Monday, November 19, 2012

V/H/S (2012)

Found-footage-horror films seem to be quickly growing into an unstoppable sungenre of horror. While I love the horror movie genre, I find it to be filled primarily with large amounts of steaming manure. My feelings about camcorder-horror generally do not differ much.

When I was a child I use to have nightmares of a screaming woman behind a red lit window and a chainsaw yielding madman. Fast forward to the UTDF contributor of today and what remains is a strange man with a penchant for women screaming and chainsaw yielding madmen.

My desensitized sensibilities find a person’s fear of red curtains and floating sheets quite laughable.

Fake blood is fake blood to me. I get the willies much more so from random people with bad teeth at the bus stop than movies meant to terrify an audience; until now.

Before I move forward I must explain that in order to preserve the sanctity of creepy fear this film causes me there is quite a bit that inherently must be left out. In other words, there will be no spoilers in this review, and there is nothing I can say here to capture the jaw dropping and wide eyed moments of “What the hell!?” found within the chapters of V/H/S.

V/H/S strings together several short sequences of terror via VHS tapes shot by camcorder POV cinematography. At first, V/H/S feels like any other found-footage-horror movie out there. However, the commonplace atmosphere quickly fades and fear floors the screen.

Each sequence of V/H/S screams, “Kiss my ass Blair Witch,” and in less than two hours V/H/S contains anything a fan of horror could possibly desire. Excessive and brutal gore in some moments, and cut away macabre that only the grotesque imagination of the viewer can fill in others. Maddening betrayal, sickening perversion, supernatural disgust, and shocking cinematic twists of dread are merely a few of the ingredients of V/H/S.

Warning! UTDF does not recommend this film to persons with the following conditions: seizures, migraines, heart conditions or abnormal blood pressure, IBS, bed wetting, schizophrenic episodes, general sissyness, under the influence of psychedelics, expectant mothers, or any other conditions that may be irritated by a truly terrifying cinematic experience.

That said, just toughen up. UTDF challenges anyone to watch this film without wetting their pants. Those that do are stronger than our entire staff. V/H/S has found itself at the top of  UTDF's list of horror movie recommendations for 2012.

3.5 Stars.

Sunday, July 29, 2012

The Dark Knight Rises (2012)

Believe all of the hype, don't scoff at the fanaticism, and see The Dark Knight Rises as soon as possible. Brilliant and powerful. Christopher Nolan is a force to be reckoned with. The Dark Knight Rises, and it's preceding chapters, define what the makers of the cinematic experience should hope to achieve.

Not only did Mr. Nolan provide a simply entertaining masterpiece, but he also successfully fills in all the gaps of telling the story of Batman where others failed fans miserably. Mr. Nolan deserves an applause and a thank you. I thought Rises would enrage me, and would provide a Matrix III type folly. Wrong. While I would hate to diminish my love for Michael Keaton, I have to say Christian Bale, at very least, now ties for the best batman. I must own the Blu-Ray.

Wonderful performances, stunning special effects, dynamic plot and characters, a screenplay executed with an acknowledged intellect of the audience, and the best f@cking movie in cinemas right now.

4.4 Stars

Don't forget to comment!

Hesher (2011)

Have you seen Hesher yet?

Hesher, the most under-rated film of 2011.

Starring Joseph Gordon-Levitt of who I am now forever a fan. Additionally, one of the first performances of Natalie Portman I genuinely appreciate. Hesher is beautiful.

I ask you please watch this film, and if it is not your thing you may be at the wrong blog. Jokes, how dare I. This is the only film blog you should be reading.

4.5 Stars.

Biff & Jaffy Do Sedona

An unofficial "Two Minute Crappy Film."

Sunday, July 22, 2012

2 Minute Sneak Peek: Dexter Season 7


For fans of Dexter who are not up-to-date on all episodes, and want to be, we cannot urge you enough to NOT watch this Season 7 preview. If you are current, we suggest that you watch the Season 7 preview now.

Again if you have not seen Season 6 of Dexter we recommend that you do NOT watch this preview. You have been warned!

