Thursday, June 30, 2011

The Notorious Newman Brothers (2009) - see it free online




A film maker follows two gangster brothers around to gain an inside look at organized crime, but dealing with these two bumbling siblings might be more than he bargained for.


"Oh, Mama Mia!" Years before Toronto's Twin Terrors from Substance Production, Brett and Jason Butler, created the crack rock of all web series, Larry & Burt's Gut Rot, they made this hilarious and multiple film festival-winning mockumentary. The Notorious Newman Brothers is a about a geeky documentary film maker named Max Chaplin (Ryan Noel, also co-writer and director) who is contacted by two gangster brothers, Thunderclap (Brett Butler) and Paulie (Jason Butler) Newman, to follow them around for a few days and show him a behind-the-scenes look at the Mafioso lifestyle. 

Unfortunately, for young Max, the loud, foul-mouthed and seemingly dim-witted Newman brothers are about as un-Italian and non-gangster as you can get. They do not know the first thing about genuine Italian cooking, act like mafia film character stereotypes, and steal some really weird and inexpensive items during their heists. As Max spends more time with them and digs deeper into their past, he learns that they probably weren't arrested for "murder with a little bit of manslaughter" like they proudly proclaimed. This fact may be instantly obvious to the rest of us, but it takes Max some time to catch on.



Just when you think the Newmans' act can't get any more ridiculous, they always drop their alleged notorious level down another notch. Prime examples are the entire drug deal sequence and referring to their weed as if it were cocaine, calling it “pure” and “$4,500 a gram”. So the big question throughout the film keeps begging to be asked: are the Newman brothers the genuine article or are they just a couple of small time bumbling criminals who were only arrested for pirating DVDs?

From the first second of the opening scene to the last frame, The Notorious Newman Brothers is one giant laugh fest. The Newmans' ongoing, profanity-laced rants seem to be spoken out of completely spontaneous improvisation rather than through a structured script, and the Butler brothers work it like a charm. Whether it is an argument over who is a bigger fan of the all time whitest baseball player Carlton Fisk or hearing the worst Joe Pesci Goodfellas imitation ever present on celluloid, the comedy never stops. The film also wraps up very nicely with a funny, yet fitting ending. The fact that these guys made an 80-minute feature this funny and entertaining on a budget of only $500 CAD is nothing short of amazing and an example of using your brains over the almighty (Canadian) dollar to get a film made.


"Do yourself a f****** favour and see The Notorious Newman Brothers...the film the Mafia wished never got made." With a statement like that inscribed on the back of the DVD box, how could you not want to give this flick a try? And luckily you can see it now for free online all week at Black Flag TV.  

Here are the rest of the playing times this week:

7/1 Friday night (Saturday morning) at 12am
7/2 Sunday morning at 6am.

It will run all next month at random times, so check Black Flag's schedule if you miss these airings over the holiday weekend. Make sure to have your rubbing oregano handy.


Trailer: 



Vital Stats:




Rating:
4 out of 5 Drunken Dogs













 OH NO HE DID NOT SAY THAT
Geof is a boy genius who launched this site all the way back in 2009. When he is not tasting new beer or reviewing movies, he's busy playing video games or developing a master plan in his fortress of solitude. Usually being fueled by yet another raging Dr. Pepper buzz. Also a contributor at the Italian Film Review

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

NBA Finals Recap: Le-who?





For the first time in quite a while, I feel like the entire country watched at least a portion of the NBA Finals and when it was all said and done, we sang in unison, “AMERICA!  FUCK YEAH!!”  During most of this past NBA season, the entire country spent at least a bit of time rooting against LeBron, Wade and that baby alien they adopted, named Chris Bosh (I say alien, but there’s also a strong possibility he’s the offspring of Predator and Ru Paul).  Whether you were pulling for the Sixers, Bulls or 26 other teams, we took our shots and ultimately fell to the same people who I’m pretty sure helped build the Death Star.  Here’s the real question, though: Has there been a point in this nation’s history after WWII that we circled our collective wagons around a German?

Momma Ru says I’m the prettiest cowboy on the block!

