Thursday, August 23, 2012

Who uses vhs tapes anymore?

V/H/S (2012)

Greetings, your pal Kendrick K. Bucklesworth here.  Okay, so I know that to this day there are still quite a few people who continue to use vhs tapes.  I for one made it a point to start buying up dvds as soon as they had gotten big.  Not necessarily to be cool, or keep up with the times.  I just didn't trust vhs tapes, or the vcrs they went into.  I had many tapes get eaten up by vcrs, which got a little too frustrating. 

Oh, it's amazing how I slightly lose track of the topic and start talking about things that relate to my past.  You're all here to hear about movies, and whether or not you should watch them.  Well, let's dive in then.  This is the review for V/H/S. 

This is of course the first of two trailers I mentioned in my Trailer Trash #2 post a little while back. The film was first showcased at the 2012 Sundance Festival, where it had a huge effect on people.  There were reports of fainting, vomiting, and even a guy collapsing into a seizure from watching it.  Since I had nothing of the sort happen to me, it's clear that I'm almost disturbingly desensitized to horror. 

So, to the plot: a group of small time criminals are hired to break into a mansion to steal a vhs tape.  They are told that they'll know which tape it is, but they find that there are a number of tapes in the house.  Since none of the tapes seem to stand out, the burglars decide to watch each tape in hope that they'll find the correct one.  Thus beginning the anthology part of the flick.  Oh, I should point out that in front of the tv is a dead guy sitting in a chair (presumably the owner of the house) , and one of the guys decide to sit on front of the corpse and watch the videos.  Now I understand that in the real world, the dead don't come back to life (at least not yet), but I would still feel very uncomfortable with a dead guy in the room.  I'd have to at least move him out into the hallway, or the closet, or somewhere that's not the same room I'm watching videos in.  But hey, that's just me.

So, the anthology itself consists of five different stories (not counting the main story of searching for the right vhs tape), and as I mentioned in the T.T post, each story has a different director attached.  And it shows, as each story definitely has its own unique feel to them.  Here is a quick description of the stories: 

#1)  Three friends go to a bar to get drunk and pick up some women.  The plan goes smoothly at first, but their night turns into blood-soaked insanity.

#2)  A couple taking a road trip to the Grand Canyon is having a pleasant enough time.  But a stranger knocking on their motel room door and leaving late one night is just the beginning of strange things happening.

#3)  Four friends who take a trip in the woods are threatened by an unseen presence.  (As we all know, according to Hollywood nothing good ever comes from being in the woods).

#4)  A woman who believes her house is haunted, attempts to record proof through her webcam to show her boyfriend (who's away in medical school) via Skype.

#5)  Friends on their way to a stranger's Halloween party find when they arrive that nobody appears to be there.  As they search the house they discover that there is someone there, but not who (or what) they expected.

I enjoyed the hell out of this movie.  As I expected from the trailer, it was genuinely creepy.  And while I found video #2 to be probably the weakest of the anthology, it didn't really take away from the overall fun.
There was also some pretty creative ideas here and there (such as video #4 done entirely in Skypevision). 

Complaints are few.  As you'd expect from a found footage flick, there is a fair amount of shaky cam action.  And even though I've ranted about shaky cam, in a movie such as this it's kind of expected.  I mean, the first video had the camera hidden in a pair of glasses.  Another thing was that they did quite a bit of those tracking lines you would see in vhs tapes back in the day.  It was cool to try and make it accurate, but they kinda went a little overboard here and there.

So, in the end, you need to go and see it.  It's on Video on Demand starting August 31st, and it has a limited release in theatres on October 5th. Until next time.