Thank you,
Up Till Dawn Films


Who can wait for the new season of the Walking Dead? Not this guy.

AMC ordered 16 episodes for Season 3. It seems it will, as usual, be broken up into two parts.

That's fine, I guess, is October here yet?

Saturday, July 14, 2012

TED (2012)

TED is the type of film that makes you want to spit on a bad review, or fellow coffee shop patron that pretentiously talks shit about the comedic timing and the disappointment Charlie Chaplin would express.

Mark Wahlberg does an awesome job (as usual,) the bear is freaking hilarious, Mila Kunis does Mila Kunis beautifully, superb writing, watch it over-and-over factor through the roof, and generally a great time. Thank you Ted.

A local critic, from a very popular publication, decided to review the film as though she orginally intend on viewing the Titanic in 3-D re-release. Up Till Dawn Films and friends would like to say, "Shut up bitch, you don't know what you're talking about."

4.3 Stars.

Editor's note: Comments, questions, disagreements? Please feel free to comment freely, just please don't post porn or spam. Even shamless self-promotions are ok with us, just no bullshit, you dig? Anonymous comments and attempts to troll are permitted as well. Don't forget to click the 'ted' poster to pre-order the Combo Pack!

American Reunion (2012)

American Reunion recently arrived on DVD and Blu-Ray.

While I urge audiences to view this film, it is more a matter of my need to understand why this movie was not better. I am so confused.

I've never been a huge fan of The Pie Series, but I certainly remember seeing the first in theaters as a teenager.

The film, like many of the time, pushed a spectrum of boundaries and themes that was still not all that common at the time. I do not feel that American Reunion should have been a groundbreaking film, but it could have been better.

Stiffler was cool.
He could have been a lot cooler. The movie could have been a lot worse, but it also could have been a lot better. You get the point.

2.9 Stars.

Friday, July 6, 2012

V is for Zombie (2012)

The 2-Minute Crappy Film Series!

Episode #3:
"V is for Zombie"

This 2-Minute Crappy Film is extra special. We didn't watch the film, Vengeance of the Zombies, in its entirety, but the piece is simply cinematic genius.

Unfortunately, they did not follow the Up Till Dawn Films two-minute-max policy for crappy films. We gather the presentation would have received a Grammy or something, if only...

This piece of crap was so splendid we did not even have to outsource for the soundtrack. Everything needed some rearranging and trimming, but otherwise the original was a work of brilliance; overlooking the original length.

Take caution: this installment of the Up Till Dawn Films: 2-Minute Crappy Film Series! punches the psyche and is not for the feint of heart.

Copyright 2012. Burning Empire Media. All Rights Reserved.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

On Grass (2012)

Up Till Dawn Films: 2-Minute Crappy Film Series!
Episode #2: "On Grass"

In our second installment, of the Up Till Dawn Films: 2 Minute Crappy Film Series!, we combined a crappy anti-marijuana propaganda film with some pro-tobacco propaganda.

When we finished mixing the ingredients in the blender a sensationally crappy pro-marijuana propaganda film poured out onto the screen.

The elusive Haight Ashbury Pimps re-worked and provided the soundtrack for this one. Enjoy!

Copyright 2012. Burning Empire Media. All Rights Reserved.

Check back soon for more of:
Up Till Dawn Films: 2-Minute Crappy Film Series!

Poster prints for sale soon too.

Piranha 3DD (2012)

Click to watch now!

Freaking awesome! I do not feel the need to explain what an individual should plan for when about to watch Piranha 3DD or "double-down." Even the title concept screams ridiculous nonsense, but I say, "okay."

A highly offensive tidal wave of naked madness. Piranha 3DD is a bloody mess of late night horror genius and fun. I love it.

Wonderful casting surprises, and almost as good as the first.

In very few theaters still, so convince your date to buy or rent this one when available, or watch it now on demand!

 3.9 out of 5 Stars.

Hell's Kitchen (Season 10)

People seem quite surprised when I discuss my undying love for Gordon Ramsay or when I say, "I need to go home an watch Hell's Kitchen." I am generally not a proponent of television in general, but is the fucker truly avoidable anyways? What about HBO? What is the core definition of television?

