Monday, August 22, 2016

The Boy Next Door (2015) - A Review

The Boy Next Door 2015 Jennifer Lopez Ryan Guzman
The Boy Next Door
This movie is too funny!

Jennifer Lopez is an English teacher and mother who's estranged from her husband. Ryan Guzman moves in next door and then against her better judgement she has a roll in the hay with the kid.

She realizes what a mistake it was, especially when he goes all Fatal Attraction on her. He harasses her at home, at work, threatens her ex, manipulates her son and gets downright violent. How is Jenny From The Block going to stop this nutty kid.

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Fantastic Voyage - 50 Years Later

Fantastic Voyage 1966 anniversary
Fifty years ago movie audiences sat down in darkened theaters to witness a film that would take them to 'where no one has ever been before'.

They learned from the intriguing title card that 'No eye-witness has actually seen what you are about to see. During an era where going to the moon would soon be upon us and where the most incredible things are happening all around us, someday, perhaps tomorrow, the fantastic events you are about to see can and will take place'.

What a build up from an opening title card! Folks, we're about to take a FANTASTIC VOYAGE!

Friday, August 12, 2016

Elstree 1976 (2015) - Review

Elstree 1976 Star Wars documentary 2015
Elstree 1976
A long time ago in the summer of 1976 a bunch of working actors landed a job on a movie filming at Elstree Studios in London. It was some kind of sci-fi movie directed by a guy named George Lucas. They would be asked to play a variety of roles. They slipped on their alien masks, their space uniforms. got their makeup done, played their parts, finished up and went about looking for their next job.

But their few days working on that set would become a special moment in their lives that would reverberate for decades. The movie they all worked on was called Star Wars. It would become one of the biggest, most popular, most beloved movies in cinema history. Very soon anyone associated with it - no matter how small - would gain a fanbase and be remembered forever. This is the story of some of those working class actors who arrived at Elstree Studios to earn a paycheck and inadvertently became a part of movie history.

Monday, August 8, 2016

21 Hours At Munich (1976) - A Review

William Holden Franco Nero 21 Hours At Munich 1976 docudrama
21 Hours At Munich
The 1972 Summer Olympics in Munich, Germany becomes a dramatic stage of life and death when Arab terrorist group Black September kill two innocent lives before taking nine Israeli athletes hostage. Their demands are the release of hundreds of Arab prisoners being held in Israel. If they are not released the terrorists promise to kill their hostages.

Israel vows to stick with its policy of not negotiating with terrorists. The Olympic committee is not sure how to proceed with its scheduled sporting events with the danger and tension that's unfolding in the city. It's left up to Chief of Police Manfred Schreiber  (William Holden)  to convince the terrorist leader Issa (Franco Nero) to give himself up before further bloodshed erupts.

Of course we know how this story sadly ends.

Friday, August 5, 2016

Superhero Films - Batman (1989)

Superhero Films HaphazardStuff Batman 1989 review
The summer of 1989 would see the release of many highly anticipated movies. It would be movie heaven for fans. As my one friend has described those warm months many years ago, "The best summer of our lifetime for movies was definitely 1989."

As the summer of 1989 approached there would be one film in particular that would dominate the season, one movie that would be the most anticipated film of the year helped along by endless hype of merchandise and billboards - Batman.

Anyone around during that summer will recall how you couldn't go anywhere without seeing that Bat logo on t-shirts or cut into people's hair! Batman would be a big-budget attempt at a much darker Batman then general audiences were familiar with. While most people were asking, "Where's Adam West?", comic book fans embraced the idea of a more faithful, serious telling of the caped crusader. That is until they heard Michael Keaton would be wearing the cowl. Huh???

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Sharknado 4: The Fourth Awakens (2016) - A Review

Sharknado 4 The Fourth Awakens 2016 SyFy sequel
Sharknado 4: The Fourth Awakens
I'm not the audience for Sharknado anymore.

Oh, I like bad movies. I enjoy laughing at cheesy crap. And the first Sharknado qualified as an oddball, dumb, poorly made piece of disposable entertainment that delivered in that category.

