Blog Archives

Trailer Reviews for Sept. 17, 2010

Opening this week: Easy A, Alpha and Omega, The Town, Devil, and Jack Goes Boating, which is a pretty impressive showing now that we’re out of summer blockbuster season. We’ve actually got choice! Remember choice? Choice was good.

EASY A



Yay! I’ve been waiting for Easy A to come out for ages. The rom coms for adults have been taking a nose dive in quality as everyone moves into turbo storytelling mode, but some of the teen romances have been intelligent and funny enough to make up for it. This looks like one that is. I like Emma Stone, her parents seem funny, and the premise isn’t one I’ve seen a million times before. And best of all, the trailer only gives you enough to get you interested. I genuinely don’t care that all the supposed teenagers are in their mid twenties. At least they’ve all been around long enough to learn how to act.

ALPHA AND OMEGA



Why are female lead characters, animated or not, always named Kate? Did every screenwriter in Hollywood accidentally buy similarly mutilated baby name books? Ones that only list “Jack” and “John” in the male section and “Kate” and “Claire” in the female section? Alpha and Omega looks utterly generic in all other respects, too. Standard road trip scenario with all the usual obstacles. Dominant female, goofy male, these are the new gender stereotypes. I know it’s only a kids’ movie, but is it too much to ask for a little depth in the characterization? Anyway it’s bland and harmless enough to take your kids to if they’ve already seen Nanny McPhee Returns. If you really want to see a cool kids’ movie, though, wait a week and take them to Legend of the Guardians.

DEVIL



When I was in film school, a classmate of mine wrote a 5 minute short about a couple falling in love while trapped in an elevator. Devil is the horror story version of that, but stretched out so much there’s nothing to it anymore. 2 hours of people being trapped in an elevator with a monster? What a dumb idea. In reality that situation would be over in about 2.5 seconds. People dead, the end. It’s even worse than a whole movie revolving around being trapped in a phone booth or on a ski lift. I can’t believe this movie actually got made, and that M. Night Shyamalan, the director who did The Sixth Sense, would allow his name to be associated with it. Oh how far the mighty have fallen. I think it would be more interesting to actually be trapped in an elevator for two hours than to see this film.

THE TOWN



Ben Affleck may be Captain Generic when he’s acting, but as a writer/director he’s made some pretty interesting movies. I was really impressed by Gone Baby Gone and I thought his brother Casey did a great job acting in it. It remains to be seen how things will turn out when he’s directing, writing, AND acting. Will he sabotage himself? I look at the trailer and I really can’t tell, but I’m inclined to give him the benefit of the doubt. The story looks good and Affleck’s given himself the sort of gritty role he doesn’t usually get from other directors (i.e. the kind that Jeremy Renner always gets). So I guess we’ll see.

JACK GOES BOATING



Phillip Seymour Hoffman is a fabulous actor, but what is up with his hair in this movie? It looks like he found a set of bleached blond extensions in a dumpster and glued them to his head. Jack Goes Boating exactly the kind of awkward, boring relationship drama that doesn’t appeal to me. Talky talky blah blah argument bittersweet parting. I’m not surprised it’s based on a play. Go see it if you’re an indie drama fan or if you’re an awkward person who likes to occasionally reaffirm that there are even more awkward people in the world than you, but escapism this is not, so the normal moviegoing public (i.e. you and me) will likely not be impressed.

Digg This
Reddit This
Stumble Now!
Buzz This
Vote on DZone
Share on Facebook
Bookmark this on Delicious
Kick It on DotNetKicks.com
Shout it
Share on LinkedIn
Bookmark this on Technorati
Post on Twitter
Google Buzz (aka. Google Reader)

Resident Evil: Afterlife Review

poster from the Sony Pictures film Resident Evil Afterlife

Even with very popular franchises, like Indiana Jones or Star Wars, by the fourth installment the teat is starting to get pretty chaffed from all that milking. Resident Evil: Afterlife is the fourth installment in a film series based on a nine installment videogame series. By now the cow is dead, and they’re reduced to recycling old milk that wasn’t very tasty to begin with. Resident Evil: Afterlife has essentially the same plotline as all of the other films:

A genetically engineered superwoman meets up with a bunch of survivors of a zombie apocalypse caused by the evil Umbrella Corporation and tries to keep them from getting killed.

… and yet people will watch it. It will make money (it is making money – it’s at the top of the box office this weekend) and there will be a Resident Evil: Some Other Random Death Word, just like Resident Evil: Afterlife rather arrogantly assumes there will be. I’ll admit to liking the first Resident Evil movie, and to not completely hating the first sequel, Resident Evil: Apocalypse, but enough is enough already!

