Archive for 2011

early review: Hostel Part III (plus, revisiting HOSTELs 1-2)

Wednesday, November 30th, 2011

tn_hosteliiiI don’t know how much faith I’d normally have in a DTV sequel to HOSTEL that Eli Roth didn’t have anything to do with, but this one has a good pedigree: it’s directed by Scott Spiegel. He’s no visionary, but he’s not a nobody either. He was one of the producers of HOSTEL, he was the co-writer of EVIL DEAD 2, he directed that grocery store siege movie INTRUDER, he co-wrote THE ROOKIE with Boaz Yakin. Most important for this though he directed FROM DUSK TILL DAWN 2: TEXAS BLOOD MONEY, which for a long time was one of the best DTV movies in existence, especially among sequels to theatrical releases. To be honest I haven’t seen it in years, but I remember it being relentless in its use of gimmicky POV shots, putting us into the perspective of a dog doing push-ups, an oscillating fan, the inside of a bat’s mouth, etc. If you could accept that it was gonna be a low rent follow-up to a better movie it was a fun time. (read the rest of this shit…)

Juice

Tuesday, November 29th, 2011

tn_juiceJUICE is an early ’90s “hood movie” about four young friends in New York who fall into some stupid shit. Tired of getting picked on by the Puerto Rican kids and the cops and not having money, they decide to get a gun (just one between them) and rob a little mini-mart where the guy is an asshole and yells at them sometimes. It’s not exactly The Thomas Crown Affair they’re trying to pull off, but they’re amateurs so they fuck up this small time crime and have to deal with the aftermath. (read the rest of this shit…)

The Devil’s Double

Sunday, November 27th, 2011

tn_devilsdoubleTHE DEVIL’S DOUBLE, the new film from the director of ONCE WERE WARRIORS and THE EDGE, is the fascinating true story of a man forced to be a lookalike decoy version of Uday Hussein, the most depraved of Saddam Hussein’s two sons. But shit, I can’t lie to you – Lee Tamahori is also the director of xXx: STATE OF THE UNION and NEXT, and the story is mostly bullshit other than how the poor guy got mixed up in this business. In fact, on the DVD Tamahori talks about how he wasn’t interested in doing a true story, saying it with disgust as if we’re all on the same page and he doesn’t have to explain why it would be boring to tell an incredible truth-is-stranger-than-fiction story. But oh well. I still thought it was worth watching. (read the rest of this shit…)

podcast alert: The Projection Booth on THE WOMAN CHASER

Saturday, November 26th, 2011

tn_womanchaserIf you read me alot you’ve probly seen me rambling about my love for the writer Charles Willeford now and then. He’s the guy that wrote the books of COCKFIGHTER and MIAMI BLUES and also one I love called The Burnt Orange Heresy that Neil Labute is supposed to be doing, although I don’t see how it would work as a movie. (It’s about a sociopathic art critic, told in first person, and he thinks he’s the good guy.) Back in 2005 I reviewed the little-seen gem of a movie version of THE WOMAN CHASER. Since then I read the book and respect the movie even more because it’s a very faithful and well done adaptation, but I rarely run into anybody who’s even heard of it.

So I was surprised and excited by the new WOMAN CHASER episode of Mike (not the guy who did CHUCK AND BUCK) White’s The Projection Booth podcast. He talks about the movie and interviews director Robinson Devor (who went on to do the acclaimed horsefucking documentary ZOO), executive producer Joe McSpadden and star Patrick Warburton. Since I knew very little about the making and even release of the movie this was really enlightening. Among other mysteries it explains why to this day it’s only been released on VHS.

I should probly cast more of these episodes into my pod. Of the ones I’ve listened to I would recommend the interview-heavy look at THE WARRIORS and especially their excellent ROBOCOP episode. I was impressed by the interviews with Ed Neumeier and others, and also by the use of ROBOCOP related novelty songs between segments. And wait a minute, Monte Hellman shot which scenes!? That episode turned my world upside down.