Movie scale: 3.5 out of 5 stars
Found footage/anthology scale: 4 out of 5 stars

-K.K.B, still not liking vhs tapes.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012


Here it is, another segment in our infinitely popular (or, you know, soon to B) future awesomeness preparedness. Yes, I know I over worded that. It's kinda, like my thing. So on the eve of my cohort's review of VHS (One of Bucklesworth's picks in his first TRAILER TRASH) i thought, they want more, I want more, what makes my spidey parts tingle... Ah. Dammit it. That cartoon is seriously messing with my one-liners...

LOOPER (endish 2012)

I really hate being force fed advertisements before the prime vid. Just thought I would share. I guess someone realized everyone clicked "skip" lol... moving on. A film about a hitman in the past (Joseph Gorden-Levitt) who is sent victims form the future who he offs. Only one rule, always pull trigger. All good till his future self shows up, Bruno McWilliss... Ooooooo ya. Two of my fav actors, in a neat little action packed Sci-fi venture. Popcorn. Seatbelt. Gigglyawesome.

TAI CHI 0 (oct 2012)

"A steampunk-kung-fu-showdown" Yup. I'm sold. And ninjas with glowing eyes. And slow motion explosions. And its from the people that did IP MAN. In. Also let the record show I was so very torn between putting this up, or THE MAN WITH THE IRON FISTS. But, I limited myself to two that is the rule.

Here's hoping the fall shapes up to be the awesome collection of film it looks like!

-Boony, signing of from the park.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Evil violent violentness

KILL LIST (2011)

So this little diddy caught my attention a while ago while surfing some foreign film fest darling trailers. It looked interesting, different, and had a fair bit of critical acclaim behind it. You know, the usual indie darling. And I Charles Boonsweet, love me some indie gold.

Here's a problem, indie films are not held to the standards of film making that your mainstream films are. Now if you're reading this and thinking but Boony that's what makes the independent film genre so damn awesome, in fact haven't you said this many times? You would be right. However, it also means that filmmakers can really make a film with no reasonable, or logical restraints and hide behind the title of "art house flick" rather than being forced to make a film with coherency or you know... proper plot development. Sadly, this film suffers that fate.

Story goes two good friends, who are also very talented hit men, are now living the family life. Well one of them is. He has a wife, a son, and a rather crappy 9 to 5. The other is living one woman, and one bottle at a time. The later convinces family man to come off the bench and get back in for one more job. Several names on a list that they kill for big bucks. So all the elements are hear to start off; cool characters, twisting plot, dark leader of some cult behind the scenes. Watching the family man resort to his violent ways is nuts, and graphic, very graphic. Hammers... every once and a while I am reminded they are not just household friendly.

So, everything is going good... and then in about the last 20-25 minutes things just take a left turn to WTF. Near as I can tell, the cult is a super cult of violence, family guy hitman is a wanted commodity for evil demon worship, and he must bath in the blood and orgasm of violence to be excepted. You follow that? Did I mention sacrifices, KKK wannabes, and um... maybe the devil? Things just go way off grid.

I like off grid. I like a film challenging the norm. But it has to have some redeeming value. Some connection. I have to believe if at first I don't fully understand, perhaps I will by the 2nd or 38th viewing. This film will never be any clearer, it;s just messed up. Period. A film the director and writer understand fully, and the audience will either not understand and call brilliant, or walk out going. That sucked.

Just so much left unanswered. The connection between his wife and his past life seemed really interesting why did we get no more of that? If she was some super hit woman, would she get taken down so easily?

And lastly...

1 question...

If you are surrounded by a crazy cult, near your home, and a giant stumbling thing comes out you with blood stains under a giant sheet, and a cult guy hands you a bat, are you um... just gunna start hitting it and continue until it stops moving? Or you know... would you and your badass skills maybe think about taking out the cult bastards circling you? Just retarded.

Cool idea. Horribly executed and concluded.

Movie scale 2 out of 5 stars
Cult/horror scale 2.5 out of 5 stars

Boony saying this one really let me down. I'm out.

Friday, August 17, 2012

Spiders in her hair


Okay first about the title... I just saw System of a Down live so... ya that's what I'm going with, don't care. The awesomeness of the concert has overwhelmed my cutegiggletitle consistency.

