Saturday, June 30, 2012


I love buddy comedies and there have been some great ones in the last few years with The Hangover, Due Date, and Horrible Bosses being some of the standouts. The buddy comedy aspect is what stood out to me when I first saw the trailer for the movie, but then I saw that the movie was coming from the creator of Family Guy.  I am generally not a fan of Family Guy or anything Seth MacFarlane related, so I walked into this movie with mild expectations. I was willing to give the movie a shot because you have a teddy bear getting high and drunk alongside Mark Wahlberg. Throw in the fact that the movie also stars Mila Kunis and I was willing to take a chance on this movie.

Ted comes from the mind of Seth MacFarlane, the creator of Family Guy, and stars Mark Wahlberg, Mila Kunis, Joel McHale, Giovanni Ribisi, and Seth MacFarlane. MacFarlane is the writer, director, producer, and star of the movie and that is quite the impressive feat when you consider how much work it takes to just write and direct a movie. The movie revolves around the concept of a young boy, John, who wishes that his teddy bear was real and he just happens to make the wish as a shooting star is passing overhead. The next morning he wakes up to find his teddy bear has come to life and eventually the world finds out. Flash-forward 27 years and you have a foul mouthed teddy bear, Ted (voiced by Seth MacFarlane), and the grown up John (Mark Wahlberg), living in Boston together. They get high and drink while all sorts of shenanigans ensue.

This is easily the funniest movie that I have seen this year and probably the funniest movie that I have seen since The Hangover. Everyone in the theater was laughing out loud and that is the sign of a truly great comedy. The movie never ran out of gas and kept the laughs coming from beginning to end. This movie expertly combined several comedy genres (stoner, romantic, buddy, ect.) to make one truly great comedy movie. Seth MacFarlane certainly proved as well that his “type” of comedy is adaptable to the big screen. MacFarlane’s performance as Ted is one of the best comedic performances that I have seen in a while. The great thing about the character was that he seemed so natural and you kind of forget that he is a CG teddy bear. His relationship with Wahlberg’s character is what really grounds the movie and keeps it movie along at a brisk pace. Wahlberg and Kunis also share great chemistry and are completely believable as a couple. All three of the leads play so well off each other that nothing in the movie feels awkward or out of place.
I have also noticed a trend with some comedies that they will throw in a random celebrity for comedic reasons that makes absolutely no sense whatsoever.  In the Hangover, it was Mike Tyson, Dodgeball had Lance Armstrong, and Ted has Tom Skerritt. This is easily one of the weirdest cameos that I have seen in a while because it was so random. There are also two other great cameos in the movie that I do not want to spoil because they can only be described as epic.

This is most likely the best comedy that you will see in theaters this year. Seth MacFarlane, Mark Wahlberg, and Mila Kunis are each spectacular in this movie and hopefully they can make another movie together again in the future. This is also a great start for MacFarlane as a director and I am eagerly anticipating seeing what he will come up with in the future. See this movie and you will laugh out loud in the theater and will probably be quoting this movie for years to come.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

28 Weeks Later

28 Weeks Later is the followup to 28 Days Later and is one of the few sequels that measures up to the original in almost every way. The movie is similar in tone to the original movie but has a much more cinematic feel to it overall. The acting is also considerably better in 28 Weeks Later than 28 Days Later, having Jeremy Renner, Rose Byrne, Imogen Poots, Idris Elba, and Robert Carlyle is pretty solid compared to having only Cillian Murphy and Christopher Eccleston. Having Juan Carlos Fresnadillo take over for Danny Boyle was also a great choice because he brought more visual flare than Boyle brought to the table originally.

The story of 28 Weeks Later is considerably deeper than the original because it serves as an allegory for the occupation of Iraq back in 2007 when the movie was filmed. The American occupation of London after the original outbreak serves as a stand in for the occupation of Iraq and the infected are considered to be stand in for the terrorists in the region. Not being able to distinguish between the infected and non-infected plays an essential role in some of the movie's biggest scenes. The movie also spends a good amount of time exploring the fact that some people may have a kind of immunity to the "Rage" virus that is the focal point in the film series. This is another idea that is rarely explored in "zombie" movies and is actually a pretty interesting aspect of the movie because the characters that are immune are actually carriers of the virus and are just as dangerous as the people show outward symptoms of infection. These are two of the ideas in the movie that really makes this a special movie and elevates it above a lot of horror movies that have come out in the last 15 years.

