Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Dead Moon rising over another piece of indie crap


I have a soft spot for indie films. No budget, just a few folks gathering ideas, and friends to create some off the mainstream path options. Sometimes, you find some amazing treasures, "Evil Dead", "Kids", "Clerks", ... and many others. Of course some become mainstream over time, but they did naye start that way. So i often dabble in the indie pool, to see what's I find. With "Dead Moon Rising" I found nothing. In fact I lost 90 minutes of my life.
Dead moon Rising does start with promise, in a field often lending itself to the indie nation, the Zombie film. So basic loser and his rag tag group battle a sudden plague of the undead. It has a few clever lines, and some nifty flashback sequences, talk to the camera type of shit, that made the start... enjoyable. So I was actually into to it, and then, then, things got rough. From ugly chicks (I mean I understand, indie is indie, but heck, did you have to pay the female cast with beer and coke, ok that was rough... but seriously), one of the worse scripts I have ever seen, seasoned with horrid acting, and...AND! A huge, freaking huge no no; Touching on the greatness that is Bruce "Don't call me Ash" Campbell. Oh yes, near the end of this shit movie, our hero actually turns to the screen, and says the immortal line of the "Evil Dead" main player.... "Groovy". I actually threw my popcorn at the screen.
It's kind of like imagining the worse band you know using a chorus from a Pink Floyd song. Yeah like that. The movie seems to drag on forever, from one dumb scene to the next. Trying to be over the top cheesy and funny, just ends up being so bad I should really hit the stop button. Even has one scene when two chicks randomly grope and make out. Think that's hot, remember what i said about the females in this flick, then if you really wanna see that, spend 5 minutes online, so sayeth the Boonsweet.
Not worth seeing, ever. Uninteresting, it will hurt you as a film fan, and a zombie fan. 
The end of this movie, somehow manages to make the rest of the film look like citizen Kane ha! Like just when you think it can't get dumber... oh it does... Ow... Ow... my logic cortex

Movie scale 0.5 out of 5 stars
Horror movie scale 0.5 stars out of 5

Friday, March 21, 2008

Strange, stranger, and red leather shiny jacket thing


If you like horror, then last year (2006) news of the "After Dark Horror Fest, 8 films to die for", more than likely found its way to your ears. The marketing was great, setting up the audience for 8 films deemed to "Intense", "Shocking", and "Brutal", for wide theatrical release. Then they have one weekend where you can buy a ticket in participating theaters, and watch all eight. A few months later they release a nifty box set. So what's the problem with that? Well, absolutely nothing, if any of their marketing claims had been real. What they really meant to say was, "8 films that sucked way to bad to be anything other than straight to video, and probably ignored there too". Yes, I know "The Abandoned" was a slight step up, but only stood out as much as it did when compared to the other crap fests. God, some of them were just horrible, I think I actually just shuttered thinking about them, "Penny Dreadful", "Dark Ride", "The Gravedancers (featuring a computerized skull chasing a vehicle, Oh jeez)"... and the list goes on. Don't you go thinking these are so bad their good, no, no, anyone that has seen them knows they're just shite.
So 2007 rolled around, and there we are, Horrorfest 2. 8 more films, 8 more chances to somehow gain my attention only if out of a deep horror love and a hope that they couldn't possibly suck as bad as the first. Maybe I should just classify that as, curiosity if they would suck as bad. They adjusted their advertising this time around, obviously after a ton of horror die-hards flocked to the first festival, and discovered they were neither violent enough, scary enough, or shocking enough to be banned from your grandma's Soaps, they decided to not straight lie this time. But they still hype the shit.
Anyway so i looked into the line up this year, and dare I say a few of the plots caught my eye. Probably the most interesting concept was this here reviewed number, "The Deaths of Ian Stone". It was definitely the one I was most interested in. And, prepare yourself, the first Horror Fest 2007 member I watched did not totally suck. I said it. And now I will continue. 
The story is wonderfully strange... Ian Stone wakes up in different lives each day, only to be brutally stalked and killed. Each life has ties to the one before, and a strange old guy keeps popping up to kill him things like, "When the clocks stop, they're coming for you", and "You need to remember", and a bunch of other cryptic messages. I am going to try to review this film without giving to much away, because that might take away from the weirdness. So basically he is chased life to life, by some freaky ass things, all the while this one girl keeps showing up in each life, unaware, and slowly then start to unravel the secrets to why this is happening to him. 
Now, first, the production values, and no I do not mean the special effects, they were alright i guess. I mean the camera, lighting, all that jazz, was, in the first ten minutes ahead of the entire first horror fest (okay a slight exaggeration, still). The acting was decent. The makeup effects were cool. There are problems definitely.
One, why do the bad guys decide to dress like matrix rejects in the final sequence, complete with those little glass. Two, why do they have the witchblade on their arm (comic reference, if you do nay know, check out some picks, you know my saying, google it bitches). Three, it does lose a little in the final 10-15 minutes. After all the build up, and strange shizzie going on, a straight forward hack and slash ending seemed a little... off, but its all good. I enjoyed finding out what was going on, even with the weird arm thing. A bigger budget, and a little more attention to the scare factor could have had a real fun flick here. But it creeps ya, rather than getting ya to jump. 
Not a great movie, but a better start for this years 8 film line up. Worth watching, if for nothing else but the premise. Weird stuff. Like "groundhog day" does hell I can't even think what to compare the creatures to... 

