Sep 30, 2012

Monthly Movie Recap - September 2012

Yes, technically the month isn't over yet but starting tomorrow, we're going into full-on Countdown to Halloween mode. Wow, I can't believe we're heading into October already! As always, clicking a title link will bring you to Amazon where you can purchase the movie (or anything else) and drop a couple coins in my pocket,

Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows (2011)
I'm really enjoying this series, even if Holmes gets a little outrageous with the preemptive things he sets up. Downey and Law have a great chemistry and it'd be great to see them do a few more of these.

Cool: More of what made the first one fun; Moriarty and Holmes facing off out thinking each other
Lame: As I said, some of the set ups are a little crazy in their planning
Rating: 7/10, I can see this going on like a Bond series

They Live (1988)
Another '80s classic that I'd never seen. Great sci-fi fun. I'm surprised no one has tried to remake this yet as I think our culture is way more consumer-centric now than it was in the '80s.

Cool: The entire concept of the movie and how the aliens are taking over
Lame: Roddy's hair; the alley fight that never ends
Rating: 7/10, a real good time

Attack of the 50 Foot Cheerleader (2011)
Roger Corman gets back to his exploitation roots and since this isn't a SyFy movie, there's no skimping on the nudity or blood. Everything you need to know about this one, you can see in the trailer.

Cool: Corman doing what he does best: giving you dumb fun
Lame: If you can't shut off your brain, you won't enjoy this for the trash that it is
Rating: 5/10

Raiders of the Lost Ark: IMAX Experience (1981)
No matter how many times you've seen your favorite movies, you'll always take the chance to see them on the big screen again. I'm not sure if what we saw was supposedly enhanced in any way for IMAX release but there were places where it was grainy.

Cool: It's Raiders on the big screen!
Lame: Was expecting it to look a little better considering the films were enhanced for BluRay release
Rating: 9/10, only docking it the point because of the visual quality

The Legend of Hell House (1973)
A shining example of how you can do a ghost story and make it eerie without buckets of blood. I've said it before and I'll say it again, you can't beat the '70s for occult/satanic movies.

Cool: Very young Roddy McDowell; great creepy atmosphere
Lame: Nothing much to say here!
Rating: 7/10, high recommend for October viewing

Screaming in High Heels (2011)
Great documentary about the original scream queens and the movies that featured them.

Cool: I never knew Brinke Stevens was married to Rocketeer creator Dave Stevens!
Lame: The bimbos at cons claiming to be scream queens.
Rating: 8/10, even if you don't know who these women are but enjoy B-movies, I highly recommend this because it's like a video checklist of movies to see

The Wicker Man (1973)
This may be Christopher Lee's least imposing role. As crazy as it gets at times with costumes and singing, it still sort of works. This kind of thing works in the '70s but not so well in modern day...

Cool: I can see why this is a cult favorite but
Lame: there is way too much singing for me
Rating: 6/10

The Wicker Man (2006) 
I'm not sure if this movie would have been any better if Nic Cage wasn't in it. He's a California cop that acts like he has jurisdiction in Washington state. Why not just have him in WA? He sucker punches two women that aren't even fighting him. This is a prime example of why you have to know what you're doing when making an occult film outside the '70s.

Cool: The "ending too shocking for theaters" which shows Cage being tortured a little more
Lame: This movie! Things that would have been creepy in the '70s are funny here.
Rating: 3/10, only recommended if you want some good laughs

Smokin' Aces (2006)
This is a type of movie I really enjoy! There are numerous people trying to protect or assassinate and FBI informant, each with their own threads going on being woven into one story. The first 20 minutes of setting all the characters up is like getting pulled up that first hill on a roller coaster. Once you're over that, the movie is pretty much non-stop.

Cool: The Tremor brothers are awesome! Love seeing how all the characters cross paths with each other; Guns, guns and more guns!
Lame: It's not quite as comedic as the trailer makes it out to be, which isn't necessarily bad
Rating: 8/10, it's like a Tarantino film but without his trademark dialog

Smokin' Aces 2: Assassins' Ball (2010)
I don't know if I didn't like this one as much because it really wasn't as good or if it's because I watched it the day after the original. Going back to the roller coaster thing from before, this is like riding a less intense coaster after the biggest one in the park.

Cool: Get to see couple of characters from the original; This one is definitely played more for laughs
Lame: The big twist at the end felt like it was put there because they had to have a twist
Rating: 6/10, maybe watch this one before the original

Breaking Wind (2012)
The trailer almost makes this look funny, but don't be fooled. This movie immediately earned a place in the top 3 worst movies I've watched this year and I wouldn't be surprised if it's #1 at the end of the year.

