Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Chiller Classics present: Suspiria!


Alrighty, here we are Booniacs and Buckleheads, everyones fav retro horror loving segment. Where I, Chuck Boonsweet, or my co-hort in all things bloodshed film - Ken-Ken Bucklesworth, bring light to some cult, or not so much, classic entry in the horror/thriller genre. In Sept we brought you the Chucky Retrospective, which of course brought joy to all the horror kiddies. In October Bucklesworth brough you the monster slasher - Pumpkinhead... So how 2 follow up back 2 back awesomeness... well, there's only really one option... awesomener awesomeness... Yup. I will of course probably be making up more words as we go along...

The classic horror directors of all time. Craven comes to mind (Nightmare on Elm street, Hills have eyes, Scream, and the porno that turned into a real movie - Last house on the left), Tobe Hooper (Texas Chainsaw Massacre, Eaten Alive, Lifeforce, Toolbox murders) and well... the list goes on. But what about movements on other shores that inspired all kinds of future Slasher entries? What about Gaillo? The italian sex filled, blood filled, genre that I (and a few others) could make a strong argument for creating the Slasher genre as what it is today... And perhaps the most prolific of those italian slasher/Gaillo Directors - Dario "Let the blood flow" Argentoooooooooooo!

Phenomena, Deep Red, Tenebre, and the list goes on, or well, some would argue stops shortly after those entries... the POINT is, when the man was on he was one of the greatest of all time. Perhaps more than any other filmmaker you can see his influence on modern cinema. From plot twists, to bloodletting, to camera techniques, and evolutions in soundtrack cohesion that can not be overlooked. And well, most, though perhaps not I, are firmly behind SUSPIRIA as being his masterpiece.

SUSPIRIA is a strange exception in the Horror genre. A film that is loved by the horror fan underground, as much as by the mainstream critics, and film buffs. A true representation of art meeting the most underrated (and timeless) genre of all time.

So, folks, your plot; American moves to a prestigious foreign Ballet academy. Creepiness ensues and she realizes there are sinister forces at work... possibly against her. And (shout out American Horror Story season 3) they might be witches! Dun. Dun. Dunnnnnnnnnn!

Sorry but dammit that is all the plot you need! Why are not here to tell you story shizzie, this is about awesomeness, and why this film is here in the revered - CHILLER CLASSICS! Or well, maybe the plot of this film is that easy to sum up... in... three lines. Haha... whatever, lets move on.

I thought I would take a break from my usual
awesome photo comments to simply call out the use
of colour, and angles in this amazing feature. 

From the very opening you know you are in for something special here. Perhaps his best opening (and I am saying I love PHENOMENA and DEEP RED - future Chiller Classic features? Yup). The subtlety of the music as she exits the airport. The shot of the headlights moving through the trees... this is just in a different league. In fact the opening 5 minutes of this movie showcase the mastery of the camera to which Dario awes nothing to no one. The shift in music, as our lead watches a woman run through the forest. All of this, as a horror fan should have you incredibly interested...

Why... why Dario just decided to ignore all this shit later in his career has baffled many a fan, and critic. Perhaps, it is a simple matter of he forgot, ah dammit. DRACULA 3D is creeping into my mind, ahhhhh... lets stay on track here.

Watching this film on bluray is nipple hardening. A little hard to find (Mine is a region B that forced me to buy a special player), but the good news is a North American release is coming soon. But hey for all my non NA Booniacs out there... damn it get on it! The quality of the transfer is amazing. If you are a hardened horror fan (you know such as me lol) the high def detail of all the practical death well enthral.

Ya, enthral... sue me I've been reading a lot lately...

Moving on. You can make a great argument that the american horror films of the late 70s early 80s were the nexus of creativity and chaos... but I counter that by saying, that Dario, and his Gaillo peers, where doing it in a way unlike anything made on NA shores. They were simply unafraid to go batshit crazy, and treat it like a completely award worthy feature. Does that make sense? Thats as close as I can get...

