Wednesday, September 30, 2009
On my flight to KC yesterday morning, I read the latest issue of US Airways magazine and stumbled across a section on this month’s Contributors. In case you don’t know, US Airways accepts submissions every month from people who write a story/column on random topics to be used in their publication.
The Contributors are all bloggers! I thought that was pretty cool until I read the profiles of the bloggers and the content found on their sites. See they are not bloggers like you and me because they are on a different side of the blogger-verse. One word sums a majority of them up: Uppity! And those of you who know me personally and read my blog (and those of you who don’t will now know), I cannot stand uppity people. I can hit the lottery tomorrow and I will still be wearing the same types of clothes, eating at the same types of restaurants and writing the same f’d up stuff on ETMC. No doubt, shorty! The only change for me would be to get better season ticket seats for the Phillies because the white-man’s version of Biggie Smalls now sits directly in front of me, obstructing my view of the plate and smelling like a raw turkey that has been left unrefrigerated for weeks. (How do I know what that smells like? Because I was unfortunate enough to discover one in a house my wife and I were looking to buy a few years back. We passed on said house. True Story.) He also farts CONSTANTLY. No lie – everyone in my section always jokes about it. Sorry I got sidetracked there for a second.
Now I am not going to run these folks' name through the mud or anything because they can’t help that they are uppity (btw - the doctor and the sports writer get a pass), but I also blame US Airways – which is easy to do because the airline is run by incompetents from the ground up. They need to be more diverse in their selection of writers used in their publications. For example, they had the most uppity person in this month’s issue (she spends the days with her husband thinking up businesses they eventually own and operate) write the Humor column. The f’n Humor column! It was well written from a grammatical aspect but take a guess how humorous it was? Her story was about refrigerating vegetables in different temperatures. I wish I was kidding. Refrigerating vegetables so they don’t mold…oh the laughs just did not stop.
Another blogger (who bragged endlessly in her profile as well) wrote a fashion story in which she explained what’s hot in the industry. One problem - she is not in the industry. Here’s her credentials: she is a professional belly dancer (wtf?), a freelance personal assistance (wtf again?!) and wait for it….wait for it…she is the most requested figure model in Pittsburgh. Pittsburgh?! That is like saying you are the best downhill snowboarder in Florida. And no offense to my readers/friends in Pittsburgh because you can say the same thing about South Philly girls as well.
Now I have made it a mission to get into the US Airways publications. I mean I am not going to sacrifice my life for the cause or anything, but I think it would be a hoot to try to get published in there. And I am not going to write some generic, conservative dreck either. I am going to write something ETMC style. In my next post, I am going to submit to my readers here at ETMC my profile and brief column for submission and I would LOVE to here your feedback.
I need to steer away from movie reviews for a bit. I promised myself that my blog would be a mix of all kinds of things and not stay on one topic (“You’ll Never Know What You Will Find Here” and all), but that has not been the case lately. The Andre the Giant Has a Posse column was one of my favorite posts in sometime, which followed my Amusement review – imo one of my worst posts to date. It was uninspired. One of the reasons it ended up that way was that I typed the whole review and lost it all due to a blogger crash and autosave fail. So I re-wrote the whole thing all over again, trying to remember what exactly I wrote, but I was tired of speaking on the topic. The result angered me! I know, I know...WAAAHHHH! =)
Movie reviews are still important to me but I have to throw some change ups every now and then or this blog is going to morph into a stale, moldy piece of bread.
I just got back from Hawaii and I am immediately heading to the airport for a flight to Kansas City, MO this morning. Traveling is exhausting but at least I am close to Silver status on US Airways, which is like saying that I have a permanent key to the public restroom at a dive bar. So if any readers are in the downtown KC area and want to do a meet-up, I will be more than welcome to do so. Shoot me an e-mail or post.
I will be back to post something interesting later...
Saturday, September 26, 2009
I will keep this short and sweet for those of you kind enough to come to this post. When I was a little kid back in '81-'82 (yeah I'm old), I remember HBO used to show a short film as filler between their programming. The short in question is called "The Tape" I believe. It is about a man who goes to a job interview (I think) and is attacked by a massive mound of reel-to-reel tape. The man finds a magnet which he uses to fend off the sinister tape, but puts it down to make his escape. The Tape uses this opportunity to wrap around the man and eat him. All that is left is his clothes...it even spits out a shoe. Back in the day, it creeped me out. Nowadays, I would appreciate a stop-motion, low budget attempt at entertainment by a hopeful filmmaker now that I am older. If anyone knows the name of this short or could point me in the right direction to see this again after many years, I would greatly appreciate it. I researched the internet over the last year or so and have been unsuccessful, so trust me that I am not asking this out of laziness.
I already sent this in to Kindertrauma (because they are the coolest! =) ) to get as many feelers out there as possible. Thanks in advance!
POST UPDATE (9/28/09):
Kindertrauma came to my rescue on this one already. The short is called Recorded Live (1974) and it was listed on their site earlier in the year. Good news is that I found out where I can see it again. Bad news is that I have to get the Tremors 4 DVD to do so. Anyone seen Tremors 4? Is it as bad as it sounds?
Friday, September 25, 2009
Thursday, September 24, 2009
No this was not purchased at a sex shop!