While I want to be as hardcore and punk as possible, television is merely a raped format that has the potential to be just as artistic as the silver screen, only usually smaller. Additionally, I find television satisfying my artistic requirements quite often.

However, with acknowledged hypocrisy and love, I must assert an overriding philosophical, "Fuck you" to television viewers and networks in general.

Hell's Kitchen is no exception, but Ramsay's awe-inspiring ways of verbal abuse and lawsuit worthy treatment of people causes my body to erupt in a fantastic tingle of joy. The show's increased abuse of post-editing manipulation of timeline and exaggerated intensity of things to come is completely and totally fucking blasphemous. However, they are an amazing tool for keeping a film editor's sense sharp, so ultimately, again thank you. And don't even get me started on the Fox Network, corporation, little Rupert, etc.

Full Seasons less than $13.00

These are the moments that our less-than-strict policy and adherence to passive voice come in quite handy. Awful closings are also fun.

Anyway you slice it, whatever Gordon has on the menu for the evening may not be cooked to the standards of artistic perfection, but the meal is quite satisfying.

Buy the man's cookbooks!

 Hell's Kitchen:
3.5 Stars

4.7 out of 5 Stars

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

God Bless America (2011)

I wanted to see this movie as soon as I heard about it. After, listening to Bobcat discuss this film on The Joe Rogan Experience podcast my excitement tripled. Zed did not disappoint this audience.

Now one of UTDF's top five must see of 2011, God Bless America is a true patriot's film. Violent, offensive, bloody, vulgar, excessive and totally on point.

Bobcat Goldthwait is not only a hilarious screaming maniac but also a true master of his craft.

3.9 Stars.

Reprogramming v1.4

Little 4th of July ditty brought to you in part by UTDF!

Monday, July 2, 2012

Coming Soon - The Man with the Iron Fists

 Hell yeah, hell yeah, hell yeah!

Produced by Tarantino. Written by the Rza and Eli Roth. Directed, starring, and featuring new music by Rza. What more can a little boy ask for?

It looks visually stunning, it feels fun and exciting, and I cannot wait. I seem to be lagging on my up-to-date information of films coming out, but I do not mind. It simply means that I have to wait a shorter period of time to see the film. This film must be seen in theaters.

Supposedly, the release date has yet to be announced.

You May Not Kiss the Bride (2011)

Well this one is starring some dude and some chick. The chick looks stunning sometimes and others simply plain. The dude, I don't know, I think he's been in some other chicky type films, but I really cannot know for sure. The film also stars Bob Schneider and Tia Carrere. The duo plays cousins, and helps to keep a viewer planted in their seat.

Rob was funny, and playing some sort of Puerto Rican was certainly the best part of the movie. Vinnie Jones plays the bad guy, and the film paradoxically makes Vinnie seem not even slightly scary.

I am fully aware of the fact that Vinnie would kick my head off in person, but You May Not Kiss the Bride does not house one of his finest performances and within he is more of a bitch boy than a thug. I can not think of an instance in which I would recommend You May Not Kiss the Bride, but I also would not piss on the cover if I saw it in public.

2.4 Stars

Exit Speed (2008)

Buy the DVD cheap!
I'm not even going to finish this one. I sure it is a wonderful film, but as soon as the motorcycle gang arrives I realize that I am not ready for this thrill ride of action and adventure. While conducting an intensive plunge into the annals of cinema and entertainment, I ran across Desmond Harrington's face (co-star of Dexter and also had a recent role in Justified--both two of my favorites.) I pondered Desmond's resume, and curiosity took control. I did not recall him in much previously, so I looked up his filmography.

Season 1-5 Only $120!

Also starring Lea Thompson (Howard the Duck,) the film seemed as though I would  be swimming in unknown waters, but I figured, "What the heck." However, I quickly realized that I do not have time for Exit Speed.

Additionally, while Desmond seems like a cool guy, I can wait to see him this September when season seven of Dexter begins.

