Archive for July, 2012

Random Movie of the Week: Sudden Death

Sorry to have missed posting a random movie last week but things have just been very busy.  But let’s be honest who reading this really cares, let alone even noticed.  But anyway I will just jump into it.

I have been seeing a lot of trailers for The Expendables 2 recent and I think it is safe to say that it is full of actors who when we see their name above the title of the movie, we immediately draw a conclusion of what is expected in the film.  For example, Jason Statham usually plays the rarely clean shaven, tough as nails, cool, calm and collected silent type that has audiences either in love with him or appalled by the fact that he has made a career of it.  People used to say the same for Jean Claude Van Damme who is also in the film.  But even though he does not play the same characters Statham does, he too was labeled for taking a lot of the same roles which brings me to this week’s random movie, Sudden Death because to me this was a different movie for him.

A quick introduction to the plot of Sudden Death is as follows:  Former firefighter Darren McCord (Van Damme), brings his two kids to game 7 of the NHL Stanley Cup Finals where he is working security.  While performing one of his round a terrorist group takes to Vice President of the US hostage in his suite and for each period that the terrorists do not get what they want, hostages will die one of which is McCord’s daughter who fled from her seat.  If the terrorists’ demands are not met by the end of the game, a series of explosives planted around the arena are set to explode.  So now McCord has to foil the terrorist plans and keep the hockey audience oblivious to the dangerous situation.  Here is the trailer:

Now if after reading the brief synopsis and watching the trailer you are thinking, “Hmmm… this looks a lot like Die Hard.”  You are right.  There is a lot and I mean a lot of similarities which is why I am a big fan of this movie.  Some have called this a knock off that is just trying to capitalize on the success of Die Hard and I can completely understand that but I really do not mind that.  I mean when you think about it, a lot of action movies are like other action movies which is why you should not let that bother you.

Not that I am a big Van Damme fan but this is easily my favorite movie of his.  Again this may be because Sudden Death is so much like Die Hard but I also thought it was a different kind of action movie for him since it does not involve him taking his shirt off and delivering that slow-motion roadhouse kick of his while making the loud and unnecessary grunt/yell thing of his.  He still has some martial art-like fight scene but nothing that will leave you thinking “where did a fire fighter learn to do that?”  Plus Powers booth was a great villain and I do not follow hockey too closely but there are some recognizeable names on the ice that give the hockey game a feel of authenticity

Sudden Death is definitely a fun action movie any action fan should enjoy.  I give it a 9/10.  I know people call Universal Soldiers Van Damme’s best film but Sudden Death is definitely at the top of my list.  Let me know what you think in the comment section below what is your favorite Van Damme film.

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Does “The Dark Knight Rises” Rise Above Expectations?

There are two reasons Christopher Nolan’s The Dark Knight Rises may have the biggest burden of living up to expectations of any film in a long time.  Do not get me wrong, Joss Whedon had his work cut out for him with The Avengers but that is reason number one the success of The Avengers now places high expectations on Nolan after The Avengers topped his previous superhero success The Dark Knight (reason number 2).  But the burden is not on Nolan’s shoulders alone.  Arguably one of the main reasons for the last Batman film’s success was the fantastic performance from the late Heath Ledger as Joker, so now you have audiences expecting the same from Tom Hardy as Bane (if you known Tom Hardy you know he always shows up with his A-game).  I honestly have no real expectations because I have faith in Nolan’s vision for the trilogy.  So let us see how I thought it stacked up.

Now in case you have been living under a rock for the last year or so and do not know of plot, here is a brief introduction to The Dark Knight Rises:  Eight years following the events of the preceding film, Gotham is relatively quiet on the crime front and Batman is believed to have vanished along with Bruce Wayne (Christian Bale) who has essentially lived like a hermit in his mansion.  Wayne is drawn out of his retirement when he learns that cat burglar, Selina Kyle (Anne Hathaway), broke into his mission to obtain his fingerprints for a very dangerous and sinister agenda of the ruthless Bane (Tom Hardy) who seeks to give Gotham to the people/criminals before it is reduced to rubble.  Here is the trailer:

All I can say after walking out of the theater is that I can sleep easy at night now the Nolan has reaffirmed my faith that he knows how to really make a movie.  At nearly three hours in length you would think there was a lot of fluff but honestly every scene was necessary but I honestly felt like there could have been so much more.  There are definitely a few scenes early on that I felt where choppily edited for the sake a shaving a couple minutes off the run time even though if a movie is edging towards three hours, what is a few more minutes going to hurt?  At the same time though, there is never a dull moment and the film moves at a very fast pace without impeding the story.