Wednesday, September 23, 2009
The film starts out with an animated credits sequence showing the viewer different students' pictures in a middle school yearbook. Next to each student, there is a caption that explains "most likely to succeed", "most likely to be president", etc. Then we get to one student and we are shown that he is basically a psycho through his actions detailed in newspaper clippings.
The story follows three young women who appear to have some connection to each other. The interesting thing about the premise of the film is that it is almost set up like an anthology but all of the stories are completely tied together. While their individual situations are extremely different from one another, their perils are used to continue the narrative as things come to a head at the end. So what I'm trying to explain is that each of the female characters' segments last about 18-20 minutes and then lead into the next character's story before they all come together for the finale. This will become more clear as you read the review.
The first story "Shelby" begins with Shelby (played by Laura Breckinridge and Exton, PA native - holla!) and her boyfriend Rob (Tad Higenbrink from that piece of shit The Lost Boys 2: The Tribe) traveling on a long road trip. Rob decides to join a "convoy", where he tails a truck while someone trails him from behind. This way they can all speed and highly reduce their chances of getting pulled over by the cops since they are locked into a pack. Yes I know it doesn't make any sense but Rob is kind enough to deliver some exposition and clarify this fact.
I can't continue this part of the review because I will ruin this section of the story. So please do the click to highlight and drag trick below to see how this plays out. If you don't want to be spoiled, skip to the next section and you will bypass the spoilers. I will just continue to review the next portion of the story without detailing the outcome of this one.
click and drag here... As Rob and Shelby are following the trucker down the road, they see the girl in the back of the cab pop-up again and hold up a "Help Me" sign. A minute later, her body goes flying onto their windshield, causing them to go off the road along with the family man behind them. Family Man comes running out of his car to check on the injured girl with Shelby while screaming for Rob to chase down the trucker and get his plates.
Rob wrecks his car while in pursuit of the trucker who is now headed back towards Shelby and the family man. Rob runs back to the scene of the first accident but it's too late. The family man is bloodied and lying on the ground, but lets Rob know that the girls were kidnapped and taken to a house in the near distance by the trucker. He points to a house in the distance and asks Rob to go there with him.
Once they arrive at the house, the family man asks Rob to stay in the car and have his back in case there are any problems. The family man sneaks towards the house and hears the trucker mention that he picked up a girl and was taking her to rehab, but she went nuts and jumped out of his truck. He also mentions that she is crazy and even went back to look for her but couldn't find her. Family man waits for trucker to come out of the house and then slaughters him. Back at the truck, Rob hears a noise in the back of the vehicle and pulls a sheet out of the way. Shelby and the wounded girl are bound, gagged and beaten! Uh-oh! As Rob goes to get out of the car, the family man stops him and reveals he is not a family man at all. He tells Rob that he "picked the wrong convoy" to follow. Then he tries to channels Brion James as Max Jenke and lets out some crazy ass laugh, but it is nowhere near as cool. We now learn that our villain is known as "The Laugh" (Keir O'Donnell). Yes that is how he is credited.
Then we move on to the next story...
Then we move on to the next story, and imho the best part of the film, entitled "Tabitha". Tabitha (Katheryn Winnick) arrives at a home in a desolate area to watch over her nephew and niece. Apparently, the babysitter just got up and left before Tabitha arrives, so she is a little sore about the little ones being left alone. Nighttime falls when Tabitha discovers the guest room she will be sleeping in...littered with clowns everywhere! And sitting in the rocking chair is the life-sized clown from the DVD cover...Clown time!
SPOILERS AGAIN! Same drill.
Highlight, drag and click here: This is a great tension scene in the film - she reaches over a couple times to pull the mask off and/or touch the clown, but thunder and lightning makes her jump and thwarts her attempts. Finally, Tabitha is called by the owner of the house. She tells the owner that everything is fine except the giant clown she has in the clown room is fraking her out. The owner keeps insisiting that there is no clown like that in her room. The clown gets out of his chair and heads towards Tabitha, but when she turns around, the clown is gone. Then, there is a chase that leads to Tabitha jumping out of the window and hurting herself. She makes her way to the barn outside and finds the dead babysitter's body (who actually never left) inside. The clown knocks down Tabitha and hovers over her before letting out the familiar laugh heard at the end of the last story. This signals that our clown is indeed The Laugh striking once again.
Tabitha wakes up and begins to be questioned by an FBI agent in what appears to be an interrogation room. There is no explanation as to why she is there, but the FBI agent leaves and a counselor comes in to speak with her. The counselor mentions a crazy former student from their middle school who might be targeting Tabitha and two of her other friends.
The story moves on to the last female character story "Lisa". This is the lamest setup of any story, so I will skip ahead. Lisa's goodie-goodie roommate does not come home from the previous evening which worries her and her boyfriend. Lisa figures that her friend must be visiting a friend at a bed and breakfast-type place, but it looks more like the freakin' Adams Family house. You can tell already that this will not end well.
SPOILERS. You know the drill.
