Friday, May 28, 2010

The Devil's Tomb (2009)

A group of soldiers head to an underground lab in the middle of the desert to rescue a scientist and find there is evil afoot. And this horrible evil glues baked beans to people's faces and makes their victims incredibly stupid.

The soldiers are supposed to be special forces but they act like amateurs. They split up, fire at nothing, read porn, make out with sexy ladies who show up out of nowhere, don't keep an eye on the people who just tried to attack the group, and don't listen to the priest who has managed to survive whatever is going on in the lab.

One woman's unborn child shows up as a little girl and she follows the girl off into the tunnels. Seriously? You know it's not really your child, but you follow it not once, but two different times. How stupid are you?

When you reach the end of the movie, you'll be sorry you sat through it because the payoff it not worth it.

Mutant Chronicles(2008)

For a movie called the Mutant Chronicles, I expected a whole lot more mutant action. The steampunk story starts in a World War I atmosphere with soldiers in trenches when suddenly the machine that was buried years and years ago somehow lets loose it's mutant cargo. The mutants burst on the scene with their huge claws that go right through human skulls like butter. Sean Pertwee turns in another in his performances of someone severely injured lying on the ground and holding a gun.

The two soldiers who escape the mutant battlefield are recruited for a special force to go into the machine and destroy it, thus saving humankind. The groups mission is jeopardized by Major Hunter when on the way to destroying the machine, he leaves the group to try to save Pertwee who is somehow still alive and still being dragged by mutants. Hmm, save the planet or save one man? Bad choice because it leads to others making bad decisions and soon their mission is in ruins as the few left desperately try to figure out how to stop the machine.

Maneater (2007)

In a scene right of out Jaws, the mayor tells the sheriff he can not tell the reporters that town folks are being eaten by a man eating tiger because it's time for the annual Corn and Apple Festival. Scary Gary Busey is the sheriff of this small town who teams up with a stereotypical British tiger hunter (pith helmet, mustache, khaki) to try to save the town from harm. There is a sub plot about a boy named Roy who lives in a trailer and is home schooled by his super religious mom. Roy sees the tiger in his dreams and doesn't want anyone to harm him. An average flick which is sometimes amusing due to Busey.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Zombieland (2009)

An infection has turned most of the Earth's population into zombies. Columbus meets up with Tallahassee while he's trying to get to his parents house. Eventually they run into two sisters and the four travel together as the two girls head toward an amusement park in California where they've heard there are no zombies.

Columbus is obsessive and a geeky loner who has rules for dealing with the zombies which are good for survival. There are some funny scenes which incorporate the rules.

I enjoyed this film, but wish there had been a different ending as it didn't do anything for me. I kept wondering if they had been smart enough get to the amusement park without being killed by zombies, how could they be so stupid as to not think that turning on all the lights and rides at night wouldn't attract tons of zombies?

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Ninja Assassin (2009)

I have loved Ninja movies ever since I saw Sho Kosugi's ninja movies in the 1980s. So I was happy to see Sho in this movie which carries on in the same vein. Raizo is an orphan who was raised to be a ninja assassin, but he falls for a girl in his clan who one night decides to escape to freedom. Of course no ninja clan leader, especially one as heartless as Sho Kosugi is going to let that go unpunished. Our hero later abandons the clan after a difficult kill.

In the other part of the story, Interpol agent Mika tries to prove that recent killings are the work of a ninja clan. The theory is laughed at by other Interpol members, but when Mika gets too close to the clan, they decide to take her out which prompts Raizo to become her protector.

I really enjoyed this film and if you're into the old 1980s Golan Globus ninja movies, this is just an updated version of ninja action with very cool special effects.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

I Sell the Dead (2008)

Grave robber Arthur is in jail awaiting his execution and tells Father Duffy the story of how he got into the profession. Arthur was trained by Willie, who has just been led to the gallows. The story is told in flashbacks starting when Arthur was a little kid and going through the adventures he had while working with Willie and going up against other grave robbers, most notably the dangerous Murphy gang. The film also features a small role by Angus Scrimm.

