most of the film, so it makes it less special and frightening to see him. Some parts also relied too much on the original, which made it a tad cheesy-
like when Ben Tramer was killed because he wore the Michael mask.
Despite these negative aspects, it is a good film overall. It builds suspense when Laurie is isolated in the hospital, being stalked by Michael. She, being in a hospital, is not at full strength, and she is being chased by a "man" who is not human.
It is also a good film to see how that night was rapped up. Like I said, Michael Myers fans will enjoy this movie, just like fans of the other big horror franchises enjoy their vampiristic sequels.
It is more of a slasher film where the original was suspenseful (like Friday the 13th as previously stated). So, it definitely appeals to a narrower audience. Any fans of the original should watch it.
Posted on 8/30/10 01:49 PM
Read in better-ness - http://hnsmr.blogspot.com/2010/08/last-exorcism-movie-review.html
Taking a much-needed break from my Friday the 13th review, here is my review of the new film, The Last Exorcism, a horror movie shot in a mockumentary style like The Blair Witch Project and Paranormal Activity, except not as bad.
I like the (as far as I know) different take on an Exorcist movie. There is a preacher at a church that preforms false exorcisms on people. When people believe they (or relatives) are possessed, he goes to their house, pretends to exorcise them, and they feel better. Apparently, it's all in the people's heads. Then, one day, he reads about a kid that was suffocated in an exorcism after a bag was covering his face. So, he plans to expose exorcisms by inviting a film crew of two along with him as he travels across state to a Lousiana farmhouse occupied by Louis Sweetzer, his son Caleb, and his daughter Nell to "exorcise" Nell, a young girl that is believed to be possessed by a demon and killing their livestock. If you have half of a brain, you should be able to guess that it turns out she really is possessed, which is where our story begins.
The characters are first up to be discussed. The best character by far is Reverand Cotton Marcus, who is played by Patrick Fabian. He gives a great, realistic, and funny performance. The son, Caleb, isn't that great. The seen where he meets Cotton and tells him to turn around and go home was done poorly both in dialogue and delivery. Nell is pretty over the top and stupid, when she's not possessed, that is. I don't that the exact line, but Cotton mentions her looking like her (deceased) mother, and she replies with something along the lines of "[Really? She is so pretty! Thank you, that is a huge compliment!]" There was another line similar to that when she is being introduced. However, she did a great job during the exorcism when the demon inside of her was being "forced out." The dad was sufficient, I guess. There's not much to say about him. Most of his screen time was him crying.
Now, I will compare this movie with three films where I believe its influence is based from. First off, obviously, is the king of this genre, The Exorcist. I found a lot of similarities between the two films, other than a girl possessed/ not possessed by a demon. There is one scene where the girl cracks her neck in front of a mirror, and another where some other part of her body bends abnormally. If you have seen The Exorcist (which you should have because it's 5x as good as this), you should remember Regan's head turning around 180 degrees and her spider walk down the stairs. But, being produced by Eli Roth, who expected anything original? Also, Nell vomits up something as Regan did.
Next there are The Blair Witch Project and Paranormal Activity. All three films are shot in a fake documentary style in a "found footage" sort of way. This one I believe in superior to both, although that's not saying much. In Blair Witch, 50 out of 70 minutes were spent following the teenagers as they were lost in the woods yelling at each other and crying because they lost a map (that scene alone takes 10 of those 50 minutes). Nothing happens until the end. In Paranormal Activity, stuff happens throughout the movie, but it's so insignificant and dull that it is simply boring (a door opening and footsteps). Nothing is actually life-threatening until the end of the movie, but even that was stupid. In The last Exorcism, there is a psychopathic girl on the loose in the house. There is actually real danger that the other characters are put through. Plus, the camera is way better than in the other two movies. However, most of the scares are cheap and cliche. The girl would jump in front of the camera or crack her joints as mentioned in the above paragraph. There was one scene where she walked into the middle of a hallway and just stood there, exactly like something Michael Myers or Jason Vorhees would do. I think the pacing is pretty good in this movie, too, unlike the others. Overall, it's better Paranormal and Blair Witch.
Lastly (before the spoilers) there is the comedy. In a movie like this, you wouldn't expect it to be that funny, but there are some parts that are pretty funny. Cotton was talking about the church audience cheering at anything he says, and he tells the camera man, "[I'm going to tell them my grandma's banana bread recipe, and they'll cheer.]" So, he goes into the church, and after quickly and enthusiastically saying things tat end in "can I get an amen?" he says "[and then you put in two bananas, add some sugar, and mix it up. Can I get an amen?" So the audience says "amen." It was also funny when he was explaining the ways he gimmicks the exorcism and then comparing that with the actual exorcism.