A lot of people are ridiculing this installment for making too much of the story dependent on the action and I could not be more surprised by this.  It is a superhero movie after all, how could there not be a lot of action.  If they are right that there is too much action, then it really is incredible that it manages to be as emotional a movie as it is.  That is what separates it from the other installments.  I really struggle to understand why audiences want sequels to be identical to its predecessors.  What is the point of making another movie then if it is just going to be something done before?  I mean it has to be in line with the other movies but it has to be its own movie at the same time and it definitely succeeds in that respect with all the emotions it evokes.

With any Christopher Nolan film the story is nothing without its characters and there are plenty worth mentioning in The Dark Knight Rises.  Starting with the one’s we already know like Wayne, Alfred, Fox, and Commissioner Gordon.  I think it is safe to say that the previous film of the trilogy had a lot of Bruce Wayne but did not focus much on him evolving like the first one.  And that is one thing the new film does that makes it feel like the trilogy comes full circle.  Wayne is a broken man, worn from his days in the suit and if you remember a repeat quote from the first “Why do we fall down?  So we can learn to pick ourselves back up.”  This is what drives Wayne to get back into the swing of things at the start of the movie.  Alfred is there to be his crutch while at the same time is there as a restraint that wants to keeps the Wayne legacy alive.  Fox is as loyal as ever, keeping the weapons and developments of Wayne Enterprises a secret from even its own board members. The there is Gordon, torn apart by a secret that could change Gotham forever if ever revealed.

Then you have to acknowledge the new face/masks of John Blake, Miranda Tate, Selina Kyle, and Bane.  John Blake is just your everyday beat cop that seems to have a little more moral fiber than other members of Gotham’s police squad.  His role in the film played down in the trailer and preview articles but he plays a really big part when control over Gotham starts going array.  Miranda Tate is a member of the board at Wayne Enterprises that is concern over where her investments into the company have gone whose needs line up with Wayne’s secrets with Fox.  Now we get into other masked personas starting with Selina Kyle (A.K.A. Catwoman even though I do not think they ever directly call her that) a very busy cat burglar whose agenda we can never really tell which is why the characters works with the movie so well.  Now the character that is the focal nemesis for Batman in this movie, Bane.  Bane put short is a mercenary raised in hell that is easily the more physically intimidating force Batman will ever face with intelligence to match.

All the performances in this film are spot on.  I will start with the actor playing the character I am sure everyone is interested about, Tom Hardy as Bane.  If you have seen at least three movies with Hardy you know full well how Hardy embodies the character he is playing.  There was a lot of debate over half a year about the way his voice sounded.  Now I did not see the feature that preceded the Mission Impossible III:  Ghost Protocol premiere so I have nothing to compare it to but I had no trouble understanding him this time around even with the gypsy accent they had Hardy use.

Not going to lie when I first heard Anne Hathaway would be playing Catwoman I shook my head a little but when I heard Marion Cotillard would be in it too I threw my hands up in the air.  I had my doubts about Hathaway and completely thought Cotillard would have played the role better but I could not have been more wrong!  Hathaway is undoubtedly a very pretty actress but I had no idea she could play such a sexy, sly, seductive, and unpredictable character like she did.  Her performance is definitely a highlight of the film.

Then you have the legendary Michael Caine as Alfred Pennyworth who really put on his acting chops for the little screen time that he got.  He was so sincere about his desire to protect Wayne for potentially marching to his death that it was really one of the things that made the film so emotional.

The last performance I am going to talk about is one that with all this talk about Nolan and Hardy, no one is really recognizing what Christian Bale does in this film.  Obviously the first shows the most drastic change in Wayne but this movie shows his evolution from courage to anger driven.  Something that was missing from the previous two films, they focus on that it was his duty to save Gotham and here with everything that he goes through in this movie with Bane, Gotham, Rachel, Alfred and more he truly gets angry and does what he does to spite the villains which is what is for the best for Gotham.  It is just weird that he plays the hero but Bale is the unsung hero of the cast.

