Friday, October 24, 2014

The Town that Dreaded Sundown (2014)

Slashtastic. I invent words when they need inventing.

Ok. I can't wait. Lets get right into this bloody beast. Your story goes... The town the original murders took place in (Texana - on the border of texas and arkansas), and the local of the original 1980s horror flick... are once again plunged into fear and darkness when a killer arises dressed in the mask of the films killer, and taking out people in homage fashion. It will be up to one feisty smart cookie to figure out the mystery if she... can... survive... after... sundown.

Boom! Best slasher of the last few years. Hands down. I said it. I will continue to say it, and if you are a horror/slasher fan and are not saying it - awesomeness revoked. There is GORE, SEX, COOL KILLER (meaning he looks menacing and not silly), and a couple of fun twists.

I mean this film had it all. Now there are sure to be some folks that didn't like the very artsy direction. This is a horror film that pretends it doesn't know it is one. Director Alfonso Gomex-Rejon brings a class of art rarely seen in the genre these days. Would I have expected this from a guy that started out directing episodes of GLEE? Nope. But that is another part of the surprise that was this film.

Even in this shot you can feel the colour coated cool... 
I mean a film based on a 1970s horror flick that few people know and fewer people wanted to see remade... What are the odds?

Well... you don't need odds when you have some really create writing. You are not going to find any oscar winning characters in here. No. But what you will find, a really interesting take on a remake. Use the original film. I mean they actually work the "True Story" angle in while accepting and relishing in the original films existence. This film wants to be a sequel, not a remake. To pull that off with the fun, and blood-letting, they managed here is an accomplishment I can not begin to praise enough.

The acting is up to the script, Addison Timlin in the lead is again proving to things... 1) She is damn (add as many Ms as you wants) fine... and 2) She is a talented young lady. A lovely combination. I hope to see much more of her. She proves her she could be a candidate for a new scream queen... we do need one right?

If I just lay here... Will you lay with me... I like wet dirt. 
The direction... well already covered that... and the GORE. Oh this is glorious. Almost every kill just "GLEEfully" dances across the line. I really enjoyed the story. As someone who enjoyed the original (but hardly thought it was a masterpiece) this film could have easily been its own film, the fact they incorporate the original out of love... just made it a little cooler. Respect matters dammit! Someone tell these kids...

And in this instance by Kids I mean all the young would be horror directors out there stumbling through cliches and horrible twist endings... Hey guys. The killer being dead and not being dead... the last one alive being offed in the final frame before the credits... the last survivor being locked away insane... all of these things are NO LONGER A FREAKING TWIST! In fact they suck the damn life out of 90% of the horror films out there today. Was there a twist ending here? Well kinda. But its more the Whodidit so when you find out who you either got it or you didn't. No biggy.

A real shame this film did not get the push it deserved. The right advertising the public would have rolled out by the thousands for a halloween release... but know please dump another PG-13 watered down horror flick on me (Ouija) please... again. Because every horror fan is you know... 13 and under!!!!!!! ahhhhhhhhh. Hollywood you hurt Ol' Boony's head.

But this... this warmed by horror scarred heart... I cannot explain by love for the final shot. Pure class. Anyone wanting to see how to leave a film ended... but not completely without possibility of a sequel... this is how you do it. You don't need a surprise resurrection in the last 5 seconds.

Movie scale 3.5 out of 5 stars
Horror/slasher scale 4.5 out of 5 stars

-Chuck Boonsweet

John Wick (2014)

Burning the wick at both ends

Remember when action movies had tons of guns. Bad guys you wanted dead, and men of few words that took care of em... with extreme prejudice. I'm talking the glory days of Segal, VanDamme, Chuck (believe in the beard) Norris... The good old days. When a film didn't need a 100 million dollar budget to be successful. Just a lot of ass kicking and cool...


At least for this film... Itsssssssssssssssss BACK!

Ok the story. Super bad ass Killer guy, JOHN WICK gets out the mob world to be with the love of his life. She then dies and leaves him with a puppy. Together he and his new pup set out to try to deal with this new quiet life without his love. Well, then a Mobsters punk kid decides to steal his car and kill his dog... and makes the HUGE mistake of leaving Mister John Wick (Keanu!) alive. SO John sets out to kill the punk in revenge... of course his Mobster Father hires everyone and the kitchen sink to stop his revenge... cold... in its tracks.

Hmmm... Revenge. Dish served cold... cold tracks... whatever... I wanted to make that cooler. Fail!

This movie rocks. No forced cheesy one liners. No CGI loaded action scenes. Just gritty guns to the face, and balls, and kneecaps, and more faces, and chests, and throats, and ... well, its really a lesson in anatomy.

So if i see the same cat twice... I'm all ready in the matrix...?
Listen this is Keanu's flick. Front to back. Sure there are some fun supporting actors here... The insanely sexy and True Detective episode stealing Adrianne Palicki is having a blast as the evil bitch killer. Did I mention sexy? Well she is also pretty dang good at the badassery (heads up to her villain role in Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.). And William Dafoe... Dafoe is Da-man.

Dafoe... Da-man... HA! Still got it! But as I said, this is Keanu's flick. I have no idea if John Wick was written for him but it feels like it. Keanu mutters monotone and then kills ten people, and you cheer. Oh you may be reading that and thinking... no it will defs take more than that to make me cheer... it won't.

There is a certain style here brought to the film that has to do with a couple of other things beside Keanu's swag (thems are some legit! suits though).

1. The direction is fun, and fresh. The film is directed by two former stunt men(David Leitch, Chad Stahelski), the first film by their hand. There is a a love of the action here, a respect for it. Much like an asian film where they allow your human speed eyes to absorb human speed action. Something often lacking in american films. Clean cuts.

2. The script is dripping with machismo cool. They don't have to explain everything to you, you understand. He was a bad bad man. Everyone knows him, and everyone either respects or fears him. It was kind of refreshing for a film to just move along assuming you get it without stopping to explain itself every two minutes.

May... I... dip... my wick. 
Plus. I mean a man deciding to take out half a city over a puppy? Trust me when I say, you will get it. Pure fun. I saw this flick with two chicks (whoa, before anyone thinks I am beeping my horn... just pointing a point and stuff) hardly the usual action lovers... and they had a blast. I mean like I said, the script keeps it bare bones... once you have a reason for him to kill everyone... game on.

The most action I have seen in a mainstream flick in a while. Another nice touch... I recently watched The Equalizer with the man himself Denzel Washington, and while that film was a good time... there was one glaring issue... Denzel was like superman. I mean he whooped everyone with hardly more that a couple bruises. JOHN WICK was a real human. Albeit a very skilled one... but flesh and blood. And he bleeds. And bends, and breaks... and keeps going. Something a lot of these here moving pictures forget... we care more about a guy that is mortal, and human. John McCain anyone. Or remember cheering for VanDamme in Bloodsport? Because you thought there was a chance he could lose... because he was not invincible.

Gets your boys, your girls, and an extra ten for nachos and get ya ass to the theatre. I give an edge to Raid 2 for action movie of 2014, but this is by far the best action film from hollywood in years.

Movie scale 3.5 out of 5 stars
Action scale 4 out of 5 stars

This flick is so WICK-ed. Hahahaha. I could do this all night.

But I have things to do... like .... ok I don't have things to do. I'm just really comfortable in this here giant couch.

Chuck B Boonsweet - out!

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Chiller Classics present: Bad Dreams (1988)

Welcome my friends to Chiller Classics, where I Charles Bartholomew Boonsweet take you on a trip to the olden, sometimes golden, days of horror.  Hopefully I will introduce you to some fine genre flicks you may not have heard of, either because of how old they are or how obscure, and break down some gory, chill filled, education in Horror History 101. And for those of you who are already well versed in the "good ol' days" of horror, hopefully this will help bring back some nostalgic memories and maybe entice you to see some of these classics again.


