Archive for the ‘ Movies ’ Category

“For a Good Time, Call…” is NOT Bad Porn (Or Porn at All, of Any Quality)

The first thing I’ll say about “For a Good Time, Call…” is that it succeeded in its mission. According to creators, they wanted a “chick flick” that was more along the lines of “The Hangover,” seeing as “Bridesmaids” was so popular. Basically, women can be just as vulgarly raw as men and it’s just as hilarious; why not make bank on it?

“For a Good Time, Call…” centers around a pair of women who are friends under duress and realize that they can solve all their money woes (NYC rent anyone?) by running their own phone-sex hotline. Ari Graynor plays Katie, the typical wild-child with a secret soft side, while Lauren Miller stars as Lauren, recently dumped, whose ex kicks her out of their apartment before jetting off to a foreign country.

The film is raunchy and can appeal to both sexes, but it’ll definitely resonate with the women in the audience. There are some inside jokes about the occasionally romantic nature of female relationships that will lead to genuine tears of laughter and commiseration. Continue reading

The Amazing Spider-Man Review

It’s been ten years since the first Spider-Man movie came out. At the time, it was one of the biggest super hero movies to ever come out. A lot has changed since then though, super hero movies have become big money makers for studios, as “The Avengers” proved, recently becoming the top grossing movie of all time. So in an effort to make more money, Sony Entertainement rebooted the Spider-Man franchise with a whole new cast and crew.

I enjoyed the first two Spider-Man movies and hated the third. Those movies always felt a little off though, like the actors were working off a first draft copy of the script. The dialogue was a little stiff and kind of cheesy at times, and while that may work fine for the original comics, it did not work for the movies. The cast felt a little flat, Kirsten Dunst’s lines had no feeling behind them and Tobey Macguire always looked like he was about to cry. In the new movie, the dialogue flows naturally and all the lines sound like people would say them in real life. I know this seems like nit-picking, but some of the awkward dialogue ruined a few scenes in the original trilogy, mostly the lines between Peter and Aunt May or Mary Jane.

It’s hard to review a movie reboot without referencing the original when there’s been such a relatively short time between them, but I will try and keep it to a minimum. With that said, the new movie does tread some familiar ground as they have to go through the whole origin story over again. Luckily, the movie speeds through it rather quickly. It’s not that it’s a bad or boring story, it’s just everyone knows it by now; there’s no reason to dwell on it. The only downside is that Peter seems a little too accepting of the fact that he gets superpowers from a spider bite, but he does make his own webshooters in this movie, so it’s a compromise I’m willing to make. Continue reading

“Prometheus” is not “Alien,” or “Aliens” or… You Get The Point?

I don’t often care for prequels.  These days, most Hollywood productions are all flash and no substance, so I was reluctant to see if they’d butcher yet another beloved franchise.

I’m relieved to say that Prometheus, while not perfect, is a surprisingly entertaining film that manages to tie the story into the Alien universe while setting itself apart as a (hopefully) new franchise.

Archeologists Elizabeth Shaw (Noomi Rapace) and Charlie Holloway (Logan Marshal- Green) discovered clues that predate some of the earliest evidence of a race of humanoids that have come in contact with humans.  Shaw and Holloway believe it to be an invitation to seek out the humanoids and with a little funding from the Weyland Corporation set out on an expedition to find the planet they believe would hold the answers to that one mysterious question; why were we created? When they arrive, they begin an investigation that slowly unravels a dangerous and terrifying reality. Continue reading

Assemble! “The Avengers” in review!

On April 14, 2012, I ended up being one of the lucky few granted access to a free advanced screening of Marvel’s “The Avengers”, possibly THE most anticipated movie of the Summer season. Disney had run a contest on Facebook stating that the cities with the largest population of Avengers fans, who “liked” the FB page, would get this most coveted prize. Is it really any wonder that NYC, being the headquarters of the Avengers and Stark Tower would manage to pull this coup?

To say I was trembling in excitement is putting it mildly, but I was also trembling with cold! Merely being on the list to get in wasn’t, in fact, a guarantee at all. It was first come, first seated, as most screenings are. And if anyone knows the meaning of sacrifice, its a bunch of geeks who happily revel in fandom. Yes, I am proudly one of those geeks. Which is how I found myself waking at 4:30am in the morning (late, to be honest) to make it to the AMC 25 in Times Sq. by 7:30am, freezing with my fellow die-hards.