Highlight, click and drag here: First Lisa's boyfriend uses his health inspector badge to infiltrate the house after she is denied entrance by the creepy ass caretaker. He gets killed while Lisa waits for him outside for several hours. Tired of waiting, she creates a distraction outside which lures the caretaker out of the house while she sneaks in and runs upstairs. She enters a room of dirty beds and one person - a deaf person who looks like Emo Philips. Seriously. He has her hide in a bed because they think they hear the caretaker heading backup the stairs. Upon hiding, Lisa soon learns that the firend she was searching for is tied up and sewed inside the bed. She freaks out and rips apart all of the beds to find dead bodies in all of them. She asks her mute friend to help her get Shelby out of the bed. As he begins to do so, he lets out the maniacal laugh. Our master-of-disguise is at it again. The Laugh duped her the entire time. This part pissed me off a bit: how did he beat her upstairs and change in time? That would be impossible. Then we enter the final climatic scene that pulls every story together.
If you want to find out more details, I would recommend renting the film. You can do a lot better, but you can also do A LOT worse. Some of the things that brings this movie down a notch is how the killer was simply in all kinds of places that he just realistically could not be in based on his previous locations and how he planned all of these "coincidences". How can you plan so many coincidences and have them work. These factors angered me until I realized that I saw a film that had some orignality, but it is a film where I needed to definitely throw logic out of the window. And a lot of horror films do that (like how Jason catches up to teenagers running at full-speed while maintaining a steady walk), but you have to throw more logic out with this film then others. Some things did not tie-in together and the ending is abrupt. But I was entertained for 90 minutes. I am not handing out any awards for this film, but it sure was a fun, yet very illogical horror film.
Do I recommend it? Sure. It has some originality and is a fun horror movie to watch late at night. The creators showed they were geuninely trying to make a really fun horror romp and you can see the effort. The acting varies. Some of the leads like Winnick and Breckenridge are really good, but some of the others fall under par. Like Lisa's boyfriend. That dude is a dud. Our killer is also put forth a lot of effort in his performance but sometimes his reactions come across goofy. That makes for some unintentional comedy.
We needed more clown! I have a fever and the cure is...more Clown!
- The whole time I watched this film, I kept telling Jules that the production values on this are way above standard for straight-to-video fare. As I learned later, this was originally made to be feature for theaters. With some of the films that actually make it into the theaters nowadays, I don't see the prejudice against this one.
Monday, September 21, 2009
Schumacher had planned for The Lost Boys to have a sequel revolving around David’s revenge on the Emersons/Frogs with a majority of the original cast returning. But for some reason, he chose to move on to another project. Maybe the cast wanted to move forward as well and not tread back in old waters. Who knows what really happened? For whatever reason, The Lost Boys never received a sequel and the only talk of anything relating to one didn’t happen until around the early 2000's when rumors of The Lost Girls circulated but even that film never materialized. The next time a Lost Boys sequel was mentioned again happened in an unintentionally funny episode of The Two Coreys back in 2007 (yeah I admit to being curious and watching it before). In this reality show revolving around a reunion of Feldman and Haim, the Coreys invited Jamison Newlander (Alan Frog from the original) to Feldman’s home for a brainstorming session in order to write a script for The Lost Boys 2 (TLB2). After Haim and Newlander got their hopes up high (especially Haim), Feldman drops a major bomb – TLB 2 was already in production by another compnay and they asked Feldman to be in it…and he agreed. He also mentioned that the creators wanted nothing to do with Haim, but they were interested in having Newlander reprise his role. Ouch! The hits just keep on coming! Haim was crushed a had a bit of a breakdown. I bet if you search Youtube, you'll find it. Then I stopped watching the series after this episode because, quite frankly, these two fools get on my nerves and all the TLB2 talk went away.
Fast forward to a year later, Feldman pulled some major strings to finally get his Hollywood-exiled buddy Haim into the TLB2 to play Sam Emerson. This was a pretty big deal because Haim was definitely on the major outs with some Hollywood bigwigs due to his drug addiction and erratic behavior back in the day. Now, Haim was supposedly clean (heavy drug use had weakened his heart and he could no longer to partake in those habits), ready to get his life back on track and make a comeback. As much as I like to joke on the Coreys, I admit that I was routing for Haim to make this comeback because we all make mistakes in life and sometimes we need a second chance. Just ask the band Shinedown...actually they'll probably tell you that sometimes goodbye is a second chance. Sertiously though, I have to think that turning your life around after years of something like hardcore drug addiction is extremely difficult, so to be able to put your foot down and straighten yourself out is very courageous. Haim seemed as serious as a heart attack about his comeback in the new TLB2. He placed in paid ads about his return to Hollywood in the L.A. Times and went on the convention circuit promoting that TLB2 is going to be great and is the perfect vehicle to get back in the fans’ and the movie studios' hearts.
In an episode of The Two Coreys season 2, I tuned in to watch the hyped-up behind the scenes look at TLB2 and was pretty excited to learn more about what the Coreys and Newlander, who was added as well, were going to be doing in the sequel to one of my favorite vampire films. What a mess! Haim showed up on set and started having a bit of an anxiety attack because it has been a while since he had been on a film set. At first I felt bad because anxiety is one of the worst things that you can get before performing due to it being a mental roadblock that can do some scary things to your body. Haim went to the bathroom, came back and started to run some lines with Feldman. Haim seemed a little different now. He could not remember his lines, seemed a bit more jittery and was rambling on about stuff. I will not accuse someone without 100% proof, but I think it was obvious that Haim might have done a bit more than take a leak in the bathroom.