I will wrap it up there so I do not get tempted to give up too many spoilers for Christopher Nolan’s The Dark Knight Rises.  This is hands down my favorite of the trilogy because of all the action, performances, and the emotional ride it takes the audience on.  I score it at a 9/10 just because again some of the editing felt hurried, if there is an extended cut to be released then that would without a doubt earn a 10/10 from me.

Sorry for the longer than usual review but there was just so much to talk about yet this is only the tip of the iceberg considering all that they crammed in a 164 minute movie.

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Is The Amazing Spider-Man Really Amazing?

With the way the final film of the previous Spiderman trilogy definitely left a bad taste in the mouth of any fan of the previous two movies so I think it is safe to say that we all saw this reboot coming.  Now if you are a comic book fan you are probably aware of the different storylines that filmmakers have to choose from so we are not getting spoon fed the same story as the previous trilogy.  That is not to say it is a completely different story, at the core of the movie there are a lot of similar elements so do not expect a complete makeover of the story.  However, as with and remake/reboot/re-visioning or whatever you want to call it the number one question is always “was it worth it?”  So I am going to state that this review may be more of a comparison than an actual review.  And I also have not read the comics so I cannot judge if take is closer to its respective comic.

Here is a short introduction to The Amazing Spider-Man:  Photo-snapping, skateboard riding, high school student Peter Parker (Andrew Garfield) finds in his aunt and uncles home a piece of luggage that he remembered belonging his father before his parents were killed when he was just a kid.  In pursuing the meaning of its contents he gets a little closer to a beautiful co-ed, Gwen Stacy (Emma Stone), who interns with Dr. Curt Connors (Rhys Ifans) at Oscorp.  Exploring the premises Parker is bitten by a spider enhancing his mind and body to the point he takes on an alternate vigilante persona and develops a formula to re-grow limbs and mutates Dr. Connors into large vengeful reptile.  Here is the trailer:

After watching this I have mixed feelings when comparing it to the previous franchise.  I am going to start with the story.  It has a fundamental base that is similar to the Sam Raimi film in 2002 and that is the relationship with his aunt and uncle, what inevitably happens to his Uncle Ben, and that it all comes back to the evil Oscorp.  Then you also have the stereotypical characters that exist solely to remind you the cops discourage being a vigilante more than being a criminal.

The differences are pretty glaring, however.  Marc Webb’s story does drag at times in the developing of Peter Parker area, I mean we watch him skateboard ten times better than Tony Hawk ever did and why did we need to him do his balancing act on the building with his two fingers.  Raimi’s I just felt more easy to watch and not role my eyes to.  I also like how instead of catching wrong criminal after wrong criminal to discover what he wants his suit to ultimate look like, I thought it was cool about how Parker duked it out with the Macho Man in the ring.

The rest of the differences lie in the characters.  Tobey Maguire’s character was literally that nice, quiet guy next door type that was prim and proper even though he was tight on cash.  Andrew Garfield’s Peter Parker is a much different breed of geek, he has messy hair, kind of plots around when he walks, and is a serious back talker.  In my opinion, this Peter Parker was just unlikeable.  Now I have heard that this is much closer to the comics but being that I did not read the comics I just found myself rooting for Maguire’s Parker more than Garfield’s.  That said, though, I liked the way Marc Webb’s Spider-Man fought more than I did Raimi’s because this one really took advantage of his web slinging abilities especially when fighting and if you see the movie you know what I mean.  Marc Webb’s villain Dr. Curt Connors/The Lizzard was by far the coolest villain I have seen in a Spider-Man movie but Doc Ock is right behind him.  Not only was he visually well done and intimidating but it just nice to not have James Franco polluting the screen.  Gwen Stacy was a much better love interest than Mary Jane, that may be attributable to Emma Stone but Gwen just seemed braver less of an annoying distraction or victim.

Overall, I did not find this an improvement rather just a different story.  The Amazing Spider-Man only downfall to me is its version of Peter Parke, I just had a tough time finding something about his personality to like.  But Denis Leary made up for it with his mayor of Tokyo line, just flat out hysterical.  It is just a 7/10 for me however.

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Safety Not Guaranteed: Do Not Pass On This Movie

So much attention is being place on the superhero blockbusters and raunchy comedies of some fan favorite actors that there are bound to be some quality movies to fly under people’s radar.  And this is true every year really.  But a few weeks ago I managed to catch a movie that is not receiving too much attention now but it definitely will in year to come, Safety Not Guaranteed.  Most romance movies these days are so lovie-dovie that they rarely seem sincere and honestly believable.  For example, that latest piece of crap with Zac Efron, it just felt like the “romance” was being forced done our throats (no sexual pun intended).  Instead what Safety Not Guaranteed offers is something more genuine with real humor, a true romantic-comedy.