The character development in the movie is very solid for a horror movie and most of the characters are fleshed out over the course of the movie. Renner brings humanity to the stock soldier character and Rose Byrne makes her character into one of the most practical characters in zombie movie history. She is the only person who sees everything happening in the movie before it happens. The kids in this movie, Imogen Poots and Mackintosh Muggleton, are fantastic, and they completely sell the fact that they are the only kids in England and just like kids normally do they go against what people do and create trouble. They play their characters very naturally and their dialogue never feels forced or wooden. These are the performances that hold the movie together and really sell the story and give the movie its dramatic weight.


This is a MUST SEE horror movie

This is one of the hidden gems of the horror movie community. It was overlooked when it debuted because a lot of people thought it could never stack up to the original, 28 Days Later. After repeat viewings I have come to the conclusion that it is a superior film to the original in almost every way possible. This is a must see for every fan of zombie and horror movies.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Hostage (Throwback Review)

Hostage is one of those Bruce Willis movies that a lot of people tend to forget about. It is easily one of his best performances in years and has one of the more complicated plots that appear in a Bruce Willis movie. This is about as dramatic a movie that Bruce Willis will appear in over the course of his career and he had some great supporting characters to help bolster his performance. Ben Foster is a force of nature in this film, he is awesome in every scene he is in. The rest of the supporting cast is pretty solid as well  with Kevin Pollak, Kim Coates, and Jonathan Tucker playing some of the smaller supporting roles.

The director of the movie, Florent Emilio Siri, directed this movie to be an art house version of Die Hard and in a way that is what it really is. The main character could have been swapped for John McClane and the movie would have been pretty much identical. It was definitely a good choice because the Die Hard movie are all great movies and crafting your movie in that light is a solid design choice. Willis does show a decent amount of range in the movie and he really has to sell his character's anguish over a failed hostage situation. Ben Foster on the other hand kills it in every scene in this movie, his character is just plain fucked up and every time you see him you feel slightly uncomfortable. He is a seemingly heartless character and is just a force of brutal terror. He is one of the most terrifying human characters in any movie because he has no conscience and just wants to kill and destroy. There must have been some fucked up shit that went on during his childhood to make him that way. Just messed up in every way


Worth at least a rental.

This is a solid Die Hard clone that definitely deserves a viewing just for the performance of Ben Foster. The visual style of the movie is solid as well and the action is exceptional, the movie is also pretty brutal on the whole.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Safe House

This is a pretty generic action movie but it still has enough action and suspense to get you jacked up. You can see the twists coming from a mile away and that is the way these movies are generally crafted, so nothing really comes as a surprise. The only thing that differentiates action thrillers from each other is the characters that it introduces throughout the movie. Having Denzel Washington and Ryan Reynolds as the two main characters is something that the movie really has going for it. Denzel is as solid as always but he may want to start picking different types of movies because in his last four or five movies his characters have almost been identical to each other except for a few details here and there. Reynolds coming off of two absolute bombs in  2011 (Green Lantern and The Change-Up), definitely brought a solid performance to the table. His take on the "rookie" agent was refreshing because he was more like a student, learning from each situation he was in and using the info he gained in later situations. Having those two in the movie alone raises this above most action thrillers that come on the market. Give it a shot, it is worth a rental due to the two solid leads and the above average action scenes.



Safe House is really only worth a rental. This is a movie that you will probably not watch more than once and it really doesn't deserve repeat viewings. Give it a rental and have a good time watching it because this is one you will forget about 10 minutes after the movie is over.

Monday, June 11, 2012

Maniac Cop

I will pretty much watch anything that stars Bruce Campbell, this has led to me watching a lot of Burn Notice (unfortunately). He seems to be the one solid thing in every production that he is in and he never seem hokey to me, but he may come off as cheesy to others. Maniac Cop was his follow up to The Evil Dead II and it was a slasher/cop movie about a crazed cop that just butchered people in New York City. And I can tell you that it is fucking glorious. This movie is just so over the top and brutal that it is just begging to be seen at Midnight movie shows across the country.