Feldman went out to shoot his scenes during the day and when it came time for Edgar Frog’s scenes with Sam Emerson, Haim nowhere to be found. He refused to come out of his trailer even after the EP and the director tried to talk to him and get him to come out. At first you could tell they were a bit sympathetic, but after about 6 hours, they were losing the daylight and their patience as well. Feldman could not even get him to come out. The director at one point threatened to cut Haim’s scenes and move on. Finally, Haim came out and shot his scenes but everyone’s reactions to the whole day seemed a bit lackluster. I think the addiction came back to Haim as a crutch when the going got tough on him and he lost my respect as fast as he got it back from me. Feldman, even though he is a major douche, put his neck and whatever is left of his career out on the line for Haim who turned his back on that fact. I don’t know what happened next with those two because I learned there were no more TLB2 items of interested in the rest of the season, so I never watched another episode.
You are probably wondering to yourself right now: “Hey Geof! Are you reviewing the TLB2 or are you reviewing that lame ass reality show?” The answer is simple. What you just read is the most interesting thing about The Lost Boys 2: The Tribe. I was well aware that it is a straight-to-video release and kept my expectations “mega-low” going into it but I thought that a great film like The Lost Boys deserved more than what was released last summer. No real effort of note was put forward, so let me get on with my bullet-point review:
- Tom Savini plays a master vampire! Awesome, right? Well this wonderful news ends about 30 seconds later when our new Lost Boys decapitate him. It is supposed to show that these Boys do not follow the vampire code and are a new breed of badass vampires. Instead, this scene just shows me FAIL!
- Tad Hilgenbrink and Autumn Reeser play Michael and Star’s (Jason Patric and Jami Gertz from the original) children who go out to stay in Santa Carla because Michael and Star died in a car accident. So these new filmmakers used their artistic license to kill off major characters from the series for new good reason? Couldn’t they have just said that they were traveling in Europe or something instead of dying? FAIL Again!
- Kiefer’s real-life half-brother plays Shane, the leader of the new Lost Boys. The last name is the only thing these two have in common. Where Kiefer’s immaculate portrayal of David is on one end of the spectrum, Angus’ is on the opposite side. Horrible casting choice. Plus he looks like a brokess version of pro wrestler Edge and Phiadelphia Phillies' outfielder Jayson Werth. See for yourself:
"I like the Tin Man." - don't get that A Christmas Story reference? Shame on you.
- The vampires’ makeup looks nothing like what the vamps were wearing in the original. I mean they are supposed to be the same exact type of vampire but they look nothing alike at all. These newer ones look more like they are more related to the Buffy The Vampire Slayer series version of a bloodsucker.
- This film is plays out like a remake of the original and not a sequel, only with some minor changes and the inclusion of the Edgar Frog character, who is the only thing about the film I liked The other thing I liked is posted in the picture below...
- Instead of drinking from the cool antique bottle to become vampire, Reeser’s character drinks from a flask. A freakin’ flask! No build-up either. It is a very simple “here drink this”, followed by her saying “ok”. Zero suspense.
- Instead of fighting the hunger associated with being a vampire, Reeser seems like she is all about it. She really gives in to it right away unlike how Michael tried to resist it in the original. In fact I though that she was going to be mad as hell at that the fact that she is saved at the end.
- A remake of Cry Little Sister blares a few times which only goes to remind me of the original and how this film could have easily been so much better with the right team behind it.
- It tries to end with a clever line like at the conclusion of the original but it is laughably bad. And then the character drags the joke out like she is trying to explain to those whose head it went over, which makes the whole scene vomit-worthy.
So what is the deal with Haim? Yeah he’s in it alright. The credits roll and we see our cast’s names listed until it gets to “and Corey Haim”. The credits fade back into the film with Edgar waiting in the dark for someone, who we learn is Sam Emerson – now a vampire. After a brief dialogue exchange, they lunge to fight each other but then we cut back to credits. It was actually very, very lame tease of things to come.
The alternate ending on the DVD would have been better to use. Sam has been bitten but not completely turned yet. He goes to Edgar’s trailer and warns him that another master vampire is headed to Santa Carla. Then we cut to some long-haired vampire driving in a Near Dark-like “blacked out” windows type car with a sexy female vampire riding shotgun. We see that it’s Alan and he is the master vampire that Sam was warning Edgar about. This ending should have actually been our entire sequel, not the remake garbage that we wasted 90 minutes on. At least this could have been fun dynamic to see the Frog Brothers and Emerson in a vampire battle royale and more importantly be a continuation of the original’s story.
Either way, I hope that a third installment does not get the green light because I have lost (yes pun intended) all hope on anything good coming out of another sequel. Let’s let the sleeping dog lie.
Meet the FAILS, I mean Coreys
Had this not been a part of ETMC’s The Lost Boys double feature, this would have easily ended up as an Amateur Hour installment. It seemed like this one was originally planned for a theatrical release because the production values appeared higher than most straight-to-video fare, but production value should have been sacriifced for a better script. TLB2 is an obvious attempt to make money off a classic without using the least bit of originality to drive a story, ignoring the older fan base and attempt to further The Lost Boys mythos. This vampire flick should have stayed in its coffin underground and never been allowed to leave.
