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Saturday, May 18, 2019

"Cold Pursuit" review

Image result for cold pursuit poster

Cold Pursuit (2019)

Directed by:  Hans Petter Moland

Cast: Liam Neeson and some other people

 
As I sit here in my underwear, recovering from surgery and listening to a wound vac suck blood out of my abdomen, I know there is only one man who can heal me. Liam freaking Neeson. Only he can bring justice to the carnage that has befallen me. The man has killed because his daughter was taken, his murdered wife was, well, murdered, and hungry wolves had the audacity to try to eat him. That just pissed him off. Now he would help me to gather the strength I need to carry on.

Liam Neeson is a man of few words in “Cold Pursuit”. His son gets killed because that’s what happens to people who are related to Liam Neeson. This leads Liam on a quest to find out what his son did for a living because he barely knew him when he was alive. Of course in Liam Neeson movies, only death matters. Liam climbs up the ladder of drug dealing scum in Colorado and relishing every kill along the way. This inadvertently starts a drug war between the corporate gang in Denver and the Indian gang that split the drug trade. Neeson is so cold blooded he can start drug wars without even meaning to. It all ends with gunfights and snowblowers as Neeson takes out the trash.

I was in the hospital for two weeks recovering from surgery. As I sat there watching Friends reruns and more episodes of Keeping up with the Kardashians than I’d care to admit, I found myself thinking of all the other things I rather be watching. Like anything other than Kardashians going to Bali to find themselves. But when you’re pumping morphine into your body for pain, everything seems very reasonable. I really did want to know if Kanye and Kim were going to confront Kanye’s old friend in Chicago. But now that I’m not tied down, my head is free of morphine and Kardashians. It was a very potent mix.

Praise the movie gods as along comes Liam Neeson to drive the Calabasas Kardashians out of my head with his never-ending quest to kill anything that displeases him. “Cold Pursuit” is a remake of a Norwegian movie, “In Order of Disappearance”. In a way, this plays against Neeson’s strengths. The original movie was full of humor as it showed the two gangs plotting against each other and amusingly taking each other out. The problem is that Liam disappears for a while as the movie shifts focus on the gangs plotting and scheming. When he does appear, he’s back to his dead serious demeanor that we know and love but it sometimes feels out of place with the rest of the cast making light of murder and mayhem.

“Cold Pursuit” turns a Norwegian revenge movie into a standard Liam Neeson flick. It’s got all the elements you would expect from a Neeson movie with some goofy drug war story on top. It’s worth a look.
SCORE: 3 out of 4 for endlessly cold pursuits
Image result for liam neeson grey wolf fight

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

"The Babysitter" review

The Babysitter (2017)

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Bee
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“The Babysitter” is a tale of a boy and his babysitter. Cole is in love with his hot babysitter (Samara Weaving). They are good friends who laugh, dance and make merry. But alas, Cole is just a boy and the babysitter wants to hang out with her satanic cult friends. After sending Cole to bed, the teens play Truth or Dare which leads to a gruesome satanic death. Cole is discovered peeping on the party and dragged downstairs. The rest of the movie has Cole running from the teens and trying to outsmart Satan’s minions. Much blood and brain matter will splatter throughout the house before the night is through.

I’ll give you three guesses as to what my favorite scene was. No, make that one guess. Actually there’s no need to guess as it would be the same scene any B-movie maniac would have loved. Or maybe it’s just me. But I couldn’t help but feel a kinship with young Cole. As he spies on his babysitter at the top of the stairs, the teens begin to play a game of Truth or Dare. Some genius dares her to kiss everyone. This leads to a prolonged kiss with the other babe of the bunch, (Bella Thorne as The Cheerleader), which is captured in slow motion to the 80’s song “I Want Candy”. Cole and I understand each other. We are both voyeurs and loving every second of it.