Here is brief set up of the movie:  Darius (Aubrey Plaza) can best be described as a loner, maybe even a sad sack, who just cannot seem to find joy in anything since the death of her mother when she was a kid.  As an intern for a magazine she volunteers along with another intern, Arnau (Karan Soni), to go with a senior journalist, Jeff (Jake Johnson), to see about an ad in a newspaper asking for a partner to go back in time with.  When they meet the source of the ad, Kenneth (Mark Duplass), Darius has to earn his trust in order to know his secret for time travel but finds there is more to Kenneth than his paranoid scientific exterior.  Here is the trailer:

If reading this you feel turned off by the fact that Safety Not Guaranteed is somewhat of a romance, don’t be.  This is still very much a comedy and believe me there is plenty of it.  The reason the romance should not bother you is because it is so well written.  It is written in a way that the characters that fall in love feels natural and the development of the characters as a result feels so real.  I mean none of the three members from the magazine are there really to report of Kenneth’s discovery.  Darius is there to essentially run away from her boring everyday life, Jeff (being the playboy he is) wants to hook up with an old flame from high school, and Arnau given his love for science just wants to know if time travel is possible not necessarily report on it.  And Kenneth as socially awkward as he is, you cannot help but feel a connection with him because he is sincere with his mission and his growing relationship with Darius.

These characters, no matter how well written they are, are dependent on the quality of the actor playing them.  I have read other reviews that have been criticizing Aubrey Plaza but I thought she was the best part of the movie.  Even though Safety Not Guaranteed is about Kenneth’s ad, the movie really follows Plaza’s character and she does a great job of being very bland at the start but shifts to a rounded character be the conclusion of the film.  Plus to quote Arnau, Plaza is a “beautiful girl” so I may be a bit biased.  Since I mentioned Arnau, Karan Soni rocked as this character.  Even if it is an easy role to play, he did not over act and he did not under act but instead reminded you of that smart, quite student in your class that just understood everything the teacher was talking about.  Last but certain not least Duplass as Kenneth, initially annoying with paranoia but once he lets his guard down to Plaza you cannot help but pull for him.  Plus the song he played on the sitar (lap guitar thing) was really good!

If Safety Not Gauranteed is in a theater near you, I highly recommend paying the money to go see it and hopefully we will get more indie films of this nature in the works!  10/10

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Random Movie of the Week: Blow Out

(I do not own this photo)

I am not sure why, but whenever I come across a lesser known movie that has some big names attached to it I cannot help but be drawn into watching.  Regardless of what the rating is on IMDb there is something that compels to watch it and ask “Why aren’t more people talking about this movie?”  When I think of John Travolta, the obvious hits come to mind like Grease, Pulp Fiction, Face/Off, and Get Shorty.  When I think of director Brian De Palma I think of his classics like Scarface, The Untouchables, and Mission: Impossible.  I will even toss out there John Lithgow and people immediately think of his television success in 3rd Rock From The Sun and his legendary role as the Trinity Killer in Dexter.  But if I were to say these three names can be found in the end credits of one movie and asked you to guess the name of it, I would be very surprised you would know the answer.  The movie I am talking about is drama/mystery Blow Out, this week’s random movie of the week.

A brief summary of the plot of Blow Out is as follows:  Jack Terry (Travolta) is a sound effect specialist for the movies who is out late one night trying to capture some new sounds when he catches hears and witnesses a car accident that sends the vehicle into a river.  Jack dives in to rescue whoever is inside and manages to pull out Sally (Nancy Allen) who was an escort for a politician on a path to becoming president.  Replaying the recording Jack develops the suspicion that this no accident that someone was out to murder the Politian which leads to some unwanted attention from some very dangerous people.  Here is the trailer:

If reading this you choose to do some research into whether or not you want to see it, go for it.  I would do the same.  But there is one thing I should mention before you do that, one source I found labeled this as a slasher film and I could not disagree more.  Even though there is someone going around tried to get Nancy Allen’s character I do not think it is far to call it a slasher film because to me a slasher film’s main focal point is the slashing, where as this film has a very interesting mystery and suspense to it than the slashing.

