Thursday, September 11, 2014

The November Man (2014)

ROCKING MOVEMBER FOR ALL TIME



Okay. You may be curious as to that title. Mo-vember. Well I speak of the wild wonderland of man-growth that is Pierce "call me Bond" Brosnan's chest. I mean. Way to keep the 80s alive my good man. And oh, those undershirtless button ups... always leaving them unbuttoned at least three down... Bam! Ladies lock up your daughters... and then lock your own self up, his unbridled man-ness will overwhelm even the most determined of character.

Yes. Pierce is a man's man. And I'm ok with that. He can also really freaking act, and I'm ok with that. He is still my fav bond (haters gunna hate haha), and I have always and will always love watching the man kick ass. Thankfully The November Man is full of ass whooping;.

So your by the numbers spy story goes - Spy gets caught up in a shady plot to elect a new Russian president, and ends up having to go against the man, and much younger man, that he trained.

1. Pop the top button. 2. Explode shit. 3. Slowly walk away 
Ya, okay, nothing new there really, but does it have to be? I mean we are talking an old school R rated (yes R rated action, how I love thee) so story aside, does it rock.... Well, I think the answer is yes. Yes it does. Yes you have seen the story tons of times, but who cares, Brosnan still rocks it. Leg kicks, and mean mugging hand gun head shots, what's not to love? The gun battles are nothing new, but the direction is quick and crisp, and you really get to see all the bullets hit their fleshy targets.

Well, for one the twist, that really isn't a twist, and is so painfully obviously a twist that when they twist - You groan. You may actually groan out loud. And well, I'm sorry but the Daughter angle at the end was so freaking unneeded that it almost sounded like someone decided after the script was done that they needed to give Pierce a softer side. He's cold blooded killer... Or wait. There is a point in the middle of the film where Brosnan rants to his student about how you can kill humans or be human... okay fine. Solid point. But then it does seem that you sir Brosnan kill anyone anywhere, and will torture innocent girls to get what you want... which is well, nothing really. And yet you have family and a daughter...

W
T
F

Real spies don't ride motorcycles they walk over them!
Okay. Crazy BS aside from that speech and random girl torture scene... This is still a fun movie. I think it would be worth a trip to your local theatre given that you are, like me, a Pierce fan. If you are not well, you may find the whole trip a little been-there done-that.

Still, no one kicks ass like Brosnan. Or well, maybe Brosnan and Liam Neeson. Ohhhhh wait, getting an idea... a TAKEN and NOVEMBER MAN crossover... we'll call it "TAKING NOVEMBER" Boom. Trademarked. Hollywood call your boy Boonsweet.

Movie scale 2.5 out 5 stars
Action Scale 3 out of 5 stars

ONE LINE REVIEW: It's no bond. It's no taken. But lots of people get shot and stuff.

-Boonsweet.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

The Quiet Ones (2014)

Inside voices dammit. Inside voices!



Man, I really wanted to like this film. I am old school horror, Y'all knows that. And Hammer Horror was a company that could be relied on in decades past for grand horror spectacles. So with their return to the genre with The Woman in Black a few years ago I was all kinds of ready for The Quiet Ones. Alright before we get into it, lets get the plot out of the way.

Plot - Two students (who appear to blindly follow - ), a professor Joseph Coupland (played by the always entertaining Jarred Harris), and a film guy - Brian McNeil (the very good Sam Clafin), go to a remote house to "cure" a woman, Jane (a very talented Olivia Cooke), who the professor believes is telekinetic and severing severe emotional issues. This results in a whole lot of crazy shit that seems to suggest she is possessed... but is she? Luckily the camera guy is there to capture it.

Ok. This movie started off fantastic. Solid opening sequence, I didn't really know much about the film so finding out it was set in the 70s - great. Finding out it was based on a true story... Ah, you know what I don't even wanna bitch about it anymore. Whatever, sure, this really happened. The set up is pretty cool with a small group deciding to carry on with "The experiment" involving the young troubled woman, after the university pulls their funding.