I mean this is a story about an evil ballet school full of witches, and yet, it manages to be fun, and involving throughout. Think Wes Craven could've pulled that off? I say no. I admit, I am not against debate on the topic... I expect some of you may challenge me on this. But watch the camera work of Craven vs the camera skills of Argento at his prime... two different levels of film-making. Not saying one is better than the other... but its american grind house shock vs Italian Arthouse shock.

Of course, we are talking 4 decade old italian cinema, so you can expect the writing at times to come across as a little forced or silly. And after some American success italian filmmakers were making an effort to make their films more appealing to NA audiences... sometimes thats a good thing, and ah... sometimes not so much. But occasional silliness aside... not effort to wipe the HD grin off my face.

Listen, if you are not a fan of ol skool horror... maybe this won't change your mind. But... it just may. The colours, lighting (including the awesome prism scene), directing, are extraordinary. And, heck if that last 5 minutes isn't damn near perfect. It may be a little slow at times, but in the tradition of the finest gaillo... it is a fun mystery/whodunnit/slasher lol...

Although... did I miss who the green eyed thing was? Ah maybe just a demon. No point in thinking too deep on it...

Movie scale 3.5 out of 5 stars
Classic Horror scale 4.5 out of 5 stars

How about a teaser... next months Chiller classic will be the oldest one I Chuck Boonsweet have ever done... Yup we going like 70 years back. Prepare for the first ever... black and white CHILLER CLASSIC... (and the crowd goes wild... or you know fist pumps by their PC... Booya!)

-Chuck Boonsweet.

Monday, November 25, 2013

Loving him was like Re-eh-eh-ed Re-eh-eh-ed

RED (2013)

Did I just Taylor Swift reference that title? Yup. And there ain't shit you can do about it. Hey, not my fault that damn blonde is everywhere. Smiling and singing and everything, and looking all tall and goody goody. On a side note how is T-swizzie single? Like, do you ever just really sit down and wonder what has to be wrong with this girl for her to get dumped by a Jonas Brother... hahaha. Ah pop culture. Anyway. Moving on.

So a couple years back a fun flick filled with old timers of all genres hit the scene RED, and had a marginal bit of success (90 million on a 50 million budget). It was fun, fast paced, and so damned packed with talent you could hardly stop yourself from smiling all the way through. They also threw logic (and in one instance physics) out the window in favor of laughs, and cheers. And hey, I'm ok with that.

Let us chat sequel... So the gangs all here (almost) Bruce Willis as the in love, and trying to be normal, Frank Moses. John Malcovich as the crazy and likable Marvin, Hellen Mirren (having probably more fun than she ever has on screen) as the deadly assassin Victoria, and Mary-louise Parker (the ultitate MILF from weeds) as the normal girl Frank fell for, Sarah. What can of trouble can they get into this time around? Well turns out Frank and Marvin were part of a mission years ago to protect a super evil genius that designed the ultimate bomb. Now, it seems the bomb was built, exists and everyone wants it, or wants anyone that knows about it dead. So it looks like retirement will have to wait. Which is a good thing as Sarah has grown tired of the plain, normal life, Frank is giving her. Turns out she's a little bit of a danger whore.

Well... Hellen... thats what you get for making the asian driver joke. 
I said the gang is all here, I lied. Morgan (I am everywhere) Freeman, for some reason does not reprise his role from the first one. Which is missed, his chemistry with some of this legends was great. Though they fill his absence with Catherine Zeta Jones as a former love interest of Frank's, and Anthony Hopkins as the abused (and insane) creator of super weapon. So I guess a Zeta and a Hopkins do equal a Freeman. Well, close anyway.

The story moves along quickly, it's fun, one liner's dropping everywhere. Marvin is a hoot, stepping up for a leading role with Frank, and their friendly/notsofriendly banter should have you grinning the whole way. The twist with Sarah turning out to crave anything but a normal life is great (including a lovely and hilarious end scene). The action however is a little lacking over the first one. Too much cool chatty I dare say.