Anyway, De Palma once again has put together a taught thriller with Blow Out.  The movie moves along at a great pace and the camera angles are especially what impressed me.  I know sometimes I think myself turning my head when watching movies hoping it gives me a different angle but this movie never made me do that.  De Palma does a great job of showing an establishing shots and knowing when pull the camera back to give you a big picture view so to speak which is something I have always liked about his work.

Now being a movie about sound effect specialist for movies I think a movie that people will automatically think of with this is F/X.  The more I think about it the more similarities I see between the movies as far as an overall look at the story with the death of a political figure and working with the movie business but the events within the movie are quite different.  So if reading this and you think the two sound too much like the same movie, I can assure you they are not.  Blow Out is more about the mystery than the resourcefulness of Travolta’s character even though his talents do shine through.

So final verdict, I recommend checking out Blow Out if you have a chance to watch it.  I score it at about an 8/10.  It has a very cool story that has very few holes, solid acting from Travolta and Lithgow who again plays a very creepy and mysterious murderer.  Check it out.

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Friday The 13th Movie Marathon On Friday The 13th

This is a tradition of mine for as long as I can remember.  Before the days of DVD’s I remember popping in different VHS tapes with the horror classics recorded on them from when Joe Bob Briggs hosted a Monstervision that featured I think five of the Friday the 13th films.  I was probably about around the age of ten but this was not my initial exposure to the franchise that came a few years earlier when I caught the eighth installment on television and could not turn away from it.  I remember being curious about what the previous seven had to offer but being like eight years old I could not get near any of these movies in their true form so when this marathon came around I was all over it.  Thus every year since I have tried to watch as many Friday the 13th films I can on any give Friday the 13th.  If you are still stuck on what Monstervision was here is a TV spot for it:

If you need a refresher on any of these Friday The 13th/Jason Voorhees movies click on any of the links below.  I am not embedding the videos in because this post would be ridiculously long.

Okay, set let the ranking begin from the worst to my favorite of the franchise. (And warning if you have not seen all of the movies this will contain SPOILERS.)

12.)    Jason Goes to Hell

This movie was such a disgrace.  I feel like they tried to answer a question that no matter what answer you gave it was not going to leave a good taste in the mouth of any Friday The 13th fan.  That question of course is “How the hell does Jason Voorhees keep coming back stronger than the last movie?”  I thing most fans would have been just fine accepting that he is a zombie!  But they had to venture almost into the science fiction realm with this demon worm thing going from person to person and when Jason comes back you stab him with this special knife it will sent him to hell.  No this could have been a cool movie if it were to have had nothing to do with this franchise.  If they applied this idea to a whole different zombie serial killer it could have been good but they should have left Jason out of it.   2/10

11.)     Jason X

As if the Jason Goes to Hell was not sci-fi/fantasy enough for you these filmmakers wanted to toss the machete wielding Jason Voorhees into out space in a distant future where human like androids with no nipples and little micro bugs that patch up wounds and dead flesh.  Again, they tried to understand how he kept coming back to life but just decided to have a little fun with the setting and in a way it kind of was fun.  But it was so poorly scripted and acted that it never really got interesting.  Like the previous movie on this list I applaud the idea but it just does not work with the franchise.   4/10

10.)     Friday the 13th Part 5:  A New Beginning

I think it is pretty obvious that Paramount could not leave the cash cow franchise alone after the fourth film.  So they decided to follow the successful fourth film with this piece of garbage.  The scares and kills go well with the franchise but it all ended up being a scam!  Jason was not even in this movie, I mean I know he was not in the original film but the reason for all the sequels was that he was the one kills Camp Crystal Lake’s visitors.  Plus all the paranoia of the film’s lead character gets flat out annoying at times.  The rest of the films after this are ones that I can watch more regularly.   4/10

9.)     Freddy Vs. Jason

I know this is not an official Friday the 13th film but because of the fact that Jason Voorhees appears in it, I am including it.  This could have been something great!  I mean it definitely gives fans what they wanted, a classic show down in both killers’ worlds each.  The way in which they brought the two slasher legends together was the best part of this film.  But that is where the pros just about end really.  The cast was mostly annoying except for Brendan Fletcher as Mark one of the two in the asylum.  He was hysterical and the only really rounded character to me.  All the rest I could not wait to see if Jason or Freddy were going to get them and just left me wanting more.   5/10

