It has been a while since I last wrote one of these and since then I have accomplished a few things. I got to attend my first film fest this week at the Twin Cities Film Fest and even though I only saw one film so far. It was still a big win for me because I got to meet in person many people that have sent me screeners or people I have interviewed for As You Watch. It’s hard to attend a lot of movies because I was working, but I got a few free passes which was awesome. I will be a lot more active next year. I did manage to watch a few other new movies so I will share those with you now. Please let me know what you think of these flicks and if there is anything that you would recommend.
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 2014.
I’ll ignore that they made the turtles of this version are the long lost pets or April O Neal. Or that Megan Fox looks nothing like her from the comics or the original T.V. Show. It’s alright that turtles themselves don’t appear for almost thirty minutes into a movie called “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles“. I’m even fine with the very basic cliche personalities that are given to each one. No my biggest gripe about the whole feature were the action scenes . It looked like it was done by a kid who is so happy that his daddy bought him a new camera. Look I know that a lot of work went into making that scene where the turtles are fighting down a snow covered mountain, but slow it down a little bit. All kids do not have ADD, you can ease back on all the quick cuts and the zooms ok. My friend Jeff said that if he was 10, we would have enjoyed this more and I would haft to agree, but still. Slow it down. I will say that the scene in the elevator with them rapping got the biggest chuckle from me.
The Purge Anarchy
Another year has passed and so it’s time to cleanse your soul and purge once more. For those of you not familiar with this concept of these films, I’ll explain. In a alternative universe, in order to cut down crime. The Government has made all crime including murder legal for 12 hours every year. There will be no police or medical help available. They say that this will help those people release some stress and then they can continue the rest of their lives in peace. The first one was set within one house with a family taking in a stranger who are then attacked by rich kids who want to kill him. It was a nice little story that would have made a better twilight episode then a movie. Now with the sequel, they expanded it out into the streets and we get to see all of the crazy violence that was only hinted at in the first one. Hmmm. For a movie with the tag line called Anarchy, there is really not much going on. Oh yeah there are people killing each other, but it really doesn’t look all that bad. The LA riots after Rodney King looked a lot worse then this. Also I have a hard time believing that they could get this many people to buy into this program. If it was one or two big corporations, that would be on thing. But an entire country is something else. I know a lot of people want to crap on “Hostel” and “Hostel Part II“, but those movies made a lot more sense then these ones do. I hope the third one is called “The Purge:Retirement“, because that is what needs to happen.
How To Train Your Dragon 2
While not as good as the first one. The main reason why I loved this movie was the voice of Cate Blanchett(click on link to read my tribute to her) as Hiccup’s mom. Even in an animated feature her scenes had me tearing up from time to time. The story is not all that great and the villain is quite forgettable, but Cate was fantastic. Geeze is there a role she can not do well.
I have avoided this flick for years because I thought it was going to be too scary. While it does have some grueseome moments. It didn’t freak me out as much as I thought it would. Virgina Maddsen plays a college student who wants to debunk the myth about the candyman. The guy with the hook in his arm who kills people after they say his name 5 times in the mirror. The movie starts becoming more interesting when Madsen’s character gets framed for the murders. Tony Todd is great in the title role, and I’m curious at checking out the sequel. I just thought this one was so so. No I have not said his name five times while looking in a mirror. It’s not because I’m scared. I just don’t want to. No, I’ll do it. It’s just that…ummm.it’s …..that…umm. I’m real tired and ….I’ll do it later…oh shit I think I hear my mom calling me. I gotta go.
This movie was having it’s world premiere at the Twin Cities Film Festival last weekend. I didn’t get to go to that screening, but I did get passes to attend the encore that following Monday. Thanks to Maggie Henjum for hooking me up with the passes. I appreciate it a lot. At the screening there were director Brandon Slagle, and some of the actors including Devanny Pinn and Ryan Kiser who plays the role of Charles Manson. If I haven’t spoken with Ryan before, it would have been quite unnerving to have the guy playing Charles Manson sit behind you while you’re watching movie about the guy’s life. The movie ended up being really good and you can read my full review on the Cinematic Katzenjammer by clicking on the title.
See No Evil 2
I fell in love with directors Jen and Sylvia Soska after I watched “American Mary“(Click to read my short review)and “Dead Hooker in a Trunk“(search under “Other Movie Reviews” to read my views of that one). They are filmmakers who know how to balance the horror and the humor when it comes to those features. They made me both cringe and laugh during many scenes and I was happy to hear about their participation with this sequel. Now, I have never seen the first one,because it never appealed to me. It just looked like an average slasher flick about a bunch of dumb kids who go into a place and get killed off one by one. It’s a very tired formula and I hate to say the same thing doesn’t happen here, but it does. However it’s still a fun flick because the Soska twins love the genre so much. They know when to play a scene for laughs or when to play it for scares. Plus it doesn’t hurt having the casting of Danielle Harris(“Halloween 4 & 5“) and Katherine Isabelle (“Ginger Snaps“) in it either(click links to read my thoughts on these movies). If this is your first introduction to this horror duo. I highly suggest you check out their other films, but you could do a lot worse then this flick. A lot worse.
American Werewolf in Paris.
I watched this mainly because I love Julie Delpy. That is it(you can click on her name to read my tribute to her). Avoid this movie at all costs, even seeing her topless isn’t enough to recommend this movie. You want a plot synopsis. OK. Douche Bag guy saves a girl from killing herself, but ends up stalking and harassing her until she agrees to go on a date with him. For no real reason they fall in love but the dude ends up getting bit by a werewolf instead. So now he has to find the original werewolf which could be the same girl the same girl he helped earlier. What this one has to do with “American Werewolf in London” I’ll never know. The characters and plot are all very badly written and the special effects are badly dated. The effects from the one in London are still groundbreaking even to this day.
This anime series was one I watched in all the way through and I would love to go back and watch it again. The story is about a government program that takes young girls who are near death and turns them into cyborg assassins. Each girl is paired up with a handler who can help make them be more efficient killers if they so desired. The real drama of the series comes when the girls have to chose between their own emotions or what they are programed to carry out. It’s a series that would make a cool live action show if producers wouldn’t just focus on the basic premise of girls between the age of 7 and 11 with guns.
Being from Minnesota. I love it when I see movies being set here. I love it even more when they decide to set another thriller here as well. The closet thing I can think of to that genre was “Fargo” and that was more of a dark comedy then a thriller. Producer Jasmine Reid sent me a screener of this flick which I reviewed for The Cinematic Katzenjammer. Just click on the name of the movie to read the full article.
I am going to be busy with a brand new season of As You Watch and a guest hosting gig over at The LAMBcast. So, It may be at least another week til I get another full post ready but I hope to have one set by Halloween. Take care everyone.