So please believe me when I tell you that the film’s troubled back story involving the Coreys is a lot more interesting than this DVD, err, drink coaster.
Sunday, September 20, 2009
Next, we are introduced to the Emerson family on their way to their Grandpa's house in Santa Carla, California. While a cover of The Doors' "People Are Strange" is played through the credits montage, we are showed several shots of the zany inhabitants of Santa Carla. This pretty much shows that the Emersons are moving to a place that is out of their element, even more so by the fact that we see a Santa Carla billboard graffiti'ed with the words "Murder Capital of the World".
The brothers separate after the film's uinintentionally funniest moment (for me at least) - an outdoor concert performance by a musclehead (who reminds me of former pro wrestler Lex Luger), who puts as much grease onto his body as he does in his hair, singing and playing the saxophone. Seriously, I can do the scene no justice by writing about it and you have to see it for yourself. But it is hilarious and just screams 80's.
Please insert your own joke here...
During her date, Michael almost vamps out and attacks Sam in the bathtub. Minds out of the gutter, people. His attempt is thwarted by the family dog, but Sam is so freaked out that he calls Lucy screaming bloody murder. In turn, she freaks out and runs out of her date with Max to go home unexpectedly.
The Vampire Mullet: Bloodsucking business up front and party in the back
The evening is a major fail. Max winds up casting a reflection in the mirror, liking garlic and not being harmed by holy water. It's actually a really funny scene that writes off Max as a threat. So the next obvious choice for head vamp is David.
SPOILERS AHEAD!! CLICK AND DRAG TO HIGHLIGHT THEM BELOW:
Worse news - Lucy brings Max home and reveals that he is in fact the head vampire after all. He passed all of those tests because Michael invited Max into his home during the dinner fiasco, leaving them "powerless" against him. Max goes on to reveal his plan: he wanted Lucy to be the "mother" of his boys and was going to turn Sam into a vampire as well. They would be one big happy blood-slurpping family. I guess David and the Boys weren't keen on this fact because they setup Star to kill Michael during sexy time but she could not do it. Just when it seemed like it was game over, Grandpa drives his truck into the side of his house and kills Max with the shards of woods from the wall.
Great movie and a classic in my book! Even though he fell on hard times later on in life, Haim was really good in the role Sam. It is ashame that he went bad. In fact, the whole cast was excellent. One-dimensional Patric was perfect as Michael, Sutherland showed early that he was on to greatness and even Feldman was pretty funny in his silly Rambo imitation which lasted the entire film. Supporting cast of Wiest, Hughes and Herrmann was excellent, but the weakest link was Gertz...and she was not even THAT bad.
- There was another report that the film would be remade as The Lost Girls a few years back, but that never panned out either.
Saturday, September 19, 2009
In the meantime, I had a lot of time between all of my traveling to write up some reviews I have been meaning to get around to doing, so I scheduled them to post sporadically during my time away. If anyone wants to do a guest post/be a guest blogger, please shoot me an e-mail. I welcome any and all topics, picutres, videos, whatever.
Until then Aloha and Mahalo! I'll drink a Mai-Tai and backscratcher for you all!
Monday, September 14, 2009
"Hi Geof! Your blog needed a tummy tuck."
Extreme makeovers are rarely cheap. If you need help footing the bill you could consider taking out payday loans.
Now that I have officially become devoted to continuing my hobby as a blogger, I decided to invest some money into ETMC and give it a bit of makeover.
The Man-Cave needed a woman's touch, so my wife Jules pointed me in the direction of Krystyn at Krizzy Designs! Costs are extremely reasonable among her competitors, but she also provided several prototypes of the blog layout and header as well delivering the end product with an extremely quick turnaround. I paid for my new layout, but I want to give her a plug because she was a pleasure to deal with. She made me feel like a customer and not that she was doing me a favor. You get that sometimes in business (outside the blogger-verse), so I was glad that Krystyn was both easy-going and very professional. If you are code-inept like myself, have some extra cash and want to give your site a facelift - definitely check her out!
My old format was a bit different looking than some of the other blogs out there, but I liked that fact. However, it was a little ghetto and I man enough to admit that. My format really constricted the text in my posts and I always had issues whenever I changed fonts or uploaded pictures, so this will help me out a lot. My sidebar pics are huge in comparison to what they were before and now I have a kickass signature match my new kickass blog title in my new kickass header. It will also be nice to hear people like my friend Nick not say things to me like, "Why does Jules' blog look so much better than yours?" Punk!!! j/k =)
The only issue is that I have to go back and re-format all of my posts. I have already finished about half of them already. And I made sure to cover-up my hidden spoilers right away. I know what you are thinking:
If you want, please tell me what you think about the new layout? Is the new ETMC a hit or FAIL? Be honest. I welcome all comments and I welcome you all to the new ETMC! Thanks for playing.
Saturday, September 12, 2009
For those of you who are not aware of who/what exactly the The Asylum is, the company makes low budget films that rip-off big budget motion pictures. Then they release their films straight to DVD shortly before the mimicked motion pictures hit the theaters, riding the big feature's coat tails into profit. Recent examples of their rip-off features include I Am Omega for I Am Legend, Transmorphers for Transformers (they even made Transmorphers 2: Fall of Man for Transformers 2: Rise of the Fallen) and The Terminators for, you guessed it, this summer's Terminator: Salvation. And they also reel in brokedown C-List actors to stars in their productions. like Jeremy London, A Martinez and Mark Dascacos. Ok maybe I should have said D-list, but you get the point.