No rating. Incomplete viewing.

Saturday, June 30, 2012

A Fleeting Victory (2012)

First of the Up Till Dawn Films: 2-Minute Crappy Film Series!

2-Minute Crappy Film Series

Burning Empire Media is proud to announce the Up Till Dawn Films: 2-Minute Crappy Film Series! A brand new style of remix film art that is sure to please. We all know the feeling when two minutes into a film we already ask ourselves, "What am I doing here? Why is this happening? I need to leave this place right now."

Up Till Dawn's 2-Minute Crappy Film Series takes care of this problem. We take a crappy film and make it two minutes. A two minute exciting thrill ride of adventure, disaster, and surrealism. All 2-Minute Crappy Films will initially be announced and released here on the Up Till Dawn Films blog. We don't just talk trash about crappy films, we make them too.

Our first film, A Fleeting Victory, is a remix tale of the classic War of the Robots. The film is essentially a bunch of people dressed up like Steve Zissou and fighting robots with lightsabers.  All while urging the viewer to jump off a bridge. We broke it down, spruced it up, had The Night Will Steal You redo the score, and chopped a more satisfying conclusion. In a truly irresponsible, zero-budget, for-profit, film house fashion we will release A Fleeting Victory today, tomorrow, or the next day.

Check back soon for the Up Till Dawn Films: 2-Minute Crappy Film Series! Look for the series on DVD in 2013! And buy Burning Empire Media Presents: on DVD now!

Nurse Jackie (Season 4)

While I'm pretty sure Nurse Jackie is somewhat more popular than I realize. This show for me is Showtime's sleeper television show hit.

I began watching this show because of a woman. My wife and I began watching this show together, but during this last season (recently concluded) I found myself no longer waiting for her to watch the episodes. I needed to know what happens next.

Engrossed in the drama, intrigued and interested in new characters and old, and out loud laughter all force me to continue watching. And make no mistake, Edie Falco is a badass. I will always miss Carmela Soprano, but only because I miss Tony.

The entire series. Less than $133!
Nurse Jackie fits Falco perfectly and this season proves that she takes no prisoners and make no apologies. Do not be confused by this strong and powerful female lead. Nurse Jackie is not some chick shtick television show. This series provides an emotionally powerful, exciting, and fresh 30 minutes of entertainment that leaves the manliest of viewers wishing for an hour.

3.7 Stars.

Get the Gringo (2012)

 For fans that have wondered what would have happened if Riggs was less bi-polar and on the other side of the law, this is the movie for them.

I hate to admit it, but I enjoyed this film. Based on observed behaviors one could easily deduct that Mel Gibson is a lunatic. However, I do not feel psychosis and antisemitism really have anything to do with this individual film. A certain Elmore Leonard quality emanates from the plot and characters of  Get the Gringo. It's worth watching and one of my personal favorites of recent Mel films.

3.3 Stars.

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Abraham Lincoln vs. Zombies (2012)

Allow me to be your Redbox Warrior on this one. This film has enabled me to attain a deeper understanding of a particular vein of cinema. I imagine that even the below-average minded audience understands what type of film Abraham and the Zombies promises to deliver. These opportunistic straight-to-video releases have been labeled "mockbusters." The current climate of "mockbusters" shows that providing the release a genre tends to exonerate their appeal. When I learned of The Asylums format I found something commendable and Cormanesque about their purpose and business model. The question remains, "Why do their films have to be so crappy though." If you're in the business of quick opportunity can $150,000 not be put to better use? Costume design rarely flags in my mind while watching a film. They usually wash over me. Even the lowest of low-budget historical adaptations can be excused for a collar lacking 1800s consistency. I simply do not understand why the costume budget was not spent at a thrift store in this instance. Everything is crispity clean and definitely made within the last decade. It does not resonate. Everyone looks like five year old dressed up in their grandfather's fatigues. I would imagine there are thousands of people in the world that would have helped make this movie better, and I bet some would have even worked free of charge. Watching this film made me wonder if The Asylum pays someone to be a cinematographer or if they feel a high definition camera is enough. The light that beams of a crisp white collar screams 2012 B movie but the problem could have prevented and some money could have been spared as well. The fact is these Alien Origin style perfectly timed straight-to-Redbox features have a charm that is instantly diffused by pressing play. Learning more about the companies efforts to spread religious propaganda does not help their case much either. However, is this just another opportunistic mockery? I cannot answer that question. I can however tell you that this movies, among every other Asylum film I've glimpsed at, is complete and total shit. There is now a clear distinction between a charming low-budget indie film and a low-budget marketing strategy in which the production company pisses on the audience. Even more strange is that the fact that the owners are executives from Village Roadshow. Not my favorite but why taint the resume? Rock that business model to the grave, but a little more TLC would have inspired another dollar from me when Disposables 3 releases. I can't wait to see Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter now. I feel that a good studio should come around and now steal the "mockbuster" market from this company. I guarantee that for half the budget I could make a much more satisfying well-timed-opportunistic variation of any movie that will release in the near future. It comes out in less than a month, but give me eighty grand and we'll have The Black Bat Ascends in Redbox by the end of the month.
Most likely a better read.