Where are my cookies!!!!!
And the camera guy comes along. So once they get out to the house, things really heat up. Ok I'm gunna say this out right... and I could be wrong, feel free to correct me... The film cuts from standard to hand held, featuring the cameraman's footage. Now... I think cameras in 1972 didn't exactly come with amazing mic built in. I mean I know its a little tiny bitty thing... but the whole movie I just kept thinking... where's the boom hahaha.

Moving past that, because hey, I could be wrong. The movie is actually pretty intense at the beginning. Hell, I'll even give it the first 3rd. The tensions between the crew and the professor over his increasing dangerous methods... Jane's decent into madness, and the strange connection forming between her and the camera man... all very good and intriguing. The problem is this film is 98 minutes and feels like two hours or more. The reason is the pacing is probably the first I have seen in a long while.

I notice... You brought your camera.
The movie basically follows this trend for the whole second half... Creepy thing happens... argue about whether its Jane or a possession or they should seek help... creepy thing happens... argue about if it's Jane or possession or they should seek help... That's it other than the last say 12 minutes. And the creepy things that happen sometimes just seem so thrown in that it breaks any momentum the film might wish to build.

I mean the professors determination, and desire to avoid the truth is so bat shit crazy that by the end of the movie you just don't care. Cults. Demons. Psychological issues, whatever, it just doesn't matter. And the one relationship they have somehow managed to make you care about, Brian and Jane, they completely screw up in the end. Right, twist ending, who didn't see that coming... what, no happy? Just stupid bad shit happening to everyone? Yup, ain't seen that before, glad you really threw me a twist there...

Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhh Hammer you should know better!

Listen as I sorta mentioned at the start, the acting is very good. Every actor gives their all. Olivia Cooke in the lead role is indeed a rare and captivating beauty. Hmm... "Rare and captivating" I've been reading too much lately haha. But she is amazing, and Sam Caflin brings a lot to the camera who can't help but fall for her. Hero syndrome I imagine... but they are good. The writing just lets them down often, despite their efforts to sell every shot.

This film was 40 minutes away from greatness, and then 5 minutes away from being above average... as it is, hardly worth mentioning. Yes there are a few scares, and genuinely creepy moments (A huge shout out to the lighting guy, especially in the very well shot attic scene). But it's just not enough and most of the scares are shameless jump scares anyway...

Le sigh.

Movie scale 2 out of 5 stars
Horror movie scale 2.5 out of 5 stars

ONE LINE REVIEW: Close, but no Hammer. 

#TheQuietOnes 

-Charles B. Boonsweet.


Mostly Ghostly: Have you met my new Ghoulfriend (2014)

Cheesy. Family. Disney Channel.



You know do I even have to write the review after that opening? Ah maybe not, but going to anyway. Listen, this is a disney family halloween flick, and dang it am I the only one still happy they make these every year? Am I? I mean isn't a family friendly horror adventure around this year special genre season a good thing. A few little scares for the kiddies and a couple silly laughs for the adults.

So your plot is... well apparently there was a Mostly Ghostly 1 ... which I will not be watching. So in relying on the flashback in this sequel. There was a bad super ghost who had a plot to control all mankind with ghosts, which involved turning the family of the man who released him from his magic urn prison, into ghosts. But then a kid moved into the house found magic ring and defeated him. Now, the evil ghost is back, with a plan to well... get the ring conquer the world.

Did I mention the evil Ghost is called Phear. Ya. Sound it out.

Look, I really don't have any problem with cheesy family shizzie on halloween. How many classics were TV movies, or G-PG variety and line our DVD and blu-ray shelves? Hocus Pocus, Something this wicked this way comes, Ernest Scared Stupid, Monster Squad, Poltergiest, Ghostbusters... point is a lot. The problem is that with the success of certain Disney channel shows (such as Wizards of waverly place) the primetime simplistic humour is just littered all over everything now.

So what ol' Boonsweet here is saying, this could have been a fun little piece of horror family time. A little more Classic Dracula channelled by Phear, a little less - This is a kids show  - writing, and well, that about covers it.

Also isn't Bella Thorne the next heir apparent to well... wherever popular Disney stars go when they head in the opposite direction of Lindsay lohan. She just seems out of place here, good, but just a little bit lost in the material, like they just threw her in here to sell some product. Note her Lead billing yet she is hardly in the movie more than ten minutes. Just showing up every so often so the lead can drool in her direction haha...