As the series started, there was no clear favorite.  Dirk was doing his thing, but so were the "Big 3" in Miami.  As the games progressed, though, the advantages all began to fall in Dallas’ favor.  I’m not sure I’ve ever witnessed a championship series that had more karmic swings than this one.  I’ve been a basketball fan for as long as I can remember and was lucky enough to witness Michael Jordan terrorize the rest of the league, but NEVER had I seen something like rubbing in a big shot in front of the opposing team’s bench swing an entire series.  When MJ went off on the Blazers, he just shrugged.  You didn’t see him knock down a 3 and celebrate in front of their bench.  He wouldn’t take his foot off the gas, he would use it to pin you down by the neck until the game was over. 

In game 2, D Wade knocked down a HUGE 3 to lift the Heat up to a 15 point lead.  After a less-than-stellar outing in all of the previous 3 playoff series’, he was finally groovin’ and everyone was flashing back to 2006 where these same teams battled in a series that became the gold standard for terrible officiating (see also: 2002 Kings/Lakers Western Conference Final).  Wade “earned” a ring that year by wildly driving, having no intention of making a layup, drawing a foul in the air and heading to the free throw line.  Here’s the tipping point, and yes, I’m going back to Jordan: Wade holds his follow through much like MJ did on his final shot as a Bull (the one that also clenched the franchise’s 6th title).
 

There was a big difference between game 6 of the 1998 Finals and this year’s game two, though… THERE WERE OVER 7 FUCKING MINUTES LEFT!  Are you out of your Goddamn mind?!  LeBron came running and joined his celebration after Dallas called timeout and the rest of the game was history.  Dallas came storming back, not only behind Jason Terry and Dirk’s big shots, but also their veteran leader, Jason Kidd’s poise and confidence in his team and teammates.  By the way, craziest moment of this year’s playoffs?  Finding out that Jason Terry, who at this point had as many rings as LeBron, got the Larry O’Brien Trophy tattooed on the inside of his arm (more on Terry later).
 
  
Notice the time difference?

Sure, the MoHeato’s came back to win Game 3, then Dirk’s Mavs snatched Game 4 despite him battling a 103 degree fever, which was not as tremendous as Jordan’s “flu game,” but who’s comparing, right? Here’s another karmic moment: before Game 5, Wade and James were filmed walking to the locker room mocking Dirk’s illness from a couple of nights prior.  Dirk then went off for 29 and as a team, Dallas drained a near-record 13 3-pointers.  Whoever in your own mind is in charge of the Karmic Universe (Jesus, Allah, Oprah, baby alien Tom Cruise, The Watchers, The Green Lantern Corps, The Authority), they gradually were left with no choice but to join the rest of America and become a Dallas Mavericks fan.

I haven’t enjoyed watching a series this much since the 90’s. Ok, maybe 2004 when the Pistons knocked off a stacked Lakers team, but a series of 76-65 games aren’t incredibly entertaining.  Between Dirk finally solidifying his spot as the greatest international NBA player in the history of the game and the Heatles failing time after time at the end of games, there were very few dull moments.  In the clenching Game 6, Dirk was having one hell of an off night, but who picked up the slack offensively?  None other than the master of the presumptuous tattoo, Jason Terry.  Oddly enough, the championship celebration that the “fans” in Miami were promised all season may have actually been the dullest point in the series.  Much like the rest of this season and the other Mavericks teams that we’ve seen over the last decade, the players just worked their asses off and showed up on game night to prove that they were there for a reason.  Now THAT, ladies and gents is how you win an NBA Championship!

Congrats, Champ, you deserve that trophy!
 
And now, just for fun…

The winners (and Steve Nash)…


Annnnd the losers!


SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE

Chad is a part-time blogger, full-time dabbler in all things awesome.  He's a home-brewing, comic book reading, professional hang-gliding instructor, who may or may not have made one of those last things up.  He has always had a problem with procrastination and swears actually grow up someday...when he gets around to it.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Gitchy (2009)

  


 A killer clown uses the power of laughter to kill his victims, 
by tickling them until they die. 


It is always rough to give out negative reviews and it flat out kills me especially when I have to give one to an independent film. Even more so when it comes to a short film. When a screener of Gitchy was delivered in the mail, the synopsis seemed like it was going to be grade-A cheesy fun. Those assumptions could not have been further from the truth.

The film begins with David (Michael J. Brown) who is having nightmares about a clown who allegedly murdered, err tickled to death, his parents years ago. Now his sister Kimberly (Stefanny Cano) is unconvinced of the killer clown's validity while his shrink simply writes it off as trauma. Before you know it, the Gitschster reveals that he is in fact not a figment of David's imagination and begins his tickling of terror tour on every person in the siblings' lives.


