Wednesday, November 25, 2015

New Flix: Final Girl

This was bound to happen.  After The Final Girls, I obviously had to do this Film.  Are they related?  Well, not really.  Today's Film is Final Girl, a 2015 Horror Film that tries to play with conventions.  It isn't META like the other one, so it doesn't have that in common.  It doesn't feature a single, masked killer, so that is out.  Our hero is actually a heroine, but that isn't unique enough to qualify.  The connection: they both star Alexander Ludwig.  Wow.  What are the odds?!?  It must be low, right?  So what is this one about?  It is about a young girl who is trained for years to get revenge for the death of her family.  As luck would have it, she manages to find some perfect targets!  I won't SPOIL too much more here, so consider this more a Teaser than a full Synopsis.  All good?  Great...
Our Heroine loses her family, but gains a mentor in the form of this Detective who lost his Wife to a killer as well.

Thankfully, she doesn't turn out to be that chick from American Psycho 2!
Years later, these four guys plan a strange night out.  They go out to the Woods with on their Tuxedos.  What are they up to?
They track her down and kill her, of course!

What- you were expecting a Dinner Party with the Ents?
Is our Heroine ready to deal with these psycho Teens after all her training?
She baits the trap by meeting up with them and going platinum blonde- their prefered victim style.
Sure enough- they set her up to be killed now...but only after some Truth or Dare.  Alright.
Can she beat the odds and take care of this pampered psychopaths?  To find out, see the Film!
Surprisingly-good stuff.  Don't get me wrong- I wasn't expecting it to suck.  What I was expecting was something pretty 'run of the mill.'  This is not that Film.  They focus alot on our Heroine and her intense training.  Everything that follows is earned and rational- relatively so, at least.  They don't cheat and they don't shy away from the hard stuff.  Good for them.  The Film is also very well-Edited and set up for good visuals.  The measured pace may put off some, but I consider it to be solid build-up.  To each his own, right?  When the big moments happen, they pay off quite well.  This one doesn't sugar coat anything and makes you care.  What else can you ask for?  If you like Slasher/Horror Films that give you a different take on everything, check this one out.  Come on- you know you want to!
Next up, I cover a Film with a Title too silly for words.  I'm going to have to get over this problem soon though, right?  Stay tuned...

Quick Reviews: We All Scream For Ice Cream (Masters of Horror)

As the 10-year anniversary of the Show's beginning approaches, let me keep covering it...
In this Episode/Movie, we learn that the sins of your past will always come back for sticky punishment.
In this opening bit, we see a child eat this freaky ice cream bar at night and his dad dies via ice cream transmogrification.

That's unique, right?
After his Funeral, we learn that he was part of a child gang (sort of) that may have something to do with his death.  One of them is the Jerk Brother from the Weird Science TV Show, so I'd kill him too.
This all relates to the death of a Clown (John Forsythe) from their childhood.

So...he's not Freddy Kreuger, right?
The mysteriously-powered Clown is now using their kids to kill them- with ice cream.

I suppose that's ironic, but he never runs them over with his truck though.  I'm just saying.
Can our hero save his family or will they be destined to kill their Dad...with ice cream.  No SPOILERs this time.
It may not sound fresh, but it kind of is.  Yes, this Story has some obvious Cliches to it.  Yes, the killer sounds like Freddy Kreuger when you explain him.  That said, the Movie/Episode still kind of worked for me.  They give you nice enough Characters to make you care about their situation.  In the Making Of, they describe Tom Holland as an 'Actor's Director.'  I kind of see it here.  Aside from that, the Movie has some great make-up work going on and some good ideas behind it.  The stuff with the ice cream transformation is nice and unique.  When you see it really happen on-screen, it is nice and freaky.  I was really pessimistic about this one, but it won me over.  It just might do the same to you.  If you doubt me, just take it up with this guy!
While it sounds Cliche, Holland and company make it feel more fresh than you might think.  Kudos.

Monday, November 23, 2015

TV on the Internet: Ash vs. Evil Dead- 'Books From Beyond'

Thankfully for both you and I, this Segment lives on!

Let's see what Ash and company are up to this time on their quest to save the World...
Just behind her Heroes, Lucy Lawless is on their trail.  What is her ultimate goal?
In a nearby Town, Ash and his 'pals' are at the Book Store that will hopefully hold the answers to the secrets of the Necronomicon.