However, as Sharknado became 'a thing' and now The Asylum and The SyFy Channel have churned out four of these movies each summer since it debuted the novelty has completely worn off for me. These flicks are no longer so bad they're good-type of movies - or at least mind-numbingly mildly amusing to watch. They've become so bad, they're just bad with nothing left to offer me.

Monday, August 1, 2016

The Sandlot (1993) - A Review

The Sandlot 1993 movie cast
The Sandlot
It's 1963 and Scotty Smalls arrives in town. He's got a new step-dad, no friends and doesn't know a lick about baseball. It's only when he befriends young baseball phenom Benny and is taken in by his ball-loving pals he begins to find his place at the sandlot.

The group of nine friends spend the summer playing ball, getting in trouble with pretty lifeguards, beating the pants off upper class ball teams and losing an autographed Babe Ruth baseball to a monstrous beast and are prepared to go to any lengths to get it back.

The phrase 'laugh out loud' gets tossed around with a certain bit of abandon nowadays. But there are certain jokes, one-liners, double-takes, sightgags and scenes that, without exaggeration, make me 'laugh out loud' no matter how many times I've seen them.

The Sandlot contains one of those for me.

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Summer Movies - August 2016

Margot Robbie as Harley Quinn in Suicide Squad
Margot Robbie as Harley Quinn in Suicide Squad
As we reach the finish line of summer 2016 there's one final gasping month to redeem the summer movie season of 2016. It hasn't been a great summer for movies folks.

I'm not the only one who has noticed this. Just recently website ScreenCrush ran an article titled - 2016: The Worst Summer Movie Season Ever?

Nope, it hasn't been a very memorable summer. Blockbusters that have been hyped up and released have been cooly received and by the end of the weekend pushed aside and quickly forgotten. Usually you can point to a few movies and say, "that was the summer such and such came out, that was the big hit". While some movies have earned some cash, it doesn't appear there's many that will be remembered past their opening weekends. Most have already vanished from audiences minds and should spend the rest of their existence in bargain bins at Walmart.

Monday, July 25, 2016

Wonder Woman & Justice League Trailers Debut

Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman
Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman
The San Diego Comic Con was the setting where DC & Warner Brothers revealed two glimpses of their expanding cinematic superhero universe movies - Wonder Woman and Justice League. Everyone is reacting and talking about these trailers, so here's my two cents.

First the Wonder Woman trailer - I liked it. Gal Gadot was one of the few bright spots in Batman v Superman. Her casting was initially met with more raised eyebrows than hand-clapping, but I thought she was pretty decent. Maybe not the best acting on display, but she looked really good and showed some charisma in her brief time in that muddled mess of a movie.

Sunday, July 24, 2016

Remember (2015) - A Review

Christopher Plummer Martin Landau Remember 2015 drama thriller
Remember
Max Rosenbaum (Martin Landau) is an Auschwitz survivor living in a New York nursing home. He has befriended Zev Guttman (Christopher Plummer) whom he recognized from their days at the camp.

After Guttman's wife dies, Max helps Zev with a promise that he had made - after his wife dies he will set out to find the nazi responsible for the murder of their families. The men know he is now living under a false name and Zev simply has to visit their list of suspects, recognize the man and then kill him.

However, Zev is suffering from dementia and his elderly state will be a huge hurdle to accomplish this task. Undeterred Zev sets out on a cross country trip to visit the four suspects to determine which is the nazi that destroyed their lives and to exact justice on him.

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

The Last Man On The Moon (2014) - A Review

The Last Man on the Moon 2014 Gene Cernan documentary
The Last Man On The Moon
In December 1972 Gene Cernan would become the last astronaut to leave his footprints on the moon and return to Earth. The aptly titled documentary The Last Man On The Moon recounts Cernan's life, career, the toll it would take on his personal life and his legacy of being part of history.

I've always been fascinated with the Apollo space program and that period in history when mankind were making unexplored leaps into the unknown. It's such a great story of persistence, danger, excitement, tragedies and triumph.