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Archive for November, 2009

The only fair way to judge a film based on an exceptional book is to rate the big screen treatment as its own entity; pretend that the novel doesn’t exist, and that there was actually a screenwriter and/or studio executive inventive enough to conceptualize such an intriguing premise.

The biggest strike (and, belive me, there’s a gaggle) against John Irvin‘s 1981 adaptation of Peter Straub‘s multifaceted horror novel Ghost Story is that, as a stand-alone piece of cinema, it’s an absolute misfire. Has not one thing working in its favor; laughable when it’s not dull. With visual effects as poor as they come, Ghost Story would’ve left me as unimpressed back in ’81 as it does today.

Having just finished Straub’s great novel, now knowing what the author’s original vision was, and just how far off Irvin’s film lands in the paperback’s context, this film is an ultimate disaster. Continued after the jump:

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I’m reserving elaborated comments on Rob Marshall’s Nine until I actually see the film, understandably. Lavish musicals and yours truly rarely get along; Chicago and Moulin Rouge hold no interest around these parts, and the only reason why I enjoyed Tim Burton’s Sweeney Todd, I presume, is that it’s essentially a horror film in slick, marketable dressing. The odd thing is, I’m actually pretty excited for Nine; the leading presence of Daniel Day-Lewis is largely to blame, as is the deep cast of talented hottie actresses (I can be shallow with the best of them; it’s true). Just look at this, one of the film’s three new posters; tell me that Penelope Cruz and Kate Hudson don’t leave you all hot and bothered by the notion that you’re not anticipating a musical (I know that’s the sensation I’m experiencing). Don’t mind Fergie here, though; I’m not Tyra Banks co-host or anything, but that hair on Fergie’s dome is rather unbecoming (yes, I just said that, in the same breath as “I want to see this new musical”….. Gag me with a spoon). She looks like Michelle Pfeiffer in her worse older days:

Bonus shot of Nine co-star Sophia Loren after the jump, to remind you all that she’ll forever remain one of the all-time great beauties: (more…)

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There’s a slew of authors I need to catch up on (Raymond Chandler, James Herbert, Dean Koontz, Clive Barker…. the damn list is neverending); the one that I’m most likely approaching next is Ira Levin, the scribe responsible for both Rosemary’s Baby and The Stepford Wives. Up until this weekend, I’d only seen the former, the wonderfully paranoid Roman Polanski classic that I’m guessing works even better in its written word, though I’ve read that Polanski’s film is one of the best book-to-film transitions out there. That’s not a surprise, since Polanski made the picture at the height of his horror-dominance, in 1968. It was obvious, based on my already-there simple knowledge of what The Stepford Wives is about, that Levin was firmly in touch with his sensitive-to-women side back in the ’70s. The fears and helplessness that ladies endured through during a time of gender anxiety. In Rosemary’s Baby, the protagonist—-a well-meaning gal who’s scared that the older tenants in her Manhattan apartment building are all minions of Satan—-struggles to overcome the underestimation of others; the impression that she’s submissive enough to willingly allow those around her to “impregnate” her with evil. I can’t wait to read how Levin tells in in prose-form; apparently it’s even more claustrophobic.

This weekend, I finally got around to sitting down with director John Forbes’s adaptation of The Stepford Wives, and, like Rosemary’s Baby, the film churns a great me-against-the-world vibe for its main character, Joanna (Katharine Ross), a New York City-bred, strong-minded woman surrounded by soulless female drones that are subservient to their husbands and do little more than cook and clean. All pretty and well-coifed, the ladies of Stepford (where Joanna and her family have moved to, against her own wishes) are idyllic male fantasies—–they don’t talk back, share their own beliefs, or challenge anything their hubbies say or do. There’s something much more sinister than mere obedience at work in Stepford, of course, and how Joanna uncovers the mystery is what gives The Stepford Wives its horror. 

