Monday, December 27, 2010

ORPHAN

 Orphan Movie Review

Kate (Vera Farmiga The Departed, The Manchurian Candidate) and John Coleman (Peter Sarsgaard The Skeleton Key, Flightplan) adopt Esther (Isabelle Fuhrman), a well-mannered, intelligent 9-year-old girl with a dark side. Soon after her arrival, Esther shows her true, psychotic self while manipulating the entire family. This movie starts out pretty slow as they give a background of the family—a lot of this could have been cut, especially considering the movie is just over two hours long. Once Esther arrives, however, the pace picks up and really doesn’t slow much, all the way up to a thrilling ending. Farmiga seems a weird choice for the role—I can’t decide if it is her or the character that annoyed me so much. There is no debate on son Daniel (Jimmy Bennett), however—he's horrible. Aryana Engineer does a good job as Max the youngest child, and Sarsgaard is good as John, but Fuhrman really steals the show with her performance here. I generally do not find children scary in movies, but Fuhrman is absolutely creepy in this role, and her performance really deserved a lot more attention than it received.

Creepy

To say she carries this movie is an understatement. CCH Pounder (The Shield) also shows up and, of course, gives a good performance as well. Some of this film is just brutal, some will have you on the edge of your seat, and some is really bizarre. There is also a twist in the end that is pretty effective. If you can get past the two bad performances and the slow start, you will find a rather good movie that I enjoy a lot.

On A Scale Of One To Ten: 8

Orphan Movie Trailer 

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

FREDDY VS JASON

Freddy vs Jason Movie Review

The people of Elm Street have eliminated Freddy Krueger (of the A Nightmare On Elm Street series) from their history, thus saving their children from having nightmares of him. To bring his name back to the area, Freddy enters the dreams of fellow killer Jason Vorhees (of the Friday the 13th series), bringing him back to life and instructing him to terrorize the kids of Elm Street. But when Freddy’s plan goes wrong, he and Jason end up on a collision course.

The battle

I was really excited when this movie came out, as these were my two favorite horror series of the 80’s, and I was not disappointed. The writers and directors did justice to both characters in this movie and their battles are really well done. There are a lot of brutal killings and plenty of blood in this movie, and there is a nice balance of the feel of both series as we get the humor of the Nightmare series and the woods/camp thing of the Friday the 13th series. The characters are actually pretty likable for the most part, a rarity in horror films. The standout performances would be Chris Marquette (Joan Of Arcadia) as likable nerd Linderman and Katharine Isabelle (Carrie, Ginger Snaps) as Gibb. Really the only character in the movie for any amount of time who is not likable is Freeburg, a knockoff of Jay from the Kevin Smith movies, and his hallucination scene is really bad, taking away the entire feel of the movie. Other than that, I really don’t have much to complain about with this film. I really like this movie a lot and to me it is the last real Freddy or Jason movie to date.

On A Scale Of One To Ten: 9

Freddy vs Jason Movie Trailer

FRIDAY THE 13TH (2009)

Friday The 13th 2009 Movie Review

After Jason Vorhees drowned in Crystal Lake many years ago, his mother started killing camp counselors to get his revenge. Jason, however, lived, and witnessed his mother’s beheading by a teen counselor. Now it is Jason who is out for revenge. This retelling of the popular horror series sticks with the main premise, and updates it to modern times. This movie sort of retells the first three movies of the series, including Jason with both the burlap sack and the hockey mask.

"I think this will bring out the color in my eyes"

There are plenty of kills in this movie, a couple of which are fairly good. This, unlike all the original movies, gives us a look at Jason’s home and his life, with mixed results. For some unexplained reason, he keeps a woman prisoner and messes around with another victim way too much—this coming from the guy who just kills instantly. The cast is largely irritating, with the exception of Danielle Panabaker (Mr. Brooks, The Crazies) as Jenna, the only really likable character in the movie. There is a ton of sex and nudity in this one too, including one scene that may be the most annoying sex scene ever in a film. The whole look and feel reminded of the Texas Chainsaw Massacre remake from 2003, though this is not nearly as well done. This is a movie with some really good and some really bad, and I probably enjoyed it more than I should have (this could have something to do with having just watched the ninth and tenth installments in the original Friday series).

