Jul 1, 2012

Monthly Movie Recap - June 2012

Well, the good news is these monthly posts will be a lot shorter over the summer as I've landed a temp job. June was by far the biggest swing between amazingly awesome movies and amazingly bad movies. As always, clicking a linked title takes you to Amazon where you can order it and toss a few coins our way.

Under the Boardwalk: The Monopoly Story (2011)
It's almost like King of Kong but for Monopoly. One of the players is a grade school math teacher who breaks down probabilities of the game board to teach his class. The doc also discusses the history of how the game came to be which is pretty interesting. 

Cool: Narrated by Zachary Levi!; I could actually watch the full 40 minute video of the championship game and not be bored
Lame: Just like every other competitive game, there are some real weirdos
Rating: 8/10, if you ever wanted to be a Monopoly shark, watch the DVD extras

The Spirit (2008)
I've never read a Spirit comic but I can't imagine it's supposed to be anything like this. I'm a fan of  old school pulp and they do a decent job of getting that vibe. Unfortunately, the movie is a bit of a schizo and can't decide if it wants to be a comedy or not. If you're going to play this genre for laughs you have to go all in.

Cool: Other problems aside, this is a great looking movie
Lame: When the hero and his nemesis are virtually indestructible, it leads to some ridiculous fight scenes
Rating: 5.5/10, the look of Sin City, the feel of Batman '66

The Theatre Bizarre (2012)
I'd never heard of this one until I found it while browsing my local library. Not being a big studio movie, I was rarely ever sure which way the stories were going and that was great. Like most anthologies, some of the stories are better than others. Most of them are "real world" horror, meaning there is no supernatural aspects to them...just some whacked out people!

Cool: One of the stories is Lovecraft related
Lame: The wraparound story is weak but visually interesting
Rating: 6.5/10, you should be able to find something here to unsettle you, even if just a bit

*Freaks (1932)
It was on TCM so I had to watch it! If you've never seen this, you really should.

Cool: The Freaks are the best thing here handsdown, all real people decades before CGI
Lame: Nothing lame...unless you haven't seen it! =)
Rating: 9/10, it's a classic

Take Me Home Tonight (2011)
Being a teen in the 80s', this was a no brainer. However, it mostly feels like every other "20-something figuring out their life" movie. There are hints of John Hughes sprinkled about.

Cool: Dan Folger and Michelle Trachtenberg steal their scenes
Lame: The main girl lacks charisma enough to make me believe Topher Grace is obsessed with her
Rating: 6/10, if you liked these kind of movies in the 80s', check it out

Inglourious Basterds (2009)
Completely not what I was expecting thanks to the way the movie was originally marketed. Most of the film is a very long, slow burning fuse leading into a large powder keg. And when it explodes, boy does it ever explode!

Cool: Pitt is awesome but I was expecting more of him
Lame: Never expected to say this about a Tarantino flick, but not as much violence as I was expecting
Rating: 8/10, just don't expect lots of Nazi killing throughout

Dark House (2009) 
Theater students are hired to work a hi-tech haunted house attraction. Only the house really is haunted and the ghosts are making the holographic horrors real. Like the remake of House on Haunted Hill, I really like the idea but it's not executed in the best way.

Cool: You can't go wrong with Jeffrey Combs; interesting monsters and some decent kills
Lame: The plot tries to be smarter than it needs to be
Rating: 5.5/10

Griff the Invisible (2011)
Another unknown movie I stumbled on in the library. A quirky and sweet superhero love story. This will probably be in my top 10 movies I see this year. It's just that good.

Cool: A fresh take on the superhero genre
Lame: Hey! I'm not supposed to get emotional during a superhero movie!
Rating: 9/10, if you're even thinking about checking this out, do it and avoid additional information

Motel Hell (1980)
If the Texas Chainsaw Massacre were a comedy, it'd be Motel Hell. I've always seen clips from this in horror montages so it was good to see where the pig-headed chainsaw wielding maniac came from.

Cool: Two words: chainsaw fight!
Lame: How exactly do you see while wearing a hollowed out pig's head?
Rating: 7/10, pretty entertaining!

Superman vs The Elite (2012)
It gets real when Superman encounters a group of super beings who don't mind killing the bad guys to get the job done. I had a hard time getting used to the animation style they used.

Cool: The Elite are pretty cool...until they go all Dark Side; Supes cuts loose!
Lame: For something that would probably have to be tamed down for TV, the animation doesn't feel on par with the story. For lack of a better word, it's too cartoony.
Rating: 7/10, DC continues the streak of direct-to-DVD greatness

Piranhaconda (2012)
A SyFy Original movie! That should tell you everything you need to know. If this could be a bigger budget theatrical movie with an R rating (better gore & actual nudity), it would be a lot more fun.

Cool: I don't think I've ever seen so much cleavage in a movie that has no nudity
Lame: the "red mist of death"; ridiculous kidnappers subplot; how do you not hear a 100' snake monster sneak up on you?
Rating: 5.5/10, as bad it was, I kept watching

Mysterious Island (1961)
Since I was a kid, I've always been into movies featuring creatures that were larger than they should be. The trailer pretty much sums it up. It's like a 1960s' version of Lost in a two hour movie.

Cool: Giant animals; Captain Nemo
Lame: The greenscreen hasn't held up well, but the animal effects are top notch (of course!)
Rating: 8/10, It's Jules Verne and Ray Harryhausen, how can you not love it?

Let the Right One In (2008)
Think you've seen it all when it comes to vampire movies? Tired of glittering, angsty fang-bangers? See this movie!

Cool: This child-like vamp would eat Kirsten Dunst for breakfast; not overly gory or scary but a damn fine film
Lame: Left wanting more at the end
Rating: 9/10, I don't think I've ever been as emotionally invested in the characters of a vampire movie before

Zookeeper (2011)
Pretty average buddy rom-com...except the guy's buddies are talking animals.

Cool: Was shot at a local zoo
Lame: Same ol "guy almost misses out on girl who's been in front of him all along" plot
Rating: 5/10, I usually like Kevin James but this is no Paul Blart

Arachnoquake (2012)
Ok, I admit it. I'm getting addicted to the horrible SyFy Original movies. Live tweeting these on Saturday night is a blast.

Cool: Former star actors, bad acting, horrible CGI and giant fire-breathing spiders
Lame: Former star actors, bad acting, horrible CGI
Rating:  6/10, seriously...giant fire-breathing spiders

Bigfoot (2012)
By far, the worst of the SyFy movies I've endured this month. This Bigfoot varies in height from 20'-40' depending on the particular scene. And did I mention Greg Brady and Danny Partridge?!

Cool: Alice Cooper has a small part; Bigfoot likes to bite the heads off of people
Lame: Former star actors, bad acting, horrible CGI and an ending that will make you realize how badly you just wasted the time you spent watching it
Rating:  2/10

New: 15
Rewatch: 1
Year To-Date Totals: 64 New, 10 Rewatch  

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