8.)     Friday the 13th (2009 Remake)

A question I have been asking myself a lot lately “Why are they remaking that?”  I stand behind the idea that it the original movie was good there is no need to update it or remake it.  This is a pretty good example.  It pretty much sums up movies 1-3 which I thought was pretty cool but at the same time does nothing different which helps and hurts it.  It helps because Jason is a runner again instead of a slow walking but somehow still manages to show up everywhere zombie!  At the same time if there is nothing different you wonder why they had to remake it.  Also it bordered on being too funny that it almost mocked itself and kind of takes you out of the tense part of the movies.  This was a better remake than say Michael Bay’s A Nightmare On Elm Street or Rob Zombie’s abominable Halloween7/10

7.)    Friday the 13th Part 2

This film marked the debut of the camp-party pooper Jason Voorhees.  This installment has a lot to be praised for.  I definitely is creepy and makes you rethink wanting to be a camp counselor.  The thought of a deranged man seeking revenge for his mother’s death reason enough to be creeped out but that it is a guy with a pitchfork and a potato sack over his head with only eye hole really makes you wonder not only what he is capable of but also what lies underneath that sack that he only needs one eye hole?  Plus the film’s star, Amy Steel was actually really good in my opinion or at least way above par when compared to most other performances in this genre.  Plus who could forget some of the final scene and the classic line of “Jason, mother is talking to you!”   7/10

6.)     Friday the 13th

This is the movie that started it all.  This movie is iconic for so many reasons.  It introduced us to so many stereotypes that fuelled so many sequels and encouraged many imitations.  Most films or franchises have a theme song that ties all the films together.  Halloween has that eerie piano theme, the Nightmare films have that xylophone chime, and Saw has that big unravel, techno-esque song at the conclusion of its films from Charlie Clouser.  The Friday the 13th films have a sound that CH-CH-CH-AH-AH-AH that is enough to make the hair on your neck stand up because you know you are in for a jump scene.  Plus who could forget Betsy Palmer’s performance as Mrs. Voorhees.  Even though her time on screen is very limited (much like Anthony Hopkins in Silence of the Lambs) she still owns the movie.   8/10

5.)     Friday the 13th Part 7:  New Blood

This one and the next I know will shock a lot of horror fans but they just seem to strike something with me.  I thought the idea of Jason going up against of someone with telepathic powers was pretty cool and really leveled the playing field for a change.  Normally it is see Jason and run for a lot of characters but this one she was actually able to combat him, slow him down, and have him hanging from a rope for a change.  I also feel this one had the most cringe inducing screams ever from one of its minor characters, Maddy.  If you have seen it you know what I mean.  8/10

4.)     Friday the 13th Part 8:  Jason Takes Manhattan

As I said earlier this was the first film of the franchise that I saw so naturally that may affect my rating of it.  Something about the slimey zombie look suited Jason for this movie.  There are holes up the wahzoo in this one as far as consistency with the legend and the ending that makes absolutely no sense even though I think I knew what they were going for.  But like I indicated earlier the change of scenery is never a bad thing.  I kind of like the isolated in a boat with an unstoppable killing machine roaming the decks.  Plus I cannot help but laugh everytime I see the scene were when Jason gets threatened by the punks all he does flash them a look at his face and they freak out and run.  Love that scene.  I give it a biased 8/10.  (The music for the video below was subbed in for a joke but does not negatively impact it.)

3.)     Friday the 13th Part 6:  Jason Lives

Earlier I mentioned the five movie marathon hosted by Joe Bob Briggs on Monstervision, well this was the final movie of the marathon and the only clip I could find on YouTube from that marathon.  This was my favorite of the zombie era Jason films simple because it involved the person who killed him in the first place, Tommy Jarvis.  The humor was great for this kind of movie.  It had the light hearted business team playing paintball in the woods, the RV scenario was hysterical, the camp counselors and kids not really wanting to be there and the list goes on but none of it was over the top like in the remake.  Last but not least let us not forget the awesome song Alice Cooper wrote especially for this movie.  Below is the clip from the Monstervision marathon and Alice Cooper’s video for “The Man Behind The Mask.”