I can not pretend this is not a blatant rip off of Nightmare on Elm Street. Basically it's about a women who's dreams are haunted, and this man that haunts her dreams can kill those around her... so ya. Did I mention it also stars Jennifer Rubin, of Nightmare on Elm Street 3 (which came a mere year earlier) fame. That said. I mean, isn't all horror more or less a rip off of something that proceeded it. The thing is, all that matters is that you do it well...

So your dream killer plot goes... during the 70s a young woman/girl is part of a cult that dies in a ritual and explosion suicide. This girl, Cynthia, survives... albeit in a coma... when she wakes 13 years later, she finds the ways of free love gone... and the 80s have arrived. She is part of a psychiatric group, where patients at the hospital with varying problems try to work through there stuff. Now, why is she in this group? Not sure. I guess they didn't want a 70s child sent out into the 80s without adjustments... but is surrounding her with crazy people a solution? Ah whatever. Anyway the cult leader starts showing up in her dreams... or visions, and killing off anyone she makes a connection with, all the while asking her to join him.

Ok. I had no idea what this film was. But through the years I have herd those lines all underground horror fans lobe to hear: "Forgotten classic" "Underappreciated" "Deserves to be recognized" ... so I figured what the hell and dove in.

And Maybe its Maybelline. 
And I think I was over all pretty happy I did. First, the plot is actually way less crazy then I'm making it sound, and dare a say, reasonable explanations do find there way in in the closing act. Once you get by the Elm Street 3 comparisons, I think there is enough here for the film to stand on it's own.

First the writing is not that bad. It's a simple enough plot. Where the film picks up a few points in my mind is the directing. There are some very creepy, and atmospheric shots in this film. Definitely a few steps above the lower budgeted films of the 80s. But then, that leads me to another point... was this film low budget? I mean heck Guns 'N' Roses jam through the closing credits... so there had to be a decent bit of funds behind this.

The makeup is great. Some very cool burn effects, and a few other moments of cool gore. Raining blood from air conditioner ducts anyone? The film does lose a little bit in its "Reveal" portion. Seeming to paint some pretty crazy and fast found conclusions. I don't care what anyone says... I doubt no one... in an entire hospital is incompetent enough to not check medications... But hey... this is a psycho ward in a 80s film... so such thoughts should be tempered.

If you like your horror drenched in mist, and strange goings on... well this is your wet Dream... set what I did there... ya. I'm so clever. Booniacs! Bask in all that is my genius... Sigh. I think wading through all these 80s flicks I am starting to over value my intellect by comparison.


Falling apart here. And loving it. The horror flicks are going to keep rolling in. All October as it is the season.

Movie scale 2.5 out of 5 stars
Horror scale 3 out of 5 stars

the co-ed and the zombie stoner (2014)


So this is another film by THE ASYLUM. The folks behind the steady stream of mainstream ripoffs, and direct to VOD fodder. Things like Transmorphers, I am Omega, Paranormal Entity, Mega Shark vs Crocosaurus... and well you get the idea. Most have been horrible, cheesy, and well, just plain dumb. But that is what they are going for. They know they have a limited budget, limited effects, so they try to make them entertainingly bad. Well, problem is they more often than not - fail.

I ah, submit, imagination is some times superior to a caption... 
A weird things happen about ten minutes into this flick... I started laugh. And I realized I was laughing with the movie, not at it. And as the ridiculousness and boobs splashed across the screen, I found myself... dare I say it, enjoying the hell out of this movie. I mean that title alone THE CO-ED AND THE ZOMBIE STONER ... it's no Sharnado, but the title is a wee bit of genius.

Your story. Super cute nerdy chick (Oh, those sexy loveable nerdy chicks), must find a fraternity boy to date or she gets kicked outta her frat and loses her scholarship. Oh no! But who would date such an attractive girl... with glasses? (gasp!) Well a zombie that maintains his cool by smoking very large amounts of weed... but what if he gets the munchies.... (Ominous music here)

Rigor-Mortis... CIALIS!
Unlike other films in the Asylum Catalogue, this film does not try to be cool, or hip, it actually is. I mean some of the writing is just so profanity filled and creatively so you can't help but giggle... and jiggle. It's just so dang entertaining. The Zombie joins frat montage is just gold. The zombie, Rigo, is played for all its worth by Grant O'connell. And Catherine Annette is just hamming it up in her sexy nerd roll. Between the two of them there is a real chemistry and silliness that just works.

Yes. I am half through this review and still saying, I am enjoying an Asylum flick. Just your front yard for the apocalypse.

Look this is not winning any awards... this is not gunna sway any critics (well, present company excluded). But this is a film that will entertain a certain crowd of horror fans and entertain them well. Much like another B... or maybe C movie that managed to embrace it's awesome cheese, and entertain the heck outta me with non stop blood and attractive members of the opposite sex GIRLS GONE DEAD (REVIEW HERE )... this here is another example. This is one you have your boys over for when the women are out!

I'm not gunna say intoxication is recommended....

Intoxication is recommended.

If watching two zombies, one on a scooter, and the other on a small bike circle an old helpless woman don't make you chuckle well then this is not the movie for you :)

Movie scale 1.5 out of 5 stars
Horror Comedy scale 3.5 out of 5 stars.

Chiller Classics present: Sweet Sixteen (1983)

Welcome my friends to Chiller Classics, where I Charles Bartholomew Boonsweet take you on a trip to the olden, sometimes golden, days of horror.  Hopefully I will introduce you to some fine genre flicks you may not have heard of, either because of how old they are or how obscure, and break down some gory, chill filled, education in Horror History 101. And for those of you who are already well versed in the "good ol' days" of horror, hopefully this will help bring back some nostalgic memories and maybe entice you to see some of these classics again.

Any film in which the main character has their own theme song is something special. If that film happens to be an 80s horror film, well... hello Must watch. And I mean this theme song is something special... and while we are chatting 80s theme songs... I mean really, what is your end goal here? You know what will help the audience really connect with you lead character, a theme song that sings all about her emotions and stuff... while you just pan in on her face. 

Anyway. Still. I stand behind my "Must- Watch" any film who's main character has his/her own theme song. Well, if you're an 80s baby like me.

Your sweet tale goes... Melissa (who is sixteen but looks 25, and is 25 in real life, oh hollywood) is really into flirty, and breaking hearts, and lying, and well being an all around bitch. But the boys can't help but flock to her. Problem is the boys that pay her attention start dying off. Suspicion falling to the near by native tribes. A sheriff, with the help of his two very intelligent kids, will have to piece together in order to save ... Melissa.... Sweet Melissa... (was that part of the song, yup).

Mom. What do you mean you lied about my birthdate? 
So there is a lot to enjoy here. Like any old school horror flick, especially a slasher, you have to take the script into account first. Was it fun. The answer is yes. The characters are all reasonably written. The Sheriff being a standout as a smart guy, that for some reason relies on back and forths with his own kids to piece together the evidence.

Melissa is not a sympathetic character. Well that is until she confess her true self... in a rather awkward scene with the Sheriffs Daughter. It turns out she's just misunderstood... and has no friends. Awww, who knew. SO then everybody is her best friend and they throw her a big party... I mean when any boys around a girl are getting offed... you should Defs throw a party. With lots of boys... and cake.

This is one of those films whose cover art always grabbed in the days of the VHS. Sexy, with a glimmer of violence, classic Box art. It was a real pleasure getting to dive into it all these years later as a fully grown, mostly mature, horror guy. I mean this is not a blurry release. And it is certainly nt a high quality DVD. But it is what it is, a low budget, well put together whodunnit. There are plenty of stabbings and blood leaking... but if you are looking for variety in your kills not the place to come.