Keep in mind I'm not the type of person who instantly jumps to negatively judge a film. When I was a teenager, myself and two other assholes made a film called Giant Mutant Lobsters in Outer Space in which we dumped Jack Daniels on a lobster and set it on fire. Along with a city made of cardboard and hot wheels cars. This was of course after the mad scientist fired off his giant laser that never actually appeared on screen. The difference between the two pieces of trash being ingenuity and passion. Enduring this film was pain-staking and traumatic at best. Zombies or not. I love zombies, but like many great genres Abe vs. Zombies is among a vast catalog of selections that breeds contempt. This type of film makes the porn industry seem more reputable. Certainly more interesting. On second thought, these films are porns, without the porn.

How about 1.3 stars, only because it provide a strong closing for my review.


Friday, June 22, 2012

Coming Soon - UTDF

One of my favorite posters of all time!

 I decided to do a blog post warm-up prior to conducting a large amount of educational writing.

Since Up Till Dawn Films' refocusing of purpose I have been selecting movies for coverage that I normally would ignore or outright refuse.

I wanted to include more in this update but I have a lot to do, and the cinematic gems of celluloid commentary resist the river's current.

Until next time...

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Men In Black III (2012)

Click to Buy Now!

The popularity of the Men In Black films confuses me somewhat. I understand how they have generated the box office numbers and popularity on a summer funzies level, but no so much in regards to the catharsis they seem to provide people. I get they they're funny films, and the two main characters share a dynamic relationship that adds to the clever hilarity. If ever a possibility, the mixing of crotchety white man and sassy but hip black man would provide a sweet comedy elixir. The audience could simply drink in this essence and uncontrollable laughter would consume their entire existence. However, I do not find the films that easy to take down. The Men In Black films make me slightly uncomfortable.

A novel in dramatic form. Only 10 bucks!
A have an easier, and oddly more enjoyable, time watching Tommy Lee Jones stuck in an apartment with a bible thumping Samuel Jackson while Tommy insists that he must kill himself. Which inadvertently sums up Men In Black 3. While watching, I wonder if there's something I'd rather watch. I know MIB 3 arouses a desire for another viewing of The Sunset Limited and I'm sure if I thought about it several others would come to mind. Will's alright (I Am Legend was beautiful) but give me Samuel L instead any day.

I digress, the comparison is not fair. A dialogue written by Cormac McCarthy should have a higher level of quality than any MIB movie. I guess I just wanted to bring up Mr. McCarthy. While we're on the subject though, Josh Brolin plays the young Tommy Lee Jones and these two billings alone scream, "Great cast!" Until they decided to cast Emma Thompson, but let's not go there. The strangest paradox of the Men In Black films rests within my own hands of ownership. I have owned both of the previous films. I believe at one point I had multiple copies of one or both of the films on DVD, and I also still own an unopened animated series VHS. How did that all happen?

