Thursday, April 26, 2012

Thor (2011)


In honor of the The Avengers being released, here is the original review I did for last year's Thor, originally published on May 6, 2011.


THE STATS:

The Director: Kenneth Branagh
The Writers: Ashley Miller, Zack Stentz, Don Payne
The Cast: Chris Hemsworth, Natalie Portman, Tom Hiddleston, Anthony Hopkins, Stellan Skarsgård, Kat Dennings, Clark Gregg, Idris Elba, Colm Feore, Ray Stevenson
The Producer: Kevin Feige

Release Date: May 6, 2011
The Running Time: 114 Minutes
Aspect Ratio: 2.35 : 1
Language: English

Whosoever wields this hammer, if he be worthy, shall possess the power of Thor.

THE PLOT

Thor is the mighty but arrogant warrior whose reckless actions that enters his mythic realm of Asgard into war with the fearsome Frost Giants. He is cast down to Earth as punishment, with his power stripped from him. Now as his deceitful brother Loki plots to take over the throne, Thor must regain his power and find his way back home.

WHY IS IT SO GOOD?

MARVEL DOES IT AGAIN

Ever since Marvel started taking over production of their properties starting with the X-Men franchise in 2000, their iconic characters have been treated with a lot more respect on the big screen. Certainly there were some missteps like Elektra or Hulk… and let’s all forget about Spider-Man 3. But overall, they’ve been great cinematic treats for comic book geeks every where. Marvel especially has done a phenomenal job in building the Avengers brand, starting with the outstanding 2008 film Iron Man. Followed by The Incredible Hulk and Iron Man 2, each of these films has connected with the next. Thor is the next in the series, followed by this summer’s Captain America: The First Avenger and culminating with next year’s The Avengers. Marvel knows what they’re doing because they are their characters and know exactly which direction to take them.

KENNETH BRANAGH

When I heard that Branagh was directing this film, I had my doubts. As a director he’s mostly known for directing Shakespearean adaptations like Hamlet and Henry V… not exactly action movies, let alone super hero genre pictures. I was afraid he would either not treat the characters with respect, or worse, try to over-interpret them like Ang Lee did in 2003′s Hulk. But it turns out his Shakespearean background works perfectly telling the story of a dying father (Odin) dealing with the succession of the throne between his two sons (Thor and Loki). Also, his camera work is stylish and yet not distracting, and he keeps the story moving, giving you enough action beats and plot developments along the way.

ASGARD

The depiction of Asgard, which could have been disastrously cheesy, looks really, really cool on the big screen. Unlike the Star Wars prequels which are 100% green screen, Thor uses a combination of green screen AND real sets. Come Oscar time, I hope this film gets some attention for the Art Direction. On top of that, the costumes don’t look good as well. They look functional and also cool. You buy that these are things the Norse gods would wear.

THE DESTROYER

One of the biggest threats Thor faces in the film is The Destroyer, which is essentially a 20 foot tall robot with spikes covering his entire body and a face that can blow you up. Seriously. It looks like this and it’s by far the coolest thing in the film.

EASTER EGGS

Much like Iron Man 1 & 2 and The Incredible Hulk… make sure you stay after the credits to catch a neat little Easter Egg. Also an unadvertised cameo from another marvel hero in the middle of the film will keep comic geeks happy.

Overall, Thor is a fun, entertaining and thoroughly geek-satisfying comic book superhero movie and a great way to start the summer blockbuster season.

HOW CAN YOU WATCH IT?

It’s in theatres TODAY!

Monday, April 23, 2012

DVD of the Day: Kill Bill Vol. 1 (2003)



Check out our review of Kill Bill Vol. 1 over at Superfriends HERE!

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Take a Look Back: Forced Perspective Episode 1 - Summer 2011 Movies



Take a listen to me on the very first episode of "Forced Perspective," a movie podcast over on Superfriends Universe.

On our debut episode, Sportsguy515 and I discuss the big hits of the 2011 Blockbuster season including Thor, Bridesmaids, The Hangover Part II, Green Lantern, and Transformers: Dark of the Moon. It’s film discussion at its finest…and its whackiest!

Monday, April 16, 2012

Does THAT Suck - Episode 1: Rumpelstiltskin (1995)

Let the Right One In (2008)



LET THE RIGHT ONE IN
Tomas Alfredson
2008 • 115 Minutes • 2.35:1 • Sweden
Sandrew Metronome Distribution Sverige AB

Cast: Kåre Hedebrant, Lina Leandersson
Screenplay:  John Ajvide Lindqvist
Producers:  Carl Molinder, John Nordling
Cinematography:  Hoyte Van Hoytema

Awards and Honors


The Essential Films
Ranked #15 on the 100 Essential Horror Movies

- How old are you?
- Twelve... more or less.