movie scale 2 out of 5 stars
horror scale 2.5 out of 5 stars

Check it out... and why the shiny leather, why... ha

Boony out bitches.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Denzel and Russell, they gansta yo


I can understand how, in the eyes of the Academy, 'No Country for Old Men' won best picture. I understand and have a certain disdain for it (read my review a few months back). After watching 'American Gangster', I must say I have a lack of understanding how it was left out of the Best picture nominees. The only explanation I can fathom is that over the years, since the 'Godfather' and perhaps before, the film world has always had epic Gangster films. Featuring decades of drugs and violence, and the ending that only a "Based on a true story" tale can provide. American Gangster somehow encompasses all of these, and yet remains original and enjoyable throughout.

I'm sure you have heard the phrase, "The film had me from the first frame", well never, and I do mean never, have I felt this to be more true. Fade in, bam! Light a dude on fire, crazy. Denzel would be the main reason why this film never loses your attention. He is vicious in this film. How you give him the Oscar from 'Training Day', then no for this, I dunno. The second reason would be Russell Crowe. What's this? A cop in a gangster movie that doesn't back stab, or blur the lines to get his man... An honest cop on film? Can it be. It is and I loved it.
And the story goes... Once the drugs were controlled by the, well everyone that wasn't an African American, then Denzel took charge after his boss died, eliminated the middle man, went straight to "we sell you pure drugs" Thailand, and changed for ever the quality of drugs in the hood... and then further. Enter Russell Crowe, aforementioned honest cop, who is put in charge of the first real anti narcotics unit. While he and his team put the pieces together, Denzel grows to rival the mob, and others. Naturally this causes enemies to pop up everywhere. So he has to fight hard to hold on to his kingdom, while Italians, crooked cops (a freakin ton of them, guess they felt it would balance out the honest one), and any number of wannabees try to take him down, or get in on his game.
This film manages, I felt, to at no point make you feel that you should sell drugs. There is wealth, but this film is not to glorify the story, only relate it. It's dark, you're always looking over your shoulder, and when the end comes, well, it hits hard. One thing I absolutely loved about this movie, it actually had a good ending. I kid you not, a gangster movie without the "I learned my lesson don't sell drugs ending", or the "Everyone has left me behind, I'm pathetic"... None of them. Awesome. Russell and Denzel dance around the whole film, but never cross paths. When they finally do, man, talk about a good time. Watching them have a blast trying to out act each other, alone, is worth the price of admission.
A great film, A great gangster film... 
Go see... that is all... rent it now bitches.

movie scale 4 out of 5 stars
Gangster scale 4.5 out of 5 stars

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

30 days of blood sucking creatures for the icy boat... or where ever they came from

30 DAYS OF NIGHT (2007)

Two things, 

1) I think I, like most horror fans, love vampires. Granted they are often used as teen heart throb content, and we all get sick of shiny white fang close ups, but still, there is a soft spot in my hardened man shell for the suckers. 
2) Josh Hartnett has grown on me. I almost hate to admit it, what with his teen heart throb roots, but much like the male half of Brangelina, or Angelpitt, or whatever we're calling Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie these days, he has proven his acting chops. Though still a little one dimensional, he can get his point across well, and he makes a good ass kick manly man. 