2.)     Friday the 13th Part 4:  The Final Chapter

Debatably the most respected of The Friday the 13th franchise next to the original, the fourth installment featured a lot of early appearances for actors to be known for greater things later, mainly just Crispin Glover and Corey Feldmen.  In a way the remake in 2009 most closely resembles this film but falls short in every respect.  The group of sex-crazed friends in the movie felt more authentic and really I guess likeable.  I mean watching Crispin Glover do his geek dance was easily one of the best dance scenes of any movie and you really hoped it would end up getting him laid so then when he does I remember when friend and I were watching it we all cheered for him.  Sign of a great character in a horror movie even if he not a major character and dies short after.  And how could you forget the machete beat down Jason got at the end of this one.  Damn.  Remember I did warn you about spoilers.  9/10

1.)       Friday the 13th Part 3

This one barely beats out The Final Chapter for my all time favorite Friday the 13th film.  It is the film where Jason first dawns the infamous hockey mask and is displayed as a tall and power force to be reckoned with.  Honestly, that might be the only thing it has over its successor because the two films are quite similar in kills and thrills even though it lack that “star power” if that is what you want to call what Glover and Feldman did for Part 4.  The 3D is as cheesy as 1980’s 3D can be but that almost gives it character.   9/10

So there it is.  My favorite Friday the 13th/Jason Voorhees films after re-watching them all this weekend.  This is by far the longest post I have ever done so I you managed to make it all the way through I applaud you and thank you for reading it all!

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Random Movie of the Week: Desperate Measures

(I do not own this photo)

The best movie villains are not necessarily the ugliest, tallest, or biggest people in the movie but rather the smartest ones.  The ones that are always a step ahead whether things go according to plan or not they have something else up there sleeve.  Case and point being Anthony Hopkins in his role as Hannibal Lector, the genius, prim and proper cannibal in Silence of the Lambs.  Is he ugly?  Not really, clean cut with slick back hair and piercing blue eyes.  Is he tall or big?  No, according to IMDb he is barely over five foot, eight inches but the up-right posture he had the presence of some of a much larger stature.  This brought all new meaning to what it means to be a terrifying villain.  Ever since his iconic performance in 1991, movie makers have been trying to capture the same intimidation factor of someone of Lector’s intelligence.  That brings me to this week’s random movie, Desperate Measures.

A brief synopsis of Desperate Measures is as follows:  In a desperate need of a donor for his son’s rare disease, police officer Frank Conner (Andy Garcia) has to turn to one of San Francisco’s most dangerous minds an imprisoned Peter McCabe (Michael Keaton).  McCabe initially balks at the pleas of Conner but once he realized a potential opportunity of escape he was all in.  Of course this genius level criminal finds a way the make Conner’s hope of helping his son go array and now Conner has to make sure to take McCabe alive before other police officers take him dead or alive.  Here is the trailer:

If you are in the mood for an action flick that is fun and you can turn your brain off for, definitely check out Desperate Measures.  The action sequences are well choreographed and pretty inventive.  I am by no means up on my physics so I am sure some of the things that the devious villain, McCabe, comes up with to avoid capture are very much so toward the ridiculous side but like I said you can definitely turn your brain off and enjoy it.  This movie has a lot to offer for action fans including explosions, shoot outs, car chases, hand to hand combat, and more.  If you are some who struggles question like “how did he know to do that?” or “why would they do that?” then this probably is not the kind of movie for you.

As I suggest in the introduction, a movie like this relies heavily on the effectiveness of the villain.  For some reason I find a lot of people doubt the acting abilities of Michael Keaton and I cannot help but feel the opposite.  People went crazy when it was initially revealed that he would be playing Bruce Wayne in Tim Burton’s Batman and I dare say he was the best Batman of them all.  In my opinion his role as the TLC quoting police chief in The Other Guys.  So when Keaton took a role as a dangerously intelligent killing machine I had no doubt in my mind that he would pull it off and he did.  He was intelligence definitely has that intimidation factor needed whether it is his plain, blank stare in the prison or his malicious, teeth gritting expressions as he inflicted injuries to others.  If you have seen Pacific Heights, another film where Keaton places a creepy and sadistic maniac, then you know what to expect.

Michael Keaton (center) as Captain Gene Mauch in “The Other Guys” as he is confronted by Mark Wahlberg (right) and Will Ferrel (left) for making yet another random TLC reference.

 

In my opinion, Desperate Measures is an action/thriller worthy of a watch even if only on a rainy afternoon with nothing else to do.  I give it an 8/10 because it is towards the predictable side and lacks plausibility even for me.

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