 For my younger Readers, a Book Store is like a giant Kindle Fire.
The man is awestruck by the Book and gives some much-needed Back-Story on it.  Can he help though?
I won't SPOIL things, but I will tell you that our Heroes make a poor choice.  Shocking- I know!
Will the sudden combination of our A and B-Plots end as quickly as it started?  See for yourselves.
Some crazy, gory fun.  Without giving too much away, this one really ups the ante.  We've seen some crazy creatures on the Show so far (as well as the Films), but they definitely raise the bar here.  Aside from that, we get some forward Plot momentum, some good Humor, Ash learning a lesson and some hints at what is to come.  As I mentioned, we also get some more background on the evil book itself and see just why it is so bad.  This one has a neat mix of Ash trying to play it cool and Ash really being overwhelmed.  Kudos to the Show for giving us a nice little Arc.  It was possible that the Show was just going to be one prolonged Evil Dead Film, but they have taken some nice turns to make it more than that.  They play off what you expect and give you something more.   Seeing this almost makes up for the cruel, hopeless Evil Dead Remake.  Yes, I'm still not over that!  This Episode keeps the momentum going nicely and makes you wonder what is around the next corner.  Before I go, let me see how much fun Ash is having so far...
Things can't possibly get any worse.  No- of course they can!  See you next Episode!

Friday, November 20, 2015

Poor Bastards of Cinema: He Knows You're Alone

Another random kill on a random day!

In He Knows You're Alone, our Heroine goes to a fitting for her Wedding Dress.  The Owner is covering for his Wife, who usually does this.
He seems like a nice enough guy.  Just doing his job and all.
Unfortunately, his Client has a Stalker and he's apparently jealous of this guy!
So yeah, he dies- violently!
Poor guy seemed quite nice.  Oh well- we need a body count!

The lesson: Weddings are dangerous for your health.  Just avoid them in every way.  Got it?

Next up, a random helper is killed.  You just know that he's Black, right?  Stay tuned...  

Thursday, November 19, 2015

New Flix: Bone Tomahawk

Am I really watching a Western?  Today's Film is Bone Tomahawk, a 2015 Film attempting to make a Period-accurate Film.  In today's ultra-aware (or sensitive, if you are a dick) society, there is also an issue of being fair to people, while also being realistic to the time.  To their credit, they do a pretty good job here.  The Film tells the tale of a rescue mission for some people.  The villains- some bad-ass indigenous people with a grudge!  The Film is chock full of faces that you would recognize and names you'll know, even if some of them appear very briefly.  Hi, Sean Young!  Bye, Sean Young!  The most notable are Patrick Wilson (from my town), Kurt Russell and Matthew Fox.  There are more, but I'll cover them later.  The Film is notable for being realistic, gritty and well thought-out.  A Character that starts out as a punchline actually turns into a good one by the end.  Kudos!  To get a SPOILER-free look at this one (which will probably be lost in the wake of Hateful Eight), read on...
In the Intro, we see a pair of murderous Drifters (Sid Haig and David Arquette) wander into bad territory.
Haig is killed and Arquette flees after they run across some murderous people at their Graveyard.
In a nearby Town, the Sheriff (Russell) is keeping order and arrests the suspicious Arquette.
Meanwhile, a man (Wilson) is laid up with an injury, keeping him from work.  That night, his wife is called to care for the wounded Arquette...
The next morning, the pair (plus the Deputy) are missing.  The only clue: a bone-tipped Arrow.
Russell, Wilson, the back-up Deputy (Richard Jenkins) and a boastful man (Matthew Fox) go on a rescue mission for them.  Will they be in time?
There are many dangers exist along the way.  Can they even make it there period?
I won't SPOIL anything else about this one, but I will say this: alot depends on this guy.  Uh oh.
Damn.  Honestly, I'm not a huge fan of Westerns.  I am, however, a fan of good Movies and this is definitely one.  It has a slow, but steady pace.  That may not work for some of you out there, but it works here.  This allows them to give everyone a strong Character and some actual depth.  Jenkins' Character, for example, starts out as kind of dumb.  By the time they leave for the mission, you start to understand him more.  By the End, you know enough about his past to really feel for the guy.  The only Characters that really get no clear back-story are the Troglodytes.  Of course, that is the point.  We learn a little about them from an Indian in Town.  They don't speak, negotiate or hesitate to kill.  These are some bad-ass killers!  The Title comes from their trademark weapon, which is scary as hell.  The Film also makes a point of distinguishing these violent, mute killers from any stereotype of Indians that you used to see in Westerns.  Good for you.  I will note that this Film gets pretty damn gory by the end, so this is not for you if the sight of fake blood bothers you.  Other than that, this is a great-looking, well-written Film.  It also has an unintentional Western connection.  The Piano Player in the Bar- Back to the Future's mean Principal/Sheriff!
Next up, a Film with a similar Title to one I covered recently.  Will it be as good or is that too much to ask?  Stay tuned...