A new addition Byung-Hun lee (the very entertaining Storm Shadow from the GI JOE movies) as Han, steals most of the best action scenes as the super hitman sent after Frank. He is a natural badass on screen, and I think we will be seeing more of him soon.

At 60 years old, Bruce and John have unique gun fight techniques. 
So you have fun, a great cast, a decent plot, some action... what's wrong? Well there's something, and maybe it's just me. There just never seems to be any real peril here. I mean, this is a film where bad guys aren't really that bad, and badder guys are just misunderstood, and the baddest guys might actually turn out to be friends... and quickly too. There is a part near the end of the second third where a fight occurs. It starts with "I will kill you Frank" (I paraphrase) and ends with "Ok, let's be friends". Its that kind of back and forth that steals away some of the dread, and accomplishment of our heroes.

Something the first one pulled off nicely. I think if you liked the first one, or hey, even if you haven't seen the first one... this is a good time. Not quite as action packed, or cool, as the first one, but maybe a little funnier. And with the cast... you really can't doubt the performances and characters. I just felt they went a little too far into the comedy this time around. Lost some of the grit on the original. Though I should say Helen Mirren's Victoria is still a blast, and manages to have a few of the more vicious moments in the film.

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

It's a joke a minute fun time, with a great cast. That perhaps packs a few more laughs than explosions in.

-Chuck Boonsweet

Friday, November 22, 2013



Ok it is that time again foot to face, fist to kiss, fans around the world. The NINJA MOVIE OF THE MONTH. A segment where I, Chuck Boonsweet, or my dashingly daring co-host: Ken K. Bucklesworth, dive into a flick of the kung fu variety that has crossed our paths. Here we declare whether it has inspired us to rise up to challenge evil with only our homemade nunchucks, and chocolate chip ninja stars. Or... has left us as unsatisfied as day old delivery. Enjoy Booniacs and Buckleheads!

Oh God.
That was my deep, bass heavy, voice inside; as I heard the news they were making yet one more movie of IP MAN. Or Yip Man, or whatever. So do you guys know about him? No. Well heck then, here's a little catch up. Turns out this guy was a master of a martial art call Wing Chun. That in itself is cool, but he also happened to be responsible for an early portion of (wait for it...) Bruce freaking Lee's training. Ya that guy. You know the most famous on screen martial artist ever (Honorable mention to Jackie, and my boy Jet). Also he that basically brought martial arts to the mainstream.

Ya. So the out of the blue, peeps decided to make a film based on his life... Appropriately titled IP MAN and it starred the insanely talented Donnie "Should be so damn famous" Yen. And well, the world went nuts for it. Then they made a sequel, and it didn't make much sense... but he was fighting Sammo Hung on a table, so I didn't care. Then they made a prequel that turned out to be AWESOME... then they made a huge artsy kung fu flick about his life... the criminally overrated (as in people who don't like street kung fu love it) GRANDMASTER. And then they said... hey, let's make another... Seriously people... this like becoming the new SAW or POLICE ACADEMY... (hows that for a film reference, booya!)

Dammit, ok. 1 more time. I will master the handshake I swear!
Anyway so your plot. So Ip Man leaves wife and kid, or wharves. Opens kung fu school on roof. Yes it should be Wing Chun school, but hey his subtitled words not mine. So there's evil things happening to Ip Man's friends and family. Of course they are being prosecuted and all that. Or I mean, what is the point of whooping ass (I am aware I should be more caring, and concerned about the blight of others and all that... but this is 5 freaking movies of the same damn story... "sigh"). Anyway there is a friend of Ip Man that becomes a cop, and helps a gangster... and then Ip Man and his students have to come together to take the gangster and his men on. Good thing the Gangster turns out to be a martial arts master himself...

