FilmDrunk

Your Mid-Week Guide To DVD And Streaming

 Miley Cyrus, Katherine Heigl, and Brooke Hogan.  I’m so very sorry.

The headline pretty much sums this week up.  I don’t know if the movie studios think everyone’s outside playing sports or watching the Olympics, or going to see The Dark Knight Rises again, or what.  LOL, which was barely released, is easily the highest-profile film this week.  Things aren’t all bad, however.  There are a few possibly interesting new flicks, just probably nothing you’ve heard of before. Besides LOL‘s Cyrus and Moore, there’s flicks with Katherine Heigl, and Brooke Hogan (obviously), and there’s also a movie co-starring Dane Cook.  Oh, f*ck it, let’s just get on with it.

The DVDs:
LOL
Zyzzyx Road
Detention
ATM
4.3.2.1
Sand Sharks
We The Party
Cole Younger And The Black Train
Hijacked
Last Days Here
The Understudy
Scalene
Fortress
Heaven Strewn
The Whisperer In Darkness
The Bunny Game

Nobody’s going to blame you if you just click here for the Netflix suggestions, but a few of these movies look like they just might be watchable, and the only way to know which ones they are is to keep reading on the next page.
LOL

Miley Cyrus made this movie to prove to the world that she is a grown woman and a legitimate actress.  Her character, Lola (Lol, for short) does things like have sex and travel internationally.  There’s even (allegedly) a scene in which her mother, played by Demi Moore, discovers that Cyrus has been grooming her pubic hair.  For sex-related activities, one must presume. (And, seriously, google ‘demi moore bush’ if you want to see how hypocritical it is for her to be giving pubic hair criticisms.)  There’s maybe more to the plot than that, but let’s not pretend that anyone cares to see this movie.  After all, Lionsgate made this flick and they even knew it was a pile of nasally congested crap –so much so that they gave it no advertising and just barely gave it a (contractually required) theatrical release. As Vince so helpfully broke down last May, LOL only played on 105 screens, and only made $46,500 on its opening (and closing) weekend.  Vince went on to run the numbers and eventually came down to the conclusion that the average screening sold less than three tickets.  Holy sh*t, that’s pathetic.  Hopefully this will end the current phase of Miley Cyrus evolution (from human child to corporate merchandise machine to pubescent pedo-phantasy, to teen pedo-phantasy, to ‘legitimate’ artist, to rebellious young adult, to ‘for real, I’m a legitimate’ artist, to drugged out joke, to turning down Playboy, to starring in a SyFy original film, to appearing in Playboy, to pitching a reality show, to drug bust, to rehab, to 25th birthday, and finally to sordid  former child-celebrity death. What kind of death?  I’m gonna go with drowning while attempting to deep-throat a sea cucumber.)  The point is, this movie was shot in 2010, barely released this year, and did so poorly that the very mention of the film is an automatic punchline.  LOL, indeed.  Three tickets per screening.  That’s gotta be some kind or record. But, is there anyone more deserving of our schadenfreude than Miley Cyrus?


Zyzzyx Road

My apologies, Ms. Cyrus.  Ms. Heigl, please step forward. FilmDrunkards, I present to you Zyzzyx Road.  This low-budget thriller stars Katherine Heigl and Tom Sizemore.  It was shot in 2006, released theatrically in 2007, and is getting a DVD release today.  Oh and by the way, it is the lowest-grossing film of all time. Whereas LOL took in $46, 500, Zyzzyx Road earned a total of $30.  Not $30 million.  Not $30,000.  Thirty Dollars.  Total. Actually, it only made $20 because of the grand total of six tickets sold, the director reimbursed someone $10 for their purchase of two of those tickets.  Entertainment Weekly has a long article about how this all came to pass, but the short version is that God, as he is a just and loving creator, hates Katherine Heigl.  Not really (yes really).  SAG rules required that Zyzzyx Road get a theatrical screening so it received one, but minimally so, as it was always intended to be just a calling-card piece of filmmaking; it was meant to be a stepping-stone to enable the filmmakers to pursue their greater passion.  That passion: Animal movies.  But none of that Lassie bullsh*t.  Canine Rambo, and animal Hannibal Lecter –that’s the type of animal movies we’re talking about.  For real, it’s in the fourth paragraph of that EW article.  Well, hopefully things will turn around with the DVD release.  It’s only been five years after the theatrical release, and I’m sure they’ve learned their lesson about how to market a movie.  After all, it isn’t as if they f*cked up the spelling of their star’s name on the box cover.


