Tuesday, November 29, 2011

WWE '12 Game Review




After the truly awful All-Stars offering from last winter, WWE and THQ have re-branded their simulation Smackdown vs. Raw series to simply be titled WWE '12. This makes a great deal of sense now that the whole RAW brand versus Smackdown brand nonsense has been eliminated in actual company story lines. Thankfully, the developers have created an entry to be more than just a roster update by improving on some old ideas such as Road to Wrestlemania while creating a new grapple button scheme and tougher A.I to make the action emulate more of what you see on WWE broadcasts.

One of the refreshing differences besides the much needed roster advancements is the new "predator technology" system, which sounds like a silly gimmick aimed to sell this game on the surface...until you realize it's the real deal when the computer starts kicking your rumpshaker even on the Easy difficulty. Every match is a true challenge of wits and patience, plus you always have a strong possibility to lose, which makes each contest as unpredictable as real life matches. Well at least as unpredictable as the 'E tries to be. The days of the 90-second squash matches from previous installments are over. Depending on your opponent and match type, be ready for a battle.


WWE '12's game presentation and match pace makes you feel like you are watching a live episode of RAW. Some good examples of the former include Ricardo Rodriquez announcing for Alberto Del Rio as he pulls into the arena driving a hot sports car, Sin Cara having that special lighting during his matches and CM Punk coming out to his new "Cult of Personality" entrance. Meanwhile, matches begin with you and your opponent fresh and able to move swiftly around the ring. As the match gets longer and bumps are taken, you and your opponent begin to tire and slow down.

Modes are pretty much the same with Exhibition, Create a Wrestler, and the WWE Universe mode with an open-ended experience allowing you to have shows like RAW or even WCW Monday Nitro, create stables and turn wrestlers face/heel. Sometimes the computer also randomly creates angles for the wrestlers as well to keep things fresh, but it is basically your world to run at the end of the day.


As previously mentioned, the Road to Wrestlemania story mode has undergone a huge face lift. The concept of guiding five wrestlers through different stories towards championship dreams on the "Biggest Stage of Them All" has been replaced with one comprehensive story where the player takes turns between using a pre-determined Villain character (Sheamus), an Outsider (HHH) and a Hero (user created character of your choosing). I don't want to give too much away but let's just say that whoever conceptualized these angles needs to be given a job on the WWE creative team immediately. While it would have been better to select your characters or have more variety of story options, especially when you have to use a tired star like "The Game" over the new breed like CM Punk, Daniel Bryan or even Zack Ryder, these superstars were specifically selected for their storylines for good reasons - again, which I cannot explain without ruining the story mode's surprises.

You can find the final roster, legends and DLC characters here. Favorite Legends include Brock Lesnar, Demolition (Ax and Smash), Road Warriors/Legion of Doom, Arn Anderson, Booker T, and Kevin Nash. Most importantly, the late and great "Macho Man" Randy Savage can be downloaded for a small price.


Overall, WWE '12 is a winner and should be on your Buy List this holiday season, especially if you are a wrestling fan. With a smarter A.I., new grapple system, cool story mode, and an improved WWE Universe option, the lasting replay factor will keep you keep you having fun for hours. The ticket to this year's wrestling show is definitely worth the price of admission. 

(this review is based on the PS3 version)


RATING:
4 out of 5 Angry Big Sexys

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Happy Turkey Day!


 



Just wishing you all high food and alcohol consumption as well as busted waistlines and loosened belt buckles during the long holiday break. I will be back next week with some cool stuff, such as a review of the new WWE '12 video game and my Black Friday shopping experience. There's always a good story or two when bumping arms with psychotic and self-entitled rich soccer moms. This year I am looking at landing an SLR camera and/or an iPad 2 for Mrs. Man-Cave, so wish me luck.  

Gobble-gobble!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

I Didn’t Come Here to Die (2011) review




Young people go into the woods and then they die in the most gruesome of ways, usually at the hands of some psycho out for vengeance. How many times have you read that plot for a film since the 70’s? On the surface, I Didn’t Come Here To Die (IDCHTD) appears to be the same old rehash of a tired idea, which is the hackin’ and slashin’ of teens in the forest. Surprisingly enough, director Bradley Scott Sullivan’s debut feature serves up a whole other beast in his side of the “woods” while still integrating very familiar elements you usually find in these types of flicks. 