The Plot

Oskar is a friendless little boy that is constantly bullied at school. One day he meets a strange little girl, and the two develop a sweet friendship. The twist: She’s a vampire.

Why is it Essential?

O.K. Let me just take the official Essential Films stance right now: F*** TWILIGHT! Ah. There. That feels so much better.


Seriously, though. Remember when vampires were awesome? They were bad ass monsters that you were glad weren’t real. They were bloody, they had fangs, they could rip your throat out and, most importantly, they did NOT glitter in the sunlight. They fucking exploded. The vampires found in the Blade, From Dusk Till Dawn, Dracula and "Buffy"… REAL VAMPIRES. Robert Pattinson? LAME ASS VAMPIRE.


Now. With that rant out of the way, I present to you today’s entry. Let The Right One In is a Swedish vampire movie that goes back the basics. Vampires are dangerous, and bloody, and violent. Yeah, this is a story of a little girl and a little boy and their friendship. But it’s also a story of this little girl going out killing people and sucking their blood.


The story revolves around Oskar, who is essentially the little weird kid that was in everyone’s 4th grade class. This kid is constantly beat up and bullied. Nobody likes him. He meets Eli… who seems to like him back. The two form a cute little friendship, but in the mean time she’s getting her vampire on behind his back. And this movie pulls no punches. It is BLOODY as hell. Once Oskar figures out her secret, will he reject her or will their friendship last? I won’t spoil it, but let’s just say the climactic scene is satisfying for anyone in the audience who has ever been bullied.

This movie was re-made recently as Let Me In for American audiences.  It was a fine interpretation, but nothing beats the original.  Watch it now.

Want to watch it?  You can watch via YouTube for only $2.99!

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Fright Night (1985)


This post was originally published as part of the DVD of the Day series at Superfriends Universe on January 5, 2011.




Fright Night

Apparently your generation doesn’t want to see vampire killers anymore, nor vampires either. All they want to see slashers running around in ski masks, hacking up young virgins.

The Stats

The Director:  Tom Holland
The Cast:  Chris Sarandon, William Ragsdale, Amanda Bearse, Roddy McDowell, Stephen Geoffreys
The Release Date: 1985
The Runtime: 106 Minutes

The Plot

Teenager Charlie Brewster is just your average everyday kid with a big love for old cheesy horror movies. When new neighbor Jerry Dandridge moves in next door, Charlie starts to suspect that there is something very strange about him. After doing a little spying, he realizes that Jerry is actually a vampire. No one believes him, of course, and he’s forced to go to the one man who he thinks can help him: Peter Vincent, the host of a local TV show, “Fright Night.” Vincent refuses, trying to tell Charlie that he’s just an actor, but after getting laid off by the TV station he does the job for money. Only Charlie, Peter and the annoying side kick “Evil” Ed bite off more than they can chew.

The Lowdown

What director Tom Holland succeeds at with this film is creating a horror movie/comedy that is both amusing as well as also being legitimately scary. If you liked Scream you’ll like Fright Night. The film is self-aware. In other words, it knows it’s a horror movie… specifically a vampire movie. It uses your expectations about horror movies and turns them around you. I have to say, the first time I saw this, I was legitimately surprised by how good it was. I expected a cheesy 80s horror movie… and instead I got a cheesy 80′s horror movie that KNEW it was a cheesy 80′s horror movie. It succeeds as both horror and as comedy… which is a rare accomplishment.

The cast is very decent. Chris Sarandon plays the vampire, Jerry. He totally pulls off the mid-80′s douchebag vibe (who also happens to be a vampire.) He was also Prince Humperdink in The Princess Bride. Seriously, does this dude play anything other than shit-eating asswipes? William Ragsdale plays Charlie, the main character… nothing much here. He was competent, but not amazing. Amanda Bearse as Charlie’s girlfriend/damsel in distress was also fine, again nothing special. The most memorable thing about her is the fact that halfway through the movie you’ll realize she played Marcy on “Married With Children.” Stephen Geoffreys played the perfectly annoying “Evil” Ed. He was good in as much as he was really fucking annoying and you wanted to drive a fist through his skull. You’re kind of glad when he meets his eventual fate. (Interesting side note, that actor went on to become a gay porn actor. Seriously, look it up. It’s weird.) The star of the movie is clearly Roddy McDowell, however. He’s so perfect as this ridiculous washed up actor, that you end up really cheering for him when he mans up and actually has to go fight vampires.

Fright Night is fun as hell movie. It’s got laughs. It’s got horror. It’s got some really very decent special effects. The vampire and werewolf make-up still hold-up, I think. Just don’t dismiss this film as another cheesy 80s horror movie. Trust me, it’s better than most vampire movies out there today.

