Monday, 30 August 2010

Good Shit off of the Internet, Part 1


So currently, I barely have the time to watch a film, let alone write a review. But one thing I will always find time for is finding good shit on the internet. I'd like to thank the wonderful Front Magazine for leading me to these finds. I have therefore named this section 'Good Shit off of the Internet, Part 1'. There might never be a 'Part 2', but it makes it sound better.

Want these. Unfortunately, I can only find them sold in the US/Canada, here. And they're ridiculously expensive. Still. Wicked awesome.

NEWSFLASH! They are indeed available in the UK, right here. Good old Firebox. However, with a price tag of £24.99, I might just stick to Morrisons Value...

I also stumbled upon some snazzy movie mashup posters, the whole lot can be found here.

/cop-out instead of real post. I hope it's been enjoyable and wasted a few minutes of a boring day.

Sunday, 22 August 2010

2001 Maniacs: Field Of Screams (Sullivan, 2010)

'No reason vengeance can't be fun...'

Director Tim Sullivan presents us with this follow up to 2005's horror comedy 2001 Maniacs, where a group of redneck Southerners are dead set on avenging their ancestors killed in the Civil War by massacring 2001 Northern Yankees. Opening the film, for those who have not seen Sullivan's previous offering, is an introduction to the maniacs - from their leader, Mayor Buckman (Bill Moseley), to the insanely eccentric Granny Boone (Lin Shaye). A comic book style narration sets the scene, then we see the group put a local man in a barrel lined with spikes - then send him for a ride. If there's one thing learnt quickly about these crazies, it's that torture and death is a spectator sport.

Meanwhile, two heiress sisters and their film crew are filming reality show 'Road Rascals'. Stereotypes are abound here, and an obvious parody of socialites Paris Hilton and Nicole Richie can be seen in party girls Rome (Katy Marie Johnson) and Tina (Asa Hope) Sheraton. Although obviously the roles revolve around the girls being ditzy, dumb and useless, their acting is unbearable at points - and the reliance upon 'stupid blonde' gags wears thin. Travelling along with the girls are their boyfriends K-Jay (Jordan Yale) and Falcon (Trevor Wright) - the former a sexually charged red-blooded male, and the latter a closet gay, again provoking some predictable gags.

Thankfully, the Confederate cast make up for the generic, bland Road Rascals crew - particularly Granny Boone, who maniacally chops chickens on camera and incestually seduces Mayor Buckman. When the crew stumble upon the travelling jamboree, they are bemused by the strange inhabitants, but producer Val (Andrea Leon) sees the dollar signs light up in the opportunity.

If gratituous nudity is what gets you going in a movie, there's plenty to ogle - with the Northern heiresses naturally spending their time scantily clad and getting their tits out in a pool, and the Southern girls in corsets and regularly eating face. The gore is textbook low-budget, with the classic splatter-effect bloodshed not quite looking realistic enough, and an amusingly graphic electrocution scene. Indeed, the comical moments arise from the deaths themselves, rather than the cheap gags involving screwing a stuffed sheep. The carnival variety show proves peculiar and vaguely entertaining, with another pop-culture nod by turning the singing Granny Boone and jamboree girls into music video stars.

For a low-budget horror, 2001 Maniacs: Field of Screams ticks all the boxes - but boxes ticked unfortunately does not a good movie make. It wasn't a hideous film to watch, however the generic blandness made it unimpressively dull. The redeeming comical insanity of the maniacs stops the film from being truly awful, but generally the movie is unimaginative and repetitive - not at all scary, and not all that funny.


Saturday, 21 August 2010

Adventureland (Mottola, 2009)

In Adventureland, directed by 2007 hit Superbad's Greg Mottola, James Brennan (played by Jesse Eisenberg, another graduate from the Michael Cera school of gawkiness)'s plans to travel Europe fall apart, and he is forced to get a summer job at Adventureland, a slightly run down, tacky amusement park. Reluctantly arriving at the park, he is immediately thrown into work by eccentric park management team Bobby (Bill Hader, sporting a fantastic eighties 'tache) and Paulette (Kristen Wiig), and befriends super-geeky Joel (Martin Starr) and quirky Em (Kristen Stewart). 