So here I am 40 minutes into this movie and funny thing... NOTHING HAS HAPPENED. No fighting. No cool Ip Man stuff. Just a lot of daytime drama. And his son narrating the film - This is my Dad. This is what my dad did. Things were bad. BLAH BLAH! And Ip Man meets a singer, falls for her, she falls for the master probably 40 years her elder... and ya. Ip Man is married, but whatever they pretty much kick her and his son out of the story. Well except for the voice over...

In case you're wondering. Be prepared for that face for 100 minutes

Then a really cool fight happens with another master. Sweet. It's all one on one... with eager students watching to see who the victor is... through the door... ? Wait a sec. I've seen that before. Ya, that really cool scene of master vs Master in IP MAN #1. What the hell?! Am I suppose to be all - Wow that's just like that other cool movie, this movie is so cool. Cause if I was, plan failed. Because all I am now thinking at this point of the movie is... shit that other movie was so much better.

Ah listen this is a 100 minute flick with I would say rough estimate 7 minutes of action in it. Maybe 7 and a half. Ya. That's a true story. And the last fight makes no real sense, and you're not really invested, because... they set it up so fast and without any build up that you kind of lose the moment. But hey, they do have a shot of the good guys looking all badass in the ran...

So, there's that.

So to recap. Big martial arts film. Almost no martial arts. Showdown is all right but so short its sad. Acting is blah. They make Ip Man out to be an emotionless wall. They drop Bruce Lee in there at the end to remind you - hey that's right this movie is about... ah I don't care.

No more. I am done watching anything based on this man's life. Like Gandhi doesn't even have this many films about him. Freaking Gandhi! And IP Man got 5 in 6 years. Anyway. By this point they have completely shit on the legacy of the first film, and dare I say the pure fun of the original sequel and prequel.

Anthony Wong. Did you learn nothing from watching The Grandmaster ? One expression acting is never good. Ever. Unless you are making an action film, between the years of 1981 and 1994.


Movie Scale 1 out of 5 stars
Ninja Movie scale 1 out of 5 stars

There is better out there if you need to fix your Ninja, chop sockey cravings. Hell, check our NMOTH archives

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

On deadly ground


So everyone on the planet loved them a little killer, crazy twisty flick called Prisoners and I get it. A-list cast, brilliant director, oscar talk for Hugh "Bub" Jackman... but having just finished watching FROZEN GROUND, I gotta say... how in the sweet kaka did this film fly below the radar?

Ok. Granted, Nicolas cage is hardly the mega million draw he once was... but still.

Deep breath - so, let's chat story before I go all straight critic on your asses. First, true story. As in "Based on actual events". A serial killer of major proportion, Robert Hansen (Played awesomely against type by John Cusack) has been kidnapping and killing women for years.... Until, one day, a young hooker (Vanessa "I was in high school musical" Hudgens) manages to escape and finger him for her kidnap and rape. Of course no one believes her... except for one cop who manages to get the info to the higher up working the case, Nic Cage. Who then realizes he has his man, and now just has to manage to prove it.

So ok let's talk cast here. Nicolas Cage as a likeable and determined man of good, is great, and manages to really sink his teeth into a genuine decent cop. Vanessa as the hooker is bang on here. I am telling you folks; Spring Breakers, now this, forget just shedding her disney image, this girl is announcing herself as a serious actress. The sympathy she manages to pull form the audience, and then shift that into a real caring if she lives, dies, makes it through the film... expertly handled. Also, Dean Norris (Hank from the oh so sad its gone - Breaking Bad) has a nice bit part. Always good to see him on screen.

So you promise, I'll never have to be in another disney movie? 
So this director/writer guy - Scott walker, what of him you ask. Ok, you didn't really ask, because let's be honest here... you had no freaking idea who the hell Scott Walker is. And thats just fine... neither did I, but I do now. At first I was worried, the camera was bouncing all over the place, edits were fast and furious... and then a strange thing happens... I got what he was trying to do: Make you feel like you were witnessing the events, not simply watching the movie about the events. Sound weird? It was, and for my two cents (and we all know how damn valuable Boonsweet cents are) really effective. It takes him a while to get his grove... about 30 minutes in, but once he does, game on!

