Friday, March 29, 2013

'Joe Moma


I think every man between the ages of say 25-40 has played with a GI Joe toy at some point. From the parachuting accessories, to the missile launching motorbikes, there was just something man/boy-awesome about the whole thing. So after the success Hasbro (toy giant) had bringing transformers to the big screen (love it or hate it they made mad Cash yo!) they turned to GI Joe in 2009's Rise of Cobra. Now I went into that film with low expectations. I mean it's a film based on super soldiers with crazy weaponry, I wasn't exactly expecting art... yet still, it let me, and I think a lot of fans down. It was just silly. Too silly. Ya the gadgets were there, the explosions, the sprinkle of sexy, but it was just a mess really... despite the efforts (or lack thereof in some cases of the cast). Still, I didn't hate it.

So here we are round two. The company realized a few things... one a little more serious is never a bad thing. And two, Bruce Willis, and the Rock... together... is never a bad idea. Ok, so this film actually picks up roughly from where we left off last time with Zartan (master of disguise) having taken the place of the president. He sends the Joes on a mission to retrieve nukes, then has them assassinated. Poor Channing Tatum (as Duke) didn't even have time to bust one move. The rock and the two other survivors - Flint, and Lady Jaye (played by the ridiculously attractive - Adrianne Palicki), head off to find out who messed them up, and mess them up. At the same time, storm shadow and friends bust out Cobra commander.

This is the Joe movie you have been waiting for. If, you know, you've been waiting for such things. If you haven't well, its an awesome action flick. The writing is surprisingly enjoyable, although there are moments of utter stupid (it is still a film based on a toy line, remember), still, there are some real jokes in here. The cheap shots at North Korea during the beginning of what could be world war 3 are hilarious. The Rock/Channing banter is good, very good. To the point that I wish it had continued through the movie. The super ninja snake eyes action is good. Always fun to watch a grown ass man in ninja armour bust out machine guns to defend against ninja stars. Boooooya.

Seriously, last chance... where the F is my cupcake?
The directing is a great time. I'm not exactly sure how Jon M. Chu got the gig, but it appears to have been an inspired choice. He keeps the focus at an enjoyable, let the eyes catch all the action, perspective. Very appreciated. And the ninja mountain showdown (that was apparently inspired while playing with the toys on his couch, lol) was a glorious eyegasm in 3D, as was a lot of the movie really. It would seem the post production 3D is coming along rather nicely.

One very nice touch was the sexy side of the movie with Miss Palicki. Lets face it this is an old time action flick, doesn't matter the budget, right from the start that's what they were going for, and you gotta have a lil sexy in one of these things, and boy howdy does that girl deliver. I don't think I have ever been more impressed by a lady working a red dress on screen. 


Moving on, Bruce Willis, is great as usual. The Rza shows up as an old ninja master... Ya. That happened. Jonathan Pryce as Zartan being the president has a blast in the role this time around. He also has a few horrid lines, like cringe in your seat bad... but the nuclear war round table scene was so damned awesome, I forgave any other misstep. 

This is a great time for you action folks. All the cool toys and gadgets, are just that - cool. Not stupid or so over the top you just shake your head (the device to see a deadman's thoughts in the first movie - whaaaaa?). The Rock holds it down... and again, never thought I'd say this but I needed a little more Rock/Channing time, they were great together.

Movie scale 3 out of 5 stars
Action Movie scale 3.5 of 5 stars

Grab your 3D specs, your nacho tray, and get your man violence fix!

- Chuck Boonsweet is out... to his Moms, to find his long forgotten box of Joe-Bilia.

Thursday, March 28, 2013



A giant, big budget flick, from across the sees... featuring a who's who of Martial Arts films, and a trailer that stirred the collective hearts of foot to face fans the world over... I folks... was waiting for this one.

Ok.... ITTTTTTT'SSSSSSSSS TIME! For everyones favorite piece of kung fu blogness, the NINJA MONTH OF THE MONTH. Now, usually we here are B&B try to bring you awesomeness on some level. Be it the cheese of Miami Connection or the crazy why are you not on Bluray cool that was Dragons Forever , but well, I'm not really sure if you should rush out and see this one... I know. Insert sad Boony face here, but, well, let's just do this review and see how I feel at the end.