This film owes a lot to its director, David Slade. The only other project I was familiar with of his was "Hard Candy", an earlier role staring miss Juno. And if these first two major projects are an indication, Mr. Slade, you are going to have a long career in this here business.
Plot, small Alaskan town, the day before the sun sets for thirty days. To anyone not sure, yes this is real, and happens. So the day before a few strange things start happening, all the cell phones are destroyed, helicopter is disabled, and basically anything that would let this small town maintain contact with the outside world during the lights out.
Small town Sheriff, and his ex lover are reunited thanks to her missing the final flight out of town before perma-dark. Then the shizzie goes off the hook, and some mad creepy "not likely to see in Buffy reruns" vampires start tearing apart people, and the town. What follows is a long struggle to survive with those not killed in the first days of the attack. Blood, blood, and and limbs, folks, no lie.
I have to give one mad prop out to one shot (and there are a few worth mentioning) that really stood out. The camera glides, birds eye view of the town under attack, complete chaos. The shear planning to set that shot up must have been uber sweaty, well worth it chums. Getting back here...
The Vamps in this flick are a great time. No more cutesy, lets bite each other and live forever. No, vampires with souls (sorry I really do enjoy Buffy, just, you know, shit's cheesy). These Vampires are bloodthirsty, ugly, blood stained, foreign beasts. Here to enjoy the slow moving food, and lack of sun. This movie has style, much inspired from the graphic novel. Yes, in case you didn't know kiddies, one of the most praised horror comics of all time. So, much like 300, and Sin City, before, there are some beautiful shots right out of the book. Boy Howdy do they look sharp on the big, or small, screen. 
Writing is pretty good, the movie flies by, and sometimes the writing takes a moment to catch up, but the dread and acting is good enough to carry you through. I like Melissa George as the ex, trapped in a situation with a former love, husband, guy. She's a nice balance for the stare acting of Josh Harnett, and I mean that in the best possible way, honest. I like the guy remember, he's growing on me. 
The ending, as all you Boonites know, means the world, and I loved this ending. Not only to we get chaos, but we get a rather enjoyable meeting of Good and Evil... A little far fetched and you will be wondering what's with all the spectators... but, screw it. Fun, is fun violent fun. 
And a little romance for the ladies... 

There are some truly violent scenes in this film, with a few genuine scares... watch it with the lights off bitches.... yes that means the Batman night light too little Jimmy...

movie scale 3 out of 5 stars
Horror scale 4 out of 5 stars

Another true comic adaptation, or at least good, hopefully the trend continues, and no one starts Uwe Bollin' them.... 

Lata bitches

Monday, March 10, 2008

Never Heard of this flick, till like a week ago... explanation wanted.


I have a quiz for you, how do you have a decently directed film, by a guy who has been stunt coordinating for years (Face/Off, Mission Impossible 2, Minority Report, Windtalkers, Men in Black, and the list goes on), staring an Oscar winner, Cuba Gooding Jr, and an icon Ray Liotta, along with a bunch of "hey it's that guy from that movie" actors, and have no one on earth, or almost no one hear of it. No release date, no theatrical release, hell, no reviews on IMDB (international movie database, not having a rating on there is like not existing). 
And it gets better, I just watched this damn thing, and I gotta say it ain't too shabby. Yes Cuba Gooding Jr., or his agent, whoever runs his career, has done their best to trash his career, but the man can act. I mean, hell, he's like one of two freaking things you remember from 'Pearl Harbour'.  Also, for a directing debut, gotta say, Brian Smrz, with the budget you had, damn good. I offer you a muffin in congratulations. Of course I mean that only as a joke, please do not contact me in an effort to retrieve this muffin.
Okay since I know you have yet to hear of this film, here's your daily plot scoop. Cuba Gooding loses his wife and daughter in a car crash. A while later, his life sucks, has no meaning, then while sitting with his buddy having a beer, there is a horrible car crash. Cuba risks life and limb, climbing into the burning car and rescues a little girl. For a time he is the toast of the city, and he likes it. But, over time the city forgets him, and he descends into booze, and self loathing. Enter a bank robbery, where Cuba watches a woman get shot and interferes with the robbers, only to get shot himself. He wakes in the hospital determined to find the men responsible for shooting the woman, and robbing the bank, and bring them some good old fashioned Charles Bronson (Death Wish I through V, look em up folks, well ok, just I) style justice. While Ray Liotta closes in on him in search of this vigilante.
Ok, there are some really cool twists that come a little later in the film. The whole, flash back to the past to explain what's going on in the present, type of twists. So to the inexperienced viewer, you might be a little confused for a while, but the acting, and writing, should keep you going. 
This is not a superb cinematic achievement, I don't want to give that impression. It is however, a good old time revenge flick. I could almost see Steven Seagal beating down folks early 90s style while I watched this. Cubey (as I call him) is good in the lead role, and a few of the characters around him are pretty intriguing, ok, well only really the little girl he saved. She was good, good actress, and this whole I'm in love with Cuba cause he saved me thing, was creepy and effective.
The action scenes are fun to watch, you can tell the stunt guru learned more than a few tricks from the director's he worked under. One scene in particular, a wonderful homage, or rip off, of John Woo's swinging camera shots.
And, as we all know, Boony here loves his endings, and this one; yes, it is a little cheesy, and all that, but I liked it. Might rub some peeps as too sweet, the ending that is, but I liked it. It's a revenge flick folks, 90s style. We need a tight wrap up, sunset ending, am I wrong? No, because am I the writer of what is and isn't awesome bitches.... ha ha ha, you are powerless against my shiny sweetness.
How Uwe Boll (yes I watched all your movies, no I did not prejudge, and seriously, you suck. bad, very bad. Anyone that needs a laugh, please read some of this guys interviews, talk about denial. Man thinks he's a genius, and I watched "Heart of America", Uwe, that was crap too, not because I hate you, I couldn't care less, but you make crappy movies, continually. Prove me wrong, prove the damn country wrong... then you won't be the bane of movie goers everywhere. I mean there is a petition on line that has 180,000 signatures to ban you from film... that's like the entire audience for "In the name of a king: A dragon siege tale".... sorry i digress, but wow... just wow) can continue to find his way to theatres however briefly, well this, with the actors it has, and being a good time whooping flick gets snubbed is anyone's guess. I choose to blame, I dunno, how about whatever is killing the bees.... ha!

