Archive for category Random Movie of the Week

Random Movie of the Week: Killer Klowns From Outer Space

You have to love when the title of a movie flat out says what the movie is about without having to seeing a plot synopsis.  For example, who could forget Snakes On A Plane.  Regardless what your opinion is of that movie the title alone indicates your interest without needing to investigate what that movie could possibly be about.  Another example is The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, granted there is no mention of Leatherface but you can imagine the flat, deserted setting and gore galore.  So when you see the title for this week’s random movie, there is no question about what this movie is about, Killer Klowns From Outer Space.

If the title is not enough of a hint about the plot here is a brief synopsis:  Horny teens’ romantic plans are ruined by a space ship shaped like a circus tent that homes devious aliens that look like clowns.  The aliens begin taking control of the town, capturing the town folk in cotton candy punching bags in very clown-esque ways.  It is up to a couple and one good cop to stop these clowns since they are the only ones that know where the ship resides.  Check out the trailer here:

I will just state up front this movie is not meant to be taken seriously which is why it is just as much of a comedy as it is horror.  The movie has a very campy feel to it that I really liked.  The effects are really low budget even for the time and the acting is horrendous but that is what makes it campy and fun.  If you think normal clowns are creepy like a lot of people do, then you will find these ones pretty creepy or absolutely hilarious.  They are not just clowns, they are killer clowns and this is what makes this movie a classic horror gem.  The kills are not necessarily scary but really clever by fitting the alien killer clown theme.

Now there have been a lot of horror movie remakes as of late.  Even though the budget on this one was pretty low, this movie should not be remade.  Any of you who have read any of my previous posts know I have a strong stance against remakes of good movies.  Killer Klowns From Outer Space is so fun and cheesy that it is hard to watch it and not appreciate it.

A final note, I like to make comparisons to other movies.  Killer Klowns From Outer Space is a cross between the original The Blob and Mars Attacks!  I give this horror/sci-fi/comedy an 8/10.

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Random Movie of the Week (Part 2): The Man Who Knew Too Little

As promised I am doing a second movie of the week this week since I missed last week.  Now since the movie I posted yesterday features some kind of depressive subject matter, I decided to turn to a film that will have you in stitches if you are a fan of Bill Murray’s humor.  It is a kind of humor that only Bill Murray can deliver whether you think of it as quirky, mature, intelligent, or even simple.  Whatever adjective you pick I think most would agree that it is difficult to watch of his movies and not laugh.  Anyway, this week’s random movie is one of Bill Murray’s slightly lesser known films The Man How Knew Too Little.

For those unfamiliar with The Man Who Knew Too Little, the plot is as follows:  James Ritchie is hosting a serious business dinner the night his overly out-going brother, Wallace (Bill Murray), comes to London from the states to celebrate his birthday.  So to get Wallace out of the house for the dinner, James with an improve theater organization that is suppose to make Wallace feel he is solving a crime.  But Wallace instead meets someone who was expecting a hitman and that hitman instead goes to the improve theater act meant for Wallace throwing everything into disarray.  So all the dangers and obstacles Wallace faces feel staged even though they could not be more real.  Here is the trailer:

This movie seems to have a love of Murray fans torn but I love it.  Yes the story is something familiar of two people being mistaken for each other has been done before but I just found myself truly laughing out loud as some of the things Murray was saying because in a way it pokes fun at the espionage and crime genre.  Being in the spirit of the improve theater he thinks he is a part of, Wallace does everything that he believes is expected of his “character” to do.  Best of which is when he fires a warning shot and afterwards asks how they knew where to make the bullet look like it hit (I know that may not read right but when you see the movie you will get it).  Not going to lie before watching this movie I expected his character to be just plain stupid and thought it would be a lot of dumb humor but I was pleasant surprised that he was instead plain blissfully ignorant to the true danger of the mix up he had been caught in.

Overall, I really like The Man Who Knew Too Little.  I do not know why more people are not aware this movie exits.  Probably because Murray is the only well known actor in it and the direction and all that other artsy film stuff is lacking but there is no denying how funny this movie is.  I give it an 8/10.

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Random Movie of the Week (Part 1): The Corruptor

I have been meaning to write about this movie for a while just never seem to get it done.  With my DVD collection steadily increasing in size, whenever I am reorganizing the shelves to accommodate the new purchases I always kind of chuckle when I come across some of my earliest purchases.  I remember buying my first DVD player and getting to pick two DVD’s out of the five-dollar bin for free.  Being so early in the DVD generation, the selection was very poor and mostly consisted of films I have never heard of so I had to take a gamble.  One of the films I picked up is this week’s random movie, The Corruptor.

