Mr. Bo Ziffer's Movie Ratings - Rotten Tomatoes

Movie Ratings and Reviews

Hobo With a Shotgun

I highly suggest you don't watch this alone; the film just isn't as satisfying if you can't turn to the person next to you for a glimpse of shock and disgust on their face.

Of all the Grindhouse films, this one (based on the winner of the international Grindhouse trailer contest) follows the rules and stipulations of what a Grindhouse film should be the closest. As much as I like Planet Terror and Machete, Robert Rodriguez put a lot of money in a film in order to make it look low-budget, which is actually quite ironic coming from the guy who gave us the $7,000 wonder, El Mariachi. Death Proof had the retro, low-budget look, but there were many inconsistencies (excellent editing during the car chase scene, but can't handle a girl sitting down at a table?) Hobo With A Shotgun looks low-budget because it IS low-budget. It doesn't have to pretend to be low budget, but it is just as entertaining.

When a nameless homeless man (Rutger Hauer) steps off a train to Shit Towne, his main focus is to buy a cheap lawnmower and start his own business. But the streets are run with an iron fist by the maniacal Drake, and his sons, Slick and Ivan. Soon, the hobo realizes he can't stand aside while crackheads, thieves, and pedophile Santa Clauses are at large, and he takes action . . . with a pump-action shotgun! Enter the hooker with the heart of gold, demons on motorcycles, monologues about bears, and some of the most creative deaths put to film, and you've got one of the strangest exploitation films I've seen in a long time. And I've seen Ichi The Killer.

Not since Peter Jackson's Dead-Alive (Braindead) has my thirst been blood been so quenched. Decapitations, gut-busting shotgun blasts, and human pinatas are on display, warts and all in neon-lit, fish-eye lensed glory. Acting is over-the-top, save for Hauer, who is just right. But it's all in fun, provided you can handle it. If you saw the remake of Prom Night and thought "Ew, too bloody" . . . erm, this isn't your movie.

If you're a fan of Troma films, you'll probably like this movie. If you're looking for something with substance and great performances, I would STILL recommend this film, just to show you what you're missing.


Once you've seen The Rock play a movie star with amnesia, a football player with an adorable daughter, or a tooth fairy, it's hard to take him seriously. "Faster" was his attempt to break from the family films and comedies and try to re-establish the bad-assery he displayed in The Scorpion King or The Rundown. It ain't happening.

In this movie, a getaway driver named Driver (The Rock) is released from prison after doing ten years time. From the other side, he is able to get information on the thugs who ambushed his team of bank robbers and killed his brother. After the first murder, a drug-addled cop named Cop (Billy Bob Thornton) takes the case and tracks Driver down, always a step behind. In addition, a killer named Killer (some British twat) is assigned to kill Driver before he can finish the job.

It astounds me how boring and slow a movie with the title "Faster" can be. There aren't really any action scenes. Driver shoots some walls; Cop walks through a hall; Killer talks to his therapist over the phone; Driver shoots Malachai from Children of the Corn; etc.

Killer is completely pointless and irrelevant to the plot. He was clearly shoe-horned in by one of the writers to try and pad the running time out. Billy Bob Thornton tries his best as a cop driven by duty, but The Rock's character sucks the excitement out of any and all action scenes. His lines of dialogue are few, but very poorly written.

But we don't watch for the dialogue: we want the big car chase! There has to be one, right? I mean, the movie's called "Faster"! The car was in all the trailers. Well, most of the time, Driver uses his awesome muscle car to drive five miles under the speed limit to his next target. He gets in one . . . count 'em, ONE . . . car chase with Killer that lasts for about a minute and a half, but that's it.

And if you havn't noticed, our main characters are named after their roles in the films, which I feel is needlessly complicated and confusing. When pitching this script, it must have been like a bad Abbott and Costello routine:

Writers: "So we got this guy, Driver . . . "
Execs: "Who is he?"
Writers: "He's Driver."
Execs: "We know that, but who is he?"
Writers: "We just told you. He's Driver. And he's being chased by Killer."
Execs: "Who is the killer?"
Writers: "Exactly."
Execs: "Oh, fuck off!"

In not so many words, it's over-plotted, yet dull and lifeless. It fails to take advantage of it's 70's Revenge Thriller inspirations, or even it's own title! Avoid at all costs.

Disaster Movie

It's been a while since I've written a review for a terrible movie. So here we go.

Technicallly, I didn't pay to see this movie. It was on Showtime On Demand (which I pay for collectively), and I had to know if it was as bad everyone else says it is (save for the guy from Australia who gave this movie its only positive review). I can honestly say that this is NOT the worst movie I have ever seen . . . because that would imply that this was an actual movie with a script and dignified performances. But, this might be one of the worst EVENTS in human history, wedged somewhere between The Holocaust and Pauly Shore's career.

I'm 147% sure that this movie took longer to watch than it did to write. These "jokesters" Friedberg and Seltzer obviously had no real contribution to the first three Scary Movies. In fact, I remember watching the deleted scenes for Scary Movie 3, and recalling that each and every one of them resembled scenes from their recent parodies, i.e. Anna Faris fights aliens with a staff ala Matrix Reloaded, and throws up all over them because she is spin kicking them so fast. "Yeah that's a really funny joke guys." said The Zuckers. "In fact, it's so funny, we're going to put it exclusively on the DVD, so only the REAL fans can see them." I actually feel bad for the MPAA for having to sit through this in order to give it an official rating!

The movie begins in 10,001 B.C. (Get it? One year before 10,000 B.C. but I have a feeling these idiots thought 10,001 came AFTER 10,000 B.C.) where a guy gets stepped on by a mammoth and catches a faceful of poo. Then Amy Winehouse comes out of nowhere and tells him that the end of the world is coming before she drinks a fifth of scotch and belches in his face for a minute and a half in order to pad for the directors. What does Amy Winehouse have to do with disaster movies? Absolutely nothing! But you may be thinking to yourself "Surely there has to be a point to this scene." You would be giving this movie too much credit . . . and don't call me Shirley!

It was all a dream! Ha ha! That's a really funny joke guys, wasting everyone's time like that! A guy wakes up from his unfunny dream, only to find Flava Flav and midget laying next to him and his girlfriend. Yeah Flava Flav is kinda talked about, so he's fair game for this movie!

Then comes one of the most excrutiatingly awful scenes in the movie: the dude's birthday party. The whole movie is terrible, but this is the point of no return, and it's only eight or nine minutes in. Anton Chigurh (spelling?), Dr. Phil, Angelina Jolie from Wanted, Juno, and the entire cast of High School Musical have a big singalong! Hooray! Now I can kill myself knowing that hell couldn't possibly get worse than this! And this is an extremely long song, at least six minutes of pop culture references and bad wigs.

Then something disaster related actually happens! Winds start blowing, snow starts falling, and flying cows take out every superhero within range. I'm going to save you the rest of the details on this riviting plot and just tell you that things don't get ANY funnier from there. Just imagine movie trailers from 2008, then imagine those characters getting hit in the groin, hit by cows, or hit in the groin by cows, and you have Disaster Movie in a nutshell. And not a happy-go-lucky nutshell either, but a depressing Alice In Chains Nutshell (look it up Generation-Y bastards).

And is it too much to ask for a cast of more than ten people. It's just the same MadTV sketchers over and over again. I actually used to have respect for Ike Barinholtz, but seeing him play Chigurh (again, spelling?), Wolf from American Gladiators, Hellboy, Batman, and Beowulf, among others, has blasted that respect all the way to Middle Earth from here.

It enrages me that useless, space-consuming "garbage" (pronounced gar-boj) gets theatrical release, and makes bank. Meanwhile, Kick-Ass has trouble staying afloat, and we have to wait two years for Trick 'R Treat to get a DVD release. There are 40,000 screenplays being sent in to studios every year, and this number has doubled in light of the recession. You can't tell me that most of those are much worse than a movie with no real "jokes", with pop culture references that people won't even remember two years later. There are way more talented people than this getting the boot from Hollywood.

My local Hollywood Video store is closing down, and I've been cleaning them out of DVD's and Blu-Rays like they're going out of style. I came across Disaster Movie on Blu-Ray. This cheap-looking, unfunny, parody of parodies is taking up the HD space for what could be a real masterpiece, but the sad thing is that someone will buy it and pass by District 9 and Sherlock Holmes without a second glance.

Even at 75 minutes long, this movie is a complete waste of time. You're better off spending that hour and fifteen minutes making macaroni art or eating graphite from pencils. I cannot emphasize my disgust for these movies enough. And it isn't enough to just "not watch them". They're still there, and other potential cinematic victims are still lining up to see it. All we can do is hope that real comedy makes a comeback, and that these movie never see the light of day again. It actually hurts that I have to post a 10% rating first in order for it to register, because it is forty percent more than it rightfully deserves.

Ed Wood
Ed Wood(1994)

This movie has sky-rocketed into my Top 10. And to think that a few months ago, I had never even heard of this movie. But I'm glad that I did discover it, because it is both a great stabd-alone film, and a hilarious dream come true for any film buff.