So, first, let me tell you what the world of critics (speaking of the high end, non small blog site variety) will say about this film:

It redefines an icon
A truly original take
Breath-taking camera work, beautiful to watch...  blah, blah, blah.

You know I love a beautiful, well shot, emotionally infused, piece of Ninja cinema, this folks is not  that. First, it commits the cardinal sin of any foot to face film - Horrible fight scenes. The choreography is awesome. But, the director has an condition and the only cure is more cow bell... (SNL holla), wait, no, the only cure is countless, and continual, slow motion cuts. I don't even have words for how frustrating watching a fight in this film is. Let me give you a play by play for every fight in this film.

1. Slow motion stare down.
2. Slow motion pose off.
3. Slow motion run at each other.
4. 3-4 seconds of kickass normal speed fighting.
5. Cut to slow motion hand blocking move.
6. Slow motion foot hitting something.
7. Slow motion face, other face.
8. 2-3 seconds of kickass normal speed action....

and well you get the point. Second, it's just plain boring.

Here's the issue... you know who directed this film: Kar Wai Wong. A brilliant director, of slow moving, emotionally stirring, thought inducing, cinema... In fact the first Chinese director to take home best director at the Cannes film festival. Ya. This folks is art house kung fu, and not in a good way. You see films like Crouching Tiger, hidden dragon and House of the flying daggers proved that you could be artsy and still kick ass. THE GRANDMASTER just forgets that the fights in a film like this are as important to audience as the emotional content, more so in some cases... well, ok, my case. For instance, I don't care about a very well crafted emotionally jarring death of a main character because nothing has happened for twenty minutes... and I'm still wondering why a final fight hasn't happened... oh ya, because there isn't one!

Cung Li is in this film. Ya, the world renowned martial artist, and UFC mainstay. You know what he does... attacks Yip Man (the star of the film, although strangely more second billing behind the female lead... what?!) then proceeds to do all kinds of kick ass stuff, only to have the camera cut to a slow motion shot of his foot hitting something that rain can fly off every time he misses. In one of two long fight scenes that demonstrate a strong love for the end of the matrix trilogy. "Hey you know that opening fight in the rain... it was cool, let's do another later in the movie. What? They won't notice it's the same, we'll add knives... and more slow motion shots."

Tell me that don't look like Neo in a hat... gone on, try! 

This is the 3rd, 4th, 29th (whatever) film about Yip Man. Donnie Yen made a couple of films a few years ago that reminded everyone why Donnie Yen is so freaking awesome, and pointed out that Yip Man was the guy that trained Bruce lee. Then everyone decided to make one. Well, this is the weakest in my humble... ah who am I kidding, in my all encompassing - opinion.

There are moments. Cung Li and Yip Man, crushing a cart between two of their kicks, a bolt flying in super cool slowness after being hit with an errand super move... but it's all lost because I'm leaned forward going - "JUST LET THEM FREAKING FIGHT ALREADY... OH THAT LOOKED COOL WISH I COULDA SEEN IT!"


I am sad.

This is a long (2hours+), boring movie, sprinkled with a few decent fights. There's also a few cool lines, and somehow the guy Playing YIP MAN manages to go through the entire film, and every fight with one face. Obviously an homage to Zoolander. Oh, and did I mention they make Yip Man out to be a complete dick. Abandons his three children, and his wife, not once, but twice... to um... live a life of kicking butt and not being poor. Annnnnd he really loves another woman... annnnnnd he's not used to being poor so he doesn't like it cause he's a rich brat.

Um. That seems to contradict the other films portrait of the martial arts legend.


Look, there are some incredibly cool shots here. If the director hadn't been in love with his own abilities, we could've had one of the greatest foot to face films ever... but as it is... two hours of - Meh. Zhang Ziyi is beautiful to watch as always, and is by far the best actor. The director and her have worked together and he actually manages to turn a movie about the guy that trained Bruce Lee into a film about the troubled life of this chick.

All show, no go. Lots of pretty, and not much else...

Movie scale 2.5 out of 5 stars
Ninja movie scale 2.5 out of 5 stars.