Come on... Do I look dangerous? 
The 80s who's the killer twist is pretty good, and hey, you might not even see it coming. It is surprising in this here age of the horror remake, a film about good looking teenagers getting offed has yet to find itself to the remake bin... but then I suppose this is one of the lesser known titles out there. Hey. There's blood, but not by the buckets. This is really more of a decently written little mystery with some sex and blood thrown in... but it worked for me. Plus if that theme song doesn't have you smiling... well a little part of your inner horror loving child may have died.

Movie scale 2.5 out of 5 stars
Horror/slasher scale 3 out of 5 stars

Classic VHS era fun. And if that statement doesn't excite you than you probe don't need to hunt this one down...


Charles B. Boonsweet.

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Chiller Classics present: Silent Madness (1984)

Welcome my friends to Chiller Classics, where I Charles Bartholomew Boonsweet take you on a trip to the olden, sometimes golden, days of horror.  Hopefully I will introduce you to some fine genre flicks you may not have heard of, either because of how old they are or how obscure, and break down some gory, chill filled, education in Horror History 101. And for those of you who are already well versed in the "good ol' days" of horror, hopefully this will help bring back some nostalgic memories and maybe entice you to see some of these classics again.

This movie was released in 3D. Why, Oh why, in todays wondrous world of energy drinks and on demand entertainment can I not watch this film in 3D? Damn it. Someone out there can make this happen... Make it pop yo! Because man do some of the shots not look like cheese 3D gold.

But, 2D is fine. Why? Because this here little bit of nasty 80s is a damn fun time.

Your story goes... Deranged killer of College girls (which we see in a lovely B&W flashback lol) is mistakenly released from an asylum... damn those 80s computers and their errors... and so our killer Howard Johns returns to off the next generation of Co-eds. All the while the lovely Dr. Gilmour tries to foil the evil Dr. Krueger (Yup. Krueger) who is trying to cover up the fact that his screw up released a psychopath.

Ok so the good. This is actually a surprisingly well written flick. The heroine is smart, and not to be foiled by all the douchebags around her. Hell, even when she finds someone to help her... he is not a dim bulb either. While the sheriff and many others don't believe them, they manage to set plans in motion to find the killer, and protect the next batch of young sexy females.

So, i have no idea why I look like Johnny lee miller... seriously. No idea.
The bad. The kills are horrible. Ya. I know. How do you screw that up. I mean ever kill is a facial expression, or a sound and a walk away... you never actually get to see the bloody bits. And well, that hurts the film. It is clearly an R, but without the benefits of say a certain Tom Savini level makeup artist... this film severely lacks in the quality gore department. Though they do try to remedy that in the final act.

That said this is a surprisingly fun little ride. Likeable heroes... Villains that really suck... and you can't wait for them to get theirs. But sadly even when they do you know it will be a cut away to a facial expression of such...

Why?! Dammit why. You had gold here folks. And I stand by the fact that this is one of the funnest under the radar slashers from the era. It could have been one of the best with a little more in your face, and a little less to your imagination.

Hell, I still enjoyed myself. So real acting standouts here too. The two evil henchmen from the Asylum are a lovely undynamic duo. They chew scenery and have some of the best lines. You just love to hate em. Some of the shots here are good... I mean we are talking severely low budget even for the 80s and yet... a few truly cool shots. One of my favs being when the killer realizes he needs to pull his weapon out of the person he just killed to chase down another victim. Black comedy awesomeness.

Hey. I'm not trying to build this up into something it is not... and with the lack of significant gore... I understand why this film has not found a Blu-ray release the likes of which many films of the 80s are these days. But considering the shit plots and horrible writing many of those releases sport... this is leaps and bounds above em. I would love to see a reunited cast chatting the low rent chaos of this flick. #ScreamFactory I'm looking at you guys...

And hey they even throw in a classic 80s "twist" at the end. Oh those twists I tells ya.

Horro scale 3 out of 5 stars
Movie Scale 3 out of 5 stars

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Chiller Classics present: Scarecrows (1988)

Welcome my friends to Chiller Classics, where I Charles Bartholomew Boonsweet take you on a trip to the olden, sometimes golden, days of horror.  Hopefully I will introduce you to some fine genre flicks you may not have heard of, either because of how old they are or how obscure, and break down some gory, chill filled, education in Horror History 101. And for those of you who are already well versed in the "good ol' days" of horror, hopefully this will help bring back some nostalgic memories and maybe entice you to see some of these classics again.

So what we have here is one strange, twisted, original, gory, and very, very low budget 80s horror. See, I know some of you horror hounds out there just like me just felt that special kind of tingle with that intro. Already you are leaning closer to your screen, your phone, your... well, actually does anyone do anything any more not on their phone? Ya you're probs on your phone. And for every one of your now gore-erect horror fans out there there is some one else who just went - Nope! 

Obviously this is a film not for everyone. But then hey... you are visiting my website (and more than likely following my awesomeness semi-religiously) which makes you at least slightly smarter than the average bear... and you are now... if still reading this... two and a half paragraphs into a column entitled "CHILLER CLASSICS" so hey, I will assume you are at least marginally curious...

So to plot then: Robbers (of some kind), hijack a plane, forcing a father to pilot it or risk injury to his daughter. Then one of the robbers double crosses them and ends up in a strange piece of wilderness (after having jumped from the aforementioned aerial flying machine). There he finds a house and a whole bunch of creepy looking Scarecrows... Hmmmm... The other bad guys then land and come back for him, and their money.

Some people take the "Say Cheese" smile a little too far... Dang. 
So if you guessed that after this point it is mostly creepiness and Scarecrow violence... congratulations, you Sir, or Ma'damn, are correct. Really though I have to call one very strange little bit of audio with this film. The voiceovers. I mean the endless voice overs. It is so very comical, especially at the beginning. Towards the mid, and end of the film, I actually found it becoming part of this bizarre films charm.

Basically every character will at multiple points be walking around will their thoughts are shared with you dear audience. Now was that because with the insanely low budget (which you will understand with the opening "Grenade" explosion), or because the filmmakers actually wanted to voice over half the film... who knows! It's really weird and I think I liked it... well, once I got used to it.

Now to horror stuff. There is tons of blood letting, and practical 80s blood letting at that. Some of it very creative... and when I say people will be stuffed with hay... or they will be stuffed...

Really as a horror fan when you stumble across a gem in the rough, it's a big deal. Is this one of those films... maybe... just maybe. For me the opening 30 minutes was rough, a little too rough for me to recommend this as a CHILLER CLASSIC you must see... but the last half is a blast. Pretty much non stop action. Blood. And a pretty fun ending. But man, who ever did the sound editing on this film was seriously in love with his/her craft... news reports in the back ground... voiceovers...

The scare crows are actually creepy.

That in it's self makes this film worth seeing if you love you some 80s. For all you new school Saw loving horror folks... this (and no offence is meant here) will prob be a little 'Too" ol' skool for you. No shame in that.

Horror scale 3.5 out of 5 stars
Movie scale 2 out of 5 stars

What's that saying about hay? Make hay while the sun shines... or avoid rain... ah whatever... a fun little flick... and a great start too HALLOWEEN month... Bring it ONNNNNNN!

- Chuck Boonsweet.

KITE (2014)


It has been a while since I could say this without pause, further consideration, nope this is plain, and clear... The director destroyed this movie. Oh you can complain about some of the writing, the fight choreography, sure you can complain a little. But the lighting, the camera shots, the lighting... and the camera shots, are so horrible that you would swear a 90s music director shot this film...