Cool: The best thing about this is after the movie is over there is a segment showing Twilight fans freaking out when watching the latest Twilight trailer for the first time
Lame: The people making these movies need to be forced to watch things like Airplane! and Top Secret to see how you do a proper parody film. Instead, they toss in a bunch of crude humor in place of actual jokes.
Rating: 1.5/10, I would rather sit through a Twilight marathon than watch this again

Paranormal Activity (2007)
I don't usually get creeped out watching movies but they did an amazing job with the spooky stuff here. Of the two endings, the theatrical one is better and I'm guessing that's what test audiences said because they'd rather end the movie being freaked out than completely depressed.

Cool: The ghostly effects are done just right
Lame: Although the theatrical ending is better, I feel like it's cheating a little by playing directly to the camera
Rating: 8/10

Gamer (2009)
Given how involved some people are in their online lives, this seemed like an interesting concept. Unfortunately, most of he movie plays out like you're watching a video game, which is kinda the point...

Cool: The idea of people controlling people instead of digital avatars
Lame: Overdoing it with the CGI blood
Rating: 5.5/10, I had more fun watching Doom (the movie)

The Cabin In The Woods (2012)
I think they showed too much in the trailers, so you're not getting one here. All I'm going to say is that if you're a horror fan, you owe it to yourself to see this. You'll never watch a slasher movie the same way.

Cool: The whole premise of the movie (which I'm not spoiling); the final 15-20 minutes is AMAZING
Lame: As I said, too much was shown in the trailers
Rating: 9/10, this is the Scream of the 2010s

Piranha 3DD (2012)
I know how silly this sounds, but I actually think the first one had a better plot going than this one. In fact, the plot is just flat out ridiculous in places but nobody's watching this for the plot and the craziness of it makes it that much more fun. Also think the gore was more original in the first one, but we do get another chomped off penis, so there's that. 

Cool: Plenty more boobs and blood; Hasselhoff is a riot (make sure you watch the credits)
Lame: Ving Rhames needs more to do here which is too bad
Rating: 6.5/10

Conan the Barbarian (2011)
I know I watched the original a few times as a kid when it was on cable, but I honestly don't remember much of it so I don't really have any attachment to the original. Is this a good Conan movie? I can't really answer that but I can say I liked it.

Cool: Kid Conan; a little monsters and magic
Lame: CGI blood is so overused it's comical most of the time
Rating: 6/10

Slaughter High (1986)
About average for an '80s slasher movie.

Cool: Twist ending that I wasn't expecting
Lame: Typical dopey people being stalked by a vengeful slasher
Rating: 5/10

Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid (1969)
Not my usual fare, but seeing it on the shelf, I figured why not.

Cool: The cast is excellent; Redford and Newman are great together
Lame: The music in places is seriously distracting, it's not bad, it just doesn't belong in a Western
Rating: 8/10, it's fun rooting for the bad guys

Cirque Du Freak: The Vampire's Assistant (2009)
Read the book years ago, don't remember a whole lot about it but I do love what they did in the movie. I would never have thought to put John C Reilly in the vampire role but he does it wonderfully.

Cool: Octa the spider; non-sparkly vampires
Lame: The only complaint I have is the swearing. It's PG-13 and I'm not against swearing but it doesn't feel right in this movie.
Rating: 8/10, wish they'd continue the series

A Nightmare on Elm Street (2010)
I've been a Freddy fan for a long time, even costumed as him for a few years at a haunted house. This movie bored me.

I applaud the fact that they wanted to make him a little more monstrous but most of the time, the makeup looks like a bad animatronic mask. This Freddy never feels menacing like the boogeyman he should be. The voice sounds like it was added in post, it has no feel of being in the scenes. They retread so many things from the originals it all feels "been there, done that."

Cool: The scene in the pharmacy was very well done
Lame: See above
Rating: 4/10, if you're going to re-imagine reboot a classic you have to bring some originality to it

Drive Angry (2011)
I haven't seen Cage in too many movies where he's not the punchline. Drive Angry seems to embrace that and I think this is a great place for him to be: an insane over the top grindhouse movie.

Cool: Plenty of dumb fun
Lame: Very obvious this was originally made for 3D by the abundance of things flying at the camera
Rating: 5.5/10, not a great movie but it's fun

My Babysitter's a Vampire (2012)
This was a Disney Channel pilot movie for a series. I check out tween movies/TV shows and Young Adult books so often, I can't even call it a guilty pleasure. This was actually pretty entertaining and a lot better than I was expecting.

Cool: The kids using UV light tubes as lightsabers to fight off vampires
Lame: Some of the vampires they kill were neighborhood kids with parents. Someone's bound to start wondering what happened to their kid...
Rating: 6.5/10, it's like a tween Lost Boys

Month Total
New: 21, Rewatch: 1

Year To-Date Total
New: 95, Rewatch: 11

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