In conclusion, this was my favorite Men In Black film (except for the Emma Thompson) from many reasons. The Brolin factor was cool. He did a spot on young Tommy Lee Jones. It goes without saying because we are now in the future, but the CGI was the best. The storyline was the most interesting and intelligent and I also felt the least uncomfortable watching this chapter.  3.4 Stars.  This is a that may change.

Please feel free to comment and/or talk some shit in the comments section below. I don't care, want to attempt a troll? This is your place, but please try to do so constructively and on topic. 

Remember you can remain anonymous, speak your mind, and be free.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Repo Man (1984)

A home library must have!
Repo Man, starring Emilio Estevez is one of many films that best reflects popular culture in this country. The "cult classic" film chronicles the events of an angry young man, Otto, who becomes a repo man. There is much more to the story and the goings on around Otto than the simple repossession of cars. The film is a commentary on the state of the world, American youth, growing up in America, drug use, nuclear science, war, UFOs, and the collective unconscious. The mixture of these themes set upon the black-comedy-science-fiction backdrop of automotive repossession and punk rock music not only results in an amazing piece of entertainment but also a reflection of culture that remains relevant in the cultural climate of today.

A culture in which many physical attributes have changed drastically, but continues to be rooted in issues, conflicts, and identities that have changed very little since 1984. One of the UTDF's Top Ten Film Soundtracks. 4.4 Stars.

Warning: Harry Dean Stanton Alert! This film is known to contain Harry Dean Stanton. The true psychological effects of Harry Dean Stanton are highly debated and yet to be scientifically confirmed.

Red State (2011)

This is an assignment that I had to do for school, but I decided that it is also quite suiting for Up Till Dawn Films' purposes. The direction of the review is based upon the rubric of the assignment. 

            An individual’s freedom to choose religious beliefs is a basic human right. Unfortunately, many times in society religious beliefs are used to justify extremely violent and deadly actions. Kevin Smith’s film Red State, starring Michael Parks and John Goodman, tells a story about a Christian fundamentalist group. The group uses their religious beliefs to rationalize violent and deadly actions inflicted upon those they categorize as “sinners.” The highly controversial film is a cinematic masterpiece that redefines Smith as a filmmaker. Kevin Smith is perhaps best known for his flatulence focused comedy films, passion for comic books, and network of podcasts. Red State came as a surprise to his most loyal of fans and the film industry in general. Written, directed, edited, and self-distributed Red State proves that Smith is not just a jokesmith satisfied with making audiences laugh.  The film demands that Smith be regarded as a sophisticated and multidimensional filmmaker. Smith accomplishes this sophistication by tackling the social issues and themes within Red State. Labeled as a horror film Red State is a shocking social commentary on religious intolerance and the violent consequences of extreme belief. Red State is a picture of society that shows the lines of terrorism are drawn by belief and action, not race and cultural background.