Edward D. Wood Jr. had big dreams, and a sunny disposition to boot. He believed he was going to be the next Orson Welles, and nobody was going to stop him. If you've never heard of this guy, you may be thinking to yourself "Were his movies any good?" The correct answer should be "NOOOOOOO"! But Wood's films had a special low-budget, B-movie charm, with their mind-numbing dialogue, questionable casting, and quite unconvincing set design. People often compare Uwe Boll to being the "Ed Wood" of this generation. But this is all wrong. Wood's way of thinking was "The audience will be willing to suspend its disbelief, despite the 300-pound Swedish wrestler playing the folksy cop, and the pie-tin flying saucers on fishing line". Uwe Boll's way of thinking is "Those stupid Americans will hate this movie, and I'll make tons of money. And if they don't like it, I'll box the s*** out of them!"

Johnny Depp perfectly captures the enthusiasm of someone clearly in denial of how horrible they are at their craft. The rest of the cast, including Sara Jessica Parker (Horse-Face, as I like to call her), Bill Murray, Lisa Marie, and Jeffrey Jones, do well to embody Wood's entourage of homosexuals and TV personalities. But it is Martin Landau as Bela Lugosi who absolutely steals the show! I was completely immersed in his performance as the morphine-addled actor. So much so, that I forgot that Martin was in the movie at all, and that it wasn't Bela Lugosi in these scenes! Tim Burton shows us a close and comforting relationship between Wood and Lugosi that many other directors might have just passed over.

Despite the dramatics, the movie is downright hilarious! There is a lot of satisfaction in watching Bela sloshing in a foot of water with a giant rubber octopus, or Ed scaring a child by removing his false teeth on Halloween night (something my aunt used to do to freak me the f*** out). The black and white, 50's style cinematography makes the movie look and feel like a sleazy Z-grade film, but it has that special Burton panache that makes it his own.

I cannot recommend this movie enough, to film makers or lovers. Despite dying a penniless porn director, I'm pretty sure Ed Wood would have loved the cult success his films have gathered over the years. This will be the one he's remembered for.


Hey, whoa! Look who showed up late to the party! Yeah yeah, shame on me for waiting THIS long to watch one of the most anticipated movies of all time. I can't say that I'm as enthusiastic about it as a lot of viewers were, but I can confidently say that I was fully engrossed and entertained throughout this 2 hour 40 minute tech demo.

I'll save you the bulls*** you've heard a hundred times before about the story, the message, and the comparisons to a certain Kevin Costner epic. My opinion is generally the same for those attributes as they are with everyone else. I will say that this is a better showcase for Sam Worthington's acting than Clash of the Titans. Sure, he was a little wooden in Terminator: Salvation, but in all fairness, he was playing a robot. It's also good to see Sigourney Weaver back in the acting saddle.

It's been a long time since an alien world has seemed so . . . real. It's very clear that the film makers were very meticulous on the physicis and mythology of Pandora. Excellent creature design, bad-ass futuristic weaponry, and a pelethora of lively colors make you want to lick your TV screen, thinking it'll taste something like Trix cereal. How this movie won Best Cinematography, though, is beyond me! What cinematography? In that case, why wasn't Up nominated?

James Cameron occasionally gets a little heavy-handed with the Na'vi/Native American comparisons, but you probably won't mind. The real disappointment was the bad guy, Colonel . . . Quaritch? Does anybody actually have that name? Weird . . . Anyway, Quaritch is just a standard, cookie-cutter "military villain" who hates peacefulness and likes to blow s*** up good.

It has a good pace, but it still feels a little long. I really want to like this movie more. Perhaps I should have seen it in theaters with the 3-D technology (which is supposed to be ballin', from what I've heard), but working on Psychos and Functioning Psychos (the link is still on my blog; please visit) sucked up all of my free time. But alas, Cameron delivers a great ride that is sure to pave the way for movies in the future.


Action-packed! Bloody! Profane! Hilarious! Exhilarating! These are the words I would use to describe "Kick-Ass", a no-holds-barred, side-splitting adaptation to the graphic novel, which I will admit I have never read, but now have interest to. And that's saying something, considering the only comic book I've ever picked up was "Ren and Stimpy Presents: Spiderman vs. Powdered Toast Man". Note: I'm serious!

Kick-Ass is about Dave, your average, garden variety, high school geek who is tired of people unwilling to take a stand against the petty crime in the city. Armed with a wet suit and batons, Dave goes under the cover of night to deliver his own brand of justice. Meanwhile, local crime boss Frank D'Amico (the always awesome Mark Strong), is losing cocaine and henchmen left and right from some other vigilantes, Big Daddy (Nic Cage), and his daughter Hit Girl.

While Dave might have a good story trying to deal with everyday life, a girl, and his secret identity, we've seen it done before. The story between Big Daddy and Hit Girl is much more interesting and fresh, in my opinion. A former cop, BD trains his daughter (played by young up-and-comer Chloe Moretz) to shoot to kill, putting her through such extremes as shooting her while wearing a bulletproof vest, and buying her the best butterfly knives money can buy.

There's a lot of controversy over their subplot, because it's exposing bloody murder to a youngster. "Why doesn't Nicolas Cage explain to Mindy what really happens when she kills people?" Roger Ebert asks in his bulls*** excuse for a review. (he's wrong every once in a while. Just look at his reviews of Die Hard, The Untouchables, and Reservoir Dogs, so I'll let it pass.) For one thing, that would actually be creepier, because she would still be killing people with the knowledge that these guys are dying, and not care. Second, it's a movie! Enjoy yourself! It's supposed to be comical . . . and it is! Watching full-grown men getting dispatched by a twelve-year-old is f***ing funny! Although, I don't support the writer's choice to make her say the "C-Word". Sure, kill as many people as you want, just don't say c**t. Please. It's not natural.

Kick-Ass teams up with Big Daddy and Hit Girl, and Frank starts losing more resources. So his son, Chris (who cares what his name is, it's McLovin from Superbad for Christ's sake) volunteers to lure them out, while embracing his own superhero fantacies. He becomes Red Mist, and befriends Kick-Ass to lure him into what will surely be his doom. And from then on, we get a brutal, gory, clusterf*** of blood, guts, bullets, and octane.

It's not for everyone, especially if you live in Utah, but for the audience it is intended for, Kick-Ass lives up to its title.


A disappointment on many levels, Anamorph showed promise, but ends up as a dull, derivative whodunit where we find out "whodunit" early on and simply forget about him!

If you've never heard of this movie before, don't fret: this is one of those movies that got "limited theatrical release". I never got that. Why would you only want to show your movie in a few cities? How do these people expect to make their budgets back? A lot of my favorite movies end up this way (A Scanner Darkly, Boondock Saints, etc.), but it doesn't make any sense why. With Anamorph, I think I understand. It gives the illusion that a film is more artsy and high-brow if you release it in certain cities, thus making it appear more enjoyable.

Willem Dafoe is as charismatic (some might say "creepy") as ever as Detective Stan Aubray, a straight-arrow cop with a sinister past that seems to be catching up with him. Five years back, a serial killer ran rampant all over New York, leaving grisly remains. This case became known as the Uncle Eddie case. I don't really know why: nobody ever explains who Uncle Eddie is. But I digress. Now, new victims are being dispatched to look like anamorphic works of art.

Anamorphic, in simple terms, is a work of art made to look one way, that can be interpreted as something else from a different angle/perspective. The best example I can come up with is this activity book I got for Easter with a page of what looked like straight lines, but upon laying the paper flat and looking up at it, it actually read HAPPY EASTER. Now imagine that, but with arms and heads and s***. Is this the work of a copycat killer, or is Uncle Eddie back to his old tricks?

It's an interesting idea, but some scenes drag on FOREVER and EVER, sometimes leading absolutely nowhere. You can almost feel the writer peeking at a copy of the Se7en script as he typed this, as many scenes have the dark, grimy feel that Fincher directed 15 years ago. The supporting cast is actually pretty good. Scott Speedman isn't as bland as usual, and even manages to pull off a cop pretty believably. Peter Stormare is in the movie (YAY!) but he isn't given a lot to do except try to sell Aubray chairs (BOOOOO!).

When the movie isn't being gross, the cinematography is really good. The colors match the situation, and it helps the city feel more hollow and lifeless than they really are. But one thing I cannot stand is an abrupt ending, especially when a movie is SO SLOW. It's all so anti-climactic, just like Transformers 2 (thought I'd give a shout-out in celebration of it's huge Razzie haul).

Bottom line: some movies should stay limited release. If you're going to take the time to make a crappy movie, let the whole world see it, so that you can get some real criticism, and IMPROVE upon it, like a real artist. At least, that's my perspective.

And Boondock Saints rocked . . . haters.

Michael Jackson's This Is It

this movie is about michael jackson practicing his last consert before he died. in this movie he dances and sings his best songs like Billie jean, thriller, beat it, they dont care about us, and others.

what i really liked about the movie was his dancing and singing. i also liked the lights and special effects. It was all really cool! There was nothing i didnt like about the movie.


What is Pandorum, exactly? You might have been wondering this looking at the title of the film, staring at a poster with tubes going into someone's arm or through someone's eyes. Pandorum doesn't really have much to do with either of those gruesome details. I tried looking up Pandorum on Wikipedia, but it just gave me the definition of the movie. So, I'm pretty sure that the word is made up by the movie. I won't be spoilimg anything by telling you the definition, but it's basically cabin fever in space. A mix of paranoia and insanity that can only be conjured up in the cold, vastness of the universe.