Superheroes

Tuesday, November 22nd, 2011

tn_superheroesIs SUPER HEROES a DECLINE OF WESTERN CIVILIZATION for the Nerd Age? This more-interesting-than-I-expected documentary takes a look at the burgeoning subculture of “Real Life Super Heroes,” people who create their own comic book inspired personas and costumes and “fight crime” (which seems to mostly mean walking around at night with other Real Life Super Heroes).

Seattle’s own Phoenix Jones is not represented. I’m not sure if this was filmed before his time or if he was too mysterious to be caught on camera. They do have a couple guys from Seattle, but one is just a fat guy in a t-shirt that says “Sky Man” on it. Another one carries a bow and arrow – what the fuck are you gonna do with that, shoot an arrow at some drunk guys fighting outside a club? Phoenix Jones got in trouble just using pepper spray. I don’t know about other cities, but I feel that Seattle is not bow-appropriate. (read the rest of this shit…)

Bellflower

Monday, November 21st, 2011

tn_bellflowerOh, is this what “hipsters” are that everybody’s always worried about? I can never really tell. I definitely don’t think these are “geeks,” unless it’s the honorary kind that have to have somebody on the internet vouch for them, like “no, Vin Diesel really is a geek, he showed me he had Dungeons and Dragons dice in his glove compartment.” No, I get the idea these guys are hip, and therefore hipsters. But they might just be civilians. I’m not very good at this. (read the rest of this shit…)

Bad Moon

Saturday, November 19th, 2011

tn_badmoonHoly shit! There’s another good werewolf movie! And it’s from the ’90s. This is not really one of my favorite subgenres, but there’s definitely a couple good ones of this type. Obviously AN AMERICAN WEREWOLF IN LONDON is one of the greatest horror movies of all time and still the most perfect specimen of the scary/funny balance. Then I like THE HOWLING 1&3 and GINGER SNAPS is pretty good with decent sequels by DTV standards (even if they were theatrical in Canada). And DOG SOLDIERS I remember enjoying. The end. (read the rest of this shit…)

Firefox

Friday, November 18th, 2011

tn_firefoxFIREFOX – not the cinematic adaptation of the popular web browser, but the spy thriller – was the Clint Eastwood movie I chose to watch on Veteran’s Day. It’s not a war movie, but Clint’s character is a Vietnam vet who suffers from PTSD and has flashbacks during stressful moments. This wasn’t really the best choice of an Eastwood movie to watch, it turns out. Unfortunately it’s a pretty dull one. (read the rest of this shit…)

The Reunion

Wednesday, November 16th, 2011

tn_reunionTHE REUNION is another entertaining and kinda unexpected release from the prestigious WWE Studios. Even more than INSIDE OUT it doesn’t really follow THE MARINE’S approach of just sticking one of their wrestlers into the lead of a formula action movie. This one’s an ensemble crime comedy with only one wrestler, WWE Heavyweight Champion of the World or whatever John Cena, as Sam, one of three estranged brothers forced to work together in a family business to earn a big-ass inheritance. The other two brothers are Leo (Ethan Embry), a fast-talking fuckup bail bondsman, and Douglas (Boyd Holbrook), a James Dean type leather-jacket wearing, brooding, fresh-out-of-lockup half brother they didn’t even know about ’cause he grew up in youth homes. Embry wears an I’m-quirky-and-sort-of-retro hat like Michael Rapaport in INSIDE OUT or like a less boneheaded Matt Dillon in THERE’S SOMETHING ABOUT MARY. (read the rest of this shit…)

Michael Jackson: The Immortal World Tour

Tuesday, November 15th, 2011

tn_immortalWell I’m not gonna start reviewing circus acts in my opinion but last Thursday I did go see the Michael Jackson themed one that’s touring around like a monster truck show so I thought maybe it would be worth writing down a few thoughts about it.

I’ve never seen a Circus of the Soleil before. Of course I’ve heard good things. But it seemed like if I was gonna ever see one in my life the one entirely based around Michael Jackson would be the one for me. ‘Cause I doubt they’ll ever do one on Clint Eastwood. The tickets were way more expensive than I’d usually spend for entertainment, but I figured it was cheaper than if I wait and have to go to Vegas to see it. So I took the plunge and sat in the third from last row in the Key Arena, in the section that’s not even usually open for Storm games except during play offs. (read the rest of this shit…)