Friday, April 20, 2018

"Super Troopers 2" Review by Tim Hellman

'SUPER TROOPERS 2': Four and a Half Stars (Out of Five)

The highly anticipated sequel (more than 17-years after the release of the original) to the beloved cult classic cop comedy 'SUPER TROOPERS'. This one has the team of troopers patrolling a newly disputed border area, between Canada and the U.S.. It once again stars the comedy team Broken Lizards (JayChandrasekhar, Kevin Heffernan, Steve Lemme, Paul Soter and Erik Stolhanske). The Lizards also once again co-wrote the screenplay, andChandrasekhar also once again directed the movie. It costars Brain Cox (reprising his role from the original as well), Emmanuelle Chriqui, Rob Lowe, Tyler Labine, Will Sasso, Hayes MacArthur and Lynda Carter. The film was funded by a highly successful Indigogo campaign, which currently ranks as one of the highest funded crowdfunding projects ever, and it's also the 7th largest successfully-completed Indiegogo project of all time! The movie is being released on 4/20, so fans can celebrate the weed holiday while also seeing the film at the same time. It's gotten mixed reviews from critics, but it is expected to do well at the Box Office (the theater I saw it at was pretty full). I really laughed a lot during it.

The state troopers (from the original film) have all been fired from their jobs, due to an accident with a ride-along involving actor Fred Savage (playing himself). They're offered their jobs back when there's a border dispute, between the U.S. and Canada, and a new patrol station is needed in the disputed area. The local residents there are not happy about it, at all, and a bitter rivalry erupts with the Canadian police that are already stationed there. Wacky antics of course continue between the 'super troopers' as well.

The movie is filled with pretty non-stop laughs. Some of the humor is a little too silly, or dull, but most of it really worked for me. I wasn't as big of a fan of the original as some people, but I haven't seen it in a really long time either, so I definitely can't say how well this one compares to it (without a doubt). I'm pretty sure though (from a well calculated guess) that it should please most fans of the original. I liked it a lot more than I was expecting to; from the opening scene (involving cameos by Sean William Scott, Damon Wayans Jr' and Clifton Collins Jr.) it's just a hell of a lot of fun!

"Truth or Dare" Review by Tim Hellman

TRUTH OR DARE': Three Stars (Out of Five)

A supernatural horror flick about a normal game of truth or dare that turns deadly when something begins killing those who cheat at the game. It was directed by Jeff Wadlow (who also helmed the genre flicks 'KICK-ASS 2' and 'CRY WOLF'), and it was scripted by Wadlow, Michael Reisz, Jillian Jacobs, and Chris Roach. The movie stars Lucy Hale, Tyler Posey, Violett Beane, Hayden Szeto, and Landon Liboiron. It's received mostly negative review from critics, but it has performed really well at the Box Office so far though. I found it to be very mildly amusing.

Olivia (Hale) gets talked into going to Mexico, for vacation for a week, by her best friend Markie (Beane). Olivia secretly has a huge crush on Markie's boyfriend, Lucas (Posey), who Olivia is constantly cheating on. As their trip is coming to an end, the friend group is all talked into playing a game of 'truth or dare', while drinking one night. Later they learn that the game is actually being controlled by supernatural forces, which will kill them if they tell a lie or don't successfully complete a dare. All of their social drama also comes to light, as they're being killed, one by one, by a mysterious entity as well.

The movie is your pretty standard slasher flick. To it's credit, it's definitely pretty creepy and disturbing, but at the same time it's also pretty pointless, like a lot of similar horror films though. The film does accomplish what it sets out to do basically though, and it's not a bad movie in my opinion. I'd recommend seeing it, if you're a big fan of the genre, but probably not it you're not.

Prepare To Go To Hell and Back with the Kane Hodder Documentary "To Hell and Back: The Kane Hodder Story"

Dread Central Presents and Epic Pictures recently announced that the Kane Hodder documentary "To Hell and Back: The Kane Hodder Story" will be hitting theaters, DVD and Blu-Ray. The documentary features interviews from Hodder, Cassandra Peterson (Elvira), Bruce Campbell (Ash Vs Evil Dead), Robert Englund (Freddy Krueger), Adam Green (writer/director of the Hatchet franchise), Sid Haig (The Devil’s Rejects), Sean S. Cunningham and more.

