Monday, August 31, 2015

Montana- Official Trailer (2014) (R)

At first impression, Montana (2014) resembles Luc Besson’s Leon: The Professional (1994) minus the Lolita-ish subplot. Suddenly, it gets all John Wick (2014) up in that piece. I’m all in.

Watch the Trailer:

Saturday, August 22, 2015

Into The Storm (2014) (PG-13)

Director: Steven Quale
Starring: Richard Armitage, Sara Wayne Callies, Matt Walsh, Max Deacon, Nathan Kress, Alicia Dabnam-Carey

Into The Storm (2014), from the trailer, seemed like nothing more than a Twister (1996) ripoff with a found footage chaser. And it sort of is. But that does not mean this a bad film by any means. In fact, it picks up where Twister has dated itself (still a kick ass flick).

The story revolves around a group of storm chasers who needs to find the big tornado to film for a documentary before funding is pulled. Meanwhile, an assistant principal (Armitage (The Hobbit films)) and his two sons are at odds on graduation day, while two redneck amateur stuntmen act like fools on YouTube (just go with me on this). As the graduation commences, a system of tornadoes begins to wreck havoc on this small community. Oh, did I mention that one of the sons (Max Deacon) has skipped the graduation to help his dream girl (Alicia Dabnam-Carey) film project in an abandoned factory (see where they went with it?). Yes, they are all filming and the footage has been spliced together to make this movie. Sounds dumb, but it works. Don’t ask me how. It just does.

You can plan a pretty picnic, but you can’t predict the weather.
The cast is likable (great to see The Walking Dead alum Sara Wayne-Callies) . The camera doesn’t make you sea sick. And most importantly, the special effects are tight. The writer (John Swetnam)  creates scenarios which, as silly as they may seem, deliver that bang you remember from the movies of the mid-90’s. Cheesy but intense, including one of the most insane “HOLY CRAP" deaths I’ve seen in a disaster flick since Deep Blue Sea (1999) (No spoilers. When it happens, you’ll know. Dear, lord. you’ll know.) The rest is mostly tense drama, so don’t get too squeamish. It’s only a movie. And did I mention Titus, the storm chaser truck. I want one.

I had a lot of fun time watching Into The Storm. This is exactly what you want in a disaster picture (although, a cameo from Bill Paxton would have been nice). It won’t win any Oscars but that’s not it’s purpose. Movies of this ilk are here to make us remember how cool movies can be when logic gives way to suspension of disbelief. Shut off your brain for a near perfect 1 hour 29 min runtime and have yourself some fun. But remember, in real life, PUT DOWN THE CAMERA AND RUN! Enjoy.

This is Titus. Nuff’ said.

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

The Hateful Eight- Official Trailer (2015) (NR)

Since the beginning of his career I have been a fan of one Mr. Quentin Tarantino and the work that he has put out into the ethos of cinema history. Now, before this becomes what you think might be a glorification of the man and his work, let me state this, I need to re-watch Jackie Brown (1997), which I was not that big a fan of when I saw it in theaters (a well aged mind may find that picture more appealing. Time will tell.),  and I do believe that I may well be one of the few exceptions that really didn’t dig on Django Unchained (2013) for many reasons (I tried to like it, but sometimes it just doesn’t pan out). Other than those two pictures, I’m all in for a big slice of homage pie when it comes to his flicks. So, here’s it is kiddies, the latest slick written film by writer/director Quentin Tarantino, the official trailer for The Hateful Eight (2015):

Saturday, August 8, 2015

Goodnight Mommy- Official Trailer (2014) (R)

I viewed this trailer in my darkened office while everyone was asleep. Now, I’m gonna go make some coffee and sit facing the door ’till sun up (twins in horror, always a creepfest). If you’d like to not sleep or trust children ever again, enjoy the trailer for Goodnight Mommy (2014):

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Deadpool- Official Trailer (2016) (NR)

Ryan Reynolds is back as Deadpool (2016). Naysayers of Mr. Reynolds' past role faux pas should fear not. This ain’t Green Lantern (2011) or that Wolverine (2009) monstrosity, which butchered (literally and figuratively) Deadpool the first go around. This time it’s blood, booms and belly laughs a plenty. Going back to the roots, the merc with a mouth seems headed in the right direction. But don’t take my word for it.

Monday, August 3, 2015

Chappie (2015) (R)

Director: Neill Blomkamp
Starring: Sharlto Copley, Dev Patel, Ninja, Yo-Landi Visser, Jose Pablo Cantillo, Hugh Jackman, Sigourney Weaver

Chappie. Chappie, Chappie, Chappie. What to say about Chappie? I’ve been trying to form an opinion since watching the film and so far I’m more up than down (despite it’s rough go at the box office and poor critic response). Oh, how rude of me, for those of out there wondering what in the heck is a Chappie, here’s a trailer:

Director Neill Blomkamp’s (District 9 (2009)) latest, tells the story of a robotics genius Deon (Patel), who has revolutionized the police force of South Africa with the creation of robot officers. On the verge of a bigger breakthrough in Artificial Intelligence tech, Deon steals a bot ready for the junk heap, to test out the new software. Enter a group of hooligans who have bigger plans of using the robot (affectionally named Chappie) in a robbery. Finding that the robot’s personality is that of a developing child, Chappie is torn between what is right and wrong when the conflicting influences of his creator and his captors begin to contradict one another.

This review is a weird one. Let’s start with the easy part first, then shall we, the special effects. The design of Chappie was extremely believable. Played in Mo-Cap by Sharlto Copley (a staple of Blomkamps acting crop), Chappie felt real. His movements, lighting, reactions (and hilarious imitations of street slag) all came across as there in the room with the other actors. Something that could have further driven people to dislike this picture if not done correctly. The story (although seen in other iterations before) is well imagined and executed sharply. You feel for Chappie the way you would a scared  and confused child. Blomkamp knows just the right strings to pull on the creatures he envisions and never gets too outlandish or cartoony. Now, not to go too far into spoiler country, I will share one waring, the plot does a slight rope-a-dope towards the end that will either make or break your opinion on the film (that is all).

The casting was a tough pill to swallow at first (and one of the louder complaints by many). Casting non-actors (musicians, in fact) as the lead gang members was tricky. Personally, I’ve seen worse acting in other flicks where funky street thugs are concerned, but these two can grow on you (kinda). And for those whining about the accents being hard to understand, we said the same thing about Trainspotting (1996) at the time and we got over it (put on the subtitles. Reading is fundamental). And finally, if you've ever wanted to see Hugh Jackman really go big, in this, he could make Pacino blush. His turn as the heel made the whole watch that much better. Jackman goes berserker towards the end and is having the time of his life in the process.

As a movie I really enjoyed Chappie. As something to think about, I’m still forming an opinion (almost tripped over a couple plot holes). There are flaws, yes, but there’s so much to like as well. The characters all grown in odd ways winding the story down some interesting paths that I didn’t expect. If you have been on the fence about watching Chappie or never heard of it to begin with, I would give it a recommend. And if you don’t like it, well, at least it had crazy looking robots doing crazy looking robot things. Which is nice.