No comment other than #Bella4MJ that is all. 
I'm biased as I have been on the Bella should be Mary Jane kick for a bit. Heart throb, redhead... Bam! Get on that you spiderman folks. #Bella4MJ ... started it here... Booniacs tweet that planet wide!

Plus Ok, little issue here. The plot seems to involve a clearly explained power in Max's ring that allows him to scare or command all ghosts.... and yet while wearing the ring... a ghost can enter his body? I just... what? Does that make sense? Even a little bit.

And here's an idea... You have a family gathering to watch this... well probably. Why not go a little more practical with the effects? Wouldn't it add to the nostalgia for the parents, and heck, the kids wouldn't care. The CGI is just so cheap at the Disney madeforTV level it just seems the better idea to get rid of this.

What happened to the idea you can put kids in real peril, and still have it be fun? This movie is just so dang loveable and message laden that it just kinda moves past the cute stage in a real hurry. I mean half way in we already have Be yourself, that's what matters... and Stand up for your friends, they have your back (even if they are ghosts).

Although I really do have to give credit they fit the nerd wanting the popular girl, the nerd winning a sports event (against all odds) into a movie about resurrected ghosts... impressive you sly disney folks you.

Look, maybe I'm wrong, and kids today don't really care about plot holes, and bad acting, and well medium writing and horrible FX. But why just feed that to em? Why not put a little more effort into this shizzie? There was (after a little researching) 4 years between films. It's not like they rushed this... there would have appeared to have been time for some real fun here.

As it is... C grade.

Movie scale 2 out of 5 stars
Family horror scale 2.5 out of 5 stars

I'm not sure if I'm against or For random group dance numbers... I choose for now, to be for it. Hey, gives you an excuse to gather with your Kidlets right. So I say do it. With appropriate expectations.

#MostlyGhostly2

-Chuck Boonsweet


Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Edge of Tomorrow (2014)

COMPLETELY SCI-FITASTIC.



Some of you hate Tom Cruise, but I think there are more lovers than haters out there. And really when you have a film career that spans 3 decades, and includes multiple blockbusters, the evidence speaks for itself. I for one, am a Cruise fan. He brings an intensity to all of his roles, and to anyone that says he's basically been acting in the same character for ten plus years... shut it! That's like saying Harrison Ford's been stuck on Hans Solo, or Bruce Willis on John McCane. Isn't that why we love them?

The story goes. An alien race attacks the earth, and we are in a war to survive. We are losing. Enter Tom Cruise a man who is no soldier who finds himself on the front lines, where he dies... and then wakes up... at the beginning of his day. Hmmm. So with this new found ability he and the soldier superstar, Rita (played by the very sexy Emily Blunt), are going to try to save the world.

Listen I have been on record stating that there are only some many Blue prints that you can base a science fiction flick on, and hey, this one ain't rewriting the genre... what it does though, it does very, very, well.

First the acting is top tier all the way around. Who knew Emily Blunt could be such a badass? New Sigourney Weaver anyone? I think so. Well, at least the new heir apparent. Tom Cruise brings the love it (or hate it) likeability to his "Everyman" hero caught up in the craziest shizzie you ever did see.

No, seriously, I press this button I get even sexier... Be warned. 
Second. The action is exceptional. Doug Liman (the man Behind The Bourne Identity, Mr & Mrs. Smith, Jumper, go) brings a crazy pace, and the action when it does explode across the screen is delicious eye candy. Yup. You may have to check your Pupils for cavities... Unlike so many modern day action films (cough, Transformers, cough) the battles are clear and for the most part easy to follow. EVEN THE NIGHT ONES! Come on, take notes hollywood. Part of the credit goes to the FX team and the great creature designs.

This aliens are creepy, and crawly, and all kinds of fun to watch being destroyed. One scene nearing the end involving a broken plane/flying thing, is just amazing. I found myself smiling.

Listen there are a lot of people out there summarizing this up as war of the world meets groundhog day. And you know what, maybe that pretty bang on. But, BUT, that does not mean any part of this film will feel familiar. With a running time under two hours, the pace is so swift I challenge you not to get caught up in the chaos.