On A Scale Of One To Ten: 6

Friday The 13th Movie Trailer

MIRRORS 2

Mirrors 2 Movie Review

Max (Nick Stahl Carnivale, Sin City) takes a job as a security guard at a department store and soon starts seeing strange things in mirrors there, including the deaths of other people working in the building. This essentially follows the same general idea of the first Mirrors film and even almost recreates a few of the scenes from the first one. This one does seem to have a bit more gore, some of which is effective and some of which looks pretty bad thanks to the poor CGI.

Here's a taste

The cast is actually pretty decent here, especially Stahl in the lead. The story itself is a pretty good one as well once it got it’s own legs and strayed enough away from the first film—not that I dislike the first film at all. I am actually quite a fan of it, but this movie, at times, and especially in the beginning, felt like a remake of the first film. The dialogue was mostly good with a few shaky spots here and there and a few too many clich├ęs. The ending was done well and, other than some questionable CGI, was very pleasing. This straight to video movie is not a masterpiece, but it was a nice surprise as it was better than I was expecting.

On A Scale Of One To Ten: 7

Mirrors 2 Movie Trailer

THE LORD OF THE RINGS: THE FELLOWSHIP OF THE RING

The Lord Of The Rings: The Fellowship Of The Ring Movie Review

Hobbit Frodo (Elijah Wood (Sin City, Eternal Sunshine Of The Spotless Mind) must take a journey to the Cracks Of Doom to destroy a ring that has an evil past. He is joined on his quest by several friends and allies and they run into plenty of enemies along the way. This is the beginning of the epic Lord of The Rings trilogy and it starts off pretty well. The first thing you will likely notice about this movie is how visually stunning it is. Not only is the scenery outstanding, but the special effects and various creatures are also very well done. The story itself can be a somewhat confusing one with names that will take some time to get used to. The dialogue is interesting, even to somebody such as myself—a person who is not a big fan of fantasy films. The battle scenes go from good to simply outstanding. The picture does run a bit long, coming in at just under three hours, so there are moments here and there that I found myself drifting off, but there was always something that came soon after that pulled me right back in. The cast is a mix of the brilliant, especially Viggo Mortensen (Daylight, A History Of Violence) as Aragorn and Ian McKellen (X-Men series) as Gandalf, and awful, such as Wood and Sean Astin (Where The Day Takes You, The Goonies) as Sam. Unfortunately Wood is the main character, and his performance simply takes away a lot from this movie. Still, this is a really good movie. I was reluctant to watch it for so many years until somebody convinced me to see it—I’m glad she did and I look forward to the next two.

On A Scale Of One To Ten: 8


The Lord Of The Rings: The Fellowship Of The Ring Movie Trailer 

Monday, December 20, 2010

FRIDAY THE 13TH PART 10: JASON X

Jason X Movie Review

In the year 2455, space explorers come to the now inhabitable Earth and find Jason Vorhees frozen. They bring his body onto their ship, where he is brought back to life to kill some more. As is the tradition with the past few movies, there is no tie in to the movie before it. Some of the things in the movie are REALLY bad, the acting being the first thing to come to mind--go ahead and throw in plot holes, awful dialogue, and unfunny humor to boot. The whole outer space thing adds too much sci-fi to the horror based film—it actually feels more like a science fiction movie with a splash of horror. The special effects are horrible, but really cool if you are into old horror (think Ed Wood here). Jason's new look, which thankfully only came at the end of the movie, is laughable.

It's...Jason?

There are a ton of killings in this one, but the death scenes, for the most part, are really lame. There are a couple good things here. The first kill on the space ship is a classic. The scene towards the end with the campers is awesome, as it will remind fans of the series of one of the most popular killings in the series. All in all, it is a lot of bad stuff to sit through to get to a few bright spots. Other than the scenes I just mentioned, there is nothing great here. This movie essentially killed the series, which, given this and part 9, may not have been a bad thing. The only reason to own this movie is to finish your collection of the series.