On the heels of AVP: Requiem's release in 2007, the Asylum unleashed AVH into the direct-to-video universe in yet another attempt to shamelessly rip-off a mega-million dollar Hollywood production. So how did it measure up?
The story starts with our protagonist Lee jogging down the road. Following the token low-grade celebrity casting, Lee is played by William Katt - yes the one from House and one of my old-times fave series The Greatest American Hero. A local cop interrupts Lee's run to show him something that fell out of the sky because it might be of interest. In this scene we learn that Lee is a journalist and we also learn that he apparently has zero will power against even the smallest of vices. The cop offers him a donut, because of course all cops eat donuts, and even though he was jogging to get in some good shape, Lee gives right in. By the time they get to the site, Lee is STILL wolfing down those f'n donuts like it's his job. Jeezus, Lee - Have a little self-control, man. Eating donuts defeats the purpose of jogging. Vegetables are the way to go. Veggies are freebies.
Back to the film - the cop and Lee look off-screen and it is implied they see something horrible by the scared look that develops on their faces. Lee gets back to the cop's truck but we hear screams off camera indicating that the officer just ate his last donut if you know what I mean. Lee looks out the windshield and sees the horror in pursuit of him...which looks to be a two-feet tall with antennas, but is in front of the truck's grill. We don't get to see much, but it deosnlt look that threatening. I figured he should get out and punt the little bastard.
But then in a poor excuse for a "jump scene", a girl comes to the truck's driver side window to talk with Lee. Well the monster is right in front of the truck outside, so I figure that we are about to see a monster onslaught. But no. Lee and the girl get out of the car and head to the road. What the hell? Where did the monster go?
They arrive at the road and are able to flag down a passing car. As the car is coming to a stop and assist them, a giant spider appears in the road and knocks the car over. WTF? Yeah exactly. The "alien" in this film is a giant CGI spider with arms and a face similar to the creature in the Alien series. It is also the same thing that chased Lee to the truck earlier in the film. Except that it was nowhere only the size of a SUV. Remember that I said we only saw a bit of the alien who was mostly hidden by the front of the truck. As the film progresses, the alien seems to change appearances even though it is not a shapeshifting creature. In close shots, it looks like a two-legged guy dressed in a cheap costume and then it looks like the giant spider in CGI shots. It is a distracting mess! This rest of the film is headache-inducing with this type of poor continuity, so let me skip to some some of the better parts.
Our "Alien" in a non-CGI shot. Where are the spider abdomen and legs?
Lee meets up with the rest of the film's body count, err, characters and they try to head out of town. The group includes Dedee Pfeiffer (from Vamp - a cult favorite of mine) who still looks extremely good for her age. They venture into the woods and run into our giant spider friend - OH NOES! But the Predator, err, Alien Hunter appears and attacks the alien arachnid. He is definitely hunting the spider but he is also not real friendly to the humans either. Shocking, right? No. But what is shocking is how douchy the Hunter looks. I could make a better costume with some crap in my storage shed. See for yourself...
He looks like a broke ass version of Raiden from Mortal Kombat
Congrats you managed to rip-off a video game and a feature in one shot!
In the time between this scene and the end, the Hunter runs around in the woods doing god knows what while our characters are offed one-by-one by the alien spider. We literally get recycled scenes of the Hunter running around in the woods scanning the same the same landscape which I am sure is due to budgetary issues. But it is funny to think that the Hunter is running in circles around the woods like an idiot. At least if he was Raiden, he could teleport to the alien. When we get back to the human characters, more weak dialogue and head-shaking performances start to downshift the film from first gear into "Park". So let's keep skipping ahead.
Finally, we reach the cinematic Super Bowl of poor continuity fails which unfortunately occurs in the final battle scene. The Hunter and Alien are going to toe-to-toe, then I can't tell who shoots the spider alien, but it blows up. I had to rewind a few times to see what the hell actually happened. It appears that Lee's arm is the one that raises and aims to shoot the alien, but Lee is not holding a weapon in the following shot. The background is also different in the shots between the shooter and Lee. It is an extremely confusing climax because of the poor continuity rearing its' ugly head once again. The only thing that makes this scene worthwhile is Katt overacting to the alien's demise. He starts pumping his hand in the air and yelling "YEAAAHHH! WOOOOOHHHH!" like his favorite football team just scored the game-winning touchdown. That led me to put my face in my hands due to embarrassment. Poor William Katt! He deserves way better than this, but he is getting paid I guess.
Sing it: "Look at what's happened to meee-heee. My career is in the toi-let!"
Just when it seems like this film can sink no further, the Hunter is mortally wounded. So he activates this timer on his wrist that initiates a self-destruct mode while he begins doing a crazy, maniacal laugh. Then it ends in a huge explosion! PSYCHE!!!!! That would have been a better ending, but we are treated to this "cleverness"...