Little things like leaving the camera in the empty office were you can hear the interrogation in the other room. Setting the camera low at the victims level as Robert parades around her. These little touches pay off... where towards the end the story comes rushing at you. And you feel you have no control... you simply a witness. And you know it's a true story, and true stories don't end like hollywood.... and dammit, yes, I was pretty sucked in here folks.

There was a lot to take in, in a relatively short 105 minute runtime. The shifting from perspectives works most of the time, but it does frustrate on a couple of occasions. I would have liked to see more of Robert Hansen's life. Especial the seemingly stressed relationship with his family. Having looked into the real story a bit after the film, i can tell you yes, liberties were taken... and well, in some points just plain unexplained. The back ground of the prostitution rings, the oil boom, etc, all helpful notes to average audience member in understanding how this place is so full of bad.

What is this photo? Who cares, it's provocative. 

So ya, there are some perhaps could-of-used-them tips left out of the final product. But if I just step back and ask myself if I was entertained. If I was pulled into the suspense, and if I enjoyed my damn self... the answer dear Booniacs is YES!

Do I perhaps still have an unhealthy bromance for the works of Nicolas Cage - YES! Are there those of you that think I am crazy for claiming Vanessa Hudgens may be on her way to be a great actress - YES!

But screw it, you know me folks... from the heart. It's how I roll. This film is a good thriller. Maybe not great, but good. And before anyone goes thinking I am saying it is as good as Prisoners no, I have not watched that film yet, though I am looking forward to it. I am however saying perhaps this film deserved more it got with the barely there theatre release. People have a tendency to dismiss anything with Cage these days, and it's sad... because the man can still rock it given the right material... and this is the right stuff baby!

movie scale 3 out of 5 stars
thriller/serial killer scale 3.5 out of 5 stars

Some white knuckle moments, event if it is had dot follow on occasion. And for the record, I tried very hard to resist posting a pic of Hudgens stripping. So, ya. Tried.

- Chuck Boonsweet

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Finally, a vampire flick with... Thumbnails... wait, what?


So to all those people that go "Gosh, I am so tired of Vampire flicks, the market is so over saturated with those fangy bastards". Well I suppose you are the same punks that said the zombie genre was over saturated a few years back... and well, look, its still here and going strong just like it has been for 60 plus years. And Vampires, they've been here longer and I suspect they will be here long after most of us have exited stage left.

Of course there are going to be bumps in popularity in the genre. The darkly sexy tales from Anne Rice at her prime. The Dracula bomb as one of the original 3 universal movie monsters of the 30s, 40s, and 50s. The teeny vampires are "so sexy" of the 2000s with the (yes, sigh if you must) Twilight series. Now funny story about the director of this here flick... he is actually responsible for one of the more successful vampire movies of all time - Anne Rice's Interview with a Vampire; Neil Jordan.

And the story goes: A Mother (Gemma Arterton) and Daughter (Saoirse Ronan) vampire try to exist in the modern world. The Mother pays their way by playing whore, and the Daughter mopes around wishing she wasn't a Monster and her Mother wasnt a whore. And there's a secret society of Vampire Men after them.

Hello, Mom... Um, had kind of a rough night. 
That's it in a nutshell. And I don't want to talk to much more on the plot basics. I have a lot to cover here, and well, there is a whole lot of structure to the tale of how Momma vampire became one of the immortals and I don't care to go through it all. I want to start with the direction. There is no denying that Neil Jordan set out to bring a class, and art, to a rather simplistic script, that truly does elevate the material. This is a beautiful film. Trust ol'Boony here when I say - Bluray brings this film to life. Gorgeous.

The next thing that elevates the material is the performances by Gemma as the Mother, and Saoirse as the Daughter. Gemma Arterton is climbing my list of incredibly talented actresses who can play unashamedly sexy characters without having it over power them. She is in charge of every scene she is in, and her sexual presence is unreal. I honestly don't think they could've made her boobs look bigger. So I guess you could also say that the director has no shame either.