Detention

Remember Torque?  Yeah, me neither.  It’s one of those films that, while certainly bad, wasn’t so inept as to be remembered as legendarily sh*tty.  It didn’t become part of our common vernacular.  Nobody  says, “LOL is so bad it makes Torque look good,” or “…which makes about as much sense as that stupid movie Torque.”  I’m sorry, but Torque wasn’t Plan 9 From Outer Space, Ishtar, Battleship, or Jack and Jill.  That’s why when the trailer for this film actually has someone say “…which makes about as much sense as that stupid movie Torque,” and follows it with ‘A Joseph Kahn Film’, I correctly guessed that Kahn was, in fact, the director of both films and that this movie would suck.  Of course, it gets worse.  There’s a killer attacking kids like in Scream, and just as your brain says to itself, “This looks like a re-make of Scream.  Did I even like Scream?  Was Neve Campbell hot in Scream? I bet she’s old now –I never bothered to see Scream 4.  Or Scre4m, or whatever it was.  What the hell kind of name is Neve, anyway?” Just when your brain thinks that, a character in the trailer says, “this sounds just like that horror film, Scream.” So, it’s gonna be like that.  Anyhow, Josh Hutcherson and some other less famous young actors play a group of rag-tag kids in detention who have to survive a sh*tty horror comedy.  Dane Cook plays the clueless authority figure. Yup. For real.  He even mentions Lady Gaga.  You wanna know the worst part?  This is easily one of the better looking flicks this week.


ATM

This is the latest flick written by the guy who wrote Buried, and as Vince has pointed out, it’s another gimmick-thriller.  Instead of one dude buried in a coffin, we have three people trapped in an ATM! To be perfectly honest, every thought I have about this movie has been already stated in that previous post and its comments, so all I can say is that, somehow, the trailer makes it look even stupider than you would imagine from the description of the premise.  Watch the trailer and it can be like those pictures in Highlights magazine, where you find all the errors.  Why don’t they run?  Why is the ATM filling with liquid?  Did the killer do that?  If so, when he went and got a hose or something, why didn’t they run at that point?  Why is Josh Peck wearing the killer’s coat while the dude from The Hurt Locker is attacking him?  Does that mean Peck is the killer, even though he was inside the ATM while the killer was outside the ATM?  Did the trailer just spoil the movie?  Does anyone care?  For real, there are many more glaring errors to find.  If you spent one hour trying to write a script for this premise, I guarantee you that you would come up with a better screenplay than the real one.  At least in my version of things, Alice Eve would take her shirt off.


4.3.2.1

Here we have another film that’s a few years old but is only now getting a straight-to-DVD release.  Noticing a pattern? Anyhow, this one is about four girls, three days, two cities, and one chance.  (Thanks, box cover!)  Not knowing what the hell any of that’s supposed to mean, this British flick is actually about four female friends who have grown apart and moved on: one works at a supermarket, one is heading to New York, one is a ‘militant feminist’ and the last girl is suicidal, but when all of their paths cross with some jewel thieves, they come crashing back together, and something something friendship and fate.  I have no idea what leaps of logic are required to make a storyline with that synopsis, but I’m sure it all makes perfect sense.  Emma Roberts plays the grocery store clerk, by the way.  As this is from two years ago, I guess that was still when Hollywood was trying to make her happen.  Looks like her career is more like Daddy Eric’s and less like Aunt Julia’s. Oh well.  Incidentally, I don’t want this movie to suck; in fact, I’ve always liked Go, and this looks like it could be Go Again, or something, but this will suck.  Kevin Smith’s in it, see.  He plays ‘Big Larry’ and in the trailer at least, his scene’s set on an airplane.  God damn, I’d rather see Dane Cook playing a high school principal.