A group of young people head deep into the wilderness to perform volunteer work for an organization dedicated towards humanitarian initiatives. In this case, these kiddos are building homes for the less fortunate literally from the ground up. These individuals are from all different walks of life and signed up to volunteer for just as different of reasons. Our cast of characters include the following roster:

The hot boss in charge, Sophia (Emmy Robin)


Level-headed good guy withholding a dark secret, Danny (Kurt Cole)


Shady cat who is strictly there to get laid as much as possible, Chris (Niko Red Star)


Cute hipster chick ready to party, Julie (Indiana Adams)


Overgrown boy scout who looks like Eli Manning, Steve 
(Jeremy Scott Vandermause)


Goody-goody kiss ass, Miranda (Madi Goff)

 Side note: how cool are the names Niko Red Star and Indiana Adams?


Well-diversified and likable cast aside, our film’s villain is where Sullivan really flexes his creativity muscles. Dudes with hockey masks, slaughterhouse loonies and psychotic backwoods hillbillies are all non-existent here. Instead, he offers dumb luck, irony, fate, and the failure to follow basic safety protocol as the antagonists who create the body count by disposing of our characters. It’s actually really freakin’ genius to tell you the truth and at the end of the day, he figured out how to make his film stick out of the millions (and millions) of those that have preceded IDCHTD, while keeping you engrossed and guessing all the way to its conclusion.


The gore is pleasantly outrageous, the acting is pretty good and the murders are the most unique and clever that have appeared on celluloid in some time. Add in some dark humor and you won’t be able to remember the last time you had this much fun watching a horror-comedy, where the balance between the gasps and laughs are played so well off one another. 

There is no better way that Sullivan could have flown out of the gate with his first full length feature, an extremely refreshing take on backwoods teen slasher flicks where the murders are based on stupidity, not madmen. They didn’t come here to die and you don’t want to miss out on the entertainment, so be on the lookout for a film whose distribution acquisition is imminent.

And remember to wear your helmet. 


RATING:
4 out of 5 Creeper Santas









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Sunday, November 20, 2011

WWE Survivor Series 2011 Results




It's time for the WWE's annual Thanksgiving tradition and one of their Big Four PPVs, the Survivor Series. Coming off a bland string of closely scheduled PPVs, will The Rock's return to battle in the squared circle be enough to make this a worthwhile event? Will Zack Ryder somehow figure into the U.S. Title match between Dolph Ziggler and John Morrison? Will the WWE put their top title back on CM Punk? Live from Madison Square Garden in NYC, let's get to the action...



Opening: GM John  Laurnaitis steps out to the top of the stage ramp, welcomes everyone to the event and talks about how he has been with the company for 10 years. ZZZZZZ.



 
U.S. Title Match
John Morrison
vs.
Dolph Ziggler, champion

Pre-Match Notes: Not sure how the angle went from Zack Ryder as the babyface-chasing challenger to Ryan chasing the title, then back to Ryder, then finally back to Morrison - who apparently is in the WWE doghouse. The fans "Want Ryder", so I am not sure if somehow this is going to become a three-way dance or if the Zack Attack will be involved in some fashion. Also, this match might tell us a lot about the fate of Morrison in WWE, since his contract is rumoring to expire soon.

Result: Ziggler retains by pinfall with the Zig-Zag! Solid and entertaining contest. ***Deafening "We Want Ryder" chants howled from the NY crowd the entire time. Post match, Zack Ryder made a run-in and nailed Dolph with the Ruff Ryder.



WWE Divas Championship, Lumberjill Match
Eva Torres 
vs.
 Beth Phoenix, champion

Pre-Match Notes: This is another in a long line of filler matches until Kharma returns, which can't happen soon enough. The gimmick here is that other Divas are outside the ring, so they can kick the crap out of each of the participants if they get thrown outside. Then, they toss you back in. It's a lumberjack match but with Divas, hence "Lumberjill". Get it? Yeah...

Result: Phoenix retains with a top-rope Glam Slam.



Backstage segment: David Otungtells CM Punk that he has a message from Laurnaitis, stating he wants Punk to apologize to Michael Cole for attacking him on last week's Raw. Punk said he will...after we wins the belt from Del Rio tonight.