The main gripe with the film is that it starts off slowly and then continues to move at that pace for the majority of the film. Even the attack scenes are uninspired for a film the length of a sitcom episode (with commercials). This off-the-wall flick comes across as either being played too straight or is just not being effective in what it wanted to be, scary or funny.

In short (no pun intended), Gitchy is labeled as a horror-comedy about a clown who tickles people to death. Unfortunately, director Thomas Rivera and Lenny Rivera's Gitchy is never remotely funny and fails to deliver anything close to a scare either. For a horror-comedy hybrid flick to fail at being successful with either genre is definitely not a good thing since you cannot latch onto the scares or laughs.


Acting and production values will not be scrutinized since indie flicks always get a pass with this site, especially when it comes to those with low budgets. The problem is in the script and dialogue. And the constant echoing of Gitchy's echoing ghostly voice over of "Gitchee-gitchie-goo-goo-goo" is highly irritating. That voice sample is played repeatedly throughout the film and kills off its intended effect because it just becomes annoying.

The real topper? The ending. I don't know if was supposed to illicit a groan or if that was the intended "big joke", but it was a bit creepy and not in a good way. Trust me, the whole deal felt like a failure, even for those with a bizarre sense of humor. Gitchy's big wrap-up was flat if it was supposed to be serious but at the same time lame if it was supposed to be played for comedy.

With better dialogue and a more effective overall story, Gitchy could have been a crazy little flick that was a huge amount of fun. Unfortunately, the entertainment value is not there and ultimately sinks this big top.


RATING
1.5 out of 5 Creeper Santas










TRAILER 




VITAL STATS

OFFICIAL SITE




OH NO HE DID NOT SAY THAT
Geof is a boy genius who launched this site all the way back in 2009. When he is not tasting new beer or reviewing movies, he's busy playing video games or developing a master plan in his fortress of solitude. If he seems a little excitable in his posts, keep in mind that he is probably being fueled by yet another raging Dr. Pepper buzz. Also a contributor at the Italian Film Review.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Shark Alarm! 3 Shark Films this summer!



"Shark Alarm! Shark Alarm! I said...Get out the water!" More like "Get into the theater!" (please tell me you get this joke. If not, click here and lulz)

I am a diehard shark movie fan/nerd, ranging from the almighty Jaws all the way to the WTF-was-that The Last Shark. Imagine my excitement when I learned that not one, not two, but three fin-focused flicks are heading to cinemas over the next few months. Have no idea what I am talking about? Well let me break them down for you then:


Shark Night 3D (Rogue)
Joel David Moore. Sharks designed by the same company who developed the sharks for my beloved Deep Blue Sea (1999). Seems like a no-brainer for me. Add in hottie Sara Paxton (wearing a bikini, no less) and I'm more excited than the Cavs owner after Lebron James crapped the bed in the NBA Finals. The film's simplistic title encourages you to leave your brain at home and should not be scrutinized by cinema snobs for character development, story arcs or any other B.S. like that. Bring it on. The only bad thing about this film is that I have to wait until September 3rd to see it.








Bait 3D (Darclight)
Not the Jamie Foxx comedy. This is a film about a tsunami in Australia that floods the area and traps people in supermarket with sharks. Sounds similar to the awful Malibu Shark Attack but we get Julian McMahon instead of Peta Wilson and great whites instead of bizarro goblin sharks. Insiders state that the Jaws the Revenge-esque roaring animatronic shark will be replaced by some impressive CGI effects, but we will see. This one appears more suspenseful, but the puppet shark has got to go.The only knock on this one is that it is being released in Australia only.






This appears to be the more serious one in the batch, but still sounds fun. It stars Halle Berry as a diving instructor who just barely escapes being lunch for a great white and is rightfully traumatized by the occurrence. A year later, she returns to the deep blue sea only to be shipwrecked and stranded on an island surrounded by sharks. Now she must overcome her fear of the ocean's most ferocious predator in order to survive. Again, this is the straight man of this summer's shark flicks, but the trailer doesn't look that bad. And it has sharks in it, so of course I will be seeing it at some point.





I listed them in the order of interest to me, but at the end of the day, I absolutely need to see them all. Preferably on the big screen, especially for the two 3D flicks. Looks like seeing Bait is impossible unless I somehow win a trip to the land down under.

Which one do you think looks the best? Or do they all look like crap to you?
  