Sand Sharks

Brooke Hogan.  Corin ‘Parker Lewis Can’t Lose’ Nemec.  Sharks.  Sand.  Sand Sharks.  Directed by Mark Atkins (director of The Asylum’s Alien Origin and Battle Of Los Angeles), you’d be forgiven if you thought this too was from The Asylum, but it isn’t.  In fact, their own Shark Week hits DVD next month, so be patient.  Vince shared this flick with us a while back, and there’s really and truly nothing left to add.  It’s a movie about sand sharks starring the mannish female offspring of an aging pro-wrestler.  Pretty straight-forward, actually.  If you prefer your crappy flicks authentically from The Asylum, the’ve got a new one out this week, too.  (Of course they do.  They always do.)  It’s The Haunting Of Whaley House, and I’m sure you can infer what it’s like as a film.  Incidentally, there really is a Whaley House, and it’s allegedly the most haunted house in America, although I don’t know how they can determine such a thing. At any rate, unless the ghosts are in bikinis, my money’s on Sand Sharks, even with the unfortunate inclusion of Brooke ‘I’m telling you, that’a clit, not a dick’ Hogan. Sure it is, Brooke. Sure it is.


We The Party

Mario Van Peebles writes and directs this film that sets out to portray teenagers ‘as they really are and not as adults would like them to be’.  Well, assuming this trailer is accurate, real teenagers have stacks of cash, throw extravagant parties, drive expensive cars, and get into trouble with the law.  You know what, though?  Whatever. Maybe these kids really do those things.  This film stars Van Peebles’ real-life kids and if that is what their life is like, so be it. What bugs me is the ‘…not as adults would like them to be’ part.  Where are those movies?  Most teen flicks are about teens throwing massive parties and getting in trouble with the law or selling drugs or having the sex with each other, and basically, look pretty much like this flick.  There are no other teen movies.  This one doesn’t stand out. In fact, it is exactly the same.  Plus, adults don’t ‘want’ teens to be like anything.  We just want them to leave us the f*ck alone.  We remember being teenagers; we know that it is a time of making an ass of oneself and living to regret it. Listen to your stupid music, just leave me alone.  Sit near me at the movies, just shut the hell up and leave me alone.  Wear your stupid looking clothes, but leave me alone.  I have no feelings on how you should act or look because eventually you will grow out of it.  That’s how it works. As for the film, as it is about teenagers, I mostly don’t care one way or the other. It isn’t for me.  It looks like so many other teen movies, but with one big selling point: FilmDrunk’s newest best friend, Michael Jai White is in it.  He plays a cop who crashes the party.  The cops never stopped the parties I went to in high school, but that’s probably because I went to parochial school and what were they gonna do, tell us to stop playing Bible trivia so loudly?


Cole Younger And The Black Train

Here we have a western that stars Michael Madsen.  In short, it looks exactly what you’d expect it to look like. It’s ‘based on true events’ as you surely knew it would be.  What’s really fun is that Michael Madsen isn’t even the main character.  I know, I know, the box cover makes it look like he is, and I’m as hurt by the deception as you are.  The filmmakers are trying to sell us on our love of Michael Madsen, only to pull the old-bait-and-switch.  For real though, is there a sadder actor for them to use with this ploy?  Who seeks out Michael Madsen movies?  This must be really bad, too, because Madsen isn’t even listed on this film’s IMDb page.  What do you imagine is the story there?  Did he have his name taken off of it, and if so, does he know about the box art?  There’s another true-story, PG-rated western coming out today and it’s called Redemption: For Robbing The Dead.  It looks arguably better than Cole Younger And The Black Train but that’s like stating a preference between which type of cancer you’d like to have kill your toddler.  Also, why are there PG-rated westerns?  The PG rating all but guarantees that the only possible reason to watch a low budget western (the violence) is absent from the final product. It’s like watching pornography with the sex edited out.  In conclusion, I want Michael Madsen and Zyzzyx Road’s Tom Sizemore to team-up for a movie together.  Perhaps a re-make of Face/Off.


Hijacked

UFC’s Randy Couture stars as a CIA agent in this film where apparently everybody is a bodybuilder (except for that one computer guy, because computers are for fags). That is all.