Spiderman is kinda the dark horse of the marvel world (I think that may have just been a super comic pun, mind blown...). First because he ushered in the world of the new mega-budget/mega-successful hero movie. He is also the only one not owned by the mickey-earred deity wannabe that is Disney. He should be introduced into the Avengers world, but will he, sadly I don't know... looking ruff on that one.

So Spiderman was a first of sorts, and now it is again. The first to reboot within years of the original films. New cast, new story, darker characters, and so on. I was excited. First because Spiderman 3 left much to be desired, and well, let's face it, much to raise a shaking fist at. Second, because I really was never a huge fan of Tobey M's Peter Parker.

They have changed a few things here. New connections with the parents. Even a slight adjustment to the eternal line "With great power comes great responsibility" that I appreciated. Anyone who doesn't know the story, well, loveable nerd gets bit my genetic spider, develops all spider power, while maintaining the same limb count. This film he also meets his first, Gwen Stacey, and now his first villain, Dr. Connors, AKA the Lizard.

Okay the good. Andrew Garfields Spiderman is awesome. Just enough of the loveable nerd, with just enough budding heroness. Denis Leary as Gwen's spidey hating Father, I mean, Denis Leary is the freaking man. Uncle Ben's tragic demise is handled with much more dramatic flare. I especially liked the no last breath speech type thing. I was there, and I felt it. Flash Thompson has few, but good scenes of the nerd herding bully, and a nerd herding heart in one awesome scene. The look of this film is awesome. Darker than the last trilogy, in a good way I thought. Though they don't get into it much, Peter Parker is back to designing his own web shooters... Yaaaaaaay. The first person stuff was kinda cool.

The bad. The Lizard. Anyone who has followed any of the original series, comic, or cartoon, knows that the Lizard is like the Mr. Hyde to Connors, Dr. Jekyll. He is a monster without remorse of thought. In this film he's more of super everything than a beast. Think If Hulk could do things that Bruce Banner could while green. And it didn't work for me. Lost the humanity of Connors struggle. Why, does everyone in this film keep seeing Spiderman's face. Really. Just annoyed me. He has a "secret" identity damn it. Aunt May being like young... er. Nope. Not cool.

There you have it, pros, meet cons. I enjoyed this film despite a few major flaws. As a whole Emma Stone (Gwen) and Andrew G are light years beyond the forced chemistry of Tobey and Kirsten Dunst. I also found it interesting that both films (this and the first Spiderman) currently have identical ratings on the mega-rate often under-rate site that is IMDB. I think that's fair both were very worthy, and interesting parts of trilogies (no surprise more web coming).

This is a lotta fun if you like Spiderman. If you loved... I mean Loved the previous trilogy perhaps watch with your rage on simmer because you may lose it. Also, despite my above comments, and the ones in my previous review... comic films are beginning to take liberties with the content. We embraced the super dark Dark Knight Trilogy, I guess it's our own fault the majority of newer comic films will take that route... or try to at least adjust the shade down a few toaster levels.

Movie scale 3.5 out of 5 stars
Comic/superhero scale 4 out of 5 stars.

Working on my web aim...
Yes. Ha. Oh hell...

Boony outs

P.S. - Anyone watching the new strange-as-hell spidey show? Actually kinda cool. Has made me Laugh out loud (Yup, I refused to short form that). Check it out see what you think. Also I really wanted to go comic nerd on you and drop this for the Title poster -

Best MJ cover ever! Dont you screw her up dammit!

Who's afraid of the big black Bat?


So Batman came back a while ago. Christian Bale tapped his inner throat sing and Director C (yes he's damn good) Nolan and his cohort D-goyer re-imagined a cultural icon.

This is the end to the trilogy. That was clear form the beginning of this film's creation. Batman/Bruce Wayne has been through a lot in this films, and the 3rd is no exception.