The movie brings together Bruce Campbell, fresh off his role as Ash in the Evil Dead films, and Tom Atkins, who was coming off his role in Night of the Creeps (another excellent 80's horror movie). They play off of each other extremely well in the movie and for the most part the plot is engaging. It starts to get a little weird when you get a close up of the killer in the movie and he just looks odd and goofy which kind of takes away from the effectiveness of the movie in a small way. If you actually do watch this movie, I just want you to know that the way the killer looks in the movie is the way he actually looks like in real life (minus the scars). The fact that man looks the way he does is scarier than anything in the movie itself.

Pretty much anything Bruce Campbell is involved in becomes a cult classic such as The Evil Dead, Evil Dead 2, Army of Darkness, Maniac Cop, Bubba Ho-Tep, My Name is Bruce, and The Man with the Screaming Brain. In many of these roles he plays a very over the top characters but he always grounds them with an everyman quality that he brings to the screen. His best performance is in Bubba Ho-Tep because he does a pretty spot on Elvis Presley impersonation and he crushed it throughout the entire movie.



Watch this if you are a fan of Bruce Campbell or like cheesy slasher movies, it will definitely satisfy both parties. Campbell gives a solid performance throughout and the kills in most scenes are pretty brutal and will keep gore hounds happy.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Total Recall (Trailer Review)

I am extremely pumped for this adaptation of Total Recall. It is the serious version of Philip K. Dick's original source material, We Can Remember It For You Wholesale. Having Colin Farrell in the lead role coming off of his last two roles in Horrible Bosses and Fright Night was a great choice as he is the best part of each of those movies. Easing him back into major starring roles is a solid choice. Bryan Cranston, Jessica Biel, and Kate Beckinsale round out the cast. Seeing Cranston cast as the main bad guy in a film is amazing and anyone who has ever seen Breaking Bad knows that he can totally handle playing a complete shitbag human being. I am sure that Biel and Beckinsale will provide solid performances as well. Even if they end up not sticking to the source material, I'm sure the story will be solid, because you can't get much worse than what was released in theaters over the last year in terms of science fiction (Apollo 18 and The Darkest Hour). The visual style looks awesome and with solid casting decisions, this looks like it could be a home run.


It does exactly what it needs to do and gets you super pumped for the movie. And it gives you enough story elements to get you interested as well. 

Friday, June 8, 2012


Prometheus has been a project many people in the sci-fi community have been demanding for years now. They have been searching for answers for questions that were first brought up in the original Alien movie directed by Ridley Scott. Where did the Alien come from? Who or what is the giant creature in the chair on the space ship with the hole in its chest? The writers and Ridley Scott do their best to answer these questions while also posing a ton of new questions at the same time.

Prometheus follows Elizabeth Shaw (Noomi Rapace), who is an archeologist looking for the beginnings of humankind and where we came from. She discovers a marker of sorts in paintings and writings of ancient civilizations that had no connection to each other but have the same drawings and symbols in their writings and artwork. She is then sponsored by the Weyland Corporation to find the true origins of man. That is pretty much all the plot I will give away because I don’t want to ruin the movie in any way for anyone.

The acting in this movie from the three leads in simply fantastic. Michael Fassbender, Noomi Rapace, and Charlize Theron really bring their characters to life and flesh them out as to make them relatable characters for the audience. But it is Fassbender that ultimately steals the show as David, the resident android on the mission. He is an extremely nuanced character because he understands emotion but cannot process it and you see it kind of wear on him at points in the film. He tries to be more human by observing people and even movies just like some people do in real life. At times it is easier to identify with his character than any of the other characters in the film. This is probably why Fassbender is one of the best actors in Hollywood at this point in time. He just has the ability to grab the audience and command their attention, no matter what role he is playing. 

The special effects in the movie also must be commended because they are simply fantastic. The way the movie is shot is astounding, because even the most brutal of scenes has a beauty to it and that is a really special skill to have. Making something dark and disturbing seem slightly beautiful is a gift that only a few directors and cinematographers have. This also happens to be the first movie that I can say needs to be seen in 3D. In my honest opinion that is the only way to see this movie because it is not hokey 3D. Ridley Scott used the 3D to enhance depth on screen and it really does add a life-like touch to the movie and adds to the immersion factor of the film.