Remember, all the high end critics are gunna be on this like white on rice... but keep an eye on the thoughts and feelings of Me, and my kind lol... we know the truth.

- Chuck Boonsweet , smoke bomb! and gone!

or follow us @BoonsBuckles

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Now I'm freeee.......freeloading.


Hello again film fans.  When it comes to reviewing for Boonsweet & Bucklesworth, it seems your old pal Kenny B. often leans toward reviewing something horror-related.  And while I've obviously reviewed non-horror in the past, lately I've been feeling that I should broaden my reviewing horizons, genre wise, on a more regular basis.  Which brings us to the movie in question for today, Freeloaders.

Freeloaders is a movie that surprisingly eluded me until recently.  And by surprisingly, I mean that this movie was produced by the Broken Lizard comedy team.  You most likely know them from such great comedies as Super Troopers, Beerfest, etc.  And I am a huge fan of their work.  So when I heard that they produced Freeloaders, I chastised myself for not seeing it sooner, and finally checked it out last night.  So, does it live up to the standards of comedy gold?  Let's find out.

Five slackers have spent a varying number of years crashing at the home of Adam Duritz of Counting Crows.  Originally they were supposed to be there long enough to make something of themselves and get their own place eventually.  However, they grew complacent and lazy, and years later they've given up on their dreams.  That is, until Adam calls and announces he's getting married and is going to sell the mansion.  So, with their idyllic existence threatened, the group decide to finally get their shit together and work towards getting enough money together to make a down payment and keep the house for themselves.  As you can expect, hijinks ensue, and the gang discover it's not so easy to get $475k together in a week (as that would make for a rather short movie otherwise).

Freeloaders does have some funny moments in it no doubt, but it wasn't as entertaining as I had hoped.  The main problem is that when it comes to behind the scenes of the movie, the Broken Lizard group are only involved with producing, and nothing else creatively speaking.  They did have cameos in one scene where they are all part of a porn production team who convince the freeloaders to do a shoot in the mansion, which was the highlight of the movie for me. 

Just a regular day in the life of....the Freeloaders.

The acting was decent enough, but I can't imagine it's that difficult to play a slacker who just wants to party and get high all the time.  At a certain point in the movie Dave Foley shows up playing himself.  In the movie he's broke and ends up crashing with the gang, and I think I enjoyed his performance the most of the main cast.  Adam Duritz also plays himself in this, and if you're a Counting Crows fan you'll get a treat, as he performs "Hanginaround" during the credits.  Legend Jane Seymour was also good in her role as Adam Duritz's real estate agent, who just wants to sell the house and get the freeloaders the hell out as quickly as possible.  For you Olivia Munn fans, she has a brief cameo early in the movie, a good portion of that just in her bra and undies if you're interested (cough Boony cough lol.). 

The movie overall isn't very original.  Some of the jokes aren't that funny, and it's got a pretty predictable story and ending.  But I didn't really regret watching it.  At best, I'd recommend renting it only, and sometime when you don't have anything else to watch.  You will get some laughs out of it, but probably not as many as you'd like.  And you'll also get some T&A in a couple of places if that makes it better for you in any way.  That's really all I have to say about it.  It just makes me want to watch a comedy actually made by Broken Lizard.  Vaya con dios.

Movie Rating: 2.5 out of 5 stars
Comedy Rating: 3 out of 5 stars

- Ken Bucklesworth, in need of a good laugh. :P

Twitter: @KenBucklesworth, @BoonsBuckles

Alpha Beta Die

VAMP U (2013)

Ok I will admit it, after witnessing that poster... Charles Boonsweet had to see this movie. I accepted a few things 1) That is was an indie vamp/comedy so expectations low, 2) That I had to expect the aforementioned poster boobs would be a lie, and 3) a plain white T, boobs, and a plain Jane cool tag line... just maybe damn it I had hope.

Hope lives!