movie scale 2.5 out of 5 stars
Action scale 3 out of 5 stars

The newspaper of terror? Well, glad they went with Premonition


Subtitles folks, no English on this DVD. So if you are a complete subtitle-ist, then move on, however, if you appreciate foreign film, Asian thrillers, or are border line, and love me to the point that you will allow me to sway your fragile little mind, then read on.
Asian horror film is light years ahead of almost all entries in America's horror field. Now I am sure there is a lot of crap out there in the Asian field, however most of what makes it over, is at least worth checking out. I've been looking forward to getting my hands on this one for a while. Part of what is widely known as the "J-Horror" 6 film collection, through the reading of online comments, and trailers, I was pumped, but boy howdy did my ass have to wait for a while. 

... It was worth it.

This has to be one of my favorite Asian horror/thriller films for one big ass reason, it makes sense. I mean, it starts somewhere, has a building, well constructed story and actually ends with a good, understandable ending. As opposed to some of the other more well known entries in the genre (i.e. Ju-on, or Ringu), which feature more scares for your buck, but, I mean in all honesty, make about as much sense as my third nut. 
This here gem, starts with a family on their way back from a visit to Grandpa's. They stop along the way so the business driven Father can send an email from a phone booth. While in the phone booth he notices a worn newspaper clipping that predicts the death of his five year old daughter. Before he can react a truck hits the car, and his daughter dies. Jump three years forward, the Father and Mother have divorced, the Mother never being able to believe his tale of the "Predicting newspaper". The Father existing through his life, completely guilt stricken. 
Unbeknownst to him, his ex-wife, came across information concerning this "news paper" and is now trying to uncover it's secrets, and hopes that this effort will excuse how she treated her former husband. They meet up, and both begin to explore the trail of this paper, as well as long buried feelings towards each other, and the death of their daughter.
There are more than a few creepy, jump, moments in this film, but more so, this is an intense slow building thriller. More creep than scare, and very involving. The acting is solid, the writing is great. Who would expect a film about an object referred to as "The Newspaper of terror" could not only avoid cheese, but build to an awesome, mind bending (but not to the point of retarded) ending. 
I hit stop on this film feeling very complete, the way only an awesome film experience can leave a true fan of the art. The theme of this film is complex, but simple once you understand... If you were given the chance to save someone, a stranger, would you? Can you change fate? And what are you willing to sacrifice for those you love? All good questions, all explored on film before, but not like this. 
Be ready to jump when that damn paper hits the window... it got me...

A great Asian thriller. A great thriller period... my god it hurts me knowing that at the time this was getting attention over here, Sandra Bullock made a film of the same title... I assure you no connection. At least I don't think so...

Movie scale 3.5 out of 5 stars
Thriller scale 4.5 out of 5 stars

Chuck Boonsweet is out for a good time....