The ending, ah yes. Well, it came out of nowhere. After they left the diner, they return to the house (now nicely decorated in pentagrams) and they go outside to witness a ceremonial burning of Nell's would-be demon baby courtesy of the church. Man, a lot can happen in an hour. The camera crew secretly watches the ritual, then after the baby was thrown on the fire, Cotton runs out and.. does.. something... with his crucifix. The remaining two run away. The woman get hacked by an ax, and after running, the cameraman catches a glimpse of Caleb, who precedes to chop his head off with some kind of saber. I've heard that people didn't like it because it is empty or leaves stuff untold. I really don't know what specifically else there was to say, so if you know, leave a comment or something. The thing that I didn't like was.. this. They go into the house and witness the pentagrams and "666"s painted everywhere. Then, they go outside and see... a loud ritual with a huge fire. I wonder why they didn't notice that before. The church takes out her baby, and for some reason the dad is tied up, even though he was trying to kill her earlier, and burns it, as procedure. They obviously have done it before. How else did they formulate a plan, pick a spot, get the necessary equipment, and invite all those people in that short of a time? Anyway, Cotton runs out to do something with his cross for some reason, and everything unfolds as it did in Nell's pictures. I, as well as pretty much everyone else in my theater, was laughing in hysterics at this ending. I don't know why, really. Was it because of the stupidity of it? The abruptness then magnitude of everything? Or was it because the guy got his head chopped off while still holding the camera, then his body and camera dropped? It's probably that last one. The other two are true, though.
I had a tough time choosing between two and three stars. It's funny and mildly amusing, but it's full of cheap scares and things we've all seen before. So...
Posted on 8/29/10 06:31 PM
The movie is great right from the beginning scene. Tommy Jarvis, now mentally stable, visits the grave of Jason Voorhees to set him on fire, thus permanently putting him to rest. He, and a friend, find his grave, open it, and see Jason's rotting, maggot-covered body. Tommy's brain goes into deja vu, and he grabs a metal, spiked rod and stabs it into Jason's body. A storm suddenly starts, and a bolt of lightning hits the pole that is stuck in his body. Jason lives! Tommy covers him in gasoline, and attempts to light a match. He cannot, of course, because of the rain, and Jason returns to Chrystal Lake. Then, comes a James Bond-like scene where a miniature Jason goes into the middle of an eye and slashes down the center. It's pretty funny. Then, Tommy Jarvis warns the police of Chrystal Lake who changed the name from Chrystal Lake after all of the murders.
Being dead (although he has technically died before), Jason in basically indestructible. This is my favorite part of the movie. The first kill showcases this perfectly. Out of the coffin, Jason punches his hand through someone's chest and his hand comes out the other end with the person's heart. Also, he gets shot multiple times with a pistol and then a shotgun, and still "lives." The really cool part is how we see Jason evolve throughout the series. In the original, we see him as a helpless kid, drowning in Chrystal Lake. In part 2, he starts killing everybody, but he's still a human. the same thing goes for parts 3 and 4. Skipping part 5, we have a zombie juggernaut version of Jason that can pretty much do whatever he wants.
This part says goodbye to any small speck of suspense that may have been left in the series. But even though it's not suspenseful, that doesn't mean it's not good. It's a fun slasher movie. For starters, there's the Alice Cooper music! "He's Back: The Man Behind the Mask" and "Teenage Frankenstein" were both in this movie. He's back was written about Jason (having the "ki ki ki ma ma ma" messed up). They are both great songs with or without the movie, but having these songs, and the rest of the movie having a matching tone, makes this one in the series that is still enjoyable in multiple viewing. On the other hand, it makes it less like any other Friday the 13th movie, but that's not a bad thing, entirely. There's also a song called "Hard Rock Summer," but I don't like it as much because it reminds me too much of a Poison song. The Cooper music is still a great choice for the movie.
I have no other place to put this, but Tommy Jarvis was replaced by a good actor from Part 5. That is all.
There's not much else to say, really. It's a good slasher movie, one of the best in the series. Watch it after part 4, and unless you're curious, stop here.
Posted on 8/29/10 07:33 AM
Halloween (the remake) was directed by Rob Zombie- one of the worst director/ screenwriters that I know of. However, being the open-minded person I am (and being tricked by the tv guide that said the original was coming on instead of this one), I decided to bring it upon myself to watch this movie. Darn you tv guide!
In John Carpenter's Halloween, not much back-story was made about Michael. The first is the beginning scene where he killed his sister. No one knows why (until now?). The second was Sam Loomis' monologue to the sheriff. In that one minute, he explained everything that was needed to know about Michael.
"I met him fifteen years ago. I was told there was nothing left. No reason, no conscience, no understanding of even the most rudimentary sense of life or death, of good or evil, right or wrong. I met this six year old child with this blank, pale, emotionless face, and the blackest eyes, the Devil's eyes. I spent eight years trying to reach him and then another seven trying to keep him locked up because I realized that what was living behind that boy's eyes was purely and simply... evil." (Courtesy of Wikipedia)
He didn't need an abusive family to kill. He was just... "evil." The mysteriousness of Micheal's character added to the suspense and thrill value of the movie.
