Wednesday, October 21, 2015

I spit on your grave 3 (2015)

More blood, more gross out, less awesome.

It is ok to enjoy a solid revenge flick. Be it Thriller: They call her one eye, Death Wish (and the what 5 sequels?) ... and the list is long believe me... the genre has been around long enough that the audience is there. And every once and a while when hollywood dresses it up with a big name star in the lead (Taken) its obvious everyone loves them a solid revenge flick. The rewarding part of the revenge flick is this: All the violence dished out to the villains is warranted... usually because they have done something horrible to children, or mostly women... and now they will all get their - oh-so-just desserts... so we can sit back and enjoy all the violence and chaos... guilt free... because - them guys had it coming.

Or. Well, that's my Freud Bomb on it.

So if you have not seen any of these films before, this is not the one to start with. The story goes as such... Jennifer Hills, having survived the group assault in the first film, and exacted her revenge (and remaining uncaught)... has moved to try to put her life together, and changed her name. She joins a rape therapy group type thing where she meets a friend... but then realizes there's all these men just raping people out there and someone should do something about it... in extremely violent ways.

Why do I have a 1950s hair cut in a 2015 movie? Good question. Seriously. Next...
This movie made one huge, gigantic, mistake - it forgot the first part of the revenge flick. Unlike the first two films in the series (three is you count the 1978 cult original) there is no graphic horror to balance out the violence in the film. No disgusting act that allows you to root for the heroine to dispatch her justice. Instead what you have is essential talking for an hour. Talking in group. Talking to therapist. And every once in a while she day dreams about murdering someone.

No one is attacked. No deed is blasted across the screen that makes the men cringe and the girls look away... instead we are treated to what I can only call a rather thoughtful script that tries to make a few statements about men, and how women are treated, and for that matter - treat themselves. Sure, thats all fine and good... but this movie is called I spit on your grave - part freaking 3. I am not here to debate the merits of punishment and police handling of assault cases.

This first two films were visceral. Enraging, you couldn't help but cheer when these horrible people were getting theirs... here well, you find yourself just rooting for something... anything to happen. Then when it does get going... they make their second... and most unforgivable error... they make the hero bat shit crazy.

Seriously, seriously, pipe down! 
I get she is damaged. I get she is all psycho avenger... but having her lose her mind... really, kind of undermines the entire structure of the film. She can't be strong, and empowered and raising up against the evil of the new millennium man is she's actually just loco... and hates every man - ever.


Ok that said. Like the other two films I thought they got a lot out of the actors here. I mean selling some of the horrible acts in these films is not easy, and again, the violence here - when it happens - does comes across as really intense (the whole two scenes of it). The script though for the first half having really nothing at all to make it similar to the previous two films... does manage to evoke some laughs... and real moments. The direction, as with the other two films is spot on, and does not shy away...

There just isn't enough here. Part of the series allure is the "What are they gunna do to this guy?!" and well... they just remove that concept in favour of "Lets make a statement of society" ... which again... in a lifetime movie, fine... but in this series - WRONG! wrongwrongwrongwrongwrong.

Still, it is heads and shoulders above many direct to video (with a small theatre release) offerings, and the violence in the two major scenes, is absolutely bananas. I still think the first two films are fair and away superior... but if they bounce back to the grit and horror in the next entry, I will forgive them the social commentary excursion.

Horror/revenge scale : 2.5 out of 5 stars
Move scale: 2.5 out of 5 stars

One Line review: The thinking man's B grade revenge thriller, ish. 

Till next Booniacs!


Final Girl (2015)

Something about a sexy blonde...

Every once in a while a film within the horror genre comes along with an Idea that is, for all intents and purposes, Unique. Final Girls to me, seemed to be one of these films. Now, when I - a lifelong horror enthusiast - encounter such a film, I review it with a certain restraint, because in a genre so over populated with beentheredonethat ... original ideas should be appreciated.

That said. Let's get into it.

So your plot: A young girl, after the death of her Mother, is recruited by the smoldering eyes of "Un-named character" (played by Wes Bentley)... and trained for the next twelve years to be a killer of slasher types. Or well, really evil murdering types. The full grown Veronica (played by the always fun Abigail Breslin) is set loose on a group of murdering young men to exact justice.

Ok. Right. Sounds fun. And bloody and cool. There are a few problems here though... 1st Veronica tries her best but Abigail can't ever really make her seem intimidating or actually capable of all this superhuman man destruction. There is a part where she chokes a guy out about 3 times her size... All I could think was - hit her, and she'll be done, and you can go on breathing.

Wait, what? Thats how pretty little liars ends? Well... ok try explaining it again...
Unlike a Jessica Biel, Sarah Michelle Gellar, etc... she just doesn't come across as tough. Now is that her fault, I don't think so. She is a talented actress, but I think the time devoted to training her, and making you believe she can be tough is just lacking.

The directing is pretty good. A few things how ever... like the forest... at night... apparently being lit by a giant spotlight... seem just... horribly set up. It was almost comical... I mean where did that mini spotlight come from. After a while it feels like perhaps the director (his first feature) is attempting to do one of two things... play a portion of the scenes as if it were a play... or pay homage to the king of horror lighting Dario Argento (Inferno came to mind).

Case in point ... all the main players are seated around in the woods (spotlights apparently places throughout for lighting)... when the scene and the stories told would have been infinitely more creepy by the naturalmostly-natural lighting of a campfire. As distracting as it was at times, I am going to say that I chose to view it as part of the film's "Look" and bitch no further.