I tell you now, this movie almost... alllllmost got it right. Ok, so the story is that an old vampire Wayne Gretzky - yup, no relation - played by a B movie known type; Adam Johnson - is impotent. That meaning that he can't get his fangs up due to killing his one and only love centuries ago. You see this thing happens when he finds someone that can get his Fang up, he vamps outta control and kills them... bummer. Cue the TV travelled super cutie Julie Gonzalo, playing Chris Keller a student at the University Wayne Gretzky teaches at. The students think he's the awesomeness teacher, due to his keen sense of history. They meet, start having a bunch of sex, his fangs get hard, and wouldn't you know it... he kills her. She comes back as the undead (turns out all vamps have to do is drink a persons blood for that person to change), and not just a vamp but a super vampire. So it will be up to the Professor, the comic relief guy, and some dude that was crushing on Keller pre-vampire, to take her and her wicked hot sorority vamped up girls down.

Phew, k lots going on there. First, here is a very easy way to find out if you want to watch this movie; watch the first five minutes. It opens with a student making his "last" recording, before heading off for the final battle. He basically digresses twice and tells you, the audience, off, and it was very funny. I laughed, and thought, Hmmm, maybe there's a chance. If that is how you feel after the first five minutes, before the kid steps away from the camera... than stick around, you are in for a few genuine laughs. And some quality... wait was that slapstick?

Serious? You shoooooore you don't wanna try the koolaid?
The problem is: With all the wonderful corny lines, solid over the top performances, and B-movie horror/comedy clearly established... it forgets one very important thing... it's audience. You have a script that is better than most. You have a cast that is having waaaaaay too much fun with it. Heck, you even design one of the coolest ways to kill a Vamp I've seen on film... and while we're add it this film does pretty much just decide which rules to follow and which to ignore... maybe the filmmakers shoulda spent a wee bit-o-time at the "Vamp U" get it... ya. I'm clever...

Ah, stupid digression, yes, their audience... much like I just forget mine... This is a film that well appeal to one set genre of fans. These fans will wear your shirts, buy your DVD, tattoo a cool slogan from your film on a sleeve, all of that, if you just choose to embrace them. The sad point is, you have a film littered with beautiful women, a great set up to unlimited violence, a scene involving trading sex for blood... and yet really, you take out a few swear words, and we have a PG film. Yup. Get rid of one half of the 2 buckets of blood there was, add Selena Gomez (or some similar likeness - I'm not really in the Disney loop), and Bam! Disney movie of the week. They would have called it, um, Wands vs Fangs - trademarked!

You see that's the issue, and dammit it if I'm not running into it a lot lately. This probably explains my sudden voyage into 70s, and 80s flicks. Just pissed off that people aren't just going for it. Throw blood at every second scene. Insert one 20-30 blood orgy scene. Let vampires fight... at least once, is all that too much to ask? Hmmm? And then you guys (being all the people involved with this) would have been seeing Vamp U tanks at every horror convention. Trust. I know these things.

Of course they could've just owned up from the start and made it a clear PG label!

Still, my disappointment in the marginally R film aside, I really did enjoy the majority of the insanity. If you go in with my warning heeded, and expected a light romp, I do believe ye shall enjoy.

That's it...
I'm watching an old school evil Dracula flick just to balance out.
Did want to mention this film does have one of the greatest laugh out louds (yes I freaking spelt it I refuse to say Lolz) moments. Big comedy guy + slow motion tanning salon heist = giggle.

Movie scale 2 out of 5 stars
horror/comedy scale 3 out of 5 stars

Charles Boonsweet signing off,
saying look both ways, and don't eat squirrels.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Seven rules for dating a Psychopath


Do you enjoy yourself some smooth, cool, alternative, film experiences? Things on the tip of a Tarantino-speak adventure... Then this is for you. A strange little mind frak of a movie. Colin Farrel plays Marty, a script writer working on a new script - Seven psychopaths. His best friend, Billy (the always awesome Sam Rockwell), is in his own way trying to help him, by relaying various tales of psychopaths he hears around. Billy in his spare time runs a business with Hans (the man, the myth, the legend - Christopher Walken). They steal dogs and then return them and claim the reward money. Problems arise when a canine they dognapped happens to belong to super evil killer guy - Charlie, played by... yes, ok, you get it, this film is packed... PACKED! with stars... oh and the bad guy killer dude, Woody Harrelson. I um, don't think I really need to anymore time speaking to the caliber of the in film acting... so we can move on...