Now, I’m unsure as to whether I should read The Stepford Wives or Rosemary’s Baby first; I’m leaning toward Stepford, since the film is still fresh in my mind. I do have one fear, and that’s that too many people associate The Stepford Wives with the shameful, let’s-make-it-a-zany-comedy-and-suck-the-lifeforce-out-of-Levin’s-vision 2004 remake, with Nicole Kidman and Matthew Broderick. That version is junk; the 1975 original is the way to go, as evidenced by the following scene compilation. It’s the latest installment of Scenes of Mine, and, while full of Spoilers (so be warned), it’s easily the best teaser imaginable for Forbes’s underrated little success. To best appreciate the film’s quiet ballsiness, pay close attention to where Ross’s character stabs her altered friend (the then-quite-sexy Paula Prentiss, who went on to play the mother in a passionate watch of mine, 1981’s uneven yet endearing horror-comedy Saturday the 14th) in the kitchen. Scene compilation, after the jump: (more…)

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I almost feel bad for having down-talked Nicolas Cage throughout recent years. But then I remember that Will Smith has also made a career from big-budget spectacles without tarnishing his own name, and that sympathy is forgotten. If Cage wasn’t such a talented actor, I wouldn’t ever concern myself with such pointless thought; watching films such as Leaving Las Vegas and Wild at Heart, though, adds an extra layer of misfortune to the dreck of National Treasure, or the visual repulsion of Ghost Rider. For a film lover, there’s little worse than seeing a solid actor slum it to the point of undermining everything that he or she has done before. There’s a certain sadness to this; revisiting the better work of yesteryears is forever tainted. It’s never easy trying to separate modern-day disasters from a performer’s past efforts, and Cage’s filmography is one of the toughest to appreciate on its own high-mark merits. Remember, this is the guy who donned a bearsuit and sucker-punched a bunch of crazed women in arguably the worst horror remake ever, 2006’s The Wicker Man

That Cage’s performance in Werner Herzog‘s new bonkers crime dramedy Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call New Orleans is fantastic feels like a weight lifted off the shoulders of those who share this opinion. A Jay-Z/Timbaland-like reminder that the man hasn’t lost his abilities; they’ve just been lying dormant, locked away on the outskirts of producer Jerry Bruckheimer’s money-pile. Skills that are now the equal to the now-you-see-it, now-you-don’t holiday groundhog; 2010 will see Cage starring in The Sorcerer’s Apprentice, a Bruckheimer-backed cash-cow that looks quite perfunctory. By the time that one hits screens, Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call New Orleans will likely be a distant memory. Unfairly so. Herzog has conjured the best Nicolas Cage performance since 2003’s Matchstick Men, as the druggie, corrupt lawman ‘Terrence McDonagh,’ he’s turned in a safety-off rampage that’s just damn entertaining. Not necessarily a look-at-me-Academy job; just a free-wheeling, fascinating job. He’s always on screen, yet he keeps attention in check.

It’s a shame that Cage recently saw his riches go down the tube, thanks to misguided spending (dinosaur skulls) and a reportedly sheisty business manager; now he’ll have to do more blockbuster tomfoolery, when he should be making more intimate showcases the likes of Bad Lieutenant. Continued after the jump: (more…)

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Random but awesome lists such as this are why I love Topless Robot. One of their nerd-savant writers put together a list of “The 10 Best ’60s Batman Villains Who Should Make the Leap to Comics,” and it’s brought me back to my grammar school days, a time when my older brother and I would watch these Batman episodes together, with enthusiasm. I went as far as buying a book that catalogued every single episode; this wonderful text (which has since been lost in the black hole that is my parents’ attic) even had a comprehensive list of all the “Holy ____” that Burt Ward’s ‘Robin’ said. “Holy Bat-thermal underwear!” “Holy Davey Jones!”

Initially, I had one major complaint against Topless Robot’s list, but a little research showed that one of my favorite baddies, Falseface, did in fact appear in one Batman comic issue.

So, I stand corrected. That little unfounded indiscretion forgotten, this list deserves your eyes, without question. 

Are these Batman episodes on DVD? I gotta get on that. 