Backstage segment: The Rock appears on the Titantron and goes on a 6-8 minute rant about his first match in MSG, his wrestling bloodline, how he is going to put "Boots to Asses" for both Miz and R-Truth, and then insulted John Cena and his "ovulating lady parts".




Survivor Series Match 
Team Orton 
(Randy Orton, Sheamus, Sin Cara, Mason Ryan, and  Kofi Kingston)
vs.
Team Barrett  
(Wade Barrett, Dolph Ziggler, Hunico, Cody Rhodes, Jack Swagger)

Pre-Match Notes: A traditional Survivor Series gimmick match, that once used to be the entire concept of the PPV back in the day, has been thankfully (yes pun intended) to the card. Is there a harder working wrestler on the roster right now than Ziggler? He is pulling double duty for the second straight PPV, replacing the legit inured Christian. Rhodes and Hunico, AKA former Dark Sin Cara, have new looks and Ryan fills in for the legit suspended Evan Bourne.

Elimination One: Orton eliminated Ziggler with the RKO.
Elimination Two: Sin Cara injured his knee diving to the outside. Eliminated.
Elimination Three: Rhodes eliminated Ryan with Cross Rhodes.
Elimination Four: Barrett eliminated Kingston with Wasteland.
Elimination Five: Sheamus DQ'ed for ignoring ref's count
Elimination Six: Orton eliminated Swagger with interference from Sheamus
Elimination Seven: Orton eliminated Hunico with the RKO.
Elimination Eight: Barrett eliminated Orton with Wasteland.

Result: Barrett and Orton are the sole survivors.



Backstage Segment: While Del Rio brags to the Bella Twins, Laurnaitis reminds him to stay focused for Punk. Del Rio is cocky and laughs that he injured Punk on Raw and he will beat him tonight.




 
WWE World Heavyweight Championship
Big Show
vs.
Mark Henry, champion

Pre-Match Notes: Henry has been convincingly built as an unstoppable monster heel and has surprisingly been one of the better heel turns the 'E has done in 2011. This is a rematch from last month's Vengeance PPV, when these two giants "broke" the ring and it ended in a no-contest.

Result: Show wins by DQ after Henry delivered a desperate kick below the belt. Hnery retains title. ***After the match, Show used a chair to injure Henry's leg like Henry did to him over the summer.



Backstage segment: Awesome Truth interrupts an interview with Wade Barrett to talk about how awesome they are. R-Truth cut a hilarious promo about pigeons and crap.




WWE Championship
CM Punk
vs.
Alberto Del Rio, champion

Pre-Match Notes: Punk will have a chance to end his streak of PPV losses, since he lost the title back at SummerSlam due to ADR's cashing in his Money in the Bank briefcase and lost to him again at Hell in a Cell. Punk has been getting the short end of the stick the last few weeks on Raw at the hands of Alberto, so all signs point to Punk walking away as champion...or will interim GM John Laurnaitis pull another infamous Survivor Series screwjob?

Result:  Punk wins the title by making Del Rio submit with the Anaconda Vise...then did two crowd dives to celebrate with the fans. ***Prior to the match, WWE Hall of Famer Howard Finkel was introduced as Punk's personal ring announcer to a huge pop.




Special Attraction Main Event
Awesome Truth 
(The Miz and R-Truth)
vs.
John Cena and The Rock

Pre-Match Notes: The Rock returns to in-ring action for the first time in several years and looked in fantastic shape at last week's Raw. Cena and Rock's union is billed as "Never Before. Never Again" as the countdown to their battle at Wrestlemania this April is on! The booking for this contest has been terrible as the Awesome Truth have looked weak against Cena and Rock over the past few weeks. Let's hope the WWE has a good plan to continue the Cena-Rock feud while making The Miz and Truth, who have been amazing heels, look strong again.  

Result: The Rock pinned The Miz after the People's Elbow. ***Post mathc, Rock invited Cena into the ring to celebrate for a "cheer off" in which Rock was cheered and Cena was booed. Then he Rock Bottomed Cena once John started mouthing off to him. The show went off the air with Cena stumbling to the back and Rock on the turnbuckle, taking in his fans' praise.