In the 22nd century, mankind has overpopulated Earth. But a new Earth-like planet is discovered, which can inhabit plant life. In fact, it's a perfect match! So, teams are sent out to see if human life can be supported there. But the story begins with Colonel Bower (Ben Foster) waking up from an extended hyper-sleep with amnesia. He can't understand why the ship is dark, or what his mission even is. But looking around for clues, Bower discovers he's not alone. Payton (Dennis Quaid) wakes up shortly after Bower, and he discovers other hysterical people on the ship's bridge. Then, there are the monsters, wandering around the ship and ripping people to shreds. Are these pasty passengers aliens, or were they on the ship before?

A lot of the RT users might have been turned off from seeing this movie because it has Paul W.S. Anderson as the executive producer. Well, I'm happy to report that Mr. Anderson did not rub off on director Christian Alvert. While Pandorum might be derivative of other, better sci-fi films, this one has some good ideas and a creepy atmosphere. The movie actually acknowledges two of my fears: claustrophobia (the fear of closed-in spaces), and beingshotintospacephobia(the fear of being shot into space). So I thought the movie was pretty scary. Alvert uses darkness, strange set design, and mood to invoke fear, even if he does use the sudden scary noise tactic a few too many times.

It might not mean much to a lot of you, but this is probably the best Dennis Quaid movie for quite some time. Everybody in this movie does a good job acting, even if it is in another language. Ben Foster is quickly becoming one of my favorite character actors, though I don't think he's right for a leading role. I also think the hot German chick who knew kung fu was pretty cool too. We need more of those in movies these days if we're ever going to beat Avatar's box office gain!

The movie can be hard to follow at times (especially when characters go through pandorum), and it is derivitive of movies like Alien, Pitch Black, and The Descent. But I have to say that I enjoyed this movie. Definitely worth a look for sci-fi fans and non-sci-fi fans alike.

H2: Halloween II

I had just watched "Cloudy With A Chance Of Meatballs" with my little sister, and I was feeling pretty good. I had some good laughs, and was just in a jolly, good mood. Well, a cynicist like me doesn't have good days; it's poison for my point-of-view. So I performed a little equilibrium, and watched Rob Zombie's "Halloween II", which is not the remake of the original Halloween sequel that took place in a hospital, although there is a scene in a hospital . . . ah screw it! I can't explain why we need a sequel to a remake, or a remake of a sequel, but Rob sure thinks so.

Two years after the events of Halloween 1 (or tenth, I think), Laurie Strode lives quietly and peacefully alone . . . Nah, I'm just f***in' with you! She lives with her friend (who was also attacked in the first [tenth?] movie) and has night terrors. Everybody thinks that Michael Myers is dead, but he seems to just appear out of the blue, and starts killing people again.

I really, really don't like this movie. It's just dark, poorly shot gore starring a pro-wrestler killing people you saw on TV sitcoms. The movie bastardizes the original charcters we knew and loved by changing them for Zombie's "vision". Dr. Loomis is suddenly a greedy heel, trying to make a buck off of Michael's murders? Laurie Strode is just another screaming, whiny girl with "issues"? Michael takes his mask off? There are certain liberties you can and can't take when it comes to remakes, and Zombie tap-dances all over them!

What's most insulting is Zombie's excuse for putting his wife in the movie: using her as a ghost in Michael's head that tells him to do bad things. Why? I thought Michael's motivation was that everyone treated him like s*** when he was a kid. He doesn't need MORE motivation!

The movie adds nothing new to the genre, just ugly, obnoxious people being stabbed or beaten to death by someone more sadistic. It would be like watching a kid burn ants with a magnifying glass in his back yard, and a neo-Nazi skinhead curb-stomps him to death. It doesn't help that the lighting department was on coffee break during the whole production, and they hired someone going into diabetic shock to hold the camera.

Are there positive things to be said about this movie? A few: 1) Weird Al is in it for a minute, and he doesn't die! Hooray! 2) Zombie knows good music. We get some Moody Blues and Mitch Ryder to fill in the background noise. 3) Brad Dourif can still act, and he doesn't have to waste any more time doing this or voicing Chucky movies.

If you're reading this Rob, I'm sorry. But you really shouldn't have quit your day job. I really dug the music: Thunderkiss '65, More Human Than Human, Superbeast . . . does this mean nothing to you?


I'm LOLing as I write this review, because I never thought I would actually view a movie with a synopsis like this. You may have heard of this movie, but chances are you laughed at it and forgot of its existence. "Teeth" is "Jennifer's Body" before "Jennifer's Body" was "Jennifer's Body": a cautionary tale for sex-thirsty men and women alike . . . but mostly for men.

Goody Two-Shoes high schooler Dawn thinks she has her life together. She teaches kids about the importance of abstinence, and sticks with her beliefs through thick and thin. But then a boy comes between her and her beliefs, putting impure thoughts into her delicate little brain. And through some rather gruesome events, Dawn learns she is the reincarnation of the Vagina Dentata; translation: The Toothed Vagina! And you can only imagine what happens from there.

As you can probably imagine, the movie is just weird. One would expect a cheesy, over-the-top horror movie with a premise like this. While it sticks to its 50's monster movie roots and its 70's scare film tactics, the movie is done in an artsy kind of way. It has a really slow pace, and has pretty good cinematography . . . not THAT kind of cinematography! I mean pretty mountains and waterfalls and s*** like that.

The movie has a sense of humor, but it takes too long (more than 30 minutes) for it to establish that, and that may cause viewers to lose interest. It should make any guy in the audience squirm uncontrollably as Dawn dispatches the members of any man that does her wrong. But at the same time, a lot of people may not be entertained by watching Johnsons getting chomped off for an hour and a half.

It's kind of obscure and hard to find, but if you get the chance, it's worth a rental. But if you are a hardcore horror fan, then this will be a must-see on your list.

The Crow
The Crow(1994)

The Tarantino, Cameron, and Scorcese fans may hate me for this, but I think that "The Crow" is the best movie of the 90's! Period! And why do I think this is so? Let my review demonstrate:

The story is based off of an underground graphic novel about a murdered rock star who is brought back to life by a mysterious crow. Tormented by visons of his own death and that of his fiancee, Eric Draven returns to the land of the living one year to the day after the tragic events to avenge their deaths. So he shoots and tortures gangbangers in a dark, rainy metropolis to a Nine Inch Nails and Stone Temple Pilots soundtrack. In other words, awesome!

If you are even a tad bit familiar with the movie, you most likely know of the untimely death of its star, Brandon Lee. Lee was shot by an unproperly loaded gun during a scene and died shortly after. It's a real shame, because he clearly demonstrates the makings of a true movie star. He shows the sadistic and soft side of Eric Draven that very few actors could have pulled off.

In a way, Lee's real death adds to the eeriness of the whole movie. Like most movies, "The Crow" was shot with its scenes out of sequence, so some of the later segments were filmed sooner than the earlier ones. After Lee died, the film makers used his stuntmen, along with some careful editing and cinematography, to finish the movie. It's sort of like how the mechanical shark in Jaws looked too fake to be shown in it's entirety, so the editors worked around it, and made a more suspenseful movie as a result. Not that this situation made the movie better, but the film crew made it blend seamlessly with everything else.

The production design is great, even if some of the special effects havn't aged that well (people look like puppets when they fall off of buildings). This is a very good American debut for director Alex Proyas, considering he had just come out of the music video scene. And the action scenes are incredibly well done, creating some great double-fisted gunplay and eye-popping pyrotechnics.

"The Crow" can best be described as a John Woo/Tim Burton mash-up, with a little David Fincher thrown in for texture. Even if goth isn't your style, I can not recommend this movie enough! Just remember: it can't rain all the time.

Jack Frost
Jack Frost(1996)

Remember that whimsical tale about a boy who loses his dad in a car accident, only to return a year later as a walking, talking snowman? Well, this isn't it! On the third day of my "Misfit Holiday Reviews", I go from murderous criminals dressed as Santa, to a murderous criminal infused with snow: Jack Frost.

This is the "other dead guy returns as snowman" movie to be released within two years, and somehow it is less scary, despite the R-rating. In all honesty, I wanted to review the Michael Keaton family movie with the same title, but The Nostalgia Critic beat me to it. The last thing I want to do is copy from NC so soon. If you're familiar with the website and the comments left behind, you might know of someone else who gets a lot of guff for copying That Guy With The Glasses!

The story goes that a psychotic killer is on his way to prison. The roads are snowy and slippery, and the vehicle transporting him loses control, slamming into an oncoming semi-truck. The killer escapes, only to be blasted by radioactive materials from the semi's storage tank. He melts into the snow, the snow infuses with his DNA, and now he's a snowman, using whatever snow-themed methods he can to continue his rampage.

What's there to say about this film? It's too gruesome to be funny; too goofy to scary. It's cheap, low-budgeted, and has some of the fakest looking snow I have ever seen. If you're thinking CGI, that would be wrong. The snow actually looks like down feathers floating around town. The kills are predictable (Icicles? What he could possibly do with those?), the acting is atrocious, and it seems like the film makers couldn't decide if the movie was serious or not.

A good indicator of how bad this movie is: Shannon Elizabeth is in it! That's already pretty bad, but then she is raped and bludgeoned when Jack materializes in her bath water.