Friday, 20 August 2010

The Ricky Gervais Show - The Complete First Series (2010)

Ricky Gervais has always split my opinion - I wasn't a fan of The Office, although I found Extras slightly more watchable. However, on a long car journey to Birmingham with some friends I discovered the Ricky Gervais Show podcasts. The insanely random conversations that the three of them have remind me of the strange conversations I often have with my friends – wonderfully entertaining yet quintessentially pointless.

Following the success of these podcasts, which earned them a spot in the Guinness Book of Records for the most downloaded podcasts, the trio released their ramblings onto the DVD world, coupled with animated characters, which bear a stylistic resemblance to the Flintstones. Seth McFarlane, creator of infamous cartoon comedy Family Guy branded the show ‘the best animation [he has] ever seen’. The show is set in a cartoon recording studio, interjected with illustrations of their ramblings – often abstract, so very much suited to the tone of the show. A particular highlight is the ‘Monkey News’ feature, introduced by cartoon-Gervais pulling his shirt off and turning into a chimpanzee.

A Childhood of Screen

Nostalgia, it's a beautiful thing. Growing up, there was such excitement about going to the cinema, from seeing Bambi with my mum when I was barely old enough to climb up onto the cinema seat (no 'you still can't!' height jokes, please), to going to the cinema without a parent for the first time. And the wonder of the VHS, there was nothing better to do on a rainy day off school than slip in one of my favourite videos. These are some of my favourite cinematic memories of days gone by - what are yours?

Matilda (DeVito, 1996)

As a wee nipper, I was a massive fan of Roald Dahl's books - and the first of my favourite childhood films is an adaptation of one of those. Matilda Wormwood (Mara Wil
son), a sweet-natured girl, lives a life where adults are the enemy - her parents and the cruel, child-hating headmistress Miss Trunchbull (Pam Ferris) . When she discovers she has telekenitic powers, however, her world becomes a much brighter place. Matilda is a magical, enchanting movie with a fantastic cast. As a little girl I spent hours gazing at inanimate objects trying to make them move - unfortunately to no avail!

Thursday, 19 August 2010

Jumper (Liman, 2008)

Imagine being able to teleport yourself anywhere, in an instant – from the Colloseum to inside a bank vault. Awesome, right? Not so awesome when you have Samuel L. Jackson chasing your ass all over the world with a license to kill. David Rice (Hayden Christensen) is a ‘Jumper’ – able to transport himself from location to location. After years of living like a king, he discovers the existence of ‘Paladins’, religious enthusiasts who believe only God should have such powers, and dedicate their lives to hunting down and eradicating Jumpers. Directed by Doug Liman, responsible for one of my favourite action movies, The Bourne Identity, I had high hopes for this movie.

Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist (Sollett, 2008)

Let's get this one straight from the start - I’m not normally a fan of romantic ‘comedy’ films. Or indeed, anything particulaly soppy and mushy, as they usually make me want to vomit all over the DVD case. So a film with the review line ‘a sweet, funny love story’ usually make me run for the hills. I pretty much only picked up Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist (Sollett, 2008) as it had Michael Cera on the cover, possibly a contender for the Milly Award for the most adorable man in existence.That, and the fact it was cheap in Blockbuster. Ever the scrounging student, eh? But after watching the movie, I'm actually pretty glad I did.

The Stepfather (McCormick, 2009)

For most, gaining a stepfather comes with its difficulties - but in this remake of the 1987 film of the same name, for troubled teenager Michael Harding, it really is hell. Upon returning from military school, Michael discovers his mother engaged to 'David Harris' (Dylan Walsh), who everyone around him seems to have fallen in love with too. But, is he REALLY who he says he is? With the help of his girlfriend Kelly (Amber Heard), he begins to investigate the family's new alpha male.

New Town Killers, (Jobson, 2008)

'All you have to hide.'

Think hide and seek is a kids' game? Think again. Richard Jobson's New Town Killers (2008) is a gritty cat-and-mouse thriller that follows ruthless private banker Alistair (Dougray Scott) and sidekick Jamie (Alastair McKenzie) who make down-and-out Sean (James Anthony Pearson) an offer he can't refuse. In order to make himself £12,000 to pay off sister Alice's (Liz White) debts, he simply has to hide in the city for 12 hours. Sounds easy, but the killers have eyes everywhere, and if he's caught, he'll be facing not just losing the game, but losing his life.