Read More

Digg This
Reddit This
Stumble Now!
Buzz This
Vote on DZone
Share on Facebook
Bookmark this on Delicious
Kick It on DotNetKicks.com
Shout it
Share on LinkedIn
Bookmark this on Technorati
Post on Twitter
Google Buzz (aka. Google Reader)

Book Launch!

Airborne anthology by Third Person Press

A while ago I mentioned in the My Work section of the site that one of my short stories, “The Wild Helicopters of the Australian Outback,” is being published in an anthology soon. Well, “soon” has been given an official date: October 6th, 2010.

The anthology is the second one in a series that started with Undercurrents in December of 2008. (I was in that one too). That one had a water theme, this one has an air theme, the next one’s going to be earth themed and I assume there’ll be a fourth “fire” one after that. All the stories are speculative fiction (i.e. sci-fi, horror, or fantasy), which is wierd for Cape Breton. Most of the books that come out here are about fishing, mining, Celtic culture, or fishing miners who love Celtic culture. The series is put out by Third Person Press, a local independent publishing company.

The launch party is at the McConnell Library in Sydney, Nova Scotia from 6:30 to 8:30 in the evening. So for those three or so readers who are actually from my hometown, come down and see me! There’ll be readings and food and stuff and you can get your book signed. None of us are really very famous yet. A couple people have books published, some work for newspapers or whatever, but someday one of us will make it big (ME!), like J.K. Rowling big, and then your copy of Airborne will be a rare, signed book that will fetch many dollars on eBay for your kid’s college fund.

My story, “The Wild Helicopters of the Australian Outback,” is about a recently graduated aeronautical engineer who comes home to her family’s floating wind farm to help fight off the pesky artificially intelligent helicopters who keep hanging around leeching their power, only to find herself making friends with one instead. It’s a cool story (if I may say so myself). It combines five of the top entries in my ‘Coolest Things Ever’ list (Australia, wind turbines, blimps, helicopters and wilderness adventures) and it’s my favorite thing I’ve ever written (so far, anyway).

Here’s a list of the other people who contributed to the book, just in case you’ve actually heard of them before:

Chris Benjamin
Jill Campbell-Miller
Ken Chisholm
Donna D’Amour
Kerry Anne Fudge
Meg Horne
Theresa MacKay
Bruce V. Miller
Krista C. Miller
Sue MacKay Miller
Sherry D. Ramsay
Julie A. Serroul
Peter Andrew Smith
D.C. Troicuk
Nancy S.M. Waldman

You can buy a copy of Airborne at the launch (the last book cost about $20 so this one will probably be the same) or you can get it online after it comes out. There’s probably going to be an e-book version for about $5. There was of the last one. I’ll post links when I find out for sure.

Anyway for now check out the awesome cover! (look to the right… up a bit… yup, that cover) Nancy Waldman, one of the editor/writers, did the artwork. Totally cool, right? Those things in the cloud are little pictures representing the different stories. If you look on the left you can see a helicopter. That’s me!

Digg This
Reddit This
Stumble Now!
Buzz This
Vote on DZone
Share on Facebook
Bookmark this on Delicious
Kick It on DotNetKicks.com
Shout it
Share on LinkedIn
Bookmark this on Technorati
Post on Twitter
Google Buzz (aka. Google Reader)

Trailer Reviews for Sept. 10, 2010

It’s a slow week for movies. That means I have a choice between Resident Evil: Afterlife, and Resident Evil: Afterlife. I’ll try to contain my enthusiasm. For those of you who live in Halifax and beyond, you’ve got a few more options. Flipped (which I talked about on August 6th) is back, as is The Disappearance of Alice Creed, which I talked about on August 13th . There’s also a documentary on Joan Rivers and short drama on Afghan refugees to choose from.

RESIDENT EVIL: AFTERLIFE



So, Resident Evil: Afterlife is the third sequel to Resident Evil, which is based on a series of zombie video games. It’s also the first movie (after Avatar) to use James Cameron’s special 3D filming technique. The movie is so proud of this fact that it touts it for two straight minutes in the trailer. 3D movies are usually overreliant on visual gimmicks to generate interest, so I guess can assume from the fact that that trailer told us absolutely nothing about the story that there IS no story to speak of. There are zombies, monsters, and a girl with a sword. All the middle bits are filled up with scenes that show off the 3D, like throwing stars coming at you or water flying up. I am not hopeful that this movie will be worth the $15 they’re going to charge me to see it, but I don’t really have a choice. You do. Choose wisely, grasshopper.