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Cabin in the Woods: A Loving Hate Letter

Over the past few years, horror movies have fallen out of favor with the general public. Slasher movies have become laughing stocks. The invention of cell phones makes fleeing in terror seem even more unrealistic and the sub-genre known as “torture porn” has made many people avoid horror movies over the past decade.

So Joss Whedon, nerd god and creator of “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” and many other things, wrote a movie which he called a “loving hate letter” to the whole horror genre. It is now playing in theaters and does not disappoint.

I won’t speak about the plot at all, because this is a movie best seen going in not knowing anything. I went in without even watching a trailer, only relying on the word of my friend and was not disappointed.

Looking at them now, even the trailers give a bit too much away about the story. I will say that while the story may start off enough like your typical horror movie, it quickly changes things up in unexpected ways. The movie isn’t perfect, but it’s a fun ride and I would say it’s one of the few movies that have come out in recent years that is worth the rising ticket prices.

Also, if you are a horror fan at all, you must see this movie. The whole thing is filled with references to other horror movies, the most obvious being “The Evil Dead,” which also takes place in a cabin in the woods. Many lines, visual cues and even small background jokes make references to many horror movies.

If you feel like horror has gone downhill in the past few years, as movies like “Saw” focus on gore rather than storytelling and actual scares became prominent, you will like “Cabin in the Woods.” It’s a return to horror which doesn’t just focus on how many buckets of fake blood they can fit into a movie (although it does use a lot of blood), but a coherent story with some unexpected twists. It is one of the few times I have walked out of a theater completely satisfied.

Silence! The Musical

I’ve never really been interested in musicals. Once in a while though, some shows come along that get my interest. Usually, because the premise is not something you’d base a musical on. It happened before with “Evil Dead the Musical,” and it has happened again with “Silence! The Musical,” which is a musical based on “The Silence of the Lambs,” that is currently playing in NYC.

The full title of the show is actually, “Silence! The Musical: The unauthorized parody of The Silence of the Lambs,” and that’s probably best, I couldn’t take a show about a singing killer seriously. The show itself handles the parody quite well, without ever becoming too wacky. Small changes add to the atmosphere, such as Clarice speaking throughout the show with a heavy southern accent and a slight lisp on her S’s, while major things like the FBI being portrayed as completely incompetent add to the overall atmosphere. Continue reading

Review of “Victim”

I randomly stumbled upon Victim, directed by Matt Escandari and Michael A. Pierce, while sifting through the near endless movie offerings on Netflix.  The consensus of a few user reviews was that this movie was very disturbing and unique. Morbid curiosity got the better of me and I decided to give this a shot.

***Before we go any further, I do want to say that while I tried to keep this spoiler-free, some of you might figure out one of the crucial parts anyway, and I apologize in advance if I spoiled it.

Victim is about a young man who is kidnapped, tortured, and psychologically abused by a crazy surgeon and his silent assistant.  With no clue as to where he is or why this is happening to him, the man’s only distraction comes in the form of a little girl’s diary that he finds in his prison cell.

It starts well enough with some grainy home video footage of a very attractive girl walking in to what seems like an amateur porn audition.  The voice behind the camera is distorted and asks her to have a seat and to close her eyes while he goes to the bathroom to get a “surprise” for her.  Then, predictably, we are treated to fast cuts and close-ups of the girl being raped and murdered.  I thought this scene was pretty well done and the grittiness made it feel like a snuff film.  I expected the rest of the movie to have the same effect, but it doesn’t quite work that way.

After the girl is murdered, the main story begins with a handsome young man (whose name we never learn, so I’ll name him Slick) hanging out at a trendy bar, ordering drinks and working his charm on a cute waitress.  On the other end of the bar we have an ominous person in a black hood, whose face is completely hidden.  The scene lasts all of about 5 minutes before Slick walks out to his car, confronts Hoodie Man, and promptly gets attacked from behind and dragged away.  When he wakes up, he’s in a dirty prison cell in someone’s basement and you know things will not go well for the poor bastard.

As to his captors, you have the run-of-the-mill creepy old surgeon who explains that the pain Slick will need to endure is necessary and that in due time he will understand why this is happening.  Then you have Mr. George, a tall and sturdy man whom you’d feel comfortable having as a bodyguard and who is either mute or just doesn’t believe in talking.  Mr. George delivers the beatings, and Doc Crazy (not his real name) performs the memory-erasing shock therapy and surgeries. Continue reading