The movie isn't a laugh out loud comedy, but there are some amusing moments. Overall an interesting watch, although I did start to drift near the end.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Speed Racer (2008)

After his older brother Rex Racer dies in a car crash, Speed Racer starts driving for the family business. After gaining attention in the racing world, he is approached by rivals Royalton Industries who suggest that the Racers sell out to Royalton and Speed can drive for them. When Speed refuses, Royalton sends his drivers after Speed in the next race.

The movie is bright and colorful, but that can't cover up for the boredom factor. It takes more than colors that pop to make a good movie. And John Goodman looks like he's right out of Super Mario Brothers which is really distracting.

Street Fighter: The Legend of Chun-Li (2009)

When Chun-Li was a little girl, her father was kidnapped by the evil Bison. Now an adult, Chun-Li sets out to find her father by living on the streets with no money - seriously she's had a privileged upbringing but she leaves home without any money, lives on the streets and begs for food? She finds Gen who teaches her how to be an incredible martial artist and she sets off to rescue her father.

For an action film, it's pretty boring with the best parts being Chris Klein's over the top awkward delivery of every line he utters.

Friday, May 14, 2010

2012 Doomsday (2008)

Heavy handed religious movie based on the Mayans prediction that the world will end in 2012. Four strangers are compelled to go to the ruins of Chichen Itza on the eve of the end of the world. A woman missionary is called by her Dad who tells her to fly home to Ohio but never gives her any reason, such as the west coast is going to fall into the ocean due to a massive earthquake. That might be good to know because if my Dad calls me to randomly tell me to fly home, I'm not going to just up and leave my entire life behind.

I was not aware that this was a movie with a religious agenda so I was surprised when I was sledge hammered with Christianity. The cgi is not very realistic whether it's rain, snow, or hail. From inside the jeep, you can see there is no hail outside the jeeps rear window and there is no hail on the road.

My absolute favorite part of this movie was when Frank and Trish were sitting in the middle of the jungle, the camera pans away and you can clearly see the dolly tracks in the bottom of the shot! Oh my god, how could no one notice that?!?!

Hellbound (1994)

Chuck Norris fights Satan? Who knew? In this buddy cop movie, Chuck plays Detective Shatter, who dresses like Don Johnson in Miami Vice. Shatter, along with his partner Jackson, is assigned to bring the body of a murder victim back to Israel where the two decide to do an unauthorized investigation into the man's death. They find that it all leads back to Professor Lockley, an archaeologist.

Through flashbacks we are shown that Lockley is actually Prosatanos who was imprisoned during the Crusades and unleashed by tomb robbers in the 1950s. Lockleys power is in a scepter and the pieces were sent to nine different important religious leaders, all of whom Lockley intends to kill. Once he has the scepter, he will sacrifice someone in a royal family and the end of the world will begin.

This is a ridiculous premise and Chuck Norris is just the man to make it even more ridiculous. The buddy cops, the keyboard music, the silly remarks that are passed off as humor - it all combines to make a funny and sometimes boring action flick which ends with a fight between Chuck and Satan. Oh and Lockley has goat eyes so watch out for them because it's creepy.

Wilderness (2006)

Juvenile delinquents are sent to an island to rough it after their taunting causes another inmate to commit suicide. The island is supposed to be uninhabited but they run across a drifter living in ruins of a castle, a girls youth group, and someone with a crossbow and a pack of dogs who starts to pick off the teens one by one.

Once the group figures out someone is out to kill them, they spend the rest of the movie trying to get to the beach to find a boat to get off the island. Most of the characters are unlikable and you won't care when they die. The biggest problem with the movie is that it is impossible to believe that someone in special forces would fall for a ruse like the one offered at the end. Also for people who pretend they died on the island, where are they going to get new identities?

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Lost Things (2003)

Four teenagers head off to the beach for a weekend of camping, surfing, and partying. Shortly after setting up camp in an isolated area, the group runs into a creepy menacing guy who wants to know why they are there and tells them they should leave because people died here. Good enough for me, but not for this group who decides to stay. Seriously, if I'm in the middle of nowhere and a creepy guy indirectly threatens me with death, I'm gone.