JOAN RIVERS: A PIECE OF WORK



A documentary that got rated R? Now that’s interesting. Not surprising, just interesting. After all, the subject of the documentary is a stand up comedian, not a sea turtle. It probably got the rating for raunchy jokes. It’s true what she says in the trailer, that she’s kind of the plastic surgery gone wrong poster girl and that people don’t generally say nice things about her, but she keeps on trucking, which you have to respect. This documentary seems like it has what she really thinks in it, and what’s really going on behind the scenes, not just the platitudes and outright lies that actors usually tell for DVD featurette interviews and stuff. I’d like to see it.

HEIRAN



You’d never guess from watching the trailer that this movie is about an Iranian girl who falls for an illegal Afghan immigrant and fights with her parents/society over it. I guess they wanted a trailer with no dialogue so they could release it everywhere with no extra work, but it just made it look like a movie about chasing after busses. It almost looked like a farcical rom com in the beginning. It’s a failure of trailer, because it doesn’t give you enough information to decide whether you want to see the film or not. That’s an automatic “no” for most people, me included. If they can’t put together a coherent story in 2 minutes, how can they do it in two hours?

Digg This
Reddit This
Stumble Now!
Buzz This
Vote on DZone
Share on Facebook
Bookmark this on Delicious
Kick It on DotNetKicks.com
Shout it
Share on LinkedIn
Bookmark this on Technorati
Post on Twitter
Google Buzz (aka. Google Reader)

The Last Exorcism Review

poster from the Lionsgate film The Last Exorcism

Boy, it sure was slim pickings this week. I had a choice between a heist movie that definitely wasn’t going to be any good and an exorcism movie that probably wasn’t going to be any good. Probably not is better than definitely not, so I ended up choosing The Last Exorcism. You’ve most likely seen the trailer, but contrary to the new trailer trend of giving everything away, the trailer for The Last Exorcism gives almost nothing away. Here’s the basic plot:

An Evangelical minister having a crisis of faith goes to an isolated farm in Louisiana to film a documentary that will expose exorcisms for the scam they really are, but finds more trouble than he bargained for.

Director Daniel Stamm shot it in a fake-documentary style (I don’t want to say “mockumentary” because there are approximately three moments of facetiousness in the entire film). It’s kind of like The Blair Witch Project crossed with The Reaping and Jesus Camp. If those were three movies you thought unlikely to fit together, you have now been proven wrong, because The Last Exorcism works… mostly.

Read More

Digg This
Reddit This
Stumble Now!
Buzz This
Vote on DZone
Share on Facebook
Bookmark this on Delicious
Kick It on DotNetKicks.com
Shout it
Share on LinkedIn
Bookmark this on Technorati
Post on Twitter
Google Buzz (aka. Google Reader)

Trailer Reviews for August 27, 2010

ANIMAL KINGDOM



Another trailer for one of those award winning movies that never quite gets around to telling you what the plot is… which leads me to suspect that the plot is either nonexistent or too convoluted to sum up in two minutes. Since this movie is Australian, I’m guessing the latter. Normally I wouldn’t be interested in a convoluted movie about (yet another) crime family (what is it with crime families? They’re not THAT interesting), but since it’s Australian, the acting will probably be really good, so it might be worth a look. I mean, Guy Pearce is in it… with a ridiculous Magnum P.I. mustache, but still. It speaks well for the film (Guy Pearce, not the mustache).

TAKERS



Paul Walker is a clone, Hayden Christenson always tries too hard, Zoe Saldana has turned into an attention-sucking vortex since she was in Avatar, and I hate Mat Dillon. Then add in a cast of characters who are jerks and criminals and you’ve got exactly the type of movie I don’t want to see. Now, obviously I’m prejudiced, so there are plenty of people who won’t feel the same way. If you love heist movies and you don’t feel like nine million heist movies being made in about five years is too much, you’ll probably like this movie. Just don’t ask me to go see it with you.

THE LAST EXORCISM



The Last Exorcism looks like it’s trying to capitalize on the success of two different films The Exorcist (obviously) and Paranormal Activity (by trying to look like a sketchily shot documentary). As with most movies that don’t bring anything new to the table, it looks pretty standard. There’s nothing in here that hasn’t been done before, but it’s hard to tell from the trailer if they manage to create actual tension (which is the most important part of a horror movie). Those running around in the dark bits make me think maybe they did, so if you like scary movies, maybe give this one a try. I think I might, given it’s lack of competition this week.