But hey, aren't Vampire tales suppose to be seductive? Sexy? I think so. The problem with this movie is  I honestly don't feel like I watched a Vampire flick. I mean you guys know me... well, I feel at least a little bit by now. I am all for changing the game, trying something different with the genre... but the problem is here... they change to much at once. First - no fangs. Yup. No fangs. They actually have thumbnails that grow, and puncture and then the drinking of blood.

You just don't know clean, till you're blood shower clean. 
Two. Nothing really happens. It's well acted, and there's drama. But really if you replace the people tracking them with say... an angry Ex husband... nothing would really have to change. And I think that's a problem. I know they are trying to do something different here. But it's just boring at times... its all relationship, and emotional, and well, lacking vampire shit.

I mean they are basically normal people with a thumbnail that grows... Come on! What the hell. No cool vamp powers. No cool vampire effects. They give you a little taste towards the end, but they deny you any real action, and that is a problem. Because at the end of the day this film claims to be a bold, R rated, vampire flick. And to live up to that, you gotta give me a little vamp action. The showdown )if we can call it that, is just a lot of whining and emotion crap. No real go time. No real "Hey look what Vampires can do". Just more daytime drama.

There are some beautiful moments here. The waterfalls running red with blood. The sweet conversation with the old man. The way the daughter lives through her memories. This is a lovely piece of Arthouse Vampire film-making.

For me however, there just wasn't enough to warrant recommending this to a horror fan. Or to a Vampire fan. If you are in the mood to watch a well made drama of a Mother and Daughters quest to survive the oppression of men, and the modern world, well, hey, this might be right up your alley. And if you simply want to bask in the sexiness that is Gemma A, or the directing talents of Jordan... hey its worth a view.

But as a whole, a slow moving experiment in the Vampire Mythos, without a major pay off is just not for me. The other issue, yes, you may have guessed it already, ENDING... or lack there of. Another, let's leave it on a note where we can make a sequel should this indie project gain a fanbase. Hey, maybe I'm wrong ... it happens... I admit it. And a few people have stood up to say this is the best modern Vampire film in years putting it alongside Let me in. I liked Let me in and I get the comparison, but to me they are not in the same class. This one is a few grades behind.

Movie scale 3 out of 5 stars
Vampire/Horror film 2.5 out of 5 stars

It's pretty. And sexy. And slow. And unexciting.

I would totally take a dip with Gemma in the BloodFall (my name for the red water fall, I like it)... and drink from the bosom of her immortality. See, I can make dirty sound artsy too :)

Chuck B out.

Rood, Crood, attitood....


Ok. I like horror, and blood, and boobs... for I am BOONSWEET! But dammit, really, at my warm squishy core; I like all kinds of stuff. And at that "I was a child once" part of my squishy parts (ya ok this squishy thing is going a lil longer than I thought) I love me some animation.

From classics like The Rescuers, Fern Gully, Emperor's New groove... To the modern Pixar exeprience, I still love me a good animated yarn. Lately, Dreamworks has really stepped up their We wanna beat Disney game. KUNG FU PANDA, and, HOW TO TRAIN YOUR DRAGON, are up there as some of my favs I've experienced as a mostly grown ass man.

So this brings us to this here review. The fact that I need to mix it up a bit, I mean I don't know how much violence I can pack in me brain before I start to lose my sweet lovable self... (And I'll just wait for the crowd to stop laughing at that one). So with that in mind, gunna get a few more other genres in the mix here, get back to Boonsweet & Bucklesworth's world travelled, genre blasting, film love... and hate.

Your plot. A family of cavemen, The croods (title drop), have lived their life in constant fear of impending death and doom. The eldest (Emma Stone) is at odds with the old, and funless, ways of her over protective Father (Nic "The ladies call him caveman" Cage). One night she follows a flickering light out from the cave. She finds a young man, Guy (Ryan Reynolds) who has invented fire. And is also aware the world is ending... and so her isolated, unevolved, and somewhat fearful, family must leave what they know... and discover... the world beyond there small cave...