What I’ve described above is affectionately known in cinema as the “Male Gaze”. The Male Gaze theory tells us that images in film are there for the male, (drooling B-movie guy), to enjoy and perhaps get some sexual pleasure from merely watching, (Voyeurism or Scopophilia if you will). If you saw Megan Fox in “Transformers” fix Bumblebee’s crank shaft, you know what I’m talking about.  “The Babysitter” is a proud representative of the Male Gaze as we look longingly and achingly at every move Samara Weaving makes, (and Bella Thorne too in the aforementioned make-out scene).

This is all my way of telling you that “The Babysitter” is a fine film. I recommend it. It has everything a male gazer needs. Babysitters. Blood. Bella…The list goes on and on. This is prime Saturday night B-movie extravaganza. Oh Samara, let me gaze upon thee.



SCORE: 3 out of 4 babysitter dares
Gaze away


Tuesday, February 20, 2018

"The Cloverfield Paradox" review


The Cloverfield Paradox (2018)

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Jensen
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Tam






*Warning* Here there be spoilers*

A crew of misfits head into outer space to solve the world’s energy problem. At least I think that’s what they were up to. They are charging a giant laser which in turn will give the world peace and prosperity. Apparently there is a (unseen) war raging on Earth and this lovable, mismatched crew of scientists holds the key to survival. But there’s a catch you see. A paradox if you will. If you charge the flux capacitor to the required 1.21 gigawatts then it will explode in an orgy of inter-dimensional mishmash and what have you. But no one listens to mad scientists or their paradox detractors so they march ahead and make a derivative sci-fi flick anyway.

The lead actress in this movie, (Gugu Mbatha-Raw), is very talented when it comes to portraying despair. She cries a single tear at least five times in this movie. There are many instances where we see a lone tear roll down her face as she conveys the agony of losing a child and again with the knowledge that her children may still be alive in another dimension.  The filmmakers pushed her to show emotion as there was not a lot to care about on the doomed spacecraft.

I also shed a lone tear while watching “The Cloverfield Paradox” as I (slowly) realized that out of all of the insane inter-dimensional events that transpire, none of them will unleash a monster. Wasn’t that the point of this movie? To explain how the creatures came into existence? Tears ran down my face as I witnessed the ending to this movie. As our brave heroes descend from space, their craft falls through the clouds and a giant monster springs up out of it. My God man. The real movie was on Earth this whole time! Why were we wasting our time on the spacecraft when we could have been watching the Cloverfield Godzilla? What a lame paradox.  

Do you have any idea how many movies I have seen where the mad scientists march ahead and things go awry?  Too many to think about. Aside from a few minor interesting takes on dimension swapping, (Elizabeth Debicki pops up woven into a maintenance panel), this movie had nothing new to offer. What would have been interesting is seeing what level of Cloverfield hell they unleashed on Earth. But that would have been too entertaining and this movie will have none of that.

I liked the first “Cloverfield” and I really liked “10 Cloverfield Lane”, (John Goodman should have gotten an Oscar nomination), but “The Cloverfield Paradox” will leave you wishing you were back in the bunker with Goodman. At least on “10 Cloverfield Lane” there were nightmares worth hiding from.  For this movie, we are left with scientists bumbling along on a spacecraft as they blame each other for the banality of this movie. While “The Cloverfield Paradox” is certainly watchable, it’s a movie that has been made many times before and not necessary to fill in any perceived Cloverfield gaps of knowledge.

SCORE: 2.5 out of 4 crying scientists


Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Four movie weekend challenge 9/19-9/21

Hello there.

I have a powerful urge to immerse myself in cinema so I will challenge myself to see four movies in the theater this weekend.

The four films I speak of, (in the order I intend to view them) are:

"A Walk Among the Tombstones"

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  

Liam Neeson on the trail of dirtbags who like to kidnap women. Sold. Done deal. I am totally digging the avenging angel of death persona Liam Neeson is unleashing on the movies lately. A Charles Bronson for our times.