The whole film plays out in surreal layers that blend the stories of the psychopaths being worked into Marty's script, with the world Marty lives in. Slowly, and strangely, the two worlds begin to overlap.
This truly is a film you could make the argument to watch simply for the acting talent involved. But, unlike many of the ensemble offerings lately that failed to measure up to the names on the poster... this does. In every way.

I write, I blog, I novel, and when it comes to truly great screen writing... I smile ear to ear. I had that feeling through the entire last half of this film. I understood what was coming, and I understood it was still going to amaze, and wow... when I got there. Okay, I apologize for this... I am going to take a few lines here to rant on the art of writing. The genius to this screen play is the entire time it is a real life story that is aware it's a movie. Yup. Wrap your head around that. This is accomplished with the "film within the film". They tell you what is coming, and yet, by giving you that knowledge, by giving you just enough to be sure you're smart and have it all figured... they perfectly prepare you to be blown away. You see they don't lie. When the film says it wants to be a thoughtful, life reaffirming film... you sigh, you assume some cheesy moment is coming...

Editor note: This is in no way, shape, or form, the moment. 

But when that moment does come. It blindsides you. I was in awe on that moment. It truly moved me, and shocked me. To weave a thread through the film and bring it to its climax with out me so much as guessing at it... Im - freaking - pressive. This is a writer/director that has a true confidence in his abilities... this being the second film of his I have seen in which he wore both the writer and director hats, I would liken it to a Tarentino experience (complete with insane over the top violence). There is a flow to the film, a language that is at once his, and yet, feels nothing like his previous works.

Christopher Walken stands out in this film, and that was a nice surprise. There are so many acting legends that are just fading into the sunset (except for Morgan Freaking Freeman, that guy is a machine!); Al Pacino, Robert Deniro, so many talents just not getting the offers they used to. Or, perhaps simply not caring enough to be more selective. It was good to know Walken still has it in him, and I hopes this means we'll see more awesome from him soon.

See this movie. One of my favourite films of the last year, hands down. Its fun, and fresh, and wonderfully messed up. I can't even be all funny and shizzie, too dang impressed. Jaw on floor people. I really hope you invest some time in this one.

How this film did not get at least a nomination for best original screenplay... well if I didn't have doubts before as to their methods I certainly do now.

A definite must own for ol' Boony.

One of my fav films of the past year, hands down. Did I already say that? Who da F cares! I have that warm belly full from film feel, and I like it...

Movie Scale 4.5 out 5 stars
Crime/comedy 4.5 out of 5 stars.

Sure not everyone will be with me, tis the nature of film lol, but those that are, you are going to call your friends when you are done watching it and try to coerce them into watching it immediately :)

One happy reviewer,
Chuck Boonsweet

me by day - @Tallwhitefox
Us - @boonsbuckles

Monday, March 11, 2013

CRAP (March '13)


Hello again, my beautiful people.  Your old pal Ken here is feeling the effects of a cold that's weighing me down.  And in my sick haze, I thought "Hey, I'm feeling like crap.  What better time is there to do a CRAP! review?"  Well, the actual answer is "ANY OTHER TIME".  However, I'm here in front of the computer, so why not just do it?  To be honest, I've actually been looking forward to doing this review, because it means I can forget about this movie existing all the sooner. But let's not delay any further, here we go.

First, this story takes place in modern times.  So if you're looking to see old school wenches in too-tight bodices and whatnot, you're outta luck friends.  So in this modern take, Hansel and Gretel live in the town of Candlewood.  Gretel works in a bakery called 'The Gingerbread House" (yes, that's as close to the original gingerbread house as you're getting in this) for her boss Lilith (played by the only big name in this whole thing, Dee Wallace).  Hansel is happy living with his father and his father's girlfriend, playing video games and the like.  One evening the H&G's father makes the announcement that he and his girlfriend have gotten engaged, and are planning to move out of Candlewood.  Hansel decides to throw a huge hissy fit about it (making me instantly dislike him) and runs out of the house.  Gretel tries to talk to him, but he proceeds to continue his "poor me" routine (way to make me hate one of the main protagonists!!) and runs off.  Gretel follows after him, and good thing too, as Hansel's night gets worse when he steps into a bear trap, or at least something similar to it.  Anyway, instead of going back the way they came, they see a cabin not far from them and go to get help.  That sort of doesn't make sense to me, as from the time Hansel ran off to the point Gretel catches up to him in the woods, it doesn't seem like they went all that far.  But who am I to point out such things?  Oh, wait.  I'm KEN MF'ING BUCKLESWORTH!!