"To Hell and Back: The Kane Hodder Story" hits theaters in limited release on June 28th and DVD/Blu-Ray on July 13th.

Press Release:

Dread Central Presents and Epic Pictures announced yesterday at Monsterpalooza the release dates for the upcoming documentary TO HELL AND BACK: THE KANE HODDER STORY. The film will open to a limited theatrical release on June 28th with VOD and DVD/Blu-ray coming available appropriately on Friday July 13th marking the 41st anniversary of Hodder's life-changing accident.

TO HELL AND BACK: THE KANE HODDER STORY, the first documentary film acquired by Dread Central Presents, is directed by Derek Dennis Herbert and portrays the harrowing story of famed stuntman Kane Hodder who overcame a dehumanizing childhood filled with torment and bullying in Sparks, Nevada. In addition to his childhood, the documentary focuses on his survival of a near-death burn accident as well as his career as a genre icon that spans over 100 films and saw him kill more people on screen than any other actor.

"To Hell and Back: The Kane Hodder Story": Official Trailer

Sunday, April 15, 2018

Shaun Berk's 10 Movie Recommendations- 648th Edition

Welcome to the 648th Edition of my series.  Today is the last day for ON GOLDEN POND in Alexandria, Indiana at 3:30.  It has been a fun show and hope to be able to do something else soon as I must go back to normal life for the moment.  There is not much else happening at the moment so I'll just get on with my selections for the week.

Micmacs (2009):  Jean-Pierre Jeunet directed this French film which has quite the blend of action, drama, and comedy.  Dany Boon stars as video store clerk Bazil whose life changes when his father was killed by a landmine and he survives a shot to the head.  After this, he loses his home and job putting him on the streets until meeting Slammer, played by Jean-Pierre Marielle, who is part of a group of scavenging dwellers that make me think of the group in MOULIN ROUGE.  Bazil decides to go after the arms dealers responsible for his situation and concocts a plan that the rest are willing to help.  Andre Dussollier, Yolande Moreau, Dominique Pinon, Michel Cremades, Julie Ferrier, Omar Sy, Urban Cancelier, and many others co-star in this film.  This is from the director of AMELIE and A VERY LONG ENGAGEMENT which both have a female protagonist in Audrey Tautou so now there is a man.  That being said, it has kind of the same feel as the others with the way it flows.  This is a satire on the world arms trade and is very well done if into this type of film.

Killing Bono (2011):  Nick Hamm directed this film loosely based on the 2003 memoir KILLING BONO:  I WAS BONO'S DOPPELGANGER by Neil McCormick, played by Ben Barnes.  Neil and his brother Ivan, played by Robert Sheehan, dream of becoming rock stars and are stuck playing in smaller venues while their high school classmates have rose in the world of rock music.  Ralph Brown, Sean Duggan, Joni Kamen, Aiden McArdle, Martin McCann, Hugh O'Conor, Pete Postlewaite, Krysten Ritter, Peter Serafinowicz, Stanley Townsend, Luke Treadaway, and many other co-star in this film.  This was Postlewaite's last film and died shortly after this movie.  I have always been a pretty big U2 fan, obviously more on their '80s work and this was a pretty enjoyable look in the music scene of this era.  McCormick has created quite a life for himself and I suppose him and his brother Ivan could be compared to Pete Best.

Dad (1989):  This is part three of my Jack Lemmon trilogy and kind of along the lines of last week's feature and my recent play ON GOLDEN POND.  Gary David Goldberg directed this film based on the novel by William Wharton.  Ted Danson stars as executive John Tremont whose life has mostly centered around his work.  He learns that his mother Bette, played by Olympia Dukakis, is in the hospital and rushes to be by her side while becoming caretaker for his father Jake, played by Lemmon.  Helping his father brings them closer than ever and forces John to rethink his life a bit.  Kathy Baker, Kevin Spacey, Ethan Hawke, J.T. Walsh, Zakes Mokae, Peter Michael Goetz, John Apicella, Richard McGonagle, and many others co-star in this film.  I have to say, I am pretty sure this is the only time I have seen Jack Lemmon with a mustache.  This is a pretty good family drama and has some very touching moments.  I also really liked the father/son dynamic of Danson and Hawke who both had to work through their differences.  This is available to watch on Netflix.