It picks up 8 years after the events of THE DARK KNIGHT

[BOONSWEET NOTE :if you have not seen that film... first WTF, second, stop reading... find copy of it, nap prior to allow for full viewing without couch coma... and immediately return to this review.. thank you]

Batman is no longer needed. That is until a crazy new villain, BANE (as imagined by the very awesomely talented Tom hardy)

[BOONSWEET NOTE #2 : Watch Tom Hardy in WARRIOR... thank you]

From there Batman (now apparently all old and broken) must gather himself to challenge this new tyrant. Bane is an awesome addition to this Nolan world. Every inch the physical presence, Heath Ledger's Joker was mentally in the preceding film. Which brings me to an important point, is Bane better than Joker? No. He is not. However, with the insertion of "Cat" woman into the mix, I feel this film has the edge in villainy. Did anyone really need Two Face, or the last twenty minutes of THE DARK KNIGHT, no, because the Joker was electric, he was the film, and once he was gone, it felt like whoever does a speech at the wedding reception after the MOH and BM... like is that really needed... Every inch of BANE and Catwoman are needed. Anne Hathaway is brilliant in this film. Her relation to both Bruce and his Batman is hypnotizing (as is occasionally her fashion sense). Anyone who doubts Anny-H as a legitimate actress has clearly not watched through her growing body of work. I had no worries of her knocking this outta the park... but did I expect to leave the theatre going "Damn she was great" no. So... ya. Awesome.

Um... is it wrong to open with 'here kitty, kitty'?

I won't go to much further into this folks. Basic plot structure really. Hero gets broken, rebuilds, challenges villain anew... with people in peril, and plot twists here and dere. Now I really wanna get into something...

(and my fingers take a deep breath)

Batman of all the heroes in this year wide blueish world, has stood the test of time. Changing with each generation. There are two heroes whose influence and image surpass genre, country, they are simply known, and have been for a long time. Superman, and his brooding counterpart, BATMAN. In the last few years with the first two parts of the "Dark Knight" trilogy achieving success at the office of the box, massive success, that influence has indeed continued to grow. Making Batman the most success comic hero to be brought to screen. At the time anyway, as Avengers is on it's way to establish a legitimate challenge.

So this puts me in a strange position. I love the DC universe. Since I was a small child, long long ago, I have enjoyed comics. Here it comes, prepare yourselves. Gather your senses, and if you have never wanted to curse out my name... You may now :)

This is not a comic Movie. Period. But Boony, what do you mean? It's a Batman Movie. Yup, and in my mind, except for a few moments here, or there, this has really, limited ties to any Batman creation before, or ongoing. This folks in a brilliant, realistic, gritty, crime series, that happens to involve a man dressed like a Bat. There are no other heroes in this world. Does anyone see this deep-throated billionaire bat rolling up with a guy in blue tights? No because this is a real world. A real world where villains that once had super strength venom and grew 5 times his size, are now believably strong gangsters.

The official announcement of the reboot is for 2016 is out there. And people are already up in arms. Really? I for one am stoked. I want to see the Batman I have grown up with. Damn it I want the Batmobile to not look like it was borrowed from the transformers set. I want the freaking Batwing to look like a freaking bat!

Yes these things make it less real, but that is the way it needs to be so that these DC characters can begin to exist in the same universe, so that they may soon congregate at my local Cineplex.

In closing...

This is a great film. It was an amazing conclusion to an amazing trilogy. One of the most realistic, and unique takes on comic characters we are likely to ever see. A trilogy that will now boast two films that are very high on my list on favourites.

I liked this film more than THE DARK KNIGHT. I said it. For the following reasons.