The secondary characters in the movie are mostly hit or miss and there are a few that you can tell from the beginning are simply cannon fodder for later in the movie. At points you can see exactly where the movie is going before things happen on screen. I have no idea where the casting department found the guy who plays Noomi Rapace’s love interest in the movie but they should have left him where they found him. I am not sure if it was the way his character was written or his actual acting ability but this guy was extremely annoying in either case.  These are very minor things because the good far outweighs the bad in this movie.

A MUST SEE IN 3D (or any format for that matter)

This is a fantastic sci-fi movie and taken as a standalone movie it may be considered to be a great one in time. When stacked up against the rest of the movies in the series it comes in third to Alien and Aliens. That is nothing to be ashamed of considering those two movies are considered to be the best in their respective genres. Go to the nearest IMAX Theater and go with the 3D version, you will be blown away by the visual quality of the movie and you will also get a good story as well.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Blade Runner (Blu Ray Review)

This is the mother of all modern science fiction movies and is probably Ridley Scott's crowning achievement. He created the sci-fi/horror genre with Alien, brought the historical epic back with Gladiator, and even redefined the thriller with Thelma and Louise. Blade Runner is one of the best movies that has ever and will ever be made. It has characters you can identify with and have sympathy for, all while taking place in a world that is incredibly believable. Anyone who scoffs at this movie is an asshole because there is really no denying the quality of the movie itself. People may not like the type of movie it is or the fact that it is sci-fi but the story boils down to the base of human instinct, survival. The villains aren't evil they simply want to find a way to extend their lives so they can keep experiencing what humans take for granted everyday, life.

Blade Runner holds a special place in my heart because it is one of the only movies that I never get tired of. I never skip ahead when I watch this movie, I don't take a bathroom break, I just sit there entranced from start to finish. Roy Batty is probably my favorite villain/anti-hero of all time because of the fact he really isn't a villain at all. He is a "man" trying to find a way to outlive his predetermined lifespan and will simply do anything and go through anyone who gets in the way of his goal. There is no overarching goal to his escapades except for survival and he is not going around killing random people. He knows who to go to and  if they can't help him, then he disposes of them. He is a replicant, what else is he supposed to do, he was bred to be a soldier. In a way he fights against corporate structure and fights for the low man on the totem pole (replicants). The depth of the movie is incredible and I haven't even really mentioned Harrison Ford in this review who plays his most complicated role to date. Playing a man that has to hunt replicants for a living and having to deal with the repercussions of his job in both a mental and physical way. 

This is one my prized Blu Ray discs in my collection. The video quality is astounding, for a movie that is 30 years old it looks considerably better than 95% of movies that are put out today. The only disc that has higher quality in my collection is Drive and that is the flat out best looking movie I have ever seen. Every scene is upgraded in just the right fashion, with even the smallest detail coming to light and being able to be seen. The massive city in the movie comes to life with its Asian/American mixture and all of the futuristic tech created for the movie. The final "battle" between Deckard and Batty is fantastic not just for the action that is going on but for the smallest detail such as being able to see individual raindrops on screen. Also the iconic image of the police hovercraft set against the jumbo tron with the geisha looks remarkable. These are the small things that make all the difference when watching the movie on a high definition screen. The contrast is spot on with all the colors being done correctly and light film grain was preserved to give the movie a very cinematic feel which I love. The sound for the disc is solid for a movie of this stature and the studio that handled it did an amazing job.


This is a MUST OWN

This is one of the best Blu Ray discs on the market currently and it will probably stay that way for some time. The video and audio quality of the movie justify the purchase of this disc. Couple that with the fact that you get an astounding 5 cuts of the film in the package it make this a remarkable deal for any price really. Grab this as soon as you can because you will not be disappointed.