AVATAR RE-RELEASE



If there’s one thing you can say about James Cameron, it’s that he loves money, and he knows how to make it. As if his 3D extravaganza of epic blueness didn’t make enough the first time around ($2.7 billion), he’s sticking in a couple extra minutes of footage and releasing it again. If you’ve seen it already I wouldn’t bother. If the sixteen extra minutes were important they would’ve been in it the first time around (when it was ONLY two and a half hours long) and they’re not new real Sam Worthington parts, only more blue parts. But if you haven’t seen it, just go already so everyone in the world will have seen it and James Cameron can stop insisting that his movie needs to stay around in theaters taking up space that could be given to newer 3D movies. All’s I can say is that it better give way when The Legend of the Guardians comes around or I’ll be mad. You can read the full review of the original Avatar here.

Digg This
Reddit This
Stumble Now!
Buzz This
Vote on DZone
Share on Facebook
Bookmark this on Delicious
Kick It on DotNetKicks.com
Shout it
Share on LinkedIn
Bookmark this on Technorati
Post on Twitter
Google Buzz (aka. Google Reader)

New DVDs for August 24th

The Backup Plan

The Backup Plan is a romantic comedy about a woman (Jennifer Lopez) who meets a guy (Alex O’Laughlin) just after she gets inseminated. Hijinks ensue (naturally), people slip on placentas, and there are plenty of jokes about how pregnancy makes you fat. In other words, it’s a highly intelligent and sympathetic look at a very real issue and… I’m sorry, I can’t continue with that sentence, even sarcastically. The Backup Plan is a shallow turbo romantic comedy that stampedes toward resolution like a fright train to weddingtown. Rent it if you like that sort of thing (or if you have a crush on Alex O’Laughlin) but otherwise I wouldn’t bother.

Buy The Backup Plan on DVD or on Blu-Ray.


Dorian Gray

Dorian Gray is a period horror movie about a really hot guy (Ben Barnes) who’s cursed to stay really hot forever (Some curse, eh? L’Oreal has been trying to develop a cream form of it for ages) and his mentor/guy he wants revenge on (Colin Firth). I haven’t seen it. It was one of the ones that slipped through the cracks. It looks good, though. Romance, scaryness, and it’s British so we can pretty much assume everything was well done. Rent it. I am.

Buy Dorian Gray on DVD or on Blu-Ray.

George A. Romero’s Survival of the Dead

George A. Romero is one of those guys that just never stops (kind of like a zombie!). Survival of the Dead is the latest installment of his “of the Dead” series. It’s about a bunch of guys (Alan Van Sprang, Devin Bostick) who try to find refuge on a supposedly zombie-free island and find (surprise!) zombies. The island is supposedly off the coast of Delaware, but I guess it’s REALLY off the coast, because the bit players are all Irish. They’ve gone back to shambling, funny zombies from their brief foray into running, scary zombies, and have also gone back to the fakey looking blood splatter graphics. Rent it if you wish it was still the 1980s.

Buy George A. Romero’s Survival of the Dead on DVD or on Blu-Ray.


The Bad Mother’s Handbook

The Bad Mother’s Handbook has actually been around for a few years, but they’re only now releasing it in North America because Robert Pattinson is popular. Despite the fact that he’s front and center on the box, he’s not the star of the movie. The Bad Mother’s Handbook is about a teenager (Holly Grainger) who gets pregnant and ends up with a closer relationship to her crappy mom (Catherine Tate) because of it. Robert Pattinson plays the boy who helps her while her mom’s still being a twat. It’s funny and heartwarming – I really like it. And Robert Pattinson does actual acting in it (who knew he was capable?). Rent it even if you’re not a Twihard.

Buy The Bad Mother’s Handbook on DVD.

TV seasons out this week: Lost Season 6: The Final Season, NCIS: Season 7, Gossip Girl: Season 3, and The Simpsons: Season 13 (God, won’t that show just end already?).

Digg This
Reddit This
Stumble Now!
Buzz This
Vote on DZone
Share on Facebook
Bookmark this on Delicious
Kick It on DotNetKicks.com
Shout it
Share on LinkedIn
Bookmark this on Technorati
Post on Twitter
Google Buzz (aka. Google Reader)

Trailer Reviews for August 20th, 2010

It’s getting near the end of the summer and a whole bunch of late-comers are pouncing on us this weekend. There’s a The Switch, Piranha 3D, Nanny McPhee Returns The Lottery Ticket, Get Low, an Italian movie called I am Love, and an IMAX documentary called Hubble 3D. Here are their trailer reviews so you can pick which one you want to see.