Ahem, sorry about that.  Anyway, they're surprised to find Gretel's boss Lilith answering the door.  Lilith rushes them in and feeds them, where Hansel quickly passes out.  He gets out on a couch, but not too long after, Gretel unexpectedly passes out herself.  You probably know where this is headed.  Hansel is locked up in a hidden cellar with a few other prisoners.  Gretel finds the secret door to the cellar, and Lilith has her chained up.  Lilith opens up to Gretel, revealing that she was special to her, and wanted Gretel to join her family of people eaters.  After continuously turning Lilith down, and a failed attempt to escape, Lilith gives up and throws her into the cellar with the rest.  From here on in, it's nothing but Hansel and Gretel trying to escape from the cabin, with their father and future step mom, and two dumbass cops trying to find them.

This movie is booorrrinng.  As I already stated, Hansel was an annoying tool, and Gretel had very little charisma,  And as they are the two "heroes" of the story, that's a terrible combination.  It was one of those rare times when I looked at the time here and there to see how much of the flick was left.  It's become a bad habit today where I find I don't care about the main characters that I'm supposed to like.  And it's just gotta stop.  When did it become such a problem to have people in movies I can like and want to root for?  When I hate the main characters (especially as early as I did in H&G) the rest of the movie (more often than not) tends to lose me interest-wise.

"String, my one weakness!!"  Just one of the odd hallucinations later in the movie.

This, however, does bring up one performance that deserves to be talked about.  And that is Dee Wallace's role as Lilith.  It seemed to me she was having a blast the whole time, and she put a lot of energy into it.  The sad thing is, there were big chunks of the movie where she wasn't on screen, which made those sections drag on longer than it seemed.  And in the second half of the movie, I actually wondered more than once when Dee was going to be back on the screen.

To be perfectly honest, there's not a whole lot more to say.  The scenery was pretty enough, if you're into forests.  The practical effects weren't too shabby, though there wasn't a whole lot of that actually going on really.  And there's a really weird part in the last third of the movie where the heroes inhale some sort of gas and starts to hallucinate things, and it goes on for close to ten minutes.  I have to admit though, the pastries in this movie did look quite tasty.

Here's my final word of the matter: if you're a huge Dee Wallace fan, you should at least check it out just to see her performance.  Chances are though, you're going to be in the same boat I was in and wonder when you'll see her next because of how boring everything in between is.  Aside from that, don't watch this movie.  If you feel the need to watch something lame and cheesy, watch almost anything else from The Asylum.  Or do what Chuck B. is doing and watch some Corman or other 80's cheese fest.  I'll be back to review something better soon.  Sayonara!!

Movie rating: 1.5 out of 5 stars
Horror/cheese rating: 1 out of 5 stars

- Ken Bucklesworth
Follow @KenBucklesworth, @Tallwhitefox @BoonsBuckles

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Mommy, Pleeeease I want a pet crocodile ...


I mean how great is that freaking poster?
Take a moment and let it sink in. That is one primed for violence redneck and his pet Croc tearing through the backwoods waters, of some back woods town...

Q: Boony, is that a scythe?
A: Why yes dear booniac it is... it so is.

And what do you think he's going to do with that? Yup. He's gonna kill folks, and then feed them to his Croc. Not always in that order.

So as I admitted I am on a bit of an old school kick, and my 80s insanity has stretched back into the 70s now and it is getting weird folks. Tobe Hooper is something of an enigma in the horror-verse. He created The Texas Chainsaw Massacre a legit horror icon, perhaps top three all time. Then he slides another couple legit offerings under his directing belt, Salem's Lot, and another horror icon (being of the PG-13 variety) in Poltergeist, the insanity that is Lifeforce and well... not much else really. But he has managed to crank out some B-movie cheese that has led to bluray re-releases, and a steady love from a certain portion of the Horror crowd.