First rule to surviving a hostile alien invasion... Cardio. 
You know there are a lot of critics out there claiming it is a shame that more people didn't show up to support this film in good old North America. Crying about how original, and awesome this film was... Well to those critics I say... Wasn't it you bitching about how it looked like the same out shit when the trailer dropped. Talking about how Cruise was just plugging into another Generic entry like his recent Oblivion? Hmmm...? Yes that was you wasn't it. Months before basically telling the public it looked like nothing special... so Guess WHAT! They listened! You don't get to cry foul after. Take some damn responsibility.

Great action. Great fun. A pure summer masterpiece, and one that I suspect will find itself on many a genre fan's shelf soon. And dare I say it, a pretty nifty little ending.

ONE LINE REVIEW: A little sexy, a little cool, a lotta exploding stuff, a sweet sweet sumer adventure.

#EdgeOfTomorrow

movie scale 3.5 out of 5 stars
Scifi scale 4.5 out of 5 stars

-Boonsweet is out.

Monday, August 25, 2014

CRAP! (Aug '14) - Bloody Varisity blues

CRAP! Some times movies are just so bad that by the end your palm is bruised from forehead impact, and your brain has liquified and began to drip, slowly, from your ears. So I Charles. B. Boonsweet have decided to stand up, and take the film loving bullet for you. I give you CRAP! A segment devoted to the silliest, worst, not worth time, films I come across. Sometimes new, sometimes old... but always, always... RANT inducing and remote tossing. The rules of my normal reviews do not apply (there is no film love here!). There may be spoilers, random rage, and hell... I might even invite the filmmakers to a parking lot throw down... we'll see... Enjoy Booniacs!!

VARSITY BLOOD (2014)


Ok I'll say it. Cool cover art,

Within 5 minutes you have all your high school horror cliches and stereotypes in order.

1. Jocks that are dicks
2. Cheerleaders that are party animals
3. The "Goodie" cheerleader that is dating the popular QB
4. The nerds that get pushed around (equipment/water boy, and the mascot)
5. Oh and the plain hipster sister to the hottest cheerleader.

(honorable mention to having actors that look 28+ playing 17 year old high school kids)

Check your how to horror pamphlet... Yup. Got em all. And you know what as we have seen in my awesome years of film review awesomeness (yes it has been fun hasn't it Booniacs) that acknowledging the cliche of your genre is not always a bad thing. As long as what... Right, you have a fun, cool, script to play on all the "By the numbers" you are throwing at the audience. Think a couple of reviews I've done in the last year: The little highschoolers vs the undead, Detention of the Dead (review HERE ) or the recent bit of bloody pom pommin' All Cheerleaders Die (bask in my review HERE ). Both this films were cheap cheesy bloody fun. 

Yup. Thats a cheerleader showering. And yup. Thats a gym bag blocking the view.
Within 3 minutes I knew this was not gunna be another gem in the rough... no. Here there would only be rough... and deep, dark, thicker rough... Golf joke anyone?

So your story goes... All the popular kids are somehow tied to the death of a girl a year earlier, and someone that knows is wiping them out.

Here's some of the things you will see in this flick... A "Killer" Swinging an Axe while standing about 6 inches from a woman who is bent over... and missing... just so they can have a gym chase scene. You will hear lines like (addressing a photographer) "did you get a few good wide shots?" to which the lady with the camera will reply "Well I tried to get one big enough to fit your head, but they don't come that big" Ha.

Ha. Ha. Ha. I mean. Come on. How about you just shorten it to "Oh, sorry, couldn't fit your ego in the frame" Bam! Boonsweet to the rescue. Seriously. Call me. I'll fix your shit.

Oh let me tell you, best/worst scene in the film opening half the "Explain the backstory about the dead girl to the new girl" scene. Which takes place on a park bench... in front of ducks... and is waaaaaay to long. I mean they explain who died, why, how, the parent is now dating new girl's mom, there was a suicide, sorry, attempted and now living in asylum ... blah, blah. Just ridiculous.

Goodie cheerleader 2... who buys sexy clothes to maybe finally have sex... Sigh
The real issue here is this: pick a damn side! You are either a movie that can be serious, and horrorish, or you realize your actors are C grade, your direction is C grade, and you should just go for pure B movie magic. But no, they actually try to be serious. They actually try to treat this as a real horror film... big mistake. Bad actors acting bad, can actually be awesome, and lead to way less pain, as in the pain the audience feels well processing bad dialogue.