OH WAIT, he is a 90s video director... who knew. In all honesty, I did not know that till I just searched the director (who you know what I won't even call out by name here) on IMDB.

Understand that this is the worst shot film I have seen in a film that is not bargain basement stuff. Now in fairness the original Director was found dead in his Hotel room, apparently after shooting had started so another director stepped... so hey... maybe I am blaming the wrong guy I don't know, but man does this film look like shit.

What do you mean you ran out of cookies?
Ok, you plot goes... futuristic society is all corrupt and stuff. A young girl, who is super lethal, with the aid of a cop (Sam L jackson) is taking down an entire cartel operation to get to the man on top. The man she believes killed her mother and father.

I mean not the most original plot, but not horrible. Here's the thing. I watched and own the original Anime, KITE (circa 1998 I believe), and man is it legendary. Some of the craziest violence, tons of sex, I mean it is infamously uncensored haha. Sawa is one badass chick. And half crazy. In this movie for some reason they play her like a weak innocent girl in one scene (where she can barely fight one female baddie) to an unstoppable killing machine (taking out a whole gang in another scene). But the direction and choreography is so bad during the majority of the fights it don't really matter.

Here's the thing, it's really too bad. There were moments here when the magic almost came through. For instance recreating the insane bathroom scene from the first film... only why not just do it. Why start off with the imitation and then just say screw it and do something else? Doesn't make sense. India Eisley is a very good actress, and I thought she did a great job channeling Sawa but the direction really lets her down.

Did I hear someone say they needed cookies?
To say this film is muggy is an understatement. I swear they must've smeared the camera for half the shots in this film. Sometimes it feels like you're watching it underwater its so unclear. Smoke. Colors. I'm sure some of that was to hide the limits of the low budget, but still... too much.

But... BUUUUT and I mean this. There is almost enough here. Sam Jackson, well, I really liked him here. No screaming profanity. No over acting for his fans, just good old fashioned man in a role. I liked that. India as mentioned is good, and strikingly beautiful. I mean they actually found someone that lives and breaths the look of the anime character. That is nuts right? The rest should have been easy. I would really like to see her get another chance at a badass character, and be given the chance to go all out. Sawa was ruthless, and maniacal in her dispatching of the villains. Here its as if she just manages to stagger her way through everyone.

Ah so many close moments here. The washroom fight. The earrings, and flashbacks... I mean they really almost nailed it. Closer than I've seen an anime to live action come in a long while.


Look. Not a great movie. But if you have never seen the anime you might have a little fun here, if you have seen the anime... I don't know. I'm pretty damn down about it, but there were some cool parts... Ahhhhhh if only Sawa hadn't been such a little weak girl in this. The opening scene is bang on her character.. exploding bullets and all... and then it just goes up and down the rest of the way.

Movie scale 2 out of 5 stars
Action Movie scale 2 out of 5 stars



Thursday, September 11, 2014

The November Man (2014)


Okay. You may be curious as to that title. Mo-vember. Well I speak of the wild wonderland of man-growth that is Pierce "call me Bond" Brosnan's chest. I mean. Way to keep the 80s alive my good man. And oh, those undershirtless button ups... always leaving them unbuttoned at least three down... Bam! Ladies lock up your daughters... and then lock your own self up, his unbridled man-ness will overwhelm even the most determined of character.

Yes. Pierce is a man's man. And I'm ok with that. He can also really freaking act, and I'm ok with that. He is still my fav bond (haters gunna hate haha), and I have always and will always love watching the man kick ass. Thankfully The November Man is full of ass whooping;.

So your by the numbers spy story goes - Spy gets caught up in a shady plot to elect a new Russian president, and ends up having to go against the man, and much younger man, that he trained.

1. Pop the top button. 2. Explode shit. 3. Slowly walk away 
Ya, okay, nothing new there really, but does it have to be? I mean we are talking an old school R rated (yes R rated action, how I love thee) so story aside, does it rock.... Well, I think the answer is yes. Yes it does. Yes you have seen the story tons of times, but who cares, Brosnan still rocks it. Leg kicks, and mean mugging hand gun head shots, what's not to love? The gun battles are nothing new, but the direction is quick and crisp, and you really get to see all the bullets hit their fleshy targets.

Well, for one the twist, that really isn't a twist, and is so painfully obviously a twist that when they twist - You groan. You may actually groan out loud. And well, I'm sorry but the Daughter angle at the end was so freaking unneeded that it almost sounded like someone decided after the script was done that they needed to give Pierce a softer side. He's cold blooded killer... Or wait. There is a point in the middle of the film where Brosnan rants to his student about how you can kill humans or be human... okay fine. Solid point. But then it does seem that you sir Brosnan kill anyone anywhere, and will torture innocent girls to get what you want... which is well, nothing really. And yet you have family and a daughter...


Real spies don't ride motorcycles they walk over them!
Okay. Crazy BS aside from that speech and random girl torture scene... This is still a fun movie. I think it would be worth a trip to your local theatre given that you are, like me, a Pierce fan. If you are not well, you may find the whole trip a little been-there done-that.

Still, no one kicks ass like Brosnan. Or well, maybe Brosnan and Liam Neeson. Ohhhhh wait, getting an idea... a TAKEN and NOVEMBER MAN crossover... we'll call it "TAKING NOVEMBER" Boom. Trademarked. Hollywood call your boy Boonsweet.

Movie scale 2.5 out 5 stars
Action Scale 3 out of 5 stars

ONE LINE REVIEW: It's no bond. It's no taken. But lots of people get shot and stuff.


Wednesday, September 10, 2014

The Quiet Ones (2014)

Inside voices dammit. Inside voices!

Man, I really wanted to like this film. I am old school horror, Y'all knows that. And Hammer Horror was a company that could be relied on in decades past for grand horror spectacles. So with their return to the genre with The Woman in Black a few years ago I was all kinds of ready for The Quiet Ones. Alright before we get into it, lets get the plot out of the way.

Plot - Two students (who appear to blindly follow - ), a professor Joseph Coupland (played by the always entertaining Jarred Harris), and a film guy - Brian McNeil (the very good Sam Clafin), go to a remote house to "cure" a woman, Jane (a very talented Olivia Cooke), who the professor believes is telekinetic and severing severe emotional issues. This results in a whole lot of crazy shit that seems to suggest she is possessed... but is she? Luckily the camera guy is there to capture it.

Ok. This movie started off fantastic. Solid opening sequence, I didn't really know much about the film so finding out it was set in the 70s - great. Finding out it was based on a true story... Ah, you know what I don't even wanna bitch about it anymore. Whatever, sure, this really happened. The set up is pretty cool with a small group deciding to carry on with "The experiment" involving the young troubled woman, after the university pulls their funding.

Where are my cookies!!!!!
And the camera guy comes along. So once they get out to the house, things really heat up. Ok I'm gunna say this out right... and I could be wrong, feel free to correct me... The film cuts from standard to hand held, featuring the cameraman's footage. Now... I think cameras in 1972 didn't exactly come with amazing mic built in. I mean I know its a little tiny bitty thing... but the whole movie I just kept thinking... where's the boom hahaha.

Moving past that, because hey, I could be wrong. The movie is actually pretty intense at the beginning. Hell, I'll even give it the first 3rd. The tensions between the crew and the professor over his increasing dangerous methods... Jane's decent into madness, and the strange connection forming between her and the camera man... all very good and intriguing. The problem is this film is 98 minutes and feels like two hours or more. The reason is the pacing is probably the first I have seen in a long while.

