FilmDrunk

Your Mid-Week Guide To DVD And Streaming: Paranormal Activity At Hotel Transylvania

If you’ve read the headline, you know this week sees the DVD releases of both Hotel Transylvania as well as the latest Paranormal Activity flick, Paranormal Activity 4.  If you recognize the banner image, you also know that Seven Psychopaths hits DVD today as well.  Good for you.  Of course, there’s plenty of other flicks to talk about: there’s films with Bruce Willis and Tim Roth, and films about superheroes both well-known and unknown.  We’ve got films about ghosts and hitmen and terrorists and vampires, and even one about a little girl with the power to heal through touch.  All that and still more ghosts and vampires.  What an exciting week for DVD.

The DVDs:
Seven Psychopaths
Batman: The Dark Knight Returns, Part 2
Hotel Transylvania
Paranormal Activity 4
The Cold Light Of Day
The Awakening
The Liability
All Superheroes Must Die
Hello I Must Be Going
Noobz
Heaven’s Door
Cherry Tree Lane
Citadel
The Rule Of Law
The Right To Bear Arms
Brides Of Sodom

Streaming: Check out your choices here.

Really like Bruce Willis, but don’t know which flick he’s in?  Continue reading to find out.  Can’t figure out which movies involve superheroes?  You know the drill: continue reading and you’ll get your answers. If you really aren’t all that curious about any of these flicks, feel free to click the link above and jump straight to this week’s Netflix suggestions, but really, how could you not be curious about Brides Of Sodom?
Seven Psychopaths

Martin McDonagh, the writer/director of the nearly-perfect In Bruges, gives us this film about screenwriters, violent criminals, and dog-kidnappers. With a cast including Sam Rockwell in a funny hat and Christopher Walken doing the best possible impression of himself, this film was one of the most eagerly anticipated flicks around these parts.  Then it came out.  Laremy loved it -like really, really loved it, while Vince was decidedly less enthusiastic, giving the film a ‘C’ in his official review.  So you’ll have to form your own opinion, if you haven’t already.  Is it good, bad, or average?  I don’t know; I haven’t seen it, and even if I did, the last thing anyone needs is another FilmDrunk contributor adding his two cents to this particular subject.  What if I  were to really hate it?  Like, what if I really, really hated it and would’ve given it an ‘F’ in my review?  Then we’d be all over the map and FilmDrunk would lose all of its credibility as a serious movie news website.


Batman: The Dark Knight Returns, Part 2

Wasting no time in exploiting their recently-acquired Marvel catalog, Disney’s already on their second straight-to-video sequel of this summer’s Batman flick.  As I predicted upon the release of Part 1 last September, Batman does indeed fight Super-man in this violation of all things sacred to us comic fans. It’s bad enough when Disney does this with their own properties (like we need another Shrek film), but it’s frankly worse when it’s done to everyone’s favorite Avenger.  I shudder to think what straight-to-video abominations Disney has cooked up now that they control Star Track.  At least with Batman, we’ll always have the George Clooney original.


Hotel Transylvania

Dracula’s running a monsters-only vacation resort, but Jonathan, a 21-year-old human, has stumbled upon the place and Dracula has to disguise him as a monster, or else the guests will get upset.  Things get extra crazy when Mavis, Dracula’s daughter, thinks she’s found the monster-of-her-dreams in Jonathan.  Also, yes, this is that Happy Madison kiddie-flick that made a ton of cash and in fact holds the record for best September opening weekend of all time.  The previous record holder was Sweet Home Alabama, which came out a full decade earlier, and before that, the record was held by Rush Hour in 1998.  Seriously, September film-goers, what the f*ck is wrong with you?


Paranormal Activity 4

With both Paranormal Activity 5 and Untitled Paranormal Activity Spin-off due to hit theaters this year, I think I’m going to wait until they have stopped making any more films in this series, and still never watch any of them.