10,000 years ago, there was this hot chick

10,000 B.C. (2008)

Oh, here we are, our first big budget, bodies flying at each other in computer animated style, epic of 2008. And I, my popcorn, and medium sized pop are ready to rock. I really should have grabs some nibs too... not only tasty, but a handy, chuckable weapon if boredom sets in. 
So, as can be expected with any big ass budget blockbuster, one way to save money, is to have non names, or least littler names, in the lead roles.
So we have Steven "Please forgive me for The Covenant" Strait, Camilla "you have seen nothing I'm in" Belle, as the leads. Camilla as the mysterious blue eyes girl who is found and brought to a camp of Mammoth hunters. Her village lost, her heritage unknown. The rather creepy old wise lady (cause I mean if you believe Hollywood, any civilization before cars had a old wise woman or man, or doctor... well Okay I guess one could argue Scientology still carries on that tradition, ha, anyway...) touches the girl and receives a prophecy that she, and a warrior from the camp will usher in a new age for their people. Years pass, Camilla and Steven grow up together in the camp, and grow in love, until the day of the last hunt. The day the new leader of the camp will be chosen, and claim the fully grown Camilla for his, and lead his people to this foretold new age.
Enter the first real taste of the effects mastery of this film. Holy Hannah (yes I now use the name Hannah Montana as profanity, try it, its great) are they fantastic. The Mammoth (or Mamock as they pronounce it) hunt is unbelievable. One of the folks I saw it with even commented that for a few moments he thought they just glued hair on elephants... Ok so he's a little helmet wear special, but the point is valid. Any who, hunt ends, enter the four legged demons (Warriors that look suspiciously like vikings, on horses), they descend, and take prisoner a large group of the villagers. Steven, and two others, form the camp, pursue the villagers, including his love, over the mountains, and into strange new lands. Lands that include, dino type things, saber tooth tigers, a lot of tribes (each with a pair of prophecy shoes that Steven Strait keeps filling), and concluding with Egyptians, or Egyptian relatives and the construction of the pyramids. Where he rallies slaves, and challenges the way of things for his woman.
Okay, a lot there I know. And yes, as you can gather from my summary, there is plenty of cheese. Like thick greasy nacho cheese, but it is a big budget lay back and enjoy epic, and I did. Directed by Roland "I won't make a movie for under 100 Million" Emmerich, you should have an idea of what you're in for. I mean the man made 'Stargate', 'Independence Day', 'Godzilla'... so, I mean, lots of "Ews", and "Ahs".  The acting holds up. Camilla is appropriately hot, and likable. Steven is actually really good as the hero by accident. The directing is good. Cinematography is very very pretty. I saw this film with quite the diverse group of friends, and everyone left feeling satisfied. It's good film fare, and something that if at all able, you should see on the big screen. 
My favorite scene had to be the spear throwing nod to "300". Well that or the "don't eat me" line to the saber tooth. Good stuff, and not as many silly laugh one liners, or scenes, as you might expect in a Roland film. Very good happy time. Lean back, turn the brain down, but just a little. 
So go get your prehistoric on bitches!

Movie scale 3 out of 5 stars

I look forward to seeing this again. Oh and the scene with the building of the pyramids was swell, because there is about a 1000 theories on how it was done, so it was interesting to see their take on it.

Boonsweet "way cooler than Seacrest" out

Sunday, March 9, 2008

This parking spot reserved for ... Terror

P2 (2007)