OH NO HE DID NOT SAY THAT

Geof is a boy genius who launched this site all the way back in 2009. When he is not tasting new beer or reviewing movies, he's busy playing video games or developing a master plan in his fortress of solitude. Usually being fueled by yet another raging Dr. Pepper buzz. Also a contributor at the Italian Film Review

Friday, June 24, 2011

Final Round: Bad Movie Battle Royal!








Astro's entrance music 




Now heading down the aisle...
Weighing in at, well why do you care how much someone weighs? 
Hailing from Cedar Rapids, Iowa...
The Sultan of Screen Grabs, J. Astro!



WOLVES OF WALL STREET (2002)

Straight from yer old pal Astro's TOP TEN WORST MOVIES of All-Time list comes this flagrant stink-bomb. This pathetic goddamn excuse for a genre movie should be classified as a war-crime against horror film lovers.

From the synopsis and the cover art, I hoped for/expected, at best, maybe an imaginative cross between The Howling and Boiler Room. At worst, maybe a schlocky shape-shifter flick worth a few good yucks here & there, or possibly Devil's Advocate with ticks & fleas. Not an unreasonable request, or so you would think. I tried to keep an open mind, really, I did.

But this was the burgeoning, shady world of 2002 and cable PPV-on-demand we're talking about here, and "normal" rules simply didn't apply. You pays your money and you takes your chances, and probably no one even notices the pain and suffering you experience when your hopes of a an honest-to-Satan WEREWOLF movie come crumbling down and are blatantly replaced by a smirking Eric Roberts with lots of gray hair dye slathered all over his oily old head and a bunch of random young men crawling around on all fours in their underwear. Oh, and NO ACTUAL WEREWOLVES. None. Zero.

There's this successful & naive guy, see, and he gets invited into a hip clique of power-hungry young dudes who all look like Nivea™ for Men body wash models. They're all real jerks and Eric Roberts is their ruthless boss/aka the "alpha male" of "the pack". Apparently they like to get nekkid and howl at the moon & shit while Roberts nods and murmurs his approval. Our hero wants no part of this fraternal cockmastery and I can't say I blame him. When it became apparent that there were no fucking creature effects in this thing, I lost interest, too. Dude gets in Roberts' face and soon realizes that these fellas are willing to kill people who ruffle their proverbial fur. Honestly, I forget how it ends, so no fear of spoilers. All I can really remember is how enraged, used, and powerless I felt when I realized that a movie could get away with treating me like this.

We have to speak out against such cinematic atrocities. If we remain silent, shitheads like hack director David DeCoteau will just continue to hurt others. If you've been victimized like I have by Wolves of Wall Street, then please: Get help. Stand up for yourself. Take back the night.

And if you haven't had the displeasure of watching this direct-to-DVD dog turd, what are you waiting for? Go HERE. Then feel free to come back and tell me how right I was.


Trailer:

- J. ASTRO


Remember to check out my rebuttal to Astro's pick over at
Screen Grab with J. Astro



Thursday, June 23, 2011

Round Four: Bad Movie Battle Royal!








Astro's entrance music 




Now heading down the aisle...
Weighing in at, well why do you care how much someone weighs? 
Hailing from Cedar Rapids, Iowa...
The Sultan of Screen Grabs, J. Astro!



 
NIGHTFALL (1999)

Considering the out-sized popularity of vampire bullshit these days, what with all the kids and their Twilights and True Bloods and Count Chocula™, I'm fairly surprised that Troma or Brentwood or whoever the hell owns the current distribution rights for 1999's Nightfall hasn't tried to position it as one of their hot flagship titles, maybe with some updated, deceptive packaging, to try & lure in the newest teenage wave of coc- er, I mean, bloodsucker groupies. Perhaps they've watched the movie themselves and come to the same conclusion I have: WHY BOTHER?

Nightfall is the most uninspired hunk of low-rent, knock off trash in a sub-genre already full of that sorta thing. Vampires have been done to death and the problem is that anyone with a video camera, some plastic fangs and few dribbles of fake blood suddenly thinks he's Bram-fucking-Stoker. Further issues arise when you cast an "FBI agent" who looks like he still has to get up to catch the school bus in the morning. His partner, a skeptical fella named "Jack", who resembles Jerry Mathers with no upper lip, does his best Ray Liotta impression, affecting a half-assed, shallow, man-of-the-world demeanor and taking out his frustrations on a useless psychic that his junior (and I do mean junior) partner has consulted while investigating a wave of Seattle murders committed by a vampire. Of course no one believes in vampires, so the kid and his psychic pal spend lots of their time in this turd trying to convince tough guy Jack... and by the time he finally gets it, it's too late. Then he has to go avenge blah blah blah blah... *Zzzzzz*...