The Cold Light Of Day

New Superman stars alongside Bruce Willis and Sigourney Weaver in this generic-looking action flick that actually did get a 1500-screen theatrical release a few months ago, even if you can’t recall seeing a single commercial, trailer or poster advertising it. Superman plays a well-off businessman whose family gets kidnapped.  He finds out that his dad, played by Willis, is secretly a CIA agent, and that the kidnapping has something to do with his dad’s clandestine career.  Sigourney Weaver plays the bad guy pretending to be a good guy that all of these films must have.  Superman is told the only way he can save his family is by recovering a briefcase and delivering it to the people holding his family, because that is how efficient international criminal organizations work: they have the knowledge and ability to kidnap the family of a CIA agent (off a f*cking boat, no less), they can manipulate several local and international law-enforcement organizations -including having rogue agents in the CIA, but when they can’t locate and obtain a particular briefcase, they force an untrained man with no prior knowledge of any of this to go ahead and do it for them.


The Awakening

Rebecca Hall stars as Florence Cathcart, a professional skeptic who famously makes her living debunking supernatural occurrences in 1920s England.  Dominic West plays Robert, a teacher who invites her to investigate the recent death of a boy at the boarding school at which he works.  Needless to say, the other students have been seeing the dead boy’s ghost.  The skeptic shows up, initially believing the sightings to be school-boy pranks, but comes to believe that the place is truly haunted, because of course it is.  This is a movie; the skeptic’s always wrong: either the place is really haunted by spooky ghosts or she’s really the ghost herself (so it’s still haunted) or something like that.  Just once I’d like to see one of these movies pull a Scooby-Doo and end up with a real-world explanation for everything.  Like, McNulty pretended to be the ghost because blah blah blah (and he would’ve gotten away with it, too) or it turns out the kid was just an albino with Tourette’s and everyone thought he was a ghost because he was so pale and always barking and drooling and swearing at everybody. Just once I’d like to see a period-piece thriller about albino children with Tourette’s.  If it were a musical, all the better.


The Liability

This British flick is about a hitman played by Tim Roth and the cocky teenager tasked with helping Roth for the day.  When a young woman spots them in the woods disposing of a body, they have to give chase and deal with her, or else suffer the consequences.  As you might infer, British black-comedy wackiness ensues.  I dunno, this looks pretty watchable to me.  I like Tim Roth when he’s not playing an American, and I’m usually down for British gangster flicks, so I’m optimistic despite this not getting a theatrical release here in the states.  The one review I bothered to dig up was fairly positive, but warns that ‘the ingenious plot degenerates into blood-splattered overkill’. What’s that supposed to mean? It’s a movie about hitmen; can there really be overkill when it comes to blood splattering? If they end up violently trying to kill each other, well, that’s kind of what I assumed would happen.  If not, what the hell does that even mean?  Does he mean that they keep accidentally spilling and splattering blood everywhere, like they turned on a blood-filled blender with no cover?  Because, you know, that might also be pretty watchable.


All Superheroes Must Die

This is the latest flick from Jason Trost, co-writer, co-director, and star of The FP. This is the one where four superheroes are forced to fight their way through a super-villain’s ‘game’, or else he will kill a bunch of innocent civilians. With such a straight-forward plot, this one could go either way, but as it’s from one of the dudes who gave us The FP, I’m inclined to assume this will be awesome. Even if it isn’t, it was shot in 15 days and for $20,000, so I’d at least keep my expectations in check, unlike the guy who reviewed this for blu-ray.com.  His whole bitchy review is worth a read, but his closing paragraphs are delightfully absurd:

I once had the privilege of attending an informal gathering with the actor Alfred Molina in which he talked about various theater and movie roles, including Dr. Octopus in Spider-Man 2. Afterward, one of the attendees expressed surprise at the level of intensity with which Molina approached a character in a comic book movie. He treated “Doc Ock” just as seriously as a part in Shakespeare, examining his background, motivations and intentions and putting all of that preparation into his portrayal. You never saw all the work, but you felt it.