Last Days Here

Vince told us about this one back in February because he loves movies about aging metalheads.  While probably not as enthusiastic as Mr. Mancini, I would watch this movie. This is the one about Bobby Liebling, the lead singer of 70s band Pentagram, and his love affair with drugs and couches.  Okay, there’s also the effort to rehabilitate his life and career, but really, it’s all about the couches. What blows my mind is that in the trailer he says he’s been addicted to heroin for 39 years. 39 YEARS.  That’s got to be some kind of achievement, and not just because he’s still alive. I want to know how -exactly- did he get his drugs.  He never leaves his parents’ couch, let alone their basement. I mean, you gotta figure he’s got his parents getting his drugs for him, right?  What kind of words did this trembling burnt-out use to convince them?  I like to imagine his elderly father going out to some seedy alley to score for his son.  Or, when money’s too tight, his elderly mother blowing dudes for heroin –because she loves her boy.  THAT’S the documentary I want to see.


The Understudy

This one’s from 2008, so it’s empirically inferior to 4.3.2.1, but empirically superior to Zyzzyx Road.  Either way, it looks god-awful.  It’s basically a re-tread of All About Eve (in other words, it’s Showgirls without the tits). The only minor twist is that the understudy keeps killing the people they bring in to replace the lead in the play.  It’s all for the art, though.  If they didn’t suck, she wouldn’t kill them, I guess.  Watching the trailer, it’s obviously trying to be a comedy, but the only thing that made me laugh is the voice-over guy’s voice-over voice.  Voice. Voice.  Now I’m doing that thing where you think about a word so much that it starts to sound weird and you’re not even sure it really is a word.  Voice. Voice. Voice.  Still, this looks better than Falling Overnight, an indie drama about a dude with a brain tumor and the girl he meets on the night before his surgery that will remove the tumor, and in the process, remove the memory of their magical night. I swear to you guys, in just two weeks The Raid: Redemption comes out, so please bear with me. I have no idea why god has forsaken DVDs for the entire month of July, but we’re almost out of the woods. Not next week -that looks pretty grim as well- but soon.  Soon.  Voice.


Scalene

I must admit, watching the trailer, this one intrigued me. First off, there’s Margo Martindale, who I’ll give the benefit of the doubt ever since her turn as Mags Bennett on Justified.  Second,…well, really that’s it.  The rest of the trailer looks kind of ‘meh’.  Martindale has a mentally handicapped son and she hires a young woman to help manage his care, and it kind of looks like an indie drama about  a woman who must come to terms with the knowledge that as both she and her adult son age, she won’t be able to take care of him forever.  Or maybe not, as there is some blood and stuff and at one point the son tries to grab the helper girl’s boob.  (She’s young Jenny from Forrest Gump, by the way. “Dear God, make me a bird. So I could fly far. Far far away…”) Researching this film a bit, it’s once again an example of an indie trailer that would’ve been better if they actually mentioned a bit of the plot. You see, this is a Rashomon-style flick in which each of the three main characters recounts their own version of the same event -namely the rape of the girl by the mentally handicapped young man.  There’s also some mention of Martindale’s getting revenge for her son’s subsequent incarceration, so it’s got that going for it as well.  Who could’ve guessed that one of the best looking new DVDs in weeks would be about rape and mental disability? Probably everybody.  That’s a combo that works every time.


Fortress

Bug Hall, the kid who played Alfalfa in The Little Rascals movie from 1994, and as recently as 2004 was an acting teacher in John Travolta’s brother’s ‘entertainment experience’ co-stars with the guy who played The Sherminator in the American Pie movies in this true-story (Damn it all to hell!) WWII flick directed by the guy who did the special effects makeup for BASEketball.  Keeping all that in mind, it looks pretty good, actually.


Heaven Strewn

Remember No Country For Old Men?  Well, the folks behind this flick hope not, as this looks to be a pale rip-off of that flick.  There’s two friends out in the desert or something, they stumble upon some money that they know is crime-related and not theirs, they take it anyway, and mayhem ensues.  I don’t think there’s an Anton Chigurh character, but really, how could there be?  In short, this doesn’t look good, but that doesn’t mean it looks bad, either.  It just looks derivative.  Also, I do enjoy the attention that seems to be paid to the performers’ facial hair.  And I liked the little bit that starts around 1:24 in the trailer, I guess.  I’m probably just reacting positively to the fact that this isn’t a true story.  I dunno.  One of the two main dudes in this flick worked as a grip on last week’s The Girl From The Naked Eye, so at least this was made by professionals committed to only the very best in quality entertainment.


