February 11, 2013

Mini Movie Review: Contagion (2011)


Contagion (2011)
A Mini Movie Review by Dave Randal

 Plot: A thriller centered on the threat posed by a deadly disease and an international team of doctors contracted by the CDC to deal with the outbreak.

A movie has to try pretty hard to be overly political for me to call it propaganda.  Contagion does exactly that.  I won't say that it is in your face because most of the movie is very subtle.  Near the end though it  gets pretty obvious that the filmmakers are trashing any bloggers who question the safety standards when it comes to vaccines.  

Movie Review: Bullet to the Head (2013)


Bullet to the Head (2013)
A Movie Review by Dave Randal

Genre: Action | Crime | Thriller
Cast: Sylvester Stallone, Sung Kang, Sarah Shahi, Jason Momoa, Christian Slater
Director: Walter Hill
Writer: Alessandro Camon(screenplay), Alexis Nolent(graphic novel)
Studio: Dark Castle Entertainment, IM Global, After Dark Films, Automatik Entertainment, EMJAG Productions, Millar Gough Ink
Distributed by: Warner Bros.
Release Date: Feburary 1, 2013
Plot: After watching their respective partners die, a New Orleans hitman and a Washington D.C. detective form an alliance in order to bring down their common enemy. 

I'm a huge fan of Sylvester Stallone and I'm glad to see that he is getting some pretty big movie roles again.  For a while there about twelve years ago it looked like he was just going to disappear.  For the past six years though it seems like he is back on track.  He had a huge comeback with Rocky Balboa (2006) and Rambo (2008).  Both of those movies were really good in my opinion.  I got kind of excited when I heard his new movie Bullet to the Head was going to be directed by Walter Hill who has directed great movies like The Warriors (1979) and 48 Hrs. (1982).  In some ways it almost seemed like this movie had to be good considering who was directing it and who was starring in it.  That is not exactly the case here though.

February 9, 2013

Movie Review: Warm Bodies (2013)


Warm Bodies (2013)
A Movie Review by Dave Randal

Genre: Comedy | Horror | Romance
Cast: Nicholas Hoult, Teresa Palmer, Rob Corddry, Dave Fanco
Director: Jonathan Levine
Writers: Jonathan Levine
Studios: Mandeville Films
Distributed by: Summit Entertainment
Release Date: February 1, 2013
Plot: After R (a highly unusual zombie) saves Julie from an attack, the two form a relationship that sets in motion a sequence of events that might transform the entire lifeless world. 

When I first saw the trailer for Warm Bodies I was pleasently surprised to see a decent original idea when it came to the zombie movie genre.  In the last ten years it seems like the idea of the zombie movie has just become more and more popular.  I'm a huge fan of zombie movies so I say bring them all on.  Sure there are a lot of horrible zombie movies out there, but there are also a few really good ones.  Is Warm Bodies one of those good ones?  Well kind of.

February 8, 2013

Movie Review: Movie 43 (2013)


Movie 43 (2013)
A Movie Review by Dave Randal 

Genre: Comedy
Cast: Dennis Quaid, Greg Kinnear, Common, Hugh Jackman, Emma Stone
Directors: Bob Odenkirk, Elizabeth Banks, Steven Brill, Steve Carr, Rusty Cundieff, James Duffy, Griffin Dunne, Peter Farrelly, Patrik Forsberg, Will Graham, James Gunn, Brett Ratner, Jonathan van Tulleken
Writers: Steve Baker, Will Carlough, Jacob Fleisher, Patrik Forsberg, Matt Portenoy, Gret Pritikin, Rocky Russo, Jeremy Sosenko, Elizabeth Wright Shapiro
Studios: Virgin Produced, GreeneStreet Films Inc, Wesseler Entertainment, Witness Protection Films
Distributed by: Relativity Media
Release Date: January 25, 2013
Plot: A series of interconnected short films follows a washed-up producer as he pitches "hillarious" and insane story lines featuring some of the biggest stars in Hollywood. 

Every once and a while a horrible movie comes out that really makes me question how out of just pure stupidity the studios in Hollywood haven't gone out of business yet.  Sure, I know that the masses of mouth-breathers out there love mediocre crap, but every once in a while a movie comes out that just makes you wonder how anyone could possibly like it.  Movie 43 is one of those movies.  I don't think I've ever seen a movie that made me feel more pessimistic about Hollywood.  It makes me sick to my stomach to even think this movie got green lit.

Movie Review: Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters (2013)


Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters
A Movie Review by Dave Randal 

Genre: Action | Fantasy | Horror
Cast: Jeremy Renner, Gemma Arterton, Famke Janssen, Derek Mears
Director: Tommy Wirkola
Writer: Tommy Wirkola
Studio: Gary Sanchez Productions, Paramount Pictures, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, MTV Films
Distributed by: Paramount Pictures
Release Date: January 25, 2013
Plot: In this spin on the fairy tale, Hansel & Gretel are now bounty hunters who track and kill witches all over the world. As the fabled Blood Moon approaches, the siblings encounter a new form of evil that might hold a secret to their past.     