Some choice clips from the show, after the jump: (more…)

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Kristen Stewart, the one thing about this franchise that I actually like.

I have no intention to see The Twilight Saga: New Moon this weekend, or any future weekend; I still haven’t even seen the first film, nor do I want to. Call me close-minded or whatever slur you’re insult-ometer is turned toward—–it doesn’t matter. Nothing about the franchise (books or movies) interests me. What does excite me about these films, however, is the experience of clawing through reviews for the funniest, meanest jabs. Typically coming from the older, more esteemed critics. Such as, Roger Ebert, who really tossed the gloves to the side when writing his review. The way it’s written, it should really be a Zero Star rating, not One Star; with jewels like the ones pasted below, who gives a rat’s bum?

 

The amazing lead:

The characters in this movie should be arrested for loitering with intent to moan. Never have teenagers been in greater need of a jump-start. Granted some of them are more than 100 years old, but still: their charisma is by Madame Tussaud.

All the way down to the wonderful closer:

The movie includes beauteous fields filled with potted flowers apparently buried hours before by the grounds crew, and nobody not clued in on the plot. Since they know it all and we know all, sitting through this experience is like driving a pickup in low gear though a sullen sea of Brylcreem.

Whenever veterans the likes of Roger Ebert trash horror films that I myself enjoy, I’m quick to use the old “Critics like him shouldn’t even review these kinds of horror films; they look at them too seriously, rather than the genre-audience-satisfying entertainment that they really are.” The same defense could be used in this New Moon case, but you won’t hear it coming from my lips. Hypocritical, sure. It’s not like New Moon isn’t going to make a truckload of cash this weekend without my help.

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Of course not. But, yeah…. This makes one hell of an argument for the show:

From: Leighton Meester’s fierce GQ photoshoot

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……and I’m in love with it for that simple fact.

More info on Amer after the jump: (more…)

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Last month, I breezed through what could be the most enjoyable book I’ve read to date: Stephen King‘s Danse Macabre. Written back in 1981, Danse Macabre is Uncle Stevie’s exhaustive, witty and informative breakdown of all things horror from 1950 through 1980, encompassing film, television and literature. I figured it’d be a fun read, but what I didn’t anticipate was how brilliant the book could be used an encyclopedia of sorts for a knowledgeable but still growing brain-wise horror head such as yours truly. From Danse Macabre alone I now have 17 books saved in my “Books To Get/Read” file, as well as a slew of films and the complete The Outer Limits DVD set in my Amazon saved list; also, heightened awareness and excitement for next year’s release of the entire Thriller television series, considered one of the best TV anthologies ever (that I’d never heard of Thriller before is something to be ashamed about).  

One of the novels that King put me on to in Danse Macabre is Henry James’s The Turn of the Screw, a classic bit of supernatural heeby-jeeby. It’d regard with nearly as much acclaim as Shirley Jackson’s The Haunting of Hill House, which says a ton. I was all set to pick James’s book up a couple weeks back, but then I happened across a list of Martin Scorcese’s favorite scary movies, somewhere online, and right smack in the center of Scorcese’s list was The Innocents, a 1961 film adaptation of The Turn of the Screw. Further research showed that The Innocents (directed by Jack Clayton) is praised across the board. And since my stack of backlogged books is now tipping over in my bedroom, I figured that I should watch the film rather than add James’s page-turner to the ever-towering pile.

A tad slow in the beginning, The Innocents patiently “turns its screws” (*sigh* for that pun) and eases into a great feeling of paranoia. A pure mood piece, and anchored by some subtle shots that are more forceful than I’d expected. The story (as in the source material/novel)  pits a live-in nanny-for-hire, Miss Giddens (played with class by Deborah Kerr), against the two strange kids, Miles and Flora, that she’s been employed to look after, while their uncle/guardian is out of town. They live in your standard spooky-old-mansion, but how this plot approaches the haunted house motif is quite clever—–is it all in the nanny’s head, or is the place really grand central for ghouls? The kids appear to be possessed by the spirits of the family’s previous caretakers, but are the rugrats simply messing with the heroine’s head? Slick use of emotionless figures far from the camera and reverberating voices pad the film with ample creeps. And the performance of the boy who plays Miles—-then-child actor Martin Stephens—-is magnificent.