Jack Frost is the kind of movie you would find at the Dollar Tree . . . for fifty cents! This is a movie that would have gotten more attention had it not been released! This is a movie so bad, I long for the Michael Keaton movie! I award this movie no points, not even for effort. Be a good girl or boy this Christmas, because Santa knows coal can be made into diamonds, so he's giving out Laserdiscs of Jack Frost '97 this year!

Reindeer Games (Deception)

On the second day of the "Misfit Holiday Reviews" I go from an unforgettable action extravaganza to an unrememberable bore: Reindeer Games.

Movies like this is what fueled my hatred for Ben Affleck in my freshmen year of high school. But now, he seems like an okay dude. Still a pretty lousy actor, but maybe not the douche bag I originally thought he was. I heard that some kid with a terminal illness had one request before he died: go gambling with Ben Affleck in Las Vegas. And Ben did just that. So kudos to you Mr. Affleck, you are less of a d***!

But I'm way off topic, now. The story is about a an ex-con named Rudy (Get it, like the reindeer! These writers are so f***ing clever!). After his best friend Nick (Just like St. Nicholas! These guys are on FIRE!!!) is killed in a prison riot, his dying request is for Rudy to meet up with his sexy pen pal, Ashley, played by Charlize Theron. Seeing as how Ashley doesn't know what Nick looks like, Rudy will be pretending to be Nick so as not to break her heart.

So when Rudy is set free, he makes his way to Michigan (represent) to find his new f***-buddy. As it turns out, Ashley is among a group of petty criminals, led by her own brother Gary Sinise, who are going to rob an Indian casino dressed as Santy Clauses. And they seem to have room for one more.

Director John Frankenheimer was very good at directing action, especially car chases. You could tell he was losing his touch in this movie, as many of the action scenes are very bland, or are just "all right". Despite being made in 2000, the camerawork looks like something those rebellious hepcats were making in the swinging 60's (that's not good). It looks inappropriately grainy and aged. And clearly the writer had some Tarantino influences in the character development, because everyone has those strange quirks about them that don't have anything to do with the story, but have to be mentioned anyway.

The story is incredibly implausible. Not that I wasn't willing to suspend my disbelief for ninety minutes, but there comes a point in a movie where certain things can't happen on "regular Earth", but in some strange "alternate Earth", where Sarah Palin won the 2008 election, and nobody cared about Kate Gosselin.

Is there anything redeeming about Reindeer Games? We get to see Theron's naughty bits, but I could just watch Devil's Advocate for that. Juvenile, I know, but when a movie is this boring, you'll start counting the snowflakes to pass the time, and a pair of knockers really throw you for a loop! The cast is pretty good; we get Sinise, Theron, Danny Trejo, Clarence Williams III, Denis Farina, the dad from Grounded For Life, and even Ashton Kutcher has a brief role in the movie.

When it comes to Christmas cheer, Reindeer Games has very little. But it'll cure insomnia faster than Nyquil and a Snuggie. And if you STILL haven't watched Die Hard, I'm coming over to kick your a**!

Die Hard
Die Hard(1988)

To start off my 13-day long "Misfit Holiday Reviews", I'm going to review a true classic, and one of my favorites: Die Hard.

What set this movie apart from the other muscle-bound actioners of the '80's is that the main character, John McClaine, is a lot chattier than Schwartenegger or Stallone. I don't mean he has a few more quips than those two . . . he never shuts up! And that's why I love him! He's a real human being, not just a killing machine. Someone with fear and emotion, who is unwillingly called upon to beat the odds and save the day.

McClaine, a NYC cop, is on his way to meet his estranged wife at the skyscraper she works at for a Christmas party in California. After he arrives, Eastern European terrorists burst in and start taking hostages. So McClaine, shoeless, has to fight off every terrorist in the forty-story building, save the hostages, and his wife, using only keen intellect and whatever firepower he can get his hands on.

Below, the FBI try to get a handle on the situation. They try negotiating with the terrorists, buy time, and talk them down. Bulls***! This is no time for talking . . . this is time for McClaine to kick a**! And with his only support coming from a beat cop played by the dad from Family Matters, McClaine does just that.

Great action sets, top-notch special effects, an awesome villain (played by Alan Rickman), one of the best final deaths of all time (forty stories is a long way down), Die Hard has earned it's place as a classic action movie. This is also one of the few movies that makes me cringe in parts. The scene where McClaine has to walk across the broken glass in his bare feet always makes me go "AAAARRRRGGGGHHHH!!!!!!"

If you have never seen this movie, do yourself a favor and see it now. Not tomorrow, not in a minute, NOW! You'll thank me for this! Happy trails, Hans!

The Goods: Live Hard, Sell Hard

Once every year, I find a comedy that is so undeniably stupid, I can't help but sit back and let the movie take me for the ride. Movies like "Grandma's Boy" or "Hot Rod" go so low for laughs that they are willing to throw random images at the screen, just to get a laugh. But these movies get something right: the timing! If the timing is right, people will laugh at anything! For "The Goods: Live Hard, Sell Hard", the timing is what saves it from Unfunny Purgatory.

Don Ready (Jeremy Piven) is a used-car mercenary. Him and his crew roam the southwest, switching from Hacienda Court to Hacienda Court and eating breakfast at strip clubs to pull ailing used-car dealerships out of financial slumps. The case today: Old Man Selleck can't seem to get any cars off the lot, and his slimy brother-in-law, and boy-band member son-in-law are about to take over. So Don is brought in to "sell the metal", using whatever sleazy tactics or gimmicks he can.

The whole film is assembled like all of Will Ferrell's movies: we get deplorable characters, random acts of stupidity, and enough sex jokes to make any small child scream . . . but I was laughing the entire time. In fact, Will Ferrell has a cameo in this movie, and the sad thing is that it may be the funniest thing he has done since his SNL days!

This movie has a lot of problems, though. There is nothing really big at stake here for the main character, Don. He could either sell the cars, or not. Doesn't really affect him much. And the rest of the charcters aren't that memorable. They're just regular guys with minor quirks to make them . . . quirky. And while there are funny jokes in here, there are also some that are just plain mean-spirited. When was the last time you laughed at a pedophelia joke? Never? Well, you won't like about ten minutes of this movie, then!

This is by no means a masterpiece. But it is a short, non-chalenging flick with some good laughs that isn't quite offensive enough to be undisposable. I laughed a lot at this movie, even though I was neither drunk nor high. It was late when I started it, so maybe I was just slap-happy from sleep-deprevation. I wouldn't buy the movie, but it's worth a rental.

G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra

I would be lying if I said I wasn't marginally entertained by this. Maybe it was after sitting through the travesty of Transformers 2 that made this movie seem a little sweeter, or maybe my inner 8-year-old pumping his fists in the air whenever an action figure reference came up, but this is a textbook example of a summer movie: lots of CGI, lots of CGI, and a small story.

The plot, if you can find it, involves the Joes recruitting Duke (Channing Tatum) and Ripcord (Marlon Wayans) in order to thwart the delivery of some fancy-pants warheads and kick the bad guy's booties. That's it! Not much deeper than that, folks. Oh, also Duke and The Baronness (Sienna Miller) had a fling and we are expected to care.

My biggest complaint is the acting. It's really, really, bad. It's almost as if the actors are reading off of cue cards, and the film makers just kept the first shot they caught, seeing as how they spent all of the money on explosions. And when it comes to explosions, this movie can't seem to get enough of them! No car on any road is left undecimated as the Joes try to take back the deadly nanobite warheads. It's almost as if the film makers didn't want there to be any explosion-less moments. That would leave room for frivolous details like plot, depth, and nonsense like that.

"Duke, the warheads are located on the other side of the door in front of you."
"Screw your boring, logical thinking . . . I'm making my own path!" KA-BOOM! (blows hole through ceiling and jumps over door)

I didn't really care for Marlon Wayans as the comic relief, seeing as how all of his lines were very unfunny. He's cracking jokes that would've made people awkwardly groan in 1998! And I've already mentioned the bad acting, but Tatum is so bad, his acting is in a catagory of itself. Maybe he should stick to movies where he mixes ballet with break dancing, or whatever the heck it is he does.

I did like the first action scene, as it was the most low-key and least cartoony of them all. After that, it's nothing but a downward spiral of broken physics laws and infinite collateral damage. *SPOILER* Am I the only one who thinks that the Joes should have just let the bad guys destroy the Eiffel Tower, seeing as how they destroyed numerous city blocks chasing these guys down, and it got blown up anyway? What also bothers me is that the movie outright refuses to end. Any of the scenes in the last twenty minutes would have been just fine to stop, but it seems as if the writers couldn't decide how they wanted to end, and just went with the stupidest one.

Snake Eyes and Stormshadow were just awesome, plain and simple. Ain't nobody gonna argue that. But everyone else (even Cobra Commander) was very unmemorable. And does anyone else find it ironic that the movie is called "Rise of Cobra", but once Cobra introduces himself in the last ten minutes, the Joes stop him? He didn't even get a chance to rise! "Rise of Cobra"? More like "G.I. Joe: The Story Of Things Working Out Just Fine"!

My inner child refuses to give this movie a score lower than 30%, though. I think the film makers honestly tried to bring G.I. Joe to the big screen, but had the rotten luck of being lousy film makers. No cash grabs involved here. And besides, this movie was more aimed at little kids than the old guys today who grew up watching the original cartoon. The film is terrible, to be sure, but if I had to pick between this and ROTF, I'll take "G.I. Joe" every time.