The Old mill (1937):  This is my animated short for the week which is from the world of Disney and their Silly Symphony series.  This consists of various birds, mice, and fireflies moving into an old windmill and then dealing with a storm.  This is all set to some music mostly by Strauss with some well-done animation.  This is from the Blu Ray of last week's feature BAMBI.

The Boston Strangler (1968):  This is part three of my Henry Fonda trilogy.  Richard Fleischer directed this film based on the book by Gerold Frank.  This is based from the point of view on the investigators that were investigating the murders of the many they dubbed "The Boston Strangler" which stars Tony Curtis as Albert DeSalvo who turns out to be the strangler.  George Kennedy and Fonda co-star as two of the detectives investigating the murders and looking for the more "obvious" suspects.  Mike Kellin, Hurd Hatfield, Murray Hamilton, Jeff Corey, Sally Kellerman, William Marshall, George Voskovec, Leora Dana, and many others co-star in this film.  This had a really good documentary feel to it and I really liked the split screen.  There were things added for dramatic effect including portraying DeSalvo as having multiple personality disorder.  If you can get past that, this this is a pretty compelling film to watch.

The Mark of Zorro (1940):  Rouben Mamoulian directed this adaptation on the Johnston McCulley novel THE CURSE OF CAPISTRANO.  Tyrone Power stars as Diego De La Vega who is returning to California after being gone in Spain and finds his native land under a dictatorship.  With this going on, he dons the the costume of the masked avenger Zorro.  Linda Darnell, Basil Rathbone, Eugene Pallette, J. Edward Bromberg, Montagu Love, Janet Beecher, and many others co-star in this film.  I have always thought Tyrone Power was the best person to don the Zorro outfit.  Basil Rathbone also does a great job as the villain of the film having a really good swordfight scene with Power in the climax scene.  Unfortunately, this is the movie that Bruce Wayne and his parents saw only for Bruce's parents to be murdered right in front of him.  In all seriousness, this is the character that inspired the duel identity that most superheroes have today.  Today is the last day to watch this movie on TCM On-Demand.

Personal Shopper (2016):  Olivier Assayas wrote and directed this supernatural psychological thriller film.  Kristen Stewart stars as Maureen who is a personal shopper in Paris for a celebrity named Kyra, played by Nora von Waldstatten.  Maureen is also a medium and lost her twin brother Lewis who also had connections to the spiritual world.  Random things happen making Maureen believes she has a connection to her late twin brother.  Lars Eidinger, Sigrid Bouaziz, Anders Danielsen Lie, Ty Olwin, Benjamin Biolay, Audrey Bonnet, Pascal Rambert, and many others co-star in this film.  I admit to not hearing of this movie until I found it at my local library but I tend to take interest in non-Bella work from Kristen Stewart and does a good job in this film.  If looking for some movie centered around shopping this is not the one and this is also billed as horror which I don't really agree with either.  It is more of a drama that involves ghost but also deals with grief and trying to move forward in life.

Ice Castles (1978):  Donald Wrye directed and co-wrote this film along with Gary L. Baim.  Lynn-Holly Johnson stars as the teenage Alexis who is a figure skater with natural talent and getting in late to the game.  She is on the verge of being on top of the world but a freak accident prevents this from happening.  The people of her small community look to help her overcome what has happened in hopes of still realizing her dreams.  Robby Benson co-stars as Nick who is Lexie's high school sweetheart that cannot stick to anything he tries except his love for Alexis.  Colleen Dewhurst, Tom Skerritt, Jennifer Warren, and David Huffman co-star in this film.  This is a pretty good sentimental film with a good debut out of Johnson.  I also always enjoy Benson in this era before her become the voice of the Beast in BEAUTY AND THE BEAST.