On A Scale Of One To Ten: 3

Jason X Movie Trailer

Sunday, December 19, 2010

FRIDAY THE 13TH PART 9: JASON GOES TO HELL, THE FINAL FRIDAY

Friday the 13th Part 9: Jason Goes To Hell The Final Friday Movie Review

This movie starts off with Jason being blown to bits by a military force. The remains of his body are taken to the morgue for an autopsy. The coroner sees Jason’s heart start beating and does what any normal person would—he eats it. This allows the spirit of Jason to enter his body and the body of anybody else he chooses. It had been probably twelve years since I last watched this movie—I remembered it being bad, but good grief, this was even worse than my brain allowed me to recall. Jason, of course, is barely in the movie at all.

Wait...What?!

The plot, dialogue, and cast are all terrible. The special effects are laughable. The story line of the prior movies is pretty much ignored. For some inexpiable reason, Jason as we know him can only be seen in a mirror. Some bounty hunter, (Steven Williams of 21 Jump Street) who has never appeared, or even been mentioned in any of the prior movies, is the only person who knows all about Jason, including how to kill him—with a special knife, and only a Voorhees can do the killing. If you have never seen this movie and think this all sounds bad, I assure you, it’s even worse than you are picturing. To make all this even worse, I just finished watching it on Netflix, which streamed the edited, Rated R version, thus ruining one of the two scenes in this movie that was actually good (the tent sex/death scene, which, unedited, is an awesome scene. Edited, it sort of sucks).

You're welcome

This leaves only one good/memorable scene remaining: the very end, a scene that was all the buzz among horror fans at the time, and a tease to something that would not be released until ten years later. In between we got Jason X, which I remember also being pretty bad, and before I watch it again I am going to go out on a limb and say it is much better than this waste of an hour and a half. Unedited I would give it a 3, just because the tent scene warrants an entire point alone and almost makes it worth watching. Edited, as I just saw it, there is no saving grace.

On A Scale Of One To Ten: 2

Friday The 13th Part 9 Trailer (I took mercy on you and posted the one minute trailer)

FRIDAY THE 13TH PART 8: JASON TAKES MANHATTAN

Friday the 13th Part 8 Jason Takes Manhattan Movie Review

Jason is resurrected from the bottom of Crystal Lake again, this time through electricity. He soon hops on a boat filled with recent high school graduates on their way to Manhattan to celebrate. My first thought on this: after part 7, you would think that after the police arrived to gather up the dead bodies, they would have pulled Jason from the lake--he WAS just off the shore after all. Another thing you notice early on is that the timeline is thrown off—it is explained that Jason drown 30 years ago, but given the established timeline it should be at least 40 years by this time. Also, flashbacks of Jason as a child are pretty inconsistent with what has been established already. So Jason kills a bunch of people on the boat until it finally arrives in Manhattan—considering this is titled Jason Takes Manhattan one would assume the movie would be primarily set there—it’s not. They don’t arrive there until over an hour into the film.

If he can make it there, he can make it anywhere

The film does get a bit more interesting once there, however, as you see Jason actually walk past people without killing them. Anyways, this is not one of the better films in the series. The plot and dialogue are awful, the acting only slightly better. There is one strange scene where Jason, who never lets out as much as a whimper, screams and almost sounds like he’s crying, and the special effects in the scene are terrible. The music throughout is also bad, to the point that it’s distracting. I do have to admit that one of my favorite death scenes is in this one though.

This one

The end leads you to believe this is the end of the line for Jason, as there is no way he could come back from this. They probably should have stopped here, but oh no, we still have parts 9 and 10 to go.