An example? Why yes I would love to give one... so in one scene there is a brief joke about how the one jock looks older (but still can't buy booze without a fake ID) because he was held back 2 years. It would have been great if that line was delivered real tongue in cheek... and then maybe the girl had looked at the camera with a wink to the 4th wall.

Of course, maybe I have just been watching too many 80s flicks. Actually, screw that, I have always watched too many 80s movies, and have always been awesome... sooooo theory revoked.

Hey Costume designer... did you just have a rack of cheerleader outfits? I might actually make you laugh how much time these girls spend in their uniform. At home - uniform. At dinner - uniform. Check my watch... 45 minutes into this movie - one kill scene. Possible tea cup full of blood. What?! So there's not even any violence in this thing? Wait, no it shows up around 40 minutes left. Oh man was I happy to watch these dumb horrible people die. I mean sure, who's to say 6 jocks could take out a skinny punk in a mascot outfit... no I'm sure they couldn't handle that, better run. I mean this ain't exactly Jason Vorhees outside ya house... Right? Am I right? It's a thin dick in a mascot suit with a bow and a hatchet. I bet one solid punch... probably do it.

A quick quiz...

Tree. Wide open yard. Truck coming at you. Do you a) Run across yard. b) Trick truck by standing in front of the tree and then jumping out of the way, resulting in the truck crashing or c) Stand directly in front of tree and watch the truck drive towards you and then crush you.

Did you pick c)?

This film did.

And thats all you really need to know. More shit in the horror genre that will be forgotten and lost to VOD or wherever really shitty films go now.

Movie scale .5 out of 5 stars
Horror Scale 1 out of 5 stars

You know a couple of great lines near the end where it would really seem to be the script wanting to have fun, but if that was the scriptwriter's goal... someone didn't get the memo... Can you imagine if this had been writer as a B-movie black comedy the entire time, and only one actor actually got it in the last 5 minutes... Oh. That poor screen writer.

Oh man. The gun thing at the end... cop pulls his gun and then just runs at the killer, and loses his head. So bad. It's all so bad.

-Chucky B.

#VarsityBlood


Thursday, August 21, 2014

Only Lovers Left Alive (2014)

DEAD BORING LOVE MAKING.



Yes. People are going to say things like a wondrous gothic romance. Beautiful and poetic. Darkly humorous. Blah, blah, hell, a few are even going to drop the ever so titillating "Original" as in: This is a wholly original take on the vampire tale. 

And you know what, hell, they're right. Here's the problem: THIS FILM IS JUST PLAIN BORING.

The plot. Two vampires mop, and gloom, through an entire film. Talking about music, art, and occasionally sipping blood from a shot glass. That's it. The whole thing.

Now I want to state up front I am not exactly sure what went wrong here. I mean the performances are actually very good. Tom "Loki" Hiddleston as the dark brooding type (think TV's ANGEL with a stronger inclination towards music) is charismatic and fun. But, obviously by design, he restrains himself into this almost comedic vibe that from time to time seems frustrating. Tilda Swinton is great as the white haired lover... who is living around the world... for some reason... and stuff.

Shots, shots, shots, shots... every-BODY!

Even the supporting cast is great - John Hurt, Mia Wasikowska. I mean some serious talent in here. The script even has a few really entertaining lines, and some thoughtful presentation of the importance of music... but it goes nowhere. I mean it starts nowhere, goes nowhere. Ends kinda cool, but what's ten seconds in two hours of Blah?

I know not everyone will be with me here. Like I said, words like "Romantic", "Beautiful", "Original", are being thrown around this flick like rice at a 22 year old bride. But really, what is so beautiful? The fact that the titled "LOVERS" seem as bored of each other as they do the world? That's not pretty, or romantic. That nothing happens for two hours. That's not "Original".