Members of the group disappear, a search ensues without luck, then they reappear and don't know why everyone is upset. They will stare at the ocean from afar and not answer their friends. Weird things are afoot, but the undercurrent of what is going on is apparent fairly early on in the movie. Even after figuring it out, it's still weird and unsettling. Also the two boys looked a lot a like which got a bit confusing sometimes.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Wild Country (2005)

A church youth group goes on a camping trip, finds a baby and is chased by werewolves. The group is dropped off on the Moors at night by their sleazy youth priest who hands them a map with instructions on where to meet in the morning. The group camps next to an old castle, where Kelly thinks she hears a baby crying. Exploration leads to the discovery of a baby amidst the body parts of other travelers. So Kelly absconds with the baby.

Shortly afterwards werewolves start chasing the kids and they can't figure out why - how about that little baby you just picked up?

The film was made in Scotland and the accents take a little bit getting used to before you can understand everything they're saying. The werewolves look like big puppety things worn by people, which I applaud as I much prefer this over bad cgi. But it's a dangerous thing to do when your werewolf is going out in the daytime... which they usually don't do.

Knock Knock (2007)

A group of high school football players and their cheerleader girlfriends find themselves being killed by someone who knocks on their doors before dispatching them. Well, at least the first kill is like that. Most of the killings are done without any door knocking involved. Also is it just me or do people keep answering the door when there is a knock and no one is there? I might do it twice but then I'm done and am not going to open my door again. So I guess that would keep me from getting killed.

The high school students look way too old to be in high school. One of the girls grandfather is an ex-detective that teams up with a young female detective to solve the crimes. There is a subplot about him trying to get to know his granddaughter and her snubbing him until she needs his help to avoid being a victim of the killer.

There is a flashback which explains the reason for the killing which is another ridiculous bully scene with an unfunny prank going horribly wrong.

The Legend of Bloody Mary (2008)

Ryan is having nightmares about his sister who disappeared years ago after playing the Bloody Mary game. He enlists the help of a priest, who is also an archaeologist currently working on a Puritan dig site, to try to figure out what is going on. There are flashbacks to Ryan's childhood as well as flashbacks to the 1700s when Mary Worth, of Bloody Mary fame, was murdered by Puritans for being pregnant out of wedlock, possibly with Satan's child.

The game consists of writing your own name or friends names on a mirror and then chanting "I believe in Mary Worth." After numerous chants, Bloody Mary will then explode through the mirror and horribly kill you. Yay, what a fun game!

Almost a third of the movie is told via flashback. The cgi is horrible and the acting is terrible, especially the snotty girl. Young Ryan looks nothing like the older version and every time I heard the name Mary Worth it reminded me of the old lady in the comic strip so it wasn't that scary.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

30 Days of Night (2007)

An Alaskan town is on the eve of thirty days without sun. Those who decided to stay in town or who missed the last plane out are unaware that a herd of vampires are about to descend upon them. The vampires speak in an unknown language and tend to make an annoying hissing sound.

I like the concept of a town with no sun being a perfect spot for a vampire attack, but the survivors do stupid things. I'm still not sure why they thought holing up in the store would be a good idea since there was no place to hide. Or why the vampires didn't try following any of the footprints in the snow.

After watching so many horrible low budget films, this was a welcome relief. I enjoyed a lot of it, but it still wasn't a great film. They did a decent job of building the tension, but it's tough to root for people who do stupid things. Plus the ending was incredibly lame and made the movie less enjoyable.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Zombies of Mass Destruction (2009)

After a zombie washes up on shore, the island of Port Gamble is overrun with zombies. The news is blaming the problem on a virus let loose by terrorists so some of the townsfolk blame Frida whose father is from Iraq. As people try to survive the zombie attacks, Tom and Lance, who came to the island to come out to Tom's mother, manage to find refuge in a church where Lance's tshirt trumpets their sexual orientation. This leads to the mayor wanting to lock them outside while the priest decides to convert them via a 1950s conversion room in the church basement.

I was amused by the family in the basement whose mom has been bitten by a zombie. The son keeps telling the Dad that they need to do something because she's going to turn into one of them, but the Dad is only into vampire movies and keeps discounting what his son says.

I did not expect much from this movie as I've not thought too much of the other After Dark movies that I've seen, but this turned out to be better than expected. That being said, it had a couple of laughs and was an okay way to spend an hour and a half, but in no way should be compared to Shaun of the Dead.