It was bound to happen sooner or later. The immensely popular Scream Factory Blu-ray line from independent distributor Shout! Factory has made a big name and impact on the horror fandom and community right from its inception in 2012. After a few years, fans began to ask if they ever thought of putting out their own films ever. With trust from them having built clouts as huge fans themselves of the genre, they were definitely interested in it. Then, last year, the exciting news dropped about Fender Bender with much excitement. Fittingly, their first foray into filmmaking and producing would be a slasher film as their first Blu-ray release was the 1981 slasher sequel Halloween II (Also the first of the coveted “Collector’s Edition” line). Horror lovers will be able to take in this film when it premieres on ChillerTV next Friday (A week from today, June 3) at 9PM. Continue reading ‘FENDER BENDER Is At Fault For Being A Fun Time! (Movie Review)’
Archive for the 'Movie Reviews' Category
Hey guys, Ken here, and today’s Underdog is Alice: Through the Looking Glass. If you’ve seen the first movie, Alice in Wonderland, which released in 2010, you’ll understand why Brian didn’t feel like going to this one (hence why I used the word “underdog”). The first movie wasn’t bad, but it certainly wasn’t worth paying $20.00 to sit in a crowded room. The first movie rated 3 out of 5, but I have to say, this sequel was a touch better (but certainly not without it’s flaws). Some of the flaws from the last movie crossed over, but it also made some improvements. Let me start with the cons. Continue reading ‘Alice: Through the Looking Glass, Almost (Movie Review)’
Perhaps it is the bitter taste still left in my mouth after having watched Tim Burton’s blockbuster that was Alice in Wonderland, but I have much warmer feelings towards this sequel, directed by James Bobin. Alice Through the Looking Glass may not be improving much on a sense of substance, but the level of design both practical and CG present in this film offers a lot to enjoy, which is what mainly disappointed me the first time around. Add to that a (kid-friendly) story involving time travel and there’s enough here to find me enchanted by a return to Wonderland.
As a writer, Shane Black made a name for himself by scripting many successful mismatched buddy movies. Over time and after stepping into the director’s chair, Black has more evidently become a master of going against what’s expected to the tune of comedic and often times violent irony. The Nice Guys is a perfect embodiment of what we have come to expect from him and it only helps that this comedic caper is plenty clever and entertaining in weaving its silly detective tale.
I have a weird kind of attachment to the first Neighbors outing. It’s not because I liked it a lot, but it’s because it’s the last time my parents came down to visit me in Austin, TX. You see, besides some friends, my parents are the only ones who have ever came down to visit me family-wise since I’ve been down here for over three years now and apparently not going anywhere soon. It doesn’t make sense either given the fact that my entire family is located up in frigid Cleveland, OH. Sure there are many things up there that are severely lacking in Austin, TX like professional sports, casinos and real places to eat breakfast, but give me a freaking break. The weather up there absolutely sucks during the winter. However, I digress as I feel myself veering way off of topic here. I need to transition back to Neighbors now after I hit the return key to start the next paragraph. Continue reading ‘Neighbors 2 Plays It Safe and Succeeds (Movie Review)’
Great comedy sequels or even good comedy sequels are rare to come by. So many risks are taken when it comes to both recapturing a certain magic and taking a premise to a new level. 2014’s Neighbors is not exactly a film that lends itself to a sequel, but it was a hit and the powers that be asked for it. Fortunately, director Nicholas Stoller, the writers and star/producer Seth Rogen have put together Neighbors 2: Sorority Rising, a comedy sequel that outdoes the original. It’s leaner, funnier and incredibly clever in tackling relevant social issues.
It was about as frustrating to watch The Angry Birds Movie as it is to play the game and merely get one out of three stars on a given level. As harmless as a movie like this is, I am not all about giving something colorful and goofy a pass, simply because the young kids it targets will be swayed over, regardless of quality. There was an attempt to actually make this plotless mobile game about something, but try as filmmakers may have, with the help of screenwriters and a talented voice cast, nothing really helps when the final product misses so many targets.