Final Verdict: The opening match, Survivor tag match, the Punk title win, and the Rock's in-ring action were definitely the highlights while the overall PPV was leaps and bounds better than Vengeance. The Henry-Show and Phoenix-Torres matches were nice for bathroom breaks, but luckily the constant high energy from the MSG crowd made Survivor Series worth watching and made for a good lead into tomorrow night's Raw.


Thursday, November 17, 2011

Handy Sam Creations - Wall-Mounted Beer Openers




I am notorious for losing my bottle openers. Ask anyone. Since I turned 21, I lose those suckers more than REM loses their religion. Even the ones with the magnets on the back are hard for me to be accounted for because they provide me with a false sense of security. After a few brews, I will set it down somewhere and then it disappears into the night. This is a real hassle since I don't drink too many twist off brands and sometimes have to embarrassingly go outside to use the curb to pop my tops. 

Not anymore. Thanks to Sam VeuCasovic from Handy Sam Creations, the genius behind wall-mounted bottle openers...made with love. And beer.


Handy Sam Creations, or the HSC, is a purveyor of fine artisan wares who crafted both a useful and extremely cool-looking bottle opener that is an essential for all man-caves worldwide, let alone The Man-Cave. HSC has the most manly Etsy store on a very un-manly website that lets people sell vintage or handmade items. While 97% of the vendor items you will find on there are knit sweaters, beaded jewelry and other crafts, Sam sells kickass wall-mounted bottle openers that use vintage beer cans, among other available tins, as cap catchers. And they only range between $26-32!! I can't believe how inexpensive they are, especially when you consider the shipping, service and product quality.

First off, let me tell you about the awesome and responsive service HSC provides. After scanning hundreds of available cans, I could not locate any with my faves, the Philadelphia Phillies, or any Philadelphia sports teams at all (save your nyuk-nyuk Philly sports jokes). Within an hour of emailing Sam with my request, he responded with a link to a can that contained my favorite old-time Phils player, the late Richie Ashburn. 


It seemed to arrive at my door a few minutes after I pressed the "Send" button informing him that the "Whitey" can was for me. The packaging was extremely tight and professional as the product did not even contain so much as a scratch on the tin. As a surprise bonus, I learned that Sam includes two screws for your hanging needs with each order, so all you have to do is grab your drill after finding a wall stud and attach. It's seriously that simple. 

Immediately after I joined the opener to my hallowed Man-Cave wall, the pristine quality of the wood and the sleekness of the can really upped the coolness factor of my lair. It truly is a thing of beauty and that's no BS. How well does it work? One month and an indeterminable amount of opened bottled beer later, it still looks as good as new, contains zero signs of wear and tear on both the product and my wall. More importantly, I have never had any issues using it to removes my bottle caps. Ever. Seriously, I couldn't be more pleased with both its performance and durability.

If you like beer, are in the market for a cool wall decoration that is also extremely useful at a low price, go check out Handy Sam Creations today (links below) and tell Sam that The Man-Cave sent you to get your awesome on!! 


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Disclaimer: this is a product review. Duh! But I truly stand behind the products offered at Handy Sam Creations.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Hollywood Sex Wars (2011) review




I have loved sex comedies since I first (illegally) saw Bachelor Party in the 80’s. It started a trend of watching teen romps such as Hardbodies, Malibu Bikini Shop, Fraternity Vacation, Last American Virgin, Miracle Beach, Ski School, and the like during the USA’s Up All Night era. In the late-90’s, this goofy yet enjoyable subgenre went the way of dial-up modems, when low budget production companies started hiring adult film stars to appear in softcore pornographic films for outlets like "Skinemax". The new breed of skin flick comedies is nice for eye candy purposes, but they are also extremely boring and unwatchable as a real comedy. So imagine my expectations when Hollywood Sex Wars from director Paul Sapiano arrived at The Man-Cave’s door a couple weeks back. I’m a glutton for punishment, so I figured I’d give horror flicks a little break in exchange for some cheesy T & A, expecting 96 minutes of torture. Now imagine my surprise when I actually wound up enjoying it!

Hollywood Sex Wars follows two factions in the never-ending Los Angeles gender wars. Team Male is led by Johnny Eyelash (Mario Diaz), recruited by pals Max (Dominque Purdy), Glen (Nicholas Mongiardo-Cooper) and Aaron (Richard Blair) to help them score hot chicks. After years of hooking up with average females and head cases, these three friends turn to guidance from Johnny, who is the town’s top ladykiller. He teaches them the ways of modern day mack daddiness to bait, lure and score the high end ladies who have been consistently eluding them for far too long. The Eyelash playbook works for his pupils and is extremely effective.