"The Guest"

 

 

 

 

 

 

   

 

This movie has a terrible generic title and and even worse poster but it is from the guy who did "You're Next", (which I liked), so it's worth a look. Also played the Midnight Madness section at Toronto so it's been on my B-movie radar.

The Maze Runner

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Clearly another "Hunger Games"/ "Divergent" copy cranked out to cash in on teens trying to survive the apocalypse. But who am I to judge its artistic merit without seeing it? Run teens run!  

Tusk

 

 

The Walrus and the Canadian Carpenter. A movie that Kevin Smith decided to make after a podcast joke about it. There are worse inspirations. Besides, no one has ever made a man turning into a walrus movie. That alone is worth a look.


So I'm thinking two a day and save the walrus for last. I'll post my thoughts on my movie excursion after my cinematic adventure.

 

One last thought, whatever happened to "The Green Inferno"?

I read one article that said the production company refused to pay for the marketing costs.  But does this mean the movie is stuck in limbo for the rest of the year? 


Come on you cheap bastards, cough up the money. You made the damn cannibal movie now release it.

 I leave you with one final thought: Eva Green was amazing in "Sin City". Check it out.


Sunday, January 19, 2014

"All the Boys Love Mandy Lane" review

All the Boys Love Mandy Lane (2006)

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Mandy Lane is casting her spell on all of the boys. All the boys love Mandy Lane. The jocks, the nerds, the cool nerds who do a lot of drugs....They all want her. One of the boys invites Mandy to his secluded ranch in the hopes of taking Mandy's prized virginity away from her. Who will win the battle for Mandy's first penetration? Much drugs and booze will be consumed in the quest to deflower Ms. Lane. But there's a complication to the Mandy copulation plan. A killer is stalking the teens and picking off Mandy's admirers one by one. Who is this deranged killer? Does he want in on the Mandy Lane action? Does anyone care that this is supposed to be a horror movie? Mandy Lane is apparently so seductive that she beguiled the filmmakers into ditching the slasher movie in favor of more monotonous scenes of Mandy Lane.

In a horror movie, it's very important that the cast understand that they are in a horror movie. At some point in the narrative, they must be made aware that there is some sort of monster/slasher/killer trying to end their lives in a violent fashion. The cast of "All the Boys Love Mandy Lane" are not aware of this fact until the last twenty minutes of the film. Instead we are treated to scenes of Mandy Lane being hit on without mercy. That is the main premise of this movie.  Unrequited love is how Mandy Lane operates. She stares at men and pulls her blond hair behind her ears and the boys go crazy. I only wish the killer would have gone crazy sooner so the boys would have stopped ogling Mandy and the horror movie could have started.

So all the boys seem to love Mandy Lane. But do I love Mandy Lane? As a teen seductress, she doesn't really do much. She just seems to exist and that's enough for the boys. The song "Sister Goldenhair" is sung twice to let us know that the blonde Mandy Lane is simply irresistible. She is a blond virgin and that is enough. I didn't quite fall under her spell but kept hoping that she was going to show us why she was so desirable. Mandy Lane never really proved that she was worthy of such blind admiration which made all of the eventual bloodshed fairly pointless. Why die for Mandy Lane? Why do anything for Mandy Lane? Why watch a movie about Mandy Lane? The film offers no answers.

Eventually the producers of this film remembered that they were supposed to deliver a horror movie and let loose a little blood and guts in the last fifteen minutes of the movie. But by then it was too late to save Mandy Lane from being another slasher misfire. If Mandy Lane could have been the object of teen lust that I was hoping she was going to be, I may have forgiven the movie for delaying the start of the horror movie. But Mandy Lane shows no love for horror fans until the bitter end. I wanted to love you Mandy, but you rejected me like all the others. What does it take to make you happy? Oh Mandy,  you came and you gave without taking. And I sent you away, Oh Mandy!



















SCORE: 2.5 out of 4 Mandy Lanes


Oh Mandy. You came and you didn't kiss the girl in the bathroom scene. And I sent you away! Oh Mandy!