Trick 'r Treat

Never before has a movie uplifted me, and depressed me at the same time. Not that the movie depressed me, but rather the spirit of the movie made me realize how much of the holiday I had missed. I waited until October 31st to watch this movie, so when all the little tykes had gotten their fill of candy, I popped this into the DVD player. Once it was over, I wanted to go out and celebrate Halloween for just one more day.

"Trick 'r Treat" is an anthology of horror tales that intertwine throughout the short running time. Sure, some plot connections are easy to see, but really pay attention through the whole movie. It's all so meticulous: characters mention little plot points in normal conversation, or bump into characters for future reference. It actually lifts your spirits when they all get worked out.

The stories that go in and out of each other revolve around a serial killer who could be anybody's next door neighbor, a young lady looking for a special someone, three trick-or-treaters with a mean-spirited prank, and a Scrooge-like old man who has to fight off a devilish trick-or-treater. It's all pulled off very well, with good make-up and blood effects. The movie really captures the essence of the old horror anthologies of the 80's, but adds a 21st century twist to them.

What the movie captures best, though, is the true essence of Halloween. The rustle of leaves, the giggles of children, and the smashing of pumpkins (cue Bullet With Butterfly Wings) really makes it feel like YOUR neighborhood when YOU were a kid. The movie is just scary enough to justify as a horror movie, most it's mostly for fun, and even a few laughs. The narrative structure may not be for everybody, and the slow-burning pace may turn off your A.D.D. afflicted friends, but this is destined to become a Halloween classic. My only real complaint is that it is much too short, clocking in at less than an hour and a half. Hopefully, a cult following will persuade the makers to get a sequel in the works.

It seems like direct-to-DVD horror movies have been much better as of late than the ones that go to theaters. Midnight Meat Train, Feast, and The Burrowers being prime examples. I can whole-heartedly add "Trick 'r Treat" to that list, and I hope that it lights HDTV's every Hallow's Eve for years to come. Now if you'll excuse me, it is November 1st, and I have a Christmas tree to cut down.

Paranormal Activity

All right, all right, let me make one thing clear: I didn't rate the movie this low because I want to pretend to be a tough guy, or to be trendy and against the grain. It just didn't scare me. Not once! And I was a ball of nerves walking in. I give this a movie a (generous) 30% because it may be one of the biggest disappointments of my life! No Santa Claus? Nope, doesn't compare to the walk of shame on the way back to the car, nine dollars shorter and eighty minutes older.

I don't need gore, elaborate special effects, or a big budget to enjoy a horror movie. That's what appealled to me about this in the first place. I mean, the film makers squeezed a dollar from a dime, and there is some very positive feedback. Sounds like it's right up my alley! But as it turns out, the movie is more of a celebration of good marketing than good film making.

The plot is about young couple Micha and Katie, which are the names of the real actors. I thought that was pretty neat. We learn through exposition that Katie has been hearing strange noises at night, and her boyfriend Micha buys a camera and some over-the-counter EVP equipment to see what they can catch. The feature we are watching is the video from that camera. I don't think I would be giving anything away by stating that there is an entity and it isn't going to sit by and do nothing.

What we get is some creaks and flickering lights. The movie tries to use our imaginations against us, since the human mind can conjure up things much more terrifying than what the creators can dish out. Unfortunately, the movie spoon-feeds us too many explainations and gives us some otherside mumbo jumbo to try and lead the audience along. And it doesn't help that the movie clues you in when something is about to happen. It's subtle, but if you listen, it's definitely there. And it definitely annoys.

There are some genuinely creepy moments that involve fast-forwarding, but they are too few and far apart. With a grand total of 4 cast members, the acting is pretty good. I really hope that our two current no-name leads have long, prosperous careers, because they were very convincing. Even though I personally wasn't afraid, I did feel their fear and I felt for them.

However, good acting doesn't excuse a movie with no scares, illogical thinking, and attracting one of the most IRRITATING audiences ever! Hordes of twelve-year old girls screamed at any and every opportunity the movie threw at it.

"Ahhh! A lamp!"
"Eeek! An edit!"
"OhMyGawd . . . someone behind me just sneezed! I have to text someone how much that scared me!"

Overall, I admire the film makers for giving it the old college try, and you can't deny that they've raked in a lot of dough. But, a lot of hype and a movie trailer with some people screaming does not a scary movie make. Sorry, but Ghost Hunters is scarier than anything that came out of Paranormal Activity. And now, for the flood of Thumbs Downs . . .

Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen

Ho-ho-ho-ho-hooooooly s***! Okay, I really don't know where to start with this one, but maybe an analogy would help. "Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen" is like eating a lot of candy: at first you think it would be awesome, but your senses are over-assaulted, and five minutes in you want to hurl. I mean, what were the studio execs thinking when they saw the first screening for this?

"Hmm, which robot is fighting which? Nah, that doesn't matter! Greenlit!" It really saddens me that when trailers for this movie played, they add that "A Michael Bay Film" part at the end. Michael Bay has become a selling point for movies? F***. Me. Running.

The plot (or lack of) concerns everyone's favorite douche Shia LaButthole as Sam Witwicky, the teenager with problems that everyone can relate to . . . if they had access to alien robot cars! Sam discovers a small chip of the energy cube thing from the first movie in his clothes, and is being pummelled with alien robot car font. He finds out that this is a warning to Sam of what he and the Autobots will face. The Fallen, an ancient Decepticon, is being resurrected, and it's up to Sam, his girlfriend Megan Fox, and his army of Autobots to stop them. Why? Because the Fallen wants to blow up the sun.

Let me rephrase that. The Fallen wants to BLOW UP THE SUN!!! Are you s***ing me? Am I the only person who thinks that that is the dumbest doomsday plot ever? Next you're going to tell me that they need to send oil drillers to blow up asteroids, or someone's gonna bombard the west coast with poison gas from Alcatraz. That sounds like something that Mich- wait a minute, he DID come up with that stupid s***! Ahhhhhhh!

"Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen" is a noisy, soulless excuse for a motion picture. Clearly the studio execs saw that Michael Bay had spent the $200 million on total s***, but didn't want to shelve it. Luckily for them, people are stupid and will shell out money for crap like this!

Everything is loud and obnoxious in this film. The dialouge mainly consists of "GO-GO-GO!"s and "OHMYGOD-OHMYGOD-OHMYGOD!"s! Even the whispering in this movie is too loud, and it doesn't help that we either get a blaring trumpet soundtrack, or Linkin Park to cover it up! How many times can you play that stupid "21 Guns" song? Once was more than enough for me. F***ing hate that song . . .

And to top it all off, it's boring! Watching this with my family, they all sort of dropped out like flies. Father left to watch UFC in the other room within ten minutes, Mommy fell asleep at minute twenty, and Lil' Sis went to her room after an hour and a half. She's nine, by the way. If you can't entertain your target audience for the full alotted time, you have failed as a film maker. The only reason I stuck around was to have enough reason to write this scathing and hurtful review.

So why not 0% instead of 10? Well, I've always liked John Turturro. He could read an IKEA instruction manual and still keep my attention. And the parents were pretty funny. They kind of reminded me of my own fam. But that's about it.

I want to punch Michael Bay in the face just for referencing "Bad Boys II" with that poster. Any movie that references that movie and is not "Hot Fuzz" automatically loses half of it's points and any credibility! But the most painful thing is that I rented this movie, with twenty dollars in late fees in addition to it. So I paid twenty-five dollars to watch a sucky movie for five days, when I could have paid just twenty dollars to OWN the sucky movie!!!

Bottom line: don't buy it, don't rent it, don't look at the display box! If you want a good idea of what this movie is, watch the first movie ten times at the fastest setting it can go, while lighting fireworks in your house! You'll get the idea . . .

High Tension (Switchblade Romance)

Ah, the French. They've given us so much: awesome wine . . . the Statue of Liberty . . . Canadians . . . and of course cinema. French films are known for being beautiful, but when was the last time you saw a French film and thought "That was the ugliest thing I ever seen! It looked like someone threw up on the negative for a Rob Zombie movie! I need to wash!" Well, "High Tension" is that movie.

Before he was remaking "The Hills Have Eyes" and 'Mirrors", Alexandre Aja directed this gritty horror opus, also known as "Haute Tension" and "Switchblade Romance", the latter sounding more like a Frank Miller graphic novel. College girls Alex and Marie are driving through the French countryside to visit Alex's parents during Spring Break. But just when they get settled in, a hulking killer comes through and slaughters Alex's family. Alex is held captive in the killer's rusty pick-em-up truck, and Marie feels that she should save her from the grisly fate. As Marie follows, she witnesses the brutal killer at work, and realizes that she may have to fight back.

I usually like to draw out my plots, but that's really all there is to the movie. We get heavy saturations of Karo-Syrup blood, and some pretty impressive kills. Name one other movie that kills someone with a wooden dresser . . . one! But those Frenchies don't appear much smarter than the typical American slasher victim, as Marie makes some of the stupidest decisions in horror movie history! Avoiding calling 9-1-1 (or neuf-neuf-un, I went to high school) and hiding some of the most ridiculous places is sure to make any viewer scream in frustration.