It is becoming sort of a fad to make movies and TV shows based off old books and fairy tales.  Saying that though I was still extremely surprised to hear that they were making a Hansel and Gretel movie.   When I saw the first trailer I was confused by what I was seeing.  They basically took the old fairy tale and turned it into a shoot'em up action movie.  I wasn't sure what to expect from watching the very bloody red band trailer.  Sure it looked mediocre, but it also looked kind of cool at the same time.

February 6, 2013

Movie Review: Broken City (2013)


Broken City (2013)
A Movie Review by Dave Randal

Genre: Crime | Drama | Thriller
Cast: Mark Wahlberg, Russell Crowe, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Jeffrey Wright
Director: Allen Hughes
Writers: Brian Tucker
Studio: Regency Enterprises, Emmett/Furia Films
Distributed by: 20th Century Fox
Release Date: January 18, 2013
Plot: In a city rife with injustice, ex-cop Billy Taggart seeks redemption and revenge after being used by Mayor Nicholas Hostetler.
January isn't exactly the best month for quality movie releases.  In fact January has kind of become a joke when it comes to new releases.  It is pretty much the time of the year where Hollywood just decides to unload a lot of mediocre crap.  I can't say that Broken City is mediocre crap, but it sure isn't a great movie either.

January 31, 2013

Movie Review: Zero Dark Thirty (2012)


Zero Dark Thirty (2012)
A Movie Review by Dave Randal

Genre: Drama | History | Thriller
Cast: Jessica Chastain, Jason Clarke, Joel Edgerton, Mark Strong, Kyle Chandler
Director: Kathryn Bigelow
Writer: Mark Boal
Studios: Annapurna Pictures
Distributed by: Columbia Pictures
Release Date: January 11, 2013
Plot: A chronicle of the decade-long hunt for al-Qaeda terrorist leader Osama bin Laden after the September 2001 attacks, and his death at the hands of the Navy S.E.A.L. Team 6 in May 2011. 

When I saw the first trailer for Zero Dark Thirty I was pretty worried that it would just be a big piece of political propaganda.  I don't think anyone could seriously blame me for thinking that either.  I'm very libertarian so I'm very much against any movie that would support the ideas of war or force in general.  After watching it though I realized that they kept the political stuff very minimal and I ended up really enjoying it.

January 25, 2013

Movie Review: Gangster Squad (2013)


Gangster Squad (2013)
A Movie Review by Dave Randal 
Genre: Action | Crime | Drama
Cast: Josh Brolin, Ryan Gosling, Sean Penn, Emma Stone, Nick Nolte
Director: Ruben Fleischer
Writers: Will Beall, Paul Lieberman(book)
Studios: Village Roadshow Pictures
Distributed by: Warner Bros. Pictures
Release Date: January 11, 2013
Plot: Los Angeles, 1949: A secret crew of police officers led by two determined sergeants work together in an effort to take down the ruthless mob king Mickey Cohen who runs the city.

Gangster movies are one of my favorite genres.  There is just something about them that I really like.  This might make me look like a total geek but screw it, I even like the Star Trek episode "A Piece of the Action" where they go to a planet with Earth-like 1920s gangster culture. When I first saw the trailer for Gangster Squad I instantly got excited.  I mean it has three of the best actors working today in Sean Penn, Josh Brolin, and Ryan Gosling.  I think because of who was in it I was expecting a little bit more from it than what I saw.

January 22, 2013

Mini Movie Review: Mulholland Falls (1996)


Mulholland Falls (1996)
A Mini Movie Review by Dave Randal

Plot: In 1950's Los Angeles, a special crime squad of the LAPD investigates the murder of a young woman.

I went ahead and watched this movie due to the fact that it is inspired by the same true story that the new movie Gangster Squad is also inspired by.  I was only a kid when it came out, but I was still surprised that I had never heard of it before.  Nick Nolte still had a name at the time, but you could see that his star was definitely falling.

January 19, 2013

Movie Review: Texas Chainsaw (2013)


Texas Chainsaw (2013)
A Movie Review by Dave Randal

Genre: Horror | Mystery | Thriller
Cast: Alexandra Daddario, Dan Yeager, Trey Songz, Scott Eastwood
Director: John Luessenhop
Writers: Adam Marcus, Debra Sullivan, Kristen Elms, Stephen Susco, Tobe Hooper(characters), Kim Henkel(characters)
Studios: Twisted Pictures, Nu Image, Millennium Films, Mainline Pictures
Distributed by: Lionsgate
Release Date: January 4, 2013
Plot: A young woman travels to Texas to collect an inheritance; little does she know that an encounter with a chainsaw-wielding killer is part of the reward. 

In horror franchises there usually isn't a whole lot of continuity.   This is because a lot of horror franchises usually change directors and writers a lot.  The studios want to make more money off these cash cow franchises so usually what they do is hire other writers and directors to suck on the utters for a while.  Texas Chainsaw is one of those movies.