It doesn't matter. You can't squeeze blood out of a turnip, but your chances of that are better than deriving an ounce of genuine enjoyment out of this shit-heap. The set design is visually and emotionally draining; the whole thing appears to be filmed in mostly empty rooms at the filmmakers' grandmother's house, or maybe one of the actors knew a real estate agent who had the keys to a few abandoned properties around the block. The master bloodsucker is a lame retread with typical long hair and goth-y pretty boy trappings, as interpreted by someone who was probably pretty impressed with Interview with The Vampire. I'll be honest - there are one or two moments of decent gore FX work and even a few bush-league pyrotechnics, which is more than I expected. The sound design is actually fairly competent for such a cheapie production, if threadbare and unimaginative. But it's hard to appreciate any of those scant blessings when the whole rest of this thing is wrapped in soggy layers of terrible acting delivered from a script apparently written by seventh graders. You can pretty much see everyone waiting for their turn to blurt out their lines, struggling to hit their marks and remember the words. I recall when I was about eleven years old, my summer camp group put on a ten minute production adapted from the middle section of "Ethan Frome", and I can tell you with almost 100% certainty - we would have easily edged out the cast of Nightfall for best performance accolades. Especially the part where Ethan breaks the pickle dish. We were on fire in that scene, baby. Aaaah, memories...

Um, yeah. Anyway, Nightfall is/was/forever shall be a pointless entry into a bloated film category that already has waaaaay more than its fair share of unnecessary footnotes. The ending of this cruddy time-waster seems to suggest a sequel, but thankfully time has not been kind to Nightfall and hopefully even the idiots who made it have forgotten about it at this point. This is not a mainstream pic that anyone is likely to stumble across any time soon, and if I somehow haven't done enough to ensure that you never ever bother to see this obscure piece of half-processed movie-loaf, feel free to check it out HERE.

Trailer:

- J. ASTRO


Remember to check out my rebuttal to Astro's pick over at
Screen Grab with J. Astro



Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Round Three: Bad Movie Battle Royal!








Astro's entrance music 




Now heading down the aisle...
Weighing in at, well why do you care how much someone weighs? 
Hailing from Cedar Rapids, Iowa...
The Sultan of Screen Grabs, J. Astro!




 
DEATH CURSE OF TARTU (1968)

Holy shit. If filming a bunch of poorly-dubbed jag-offs roaming around aimlessly back & forth in the Florida Everglades was a crime (and it should be), then Death Curse of Tartu would be considered a federal offense, punishable by strict fines, imprisonment, and/or the gas chamber. Completely lacking in the charm department, this film misses all the great B-movie silliness that came along with director William Grefe's other soggy opus, Sting of Death (the one with the awesome killer jellyfish man), or the 70's shlock competency of the "Native American hippie + deadly snakes" platter Stanley. Those other two Grefe projects had personality, at least. DCoT does nothing but mix tedium with chintziness, and the end result is "fuck you".

Against the advice of a cowardly local guide, some drawling, big game hunter-type canoes into the grassy marsh and meanders around aimlessly while canned adventure music - totally inappropriate for the lack of action onscreen - blares in the background. Then, an incessant drums-&-chanting loop kicks in (and pretty much stays going throughout 90% of the rest of this thing) and we follow this non-character's every single move for about 20 minutes. It feels like 20 years, believe me. We just watch him walk around, set up his coffee pot, walk around some more, and then eventually he unearths what appears to be a petrified elephant turd. And then he, uh, dies, making way for a foursome of raucous partyin' teens and the real big game hunter character (played by ultra-suave and macho Fred Pinero, who admittedly has much better hair).