For example, the killer is stomping around in the house, and Marie decides to hide UNDER THE BED!!! And of course our meaty antagonist can't bend down far enough to properly search for her (too much creme brulle) and he moves on. The fact that this worked defies any logic in anything, especially real life. But in scenes like this the tension really is high, and you find yourself enjoying yourself.

AND THEN, THE MOVIE DOES THE UNTHINKABLE! Two-thirds of the way into it, we are given a twist that defies logic and physics! Forget plot hole; this is a plot crator! Don't step to close towards it, or you might fall in and never come back up! This is a twist so ill-concieved that it actually takes you out of the movie, maybe even so much as to pause the DVD, turn to someone next to you, and ask them if they witnessed the same thing. This isn't deus-ex machina, this is f***ing Devil's Work!!!

In conclusion, maybe "High Tension" can settle as decent scare fare. It certainly is tense, and will please the fans of the red stuff. But illogical thinking, a distractingly bad twist, and some truly awful dubbing (think Godzilla with berets) hinder what could have been a horror classic.

And now, I will continue shoveling spoonfuls of Ben & Jerry's American Apple Pie ice cream into my cake-hole. America! F*** yeah!

Komodo vs. Cobra

Some movies raise questions that really have nothing to do with the overall story, but are still very good questions in general. How do movies like these get funded? Who thought that this was a good script? Why do s***ty actors think that being in these movies think that this is their ticket to stardom? Thinking about these questions for too long will make menstral blood shoot out of your eyes (even if your not a woman), so it's probably best to just ignore them. But I feel it is my duty . . . my obligation . . . my burden, to warn you of "Komodo Vs. Cobra" the same way Paul Revere warned the colonists of the Redcoats.

My first gripe with this film, and I only consider it a film because it is in fact printed on film, is that it has a short name: KvC. KvC sounds more like a fried chicken joint than a horror movie! My second gripe is the film's "star" is a washed-up, desperate Michael Pare. My third gripe is that this is SyFy Channel quality filmmaking, without the SyFy Channel! Now I'm all flustered! I thought that the only way to see a movie this bad was to watch SyFy on a Saturday afternoon. In all honesty, I would really like to see a giant komodo dragon fight a huge cobra, but that's it. No back story, no love interest, just some hot reptile on reptile action. But the movie has to throw in some real nipple-heads that I guess we're supposed to care about.

I know, I know . . . I should just shut up and give you the synopsis. Well, it involves a whiny young couple paying rear admiral Pare to take them to a distant island for vacation. Michael Pare is smart, as all salty sea dogs are, and refuses to go. But after a little persuasion, and about $1000 in the fakest money ever printed for cinema, our heroes are off. Of course they bring their friends along for the ride, too. What fun would it be to be eaten without your best friend at your side?

At first, our protagonists start hearing things that are pretty good clues that something isn't quite right in Denver: loud roaring, people screaming, . . . giant corn? But as our nimrods try to put two and two together (which seems to be a hastle for a few of them) they run into a smokin' hot scientist with a gun. How do we know she's a scientist? Why, she's got a white coat, of course. And she uses big words like "specimen".

Ms. Sexy Scientist tells everyone to haul a** and leave the island, and everyone is in agreement, except for one douche nozzle. As it turns out, the only reason he came along was to expose the scientist and her colleagues for doing horrific sciency stuff to animals. And what might that be, you ask. Well, the scientists tried to make a komodo dragon and cobra bigger and bulletproof for . . . wait for it, weapons for the government.

WHY?!?! Why are scientists developing useless, stupid things like these in movies like this? What good would a giant snake do against the Soviets, or the Swedes, or whoever we're fighting right now? I particularly love that the scientists knew that they were tampering with Mother Nature, and making two of the deadliest creatures on earth bigger and resistant to bullets, but brought only ONE HANDGUN! Oh but don't worry, this gun has unlimited ammunition, just like a video game cheat code. Characters manage to squeeze off 60-120 shots without reloading before the creature eventually slithers/stomps away, either out of boredom or it already ate someone.

That brings me to the special effects: they're TERRIBLE. Both creatures look like they jumped straight out of an XBOX cutscene. It's also hilarious when someone gets stomped on, because it looks like the wind blowing over a cardboard cutout. It kind of reminds me of when Iron Man gets crushed by that falling cow in Disaster Movie.* But the best part is that this is a PG-13 movie, and there is no blood. So, characters are swallowed whole, rather than ripped to shreds. I would believe this with the cobra, because that is what snakes actually do. But the komodo dragon seems to have forgotten that evolution gave it those weird things called "teeth" and swallows its prey like a pill!

But the fight between the two reptiles must be cool, right? After all, they named the friggin' movie after it! Actually, what we get is a 360-degree shot, a la Michael Bay and a lot of tail-nipping. You can probably guess who wins the fight, as it is the same for all of these "vs." movies.

The point, fellow reader, is that this is probably the worst movie I have ever seen. To call it a movie is an insult to other movies. To call it a piece of s*** is an insult to pieces of s*** the world over! If the idea of watching "KvC" ever crosses your mind, don't. Read a book, learn a dead language, clean your gutters . . . all of those things are more fun than Komodo vs. Cobra.

*Note: I didn't actually see Disaster Movie. I was just referring to what I saw in the trailer. I would rather give a midget my cash to spit in my mouth than to those two comedy molesters, Friedberg and Seltzer.

Observe and Report

Before I start, let me just say that to compare this movie to "Taxi Driver" is a little unfair. I can see the similarities between the two, but that's like comparing "Return of the Living Dead" with "Dawn of the Dead": One movie is deadly serious with brutal violence and a grim message about our society, while the other is trying to be funny with the same material. Everyone seems to be divided by this movie, and of course I fall in the middle.

This is the perilous journey of Ronnie Barnhardt, a mall security guard . . . wait, I f***ed up . . . head of mall security, who thinks that he's found his big break. It seems a flasher is on the loose, exposing his giblets to anyone in the mall parking lot unfortunate enough to cross his path. At first, Ronnie wants to nail this perp on principle alone (and to impress the pretty cosmetics lady, Brandy), but when the pervert flashes her, then it becomes personal.

It doesn't help Ronnie's case that Detective Harrison, played by Ray Liotta, is put on the case to find out who the flasher is, and upstages Ronnie in the process. As a result, Ronnie puts his foot down and applies for the police acadamy, so that he can clean the streets with the scum polluting it. His friends and co-workers have his back, but something about Ronnie doesn't sit right with Harrison.

I'm going to stop right there for your sake, because this movie has so many subplots, it'll make your head spin! A lot of people complain about Seth Rogen's character being unsympathetic because he is racist and mentally unbalanced. This is exactly why he appeals to me! He's a real person, rather than a cardboard cutout. Paul Blart was a worse character in my opinion, because he had nothing but good intentions. That's the kind of s*** that makes me sick: You mean to tell me that the power has NOT gone to his head yet? Get real.

If anybody is intolerable in this movie, it's Brandy. Anna Faris does a great job making this bimbo all the more hatable than Ronnie, and yet he is oblivious to how shallow she really is. Ray Liotta is all over the place, but it is probably one of his better performances. It also seems like people didn't like this movie because it was very mean-spirited. I think it could have been an even angrier movie! Yeah, you heard me! It felt like the film makers wanted to keep too many balls in the air, and not really settle for a real theme or meaning.

If there is one thing I don't like, it's the editing. Scenes just seem to get cut off out of nowhere, as if the editor was blind and cutting the film stock with scissors. And the movie never really has any laugh-out-loud moments. Maybe a funny scene here and there, but the movie is made out of scenes that ALMOST work. They just kind of leave you disappointed at the end. You're sitting on the couch thinking "Well that was almost funny" or "They should have done this".

All in all, this movie is not for everyone. It's never consistent with its humor or its theme, its brutally violent at times, but Seth Rogen sort of appealed to me as this psychopath. However, this does provide further proof to me that the song "Where Is My Mind" by The Pixies is the best song to end a movie with, ever!

The Marine
The Marine(2006)

There is a good reason that most wrestlers don't fare well in the transition from the squared circle to big screen: they can't act! Don't believe me? Watch Spike TV at 9:00 pm on Thursdays, to watch the horrific banter spat back and forth by sweaty, scantily-clad meatheads on TNA Impact. You'll see what I mean.

John Cena, from the WWE, actually isn't too bad of an actor. He probably won't be getting much support from this material though. This movie is about (what do ya know) a marine named John Triton, who is discharged with honors for saving captured US troops from getting their heads sawed off on the Internet. Yep, it's true when they say that no good deed goes unpunished! That isn't a problem for his wife Kate, who is just happy her hubby is back home and not getting killed overseas.

We learn fairly quickly that John can't cope with life outside of being a marine after he is quickly fired from his security job. So Kate decides to go on vacation with John and enjoy the fresh air. But it is their unfortunate luck that they pull into a gas station where a gang of jewel thieves (led by Robert Patrick) desperately need a car. While John is inside getting Ho-Ho's and a Slurpee, they steal his car (with Kate inside) and blow up the gas station, attempting to kill John and any police officers on duty.

Little do they know that this is an action movie, and you can't blow up the hero in the first twenty minutes. So, John embarks on a long, perilous trip of wonder and self-discovery. Nah, just kidding. He's gonna kick some a**! And kick a** he does!

