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.