I notice... You brought your camera.
The movie basically follows this trend for the whole second half... Creepy thing happens... argue about whether its Jane or a possession or they should seek help... creepy thing happens... argue about if it's Jane or possession or they should seek help... That's it other than the last say 12 minutes. And the creepy things that happen sometimes just seem so thrown in that it breaks any momentum the film might wish to build.

I mean the professors determination, and desire to avoid the truth is so bat shit crazy that by the end of the movie you just don't care. Cults. Demons. Psychological issues, whatever, it just doesn't matter. And the one relationship they have somehow managed to make you care about, Brian and Jane, they completely screw up in the end. Right, twist ending, who didn't see that coming... what, no happy? Just stupid bad shit happening to everyone? Yup, ain't seen that before, glad you really threw me a twist there...

Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhh Hammer you should know better!

Listen as I sorta mentioned at the start, the acting is very good. Every actor gives their all. Olivia Cooke in the lead role is indeed a rare and captivating beauty. Hmm... "Rare and captivating" I've been reading too much lately haha. But she is amazing, and Sam Caflin brings a lot to the camera who can't help but fall for her. Hero syndrome I imagine... but they are good. The writing just lets them down often, despite their efforts to sell every shot.

This film was 40 minutes away from greatness, and then 5 minutes away from being above average... as it is, hardly worth mentioning. Yes there are a few scares, and genuinely creepy moments (A huge shout out to the lighting guy, especially in the very well shot attic scene). But it's just not enough and most of the scares are shameless jump scares anyway...

Le sigh.

Movie scale 2 out of 5 stars
Horror movie scale 2.5 out of 5 stars

ONE LINE REVIEW: Close, but no Hammer. 


-Charles B. Boonsweet.

Mostly Ghostly: Have you met my new Ghoulfriend (2014)

Cheesy. Family. Disney Channel.

You know do I even have to write the review after that opening? Ah maybe not, but going to anyway. Listen, this is a disney family halloween flick, and dang it am I the only one still happy they make these every year? Am I? I mean isn't a family friendly horror adventure around this year special genre season a good thing. A few little scares for the kiddies and a couple silly laughs for the adults.

So your plot is... well apparently there was a Mostly Ghostly 1 ... which I will not be watching. So in relying on the flashback in this sequel. There was a bad super ghost who had a plot to control all mankind with ghosts, which involved turning the family of the man who released him from his magic urn prison, into ghosts. But then a kid moved into the house found magic ring and defeated him. Now, the evil ghost is back, with a plan to well... get the ring conquer the world.

Did I mention the evil Ghost is called Phear. Ya. Sound it out.

Look, I really don't have any problem with cheesy family shizzie on halloween. How many classics were TV movies, or G-PG variety and line our DVD and blu-ray shelves? Hocus Pocus, Something this wicked this way comes, Ernest Scared Stupid, Monster Squad, Poltergiest, Ghostbusters... point is a lot. The problem is that with the success of certain Disney channel shows (such as Wizards of waverly place) the primetime simplistic humour is just littered all over everything now.

So what ol' Boonsweet here is saying, this could have been a fun little piece of horror family time. A little more Classic Dracula channelled by Phear, a little less - This is a kids show  - writing, and well, that about covers it.

Also isn't Bella Thorne the next heir apparent to well... wherever popular Disney stars go when they head in the opposite direction of Lindsay lohan. She just seems out of place here, good, but just a little bit lost in the material, like they just threw her in here to sell some product. Note her Lead billing yet she is hardly in the movie more than ten minutes. Just showing up every so often so the lead can drool in her direction haha...

No comment other than #Bella4MJ that is all. 
I'm biased as I have been on the Bella should be Mary Jane kick for a bit. Heart throb, redhead... Bam! Get on that you spiderman folks. #Bella4MJ ... started it here... Booniacs tweet that planet wide!

Plus Ok, little issue here. The plot seems to involve a clearly explained power in Max's ring that allows him to scare or command all ghosts.... and yet while wearing the ring... a ghost can enter his body? I just... what? Does that make sense? Even a little bit.

And here's an idea... You have a family gathering to watch this... well probably. Why not go a little more practical with the effects? Wouldn't it add to the nostalgia for the parents, and heck, the kids wouldn't care. The CGI is just so cheap at the Disney madeforTV level it just seems the better idea to get rid of this.

What happened to the idea you can put kids in real peril, and still have it be fun? This movie is just so dang loveable and message laden that it just kinda moves past the cute stage in a real hurry. I mean half way in we already have Be yourself, that's what matters... and Stand up for your friends, they have your back (even if they are ghosts).

Although I really do have to give credit they fit the nerd wanting the popular girl, the nerd winning a sports event (against all odds) into a movie about resurrected ghosts... impressive you sly disney folks you.

Look, maybe I'm wrong, and kids today don't really care about plot holes, and bad acting, and well medium writing and horrible FX. But why just feed that to em? Why not put a little more effort into this shizzie? There was (after a little researching) 4 years between films. It's not like they rushed this... there would have appeared to have been time for some real fun here.

As it is... C grade.

Movie scale 2 out of 5 stars
Family horror scale 2.5 out of 5 stars

I'm not sure if I'm against or For random group dance numbers... I choose for now, to be for it. Hey, gives you an excuse to gather with your Kidlets right. So I say do it. With appropriate expectations.


-Chuck Boonsweet

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Edge of Tomorrow (2014)


Some of you hate Tom Cruise, but I think there are more lovers than haters out there. And really when you have a film career that spans 3 decades, and includes multiple blockbusters, the evidence speaks for itself. I for one, am a Cruise fan. He brings an intensity to all of his roles, and to anyone that says he's basically been acting in the same character for ten plus years... shut it! That's like saying Harrison Ford's been stuck on Hans Solo, or Bruce Willis on John McCane. Isn't that why we love them?

The story goes. An alien race attacks the earth, and we are in a war to survive. We are losing. Enter Tom Cruise a man who is no soldier who finds himself on the front lines, where he dies... and then wakes up... at the beginning of his day. Hmmm. So with this new found ability he and the soldier superstar, Rita (played by the very sexy Emily Blunt), are going to try to save the world.

Listen I have been on record stating that there are only some many Blue prints that you can base a science fiction flick on, and hey, this one ain't rewriting the genre... what it does though, it does very, very, well.

First the acting is top tier all the way around. Who knew Emily Blunt could be such a badass? New Sigourney Weaver anyone? I think so. Well, at least the new heir apparent. Tom Cruise brings the love it (or hate it) likeability to his "Everyman" hero caught up in the craziest shizzie you ever did see.

No, seriously, I press this button I get even sexier... Be warned. 
Second. The action is exceptional. Doug Liman (the man Behind The Bourne Identity, Mr & Mrs. Smith, Jumper, go) brings a crazy pace, and the action when it does explode across the screen is delicious eye candy. Yup. You may have to check your Pupils for cavities... Unlike so many modern day action films (cough, Transformers, cough) the battles are clear and for the most part easy to follow. EVEN THE NIGHT ONES! Come on, take notes hollywood. Part of the credit goes to the FX team and the great creature designs.

This aliens are creepy, and crawly, and all kinds of fun to watch being destroyed. One scene nearing the end involving a broken plane/flying thing, is just amazing. I found myself smiling.

Listen there are a lot of people out there summarizing this up as war of the world meets groundhog day. And you know what, maybe that pretty bang on. But, BUT, that does not mean any part of this film will feel familiar. With a running time under two hours, the pace is so swift I challenge you not to get caught up in the chaos.

First rule to surviving a hostile alien invasion... Cardio. 
You know there are a lot of critics out there claiming it is a shame that more people didn't show up to support this film in good old North America. Crying about how original, and awesome this film was... Well to those critics I say... Wasn't it you bitching about how it looked like the same out shit when the trailer dropped. Talking about how Cruise was just plugging into another Generic entry like his recent Oblivion? Hmmm...? Yes that was you wasn't it. Months before basically telling the public it looked like nothing special... so Guess WHAT! They listened! You don't get to cry foul after. Take some damn responsibility.