The writers pull out every cliche ever written in action movie history. If there is a propane tank nearby, you know it's gonna get blown up! If a bad guy has a disagreement, you can bet a bundle he's gonna get shot! The cast of thieves is pretty annoying, including a token black guy who blames all of his problems on white people, and was apparently molested at summer camp as a child! Really? Is that comic relief to these people? Why didn't you flash back to the part where his parents were beaten to death with golf clubs, or when his uncle overdosed on heroin! That should get a laugh!

Patrick is incredibly hammy as the gang leader, Rome, and Kelly Carlson just kind of screams the whole time as Kate Triton. Not to mention that this movie has some of the most disorienting, close-cut editing work I've ever seen. Just for kicks, I counted the amount of jump cuts in ten seconds of a chase scene. Y'know what I came up with? Thirty-seven! That means that there were nearly four jump cuts every second!

Most notably, this movie may very well be the best advertisement for domestic cars EVER! When John first chases down the thieves, he commanderes a Chevrolet Police Cruiser and guns it. These guys are just blasting the car with assault rifles and Uzis from ten feet away. And this doesn't just go on for a second or two, this is throughout the entire seven-minute chase! Not only do they manage to NOT hit the 250-pound steak slab behind the wheel, but they also manage to not hit a tire, gas line, engine, or anything else that might slow the car down! Like a rock, indeed!

If the movie took itself too seriously (which it doesn't), I would rate it a zero. But there is some humor injected at the right moments, and even though he is pretty one-note throughout, Cena does make for a likable action star. Any movie where someone gets eaten by alligators can't be all bad, right?

Hell Ride
Hell Ride(2008)

At first glance, Hell Ride seems like it might be a sweet flick, paying homage to the gritty biker B-movies of the 60's and 70's, while offering the grindhouse sort of cheekiness we've seen in Tarantino's work again and again. Hey look, Tarantino even has his name on it! Ooh and look at that cast: Michael Madsen, Vinnie Jones, Dennis Hopper, David Carradine. Tough guys, all of 'em. Ain't no way they can mess this up, right? Right?

WRONG! F***ING WRONG! They can mess this up, and they do. And by "they", I really mean the film's writer, director, and STAR, Larry Bishop. You might remember Bishop's first movie "Mad Dog Time", also known as "Trigger Happy". If you don't, that's okay, because most people haven't. Know why? Yep, it sucked. Big time. It ALSO had an awesome cast (Jeff Goldblum, Richard Dreyfuss, Gabriel Byrne), as well as a great premise (gangsters shoot each other to take over Crazy Vic's spot as the Godfather). But the problem is Bishop's pretentious writing and inappropriately artsy directing.

Bishop plays Pistolero, the president of the feared biker gang, the Victors. When a high-ranking member and close friend is killed by the rival biker gang, the 6-6-6er's, Pistolero decides to exact revenge. But there may be more to his revenge scheme than everyone suspects. His most loyal members tag along, including The Gent (Madsen) and Comanche (Eric Balfour). Their main target is the leader of the 6-6-6er's, Billy Wings (Jones), who carries around an air-pressurized crossbow (awesome!!!) and has a taste for dead p**** (disgusting!!!).

Along the way there is some shooting, naked chicks, a lot of swearing, more naked chicks, mushroom hallucinations, blood, more naked chicks, motorcycles, and, you guessed it, more naked chicks! Now, I like seeing oiled-up, nude, hot girls as much as the next guy, but it just seems unnecessary at times. I mean, how many women do you know that would throw themselves to these fifty-year olds covered in road grit and dirt?

This brings us to the man who f***ed it all up: Mr. Bishop. Everybody talks in this movie like . . . well, they're in a movie. They say that the code of the bikers sre the three B's: bikes, beer, and booty. Booty? Since when has a biker ever said "booty". Maybe a** or tail, but booty? Who's been loaning the Hell's Angels Sir Mix-A-Lot CD's? And the monolouges . . . aye aye aye, the monolouges. It's all downright embarassing.

And why does Bishop insist on playing the lead role, when he can neither act, nor look tough? Well, at least the gunfights are cool, right? Ha! For there to be a gunfight, there would have to be an EXCHANGE of gunfire. Rather, the shoot-outs go like this: We see two characters, one of them takes out a gun, shoots him, and falls down. That's it. There's not even a cool exit, it just cuts to the next scene. And there must be some sort of law against wasting a talented cast like this. They all just stand around, drink, say something, or get shot.

Hell Ride has good performances from its underused cast, decent camerawork, and a great premise (along with the Tarantino seal of approval), but it's all just a pretentious mess. Don't bother.

Crank 2: High Voltage

If Guy Ritchie ingested fistfuls of ecstacy, acid, and crack cocaine, then spent the next six hours in a room with a typewriter, you might end up with something pretty close to Crank: High Voltage. This follow-up to the 2007 action movie once again follows Jason Statham as unkillable killing machine Chev Chelios. You might be thinking to yourself "Wait a minute . . . didn't he fall out of a helicopter? He should be dead!" Psh. Yeah, SHOULD be. But we discover Chev is indeed one tough Brit, as he cuts a new warpath, leaving a trail of gunsmoke, entrails, and fake silicone breasts in his wake.

We learn that mere seconds after his fall, a Chinese triad scoops him up, loads him into a van, and start helping themselves to a heart. Chev's real heart is removed, put on ice, and replaced with a plastic, electronically charged one. Before the crooked surgeons can sever anything else, Chev escapes and begins looking for the lowlife who ran off with his "strawberry tart" in the cute, little portable cooler.

Along the way, he reunites with his girl, Eve, as well as makes a few more friends of his own. He finds out that everyone is after his heart because it is strong enough to withstand even the strongest of poisons (the Beijing cocktail), and take a lot of punishment. The reason his heart is needed involves the late David Carradine as a 100-year old Chinese crime boss, who looks like Pei Mei from Kill Bill 2 with candy corn for teeth.

In the first movie, Chelios had to do anything to keep his heart pumping. Running and driving at the speed of light while downing some Red Bulls, snorting cocaine, getting blow jobs, and injecting artificial adrenaline were all necessary to keep his heart beating. This time, he needs pure electricity to keep his batteries juiced. And the levels he'll go to get that juice is borderline ridiculous.

The movie is, as you can imagine, extremely fast-paced, spewing shaky cameras and gut-bucket metal music to keep us on edge. I felt as though this movie was trying really hard to top the first movie. And it does, in the first thirty minutes. I will add that this movie might be one of the grossest movies to come out in a while, and I have a pretty strong stomach. Characters puke all over the screen, fumble around with their own intestines, and ooze silicone fluids all for our entertainment.

If there are negative things about the movie, it's too many WTF moments. We get a Godzilla-like fighting segment (added in for no real reason), a look at Chev Chelios' childhood on a Dr. Phil-like show, a severed head in a fish tank that's still somehow alive enough to say "F*** you, Chelios"!

All in all, I liked this movie. It knew it was over-the-top, and it was fun. There was real care that went into it, and it seems like everyone had fun making it. Hopefully, Lionsgate will give us Crank 3 in the near future. Because somewhere, somehow, Chelios STILL has a score to settle.

Rest Stop
Rest Stop(2006)

"Rest Stop is hauntingly realistic . . . in the style of the original version of The Vanishing."

Nope. Not my words, but the words of Maria Newborn of Fangoria TV. Says so right on the box. And when has a box ever been wrong? I hate to say it, but I find nothing realistic about Rest Stop whatsoever. Not the characters, not the dialouge, not the judgment used by our unrealistic characters with unrealistic dialouge, nothing! This is what Duel would have been like, if Steven Spielberg had died before he directed it, and Uwe Boll took the reins of the script thirty years later.

It concerns two young lovers, Jess and Nicole, who are running away from their parents to pursue their acting careers in California and live happily ever after. Based on their performances here, I don't think they'll get snatched up quite so soon. Anyway, the sun is shining, the roads are clear, and the sex is sudden and inexplicable. But that b**** Nicole has to take a tinkle and refuses to go on a cactus or a rattlesnake or in the sand. So Jess parks the car, and Nicole runs to the titular stop for resting, or whatever you hepcats are calling it these days.

When she comes back, Jess and the car are gone, she's stranded in a desert town with no cell phone bars, and a psycho in a P.O.S. pickup truck are trying to run her down. So she spends the first half of the movie running from this crazed Larry The Cable Guy-enthusiast, and the second half cowering in a bathroom.

That's it. That's Rest Stop in a nutshell. It's really kind of sad to see the petty attempts of creepiness on display here, like twin teenage boys in undertaker outfits drinking Flav-O-Aid through Krazy straws on a rickity old trailer, or watching buckets of Karo Syrup-blood spew from a ghost/zombie/spirit's mouth as she makes the "Grudge noise". Oops, I forgot to mention that there is some kind of supernatural element in this, I think. I don't really care, and apparently, neither does the movie. There's also a deformed midget who likes to take pictures of people with his 1970's camera. If you feel hairs on the back of your neck stand up when you watch this, that isn't fear. That is your hair follicles becoming aware that you are watching Rest Stop and trying to run away.