Eaten alive came a few years after Texas Chainsaw and for me; is the closest he ever came to recapturing the glorious bloody fury of his Apex. Somehow, is still one of his lesser known/appreciated efforts. I pretty much covered the plot at the start, but to add a few details... there is a missing girl, who was a hooker, and then decided not to be, and ended up at JUDD's hotel, and then got eaten... her Dad and sister are crossing the countryside looking for her. Robert Englund shows up to be a dick, and try to have sex with women in door number 2... and um, some married couple that makes your worst relationship look like a paperback romance makes an appearance to go crazy and set up the child under the house bit that plays through a large portion of the film...

In this order... new person arrives... hears child screaming for help under the house... and then they die...

Okay (deep breath) can do this, just wiggle your big toe... 

Basically this film isssssss whack. And great. And weird. And crazy, and well, pretty much everything the TCM was without the gasoline. There is almost so much crazy here it's hard to be drawn in at some points. Luckily Robby Englund is always a good watch, there are many nubile females in peril, and the Croc action is a hoot. Neville Brand absolutely lets loose as Judd. Talking to himself, laughing hysterically in excitement as people get eaten... whore hating... and well, all that.

I recommend this film only for the true slasher/gore/Hooper lovers out there. Then first hour plus of this film will be hard to get through for most, besides the villain there really isn't a lot going on here. The girl under the house is interesting for a bit then its just "How are you still alive"... but... the last 15 minutes really turns this film around. Naked. Blood. And some genuine peril. Much like the assault to the senses that is the ending to the original Texas Chainsaw Hooper goes all out, it really had my attention for the last act...

Considering some of the slashers I have um, suffered through as of late... this was defs on the not worst list...

Movie scale 2.5 out of 5 stars
Horror/B-movie scale 3.5 out of 5 stars

Screw it... I have too...
In a while, Crocodile(s)....

Side note, talk about trying to recapture the glory days... Tobe Hooper not only remade his Toolbox Murders in 2004, he also did another low budget Croc movie in 2000 called Crocodile... nothing wrong with being consistent I guess... :)

this review brought to you by -
Charles "I will never stay at a backwoods hotel" Boonsweet

me @tallwhitefox
my Partner @KenBucklesworth
and us @BoonsBuckles

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Sunday, March 3, 2013

Jack and the BS (Um, not short for beanstalk)


This is a film based on the fairy tale Jack and the beanstalk. What you have above this is a character poster for the film that show nothing... No Jack, no giants, only Eleanor Tomlinson... in golden armour. Why you ask? Because really that's one of the few things this film has going for it. Okay, well, I mean there's probably at least 14 or so things going for it. 14 our of let's say - 236.

Bryan Singer made this film. He directed it, so I am going to blame him for the failings. This is a man that years ago directed the film The usual Suspects and like Hollywood has a tendency to do, they decided he had a chance to be the next great story teller. Hey, you know what he's had his moments. XMEN, VALKYRIE... But then he did something I can never forgive... ever for as long as I live, he made Superman Returns. Single handedly destroying a cherished part of my comic loving youth (and adult self)

I was asked to go to this film. I obliged. Listen, before I carry on this here review thing, let me make it very clear... I would never hate a film simply because someone is involved with it. Every film has a blank slate when it comes to impressing me... Ok. (deep breath)

So, most of us have heard the fairy tale. A young boy finds magic beans. They fall into the ground, a giant beanstalk grows up into the sky, young boy climbs it... and discovers a magical giant kingdom. And, um, a singing harp if I remember correctly... So of course, that's a great idea to spend 200 million dollars on... (sigh)

All the elements are here. Jack grows up listening to tales of the giants, fairy tales. Another child, the princess grows up with the same tales. Then as hormonal teenagers they meet. She is a rebellious royalty, determined to prove she is no fragile woman. He is a poor man sure that he is destine for greater things. A monk that is sworn to protect the world from the giants return, steals beans from an evil guy. Jack gets the beans, goes home. Princess runs away, um, because she's all tired of being told what to do and stuff... and then it storms, and in the rainy dark she comes upon Jack's cabin. They have a moment of connection, then a bean gets wet, and BAM! Turns out all the fairy tales are true... evil guy has a magic crown to control the Giants and wants to rule the world, and Jack and the princess and Ewan Mcgregor just have to not get eaten and save the day...

