Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Review: Final Destination 5

I really didn't have much hope after The Final Destination. As I mentioned in that review, they were totally out of ideas. But you know what, Final Destination 5 is actually good! Hooray!

Our lead is Sam, played by the charming Nicholas D'Agosto (Fired Up, Heroes). Sam and his co-workers are on a bus, off to their team building retreat. And like team building isn't bad enough, Sam gets a premonition when the bus is on a bridge and, as you may expect, it ends with lots of dead people. So Sammy freaks and several co-workers get off the bus, including his ex Molly (Emma Bell) and his boss Dennis (David Koechner), while the rest plummet to their death. Oh well, at least everyone got out of that team building retreat.

And then it kinda goes into standard FD mode, but with great death scenes, Tony Todd's return and an ending they put more thought into than part 4 as a whole.

Let's talk about that ending.


How awesome was that? I loved it! I must admit, I didn't see the twist coming. I did wonder for a moment if the film took place earlier, because I noticed the championship banners at the gym were old. But then I shrugged it off, thinking, you know, maybe they sucked the past ten years? And I noticed the date on the gift certificate but didn't think anything about it at all. So yeah, I was really surprised with that ending!


I loved the cast. I'm surprised they got better talent for part 5 than for part 4. Besides D'Agosto there's Emma Bell (Frozen), Arlen Escarpeta (Friday the 13th) and Courtney B. Vance (Law & Order: Criminal Intent). I'd love to know how they actually got Vance to be in the movie.

Overall, one of the better FD films! A must see if you're a fan of the series. A 3,5/5.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Poster: Contagion

It's a nice coincidence that Gwyneth Paltrow's version of Forget You starts playing while I'm about to write this post. Anyways, Steven Soderbergh has a new film coming up and it's called Contagion and stars a whole bunch of people we all know: Matt Damon, Kate Winslet, Jude Law, Marion Cotillard, John Hawkes (okay, I know him and other Buffy fans too so it counts) as well Miss Paltrow.

So, on one hand, I'm really digging this Contagion character poster featuring Gwyn. The film's about an outbreak of a disease, and Paltrow's look here really captures how scary such a situation would be. On the other hand, it's a really ugly poster. At least Marion looks nice in her poster.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Revisiting The Ruins

The Ruins was on TV last night and while I own it on DVD, I still ended up watching the whole thing. And I loved it! Again!

In case you've never heard about this horror gem before, The Ruins is a 2008 film starring Jonathan Tucker, Jena Malone, Shawn Ashmore, Laura Ramsey and Joe Anderson. It's based on the novel bij Scott B. Smith, who also wrote the screenplay. It's about a group of friends vacationing in Mexico, who along with a fellow tourist (Anderson), end up trapped in (or on?) the ruins. Think survival horror, not slasher.

The film looks great. I love the use of color. Obviously, they're out in the sun a lot so the colors are bright, but not in an unnatural Resident Evil: Extinction kind of way. It's similar to the colors in The Texas Chainsaw Massacre and The Hills Have Eyes remakes as well as All the Boys Love Mandy Lane.

Also, the cast bring their A-game. There isn't a weak link here and I'm usually not a fan of Jena Malone, so if she sucks, I would tell you. While her character, Amy, is very annoying, Malone plays her very well. My favorite is Laura Ramsey as Stacy.

SPOILER ALERT Stacy believes there are vines moving around inside of her and she plays her character's breakdown beautifully. END SPOILERS

This is a horror film, yes, but it's more psychological than it's horror in the sense that someone or something is out to get them. Sure of course that is the case, but that's also what's so great about this film. While it may be about monster plants, the film plays it straight. There's no nudge nudge, wink wink humor here. Just people trapped in a horrible situation. What would you do? A 4/5.

Burlesque thoughts..

So I saw Burlesque a couple of weeks ago and I still can't get over the fact that they barely used Alan Cumming at all. It's ALAN CUMMING. The man is an award winning stage actor. He did Cabaret! If you somehow get him to participate in a movie starring Christina Aguilera, give him something to do!