Oh and really I need to call out the directing here. Jim Jarmusch has done some amazing work over the years; Way of the Samurai, Dead Man, Broken Flowers. Here however, his bland camerawork gives what should be beautifully filmed panning scenes the look of primetime TV. Not the whole movie, but there are major points where it stuck out. The female walking down the streets of Tangier with a moment of slow motion. If you are going to make her beautiful, gothic, and slow it down. Give us her features. The strains of white hair floating in the breeze... don't just leave a camera in the hall and watch her waddle towards it... ahhhhhhh. So frustrating.

This look. For two hours. That's your movie. 
As I mentioned the script has some fun, and the bleak dark comedy bits do occasionally hit home, but it is just so without purpose that I really didn't care... and I really wanted to. This is one of those situation where a film should come with a "CAUTION CRITICS LIKE ME" warning.

I get the director's indie style. But this, with the performances, and some of the music, really need a high concept approach to the camerawork... as it is... it is simply average. And sadly, amazing performances aside... so to goes the film.

Movie scale 2.5 out of 5 stars
Romantic Horror scale 3 out of 5 stars

I only recommend this film for the performances... and a few great tunes. That's it. Nothing else of note.

A huge letdown for me after the festival hype this baby was getting...

Sad Panda.

Tell Next Booniacs.

#OnlyLoversLeftAlive

-Chuck B.

Chiller Classics present: Deadly Blessing (1981)

Welcome my friends to Chiller Classics, where I Charles Bartholomew Boonsweet take you on a trip to the olden, sometimes golden, days of horror.  Hopefully I will introduce you to some fine genre flicks you may not have heard of, either because of how old they are or how obscure, and break down some gory, chill filled, education in Horror History 101. And for those of you who are already well versed in the "good ol' days" of horror, hopefully this will help bring back some nostalgic memories and maybe entice you to see some of these classics again.



Oh Wes Craven. I do have a wee bit of a horror crush on the man. Not only is he one of the most well spoken folks you will ever see in interview, but his lasting touch can never, and I mean, NEVER be underestimated when it comes to the modern horror landscape.

The man is one of a kind. There is a reality to all of his film that can not be ignored. Whether its the ever present fear of the unknown (Freddy), the crazy modern tech murderer (Shocker), reinventing the slasher (scream)... the man has his hands in several decades of horror. And let's look at this one more way, shall we. And I warn you some of your horror crazy are gunna come at me yo... I knows it. I'm ready. How many horror directors from the 70s... have had hits in the 70s, 80s, and 90s... big hits. Anyone? Nope. He stands alone in the genre.

So turns out Wes ripped himself off for Nightmare on elm Streets infamous scene...
Ok. I'm done. Let's talk DEADY BLESSINGS. Your story somehow a man leaves a group of Hyper Amish folks. But decides to move in next door to then with his new big city wife. Mistake? Yes. Someone drives over him in his own tractor... and well, then the crazy starts. As the widowed city girl and two of her visiting friends deal with the crazy country folks thinking they're the devil.

What makes this film so effective (other than Wes's Craven's amazing direction that still packs a few scares into a film that by all means has no business being scary) is the story, acting, pace, it all feels a cut above. As you may have gathered from my plot synapses - there are some plot holes. Cops just letting them crazy amish (Hi-Tites) keep dead bodies. Why the heck they all live so cozy close anyway... boundary issues... the list goes on... but why I am here? Why are you here? Why is Honey Boo boo here....?

Okay. There's no answer for that last one. The first two however are to be entertained dang it. Scares, kills, good looking peeps in peril... and this movie has all including one hell of a twisted ending. I mean twisted. And then they take it one step further... into WTF land hahaha.... a little too far actually.

A very young, very hot, Sharon Stone. Mmmm... Legs... interview... wait, dammit
The voice over at the end is just so ridiculous that I thought I was watching an OUTER LIMITS episode, and it feels so stitched on that I actually giggled. Yup.

But hey we are talking an 80s horror cult classic here, complete with a love blu-ray release from the fantastic folks over at Shout! (aka SCREAM) factory. And as far as worthy releases go I have to say I did not see this ending coming, had a few jump scares, some genuinely creepy moments...

I'm in. Not perfect, but it's always great to find a piece of work from one of the big 3 of that golden ear (the other two being Carpenter, and Argento).

Movie scale 3 out 5 stars
Horror scale 3 out of 5 stars