Great action. Great fun. A pure summer masterpiece, and one that I suspect will find itself on many a genre fan's shelf soon. And dare I say it, a pretty nifty little ending.

ONE LINE REVIEW: A little sexy, a little cool, a lotta exploding stuff, a sweet sweet sumer adventure.


movie scale 3.5 out of 5 stars
Scifi scale 4.5 out of 5 stars

-Boonsweet is out.

Monday, August 25, 2014

CRAP! (Aug '14) - Bloody Varisity blues

CRAP! Some times movies are just so bad that by the end your palm is bruised from forehead impact, and your brain has liquified and began to drip, slowly, from your ears. So I Charles. B. Boonsweet have decided to stand up, and take the film loving bullet for you. I give you CRAP! A segment devoted to the silliest, worst, not worth time, films I come across. Sometimes new, sometimes old... but always, always... RANT inducing and remote tossing. The rules of my normal reviews do not apply (there is no film love here!). There may be spoilers, random rage, and hell... I might even invite the filmmakers to a parking lot throw down... we'll see... Enjoy Booniacs!!


Ok I'll say it. Cool cover art,

Within 5 minutes you have all your high school horror cliches and stereotypes in order.

1. Jocks that are dicks
2. Cheerleaders that are party animals
3. The "Goodie" cheerleader that is dating the popular QB
4. The nerds that get pushed around (equipment/water boy, and the mascot)
5. Oh and the plain hipster sister to the hottest cheerleader.

(honorable mention to having actors that look 28+ playing 17 year old high school kids)

Check your how to horror pamphlet... Yup. Got em all. And you know what as we have seen in my awesome years of film review awesomeness (yes it has been fun hasn't it Booniacs) that acknowledging the cliche of your genre is not always a bad thing. As long as what... Right, you have a fun, cool, script to play on all the "By the numbers" you are throwing at the audience. Think a couple of reviews I've done in the last year: The little highschoolers vs the undead, Detention of the Dead (review HERE ) or the recent bit of bloody pom pommin' All Cheerleaders Die (bask in my review HERE ). Both this films were cheap cheesy bloody fun. 

Yup. Thats a cheerleader showering. And yup. Thats a gym bag blocking the view.
Within 3 minutes I knew this was not gunna be another gem in the rough... no. Here there would only be rough... and deep, dark, thicker rough... Golf joke anyone?

So your story goes... All the popular kids are somehow tied to the death of a girl a year earlier, and someone that knows is wiping them out.

Here's some of the things you will see in this flick... A "Killer" Swinging an Axe while standing about 6 inches from a woman who is bent over... and missing... just so they can have a gym chase scene. You will hear lines like (addressing a photographer) "did you get a few good wide shots?" to which the lady with the camera will reply "Well I tried to get one big enough to fit your head, but they don't come that big" Ha.

Ha. Ha. Ha. I mean. Come on. How about you just shorten it to "Oh, sorry, couldn't fit your ego in the frame" Bam! Boonsweet to the rescue. Seriously. Call me. I'll fix your shit.

Oh let me tell you, best/worst scene in the film opening half the "Explain the backstory about the dead girl to the new girl" scene. Which takes place on a park bench... in front of ducks... and is waaaaaay to long. I mean they explain who died, why, how, the parent is now dating new girl's mom, there was a suicide, sorry, attempted and now living in asylum ... blah, blah. Just ridiculous.

Goodie cheerleader 2... who buys sexy clothes to maybe finally have sex... Sigh
The real issue here is this: pick a damn side! You are either a movie that can be serious, and horrorish, or you realize your actors are C grade, your direction is C grade, and you should just go for pure B movie magic. But no, they actually try to be serious. They actually try to treat this as a real horror film... big mistake. Bad actors acting bad, can actually be awesome, and lead to way less pain, as in the pain the audience feels well processing bad dialogue.

An example? Why yes I would love to give one... so in one scene there is a brief joke about how the one jock looks older (but still can't buy booze without a fake ID) because he was held back 2 years. It would have been great if that line was delivered real tongue in cheek... and then maybe the girl had looked at the camera with a wink to the 4th wall.

Of course, maybe I have just been watching too many 80s flicks. Actually, screw that, I have always watched too many 80s movies, and have always been awesome... sooooo theory revoked.

Hey Costume designer... did you just have a rack of cheerleader outfits? I might actually make you laugh how much time these girls spend in their uniform. At home - uniform. At dinner - uniform. Check my watch... 45 minutes into this movie - one kill scene. Possible tea cup full of blood. What?! So there's not even any violence in this thing? Wait, no it shows up around 40 minutes left. Oh man was I happy to watch these dumb horrible people die. I mean sure, who's to say 6 jocks could take out a skinny punk in a mascot outfit... no I'm sure they couldn't handle that, better run. I mean this ain't exactly Jason Vorhees outside ya house... Right? Am I right? It's a thin dick in a mascot suit with a bow and a hatchet. I bet one solid punch... probably do it.

A quick quiz...

Tree. Wide open yard. Truck coming at you. Do you a) Run across yard. b) Trick truck by standing in front of the tree and then jumping out of the way, resulting in the truck crashing or c) Stand directly in front of tree and watch the truck drive towards you and then crush you.

Did you pick c)?

This film did.

And thats all you really need to know. More shit in the horror genre that will be forgotten and lost to VOD or wherever really shitty films go now.

Movie scale .5 out of 5 stars
Horror Scale 1 out of 5 stars

You know a couple of great lines near the end where it would really seem to be the script wanting to have fun, but if that was the scriptwriter's goal... someone didn't get the memo... Can you imagine if this had been writer as a B-movie black comedy the entire time, and only one actor actually got it in the last 5 minutes... Oh. That poor screen writer.

Oh man. The gun thing at the end... cop pulls his gun and then just runs at the killer, and loses his head. So bad. It's all so bad.

-Chucky B.


Thursday, August 21, 2014

Only Lovers Left Alive (2014)


Yes. People are going to say things like a wondrous gothic romance. Beautiful and poetic. Darkly humorous. Blah, blah, hell, a few are even going to drop the ever so titillating "Original" as in: This is a wholly original take on the vampire tale. 

And you know what, hell, they're right. Here's the problem: THIS FILM IS JUST PLAIN BORING.

The plot. Two vampires mop, and gloom, through an entire film. Talking about music, art, and occasionally sipping blood from a shot glass. That's it. The whole thing.

Now I want to state up front I am not exactly sure what went wrong here. I mean the performances are actually very good. Tom "Loki" Hiddleston as the dark brooding type (think TV's ANGEL with a stronger inclination towards music) is charismatic and fun. But, obviously by design, he restrains himself into this almost comedic vibe that from time to time seems frustrating. Tilda Swinton is great as the white haired lover... who is living around the world... for some reason... and stuff.

Shots, shots, shots, shots... every-BODY!

Even the supporting cast is great - John Hurt, Mia Wasikowska. I mean some serious talent in here. The script even has a few really entertaining lines, and some thoughtful presentation of the importance of music... but it goes nowhere. I mean it starts nowhere, goes nowhere. Ends kinda cool, but what's ten seconds in two hours of Blah?

I know not everyone will be with me here. Like I said, words like "Romantic", "Beautiful", "Original", are being thrown around this flick like rice at a 22 year old bride. But really, what is so beautiful? The fact that the titled "LOVERS" seem as bored of each other as they do the world? That's not pretty, or romantic. That nothing happens for two hours. That's not "Original".