SPOILER ALERT, I MEAN "LET ME SAVE YOU TIME AND MONEY BY TELLING YOU THE ENDING BECAUSE I BELIEVE THAT EVERYONE SHOULD NOT HAVE TO SUFFER THROUGH THIS CRAP ALERT"!!
After the spider alien gets whacked, the humans and Hunter go their separate ways. The Hunter goes back to his spaceship and dials into some telephone-like communicator but we can only hear his end of the conversation. In perfect English, he talks about killing the creature and getting home to his wife. He ends the call, turns toward the camera and takes off his mask to reveal that he is human? WTF?!
I guess this was supposed to be some surprise twist ending but comes off corny as hell. He should have broken the fourth wall and winked at the camera. It was that stupid!
Alright now let me get you out of this mess:
- William Katt got to feed his family
- Dedee Pfeffer is still milfy
The Devil's Advocate:
- Poor overall product even for The Asylum
- ADD continuity
Take 1 cup of frozen AVP: Requiem, defrost and microwave til thawed. Add salt and pepper to make it taste a little different and serve.
DOUBLE EPIC FAIL!!! (An ETMC first!)
Stay far from this one. It should have been cheap, goofy and fun but ultimately wound up being cheap, dull and boring. Too bad.
One last note, Dedee Pfeiffer's name is misspelled on the DVD cover. I noticed this in the video store before I watched the film, so it should have been a tell-tale sign of things to come:
For the record, I was disappointed by AVP: Requiem as well, but that film is leaps and bounds above this P.O.S.
Wednesday, September 9, 2009
NOTE: I could not upload it onto ETMC because it comes out extremely blurry, so I inserted a hyperlink. Please take a look when you get a chance. If you have seen this already, look at it again. ;)
See what I mean? That's why I put in the link.
oy. And make sure to check out my hidden spoilers below.
GO TO FACEBOOK FAIL!!!!!!
After looking at the above link, come back and see these SPOILERS (click and drag below)
So it was investigated and here is the truth. It was not a photo shopped picture, but Tracy's account was hacked by someone targeting Christian users on Facebook and internet dating sites. Poor girl! Anyway, it was fun thinking it was real for a minute, no? Because I could see someone with zero tech savvy doing something like this. If you are still interested, please go this website below to see all of the posts by Facebook users once the intruders posted the derogatory update and the hoax was on:
Tuesday, September 8, 2009
AAA is on the way
This is a film I was really looking forward to seeing ever since I saw the teaser a few months back. The viral marketing was great especially the "For Humans Only" signs that I saw posted around the stadiums here in Philly. In an attempt to avoid spoilers, I dodged message boards and even my fellow bloggers' reviews because I wanted to go into it fresh. Then, I could not have been any more hyped up for watching this especially with the slew of commercials that ran the last two weeks praising it to the moon. That usually seems to lead to inevitable disappointment, but I am happy to report that I absolutely loved this film! In an age of remakes, it was nice to go to the theater and see a somewhat old concept (aliens coming to Earth) but with a new twist.
20 years ago, a race of alien beings hover their mothership over Johannesburg, South Africa. The aliens (nicknamed "Prawns" by Earthlings based on their looks) are found malnourished in their spacecraft and are brought to Earth in order to reside in a closed-off area called District 9. Due to certain circumstances, the mothership is not operating properly in order to take the Prawns back to their home planet and are essentially stranded on Earth. This is fine for Multi-National United (MNU), which is the world's largest arms dealer. They are really bent on obtaining all alien weaponry in an attempt to master and duplicate it. One major problem - Prawn weaponry can only be used by Prawns based on a DNA link and are useless to humans' hands.
The Prawns themselves look like a cross between a lobster, a shrimp, a grasshopper and Zoidberg from Futurama. So they are not the easiest species on the eyes. To top things off, District 9 is not even close to being considered decent living conditions. 1.5 million of the Prawns species are crammed into this enclosed area and forced to live in small little shacks. And trash is everywhere. The place literally looks like a live-action version of the Junkion planet from Transformers: The Movie. "Dare to Be Stupid!"
Originally, the Prawns are welcomed with open arms but tensions rise among Johannesburg residents over the 20 year span and they want the Prawns shipped out of town asap. So MNU sends a government official named Wikus van der Merwe (Sharlto Copley) to evict the Prawns from District 9 and into a new territory, creatively named District 10 - which are even worse living conditions then they currently have now.
"All prosecutors will be shot...seriously!"
Wikus is a bit of a goof and reminds me a bit like Michael Scott from The Office in the way he describes events to his camera crew. It is implied that he is a lackey who receives this promotion based on the fact that he is engaged to the daughter of a top MNU official.
One thing that I want to warn those venturing to see this film is that you will instantly notice the mockumentary approach of the first act. The reason I mention this to you is because there was a group of people sitting across from my section which were saying things like, "Oh no! Is this another of those 'found footage' films again?! Let's leave! I'm tired of these films!" as soon as the film started. All I can say is that this is not a "found footage" type of film and the mockumentary portion is only heavy in the first act. You will get to enjoy a "film" from the view of a third-party observer and the mockumentary beautifully sets the stage for the rest of the movie. That same group who jumped the gun left the theater extremely satisfied, singing the film's praises.
