Hey everybody, I’m back! Did you miss me? You know what? It doesn’t really matter because this week we’ve actually got some legit flicks to discuss. Besides Magic Mike, there’s that President-killing-vampires movie we all decided to wait for DVD to watch, a film set during the end of the world, that doc about the Dane that looked really insane, and even some full-frontal female nudity. There’s films with Seth Rogen, Steve Carell, Tyler Perry, and Bryan Cranston. There’s movies about writers and real estate agents, and match-making dogs. There’s even two flicks about deaf people, but you didn’t hear it from me. Well, you did, but it was a joke, see. Yeah, you’re all glad I’m back.
Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter
Seeking A Friend For The End Of The World
Take This Waltz
Tyler Perry’s Madea’s Witness Protection
The Ambassador (Also available for streaming)
Fear And Desire
Wrong Turn 5: Bloodlines
The Invisible War
Gabe The Cupid Dog
I Am Bish
Want to know which one is a Dove Foundation-approved film about a talking dog? Continue reading. Want to know which one is the fifth installment in a series of films? Continue reading. Want to know which president is killing all those vampires? Continue reading. Are you insulted by my estimation of your intelligence? Skip on over to the Netflix suggestions by clickingMagic Mike
When it was first announced that Oscar-winning director Steven Soderbergh would be helming the Channing Tatum-starring male stripper movie inspired by Tatum’s own days as a male stripper, I didn’t really believe it. Soderbergh does his share of odd projects, but a stripper movie about/starring that guy from G.I. Joe who burned his dick off? It would either be the greatest or the worst film in history. Strangely enough, it ended up being one of the greatest; Vince’s review gave the film an ‘A-‘ (The best film of the Summer! – Vince Mancini), and Burnsy named it one of his favorite films of the year. It’s worth mentioning that those two fine gentlemen rarely see eye-to-cinematic-eye; Vince hates everything and Burnsy has no taste. The point is, they both really liked it, and therefore it’s probably really good. Plus, it’s now on DVD (obviously) so everyone who was too chickensh*t to be seen buying a ticket can watch it in the privacy of their own home. Better still, the DVD comes with an Ultraviolet digital copy, so you don’t ever have to be without Channing Tatum and his sweet sweet abs. The bad news? There’s no commentary track. Probably just as well, I hate trying to listen to some guy talk while I’m
jacking off watching a movie.
Remember when this was supposed to be one of this summer’s big blockbuster hits? Remember when it tanked? Remember when Burnsy wrote that he wanted to see it? Remember when in the previous paragraph I said that he had no tatse? (I kid, Ashley, I kid.) Hollywood tried cramming this down our throats, and we weren’t having it. Good for us! That being said, given the right expectations, I will concede that this might make for a fun rental to watch while getting drunk. In fact, I’ve even heard from a few people that this film is actually kind of good. The problem is that each and every one of these people adds on the same caveat: It’s a good movie, as long as you don’t care about historical accuracy. That about sums it up, I think. It’s got ‘Vampire Hunter’ in the title; I don’t think a ‘these events, while portraying actual persons, are not historically factual’ is really necessary, and given that these mouth-breathers championing the film think that it is, leads me back to my initial suspicion that the movie is crap. To be honest, I can’t decide if these people are idiots, or if they just think I am. I suppose it comes with the territory when discussing films with the other dudes at the methadone clinic.
This is that flick where Steve Carell and Keira Knightley hang out while awaiting the end of the world. Or something like that. This one kind of fell through the cracks of my cinematic awareness, to be honest. Thankfully, Vince once again covers my ass by providing me with a review that I can easily read and paraphrase. In short, Vince really liked the first half hour of this flick, but that beyond that the film veered away from his expectations (not that any film need adhere to expectations) and as a result, he didn’t really like the rest of the movie. He goes on to list the various ways the film irked him (under-using comedic ringers like Patton Oswalt, for one example) and in general he writes a pretty negative review. Then, demonstrating his point about letting go of one’s expectations by messing with my expectations for the review, Vince awarded the film a pretty solid ‘B’ rating. So is it good or is it bad? F*ck if I know.