Sunday, June 3, 2012

The Matrix (Blu Ray Review)

This is going to be my first attempt at reviewing a Blu Ray. Everyone has seen this movie and there is really not a lot more to say about it. The Matrix is a must watch on any form of media because it is a fucking fantastic movie. This is one of Keanu Reeves' best roles and introduced the world to Carrie-Ann Moss. The deepness of this movie has been studied a thousand times over and no one can really question the quality of the movie itself. I am going to dissecting the quality of the video, sound, and extras on the Blu Ray disc itself.

The video for this disc is pretty solid overall. This is a movie that should excel in every way on the Blu Ray format but it does fall flat in a few scenes. This has more to do with the age of the film rather than anything the filmmakers did poorly. This movie is still visually stunning, so don't mistake my small gripes for something bigger than they are. Some of the CG-heavy scenes fall flat such as the scene in the human breeding grounds because the aged CG can be so easily seen in high definition. A few scenes fall flat due to heavy film grain in some of the darker/low-light scenes. The film also boasts some awe inspiring scenes such as the lobby shootout which is an all-time great action scene in terms of pure action and visuals. Another underrated visual scene in the movie is the opening scene when the agents are in pursuit of Trinity. The action and clarity of the scene is just fantastic, there is no ghosting on screen and it kicks the movie off right. Warner Bros really took the time and effort to give a solid transfer to this movie. It is far from a perfect transfer but it is worth the price of purchase to see in high definition and fans of the first film will not be disappointed.

The sound quality of the HD mix on the disc is fucking incredible. Everything is extremely clear and nothing was missed in the conversion of the audio. When you start getting to the main action scenes in the movie, you can really tell what HD sounds really is. The lobby scene is one of the best sounding scenes in my Blu Ray collection, and is one of the first movies in my collection where I noticed that the back channels in my surround sound system were actually being used. I am not really an audio guy but if it sounds good then it sounds good, I am not going to get into frequencies and all that other crap. It sounds amazing and that is all you really need to know.


The Matrix is a buy and that should not be a surprise for anyone who has seen the movie before and enjoyed it. A solid HD transfer and some of the best audio on the format should make this an automatic purchase for most people. You can get this for around 15 bucks at your local Best Buy and it is worth every penny. I'm such a geek that I bought the SteelBook version because it has one of the best covers I have seen on DVD/Blu-Ray/HD DVD.

Friday, June 1, 2012

A Boy and His Dog

A Boy and His Dog routinely comes up on lists of the best movies currently streaming on Netflix. After watching it, it is really hard for me to dispute the fact that it is one of the best movies currently on Netflix. The movie stars Don Johnson and a dog named Tiger. They play Vic and Blood, who wander the nuclear wasteland that is America after World War III and IV. They share a psychic bond and can easily communicate without words. Vic has no morals and has no idea of how people are supposed to act in general. Blood on the other hand is a well read and intelligent dog who was bred specifically to have a psychic connection with Vic. The whole concept sounds a little bit "out there" but it works amazingly well.

Don Johnson and the dog in the movie do an incredible job of holding this movie together. This movie could have easily gone off the rails and been a complete disaster but it works as a great sci-fi/survival movie. Blood's actions coupled with voiceover make him an incredibly engaging character who is both out for his own self preservation and protecting Vic. Vic is what a person would be like if they were actually raised by wolves, because all he is looking for is to either have sex, eat or survive. These are literally the base actions for human survival and he will do anything to get them. The movie really does a good job at making this horrible and possible situation truly believable.

This movie could also be seen as an adaptation of the Fallout video-games series to the big screen. Most viewers will fail to realize that this movie actually inspired the creation of the Fallout series in many ways. You have a character who is a wanderer and mostly a blank slate. In later installments of the Fallout series, you can gain a canine companion who follows and helps you throughout the game. The movie also shares the black comedy of the game because at points in the movie you really can sense how disturbing and deranged the world in the movie is. People simply murder each other for food, women are raped on sight , and people steal from each other on a constant basis. That is the truly disturbing part of the movie. None of the characters have any real morals or beliefs and simply strive to do whatever they need to do to survive.

Final Verdict
Only For Sci-Fi fans

This is a movie that most people will not really enjoy. The movie has no production value and there is not really a character in the movie that the audience can root for except maybe the dog in the movie. The movie also gets really weird for long stretches and would definitely turn people off from the movie. I thought it was a good little post apocalyptic movie and it was good for what it was.