1. Bane is awesome
2. Selena Kyle is intriguing in ways Harvey Dent never was
3. JGL, aka, mister former 3rd rock. Guy is amazing.
4. I did not feel lag at any moment. Anyone who tells me that the DARK KNIGHT did not lag in certain spots is ridiculous. Or they had a popcorn much larger than mine... bastards.
5. The ending. Thank you for actually wrapping this up. Yes it's open, but in a way I feel backs up the film, without feeling like a cheap "Maybe I'll come back for one more"
6. The People of Gotham finally getting in on the fun.

That's it. One of my longest reviews ever.

Movie scale 5 out 5 stars... there it is. That good folks.
Comic movie scale 4.5 out of five stars (I hope you batty bastards get my love of this film, and the need for a new take!)

- Chuck B Boonsweet is hoping into some leather... or was that taking someone out of it... I get so confused... maybe I should just - (smoke bomb!)


Saturday, August 4, 2012

Black is the new, um, black.


I do love me a good ghost story.  Ever since the early b&w days of horror with The Haunting and The Uninvited, ghost tales have always caught my attention.  Haunted house stories in particular.  The creepier the house in those flicks, the more I enjoy.  Of course, as with every genre, there are hits and misses.  And boy, oh boy, are the misses bad (don't get me started on The Haunting remake). 

However, in recent years the ghost story sub-genre has really been picking up steam.  The Paranormal Activity series and Insidious (just to name a few) are prime contributors in kick-starting it back into box-office gold.  So it seemed necessary to review something a little more recent, which is where The Woman in Black comes in.

Starring Daniel Radcliffe (I think he was in Twilight or something, I dunno), this flick takes place in ye olde England, roughly early 1900's.  Radcliffe plays the role of Arthur Kipps, the down-on-his-luck lawyer.  His wife died four years prior giving birth to his son, and is in danger of losing his job.  His boss gives him one more chance to keep his job, by sending him to a village called Cryphin Gifford in order to deal with some paperwork in the Eel Marsh house, who's owner recently died.  Upon arriving, Kipps is treated less than courteously by the villagers, except for a man named Daily, who defends Kipps against the villagers insistence that he leave.  After some time passes in the Eel Marsh home, Kipps starts to see and hear strange things.  And the paperwork he finds reveals that more is going on than it seems. 

I enjoyed this movie.  It certainly isn't the best of the best in terms of ghost stories, but it definitely kept my attention.  Daniel Radcliffe wasn't really exhibiting a wide range of emotions throughout the majority of this flick.  He seemed to have the same facial expression throughout, with some exceptions here and there.  But it wasn't the worst performance I've ever seen.  Of course, the character he plays has had a rough few years, so I suppose that attributes to his almost constant dour expression.

The creepiness factor is quite prevalent, especially during the Eel Marsh scenes.  There are unfortunately some predictable jump scares here and there.  However, between the jump scares there is some genuinely tense buildup between them.  I personally love when there is a slow build-up to something scary.  The anxiety you get from waiting for something to happen is way more effective than something suddenly jumping out at you every few minutes or so.  Which is why I mentioned The Haunting and The Uninvited earlier.  They are amazing at building tension and unnerving you.  And The Woman in Black has a good balance of tension and quick scares. 

And the house?  Boy I love the house.  It's isolated way out in the middle of nowhere, in an area that's regularly foggy.  Not to mention a small family graveyard in the front.  So outside the house alone has a creepiness going for it.  And inside?  Wow, I would LOVE to own this house.  From the size, to the furniture, to the design itself, everything about it screams haunted house.  But it has a remarkable beauty about it.  Well, it does to me anyway. 

The bottom line?  If you have a craving for a good old fashioned ghost story, with a very creepy atmosphere and plenty of tense moments and scares, you'll want to check it out.  While not perfect, it definitely does what it sets out to do.  At the very least, it'll keep you ghost fans sated until Apparition comes out. 

Movie scale: 3.5 out of 5 stars
Ghost/Scare scale: 4 out of 5 stars

-I'm Ken Bucklesworth, and I ain't afraid of no ghost!