On the other side of the battlefield are the Wendys (Eli Jane and Jenae Altschwager), both spurned ex-lovers of Eyelash. They have formed their own group, the TOB, to scam rich guys out of their bank roll using their good looks and sex as weapons. Every hot chick in southern California needs a true Sugar Daddy and usually lands one, but the strategy behind the TOB is for the female to firmly be in the driver's seat of the relationship at all times by duping their prey. So the Wendys are definitely the ying to Johnny Eyelash’s yang. When the two sides go head-to-head, anything and everything goes! The old adage that “all is fair in love and war” is flung out the window and into a rotten gutter. 

A few good things that this flick has going for it are the funny characters and situations, plus it answers the universal question of what an ecstasy-infused episode of Benny Hill would look like, in one particular standout scene. Dudes can also learn how money they need to spend on women in order to access certain tiers of sexual favors in return. The film never has a dull moment, over-saturated with plenty of nudity, drug humor and gross out moments to indulge.  More suited towards the male demographic, some females could enjoy the victories their Venus counterparts gain over the men in certain situations. But at the root of it all, this is pretty much a guy flick.

 

A social satire on the recent dating arena's events happening in L.A., Sapiano’s effort feels like a true return to those 80’s sex comedies that I hold dear to my heart. Hollywood Sex Wars is available for sale on DVD today! Or WATCH IT ON iTUNES OR AMAZON ON-DEMAND!



RATING:
3.5 out of 5 Creeper Santas














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Sunday, November 13, 2011

Booze Reviews Series: Night of the Living Dead - Hex Outoberfest




During a visit to Wildwood, NJ over the summer with some peeps, I found a special edition case of beer for autumn stashed in the back freezer of Bubba's Warehouse, ironically while looking for limes to put in my Corona Light that evening. Entitled Night of the Living Dead, this case contains four different types of  beer by Magic Hat Brewing Company: Hex Ourtoberfest, #9, Humble Patience, and H.I.P.A. Being one to wish Halloween was more like a quarterly event rather than a monthly deal, I am devoting the next three weeks of Turkey month with Booze Reviews dedicated to these four tasty drinks contained in the oh-so-special Night of the Living Dead 12-Pack assortment. Beginning with...

Subject: Hex Ourtoberfest

Brewing Company: Magic Hat Brewing Company in South Burlington, VT (U.S.)

ABV: 5.40%

Location of Purchase: Bubba's Warehouse in Wildwood, NJ (08/2011)

Date of Consumption: 10/2011



Analysis: 
As much as I love Magic Hat, I was sure blindsided by the somewhat cardboard-esque taste of the first installment in the Night of the Living Dead set. I cannot express enough how awful this reddish brew is to the taste buds. While it is called "Ourtoberfest", it is certainly not "My-toberfest". Nor should it be yours!

This rusty sucker just tastes stale and bland. Hopefully, this is merely a speed bump in the rest of my exploits with Night of the Living Dead roster. Except that I know the #9  inside is deliciously awesome. However, do not drink this Ourtoberfest as a starter, tweener or finisher drink throughout the course of your evening. As much as I love the mighty Magic Hat, I say "Avoid the Noid" with this one. 


Final Verdict: 
Hex...what a fitting name! Skip it...nothing to see here. Save your calories, alcohol content and liver and simply move along to another bottle. Unless you like your beer to smell like football pads after a long, summer full contact practice. Again I love the Magic Hat maestros, but I love my readers who hold their wild drinking nights in my hand even more and simply cannot recommend this one. Maybe I'll have better news next week with my second Magic Hat's Night Of The Living Dead sampling next week.



Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Brain Dead (2007) review (not Dead Alive)




A crashing meteor starts a zombie holocaust in this horror-comedy from Kevin Tenney (Night of the Demons and Witchboard)


After a meteor hits the Earth, and literally someone's head, an alien-zombie hybrid fallout begins via amoeba infection. Sounds like a tired "alien invasion" or "zombie holocaust" recipe, but surprisingly enough, it's not. The setting is in a fishing lodge, and what is more original than combining alien invasions with some bass landing?