That’s the true craft of telling a story through performance, but it’s something that Jason Trost doesn’t appear to value. In his writing, acting and directing, he seems to think he can get by without doing the spadework of digging into who his characters are, where they come from, how they got there and what makes them tick, down to the minutest detail. He slaps labels on stick figures—”superhero stripped of powers”, “arch-villain”, “innocent victim”—and expects emotional truth to follow. His movies are like novels reconceived as a series of text messages: “Am Ishmael. Sailed on Pequod. Capt crazy. Chased whale. Ship sank.” No one would remember Melville for that tale, and ASMD fades just as quickly. Not recommended.

Jesus, it’s a ultra-low-budget superhero flick. Lighten up, guy.  Also, way to spoil Moby Dick, assh*le.


Hello I Must Be Going

Melanie Lynskey plays Amy, a recently divorced woman who has moved back in with her parents and doesn’t know what to do with her life.  She meets 19-year-old Jeremy at a dinner party and they begin a secret love-affair, despite their difference in age. Will their affair be discovered?  Will Amy figure out what to do with her life?  Will Jeremy tell his mother that he’s not gay and that he doesn’t want to be an actor? I watched this movie a couple days ago and it isn’t nearly as bad as that description makes it seem to be.  (How’s that for damning with faint praise?) For real though, as a white person with white person problems, this film really spoke to me.  Like, when Amy’s parents weren’t sure they were going to be able to go on that cruise, I really identified with that, you know?


Noobz

I like Jason Mewes as much as the next guy, but I can’t be the only person who’s upset that this isn’t a documentary about women with tiny breasts and giant nipples.


Heaven’s Door

This is the story of Riley, a little girl who discovers a doorway to heaven.  She goes through that doorway, and when she returns to our world, she finds out she now has the power to heal the sick, but in so doing she suffers their sickness as well.  She uses this gift to do things like heal her brother’s asthma and reunite her parents (played by Dean Cain and Charisma Carpenter) who were headed towards a divorce. As you’ve surely assumed, Heaven’s Door (originally titled Doorway To Heaven) is this week’s Dove Seal of Approval recipient. Frankly, I’m surprised Dove endorses a film that deviates so thoroughly from biblical doctrine.  I don’t remember there being doorways to heaven in the New Testament, but what do I know?  Dove gives the film a full 5 Dove rating, but cautions that this film is only suitable for children 12 and up, which is to be expected with such intense content as this: “LANGUAGE – O/G-1; Jeez-1; Sucks-1; Knot-head-1; Dipstick-1.  VIOLENCE- Man grabs other man in anger. OTHER- Death and grief; a child says the only way to win is to fight dirty; girl collapses on ground; girl throws a ball into the tree and it disappears.”  I tell you, while each category has it’s pleasures (I can’t have my kids repeating such foul language as ‘knot-head’), the ‘OTHER’ category always delivers the best bits.  I find it fascinating that there is at least someone out there who thinks ‘girl throws a ball into the tree and it disappears’ is not only potentially upsetting content, but that –to be safe- we should probably only let kids see it who are 12+. I kind of wish they had found a way to tell this story more cleanly though, so that all ages could hear the all-important message that the most important thing in life is keeping your separated parents from divorcing, because even the worst marriage is healthier –and holier– than a divorce, and the responsibility of reuniting that marriage falls to the child and no one else.  Amen.


Cherry Tree Lane

Without context, this trailer seems to be advertising a thriller in which a group of black (I can’t call them African American because the film’s British) teenagers terrorize a nice white family.  To be honest, it seems kind of racist.  However, given the official synopsis:

A couple is terrorized by a gang who is hunting their son.

Yeah, nope. Still seems fairly racist.


Citadel

In this Irish film, an agoraphobic young father is terrorized by a bunch of hoodie-wearing feral children who are intent on taking his baby daughter.  That’s right; you can tell who the evil kids are because they all wear hoodies.  Frankly I’m surprised they aren’t advertising this as ‘Inspired By True Events’.