Can we just take a minute and bask in that voice talent. Deep breath. Yay. It is legit, and it shows. Nic Cage as the Father is gold. And I cannot move on without a little love tossed towards Ryan Reynolds as Guy... very impressive.

So she says "what're you slow?" And I say, no, baby, I'm Sloth.
The story arch is very cool, I was not expecting them to make the Croods, well, so cavemanish. They are simple people. Not so much stupid, they just don't know anything beyond their cave. Watching their simpler ways meeting with Guy's ideas makes for some truly entertaining moments... I actually laughed out loud (by myself, on my couch... what? Don't judge me dangit) watching the Croods introduction to FIRE. Watching them try to pet it, and feed it... gold.

The other plot device that makes for a great time is how strong the Croods are. They are used to solving problems with fists, and rock throwing ... so learning to use their "Brain" (Guys word for where ideas come from, gosh what are the odds?) is a rewarding experience.

Ok so there are laughs, and a decent family message in here for the kiddies, and the kid in ... ALL of us (and the audience "Awwwwwwww"s) what about the animation? Well, dreamworks is no "Caveman" in the effects department. Ah, alright, that was a lil weak, but you get my point... it's pretty. They just go for crazy, and bright, and cool, and hey... I, Chuck B. Boonsweet, approve. They definitely borrowed from Avatar: The last airbender (the show not the movie people). All the animals are mixes of creatures... is that historically accurate? No. Who cares, elephant rats are the bestest.

Ok everyone, say - Primordial Ooooooooze
Overall, a really fun ride here folks. I was a little sad when all the sappy "Time to learn today's lesson" crap hit. I get it, and ya, the kids get it... but it was just such crazy fun, wanted that to continue. Animation has a long history of comedic relief animal sidekicks and Guy's "Belt" (a sloth) is a welcomed addition to those ranks.

Lastly the direction is damn good. I have to give props where props are due. Chris Sanders (the man behind one of my all time favs - Lilo & Stitch) and Kirk De Micco (the man who helmed the indie animated flick - Space Chimps) do a great job cranking up the action, and basking in the 3rd dimension of awesome.

Is it up there with Pixar's best? Maybe not, but Dreamworks is really starting to find there place in the market. And if you look at their worldwide box office... well, maybe the divide is not so great. This is crowd pleasing, kids will be clapping, animated fun. No over thinking, no deep social message, just the heart in the right place (surprisingly so actually, the sly bastards got me a wee bit towards the end, I ain't gunna lie)... and things that make you smile.

You can ask questions like - Where did he get fire? How does he know stuff? Why are there Piranha birds? Sure... but where's the fun in that?

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

By yaself... with kiddies (yours, not ones you borrowed)... with a cartoon loving better half... whatever the reason. I think there's enough here to warrant ya time, and your 3d specs, if you are lucky enough to have a super sweet digital set up... or a friend with one...

Ok, ok, last thought promise... shout out to the composer... I know these kids movies can be a little bit over-soundtracked sometimes. Or just filled with catchy pop crap. But this one... is actually kinda cool, and epicy at moments. Is epicy a word? No. Shame on you websters. So, good on you Alan Silvestri.

Charles "Ladies love the Caveman" Boonsweet saying "Grrrr, ooooo, ooot, hah, grrr"... caveman for "Till next Booniacs"

Friday, November 1, 2013

Plan A: Arnold and Sly - beat everyone up.


How many really fun action films are there nowadays? I ain't talking superhero filled 300 million dollar budgets here... I'm talking good old fashioned bullets making swiss cheese outta the scenery. Not that many. Sure we get the FAST films, and the odd entry like Olympus has Fallen or Dredd but really, there is not that much out there. It would seem the movie companies are more than happy to risk hundreds of millions of dollars on new teen book to big screen. Oh and then they fail, and hollywood starts complaining about downloads and basically anything except it being their own damn fault for ignoring that 20-40 million dollar genre films continually bring in tonnes of coin... well... more often than not...