Ok. There are some real positives here... one I liked the two leads. The aforementioned Eleanor Tomlinson is a true beauty, and as far as I can tell, has no thespian issues. Jack is well played by Nicholas Hoult (that dude in the Warm Bodies flick). Yes their whole romance is something you have seen, read, etc, many times, but their chemistry felt real. And was much better realized than say Snow white and the huntsmen. Also, the scene with one of them being prepared to be eaten is pretty fun. Annnnd the opening, and the way they structure both Jack and the Princess growing up with the legend, and various obstacles is well done. Really though, after we get past that... there's not much that stands out. Yes the effects are really pretty, and the music is epic, but there is nothing that makes this film worthy of future shelf space.

First of all the Giants. Could they have been scary? Yes. I mean they freaking eat people. Should they have be scary? Yes. Instead what we get are big dumb things that pick their noses and fart all the time.
Oh right those two attractive leads are defs in trouble from that giant farting thing! There really isn't a villain. Ya there's a guy that wants to rule the world, but he has like ten lines in the whole film. And um, he was set up as a romantic opposition to Jack? Then they just don't ever touch on that again. Some of the lines are just horrible. For instance you are climbing a giant beanstalk into the sky, and Jack looks at you and asks about the giants... to which you (you being a knight) respond with "I don't fear what isn't real". Or something like that. Really? Giants aren't real. You are climbing a giant beanstalk that goes into the sky... probably a safe bet to assume the rest of the fairy tale is real.

So, um - swords and spears useless, but a few bees... who knew
There is just so much thrown in without any plausible explanation. For instance as the picture says above. Bees... little bees, take down one. I mean that would be the equivalent of someone throwing a handful of little mosquitoes at me. Annoying - yes, deadly (West Nile exclusions to this analogy) No! I mean how freaking small is a bee to a 50 foot giant? Another scene in the film clearly shows three characters at the edge of a cliff. The shot shows about 50-60 yards behind them. Nothing there, just rock and grass. Then, say, 5 seconds later two giants surprise them. Where did they come from? How did they walk so lightly (the rest of the film they practically shake the ground with each step)? Oh, and lastly... the magical crown that controls them... it fit on a guys head, two heads actually, and the giant slips it over two of his fingers... that would make the characters heads what... two and a half feet wide? What?

200 million dollars. No real villain. Giant dumb things that fart, and nose pick, and are suppose to be threatening. A monk from an order to protect the earth from giants, no explanation of the order - ever. They never call him Jack the Giant Slayer. Not once. Even after the guy has single handedly killed 3 giants. Not once. That just bugged me. Things in the plot just happen with no real explanation to move the plot along... like... wait a sec, Jack is actually a herbalist that knows how to cure injury with a weed...? This is a perfect example of Hollywood throwing a ton of $$$ at a film, and expecting result instead of working in reverse and making sure the words, the story, is worth the money.

If you just want a blood less PG adventure the family can watch and have a few chuckles over, this will get the job done... and tons of bits and pieces flying out in the 3D (which looks very good)
But if you are hoping for a grand adventure tale, with peril, and heroes... and cool shields... this is not the one.
And if you are a die-hard Bryan Singer fan who believes the man can do no wrong, I implore you to go see this, just so you can feel a little of the pain he has caused... me....


Movie Scale 2.5 out of 5 stars
Adventure Movie scale 2.5 our of 5 stars.

PS - There is nothing cool about throwing in a twist at the end that ties the story to modern times! What, am I suppose to leave the theatre going - Gosh giants still exist. Bad Singer!

I am really looking forward to more from miss Eleanor, and with Hoult's performance - I think I am a little more intrigued to scope out Warm Bodies.  Man Hollywood... enough with this giant budget suck stuff. No wonder you guys lose money... but I mean... blame downloading if you wanna...