The film also shows that while society has made significant progress, intolerance of race, religion, and sexual preference are still a serious reality. Red State’s main character Pastor Abin Cooper (played by Michael Parks) is especially intolerant of homosexuality. Cooper is a charismatic religious leader that uses his own religious interpretations and beliefs to fuel an anti-homosexual agenda. He passionately indoctrinates his beliefs onto the members of his congregation and motivates and mobilizes violent and murderous action. The intolerance of Cooper’s congregation is seen throughout the world. Red State reminds the viewer that the boundaries of homicidal intolerance are not set by religious, geographical, or racial difference. The intolerant only lack prejudice upon the selection of their victims. The intolerance of Cooper’s congregation is captured with a unique style of cinematography and powerful acting performances. Red State is presented in the clarity of high definition film photography. However, the film uses a grindhouse tone that captivates the eye of the audience and properly captures the gritty, dark, and violent nature for which the film is set. This unique style and powerful acting performances are what make Red State downright creepy. Michael Parks’ academy award worthy performance is essential to Red State. Early in the film an intense 10 minute long sermon is delivered by Cooper. The scene is scary and powerful. There is no doubt or confusion in the audience’s mind that Cooper can use charisma, manipulation, intensity, and belief to mobilize his congregation.
            Consequently, Cooper’s violent mobilization of belief is the fuel of terrorism. Cooper’s congregation is not a simple church group; it is a terrorist organization. Smith uses the character of A.T.F. Agent Joseph Keenan (played by John Goodman) to facilitate the role of government and a deeper view into the nature of terrorism. The fictional government’s policies regarding terrorism are no different that the policies of real-life society and as Keenan’s peer Agent Hammond states, “If you kill an American because of a religious belief you are a terrorist.” Smith further mirrors society when the Keenan’s superiors make the decision that Cooper’s congregation needs to be eliminated by any means necessary.  A barrage of bullets and death is traded between Cooper’s congregation and the A.T.F. The film takes on an almost action flick way of editing and sequencing scenes, but the violent and explicit deaths are not a glorification. When a young lady accidentally kills her mother it is clear that Smith wants the world to know that guns are not toys. Many times the doctrines and religious texts, meant as a guide, are taken literally. Red State captures the deadly ramification of when these misconceptions are acted upon.
            In conclusion, if Kevin Smith had something to prove, whether as a filmmaker or a commentator of political and religious ideology, Red State proves it. The film shows that intolerance and belief have the potential to be extremely dangerous and violent states of mind often mobilized into bloody terroristic action. It is the sense of realism that Smith uses to execute the film that makes Red State truly horrific. While the organizations and individuals of Red State are fictitious, Smith provides a mirrored view of the terrifying similarities found throughout our own society.

I use the term "multidimensional" too much. 4.7 Stars.

Prometheus (2012)

Click to Buy the Combo Pack!
I got to the theater late and missed the first ten minutes of this movie. The lack of punctuality is among several reasons that I am going to have to watch this film again, but I'm pretty sure I grasped and saw enough to make some conclusions and discuss. When teasers of Prometheus initially embedded into audiences a strong wave of Alien maniacs broke free of their quiet desperation. I witnessed a fleeting movement and surprising exoneration of Ridley Scott that seemed both manufactured and confused. The Stargatesque to be continued nature of the quick look inside the film aroused hype, intrigue, and fanaticism that I did not realize existed or could be synthesized so quickly. Until trailers for Prometheus swept the masses I did not know that many categorize Ridley Scott as a, "Genius." I know of a strong fan following for Blade Runner and Alien (Harry Dean Stanton Alert!,) but otherwise Scott's resume did not seem spectacular. While still an impressive resume, the individual filmmaker has yet to truly fascinate me. I'm more a fan of the fact that he was a producer of the television series Numb3rs and his brother Tony directed True Romance.
I did not expect nearly as much as the dormant-Ridley-Scott-super fans did from Prometheus. Intrigued that Damon Lindelof (co-creator of Lost) happen to be one of the writers of the screenplay, but in general the concept and Alien series prequel possibility simply bored me. Yet, low expectations always helps when something from a film can be expected. The first twenty to thirty minutes of the film could be entirely removed and I do not think it would make much of a difference. The distinction between plot and character development and contrived mediocre pace shines brightly on a visually stunning but otherwise bland screen. A sad and slow start however does not mean that all is lost. Ultimately, once the development hurdle was crossed Prometheus pleases and provides the audience what they came for. I have let Prometheus marinate for a couple weeks. The initial Prometheus buzz has worn off. Prometheus is a quality film. I'm definitely going to watch it again, but like Ridley in general I question the ratio of hype to actual output of "genius" work. Especially, since I feel, of all Ridley's films, Prometheus comes closest to the misused adjective. Certainly at the top of my list of Ridley Scott films I want to add to my Blu-Ray collection. Until I watch it again I'll give it a standing 3.5 stars.

Don't forget to comment, or even make a request. I will watch and we will discuss.

Monday, June 18, 2012

Inside an Actor Editorial - Nicolas Cage

Buy on DVD
This was originally going to be a review for Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance, but it dawned on me that a discussion of Nicolas Cage would be much more interesting. We all know that Mr. Cage has tax problems, and negative criticism of his recent body of work seems to override many film reviews of the individual films. I never understood the strict obsession of ranking a film by one that was put out prior.