Oh and really I need to call out the directing here. Jim Jarmusch has done some amazing work over the years; Way of the Samurai, Dead Man, Broken Flowers. Here however, his bland camerawork gives what should be beautifully filmed panning scenes the look of primetime TV. Not the whole movie, but there are major points where it stuck out. The female walking down the streets of Tangier with a moment of slow motion. If you are going to make her beautiful, gothic, and slow it down. Give us her features. The strains of white hair floating in the breeze... don't just leave a camera in the hall and watch her waddle towards it... ahhhhhhh. So frustrating.

This look. For two hours. That's your movie. 
As I mentioned the script has some fun, and the bleak dark comedy bits do occasionally hit home, but it is just so without purpose that I really didn't care... and I really wanted to. This is one of those situation where a film should come with a "CAUTION CRITICS LIKE ME" warning.

I get the director's indie style. But this, with the performances, and some of the music, really need a high concept approach to the camerawork... as it is... it is simply average. And sadly, amazing performances aside... so to goes the film.

Movie scale 2.5 out of 5 stars
Romantic Horror scale 3 out of 5 stars

I only recommend this film for the performances... and a few great tunes. That's it. Nothing else of note.

A huge letdown for me after the festival hype this baby was getting...

Sad Panda.

Tell Next Booniacs.


-Chuck B.

Chiller Classics present: Deadly Blessing (1981)

Welcome my friends to Chiller Classics, where I Charles Bartholomew Boonsweet take you on a trip to the olden, sometimes golden, days of horror.  Hopefully I will introduce you to some fine genre flicks you may not have heard of, either because of how old they are or how obscure, and break down some gory, chill filled, education in Horror History 101. And for those of you who are already well versed in the "good ol' days" of horror, hopefully this will help bring back some nostalgic memories and maybe entice you to see some of these classics again.

Oh Wes Craven. I do have a wee bit of a horror crush on the man. Not only is he one of the most well spoken folks you will ever see in interview, but his lasting touch can never, and I mean, NEVER be underestimated when it comes to the modern horror landscape.

The man is one of a kind. There is a reality to all of his film that can not be ignored. Whether its the ever present fear of the unknown (Freddy), the crazy modern tech murderer (Shocker), reinventing the slasher (scream)... the man has his hands in several decades of horror. And let's look at this one more way, shall we. And I warn you some of your horror crazy are gunna come at me yo... I knows it. I'm ready. How many horror directors from the 70s... have had hits in the 70s, 80s, and 90s... big hits. Anyone? Nope. He stands alone in the genre.

So turns out Wes ripped himself off for Nightmare on elm Streets infamous scene...
Ok. I'm done. Let's talk DEADY BLESSINGS. Your story somehow a man leaves a group of Hyper Amish folks. But decides to move in next door to then with his new big city wife. Mistake? Yes. Someone drives over him in his own tractor... and well, then the crazy starts. As the widowed city girl and two of her visiting friends deal with the crazy country folks thinking they're the devil.

What makes this film so effective (other than Wes's Craven's amazing direction that still packs a few scares into a film that by all means has no business being scary) is the story, acting, pace, it all feels a cut above. As you may have gathered from my plot synapses - there are some plot holes. Cops just letting them crazy amish (Hi-Tites) keep dead bodies. Why the heck they all live so cozy close anyway... boundary issues... the list goes on... but why I am here? Why are you here? Why is Honey Boo boo here....?

Okay. There's no answer for that last one. The first two however are to be entertained dang it. Scares, kills, good looking peeps in peril... and this movie has all including one hell of a twisted ending. I mean twisted. And then they take it one step further... into WTF land hahaha.... a little too far actually.

A very young, very hot, Sharon Stone. Mmmm... Legs... interview... wait, dammit
The voice over at the end is just so ridiculous that I thought I was watching an OUTER LIMITS episode, and it feels so stitched on that I actually giggled. Yup.

But hey we are talking an 80s horror cult classic here, complete with a love blu-ray release from the fantastic folks over at Shout! (aka SCREAM) factory. And as far as worthy releases go I have to say I did not see this ending coming, had a few jump scares, some genuinely creepy moments...

I'm in. Not perfect, but it's always great to find a piece of work from one of the big 3 of that golden ear (the other two being Carpenter, and Argento).

Movie scale 3 out 5 stars
Horror scale 3 out of 5 stars

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (2014)


Before I get into this, and let me tell you, shit is gunna get real. I really want to share a couple of thoughts on this film. More accurately the way I feel a film, based on a a cheesy 80s cartoon series, should be taken in. Look. The bottom line is most of you, dear Booniacs, grew up Turtle fans. Rocking Pjs, and bedsheets. Hours lost on the toys. But the simple fact is... the 80s cartoon, the movies, were cheesy as all hell. They were. Sure we love them because we saw them at an age where the impact was maximized and our logic was allowed a hall pass. Even now we look back with a reverence, that really, don't belong. I mean, they were cheesy. Lines like "Gretzky, on Steroids?" may make us smile, but they are cheese.

And Vanilla Ice sang a damn theme song in the film called... NINJA RAP. I saw this film in a theatre filled with kids and parents, and let me tell you, those kids loved it. Yes I wish... as you will see that the film was better, but really, as a full grown man... is it made for me? I wish it was... but no, it's not.

And lastly, before I go straight Review-fu on this... the entire film was acted out by actors in suits, speaking all the lines, stunts, and then they were cgi'd over and redubbed... so to anyone bitching about how the turtles are all cgi... well, in my mind, that is this generations "Men in suits" playing the turtles, and I'm okay with that.

So you're saying... I still look cooler than her husband? (sorry I said that, but Miss  Fox is so damn hot my jealous rage is uncontainable)
Your story. 4 mutant turtles, led by a Rat, learn the way of the ninja, and battle an action clan of ninjas... and bad guys. A reporter, April O'Niel, ends up in the middle.

Ok. So I started wit that lovely fair opening, now I bitch! Man, this movie is stupid. I mean, it's really stupid. First of all, the story is just ridiculous. And I mean, I am watching a movie about 6 foot mutant Turtles, and yet, the plot manages to actually demand you notice how horrible it is. I mean the back story is simple... Ninja friends become enemies. The good ninja becomes a rat through the same incident that creates the turtles... years later they must battle evil ninja. Well, all that is gone now. Yup. You know what the rat is... a rat. That's it. He finds a book on ninja shit in the sewer and decides to teach it to himself, and then the 4 turtle babies he is raising.

Apparently, turtles wear hipster hollister accessories. 
That's right. There is no connection at all between Shredder and Splinter. So when there fight goes down (which by the way is an awesome fight) there really is no point to it. Shredder literally shows up and goes, "hey a giant rat, we might as well fight". Ok I paraphrase, but that's the juste. April O'Neil is fine. Megan Fox brings a certain cuteness to the character, but the conversations between herself and her camera man, Verne, are so pointless, you can actually here the script writers asking - Oh my God how to we fill ten pages to get to the next action scene.

The action is the one place this film really manages to be worth something. The fights are great... oh well, except for the last fight... which is inexplicably horrible. I mean, wow. There is actually a point where for a minute, or two, you just watch this (over and over)... Shredder shooting knives, turtles deflecting knives, shredder shooting knives... turtles deflecting knives... hahaha oh it's so bad. Until the turtles decide to defeat him with... a game of... leap frog.

Ya. That happened.

Did we need a backstory for April? Did we? The answer is no. But hey you know what I could have forgiven everything. I mean everything in this film... if there had just been more of the turtles. I mean a couple of scenes where genuinely smile inducing. Sadly. If you actually take the screen time the turtles have... and subtract the action... they maybe have 7 and a half minutes of actually hang and chat and be turtles.