Mmmm. Candy blood.
Now this film does a weird thing with the timeline where after the initial introduction with her as a child they jump forward 12 years... Ok. That would've been fine. If, IF they had simply made her a badass after 12 years... and then moved right into the hunter/prey thing. But no... they actually show you a bunch of her training now... and funny story, she apparently hasn't learned a thing in 12 years... like how to throw a punch... or well anything really. So what was she learning in over a decade under the guidance of strangely attractive man... Who doesn't seem all that tough himself.

Rule one: A bad-Ass character must in fact be BAD-ASS.

Well. Listen all this beef you see here, is in the first act... AKA first 30 minutes. So once we get to the killers VS trained killer of killers... how does it go. Sigh. Well it takes another 20 minutes.

Really once it gets going I was all - This is it. It is on. And there are flashes. For one - the conversation she has with the head bad guy is gold. I mean really good stuff. The attraction he has for her psycho side is great and hints at what could've been a really cool angle. Hell this whole film hints at what could be been sadly... there really is nothing here.

They waste time on a horrible tough girl montage... time that could, and should, have been given to developing the villains. She's a final girl. We really did not need more than that little girl opening. As it is, you don't care about anyone, or anything. The final fight, and chat is great... I mean that... really fun... but it stands out as the only few minutes of the film that are actually engaging. This film has been marketed as a violent revenge against the slasher kinda film... and its not... don't believe the R rating... a couple of F bombs aside... there's barely enough here for the PG-13.

This movie, within this script, there was something here... really, but the direction... and time put into this movie seems to have been minimal. Case in point (again) why does the main guy want to kill blondes? I don't know... and you know what would've been nice instead of what is essentially a crazy and silly final moment - possibly an explanation for that. Ah dang it... this is the worst part of being a film fan, a blogger, a writer, and a general film geek... when you see how it could've been something... something really really cool, and it just went to poop because no one realized extra gore would've been great... teaching the tiny hollywood actress how to how her hands and body in a fight would've been great... and well you get it.

I don't think there is enough here to recommend it. But hey, maybe you are someone who enjoys imagining what couldve been.

Oh and why the hell was this movie set in the 50s? or 60s? whatever it was? Just no damn point to that. No point at all. Much like most of this film.

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

One line Review: No blood, no drama, no nothin. 

Boonsweet is out!


Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Pan (2015)


Folks. Don't buy into the hate! Seriously. I have read all these reviews blasting this movie for being too much like this movie, ripping off that other movie... blah blah. Tired of another "Chosen one" story line. Look. There is basically one formula for the giant Hollywood Blockbuster. Ok maybe two. But the predominant one is simple - extraordinary circumstance + huge budget (aka lots of eye candy) + a chosen one to rise up against the evil bad guy/guys.

Avatar. Pirates of the Caribbean. Star wars lol... I mean if you want to say screw the formula than just stay home and watch Grey's Anatomy (sigh sorry, its a fine show, I just 12 seasons? Come on. Hasn't everyone slept with everyone by now? I digress). This is not a completely original film. Its not something you haven't seen before, and heck, it's probably a film that really didn't need to happen... but does that make it a bad film...

I submit - No.

Your story is .... years before the events of the animated classic Peter Pan, or the less classic non animated Peter Pan... Ya. Anyone remember that... 2003... no I didn't think so. Anyway... years before... aka this is a prequel... we find Peter, an Orphan in a rather unpleasant orphanage, in the middle of WWII in London. Well, one night he and other kids are whisked away (kidnapped) by flying pirates from Neverland. Once there in the mines he meets James Hook (the will be Captain Hook one day) his also finds out he can fly... something the evil Black Beard (played with relish by Hugh Jacked Jackman) finds disturbing as a flying boy is suppose to be the "Chosen one" to rise against him and free Neverland.

So. Pretty much adventure, and fairies and a little romance, and the secret to Peter's origins and boom! Your Movie.

seriously, how can you deny that level of Jackman facial hair... 
Pan is without a doubt top three 3D films I have ever seen. If you are looking for a movie to enjoy the heck out of your 3rd Dimension experience this is the film. Jurassic World was a very fun movie... but really, where the hell was the 3D in that film? This film throws everything at you... even once you settle into the depth, they still hit you with things flying at you (I admit it I dodged some cannonballs) and fairies floating about.

This PAN is pure big budget entertainment, and for my money, worth every penny I spent. The acting is spot on. The effects (apparently unfinished by some reports) seem to hold up well. In fact if you get over the Why the heck is black beard kidnapping kids from a different dimension for his mines? The rest is a good time. Non stop colors, and bright, and fun. And really a film for the whole family. The violence all played off with little more than G levels with certain deaths resulting in explosions of coloured powder... ya weird. But cool.

Newbie Levi Miller, does a great job as a boy simply in search of home... and he handles a few tougher scenes later. I imagine getting emotion while looking at a green wall cannot be easy. The rest of the cast is fun. I think I realized what I was in for from the beginning... entertainment. This isn't a film trying to when oscars... Big explosions, sweeping action set pieces... hell, even a musical number thrown in...

I really don't know why everyone seems to be hating on this. I guess at this point we are all kinda beaten down by the big budget film... so much so that when we get a pure family level one with it's heart on it's sleeve... well, maybe the audience, and critics have just gotten a little too jaded. If this film had come out during the 80s and was all practical... I imagine it would have quite the following. But as it is, perhaps it is destine to be lost to the abyss of non stop 100+ million pictures... as the opening week box offie suggest. A shame, as I thought there was some real family fun to be had here.

I like colors.
I like explosions.
I like 3D fairies.

Movie scale 3.5 out of 5 stars
Action/adventure scale 3.5 out of 5 stars

ONE LINE REVIEW: 3D fairy dust covered good times. 

Thank you for reading my brain Booniacs