Unlike Seeking A Friend For The End Of The World, I have seen Take This Waltz, and you know what? I still can’t tell you if it was good or bad. I will say that it didn’t bore me, which is actually pretty strong praise for a film about a quirky Canadian chick, her cookbook writing husband, and her affair with their neighbor from across the street –a guy who pulls a rickshaw around for a living. The problem (or is it a benefit?) is that the film doesn’t really pass judgment on any of the characters; the husband (a fairly non-Seth Rogeny Seth Rogen) doesn’t deserve to be cheated on, so you don’t really identify with Michelle Williams, but at the same time she isn’t so unlikeable herself that you actively hate her. As for the rickshaw guy, well, he did pull them for free on their anniversary, so he’s probably an OK dude. I honestly can’t say what I thought of this movie. Just as in real life, I generally don’t give a f*ck about other people’s relationships. So why wasn’t I bored, you might ask? Because this is that movie in which Sarah Silverman goes full frontal. So does Michelle Williams, by the way. And approximately four other women. All together. At the same time. Plus there is a sex-montage comprised of Williams getting fairly creative with sexual positions. I’m sure my take on the film is precisely what director Sarah Polley had hoped for.
When I first heard that Tyler Perry would be playing Alex Cross in Alex Cross, I hoped that it would become a big hit so that we would be rid of these awful Madea films. As I’m sure you know, Alex Cross came out last Friday, and it didn’t do well at all. (If you haven’t already, read Laremy’s ‘F’ review.) So, it seems we’re stuck with the Madea franchise for the time being, a truth that makes me very sad. Mind you, I haven’t seen any Madea films, nor do I intend to, but he cranks these f*ckers out like once a month, and I’m running out of sh*tty things to say about them upon their inevitable DVD releases. By the way, the actual title is ‘Tyler Perry’s Madea’s Witness Protection’. Are there people out there making knock-off films? Are there confused film-goers? “Wait, wait wait, this isn’t Martin Scorsese’s Madea’s African Safari, is it? Because I won’t watch that sh*t!” For the record, I would totally watch that sh*t.
This is that insane looking documentary where that Danish dude, Mads Brügger, pretending to be an eccentric European businessman, traveled to the Central African Republic in order to see if he could use a fake diplomatic title and smuggle out some blood diamonds. The two things most reviews seem to say about this flick is that it is fascinating in its audacity and yet also troubling in Brügger’s participation in the racist treatment of the locals. Vince touches on both of these topics quite thoroughly in his ‘A-‘ review, as well as in his interview with Brügger, so I don’t have much to add, except to say that Vince’s take and Brügger’s explanation –that the racism was necessary to blend in- makes sense to me. Of course I haven’t seen the movie yet, but if there’s one thing I know it’s that FilmDrunk is the internet’s leading film/humor website when it comes to racial sensitivity. No offensive racial humor here, folks. We much prefer misogyny. And mocking the
mentally retarded disabled differently-abled. And especially racial humor.
(Also available on Netflix Instant.)
Brandon Routh, that dude who played Superman after the dead wheelchair dude played Superman, but before our forthcoming bearded, introspective Superman, plays the prodigal son of some Native American tribe who has to Mighty Ducks his way through coaching a lacrosse team. The evil rival team is comprised of all blond kids, of course. I know it shouldn’t matter in this Johhny Depp-is-Tonto world we’re currently living in, but I checked out Routh’s IMDb bio to see if he had any Indian blood running through his veins, and all I could definitively find out is that he can play trumpet and piano. No word on if that’s at the same time or separately. I’m just assuming that it’s separately, because if it were at the same time, he really would be a super man.
You know what they say about Hollywood: the only way to snag a really great role is to write one for yourself. With that in mind, Rick Gomez and Frank John Hughes, a couple of the brothers from HBO’s Band of Brothers wrote and star in this thriller about a writer who survives a ‘recent trauma’ but is now plagued by terrifying dreams. He decides the only way to address these dreams is by writing a novel inspired by them because actors who try to be writers aren’t creative enough to write about anything other than writers writing. Obviously, a mysterious but familiar drifter shows up and blah blah blah, straight to DVD. This film co-stars that dude from Office Space who was also in Band of Brothers, and my current man-crush, Breaking Bad’s Bryan Cranston, who wasn’t in Band of Brothers but was in Saving Private Ryan, so I’d say that’s pretty much the same thing.