When you learn of a film with a premise as bizarre as The Lobster, there has to be hope it can really work. Oscar-nominee Yorgos Lanthimos has taken the offbeat sensibilities that helped his film Dogtooth catch on and applied it to his first English-language feature, which involves people either finding love or being turned into animals. The results are wickedly entertaining, as The Lobster manages to push forward a satirical look at a society forced into a ridiculous existential nightmare.
As nice as it may be to champion an original thriller with big movie stars and some relevant themes, Money Monster doesn’t do much to challenge the audience. That’s not necessarily required, but when a studio has the audacity to title a film Money Monster, you should be expecting more bite. There is a somewhat entertaining film here, but it seems like there should be more, given the talent involved.
Imagine a rich comic universe with plenty of potential to be found in simply taking a piece of it, rather than cramming so much into one feature film. That has been the struggle of X-Men films over the years and while some have managed to balance this assemblage of characters better than others, there is also the matter of having these films mixing up super-powered action with interesting themes. Sadly, X-Men: Apocalypse comes up lacking in both character and substance, making its grand-scale action somewhat worthless in a very muddled film.
For this last post concerning my coverage of the 2016 Newport Beach Film Festival, I wanted to take the time to dig into some of the short films presented. Thanks to a lovely programmer, I was able to attend a couple shorts programs. A few in particular really stood out and while it is great to see short films in general, I want to specifically get into the two shorts that functioned as westerns; each of a different sort.
I guess you could say with the exception of Rogue One and Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, Captain America: Civil War is amongst my most anticipated films of the year. Many of my peers tell me that’s pretty sad being a critic and a screenwriter by night trying to be taken seriously, but I don’t care. I love me some superhero flicks! And with an all-star cast like this one, who needs to wait for another Avengers outing? This one’s like The Avengers 2.5, is it not? Of course it is! Have you seen the trailers? If so, you know what kind of bad a$$ moments that are in store for you here, but that’s just the frosting on the cake. Believe me folks. You haven’t seen anything yet! Continue reading ‘‘Captain America: Civil War’ Thrills Divisionally (Movie Review)’
It can be fun to learn a neat fact from a film. Call of the Void is a solid neo-noir whose title is translated from the French psychoanalytical term l’appel du vide, which refers a person having a self-destructive impulse. Armed with a camera and a desire to make a film hearkening back to an older time and genre, writer/director Dustin Kahia has made an interesting, stylish effort.
For closing night at the Newport Beach Film Festival, right after winning a Best Actor prize at the Tribeca Film Festival, The Fixer was screened. The film is a fish out of water mystery tale set in a small town, with a colorful cast of characters. Some interesting thematic angles are at play and while the film may not be quite as impactful as it could have been, there is enough strength from the actors and in other various elements that make it a story with plenty of intrigue.
If you have been wondering why more action movies don’t center on rescuing adorable animals, Keanu has you covered. Fresh off of their hit sketch-comedy show Key & Peele, Jordan Peele and Keegan–Michael Key have re-teamed with their frequent collaborator, director Peter Atencio, for an action comedy about how far two men will go to save a little kitty cat. The results are a bit broader than I was hoping, but for a one or two-joke premise, the film does manage to hit more than miss.
Imagine the worst possible cab ride of your life and then take it to the next level by going weird with it. That’s what Fare is. This nifty 75-minute thriller from writer/director/star Thomas Torrey takes a single-location concept and allows for unexpected turns that build into a radical third act that pushes the nature of relationships to a true zenith of filmmaking imagination.
In a year where four video game adaptations will be coming our way, Ratchet & Clank does not exactly win the gold medal for being the best, but it does do enough to be one of the more sufficient ones. The popular Insomniac Games series has made its way to the big screen and has done plenty to preserve many of the elements that make those games fun. The approach ends up lacking much bite for non-fans who will mainly be getting a standard kid’s space adventure, but familiar or not, there is still some enjoyment to be had.
Here’s an innocent enough romantic comedy that plays up a culture clash angle and mostly comes out on top. UNindian follows many of the tropes you’d expect, but brings in a Bollywood element that certainly helps to establish an identity for it. Familiar or not, the film is effective enough given the cast chemistry and features a display of Indian culture in Australia that I was unfamiliar with.