The problem for all these unlucky chumps is that nobody is supposed to be poking around out here, because there is an evil Native American spirit at rest and he doesn't like guests. The spirit in question is a crusty old injun who can turn into a savage warrior in a silly loin cloith when provoked in his cave-dwelling/hiding place, but he also takes on the form/spirit/whatever of various killer swamp beasties such as snakes, gators, and... um, sharks (? in the swamp?) to dispatch his adversaries out in the wild. This is fine except for A) he looks fucking ridiculous when he's in "regular Indian" mode, and B) all the creature attacks are lamely cobbled together with "Wild Kingdom"-style stock footage, and C) at any rate these things only happen for a few minutes of total screen-time, and the rest of the "movie" is padded out with seemingly endless scenes of characters tromping around through the tall grass and accompanied by those goddamn drums. I'm pretty sure even an actual trip to the Everglades doesn't involve as much walking through the Everglades as Death Curse of Tartu does.

The mummified Indian corpse rattling around in his hidden casket like a piece of agitated beef jerky is kind of neat-looking, I'll give them credit for that on such a shitty low budget. But that's a small bit of barely-worthy praise, and any good will it might have generated is more than over-shadowed by the ear-splitting, soul-torturing performance of the chick who plays "Cindy", the shrillest, most screamy, obnoxious and worthless bitch to ever grace a movie screen. She single-handedly sets the "girl power" movement back a good thirty years or so with her constant hysterics... and if you're a single dude thinking of looking for female companionship, she makes a very good argument against dating. This drive-in dud makes my legs tired, my eyes sleepy, and my brain angry.

Trailer:

- J. ASTRO


Remember to check out my rebuttal to Astro's pick over at
Screen Grab with J. Astro



Winners for Retro Planet $25 Gift Certificates Announced



Cool Retro Gifts and Decor from RetroPlanet.com

Thanks for everyone who participated in Retro Planet's giveaway over the last two weeks. As much as I wish I could give everyone a gift certificates for their participation, unfortunately I only have two to award. Using Random.org, the winners of the two $25 gift certificates are:

1) Allison 

2) Caffeinated Joe (Wings)

Winners...please email me at gcap2719@yahoo.com so I can reply back with details!

Remember if you didn't win or did not check out the site yet, stop over at Retro Planet and see the greatness for yourself. Cool gifts, low prices and Tiki bars. What more could you ask for?





Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Round Two: Bad Movie Battle Royal!








Astro's entrance music 




Now heading down the aisle...
Weighing in at, well why do you care how much someone weighs? 
Hailing from Cedar Rapids, Iowa...
The Sultan of Screen Grabs, J. Astro!




 
HOBGOBLINS 2 (2009)

Some people never learn. In fact, some people do the opposite of learning. Like, for instance, film maker Rick Sloane. He made an egregious film flub with 1988's semi-retarded creature flick Hobgoblins. The crew of Mystery Science Theater 3000's Satellite of Love promptly skewered this movie for the gaudy, brain-dead, lo-pro cheezfest that it was. That should have been the end of it.

But Sloane, emboldened by the new attention MST3K had given him (which apparently the regular home video market had been unable to do) turned around in 2009 and let out yet another Hobgoblins-inspired fart. This was not so much a sequel as a direct remake, with updated actors who were made to look (quite convincingly, I might add) exactly like the principle cast of the first film. The story is similar, with fuzzy little Gremlin-wannabe puppets cropping up all over the place and causing hallucinogenic mischief. If you want something, desire someone, or have some weird fantasy, the Hobgoblins pretend to grant it to you, but the omnipresent "danger" in this arrangement is that the fantasy usually turns out to be bad for you, deadly even. Oops! Hope they don't catch on to my "EasyCheese™ & naked Jennifer Love-Hewitt" daydream, otherwise things could get, um, messy.

The point is, this is a stupid movie made because Rick Sloane made one stupid movie, and then when people called it stupid, he assumed they wanted more and churned out another one. Much of the success/influence of the 2007 Tarantino/Rodriguez Grindhouse phenomena can be blamed here, since now all of a sudden new crappy movies that resemble old crappy movies are apparently popular again. That's fine maybe, if it's done in the spirit of poking fun at the sensibilities of by-gone box office blundering... but it takes a sort of crassness and ballsiness to just essentially re-package/re-shoot the same steaming pile you made 20 years ago and try to re-invent it as "retro". Then again, it takes a total sucker to fall for this ploy, and I gotta 'fess up - I totally own this.

You can too, if you go HERE.

Trailer:

- J. ASTRO


Remember to check out my rebuttal to Astro's pick over at
Screen Grab with J. Astro



Monday, June 20, 2011

Round One: Bad Movie Battle Royal!