On A Scale Of One To Ten: 5

Friday the 13th Part 8 Jason Takes Manhattan Movie Trailer

Friday, December 17, 2010

FRIDAY THE 13TH PART 7: THE NEW BLOOD

Friday the 13th Part 7: The New Blood Movie Review

Tina (Lar Park-Lincoln), a teenager with telekinetic powers, accidentally resurrects Jason Vorhees from the bottom of Crystal Lake while trying to bring her dead father, who also drown in the lake, back to life. Jason then starts killing off young people at a party. This is probably most known for being the first Friday film Kane Hodder played Jason—this is a good thing, as Hodder plays the character perfectly. The death scenes are plenty here, but a lot are cut away so you don’t see anything. That said, it does include my favorite death scene in Friday history.

This one

The acting in this movie is pretty bad all around, except Terry Kiser (Bernie from Weekend At Bernie’s), who is really good as the shady doctor. Of course you know throughout that it will eventually come down to Jason vs Tina, with, you know, Jason being superhuman and Tina having superhuman powers. This had the potential to be good, and their first meeting actually is, but then it falls apart. There is no consistency with the strength of Jason either. At times he seems unstoppable and then later a light hits him in the head and the impact is so much that it sends him flying into a basement. This is not the best of the series, but it is certainly better than the previous two installments.

On A Scale Of One To Ten: 6

Friday the 13th Part 7: The New Blood Movie Trailer  

Thursday, December 16, 2010

FRIDAY THE 13TH PART 6: JASON LIVES



Friday the 13th Part 6: Jason Lives Movie Review

Tommy Jarvis, this time played by Thom Mathews, the third actor to play the character, returns to Jason’s grave to cremate him. Once there, he stabs Jason with a metal rod that is then struck by lightning, bringing Jason back to life. Yeah, Jason is full blown superhuman now, and continues to stalk and kill young people around camp Crystal Lake, now called Forest Green. This is the point in the series when some people become bigger fans because now Jason is completely unstoppable. I myself begin to lose a bit of interest starting with this film (actually with part 5 as Jason wasn’t even the killer) because I liked it better when Jason was human and able to be killed. Another thing that sort of kills this movie for me is the attempted comedy throughout, in particular with the paintball group. Still, there are a couple worthy things here. It features one of my favorite killings (bent over backwards) and it shows Jason has at least a bit of a heart, as we learn here that he will not kill children. It goes a bit off story line towards the end of the film. Interestingly, there is no nudity in this film either, a first for the series. Another side note: fans of the 70’s television show Welcome Back, Kotter will be delighted to see Horshack (Ron Palillo) make an appearance in the beginning.

"Hello. How are ya?"

The body count is high in this outing, which is good, but there is just something about this movie that I couldn’t get in to. It could be the mostly bad acting, or the awful script and dialogue—too many one-liners and attempted humor makes this come off as a Nightmare On Elm Street wannabe. Whatever it is, this movie is just okay as a stand-alone horror and the second worst (so far) of the Friday the 13th Series.

On A Scale Of One To Ten: 5

Friday the 13th Part 6: Jason Lives Movie Trailer 

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

FRIDAY THE 13TH PART 5: A NEW BEGINNING

Friday the 13th Part 5: A New Beginning Movie Review

Having killed Jason in part 4, Tommy (John Shepard) is now older and on his way to a house for the mentally unstable. The patients, and several random people, soon start dropping like flies thanks to a killer on the loose. To me this is the first really bad movie of the series. The story is beyond stupid (more on this later), the acting is terrible, and the dialogue worse. There are a lot of killings in this installment, but almost all happen off camera and are very uninteresting, if not plain boring and/or ridiculous. The only remotely interesting character in the movie is Reggie (Shavar Ross), but I probably only like him because I used to watch him on Diff’rent Strokes. Violet (Tiffany Helm) is pretty hot, but is not in the movie enough.

New Wave!

 ***SPOILER ALERT***Unlike every other Friday The 13th movie since the first, there is a question of who the killer is! They play it off like it is Jason throughout most of the film but it is rather obvious it’s not, and the twist ending is nothing short of awful. ***END SPOILER***

The first four films in this series range from good to awesome—this one is makes me wish they would have stopped at four.