This is Stanley Kubrick’s first feature film and it is making its legal home video debut almost 60 years after its theatrical release. The history behind this flick is crazy: Kubrick financed the film almost entirely from money donated by his family members. Shortly after it came out, Kubrick disowned it and vowed to never re-release the print (as the film was self-financed, he owned it outright) –and he never did. However, when making that print, Kodak made a second copy –per their company policy- for their own archives. This second print ended up being the source for illegal bootlegs that have bounced around ever since. For many years, the only legal way to see the film was to go to the Kodak archives in New York. Kubrick (and later, his estate) stipulated that it could only be screened on the premises and that only one person could view it at a time. Long assumed lost or destroyed, the original camera negative was found in the late 1980s in Puerto Rico. Nobody has any idea how it ended up there, but it is now owned by the Library of Congress. In short, Kubrick didn’t want anyone to see this movie. Ever. Well, he’s dead and his estate’s hungry for money so it’s been fully restored from the Library of Congress’ first-generation film elements and now you can buy it and watch it whenever the hell you want. What better way to honor arguably cinema’s greatest director than to flagrantly ignore his wishes?
Jesus Christ, get a map already!
What could possibly be scarier than a horror film about three sexy people being trapped in a sauna? How about some of this week’s other new horror DVDs? There’s: Puppet Master X: Axis Rising – When the Nazis get their dirty hands on the puppets, they use the puppet serum to create Nazi puppets that the regular puppets must now combat. I haven’t seen the first nine of these films, but I have a feeling none of that would make sense even if I did. Dropping Evil – LSD turns some guy into a psycho and he starts killing his friends. Meh. Still, beats an evil sauna. Mark Of The Beast –for a film with a ‘silver faceless leper’ as the monster, this sure does look dull, which is strange becuase I usually find lepers quite frightening. From Beneath –Evil leeches. Nothing can top the leech scene from Stand By Me in terms of terrifying me. Who’d have guessed that the fat kid would end up being the one with the best career? (And even he’s starring in a reboot of The Munsters, so its not like the other
three two guys have to do too much to best him.) Finally, there’s Jack In The Box, a horror film about six people forced to play musical chairs. The person who isn’t sitting when the music stops dies. You know, just like a jack in the box.
It’s hard enough trying to sell a house these days (thanks a lot, Obama), but how much harder would it be if your house was haunted? That’s the wacky predicament in which Richard finds himself in this utterly stupid looking indie horror comedy. Oh my, the faucet turned itself on, how will he handle this situation? Ha ha ha, the closet is actually a portal to the spirit realm. Good look explaining that one on Zillow! Also, Richard’s last name is Scarry. Get it? It’s like ‘scary’ but spelled differently! Terrific! For what it’s worth, they do make reference to the children’s author of the same name. That’s neither here nor there, but as a parent who keeps The Busy World of Richard Scarry – The Complete 65 Episode Series DVD boxset in his Amazon cart, it is the first thing that came to my mind. My kids can’t get enough of that Huckle Cat. The Busytown Mysteries TV series is even more beloved than the original series. My point is that 65 half hours of a talking cat having adventures with his animal friends is more appealing to me than this film. Probably funnier and scarier, too. Plus, I’d put money down that Lowly Worm is a better real estate salesman than the guy in this movie. That single-booted sonofabitch worm could sell milk to a cow. He actually did do that in one of the episodes, now that I’m thinking about it.
Oscar-nominated documentarian Kirby Dick directs this documentary about ‘the epidemic of rape of soldiers within the US military, the institutions that perpetuate and cover up its existence, and its profound personal and social consequences’. Yeesh. I’m not saying that it isn’t an important topic, and I’m certainly not saying that it doesn’t deserve more attention, but wouldn’t we all rather I tell you about a couple other of this week’s new documentaries? First up there’s Breaking And Entering, a doc about all those wacky Guinness records and the people who strive to get them. Juggling while jogging is called ‘Joggling’. It’s a thing. So now you know. Also out today is a doc called Under The Scares. It examines the world of low-budget indie horror filmmaking. It basically seems like a sob story about how hard it is for serious artists to find distribution so they can get their work out there and have it be appreciated by the public. Obviously, they just need an original idea. Like a film about three sexy people getting trapped in a sauna.