Watch this film if you like movies such as:

SCREAM

THE LOST BOYS

BLADE

Thursday, April 5, 2012

FORCED PERSPECTIVE, Ep.13 – Jeff, Who Lives on Jump Street

SportsGuy and Adolfo are BACK for FORCED PERSPECTIVE, Episode 13! Join the duo as they review 21 Jump Street, The Hunger Games, and Jeff, Who Lives at Home. Plus, they take a look at Hunger Games “inspirations” with The Running Man and Battle Royale in this week’s DVD of the Week. Also, thoughts on WrestleMania, the Razzies, and more! DOWNLOAD OR STREAM NOW

Sunday, April 1, 2012

The 100 Greatest Movies of All Time 2012 Edition

100. Richie Rich (1994)


99. Halloween III: The Season of the Witch (1983)


98. Baby's Day Out (1994)


97. Doom (2005)


96. Superman III (1983)


95. Star Trek V: The Final Frontier (1989)


94. Vegas Vacation (1998)


93. Little Nicky (1999)


92. Attack of the Killer Tomatoes (1978)


91. Leprechaun (1993)


90. Santa Claus: The Movie (1985)


89. Spawn (1997)


88. King Ralph (1991)


87. The Flintstones (1994)


86. Encino Man (1992)




85. Jason Goes to Hell: The Final Friday (1993)


84. Mannequin (1987)


83. Child's Play 3 (1991)


82. The Beverly Hillbillies (1993)


81. Rocky V (1990)


80. Conan the Barbarian (2011)


79. Atlas Shrugged: Part 1 (2011)


78. My Giant (1998)


77. Friday the 13th Part III (1983)


76. Wild Wild West (1999)


75. Godzilla (1998)


74. Judge Dredd (1995)


73. Premonition (2007)


72. Freddy's Dead: The Final Nightmare (1991)


71. Junior (1994)


70. Young Einstein (1989)


69. The Day the Earth Stood Still (2008)


68. The Spirit (2008)


67. Jason X (2001)


66. Scooby Doo (2002)


65. The Toy (1982)


64. Flowers in the Attic (1987)


63. White Noise (2004)


62. Superstar (1999)


61. Just My Luck (2006)


60. Masters of the Universe (1987)


59. My Stepmother is an Alien (1988)


58. Soul Man (1988)


57. Ghost Rider (2008)


56. Inspector Gadget (1999)


55. Barb Wire (1996)


54. Once Bitten (1985)


53. Deuce Bigelow: Male Gigolo (1999)


52. Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen (2009)


51. Jonah Hex (2010)


50. Howard the Duck (1986)


49. Pearl Harbor (2001)


48. Suburban Commando (1991)


47. Mom and Dad Save the World (1992)


46. The Fantastic Four (1994)


45. Look Who's Talking Too (1990)


44. Stop! Or My Mom Will Shoot! (1992)


43. Mixed Nuts (1994)


42. Surviving Christmas (2004)


41. The Hillz (2004)


40. Spaced Invaders (1990)


39. Showgirls (1996)


38. No Holds Barred (1989)


37. Police Academy 6: City Under Siege (1989)


36. Christmas with the Cranks (2004)


35. Super Mario Bros. (1993)


34. Deck the Halls (2006)


33. Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band (1978)


32. The Wicker Man (2006)


31. Friday the 13th Part VIII: Jason Takes Manhattan (1988)


30. Weekend at Bernie's II (1993)


29. Cop and a Half (1993)


28. The Super (1991)


27. The Avengers (1998)


26. Supergirl (1984)


25. Vibes (1988)


24. Batman & Robin (1997)


23. Street Fighter (1994)


22. Superman IV: The Quest for Peace (1987)


21. The Return of the Texas Chainsaw Massacre (1994)


20. Ghost Dad (1990)


19. Father Hood (1993)


18. Catwoman (2004)


17. Caddyshack II (1988)


16. In the Army Now (1994)


15. Leonard Part 6 (1987)


14. Police Academy 4: Citizens on Patrol (1987)


13. Captain America (1990)


12. Twilight (2008)


11. Mr. Nanny (1993)


10.  The Robots vs The Aztek Mummies (1958)


9.  Highlander II: The Quickening (1991)


8.  Police Academy 5: Assignment Miami Beach (1988)


7.  Girl in Gold Boots (1968)


6.  Plan 9 from Outer Space (1959)


5.  The Room (2003)


4.  Double Dragon (1994)


3.  The Garbage Pail Kids: The Movie (1987)


2.  Santa Clause Conquers the Martians (1964)


1.  Battlefield Earth: A Saga of the Year 3000 (2000)




Happy April Fool's Day!