LET ME SPOIL YOU WITH HIDDEN SPOILERS! (Click and drag to highlight the section below)
I had no idea that story revolved around Wikus' transformation into a Prawn. That dynamic itself really captured some human elements to the film. At first, he was a goofy, ignorant s.o.b. who seemed to enjoy the fact that he was evicting all of the Prawns from their homes. He seemed to be very gleeful in his deceptive "sign right there" tactics on the poor tenants' eviciton papers. Then after the fluid incident, it was discovered that he was transforming into one of the Prawns which led to his exposure of the cruel experiments that his beloved MNU were doing to those poor creatures. Just as the viewers begins to like Wikus, we start to dislike him again after his selfish act to fly to the mothership without Chris and basically ruin a great situation. Finally, we love Wikus again whne he commits the ultimate sacrifice by allowing Chris to get to his son and back to the mothership and righting his wrongs the best he can in the process.
The credit of this character development of Wikus should not only be given to writer/director Neill Blomkamp but to actor Sharlton Copely as well. His performance was very powerful and believable, so I expect more things from him in the near future. Other notables form the film - the cool alien weapons. They melted people, shot sonic booms that knocked people into another time zone and caused heads/bodies to explode. This really showed the viewer that while they seemed like a nasty and trashy little species, they were definitely far more advanced then the human race and should have been treated better. Not the best species to piss off, you know what I mean? This may came back to bite Earth in the end.
Speaking of the ending, you know there is a setup for a sequel. As Wikus sacrifices himself for Chris' safe return to the carrier craft, he promises Wikus that he will cure him in three years - he "promises"! Also, Chris hinted to Wikus earlier in the film that he must go back to his planet and get help to save his race. Well Chris and his son do get away and guess who will probably be coming back with some serious backup and firepower after they hear how horribly their species was treated on Earth for the last 20 years. And after 20 years time, I am sure that the Prawn species have advanced as well as their technology. If they had weapons of that caliber 20 years before the events of the film, imagine what they will have now!!! Earth could be in some serious you-know-what.
I like that the ending is open-ended, but I hope that they get the same cast and crew back if they do decide to do a sequel. It was a hit so I am sure it is inevitable, but this is a type of film that should not be desecrated by a worthless sequel.
One of the reasons that this movie sets itself away from the pack of :aliens vs. humans" feature films is the concept. District 9 goes a different route by humanizing the harmless and non-violent aliens while making humans out to be the antagonists. The acting and storyline are so powerful that you actually despise your own humankind and root for the poor aliens to kill their human detractors and get back to their planet. Sure you can throw E.T. and Alien Nation back at me, but this film is just a different beast. You will realize that once you see it for yourself.
The alien weaponry!
For those who skipped the spoilers, producer Peter Jackson is the money man who funded the film and gave it the spectacular special effects, but the real praise for this film goes to up and coming director Neill Blomkamp. If his next feature is even close to the quality of District 9 and delivers the same type of final output, then he has a real bright future as a filmmaker. To say that District 9 is a home run would be an understatement - this film is a grand slam!
And be on the lookout for Sharlto Copley as well. He delivered a great performance and showed some serious range as an actor.
So let me sign off by saying that District 9 is one "fawking" good movie. Anyone who has seen this film will get my joke. Please see this one before it leaves the theater and you will thank me later.
Monday, September 7, 2009
Don't Touch That!
Frodo jumps on it!
John Madden vs. Jaws
Make Love the Bruce Campbell Way!
Now go back to work! ;)
Sunday, September 6, 2009
"NICK SAYERS...YOU ARE THE WINNER!!!"
I would like to congratulate Nick aka The Man With No Name for winning ETMC's Inaugural Giveaway! He will receive the autographed Ash figure signed by Bruce Campbell himself.
I sincerely thank everyone out there that spread the word of my giveaway and participated. To the new followers, I look forward to check out your blogs very soon and follow you on Twitter/Facebook.
BTW - Nick has a great blog, so now is the time to visit The Action Effect if you have not done so already.
In case anyone was curious, the winner was selected using a random number generator at random.org. Every qualifying entry was placed into an Excel file and then I generated a random number with the generator. The number that populated in the program was matched with the line number (14) in the Excel file. And Nick's name was on line 14.
Here's to hoping that everyone will enjoy the rest of their Labor Day weekend and hope to see you back at The Man-Cave soon!!!!
Thursday, September 3, 2009
"Ash needs a new home."
I will ship domestically only (and to Canada). To get an entry, all you have do is select as many of the ways to enter. You have to do at least one of the following, but remember that the more you do the better the chance to win:
1) Get one entry for commenting on this post
2) Get another entry by becoming a Follower or should I say Cave Dweller. If you already follow me, let me know and you get an entry.
3) Get one more entry for posting about this giveaway on your blog
4) Get another entry by adding me to your site's Blog List
If you follow me on Facebook or Twitter, I can give you more entries as well. But I don't want to sound like an attention whore or anything like that, so only follow me on these networks if you would like to. They are just ways to get bonus entries.
DEADLINE TO ENTER IS 6PM ET THIS SUNDAY (9/6)!!!!
So good luck to you all and hope to see a good amount of entries!
ONCE AGAIN - DEADLINE TO ENTER IS 6PM ET THIS SUNDAY (9/6)!!!!
END OF LINE.