Here is a brief introduction to The Corruptor:  Corruption is the name of the game and seemingly how “justice” is brought down in Chinatown.  New to the precinct is Danny Wallace (Mark Wahlberg), a beat cop who needless to say stands out from the crowd.  Learning to survive in the new and dangerous location, Wallace works alongside veteran, Nick Chen (Chow Yun-Fat), who is trying to educate him on the rules of the precinct while trying to protect him from getting caught between rivals Chinese gangs with members that seem to flip flop sides.  Here is the trailer:

Let me just say that this movie is far from being great but it is definitely underrated.  The idea of corruption and battling gangs is far from original but that does not make it less entertaining.  I has its share of twists that keep the story moving along but I will say that at times it gets hard to follow.  Between whom the corrupt cops work with and who they do not and what gang members are loyal to which gang.  At least I at times struggled with this the first time I saw it.  I get it now of course but initially I found myself rewinding the DVD to see if I got it the second time.

Also if you consider yourself a Mark Wahlberg fan this should be right up your alley.  He makes his usual snide remarks in that Boston accent in spite of being a New York City cop and has at least one shirt-less scene.  Chow Youn-Fat is good as usual in this one as he plays the at times psychotic Nick Chen whose loyalty is also tough to judge while watching the story unfold.

Overall, The Corruptor is worth at least a watch especially if you consider yourself a Mark Wahlberg fan.  I must say the thing I probably like most about this movie is the music, which is not necessarily a good thing when you’re talking about an action movie.  I give it a 6/10.

 

By the way, since I missed last week’s random movie I will post another one tomorrow to make up for it.

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Random Movie of the Week: Multiplicity (1996)

I think it is safe to say that most people feel there are just not enough hours in the day, week, or even month to do all the things you want and need to do.  Everyone think about how if they had a clone, they would make the clone do all the work while you relaxed, doing the things that you wish you had more time do.  But something is rarely considered is how would that clone feel about this arrangement?  If it were a perfect clone where it thought and acted just like you, wouldn’t the clone want the original you do all the work too while he/she relaxed?  Or if there were a subtle difference that made your ideal arrangement okay with the clone, who is to say what the people around you would say.  Maybe they would prefer the clone over the original.  I am obviously over analyzing the sci-fi situation but these are questions I began thinking about after this week’s random movie Multiplicity.

Here is a brief introduction to the plot of Multiplicity:  Doug Kinney (Michael Keaton) is an over-worked husband and father who is as married to his wife, Laura (Andie MacDowell), as he is to his stressful construction job.  After an outburst at one of his most job sites, Doug meets a scientist who claims to have discovered the secrets to human cloning that allows him the time to spend with his family and do the hobbies he never had time to do.  But soon Doug finds his life steadily getting more complicated no matter how many clones of him there are.  Here is the trailer:

This is just a plain fun Harold Ramis comedy.  It has that witty and quirky humor that I tend to associate him with.  There are not necessarily any great one-liners but there is great banter and hysterical situations that are sure to make you laugh.  Now being that this is a comedy more than anything else, there are obvious flaws in the logic of how Doug is able to mask the one, then two, and finally three clones camped out in his guest house and how there always manages to be a car available to all of them.  But when watching it you really do not think of it that much because it is such a light movie that is meant to be fun.

Now as you probably figured, this movie will only be as good as its lead actor, Michael Keaton, performs which is great.  As I mentioned in a previous post I feel he is extremely underrated as an actor.  Now this is not like Eddie Murphy, Mike Myers, or Tyler Perry who when they play multiple characters in a film they all look drastically different.  Granted the clones are all a tad different one being slightly more macho, another a little more in touch with his sensitive side, and the third… well being a clone of one of the other clones has some special needs but still is the same Doug.  And watch Keaton embody each of these personas is just so much fun to watch and for 1996 is really looks like there is four Michael Keatons in the room.

Multiplicity is a fun comedy that does not dwell on its sci-fi cloning implications but definitely presents a unique take on the often toyed with thought of “what would I do if I had a clone?”  I give it an 8/10.  If you are looking to watch it for free and legal means to watch this online, click here to watch it on Crackle.com.

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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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Random Movie of the Week: Blow Out

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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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Random Movie of the Week: Desperate Measures

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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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