Overall, I didn't think Burlesque was a bad movie. There was just nothing original about it. But Christina did fine. Cam Gigandet made me realize not all Twilighters are bad actors. Stanley Tucci is awesome, because he is Stanley Tucci (even if he played a role similar to the one in The Devil Wears Prada). Peter Gallagher is also awesome. And Kristen Bell, well, stay blond. It's a great look for you.

Saturday, April 30, 2011

Review: Scream 4

It’s been 11 years and now Ghostface is back. While I’m a big fan of the Scream trilogy and the first two in particular, I really had my doubts about part 4. For one thing, it’s part FOUR. How promising could a part four be, specifically one that is made a decade after the third outing's been released? But when it was announced Kevin Williamson would write the screenplay, Wes Craven would direct once again and stars Neve Campbell, David Arquette and Courteney Cox signed on to reprise their roles, the fangirl in me had hope. After all, it was Ehren Kruger who wrote part 3, which by far, was the weakest of the trilogy. How could you not get a bit excited for a fourth installment written by the original writer?

But then Williamson dropped out and Kruger came on board again (WHY HIM?). A far too famous cast signed on. Reshoots happened and recasting. Lake Bell and Lauren Graham came and went. I didn't have much hope left. But then the trailer managed to get me excited again. And as the release date fast approached, I was my 13-year-old self again, waiting for Scream 2 to be released.

I saw Scream 4 today (when I wrote that, now that I'm posting it, like 2 weeks ago), and 26-year-old me didn't exactly have the same reaction walking out of the theater as 13-year-old me did all those years ago. While I was very positive walking out of Scream 2 (and positive walking out of part 3, which I came to partly dislike over the years), I walked out with mixed feelings.


I mean, what kind of opening sequence was that? They should've gone for the real scare and not make it look like the opening for Scary Movie 5. Seriously, why are Anna Paquin and Kristen Bell in it? POINTLESS. If they wanted to have a fake opening, they should've expanded their scene and ditched Shenae Grimes and Lucy Hale. I'm not a fan of Scream 2's opening with Jada Pinkett (because she's awful), but this was even worse.

Other dislikes include the lack of Nick Cave's Red Right Hand. The different font used in the credits. The lack of character development of Anthony Anderson and Adam Brody's deputies. Mary McDonnell being in it and not getting anything to do.

But, all of that makes it seem like I didn't enjoy the film. I did! I prefer it over part 3. And it was great seeing Neve, Courteney and David again. It was like seeing old friends! Hayden Panettiere, Rory Culkin, Erik Knudsen and Aimee Teegarden were good additions. I'm not the biggest fan of Emma Roberts, but she did well.

Overall, a must see for the fans and the people who grew up in the time when the Scream films were popular. I wouldn't recommend the film for the newer generation (typing that makes me feel really old). A 4/5.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Uhhmm.. really IMDB?

So what's with the Super 8 ad on IMDB? It's says the film's release dat is August 11. It's APRIL! Go promote Scream 4 or something!

Btw, doesn't Ryan Gosling look yummy in the Crazy, Stupid, Love trailer?

Monday, March 7, 2011

Review: Frozen

I watched Frozen with boyfriend last night. And while we were sitting on his comfortable couch in his warm home, we had a terribly uncomfortable feeling watching the film. Even 15 minutes after it ended, we were still feeling tense. And that's a huge compliment.

Frozen is about 3 college kids stuck on a chairlift in a ski resort that has closed for several days.

That may sound like a boring premise, but it's not. Kevin Zegers, Emma Bell and especially Shawn Ashmore make it work with their sometimes emotional performances. Even if their characters are unlikeable in the sense that they put themselves in that situation and you kinda think they deserve what's coming to them. Okay, not always. But sometimes! They convinced the dude at the closing ski resort to let them go one last time even when he warmed them for the bad weather. Yes, very smart.

But besides that, it's pretty great. Well played, Adam Green. A 4/5.