Ha, I think that is my current favorite review title. Just thought I'd mention it. I rule. 
So, you know when you kinda heard about a movie, but didn't really think too much of it, then it ends up finding it's way into your DVD player, and you're all like, I guess, since it's in there might as well watch it, and then it's awesome. Yeah P2, just like that.
So its Christmas, in what ever city they're in. Rachel Nichols (of one season of alias) plays a big time workaholic. She's rich, and seems in charge of more than a little responsibility. It's Christmas eve, and her family is all over her, trying to make sure she makes it for the gathering in time. She of course, though meaning to, works late, and leaves later. She's the last one out of the office, and heads down to her car, located in section "P2", to find that it won't start. She then tries to leave the parking garage, all her Christmas gifts that were in her trunk, now in hand. She finds the doors have been locked. She heads to the security office in the parking garage. There she meets a creepy young man, that offers to try to help her get her car started. She decides its best to get a cab. Thanks him, and leaves to lobby to wait for her cab. But when the transport arrives, the front door is locked, and she can't get to her ride. She again returns to the security office, to find no one there. So she wanders, then gets knocked out by the same guard, and wakes up chained to a table, Christmas dinner in front of her. 
From there this movie gets darker and darker. The whole film takes place in the parking garage, as the security guard (played with a wicked evil/creep/outkast take by Wes Bentley) gets more and more crazy, and the efforts of our young heroine to escape. There is a real old school vibe to this film, and it had been a while since I'd seen a good ol' crazy loser kidnaps dream girl and chaos ensues flick, and this one is just hella good (I had to, ha)
Rachel Nichols is freaking awesome as the lead, her desperation becoming evident, and her smarts helping her survive and outwit as the movie goes along. Though the security guards intensity matches her characters at every turn. This is a film of two leads. There are very few other folks in this film, and when they are, it's brief, and someone usually ends up dead.
The violence in  this movie surprised me a little bit, but wow was it crazy. I loved how they would have fifteen minutes of exchanges between the leads, and then all of a sudden, she's running and the blood is flying. The one setting really allows you to build a familiarity with the parking garage, so that you know it well enough to know where the next turn leads, or to almost yell at her to move from here to there. An awesome nod of the creative head to the director on that one. This is a film that if it had had a better push, and presentation, could have scared the sweet icky goo outta patrons for a while in theatres, but it got lost in the Christmas season, and then showed up to make me jump in the comforts of my living room.
This is an intense, violent, wonderfully acted, old school thriller. You will jump, you will hate the damn guard dog (oh man did I want his furry barking ass to get it), and you should press stop, feeling pretty damn good. I really enjoyed this one guys, Boony likes, Boony likes. I love those little caught me by surprise flicks, it don't happen to often.

movie scale 3.5 out of 5 stars
horror scale 4 out of 5 stars 

Expect this one to get a word of mouth following on video, the first words to start that underground mouth train... courtesy of Chuck B. Boonsweet.

Lata Bitches

Saturday, March 8, 2008

Before taking a spiritual journey you must ask... should I hindu, or hin-don't


Wes Anderson is a quirky little writer/director. I have had different feelings about his films. From a warm happy feeling after watching "Rushmore", to a, ah that was alright after "The Royal Tenenbaums", to my 'Sweet Mary did I love that movie' shouts after "The Life Aquatic". So, that being said I was a little unsure of where I would be after watching this film.
The story is thus, three estranged brothers, still in mourning over the lost of their Father a year earlier, are brought together by the eldest, in an attempt to bring them closer, and closure. The way he plans on doing this is a trip through India. He has planned many spiritual experiences, hitting all the major temples, and the like, in what hopes, will fix their feelings towards each other, and life. Along the way, as can be imagined, things do not always go according to plan. And, well, funny thing about those spiritual journeys, they have a way of happening despite themselves.
Wes Anderson has an alarmingly disarming simpleness to his writing, and his directing matches it stroke for stroke. The characters are so real, that they almost seem boring at first. However, you find yourself growing attached to them before you even realize it. "Darjeeling Limited" is evidence of this ability as never before. Owen Wilson, Adrien Brody, and Jason Schwartzman, are all on the top of their game here. They are so good together, that a have strong want feelings in my happy places to see these three unite again. The story is very simple, but where the structure is simple, the emotional depth is anything but. Dealing with the lose of a loved one is the hardest thing, or one of, in this life. This film without question, captures the pain, the search for answers, and the triumph of hope. It's slow, and though you may find yourself laughing out loud a few times, its more just a smile, and a sense of enjoyment. All the actors are fantastic, I especially enjoyed the waitress on the train, one of the brothers falls for. They have some of the best lines between them.
In short, if you feel like warming your self, curled up on a couch. Maybe with a friend or such, grab a drink, get comfortable, and indulge. It starts slow, but before you know it, it seems to be flying by. 

Writing is great, the acting is better... very good film. Somehow got unrecognized by any major award nominations... strange