On A Scale Of One To Ten: 4

Friday the 13th Part 5: A New Beginning Movie Trailer 

Saturday, December 4, 2010

FRIDAY THE 13 PART 4: THE FINAL CHAPTER

Friday the 13th Part 4: The Final Chapter Movie Review

Jason once again wreaks havoc on vacationing youngsters near Camp Crystal Lake. For the first time in the series, Jason is now superhuman--having been pronounced dead and taken to the morgue, he comes back to life. He’s bigger and stronger than in the third installment, as he's now able to walk through solid wood doors. Still, I’m not quite ready to call jump the shark on the series yet--this is still a good installment. The acting is considerably better than the third part (Corey Feldman notwithstanding), led by Crispin Glover (Back To The FutureWillard) as Jim. This movie is worth a watch just to see Glover’s dancing scene.

Priceless

Lawrence Monoson, who went on to have a successful career as a television actor, is also good as Ted, making a character that you shouldn’t like, quite likable. There are plenty of killings in this one, but several death scenes cut away before getting too gory. There are also some unintentional laughable moments throughout, such as seeing an actress, after jumping out of an upstairs window, land on a padded ground. Of course this was billed as The Final Chapter, and I remember as a kid watching it and actually believing that, thinking there is no way Jason is coming back from this—how wrong I was.

On A Scale Of One To Ten: 7

Friday the 13th Part 4: The Final Chapter Movie Trailer 

Thursday, December 2, 2010

FRIDAY THE 13TH PART 3

Friday the 13th Part 3 Movie Review

Part three of the Friday The 13th series sees Jason killing a group of youngsters who have come to a cabin for vacation. Something you will notice immediately about this movie is the number of things that come directly at the camera--this is because this movie was originally released in 3D. Having never seen the movie in that capacity I can’t tell how well that stuff looked in 3D, but in 2D it is really distracting for the most part.

3D...eye get what you did there.

The overall acting has become considerably worse from the first two movies. Still, I like this installment quite a bit. It is pretty gory, and contains some of the most memorable death scenes in the series (the hallway death, the through the eye scene). Jason, who had just survived the night before, looks a little bigger than in part 2 but still not quite as big as he eventually becomes (he shaved his head at some point too). He is still somewhat human, as he winces when he feels pain and still tries to avoid things like falling books and a van coming towards him. He also still runs at times too. Just to up the body count they throw in a random couple in the beginning and a biker gang in the middle—no complaints here. Probably the most significant thing about part three is that this is where Jason gets the hockey mask. They once again go for the surprise near the end, and it is very similar to the first one—in fact, several scenes from this movie are. The music that plays in the beginning and end credits is pretty awesome. To me this falls just below part two, but not by much.

On A Scale Of One To Ten: 7

Friday the 13th Part 3 Movie Trailer 

FRIDAY THE 13TH PART 2

Friday the 13th Part 2 Movie Review

Taking place five years after the original Friday The 13th, we see a group of counselors starting camp near Crystal Lake, where Jason Vorhees drown as a child and his mother killed counselors five years prior. It is said that Jason witnessed his mother’s killing and has come back for revenge. This is a pretty solid sequel to the original. It lays out the foundation for the rest of the series, expanding on the story and giving a good base to work with. The gore is down a bit in this one, but the body count is still pretty high as the trend of killing off anybody having sex starts. Jason himself looks very different here than we are used to in later films, with the obvious difference being he is wearing a white burlap sack (almost identical to the killer from The Town That Dreaded Sundown) instead of his trademark hockey mask.

Still scary

He is also much smaller in this film (to give you an idea, at one point in the movie a woman in a car opens a door to hit him and he falls backwards), more clumsy, and much more human. The acting is still not bad here, with Amy Steel (April Fool’s Day) doing a really good job as the lead. The ending is an interesting one, fooling with the psychology of Jason, and they try to recapture the surprise of the first, though it doesn’t come off as well here. Overall, this a good horror film that sets the pace for the rest of the series.