The story is actually told in a flashback by survivor Clarence (Joshua Benton) during a documentary recording session from prison, where he has been incarcerated due to being tagged as a mass murderer due to the events of the film. He breaks down how all of the events transpired, thankfully without the assistance of a voiceover so you feel that you are watching the events in "real time". There is a good balance between horror and comedy, as Brain Dead follows the usual survival horror formula, even though we realize Clarence is a survivor from the very beginning.   


A majority of the film is spent with our six main characters holding up at the lodge and fending off the advances of the infected as to not be the next ones who join their alien ranks. We get some funny conversation between our cast, whose personalities all completely clash, as well some really great old school and impressive SFX. This aspect really takes you back to traditional 80's monster horror films before CGI became commonplace. The infected are extremely demonic-looking aliens that resemble director Kevin Tenney's fiends from his 1987 cult classic Night of the Demons and the sluggish amoeba are an ode to Night of the Creeps. And for even more praise about the effects, who cannot resist watching a shotgun blast exploding someone's head without cutting away?  

Kevin Tenney returns to form in Brain Dead, now available through Breaking Glass Productions.


RATING:
3 out of 5 Angry Kevin Nashes











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Monday, November 7, 2011

Exhibit A (2010) review





Your witness, Man-Cave…
"Thank you, your honor and most esteemed jury. I would like to present to the courtroom a found footage subgenre film that requires no ghosts, no goblins and no exorcisms to leave you feeling unnerved while being shot on the most anorexic of budgets. It explores the real life horror of financial desperation which affects millions of people worldwide and how sometimes that level of stress can make people perform extraordinary acts that they would never do otherwise. Allow me to enter the first exhibit into Evidence, Dom Rotheroe’s Exhibit A"
Posed as the viewer watching submitted video tape evidence labeled “murder scene”, this U.K.-based film follows exploits of the seemingly happy King family: hokey patriarch Andy (Bradley Cole), wife Sheila (Angela Forrest), sweet daughter Judith (Brittany Ashworth), and crazy son Joe (Oliver Lee). The footage picks up with Andy giving Judith the camera as a present with news that he is receiving a promotion. Adding to the excitement and cause for Andy to further ham it up to the camera is news that they will be selling their current home in exchange for the family’s dream house in the near future.
Everything is coming up roses for the Kings, until Judith’s voyeuristic tendencies using her new recording gadget reveal that Andy might be hiding something due to his erratic behavior. On the outside, he is always joking around with his family and friends, but late nights are spent smoking and having secret phone conversations in his garage. Things get worse when Andy decides to manually install an in-ground pool to drive up the price of the current house, even though the damaged yard’s condition will do nothing more than delay any offers on the home. As each day passes, cracks appear in Andy’s overly happy exterior as Judith peels back the layers of his secrecy. 

Even though the evidence title card in the beginning tells the viewer what is about to happen, it is still a fascinating ride to the destination, filled with swerves. It is refreshing to see this type of film leave an impression on you without the assist of the supernatural and sans jump scares. Exhibit A feels almost too real due to the superb acting and natural positioning of the footage without feeling staged. The real standout differentiator lies in the fact that the camera does not remain with one user the entire time, thus changing the dynamic of the film once the switch occurs. Another nice touch is that Judith’s voyeurism leading to the truth is solidly justified without her being the usual news reporter or documentary film maker that populate these flicks. Not only does she record her father so she can help him see his actions from another perspective, but she is a closet homosexual with an affinity for spying on the cute neighbor’s daughter Claire. This essentially leads to her peeping on Andy in the first place.
Exhibit A has multiple U.K. film festival accolades, a short running time and an ending that is nothing less than genuinely disturbing. You should give it a watch for free on YouTube at this link while you still can.     



RATING: 
4 out of 5 Creeper Santas










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Thursday, November 3, 2011

Ashes (2010)




A Fresh Take on the "Outbreak" Subgenre

Dr. Andrew Stanton (Brian Krause) is a young physician who believes he is on the verge of developing what could very well be the cure for a disease which has plagued mankind for far too long, the AIDS virus. His medical labors have negatively affected his home life while he is also being hounded by government reps as well as his superiors, who are technically supposed to be on his team so to speak but are more interested in the funding and publicity that will come their way if his medication is a success. 