The Whisperer In Darkness

Shot in black-and-white and in a style meant to invoke 1930s horror films, this H.P. Lovecraft adaptation was actually produced by the H.P. Lovecraft Historical Society and it looks like it might be entertaining.  The whole decision to make it as a 1930s-style horror flick is actually really clever.  For one, it fits the subject matter, as well as the time of Lovecraft’s writing (the short story on which the film is based is from 1931).  Also, the horrible acting and low-budget sets, effects, etc. now just seem ‘of the period’ instead of simply amateurish and awkward.  This film was made by a group of passionate fans and they went out of their way to make it as faithful to the source and author as possible.  Or maybe not, as the few reviews I could find said that, while a fun film, the plot strays from Lovecraft’s original story quite significantly.  Oh well, here’s hoping they at least kept his notorious racism intact.


The Bunny Game

Needless to say, this film is ‘partially inspired by true events experienced by lead actress/co-writer Rodleen Getsic’.  In other words, one day she saw a big rig drive by and began to think how crazy it would be if she were a hooker who got abducted and tortured by a trucker.  None of that really matters, however, because this looks intense.  The trailer looks like David Lynch made a torture-porn flick, and I mean that in the most complimentary way possible.  The Bunny Game is banned in the UK, and based on this trailer alone, I’m not surprised.  It’s very NSFW (as in even more-so than Demi Moore’s monstrous bush).  You watch what they put into the trailer and you can only imagine what’s in the actual movie -and if IMDb can be trusted- what’s in the movie is unsimulated sex.  But not the fun kind, I’m sure.  It’s probably more the ‘I feel bad for this poor actress, even if she did write it’ kind. If this looks like too much of a good thing (and to be honest, it kinda does) there’s always Dead Season hitting DVD today as well.  It’s about zombies.  At this point I’m just assuming it, too, is a true story.

We’ve got three movies that we’ve covered in the past that are now available through streaming, and they are: the awful looking The Yellow Wallpaper, the definitely stupid, but possibly fun Abraham Lincoln Vs. Zombies, and the actually legitimately good looking Bullhead. If you wanted to stream any of this week’s new DVDs,well that’s just too bad, but as usual, I am providing some back-catalog suggestions that are all films starring at least one of the stars of this week’s new DVDs. Plus, this week they are all films I haven’t seen, but I really honestly have heard good things about:

King Of The Hill

Zyzzyx Road’s Katherine Heigl is in the cast of this little-seen Steven Soderbergh flick from 1993.  It’s about a young boy during the Great Depression living in a run-down motel.  I have no idea how large a role Heigl plays, but I’m guessing it’s a pretty small part.  So that’s good.  Also, I’m guessing this is more serious, Traffic and Che Soderbergh and less Haywire and Contagion Soderbergh.  Who am I trying to kid?  It’s not Magic Mike Soderbergh, so ultimately nobody’s satisfied.

Red

Tom Sizemore (Zyzzyx Road) co-stars in this film about Brian Cox taking revenge on the teenagers who killed his pet dog.  He gets his revenge by calling a bunch of ex-CIA agents out of retirement.  I think.  I might be getting this movie confused with another Red. Is this one of those movies that shows teenagers how adults wish they were?  I only ask because I don’t think anyone wishes teens were killing dogs.  I probably shouldn’t write these posts while drunk, but on the other hand, I really like to drink.

Cross

I won’t lie, I haven’t actually heard of this movie before, but the cast alone makes it sound amazing.  You’ve got Danny Trejo, Michael Clarke Duncan, Vinnie Jones (who I didn’t mention before, but is in Hijacked, I assure you), C. Thomas Howell, Tom Sizemore (Zyzzyx Road, again), Jake Busey, Robert Carradine, William Zabka, and Brian Austin Green as the title character, Cross. He plays a superhero vigilante who teams up with weapons experts to rescue Los Angeles from the clutches of evil.  This. Sounds. Awesome.

The Winning Season

4.3.2.1’s Emma Roberts and Scalene’s Margo Martindale co-star in this indie comedy about Sam Rockwell with a mustache trying to coach a girls’ basketball team. It’s like The Bad News Bears meets indoor sports meets Sam Rockwell with a mustache. (Vince met Sam Rockwell once. Sadly, he was sans mustache.)  To be honest, I’ll watch any movie that has Sam Rockwell with a mustache.  If he also dances, that’s just icing on the cake. I don’t know if he dances, but he does have witty banter with Rob  Corddry, so I’ll call it even.

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