The 10% is for what could essentially be a good drinking game: "Take a shot every time someone says 'f***' for no reason". When there's three in a row, you have to drink a Jaeger-bomb. If you're going to play this, you better like Jaeger-bombs! There's some really horrendous dialouge in this flick, and I'm going to share my favorite nuggets with you:

"F*** you, you f***er!" Gee, must've taken the writers at least ten seconds to come up with that!

"I was going to see the Stones in Arizona! (sniff, sob) I didn't make it." Really, that's too bad, because even though you're bleeding and locked in a storage closet, I really wanted to know if you got to talk to Keith Richards.

"Yeah, I'm located somewhere in California called the Old Highway." Okay, what kind of lazy-@$$ town . . . scratch that . . . lazy-@$$ writers, calls an old highway "The Old Highway"?!?

In conclusion, Rest Stop is a crappy direct-to-DVD movie that nobody should acknowledge the existence of. No creativity, no thought, and worse of all, no scares. I got this movie for fifty cents at my neighbor's garage sale, and I still feel ripped off. This one stinks more than . . . well, you know.


Mutant Chronicles

Mutant Chronicles seems to be a sort of cursed movie. For everything it does partially right in one department, it loses it's footing in the rest of it. I'll go through it step by step:

1. The acting: The cast is very good, with fine performances by Thomas Jane and Ron Perlman. However, John Malkovich (who's thankfully in the movie for less than five minutes) is horrible, and the rest of the cast isn't much better.

2. The special-effects: There is some very good miniature work, make-up, and some decent CGI. However, it is apparant that there is a green screen behind the actors numerous times. And don't even get me started on the blood-splatters, which look like they've been photoshopped with fifteen-year old technology.

3. The look: This movie has a very cool, sepia-toned look to it, similar to that in movies like Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow and 300. However, the movie is plagued by ugly (and even disorienting) camera work.

4. The story: This involves an ancient machine known as . . . wait for it . . . "The Machine", that fell from the heavens hundreds of years ago, with the sole purpose of changing man into mutant. But a group of monks/warriors (?) fought the mutant army, sent them back underground, and sealed The Machine forever. Cut to the 28th century, when corporations are at war with each other for control over land. When a battle breaks the seal and releases the mutant army, the descendants of the monks/warriors recruit am rag-tag group of fighters to fight the impending evil, travel inside The Machine, and blow it back into space. Now it's all starting to make sense.

All in all, this isn't a TERRIBLE movie, maybe entertaining if you're with friends and looking to distract yourselves. Just don't expect the meaning of life at the end.

Fast & Furious

I'll be honest, I've never liked this franchise. I was incredibly disappointed by the first movie, even though I was eleven and easily entertained back then. I thought that they set a new low when they set a plot around cars sliding sideways, aka "drifting". But this movie was, dare I say, BORING!

Vin Diesel's acting is still pretty one-note. I know, I should give him a break because he's a movie star and not an actor (there is a difference), but he's been on hiatus for a while, and his schtick is getting old. All of his speaking parts consist of someone asking a question or making a comment, then he looks at the camera and says his stupid line.

And the tough guy role has been done to death, Vin. He took it way too far when his character gets shot in the shoulder, but reacts as if someone threw a Chinese noisemaker at him. Instead of wincing in pain, he runs over to the guy that shoots him and repeatedly punches him in the face . . . with his injured arm!

It is kind of refreshing to see the original cast back, and not replaced with Bow Wow. But it's also kind of monotonous that we're given the same characters to watch again, the only difference being that now, Paul Walker wears a suit.

I really didn't like this movie because it takes itself too seriously. It's poorly written, clumsily edited, and stiffly acted. The CGI is also questionable. And the cops are stupid. Really, really stupid.

Don't get me wrong, I enjoy a good, mindless action flick, but I do believe that it should make up for it with heart and soul. This has dollar signs written all over it.

Underworld: The Rise of the Lycans

I've said from the very beginning that this movie did not need to be. This backstory was at least a little interesting when the film makers told us this story in the previous two movies. It didn't need to be re-enacted for our sake, because we got the whole story, short, sweet, and to-the-point, from the other films. But in case you forgot:

Viktor, head of the vampires, raises Lucien, the first of the Lycans, to fight at his side. When Lucien impregnates Viktor's beloved daughter, Sonya, with a half-lycan, half-vampire baby, he is enraged. So he chains up his daughter, shackles Lucien to the floor, and makes him watch as Sonya gets the mother of all sunburns. Lucien's rage tranforms him into his werewolf form and he escapes, thus starting the war between Lycans and vampires.

There is nothing in this movie that we haven't seen before. Lucien, played by Michael Sheen, yells out motivation, warpath speeches like so many Lionidases and Bravehearts have yelled before him. The film is also too dark to frickin' see anything. It's all right if the makers wanted these movies to keep up the trend of looking blue all the time, but most of the scenes look like their lit by an itty bitty book light.

There's no new information in this movie either, it just rehashes what we've heard from the previous entries. You know, because paying attention and trying to VISUALIZE what the actors are talking about isn't what movies are about.

And, I never thought a vampire/wereeolf movie sat in medieval times could be so BORING. Sans credits, the movie is less than an hour and a half long, but it drags on longer than the second movie did.

I really should have expected this. Director Patrick Tatopolis is best known for doing creature designs in other sci-fi and horror movies. It looks like he's finally crafted the ultimate monster.

0/10 (And may God have mercy on its soul)


I remember seeing the trailer for this movie nearly FOUR YEARS AGO, and thinking to myself "This movie looks pretty cool. Great cast, good director, excellent source material . . . when will it come out?" Cut to a week ago, where I finally find a copy at my local Hollywood Video.

This movie could have been great, had it not looked as if there was a lot of studio involvement in the editing. It's very easy to tell that some scenes were cut because half of what was shown in the trailer was cut, including all of the scenes with Johnny Knoxville.

The story concerns a formerly married couple, played by Diane Lane and Thomas Jane, who see Rourke's character, a contract killer known as "The Blackbird", in a botched hit. They flee and join the Witness Protection Program while Blackbird follows their trail. He also picks up a white-trashy career criminal, played by Joseph Gordon-Levitt, to try and take him under his wing (no pun intended).

So really, the plot is pretty standard and the story-telling is slow. However, director John Madden manages to keep up the suspense, and a few of the action scenes have a real visceral, dangerous quality to them. The cast does an exceptional job, especially Rourke, who could almost hold up the entire film. Some people might call Gordon-Levitt's performance as Richie Nix scenery-chewing; others might call it muggy; I call it "exactly how my crazy relatives act".

My only real problem with the movie is it's studio-involved scene cutting, which makes the pace pokey. And as much as I like Thomas Jane, his character was way too mellow, even for me to handle. I don't blame him; if the character was written to be mellow, he went above and beyond the call of duty. But even during one of the movie's action scenes, which involves him being shot at in a convenience store, he manages to get away unscathed and unexcited . . . with a six-pack of beer in his hand!!!

Overall I liked this movie, even if the cut scenes left me wanting more. Perhaps there will be a Director's Cut with all the deleted scenes in the future, but that's very doubtful. Who knows, maybe "Killshot 2006" could have earned a higher rating from me than "Killshot 2009", but for now it earns a:


The Burrowers

A near pefect movie, The Burrowers is yet another direct-to-DVD horror movie that got boned by Lionsgate in the distribution department. And despite this genre hybrid being derivitive of other movies, it comes out as an original horror film that really should have gained some attention. This is proof that the horror genre is far from dead, but simply needs to be re-animated.

The film is set in the late 1800's, once all of the cowboys and immigrants have settled into the country, and the Civil War has ended. The opening scene shows a family being attacked in the night by someone . . . or something. Whatever it is, it's strong enough to break through a thick cellar door.

Then, the film switches perspectives to Irish farmhand Fergus Coffey (played by the criminally unknown Karl Geary). As Fergus is about to propose to his beloved Maryanne, he discovers that it was her and her family that were abducted. Suspicion immediately falls on the "savage Injuns", and a posse is formed to bring them back.

Most of them are Civil War veterans with nothing else to do, but also among them are tough outdoorsmen Will Parcher and John Clay (played by Clancy Brown, best known for voicing Mr. Krabs. Believe it!). The posse is led by crazed Union captain Henry Victor (Doug Hutchinson). You can tell he's a little unstable because he likes to pull people's toes off, and stares at his moustache through a mirror. Even Victor's slave "Walnut" Calahan (Sean Patrick Thomas) comes along. Yeah, a Union officer with a slave . . . I don't really get it either. Practice what you preach, Henry!

So for a while, we get some beautiful, if barren, scenery, and a lot of horseback riding. But soon, people start going missing. Have they gone AWOL, or is there something else lurking in the dark besides the Native Americans?

This movie was awesome for me, because it moved at a slow, but controlled pace. It didn't really go for extreme gore, but when it was necessary, the special effects were top-notch . . . especially considering that there was very little CGI throughout. Writer/director JT Petty shows a lot of respect for both the horror and Western genres. So while the movie may seem like a mash-up of Pitch Black, Tremors, and The Searchers, Petty keeps good writing and interesting characters as the main attractions.

A must-see for horror enthusiasts and Westerners alike. The creature designs were great, and this cast of charcter actors and relatively unknowns do a great job of portraying these characters. Big props to the production designers for creating a believable Western world that didn't involve tumbleweeds or saloons.

The ending is very un-Hollywood and a little depressing, but I dare you to just watch it once!