The Rule Of Law

Continuing our trend of low-budget, race-baiting thrillers, The Rule Of Law is a film about the director of the FBI working with an Iranian terrorist group to frame innocent Americans for terrorist acts they did not commit. One of these innocent Americans must go on the run to prove his innocence.  In the process, he disguises himself as a rabbi. For real, it’s in the trailer.  You should check it out, and yes, his rabbi disguise looks straight out of a junior high production of Fiddler On The Roof.  Later in the trailer, there’s a context-free scene of a bunch of black dudes being followed by a police car, which they promptly shoot at and blow up.  For realsies. Any guesses as to which countries are officially credited with producing this film?  If you guessed the U.S.A., Israel and Belgium, you’d be correct, but I’d be interested in knowing how the hell you guessed Belgium.


The Right To Bear Arms

The gun-control debate is easily the most discussed and controversial topic in America right now, and this sobering documentary could not be coming out at a better time to find an audience for its important message.  Its synopsis:

The son of a Prosecuting Attorney fighting for more stringent gun laws falls in love with a dominatrix who is a member of a gun gang seeking to assassinate his father.

Oh.  I see.  So it isn’t a documentary at all, but a cheaply made exploitation flick that was made years ago and is now shamelessly getting a DVD release in the hopes to cash in on the current gun-control debate.  Still, there’s probably a few things it can teach us.  For example, if you want to snort cocaine off of a gun, bring your nose to the gun instead of bringing the gun to your nose.  Besides making a big mess, you waste a lot of the coke.


Brides Of Sodom

Low budget horror auteur (and friend to the Happy Madison gang) Creep Creepersin gives us this film about post-apocalyptic vampires. The synopsis is too convoluted to bother sharing or try to explain, but the trailer’s pretty bloody and there’s a shot of naked tits, so check it out if your day needs a pick-me-up.  Oh, and the vampires are gay, which you may have assumed based on the title, but that would be pretty closed-minded of you because women can have anal sex just like men.  Well, not just like men.  F*ck it, you know what I mean. Sodomy: It’s not just for gay vampires.  That should’ve been this flick’s tagline.

There are only two noteworthy additions to Netflix this week: Scary Or Die and Budz House. Yes, I use the term ‘noteworthy’ loosely. As for this week’s suggestions, I was inspired by Hotel Transylvania and I thought it might be fun to look at Adam Sandler’s back catalog, not because these films are any good, mind you, just simply because I could dig up four of them rather easily. Who knows, maybe we’ll be able to pinpoint exactly where Sandler gave up on making funny movies.

Big Daddy

Adam Sandler ‘adopts’ a kid, and attempts to raise the kid in his own image, despite being an immature man-child.  I haven’t seen this in years, but as I recall, it was pretty funny. All I really remember is Scuba Steve and the scene where the kid pissed the bed.

Mr. Deeds

Adam Sandler inherits $40 billion and must navigate both big city living as well as money-grubbing opportunists, despite being an immature man-child.  I only saw this once, and all I really remember is that John Turturro had a black dead leg or something.

Anger Management

Adam Sandler must attend anger management classes, but he butts heads with his possibly crazy therapist, who has anger management issues himself because, like Sandler’s character, he is an immature man-child.  I’ve seen this a couple times, but all I really remember is feeling embarrassed for Jack Nicholson.

The Longest Yard

Adam Sandler plays a professional quarterback who is in prison, and must lead his fellow inmates in a game against the guards, despite being a self-centered, entitled immature man-child. All I really remember from the one time I saw this is that I never laughed once. Not a single laugh the whole time. It was with this film that I consciously gave up any interest in future Adam Sandler flicks, and for me, marks the first film in his current hot streak of laugh-less, diarrhea sh*t flicks, box-office be damned. Where’s that sh*t point for you?

×