Now we’re talking! Enough hoo-hah about lady soldiers getting raped, let’s talk cupid dogs! Does Gabe talk to other animals? F*ck yeah he does! Do they bother to have the animals’ mouths move in sync with their dialogue? Hell no they don’t! Stupendous, simply stupendous. Does Gabe ring the doorbell with an obvious dog-paw puppet hand? Of course! And if you hadn’t already noticed, that’s a Dove Foundation seal of approval on the box cover. Let’s see what they’ve got to say: “Gabe The Cupid Dog is dog-gone good fun from start to finish.” Awesome. Content warnings- “Sex: Romantic kissing a few times. Language: Stupid; Pervert; “for the love of God” –said reverently. Drugs: Beer and wine consumed in a couple of scenes; Man gives another a cigar. Nudity: Woman takes bikini top off to sunbather and dog steal top (a little cleavage is seen); Girls on a beach lean down to pet dog revealing a great deal of cleavage. Other: Talk of a boy flushing his sister’s Barbie doll down the toilet.” Wait, wait, wait. How can a film with that much cleavage earn the Dove seal of approval? How did this earn 4 Doves out of 5? As it turns out, the reviewer includes a caveat. The Family-Approved Seal is only for ages 12 and up, due to ‘excessive cleavage issues’. Thank god for that. There’s no way younger kids can maturely handle boobs on film like 12-year-old boys can.
You know what would have made The Town a much better film? If Ben Affleck and his crew were all deaf. No kidding. Check out this trailer. There’s another deaf-person flick hitting DVD today, Claustrophobia. I’m including that trailer as well because the voice-over guy should be given some sort of award for not laughing while saying lines like, “Even A Deaf Man Can’t Escape The Voices In His Head,” and “When You Can’t Hear, Who Do You Listen To?” Claustrophobia stars a real-life deaf dude, which frankly surprised me because he absolutely nails the “I thought I heard something” line in the trailer. I really believed that he heard something, you know?
Remember when I mentioned Under The Scares, the documentary about independent horror filmmakers and how hard it is for them to find distribution for their films? Well how the f*ck do they explain this? Just look at the zombies. Is that washable marker lazily smeared all over their faces and arms? I think it might be. The special effects are worth noting as well. This movie is available for purchase right now from Amazon. There’s even a PAL version for everyone who doesn’t use NTSC the way God intended. If I’ve learned anything writing this feature, it’s that anything –ANYTHING- can get distribution. The only way you could make a zombie movie that looks worse than this is to have the zombies get trapped inside a sauna while playing musical chairs. Actually, that sounds pretty decent. It could be called Saun of the Dead.
It was mentioned once or twice before, but it bears repeating that The Ambassador (pictured above) is already streaming via Netflix. It’s easily the best choice for streaming this week. If you like your documentaries without all that pesky racism, you could also stream another one of today’s new films, Breaking And Entering. Other recently added releases include We Are The Hartmans, Act Of Valor, Warriors Of The Rainbow: Seediq Bale, The Woman In The Fifth, Paranormal Activity 3, and Freelancers. There’s actually some decent choices among those films, assuming you find Robert De Niro pairing up with 50 Cent a decent viewing choice. If not, try one of these wonderful films:
Earlier this month I wrote about the DVD release of The Hole, a PG-13 horror flick from the director who gave us Gremlins. In the comments for that post, Erswi pointed out that there is another film called The Hole, and that it starred Seeking A Friend For The End Of The World‘s Keira Knightley and her barely legal tits. What he didn’t tell you is that the The Hole with Keira Knightley’s tits is streaming. Well, it is and now you know.
The Red Chapel
The Ambassador isn’t Mads Brügger’s first attempt at getting himself killed making a documentary. In The Red Chapel, he took two Danish-Korean comedians –one with cerebral palsy- to North Korea to allegedly perform a comedy show. The real agenda was to mock North Korea’s oppressive government. I hear his next film will involve him traveling throughout the Middle East, posing as a filmmaker raising funds to make a biopic about the Prophet Muhammad, who will be portrayed by a live pig.
Paths Of Glory
Just four short years after he made Fear And Desire, Stanley Kubrick took another shot at making a war picture and this is the result. Actually, this is an anti-war war film, and it is really fantastic. Of course 30 years after Paths Of Glory Kubrick also made Full Metal Jacket, which is also fantastic. Any reasonable person might therefore assume that Fear And Desire must also be pretty good, but from what I understand, everyone who has seen it agrees with Kubrick that it is an abomination. Still, Paths Of Glory’s good and you should watch it. Kirk Douglas stars in it, and if nothing else, it will remind you of what he was like before he got all strokey and awkward.
This Film Is Not Yet Rated
Kirby Dick, the documentarian behind the wholly-depressing sounding The Invisible War also made this documentary about the strange film rating system we have here in the U.S. It’s a mostly fascinating look into the MPAA, how it determines what ratings films get, what impact that has on the box office, and how there’s next to nothing the filmmakers can do about it. Appropriately enough, This Film Is Not Yet Rated is, in fact, unrated. The reason? Same as always –too much Dick on screen.