Well. Here you go. A grade B action adventure, with a very big plus - Arnold "The terminator" himself, and Sly Stallone. Two of the big three from the glory days in one picture... starring... finally. I mean too bad it came twenty years late... but whatevs... I'm alive, they're alive, all good I guess.

Your plot dear Booniacs... Sly plays Ray Breslin, who is a master escape artist. He is hired by the state to test their best prisons, and in escaping, show them the flaws. So someone has built a super prison and they wish to make sure it's as super as they think. They offer Ray some fat cash, and he agrees. Then, the next day he is grabbed off the street, and wakes up in this super prison. His safe word doesn't work, it looks like he was set up... and he will have to buddy up with ARNOLD! to break out, and defeat the evil warden.

Is it just me Jim, or is the service at this restaurant horrid... and creepy?

So lots of things blow up. Bad guys are bad. Tuff guys beat up tuff guys, and Jim "Don't call me Jesus" Caviezel, chews scenery as the evil warden. Do you need more? Are you not excited? Has your man (or woman) juice not started to warm and flow with greater speed? If not then this film is probably not for you.

However if you have ever cheered while watching Arnold mow down nameless drug dealers, and dirty cops... or lifted your arms in the air celebrating Stallone's triumph over mountain side terrorists. Then this here will have you smiling ear to ear.

First let me point out a few of the weaker points. One... plot. I mean, this guy just gets in the predicament way to stupid and easily. Hard to believe he's as uber smart as he is suppose to be. The man can figure out how to break out of a max jail with toilet paper and the plastic sheet off a milk carton, buuuuuuut when asked to be shipped to an unknown, secret, super prison, his answer... is - sure, kidnap me here.

Say what? Anyway. Moving on, Ray Breslin's super team of assistants (one of whom is 50 cent... ya... that guy. I guess Gangsta rap is dead so he's gotta do something) is pretty much useless. I'm not even sure why they are in the movie. I mean really... maybe to make it look like Breslin has a love life... and a friend... but they are useless. They lose Ray in like two minutes and spend the rest of the film trying to locate him... unsuccessfully.

Arnold - "Yes. Ok. We are both very sawy we took so damn long"

So to recap. Some plot holes, and a useless supporting cast... Although Sam Neill as the conflicted doctor was a nice touch. Though, he really didn't have any sort of back story to explain his all goody goody in a sea of bad guys thing. I mean, I think they could pick a decent heartless doctor for their facility.

Other than that, we are green light go for good times. One of the coolest parts of the film is a strong Muslim character. With a strong faith. That's right; after years of slaughtering endless parades of middle eastern, and such peeps, in the name of defending america... they decide to include a 3 dimensional and heroic Muslim in their film. I thought it was very cool. A welcomed touch if you will.

The action is a blast, the one liners are great, and Stallone and Arnold have a blast working together. It really makes you sad these folks didn't get together sooner. But then I guess there was enough action pie to go around. Unlike nowadays when it seems you gotta pack two, three, 4 stars in to draw the crowds. But thats the price for blasting the paying public with sub par action flicks... Transporter 2 and 3 anyone?

This (much like Arnold's LAST STAND) is a great time. I actually saw this one with quite the diverse group and they had a blast with it. Blood flying, lots of bass boosted punches thrown... and a really fun, buddy action flick. With a little mystery, and some fun "Oh no will they get caught" moments.

As far as action goes... you won't find much to hate here. Yes they are getting old, but they both have a ton of charisma. It really makes me excited for this here next Rambo I keep hearing about.

Stay strong Booniacs! The mindless action flick lives!

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

This flick was originally gunna be called THE TOMB after watching the flick... think I kinda liked the original title. Just my two and a half cents....

Later Punks