If you’re a sucker for haunted house films, you’ll be hard-pressed to do better than The Innocents, in terms of overall quality and sophistication. For this edition of Scenes of Mine, I’ve chosen a sequence that comes late into the film; watching this alone with the lights off last night, I admittedly shook a good amount as this part commenced. The losing-her-shit nanny hears the requisite sounds, grabs a candelabra (which every haunted house film should have, by the way) and investigates the premises. The sound design that greets her is something else. See/listen for yourselves [Scene after the jump]: (more…)

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371032-63562-cassie-hack_superStephen Susco, the guy who wrote the American remake of The Grudge, is now handling the forever-gestating, needs-to-happen-already film adaptation of Tim Seeley’s great Hack/Slash, the comic book series about a scantily-dressed little number, Cassie Hack, and her giant oaf of a sidekick, Vlad. Along with clever quips and tons of bloodshed, Cassie and Vlad favor the killing off of infamous horror characters, such as Jason Voorhees and Chucky. A pretty brilliant concept that’s been screaming for a film version for some years now.

I wish I could say that Susco’s involvement has me more optimistic than before about this project, but the damn thing has been so problematic already that I’m thinking it’ll never see the light of day. Susco is hot on the block these days; on top of this, he’s working on Texas Chainsaw Massacre 3-D (*cringe*) and The Butcherhouse Chronicles. I’ll reserve judgment on his screenwriting chops until I’ve seen a second effort (The Grudge, while enjoyable enough, left a good deal to be desired); for now, all I can do is hope he doesn’t fuck Hack/Slash up, if it happens at all. 

In the meantime, a guy can still dream-cast the role of Cassie Hack; I, like every other fanboy worth his marbles, initially envisioned Eliza Dushku in the part, after laboring to avoid the two words “Megan” and “Fox.” Dushku feels a little tired for this, though; I’m thinking we need to really step outside the proverbial box. How about….. and go with me on this one:

Olivia Munn, G4 hostess extraordinaire and top-five sexiest chick in the game. Not much acting experience, but she’s charming enough to leave me with tons of optimism.  Consider this the official genesis of the “Cast Olivia Munn as ‘Cassie Hack'” campaign.

News spotted over at:  JoBlo

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Some day, I’m going to get all Sigmund Freud on myself and figure out why I love horror anthologies so damn much. There must be a definite explanation; the excitement that’s visible on my face while I’m watching these films and/or television series is unlike any other. Not even a slideshow of Eliza-Dushku-in-bikini pictures could out-perform the horror anthology in this respect, and that’s both a sad and compelling truth (sad for obvious reasons). The curious thing about this preference is that the majority of genre omnibus projects are faulty, more hit-or-miss works than unanimous successes (Tales from the Darkside and Monsters, for the losses). The Twilight Zone and Creepshow are the exceptions, in other words. While I personally love them, Britain’s old examples Tales from the Crypt (1972) and The Vault of Horror (1973) seem to generate contempt amongst film critics. Fuck if I know why; it doesn’t get any better than seeing Peter Cushing in one chunk of a larger multi-story horror show. 

1972’s Asylum has been treated better by analysts, and rightfully so—–it’s a stellar piece of chilliness. Right alongside Asylum, I’ve come to realize, has rested the 1971 Amicus production The House That Dripped Blood (directed by Peter Duffell), though until this past weekend I’d yet to see it. I thought I’d experienced all the British have to offer in terms of horror anthologies, but, alas, I was wrong. The House That Dripped Blood, though awkward and hammy in spots, is a great time, and I have my father to thank for it, oddly enough; he came across an old used VHS copy of it in some mom-and-pop shop in upstate New York and grabbed it for a mere $5, knowing that I’m a sucker for “cheesy horror,” and what other two words come to mind when looking at the film’s cover art:

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There he is, the legendary Peter Cushing, in all his decapitated, cheesy glory. His presence in the film was the first immediate hook; learning that it was written by Robert Bloch (great horror screenwriter and author, most known for penning the novel that Alfred Hitchcock’s Psycho was based upon) was the nail in the hopeful-coffin. For more, head beyond the jump: (more…)

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Earlier this year (February, to be exact), I filed a feature story for a men’s magazine (a major one, though I’ll leave it anonymous) that promptly fell under the guillotine of staff changes and budget slashes, which, together, equaled a massive overhaul within the mag’s infrastructure. Disheartening on my end, to put it lightly; essentially, it was the beginning of dark times—–a month later, KING shut down and I was jobless and mentally-brow-beaten. But I’ll spare the downer-dude speech. Instead, I’ll use this here site (which, soon enough, should be rid of that pesky, trivializing “wordpress” in the URL) to provide four walls to pieces of mine that have fallen victim to these ever-changing, unstable times for writers. 

In the same approach as that “Between Rap & A Hard Place” essay I posted last week, today brings forth “How To Make Your Own Movie,” a step-by-step tutorial for those with empty pockets and crowded cinematic dreams. As a film-obsessor who’s without film school to his name, I had to do tons of research and general surface-poking, and I used the thoughts of two indie filmmakers (Greg Bishop and Rick Anderson, specifically) to fill in the gaps. Who better than experienced gentleman to assist in this? 

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My editor seemed to really enjoy the piece, and suggested that I pitch it around to other outlets, which I did, minus any success. This is the kind of story that only works for themed issues, sadly, and the solely-movie-covering venues do this sort of thing somewhat often. At this point, I just want the work I put into the story to pay off, in a small way, even. 

After the jump, my raw “How To Make Your Own Movie” story. (more…)

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I’ve been wondering if my mini-analysis blurbs that preface the links to my reviews could potentially distract folks from actually clicking the link; they could figure, I’ve just gotten the gist of his feelings, so why bother reading more? “They,” of course, meaning the five or six people who actually come across this blog, whether voluntarily and or by chance. 

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Just in case that has been happening, I’m going to simply drop the links from now, with a brief sentence or two setting up the film itself. No quick fix handouts around here; not any more. Today’s review is of The Road, an adaptation of Cormac McCarthy’s outstanding novel about a man and his son surviving together, by any means necessary, in a post-apocalyptic (a tired word, but it’s written on the back of the book itself, so whatever) America. Directed by relative newcomer John Hillcoat, and starring Viggo Mortensen, Charlize Theron, Robert Duvall and acting prodigy Kodi Smit-McPhee, who’ll next star in the unnecessary Let the Right One In remake (the short-attention-span satisfying title being Let Me In).

For my thoughts on the film (which opens on November 25), head over to:

Critics Notebook: THE ROAD (2009)

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I’ll have more to offer about this one soon, but, for now, here’s the new, fresh poster for the April 2010 adaptation of Mark Millar‘s normal-kids-becoming-powerless-superheroes romp, Kick-Ass:

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The word on this one, from Comic-Con footage and later screenings, is that it’s something special. And, after watching the first trailer (which you’ll find after the jump), I’m thinking that early word may be spot-on…… (more…)

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And that headline is indeed self-attacking.

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A couple weeks back, I linked to a Critics Notebook feature I put together on Ti West‘s The House of the Devil, for which I chatted with the writer-director for an engaging, fun hour-or-so in mid-October. One of the talking points we hit upon that, sadly, didn’t have room to breathe in the feature was the film’s amazing series of posters, all vintage without looking cheesy; just perfect, frankly. West had some pretty interesting things to say about this subject, but the feature was inflating at ludicrous speed and, in the end, I felt the poster issue got lost in the overall shuffle. 

Before first seeing the film, my fear was that the posters would ultimately be better than the film itself, but, fortunately, The House of the Devil lives up to the promise. 