Gypsy Colt (1954):  I decided to continue with the sentimental selections but this is one of those that involves an animal.  Andrew Marton directed this movie based on a story by Eric Knight.  Donna Corcoran stars as the young Meg who is very devoted to her horse Gypsy.  Her parents, played by Ward Bond and Frances Dee, make the choice to sell Gypsy as a potential race horse after fallen on the financial hard times.  Gypsy soon escapes and makes a long trek home.  Larry Keating, Lee Van Cleef, Robert Hyatt, and many others co-star in this film that is essentially a B-movie from MGM.  Many may read the plot and right away thing LASSIE, COME HOME which is true and extremely similar to that classic.  This was not any easier to watch the the other mentioned one.  I felt this was still of worth to see Ward Bond in a bigger role than usual and a young Lee Van Cleef.  Also one for the family to watch, just might not be easy if like me when it comes to animals making a long trek home that you know they will make it but know they will have a rough journey.

Beyond Rangoon (1995):  John Boorman directed this film that is based on a true story.  Patricia Arquette stars as Laura Bowman whose husband and son are murdered and goes on a vacation to Burma with her sister Andy, played by Frances McDormand.  Things get complicated when Laura loses her passport during a political rally and is unable to leave at the time.  She falls in with a group of students fighting for democracy and witnesses some bloody acts of oppression in trying to escape to Thailand.  Spalding Gray, U Aung Ko, Victor Slezak, and many others co-star in this film.  I found this to be a pretty moving film where I was really behind Laura.  A good double feature in this movie would be to include THE LADY which features politician Aung San Suu Kyi which is the person that inspires Laura.  A pretty underrated film that has gone overlooked and deserves a look.

Well, that is all for this week but I have returned with my segment "Movie Night in the Town of Pottersville".  Tell me what you like and dislike and stay tuned for next week.


Krampus (2015):  I took most of the week off with my show and after a rehearsal I went to hang out with my friends Stephanie and Drew.  While, this is usually a movie to watch during Christmas, they had just bought this on dvd and Steph insisted on watching it so I went ahead and stuck around having not seen it.  The young Max, played by Emjay Anthony, becomes disillusioned by Christmas not knowing he is summoning a festive demon forcing his dysfunctional family to come together and fight.  Adam Scott, Toni Collette, David Koechner, Stefania LaVie Owen, Krista Stadler, Conchata Ferrell, Allison Tolman, and many others co-star in this holiday movie.  This is more of a comedy than anything and really targets the Christmas haters and still enjoyed it even though I'm not really a hater of the holiday.  Koechner really reminds me of Randy Quaid from the Vacation movies and once had the pleasure of seeing him put on a local one man show in my town of Muncie.  I had not seen this but could start making this an annual holiday movie.

Saturday, April 14, 2018

"Baja" Review by Anthony T

Lately, yours truly have been busy reviewing on Anthony T’s Horror Chamber and another website that I’ll talk about in near future. I’m been forgetting what made me enjoy films. It’s these small films that has gotten me to write about films. So when I heard about “Baja”, I figured that I give it chance as I haven’t reviewed a comedy in a long time.

The film follows a young adult who has to spend Christmas break driving his parent’s RV to Cabo. The ride there leads to some misadventures when his friend persuades him to bring two women along. This leads him to cross paths with a gangster who wants to some illegal cell phones transported which gets stolen and to make matters worse, the RV gets taken away. Now, he and friends must try and find a way to get back the RV before his parents notice. The film stars Jake Thomas, Michelle Deshon, Chris Brochu, Arienne Mandi, Kurt Fuller, Cynthia Stevenson and Mark Margolis.

There is an old saying, always leave a good first impression. In film terms in my opinion, it means always set up everything to keep a viewer’s interest. That includes the story, the characters and the pace of the film. It allows you to get into everything in the story. “Baja” does none of these as this felt like a film that rushes through everything. One of the main problems with this film was the fact that the direction was horrible. Writer/director Tony Videl doesn’t do a good job making sure the flow of the moved at a reasonable pace as it felt like everything was rushed. Whether it’s the dialogue scenes to how he directs his cast, nothing is done to slow his story. It hurts whatever humor this film had this looked like a mess. It also didn’t help that Robert Lee’s editing was awful. It was very distracting. The transitions between each scene felt too quick and sometime annoying that it ruined the flow of most of the scenes which made this mind numbing to watch. When that happen, it makes it tough to watch as I barely got through this film with its 106 minute running time. The cast in this film wasn’t that great neither. Most of it is not their fault as there is a lot of things wrong with this film but I wished they tried to make their performances stand out as I wasn’t into this film from acting stand point as well. It would’ve made bearable to watch if that happened.