3.5 out of 5 stars

Friday, March 7, 2008

New one from the guy that Made Donnie D... finally


Richard Kelly made Donnie Darko. This makes him awesome. However as we all know, sometimes peeps that are awesome, fail miserably to live up to expectations, and hence, become poop. The shoe size Richard left after the brilliance that was Donnie D is like huge bitches. But I had faith, after seeing some promos for this flick, I was feeling good about it. And now finally having watched it I can bring the wonder that is my thinking to you, my film viewing public.
First things first, is this movie better than Donnie Darko?... Hecks no, and the main reason for that is just the about of insanity in this film. However, its still pretty enjoyable, kinda. Okay so it's a lil' hard to explain. I well now try...
Movie star with amnesia (the Rock), and a porn star with world ambitions (Sarah Michelle Gellar), write a film script that may or may not be an actual account of the end of the world. Meanwhile the world, in an effort to get off the fossil fuels addiction, has developed a way to harness the motion of the ocean into energy (pure karma or something like that) that can power machines without needing to be connected. Also, the U.S., after a nuclear attack on Texas, is now in an Uber state of martial law (meaning we ain't got no rights, and soldiers are positioned on towers to subdue any threats). Lastly, at least I think lastly, a guy (Sean William Scott) impersonating his twin brother, in a plan to shoot back people, while in a cop uniform, and sway the election. Okay, I missed the whole underground movement against the whole new system, and Justin Timberlake as a disfigured soldier who now sings, and sells a new drug based on the whole "Karma" energy thing. And at one point there are monkeys...
Annnnnnnnnnd..... catch your breath... or blink, whatever. The plot is freaking crazy. I mean nuts, I almost wanna say I enjoyed how crazy it was because A) I had no idea what the heck was coming have the time, and B) It's very rare you see a movie weave such a tapestry of chaos... Ha! Tapestry of Chaos, know any metal bands needing a name... and onward we go.
The celebrities in this thing are crazy. Even the small rolls are known peeps. I mean 2 Saturday night live folks, Will Sasso, just a ton of people. I think I even saw Phillip Seymour Hoffman in a long ass beard at one point, but I didn't see him in the credits, so I could have just been high on this flick by that point. I wish that I could give you a neat, tidy, little plot summary, like I usually do. But I am not entirely sure I can explain it... Basically it all builds to the end of the world, and a new god? Something like that. But it was fun. It was fun. The actors have a blast in the roles, and I mean as much as I love Sarah Michelle Gellar, I am loving her even more. Although porno queen, and no nudity... I don't know.... anyway, I think I liked it... Pretty sure I did. I mean anyone that has watched Donnie Darko knows you have to watch it around three times to really grasp the whole film. And even then, if you haven't watched the directors cut, it might still be a little fuzzy. Well if "Donnie" took three, this will take at least 5 and three quarters. 
One quick note, I do have a love for some of my fellow critics, and a very special place for Richard Roeper. I have always felt despite his being a bred critic, he still at least understood the loves people might have for certain films (i.e. see his two thumbs up review of "Jackass 2"). I watched his review for this film, and he trashed it. I mean the worst I have ever seen. Calling it a theft of two plus hours of his life.
This is a strange, complicated, insane movie. It will take some time to figure out. And even then it will probably mess with you. It is a worthy successor to "Donnie" and a lot of smiles to be had, including introducing the world to the term "cockchugger" ... thank you Southland Tales, if for nothing else, but for that. Destine to follow suit as Donnie. Get slammed by critics, bomb at the box office, and develop huge, drink, and drug loving following... well and a few sober folks. All you university/college kids... expect a friend to show up one night with a bag o whatever and telling you, "You gotta see this flick man, freaking crazy".

movie scale 3 out of 5 stars
cult status 3.5 out of 5 stars

Toodles bitches 

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Awake and aware during surgery? Screw it, give me the tunnel with the light at the end

AWAKE (2007)