Sean Fennessey, my fellow movie-loving music journalist, has fortunately taken care of this issue, in his New York/Vulture piece that surfaced today. Titled “Neil Kellerhouse on The House of the Devil‘s Artsy, Retro Posters,” it’s a quick, entertaining read, where Kellerhouse explains the creative process behind five of the key posters, including my personal favorite; this one instantly gave (and still gives) me a Lucio Fulci vibe for a few different reasons:

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I rarely link to stories of this variety here, but this one seems like a no-brainer. Give it a look, it’s a job well done (and something I wish I would have pitched around myself): 

NY Mag/Vulture: The House of the Devil posters

After the jump, I’ve posted the part of my Ti West interview where we discussed these posters; I figure, might as well let these quotes lives now, right?:

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Richard Kelly‘s The Box was a hard one to pin down, as far as reactions go. The positives of the film are pretty fun, so much so that I’m contemplating a second theater viewing. Which probably won’t happen, due to this week’s full slate of evening screenings (The Road tonight, for the win). But the fact that part of me wants to pay money to see this one again is fascinating for self, because there’s so much wrong within Kelly’s third feature. Plot holes, excessive randomness. High-concept sci-fi gobbledygook for no good reason. 

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While it’s trampoline-leaps better than his Southland Tales, The Box still pales in comparison to Donnie Darko. Kelly’s career is the Hollywood equivalent to Raekwon; The Box is better than the Chef’s The Lex Diamond Story, now, but the parallel still works. Perhaps Kelly’s next film will be his triumphant return to greatness, a la Only Built for Cuban Linx 2.

Today, though, it’s all about The Box.

For my deeper thoughts, head on over to:

Critics Notebook: THE BOX (2009)

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For all of the abuse that Alexandre Aja’s High Tension receives over its unimaginative twist ending, it’s still tough to deny the film greatness, at least in the realm of horror cinema. Of the last decade, specifically. The 20-or-so minute stretch in the house once the killer drops by is intense enough to treat your eyes like our favorite droog Alex in his A Clockwork Orange experimental treatment. And even after that aforementioned twist, Aja totally redeems himself with the most insane and blood-drenched chainsaw massacre of our time. 

So cut the film some slack, would you?

ceciledefrance1Also worth acclaim in the respect of High Tension is lead actress Cecile de France. The Belgian actress owns the picture, with her subtle sexiness, hard edge and wonderful facial reactions. I’ve been hoping to see her in more films after the fact, but, sadly, that hasn’t happened. There was that dreadful Jackie Chan flick Around the World in 80 Days (2004), but all signs are pointing me having never seen that one by my dying day. de France’s next role, however, is one I’ll totally rush to—–she’s just signed on for a lead role in Clint Eastwood‘s Hereafter, a “what happens after death?” multiple character study that’s to be anchored by Matt Damon’s “psychic”; de France will play a French journalist who has a near-death go-round. 

Eastwood’s films always garner heaps of attention, and deservedly so; and then you have Damon, one of my favorite actors, and a guy who knows quality screenplays like 50 Cent knows great production. As a fan of Cecile de France based solely off of High Tension, this is great news. Her second chance to show us what she’s got on a large scale is long overdue.

Now, how about casting Inside‘s gorgeous and equally talented Alysson Paradis in a Hollywood prestige flick? She’s Johnny Depp’s sister-in-law, for hell’s sake. Surely we can make this one happen, as well. 

UPDATE: How did I not catch this earlier? After reading this Cecile de France news on a different website just now, I’ve noticed that Eastwood has also cast Mylene Jampanoi, one of the two dynamite leads in Pascal Laugier’s Martyrs. The leads from both High Tension and Martyrs?! Let me find out that Clint Eastwood is up on the best of modern-day French horror cinema. This is all coincidental, of course (a result of these ladies’ agents being on their grind), but it’s cool to envision Dirty Harry rewinding scenes from Inside, a la yours truly. 