On A Scale Of One To Ten: 8

Friday the 13th Part 2 Movie Trailer 

FRIDAY THE 13TH

Friday the 13th Movie Review

Camp counselors are being killed in brutal fashion as they attempt to reopen Camp Crystal Lake, which has been closed since a boy drowned there in the 1950’s. This film, of course, set off the Friday The 13th series, one of the most successful horror franchises of all time. The movie is pretty brutal and bloody for it’s time and the death scenes look fantastic, thanks largely to special effects master Tom Savini. The acting is actually pretty decent as well, which is impressive considering none of the actors in it, except, of course, Kevin Bacon, had much of a career. The story is okay and the dialogue is pretty good at times as well. Of course this film is iconic in the horror genre, leading to nine sequels (to date), a crossover movie with A Nightmare On Elm Street, a remake, and even a television series. Oddly, Jason, the killer we come to know in all the rest, is not the killer at all in this movie, and is only seen once throughout the movie—as a child.

A face only a mutha could love

The ending of this movie is also one of the most well known in horror history as well. I still love this movie today and consider it a must see for all horror fans.

On A Scale Of One To Ten: 9

Friday the 13th Movie Trailer 

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

DOLLS

 Dolls Movie Review

Two groups of people with car troubles end up in a mansion for the night and are soon being terrorized by dolls that have come to life. I remember seeing the cover of this 1987 film at video stores for years but never rented it. Having seen it, I sort of wish I had rented it back in the day, as I enjoyed it more than I expected. One part horror, one part fairytale, and one part comedy, this movie balances all three nicely. The setting is a very creepy one, and the dolls coming to life was actually fairly cool and well done.

Thieves get nowhere in life

The acting, for the most part, is dreadful, with the exception of Guy Rolfe, who, incidentally, went on to star in a few of the Puppet Master films, a series about killer puppets. The ending is an interesting one that appeared as though was going to lead to a sequel, but that was never done. Some of the stuff in this movie is laughable (especially the poor acting) but overall I enjoyed this one.

On A Scale Of One To Ten: 7

Dolls Movie Trailer

THE BLOB (1988)

The Blob 1988 Movie Review

A meteor hits the Earth and unleashes an organism that soon kills people—the more people it kills, the more it grows. This 1988 film is a remake of the 1958 B-movie classic and has become somewhat a classic itself. What I really like about this movie is that it doesn’t take itself too seriously, yet is a true dedication to the original as well. Kevin Dillon (The Doors, Platoon) does a good job playing the rebel kid trying to do good, Shawnee Smith (The Saw Series, Becker) does an equally good job playing Meg, the popular cheerleader, and both play the characters with a subtle bit of humor. The special effects are pretty good for the most part, and wonderfully cheesy at times.

Awesome

The dialogue in this is pretty bad at times, most of the stuff that was meant to be obviously funny isn’t, and some of the shots are questionable, so this is far from a great movie, but I liked it for what it was and thought it was a lot of fun.

On A Scale Of One To Ten: 7

The Blob Movie Trailer

BLOOD CREEK

Blood Creek Movie Review

A group of friends go camping and visit a barn that has been named the 58th spookiest place in the world. There they find that the local legend they heard about might actually be true. This very low budget movie actually has a pretty decent story—nothing too original, but still interesting. Unfortunately, that’s about all that can be said for this. Probably the worst thing about the movie, other than the fact that none of the actors in it can actually act, is that none of the characters are even remotely likable. I actually waited through the entire movie just waiting for them to start getting killed off—even this doesn’t happen until near the very end. Don’t expect anything gruesome or bloody with the death scenes here as none of them are actually shown on screen. The editing of the film is terrible, resulting in more continuity errors than I could count. The special effects are pretty bad, though some of the ghosts do look sort of cool at times (the eyes effect notwithstanding). Also, there is very little actually happening throughout the film, other than making me dislike all the characters more as time went on. The ending is actually decent, however, making up a bit for the rest of the movie, but, much like the rest of the movie, it wasn’t exactly original. This isn’t really a terrible movie, and in fact had the potential to be a good movie had they been able to land good actors. Still, it’s nothing worth watching either.

On A Scale Of One To Ten: 4


Oh, you're looking for pictures and/or a trailer for Blood Creek? Sorry, I could find neither...perhaps I dreamed this film.