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Quick Reviews: Dead Rising- Watchtower

Are all Video Games destined to be bad or at least underwhelming?  Well, I didn't even hear about this one until last Week, so let's see...
In a Cold Open, we see our Hero (Jesse Metcalfe) under siege by Zombies.  What happened?!?
A few days earlier, he was inside a City under siege due to a Zombie Outbreak.  Chaos will ensue...
During all of this, previous Hero Frank West- played by Rob Riggle- is at the News Desk.

While he was the lead in the first Game and brought back by popular demand in a spin-off of the Sequel, he does pretty much nothing here.  Yea?
Alongside a mysterious woman and a sad Mom (Virginia Madsen), he hopes to make it out alive!
In his way, Mr. Z, a Gang Leader who has stepped up in the last year that the City has been in lockdown.

Oh and about 53,954 Zombies!
On top of that, there is a secret to why the Zombie Outbreak got so bad over the last few days.  What is it?

Obviously, I ain't saying a thing.  No SPOILERS, n00b!  The End.
Some good Action and Story, but nothing great.  The good part: a surprisingly-deep Story and some good Zombie killing.  Considering that the Games are all about Zombie killing, they sure as hell better have plenty of the latter!  I will say that you don't get the big pay-off in the form of the unique combination weapons until quite a ways in.  I guess it is just for dramatic effect, but it is a tad disappointing.  The B-Plot of the Film is kind of interesting and balances out pretty well with the main one.  Honestly, if the main one didn't have all the Zombie action, this one would be better!  Metcalfe and company do a decent job, but don't impress all that much.  Speaking of which, this Film was Directed by the man behind Tasmanian Devils and Leprechaun: Origins, so it isn't exactly mind-blowing.  There's also my Pet Peeve- CGI Blood.  Yes, it is around alot, but I still don't like it.  Ultimately, the Film is good, but not great.  Considering how low my bar was, this is actually a big achievement!  If you like the Games, you may want to give it a look and decide for yourself...
Nothing all that great, but a decent enough Plot and some fun moments.  Could be better and worse.

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

TV on the Internet: Ash vs. Evil Dead- 'Bait'

After a few days, I might as well move on to the next Episode of Ash vs Evil Dead...
In the aftermath of the attack on Ash's Trailer, there is certainly some explaining to do!
When one of them runs off with the Necronomicon, a driving they must go!
Meanwhile, the B-Plot continues as this Detective is just behind our heroes.  Keep waiting for this Story to sync up!
Ash and his friend go to check on our Heroine's Mother, who is seemingly back from the dead.  Cue awkward Dinner Party...
Naturally, I won't SPOIL what happens.  I'm not that much of a dick.  Don't worry, Ash!
A solid follow-up.  Now that all the crazy has been set-up, we get to a slight reprieve.  Nah- just kidding.  You get a few good Deadite kills here, lots of blood and Tom Cruise's ex-wife.  The Plot moves forward a little bit, which is good.  I'm still waiting for the B-Plot to catch up with the A-Plot, but I'm sure that it is coming.  Who is Lucy Lawless' Character exactly and will she be a help or a hindrance?  The Show has the challenge of making everyone else as interesting to us as Ash is.  I hope that they are up to the challenge.  At this point, all of the Supporting Cast is just being built up, so time will have to tell on that one.  There's still plenty of time for good Character Moments in this one alongside the splatter, so it is a win-win.  It remains to be seen now if I will get to see more of this face...
Will I cover more of this Show?  Do you want me to?  Hit me back- provided you aren't just Spam.