Hey, at least the pizza scene was there.

Fav scene of the movie... the elevator freestyle. Priceless, and a sad reminder just how little turtle time you actually get to experience.

You know the turtles are somehow bullet proof in this... fine... they dodged lasers on TV, I can't be too angry, but... BUUUUUUTTTTT the slow motion shot of Raphael Flexing his chest and bullets bouncing off is just bat shit crazy. And while we are talking about Raphael... if you are going to go through all the trouble of putting shredder in a giant robot battle armour... why make Raph taller than him. Seriously... why?

Ahhhhhhh. Did no one even bother to get feedback on this thing? It feels like someone just said... "Alright go" and then a few months later yelled "cut" and everyone clapped and went we made awesome and went home.

No. Wrong. Incorrect. You made poo.

But hey, there was no pressure right. These are the turtles the film was going to make 450 million no matter what. Sadly, when it is money in the bank.. they obvs give no care, at all, to what they put on screen...

But like I said. I am a grown ass man. Jaded. In a decades long love hate relationship with hollywood... kids love this film.

ONE LINE REVIEW: An effort that just ain't got the chops.

Movie scale 2.5 out of 5 stars
Action scale 2.5 out of 5 stars

There is not one memorable line from this film. No one. And man they tried with those jokes letmetellya.


-Chuck Boonsweet

Guardians of the Galaxy (2014)


You probably already know the planet loves this movie, I am a little behind in getting my review ahead of the masses here... but you know, screw it. You keep coming back for more, so damn it, I am gunna give it to you, hard.

Also. If all you want to do is get the whole review in one line, here you go -

I saw this flick in theatre, twice!

Making it only the 3rd flick I have ever done that with. The first being The Fifth Element, the second being Freddy vs Jason. Soooooo ya. Pretty exclusive company your.

Your story. A man abducted from earth in 1988, a green woman with Daddy Issues, a big green guy with some rage issues, a racoon with attitude issues, and a plant man... must find a way to become friends, heroes, and save the universe from a blue guy... with entitlement issues.

So what do you need to know about this flick? Is it original. Nope. Pretty much standard sic-fi space drama. But, this film does something that I haven't experienced in theatre in a long long time... something that has so sorely been missed that it makes the story and the characters within it feel so fresh you find yourself pacman smiling... IT HAS FUN. I mean real, deep belly laugh fun. And within that fun they weave interesting people, fantastic action, and some cool plot...

I give you - evil android smurfette. 
YES! I say that because there are at least 3 YES! moments in this film. Like genuine stand up and cheer moments. You know how that happens? You like it. You like the tone, you like the people, so when they kick ass in wondrous 3D (and it is grand) you get pretty damn invested. It's simple hollywood... anyone ever looking to connect the audience with characters in big budget, half of this film will be action, flicks... here you go. I mean within the first 5 minutes you already love Chris Pratt as Star-Lord, the will be leader of the ragtag squad.

And can we talk about how badass a Racoon can be? Cheers to Bradley Coopers voice work... annnnnd a shout out to Vin Diesel who, voicing the man Plant Groot, manages to create a character with three words... I AM GROOT. Zoe Saldana is great as usual (I do hope this woman eventually gets the credit she deserves, of course she may need to step away from all these 200 million dollar

Give me all your berries!
Director James Gunn... A man forever in my heart for SLITHER and SUPER delivers like a champ here. The action is bright, fun, laced with drama, and most importantly, cool.

Verdict. Get off ya butts and see this film in theatre. Hell, your friends already have, don't be that guy... eating doritos, watching a shaky cam download... going "It was ah-ite". Ain't no-body got time for that.

Heart. Everything in this movie would be nothing without the surprising amount of heart this film sneaks in. The opening scene is gut wrenching, and you don't even know the character yet. But thats just it... it goes back to just how likeable the characters are. They slip in these heartwarming moments and you find yourself caught off guard. That little pang of emotion catching your throat... the two minutes later you're laughing and fist pumping...

A true achievement in the "Based on a comic" films, and one of the best science fiction flicks in a long, long, time...

in a galaxy far, far...


Movie scale 4 out of 5 stars
Sci-fi scale 4.5 out of 5 stars

ONE LINE REVIEW - Space awesomeness. I may see it a 3rd time. 


Tuesday, July 29, 2014

The Zero Theorem (2014)


You know what before I go anywhere I want to try to explain the plot of this movie. And you know what I am going to do something I have never done before... Borrow the explanation from good old IMDB: A computer hacker whose goal is to discover the reason for human existence continually finds his work interrupted thanks to the Management; namely, they send a teenager and lusty love interest to distract him.

Yup that's the explanation. But you know what I'm going to sum it up a little better... A guy, Qohen, does nothing for a whole movie while occasionally cool scenes and graphics happen around him. Oh and Matt Damon channels his inner Philipp Seymour Hoffman.

Listen, this is a Terry Gilliam film. The man behind the lens for Time Bandits, 12 Monkeys, Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, and his oft regarded masterpiece - Brazil. He is a legend. When you go into a Gilliam film you understand that you will be witnessing film, as seen through the mind of an artist that though perhaps not always on point... never short of imagination and originality.

I hate to be a bother, but Nurse? I'll need to see some ID. 

So was this film good? Yes. Was it great? No. Hell I'm not even sure it was good. But it wasn't bad... see the thing is the idea is sound. The future as seen through the imagination of the screen writer, Pat Rushin, and the eye of Gilliam, is a sea of ads and non purpose. One scene in particular with people carrying around their tablets at a party struck a particular sort of mock genius. Another has a laundry list of "don'ts" by way of signs posted to the side of a park. These ideas, and the as expected, amazing visuals, help to create a very interesting world. The trouble is... they really do nothing with it.

I mean Christopher Waltz is brilliant, the supporting cast is brilliant, but other than a few scenes, they really have  nothing to do. As this film is about proving that there is nothing to existence, is that in fact the message within the nothingness of the film? Oooooo I'm over thinking. Really though why is it just when we begin to unravel the possibilities of the Zero Theorem and the supposed connection between body and soul... and love as a possible counter to the zero theorem? Maybe? The film ends and really you are left with 100 minutes of a 107 minute movie that was Mr. Waltz in a broke down building looking awkward.

Still enticing but hardly a masterpiece. Yes. I get it. There is a large group of people that will pull a ton of messages out of this film. They will call them "Deeper Truths" and tell you that you just didn't get it, and this is thinking man's scifi. You know what, F em. 12 Monkeys was thinking man's scifi and it had a coherent plot. Brazil was a twisted mind wrap, and yet it was enjoyable and coherent. Hell, even The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus still came together for a pay off in the end. This film carries a heavy message and even manages to involve you a little more than it has any right to thanks to the wonderful acting... but at the end of the day, no real payoff, and nothing really.

Just a naked guy standing in water.


It is a visual wonder. The moments that really move you, are so beautiful you wait for them to involve... become something more... but then often end almost as soon as they begin. Terry Gilliam is a director who I will always follow. And Christopher Waltz is an actor that demands to be witnessed.... but here, the story was big, and bold, and could have been the kind of story to stay with the word decades from now... as it is. I imagine it as simply Kinda kool, and really weird. Just feels they know the answer... they being the filmmakers... and really forgot to let you in on it.

movie scale 2.5 out of 5 stars
Scifi Scale 3 out of 5 stars.

ONE LINE REVIEW - Artsy. Confusing. Confusion. 

As I am with any Terry G flick my hopes are set perhaps too high. A last thought the female lead Melanie Thierry was great. I dare say she held her own more than easily alongside Mr. Waltz. No small task. Well done!

- Charles B. Boonsweet