Hayden Christensen, Hayden, Hayden, Hayden... you know I think I might be starting to like you. Second flick I've reviewed featuring the young Hollywoodian in as many weeks, and if he keeps picking these interesting, different type flicks, he might creep up my list. 
I'm sure many of you saw the previews for this film, or came across it somewhere, and went, "Ah, maybe". Well blame the advertising, marketing, whatever you want, because take the time, you will find a rather enjoyable, different, almost twilight zone, type of film. 
So, Hayden, is a rich, very promising young business man. He has it all, wealth, a strong future, and a beautiful fiance. The only problem is he has a bad heart. Since he first became aware of his heart's failing, he and a young surgeon (the always entertaining, Terrance Howard), have become friends and are waiting on a new heart to arrive. Now there is a little sub plot involving the fact he has told no one about his relationship with ...(yes, in all her, "I'm going to almost be naked, but continue to not be hee hee", glory), Jessica Alba, as he is very close with his over protective Mother, and she wouldn't able to handle it.
Now there are more than a few very satisfying twists in this flick, a few I, Charles B. Boonsweet, didn't know were coming, a few I did from the preview. Hayden gets the call that after a year of waiting, his heart has arrived. His friend, the surgeon preps him, and he goes under the knife. Now the film opens with two things, 1. It tells you of a medical condition a minority percentage of surgery patients suffer from, which is, being completely, or partially aware during surgery, although their body remains completely immobile, 2. It opens with the young doctor friend, in his office, talking about how his friend dies on the operating table... so it does set you up for a bit of what's coming.
So Hayden  goes in, goes under, and realizes that he is still aware, and can feel... everything. Be ready, it is open heart surgery, and Boony here is not too shy to say he felt a little uneasy watching them open up his chest while Hayden's voice over is screaming in pain. However he manages to calm himself, and focuses his mind else where. Although, he suddenly over hears the doctor's talking about, its time to put their plan in motion, their plan to kill him on the operating table, for his money... Dun Dun DUUUUUNNNNNN!!!!!! ( I have no idea if that sound transfers to print, best I could do). 
So the rest of the film, about half, takes place with Hayden, coming to terms with what's happening, and running through memories to piece together the plot. Let me say this, I don't remember ever seeing a flick quite like this. Hayden's out of body experience while he is watching Doctor's talk about offing him is awesome, and watching him live through his memories, is just fun to watch. I mean, half this movie is a guy with his chest cut open laying on a table. And yet i was completely into it the whole time. 
I can't really go into many more specifics of the plot, but trust me when I say they hide what's coming is hidden brilliantly. There is one scene, when he's walking along a street in his memories, and he starts to pass on, the lights start turning off.... just little things like that really made me just love this film. The one place it did let down was the ending. I was a little disappointed after what actually feels like a very fast paced film, the ending just seems to tie up all the loose ends in about 142 seconds, I wanted a little more... But I can live with that. 
Find time for this movie, its a great date flick, believe it or not. Yes its violent, but its just so damned intriguing she'll be on the edge of her seat with ya. 
Boony likes, Boony likes....
You'll be talking about this one for a while after you see it, get you a water cooler bitches.

Movie scale 4 out of 5

Sit, roll over, play dead damn it

FIDO (2006)

Do you love zombies? Did you like "Pleasantville"? Do you have a love of cheesy, limb ripping violence? Then dear film fan "Fido" might just be the ticket you've been looking. So this is a rather interesting little piece of independent film. A lot of known actors, not big, but known. Including "oh my god where have you been since you didn't get naked in the matrix trilogy" Carrie Anne Moss.  You plot is thus, in what looks to be a fifties setting, zombies are real, everyone knows about them, and there was a war. We won, and afterwards, a company called Zombie Con developed technology that lets people use zombies as pets (this light up neck collar), or slaves, or whatever you want really, and yes if your sick mind has gone where some sick minds will, that too. Enter cute little Timmy whose mom, Helen (Carrie Ann Moss) decides they should have their first Zombie. Trust me when I say, there is no way in hell you will recognize Billy Connolly as Fido. I saw his name and did a double take. In case you don't know who that is, hit up a bio, guaranteed he's been in at least 20 flicks you've seen. Moving on...
So kid, and mom, develop real feelings for their Fido.
So when Fido's collar malfunctions and he kills someone, Timmy covers for him. And well, one dead lady equals new zombie. Equals new zombie attack, and so the zombie chaos continues, though through it all Fido seems to develop feelings for his new family as well. He's a 'good' zombie, ha. And it goes from their.
Now the film has a real 50's TV, cutesy, vibe. That was why at the beginning I mentioned "Pleasantville", was the closet film set piece I could use. Lots of big smiles, bright colors, a little too friendly folk, and old cars. The whole film is tongue in cheek, lots of good cheese laughs. The acting fits, always. And man, that much greasy hair dos is always a good time. I must say I did enjoy this film. The direction is tight, cheesy when it needs to be, old school zombie flick when it calls for it. I was quite impressed with the production values too for a smaller film. I mean the town looked great, and some of the shots were fab-u-lous. The only draw back I have is that, dare I say it, I wanted a little more zombie, and a little less, leave it to beaver. I mean it was cute, I get the point, hell I got the point 30 minutes in. Its fifties cool, great, now kill more stuff. 
So if you're looking for a zombie splatter fest, this is not the stop for you. But if you have a love of comedy horror gems like "Evil Dead 2" (of course as mentioned, minus the gore), and "House", this should give you more than a couple of giggle popcorn moments. Warning if you guys out there choose to watch this with a lady friend, its not scary enough to get her in your arms, so it might just end up with her shaking her head, and saying things like "What the hell is this", "why are we watching this, why are they talking like that"...etc, etc. I have born witness to it first hand... Boony got none... and now I am sad.

movie scale 3 out of 5 stars
Horror/comedy scale 3.5 out of 5 stars

Thanks bitches
Chuck B saying lata