Astro's entrance music 




Now heading down the aisle...
Weighing in at, well why do you care how much someone weighs? 
Hailing from Cedar Rapids, Iowa...
The Sultan of Screen Grabs, J. Astro!




 
THE DEATH COLLECTOR (1988)


Fast forward!! We are in a Dystopian future full of warehouses and tire yards where thugs in overcoats & sunglasses roam around hasslin' broads and collecting "protection" money on behalf of financier/head goon "Hawk", an unremarkable, middle-aged scumbag with an ugly little rat-tail haircut. His gimmick is that he likes to go bowling, and will in fact KILL any mofo stupid enough to so much as interfere with his bowling schedule (haha - see trailer at @ 1:24 mark). He also sells reverse life insurance, by guaranteeing cash payouts to the various dimwits who stick around in his deserted metropolis long enough, thereby ensuring a steady supply of clients/victims/whoremongers/bar patrons to prop up his sagging post-apocalyptic economy. At some point, a super-serious sheriff guy and his loose cannon musician/brother run afoul of the scheme, and super-serious sheriff is shot DOWWWWN ♫ in a blaaaaaaze of glory ♪ *Whoa! Bon Jovi moment there, sorry.* Musician-bro (aka "Wade") is also injured and then returns several years later, with a pronounced limp, a crooked smile, and his guitar to settle the score. He falls in love with a bar maid and they decide to take action, with the simplest, stupidest plan imaginable. They recruit the help of some black dude and then just plain march into Hawk's parking ramp compound shooting all of his tacky guards (most of whom resemble the hockey gear-wearing mental patients from Strange Brew). They then take out Hawk's dumb Australian second-in-command and his skanky old secretary and then Hawk himself and then only Wade survives, wearing his dead brother's sheriff star and wandering off to find some other, better crappy shithole to ply his trade in. Maybe Detroit.

This movie features an unattractive cast, headed up by a hero who looks like all the worst parts of Howie Long and Dolph Lundgren sewn together and slicked down with baby oil. The bad guys are almost abysmally dull , there's no special FX, and the movie wallows in a dismal, washed-out appearance, made all the worse by the fact that it mostly looks like it was filmed in a landfill or in one of those big open sewer areas like they have in old films set in California. The only things that shine through even a little teensy bit are a couple of surprisingly clever lines of dialogue and a passable musical score. But make no mistake: Bad Movie amateurs should NEVER attempt to view The Death Collector without a spotter. Don't try this one alone, kids. Get parental supervision or help from a friend. Watching The Death Collector by one's self is best left to the professionals.

Can be found HERE. Contact now to book for your next bar mitzvah, wedding, or special event!


Trailer:



- J. ASTRO


Remember to check out my rebuttal to Astro's pick over at
Screen Grab with J. Astro



Bad Movie Battle Royal with J. Astro Begins Tonight!




What's up peeps?! This just a reminder that the Bad Movie Battle Royal with J. Astro (Today 6/20-6/24) begins in just a few short hours. If you want to see what my opponent has to say about our match-up, including a defaming banner with my graffiti'ed mug on it, check out his site by clicking here.

Remember, my buddy J. Astro will have the keys to The Cave this week, so please feel free to comment and let him know how the filth he is subjecting you to is making you feel deep down inside. I have already seen a preview of things to come, and I even feel a bit grimy. And check out his site to see what feces I'll be flinging on there. Also, please remember that YOU and ONLY YOU will determine the outcome of who deserves the Bad Movie Battle Royal Championship.
  
Now it is time for me to cut a rant promo:

"Tell your family! Tell your friends! The time for talk is done! The time for action is now! June 20th...The Man-Cave! The Screen Grab! J. Astro! Lemme tell you something, brother. Bottom Line! You want crappy films? Oh we are gonna talk some crappy films. It In this world gone mad, it will not be us who spanks the monkey, but the monkey who will spank us!!"

Hey that is a pretty good promo for someone with a 102 degree fever, no?

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Bad Movie Battle Royal with J. Astro!

 

 
It’s the Rumble in the Jungle…the Thrilla in Manilla…
the Pyro-ah in Iowa…the Phight in Philly! 


From June 20 – 24, the sultan of screen grabs J. Astro (Screengrab with J. Astro) and I will be battling it out in the Bad Movie Battle Royal for the coveted Bad Movie Battle Royal Championship.  We will be throwing the crappiest, stinkiest, bottom of barrel, scum under the toilet seat caliber films on each others’ sites for the world to see and YOU will decide the winner.