I understand the need for comparison, but why compare a kidnapping film to a man with a flaming head or Raising Arizona with Drive Angry? First off, these are generally films made by completely different people and production companies. A comparison of a Coen Brothers film and an intentionally over-excessive flick about fast cars and demons completely misses the point of both films. The only real similarity is they star a person who has the habit of at least attempting to remove similarities between most of his roles. Everyone has their Brad Pitt, "What's in the box" or Johnny Utah forever stuck on, "Whoa" moments. However, it does not negate a solid resume, skill, nor the fact that Drive Angry was ridiculously amazing. I bought the blu-ray. Why? Because unlike the "Christian Slater straight-to-video" business model for selecting roles these films are produced big and generally deliver big. Cage has also stepped up his game since his Knowing/Bangkok Dangerous phase. Some may feel inclined to point to Mr. Cage's money problems, but I wonder why he is having them at all; when I watch some of these films. Either way, as he storms through piles of scripts to pay back the IRS he pleases this audience.

Settle down Mr. Cage, you're not a god yet, and no one can ever be as cool as Sailor Ripley in real life. Not even you. Up Till Dawn Films recommends Drive Angry, Seeking Justice, Trespass, Ghost Rider 2, Kick-Ass. Nick deserves some props, all at least 3.0 stars each.

The Three Stooges (2012)

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I feel as though I missed something while watching this movie. I would much rather watch this movie over than a couple hours of Stooges reruns, but I only endured through the entirety of this movie for the exclusive sake of film review journalism. I don't know if it is my preexisting  dislike of The Stooges (I could never get into them,) or simply just a movie that does not suit me. I'm sure the egg holds a significant amount of blame for this chicken. There seemed like so much public disdain for the Jersey Shore Cast members' roles, but their appearance was my favorite parts of the movie. Well, actually Larry David playing a nun was my favorite aspect.

I'm fascinated by the fact that this is a  Farrelly Brothers movie. I imagine if anyone else had made the movie I would have put a needle through my pupil. Although, I'm really not an appropriate judge, but the guys playing the Stooges seemed to have done a really good job. However, they do so while basking in the ambiance of something that smells under Plot's shoe. There's more than just plot lacking too. I mean, come on! Jane Lynch plays a nun as well, but I cannot even recall a single thing she did that was funny. Word? Other than Larry David, the Jersey Shore, and some sweet cleavage shots I do not have anything really nice to say. I blame the fact that I am out of my element and my sensibilities of humor were desensitized over a decade ago; Rated PG.      2.2 Stars.

Coming Soon - Django Unchained

I simply cannot wait for this film to come out.
Look at that cast!

21 Jump Street (2012)

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One more tonight, for posterity's sake, and there is no better than the new 21 Jump Street film. I previously stated in a post that we're going to attempt to keep the inflammatory nature of these reviews to a minimum; or rather to the best of our ability. A perfect way to prevent this sort of inflammation comes from a 2012 film re-imagining/rendition of one of my favorite television dramas of all time. I happened to be somewhat appalled by some of the casting decision news that I initially heard  pertaining to this movie, but as a good friend said it best, "Channing Tatum is fucking awesome when he's not being a douche" (or well it was something like that.) The truth behind that statement is shocking. 21 Jump Street is a thrill ride of laugh-out-loud hilarity and Tatum is freaking awesome. Whether a viewer hates, loves, or has no clue what 21 Jump Street is does not matter. The movie is individually brilliant. Only half way through the year, but most likely my favorite comedy of 2012. If you're a die hard 21 Jump Street like me this film will not disappoint, and it includes extra goodies just for you. I have already seen this movie several times. The blu-ray combo pack options seem weak at this point, but if a later release provides something extra put it on my birthday list. My expectations were extremely low, but it is apparent that the makers of this film set the standards high. I also recently learned that the woman signing the chorus of re-hashed theme song is Esthero! Man big-studio-comedy re-makes don't get any better. The only disappointment it seems was Dustin Nguyen must have been busy during production or something.

A solid 4.0 stars. I actually want to give it more.