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Cecile de France news spotted over at: Variety

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1) I’m rather excited for The Wolfman, have been since it was first announced, and the latest trailer is a winner, to me, and 2) Emily Blunt is a stunner. 3) Dropping this poster on the blog here is a cheap way to update the site while I wrap my head around a slew of ideas and other mental gobbledygook. 

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Second new poster, after the jump: (more…)

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In late August, I wrote a brain-in-gear essay called “Between Rap & a Hard Place,” essentially a self-dissection into how easy it’ll be to make my mark in the film coverage world, having been so immersed in the ‘hip-hop journalism’ sect for nearly six years now. It was to be a feature guest blog on a renown journalist’s own WordPress realm, a now-dead but once-fruitful place where young journalists (whether practicing or aspiring) could learn and casual visitors could be entertained. I was quite honored to be given the go-head for a guest blog, and I took it seriously. Then, the vet writer took a blogging hiatus, and then promptly killed the site to concentrate on a book. Can’t blame her, at all.

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Still, I put some work into the guest blog, so I don’t want it to die in the oblivion of Yahoo email. Thus, I’m posting it here, the raw, unedited (and I stress “unedited”) essay that I sent in on August 27. Some of the references are now a bit dated, understandably. 

Full essay, after the jump: (more…)

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There’s a legitimate reason for this, I swear.

Basically, a random picture of Ms. Nichols that I used for a “me casting the potential Baywatch movie” post is the highest view-earner in my humble blog’s history. Like, absolutely crushes the post competition, to awe-inspiring degrees. A pic of Mila Kunis has given Nichols some opposition, but, in the end, G.I. Joe‘s “Scarlett” is tops. “Sex sells,” indeed. So, obviously, this Rachel Nichols picture-show is all about getting more and more views. 

Shameless? Who, me? 

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More pics, once you follow the jump: (more…)

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What a creature in a David Lynch nature film might look like…… This is a real picture, by the way. Visit the news link below for proof. A hairless bear…..

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Original news story: Daily Mail UK: “Who’s taken my fur coat?”

More pics, after the jump: (more…)

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File this one under “Fuck Outta Here.”

walking_distance_movie_poster1Katie Featherston, the female half of Paranormal Activity‘s sudden stars-on-the-rise cast, starred in another little horror film called Walking Distance. While its buzz isn’t even a morsel of what Paranormal Activity‘s was before the mainstream knew about, Walking Distance has been popping up on the various horror sites recently, no doubt a result of Featherston’s presence. The film is about a quaint town that harbors some (probably) supernatural secret, and how that hidden evil wreaks H-E-double-sticks on its residents. Or something to that effect; the film’s plot isn’t important right now. It’s a mute point.

The matter at hand is this…. Today, news came out that the film’s title has been changed to Experimental Activity. Seriously. As the president of Showcase Entertainment (the company that’ll distribute the film), David Jackson, puts it, “Clearly having the fastest-rising star in the business is a feather in the cap, but we feel the film stands on its own as a cool psychological thriller.” Oh, really? So the title change isn’t simply a blatant jack-off of Featherston’s current close-to-$100-million smash? 

Just shameful. And, laughable. at least. Walking Distance (which I’ll keep calling the film until somebody uses physicality to make me do otherwise) is now like a batter standing on the side of home-plate, his arms tied behind his back as a Cliff Lee curveball comes his way. I won’t write it off just yet (that’d be unfair), but the stink of lameness will be tough to wipe away.

News spotted over at: Shock Til You Drop

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The Fourth Kind is a pretty odd bird. My opinion has been battling with itself over the film, and it’s pretty uncomfortable. On one hand, this “is it real?” (umm, ‘No’ is my guess) alien abduction flick comes with a few undeniably disturbing moments, scenes that would leave me loving the film as a whole in most, if not all, other cases. But The Fourth Kind just has so much that’s frustrating and off-putting in its presentation that I can’t give it the Yay. 

For more on my Nay, head over to Critics Notebook:

Critics Notebook: THE FOURTH KIND (2009)

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