Rob Zombie's remake, on the other hand, gave Michael an unimaginative, cliche story of his killings' origin. His mom was a whore and his dad/ stepdad abused him. That was probably the first thing that popped into Zombie's head after wondering what his motive should be. There really is no substance to it. Of course, the entire first half of the movie is a detailed, boring look at the events that led up to him killing his sister +. Eventually, he snaps and starts killing people. As in the original, he is sent to the hospital.
In the hospital, he makes masks that he continues to wear. I am assuming that Zombie wants to make him mysterious even though we already had a good look at his face and we're going deeper into his origins. His mom commits suicide. Bye bye family (save a baby *hint*hint*).
Michael is now a seven foot tall beast. He bears resemblance to Jason Vorhees now... except for the hair. Once again, Zombie tries a weak method of making Micheal seem scary by having him tower over the security guards. Carpenter's Micheal was just a regular man, which makes him creepier than this guy. He breaks free from his aluminum (foil) handcuffs and flees the jail.. after killing the guards, of course. What does he do next? He finds the baby!
The second parts of this disaster unfolds just as the original did. The only difference is that Zombie took out the suspense, care for the characters, terror value, and everything else that made the original a great movie.
I recommend this movie to everyone except the people who like good movies.
Posted on 8/29/10 07:12 AM
After reviewing the sequel, here comes the review of the original.
This movie is undoubtedly one of the greatest horror movies of all time. For a budget of only $300,000, this movie created the slasher genre (along with black Christmas I've heard, but I haven't seen it).
It starts out with the story that the film is based on: Michael being insane. It doesn't say why it happens, but the mysteriousness is better. Then after escaping from the hospital 15 years later, Michael stalks three baby sitters in his hometown, Laurie Strode (Jamie Lee Curtis) in particular.
In the beginning-middle of the film, you only see Michael in short bursts, through a third person POV. He never has a confrontation with the baby sitters until later, which builds up the tension until he finally attacks them. He is always shown from far away in the beginning (except the time you only see the suit), which also builds tension and suspense. Seeing occasional glimpses then disappearing really adds a lot.
Michael and Laurie's confrontation is executed really well. It continues for a while, suspense-fully, without becoming a cat and mouse chase (like FT13th). That's all I'm going too say to prevent further spoilers.
Finally, there is the soundtrack, which I'm sure anyone who has seen this film remembers. It sets the mood from the splash screen and helps build the suspense throughout the movie. There are two or three other music themes besides the main theme that are just as effective as the main theme.
Its one of the few horror films I can watch over and over and over again while still being attached and entertained. Non horror fans- watch it. Horror fans- you should have seen it already.
Posted on 8/23/10 08:36 PM
Disclaimer: Dark Knight fanboys (RT is crawling with them) may get offended during this review.
Here is the review for what many people consider the greatest movie of 2008, the best superhero movie ever, or flat out the greatest movie of all time. I believe, while still being a good film, it is way too over-hyped.
I will skip the story for two reasons. One, it is way too long to discuss all of the events. Two, I'm sure everyone already knows. So, I'll talk about the performances.
As everyone says, Heath Ledger (although enormously overrated) did a great job on the joker, which is the best part about this film. I won't compare him to Nicholson, but they are both great Jokers in their own respects. I.. disliked batman. His voice is terrible. Not only can I barely understand him because of the mumbling, but he sounds like he's growling. I know people say it's to cover up his real voice, but, as in previous movies, he can disguise his voice without growling. Bruce was good, although there was more of him than Batman. Rachael is plain annoying. I'll leave it at that. Gordon and Alfred are good characters. They do what they're supposed to. I have the biggest complaint with Harvey/ Two Face. First off, Two Face is under-developed and shouldn't be in the movie. Secondly, Harvey's dialogue is terrible, which leads me to my next point.
The dialogue in this movie is terrible. Not only is the majority of it incredibly cheesy, but it's so unnatural. Harvey Dent Especially. The characters try to fit more than one point into each line. For example, Harvey says, "you either die a hero or you live long enough to see yourself become the villain. Look, whoever the Batman is, he doesn't want to spend the rest of his life doing this. How could he?" I find that to be very annoying. As for cheese, Harvey also says, "You can't! (Screaming) You can't give in!"
Despite the above, there were many great scenes in this movie. First, is the beginning scene where the Joker and his goons rob the bank. This is probably my favorite scene in the movie. Th Joker disguises himself as one of the five or six other people doing the job. After each person has served their purpose, they are killed by another person until finally the Joker is the only one left. it really is the most clever scene, besides the "What do you believe in? What do you believe in?!?" Also, there is the Batman's interrogation of the Joker (even though you have to hear his voice), the car chase involving the Joker trying to blow up all the police vehicles (and all of Gotham for that matter), and the invasion of Chinese office building.
Then, there's another hour of movie that is not necessary starting from around the hospital scene to the moments before the end.
Had the characters and dialogue been better, this action film would have been close to living up to its enormous hype. I still recommend this to anyone who hasn't seen it.