Even though I subject myself to some really shitty movies for the love of cheesy crappiness, Astro takes it to the next level and is a true master of the craft. This is his match! It’s like going up against Kane in an Inferno match or The Undertaker in a Casket match or anything with Vince Russo in an anything "on a pole" match. The odds may be against me, but by the Creeper Snata himself, I going to give him a match made in hell!

So please make sure to check out this site as well as my pal's site Screengrab with J. Astro every day next week after 5pm to see the dirt we are flinging at each other. Remember your votes and your votes alone will determine the new champion!!


"ALWAYS BELIEVE!"

Thursday, June 16, 2011

The Reef (2010)




A shipwreck leaves a small group of friends stranded deep off the coast of Australia, who struggles to find help…if the area’s sharks don’t find them first.


The film opens with a group of friends meeting up for a sailing adventure off the coast of Australia. The two lead characters and ex-lovers Luke (Damian Walshe-Howling) and Kate (Zoe Naylor) are joined by couple Matt (Gryton Grantley) and Suzie (Adrienne Pickering) as well as the boat’s captain Warren (Kieran Darcy-Smith). Warren takes the group to an island for a brief snorkeling excursion, where we learn that Luke and Kate are still at odds since their breakup, but may also still be harboring feelings for each other.

As they head back to the main vessel, the smaller emergency boat is accidentally destroyed on a reef. This becomes a major issue once their sailboat’s hull is breached by an underwater rock and slowly begins to sink deep in the ocean with no land in sight. They are all able to get on top of the capsized boat, where they weigh the minimal options in their desperate situation. Luke convinces all but Warren to swim towards Turtle Island, since the boat will not remain afloat for much longer and the ocean's current is pulling them further from land as each second passes. Kate needs some convincing, but finally agrees to join the others. However, Warren decides that he would rather wait for help then get in the water, since he knows the dangers of the deep awaiting them all.


Once the group gets out of sight from Warren’s craft, the film becomes one major pressure cooker that does not ease up for a millisecond. The audience knows that great white sharks are coming, so the anticipation is nerve-racking well before any beastie makes its on screen appearance. Once the shark finally does show up for the party, it is enough to send shivers down your spine.

Director Andrew Traucki maintains the tension by keeping the camera angle at ocean level, making the audience feel that they are in the water with the characters. He also creates an unbelievable amount of terror by implementing Luke’s snorkeling mask as our underwater view. Whenever there is a moment when the group feels they are in trouble, Luke uses his mask to look under the waves, sometimes showing nothing but the vast ocean and sometimes the dangers in their presence. This goes on for the final 70-75 minutes, which feels like 70 hours due to the intensity of their peril. 


At first glance, The Reef easily appears to be an Open Water knock-off, and rightfully so because their premises are extremely similar. But the film itself is leaps and bounds better than its predecessor. In fact, this is how Open Water should have been done. Forget the “found footage” like format of Open Water. Traucki uses a mood-setting soundtrack, music stings and jump scares for his film. Another major improvement for The Reef is the incredible acting from all participants.

The only real drawback to the film is the attachment, or lack thereof, to the characters. All of them are somewhat likeable, but you really only really pull for a couple of them. It is also extremely apparent from the start just who the potential survivors are going to be. As entertaining as The Reef is from a viewer's standpoint, that notion is easily dismissed without any detraction from the film, especially with its “sitting on the edge of your seat” final act. 


Here is hoping for a release in the States as it will be amazing to see on the big screen. And the sooner, the better. Throw the Jaws and Open Water comparisons out and just enjoy the wild ride. Of course it is not better than Jaws, and nothing will probably ever be, but it is one of the best shark films to come along since Deep Blue Sea. The use of a real great white shark, with a little bit of special effects coming into play, is enough to make that fact evident.

Traucki made a real winner here for both shark film enthusiasts and horror fans alike, so rack a point on the board for Australian cinema.



TRAILER 




VITAL STATS




BUY IT NOW








OH NO HE DID NOT SAY THAT
Geof is a boy genius who launched this site all the way back in 2009. When he is not tasting new beer or reviewing movies, he's busy playing video games or developing a master plan in his fortress of solitude, The Man-Cave. If he seems a little excitable in his posts, keep in mind that he is probably being fueled by yet another raging Dr. Pepper buzz. Also a contributor at the Italian Film Review.