Read More

Digg This
Reddit This
Stumble Now!
Buzz This
Vote on DZone
Share on Facebook
Bookmark this on Delicious
Kick It on DotNetKicks.com
Shout it
Share on LinkedIn
Bookmark this on Technorati
Post on Twitter
Google Buzz (aka. Google Reader)

DVD Releases for July 27, 2010

As you may or may not know, Tuesday is the day that new DVDs come out. I don’t know why, I just know that that’s how it works. And it’s not even like SOMETIMES they come out on Monday or Wednesday, like in the theaters movies usually come out on Friday except for the really eager ones that come out on Wednesday or Thursday. It’s always Tuesday for DVDs. So I thought I’d give you a run down of what’s coming out this week so you can rent it if it looks interesting. Just the new ones, though. None of that special edition/super old stuff just being released nonsense. I don’t have all day, and neither do you!


Clash of the Titans

Clash of the Titans is a remake of an 80s movie starring Sam Worthington as a skirted Greek warrior battling monsters. You can my full review here but suffice it to say though it was lacking in characterization and could have used a more complicated plot, there sure were was a lot of swordfights and yelling. Rent this one if you love swordfights and yelling.

Get Blu-RayGet DVD


Repo Men

I was really looking forward to this one in the theaters, but for reasons I can’t seem to remember right now I never got to see it. It stars Jude Law and Forest Whitaker as two guys who repossess organs for a rent-to-own organ company. Such a cool idea. I’ll totally be renting this one, and if you’re at all a fan of sci-fi or horror you should too.

Get DVDGet Blu-Ray


Batman: Under the Red Hood

I confess I hadn’t even heard of this one until I looked up the release list, because I haven’t watched a Batman cartoon since I was 12. Batman: Under the Red Hood looks pretty standard: there’s a villain called the Red Hood. Batman kicks his ass. But the trailer made me nostalgic so maybe I’ll actually watch this one. Plus it attracted a bunch of name voice actors (Jensen Ackles from Supernatural, Neil Patrick Harris from How I Met Your Mother, Jason Isaacs from the Harry Potter movies, etc) so it must be at least decent.

Get DVDGet Blu-Ray


Ip Man

Ip Man is a biographical account of the martial arts grand master named Ip Man (Donnie Yen) who taught Bruce Lee. This in itself will be interesting to both martial arts fans and Bruce Lee devotees, but the really interesting part for me is that he lived in a really turbulent time. Looks well made and interesting, I’d totally watch it. There’s subtitles though, just in case you hate reading.

Get DVDGet Blu-Ray


Stargate Universe: Season 1.5

I don’t understand how this show is still on. Not only does it have the exact same premise as half of sci-fi TV shows (a group of people is stranded somewhere, they try to get home) and is a direct ripoff of Stargate Atlantic but without the interest factor of being located in Atlantis. But not only has Stargate Universe made it to a second season, it got nominated for prime time Emmys! Rent it if you’re a massive Robert Carlysle fan, but otherwise I wouldn’t bother.

Get DVDGet Blu-Ray

Digg This
Reddit This
Stumble Now!
Buzz This
Vote on DZone
Share on Facebook
Bookmark this on Delicious
Kick It on DotNetKicks.com
Shout it
Share on LinkedIn
Bookmark this on Technorati
Post on Twitter
Google Buzz (aka. Google Reader)

Trailer Reviews and Predictions for the Weekend of July 9th, 2010


This is a relatively slow weekend for new movies (for the summertime, of course) but that still doesn’t mean you’ll be able to catch up on the ones you missed, because there are three titles, each worthy of someone’s attention (depends who the someone is). They are: Despicable Me (good for families), Predators (good for horror movie buffs), and The Kids Are Alright (for people who are all about the meaningful looks into humanity). Of course, they’re also putting the World Cup Finals on the big screen (in 3d no less), but I won’t mention those because no one in Canada (at least no one who’s ME) cares about soccer.

Read More

Digg This
Reddit This
Stumble Now!
Buzz This
Vote on DZone
Share on Facebook
Bookmark this on Delicious
Kick It on DotNetKicks.com
Shout it
Share on LinkedIn
Bookmark this on Technorati
Post on Twitter
Google Buzz (aka. Google Reader)
Page 20 of 22« First...10«1819202122»

SUBSCRIBE TO ZE EMAILS

Subscribe to Ze Feeds

Archives

More Ads By Google

Links by Google