Videl’s screenplay was atrocious as it started from the very beginning with the character introductions. It was like here’s one character, then the next minute there’s another character and so on. My preference is a full scene or two that takes its time introducing a character, not quick one minute scenes and then you’re supposed to like about the character. You need to do this aspect slowly to make a viewer like myself interested to the point that you’re into the film. This made me not become interested in these characters as it was going fast without slowing down which goes back to the introduction on my thoughts because this hurt the film. It also didn’t help that there was a little character development and the humor wasn’t that funny as it wasn’t a good time.

I was really hioping to have a good time with this film. Sadly, there was bad from the starts with an array problem that sinks this film. “Baja” is one destination that I’d wait to get out there as its directing, editing and screenplay sinks this film.

Review Rating: One Star

Epic Pictures Group Acquires the Action Film "Redbad"

Epic Pictures Group recently released that they've acquired Roel Reiné (Black Sails, Inhumans)"Redbad". The film stars Jonathan Banks (BREAKING BAD, BETTER CALL SAUL), Soren Malling (THE KILLING, BORGEN) and Gijs Naber (TULIPANI, THE HEINEKEN KIDNAPPING).

No release date has been announced for "Redband".

Plot Synopsis:

AD 754. Northern Europe is divided into two different worlds: above the rivers are the Frisians, the Saxons and the Danes. Below the rivers, the Franks hold sway. Their aim is to do what the Romans never managed and conquer all of Europe, using their new weapon to subjugate the heathens: Christianity. They have their eye on the most important trade center of Europe, ruled over by the Frisian king Aldigisl. This film is a historic, action-packed epic about the rise of Christianity and the sagas and the ancient legends of Redbad.

"Redbad": Official Trailer

Friday, April 13, 2018

"Rampage" Review by Tim Hellman

'RAMPAGE': Three and a Half Stars (Out of Five)

A sci-fi monster flick based on the popular video game, of the same name (by Midway Games), about a genetic experiment gone wrong that transforms a trio of animals into destructive monsters. Dwayne Johnson stars as a primatologist who tries to rescue an infected albino gorilla, which he had bonded with, and stop the other monsters from destroying the city. The film costars Naomie Harris, Jeffrey Dean Morgan, Malin Åkerman, Jake Lacy, P.J. Byrne and Joe Manganiello . It was directed by Brad Peyton (who previously teamed with Johnson on the 2015 disaster flick 'SAN ANDREAS'), and it was scripted by Ryan Engle, Carlton Cuse, Ryan J. Condal and Adam Sztykiel. The film has received mixed to negative reviews from critics, and it's expected to be a modest hit at the Box Office as well. I found it to be mildly amusing (at times) but mostly forgettable.

Davis Okoye (Johnson) is an animal loving primatologist in Rwanda, who's also the head of an anti-poaching team there. His best friend is an albino silverback gorilla named George (Jason Liles). When Davis learns that George has been infected by an unknown substance, and is growing at an alarming rate because of it, he teams with a genetic engineer, named Dr. Kate Caldwell (Harris), to try and help him. Then he learns that two other animals have been infected by the same experimental serum, and the trio are soon destroying the city. Davis does everything he can to save his friend, and stop the rampaging monsters.

My favorite parts of the movie are the animals, the animal/human relationships, and the monster fight scenes. I also found the battle scenes in the climax to be pretty amusing, and nostalgic, when they imitate the video game it's based on (which I played back in the day). All of the human stuff is mostly boring though. The Rock has a few good scenes in it, and Akerman makes a sexy femme fatale villain (Lacy is mildly amusing as her dimwitted brother too), but other than that the movie is pretty dull when it centers on the humans (and all the unnecessary plot nonsense). So some of the film is entertaining, and worth seeing, but most of it is annoying filler.