If all of these distractions are not enough, a medically-deemed terminal child named Jesus is just days away from his passing, and the thought of the youngster ending up in the morgue internally eats away at his conscience. Even though his lab tech Matthew (Kadeem Hardison of A Different World and Def By Temptation) tells him, “You can’t save them all”, Stanton injects his “cure” into the youngster in a desperate act to save his life. Of course, this intended good deed goes awry once Jesus bites Stanton, setting the film’s events into motion. 


Without giving too much away, Stanton’s cure is not at all what it is cracked up to be. Instead of curing AIDS in humans, it devolves them into zombie-esque beings on the hunt for blood (although the word “zombie” is never spoken). Now Stanton is in a race against the clock to find a cure to his failed cure and thwart an imminent outbreak from occurring. 

Ashes is simply a well made film, top to bottom, and director Elias Matar should be given much praise for his first full length effort. If this debut is his attempt to find some directorial poise, stating “sky’s the limit” might sound cliché yet is very true. This film has the look of one that could easily play at your local movieplex right now to positive fare. It’s smart in story, uses an apropos hospital setting and somehow is able to breathe new life into a subgenre that is beyond played out. Thankfully, Matar’s story takes place with the events leading to an outbreak and not the tired and overused idea of having his film transpire during the apocalyptic portion of an outbreak. Another great aspect of the film is how Matar does not have the Stanton character go the usual route of being the typical evil scientist/mad doctor. While most of these types of film characters make you feel zero pity for them, due to their medical megalomaniacal ways turning things sour in the first place, you actually sympathize for Stanton because he inadvertently causes chaos while unselfishly trying to save a child’s life. He legitimately meant well, but his end result was an utter failure.


If you want to watch an interesting take on the “outbreak film” or if even if you are just wondering what Dwayne Wane is up to nowadays, then make sure to see Ashes for some fascinating cinema. 


RATING:
4 out of 5 Creeper Santas









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Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Huh-huh Huh-huh...Beavis and Butthead are Back!




After close to 11 years, Beavis and Butthead are back on MTV! The two heavy metal-loving, music video-critiquing doofus teenagers from the brilliant mind of Mike Judge have returned for all-new adventures in an all-new decade. Enough time has passed for the nostalgia factor to bring back older fans as well as reel in a whole new generation. The real question was whether something that was funny in the mid-90's would still be funny in 2011, especially since MTV has become filled with nothing more than reality show programing in exchange for music television. Outside of the old Beavis and Butthead's storylines, the show's main focus was the duo mocking music videos. Now that videos have pretty much gone the way of the dinosaur, could Mike Judge successfully adapt these 90's characters into our new internet-fueled era? Even with technological advancements like Youtube and Facebook, the verdict is in...and Judge shows why he still a master of comedy!!

Last week's debut episode dealt with Beavis and Butthead's attempt to become vampires and werewolves, thinking it will score them chicks after seeing Twilight: Eclipse. In usual B&B fashion, they mistake a crazy homeless guy for a werewolf and convince him to bite them so they can begin "their turn". The second part of the season opener has Beavis' eyes begin to water when he sniffed an onion while the boys are watching The Bachelor. Butthead thinks Beavis started crying because he was "moved' by the episode, so he relentlessly tortures him for being a sissy.


It is almost as if Judge went back to 1993, threw the boys in a time machine and dropped them off in our present day. They still reside at the same crib, state the same expressions and even wear their patented heavy metal t-shirts. The only thing that has changed is the type of shows they view. Sure they still watch videos, what little of them still remain in the world, but they also attack the reality programming that has overtaken their precious MTV. An example of this occurs when the boys hilariously rip apart Jersey Shore cast members during their last season in Italy.

If you enjoyed Beavis and Butthead back in the 90's and their sporadic appearances since then, you should definitely check out the new episodes which deliver the same "shut off your brain for 30 minutes" humor that embedded Judge's creation into pop culture for many years. And if you are too young to remember what "Frog Baseball" is all about or why licking toads is so funny, meet two characters who seem to have adjusted quite naturally into our new world. 

After a lengthy hiatus, the boys have triumphantly returned to television. If you missed last week's episode, you can see it for yourself as The Man-Cave, in compliance with MTV-Viacom, bring you the full season opener below...




New episodes of Beavis and Butthead air every Thursday at 10/9 Central.